LIGHTFOOT RETURNS WITH
SENSE OF SELF
Rumors of Gordon Lightfoot's demise after 30 years in the spotlight,
circulated for a time by the artist himself, have proven
premature. Waiting For
You, Lightfoot's 18th original recording, heralds the return of an
whose accomplishments encompass platinum and gold records, four Grammy
16 Juno awards, an Order Of Canada citation and such enduring songs as
Morning Rain, Ribbon Of Darkness, Canadian Railroad Trilogy, If You
Read My Mind and The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald, to name a few.
Waiting For You is Lightfoot's first collection of new material since
East Of Midnight, a recording released amid claims it would be his
last. "I felt like I'd said everything I wanted to," Lightfoot
said at the time. "I didn't want to keep writing songs if they
didn't have meaning for me." It was after East Of Midnight in
1986 that Lightfoot reassessed his life, his career and the music.
With renewed creative energy, he began working on new material, songs
written over a two year period which he agrees are the most personal he
has ever written.
Waiting For You is dedicated to his wife Elizabeth and his young son
Nine of the ten songs (he covers Bob Dylan's Ring Them Bells to round
the collection) chronicle an artist who has come to terms with himself
his place in the scheme of things.
The humour, sense of self-acceptance and new-found contentment are
reflected in Lightfoot's comments during a recent telephone
conversation from his home
in a posh section of Toronto. "Let me put it this way, I had to dig
the 54 year old performer observed. "The older you get, the
you have to dig." The result of Lightfoot's mid-life soul
is music as buoyant and as optimistic as he has ever produced.
"I like to feel it has an uplifting quality. At times my music
been as uplifting as it should have been and I feel I've been able to
that again." Stylistically, the recording marks the return of a
direct and immediate Lightfoot. With prominent voice and acoustic
tracks and unembellished arrangements with his long-time touring band,
For You shares more in common with Lightfoot's early classics than with
work he released in the late '70's and early '80's.
Lightfoot is pleased with his approach and wants to refine it for
subsequent recordings. "If I can make another one, which I hope I
can, I'd like to try the same formula with just a little more
enhancement and more work on the basic tracks," he explained.