Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Gordon Lightfoot - Complete Greatest Hits (1965-93 canada, fantastic folk country rock, 2002 edition)

There must be something in the water, or the beer, but Canada has given the world some of the strongest singer-songwriters of the modern pop era. Gordon Lightfoot emerged in the mid-'60s, first as a composer and soon after as a noted performer whose virile yet sensitive voice and striking songs quickly established him as one of the most gifted folk-inspired artists in a era bursting with talent. By the 1970s, Lightfoot went on to reach superstardom with a series of hit albums and singles. Complete Greatest Hits provides a career overview drawing on many of the Canadian bard’s signature songs, touching on those that first drew public attention (“Early Morning Rain,” “For Lovin’ Me,” “Pussywillows, Cat-tails”) before moving forward into the glory years (“If You Could Read My Mind,” “Sundown,” “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”) and beyond (“Stay Loose,” “Restless,” “Daylight Katy”). Although Hits only scratches the surface of Lightfoot’s rich oeuvre, it provides a fine entry point to explore the work of a genuine legend. 
by Steve Futterman

Rhino's 2002 collection The Complete Greatest Hits is certainly welcome for presenting what is essentially all of his most popular songs on one 20-track disc, but, the thing is, that's actually a trickier task with Gordon Lightfoot than you might think. On both volumes of Gord's Gold, he re-recorded early songs and mixed them with current hits -- which meant that a new "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" sat next to the hits like "Sundown," but on Gord's Gold, Vol. 2, newer songs which weren't quite hits were next to re-recorded versions of staples like "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." This, needless to say, was a bit of an irritant, but this is well-executed enough to make up for the years of awkward compilations by covering everything from his UA recordings to his latter-day recordings for Warner in the mid-'80s. Some might say there should be a little bit more of the earlier songs, but, for most listeners, this will contain all the major items and is as close to definitive as possible to get. 
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
1. Early Morning Rain - 3:07
2. For Lovin' Me - 2:27
3. Go-Go Round - 2:40
4. Canadian Railroad Trilogy - 6:22
5. Pussywillows, Cat-Tails - 2:50
6. Bitter Green - 2:44
7. If You Could Read My Mind - 3:50
8. Summer Side Of Life - 4:05
9. Cotton Jenny - 3:26
10.Beautiful - 3:24
11.Sundown - 3:40
12.Carefree Highway - 3:43
13.Rainy Day People - 2:49
14.The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald - 6:29
15.Race Among The Ruins - 3:20
16.Daylight Katy - 4:19
17.The Circle Is Small - 3:59
18.Baby Step Back - 3:56
19.Stay Loose - 3:55
20.Restless - 3:36
All songs by Gordon Lightfoot

*Gordon Lightfoot  - Guitar, Vocals
*David Rea  - Guitar
*Vesta Williams  - Background Vocals
*Victor Feldman  - Percussion
*James Newton Howard  - Synthesizer
*David Foster  - Keyboards
*Doug Riley  - Piano, Electric Piano
*Jim Gordon  - Percussion, Drums
*Robbie Buchanan  - Synthesizer
*Kenny Buttrey  - Percussion, Drums
*Pee Wee Charles  - Pedal Steel Guitar
*Chip Young  - Guitar
*Mitchell Clarke  - Bassoon
*Vassar Clements  - Fiddle
*Terry Clements  - Guitar, Background Vocals
*Nick Decaro  - Piano, Accordion
*Vern Dorge  - Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
*Michael Francis  - Guitar
*Buddy Harman  - Drums
*Hoyt Hawkins  - Background Vocals
*Mike Heffernan  - Keyboards
*Milt Holland  - Percussion
*Roy M. "Junior" Husky  - Bass
*Jim Isbell  - Drums
*Sheree Jeacocke  - Background Vocals
*Barry Keane  - Percussion, Drums, Tambourine, Hand Drums
*Millie Kirkham  - Background Vocals
*Michael Landau  - Guitar
*Bill Lee  - Bass
*Herb Lovelle  - Drums
*Bob Mann  - Guitar
*Gene Martynec  - Moog Synthesizer
*Richard Marx  - Background Vocals
*Neal Matthews  - Background Vocals
*Hugh McCracken  - Guitar
*Suzie McCune  - Background Vocals
*Laverna Moore  - Background Vocals
*Farrell Morris  - Percussion
*Dean Parks  - Guitar
*Herb Pedersen  - Background Vocals
*Dennis Pendrith  - Bass
*Lou Pomanti  - Organ
*Hargus "Pig" Robbins  - Piano
*James Rolleston  - Bass
*Red Shea  - Dobro, Guitar
*Jerry Shook  - Guitar
*Catherine Smith  - Background Vocals
*John Stockfish  - Bass
*Gordon Stoker  - Background Vocals
*Henry Strzelecki  - Bass
*Tom Szczesniak  - Bass, Keyboards
*Jackie Ward  - Background Vocals
*Jack Zaza  - Harmonica, Bass Clarinet, Alto Flute, Harmonium, English Horn, Recorder, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
*Charlie Mccoy  - Guitar, Harmonica, Celeste, Bells
*Ray C. Walker  - Background Vocals
*Rick Haynes  - Bass, Background Vocals
*Bruce Langhorn  - Guitar

1966-67  Gordon Lightfoot - Lightfoot! / The Way I Feel