This one goes out “to all you lonely hearts out there”, to quote the late great romantic Joey Ramone.
‘Alone Again Or’ is the first track on Forever Changes, the third album by Arthur Lee’s band Love, from Los Angeles. Nowadays considered a classic album, a psychedelic masterpiece. But after its release in november 1967 it peaked in the US-albumcharts at # 154. It fared a little better abroad in the UK: # 24. Despite (or maybe because) lyrics like: “Oh, the snot has caked against my pants. It has turned into crystal.” (from: ‘Live And Let Live’). BTW: ‘Alone Again Or’ was written and sung by Love-guitarplayer Bryan MacLean.
Love-'Alone Again Or'
Big jump foreward in time: In 1992 the French label New Rose released ‘Arthur Lee & Love’, his fourth solo-album. Highlight: ‘Five String Serenade’.
Arthur Lee-'Five String Serenade'
Small sidestep: ‘Five String Serenade’ was covered live by The White Stripes (you can find it on youtube). But most people heard it first from Mazzy Star, the band of singer Hope Sandoval and guitarist David Roback (ex-Rain Parade). I’ve read somewhere that Arthur Lee earned more money from the Mazzy Star-royalties, than all his Love-royalties put together.
Mazzy Star-'Five String Serenade' (clip plus lyrics) or here:
After Forever Changes things went downhill for Love and Arthur Lee. By 1972 two former bandmembers were in jail, and Lee had become increasingly difficult to work with. All because of drugs. Sad to think what could have been. But what we do have is lasting: three albums that still tell a great story. And this is how it started, with a bang: their second single (B-side: ‘No.14’; hey!), from their garagerock-days in 1966:
Love-'7 and 7 is'