The art form that is rock ‘n’ roll never fails to enchant us with artists who forge eternal works that somehow fail to garner the acclaim they so richly deserve until long after they were initially created.
Witness the illustrious, influential Arthur Lee and Love. The original version of this Los Angeles based collective fused garage, folk, jazz, flamenco, baroque, psychedelic and hard-rock into a magnificent canon which culminated with their magnum opus Forever Changes (1967) – an album which stands with The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper (1967), and the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds (1966) as a masterpiece of its era.
Along with innovative guitarists/composers Johnny Echols and Bryan MacLean - bassist Ken Forssi was brilliant in his support of the compositions, rendering passages brimming with soulful rhythms, glissandos, contrapuntal harmonies, and heavy riffs aplenty.
When Lee broke up that band in 1968, Love essentially became his solo vehicle for a series of releases that reached even less of an audience. To my ears, Love’s first three LPs: Love (1966), Da Capo (1967) and the aforementioned Forever Changes – all with Forssi, who passed in 1998, are endlessly fascinating.
Kudos to the indie and alternative rockers who re-discovered the all-but-forgotten Love, and brought Arthur Lee back to the stage with a Forever Changes revue shortly before he passed in 2006.