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Maybe not for Purists but a good CD nonetheless
on April 4, 2003
There has been a lot of complaining about many of the songs on this re-recorded versions of earlier hits. I cannot say that I particularly care that much. As a novice Lightfoot listener, I can only say that to me the songs are still engaging and most enjoyable. For those who only know Lightfoot via 2 or 3 hit songs, this is a good exposure to his work.
Purists will quibble about the newer version, but they need to remember that an artist is entitled to re-interpret his own work. It is not as though this music is engraved in stone, for crying out lot. My own field of expertise is classical music, and could cite more examples than one could stand of artists re-recording works more than once. Adrian Boult, for example, premiered Gustav Holst's work "The Planets," and first recorded portions of the work in 1917. He then proceeded to record "The Planets" at least another 6 times over the next 60 years, the last recording coming in 1978 when Boult was nearing 90. The result is a wonderfully nuanced recording reflecting a lifetime's experience.
What is the point of this rambling digression? Music is not static. An artist should not be castigated for re-exploring earlier works, just because that is what you remember from when you were younger. Enjoy the earlier recordings for what they are, but enjoy the newer recordings on their own merits. Since I am not intimately familiar with Lightfoot's recordings, I am not burdened by preconceived notions of how the various songs should sound.
Just enjoy the CD for what it is.