12 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After its predecessor, Sundown, reignited Gordon Lightfoot's commercial success, Cold on the Shoulder used a similarly expansive set of studio players to augment the singer/songwriter's core group and add extra aural texture to the tunes, all while steering clear of bloated overproduction. Lyrically, Lightfoot alternates among a few modes, managing each masterfully. On one hand, he's the ultimate romantic balladeer—the beautifully bittersweet "Rainy Day People" was the album's hit single, and the almost gospel-tinged tones of the graceful, piano-led "Fine As Fine Can Be" must have set Lightfoot's female fans swooning. At the same time, his pursuit of other moods results in some of his most finely turned verses; the poetic power of "A Tree Too Weak to Stand" is striking, and "Cherokee Bend" is a potent, personal look at the way Native Americans have been systematically and culturally disenfranchised. Cold on the Shoulder is the sound of an artist at the peak of his powers, refusing to rest on his laurels.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After its predecessor, Sundown, reignited Gordon Lightfoot's commercial success, Cold on the Shoulder used a similarly expansive set of studio players to augment the singer/songwriter's core group and add extra aural texture to the tunes, all while steering clear of bloated overproduction. Lyrically, Lightfoot alternates among a few modes, managing each masterfully. On one hand, he's the ultimate romantic balladeer—the beautifully bittersweet "Rainy Day People" was the album's hit single, and the almost gospel-tinged tones of the graceful, piano-led "Fine As Fine Can Be" must have set Lightfoot's female fans swooning. At the same time, his pursuit of other moods results in some of his most finely turned verses; the poetic power of "A Tree Too Weak to Stand" is striking, and "Cherokee Bend" is a potent, personal look at the way Native Americans have been systematically and culturally disenfranchised. Cold on the Shoulder is the sound of an artist at the peak of his powers, refusing to rest on his laurels.

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