Gordon Lightfoot “Sundown”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#485 in the Series) is Gordon Lightfoot, Sundown

It’s really interesting to see what people think causes an album to be on their personal, “best of” list. In all actuality, if one hears about 10 percent of what’s released then they’re way ahead of the game.  If one hears 10 percent from even just the bands they love then they’re still probably way ahead of the game.  So why do we love some so, so much, and then there are others by the same artist, that we never even look into?

For me, I’ve said many many times before, that I have a strong tendency to lean towards an artist’s albums that I happened to also see the supporting tour.  Maybe seeing the concert helped keep the album “with me” longer? Maybe I concentrated on it more before the show, knowing I’d be hearing much of it?  Who knows?

Another thing that might make me love an album a favorite could also be something that was happening in my life at the time. Something that could make everything seem a little better at the time. The album now just brings back great memories, and now, the songs are closer to me.  To this day, I don’t know what happened to me when I was a kid, but every-time I hear the Turtles “Happy Together” I just have this warm all over feeling. I wish I knew the story behind that. Gosh how I hope that makes even a little bit of sense.

OK, so what the hell does any of this have to do with Gordon Lightfoot’s, Sundown.  Well this album was released in 1974, shortly after that, my sister and I packed up her car and drove from Chicago to Oregon to visit our other sister. I then spent the rest of the summer living just off campus at the University of Oregon.   I was still in High School so this was really, really cool! I remember playing the 8-track on the trip out, and then my other sister had the lp. So it got a ton of play that summer. How could you not fall in love with “Carefree Highway” when you’re driving thru some pass in Colorado, or pulling into Telluride or Park City? We took the scenic route. I think it took us 17 days to get there.

It’s a funny think about these singer songwriter types. They’re often considered cool and hip, but heaven forbid they get a hit song. Then they’re not as cool anymore.  Well, this album is still cool after all these years.

“Sundown” was a huge hit. My favorites were “High and Dry,” “Is There Any One Home,” but even more so, “The List” and “Seven Island Suite.” The last two were quite easily my favorites on the album.  And Oh yes, the title track and the album both hit #1 as well.

— Larry Carta

 Track listing

All compositions by Lightfoot.

  1. “Somewhere U.S.A.” – 2:50
  2. “High and Dry” – 2:12
  3. “Seven Island Suite” – 6:00
  4. “Circle of Steel” – 2:45
  5. “Is There Anyone Home” – 3:15
  6. “The Watchman’s Gone” – 4:25
  7. “Sundown” – 3:45
  8. “Carefree Highway” – 3:45
  9. “The List” – 3:00
  10. “Too Late for Prayin'” – 4:15


  • Gordon Lightfoot – Vocals, Guitars, Chimes, Bells
  • Terry Clements – Acoustic Guitar)
  • Nick De Caro – Accordion, Horns, Orchestration, Piano, Strings
  • Jim Gordon – Percussion, Drums
  • Rick Haynes – Bass
  • Milt Holland – Percussion, Congas
  • Gene Martynec – Moog Synthesizer
  • Red Shea – Dobro, Guitars, Slide Dobro
  • Catherine Smith – Harmony Vocals
  • John Stockfish – Bass
  • Jack Zaza – English Horn, Recorder


Thanks to NovaScotian1992 on YouTube for the great job on the videos! 

Posted by Larry Carta


  1. Emily (16 Sep 2011, 14:06)

    This takes me back to me college days. My roommate and I played this album so much that the girls next door complained enough already. We also went to see him in concert, which was really a good concert.

    I wish there was a good DVD concert for Lightfoot on the market. Sadly, the only one he made was recorded after he had lost his voice.

  2. Charlie (17 Nov 2013, 9:20)

    Love every tune on here. The one that always surprises me to this day as a wonderfully written and great song is The Watchman’s Gone.

Leave a Reply

Before you post, please prove you are sentient.

what is 5 + 6?