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Old 02-17-2001, 03:22 AM   #1
Robert
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I'm a relatively new Lightfoot fan and I'd be interested in hearing some other opinions on this topic. I'll go through them now quickly and list my favourite version of each song GL has re-recorded.

GORD'S GOLD (Not counting the two medleys, which I don't like nearly as much as the originals, especially Did She Mention My Name?)

SONG FOR A WINTER'S NIGHT - Not much difference in the vocals, but I prefer the guitar sound of the original.
CANADIAN RAILROAD TRILOGY - I don't see a great difference between the two, but I would go with the re-recorded version.
SOFTLY - Definitely the original.
STEEL RAIL BLUES - They sound very similar to me, which almost makes me wonder why he'd bothered re-recording it. The melody of the chorus is slightly changed in the second version and I prefer it by a very small margin.
WHEREFORE AND WHY - Without a doubt, the original. I think the song sounds much better in its more stripped-down form.
BITTER GREEN - Two very different sounding versions. I love both, but I prefer the original, sans back-up singers.
EARLY MORNING RAIN - The re-recording is much prettier and melodic, but the original is also great, very gritty and country-sounding. Dead heat!
AFFAIR ON 8TH AVENUE - The original all the way. Much stronger vocals, in my opinion.

GORD'S GOLD II

ENDLESS WIRE - I can't say that I like either version much, but I'd go with the original.
HANGDOG HOTEL ROOM - I like both, but I think the back-up singing in the original was a plus.
I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO CARE - Definitely the original. It just isn't as effective as it was before the changes in Gord's voice.
HIGH AND DRY - I love the original, which probably could have been a big hit if it hadn't been buried on the same album as Sundown and Carefree Highway. However, I do like the second version, but it almost comes across as a different song. While the original was very upbeat and made you want to sing along, the re-recording almost has a withered-away, depressing feel, which I suppose better suits the lyrics.
THE WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD - I actually prefer the second version, mainly because I think the song's trademark guitar licks come across stronger.
THE PONY MAN - The original, by far.
RACE AMONG THE RUINS - I really prefer the second version here. The changes are subtle, but I think it is improved.
CHRISTIAN ISLAND - Again, I prefer the re-recorded version, although I can't quite pin down why.
ALL THE LOVELY LADIES - A toss-up, really. I'm not in love with either version.
ALBERTA BOUND - One of my favourite, since I live in Calgary. I prefer the country sound of the original.
CHEROKEE BEND - Another toss-up, I don't think they sound much different.
TRIANGLE - Original.
SHADOWS - I much prefer the second version here. I think the higher pitch of Gord's voice now actually suits this song better.
MAKE WAY FOR THE LADY - No real preference.
BABY STEP BACK - Original.

OTHERS

THE WAY I FEEL - Definitely the second, faster version, complete with tambourine.
THE CIRCLE IS SMALL - Although I also like the more scaled-back sound of the original, the back-up vocals and added instrumentation of the Endless Wire version are an improvement.



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Old 02-17-2001, 11:28 AM   #2
young stranger
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I have thought a lot about this subject since Gord's Gold is what got me into Gord's music. Since then, I have listened to all the original versions and I agree with you on some and disagree on others.

GG: These versions are in general an attempt to make the songs a bit more sophisticated. I think they are more in the style of the albums Gord was making at the time, like Sundown and Summertime Dream (COTS is in the middle there, but I think the feel is a little different). The original versions are all more folk sounding, almost like just a guy with his guitar (which is a nice sound by the way).

SONG FOR A WINTER'S NIGHT - This is one of my favorites and I have to say that I like the new one better. He makes it sound more like a song for the holidays, which I like. And I really like the change in the vocals for the last two lines.
CRT - Hard to say you don't like any version of this one. I like the slower second part of this version.
STEEL RAIL BLUES - Also one of my favorites and I like this version a lot. The original is good too.

GG2 - Definitely not as good all around as Gord's Gold, but there are some highlights.

High And Dry - I really can't listen to this version, but I think people who liked Gord's hits enough to buy just a couple of albums like Sundown and Summertime Dream (probably mostly for Sundown, Carefree Highway, and The Wreck), know this song and like it (my parents are in this group).
The Wreck - Both versions are very good. What I like about this new version is that it sounds more dark and eerie.
Christian Island - I definitely prefer the original. This one sounds better played as simply as possible.
Cherokee Bend - I love this song and I wish I could combine some features of both versions. I think you can hear the lead guitar between verses much better in the new recording and it sounds fabulous. In the original, those parts sound a bit muffled. I only wish Gord had sung it a little clearer.

You might check your preference on Make Way (For The Lady) and Baby Step Back. The last four songs on GG2, which are the two just mentioned plus Ghosts of Cape Horn and It's Worth Believin' are not new versions. They were tacked on from the original recordings.
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Old 02-18-2001, 04:06 PM   #3
Dan O'Malley
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From "Gord's Gold", only "Early Morning Rain" and "Bitter Green" are equal or superior to the original, in my opinion. I like some of the instrumentation on the rerecorded CRT, but overall, I feel it lacks the powerful intensity and emotion of the "Sunday Concert" version, As far as the second volume goes, the sparse arrangements seem to reveal hidden depths to songs such as "All the Lovely Ladies" and "I'm Not Supposed To Care". While I feel "Alberta Bound" doesn't work here, I prefer the newer versions of "Race Among The Ruins" and "Shadows". I also prefer the second versions of "The Way I Feel" and "The Circle Is Small", but that's just my opinion!
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Old 02-19-2001, 06:06 PM   #4
joveski
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quote:Originally posted by Robert:

SONG FOR A WINTER'S NIGHT - Not much difference in the vocals, but I prefer the guitar sound of the original.

-agreed

CANADIAN RAILROAD TRILOGY - I don't see a great difference between the two, but I would go with the re-recorded version.

-original has a better vocal, i think

SOFTLY - Definitely the original.

-yep

STEEL RAIL BLUES - They sound very similar to me, which almost makes me wonder why he'd bothered re-recording it. The melody of the chorus is slightly changed in the second version and I prefer it by a very small margin.

- rerecorded version sounds better. his accent on some parts of the original doesn't sound as good

WHEREFORE AND WHY - Without a doubt, the original. I think the song sounds much better in its more stripped-down form.

- i prefer the GG version here

BITTER GREEN - Two very different sounding versions. I love both, but I prefer the original, sans back-up singers.

- orginal has more feeling to it

EARLY MORNING RAIN - The re-recording is much prettier and melodic, but the original is also great, very gritty and country-sounding. Dead heat!

- i like both, but the orginal might be slightly better

AFFAIR ON 8TH AVENUE - The original all the way. Much stronger vocals, in my opinion.

- don't like the song much, but the original is better

GORD'S GOLD II

ENDLESS WIRE - I can't say that I like either version much, but I'd go with the original.

- top song, and the original is better. You on't get that same feeling when the chorus stops, that echoeing before that F# chord in the GG version

HANGDOG HOTEL ROOM - I like both, but I think the back-up singing in the original was a plus.

- original by far

I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO CARE - Definitely the original. It just isn't as effective as it was before the changes in Gord's voice.

- don't like song much at all

HIGH AND DRY - I love the original, which probably could have been a big hit if it hadn't been buried on the same album as Sundown and Carefree Highway. However, I do like the second version, but it almost comes across as a different song. While the original was very upbeat and made you want to sing along, the re-recording almost has a withered-away, depressing feel, which I suppose better suits the lyrics.

- the orginal is better, but i love those sharp drums beats during the chorus on GG

THE WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD - I actually prefer the second version, mainly because I think the song's trademark guitar licks come across stronger.

- original is better

THE PONY MAN - The original, by far.

-yep

RACE AMONG THE RUINS - I really prefer the second version here. The changes are subtle, but I think it is improved.

-both are great. The only thing i don't like about the GG version is increasing the pitch of his voice during the chorus (the 3rd GL song i heard after sundown and IYCRMM)

CHRISTIAN ISLAND - Again, I prefer the re-recorded version, although I can't quite pin down why.

- they're both similar and good

ALL THE LOVELY LADIES - A toss-up, really. I'm not in love with either version.

- original

ALBERTA BOUND - One of my favourite, since I live in Calgary. I prefer the country sound of the original.

- both are great

CHEROKEE BEND - Another toss-up, I don't think they sound much different.

-better vocals on orginal, better music on GG

TRIANGLE - Original.

same as above

SHADOWS - I much prefer the second version here. I think the higher pitch of Gord's voice now actually suits this song better.

- orginal

MAKE WAY FOR THE LADY - No real preference.
BABY STEP BACK - Original.

- these aren't rerecorded. He lifted them off the albums as they were

OTHERS

THE WAY I FEEL - Definitely the second, faster version, complete with tambourine.

- agreed. I love the way it plods along

THE CIRCLE IS SMALL - Although I also like the more scaled-back sound of the original, the back-up vocals and added instrumentation of the Endless Wire version are an improvement.

-agreed.


[/B]

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Old 02-20-2001, 11:55 AM   #5
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Regarding the re-recordings of his UA work on GG. I have to say in a way that the difference in the recordings kinda highlights the difference between his 60s recordings and his recordings for WB in the 70s. A lot of his UA songs are more stripped down, while the WB songs are more heavily produced. Both versions are good (I can't say he's ruined any song with the re-recording). But I prefer the originals.

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Old 03-02-2001, 01:39 AM   #6
Westernstar9
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GG1 (1975). I've said this elsewhere in this forum, but I'll say it again. Arranger/conductor Lee Holdredge was responsible for the string arrangements on album 1 of GL's UA re-makes. Gord and HIS band are their usual enjoyable selves. But every tune is top-heavy with strings. During this time, John Denver was at the height of his popularity as well. Holdredge did Denver's string arrangements as well. What worked well for Denver didn't work as well for Lightfoot. Denver's music was supported by those heavy string arrangements while Lightfoot's work was nearly buried by them. Also take note that Holdredge never worked with Lightfoot again.

GG2 (1980's). With the exception of "High and Dry", nearly every tune on this LP pales by comparison to the originals. Gone is Nick DeCaro's concertina on "Christian Island". Gone is Peewee Charles' steel on nearly every tune. The only worth this album holds for me is "I'ts Worth Belevin'" is on CD, and the newly recorded "If It Should Please You".

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Old 05-09-2003, 10:22 AM   #7
DMD3
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Yet another great topic. I can't really give an answer because I don't have enough time.
I'm not trying to be mean but I don't understand how anyone could like the 2nd version of "The Edmund Fitzgerald" over the original. Every man/woman has a right to his/her own opinion but I think that the 1st song is a lot more eerie and sadder sounding than the 2nd. Heck, in the re-recording, in the lines"When afternoon came it was freezin rain" and "With the gales of november remembered" he made it sound like a happy song.
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Old 05-09-2003, 05:55 PM   #8
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If I could go into great detail like those listed above I would,but I only have so much time. Gord's gold was my 1st GL album also and years later when I finally found GGII,there was simply no contest between the cover versions. On the first LP adding the 70's touch to his then decade old classics makes sense,since the *70's are not that far removed from the *60's and they are still basically the same,just a few strings added and minimal prodution work. Every cover version works very well. GGII on the other hand...the studio effects make Gord sound like he's too far from the mic-(mike),the mood of the originals is kind of lost here with the exception of the new extended version of "Pony Man". (Glad it wasn't a re-mix!) I liked the inclusion of "Make Way For The Lady" and "Baby Step Back" but overall I would only rate this 2 & 1/2 stars. The 1st one,5 stars. To date though,Gordon Lightfoot is the only artist that has ever done very good covers of his own songs. I doubt there'll be a GG III. Actually,he's doing a CD of Backstreet Boys! (Just kiddin'! Boy,am I kidding!!) Catch ya on the flipside of Sundown!
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Old 05-12-2003, 09:57 AM   #9
DMD3
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I'd like to hear the originals of "Christian Island", "Hangdog Hotel Room"(although I don't really like that song, I'd like to compare it)"Triangle" and "Its Worth Believin"
If anyone knows how the original sounds, please do let me know, because my curiosity has surpassed that of a cat now.
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Old 05-12-2003, 10:00 AM   #10
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I knew I was forgetting one. "High and Dry". I think my next album is going to be Sundown just to hear the original version of that one song! I've heard a 30 second sample of it and I think it sounds great.
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Old 05-20-2003, 10:18 AM   #11
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ENDLESS WIRE- I like the louder faster original better, although both versions are good.
HANGDOG HOTEL ROOM- Never heard the original. Don't like this song much either.
I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO CARE- I prefer the original because the opening music wasn't cut off at the beginning and it was like half a note higher.
HIGH AND DRY- The 1st version is better because it is faster and has good rythm. I can't explain it. The 2nd one sounds sort of sad in a way.
WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD- By far, the original. It is sadder sounding and more eerie even though the 2nd is darker. The 2nd version to me sounds happier and I cant have that.
THE PONY MAN- Both are good. The 1st makes a good daytime song while the 2nd makes a good nighttime song while looking at the stars. I like the sadder sound of the 2nd best.
RACE AMONG THE RUINS- Original sounds best by far. I think he did a poor job re-recording this, it just doesn't sound right.
CHRISTIAN ISLAND- Never heard the original.
ALL THE LOVELY LADIES- Just like The Pony Man, both sound real good yet different. I like the high strings at the end of the original but the 2nd sounds nightier and sadder, like the Pony Man. I would like the 2nd better but he cut some lines off . So I like the original.
ALBERTA BOUND- I like the country sound of the 1st one.
CHEROKEE BEND- Never heard the original.
TRIANGLE- Never heard the original.
SHADOWS- I definately like the 2nd version best because if you are sad and you listen to it at night while looking at the stars it makes you feel sort of suicidal.
CANADIAN RAILROAD TRILOGY- I've heard samples of the 2nd and 3rd versions but never heard the entire thing. I think I'd like the 2nd version best(the one on Gords Gold). The 3rd version(the faster and played on a higher note) I don't know how I'd compare it til I heard the whole thing.
THE CIRCLE IS SMALL- Never heard the original.
THE WAY I FEEL- No real preference, its bin too long since I've heard it.
EARLY MORNING RAIN- Never heard the re-recording.

Whew, I didn't know I had so much time on my hands. I had to rush it, so I may have made some typing errors and didn't do a good job of explaining it.
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