Mark Lindsay

Arizona [Collectables]

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Collectables Records' ten-track, budget-priced 2003 Mark Lindsay compilation album Arizona is not to be confused with Lindsay's 1970 regular Columbia Records LP of the same title. Nor is it to be confused with Sony Music Special Products' 1998 compilation Arizona and Other States of Mind, even though it shares eight out of ten tracks with that earlier collection. Like the 1998 set, this one surveys Lindsay's three-album career on Columbia Records, 1969-1971, by emphasizing the pop, folk, and country standards that filled out his LPs rather than the songs Lindsay introduced. In fact, this one places even more emphasis on the standards, since it drops "Silver Bird," a Top 40 hit for Lindsay that appeared on the 1998 album, retaining only the title song, a Top Ten hit, among his single releases. Instead of being a hits compilation, the disc is primarily a collection of Lindsay's interpretations of songs better known in versions by other performers: "We've Only Just Begun" (Carpenters), "Come Saturday Morning" (the Sandpipers), "You've Got a Friend" (James Taylor), "If You Could Read My Mind" (Gordon Lightfoot), "Something" (the Beatles), "Love's Been Good to Me" (Frank Sinatra), "Leaving on a Jet Plane" (Peter, Paul & Mary), and "Sunday Morning Coming Down" (Johnny Cash). (The sole exception is "Bookends," and one might surmise that the unnamed compiler mistakenly assumed that this was the Simon & Garfunkel tune, not an entirely different song.) As that list indicates, Lindsay was canvassing the lighter sounds of the late '60s and early '70s in the cover material he chose for his albums. He performs this material credibly, albeit in arrangements and with a crooning vocal style that fans of Paul Revere & the Raiders would have trouble recognizing. Lindsay almost made the transition from pop/rock lead singer to middle-of-the-road pop entertainer when he was making these recordings, and they demonstrate that he had the vocal chops to do so.

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