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Old 04-07-2003, 09:16 PM   #1
fowlesjohn
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I rediscovered this interesting site whilst searching for something else:-

from http://www.chromehorse.net/rants/rants98/lightfoot.htm
To save you the trouble of getting there the contents are as follows:-
(It really isn't quite true you know
==================================================
Gordon Lightfoot made a career by not issuing any albums whatsoever except for Greatest Hits Collections. It's true. His first album, released in 1966, was called "Gord's Greatest Hits". Nobody knew who Gord was. He had no previous recordings of original material. But since he had a greatest hits album, and went by his first name, we all figured he must be important and we added him to the collection.

His next album was "Best of Gordon Lightfoot", which was a collection of songs that were well-known for being on his "Greatest Hits" album. You had to have it. All of the songs sounded familiar, but then, after all, it was the same artist. Almost nobody noticed that it was exactly the same collection as the first album, because, after more than 30 seconds of any Gordon Lightfoot song, most listeners fall fast asleep.

Lightfoot's third album was, "Solid Gold: Volume I". These were songs that had become pretty popular because they were on his first Greatest Hits Album, but also included a few songs from the "Best of" album, for variety.

"Best Golden Treasures - Gordon Lightfoot's All-time Greatest Hits" was released three weeks later. By this time, the scam was going so well, that there wasn't even a vinyl album inside the cover-- just a slip of paper saying that most of the songs would be available on the boxed set due to be released at Christmas, right after "Solid Gold: Volume II". Gord's career was going so well that nobody actually bought the album for the music; just for the cool picture of Gord holding his 12-string and gazing lustfully at Sylvia Tyson on the album cover displayed next to his on the record rack.

One year later, Gord issued "All Time Greatest and Bestest Most Treasured Hits Played Live With Previously Unheard Studio Cuts From His Early Albums". That took a little nerve: I mean, how did Gord know that nobody was actually listening to any of his earlier albums and that, therefore, many of those records were previously "unheard"? But at least, this release contained some new material, consisting mostly of fake applause and assorted funky voices shouting "huh", "get down", "go for it, Gord", and "hey, isn't that Buffy Ste. Marie?". Anyway, to make a long story short, with the assistance of my nubile intern/assistant Ms. Fricker, I was able to uncover the following facts:

1. Gordon Lightfoot issued 37 Greatests Hits Collections between the years 1966 and 1973.

2. During this period, he actually recorded 3 different songs.

3. Most of Lightfoot's Greatest Hits albums consist of these same 3 songs arranged in different order and dubbed at different speeds, or, sometimes, backwards, or with fake audience sounds. In at least one case, a John Denver recording, "Leaving on a Jet Plane", was inserted by mistake. Denver sued, but a jury awarded Lightfoot $6.3 after his attorney convinced them that some people in the future might see John Denver perform the song in public and think they were watching Gordon Lightfoot.

4. A careful study of archival video tapes and films reveals that Gord's live performances also featured the same three songs performed over and over again, in different order, and, sometimes backwards, or a capella. At no time does the audience appear to have noticed the deception. Lightfoot is occasionally seen leaving the stage for a smoke as the music continues to the accompaniement of a metranome.

5. Desperate for a hit in the late 1970's, after having exhausted all possible titles, including "Greatest", "Treasures", "Live", "Best of", "Classic", "Golden", "Big Hits", "Big Big Hits", "Classic Gold", "Classic Treasures", etc., and every other possible permutation, Lightfoot wrote a new song about a ship that sank, called "The Wreck of the Titanic". However, after he discovered that James Cameron had copyrighted the word "Titanic", and also that he was two syllables short, so he located a ship with a long name and paid members of Greenpeace to sink it during a storm in Lake Superior.

I would be ever so grateful if anybody reading this has a copy of the Ian and Sylvia album from the 1960's in which Sylvia shows the best cleavage of any folk singer in the history of tragic Mary Hamiltons. Please let me know, and, if you could, send me a scan of the cover.

Copyright 1998 Bill Van Dyk


September 12, 1998
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Old 04-07-2003, 11:06 PM   #2
titan
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I just left my screen and vomited. OK, I'm back now. This guy have some sort of death wish???
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Old 04-08-2003, 07:03 AM   #3
Auburn Annie
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No, he's just one of those folks with a second life posting so-called clever articles, or in his case, "rants" in his "Notes from the Underground", going back to 1997. See www.chromehorse.net for more of his work. For a photo of the scoundrel, see http://www.netsonic.fi/~ja/cohen/blosers2.html

He's a big Leonard Cohen fan.

He may have changed his tune on Gord, though. Last May he posted (on alt.music.leonard-cohen):
"Yes, Celine. We have made her an honorary Vegemite, which is a citizen of Las
Vegas, and refunded her citizenship fee. Holds the record for number of news
conferences at which she announces that she is no longer doing any news
conferences. You can keep Paul Anka too. We want the Bare Naked Ladies back
when you're done with them. You can't have Gordon Lightfoot. Neil Young can
barely remember the words to "Helpless" anyway. Nick Cave can come back here
anytime he wants-- we'll make him an honorary citizen."
And on Top Canadian pop songs (remember the discussion on Cohen's Hallelujah a while back?), he says:

"Astoundingly, Neil Young's "Helpless", which I think is the most emblematic
Ontario song ever, didn't make it, but BTO's "Taking Care of Business" did!
River by Joni Mitchell, all right, and Cockburn's Tokyo. "The Weight", very
good. The Hip -- "Ahead by a Century", yes! But I think Lightfoot's
"Early Morning Rain" and "That's What You Get For Loving Me" should have
been there instead of "Sundown", and "Sh-Boom" deserves a place for
historical reasons, and how could "Four Strong Winds" have possibly been
left off the list?"

So take his 'greatest hits' bit with a large grain of salt, folks. Not to everybody's taste but not worth getting one's knickers in a twist <g>.

[This message has been edited by Auburn Annie (edited April 08, 2003).]
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Old 04-08-2003, 08:08 AM   #4
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Here is something I picked up somewhere:

Born into a well-to-do family from the London, Ontario, area - English Canada's Tory stronghold - and brought up as a classically trained choirboy, singer/song-writer Gordon Lightfoot has had a long successful career, first as a "folksinger," then in the Seventies as the Canadian musical institution. These two phases in Lightfoot's career are marked less by a change in style than by a switch of record companies, from United Artists to Reprise/Warner Bros., and by the increasing slickness of his producer, Lenny Waronker.

Lightfoot, his first album, introduced Lightfoot's style in a mature form: firm, fast strumming on guitar and a smooth baritone voice. It was a style that made Lightfoot one of the most engaging singers to come from the Sixties folk boom. This first album also contains several songs that have since become frequently recorded standards: notably "Early Morning Rain"; "For Lovin' Me," penned by Lightfoot; and "The First Time ," by Ewan McColl. The subsquent U.A. albums may now seem more formulaic than they did when first released. Lightfoot's lyrical sophistication, forcful melodies and stolid posture remain admirable, but the major topical songs, "Black Day In July" and "Canadian Railroad Trilogy," sound glossy and overwritten. Too many of the ballads ("If I Could" and "Mountains and Marion")sic are so reflectively vague that they verge on being folkie Tin Pan Alley. This is, in fact, the tendency that overtakes Lightfoot on several of his Reprise/Warner albums.

Although beautifully produced and featuring Lightfoot's most consistent collection of songs, If You Could Read My Mind was a sleeper until the title song became a smash hit single in 1970 and Lighfoot was rediscovered by a public who remembered him only by way of cover versions of his early songs, such as Peter, Paul and Mary's "Early Morning Rain." Stylistically, If You Could recast Lightfoot's mixture of ballads and topical songs into a blend of elements from both genres. Typically, "Sit Down Young Stranger" takes on a highly personal tone to welcome American draft dodgers and deserters to Canada. The song also points to Lightfoot's growing semi-offical status in Canada. The "Railroad Trilogy," having led to a whole catalogue of Canadian songs, also led to Lightfoot's Seventies position as his country's songwriter laureate, with "Alberta Bound" and "Christian Island(Georgia Bay)" sic finally leading to the masterful; epic "Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" (on Summertime Dream).

Even when Lightfoot's ballads are tired and indulgent, which is often on Summerside Of Life and Cold On The Shoulder, Lenny Waronker's production has been able to screen the albums so pleasingly that even the most minor later Lighfoot is listenable. (But the converse is Gord's Gold, on which he rerecords his Sixties songs in a way that makes them sound minor as well.) On the most recent album-[i] Endless Wire]/i], Lightfoot seems, at last, aware of his gradual drift into well-crafted post-folk Muzak: the studio players are as strongly highlighted as his indifferent vocals, leaning heavily on medium-tempo tunes and strings. Now approaching middle age. Lighfoot is apparently satisfied with his role as a Canadian institution, writing one or two superior songs a year and gliding easily over the rest of his annual album and tour. In the off months, Lightfoot occasionally plays Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe; in mid-winter he does a sold-out week at Toronto's Massey Hall. -B.T.

The above was written by Bart Testa (who he?) He also awarded Gordon's albums 2 or 3 stars. Sundown only rated 2 stars?? In the same publication, John Denver's albums rated 1 star and one album managed 2 stars. The majority of Mr Denver's albums rated a black square dot. "Worthless: records that need never (or should never) have been created. Reserved for the most bathetic bathwater. Tut,Tut.
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Old 04-08-2003, 08:13 AM   #5
Earl E Riser
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Should that have been Endless Wire?
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Old 04-08-2003, 08:16 AM   #6
Auburn Annie
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Bart Testa is an academic (U of T), author and editor, specializing in FILM studies (maybe he should have reviewed Harry Tracy?)
Read all about him at http://www.utoronto.ca/cinema/html_s...a/bartbio.html
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Old 04-08-2003, 09:08 AM   #7
gwen snyder
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You guys come up with the most interesting stuff. Amazing.
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Old 04-08-2003, 10:44 AM   #8
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I hope my husband never reads any of this. He doesn't need any more material to make fun of my obsession with Gord.
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Old 04-08-2003, 04:20 PM   #9
Borderstone
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Mature? On a first LP? I know some artists are geniuses but almost none of them are that mature. Gord is of course but only the truly great come across that way. What kind of a reviewer uses a child-like statement like,"Not issuing any albums whatsoever."? That's like a kid in school saying,"Everybody in school is against me". If this guy passed English Lit. not to mention Journalism school,someone should close down either institutiion! Doesn't this fool know that that corporate end of a label are the one's who put out (or is that,shove down your throat,in some cases)Greatest hits collections? We sure know UA never missed the opportunity! Let's see,Best Of Gordon Lightfoot-Classic Lightfoot:Best Of Vol.2,with some of the same songs from 1-The Very Best Of G.L. (1975)-and of course the 1993 CD collection. 37 greatest hits collections? Unless he's talking on a world-wide scale,I don't see how that's possible. Lastly...An artist performing the same songs over and over...BOY! What a revalation that was! Has this man ever seen any concerts in his life at all? Even symphony orchestras play the same songs over and over! I know that I really shouldn't waste my time worrying about what I just read or who wrote it,but whoever gave this guy a license to review must really be named,"Don Quixote!" (or the name of Jim Carrey's character in Dumb and Dumber. Borderstone,outta here and Alberta Bound!
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Old 04-08-2003, 04:30 PM   #10
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P.S.-You ever notice that these guys usually pick on artists who are either;not kissing up to every critic,adult contemporary or folk/country singers,male singers who actually express feelings from somewhere other than below the waist and who actually can take a stand against every half-wit who thinks his opinion matters to said artist? I noticed. B! O.H. & A.B.!
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Old 04-08-2003, 05:16 PM   #11
Auburn Annie
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Well, I'm sure Gord takes this sort of thing (if he even gives it a moment's notice, which I doubt) with a bemused shrug.

There's nothing quite so SERIOUS as a professional reviewer or critic except when the aforesaid reviewer has some sort of university affiliation. S/he must feel some need to cast aspersion on "name your target" to think they'll be taken seriously by readers. After all, a simple music review is sort of slumming, hardly up there with peer-reviewed journal publication. A wholehearted affirmation would simply confuse readers and perhaps lead them to suspect the critic is really a flack for the artist, or, heaven forbid, a FAN. You can say something's not your cup of tea while acknowledging others may disagree, and if they do disagree, not insinuate that they're therefore morons.

Full disclosure: having been a (book) reviewer for a dozen years for "Library Journal", I know you can't help infusing your own reaction to what you're reviewing. You try to base a review on how well the author(s) accomplished what they stated as the purpose for writing the book, how it compares with similar titles, if there are any glaring factual errors, etc. Over the years I'd say I marked on a (bell) curve - most fell somewhere in the middle, with a handful of raves, and a couple of stinkers. But I never put down the effort that went into writing any particular book, even with the one I wanted to throw against a wall - I figured that author knew where the skeletons were hidden at the publishers for it to get past the editorial board. And it was a major house, too. Sheesh.
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Old 04-09-2003, 06:19 AM   #12
Wes Steele
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POLL... Choose One...I pick F

Bill Van Dyk:

A) Is on LSD when he writes.
B) Is drunk on cheap booze when he writes.
C) Is mentally ill.
D) Is physically ill.
E) Does not know how to write.
F) All of the above.
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Old 04-09-2003, 03:54 PM   #13
Borderstone
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You forgot that he also sleeps with a Teddy Bear and sucks his thumb and etc...... !

------------------
Borderstone
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Old 04-09-2003, 07:04 PM   #14
BILLW
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Wes,

I agree that guy is all "F" ed up. Couldn't have said it better so I won't try.

Bill
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Old 04-10-2003, 11:09 AM   #15
fowlesjohn
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I must say that I am gratified by the response to this topic.Although I think that several of you especially Borderstone in his April 8 response was taking Mr Van Dyk's intentionally humourous piece way too seriously.After all you have to bear in mind that Mr Dyk(e) might only have a single ear and therefore misses half of Gord's gems to start with. In particular Borderstone takes issue with the claim of 37 hits albums. In fact that is probably not that far wide of the mark as United Artists appear to have regurgitated the first 5 albums contents ad nauseum (sorry Titan that this subject made you sick!!) And Borderstone omitted the ktel "fantastic" albums for a start. which reminds me that I have just found an mp3 of a ktel television advertisement for an even more fantastic album introducing "Gord sings every song ever written-a remarkable 379 song album with singalong words" the advert incorporates several fascinating clips including "I got married to the widow next door", Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Happy Birthday To You, and it features "unreleased versions of Good King Wenceslas and Gord's own 76 Trombones", all for a mere $4.99. I have now uploaded a revised "ringmaster's" page for the Gordon Lightfoot webring at http://www.johnfowles.org.uk/lightfoot
which now features links to both play (streaming) or download this advert plus the existing Kewadin radio jingle
Enjoy!!
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Old 04-10-2003, 11:27 AM   #16
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The article reminded me of a "Dean Martin Celebrity Roast"!
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Old 04-10-2003, 11:28 AM   #17
Auburn Annie
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What a giggle that SCTV skit is - Rick Moranis should join Burton Cummings in a "Gordon Lightfoot sound-alike" contest.
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Old 04-10-2003, 03:33 PM   #18
Borderstone
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Oh well,real or not it was kind of fun going off like that. That's a rarity for me.

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Old 04-10-2003, 04:41 PM   #19
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For the record, I recognize that Bart Testa piece. If I'm not mistaken, it comes from a now out-of-print edition of the Rolling Stone Record Guide. I hardly read it regularly, but the general consensus seems to be that Rolling Stone is generally not relevant anymore. And I tend to agree since they put Britney Spears on their cover (!!!!) and badmouth Gordon Lightfoot.
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Old 04-11-2003, 03:45 AM   #20
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Spot on, scienceguy1998 from the 1979 publication.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:27 PM   #21
johnfowles
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Default Re: Gordon's Greatest hitsa

I have just refound this thread that I started over nine years ago using an alternative member name. I got another giggle by rereading Mr Dyk's rant (that he seems to have deleted and it was not achived by the Wayback Machine so it's a good job I copied it into my message)
I thought it worth resurrecting for those who were not around at the time
(if you recall it and disliked it please move along to another thread pronto)
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Old 07-21-2015, 12:41 PM   #22
johnfowles
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Default Re: Gordon's Greatest hits

Quote:
Originally Posted by fowlesjohn View Post
I must say that I am gratified by the response to this topic.Although I think that several of you especially Borderstone in his April 8 response was taking Mr Van Dyk's intentionally humourous piece way too seriously.After all you have to bear in mind that Mr Dyk(e) might only have a single ear and therefore misses half of Gord's gems to start with. In particular Borderstone takes issue with the claim of 37 hits albums. In fact that is probably not that far wide of the mark as United Artists appear to have regurgitated the first 5 albums contents ad nauseum (sorry Titan that this subject made you sick!!) And Borderstone omitted the ktel "fantastic" albums for a start. which reminds me that I have just found an mp3 of a ktel television advertisement for an even more fantastic album introducing "Gord sings every song ever written-a remarkable 379 song album with singalong words" the advert incorporates several fascinating clips including "I got married to the widow next door", Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Happy Birthday To You, and it features "unreleased versions of Good King Wenceslas and Gord's own 76 Trombones", all for a mere $4.99. I have now uploaded a revised "ringmaster's" page for the Gordon Lightfoot webring at http://www.johnfowles.org.uk/lightfoot
which now features links to both play (streaming) or download this advert plus the existing Kewadin radio jingle
Enjoy!!
Better still here is the splendid SCTV skit of a Lightfoot album television commercial
SCTV, 1/16/81 - "GORDON LIGHTFOOT SINGS EVERY SONG EVER WRITTEN"
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:48 AM   #23
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Default Re: Gordon's Greatest hits

^ This video is a hoot! Thanks!

Gail
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:17 AM   #24
charlene
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it's gone again..
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:24 PM   #25
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Default Re: Gordon's Greatest hits

"After all you have to bear in mind that Mr Dyk(e) might only have a single ear ..."
That goes with his single brain cell! I did not find his article humerous. That video I saw, a while back, showing Gord singing, and getting run down by a bus was funny. The above article was not.
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