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4.4 out of 5 stars
Complete Greatest Hits
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Showing 1-10 of 34 reviews(5 star)show all reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This is a wonderful compilation of some of his best-loved songs, and I find it common for me to just play it over and over again,ad nauseum. I was a teenager in the 60's and didn't really pay much attention to him during those early years, but somehow the truth, magic and wonder of this man's incredible talent grew on me and its clear to see that it just shines through the plethora of artists who have come and gone over the years. His songs such as 'Stay Loose' and 'Ribbon of Darkness'(not on this album) are so powerful , they helped me feel, and understand the depth of pain and the eventual recovery of a tragic period in my life when my marriage failed. After he is no longer with us, generations will be able to listen , reflect , and admire with pleasure this icon of Canada's contribution to music this past century. He makes me very proud to be a Canadian and to have had the good fortune to have been here while he composed and performed so many wonderful, wonderful songs. Just a remarkable man.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2004
One of my favourote singers of all time. The is a marvellous collection of classic Lightfoot tracks. All the hits that this very underrated singer-songwriter had, either himself or by others' interpretations, are here from "Early Morning Rain" through "If You Could Read My Mind" and "Sundown" on to "Restless". OK, there are some obvious omissions which other reviewers have, quite rightly, pointed out.
Lightfoot was one of those who had the tag of "the second Bob Dylan", which is like having a monkey on his back. They are very different writers, with Lightfoot being a dispationate observer and reporter of love, the wonder of Canada, great events and all with a wonderful baritone voice.
His usual band - Terry Clements, Red Shea, Rick Haynes, John Stockfish and Pee Wee Charles - deserve a mention. They hold it all together and enhance Lightfoots delivery.
Lightfoot's recent (September 2002) illness and long (many months) hospitalisation will have shocked and horrified his fans. However, they will be relieved that he it is reported that he is on the way to full recovery. More good news is the imminent release of his 20th album at the end of April 2004.
As for this collection, it shows just what a top class artist he is. If you are new to Lightfoot, you have the choice of albums to introduce yourself to his music. You could buy the 4-CD box-set "Songbook" - 5 hours of glorious Lightfoot. Or you could buy "Gord's Gold" (the first album - not Vol. 2), which has some other tracks; or you could have this. Personally, I would have them all, as the man is a genius. In fact, spend some serious money and buy ALL his albums.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2004
One of my favourote singers of all time. The is a marvellous collection of classic Lightfoot tracks. All the hits that this very underrated singer-songwriter had, either himself or by others' interpretations, are here from "Early Morning Rain" through "If You Could Read My Mind" and "Sundown" on to "Restless". OK, there are some obvious omissions which other reviewers have, quite rightly, pointed out.
Lightfoot was one of those who had the tag of "the second Bob Dylan", which is like having a monkey on his back. They are very different writers, with Lightfoot being a dispationate observer and reporter of love, the wonder of Canada, great events and all with a wonderful baritone voice.
His usual band - Terry Clements, Red Shea, Rick Haynes, John Stockfish and Pee Wee Charles - deserve a mention. They hold it all together and enhance Lightfoots delivery.
Lightfoot's recent (September 2002) illness and long (many months) hospitalisation will have shocked and horrified his fans. However, they will be relieved that he it is reported that he is on the way to full recovery. More good news is the imminent release of his 20th album at the end of April 2004.
As for this collection, it shows just what a top class artist he is. If you are new to Lightfoot, you have the choice of albums to introduce yourself to his music. You could buy the 4-CD box-set "Songbook" - 5 hours of glorious Lightfoot. Or you could buy "Gord's Gold" (the first album - not Vol. 2), which has some of other tracks; or you could have this. Personally, I would have them all, as the man is a genius. In fact, spend some serious money and buy ALL his albums.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2002
Until now, Canadian Gordon Lightfoot - the most folk-oriented of the singer-songwriters who made it big on the pop charts in the '70s - has never had a single disc retrospective of his work that was even remotely worthy of him. His prior collections on Reprise (1975's Gord's Gold and, especially, 1988's Gord's Gold 2) were filled with inferior remakes of many of his most celebrated recordings.
Complete Greatest Hits is a vast improvement over those sets, with the original versions of all of his best-known songs. It leads off with six recordings from his years at United Artists (1965-1969). While Lightfoot's warm, deep voice and engaging melodies were present even on these early efforts, it was others who initially charted with his songs, such as Peter, Paul, & Mary with the enclosed "Early Morning Rain" and "For Lovin' Me."
In 1970, Lightfoot signed with Warner Brothers subsidiary Reprise (highlights of his twenty-plus years at this label make up the remaining fourteen tracks found here). Soon after signing with Reprise, Lightfoot began to make a name for himself as a singer with the introspective top five hit "If You Could Read My Mind." He also continued to write songs that were popularized by others, such as the enclosed "Cotton Jenny" for fellow Canadian Anne Murray.
In the early 70s, singer-songwriters became the rage in popular music and Lightfoot certainly contributed to the movement's success with the big hits "Sundown," "Carefree Highway," and "Rainy Day People." His 1976 six minute-plus epic "Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" would prove to be Lightfoot's artistic peak as well as his final major commercial success, although he would continue to make some fine music during the rest of the '70s.
Lightfoot's '80s output is represented here by the set's two most generic, forgettable recordings: "Baby Step Back" and "Stay Loose." The compilers of this collection would have been better off ditching those tracks and selecting a couple of the countless gems not included from his United Artists tenure, such as the breezy "Did She Mention My Name" or "Black Day in July," an intensely hypnotic account of the '67 race riots in Detroit (get the double-disc United Artists Collection for a thorough overview of this period).
Complete Greatest Hits concludes on a positive note with "Restless," a 1993 ode that finds Lightfoot descriptively ruminating about looking forward to the future while not forgetting the past. It reminds us of what a special observer and documenter he has been of life's events, both monumental and trivial.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2002
My enjoyment of this CD has been immense. Its content spans virtually Lightfoot's entire career. Admittedly, the more recent songs didn't quite hit the mark for me, but the rest of the album more than compensated. Lightfoot's music pulsates with gently fragrant melodies and rich harmonies, and is complimented by a down-to-earth quality to the subjects and feelings he addresses in his lyrics. This is not just music to tap your toes to: This is music to become involved in. It is the stuff of life. Folk music for real folks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
There are several Lightfoot compilations on the market, including a 3 disc boxed set that emcompasses his early albums. That might be a bit much for the average fan to digest. This is why, when I was running a record store several years back, I kept this album in regular stock at all times. It's simply the best overall compilation to get a good overview of Gordon's entire career.

I saw Gordon live a few years ago in Kitchener, Ontario. While the voice was only a shadow of what it once was, it still had power and it still told a million stories. If you love acoustic music with storytelling lyrics and one of the smoothest voices to ever grace vinyl, you need to get a Gordon Lightfoot album.

Most of the songs here are classics. Some of the later stuff, less so, but there's more early than late on this CD. I'm not too keen on "Baby Step Back", but you can't deny the power of "Early Morning Rain", "Go-Go Round", "For Lovin' Me", and every other classic on this CD. By the time you get to "Edmund Fitzgerald" (worth buying the disc for just that one song!) you will already have heard over a dozen classics.

Gordon Lightfoot makes Canada proud, and this is a CD I enjoy any time I want to mellow out or listen to some acoustic music with substance.

Enjoy, 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2003
The most commonly used cliche people use when describing a greatest hits album is "It's a great introduction for new fans." Most of the time, compilations are merely attempts for a check, but this 20-track capsule of singer-songwriter pioneer Gordon Lightfoot works fantastically; it contains many of his own (better) versions of songs he wrote that were hits for other artists (the melancholy 'Early Morning Rain' and 'For Lovin' Me,' a song Lightfoot describes as "the most chauvinistic song I ever wrote"), and dives into hits he rightfully enjoyed for himself, such as 'If You Could Read My Mind,' the warning of infidelity 'Sundown' and the mournful 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,' all of which were some of the most popular songs of the 1970s. Also represented are Lightfoot's best known songs from his later career, including excellent moments like 'Daylight Katy' and 'Baby Step Back,' a song that boasts Lightfoot's most sneering, deliciously snide vocal performance. It should be considered a blessing that an artist as great as Gordon Lightfoot has been given a compilation treatment that actually does him justice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2010
as the title implies . "the greatest hits" this is good for a quiet day around the house , gordon lightfoot is a legend in his own time . when i think canadian music i think gordon lightfoot . the cd is worth the money ,so if you like easy listening , this is good .
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on August 21, 2003
I just posted a lengthy review here on Amazon of the older Gord's Gold collection, warning people to steer clear of it. While Gord's Gold was the best we had for over two decades, Complete Greatest Hits blows it away.
For starters, Complete Greatest Hits features the *original recordings* (in contrast to what some other reviewers here have posted). Gord's Gold featured *re-recordings* of his older United Artists tracks from the late '60s and early '70s, all of them done with his 1975 producers and band. That sound, while it fit tracks like "Sundown" and "Carefree Highway" perfectly, doesn't suit his older material at all. I never cared for early tracks like "Early Morning Rain" or "For Lovin' Me" on Gord's Gold, but here on Complete Greatest Hits, in their energetic original versions, they're a revelation. I think they're at least as good as his big chart singles from the mid-'70s, if not better.
Best of all, this collection also includes some of his hits that made the charts *after* Gord's Gold was released in 1975, including "Race Among The Ruins" and the biggest hit of his career, "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald."
Bill Inglot at Rhino has done a fantastic job remastering these tracks - they sound crisp and clean, but it doesn't sound like he's performed any dramatic re-equalization or unnatural processing on them. Inglot often uses a pretty heavy hand, like on Rhino's Dionne Warwick collection, where re-equalization and noise-reduction processing was employed dramatically (although I have to admit the results were awfully impressive and extremely enjoyable, even if they weren't particularly accurate to the original masters). Here though, things sound natural and unprocessed, and very, very good for recordings of this vintage. The guitar work on Lightfoot's Warners-era tracks was impeccably recorded at the time, and it's reproduced flawlessly on this disc.
I highly, highly recommend Complete Greatest Hits to anyone who's interested in a single-disc sampling of some of the highlights of Lightfoot's career. I can't imagine a better collection than this one.
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Trying to make a single disk Anthology from a catalog this large is virtually impossible, and can only be called a "sampler", especially with an artist of this caliber.. This single disk, with 20 great songs all remastered from his United Artist, Reprise and Warner Brothers days are well represented here. For the price, the amount of tracks, the quality, and the artistry represented here is one of the best buys on the market today. If you have no Gordon Lightfoot CD's, this is the place to start. (There is Gordon's Gold Volumes I AND II, but they contain remakes). There is a Rhino multi disc-all inclusive sampler (A Painter Passing Through) which is also recommended, but will cost, so this is a great starting point.
With over 19 albums to his credit, from the 60's till now, its difficult to put this on just one CD. He was not just a "singles" artist, he was an "album" artist, with the 'cuts' being just as good as many of the singles. Again, a sampler. A "Greatest Singles Hits" if you will. But for some reason, some singles are left out "Summertime Dream" for flip sides "Cherokee Bend".
Basically, they did leave off most of his latter albums, which is a shame. His career DID NOT STOP after "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" It continued and he is touring today.
Some of the great 80's & 90'S tracks omitted here include
"Dream Street Rose" "Dring Your Glasses Empty" "Ghosts Of Cape Horn" "Hey You" "In My Fashion" "Salute" "Sea Of Tranquility" "Whispers Of The North", most which are on the "Rhino" Larger anthology mentioned. Many of his United Artist tracks are not here, (NO ROOM!), but you can get them on a two disk Greatest Hits for this era only, or the EXCELLENT Bear Family reissues(two-fers). There are so many more ("Sit Down Young Stranger" et. al.).
I am just pointing out that this is a superb sampler of a GREAT artist, well worth the money, and worth your consideration, and if you like him..there is much more out there.
Good Listening!
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