Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Alone Again Or......
I haven't posted any music for a while and I remembered that about the time I started this blog, the American musician Arthur Lee died. Arthur Lee was the lead singer for the band LOVE. He and Brian McLean wrote the music, but it was mainly the writing and charisma of Arthur Lee that made this band one of the most intelligent and at the same time punky and dangerous groups of all time.
Arthur Lee tragically was too hip and too intelligent at a time when it was dangerous for a black man to be so in a white world. His music transcended genres. Truly violent manic proto punk like 7+7 is coexisted with the dreamy bossa nova of Orange Skies on the same side of their second album. The other side of the album is a free wheeling 27 minute psychedelic blues piece called Revelations that contained a classical harpsichord riff.
In 1967 they released their masterpiece, Forever Changes full of haunting music, intelligent rock with a grand orchestral vision. This piece, Alone again or....
becomes a mariachi influenced piece with a string section in the break.
Arhtur Lee released some great records after the original band broke up. He was friends with Hendrix but it was too late for either of them. Hendrix dies and Lee lost years in legal fights and drugs. He spent a few years in prison iin the 90's because of a few incidents with guns, but after his release, with a clear sense of vision, he put together a band and started to perform again for an audience hungry for the great music they had never been able to see him make before.
This is from 2002 and for the life of me, when I close my eyes and listen, he recreates the album cut made in 1967 perfectly.
I was such a fan of LOVE, I saw them in 1968 in Detroit and was floored by Lees on stage presence. I still play My Little Red Book.
Arthur Lee died broke of leukemia last year.