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Sundown is Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot's tenth original album, released in 1974 on the Reprise Records label. It reached No. 1 in the US on the pop chart, the only Lightfoot album to achieve this. In his native Canada, it topped the RPM 100 for five consecutive weeks, first hitting No. 1 on June 22, 1974, the same day it reached the top on the south of the border.
The album marked the pinnacle of Lightfoot's acoustic folk-country blend before he embarked on an increasing use of electric instruments, although he did include some electric guitar, notably on the title track.
As for singles, the title track reached No. 1 on the pop and adult contemporary charts as well as #13 on the country chart, while "Carefree Highway" reached No. 10 on the pop chart, No. 1 on the AC chart and No. 81 on the country chart.
Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, Jr., CC, O.Ont, LL.D (born November 17, 1938) is a Canadian singer and songwriter who has achieved international success in folk, country, and popular rock music.
As a singer-songwriter, tracks such as For Lovin' Me, Early Morning Rain, Steel Rail Blues and Ribbon of Darkness (which hit Number 1 in the US with Marty Robbins's cover in 1965) brought him international recognition in the 1960s. He also experienced chart success in Canada with his own recordings this decade, beginning in 1962 with the Number 3 hit "(Remember Me) I'm the One". His recordings then made their own impact on the international music charts in the 1970s, with original songs such as "If You Could Read My Mind" (1970) (Number 4 in the US), "Sundown" (1974), "Carefree Highway" (1974), "Rainy Day People" (1975), (all hitting Number 1) and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (1976) (hitting Number 2). Some of his albums have achieved gold and multi-platinum status internationally, and his songs have been recorded by some of the world's most renowned recording artists, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, George Hamilton IV, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Viola Wills, Richie Havens, The Dandy Warhols, Harry Belafonte, Tony Rice, Sandy Denny (with Fotheringay), The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Scott Walker, Sarah McLachlan and John Mellencamp.
Robbie Robertson of The Band declared that Lightfoot was one of his "favourite Canadian songwriters and is absolutely a national treasure." Bob Dylan, also a Lightfoot fan, called him one of his favourite songwriters, and in an often-quoted tribute to his fellow songwriter, Dylan once observed that when he heard a Gordon Lightfoot song he wished "it would last forever." Lightfoot was a featured musical performer at the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (arts) in 1979, as well as the Companion of the Order of Canada - Canada`s highest civilian honor - in 2003.
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