Episode one hundred and sixty-one of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Alone Again Or", the career of Love, and the making of Forever Changes. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.
Patreon backers also have a twenty-minute bonus episode available, on "Susan" by the Buckinghams
Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/
I refer to Bach's Partita No. 1 in B-flat minor in the episode. It's actually in B-flat major, but Amazon wrongly tagged the MP3 copy of Glenn Gould playing Bach's Partitas that I bought from them.
As usual, I have created Mixcloud mixes of all the songs excerpted in the episode. This episode's mixes are in two parts -- part one and part two.
My main source for the episode is Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book of Love by John Einarson, and I also referred a lot to Arthur Lee: Alone Again Or by Barney Hoskyns.
I also referred to Pegasus Epitaph: The Story of the Legendary Rock Group Love , the autobiography of Michael Stuart Ware, and to the 33 1/3 book on Forever Changes.
This documentary is a very good look at Love's career.
And this double-CD contains almost every track anyone other than a serious completist could want by Love. It has Forever Changes in its entirety, plus eleven of the fourteen tracks from the first album, every track except "Revelation" from Da Capo, both sides of the "Your Mind and We Belong Together"/"Laughing Stock" single, the non-album B-side "Number 14", and five of the better tracks from the second version of Love.
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Before I start, I should just say that this episode involves some discussion of drug addiction, mental illness, and racism.
In this episode and the next one, we're taking what is almost our final look at the LA pop music scene of the sixties. The story over the last ten episodes or so has been about how the Monterey Pop Festival precipitated an end to LA's dominance in music on the West Coast of the US, and how it was replaced by San Francisco. There will of course be LA artists turning up over the next thirty-odd episodes, especially as we see the Laurel Canyon scene, which is a separate but connected thing to the pop scene, take off towards the end of the sixties.
We haven't seen the last of several of the artists from LA we've already looked at, but here and in the next episode we're going to look at the last gasps of the scene that had built up around Sunset Strip and the Hollywood recording studios, the one that encompassed proto-punk garage rock, jangly folk-rock, and modern jazz style harmonies. The influence of that scene would reverberate for decades to come, but the scene itself was largely at an end by the middle of 1967.
This episode is an unusual one in some respects, because we're looking at a band who we *have* seen previously, but who haven't had an episode to themselves. Normally, when we've seen a band before, I'd just do a "when we last saw X" intro, but while about half an hour in the middle of the episode on "Hey Joe" was devoted to Love, and to how the band formed, we left the group before they'd even made their first album, and the story was being told in the context specifically of their relationship with that song.
So I'm going to do a brief recap of what we covered there, so some of this may sound a little familiar to you. It'll be a much briefer version of the story than I told there, but will include different details.
The core of the band that became Love was two Black men born in Memphis, Arthur Lee and Johnny Echols. Both had been neighbours in their very early childhood, but Lee's family had moved away to LA when he was small. Bu