Gordon Lightfoot – Summertime Dream

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  • A stunning sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout
  • Both of these sides are wonderfully rich, warm and full-bodied with a lovely bottom end and tons of space around all of the instruments
  • “With Summertime Dream, Gordon Lightfoot produced one of his finest albums, and wrapped up a six-year period of popularity that he would not recapture… Lightfoot and his band deliver a tasty smorgasbord of intelligent, grown-up music. As for “Edmund Fitzgerald,” its continued popularity more than 20 years after its release attests to the power of a well-told tale and a tasty guitar lick.” – All Music, 4 1/2 Stars

This vintage Reprise pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1976
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We Listen For on Summertime Dream

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Race Among the Ruins
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
I’m Not Supposed to Care
I’d Do It Again
Never Too Close

Side Two

Protocol
The House You Live In
Summertime Dream
Spanish Moss
Too Many Clues in This Room

AMG  Review

With Summertime Dream, Gordon Lightfoot produced one of his finest albums, and wrapped up a six-year period of popularity that he would not recapture. Propelled by his second biggest hit, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” Summertime Dream summed up the sound that had served Lightfoot so well in his post-“If You Could Read My Mind” days. This distinctive sound featured Lightfoot’s strummed six- or 12-string guitar complemented by Terry Clements’ electric guitar lines and Pee Wee Charles’ pedal steel guitar accents. The material here is excellent, and the singer’s voice is at its strongest. Mixing upbeat songs like “Race Among the Ruins,” “I’d Do It Again,” and the title track with beautiful ballads such as “I’m Not Supposed to Care” and “Spanish Moss,” Lightfoot and his band deliver a tasty smorgasbord of intelligent, grown-up music. As for “Edmund Fitzgerald,” its continued popularity more than 20 years after its release attests to the power of a well-told tale and a tasty guitar lick.