- Audio CD (27 May 2002)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Rhino
- ASIN: B00005YW4N
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,300 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Complete Greatest Hits CD
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Although he rose from the ranks of journeyman 60s folksingers to become a potent and consistent 70s hit-maker, Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoots stock-in-trade was as much hard-eyed, dispassionate observation as it was romance or poetic whimsy. Perhaps thats why his songs have been covered by everyone from Elvis (this sets "Early Morning Rain") to Dylan. If theres such a thing as an alpha-male folkie, Lightfoot certainly fits the bill.
Spanning the tongue-in-cheek chauvinism of 1965s "For Lovin Me" and the cheatin ways of "Sundown", to more introspective fare like "If You Could Read My Mind" and "Beautiful", this 20-track collection presents a concise primer on Lightfoots career and craft. While his career peaked with one of the most unlikely Top Five hits ever, the gloom-laden 1976 narrative "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald", Lightfoots production tailed off sharply thereafter, though this anthologys "Stay Loose" (86) and "Restless" (93) are testament to his enduring skills as a songwriter and performer. --Jerry McCulley
Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, you'd need a 4-CD box set to really do justice to Mr Lightfoot, but this will do for the moment. Some tracks like Bitter Green(1968) & Race Amongst the Ruins(1976) rarely get an outing on most compilations, so they are welcome additions to the usual greats like If You Could Read My Mind,Sundown,Rainy Day People,The Circle is Small & Early Morning Rain.
Plus, of course, The Wreck of The Edmund Fiztgerald. Anyone who can stick a 6 minute 35 second folk lament at number 2 in the Billboard chart has to be thunderingly talented! This track isn't simply poetry-it accurately recreates the story-in-song tradition of medieval troubadours or minstrels-think of the ballad Sir Patrick Spens and other famous Scottish/Irish laments, and this is in direct lineage with them,and will probably be on the English Literature syllabus soon!
Not everything is THAT heavy or high a standard, but this criminally-underrated singer's many moods are all here & you don't want to miss any of them!
You can't do full justice to Gordon's music with a single CD but, given that, the track selection here will surprise a few people - in particular, the omission of two of his famous early songs, Did she mention my name and Ribbon of darkness. These songs were not hits for Gordon, but for other people. It didn't do Gordon's reputation any harm to have Marty Robbins record Ribbon of darkness and be successful with it. Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan also covered his songs, while country singer George Hamilton IV recorded a lot of his songs.
While it would have been great to have those two songs included, every song here is entitled to its inclusion. Perhaps the best known tracks are Sundown and If you could read my mind, two very contrasting songs that helped to establish Gordon's reputation in the seventies. Those two songs were both huge hits in America, where he had plenty of hits. His UK chart history was very modest, with just four entries (Sundown, If you could read my mind, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and Daylight Katy), none of which got very high.
Apart from those songs, this set includes plenty of other classic songs including Early morning rain, For lovin' me, Canadian railroad trilogy, Cotton Jenny, Carefree highway and Rainy day people.
As an introduction to Gordon's brand of folk-pop music, this serves its purpose brilliantly. If you are interested in Gordon's sixties music, you should look for a compilation devoted to that period alone - very few tracks from that period are included here.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good CD with all my favourite tracks on it.
Prompt delivery, would use the supplier again.
A great collection from Gordon Lightfoot. I am a big fan of his work and excellent songs.
A must buy for every music fan.
For me this has all the truly great Gordon Lightfoot recordings from Early Morning Rain to The Circle Is Small. Read morePublished 4 months ago by J. Thompson
Excellent. Bought this for a friend when we went on holiday together and it still makes me smile now when I listen to the songs.Published 5 months ago by A Customer