50 Years of Love & Arthur Lee "Da Capo" "Forever Changes" "Love" & more: Album-By-Album Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by WilliamWes, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    [​IMG]

    50 YEARS OF LOVE W/ ARTHUR LEE: ALBUM-BY-ALBUM THREAD


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    A THOUGHT IN MY HEAD I THINK, OF SOMETHING TO DO
    To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Love's self-titled debut released March 1966, perhaps it's an appropriate time to focus on their fascinating career. As a music artist with a marquee album in "Forever Changes" and marquee performer in Arthur Lee, they seem like the right subject for this type of thread for those who want to delve deeper. Arthur Lee and "Forever Changes" are extraordinarily deep themselves; I've read some great info here on past threads about them, and I've learned a lot. So hopefully we have some participants and we can ride this rollercoaster up and down Go Stop Boulevard throughout the decades.

    I’VE BEEN HERE ONCE, I’VE BEEN HERE TWICE
    I had seen an album-by-album thread on this artist from years ago, but it's been a long time and it wasn't finished. This will be my first thread I’m starting for the Hoffman forum and I plan on completing it. Sad when some album-by-album threads don’t get finished. Though I’m not from the era, I’ve been listening for 20 years now and I’ll be as active as I can here.

    I WENT TO MISSI, TRIPPED IN MISS-IPPI, BUT NOW YOU I’LL BE FOLLOWING
    So what do non-fans and the most casual of fans know? The basics are that Love is a group formed by frontman singer/guitarist Arthur Lee and lead guitarist Johnny Echols. Love’s prime was from 1966-1974 and had a great album in “Da Capo” and a musical masterpiece in “Forever Changes” in 1967. After the latter was not successful on the charts, Lee broke up the original band that included another talented songwriter Bryan MacLean, and the band became an assembly line product. The albums were less popular, the quality-down…by the 1990’s Lee was in trouble with the law and once out of that dark decade, he flourished under newfound fame from later generations raving that he was an underrated, under-appreciated genius. “Forever Changes”, continues to place at least top 50 in most all-time lists, sometimes top 10, so the legend continues to this day despite Lee’s passing in 2006.

    AND SO THE STORY ENDED, DO YOU KNOW IT OH SO WELL?
    So that seems like the general consensus amongst casual fans and most of society. How much of it all is true. Was there a dip in quality? Was he correct to work with many different band members?

    WRITE THE RULES IN THE SKY, BUT ASK YOUR LEADERS WHY
    Hopefully we can collectively answer these and plenty of other questions and observe other thought-provoking nuggets with this thread. I have plenty of questions to keep the thread going. If anyone has tips please feel free to mention them to me to help the thread. I want this to be the best Love experience we can have and hopefully people will want to continue past “Forever Changes”, whether they like or dislike the rest of the catalog, I’d appreciate all positive/negative opinions on everything!

    AND THE THINGS THAT I DO MUST CONSIST OF MORE THAN STYLE
    FEATURES:
    Photos
    Videos
    Early Material/Later Material
    Original Reviews
    Arthur Lee solo
    Bryan MacLean solo
    Albums
    Singles
    Lyrical Analysis
    Profiles
    DISCUSSION

    THAT EVERYONE I SAW WAS JUST ANOTHER PART OF ME
    I know there are some huge Love fans worldwide I’ve learned from-love to see you all here. Casual fans, new fans-love to see you too.


    You set the scene.
     
  2. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    Before there was Love...

    Bobby Beausoleil, who played in The Grass Roots (not the famous one) with Arthur Lee. Lee supposedly renamed the band "Love" after Beausoleil's nickname "Cupid".

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    Beausoleil would later join the Manson family and is now in prison serving a life sentence for murder.
     
  3. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
  4. pdenny

    pdenny Blow up your TV

    FOREVER CHANGES gets all the "love" but man that first LP is sooooo great!
     
  5. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Yes, like JozeFK says before Love began, they went through various incarnations….


    THE HOUSE ROCKERS
    ___________________
    ALJE
    (initials of Arthur Lee and Johnny Echols)
    ___________________
    ARTHUR LEE AND THE L.A.G.’S (L.A. group)

    Arthur Lee: vocals

    Johnny Echols: electric guitar

    Roland Davis: drums

    Alan Goldman: saxophone

    Allan Talbert: saxophone
    ___________________

    THE AMERICAN FOUR
    (pictured)
    Arthur Lee: vocals, organ

    Johnny Echols: electric guitar

    John Fleckenstein: bass

    John Jacobson: drums


    [​IMG]

    _____________________
    THE GRASS ROOTS
    Arthur Lee: vocals, harmonica, guitar, organ

    Johnny Echols: electric guitar, backing vocals

    John Fleckenstein: bass

    Don Conka: drums

    (Certain dates Bobby Beausoleil was on guitar as well)
    _____________________

    By summer of 1965

    Bryan MacLean: electric guitar, vocals (replacing any needed guitar help)


    Once it was discovered that The Grass Roots had the name copywritten, Arthur and company needed a new name. Johnny Echols remembers at a club, they asked the audience which name would be best:


    SUMMER’S CHILDREN

    THE ASYLUM CHOIR

    DR. STRANGELOVE

    POETIC JUSTICE

    THE LOVE

    LOVE


    Some cool names, not sure which I’d pick. After the name change, some further additions/subtractions in the lineup…
    _________________

    By late 1965

    Ken Forssi: bass (from the Surfari’s replacing John Fleckenstein)


    By winter 1965

    Alban “Snoopy” Pfisterer: drums (replacing the troubled Don Conka)
    _________________
    The very famous Love fan Torben Skott (hope I spelled that right) has a great lineup chart on his website...
    Love Line - compiled by Torben Skott »
     
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  6. segue

    segue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hawai'i
    Saw him many times. Met him a few times. . . I'm still a huge fan though!
     
  7. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    That's awesome, how did you get to meet him a few times... hey, wait a minute- whaddya mean you're still a huge fan?!?:)

    Nah, really how did you get to meet him? I've only seen Love once live back in 2002-I loved it. I should have made sure I saw them more than once.
     
  8. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Let's start with the pre-Love material. Most compositions here were written by Lee. I'll only put links for the rare items.



    THE NINTH WAVE (1963 as Arthur Lee & the L.A.G.’s) (Lee)
    This is an intriguing instrumental, mixing both surf with R&B to create some kind of off-kilter feel. The logical melody has instrumental tidbits sprinkled in that keep it interesting despite the rudimentary drumming. There is some shoddiness in the instruments, but they don’t stop it from feeling like a professional recording considering it’s still early in their career. Lee plays organ here, the first instrument he used in a band.
     
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  9. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York

    RUMBLE STILL-SKINS (1963 as Arthur Lee & the L.A.G.’s)
    Another song that feels just barely professional, but also bare. The drums and organ have a large presence in the proceedings. This surf-like instrumental does not contain much magic, but it’s nice to hear Arthur wailing away on organ.
     
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  10. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    [​IMG]
    MY DIARY (1964 for Rosa Lee Brooks)
    There are numerous stories about who wrote the song, Arthur Lee, Rosa Lee Brooks or Jimi Hendrix with Brooks. It was a sore point for Lee who thinks she’s “crazy” if she thought she wrote it. It appears on the first disc of “West Coast Seattle Boy”- one of the Jimi Hendrix box sets. It’s soulful and Lee mentioned he wrote it for his girlfriend at the time. It’s a much better song than “I’ve Been Trying”.

    (In a recent live appearance found on YouTube, she says she wrote it with Jimi with no mention of Arthur.)



    I’VE BEEN TRYING (1964/1965 for Little Ray)
    Little Ray was 15 years old on this record. He’s backed by a number of female singers on this soul song. It’s pretty simple and gets repetitive by the end.
     
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  11. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York

    LUCI BAINES (1964 as The American Four)
    Handclaps, slight horn riffs, big shouting chorus backing vocals, it feels like some good-time R&B is afoot here. Lee sounds comfortable here, relaxed and natural. Some “ooo”s and “ahh”s help tribute Beatlemania and “Twist and Shout”. One of the better early tracks. The inspiration was then-U.S. President Lyndon Johnson’s daughter. Booker T and the MG’s probably serve as the influence.
     
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  12. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York

    SOUL FOOD (1964 as The American Four)
    Also well rehearsed and tighter than “Luci Baines”, this instrumental is more steeped in blues despite its rock sound. Lee also plays organ on this track and is more expressive than on the other ’64 instrumental. Johnny Echols does a little bit of a future-Hendrix bubbling intro and stays strong throughout the song. The interplay between the two are showing growth. Booker T. might also have been an influence here.
     
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  13. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York

    IT’S THE MARLIN, BABY (1964 as The American Four) (Morgan/Lucas)
    Written by Arthur Lee and Johnny Echols, this commercial jingle for the Marlin car shows further growth in songwriting and displays some of the weird mood of their primetime music.

    In the recording I’ve heard for it, I can’t recognize the lead vocalist. Is it Arthur? The organ and chord progression darken the feel of this 2:30 commercial theme song. The last minute of it in particular is almost eerie, two singers chanting “it’s the Marlin” like a mantra with the voiceover “come on baby do the Marlin”. An oddly enjoyable moment in their career.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  14. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York

    EVERYBODY JERK (1965 for Ronnie and the Pomonas)
    More discrepancy over the lead vocalist here, some say Arthur Lee, some say Charles Lett. Sometimes it sounds like him, sometimes not. Anyone know for sure? It’s a nice song with some brass and guitar in the arrangement. It’s still a simple tune with simple lyrics.
     
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  15. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York

    SLOW JERK (1965 for Ronnie and the Pomonas)
    A slower dance song, again in question who sings-Charles Lett or Arthur. This track sounds more like Arthur than on “Everybody Jerk”. It’s simple, but it’s a decent love/slow dance song.
     
  16. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York

    STAY AWAY (as The American Four)
    A basic rave up-type song with multi-voiced chorus, handclaps, rhythmic buildups and youthful energy. Echols solo and the bands vocals are average.
     
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  17. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York

    YOU I'LL BE FOLLOWING (1965 or 1966 demo)(as The Grass Roots)
    Close to the released version.
     
  18. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    I'd say Bert Berns was the influence. It's like somebody took "Twist & Shout", "My Girl Sloopy", and "Killer Joe", then threw them into a blender.
     
  19. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    It does feel that way. They are definitely listenable tracks but maybe not close to primetime-Love.
     
  20. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    [​IMG]
    L-R, "Snoopy" Pfisterer, Johnny Echols, Ken Forssi, Bryan MacLean, Arthur Lee.

    Band member profiles of what is considered the original Love.

    Arthur Taylor Lee
    (born Arthur Taylor; March 7, 1945 – August 3, 2006) was an American musician and singer, known as the frontman, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of the Los Angeles rock band Love, best known for their critically acclaimed 1967 album, Forever Changes.
    Lee was born Arthur Taylor[1] in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Chester Taylor, a jazzcornet player, and Agnes Taylor, a school teacher. He and his mother moved to Los Angeles when he was five. In 1953 his mother married Clinton Lee, who adopted Arthur and legally changed his name to Arthur Taylor Lee. He spent his childhood and teenage years in the now historic West Adams District. He attended Dorsey High School, where he excelled in basketball, and held the record for most points scored in a single game. During his high school years he teamed up with family friend Johnny Echols (also originally from Tennessee) and formed various musical groups.

    Johnny Echols (born February 21, 1947 in Memphis, Tennessee) is an American singer/songwriter and guitarist. He has played in bands with performers such as Little Richard, Billy Preston and Jimi Hendrix, and was the guitarist on many recording sessions with Miles Davis. He is chiefly known as the lead guitar player of the psychedelic rock band Love, which he co-founded as a teenager with his childhood friend Arthur Lee.
    The parents of Johnny Echols and Arthur Lee were school teachers in Memphis, Tennessee, where the boys were born. Both families moved to Los Angeles where Echols received guitar lessons from a neighbour who happened to be the guitar player of The Coasters. At Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, he teamed up with basketball star Arthur Lee (who had become an excellent organ player), Allan Talbert who played saxophone, and Roland Davis on drums. Soon, another classmate, who also played keyboards, Billy Preston, joined the group and Lee moved to lead singer. This group, called the LAGs, which is short for L.A. Group, had more talent than most of the adult bands playing around town.

    Bryan Andrew MacLean (September 25, 1946 – December 25, 1998) was an Americansinger, guitarist and songwriter, best known for his work with the influential rock band Love.
    Bryan started playing guitar professionally in 1963. He got a job at the Balladeer in West Hollywood playing folk and blues guitar. The following year, the club changed its name to the Troubadour. His regular set routine was a mixture between Appalachian folk songs and delta blues, and he also frequently covered Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues." It was there he met the founding musicians of The Byrds, Gene Clark and Jim McGuinn, when they were rehearsing as a duo. Bryan became good friends with David Crosby.[2] During that time, Bryan also became friends with songwriter Sharon Sheeley, who fixed him up on his first date with singer Jackie De Shannon.
    With MacLean as equipment manager, the Byrds went on the road to promote their first single "Mr. Tambourine Man." By the time the Byrds left for their first UK tour, MacLean was left behind and very disappointed.

    Kenneth Raymond "Ken" Forssi (March 30, 1943 – January 5, 1998), was an American musician, best known for being the original bass player in the band Love.
    He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest of two children (brother Charles) of Raymond B. and Lola G. Forssi. When he was about 9 years old, his family moved to Siesta Key, on the Florida west coast, and then, shortly moved on to the nearby city of Sarasota.
    Forssi was a good enough artist that he obtained a scholarship to the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Along with several Sarasota friends, he migrated to Anaheim, California in 1964, and began commuting to the school. At this time, his interest in music became much more intense. His natural ability was substantial, and he learned new techniques very rapidly. In fact, his ability was soon sufficient to earn a position as bass player in a late-period lineup of The Surfaris, a group that previously rose to brief fame with their first record "Wipe Out", which according to "The Illustrated Book of Rock Records" is the number one surf hit of all time (based on record sales and chart positions).

    Alban “Snoopy” Pfisterer (born 1946 in Geneva, Switzerland)
    Kenny Forssi’s roommate at the time was a Swiss-born fellow art student and amateur drummer named Alban “Snoopy” Pfisterer. Three years Kenny’s junior, Snoopy fell under his friend’s sway.
    Born to a Swiss father and Italian mother in Switzerland in 1946 (the Year of the Dog in the Chinese zodiac), Snoopy became acclimated to globalization early on. He spent his earliest years in Maryland, then relocated to Costa Rica where his father, an architect, was building a hospital. He moved to Los Angeles in his teen years, when rock’n roll was also entering its adolescent phase.

    These were taken off Wikipedia except for Snoopy's which was from multiple sources.
     
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  21. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Let's move on to the first album. This is their self-titled debut from March 1966. This month marks the 50th anniversary of the release. I'll post my review later today.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    All songs written and composed by Arthur Lee, except where indicated.

    Side one
    1. "My Little Red Book" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) 2:38
    2. "Can't Explain" (Lee, John Echols, John Fleckenstein) 2:41
    3. "A Message to Pretty" 3:13
    4. "My Flash on You" 2:09
    5. "Softly to Me" (Bryan MacLean) 2:57
    6. "No Matter What You Do" 2:46
    7. "Emotions" (Lee, John Echols) 2:01

    Side two
    1. "You I'll Be Following" 2:26
    2. "Gazing" 2:42
    3. "Hey Joe" (Billy Roberts) 2:42
    4. "Signed D.C." 2:47
    5. "Colored Balls Falling" 1:55
    6. "Mushroom Clouds" (Lee, John Echols, Ken Forssi, Bryan MacLean) 2:25
    7. "And More" (Lee, Bryan MacLean) 2:57
    _______________________________________________________
    The 2001 CD issue presents both stereo and monaural mixes and adds as bonus tracks an alternate take of "Signed DC" and "No. Fourteen", the B-side to the "7 and 7 Is" single.
    [​IMG]

    According to the box set Love Story, the tracks "A Message To Pretty" and "My Flash On You" may feature John Fleckenstein on bass and Don Conka on drums in place of Forssi and Pfisterer.
    ________________________________________________________
    Singles
    • "My Little Red Book" b/w "A Message to Pretty" (Elektra 45603) (Peaked at #57 on Billboard)
    • "No. Fourteen" (from these sessions, B side of "7 & 7 Is" - Elektra 45605)
    • "Hey Joe" (B side to rare "Que Vida!" single - Elektra 45613)
    _________________________________________________________
    I'll be posting my review for it later. Any comments on Love's debut?
     
  22. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Anybody want to comment on Love's debut?
     
  23. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    Wish I could say something profound, but it's a fine debut album that starts off strongly and of tails off slightly at the end.
    The Byrds influence is apparent, and Stones on "Can't Explain".
     
  24. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    That's no problem DTK. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I agree anyway, the first half is stronger. I guess I'll post my review now.
     
  25. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    I'm writing my review now. Gimme a few minutes
     

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