I'm Not Sayin' it's the Gordon Lightfoot listening thread (but it is)...new album every Thursday

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Canadian national treasure, folk rock legend, etc. etc.

This is the thread for listening thru Gord's discography, I'll post a new album every Thursday.

To start...

Lightfoot! - 1966

"Rich Man's Spiritual" – 2:44
"Long River" – 2:46
"The Way I Feel" – 3:43
"For Lovin' Me" – 2:25
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" – 3:10 (Ewan MacColl)
"Changes" – 2:30 (Phil Ochs)
"Early Morning Rain" – 3:04
"Steel Rail Blues" – 2:48
"Sixteen Miles (To Seven Lakes)" – 2:05
"I'm Not Sayin'" – 2:28
"Pride of Man" – 2:41 (Hamilton Camp)
"Ribbon of Darkness" – 2:39
"Oh, Linda" – 3:09
"Peaceful Waters" – 2:01

Will (kruezer2), Thursday, 28 March 2019 13:51 (three weeks ago) Permalink

fuck yeah

Simon H., Thursday, 28 March 2019 13:54 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Invariably I end up talking more about Gord's voice and lyrics than the music. But I really love the guitar intro in The Way I Feel. It separates it as a real step up from the first two songs I think, and it's where the record takes off. Long River feels oddly lyrically plain for one of his songs to me, if he had written it a couple years later I think it could have been a better song.

I was just reading about this album on Allmusic as I listened to it and found out that apparently Spike Lee's dad played bass on this record. If that's true his work on The Way I Feel is perfect.

Rich Man's Spiritual is a fun listen but I often skip the first two songs. I'll give it more time this week.

Will (kruezer2), Thursday, 28 March 2019 14:50 (three weeks ago) Permalink

love this cover version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHbN8Qd0XPo

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Thursday, 28 March 2019 15:37 (three weeks ago) Permalink

"Steel Rail Blues" makes me want to go on a proper ramble every time I hear it

Simon H., Thursday, 28 March 2019 16:01 (three weeks ago) Permalink

^ yes, Steel Rail Blues is my favourite song on this record, and maybe my favourite of his songs, either that or Christian Island.

Will (kruezer2), Thursday, 28 March 2019 16:04 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Hellz yes.

Just looking over the track listing, this album is packed with classics. The only 2 I can’t immediately call to mind are “16 miles” and “peaceful waters.” Will give a listen this weekend & brain-barf about it. I have both the mono and stereo versions, might try a Steve Hoffman Forum style sound comparison too.

Generally: Gord’s voice is just a treasure. The ease with which he sings is almost unparalleled — except maybe by Lyle Lovett? — he virtually floats his melodies on top of his nimble guitar paying. Regardless of his occasional lapses in taste, his talent just carries him along like a riverboat.

I was planning to listen to the discography in order anyway — I already have the records pulled off the shelf and sitting by the turntable — so, good timing!

Una Palooka Dronka (hardcore dilettante), Friday, 29 March 2019 04:44 (three weeks ago) Permalink

There's a documentary about him at Toronto's Hot Docs this year.

http://boxoffice.hotdocs.ca/websales/pages/info.aspx?evtinfo=89970~6052eab3-8904-4c72-8914-433e6b8b62f1&epguid=2157979d-886e-46a2-ace8-e46670981e8a&

clemenza, Friday, 29 March 2019 11:28 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Well, apparently I don’t have both versions anymore, just the stereo one — and apparently I need to look out for a copy in better condition, since mine has “the warm crackle of vinyl” all the heck over it.

Still a crazy classic debut. Part of me wants to pick it apart — some of the songs are overwrought, the covers more than the originals IMO — and there’s a little too much “I’m a rambling troubadour, babe” about it... and “peaceful waters” is hardly there at all. But still, it’s packed with classics. Some of the guitar-and-bass work is beautifully hypnotic. I could listen to instrumental loops of “the way I feel” forever.

Una Palooka Dronka (hardcore dilettante), Saturday, 30 March 2019 05:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

This is exciting! I'm curious but a bit trepidatious about venturing post-Endless Dream. I've never knowingly heard any 80s adult contemporary David Foster-era Gord!

softspool, Saturday, 30 March 2019 06:19 (three weeks ago) Permalink

hell yes

ripersnifle, Saturday, 30 March 2019 19:04 (three weeks ago) Permalink

yeeeee-haw

frogbs, Sunday, 31 March 2019 03:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

that Fotheringay cover of The Way I Feel is ace. It has a sinister, witchy undercurrent to it. Those drums.

softspool, Sunday, 31 March 2019 03:56 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Hell yes I've waited fifteen years for this thread.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 31 March 2019 04:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I'm wondering if he might be the second-most-covered Canadian behind Young.

Simon H., Sunday, 31 March 2019 04:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Even just Early Morning Rain covers. I unabashedly love the Peter, Paul and Mary cover of that...which made him famous initially, I think?

softspool, Sunday, 31 March 2019 05:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Internationally famous, not just Canadian famous, obv.

softspool, Sunday, 31 March 2019 05:13 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I’m super interested in the reactions of folks who’re coming to this thread from a casual knowledge of Lightfoot’s music. For me it’s so bound up in personal history that I can’t really trust my own responses.

The United Artists albums, especially, just get me in a way that I suspect they don’t quite merit. I hear him overreaching and overwriting in a similar way to Paul Simon during the same period. The casual sexism rankles a bit. But I can’t bring myself to fault the records for it.

That Fotheringay cover, Good god!

Una Palooka Dronka (hardcore dilettante), Sunday, 31 March 2019 19:07 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Very glad to see this thread. I've been into Gord since...geez, 15. Half my life!

It's all because of that hidden camera show "Trigger Happy TV" - they do this sketch about a depressed painter in the park, and I always thought the background music was absolutely gorgeous. I looked up what it was; "If You Could Read My Mind", so next time I was at the shop I decided to put down the $11.99 for "Complete Greatest Hits", only to find that the American version of the show used soundalikes. Didn't matter, I loved the CD anyway. I thought it was cool to dig something so far away from what I normally listened to (if you know my posting here, my tastes haven't really changed much), plus I'd wondered for years about "Sundown" and "Edmund Fitzgerald", both songs I liked but never know who sang 'em.

At the time myself and another dude were the weekend closers at Burger King and we used to play this CD in the kitchen at closing all the time. Really annoyed some of the managers, but we were the ones doing the real work. That was nice because we usually got done around the time "Edmund Fitzgerald" came on so I never had to hear the uh..."less good" later stuff. In college I bought a ton of Lightfoot LPs for a buck or two each - every shop had like 5 copies of Endless Wire and Summertime Dream but if you dug around you could get the earlier stuff. On Amazon you could get "The United Artists Collection" for $9.99, a double disc with his first four albums on it...such insane value for the money.

Anyway...looking forward to Gording out with y'all

frogbs, Monday, 1 April 2019 13:34 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I also spun “Early Lightfoot” this weekend, since I don’t think we’ll be covering it in this thread. 10 sides he cut in, I think, ‘62? The debut record is such a huge leap forward, it’s amazing to think it was recorded just over a year later. Intriguing to hear how he just shamelessly ripped off “Remember Me, I’m the One Who Loves You” (same as he did with The First/Last Time I Saw Her/Your Face”). Jim Reeves vibes all over the place. And you can hear echoes of “Negotiations” in “Rich Man’s Spiritual” although he’s synthesized multiple influences there. Definitely not essential listening, but instructive for the hardcore fan.

Some brief but interesting notes on some of the songs incl a couple of the early ones here: https://www.lightfoot.ca/songnote.htm

Una Palooka Dronka (hardcore dilettante), Monday, 1 April 2019 14:28 (three weeks ago) Permalink

This guy is probably my favourite songwriter tbh!

flamboyant goon tie included, Monday, 1 April 2019 15:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Ever since I got Tidal I play his stuff fairly regularly, wonderful morning music.

flamboyant goon tie included, Monday, 1 April 2019 15:35 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I've never listened to "Early Lightfoot" I'll give it a spin for sure. My parents got me into Gord when I was a kid, after my sisters and I graduated from listening to kids music in the car, especially on long drives we crossed the mountains from Central Alberta to get to my grandparents in Vancouver and then up to Quadra Island ever summer, Gord was what my parents played. And it was pretty much all they played all the time. My parents were really religious (that didn't stick with me but Gord did) and for some reason his music was okay for us to listen to but say Fleetwood Mac was not. Which really made no sense to me as I got older and figured out what the hell he was singing about. I must have listened to Gord's Gold I & II a thousand times.

Like I said earlier Steel Rail Blues is my favourite off this record though. When I lived in Toronto I met my wife and she lived up in North Bay. We did the trip via train (back when the Northlander still ran) a few times and I've spent a lot of time learning about the history of the trains in Northern Ontario since I've moved up here so the fact the song came to him during his trip via train from Toronto to Moosonee has really stuck with me over the years.

I like his take on Changes too, but pretty hard to fuck that song up, the McColl cover I'm not a fan of.

Will (kruezer2), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 12:58 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I like it! Gord's voice is so pure at this point. "Changes" is a better cover, but still.

Lightfoot was 28 when this was released...kind of surprising, 28 is pretty late for a debut album (especially in the 60s!) but at the same time, he sounds like he's been singing for decades

frogbs, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 13:35 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I grew up hearing the "Gord's Gold" versions of the United Artists songs, and still have a soft spot for them. I'm not sure if it's true that Lightfoot really didn't like his older recordings, or whether he only wanted to update and re-release them for Warners. I can understand why people would prefer the re-recordings (better recording quality, strings) but the UA material is perfect as it is. His voice improved in the 70's -- it became richer and more throaty -- but otherwise I wouldn't change a thing about this album.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 13:57 (two weeks ago) Permalink

yeah the version of "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" on the next album is absolutely perfect, the Gord's Gold version unnecessarily fucks with it

frogbs, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 14:01 (two weeks ago) Permalink

^ yeah totally, CRT didn't need changing at all.

Will (kruezer2), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 14:19 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Also I like this Marty Robbins Ribbon of Darkness cover...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZifcpG5cl0

I've listened to Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs a lot lately, was psyched to find out that he covered a Lightfoot song. It's not the greatest thing ever but I like it as a country song.

Will (kruezer2), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 14:28 (two weeks ago) Permalink

CRT is especially an achievement (in my mind anyway) as it’s “social commentary” aged far better (as did Gord’s other political songs) than did many of his other contemporaries or say Randy Newman

flamboyant goon tie included, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 14:32 (two weeks ago) Permalink

*its

flamboyant goon tie included, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 14:32 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Newman actually did some arrangements on Lightfoot albums, iirc?

Simon H., Tuesday, 2 April 2019 14:35 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Ya, he made an album with Ry Cooder Van Dyke and Randy, "Sit Down Young Stranger" I think? Great album

flamboyant goon tie included, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 14:39 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Weird note: I was in a band with Gord's son for a couple years when I was 21/22. He's a monster drummer

flamboyant goon tie included, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 14:41 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Never realised "The Way I Feel" was a Lightfoot song tbh! At least i get why Trevor sings it now.

The Xylems of the Limes (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 14:49 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Ya, he made an album with Ry Cooder Van Dyke and Randy, "Sit Down Young Stranger" I think? Great album

― flamboyant goon tie included, Tuesday, April 2, 2019 10:39 AM (fifteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

That makes total sense. Sit Down Young Stranger definitely feels different than the first 3 UA albums and I always wondered why.

Will (kruezer2), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 14:59 (two weeks ago) Permalink

It's Thursday! lets do this again...

The Way I Feel - 1967

"Walls" – 2:53
"If You Got It" – 2:31
"Softly" – 3:26
"Crossroads" – 2:58
"A Minor Ballad" – 3:15
"Go-Go Round" – 2:40
"Rosanna" – 2:42
"Home from the Forest" – 3:04
"I'll Be Alright" – 2:27
"Song for a Winter's Night" – 3:01
"Canadian Railroad Trilogy" – 6:22
"The Way I Feel" – 3:02

This album starts slow but ends really hot for me. I have a soft spot for Go-Go Round too, in my teenage days I scrawled some of the lyrics of it on the inside of one of my dresser drawers in one of the weaker acts of parental disobedience I took part in. I still remember my mother seeing it one day and just asking what song it was from then never mentioning it again. Teenage me was really let down.

Will (kruezer2), Thursday, 4 April 2019 18:11 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Haven't listened yet, but discovered Beautiful---A Tribute To Gordon Lightfoot while cruising for outlier Maria Muldaur tracks on Spotify---other than MM and the Cowboy Junkies, got enough Canadian Content for the CBC, I should think! (Even if you don't count my favorite draft dodger, Jesse Winchester RIP.)
https://www.discogs.com/Various-Beautiful-A-Tribute-To-Gordon-Lightfoot/release/2361090

dow, Thursday, 4 April 2019 18:27 (two weeks ago) Permalink

this one is more hit & miss than the first album but I think it's a better album because the high points are so freakin' good. I'll have a listen tonight with a pint of Labatt.

frogbs, Thursday, 4 April 2019 20:12 (two weeks ago) Permalink

xp Cowboy Junkies are from Toronto, and Maria Muldaur records for a Canadian label (Stony Plain). Jesse Winchester did become a Canadian citizen.

Ρεμπετολογια, Thursday, 4 April 2019 21:21 (two weeks ago) Permalink

There's a great cover of Rosanna by The Unintended, which was a short-lived(?) Toronto-based supergroup made up of The Sadies, Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo, and Rick Wright from Eric's Trip/Elevator, etc. It's on this great split EP with the Constantines from 2006. The Unintended do Lightfoot songs, and the Constantines do Neil Young. All the Gord covers are awesome, imo. This particular one made me really pay attention to a song I never paid much attention to before. White on lead vocals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP_WBSJaHSk

softspool, Thursday, 4 April 2019 23:43 (two weeks ago) Permalink

argh, Rick *White

softspool, Thursday, 4 April 2019 23:47 (two weeks ago) Permalink

That split is one of the most expensive albums I own! I adore Rick White

"Softly"'s popularity mystifies me, but yes the end of the record is so so strong. "Trilogy" is one of my favourite songs of all time.. this fucking lyric:

For there was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run
When the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun
Long before the white man and long before the wheel
When the green dark forest was too silent to be real

flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 5 April 2019 01:13 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Holy shit! I mean , it makes sense that it would be pricey given it was a limited pressing, but still. That record is awesome, though, and it should be more widely heard. Re: CRT - That lyric just stills me and makes me pay attention.

softspool, Friday, 5 April 2019 03:47 (two weeks ago) Permalink

slight aside, but my lord I loved the Constantines. I think one of the best shows I ever saw had them headlining a bill w/ Jim Guthrie (ft. a wonderful string accompanist...), Gentlemen Reg, and the Sea Snakes at a teensy Mtl venue that no longer exists. that was a formative gig for me, not to mention a wondersul little assemblage of Canadiana in a small space. (It was the fall "Funeral" was released and it was played between sets over the PA to an adoring, singalong audience.)

Simon H., Friday, 5 April 2019 04:37 (two weeks ago) Permalink

^ Now I gotta go back and listen to the Constantines all day, been too long!

Also, and its for corny Canadiana reasons, but I love that they named an album Tournament of Hearts.

Will (kruezer2), Friday, 5 April 2019 14:55 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I saw the Constantines quite a bit during their active period, and man did they cook - *especially* in a teensy venue. When they were in the zone, I found they really had complete command of the language of that communal small venue show experience, if that makes any sense. <3 the canadian trivia easter egg of the tournament of hearts line. that's some corn I can get behind!

softspool, Friday, 5 April 2019 16:50 (two weeks ago) Permalink

That "Rosanna" cover is great. The Sadies must have one hell of a Rolodex by now.

Simon H., Friday, 5 April 2019 16:54 (two weeks ago) Permalink

To complete the circle back to Gord: Travis and Dallas Good of the Sadies are the sons of Bruce Good of the Good Brothers (1970s country/bluegrass outfit) who played on Old Dan's Records (and maybe other stuff?). Could that mean that Gordon Lightfoot himself is on the Sadies' Rolodex?

softspool, Friday, 5 April 2019 17:10 (two weeks ago) Permalink

It's possible! I'll ask them next time I see them. Constantines were the best band, really, around album #3 they kind of started taking more cues from The Band than Fugazi and I liked them less but still loved them. Their reunion shows have been off-the-hook good

flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 5 April 2019 19:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

loved the first Bry Webb record, too. actually not a million miles from Gord.

Simon H., Friday, 5 April 2019 19:09 (two weeks ago) Permalink

https://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/lightfoot.jpg

I wonder what they're talking about

Simon H., Friday, 5 April 2019 19:51 (two weeks ago) Permalink

“Walls” is heckin great, just a mid-60s jam from front to back. “Hey, I discovered honesty!” Also classic for the “socks” coda.

I think I hear echoes of Nico’s version of “I’m not saying” in the intro and outro of “If You’ve Got It”.

“Softly” is balls.

“Crossroads” is a fantastic warm-up for CRT.

“A Minor Ballad” is pretty minor. But a top-notch exhibition of Gord’s vibrato. Also when he harmonizes with the cello (?) in the break, yeah!

“Go-Go-Round”, I’ve never been a huge fan of. Unnecessary double-tracking on the vox. Good refrain but the whole thing feels too much like a formal exercise.

“Rosanna” is another exercise in 60s chauvinism. Forgivable... and kinda forgettable. Nice energy tho, and I like the chord changes. I see it as being transitional — there’s some good imagery and experimentation in narrative technique.. but ultimately, bleh.

“Home From the Forest,” totally a pleasant nothing.

Interesting transition production-wise from “Forest” to “I’ll be Alright”. Stylistically very similar but check the vocal treatment, from distant and narrative to intimate and personal. A piffle of a song tho.

“SFaWN” is another trifle. The fact it’s the third in a series of indistinguishable shuffles in a row doesn’t help it.

CRT starts similarly. You could be lulled into thinking it’s yet another pleasant interlude... and then they (it feels v much like a band effort) break into that speedy boom-chicka thing, and the “look away” bit makes it weirder and more urgent. Then the slow bit about the navvies, then a transition back to the boom-chicka bit... aw, hell, what’s he doing? A little triumph, not quite the nation-defining achievement it’s sometimes made out to be, but you know what? It’s close enough.

The re-recording of “The Way I Feel” is thoroughly unnecessary. Do I detect an attempt to channel “Tomorrow Never Knows” in it? I understand why they were drawn there, but the original was more genuine and more hypnotic.

All my moaning aside, this is a record you can put on front to back and there’s nothing that makes you cringe. The playing is top-notch and Gord’s voice is in fine form. The songwriting is deepening - sure there are missteps but you really begin to hear him developing his own style here.

Una Palooka Dronka (hardcore dilettante), Saturday, 6 April 2019 02:33 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Just popped the mono version of The Way I Feel on. Immediately it’s more engaging.

The echoes of Nico’s “I’m not Saying” are in “Walls”.

“If You’ve Got It” is a whole other beast. Great band performance.

Una Palooka Dronka (hardcore dilettante), Saturday, 6 April 2019 02:43 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I'm perplexed by the re-recording too. I actually like the song better that way, with the reverb and rhythm-heavy arrangement giving it a real brooding feel, but it stands out a bit oddly on the album. I don't think there's another Gord tune that sounds quite like that. Actually I think a lot of this album sounds as though it was recorded in different studios. The mix is all over the place. The fingersnap (?) on "Song For a Winter's Night" made me think my turntable was skipping.

Still, it's better than I remembered. Can't believe I've never noticed the connection between "Crossroads" and "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" before. I agree "Softly" is a bit naff but I think he pulls it off. "Go-Go Round" I love...makes me feel like I went to high school in the 60's. Side 2 does have some filler-ish tunes but Gord's voice is so good at this point, you could listen to him read the phonebook.

frogbs, Monday, 8 April 2019 21:37 (two weeks ago) Permalink

by the way...the "song of the future has been sung" part of CRT is probably my favorite moment in the catalogue...its like Gord Overdrive

frogbs, Monday, 8 April 2019 21:45 (two weeks ago) Permalink

"If You've Got It" is such great song, is that an outlier, it seems pretty pop for him, at least in a folky pop way?

velko, Tuesday, 9 April 2019 07:07 (one week ago) Permalink

I also find "May I" from Did She Mention My Name really poppy, or at least very British Invasion-y. The piano riff that shows up feels so very different than other Lightfoot songs to me. "Magnificent Outpouring" kinda continues on the same vein a little. I really like both of this songs.

That said, here is the next album!

Did She Mention My Name - 1968

"Wherefore and Why" – 2:51
"The Last Time I Saw Her" – 5:10
"Black Day in July" – 4:10
"May I" – 2:19
"Magnificent Outpouring" – 2:20
"Does Your Mother Know" – 3:33
"The Mountain and Maryann" – 3:35
"Pussywillows, Cat-Tails" – 2:48
"I Want To Hear It From You" – 2:22
"Something Very Special" – 3:19
"Boss Man" – 2:10
"Did She Mention My Name?" – 2:27

I much prefer this album overall compared to The Way I Feel. The Mountains and Maryann is a favourite of mine, its vaguely spiritual "All is well" takes me back to church in a good way. I love the country outro to Magnificent Outpouring. The horns that show up in "I Want To Hear It From You". I love all of the little touches on this album.

Will (kruezer2), Thursday, 11 April 2019 14:30 (one week ago) Permalink

"Magnificent Outpouring" is pure magic. though for whatever reason the recording doesn't sound very good

frogbs, Thursday, 11 April 2019 14:35 (one week ago) Permalink

...also the title track, while it feels strange as a closer its such a great song. It feels of a kin with The Circle Is Small on the album. I like his understated longing and jealous songs.

Will (kruezer2), Thursday, 11 April 2019 14:36 (one week ago) Permalink

*on the next album

Will (kruezer2), Thursday, 11 April 2019 14:36 (one week ago) Permalink

There's something about Pussywillows, Cat-tails that sounds like it could be arranged for a precocious elementary school choral group to sing, and I think I read somewhere that Gord himself doesn't like it. Still, I remember being captivated by it as a kid (and even now, sure). Beautiful winding melody and an air of mysteriousness, like paddling a canoe down a meandering stream in some Northern Ontario provincial park.

softspool, Thursday, 11 April 2019 15:51 (one week ago) Permalink

Agreed that there are some really nice little details in the arrangements on this album. Always loved the sorta-kinda Spector drums on Black Day in July.

softspool, Thursday, 11 April 2019 15:56 (one week ago) Permalink

Pussywillows, Cat-tails definitely feels like with a few tweaks and the right children's choir it could fit right in on Song's For Friday Afternoon's era Benjamin Britten.

(btw, I meant the country outro on May I, not Magnificent Outpouring in my earlier post, I need to re-read what I write more today it seems)

Will (kruezer2), Friday, 12 April 2019 01:55 (one week ago) Permalink

ok I'm listening now. it's great. really playful in spots. "May I" is a really weird song for him to do...it's like a folky version of Syd-era Floyd

frogbs, Friday, 12 April 2019 02:07 (one week ago) Permalink

Did She Mention My Name (the song) has such a Canadiana Nostalgic thing going on for me. I grew up in south-western Ontario, and even though Gordo isn't from my era, or quite from my area, I feel like I can easily conjure up the scene I think he's painting. He's clearly keen to universalize the lyrics, but for me there's really a time and place to it. Mythical and sentimental of course, but legitimately evocative.

softspool, Saturday, 13 April 2019 02:28 (one week ago) Permalink

Will otm that the title track is a weird closer. I grew up with is as (I think) the first track on the UA best-of, which was one of about 10 records my parents owned. It’s a gem, easily one of my favourites of his.

Una Palooka Dronka (hardcore dilettante), Saturday, 13 April 2019 02:46 (one week ago) Permalink

Will, that's otm re: britten. I totally sang "old abram brown" in a grade school choir. You nailed the aesthetic i was thinking of.

softspool, Saturday, 13 April 2019 03:12 (one week ago) Permalink

This album is a stone cold classic.

I totally agree with the title track being prime Canadian Small Town Nostalgia, separate from the Big City national nostalgia of songs like CRT. Did She Mention My Name and Summertime Dream (coming up in a few weeks) are my go to songs for reminiscing about the small town experience I never had growing up in a big city like Toronto.

The Last Time I Saw Her is one of his most underrated songs. It's one of his most heart wrenching deliveries and one of the few vocals where you feel he's letting it all hang out.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 15 April 2019 19:37 (one week ago) Permalink

been listening to these records to follow along. have only known the greatest hits cos my mom was a fan. pretty every song is at a bare minimum 'good'.

love the studio trickery on something very special, was unexpected. i keep going back to the album opener on this one tho.

but I can't let Trae do it I got Huerter on my mind (Spottie), Monday, 15 April 2019 21:10 (one week ago) Permalink

Wherefore and Why is great, I also like this Glen Campbell cover of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf-mk_8uh-8

Will (kruezer2), Thursday, 18 April 2019 16:34 (four days ago) Permalink

...and its Thursday, time for a new album!

Back Here On Earth - 1968

"Long Way Back Home" – 3:02
"Unsettled Ways" – 1:51
"Long Thin Dawn" – 2:57
"Bitter Green" – 2:42
"The Circle Is Small (I Can See It in Your Eyes)" – 3:26
"Marie Christine" – 2:54
"Cold Hands from New York" – 5:16
"Affair on 8th Avenue" – 3:25
"Don't Beat Me Down" – 3:16
"The Gypsy" – 2:45
"If I Could" – 4:02

Will (kruezer2), Thursday, 18 April 2019 16:37 (four days ago) Permalink

The most underrated song on this album to me is Long Thin Dawn, its gotta be the most country Gord ever gets. The harmonies in the chorus are great. Is it Stockfish & Shea doing the harmonies?

Will (kruezer2), Thursday, 18 April 2019 18:09 (four days ago) Permalink

The Circle is Small just kills me, "I can see the way you look, when his name is mentioned and I die".

Will (kruezer2), Thursday, 18 April 2019 18:17 (four days ago) Permalink

I had no idea there was an 'early' version of this - it's really great (the one I had for years on a Greatest Hits album was the later, re-recorded version)

don't remember much from this album so I'll give it a listen now. "If I Could" was pretty great if I recall

frogbs, Thursday, 18 April 2019 18:21 (four days ago) Permalink

frogbs, you mean an early version of 'The Circle is Small'?

As an aside, I like that so many people in this thread got into Gord thru their parents playing the shit out of his GH or a record of two of his. There's a Velvet Underground style everyone that heard it started a band reference in here I can't quite make fit.

There are a few misses for me on this album though, Cold Hands from New York starts strong but I tire of it in the second half.

I like Bitter Green well enough, but I'd rather to listen to Christian Island or High and Dry or TWOTEF when it comes to his nautical songs.

I can never decide if I like Affair on 8th Avenue or not, depends on the day, I do really like the imagery of these lyrics and especially their delivery, that plus the descending chords and pace shift get me.

And our fingers entwined like ribbons of light
And we came through a doorway somewhere in the night

I also don't love Don't Beat Me Down. I feel like he packs too many syllables into it, if I want to listen to an urgent social issues song of his I'd rather hear Black Day in July.

I find The Gypsy slight, but I think about the lyrics every so often and they bug me, he sings in the third verse

You were taught to read and write, to take your lessons home at night
A little knowledge serves you well but the golden rule does not

and in the fourth verse he sings

And now I see with due respect, the more we learn the worse we get
So if you feel you've no regrets, go have your fortune read

But these don't reconcile right? Or is he saying he understands now that fortune telling is useless? Or am I over thinking some lyrics he threw together? haha.

Will (kruezer2), Friday, 19 April 2019 02:31 (three days ago) Permalink

There are some lovely melodies on this album, Bitter Green in particular, but on the whole the lyrics, arrangements, and execution feel rushed. The next studio album is a massive step forward, and the next album proper is one I tend to reach for when I need to hear him.

Ρεμπετολογια, Friday, 19 April 2019 03:47 (three days ago) Permalink


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