Dion - Dion (1968)

Dion is an American singer-songwriter, best known for his string of hits in the early 60s.

Dion DiMucci had seen success with a number of hits in the early 60s. However the mid 60s were a period of commercial decline for him, as changing public tastes rendered his brand of pop music obsolete. His last Top 10 hit was in 1963, and for the next four years he did not trouble the charts. The singles he did release during this time saw him experimenting with both blues and folk-rock, as he tried to find a new direction. In 1967 he re-united for one album with his original group The Belmonts, but that too failed to produce any hits.
1968 was the year of his comeback. Citing a religious experience as inspiration, he kicked his heroin addiction and resigned with Laurie Records, with whom he had released most of his original hits. He recorded a recent song by Dick Hollier which was a tribute to the memory of four assassinated Americans - Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy (the last two having both been killed just earlier that year). "Abraham, Martin & John" was a beautiful record, a completely new sound for Dion, set to a folk-rock backing with lush, swirling orchestration (including some notable harp flourishes). It suited his supple, soulful voice perfectly, and became a huge hit, getting to #4 on the pop chart and effectively relaunching his career.
A self-titled album followed in its wake, with a fine selection of songs performed in the same orchestrated folk-rock style (the harp making some notable re-appearences). The songs themselves were mostly covers of those by the leading singer-songwriters of the day (Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Fred Neil, Joni Mitchell), plus a great version of The Four Tops' "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" and a very surprising (and very effective) re-imagining of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze".

There is one bonus track featured here -  "Daddy Rollin' (In Your Arms)" was the b-side to "Abraham, Martin & John". It's a driving bluesy number, showing another sort of style Dion was experimenting with around this time.

Love Come To Me (1963) <|> Wonder Where I'm Bound (1969)
More from Dion 

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2 comments:

madelsheim said...

"Daddy Rollin' (In Your Arms" was the B-side to the single that made this album possible, "ABraham, Martin & John".

Doug said...

Thanks ... much appreciated!