By Karen Bliss
Two weeks after the death of Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Gordon Lightfoot, as per his wishes, Canadian indie label Linus Entertainment has announced the July 14 release of the double album, At Royal Albert Hall, which was recorded live on May 24, 2016, at the historic London venue.
“The double album set is an unembellished live mix of that night’s performance, without edits, overdubs, remixing, or re-sequencing,” the press release states.
The songwriting legend passed away at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital on May 1 at age 84. His last studio album with his band was 2004’s Harmony, also on Linus. His final studio album was 2020’s Solo, on Warner Music Canada.
The 26-song track list for At Royal Album Hall includes “Carefree Highway,” “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Early Morning Rain,” “Sundown,” “Beautiful,” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”
The collection is sequenced in the order they were played that night by Lightfoot and his band, bassist Rick Haynes, drummer Barry Keane, keyboardist Mike Heffernan and guitarist Carter Lancaster.
Other songs in the set have never before appeared on one of his live albums: “The Watchman’s Gone,” “Sea of Tranquility,” “Now and Then,” “All the Lovely Ladies,” “Drifters,” “Beautiful,” “Did She Mention My Name,” “Sweet Guinevere,” “Never Too Close,” “Don Quixote,” “Mistrel of the Dawn,” “I’d Rather Press On” and “Waiting for You.”
According to the release, “In the final weeks prior to his passing [. . .] Lightfoot insisted that this live album be released as soon as possible, approving the cover artwork, and making it clear that no changes were to be made to the recording.”
The Watchman’s Gone (4:38)
Sea of Tranquility (3:34)
Now and Then (3:22)
All The Lovely Ladies (3:05)
A Painter Passing Through (4:11)
Christian Island (1:59)
Rainy Day People (2:07)
Carefree Highway (2:22)
Did She Mention My Name (1:37)
Ribbon of Darkness (1:41)
Sweet Guinevere (2:40)
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (6:50)
Never Too Close (3:04)
Don Quixote (4:15)
Minstrel of the Dawn (2:41)
I’d Rather Press On (3:32)
Let It Ride (4:12)
If You Could Read My Mind (3:59)
Baby Step Back (3:44)
Early Morning Rain (4:11)
Waiting for You (3:33)