"Elusive Butterfly" was a landmark in early folk-rock, as one of the first -- if not the first -- folk-rock song to prominently use strings in the arrangement. It was songwriter Bob Lind's only hit single, too, reaching #5 in early 1966. It was, to say the least, an unusually wordy single for the time, and that gorgeous string arrangement, created by the famed Jack Nitzsche, was the ingredient most responsible for its commercial success. "Elusive Butterfly" is constructed around gently jangling folky guitars with shades of country and easy listening pop, rather in the way exploited by Glen Campbell later in the decade, or by Harry Nilsson in his hit cover of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'." The melody of the verse is a little bland, but fluid in how it's drawled-sung by Lind, who jams a lot of syllables into little time. More memorable, and perhaps more key to getting it onto the radio, is the more sweeping, expansive chorus. The folk roots of Lind's sounds were evident in the lyrics, which were romantic sort of ruminations that used fleeting images to convey its emotions, rather than specific events or situations. Lind cast himself as something of a butterfly hunter, looking for romance, and finding it as elusive as butterflies are to capture. Oddly, when asked which of the first four songs he recorded should be issued as a single, Lind pooh-poohed "Elusive Butterfly," saying that he didn't care which one was selected as long as it wasn't "Elusive Butterfly." It was originally put on the B-side of "Cheryl's Goin' Home" when, as would sometimes happen in the early days of rock, a DJ (on the Florida station WQAM) flipped it over and started playing it, kicking off its nationwide rise. In Britain, Lind had to compete with a cover by MOR pop singer Val Doonican; both versions reached #5 there. "Elusive Butterfly" gathered its share of other covers too, including ones by Cher, Glen Campbell, Petula Clark, the Four Tops, and Dolly Parton. The best-known cover, though, is probably the one by Aretha Franklin, who put it on her Soul '69 album.