Gordon Lightfoot

Songbook [Box Set]

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Gordon Lightfoot's Songbook is a career-spanning, four-CD, 88-song box set with a pretty chronologically even balance of material from the mid-'60s through 1998. It also has 15 previously unreleased cuts, as well as his 1962 debut single, "(Remember Me) I'm the One"/"It's Too Late, He Wins" (which is lame MOR Nashville country). One could quibble with the song selection ("Black Day in July" is missing, for instance) and the relatively light attention to his 1960s work (which is limited to disc one); an opportunity was also missed to include a rarity by excluding his mid-'60s single of Bob Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb Blues." But generally it's a representative sampling of his most meaningful, or commercially successful, recordings. As for the previously unreleased songs, it's a tribute to Lightfoot's consistency that these don't sound out of step with the rest of the program, but also true that none of these are particularly exceptional or interesting. The following is true of so many box sets of this type that it feels like a cliché to point this out once again, but by giving equal space to various phases of his career, the music starts to go downhill steeply at around the middle of disc three, marking Lightfoot's descent (more graceful than some) into adult contemporary office music. There are extensive liner notes in the enclosed hardbound book, along with comments on each song by Lightfoot himself. Unless you're a Lightfoot obsessive, though, The United Artists Collection (with the bulk of his 1960s recordings) and Gord's Gold will cover just about everything you would want.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:20
2 2:30
3 2:25
4 3:04
5 3:42
6 2:48
7 3:10
8 2:58
9 6:19
10 2:35
11 2:56
12 2:58
13 3:35
14 5:10
15 2:27
16 2:48
17 2:10
18 3:19
19 2:42
20 3:25
21 2:51
22 3:14
23 2:32
24 3:05
blue highlight denotes track pick