Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lighthouse "One Fine Morning" (Canadian Jazz-Rock 1971)


Alan Niester, Rolling Stone, 11/11/71:
Following the pop music scene in Canada teaches one many and myriad virtues, not the least of which is patience. Canadian groups, no matter how highly touted at the offset, seem to require a considerably longer period of time to mature than their English and American counterparts. You will almost never find a Canadian artist coming out with a commendable album the first time around, and Lighthouse was certainly no exception.

One Fine Morning is Lighthouse's fourth album, and their first since their split from RCA. For those unfamiliar with the group's history, I now humbly offer a rundown of efforts one through three.

1. Lighthouse (RCA) Their first, a hideous disaster. Horrible production meets bland material, and everybody loses. The Young Canadian Rock Fan's expectations are crushed into the hardy Tundra.

2. Suite Feeling (RCA) A considerable improvement, with one lengthy satisfying jam on it. Still no great shakes, but it caused Y.C.R.F. to wipe the mud off and take heart for number three.

3. Peacing It All Together (RCA) A fair album by anyone's standards. The writing team of Skip Prokop and Paul Hoffert is by now starting to write interesting and original material. Unfortunately, the album has flaws, and just doesn't hold the listener's attention as a really good record should.

Now, after considerable personnel changes, which have seen the group shrink to 11 members from 13 (with only five of the originals still with us), the now slightly older Y.C.R.F. is happy to announce that Lighthouse's new effort, One Fine Morning, is everything he hoped and expected the first one to be.

The reasons for the new-found success are many. First off, the group now boasts a new lead singer in the person of Bob McBride, who shows considerably more flexibility and vocal power than his predecessor Pinky Dauvin could ever muster. Secondly, Skip Prokop and Paul Hoffert have now matured as writers to the point where they seem incapable of writing a song which isn't both highly original and moving. Their more up-tempo numbers ("Love of a Woman" and "One Fine Morning" being the best examples), shake you as well, if not better, than anything ever written by any of their competitors in the neo-big band field to date. At the same time, their "production" type numbers, ("Step Out on the Sea," and particularly "1849""), display a singular power and mood that almost makes you want to stand up and salute something (a tree, a telephone pole, the mailman, anything).

But probably the most important advancement the group has made is in its new tendency to allow every song to run to its logical conclusion. Previously, the group tended to make shorter two- and three-minute songs, and still attempt to crush all 13 members into each song. Thus, even a number like "The Country Song" from the third album would have horns strings squeezed into its 2:26. On One Fine Morning however, each song is allowed to have their own say without having to compete with the regular rock instruments for the listener's ear. The result is not only that the record buyer gets and album that runs over 25 minutes on one side and 22 on the other, but also one in which each song has a power and sense of completeness that the previous efforts lacked.

I really can't conceive of Lighthouse getting much better than this. They've been around long enough by now so that they've found their own relative level of the ozone, and will probably settle there, sending out music of an equal caliber to One Fine Morning for at least another year or so. But that's plenty good enough, believe me. I can recommend this album to anyone without fear of getting it thrown back at me.

15 Comments:

Anonymous master3d said...

An excellent choice! "One fine morning" in a powerhouse song!

Speaking of jazzy rock, do you have the motown lp titled "Puzzle - the 2nd album"?

19 October, 2006 12:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to see this album posted. Thanks. Any chance of The Paupers "Ellis Island" LP?

19 October, 2006 16:01  
Blogger savoadaki said...

Thanks so much for this album. I enjoy hearing Canadian artists who are not well known in Canada (it pays to make it in the USA market), because sometimes they are more inventive than the more well-known groups. There are other reasons of course. If you have something by the Sloche group, it would be nice.

22 October, 2006 05:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mention two earlier releases; Suite Feeling and Peacing it all together. Any chance of these being posted?

22 October, 2006 05:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, please, PLEASE re-post this album! It's a classic...

31 January, 2007 13:25  
Anonymous master3d said...

Yes YES...."peacing it all together" had the extremely psychedelic song

ON MY WAY TO LA!

09 March, 2007 05:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please RE-SEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

20 March, 2007 07:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the re-seed. (a new anonymous)

20 November, 2007 06:17  
Blogger bj said...

Plese, Please, post more Lighthouse albums if you have them! Thanks for sharing this one....great blog. I have been looking for their albums for months and months.

18 February, 2008 02:24  
Blogger fliski said...

Where can I download "Love of a Woman"?
Used to see Lighthouse play in Toronto back in the day.

29 March, 2008 04:14  
Anonymous Dan said...

To my knowledge this album has NEVER seen a CD release. (Along with most of the Lighthouse discography)

This is without a doubt the cleanest version I have ever heard!
It blows my homemade mint lp transfer to cd away!

Whoever did this did a heck of a great job and I'd really love to see LOTS MORE Lighthouse albums posted that sound this great.

Thanks a lot!

12 May, 2008 10:11  
Anonymous master3d said...

so the song "on my way to LA" has never been on CD?

23 June, 2008 06:45  
Blogger Rafael Zamora said...

Excuse I can´t find the link to download it

09 December, 2009 12:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Any chance we can get this great album reposted?

06 September, 2010 11:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dead link

20 September, 2011 04:08  

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