Friday, April 11, 2008

Love Reissues

I also wanted to mention a bit of news on the Love reissue front. First the bad news: the limited edition Hip-O Blue Thumb Recordings box I reviewed last year has gone out-of-print. Used copies are currently changing hands for reasonable prices (for now). If you think you want this, I advise you to act quickly. However, if you're not interested in the live bonus CD included with the box, you might consider the fact Collector's Choice has reissued the two Blue Thumb studio albums, Out Here and False Start. Additionally, Arthur Lee's solo album, Vindicator, has been reissued by Britian's BGO Records, so it is once again possible to hear this recording without paying insane prices.

Finally, on April 22, Rhino will release a two disc "Collector's Edition" of Forever Changes, which will include a full-length "alternate mix" of the 1967 classic. It's hard to know what to think about that. The value of such a set will depend very much on just how interesting and/or different the "alternate mix" is, but I will never complain about any of Love's music being reissued. I also hear rumors of a Rhino box set, but don't know any details.

In the meantime, I am still waiting for a proper reissue of Reel To Real. Collector's Choice, are you listening?

Though out-of-print on CD, The Blue Thumb Recordings is now available for download from iTunes at a budget price.


Darren said...

I'd never heard that live track. Very cool. I don't even know who was in the band in 1970. At first I thought they might be a three-piece, but someone must have been playing the tambourine.

I hate that I didn't get a chance to see one of those Forever Changes concerts.

Pete Bilderback said...

The band for that track was:

Arthur Lee (lead vocals, guitar)
Gary Rowles (lead guitar)
Frank Fayad (bass)
George Suranovich (drums)

I'm guessing it was Lee on tambourine. This is basically the same line-up that recorded False Start minus Noony Rickett. A very good band--as difficult as Lee was to work with, he always attracted very talented musicians.

Mark N. said...

I agree--nice, tight version of that song. (Is it just me, or does it sound like Arthur introduces it as "My Little Red BROOK").

I have loved Love since '89, when I picked up a cassette copy of Rhino's "Best of Love" at a used record store. Then bought "Da Capo" and everything I could find after that (including "Forever Changes," "Four Sail," and all the Blue Thumb-era albums when they were still being issued by MCA). At that time (late '80s and early '90s), it was really hard to find Love's stuff. You really had to keep your eyes peeled whilst perusing the record stores.

Interesting to hear that "Forever Changes" is being re-issued AGAIN. I picked up the first re-issue in 2001(?). I don't know that an alternate mix is enough to make me take the plunge yet again (although it is one of my all-time favorite albums).

Love is a band that I always tried (usually without success) to turn other people on to. I'd always end up terribly disappointed, after I had slaved to make them the ultimate Love mixtape, to have them come back to me and say, "Yeah, it was okay." I suppose Love is one of those band that you either really GET, or just DON'T (and probably never will).

Anyway Pete, keep us posted if you hear the new "Forever Changes" and/or the Blue Thumb re-issues. I'm assuming the Blue Thumb re-issues will vastly improve on the sound of the MCA CD versions. (Just writing this makes me want to dig out my old copy of "Out Here").

Pete Bilderback said...

Hi Mark--

It sounds to me like he, rather pointedly, calls it "My Little Red Crook."

Because I'm a sucker, I'm sure I'll pick up the Rhino "Collector's Edition" of Forever Changes, and I'll let you know what I think of the alternate mix and sound quality.

As for the Blue Thumb/Collector's Choice reissues, I assume they will use the same remasters as on the Blue Thumb box, which indeed sounded vastly superior to the old MCA CDs. I will let you know when I find out for sure.

I remember the trouble (and expense) I went through tracking down Love's music back in the 80s as well. It took me a long time to finally get my hands on a decent sounding copy of Forever Changes (the worse of all was the initial CD issue on Elektra). Now there are a number of good choices including the 2001 expanded CD and the excellent Sundazed vinyl reissue. Better too many options than too few.