on October 30, 2003
It has probably been 25 years since I listened to this album. I couldn't believe how good it sounded. I listened to it about 3 times in a row before I put it aside. Gord's voice is at the peak of its richness here. Several songs (It's Worth Believing, Farewell to Annabel) are absolutely haunting, they are so moving.
on July 2, 2002
This may very well be my favorite Gordon Lightfoot album of them all. If you ask an average fan what their top 10 favorite Lightfoot songs are, I'd be willing to bet none of them come from this album. There are no big hits on it: no "Sundown," no "If You Could Read My Mind." And yet, if there ever was a case of the whole being far greater than the sum of the parts, Old Dan's Records is definitely it.
There is a feeling of peacefulness and contentment that pervades the album...but also a subtle undercurrent of wanderlust, which adds just a slight tension to the proceedings. It's subtle, it's deep, but it gives this album an overall feeling like no other. It's almost inevitable, as you listen to Old Dan's Records, that the album Sundown would follow, since most of its songs deal with travelling. It's as if the subtle undercurrent of wanderlust finally broke through the dam.
There are some wonderful songs here...it's almost impossible for me to pick a favorite, because there isn't one on here I don't like! From the wistful "That Same Old Obsession," to the gentle, contented feeling of "Lazy Morning" (a song which seems to be a precursor to "Restless", which came 20 years later, and which you'll find on Complete Greatest Hits), the fun of the title track, and "You Are What I Am," the wry "My Pony Won't Go," the touching "Mother of a Miner's Child," and the gotta-sing-along-with-this-one-whenever-it-plays-in-the-car "Highway Songs," and all the other tracks...it isn't until the album stops playing that the overall effect of it will seep into your soul.
Musically, Lightfoot plays rhythm 6-string and 12-string guitars, as well as a few other miscellaneous instruments. Red Shea and Terry Clements provide the lead guitar work, with Rick Haynes playing some beautiful bass (listen to him on "My Pony Won't Go," for example). Shea also adds some great dobro to a few of the tracks. The musicians are augmented by the Good Brothers, contributing banjo, pedal steel and so on. Additionally Barry Keane plays drums and percussion(a few years later, Keane would become part of the Lightfoot band when Lightfoot decided to add a drummer to the group), and there is some fabulous slide dobro work by David Bromberg on "My Pony Won't Go." The arrangements--by Nick DeCaro--are light, subtle and unobtrusive.
Old Dan's Records is simply a jewel. This is one you will definitely not regret picking up. So click that "Add to Shopping Cart" button right now! :)
on July 14, 2002
Canadian singer/songwriter/acoustic guitarist Gordon Lightfoot was in the midst of his creative zenith when Old Dan's Records was recorded in 1972. So this album simply rolls from one melodic, emotional highlight to another. For me, so many of these songs echo places and times...the piano driven ballad Same Old Obsession is like a melancholy Victorian-era drama...Lazy Mornin' suggests a idyllic day in the country...and despite its title, Can't Depend On Love has a wonderful lightness to it. What's interesting about this album is the history of its time...in his book Lightfoot: If You Could Read His Mind, author Maynard Collins says Lightfoot was going through marital difficulties in 1972 (yes, they would lead to a divorce) and he was recovering from a serious bout of something called Bell's Palsy. This affliction affects facial muscles, and Collins suggests pictures from that time (including the album cover) were done in such a way to hide the affected part of his face. All this makes the brilliance of Old Dan's Records even more astonishing.
on July 11, 2002
This is a very good album. It's just difficult to pick up a vibe from it in my opinion. It is hypnotic and I find myself listening to it time and again. Although I can't get the idea out of my head that it's an album made up of afterthoughts.
Some think it's more upbeat,I say it has more of a somber feel to it. The standouts for me are "Farewell To Annabel", "That Same Old Obsession" and "It's Worth Believin'". It has it's high points, but again, to me it's difficult to nail down a vibe.
on May 7, 2003
Gordon Lightfoot is hard to come by here in Sweden, so when I saw Old Dan's & Dreamstreet rose in a used cd-shop I jumped at it. the "rose" is not nearly as good as "Old Dan's". THis does not mean that OD is outstanding in any way! Sure, there are a few gems on here, but so are there on all gord's cd's. He has only himself to blame. If he persists in spoiling us, his audience, with great music, he will get no slack when he's on the downsloap...
All of gord's pre-80's catalogue is more or less flawless. This record is one of the less interesting from this period, but still it's a darn good waste of time!