Gord's Gold Volume 2 was released in 1988. It's a one CD collection with 18 songs, most of which were rerecorded for this album. There is also one new song, "If It Should Please You."
If It Should Please You
Endless Wire (lyrics)
Hangdog Hotel Room (lyrics)
I'm Not Supposed To Care (lyrics)
High And Dry (lyrics)
Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald (lyrics)
The Pony Man (lyrics)
Race Among The Ruins (lyrics)
Christian Island (lyrics)
All The Lovely Ladies (lyrics)
Alberta Bound (lyrics)
Cherokee Bend (lyrics)
Shadows (lyrics) (RealMedia clip)
Make Way For The Lady (lyrics) (RealMedia clip)
Ghosts Of Cape Horn (lyrics) (RealMedia clip)
Baby Step Back (lyrics) (RealMedia clip
It's Worth Believin' (lyrics)
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Click on any of the song titles, above, left, to listen to a clip at Amazon, or to buy a song or the album.
A Controversial "Greatest Hits" Album
Gordon Lightfoot, as any fan knows, likes to rerecord when he puts together a "greatest hits" album. For his first, Gord's Gold, he rerecorded all the songs from early in his career. Because the original recordings were on United Artists, before Lightfoot's emergence as a top recording artist in the US, the Gord's Gold version of the songs is often the first - even only - version that the listener has heard.
But it is different with the songs he rerecorded for Gord's Gold Volume II. Here, all the songs were heard first by most people in the original version. Lightfoot went back into to the studio to rerecord them, to create recordings with the feel (or sound, rather) of a live performance. He has undoubtedly achieved that here, but many fans still prefer the original studio recording over the new one, especially if the original was the one they fell in love with. Where it really hits home is in the recording of the big song here "Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald".
Now, don't get me wrong. The Gord's Gold Volume II recording of Wreck is a masterpiece. In this version, Lightfoot is backed up by Terry Clements (lead guitar), Rick Haynes (bass), Barry Keane (drums) and Mike Heffernan (keyboards). The moving performance on Gord's Gold Volume II is very much like every passionate performance of Wreck that he and his band perform today (Terry passed away in 2011 and was replaced by another excellent lead guitarist, Carter Landcaster). But if you want to hear Wreck the way it sounded in 1976 on the radio, then you must have the original recording which luckily is also available today (on the Summertime Dream album). On that recording, Pee Wee Charles, plays steel guitar. The world has two outstanding recordings of an incredible song.
The rest of the songs on this album are also truly great songs. None of the others achieved the prominence that they deserved, for many of them are easily in the class of his earlier hits. Songs like Race Among The Ruins, Cherokee Bend, Shadows and Triangle are - in my opinion - among the very finest in his impressive catalog. There is one new song here, not available elsewhere (If It Should Please You) and there are also four other songs that Lightfoot did not rerecord. The most magnificent of these are It's Worth Believin' (from Old Dan's Records) and Ghosts Of Cape Horn (from Dream Street Rose), neither of which was available on any other CD for many years because the two albums they came from were among the four last albums to be reissued on CD.
The Gord's Gold Volume II album is a fine album with some of Lightfoot's best songs from the 70s and 80s. It is good listening for any Lightfoot fan, and if you don't have the original albums, you might want to consider picking up a few of the original albums too.
This album is not one of my very favorite Lightfoot albums because, although he achieves a sound reminiscent of a live performance, it doesn't match the passion of a Lightfoot concert. Perhaps that is the weakness here. He could reproduce the sound of a live performance in a studio, but not the inspiration he draws from his audience. I guess we'll all just have to go see him in concert to get both.
Originally written January 27, 1999. Updated occasionally.
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