04 August, 2006

Arthur Lee (1945-2006)

If you have never heard of Arthur Lee or his band Love it will be worth reading this post. In 1968 they released an album called Forever Changes. There had been releases before and after that one but this was something special; it should be ranked alongside other seminal sixties recordings such as Sgt. Pepper, Revolver and Pet Sounds.
It is both melodic and hard-edged, has exquisite lyrics, is full of inventiveness and the songs have a haunting originality that has stayed with me ever since it was released. If you listen to the album a few times the same thing will happen to you. It comes into the category of 'West Coast psychedelic' or 'Folk Rock' but neither of those labels really quite fit because Forever Changes is so much more.
None of the songs mean what they appear to mean at first hearing and it will gradually become apparent that you are listening to a work of genius. Arthur Lee was a very troubled man, personally, and you can learn more about him and the band if you Google 'Arthur Lee' or you could click here.
Arthur died of leukemia on Thursday 3rd August. For me, the sixties have finally come to an end.


Blogger jim said...

I remember him a bit, the name Love, and Lee, it is an unusual story, I sympathize with the guy, from those early days. It was what Dylan wanted to do, be really independent, really not a part of the commercial aspect of music, this was a hippie trademark for a while, to be THAT different. Refuse success, popularity, but this was hard to do.

I even modeled my art career on this ideal, not accept the things that one had to do outside of his art, to be successful. It cost me a lot, but oddly enough, I wouldn't change it if I could.

Amazing story about an unusual guy, sorry he couldn't have done it free of the drug problem, maybe he could have, probably so. A real musicians' musician.

Friday, August 11, 2006  

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