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.

54-40 Radio Love Songs: The Singles Collection

Vancouver veterans 54-40 have crafted memorable songs over the years, some recorded for Warner, which might’ve posed a problem when compiling this greatest hits collection for rival Sony. But, cleverly, the band simply re-recorded early classics like “I Go Blind” (now more robust), “Baby Ran” (faster, harder) and “One Gun” (better vocals).  Along with recent winners such as “She-La” and “Nice to Luv You,” there are two fine new songs.  A Canrock bonanza.
517 Hits

Marianne Faithfull - Kissin Time

Proof of Faithfull’s stature can be found in the A-list collaborators on each of her albums. The raspy singer’s latest effort is no exception. From the dark, dance-oriented “Sex with Strangers” with Beck and the dreamy “Wherever I Go” with Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan to the brash, autobiographical “Sliding Through Life on Charm” with Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker and the disturbing title track with Blur’s Damon Albarn, this is ambitious, engaging stuff. Not for the faint-hearted.
490 Hits

The Full Nine - The Full Nine

Veterans of Toronto cover bands, the Full Nine “grooves with the purposeful stagger of a drunk negotiating his way through a crowded bar to get to the can,” ventures the group’s publicity material. Who writes this stuff? Still, the hard-rock quartet shows promise and doesn’t hide its influences, with guitarist Rob Langhans singing alternatively like Robert Plant and Thom Yorke on the “Fourteen” and “Gotta Wanna” sounding like Red Hot Chili Peppers.
494 Hits

Steve Earle - Sidetracks

Aptly named, this album collects outtakes, B-sides and movie soundtrack contributions from the country outlaw’s eclectic back catalogue. Along with instrumental originals like the Celtic “Dominick St.” and the bluegrass “Sara’s Angel,” Earle covers reggae (“Johnny Too Bad”), ’60s rock (“Time Has Come Today,” with Sheryl Crow), Lowell George (“Willin’) and Bob Dylan (“My Back Pages”). But most surprising is his rendition of Nirvana’s corrosive “Breed.” Kurt Cobain with a Texas twang.
518 Hits

Bonnie Raitt - Silver Lining

It took producer Don Was to resusitate Raitt’s career after Warner Brothers unceremoniously dumped the singer-guitarist. But it has taken producers Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake to bring Bonnie back to the blues.  Like her previous album, Fundamental , this is Raitt at her best:  raw and raunchy, with plenty of blistering bottleneck guitar. “Gnawin’ on It” gets down and dirty, while “Fool’s Game” and “Monkey Business” bristle with unadulterated New Orleans funk. Sexy stuff.
499 Hits

Elvis Costello - When I Was Cruel

While his excursions into lounge, opera and classical were commendable, it’s a relief that Costello is rocking out again with members of the Attractions.  Peppy numbers like “45” and “Tear Off Your Own Head (It’s a Doll Revolution)” have all the reckless charm of his early classics. But it’s quirky songs like the soulful, dub-tinged “Alibi” and the hypnotic title track, which quotes Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and samples ’60s Italian pop that really get under your skin.
478 Hits

Sheryl Crow - C’mon C’mon

Crow has come a long way from her days as a backup singer for Wacko Jacko. The Missouri native has produced some of pop’s finest and most accessible roots-rock over the last decade.  Her latest boasts guest appearances from Lenny Kravitz, Don Henley, Liz Phair and the Dixie Chicks and features such winning tunes as the funky “Steve McQueen,” the beaming “Soak Up the Sun” and the anthemic title track, full of chiming 12-string guitars and Crow in full, Joplin-esque howl.
504 Hits