Gordon Lightfoot

Sundown

Composed by Gordon Lightfoot

Song Review by

Gordon Lightfoot's breakout record, "Sundown," took him from being a Canadian folk cult hero and songwriter (his "Early Morning Rain" had been cut by several artists in the mid-'60s, including Judy Collins) to being a successful pop artist. The song itself is a dark and colorful narrative and character portrait of a woman who is undoubtedly a prostitute and the complications that the singer has when he realizes that he might be falling in love with her. The blues-laden melody is surrounded by a swampy arrangement that oozes a sensual undertone and this indeed works perfectly with the lyrics. The electric guitar solo is, in fact, heavily influenced by John Fogerty's Delta-soaked style, particularly "Born on the Bayou," and the musical reference here is probably not coincidental. These touches were most likely the brainchild of producer Lenny Waronker, who once again shows why he was one of the finest at his craft during this period. Atop everything, Lightfoot's rugged tenor holds everything together with a strong individuality (it would be a difficult record to cover successfully), making this not only one of the better records of the early '70s, but a true pop/rock standard.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Sundown 1974 Friday Music
Gord's Gold 1975 Friday Music
Songbook 1985 Rhino / Warner Bros. 3:37
Singers & Songwriters: 40 Hits, All Orignal Recordings [Time-Life] 1990
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Sounds of the Seventies: 1974 - Take Two 1991
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:34
Mellow Rock Hits of the 70's: Sundown 1997
Various Artists
Rhino
Soft Rock Classics [Rhino Box] 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:35
Songbook [Box Set] 1999 Rhino 3:41
C.M.T. Classic Country 2000
Various Artists
BMG
Live in Reno [Video] 2002 Linus / Linus Entertainment 3:18
The Complete Greatest Hits 2002 Rhino 3:40
The Very Best of Singers and Songwriters 2003
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:34
Greatest Hits Live 2003 Dfp
Rhino Hi-Five: Gordon Lightfoot 2005 Rhino / Warner Bros. 3:37
American Folk Almanac: Dejavu Retro Gold Collection 2006
Various Artists
Retro Music
Singers & Songwriters: Classics 2010
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:34
Singers & Songwriters [Time-Life Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:34
All Live 2012 Friday Music
The Blacklist [Original Soundtrack]
Original Soundtrack
Sony Music
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