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Love | Out There (Big Beat)
Really you need five Love albums: the first three albums which feature the classic Bryan Maclean/John Echolls line-up and include the genuine classic 'Forever Changes.' The fourth album, 'Four Sail,' is the work of the second line-up. They played fast and furious with an intensity matched by leader Arthur Lee's soulful vocals, which seemed to have improved in every way. Thereafter Lee made two more albums, using most of the almost-too-technically-proficient musos (for that they be) from 'Four Sail,' which went from patchy to appalling.
Your fifth essential Love purchase is the subject of this review, 'Out There,' a successful attempt to extract the nuggets from both a double and single album which have tried a lot of people's patience (regardless of what hardcore Love fans always try to tell us). There was always a sunny LA jazzy lightness to a number of spirited Love tunes, sometimes from a Bacharach-minded Bryan Maclean and sometimes from a slightly more forceful Arthur. Willow Willow, I Still Wonder and Nice to Be continues in this lovely, melody driven, breezy style. Two other characteristic Love styles are obvious. A rather tedious one, (a sort of good time sing-a-long part of Arthur's thing from '68 to the present and heard previously in No.14 and Neil's Song and many later songs) shows its sometimes unwanted face in the plodding Gimi A Little Break, I'll Pray For You and You Are Something. Better are the folkies Gather Round and Listen to my Song which are real links to 'Forever Changes.' Love's folk and folk-rock pieces were soaked in acid every bit as much as their rock stuff and these two slightly demented (but beautiful) songs made me consciously hang on to the handrail of normality. (A few months back a rather posh, media-based couple asked me if I had taken a lot of drugs in my life within half an hour of knowing me. Well, no but I've done a lot of Love.) Other highligts are the one time double A-side single Stand Out with the cool Doggone (we could live without the nine minute drum solo) on the reverse; the famous Love Is More Than Words or Better Late Than Never, a plea for international understanding from a band known in the west coast rock world as 'Hate,' and the equally famous Hendrix collaboration/jam The Everlasting First.
This is no place to begin investigating one of the most exciting bands in history but it does collate many fine odds and a few sods outside their classic work
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003