Sad news about Arthur Lee who died yesterday. I always admired the "Forever Changes" Lp that a friend of mine had back in the 60's but never bought myself. Many years later found this "Love Revisited" on the Elektra label (no date) but imagine it's a compilation of tracks from "Forever Changes" and some other 60's albums on Elektra.
"Lee was a genuine prodigy. Born in Memphis in 1945 and raised in the Crenshaw-Adams district of Los Angeles, he made his first recording at 18 and had formed the initial lineup of Love by the time he was 20. The group was unusual not only because it was multiracial (a real rarity in 1966) but because Lee, an African American and Love's unquestioned leader, was largely uninterested in the more traditional expressions of mid-'60s black musical culture -- namely, soul and rhythm and blues.
The first album, titled, simply, "Love," was an energetic but mostly conventional set of short songs -- one highlight was a taut, punked-out rendition of Burt Bacharach's "My Little Red Book" that would have done credit to the Ramones. Their second disc, "Da Capo," was more venturesome, but marred by one side devoted entirely to the interminable "Revelation," a not-especially-inspired jam session that grew.
And then there was "Forever Changes." As Andrew Hultkrans observes in a 130-page book (one of several published to date) about the record's history: " 'Forever Changes' is notable for its relative sonic austerity, with folk and classical influences dominant and not a Mellotron in ear shot. At its core, the record could be the product of an extremely inventive acoustic duo, with bass, drums, and tasteful orchestration providing unobtrusive but essential support. When a wailing electric guitar arrives, which happens only twice, it cuts across the pastoral-Gothic soundscape like a strafing fighter plane, making its point far more effectively than it would in a typical psych-rock context."