Love – Love
Acquired: My Friend Marjorie, Used, 2007
Marjorie probably would have just straight up given this record, given my enthusiasm. Marjorie used to be my neighbor when I lived on Illinois street and one night she was showing me this old record collection she'd picked up at her parents' house. I saw this and flipped and asked if I wanted it. I told her I totally did, but all I had on me was $5 and she was like “That's totally fine” and sold it to me. It's worn, and some dude wrote his name on the cover years ago, but it's Love's first record! It's not a punk forebear like Da Capo and it's not a masterpiece like Forever Changes, but it's a hint at those great records to come. And fuck, this IS a great record. Did you know that the Doors are famous because of Love? That Arthur Lee got Elektra to sign them and then Love self-destructed and the Doors took over (despite the Doors being an awful band). Love is an anomaly. They combined elements of garage, psychedelia, and straight rock n' roll and they were led by a black dude. A rock and roll band led by a black dude?! Today that would seem weird (I wrote a whole paper about this one year). I mean, dig the “Seven and Seven Is” precursor “My Flash On You” and the almost sinister sounding cover of Manfred Mann's “My Little Red Book” (which went on to become Love's single from this record). “No Matter What You Do” is a beautiful, chimey pop-love song, whereas “Signed D.C.” is a graphic description of descent into drug addiction. The nuclear holocaust fearing “Mushroom Clouds” and the surfy instrumental “Emotions.” They cover all the bases. There's even a cover of Jimi Hendrix's “Hey Joe,” sung by guitarist Bryan Maclean, who doesn't nail it like Arthur Lee would have, but later had his moment with the excellent “Alone Again Or” on Forever Changes. Anyway, this album fucking rules. I mean, just look at the cover! Who the fuck are these guys and how were they a popular band in 1966!!! Buncha fuckin' weirdos! Anyway, this album is an underrated gem and if all you've got is Forever Changes you best do yourself a favor and pick this one up.
Also, check out how cool these motherfuckers are! 1966!!!
Love (Arthur Lee) - My Little Red Book (June 1966)