The Man With The Golden Voice
Man With a Golden Voice
His contributions are enormous but little recognized
I've been hearing a lot of chatter about the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame lately on my oldies station that I'd like to leave a commentary on a man with a golden voice who made many great contributions to music but is barely recognized today.
I have no idea if he is in the "Hall of Fame" or not. I do know that Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond and the Moody Blues are not -- go figure! Nor do I have all the stats of all his gold and platinum records. What I do know is this man had and has enormous talent.
His production experimentation and successes has hardly been rivaled. His songwriting was just as good or even better than the Beatles. His vocal styles comparative to Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger/Van Morrison, the Beach Boys and others show the versatility of his ranges. His broad reaching flavor ranging from straight ahead R & B, to psychedelic pop, to country rock, and to soft pop show he was not a one hit wonderboy.
I am trying to paint a picture of a man with a golden voice - Mark Lindsay. Yes, that Mark Lindsay from Paul Revere and the Raiders who gave us such great hits as Indian Reservation, Kicks, Just Like Me, Arizona, Silverbird, Good Thing and many others.
Thank Goodness the oldies station played the Raiders for me back in the 90's. That's when I got hooked. I bought anything and everything by Paul Revere and Mark Lindsay solo. The man is a history maker. From being in the first rock group to be signed to Columbia, to being a rock TV sensation (before the Monkees!), to being teen idols (paving the way for David Cassidy and Rick Springfield), to having the biggest selling single ever for Columbia - Indian Reservation (which wasn't topped until Michael Jackson's Beat It).
Anyway, Mark had accomplished many great things but he also had his challenges. The band was in constant competition with the Beatles, The Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones. The competition drove Mark into writing some great material. Paul Revere and the Raiders started out in 1959 and did typical music of that era, mostly instrumentals, then onto R & B. Mark played the saxophone when he didn't sing.
When the Beatles came along, the playing field changed. And the Raiders adapted. They drifted from R & B songs such as Boogaloo Down Broadway and Louie Louie to music in tune with the Beatles such as Ride On My Shoulder and I'm Not Your Stepping Stone (before the Monkees).
Enough with the history lesson, the only way to appreciate his voice is to get his music, solo and otherwise. One of my favorite songs is Tighter (the earlier version) in which he sings through a phase shifter. Another song of versatility is Soul Man, his version in which The Blues Brothers based theirs on. Him or Me - What's It Gonna Be dispays his country rock side. Trishilana and Here Comes The Pain exemplifies his tenor work. Shoot, even his semi-hit Miss America could pass for Harry Chapin brand of folk rock.
Paul Revere and Mark Lindsay were best friends and also cut-ups. Even on their albums their humor shows through. A lot of their goofiness could be seen on their show Where The Action Is, produced by Dick Clark. On the Raiders album Indian Reservation they recorded a great song called The Turkey.
I really admire what he has done and he seems like such a nice bloke. I saw him live a few years back with rock immortals Mitch Ryder and Spencer Davis. all three virtuosos performed their hits with Rare Earth as their back up band. Talk about monster talent. Mark's voice was as great live as it was on the umpteen number of albums he sang on. And to hear him sing his solo hit Arizona was icing on the cake.
He put out 3 solo albums in the 70's worth mentioning, and here's where he could outshine both David Cassidy and Paul Williams. His version of Never Can Say Goodbye is very moving and doesn't sound like the kiddie pop version by the Jackson 5. And his version of Bookends is right up there with anything that Sammy Davis, Jr and Steve Lawrence were doing at that time. I have only respect for Sammy and Steve but I believe Mark Lindsay could've given them a run for their money if he appeared on Mike Douglas and Merv and sang Book Ends.
I'm not going to list a discography of Mark Lindsay albums or Paul Revere and the Raiders. Do your own research. Visit Marks website if you will. Even go to Amazon.com to sample some of his music. I only heard a few songs and blindly went out and bought everything. And I'm glad I did. If you appreciate good singing, you'd do likewise.