Rhino's 2002 collection The Complete Greatest Hits
is certainly welcome for presenting what is essentially all of his most popular songs on one 20-track disc, but, the thing is, that's actually a trickier task with Gordon Lightfoot
than you might think. On both volumes of Gord's Gold
, he re-recorded early songs and mixed them with current hits -- which meant that a new "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" sat next to the hits like "Sundown," but on Gord's Gold, Vol. 2
, newer songs (which weren't quite hits) were next to re-recorded versions of staples like "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." This, needless to say, was a bit of an irritant, but this is well-executed enough to make up for the years of awkward compilations by covering everything from his UA recordings to his latter-day recordings for Warner in the mid-'80s. Some might say there should be a little bit more of the earlier songs, but, for most listeners, this will contain all the major items and is as close to definitive as possible to get.