Rick Beato analyzes (and lauds) the music of Gordon Lightfoot

May 4, 2023 • 12:30 pm

In light of Gordon Lightfoot‘s death on May 1, musician, music analyst, and producer Rick Beato discusses Lightfoot, his music, and his musical legacy. This 28-minute video by Beato clearly shows that he worships the man and loved his music.

My only beef is that Beato doesn’t spend a lot of time on Lightfoot’s early songs, particularly those on his first album, “Lightfoot!”  To my mind, those represented his best work: simple (a bass and two guitars) but beautiful in their simplicity and honesty.  In fact, Beato gives no time at all to that work, which surely deserves as much time as the later music Beato favors.

Here’s a video Beato mentions: Bob Dylan inducting Lightfoot into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1986:

9 thoughts on “Rick Beato analyzes (and lauds) the music of Gordon Lightfoot

      1. Thanks, Paprika🥰🥰
        I think I’ve got it ordered from my local library (3rd on the list). Looks great.I may have mentioned that I saw him at Massey Hall circa 1979?, and then at the same venue maybe 20 years later, when he was in substantially rougher shape. I think I also saw him opening for the Stones at the Sky Dome, but may be misremembering this. Wonderful songs

        1. Yrwlcm, Merilee. My late husband and I saw Lightfoot at Massey Hall, when he was in his prime (can we still say that?!) but I can’t remember the year. He was such a prolific performer.

          Sorry, Jerry, about the double-posting. I messed up something and it didn’t look like it went through.

  1. Jerry, thanks for posting this. I too was a big fan of Lightfoot, although my greatest exposure was to the songs Rick highlighted. I just watched his video, followed by listening to Lightfoot!, an album with which I was not familiar, and I was struck by how much of the musical subtlety Rick described was already present in Gordon’s early work. A giant who will be missed.

  2. Same here, thanks for posting this. Beato always does a good job of revealing some of the finer musical points that casual listening overlooks. Additionally, because most of these songs are so familiar, it’s difficult to really hear them, so it’s great to have my eyes (and ears) opened again to these songs. Beato’s childlike enthusiasm is always so infectious, and his unabashed reverence for Gordon is touching.

    I agree with the host’s comment that in some ways Lightfoot gets shortchanged here by the focus on his biggest hits. It would have been interesting for Beato to analyze some of Lightfoot’s “deep cuts,” as he did with Joni Mitchell’s “Amelia.”

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