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Summertime Dream


Price: CDN$ 4.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 23 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B000002KCK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,605 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Race Among The Ruins
2. Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
3. I'm Not Supposed To Care
4. I'd Do It Again
5. Never Too Close
6. Protocol
7. The House You Live In
8. Summertime Dream
9. Spanish Moss
10. Too Many Clues In This Room

Product Description

Amazon.ca

If you owned only one in the series of superlative albums Gordon Lightfoot recorded for Reprise in the '70s, chances are this was it. It's still a great choice. Summertime Dream became his biggest U.S. seller thanks to the success of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"--a song chronicling the 1975 sinking of a giant ore carrier in Lake Superior and surely one of the least likely radio hits of all time. Lightfoot created a haunting, peculiarly Canadian tale of the struggle of human will against a natural world that could be as savage as it was beautiful. Perhaps his most famous song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" tends to overshadow Summertime Dream's other strengths. Though he shakes his fist at militarists on "Protocol," the disc also includes some of Lightfoot's most poignant songs of love gone wrong, including "I'm Not Supposed to Care" and "Race Among the Ruins." Pee Wee Charles's evocative pedal steel guitar playing makes "Spanish Moss" another highlight, even if it's hard to know exactly what Lightfoot means when he sings "I like you more than half as much as I love your Spanish moss." None of this is loud enough to rouse a sleeping babe thanks to Lightfoot's buttery crooning and the typically tasteful production by Lenny Waronker and Lightfoot himself. --Jason Anderson


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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Greg Cleary on March 31 2003
Format: Audio CD
To the eternal frustration of casual Lightfoot fans, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" was recorded a year too late to make it onto "Gord's Gold." This has probably turned out to be a good thing for Lightfoot, as many of those fans have bought "Summertime Dream" and were so impressed that they then began buying his other original albums. This was the last good release in a phenomenal run by Lightfoot that included a dozen albums in ten years. (Unfortunately, Gord would jump the shark with his next one, "Endless Wire.")
"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" is a song that will chill you to the bone, especially if you've lived near the Big Lake, as I have, and know how menacing it can be. (Incidentally, this song was acknowledged in the film "High Fidelity" as the best song ever about death.)
"Edmund Fitzgerald" is such a monster that it tends to dwarf everything else on the album, yet Lightfoot did a very good job of coming up with songs that compliment it. The opener, "Race Among the Ruins," has morbid lyrics that belie its jaunty tune, immediately creating an atmosphere of irony and foreboding. Two later tracks, "Protocol" and "Too Many Clues in This Room," are very dark both musically and lyrically, and both make allusions to ill-fated sailors.
The rest is a mixture of melancholy songs about relationships gone wrong and bouncy tunes about the simple joys of life. None of them are great, but they are all good--the kind of songs that will sound as good years from now as they do when you first hear this disc. (I should know--I've had a vinyl copy of this album for about 15 years, and I still listen to it.)
The lyrics are uniformly solid and sometimes outstanding.
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Format: Audio CD
Shipwrecks, old seadogs who would storm the gates of hell, a room full of ghosts and desolation, and an ocean of ruins are not exactly the things one would find in a summertime dream, a reference so pure that the listener finds that they've been wonderfully misled once they dive into this, one of Gordon Lightfoot's greatest albums. Irony is something that has always drifted into Lightfoot's music, and has always made it all the more unique. Unfortunately, an ironic fact here is that "Summertime Dream," released in 1976, was the last album of the singer/songwriter's wave of popularity.
In characteristic fashion, Lightfoot ends his era of commercial popularity with a bang, and "Summertime Dream" boasts a body of some of the most solid, conscious songs ever produced in the 70s. Most of the songs here contain some reference to the ocean, a metaphorical symbol that would be cliched with any other artist, but Lightfoot keeps his lyrical prowess flowing like the waters he describes. The first notes of "Summertime Dream" are misleading, as an upbeat tune describes a 'Race Among the Ruins,' one of many Lightfoot songs that should have been more commercially successful than it actually was. The album's biggest hit, the harrowing true story 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' remains popular to this day, and is a lasting example of the soft-spoken folk era gritting its teeth and unleashing a powerful, ominous tale that defies the old acoustic formula. But it doesn't end there, as some of Lightfoot's most stirring imagery unveils itself in 'Too Many Clues in This Room,' and 'Protocol,' but the title track seems to be an honest, lyrically whistful song set amidst such deep tunes as these.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is vintage Lightfoot, and the bard's lyrics, always honest and searching (and sometimes inscrutable and open to multiple interpretations) shine here. This is the album on which The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald appeared, and one sees now how the world of popular music has changed - there is no way a literate, nearly six-minute song about comparatively minor tragedy in the maritime history could appear at the top of the charts again. The power of this tale lies in the slow build up to the wreck and the repetitive musical phrasing, like the constant battering of the good ship by the gale of November 1975, and Lightfoot's easy description of the Great Lakes geography. Other great tunes include the wistful Protocol (about the disappearance of personal heroism and sacrifice and its replacement by an anonymous technological warrior-elite), the advice-laden The House that You Live In, and the Arcadian ditty Summertime Dream. You could take every song here and strip away the music, and then read the lyrics as a poem - they are great. In fact, you can do that with most of Lightfoot's songs. One wonders: where did Gord get his lyrics? He covers so much in his song - history, love, death, ruin, redemption, etc. As a child, did he read a lot? He seems unnaturally wise. I bought this album when it came out in the 1970s, listened to it intensely on a record player, and then it, along with so many other records, were sold when my folks sold their home in the 1990s. I recently bought it as a CD and it sounds even better than ever; as one gets older, Gord's lyrics get richer. Unfortunately, as I am writing this, the bard himself is in bad health, though recovering, prompting one to wonder, as did he in The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?
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