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Old 02-11-2004, 01:03 AM   #1
Tyler
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I always have wondered how Dylan has always been so famous, followed and revered and Gord hasn't. They both are about the same age been in the business about the same length of time. Is it because of the border? Maybe because Dylan writes more "rock" sounding songs. They both have had a political statement in their songs sometimes. I like Dylan but frankly have never thought he had a good voice, unlike Lightfoot. Any thoughts on why Dylan is more popular and well known, OR is it just here in the States? Maybe Dylan isn't that well known in Canada. I know the "kids" I have worked with know Dylan but most have never heard of Gord.
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Old 02-11-2004, 01:03 AM   #2
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I always have wondered how Dylan has always been so famous, followed and revered and Gord hasn't. They both are about the same age been in the business about the same length of time. Is it because of the border? Maybe because Dylan writes more "rock" sounding songs. They both have had a political statement in their songs sometimes. I like Dylan but frankly have never thought he had a good voice, unlike Lightfoot. Any thoughts on why Dylan is more popular and well known, OR is it just here in the States? Maybe Dylan isn't that well known in Canada. I know the "kids" I have worked with know Dylan but most have never heard of Gord.
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Old 02-11-2004, 02:07 PM   #3
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bob turned the music industry up-side down in 1965 by releasing Highway 61. until that point, chart hits were 2 or 3 mins long and were mainly love songs. he comes up with the ultimate f*** you song which is 6 mins long and managed to right maybe the greatest single of all time. this is what started it off. then of course, he wrote important songs like blowing in the wind and hard rain which were covered by many artists. in the 70s, he came back with Blood on the tracks which ressurected him.

they do have similar stlye and always have been good friends but gord hasn't really done anything which STANDS OUT in music culture. he's written many sonsg that have been covered by many artists, but he plodded along with a similar formula throughout his career.

this isn't meant to be a dylan vs lightfoot post, but bob has definately done more for music throughout his career. that's why dylan is more famous.

i love both artists...
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Old 02-11-2004, 03:27 PM   #4
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Joveski is partially correct. But it is more than that. Gord has never felt a need...as a Canadian...to adapt to and transplant as a State-sider. That has a lot to do with it too. The industry envelops and promotes those who "play the game." Gord has never been compelled to do that and, frankly, I don't think he gives one iota whether he is acclaimed in the States or not. Those of us who are his fans, particularly those of us who reside stateside, are the ones who feel a greater sense that he has been spurned by the powers that be and never been given his rightful amount of acclaim and credit. Have you ever seen Gord make the rounds of the major promotional circuit in the states? (Talking major U.S. network television here.) Nope...never. Not even when he was at the height of his fame and popularity here. Bob Dylan, on the other hand, was heavily featured in the national media during the 60s when he was at the height of his career and he remains a recognized icon to this day.
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Old 02-12-2004, 07:11 PM   #5
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One of the first times I heard a GL song,I really liked it and the person singing. That person,in terms of fame,went by the way side.

The first time I ever heard a Bob D. song (I was a kid) I thought Big Bird of Sesame Street had a song on the radio! Dyaln is good from time to time but that "Tom Petty has the flu" kind of voice got on my nerves for a long time. (No offense to Mr. Dylan if he happens to be reading.)

Like all of us,I feel that Gord stayed true to his heart and not his head (ego). I do hope one day soon he'll get the ultimate U.S. reward and be in the Hall Of Fame but it's still cool that he'd rather go without it than suck up to corporate or whoever. Later!

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Old 02-12-2004, 07:23 PM   #6
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With less and less true singer/songwriters these days, I have no doubt that Gord will eventually get into the Hall Of Fame. He should already be in it though.

Dylan is a musical genius plain and simple. He has an amazing voice that was woven into the social fabric of the 60's. Lightfoot was no where near as political as Dylan. Dylan came right out and said what he wanted to and said the hell with being politically correct. Lightfoot on the other hand was much more delicate with penning songs about social or political issues.

There is a reason why Gord has always stated the Bob Dylan is his main influence and the person he looks up to. He is the one who taught Gord how to write lyrics, according to a speech made by Gord.

I am a much bigger Lightfoot fan than Dylan for sure but Dylan is second on the list. Knopfler is right up there with Dylan.
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Old 02-12-2004, 09:09 PM   #7
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So is Dylan very popular North of the border? Gord was popular here in the states in the 70's and was nominated for Grammy's and I did see him once on the Virginia Graham show right before he quit drinking, he was very heavy. But it seems that the music people have just ignored him and even when Dylan was snubbing his nose at the industry he was an enigma. I don't know if it was because Gord was not from the states but I agree that he wouldn't play the game. I'm sure it does bother us the(US)fans more than what Gord even thought about the snub. The Grammy's did give Anne Murray an award so maybe it is just Gord. And I certainly hope that the Hall of Fame wises up and induct him while he is still around to enjoy it.
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Old 02-12-2004, 09:09 PM   #8
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So is Dylan very popular North of the border? Gord was popular here in the states in the 70's and was nominated for Grammy's and I did see him once on the Virginia Graham show right before he quit drinking, he was very heavy. But it seems that the music people have just ignored him and even when Dylan was snubbing his nose at the industry he was an enigma. I don't know if it was because Gord was not from the states but I agree that he wouldn't play the game. I'm sure it does bother us the(US)fans more than what Gord even thought about the snub. The Grammy's did give Anne Murray an award so maybe it is just Gord. And I certainly hope that the Hall of Fame wises up and induct him while he is still around to enjoy it.
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Old 02-12-2004, 10:38 PM   #9
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i asked the question on dylanpool and these were some o0f the replies that dylan fans have:

1) bob was first

2) so many reasons, the border (and the amount of radio airplay) being prominent among them.
talent being another (love Gord, don't get me wrong, saw him three or four times in the 70's). asking why another singer/songwriter is not as famous as bob is like asking
why another soccer player isn't as famous as Pele, or why another boxer isn't as famous as ali.
popular culture is a fickle whore. no explaining why the Tragically Hip aren't a monster band either.

3) Bob Dylan was an American in the middle of the action. He wrote protest songs that were covered by famous groups and he was right there at the march on
Washington, etc. When he went electric, he WAS the action.

During the most explosive phase of his career, Dylan was seen as a rebellious rocker. In those days, that translated into mass appeal.

Since that era, Dylan's music has covered a lot of territory. Even if it hasn't always worked, he's been bringing in new fans elements just as old ones have dropped off.
And don't forget the voice, which brought him so much attention, not always for the right reasons. Lots of people hated him at first, but somewhere along the line, it just
clicked. Perhaps that's also increased his popularity - as an aquired taste, people have had to put in more work to like him and therefore are less likely to let go.

Gordon Lightfoot is, of course, brilliant. He's an incredible songwriter and, when his voice was in its prime, it was one of the great voices of twentieth-century popular
music.

But, by nature, he's much more unassuming (I don't want to get into Canadian stereotypes here). He's a cautious writer and performer who obviously values comfort of
surroundings and styles. He's a craftsman. He's not rebellious and he doesn't "rock" (a few songs on Salute were as close as he got).

One of the most common complaints about Lightfoot is that it all sounds the same. While there's nothing wrong with staying in a certain vein and doing it exceptionally
well, it doesn't translate into massive audiences over a long time.

Around the time of Sundown, Lightfoot had hits and could have gone with much larger halls, but probably never gave it much thought.

By inclination, and by style, mass popularity across generations was never in the cards for Gordon Lightfoot. So what's he left with? Critical respect, a decent-sized and
passionate following, solid album sales and concert attendance, and the commensurate financial remuneration.

4) This reminds me of Dylan's quote about Randy Newman--he's a good songwriter but he's not gonna knock you out from the first row or something like that.
Dylan's appeal to me is undefineable. If it was just the voice, then why doesn't that voice make me enjoy hearing weak songs like Man Gave Names.... or whatever ? If
it's just the songs then why do I not like hearing other people's versions ? I can't explain exactly what it is.
Really though it's no different than me wondering how so many more people can like Aerosmith or Garth Brooks or whoever instead of Bob. Who cares ? Everybody can
listen to whatever they want, it's no big deal.
Gordon has has lots of acclaim, he ain't hurting for attention I don't think.

5) I love both artists... but I'll sum it up like this... Bob has more depth in his catalog. I have Biograph and Songbook (Gordon's Box Set) and the range of styles on Biograph
stretches a lot farther than Lightfoot's. I know that both sets are small snapshots of their expansive career. Not that Lightfoot's stuff is bad, it just isn't on the same level,
and I think you can only compare acoustic work. Bob is definitely a bit more rockin'...

6) Three-Chord Gord, as he's known

7) God knows I love Gordie - I've met him more than once and just love his stuff - but I also love a good Lightfoot story. On the theme of "all sounds the same," back in the
late '60s a friend of mine was in the studio when Lightfoot was recording. The engineer on the session usually did classical music and didn't hesitate to show his disdain
for Lightoot. There was quite a bit of tension. Lightfoot did what he felt was a strong take and, to defuse the situation a little, very sweetly asked the engineer what he
thought. The engineer replied, "Great, Gordie, great. I love that song...every time you write it."

8) "asking why another singer/songwriter is not as famous as bob is like asking why another soccer player isn't as famous as Pele, or why another boxer isn't as famous
as ali."

well said

9)
Mongrel Dog wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "asking why another singer/songwriter is not as famous as bob
> is like asking why another soccer player isn't as famous as
> Pele, or why another boxer isn't as famous as ali."
>
> well said

Well said, but it doesn't hold water. Why isn't Paul McCartney as famous as Bob Dylan? Why isn't Elton John as famous as Bob Dylan?

10) True, but it does apply to that particular instance. And Paul was a great songwriter, too, not as good as Bob, or a few other people, but The Beatles were a great band.

I'm still trying to figure out the Elton John thing. I think it has something to do with his glasses.

11) Neither Paul McCartney nor Elton John are known really for being "singer-songwriters" in the same sense as Dylan and Gordon. Both Paul and Elton were half of great
song-writing duos, Paul was a member of the most famous band on earth. Elton is much more famous for being a "showman" than anything else. Gordon and Dylan
really do fall into the same category. Trouble is, Dylan is the original in that category. Like Warren Zevon said, "he invented what I do".

12) >Why isn't Paul McCartney as famous as Bob Dylan?

I might not think he's as good as Bob (otherwise I'd probably hang around a Macca website), but there is no way Paul isn't at least as famous. He was a Beatle. How
much more famous can you be than that?

13) As for Gord, he's great. But he hasn't written nearly as many good songs as Bob. Another reason Bob is more famous is that he's probably (with the exception of
Lennon/McCartney) the most covered songwriter of the last 40 years. Think of all the different musicians who have recorded his songs and the many music genres
they've been recorded in.

14)
Gord is nice but Bob towers over him in every way. Gord can't tie Bob's shoes as a writer. Or a singer. Bob has a thousand voices, Gord has one.

And Bob rocks. Gord...doesn't.

15) Bob's Picasso. Gord's Gainsborough.

Bob's James Joyce. Gord's Jane Austen.

Bob's Bach. Gord's Telemann.

Bob's Einstein. Gord's Eddington.

Bob's Napoleon. Gord's Charles XII.

I could go on, but it's probably clear by now.

16)
a_quiet_place_instead wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Gord is nice but Bob towers over him in every way.

Untrue.

> Gord can't tie Bob's shoes as a writer.

Untrue.

> Or a singer.

Untrue (up until mid-70s)/true (ever since)

> Bob has a thousand voices, Gord has one.

True.

> And Bob rocks. Gord...doesn't.

True.


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Old 02-14-2004, 10:10 AM   #10
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Bob Dylan sucks or should I say "Blows In The Wind". Gordon Lightfoot is great. Now what was your question? Well, ok...Dylan really is a great writer and I must admit..."Blood On The Tracks" is solid through and through but I've always disliked Dylan's sound.

[This message has been edited by classicmixdj (edited February 14, 2004).]
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Old 02-14-2004, 10:10 AM   #11
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Bob Dylan sucks or should I say "Blows In The Wind". Gordon Lightfoot is great. Now what was your question? Well, ok...Dylan really is a great writer and I must admit..."Blood On The Tracks" is solid through and through but I've always disliked Dylan's sound.

[This message has been edited by classicmixdj (edited February 14, 2004).]
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Old 02-14-2004, 10:48 AM   #12
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quote:6) Three-Chord Gord, as he's known

Huh? That idiot's obviously never tried working out any of GL's tabs.
My poor old guitar has come seriously close to being trashed some nights. I've been so frustrated!
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Old 02-14-2004, 06:14 PM   #13
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it was fun watching all the dylan fans voicing their opinions on this question on the pool. you hve admit, quite a few praised Lightfoot
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Old 02-14-2004, 07:57 PM   #14
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The reason I have asked this question regarding Gord and Dylan is one always seems to be mentioned when the other one is and Gord so often refers to Dylan. Interesting stuff Joveski. No trashing just some good thoughts. I guess after reading everything and digesting it, I think the popularity issue was more Gords own making, not buying into the fame thing and just doing what he loved and not caring so much about being famous. Maybe being a fan has made want Gord to get his just dues and I can't understand why Dylan could possibly be more revered. Oh well, I think Gords better and that many people just missed out.
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Old 02-14-2004, 07:57 PM   #15
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The reason I have asked this question regarding Gord and Dylan is one always seems to be mentioned when the other one is and Gord so often refers to Dylan. Interesting stuff Joveski. No trashing just some good thoughts. I guess after reading everything and digesting it, I think the popularity issue was more Gords own making, not buying into the fame thing and just doing what he loved and not caring so much about being famous. Maybe being a fan has made want Gord to get his just dues and I can't understand why Dylan could possibly be more revered. Oh well, I think Gords better and that many people just missed out.
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Old 02-14-2004, 08:01 PM   #16
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I wouldn't expect anything less from Dylan fans.

You can't really compare them anyway. I have come to the conclusion that when you are speaking of artists as good as Dylan and Lightfoot, there is nobody that is any better then them. Only people who are just as good, and that is only a select few.

"Positively 4th Street" is an awesome song. There are a few people I would like to sing that song to.lol
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Old 02-21-2004, 02:19 AM   #17
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It is interesting that no fewer than 10 Bob Dylan albums, and no "Lightfoot albums"
crack the Rolling Stone 500, but that magazine has been fairly anti-canuck over the years with the exception of their love affair with Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. They love "The Band" too, although they feature an American (Levon Helm). Lightfoot and the Guess Who have rarely been praised or really even acknowledged by the so called Rock Bible.
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Old 02-21-2004, 02:19 AM   #18
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It is interesting that no fewer than 10 Bob Dylan albums, and no "Lightfoot albums"
crack the Rolling Stone 500, but that magazine has been fairly anti-canuck over the years with the exception of their love affair with Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. They love "The Band" too, although they feature an American (Levon Helm). Lightfoot and the Guess Who have rarely been praised or really even acknowledged by the so called Rock Bible.
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Old 02-29-2004, 06:06 PM   #19
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quote:Originally posted by joveski:
this isn't meant to be a dylan vs lightfoot post, but bob has definately done more for music throughout his career. that's why dylan is more famous.

i love both artists...

I was doing my regular search for GL images using Google and found the interesting and relevant pic which hopefully will appear below.
It is included in a picture gallery headed The Rolling Thunder Review 1975
Gord with Bob dylan on an Italian Dylan site
I've not seen this before but bet that Mende Joveski has??




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Old 02-29-2004, 06:06 PM   #20
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quote:Originally posted by joveski:
this isn't meant to be a dylan vs lightfoot post, but bob has definately done more for music throughout his career. that's why dylan is more famous.

i love both artists...

I was doing my regular search for GL images using Google and found the interesting and relevant pic which hopefully will appear below.
It is included in a picture gallery headed The Rolling Thunder Review 1975
Gord with Bob dylan on an Italian Dylan site
I've not seen this before but bet that Mende Joveski has??




------------------
My Gordon Lightfoot webring
starts at
http://www.johnfowles.org.uk/lightfoot
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Old 02-29-2004, 08:39 PM   #21
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Wow great picture John, thanks for finding it and sharing.
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Old 02-29-2004, 08:39 PM   #22
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Wow great picture John, thanks for finding it and sharing.
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Old 03-01-2004, 01:55 PM   #23
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the picture was taken at gords house on december 8 1975 when lightfoot threw a party for the rolling thunder review. they nearly burnt down the house when a curtain caught on fire
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Old 03-01-2004, 02:10 PM   #24
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quote:Originally posted by joveski:
the picture was taken at gords house on december 8 1975 when lightfoot threw a party for the rolling thunder review. they nearly burnt down the house when a curtain caught on fire

I thought it was somebody's jacket that landed in the fireplace ... not that it matters <g>
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Old 03-01-2004, 02:10 PM   #25
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quote:Originally posted by joveski:
the picture was taken at gords house on december 8 1975 when lightfoot threw a party for the rolling thunder review. they nearly burnt down the house when a curtain caught on fire

I thought it was somebody's jacket that landed in the fireplace ... not that it matters <g>
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