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One of the best West Coast folk-rock/psychedelic bands, Love may have also been the first widely acclaimed cult/underground group. During their brief heyday -- lasting all of three albums -- they drew from Byrds-ish folk-rock, Stones-ish hard rock, blues, jazz, flamenco, and even light orchestral pop to create a heady stew of their own. They were also one of the first integrated rock groups, led by genius singer/songwriter Arthur Lee, one of the most idiosyncratic and enigmatic talents of the '60s. Stars in their native Los Angeles and an early inspiration to the Doors, they perversely refused to tour until well past their peak. This ensured their failure to land a hit single or album, though in truth the band's vision may have been too elusive to attract mass success anyway.

Love was formed by Lee in the mid-'60s in Los Angeles. Although only 20 at the time, Lee had already scuffled around the fringes of the rock and soul business for a couple of years. In addition to recording some flop singles with his own bands, he wrote and produced a single for Rosa Lee Brooks that Jimi Hendrix played on as session guitarist. Originally calling his outfit the Grass Roots, Lee changed the name to Love after another Los Angeles group called the Grass Roots began recording for Dunhill. Love's repertoire would be largely penned by Lee, with a few contributions by guitarist Bryan MacLean.

Inspired by British Invasion bands and local peers the Byrds, Love built up a strong following in hip L.A. clubs. Soon they were signed by Elektra, the noted folk label that was just starting to get its feet wet in rock (it had recorded material by early versions of the Byrds and the Lovin' Spoonful, and had just released the first LP by Paul Butterfield). Their self-titled debut album (1966) introduced their marriage of the Byrds and the Stones on a set of mostly original material and contained a small hit, their punk-ish adaptation of Bacharach/David's "My Little Red Book."

Love briefly expanded to a seven-piece for their second album, Da Capo (1967), which included their only Top 40 hit, the corkscrew-tempoed "Seven & Seven Is." The first side was psychedelia at its best, with an eclectic palette encompassing furious jazz structures, gentle Spanish guitar interludes, and beautiful Baroque pop with dream-like images ("She Comes in Colors"). It was also psychedelia at its most reckless, with the whole of side two taken up by a meandering 19-minute jam. It was still a great step forward, but by mid-1967, the band was threatening to disintegrate due to drugs and general disorganization.

The group was in such sad shape, apparently, that Elektra planned to record their third album with sessionmen backing Lee (on his compositions) or MacLean (on his compositions). Work on two tracks actually commenced in this fashion, but the shocked band pulled themselves together to play their own material again, resulting in one of the finest rock albums of all time, Forever Changes. An exceptionally strong set of material graced by captivating lyrics and glistening, unobtrusive horn and string arrangements, it was not a commercial hit in the U.S. (though it did pretty well in Britain) but remains an all-time favorite of many critics.

Just at the point where they seemed poised to assert themselves as a top band, Love's first and best lineup was broken up in early 1968, at Lee's instigation. Several albums followed in the late '60s and early '70s that, though credited to Love, are in reality Lee and backup musicians -- none of whom had skills on the level of Bryan MacLean or the other original Love men. Lee largely forsook folk-rock for hard rock, with unimpressive results, even when he was able to get Jimi Hendrix to play on one track. The problems ran deeper than unsympathetic accompaniment: Lee's songwriting muse had largely deserted him as well, and nothing on the post-Forever Changes albums competes with the early Elektra records.

Lee released a solo album in the early '70s, and then put another Love together for one last effort in 1974, but basically Love/Lee (the two had in effect become synonymous) ground to a halt in the mid-'70s. Lee sporadically recorded and performed in the years following without coming up with anything resembling a unified full-length studio statement, though some scattered live and studio recordings appeared, including a 1994 single on the tiny Distortions label.

In 1995, Rhino Records released the compilation Love Story 1966-1972 around which time the label also bailed Lee out of jail after he was arrested for trying to set his ex-girlfriend's apartment on fire. Lee's troubles continued the following year after he was again arrested after shooting a gun in the air during an argument with a neighbor. He was subsequently convicted for illegal possession of a firearm, and due to a prior drug offense in the '80s, was sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison under California's three strikes law. In 2000, Rhino issued an expanded version of Love's classic Forever Changes and helped reignite interest in Lee. In 2001, a California federal appeals court found the prosecutor at Lee's trial guilty of misconduct and reversed the charges against Lee who was then freed. Buoyed by renewed fan support, Lee toured with a new Love lineup playing Forever Changes in full and even received a Living Legend Award at the 2004 NME Awards. In 2006, Lee was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and underwent three bouts of chemotherapy as well as a bone marrow transplant before his condition worsened. He passed away on August 3, 2006, at Memphis, Tennessee's Methodist University Hospital. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: The Code (Single)

1. The Code


Track List: Wassup Doe (Single)

1. Wassup Doe (Feat. K-Major)


Track List: Black Beauty (Deluxe Version)

1. Young & Able (Good & Evil)

2. Midnight Sun

3. Can't Find It

4. Walk Right In

5. Skid

6. Beep Beep

7. Stay Away

8. Lonely Pigs

9. See Myself In You

10. Product Of The Times

11. (Title Song From The Motion Picture) Thomasine & Bushrod

12. Arthur Lee Interview - 1974

13. Every Time I Look Up, I'm Down - Electric Gardens, Glasgow, 5/30/74 (Live)

14. Nothing - Electric Gardens, Glasgow, 5/30/74 (Live)

15. Keep On Shining - Electric Gardens, Glasgow, 5/30/74 (Live)

16. L.A. Blues (Arthur Lee And Ventilator, 1996) (Live)


Track List: Love Lost

2. I Can't Find It

4. Product Of The Times

6. Everybody's Gotta Live

7. Midnight Sun

9. He Knows A Lot Of Good Women

10. Find Somebody

13. Looking Glass


Track List: Love [W/Bonus Tracks]

1. My Little Red Book (Stereo Version)

2. Can't Explain (Stereo Version)

3. A Message To Pretty (Stereo Version)

4. My Flash On You (Stereo Version)

5. Softly To Me (Stereo Version)

6. No Matter What You Do (Stereo Version)

7. Emotions (Stereo Version)

8. You I'll Be Following (Stereo Version)

9. Gazing (Stereo Version)

10. Hey Joe (Stereo Version)

11. Signed D.C. (Stereo Version)

12. Colored Balls Falling

13. Mushroom Clouds (Stereo Version)

14. And More (Stereo Version)

15. Number 14 (Stereo)

16. Signed D.C. (Alternate Stereo)


Track List: The Forever Changes Concert

Disc 1

1. Alone Again Or (Live)

2. A House Is Not A Motel (Live)

3. Andmoreagain (Live)

4. Daily Planet (Live)

5. Old Man (Live)

6. Red Telephone (Live)

7. Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark And Hilldale (Live)

10. Bummer In The Summer (Live)

11. You Set The Scene (Live)

Disc 2

1. Orange Skies (Live)

2. She Comes In Colors (Live)

3. Listen To My Song (Live)

4. August (Live)

5. Seven And Seven Is (Live)

6. Your Mind And We Belong Together (Live)

7. Signed DC (Live)

8. My Little Red Book (Live)


Track List: Love Story 1966-72

Disc 1

1. My Little Red Book

2. Can't Explain

3. A Message To Pretty

4. My Flash On You

5. Softly To Me

6. No Matter What You Do

8. Hey Joe

9. Signed D.C.

10. No. Fourteen

11. 7 And 7 Is

12. Stephanie Knows Who

13. Orange Skies

14. !Que Vida!

15. The Castle

17. Your Mind And We Belong Together

18. Laughing Stock

19. Alone Again Or

20. A House Is Not A Motel

21. Andmoreagain

22. The Daily Planet

23. Old Man

24. The Red Telephone

Disc 2

1. Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark And Hilldale

2. Live And Let Live

4. Bummer In The Summer

5. You Set The Scene

6. August

7. Your Friend And Mine - Neil's Song

9. Singing Cowboy

10. Robert Montgomery

11. Always See Your Face

12. I'll Pray For You

13. Listen To My Song

15. I Still Wonder

16. Run To The Top

17. Willow Willow

18. The Everlasting First

19. Keep On Shining

20. Everybody's Gotta Live


Track List: The Best Of Love

1. My Little Red Book

2. Can't Explain

3. Softly To Me

4. No Matter What You Do

5. Hey Joe

6. Signed D.C.

7. Seven & Seven Is

8. Stephanie Knows Who

9. Orange Skies

10. Que Vida

11. She Comes In Colors

12. Alone Again Or

13. Andmoreagain

14. Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark And Hilldale

15. Live And Let Live

16. You Set The Scene

17. Your Mind And We Belong Together

18. Laughing Stock

19. Singing Cowboy

20. Your Friend And Mine-Neil's Song

21. Robert Montgomery

22. Always See Your Face


Track List: False Start

1. The Everlasting First (Live)

2. Flying

3. Gimi A Little Break

4. Stand Out (Live)

5. Keep On Shining (Live)

6. Anytime

7. Slick Dick

8. Love Is Coming

9. Feel Daddy Feel Good

10. Ride That Vibration


Track List: Out Here

1. I'll Pray For You

2. Abalony

3. Signed D.C.

4. Listen To My Song

5. I'm Down

6. Stand Out

7. Discharged

8. Doggone

9. I Still Wonder

10. Love Is More Than Words Or Better Late Than Never

11. Nice To Be

12. Car Lights On In The Daytime Blues

13. Run To The Top

14. Willow Willow

15. Instra-Mental

16. You Are Something

17. Gather Round


Track List: Forever Changes

1. Alone Again Or

2. A House Is Not A Motel

3. Andmoreagain

4. The Daily Planet

5. Old Man

6. The Red Telephone

7. Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark And Hilldale

8. Live And Let Live

10. Bummer In The Summer

11. You Set The Scene

12. Hummingbirds (Demo)

17. Your Mind And We Belong Together

18. Laughing Stock


Track List: Da Capo

1. Stephanie Knows Who

2. Orange Skies

3. Que Vida!

4. Seven & Seven Is

5. The Castle

6. She Comes In Colors

7. Revelation


Track List: The Definitive Rock Collection

Disc 1

1. My Little Red Book

2. Can't Explain

3. A Message To Pretty

4. Softly To Me

5. No Matter What You Do

6. You I'll Be Following

7. Hey Joe

8. Signed D.C.

9. Mushroom Clouds

10. No. Fourteen

11. Seven & Seven Is

12. Stephanie Knows Who

13. Orange Skies

14. Que Vida!

15. The Castle

Disc 2

1. Alone Again Or

2. Andmoreagain

3. The Red Telephone

4. Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark And Hilldale

5. Live And Let Live

6. Bummer In The Summer

7. You Set The Scene

8. Your Mind And We Belong Together

9. Laughing Stock

10. Singing Cowboy

11. Your Friend And Mine (Neil's Song)

12. Good Times

13. Robert Montgomery

14. Always See Your Face


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Seven and Seven Is, and Little Red Book need to be played LOUD on a powerful stereo with big speakers. Then you will appreciate what a great band that they were. So many of the groups from the '60's were like that, you cannot get the right effect when the music has been compressed for the Ipad format and played on earbuds
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the VU isn't underrated bro
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Love + Velvet Underground were the most underrated + influential bands in rock history. Forever changes still holds up to anything out since. Don't know if they were around long enough for the hall of fame.
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I just learned of the influence they had on rock. Many artists consider them a favorite.
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I agree that there is no doubt that Love should be inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame. Their sound is innovative then and now and still moves
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Great band! Lee and love should be in the rock n roll hall of fame for sure!
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It is dificult to say how important this band and Albert Lee was at that time.
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Will always be in love with LOVE!! ❤️
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I bought this album for Alone Again Or and was surprised how good it was. I had been out of the country for 2 years and so out of touch and this was quite different from what was mostly on the radio in 1965 when I left. Still have the original release and it is a treasure.
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dedicatedalw a y s
Forever changes my all time favorite Rick lp the best of the sixties in my book .
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Never heard of these cats! These guys are the f**king s**t!
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How do you looks this
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Boo I hate u
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The Beatles favorite band from the USA.. Brilliant and still genius today.
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Love love. Arthur was the best, god rest his soul. He's with jimmy now.
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One of the great bands that never got as much recognition as they were due. The first three albums are all classics.
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I thought I was the only one who listened to Love...have them all, vinyl AND CD, and a couple on cassette.
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Not from the 60s era, just heard of LOVE recently and they are awesome ♪♪♪♪♪♪♪ ♥ : )
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this is from four sail....Robe r t Montgomery this is just one of many fine tracks.. it's on CD.... check it out.... if you dare...
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w.Sims.... hey man.... I know four sail... incredible album.... cover to cover.... hats off to Arthur and company... thanks man!!!
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i think" four sail" was an awesome record... I still" love" it today it has a lot of great tunes.
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claricentp91 7
Interested on making some extra cash? go to BLUDOS.COM You can make $300+ a week easily. Its free so no scam here.
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shawnnavuz71 1
Interested on making some extra cash? go to BLUDOS.COM You can make $300+ a week easily. Its free so no scam here.
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C'mon you gotta dig this s**t. I put on my Madras shirt and bleed like hell.
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we all been thru changes..... m a y b e he did too.
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may arthur lee rest with the one tru God....Jesus Christ
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Forever Changes and Sgt Pepper share a special place in my heart as the greatest concept albums of the '60's.
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Love their version of Hey Joe! My dad turned me on to this band when I was in High School, I'm 39 and love old obscure rock! Anyone listen to the FUGS!!!! Another band he turned me on to. :)
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bad a** band love this
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Rick Bolz played with Love t e r e s t i n g .
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without a doubt included in my top 10 of the last four decades period! wolfbbro
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Under rated and less well known than they should have been----grea t group of the times. RIP: Arthur Lee
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keep trying. so worth it.... try Arthur Lee
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Call me stupid but whenever i try to add Love to a station LoveLance gets added instead. LoveLance? Somebody please help.
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saw love and the leaves at san jose civic about 1965,lee was quite a performer good show
for a 15 yr old kid...
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Its a crime that Love never received the recognition they deserve. 'Alone Again Or' and 'You Set the Scene' are quite simply rock masterpieces .
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my older brother carmen brought home the vinyl one fine day. never heard it before that its great joy to get turned onto new great music. my reason to be alive
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After seeing most of the icons of the historically - c l a s s i c '60s live, (Joplin, Hendrix, Doors, Stones, Floyd, Who, Zappa, ++) somehow I never caught a LOVE concert until Lee played with Baby Lemonade (as LOVE) at the west cost knitting factory in Hollywood - a small club packed with the die-hard few that got to see this show - AMAZING! I can now die a happy man.
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I've loved Love since I was a kid and raided my dad's record collection. Their first album --My Little Red Book and Hey Joe are standouts-- brings so many memories... I know because I recorded it onto a cassette and took it with me to college! Guess I could update the technology and just burn a CD now... I had bought tickets for his concert in the summer of 06-- sadly, he died a few weeks before.
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johnnyohania n
Hey Mr. Brurox8: Thanks for the edification on why Love did not tour. But please elaborate. Why was Lee paranoid? Just drug use or something else?
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They were the headliner at a concert at the Shrine in LA. Opening for them were Chicago Transit Authority and Procol Harum. One of my first concerts.
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They DID tour, mainly in the Southern California area. Lee was very paranoid and often wouldn't appear for bookings. The reputation for being a "no-show" finally had booking agents refusing to book the group anymore. Between the paranoia and drugs, Lee sunk Love.
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johnnyohania n
Wonder why they did not tour? Could it be due to segregation and the racism of the 60's? They were a multi-race group. Maybe they were afraid to stray too far from home.
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What about the FOURTH album -- FOUR SAIL?
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Not mentioned in the bio is that Arthur Lee died 8/3/06 of complication s from leukemia.
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All you need is LOVE
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circus master1 drinks his own kool-aid
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I got into Love via covers by Groovie Ghoulies cover of "Message to Pretty" and the Ramones cover of "7 and 7 is". Also, I read that Johnny Ramones' influential rhythm guitar style (he only played rhythm) was inspired by Love. Rasmystery: Interesting analogy to the Velvets, I think I get what you're saying.
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LOVE IT!!!!!
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@rasmystery - What are you talking about? I can make out about half of what you're saying. Proofread before you post.
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