Skip to main content

Gordon Lightfoot



Gordon Lightfoot

It does not surprise me that this song has been covered 85 times, a finer piece of music mastery you’ll rarely find. Few artists have had the international reach that Lightfoot has obtained.

“Early Morning Rain” written by Gordon Lightfoot, recorded December 1964, released in 1966 on “Lightfoot”.
Pavel Bobek from the Czech Republic
Here is an out take version from some guy named Elvis
And if you like Bluegrass here are New Shades of Bluegrass from 1980
As he had a job as a songwriter before he had much success as a singer many may have thought he covered Peter, Paul and Mary (1965). Other notable versions are; Bob Dylan (1970), Paul Weller (2004), very few female artists did this one but Judy Collins did in 1965 and Julie Felix (1969).

If You Could Read My Mind” written by Gordon Lightfoot and recorded in 1969 is for me the quintessential Lightfoot song, there are 122 versions of this song.
Ok this one surprised me! Viola Wills from 1980 with a Disco version!
Johnny Cash
Fellow Canadians, Diana Krall feat. Sarah McLachlan (2015) Wow!
And most recently a young Bailey Pelkman in 2017.
Other versions feature a who’s who of music; Barbara Streisand, Glen Campbell, Andy Williams, Jeannie C. Riley, Liza Minelli, Don Williams and Neil Young.

So, this next song puzzles me a bit, it’s only been covered 8 times. “Beautiful” written by Gordon Lightfoot and recorded in 1972.  So “Beautiful” written by Linda Perry (Christina Aguilera song) is about something else altogether and a lovely and meaningful song in its own right. However, the James Blunt song “You’re Beautiful” is apparently a popular wedding song, which is odd, clearly not too many people pay attention to lyrics cause it’s a little stalkerish and he professes his love for someone he hasn’t met or will never see again, but hey what’s not romantic about that? If you want a wedding or anniversary song look no further than this.
Here is a nice rendition from Glenn Willow

Sundown” written by Gordon Lightfoot and released on the album “Gordon Lightfoot” in 1974. It peaked at #1 in Canada and the U.S. in June of 1974 and would be his only US number one hit song. There has been much said about this song and Gord himself has made comments about it’s meaning over the years. You can listen and decide for yourself what the song is about. I think it’s highly likely it relates in some way to Cathy Smith, his (at that time) sometime girlfriend and for that matter the girlfriend of many musicians (The Band) and celebrities. She would later find the height of her notoriety when sentenced to prison for injecting John Belushi with an overdose of drugs in 1982. But I digress.

The song clearly resonated with a lot of people and while none of his songs enjoyed the chart success of this one he has made a very good living I suspect and he is still playing today. He himself has been through a lot of heartbreak and health problems. A true musical living legend. 
Recorded in November of 1973, this song has since been covered 22 times. Here is Gordon Lightfoot.
"Sundown"
Toby Keith covered it on the album Bullets in the Gun 2010. This is a live performance.
Not an official cover but here is Eric Church in concert March 2017
L'amour c'est comme l'été by Nana Mouskouri, 1974
Elwood in 2000 if you are in the mood for something different!

Jesse Winchester covered this on Beautiful: A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot (2003). Somewhat ironically the song "Beautiful" is not on the album!



Sources, Wikipedia, Secondhandsongs.com, BillBoard.com, Songfacts.com, YouTube, http://www.lyricsfreak.com/
image from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcKavzCOewk





Comments

  1. Loving this blog Randy! I seem to have discovered a whole new appreciation for music since reading your blogs. Awesome! 'Early Morning Rain', love the live Reno version from the man himself but I also came across the cover done by Peter, Paul and Mary in 1966 which I also enjoyed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to hear that! I think the PP&M version is more well known internationally.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

25 of the Greatest Cover Songs

25 of the Greatest Cover Songs

Nothing quite grabs the attention more than a list of the greatest this or that, so at 85 posts about cover songs I thought it about time to get to it. As I advised with my other 'Greatest' posts we all have our favorites so anytime there is a list, something or someone 'great' gets left off. And the debate ensues, why is this and that at #11 not #4 and vise versa. My list therefore, shall be no different for it is not scientific but subjective and it is biased by my own tastes and exposure to music. Having said that it's hard for me to have missed many of the truly great cover songs of all time, indeed I think I've talked about quite a few:


"Respect" from the writer and original recording Otis Redding and a cover she made her own, the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. More about the song and Aretha in these posts. Before I get to some cover's I've not mentioned, here are more songs from my previous issues that are …

Nina Simone

Central Park Blues” (1958) written by Nina Simone. From her debut album 'Little Girl Blue'. While best remembered for her vocal talents, Nina shows off her considerable chops at the piano.


On the same album her cover of  "I Loves You Porgy" from the opera 'Porgy and Bess' (George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin). This would be her highest ranking hit on Billboard at #18 on the Pop chart and #5 on the R&B. The video clip shows how brilliant she was and how effortless her piano playing appears, she was quite remarkable.

Born in North Carolina, Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003) she was a student at the Juilliard School of Music. She changed her name when she was performing in nightclubs in Atlantic City, which is when she started to add vocals to her piano playing. She was really only interested in classical music and studies, so performing using pop music and later recording (income) was used to pursue just that.

My Baby Just Cares fo…

Happy Independence Day (updated)

Happy Independence Day/4th of July to our American Cousins! Seems appropriate we ( July 1, in Canada) have our birthdays so close together. And a hello to my new readers from blogarama.com!



When it comes to cover songs, I will never run out of blog ideas from the south, particularly when it comes to the roots of the blues, country and rock. Today I wanted to find some songs about the USA that focus on a Patriotic theme (not hard to find) but also have been a) covered by other artists and b) some that are not necessarily as 'pro' or at least painting a not so positive light on an aspect of American society and c) have been perhaps mis-interpreted by some.
Born in the U.S.A.” written by Bruce Springsteen from the album of the same name released in June 1984. My youngest sister and I went to see Bruce at the CNE stadium during this tour in July 1985, as always with Bruce, a great show. I have attached a link that includes lyrics, so you can see that this song is not very compl…