Wednesday, May 03, 2023

Sundown (or when Koreans covered Gordon Lightfoot)

I was sorry to hear of Gordon Lightfoot's passing - his music was certainly part of my childhood, and I know my parents saw him play live back in the early 70s and in 1989. At one point circa 1983 or 1984 the only tape player my family had was in the car, and we didn't have that many tapes yet, so a Gordon Lightfoot collection with 'Did she mention my name' and 'In the early morning rain' got played a lot, which is a good thing. 

Many years ago I was given an mp3 of a Korean cover of his song "Sundown," but because it had the wrong singers in the filename, I could never find any information about it. It was only in the last year or so I realized that it was by Seok Chan, from his first full length album released in 1974. Unfortunately, it's not clear when in 1974 it was released (Lightfoot's song was released in late March 1974), but we can be sure that, with Sundown going to number 1 in the US, it got played on AFKN, heard by Koreans, and within 9 months this cover version had been recorded and released. 

(By the way, a useful term when looking for Korean-language covers of Western songs is 번안곡.)

My favourite cover of Lightfoot's music is also my favourite song by The Unintended (off of an EP of Lightfoot covers):

And while we're at it, here's a 1971 hour-long concert by Gordon Lightfoot (broadcast by the BBC in 1972).

Thanks for the music, and rest in peace.

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