Chris Lucey

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Something of a mystery man of mid-'60s folk-rock, Chris Lucey made just one rare album, Songs of Protest and Anti-Protest, whose value has soared among collectors due to its resemblance to early Love.…
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Something of a mystery man of mid-'60s folk-rock, Chris Lucey made just one rare album, Songs of Protest and Anti-Protest, whose value has soared among collectors due to its resemblance to early Love. There aren't many albums of the time that bear an unmistakable Love similarity, but Songs of Protest and Anti-Protest is one of them. Both the vocals and songwriting bear strong recollections of early Arthur Lee, with the melodic but wistful folk-rock chord changes, occasional Latin jazz tempos, occasional gruff folk-blues downbeat atmosphere, probing yet vague lyrics, and oddball production (by Marshall Lieb, who in the late '50s was in the Teddy Bears with a young Phil Spector). The songwriting isn't as consistent as early Love, the production emphasizes vibraphones whereas Forever Changes stressed horns and strings, and in fact some of the songs don't sound too close to vintage Love. But it got close enough to make this an above-average obscurity in the folk-psych-rock tributary.

Chris Lucey was actually Bobby Jameson, a singer of murky origins who is most well-known for a 1965 single on which he covered a Mick Jagger-Keith Richards composition, "All I Want Is My Baby," that the Rolling Stones never released. There's particular confusion among collectors because the Songs of Protest and Anti-Protest album was issued in the U.K., but with the artist billing changed to Bobby Jameson, and the title changed to Too Many Mornings.

It's been hard to piece together the Lucey/Jameson story, but basically Jameson was a well-known character and folk singer on Sunset Strip in the mid-1960s. Like many marginal young folk singers, he quickly went into rock music after the Beatles, starring with a pair of rare 1964 singles for Talamo. He somehow got to England for a bit, which is how he came to record "All I Want Is My Baby." He was also featured prominently in the mid-1960s documentary film Mondo Hollywood. It's not known why he did Songs of Protest and Anti-Protest under a pseudonym, though there's speculation that perhaps he did so if he was under contract to another publisher or label. Whatever the case, he reverted to his name Bobby Jameson for subsequent releases, including several singles and two albums.