Sit Down Young Stranger – Gordon Lightfoot

10 albums that shaped my musical tastes and styles

The singer-songwriter movement blossomed in 1970 with the release of three of my all-time favorite albums: Sweet Baby James by James Taylor, Tea for the Tillerman by Cat Stevens, and Sit Down Young Stranger (aka If You Could Read My Mind) by Gordon Lightfoot.

Of the three, Lightfoot’s album is probably the one that influenced my own musical taste and songwriting style the most. Looking back on my own comparatively feeble attempts at writing music in the 1970s and early 1980s, I can see his influence in my melodies and song structure. And his song “Your Love’s Return” is subtitled “Song for Stephen Foster,” a salute to one of my greatest musical heroes.

Lightfoot’s songs simply sound good to me. Bob Dylan, also a fan of his music, was once quoted as saying that when he heard a Lightfoot song he “wished it would last forever.”

Favorite tracks: The Pony Man, Minstrel of the Dawn, Sit Down Young Stranger, Your Love’s Return, If You Could Read My Mind

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