Archive for Gordon Lightfoot

Sampler Daze: WB/Reprise Loss Leaders, Part 9

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by 30daysout

RecordsLikeThis works

If you’ve been with us this long, you already know the Warner Bros./Reprise Loss Leaders series wasn’t about hit records – although the 1970s entries managed to have one or two hit singles on each sampler.  But with the coming of 1975’s I Didn’t Know They Still Made Records Like This, the label rolled out its big guns.  Of the 26 songs included on this two-LP set, six were bonafide Top 20 hits and a few others were FM radio staples.

And another thing about this one – it was aimed squarely at MOR audiences.  Singer/songwriters abound: James Taylor does his No. 5 “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” which was actually an old Motown song; Arlo Guthrie does the No. 18 hit “City Of New Orleans,” which was actually written by Steve Goodman; Gordon Lightfoot offers the No. 26 “Rainy Day People,” which was actually written by Gordon Lightfoot.  Add to that Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” (No. 11), Seals & Croft’s “I’ll Play For You” (No. 18) and the No. 1 smash “Then Came You,” by Dionne Warwick and the Spinners.  “I Can See Clearly Now,” a hit for reggae artist Johnny Nash, pops up here in a version by country singer Rex Allen Jr., the first appearance, I believe, on the Loss Leaders by an artist out of the Nashville stable.

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Sampler Daze: WB/Reprise Loss Leaders, Part 4

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2009 by 30daysout

wholeburbankcatalogue middleroad

By 1972, the world was still rockin’ in a sort of Sixties-era hangover: newly freaky 18-year-olds had been given the right to vote for the first time (only fair, since they were long qualified to be drafted into the military), and men were still walking on the moon way up there.  Warner/Reprise issued a whopping four – count ’em – 2-disc sets in 1972, so for brevity’s sake we’ll break ’em up here.

The Whole Burbank Catalog showcased the variety of the label’s stable: rockers like Jethro Tull and Alice Cooper were mixed in with Jerry Garcia, Jackie Lomax and Bonnie Raitt.  T. Rex and Faces would spotlight their best albums with “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” and “Memphis,” respectively.  Cuts from old radio shows were interspersed with the music, to really make it sound like a free-form FM radio show – that technique is still in use today.   A new group making their first appearance in the Loss Leaders series was the trio America, represented by “Sandman,” a deep cut from their first LP.  That album would of course yield the big hits “Horse With No Name” and “I Need You,” and was the springboard for a long career.  It would take another album for the Texas-born duo of Seals & Crofts to hit it big – here they offer “Sudan Village,” a cut from their first album.  They’d cash in later in the year with the title song from their next album: Summer Breeze.

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