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21 top tunes from this hit-making Canadian, including If You Could Read My Mind; Sundown; Carefree Highway; Rainy Day People; Early Morning Rain; I’m Not Sayin’ , and more.
Warm, gentle, and welcoming, Gordon Lightfoot’s folk-rock disarms even the most cynical listener. When his bright melodies mesh with his full, deep voice and his innocent poetry, the result is almost hypnotic, like floating away on a soft cloud. Of course, after 21 songs’ worth, you might float into a deep slumber. In 1975 Lightfoot rounded out this hits collection by revisiting nine of his 1960s compositions, including “I’m Not Sayin’/Ribbon of Darkness,” “Song for a Winter’s Night,” “Early Morning Rain,” and “Steel Rail Blues.” Rather than maintain the direct approach of his early work, he adds the string arrangements that mark his 1970s work. The smashes “Sundown” and “If You Could Read My Mind” accompany outright gems such as “Cotton Jenny” and “Cold on the Shoulder,” although this set predates “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” –Marc Greilsamer