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The United Artists Collection Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued

4.8 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued, October 20, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Gordon's rich voice and earthy folk-pop struck a chord with pop and country fans; these 20 songs bring you the best from both charts. Includes Sundown; the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald; If You Could Read My Mind; the Circle Is Small; Carefree Highway; Rainy Day People; Baby Step Back; Beautiful, and more!

Amazon.com

This two-disc, 49-song collection combines Lightfoot's first four albums into one specially priced package and offers a comprehensive look at the Canadian singer-songwriter before he achieved pop stardom. These late-1960s recordings are more pared down than his better-known 1970s work, showing Lightfoot to be a thoughtful songwriter who was equally comfortable with personal love songs and more political fare. A much stronger folkie sensibility is on display here, which may be a revelation to those only familiar to his glossier folk-pop work, but a boon to his longtime followers. --Marc Greilsamer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 20, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued
  • Label: EMI / Capitol Records
  • ASIN: B00000DQO2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,493 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Even if you purchased Gordon Lightfoot's sprawling 4-disc Songbook box set like I did (which includes 17 of these songs), you will want to add this to your collection too. This set collects Lightfoot's four United Artists albums in their entirety beginning with his 1966 debut.
You get classic Lightfoot songs like "For Lovin' Me," "Early Mornin' Rain," "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" and "Did She Mention My Name." Also, the box set includes a live medley of "I'm Not Sayin'/Ribbon of Darkness" from the live album Sunday Concert. On this release you get the original studio versions.
Quite simply, Lightfoot is one of the best singer-songwriters of the last forty years and this belongs in any serious music library. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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Format: Audio CD
Before buying the UA Collection, I had owned and appreciated "Sundown" and "Summertime Dream" for years. I was also familiar with "Gord's Gold," but had given up on pursuing Gordon Lightfoot any further when a couple of his later albums turned out to be duds.
But this collection has been something of a revelation for me. The first disc, in particular, is shockingly good. The songs that were later re-recorded for "Gord's Gold" sound even better here, without the orchestral arrangements.
Lightfoot is a populist at heart. He has always had a good idea of which songs his fans like best, and has been willing to play them live and to include the right songs on compilations like "Gord's Gold." But no compilation can do justice to the wealth of excellent material on his first four albums, which are all included here in their entirety.
After the acoustic guitar bliss of the first disc, it is almost jarring to hear the fuller arrangements on the "Did She Mention My Name" album, which begins disc two. However, this album does come into its own after a few listens. "Black Day in July," which is about the Detroit riots of 1967, suffers a bit from its negative use of the word "black" in the title, which now sounds outdated in the context of a song about race riots. But allowing for that, the song still has an urgency and power that make it one of Lightfoot's more memorable songs. And the use of orchestration on this album seems to have inspired Lightfoot--always one of the most melodic folk singers--to take his melodies to new places. "Does Your Mother Know," in particular, sounds almost as if it would have fit in on "Sundown."
The fourth album included in the UA Collection, "Back Here on Earth," is a return to the simpler arrangements of the first two.
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By A Customer on March 19, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I own all of Gordon Lightfoot's albums except the two "Gord's Gold" collections. As far as I am concerned, he is one of the best songwriters ever, but he did his best work early in his career. This two-CD set compiles his first four United Artists albums. I picked this up at a record store a few years ago, for twice the price for which it's offered here. What a steal to have all this music for only $12.00. The songs in this collection have been repackaged at least a dozen times over the years; some of those compilations are available here at amazon.com. But they are not complete; they contain only a few songs from the first four albums. Here, you get them all. And if you listen to all of them in one sitting (2 1/2 hours!), you will hear one of the most stunning collections of contemporary songs you'll find in one place. Where to begin to describe the effect of listening to this music? The acoustic material that opens disc one includes performances of stark beauty: his covers of Phil Ochs' "Changes" and Ewan MacColl's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" come quickly to mind. Then there are early classics like "Canadian Railroad Trilogy," "Softly,", and "Song for a Winter's Night." (The first time I heard that one was on the radio on Christmas Eve!) Disc two begins with the "Did She Mention My Name?" album. Lightfoot performs with full orchestration on these songs, and the results will send chills down your spine. If you have never heard "The Last Time I Saw Her," one of the greatest songs he has ever written, and can relate at all to its story of love lost, by the end of its five minutes you will be reduced to a helpless mass of tears.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
First, this collection represents Gordon Lightfoot the songwriter and singer at his very best, over and above his 70s and 80's work. The one glaring omission here is the superb "Spin Spin", available only on a European release, now out of print. The remainder however is brilliant.
Secondly, American fans will be disappointed to learn that this collection is not the original United Artists collection that was released in 1992 by EMI Music Canada. That collection contained all 5 UA albums on a 3 disc box set (the fifth UA album being the live "Sunday Concert", missing from this collection). That collection is still available in Canada as it was originally titled: "The Original Lightfoot".
Lightfoot's 60s recordings are simply brilliant. Pared down acoustically, the songs speak of a long lost simplicity that never seems to be heard in contemporary music today. To own this collection is to hear a true talent at work. Lightfoot's voice on these recordings is as good as it ever would get - strong, clear, confident, subtle.
Included here is the most brilliant song Lightfoot ever wrote/recorded - "Black Day In July" - superb from top to bottom. Also key is the live version of "The Way I Feel", the first acoustic recording of "The Circle Is Small" and "Marie Christine".
This, plus "Gord's Gold" and the "Songbook" are musts for any Lightfoot fan.
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