Bob Lind – Since There Were Circles
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Singer-songwriter Bob Lind will forever be remembered for the 1965 hit “Elusive Butterfly,” but his career is so much more interesting than the fading wonder of that one song. Once a hard-partying buddy of Charles Bukowski, Lind was the inspiration for the character “Dinky Summers,” a down-on-his-luck folk singer in Bukowski’s 1978 novel Women. Lind also doubled as a writer, penning a number of novels and plays as well as serving as a long-time staff writer at the lowbrow tabloid Weekly World News. If that wasn’t enough, Lind is also responsible for one of the greatest major-label “loner” albums of all time, 1971’s Since There Were Circles. After several years languishing without a second hit for the World Pacific label, Lind signed to Capitol and went into the studio with some of the biggest names in the LA country-rock scene including Doug Dillard, Gene Clark, Bernie Leadon and legendary session bassist Carol Kaye. While the record was well-received critically, it sold poorly and marked Lind’s bitter departure from the music business for several decades. The intervening half-century has been incredibly kind to Since There Were Circles, and it is now regarded as a cult masterpiece that pairs perfectly with Gene Clark’s No Other, Bobby Charles’ self-titled Bearsville album and Lee Hazlewood’s Cowboy in Sweden. Lind’s songwriting here is vastly darker and more self-reflective than anything from his folk-pop period, and the production is simultaneously loose and rootsy, yet lushly orchestrated and occasionally bombastic. Lind somehow manages to bring it all together with wry delivery and literate detail.
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