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Arthur Lee
     

Arthur Lee

4.0 1
by Arthur Lee
 
In the mid- to late '60s, Arthur Lee was one of the most important figures on the L.A. rock scene; his band Love could pack any club in town and they made a handful of superb and influential records, most notably their 1967 masterpiece, Forever Changes. But Lee was hardly the only major artist of the '60s who seemed to lose his footing in

Overview

In the mid- to late '60s, Arthur Lee was one of the most important figures on the L.A. rock scene; his band Love could pack any club in town and they made a handful of superb and influential records, most notably their 1967 masterpiece, Forever Changes. But Lee was hardly the only major artist of the '60s who seemed to lose his footing in the '70s, and after releasing a solo album in 1972 (Vindicator) and a disappointing final Love LP in 1974 (Reel to Real), Lee musically dropped out of sight, at least outside of California. In 1980, the Love fans at the plucky (and at the time independent) Rhino Records released a solid Best of Love compilation, and its modest success prompted the label to issue a new album from Lee in 1981. Arthur Lee was cobbled together from material recorded for an unfinished solo project along with some new tunes, and several of the songs sound more like demos than finished work, especially a clunky cover of the Bobbettes' oldie "Mr. Lee" and "One," a second-rate number that was foolishly chosen to lead off the album. Arthur Lee did not give the impression that the great man's chops as a guitarist or songwriter were in especially good shape, though there are a few solid numbers here, in particular "Down Street" (a tough fusion of rock and reggae that suggests Garland Jeffreys' work on Escape Artist), "Bend Down" (a lean but effective heavy rocker), and "Stay Away from Evil" (which finds Lee dipping his toes into funk with effective results). Lee was in fine voice on these sessions, singing as well as he had in his salad days, and he also dug up an unrecorded obscurity from Love's golden era ("I Do Wonder" wouldn't have been out of place on Forever Changes) as well as offering a new jangle rock arrangement of "7 & 7 Is." But Lee's new fascination with reggae didn't serve him very well on "One and One" and a cover of Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers to Cross," and ultimately this album is a jumble of ideas that never coheres into something solid. Arthur Lee is just good enough to suggest that Lee could have had another great album in him if someone had been willing to give him the time, the budget, and a producer who could help him focus; sadly, that didn't happen, and it would prove to be his last proper studio effort.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/13/2009
Label:
Friday Music
UPC:
0829421109525
catalogNumber:
1095
Rank:
70506

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Arthur Lee   Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Track Performer
Bob Johnson   Vocals
Velvert Turner Group   Guitar
Sherwood Akuna   Bass
Joe Blocker   Drums
Carlos Carraby   Drums
Michael Curtis   Bass
Kim Kesterson   Bass,Musician
Herman McCormick   Vocals,Background Vocals
John Sterling   Guitar,Slide Guitar,Musician
George Suranovich   Drums,Musician
Azell Taylor   Vocals,Background Vocals
Otis Walker   Vocals
Melvan Whittington   Guitar
Neil Williams   Guitar
Bobby Johnson   Vocals,Background Vocals
Velvert Turner   Guitar,Musician
Mike Curtis   Bass

Technical Credits

Greg Fulginiti   Sequencers
Arthur Lee   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Cover Design,Audio Production
Otis Walker   Composer
Helen Gathers   Composer
Emma Pought   Composer
Kathe Schreyer   Back Cover
Joe Reagoso   Author,Reissue Producer,Audio Production
Cliff   Composer
Dixon   Composer
Webb   Composer
Buford   Composer

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Arthur Lee 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I disagree about Many Rivers To Cross, I think Arthur did a beautiful cover of that song. I think his piano on that  song is SO SWEET. It later captured my heart after a break up to make up reunion which lead us to Homeside  Street 5;30 am in the Hood where he awakened Azel Taylor, who sings on DOWN STREET and MR LEE , ( which I agree is prosaic & lame) He proceeded to play piano in that pure unadorned manner displayed on  Many Rivers which I found so enchanting and the vocals a dream. The lp was definitely a ROUGH CUT but it has its charm. I really like ONE , DO YOU KNOW THE SECRET, MANY RIVERS and to a lesser degree I DO WONDER.  I believe Arthur did write and deliver another Great Album after we met in 89. He hadn't written anything new in 20  years, however the New Rose Records album released Easter Sunday 1992 ARTHUR LEE  AND LOVE has some beautifully written and sung songs, production still isn't FOREVER CHANGES.I consider the first 3 albums with the exception of the God Awful REVELATION, which none the less set a precedent being the first song that exhausted a whole side of an LP. He set an impressive number of precedents in music in the mid sixties. He acquired a Platinum Record  for FIVE STRING SERENADE from the 92 LP thanks to Mazzy Stars cover. YOU'RE THE PRETTIEST SONG, NINETY MILES AWAY, LOVE SAGA, although a bit unhinged and far too long I like I BELIEVE IN YOU, knowing its source and how cleverly he crafted the lyrics. I think its like the 4th best, and the first in 20-30 years that he wasn't recycling the same old songs on the many albums he released after Elektra.Two days after Arthur died in August 2006 I created a blog in his honor if you vist  start in August 2006 and work your way back to the present.                                                                                                                    TODAY IS FOREVER    http://poisgoneforever.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html