Lyme & Cybelle

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The male-female duo Lyme & Cybelle made three singles in 1966 for the White Whale label, the first two of them featuring a young Warren Zevon and Violet Santangelo as the duo partners. For those singles,…
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The male-female duo Lyme & Cybelle made three singles in 1966 for the White Whale label, the first two of them featuring a young Warren Zevon and Violet Santangelo as the duo partners. For those singles, the pair sang in a good-time pop/rock vein with some folk-rock influence. In that respect, they weren't too dissimilar from the Turtles, who covered Lyme & Cybelle's "Like the Seasons" and also did a song that Zevon co-wrote, "Outside Chance," that was never released by Lyme & Cybelle. They're most known for their first single, "Follow Me," a catchy folk-rock-pop tune with an interesting counterpoint between the male and female vocals. In 1966, it reached number 65, and it appears on the Nuggets box set of 1960s garage rock (although this particular song isn't garage rock).

None of the four tracks Lyme & Cybelle released when Zevon was in the duo are that outstanding, although some are pleasant. Of the ones besides "Follow Me," the most interesting is their 1966 cover of "If You Gotta Go, Go Now," which at that point was a very obscure Bob Dylan song that Dylan himself had never released, although Manfred Mann had a big hit with it in the U.K. Picking up an unknown Dylan composition for the pop market was sound strategy in 1966, but Lyme & Cybelle's version is odd and too cheerful, with a snazzy horn arrangement and key changes.

After the first two Lyme & Cybelle singles, Zevon was replaced by Wayne Erwin, even though Zevon was Santangelo's songwriting partner as well as her vocal one on the original tunes released on the first pair of 45s. In their new setup, Lyme & Cybelle put out just one single, "Song 7"/"Write If You Get Work," produced by Curt Boettcher and boasting a far poppier sound than the previous two releases. This version of Lyme & Cybelle expanded to a full band before Santangelo was fired by Erwin. All six songs from the Lyme & Cybelle singles (including the ones sung by Santangelo and Erwin), as well as several Lyme & Cybelle demos (all with Zevon) and early Zevon demos, appear on the Warren Zevon The First Sessions compilation.