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5.0 out of 5 stars Gordon Lightfoot -never fails to please,
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This review is from: Summer Side of Life (Audio CD)I bought The summer side of life for one song- Migel. I first heard this song, by Gordon Lightfoot many many years ago on vinyl record I got for Christmas. Then as cds took over and my record collection was destroyed a flood, I forgot about that song I loved so much, until I heard it about three or four weeks ago on the CBC program- This is my music. Liona Boyd was the guest and she told the story of how she used to open concerts for Gordon Lightfoot. As a tribute to him, she played the song- Migel. I was almost breathles- here was that song I loved so many years ago. I got on the internet and found the name of the album. Then I went to my favorite retailer, Amazon- and ordered Summer Side of Life. It arrived within a week. I've been playing every night since.
5.0 out of 5 stars Canadian folk rock music at it's best.,
This review is from: Summer Side of Life (Audio CD)I wholeheartedly agree that Gordon Lightfoot's music has a timelessness to it that cannot be beat. I am 57 years old and I love SUMMER SIDE OF LIFE as much today as I did in 1971 at the age of 17 when I first purchased it in vinyl at a Canadian music store in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
I had the privilege of first seeing Gordon Lightfoot in concert in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1994. I was single then and ended up enjoying the concert all by my lonesome. Years later I took my husband to see Gordon in concert in Savannah, Georgia where we currently live (my husband a retired American soldier still works for the American Army at Fort Stewart). He wasn't as familiar with Gordon Lightoot's music as I was and there were some songs that were not played during the concert. I don't know why I didn't think SUMMER SIDE OF LIFE did not exist in some form on Amazon but when I found you could still not only get in CD but it still existed in vinyl I was ectastic! This was one of the first records I EVER bought.
Some of my favortes that were not sung at the concert were 10 DEGREES & COLDER, MIGUEL, TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP, NOUS VIVONS ENSEMBLE , SAME OLD LOVERMAN and CABARET all on this CD. Luckily the SUMMER SIDE OF LIFE, also on this tape, was sung at the concert.
10 DEGREES & COLDER is a song about a hitchiker, a road musician in Boulder, Colorado, standing in the freezing cold trying to come home to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It reminds one of days in the 1970s where hitchikers with signs were much more of a common sight than what you see today.
MIGUEL is a sad, tender song about geographically seperated lovers and their tragic parting. Miguel, a young man born in Mexico who accidentally kills a lawman resulting in his fleeing for his life and his true love who bears his child while he is sent to his death. "Oh my sweet Miguel, listen to the bell. No one will ever know what I know too well. I have no fear. I am waiting for you, cross the border, swim the river, because you've done that before, to see your true love's smiling face a hundred times or more. Oh my sweet Miguel, I love you till I die." Such sweet lyrics and the way that they are sung--really touches you deep inside.
TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP along with MIGUEL are probably my favorites songs on this tape. In the former tape a man learns of his woman's implied infidelity. "I heard you softly whisper. I reached out to hold you near me. Then from your lips came that secret I was not supposed to know..." I especially love the guitar in this song.
NOUS VIVONS ENSEMBLE sung partially in French about "staying together". "If you need me and I need you there is nothing else worth saying."
THE SAME OLD LOVERMAN is about the man was "born to believe" that he "never could deceive."
The last song on the tape, CABARET, has special meaning for me, a displaced northerner, living in the Deep South. After all I was born and raised in suburban Detroit in the north country. Most of my relatives lived in or near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Therefore the words in this song "still I like to tell her that I miss her so, North Ontario" truly express how I really feel.
The heartfelt way in which Gordon Lightfoot sings these songs make them really special. You find yourself singing along with them while driving in a car or being a passenger in it. In fact listening to them now has a way of making one feel young again! Thanks Gordon for reliving those feelings in me. Anytime I want to feel that way again all I have to do is to play this CD and I am back!
5.0 out of 5 stars This Album Is Worth the Price of the CD Just for "Miguel",
This review is from: Summer Side of Life (Audio CD)Buy this CD right now! If "Miguel" isn't one of the top 100 most beautiful songs ever written on the planet Earth, then I've never ever heard a gorgeous Gershwin or Cole Porter or Lerner & Lowe or Paul Simon or Bob Marley or Woody Guthrie or Joni Mitchell or Bob Dylan or Lennon & McCartney song in my life!! Curiously, "Miguel" isn't on GL's relatively recent 4-CD boxed set (which is complete craziness!). The rest of this album features some of Gordon's most compelling writing, as well, with "10 Degrees and Getting Colder," "Cabaret," "Cotten Jenny" (a textbook example of metaphorically perfect lyrics), "Nous Vivons Ensemble," and "Talking in Your Sleep" being absolute keepers. From 1966 to 1982, Gordon put out about 12 perfect albums, where you wanted to hear every melodic, literate, high-quality song (with no "filler" on any of the records). Summer Side of Life is definitely one of the "magnificent dozen!" But "Miguel," all by itself is worth the price of the CD. By the way, I'm a songwriter myself, and I guarantee I would sell my soul to old Mr. Scratch and/or any of his minions for the privilege to have written such a compellingly memorable tune!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Lightfoot,
By A Customer
This review is from: Summer Side of Life (Audio CD)This is a great CD, probably his finest. Ironically, "Cotton Jenny" - the one song that most will be familiar with - is the weakest song here. The second "side" in particular is far more diverse than most Gordon Lightfoot tends to be. Songs like "Same Old Loverman" and "Love and Maple Syrup" are just as good if not better than his singles from the era. Even if you have the Complete Greatest Hits, this is well worth owning!
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Lightfoot's Best,
This review is from: Summer Side of Life (Audio CD)The first artist I ever got into was Gordon Lightfoot and bought many of his albums in my early years of music listening. Since then I moved onto others such as Pink Floyd, Beatles, Neil Young, Al Stewart among others. I love all of them, but Lightfoot has stayed with me and when listening to him I get into a very special place. So from this Lightfoot fan, while he has put out many wonderful albums and songs (many of which are too good to be hits) Summer Side of Life is his best. If you love Lightfoot and don't have this album get it now you will be sooooooo glad you did
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the compilations - buy this,
This review is from: Summer Side of Life (Audio CD)This is a dazzling set of gorgeous accoustic guitar playing, strong, moving lyrics and beautiful melodies galore, all held together by Lightfoot's warm and expressive voice.
Lightfoot's work does not lend itself to being easily compiled (as witness that such great tracks as "Miguel" and "Love and Maple Syrup" aren't even to be found on his 4CD box), so I'm afraid you just have to buy as many of his individual albums as you can afford.
And this is one of the best. Along with the two cuts mentioned above "10 Degrees and Getting Colder", "Go My Way" and "Nous Vivons Ensemble" are especially worthy of praise, as are the two very minor chart entries taken from this album: the title track and "Talking In Your Sleep". Essential.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of the best,
By A Customer
This review is from: Summer Side of Life (Audio CD)Every year from 1970 through 1976, Gordon Lightfoot released a string of superlative albums. This is one of the best of them, as well as being one of the most unusual.
For a start, it was recorded in Nashville. Along with his always-excellent touring musicians Red Shea (lead guitar) and Rick Haynes (bass), Lightfoot is joined by many of the top Nashville musicians from that era. Thus, all of the songs have a much different sound that what you may be accustomed to.
Additionally, this album features some unusually-structured compositions for Lightfoot, as well as some chord movements that don't often crop up elsewhere in his (considerable) body of work.
Produced by Joe Wissert and released in 1971, Summer Side of Life is filled to the brim with great songs. It starts off with "10 Degrees and Getting Colder," and you may think "Well, this is pretty much what I expected from Lightfoot," in terms of the arrangement. But suddenly the haunting story-song "Miguel" begins, and you realize you're into a whole new area. Filled with some nifty chord changes and some exquisite lead guitar work courtesy of Red Shea, the song is among the (many) unsung Lightfoot classics. The title track is a brilliant study of the young men being drawn into the vortex of Vietnam, with instrumentation and choral work you won't find on any other Lightfoot recording. The perennial favorite "Cotton Jenny" makes its debut on the album; other highlights include "Nous Vivons Ensemble" (half of which is sung in French), the somewhat Elvis-y "Same Old Loverman" (the album doesn't detail individual credits for the musicians, but I would assume that's Junior Husky supplying the fabulous acoustic bass work on the track), "Love and Maple Syrup" (again an unusual arrangement), and one of my favorite Lightfoot tracks of all: "Cabaret." This song is actual two songs put together--at first listen you may not think they have much to do with one another. But the two songs actually are thematically connected: From "sounds of laughter on ladies gay" in the misty past(bringing to mind Tolouse La-Trec posters) to the stark realism of the present ("sitting in a roadside diner"), the song cleverly presents a different twist on the hackneyed phrase "life is cabaret."
Summer Side of Life represents Gordon Lightfoot at the height of his powers. Don't miss this one.
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Gordon Lightfoot Album,
This review is from: Summer Side of Life (Audio CD)Gordon Lightfoot does not write bad songs. I'm glad that he is still out there on the road and performing. I'm not Canadian, but I think there is a wonderful expression of the common 'good things' in the North American spirit. We're in a real dip in the road, song writing-wise. It's nice to listen to good songs, good guitar, and a simple voice.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightfoot Reaches His Peak,
This review is from: Summer Side of Life (Audio CD)As Gordon Lightfoot's fame grew, his music evolved and gradually reached its peak with Summer Side of Life and its follow-up smash, Don Quixote. This is one of his most country albums, not Nashville country, but a refreshingly different sound that is infused with a Canadian perspective. Lightfoot's ballads definitely do not reek of urban sensibilities but speak to that which is inbred in many of us who are most alive when in a natural setting. Back in the 60s and 70s many free spirits hitch-hiked around the continent so we can relate to songs like Cabaret and 10 Degrees and Getting Colder. You can hear Lightfoot's love of nature in Redwood Hill, you can hear his concern for his fellows in Miguel and concern for his country in Nous Vivons Ensemble. His romantic side and his knack for wordplay are apparent in Talking in Your Sleep and Love and Maple Syrup. A mild chauvinism springs forth in Go My Way and finally, he shows a different side to country music on Same Old Loverman and Cotton Jenny. As balladeers go, Lightfoot has few peers. Every song will spark a frisson of delight as you listen to his masterful lyrics spin tale after tale. No Lightfoot "desert island" compilation would be complete without this one right near the top of the list.
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories,
This review is from: Summer Side of Life (Audio CD)I was born after this album was released and was raised to it playing in the background. I have great memories of these melodies playing throughout my childhood and I am still making new memories to the likes of Cotton Jenny and Bitter Green. What better way to grow up than to the sounds of soft passion? I rate this album as one of the best of all time. Always good to calm the spirit and enlighten the soul
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