Mark Lindsay will always be remembered as the lead vocalist of Paul Revere and The Raiders, who produced some of the better American pop singles of the 1960s. Hit songs such as “Just Like Me,” “Kicks,” “Good Thing,” and “Him Or Me, What’s It Gonna Be” were perfect vehicles for Top 40 radio play at the time as they were catchy, staying in your mind for days. The band sold tens of millions of those old 45 RPM records. Lindsay became the recognizable centerpiece of the band, which changed its name in 1966 to Paul Revere and The Raiders Featuring Mark Lindsay. Their catalogue of hits has been rereleased dozens of times through the years.
After leaving the band, he embarked upon a solo career. While it produced several commercially successful singles, it was not as successful as his Paul Revere days despite his producing some of the smoothest and catchiest pop of the era. His career might have taken a different turn if he had released, as planned, the old John D. Loudermilk song, “Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian),” as a solo release. Instead he issued it under The Raiders name and it became the only number one hit of his – or the band’s – career. Most of his solo material has been out of print for decades and much of it has never been released on CD.
Real Gone Music has now gone a long way in resurrecting his solo legacy. The Complete Columbia Singles gathers all of his singles for the Columbia label (plus one unreleased track that was originally scheduled as a B-side, Tim Hardin’s “Reason To Believe”) and presents them in chronological order. The sound is clear and the liner notes about each of the 24 tracks are complete. The first five tracks only exist in mono but the rest of the album is stereo.
His most well known songs, “Arizona” and “Silverbird,” are fine examples of early 1970s pop. They may not be as rock ‘n’ roll as his Paul Revere material but are fine vehicles for his smooth vocal approach. His cover of the Neil Diamond composition, “And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind,” remains the best rendition of this old musical chestnut.
Non-album singles such as “Problem Child,” “California,” and “Photograph” make their album debut nearly 40 years after their original release. Add in such lost gems as “Miss America,” and “Been On the Road Too Long” and you have an album of note.
The Complete Columbia Singles fills a big hole in the music catalogue of Mark Lindsay and 1970s pop. It is an album filled with shining pop creations that have been unavailable for too long.
Article first published as Music Review: Mark Lindsay – The Complete Columbia Singles on Blogcritics.