A Bit Like You And Me Radio

September 25, 2013

Orpheus - I Wanna Be Your Lover (1971)

Bruce Arnold and Jack McKennes could often be found performing at a Cape Cod, Massachusetts coffee house, known as The Village, in 1964. When they became popular enough to start playing other local venues, they decided to call themselves The Villagers, honoring where they got their start. In 1967, Eric Gulliksen joined the band as their bassist, and Harry Sandler joined as the group’s drummer. They settled on their band’s name in the summer of 1967 and quickly recorded their first demo of nine songs. After receiving nine recording offers, they ultimately decided to sign with Alan Lorber and MGM Records. Their most successful song was “Can’t Find the Time,” which peaked on many local markets. The band’s early success led to them playing on the same bill as bands such as Cream, The Who, Janis Joplin, and Led Zeppelin. What’s interesting is that the band which performed live was not the same individuals who had recorded the songs. Lorber decided that he wanted to use musicians with more musical talent in the recording studio, so some of the “actual” members of the band were not recorded. This eventually led Bruce Arnold to feel that his real bandmates were the studio musicians recording with him in the studio. Because of this, McKennes and Sandler were fired from the band in December 1969. Just two months later Gulliksen quit, pursuing other endeavors.

Left alone, Arnold began playing in a band called Two Foot Lamb Door. Eventually, with the blessing of Alan Lorber, Arnold convinced Two Foot Lamb Door to be the new Orpheus. Songwriter Steve Martin, childhood friend Elliot Sherman, Howard Hersh, K.P. Burke, and Bernard “Pretty” Purdie all backed Arnold in this new lineup. Past member Eric Gulliksen had been invited, but his success in the nine-to-five world persuaded him not to rejoin. With its new members, Orpheus released one more album and one more single in 1971, this time on the Bell Records label. The song heard below comes from that album, which was titled Orpheus, and is colloquially known as Orpheus 4, since the band’s debuting LP used the same name. This track was written by Steve Martin, while Bruce Arnold sang the lead.

album art

Orpheus - I Wanna Be Your Lover (1971)

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Lyrics:

Do you really have a place on the island
Where I can go?
May I come into your grace on the island
That I may know?
Whether one such as I could love anyone
More than any other

I wanna be your lover
If it’d please my lady
I wanna be your lover

I had ‘em rockin’ and rollin’ on the cellar door
Waitin’ at the window for an apple core
And they wouldn’t go away
‘til I was good and poor
See me as I am
Just a lonely man

Might we watch the sun rise on the island?
Just you and me
If I could look into your eyes and be silent
Then we could see
Whether two such as we
Could love each other

I wanna be your lover
If it’d please my lady
I wanna be your lover

I wanna be your lover
If it’d please my lady
I wanna be your lover

I wanna be your lover
I wanna be your lover…

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