Search - Gordon Lightfoot :: Sundown

Gordon Lightfoot
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

This album wasn't Lightfoot's breakthrough recording, but it was both a demonstration of the rocking electric turn most folkies would make after Dylan's revolution, and a commercially successful marriage of soulful, R&B se...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Gordon Lightfoot
Title: Sundown
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
Styles: Outlaw Country, Classic Country, Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, North America, Singer-Songwriters, Soft Rock, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 075992721127, 075992721141

Synopsis essential recording
This album wasn't Lightfoot's breakthrough recording, but it was both a demonstration of the rocking electric turn most folkies would make after Dylan's revolution, and a commercially successful marriage of soulful, R&B sensibility with folk narratives. The title cut is probably engrained in the memory of anyone with an A.M. radio in the '70s, but 20 years later, it sounds suggestive, even bluesy. "Carefree Highway" perhaps excessively romanticizes the road, but less familiar tracks like "Watchman's Gone" and "Too Late for Prayin'" are convincing statements of Lightfoot's lyrical endurance. --Roy Francis Kasten

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CD Reviews

A Billboard Chart Number 1 Album - And Deservedly So
Valerie L. Shainin | Ballston Spa, NY USA | 12/22/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"An extraordinary album, yet no one has reviewed it yet? And, down there at 12-13000 in sales ranking at Amazon? Why is everyone missing this wonderful album? Perhaps because no one has reviewed it yet? So I will put pen to paper (rather fingers to keyboard) and fix that today.Sundown, originally released in 1974, was Lightfoot's most successful album on the billboard charts. It went to number 1, in the US and Canada simultaneously, and the single of the title song topped both charts at the same time too. A second song from the album, Carefree Highway, also charted well, reaching number 10 late that year. Then why aren't people buying this album? Is it because both of these songs (as well as a third song, Circle Of Steel) are on Gord's Gold too? Well, if that is the reason, people are missing a lot of excellent music. The two hit songs are not the only great songs on the album; in fact, many Lightfoot fans would argue that they are not the best songs on the album. Probably more so than almost any other album, every song here is a classic, full of beautiful lyrics, haunting melodies, inventive guitar playing and arrangements, and exquisite vocals. (Of course to fully appreciate the guitar, you will have to look for the MFSL half-speed mastered album, on vinyl and out of print, but this CD will make a fine substitute and plays better in your car).Most of the songs are personal songs, but interspersed are songs of the sea, wandering and social commentary, also familiar Lightfoot themes. My favorite songs, from the "other seven" are Somewhere USA, High And Dry (which is also on Gord's Gold Volume 2), Seven Island Suite, The Watchman's Gone (which, in addition to the two hits, he still performs in concert today) and The List. If you do have Gord's Gold, you are still getting seven additional Lightfoot treasures, plus the haunting "whole" that he achieves with all of his albums, rather than - as is so common - simply a collection of songs.Altogether this disk is a 10; well, in the rating system here, a 5. Enjoy!"
Lightfoot Is Simply Terrific, As Usual!
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 08/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I laughed when I saw one of the earlier reviewers had referred to this album is good but not terrific. While I strongly disagree with that estimation of the effort here, what occurred to me was the simple fact that over a fifteen period, Gordon Lightfoot produced so many superior albums populated by such uniformly outstanding songs that we've become inured to the fact that he is such a singular, talented and singular talent. Every single song on the album is extremely well executed, and the arrangements are stunning, from the opening "Somewhere USA" into the upbeat "High And Dry" on into "Seven Island Suite, a captivating, poetically versed, and thoughtfully complex song one had to hear in its entirety to truly appreciate. "Circle Of Steel" uses a deceptively simple and lovely melody to take a sympathetic and compassionate look at the social issues of the day, and the ways in which our ordinary troubles complicate themselves, continuing from one generation to the next. A number of popular hits are here, including "Sundown" and "Carefree Highway', as is his lovely and pensive "Too Late For Praying". Gordon is an incredibly talented singer/songwriter who is in the process of leaving us dozens of terrific albums for our continuing entertainment and edification. This is certainly one oif the best of them. Enjoy!"
In a word: Extraordinary
Valerie L. Shainin | 06/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Gordon Lightfoot released a string of superlative albums between 1970 and 1976 for Warner/Reprise; Sundown is definitely one of the real standouts. From the relaxed, almost serene feel of the previous album (Old Dan's Records), Sundown (released in 1974) makes a sudden departure in mood. Many of the songs deal with moving and with restlessness. And yet, it's not the idea of going out and searching for something; rather it's the sort of restlessness you feel when you simply want to get away and get out on the road without any sort of specific game plan. It's this notion that makes the album so compelling.A couple of Lightfoot's big hits can be found here; the title track, of course (with Red Shea's classic guitar solo, and Terry Clements' beautiful acoustic licks); and "Carefree Highway." But there are many, many other gems here as well: the chance-encounter scenario played out in "Somewhere USA"; the social commentary of "Circle of Steel" (with some beautiful recorder work by Jack Zaza); the stunning epic "Seven Island Suite"; fan favorite "The Watchman's Gone" (with, again, some beautiful acoustic work by Clements); and the evocative "Too Late For Praying" (a song which, after the events of 9/11, has taken on yet another shade of meaning). Additionally, the album is beautifully produced by Lenny Waronker: it's a clinic on how to record acoustic guitars. Lightfoot's trademark Gibson B45 12-string rings bright and clear on this recording, as do all the guitars. For the songs that utilize strings, the arrangements by Nick DeCaro are elegant and understated, never becoming obtrusive. The musicianship is, as usual, of the highest calibre: Lightfoot on 12 and 6 string guitars; Shea on acoustic, classical, and Telecaster; Clements on acoustic; John Stockfish (who was Lightfoot's regular bassist from 1966-69) appears along with Rick Haynes to contribute bass, and session ace Jim Gordon is on drums (it would be another couple of years before Lightfoot added a drummer to his regular touring band).This is truly an essential Gordon Lightfoot album. If you've perhaps bought the recently-released Complete Greatest Hits and have become interested in adding some Lightfoot CDs to your collection, Sundown is certainly not a bad place to start!"