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Old 11-02-2011, 11:43 AM   #1
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Default Shadows: Thoughts

I've been musing a little bit about Shadows and can't help thinking it may be Gord's finest collection of individual songs outside of IYCRMM. However, I also think there is something lacking and I think that is purely down to timing.

If Gord had put these songs together on album in the first half of the '70s I think this would have been an out and out classic record. The more '80s, post folk sound (I wouldn't even say production) keeps the album down a bit. Also, Gord was by then largely out of favour with the record buying public so no matter how good the music he produced it was never going to be a huge commerical success.

I also have a personal musical prejudice here. I like the '70s folk acoustic sound. I sometimes joke that I dont listen to any music made after 1974 becasue that is when synths seem to take over and music becomes more electronic and flatter sounding. For me, a record from a latter period will never sound as good to my ears.

But just taking the songs on an individual basis as songs, I think the record is incredible. Particulalry the emotional hurt and yearning of things tracks like Shadows itself.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Shadows: Thoughts

I think the fact that he does so many of the songs in concert means that Gord agrees with you!

And I too think it's a very under-rated album with some great songs.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Shadows: Thoughts

Yes, love Shadows! The first time I saw him was in Nashville in tour supporting that album.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shadows: Thoughts

I also love "Shadows" In the back of my mind I recall reading somewhere that Gordon thought that Shadows could be compared somewhat favorably with If You Could Read My Mind
I wish you good spaces....
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Shadows: Thoughts

I've posted a couple of times before that "Shadows" is a favorite of mine, too. Songs like "Thank You For The Promises", rings true. My favorite is "I'll Do Anything" - I first heard it on the radio early in 1982 in a 7-11 in Innisfail, AB. The announcer described Gord as a singer who does "folkie-kinda stuff"...
I also really like the tracks "14 Karat Gold" and "She's Not The Same". The record has a full sound but not really over-produced like "East of Midnight" was...
"This time tomorrow we might all be packed and gone.
I believe it's best we carry on..."
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Shadows: Thoughts

I agree that Shadows is a fine album and I enjoyed it very much when I bought the LP in '82. Many artists enjoy a period when they're commercially "hot" and I think Gord experienced this from '74-'78, roughly speaking. Paul McCartney had a similar period from around '74-'82 and Steve Winwood from '86-'91. Lightfoot, as well as McCartney & Winwood, continued to make excellent music after the sales had dropped off somewhat, but the times, pop culture, and musical styles and preferences are always evolving. Some of the albums I like the best are ones that didn't do that well commercially.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Shadows: Thoughts

About the "full" sound. I've always thought Shadows was one of the finest analog recordings I've ever heard. I believe it was recorded at the same studios as Sundown, COTS, and others, but I wonder if new equipment, for the time, had been installed. Plus, I think Gord's voice was at its peak at that time. Just a year later, in '83 he had lost much of the lower register on Salute. Interesting how stopping drinking and losing what, 25 pounds, had that effect on his voice.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Shadows: Thoughts

First album with Mike so doing a bunch off of it live, still today, allows Gord's orchestra to do a fine job of reproducing those studio recordings live. For setlist selections from pre-Shadows era, Mike seems to strive to emulate the studio orchestrations from the Gord's Gold 1 arrangements. For the earlier selections not on GG1, Gord probably just asked Mike to 'just do something'

Interesting insights by all here. I agree.

Btw, I like that they chose to play I'll do Anything on the MMM live broadcast ?(for one thing, to show further versatility of style) but I don't think he's played it live in the decade or so since. I'm sure Carter would enjoy it.

I'd also think that Gord's current voice would handle the task if they were to include Heaven Help the Devil and She's Not the Same in some future tour
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: Shadows: Thoughts

About my favorite GL album also. Excellent recording and great songs. I talked to Rick about it years ago and he told me they were all pretty disappointed in the sales of it. They thought it was a great LP and expected it to go over big. I had gone to a discount store about 2 years after it was released, and saw a bunch of the albums in a LP discount bin for $1 each. I bought 4 copys and gave them to my friends and kept a spare one for myself. Yes, maybe it was the times, lack of promo or who knows what, but it died a fast death. I have my original framed, it was autographed by Gordon and the band all over his face. Gordon signed on his white collar. It also has Pee Wees autograph. It was done in 1985.

Last edited by JohninCt.; 11-04-2011 at 07:25 AM.
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