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Lighthouse - Lighthouse CD (album) cover

LIGHTHOUSE

Lighthouse

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.76 | 8 ratings

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vingaton
4 stars Lighthouse had a big big sound for its time, it seemed to be all things to everyone: serious arrangements/fun grooves,pop/folk, harmonies/stinging leads, sweeping granduer/hard-ass rock. You could take your mom to the show, but feel none the geekier for it. It was truly a Canadian institution, but this raw almost unknown record is where it all started. Still, I bet there are few Canadians who have heard this particular record let alone know who Pinky Dauvin is. At the time of this LP, their first release, there were few bands as democratic as Lighthouse, regardless of the seemingly huge size of the group. I was shocked and excited when they played our Highschool Auditorium back in the fall of 1969. As far as my buddies and I were concerned there had never been a band like this before. They wailed, they chirped, they blasted, and besides, these thirteen guys barely fit on the stage together.

Mountain Man, the opening track, is a true hippy anthem, and might just be Lighthouse's finest tune. Not to say it was all downhill from there by any means, but this tune shows a balanced band, earnestly working together to create a beautiful cacaphony. Just listen to the way Ralph Cole's guitar screams amid the honking sea of horns. At this time Lighthouse was like a highschool band, but the best one you have ever heard in your life. Lighthouse before Bob Mcbride was a far less poppy affair and Mountain Man really shows off Lighthouse's collective chops. You may want to note however that this old RCA release does suffer from muddy production values at times. Some of the tunes sound very dated today.

Consequently, you might think that The Byrds' Eight Miles High would be innapropriate for such a large-scale group. However, Lighthouse tears it up in a bold punchy rendition that must have surely given fellow Toronto boy David Clayton Thomas and his song- stealing BS&T crew some pause for thought. On the flip-side of this bombasity, Marsha Marsha is a pleasant little ditty. The real barnburner on this groundbreaking record is their version of Richie Havens' No Opportunity Necessary.

The first Lighthouse record has been largely ignored, even by fans, but I would suggest that they pull it out and give it a spin for old times sake. I bet you will be surprised. Seeing this awesome band live back in the late sixties was a thrill, and it made my Torontonian heart proud as a young lad. I am very glad to see them recognized here in these amazing archives.

vingaton | 4/5 |

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