Arthur Lee and Love

Arthur Lee and Love

Arthur Lee and Love

Real to Reel

High Moon Records

As the past drifts further and further away, more big stars from these distant times fade from popular memory. But for the enthusiast, some lesser ones float into a light their careers haven’t seen in decades. Arthur Lee and Love made their career in the Los Angeles area amid The Doors, et al. He had a few hits that just barely charted, and while he’s regarded as influential only the die-hard rock fans of the era and the rock historians of today discuss his funky sound.

Lee passed in 2006 and now we have this mighty fine reissue of his seventh album. When it was recorded Love had been replaced by studio musicians and while contemporaneous reviews were cool, time has aided his sound. There’s a stylistic spread in the tunes; he opens with “Time Is a River”. This is an up-tempo positive vibe number that feels influenced by “Proud Mary”. Later in the disc “Stop the Music” offers a slow dance feel; here Lee sings the blues with a steel guitar and a growing sense of anger and it seems like a country song abandoned for the blues: it’s not about a long lost woman, it’s about a woman leaving right here an now and he can still see her tail lights. “Who Are You” takes a hard funk tack with a powerful brass line and some soaring vocal work by Lee, and later on we hit the odd “Singing Cowboy.” Here the sound of late Byrd’s and early Eagles take what may be a trite country song and make it a compelling and uncharacteristic ballad. There’s even a cover lurking here, William DeVaughn’s “Be Thankful for What You Got”- here Lee takes a good swipe at it with a great backing chorus but it didn’t budge the chart needle. Lastly I’ll mention “Busted Feet”, here Lee drifts toward the early Deep Purple hard rock sound, it’s the least “black” track on the collection and shows a direction Lee could have pursued but didn’t. Along with the 11 original tracks there another dozen alternates, each interesting in its own right; I recommend “Grave Yard Hop,” a parody track of Elvis’ hit “Jail House Rock.”;

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Looped

    A fading film star still can turn up the heat in this outrageous comedy.

  • The Book of Merman
    The Book of Merman

    A parody musical about a parody musical about a parody religion.

  • Flood Twin
    Flood Twin

    Flood Twin. Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Los Lobos
    Los Lobos

    Native Sons (New West). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Adam Bloom
    Adam Bloom

    Sugar Sweet (Indie). Review by Christopher Long.

  • Alonso Ruizpalacios
    Alonso Ruizpalacios

    Generoso speaks with director Alonso Ruizpalacios, whose dynamic new feature, A Cop Movie, utilizes a unique and effective hybrid documentary style to examine police corruption in and around Mexico City. A Cop Movie was the winner of the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival.

  • Sarah McQuaid
    Sarah McQuaid

    The St. Buryan Sessions (Shovel and a Spade Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Hearty Har
    Hearty Har

    Radio Astro (BMG). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Junkwraith

    A young woman abandons a promising skating career only to be chased by her inner demons.

  • Mixtape 168 :: Shame Reactions
    Mixtape 168 :: Shame Reactions

    Pom Pom Squad began as songwriter Mia Berrin’s solo operation but now employs four full-time experts in musical munitions and lethal lyrical techniques.

From the Archives