Monday, July 20, 2009

Love Lost (and Found)

I came across some exciting news for fans of Arthur Lee and Love. Sundazed is releasing a previously unissued Love album from 1971:

Sonic archaeology! In a move that defies rational belief, SUNDAZED has unearthed an unissued 1971 album by revered Los Angeles rock band Arthur Lee & Love, languishing in the Columbia Records tape vault.

I assume this is the album that Lee recorded for CBS--tentatively titled Dear You--after his deal with Blue Thumb expired. While I was aware of the existence of this album, I have never heard it, and am not aware of the tapes ever circulating in traders circles (although I am not really up on these things). Either way, this is a major find, and I'm glad this material will finally see the light of day through Sundazed.

But [think of a Ronco infomercial here] that's not all you get! According to Sundazed:

And that's not all! We've also uncovered a marvelous batch of acoustic demos for the ‘71 album, featuring just the magical voice of Arthur Lee and his acoustic guitar. It's a thrilling twin-discovery of ultra-important material that no one knew existed.

As a precursor to the release of this breath-taking Arthur Lee and Love material (to be called Love Lost), we've created a 7” single of two knockout tracks from the demo sides. “Love Jumped Through My Window” is cut from the same fine cloth as every heart-stopping Love track you've ever heard. And the flipside, “Sad Song,” — in alternate take form here — will appear only on seven-inch vinyl. The Love maestro is in superlative voice on both of these exquisite unheard sides.

These two songs eventually appeared on Lee's 1972 solo debut, Vindicator. From the short 30 second clips Sundazed has made available these acoustic demos sound far better than the over-cooked hard rock of Vindicator, so this looks to be a very promising release. The single will be released August 25, and is available for pre-order from Sundazed now.

I don't have any information beyond that this at this point, but I have made an inquiry with Sundazed and will keep you updated as details emerge.

In other Lee/Love news, I noticed that a label called Friday Music has reissued a couple of Lee collectors items. The first is the Arthur Lee album that was first issued by Rhino back in the 80s that I reviewed a while back. The other is an album called Love Live featuring material Lee recorded with Bryan Maclean in 1978 (Rhino originally issued that one as a picture disc).


Mark said...

Thanks for sharing this great news! I knew nothing about this unreleased Arthur Lee/Love album (and I thought I know just about everything about Love--how wrong I was), but am REALLY REALLY looking forward to hearing it. I liked the little snippet of "Sad Song" on the Sundazed website.

Do have any idea of Arthur's personnel for this aborted album? Was it Fayad, Suranovich, Donnellan (i.e. Love, Mach II)? Not that it really matters, just curious.

Pete Bilderback said...

Hi Mark. I'm still waiting to hear back from Sundazed, but one of the questions I asked was the line up for the studio album.

Here is my speculation: no way Jay Donnellan is on the album. He had already been replaced by Gary Rowles for False Start and even parts of Out Here. Donnellan and Lee did not part on good terms.

Fayad, Suranovich and Rowles might have been gone by the time this album was recorded as well. Most accounts I've read say this version of the band split up almost immediately after False Start was released. But Fayad was also on Vindicator (1972) and Suranovich popped up on some of Lee's late 70s and early 80s projects, so who knows?

I'll let you know more about this project as I get info.

. said...

Love Lost was recorded in 1971, during a brief, little-known period during which Love was signed to Columbia Records. Lee and the then-current Love lineup–bassist Frank Fayad, guitarist Craig Tarwater and drummer Don Poncher–recorded an album’s worth of new material for the label. But after the band left the company, the recordings sat unreleased and unheard until now. The material on Love Lost–comprised of the unreleased Columbia sessions, plus five unreleased acoustic demos from the same period–captures Love in a transitional phase, charting the next step in Lee’s idiosyncratic musical trajectory, following the lush garage-psychedelia of the classics Da Capo and Forever Changes, and the bluesier direction of the hardrocking False Start and Out Here. Many of the songs included on Love Lost would resurface, often in radically different form, on subsequent Love releases, and on Lee’s fabled solo album Vindicator. But the original versions included on Love Lost, boast a playful looseness that’s absent from most of Lee’s later work, as well as a raw, edgy urgency that underlines his credentials as an early progenitor of punk-rock attitude. Love Lost also features three songs–”For a Day,” “Trippin’ & Slippin’” and “C.F.I. Instrumental”–that have not previously been released, in any form.
With a treasure trove of vintage Love music that has never before been heard by fans, Love Lost is a major addition to Arthur Lee and Love’s body of work, and its release is a major event for Lee’s fervent fan base.

Track list:

01. Love Jumped Through My Window
02. I Can’t Find It
03. He Said She Said
04. Product of the Times
05. Sad Song
06. Everybody’s Gotta Live
07. Midnight Sun
08. Good & Evil I
09. He Knows a Lot of Good Women
10. Find Somebody
11. For a Day
12. Good & Evil II
13. Looking Glass
14. Trippin’ & Slippin’/Ezy Ryder