Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

Subcategories from this category:

Covers, Obituaries, Books, Latest, Other

Music Review: Jim Cuddy - Constellation

Like Blue Rodeo’s albums, Jim Cuddy’s solo records blend country-tinged rock with pop ballads. The only real difference is that, without Greg Keelor, his co-frontman in Blue Rodeo, Cuddy’s recordings are generally more upbeat. That said, some of the best songs on Constellation are those steeped in melancholy. The title track is a piano ballad about a dying friend. Cuddy, 62, sings about struggling to say goodbye as the song builds to a stirring crescendo. “You Be the Leaver” is another meditation on separation and includes the memorable line “So you be the leaver, I’ll be the left behind.” But there are plenty of brighter moments. The joyous, organ-fuelled “While I Was Waiting” revels in fin...
Continue reading
25 Hits

Music Review: Camila Cabello - Camila

She’s only 20, but Camila Cabello’s already well on her way. When she quit Fifth Harmony, the all-female group she joined when she was just 15, Cabello stated she wanted to “open up my soul.” With her debut album, the Cuban-American singer has done just that. Produced by Canada’s Frank Dukes, the album is a confident statement of intent, featuring intimate songs about love and longing. There’s an appealing Latin tinge to several tracks, including the irresistible smash “Havana,” the bubbling “She Loves Control” and the reggaeton tune “Inside Out.” Cabello isn’t afraid to sing honestly about an old boyfriend on “All These Years” and the piano ballad “Consequences,” on which she hits Mariah Ca...
Continue reading
6 Hits

What a tale his thoughts could tell - Lightfoot's melancholic first hit

One of Gordon Lightfoot’s best-known songs was born out of a dying marriage. With its visions of wishing-well ghosts, movie queens and paperback novels, “If You Could Read My Mind” contains some of Lightfoot’s most vivid imagery. Emotionally, the lyrics stand out for their startling honesty. The words had poured out of him one afternoon in 1969, while sitting alone in an empty house. Baring his soul like never before, he’d written lines like “I don’t know where we went wrong, but the feeling’s gone and I just can’t get it back.” There was little doubt it was about his broken marriage. The words “heroes often fail” suggest he blamed himself for its demise, but the phrase “chains upon my feet”...
Continue reading
26562 Hits

1968: The year of Lightfoot’s U.S. breakthrough

Gordon Lightfoot became a star at home during Canada’s centennial year. South of the border, he was still mostly known as the composer of hits for others, including Marty Robbins and Peter, Paul and Mary. All that changed in 1968. Why it didn’t happen earlier had a lot to do with the delayed release of the Canadian artist’s debut album, Lightfoot! Although recorded late in 1964, it didn’t appear until over a year later, by which time the folk boom had largely gone bust, thanks to the twin forces of the Beatles and an electrified Bob Dylan. Lightfoot was working hard at playing catch up, releasing The Way I Feel and touring relentlessly throughout ’67. By early the following year, the tide wa...
Continue reading
1051 Hits

There was a time in this fair land - Lightfoot's Trilogy

It is the most patriotic of all his songs, a three-part epic that recounts the construction of a nation-spanning railway, describes the stark beauty of a country’s landscape and tells of the human toil it took to build the “iron road runnin’ from the sea to the sea.” And yet Gordon Lightfoot’s “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” managed to resonate with listeners on both sides of the 49 th parallel when it was released 50 years ago. Appearing on Lightfoot’s 1967 album The Way I Feel , the “Trilogy” was instantly embraced by Canadians already deep into celebrating their country’s 100 th anniversary. But Americans somehow connected with the song as well. When Lightfoot launched into the robust ballad ...
Continue reading
21836 Hits

Music Review: Gord Downie - Introduce Yerself

Last summer, Canada tuned in to watch the Tragically Hip’s last concert and bid adieu to its charismatic poetic frontman. Now Gord says goodbye with this poignant collection of 23 deeply personal songs. Like David Bowie’s and Leonard Cohen’s final recordings, the album is almost unbearably sad and made more powerful because the artist knew the end was coming. “Each song is about a person,” Gord explained before his death from brain cancer on Oct. 17. Some numbers are love letters to childhood buddies, former girlfriends and his bandmates in the Hip. “Bedtime,” a tender piano lullaby, describes the nightly ritual of putting one of his four children to sleep. “You and Me and the B’s,” with per...
Continue reading
326 Hits

The Ballad of Ochs and Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot first came to prominence during the folk boom of the 1960s. On a tip from his friends Ian & Sylvia, Lightfoot was signed by their manager Albert Grossman, the Greenwich Village impresario who also handled the careers of Odetta and Bob Dylan. Right away, Lightfoot found his songs covered and turned into hits by the likes of Peter, Paul & Mary and Marty Robbins. From then on, Lightfoot’s compositions appeared on hundreds of albums by other artists, including Dylan, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Nico, Fairport Convention, the Grateful Dead and, later, the Replacements, Paul Weller, Mary Margaret O’Hara, the Dandy Warhols, Billy Bragg and Neil Young. Travelling the folk cl...
Continue reading
14371 Hits