Published: Mon Jun 7, 1999 at 03:04:04 Pacific Time
Writer: Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen for Livedaily.com
Gordon Lightfoot Unveils Comprehensive Box Set, Tour
New collection paves the way for extensive tour focusing on career
Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen report:
Gordon Lightfoot has issued numerous compilations, but none are as
comprehensive as the forthcoming Gordon Lightfoot Songbook, due from
Warner Archives/Rhino on June 15.
The 4-CD box set spans 1962-98 with 88 self-penned songs from 19 albums,
including 16 previously unrleased tracks and 17 songs making their debut
on CD. Lightfoot is one of the premier singer/songwriters from Canada,
so much so, that many Canadians even think he wrote O Canada, their
national anthem. He didn't, by the way, but Lightfoot did write about
the rugged Canadain landscape, urban dispair, life on the road and sea,
railroads, quirky characters, unrequited love, and love gone sour.
Although he is mostly identified as a folk singer, some country rockers
are heard in the collection.
More than 100 artists have covered his 1970 No. 5 hit, If You Could Read
My Mind. Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul & Mary covered his
1966 Early Morning Rain, and artists from Barbra Streisand to Johnny
Cash to Jane's Addiction have also recorded Lightfoot's songs.
He had a No. 1 hit with Sundown (1974) and a No. 2 smash with the
haunting The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (1976). Lightfoot has
recorded only for two labels in over 36 years - five LPs for United
Artists, including his only live album, 1969's Sunday Concert, and 14
albums for Reprise/Warner Bros.
In his new collection, Lightfoot comments about each song: Too Much To
Lose was written for the film Cool Hand Luke, but was rejected; Never
Say Trust Me was penned for Kenny Rogers who decided not to record it;
Seven Island Suite is a ''romantic ballad about the rigors of everyday
life and getting back to nature.''
The box set also includes Forgive Me Lord, which he performs in concert
nearly every night but was never released.
Lightfoot's upcoming tour begins June 17 in Reno, Nev., and winds down
Nov. 26 in Kitchener, Ont.