Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bob Lind

Bob Lind was an American singer song writer who briefly appeared on the scene in 1966 who in certain limited respects sounded like a precursor to Don Mc Lean. He had the ability to write very interesting pop tunes with poetic - and sometimes - baffling lyrics. The best of these were often to be found on the B sides of his singles e.g. "Cheryl's Goin' Home", "Truly Julies's Blues" and "We May Have Touched". Another outstanding song and performance is "Spilling Over" (where his voice does indeed sound like Don McLean!)

However it is "Elusive Butterfly" for which he will always be known. This is simply a wonderful song - and still one of my favourites - with a truly magical lyric of poetic reverie. This for me perfectly "encapsulates" the truly fleeting nature of romantic love. Sadly for Bob his own encounter with fame was to resemble the elusive butterfly of his song as he quickly became consigned to that unenviable group of "one-hit wonders".

I must confess that I did go out and buy his follow-up single in 1966 for its B side. The A side "Remember the Rain" seemed like an upbeat reworking of the previous hit (and not particularly notable). However at the time I liked its B side "Truly Julie's Blues" even more than "Elusive Butterfly". Though I still like this track very much, on listening now I cannot honestly say that it exercises quite the same appeal. Again there is a connection with Don McLean in that one of his songs "Crossroads" subsequently was to replace for me in a more satisfying manner the sentiments initially evoked by the earlier song.

It may be said that Bob Lind does not deserve to be remembered as a true great (though admittedly producing a few great moments). Some of his material - though always interesting - does come across as a bit lightweight with the songs sounding too similar. However on second thoughts this assessment is maybe too harsh. For example "Spilling Over" is a truly wonderful song (though almost completely unknown) representing perhaps the most convincing of all Bob's performances.

So he certainly deserves a much higher place in the pantheon of pop music than his current largely forgotten position.

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