11 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The 1971 album Summer Side of Life was Gordon Lightfoot's first release after the breakthrough success of If You Could Read My Mind. While it didn't reach the same commercial heights as its predecessor, it remains a worthy follow-up to what was one of Lightfoot's strongest set of songs ever. The bulk of this album is in roughly the same sort of folk-rock realm as Lightfoot's earlier efforts, but there are subtle expansions into other areas. Not only does the Canadian songsmith employ a broader array of players and instruments than before, he experiments stylistically as well. "Same Old Loverman" is a slow-burning, R&B-tinged ballad offset by Nashville production touches like piano licks by country legend "Pig" Robbins and choral backing vocals from the famed Jordanaires. "Redwood Hill" works up a convincing bluegrass bounce, perfectly framed by Vassar Clements' fiddle. And the lengthy closing cut, "Cabaret," moves seamlessly through different moods and motifs; it's one of Lightfoot's most musically complex compositions of the era.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The 1971 album Summer Side of Life was Gordon Lightfoot's first release after the breakthrough success of If You Could Read My Mind. While it didn't reach the same commercial heights as its predecessor, it remains a worthy follow-up to what was one of Lightfoot's strongest set of songs ever. The bulk of this album is in roughly the same sort of folk-rock realm as Lightfoot's earlier efforts, but there are subtle expansions into other areas. Not only does the Canadian songsmith employ a broader array of players and instruments than before, he experiments stylistically as well. "Same Old Loverman" is a slow-burning, R&B-tinged ballad offset by Nashville production touches like piano licks by country legend "Pig" Robbins and choral backing vocals from the famed Jordanaires. "Redwood Hill" works up a convincing bluegrass bounce, perfectly framed by Vassar Clements' fiddle. And the lengthy closing cut, "Cabaret," moves seamlessly through different moods and motifs; it's one of Lightfoot's most musically complex compositions of the era.

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