"Here are Gordon Lightfoot's first two UA albums, packaged together on one CD. By the time the first, Lightfoot!, was released, he had already gained a considerable amount of professional respect as a writer--artists such as Marty Robbins and Peter, Paul & Mary had taken Lightfoot compositions into the charts. Lightfoot! is the most pure folk-sounding album he ever issued, with a very stripped-down sound: rhythm guitar, vocal, lead guitar, and upright bass, with nary an overdub in sight. There are a number of songs on Lightfoot! ("Early Morning Rain," "Ribbon of Darkness," "I'm Not Sayin'," "For Loving Me," "Steel Rail Blues") that are now considered to be Lightfoot classics--it's interesting now to hear the original arrangements. Lightfoot was in his mid-20s when this album was released, and you can hear the youthful optimism in his voice.The Way I Feel begins to more clearly define the Lightfoot sound and his future musical direction: still folk oriented, but with a larger influence of both country and pop. By this time, he had established his first regular touring band and on this album you'll hear some outstanding lead guitar work by the ever-innovative Red Shea, plus very rhythmic bass work on the part of John Stockfish. Nashville sessions musicians Kenney Buttrey (drums) and Charley McCoy also appear on The Way I Feel. (Until 1976, Lightfoot did not use a drummer as part of the touring band, and thus both Stockfish, and his successor, Rick Haynes, have a more rhythmic approach to bass playing than what you'll normally hear in an acoustic setting, laying down a very solid bottom beat.)More Lightfoot classics appear on "The Way I Feel", such as "Song For a Winter's Night" (recently covered by Sarah Maclachan), "Softly," and the song that propelled him from popular artist to Canadian icon: "Canadian Railroad Trilogy." In addition, there is a re-make of the song "The Way I Feel," which in fact made its first appearance on Lightoot!.Having these first two UA albums on one compact disc affords the listener the opportunity to hear Lightfoot at the threshold of a remarkable career which continues to this day. The first album served notice that this was an extremely talented songwriter making his debut album; the second, which sounds more confident, mature and self-assured, seems to be emphatically saying that he had not only arrived but he was going to stay around for a long, long time.And so he has. This CD includes a sizeable booklet with a good essay by Richard Flohill, lots of photographs, and complete lyrics."
Classics From The Poet-Laurette Of The Great North
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 02/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD contains Gordon Lightfoot's first two albums, 'Lightfoot', released in '66 and 'The Way I Feel' in '67. These -26 tracks- of now classic tunes began the long and illustrious career of Canada's favorite musical native son and undisputed poet-laurette of our neighbor to the Great North.
Tunes like; 'Early Morning Rain', 'For Lovin' You', 'I'm Not Sayin' and 'Canadian Railroad Trilogy' (what I like to consider the unofficial National Anthem of Canada) will echo within your heart and mind long after the music stops. Classic Lightfoot!"
El Gordo Fan
Paul H. Siegmund | Banner Elk, NC USA | 05/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Forget the UA release; listen carefully and you will hear tape hiss, distortions, etc... The folks at Bear took better care with this release using higher quality masters. Bottom line, you get what you pay for."
I love gord, but...
roseskunk | fulton, mo USA | 09/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love lightfoot, and this early music is some of his best, but check out the United Artists Collection, a two cd set with the same songs. it's 8 bucks, this one is 23. Go figure..."