Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Forgotten 45: "Don't Expect Me to Be Your Friend"

Lobo, real name Roland Kent Lavoie, always struck me as Wally Cox with a guitar. In his songs, he got plenty of girls, but it wasn't by being assertive. On "Don't Expect Me to Be Your Friend," he was meekly in love with a girl who saw him only as a friend and couldn't imagine him any other way.
You always act so happy when I see you
You smile that way, you take my hand, and then
Introduce me to your latest lover
That's when I feel the walls start crashin' in
The situation was enough to make even a mild-mannered guy sound a little bitter: "I love you too much to ever start liking you, so don't expect me to be your friend."

Despite his ubiquitous presence on the radio during the first half of the 1970s, Lobo only visited the Top 20 on two other occasions--"Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" in the spring of 1971 and "I'd Love You to Want Me" in the fall of 1972. ("I'd Love You to Want Me," his biggest hit, is a shimmering romantic classic that ought to be better remembered than it is.) It was more typical for Lobo's records to stall somewhere between Number 20 and Number 30, which happened four different times. And two of his most memorable records, "I'm the Only One" and "Rings," didn't make the Top 40 at all.

(Big Tree 158, chart peak #8, February 17, 1973)


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