Ex-Overlander on rustic, folky solo pop mission
Year of Release: 1968
If they're mentioned at all these days, The Overlanders usually have the 'one hit wonders' tag prefixed to their name, thanks to their UK chart-topping version of The Beatles "Michelle". It's a fair assessment of their chart career, as their follow-up releases fell so far short of the Top 40 as to make their earlier success feel anomalous, but it ignores their long career on Pye initially as a niche folk-harmony group, and their moderate success in other countries prior to their biggest hit.
Indeed, Pye kept them on their roster for twelve singles before pulling the plug, starting in 1963 with "Summer Skies and Golden Sands", and ending in 1966 with the super-scarce final release "Go Where You Wanna Go". "Michelle" was actually their tenth single, which puts the label's faith into some perspective - record labels in the sixties tended not to hang on to groups for years unless it was clear there would eventually be some kind of return on their investment.
Despite this, the crashing disappointment all involved must have felt once the follow-ups to "Michelle" flopped is unimaginable, and singer and guitarist Paul Arnold had enough by the end of 1966, choosing to depart The Overlanders to try a solo career.
His first Pye release "Somewhere In A Rainbow" is also bloody scarce, suggesting few sales. This follow-up also seems to have fallen by the wayside, but at least very occasionally pops up in the collector's racks. The A-side "Bon Soir Dame" is irritating novelty pop which might have got airplay on the Light Programme some years previously, but the flip is a slightly more poppy, rustic tune with a woody folk-rock feel. It's strong enough to make me wonder why it didn't get compiled on the "Ripples" series, as it sounds like a natural home for it.