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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 8:08 pm
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Location: SUNDERLAND, UK
In 1966 Bob reached no 5 in the UK charts with Elusive Butterfly.
In the same year another artist (Val Doonican) also reached no 5 with the same song.

NO CONTEST.

BOB LIND'S VERSION WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE BEST.

I would like to know why those two versions charted at the same time does anyone know why this happened?

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 6:03 pm 
It wasn't just the same year, John; it was the following week. Home grown balladeer Val Doonican was a poplular artist at the time and you could argue that had Bob not had to compete with him, Bob's own career in Great Britain might have flourished.

Simon


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 7:48 pm 
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Hi Simon I didnt realise they were released that close together.. amazing!

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 Post subject: Versions of Butterfly
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 6:59 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 12:51 pm
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
This was the subject of an earlier message thread.
I cannot comment on Val Doonican's version, not having heard it, but I know there were some who considered it superior to the original.

As fir Val Doonican, he was never my favourite showbiz personality but he did have a good voice.

Regarding simultaneous chartings of the different versions of a song, it used to be the case in Australia that when two versions of a song were both being sold as singles, they were lumped together on the Top 40 charts, i.e. the chart position was based on total sales, and the radio stations would play sometimes one version, sometimes the other. The purpose of this rather odd practice was presumable to reflect the current popularity of the SONG rather than any particular version. Of course that meant you might not have been aware of which version was the most popular, unless the radio announcers bothered to tell you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:59 am 
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Val Doonican? Him of gaudy cardigans and rocking chairs? You cant compare the two versions of "Elusive Butterfly". Bob rules OK!!
The song "Cheryl's Goin' Home" is another classic, in my humble opinion it was Bob's best ever. Anybody care to suggest any more classics?
Cheers, Willie.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 8:03 pm
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Hi Willie, welcome to the board.
I guess it's time I weighed in on this question. As BobNumbers points out, I wrote about it on the earlier message board. This is the gist of what I said:
Long before my fame carried me to England, back when I was a 19-year-old would-be singer/writer in Denver, I learned a song called "Nellie Nellie" from an album by a charismatic local folk singer named Walt Conley. For most of us in Denver, Walt's was the definitive version of the song (though it was written by Shel Silverstein). One night I played the song onstage and when I came off I saw that Walt was in the audience. I'd have never sung it had I known he was there.
I told him I was embarrassed because I felt my version was so inferior to his. He surprised me by saying, "I like the way you do it."
I said, "But yours was first, and it's better."
And he told me something I'll never forget and something that applies to this whole Val Doonican thing. He said: "The songs are for everyone. Once they get written they can and will go wherever they want to. No better or worse about it."
All this by way of saying, that as a songwriter, this is a philosophy I still hold to today.
When I got to England in late '66, Val Doonican had already released his cut of "Butterfly." The British press tried to stir up controversy and rivalry between him and me. A group of prestigious pop icons like The Yardbirds, Eric Burden and Dusty Springfield took out a full-page ad in one of the trades saying "Bob Lind's is the original and BEST version of "Elusive Butterly."
Much as I admired these artists, and as much as I appreciated their sentiments, I couldn't sign on for all that better-worse stuff. I still welcome covers of my songs. Whose is best is a totally subjective call.
I know lots of songwriters consider their way of doing their songs is the best and only way and don't like to hear their songs approached in a different style. That's not the way I look at it.
Nothing makes me happier than to hear an artist completely surprise me by, in effect, showing me something about the song I never knew was there.
The other day, my manager and I were listening to Richie Havens' version of "How the Nights Can Fly" on his CUTS TO THE CHASE CD.
She said, "I like it. But it's a different song the way he does it."
I agree. I use this example because it's probably my favorite Lind cover.
Richie alters the lyric. I my opinion he "misses" an important aspect of the song (the aspect I place first in my version): tension. To me, the whole song is about the tension in our lives -- being moved forward by time while our hearts try vainly to hold us in place; being rushed into the future by time while wanting to hold onto some beautiful moment in the past.
Richie either misses or disregards that in his lyric choices.
BUT -- and HERE'S THE "BUT" -- he sings it with such tenderness, such feeling, such warmth that it emerges as a whole new piece.
Do I like artists changing my lyrics? No. I don't.
Is it cool in Richie's case? Yes. Because he's such a commanding artist. His choices have validity because it's he who is making them.
All this by way of saying I love all 200-plus cuts of my songs and the ones I love most are the ones that teach me that my songs are deeper and more varied than I knew when I first wrote them.
BTW a recent example of covers that work that way is Jamie Hoover's EP CD "Lind Me 4" in which Jamie (the Spongetones' singer/guitarist) recuts four of my early songs. He keeps the spirit of the tunes but gives them something all his own.
I write about this elsewhere, but let me say again, any Lind fan should definitely hear what Jamie does with these songs.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:40 pm 
Interesting reply, Bob. I've never heard the one about the ad in the trade rags before; that's definitely one for my cousin when I see him next weekend. He worked on NME and Melody Maker throughout the sixties, and - whatever else you can say about him - has an eidetic memory when it comes to musical scandal.

To be honest, at the time neither version of Elusive Butterfly appealed to me better than the other one.

Every writer I know - songwriter or otherwise - knows that eventually somebody's going to make a better or worse job of anything worthwhile he's written. I did once catch a poet passing of the lyrics to Mr Zero as his original poem at a writers circle where I was guest speaker. He was unbelievably unlucky; I'll bet I was the only person in the pricipality of Wales who knew the lyrics to Mr Zero. I managed a quasi-humorous column on the subject of plagiarism resulting from that. It's an ill wind . . . . . etc.

On the subject of Mr Zero, the song remains on my list of the top five songs to come out of the sixties.

I'm glad you're getting in the plugs for Jamie Hoover. We've been swapping things back and forth and I've got a good selection of his work; he's a superior artist. Lind Me Four is a bit elusive at the moment; the stockists I've emailed don't currently have it. Only a matter of time though.

Should I say it again? You ought to think of getting together with Jamie.

Simon


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