Friday Song: Love

It took me a long time before I discovered the dark ethereal beauty of LOVE, or at least Arthur Lee’s musical version. They first hit the pop scene in 1965, scoring a hit cover of Burt Bacharach’s “Little Red Book” from WHAT’S UP, PUSSYCAT? and branching off as a more complex, jangly pop psychedelia of fantastic LA. The band and Arthur Lee’s intense songs were a big influence on The Doors, who often played together on the Strip. Lee also held court in his famous Hollywood hills retreat, “The Castle,” where Bob Dylan and the cream of the 60’s crop gathered (Harrison Ford was their carpenter) and where Roger Corman shot a few scenes for THE TRIP (1967). Sadly, Lee did not like to tour and this hurt the band’s burgeoning popularity, keeping them on the critical fringes. This was doubly sad given their 1967 masterpiece, “Forever Changes,” stands as one of the musical monuments of the decade. It wasn’t until around 2000 that I picked up a copy of the disc and was suitably blown away. I was fortunate to have seen Arthur Lee (with a band of excellent youngsters providing note-perfect back-up) when he blasted back into the limelight with a global tour of  “Forever Changes” at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco in 2002. The best part of the show was when Arthur Lee crept into the audience and had an intimate sing-along with the crowd to this sweet, melancholy tune, “Old Man.” He passed on in 2006, but the changes remain forever.

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6 Responses to “Friday Song: Love”

  1. Forever Changes is one of the greatest albums of all time. I picked up a copy in 94 or 95 having been told by a friend how good it was. I had no idea what to expect. Arthur Lee was truly awesome.

    • christian Says:

      It really is one of the pop greats. And I love discovering albums late in my life that have the power to WOW me. The unreleased Beach Boys SMILE tracks from 1966 are even more awe-inspiring.

  2. Excellent selection, Christian. Thanks for this.

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