Love

Posted by admin | Posted in Love | Posted on 23-09-2010-05-2008

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Love

1988 Issue of the 1966 Psychedelic Classic Album from Arthur Lee and Company. The Printed Side of the CD is in the Fabled “Target” Format, as the Master Used for this Issue was Taken Directly from the Two Track Mixdown, Valuable to Many Collectors.

Rating: (out of 23 reviews)

List Price: $ 11.98

Price: $ 5.70

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Review by Gavin B. for Love
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This is about as close to a live set from the original members of Love you’ll ever get. The song list is close to a set-list Love would play when they were the house band at the Whiskey during the 1966 youth-quake. The Sunset Strip riots became the harbinger of the social explosion of the Sixties and began at a club called Ciro’s when police attempted to arrest underaged youth for curfew violations. The Strip erupted as police and “freaks” battled for liberated turf. Of all of the bands playing the Strip in ’66 Love had the largest following. Bands like the Doors, Mothers of Invention and Buffalo Springfield were opening acts when Love played. It was ground zero in the explosion of psychedelica and Love steered the course.

The production quality sounds like a typical live “one-take/no remixes” rock album of that era, which has lead some fans to erroneously refer the self-titled album as garage rock. The opening cut “Little Red Book” shows why Love was not simply another one hit wonder from garageland. The song starts simply enough, with a pulsating one note bass line and accompanied by a tamborine with reverb drenched guitar joining in. It’s sounds like a garage band tune, but soon we are listening to a very complicated composition, with time signature changes at both the bridge and the chorus. There are rapidly changing chord progressions and a murderous key change toward the end of the song. It would crazy for a vocalist to attempt to coherently phrase the wordiness of the lyrics within this bizzare song structure. Arthur Lee not only does it, but does so with elegance and feeling. The Love version of the Burt Bachrach tune “My Little Red Book” became the definitive version of that song. Dionne Warwick (who was queen of the Bachrach intrepeters) was so daunted by Lee’s vocals, that she never even attempted a version of “Little Red Book.”

The self titled Love debut is of jewels. Many of the Arthur Lee compositions are the equals of the Velvet Underground’s for dark, atmospheric tunes. “Can’t Explain” became a set stopping song for Boston’s Mission of Burma during the early eighties. We see Love’s early embrace of samba and calypso with Byran MacLean’s “Softly To Me” and “And More”. There is so much here to indicate Love’s musical sophistication and unique style which became so apparent in “DuCapo” and “Forever Changes” This debut is musical equal of any debut by the great bands of the sixties but has been relegated to the garage rock ghetto by many critics. Not that there’s anything wrong with garage rock…Love could play “Hey Joe” with the best of them. Love was a break-through band for more reasons than “Forever Changes.” Jim Morrison took Arthur Lee’s long stream of consciousness songs and fashioned them into rock epics like “The End” and “When the Musics Over.” Jimi Hendrix appropriated Arthur’s flamboyant style of dressing and moved from L.A. to London,and Hendrix’s fashion style was almost as important as his brilliant guitar playing. The Byrds were already folk-rock stars on Columbia Records but their admiration of Love led to a shift from folk rock to psychedelica on “Fifth Deminson” and “Younger Than Yesterday.” So Love’s impact on begins with this self titled debut and curiously enough, “Forever Changes” was not fully appreciated until long after Love’s dissolution as a band. Their self titled debut deserves to be digitally remastered and maintained in current catalogs in the USA because it is one of the great albums of the sixties.

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Review by Robert Cossaboon for Love
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If you’re lucky enough to find it (which this review concerns itself with) Elektra’s reissue of Love’s first album will either cause great rejoicing or great disappointment. But the band, Love, never disappointed-at least with its first three albums. To listen to Love is to tune into timelessness itself. Love is not only an accessable band, but also a very personal one. This was the genius and legacy of Arthur Lee; he wrote for the person who was ‘out there’, the outsider-not the everyman, but the lonely man, and therefore every fan of Love has a special song that is extremely personal for him or her. Their debut album back in 1966 was an amazing first impression , not so much for the jingle-jangle musical nod to the Byrds, but for some of the lyrical subject matter. Front and center in this category is Signed D.C., a haunting peek into the mind of a junky in the last days of his life. Lee wrote this for the first drummer of Love who had to quit due to drug problems. “Mushroom Clouds” was probably one of the earliest anti-nuke songs (along with McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction”). “My Flash On You” and “You I’ll Be Following” are both anti-drug songs-this is ironic, because drugs were one of the bands downfalls by the time Forever Changes was released. The first song features a ferocious bass solo; the second, some creative harmonies, which once again recall some of the Byrds’s more esoteric work. There are so many great moments to be had listening to Love’s first outing. Musically, the album owes much to surf and the Byrds. That doesn’t mean that Love were a bunch of copycats. Far from it, you need only hear the rhythm part of Softly To Me to appreciate the influence this would have on the Doors “Light My Fire”. The most overt Byrds-like song is “No Matter What You Do”, which has a great Echols solo. “Message To Pretty” is one of my favorites, even thought the lyrics are a bit banal; Arthur Lee’s vocals are just beyond amazing here. “Emotions” is a little surf ditty that could have easily been slipped into the soundtrack of a beach ; you could imagine this song playing when the boy confesses his love to his girl… “Gazing” waxes some mystical self-analysis with some fine jingling lead and rhythm guitar. The problem with the this reissue is the extra tracks, which aren’t really extra, but are instead the album reworked in stereo! You have to be the ultimate completist to appreciate this. Who hell listens to mono anymore??? Although we are treated to an alternate version of “Signed D.C.”, considering the fine bonus tracks on Forever Changes, an instrumental of “Hey Joe” or an early version of “Softly To Me” would not have been asking too much. That’s what you get when you shoot your entire wad on one project (ie. Elektra’s justified devotion to Forever Changes). . . On the upbeat side, this reissue is an acknowledgement by a major record company of the greatness of a band that was, if only for a couple of years truly out there doing their own thing–and make no mistake, Love was as majestic as they came.

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Review by Kurt Harding for Love
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OK, so I’m reviewing the German import, remastered and featuring the same songs in both mono and stereo. But my comments here largely apply to the French import shown as well.

First, I would urge those seeking this CD to try and acquire the remastered version. I found mine at Waterloo records in Austin, perhaps you can find yours where you live or even on amazon where the listings for “Love” and for “Arthur Lee” are largely disjointed and scrambled. But whether you find the one I have or not, either is still an important CD to have in that it heralded punk rock more than a decade before the genre burst on the scene with greater fury.

Lee was a West Coast fixture during the late 60′s. This first Love album had established him as a rising musical force, and though his idiosyncracies have kept him from reaching his musical potential, he maintains a strong cult following to this day.

Though some of the CD sounds somewhat dated, there is a lot to like here beginning with a driving, punkish rendition of the Bacharach/David tune, My Little Red Book. I’ve always favored what was Side 1 of the original LP. There is the Byrds-like jangle of Can’t Explain and No Matter What You Do, the romance of A Message to Pretty and Softly to Me (featuring the legendary Bryan MacLean on vocals), the defiant stance of My Flash on You, and the timeless instrumental Emotions. Others I like are Hey Joe, the brutally emotional Signed D.C (one of the most powerful of all Lee compositions), and Mushroom Clouds.

If you get the mono/stereo remaster, you’ll find that sometimes stereo improves the sound, but not always. The remaster also offers a bonus version of Signed D.C, and Number 14, a song which I had not previously heard.

A lot of people, if they know of Love at all, know them from their breakthough classic Forever Changes. Those who are fans of that CD but who haven’t heard any other Love CDs should pick this one up, as well as Da Capo, so they can hear for themselves Lee’s musical journey to that masterpiece that so epitomizes an era. With those three albums, you can hear how Lee was punk long before punk was cool. So, pick this one up while its still around and then move on to the other two. I recommend it!

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Review by Edward A. Dimmer for Love
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In 1966 I had hoped to evade the war draft to Vietnam. Went to college.

Asked for a deferment of active duty. But. It didn’t happen. So ?

Found myself doing active duty on an aircraft carrier in Portsmouth,

Virginia preparing to go to Vietnam. On the weekend before deployment,

managed to get a weekend leave that I spent walking around record stores

- going to night clubs to hear live . That’s went I found the vinyl

album that would be – has always been a critical emotional positive part of

my life – the first album by Arthur Lee – LOVE !

This album – Arthur Lee’s kept me being me !

I own aproximately 4500 recordings. This will be the only one I keep –

take with me to the grave – an incredible album!

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Review by Nathan Laney for Love
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Since it’s important to my comments on this album, I have to tell you that I am and always have been a native Western Pennsylvanian living in a rural area. Because of that, before the arrival of the PC and the Internet, shopping was at times daunting to say the least. There were no record stores within a fair range of our home until the late 70′s when a couple from New York opened a record store in nearby Indiana (which was a perfect choice, since Indiana is a college town. Thus, the store did quite well). They would carry things that I’m sure would’ve been hard to come by in a lot of stores, so needless to say, I bought there ALOT. However, my first purchase of a Love album was not in this store. It was in a store in a mall in another town.

I was browsing through the store and noticed that they had Herman’s Hermits albums! On M-G-M! Still sealed! Well, of course I grabbed them, but at the same time I thought: “Hey, if they have this, maybe they have…” and started scouring my mind for the counless bands I would love to own an album of. Among those populating my want-list was Love. All I knew from them was an edited version of “My Little Red Book,” from an album we had when I was a kid called “24 Original Happening Hits.” I remembered the song sounding very vibrant and exciting, and it really stood out as a superior track on that album. As it turned out, there was one album; Rhino’s “Best of Love.” I bought it! It was a great album! It started with “My Little Red Book” and ended with “No. Fourteen” while hitting all the essentials in-between. The liner notes were good too. Among the more interesting facts in those notes was the revelation that Lee played drums on the first album, and that the late Bruce Gary of The Knack played drums in a re-formed version of Love.

Years later, in the store mentioned at the outset, I was browsing around and there it was; the first love album, brand new! I thought: “It’s gotta be a crappy re-issue by some low-budget, fly-by-night label.” Nope! It was on Elektra, the cover photos and lettering didn’t look blurry or washed out. I read the fine print, and discovered that it was a Greek import, so I bought it.

What do you say about a debut album that is this strong, and so versatile without being overtly obvious? I’ll tell you! At first, you just listen, with your mouth hanging open, and say: “Wow, man! This is really good.” Then, as you keep listening, you begin to pick up on the subtleties inflected within, and just enjoy the musical ride! The best bands are very good at this, where most bands aren’t. That’s why out of the myriads of bands that have come and gone, only a scant handful have deservedly become classic. Aside from The Kinks, Love is the only band I know of where the fan base has swelled over time on the strength of early work that sold poorly when originally released. That is an astounding feat! It is a rare achievement, one that is very, very deserving here. I’ve heard very little of Love’s catalog beyond “Forever Changes” (“Robert Montgomery,” “Good Times,” “Your Friend and Mine-Neil’s Song”). What I’ve heard leaves little doubt to who the “man-at-the-wheel” was in this group. They’re great songs! The original line-up began brilliant, managed somehow to transcend that, and then exploded; all within two years and three albums-three very essential albums! They were as individual as a fingerprint, and their sound had power to burn! No collection is complete without them.

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