Gordon Lightfoot is our Canadian institution. He was born on November 17,1938 in Orillia, Ontario. He has a lengthy recording career, starting with the album Lightfoot on United Artists label (1965) and ended with Harmony in 2004. If you live in Toronto, you will remember two major record stores, A&A and of course, Sam the Record Man. I still remember that in 1975, I braved heavy rain and went to A&A to get Gordon Lightfoot’s The Best of Gordon Lightfoot vinyl record for 99 cents in a midnight sale. Of course, we in Ontario are also blessed with the yearly Gordon Lightfoot’s concert at the very intimate cozy Massey Hall downtown.
Rhino Records/Warner Brothers from US have done a great job, extracting 13 great live recordings between the years 1998 and 2001. The recordings have not been technically altered and are authentic live mixes. The sound is pretty good for a live recording from the late nineties, and the songs are very well remastered. You can hear Gordon Lightfoot’s voice distinctly, although because of aging, his voice sounded a little strained. I would have preferred that Rhino Records did not put a two-second pause between songs. Even though the recordings were taken from different concerts, listening to the entire album with no pause is still preferred.
Song listing (with date of recording, chart position, year and source):
01 14 Karat Gold (Thursday, May 7, 1998)(from album Shadows, 1981)
02 If You Could Read My Mind (Thursday, May 7, 1998)(US 5/1970)(from album Sit Down Young Stranger, 1970)
03 Fine As Fine Can Be (Thursday, May 7, 1998) )(from album Cold on the Shoulder, 1975)
04 Baby Step Back (Friday, May 8, 1998)(from album Shadows 1981)
05 Early Morning Rain (Friday, May 8, 1998)(from album Lightfoot, 1966)
06 Restless (Friday, May 8, 1998)(from album Waiting for You, 1993)
07 A Painter Passing Through (Thursday, May 24, 2001)(from album A Painter Passing Through, 1998)
08 Rainy Day People (Friday, May 8, 1998)(US 26/1975)(from album Cold on the Shoulder, 1975)
09 Ringneck Loon (Thursday, May 7, 1998)(from album A Painter Passing Through, 1998)
10 Shadows (Thursday, November 11, 1999)(from album Shadows, 1981)
11 Sundown (Thursday, May 7, 1998)(US 1/1974)(from album Sundown, 1974)
12 Carefree Highway (Thursday, May 7, 1998)(US 10/1974)(from album Sundown, 1974)
13 Christian Island (Saturday, May 26, 2001)(from album Don Quixote, 1972)
14 The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald (Thursday, May 7, 1998)(US 2/1976)(from album Summertime Dream, 1976)
15 Canadian Railroad Trilogy (Thursday, November 11, 1999)(from album The Way I Feel, 1966)
16 Let It Ride (Saturday, may 26, 2001)(from album East of Midnight, 1986)
17 Blackberry Wine (Friday, May 8, 1998)(from album Shadows, 1981)
18 Song For A Winter’s Night (Friday, May 8, 1998)(from album The Way I Feel, 1967)
19 Old Dan’s Records (Friday, May 25, 2001)(from album Old Dan’s Records, 1972)
Our Gordon Lightfoot has a very illustrious career, writing songs for other artists, and also with a large collection of treasured hits. So far, I have managed to collect 19 CDs of Gordon Lightfoot. My favourite is the 4-disc box set called Gordon Lightfoot Songbook, released in 1995. If you are looking for a single Greatest Hits disc, then, I would recommend Gord’ Gold (1975) or the recent release Complete Greatest Hits (2002). But don’t buy Gord’s Gold Volume 2, because the songs were re-recordings. But if you like to listen to Gordon Lightfoot live, this set is for you, and is recommended for all Gordon Lightfoot fans.
I hope the above review is helpful to you.