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Say You Don't Mind - Colin Blunstone

Denny Laine's finest hour.

Denny Laine, lead singer and guitarist on the Moody Blues' 1964 number one hit "Go Now" (see last post), died early last December. He left the Moodies in 1966 and, ever a self-confessed band man, joined or formed a series of groups including Balls, Ginger Baker's Airforce and Wings, taking time off every now and then for the odd solo project.

The first of these was his composition "Say You Don't Mind", released as single in 1967, a tidy little song that failed to chart until covered by Zombies' lead singer Colin Blunstone five years later.

Blunstone's angelic vocal is exquisitely augmented by a beautiful string arrangement written by composer Christopher Gunning, for which he, Gunning, was paid a mere £15. Laine himself, apparently, received no songwriting royalties, due to an error in the music publishing contract.

When Blunstone's version hit the UK charts in 1972, I wonder if Laine reflected on the irony that his situation mirrored that of Bessie Banks eight years earlier (see last post). The music may be beautiful, but often it's a tough old business.

The song though, is delicious, the lush strings sweet and exotic, the musical equivalent of a poire belle Hélène.


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