Music

Love

Led by the charismatic Arthur Lee, Love was a groundbreaking American band that emerged in the 1960s to blend the spirit of psychedelia with many other divergent musical influences in a way that hadn't been done before, not least in a racial mix. Based in Los Angeles, Lee had been involved in music from an early age, playing with local bands like The LAG's and Lee's American Four, while in 1964 he also produced a single for Rosa Lee Brooks which featured Jimi Hendrix on guitar. After one of his songs Feathered Fish was recorded by garage rock band Sons Of Adam (featuring future Love drummer Michael Stuart), Lee formed The Grass Roots with guitarist Johnny Echols, who changed their name to Love to avoid clashing with another band of the same name. Mixing R&B with the folk-rock style of the Byrds popular at the time, Love gained a big reputation in LA and, despite Lee's habit of regularly changing the line-up, they had a minor hit in 1966 with Burt Bacharach's My Little Red Book. They'll be forever remembered, though, for two psychedelic albums in 1967 - Da Capo and Forever Changes, a suite of songs using acoustic instruments which included their most famous number, Alone Again Or, written by band member Bryan MacLean. Drug problems took their toll on the group but different Love line-ups continued with the albums Four Sail and Out Here (both 1969) and False Start (1970), featuring a guest appearance by Jimi Hendrix, before it fell apart in the late 1970s when Lee launched a solo career and was later imprisoned on firearms offences. Lee and Johnny Echols revived Love in the early 2000s and although Lee died in 2006, Echols managed to keep the band name alive with new members.

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07-07-2011