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If You Could Read My Mind Import

56 customer reviews

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If You Could Read My Mind
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Audio CD, Import, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Out-of-print in the US. Though he eventually came to be regarded as an MOR pop artist, Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot emerged from the 1960s folk world, and had as much in common with Ian & Sylvia, Eric Andersen, and Bob Dylan as he did with any '70s AM wonder. Though the title track of IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND was indeed his first massive pop hit, the album proves that Lightfoot was a serious, substantive song craftsman. "Minstrel of the Dawn" is a "Mr. Tambourine Man"-like affair that closes on a surprisingly sarcastic note. "Sit Down Young Stranger" and "Cobwebs & Dust" are the folkiest cuts, and each bears an incisive, poetic lyricism. The bluesy "Baby It's Alright" and a cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee" showcase Lightfoot's rootsier tendencies, while "Saturday Clothes" stands out by virtue of it's Bacharach-like melody and dinner-jacket chord progression. While he wasn't as edgy as fellow Canuck Leonard Cohen, Lightfoot was clearly a formidable song-poet.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Minstrel Of The Dawn 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Me And Bobby Mcgee 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Approaching Lavender 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Saturday Clothes 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Cobwebs & Dust 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Poor Little Allison 2:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Sit Down Young Stranger 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. If You Could Read My Mind 3:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. Baby It's Allright 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Your Love's Return 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. The Pony Man 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002KOS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,347 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on August 20, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have always been a fan of Canadian Gordon Lightfoot's music. From the first time I heard Peter, Paul and Mary's wonderful covers of Lightfoot songs like "Early Morning Rain" and "For Loving Me", I knew anyone who could write songs like that was a huge talent. So when I got turned onto his own voice and music I was astonished by just how good he was (and still is). This is a perfect album because, like several of his other releases, each of the dozen songs included is something you smile at as it first comes on because it is a special favorite. Indeed, the song cycle here is unforgettable. The first song is "Minstrel Of The Dawn", written by Lightfoot himself and a wonderful example of his singular songwriting style, which often relates a personal story, followed by an incredible cover of Kris Kristoferson's "Me And Bobby McGee". No one other than Janis Joplin ever did a version of this that can compare with Lightfoot's. "Approaching Lavender" is a simply wonderful love song delivered with fervor and passion in Lightfoot's inimitable style.
Later he weighs in with some of the hits from the album, including "Sit Down Young Stranger" and "If You Could Read My Mind", both done in colorful and unique prose styles that leave the listener to interpret what Lightfoot is talking about. And so on with each of the songs here. My personal favorites are those mentioned above as well as "Your Love's Return", an evocative and haunting song inspired by a poem by Stephen Foster, but I really love them all. If one listens to all of the similarly terrific albums Lightfoot put out over a seven or eight-year period one comes up with literally dozens and dozens of wonderful and memorable songs that could fill several double albums.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Released in 1970, Gordon Lightfoot's first album after signing with Reprise remains one of his most enduring. Retitled from Sit Down Young Stranger after "If You Could Read My Mind" became a hit, the album reveals a songwriter of increasing depth and maturity. The title track, which to me remains the most powerful "breakup song" I've ever heard, is a showpiece, of course--but this is an album filled with showpieces. Featuring the beautiful ensemble playing of Red Shea on lead guitar and Rick Haynes on bass, the album also features guest appearances by Ry Cooder and John Sebastian, and some very tasteful, unobtrusive string arrangements (on "Minstrel of the Dawn," for example, the strings are scored by Randy Newman). The album is beautifully produced by Lenny Waronker and Joe Wissert--guitars are crisp and rich, the vocals have presence and depth. You'll find a terrific cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee" on this CD: Lightfoot doesn't do many covers, but, when he does, he sings them like he wrote them. Other highlights include "Minstrel of the Dawn," "Sit Down Young Stranger," "The Pony Man," and...oh heck--the whole album is just one long highlight! Buy it!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
If You Could Read My Mind was originally released in 1970 under the title of Sit Down Young Stranger. The album generated little action as Canadian Gordon Lightfoot's previous albums had. Then in 1971, the hauntingly beautiful ballad "If You Could Read My Mind" became a top ten hit, the album was re-released with the new title to capitalize on the popularity of the song. This started a good run of chart success for Mr. Lightfoot. The rest of the album is equally as strong as the title track. "Minstrel Of The Dawn" is a great track as is "Cobwebs & Dust".
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bob Dunkin on June 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Already a major player on the folk music scene in his native Canada, Lightfoot broke through to the U.S. radio market with this album. The title song, a poetically mellow ballad, had such universal appeal that it was featured prominently on nearly every radio format in America, and has become his most enduring signature song.

If you buy this album just for the title song, which thousands of people, no doubt, have done, you're in for a delightful surprise: The entire set is that good, and some of it is even better! Starting with the first track, "Minstrel Of The Dawn", the listener is transported to a world of graceful beauty and timeless charm. Lightfoot has an extraordinary gift for writing the perfect melodic vehicle for any set of lyrics, and this is evident throughout the album.

His cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Me & Bobby McGee" is much more to my liking than the famous, firey blues/rock version by Janis Joplin. Other standouts include "Pony Man", a lullaby in the form of a magical journey through space; "Baby, It's All Right", a tight, edgy acoustic blues number unlike anything else in the Lightfoot canon; and "Your Love's Return", perhaps the most incredibly beautiful romantic ballad he ever recorded, featuring warm and tasteful guitar work and an elegant string quartet. This song is beautiful enough to break your heart.

There are no "skippers" here. Every song is worth hearing again and again. Those who appreciate poetic lyrics and unsurpassed acousitc music in the finest folk tradition, simply must add this album to their collection.
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