June 21, 2010 — Big News for the Dedicated Fan: The Gord's Gold version of Affair on 8th Avenue, never before available except on vinyl, is finally officially available in digital form. It is remastered and can be downloaded as an MP3 from Amazon or CD Universe. (If you buy from CD Universe, be sure to click on the "Buy MP3" button, or the "Buy MP3 Album" button when you buy; do not click on song names or you will be taken to a page with the earlier recordings!).
Remember, the CD of Gord's Gold does not include Affair on 8th Avenue because at the time the album was first reissued on CD, the time limit was 74 minutes including gaps and the album was just over that.
The Gord's Gold version of the song is in the more elaborate 1970s style of all the re-recorded songs on that album. Most Lightfoot fans prefer the re-recording (not true of all the songs, but it is of this one), and have missed having it all these year, making do with vinyl-to-digital copies they made themselves or found online. The new MP3, available on the official Gord's Gold digital album, is the first high quality, remastered version of this lovely recording.
Amazon Faux Pas: Amazon was the first to offer the new MP3 album for sale, but they had more than a half dozen incorrect tracks, using an earlier version of many of the songs thate were re-recorded (that is, they used a United Artists version, from the 1960s, either the original recording or the live cut from Sunday Concert). I reported the problem to them (with great difficulty, I might add), and their eventual response was to pull the album entirely - clearly easier than fixing their files. Thankfully, the new song and the entire album remained downloadable from CD Universe during the months that Amazon did not have it available (it is now available from Amazon again). You can read the details of the Amazon fiasco here.
March 21, 2010 — Big News for the Dedicated Fan:
7-31-2010 — After an initial faux pas, Amazon finally has the Gord's Gold MP3 album available for sale with the correct tracks. During the 3 months they did not, it was still possible to download the album or just specific songs from the CDUniverse album page here. You can read about the song and Amazon's faux pas below.
The Gord's Gold version of Affair on 8th Avenue, never before available except on vinyl, is finally officially available in digital form. It is remastered and can be downloaded as an MP3 from Amazon here. (Andy Thompson listen up).
Remember, the CD of Gord's Gold does not include Affair on 8th Avenue because when the album was first reissued on CD, the time limit was 74 minutes including gaps and the album was just over that.
Buyer Beware: The bad news was that the full Gord's Gold MP3 album, also listed at Amazon, did not have the Gord's Gold version of all of the 9 other 1975 re-recordings; it had only two of them. These tracks were new versions of songs he recorded prior to joining Warner Brothers (1964 through 1969). On the MP3 album, only Affair On 8th Avenue, For Lovin' Me/Did She Mention My Name and Wherefore & Why are from Gord's Gold; the others are all United Artists recordings - the Songbook mastering in all cases meaning that the I'm Not Sayin'/Ribbon of Darkness medley and Softly are live recordings. The UA recordings are great too, but not what is supposed to be there! (If You Could Read My Mind looks like it might be wrong too, but there is no way to be certain without downloading it and I am not that curious. The Gord's Gold version has harmony vocals (by Gord) in the choruses (the mix for the single), and it is that version that is also on Complete Greatest Hits. The one on the original album (of the same name) does not have the harmony track. Based on the track name and timing, it looks like the MP3 album may have the album version and not the single).
There is hope however, because for a long time the Gord's Gold II MP3 album had the wrong versions of songs (e.g., it had the original Wreck, not the rerecording), and that is now fixed. Hopefully we will get the remastered versions of the other Gord's Gold recordings eventually.
Because wrong versions have been sold before (by iTunes as well, so the problem is not limited to Amazon and is probably a mistake by the distributor), I knew I'd better check them before saying anything about the new MP3 album. The first song I checked was Early Mornin' Rain, and they were nice enough to accommodate even those without the ability to easily hear the differences (in vocal style and arrangements); they kindly used as a clip the portion of the song with different lyrics ("where the cold wind blows" vs. "with a pain that ever grows"), so it wasn't hard to tell! (And, if I am mistaken on any of these, please let me know. I listened to the clips and then the comparison albums for hours through headphones, and for the most part it wasn't hard to tell, but I may have messed up my note taking).
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