Year of Release: 1969
We've already covered the production and songwriting work of Mark Wirtz elsewhere on this blog, which leaves me with very little to add. Besides Wirtz's ambitious Teenage Opera work, he was also constantly on the look-out for conventional pop hits.
"A Little Bit", penned by his protege Miki Anthony - also covered elsewhere on this blog, though I admittedly had trouble identifying him at the time - is as straight-ahead at it gets, sounding like a strange, late sixties approximation of a beat boom number. The lyrics are about persuading a likely lady to move closer to her suitor, and again, it conveys this message with an early sixties innocence rather than shooting the whole track through with suggestiveness (though as with many tracks of this ilk, somehow that makes it feel slightly more manipulative and creepy). Perhaps that's the reason it failed to break through into the charts. It's not that such records didn't make it at all in 1969, but they usually had richer, more complicated arrangements than the raw bounce of this one - it's ironic that Wirtz, a man renowned for pushing the envelope, fell behind the curve here. Still, it's a perfectly good single with some neat electric organ noises, and might have fared better if it had been issued a few years earlier.
As for Richard, I have not a clue who he might have been. There was an artist in the Quebec region of Canada operating under the same name at the same time, but that need not mean anything. Whatever the facts, "A Little Bit" was, so far as I can tell, the only single credited simply to Richard in the UK, unless we count another issue on RAK in 1975 - and once again, I doubt that's the same person, but probably another performer who decided to dispense with his surname.
All answers on a postcard, please. Or a comment in the comment box will do.