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ThomasGalasso
Old Love

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 15/04/2007 :  02:56:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


I am not sure how well these work, but in the wake of The Doors reissues along with the recent Sly & the Family Stone discs, it seems fitting that Forever Changes would get some sort of 40th Anniversay treatment, and maybe even DaCapo for that matter. I am sure they can expand into more lost songs, and even deeper liner notes.


One element that continues to bug me on the current Forever Changes reissue is the inclusion of Arthur Lee saying "that solo is really outta sight man" at the end of "Your Mind and We Belong Together". The actual single should be on the disc unmolested. They can do something else with that soundbite of Arthur.


Anyways, it came to mind, and I am going to use the MySpace at some point (both Siddhartha's and Love's) to push this petition. Manimal Vinyl may also do the same.


-Thomas


Also, I am thinking of contacting someone at Universal in regard to a proper reissue of Out Here and possibly False Start. At some point maybe even Reel to Real and Arthur's 1981 solo record I affectionately dub "The Wig Album". A friend put the "Wig Album" on CD for me, and even did a bit of remastering to the disc and I am actually into it. For better or for worse Arthur's foray into the world of challenging Rick James at the height of his career has aged better than maybe it started off.


Your thoughts ?


myspace.com/lovewitharthurlee

myspace.com/siddharthamusic

Merlyn Merlot
Fourth Love

USA
190 Posts

Posted - 15/04/2007 :  20:02:50  Show Profile  Visit Merlyn Merlot's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thomas Wel.com back!
Is their an Update on the Blue Thumb Re issues?

I heard it was either a UK and Online thing
but haven't heard anything new about it..

I know they keep putting out New Love Comps
but it would be really great to get all of that catalogue in a proper re mastered package


also any news about the Love Story Doc?
U S and L a Screenings?
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ThomasGalasso
Old Love

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 16/04/2007 :  01:29:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


Thank you for the welcome back.

The closest thing to an update of the Blue Thumb reissues I can say is that I saw what looked to be a remastered Out Here. A British copy of course. It had the clear side bar that most CD reissues carry, and the artwork looked glossy. Much better than the out-of-print version. In fact I want to say the CD may have even been from 2005 or 2006.


In regard to the split disc I have heard about, to my knowledge it will be an online only thing. Like purchasing downloads, which I myself find lame and very disrespectful to the material. With the record business falling into doldrums the way it is, there will be plenty of reissues keeping these labels in business. The online "three disc" package was to have a live disc which would include Arthur doing "My Little Red Book" in 1970. Wonder what that sounds like ?


I have yet to hear anything about the Love Story doc and US screenings. I do have a friend that has a promo copy of it, and I will view it within the next month or so.


-Thomas
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ALLANAGAIN
Old Love

United Kingdom
687 Posts

Posted - 18/04/2007 :  01:01:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good To see you back on board Thomas.
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rocker
Old Love

USA
3606 Posts

Posted - 18/04/2007 :  14:21:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Thomas...wanted to ask you this..who do you think was THE greatest influence on Arthur? Was it Hendrix, the Beatles or maybe some other artists under the radar?
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Signed RW
Fifth Love

USA
276 Posts

Posted - 18/04/2007 :  20:49:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Blue Thumb material is slated for release on the Hip-O Select label. The
label is similar to Rhino's Handmade releases, and is definitely not simply a
"download only" product. Hip-O Select CD's are generally initially available for purchase only at the Hip-O Select web-site, hence the misunderstanding about it being available "online only." As I recall, Andy McKaie, at Hip-O
Select-Universal Music Group (which currently has the rights to Blue Thumb
material), gave me a "first quarter, 2007" estimated release date, but we are
already a couple of weeks beyond first quarter, so it's obviously been delayed.
Highly unlikely though, that at this far along the project would not still
happen. My bet is, it will come out, and we'll all own and enjoy it soon enough.
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floweringtoilet
First Love

19 Posts

Posted - 18/04/2007 :  21:03:24  Show Profile  Visit floweringtoilet's Homepage  Reply with Quote
As much as I'd like to see a 40th anniversary reissue of FC of DaCapo, I'd like to see some of the later material brought back into print. Reel To Real is a terrific album that has never been released on CD. Black Beauty has never been officially released at all.

I think it would be cool if Rhino released a boxed set with all 4 Elektra albums in slipcase replicas of the original albums with a couple CDs of bonus material. Also Rhino should reissue the self-titled solo album they released in 1981 with the additional material from More Changes as a bonus. It's not Arthur's best stuff, but it has it's moments. The Hip-O 3CD set sounds exciting, and I am eager to see that released. Universal likely has the rights to Vindicator and Reel To Real too...they should put that stuff out!

I have been doing an exploration of Arthur Lee's post-Forever Changes albums on my blog. So far the biggest revelation for me is Reel To Real. I heard the album years ago and thought it was horrible. But when I approached it from a different frame of reference today, I actually thought it was mostly excellent. I'd love to hear Black Beauty, as that was recorded with the same band (and they were tight), but haven't had any luck tracking down the boot.

Free Arthur Lee! (From OOP status)!
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ThomasGalasso
Old Love

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 19/04/2007 :  05:08:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thanks for the welcome back.


From what I know of Arthur, and just my own guestimations I would say his greatest influence musically was not Jimi Hendrix at all. Its common knowledge that The Byrds were the initial influence for the self titled debut version of the group, but overall I would say Arthur was a teenager who idolized Chuck Berry, Johnny Mathis, Nat "King" Cole, and James Brown to name only a few.


One thing I know for sure, was that he loved Cole, and that was part of the reason he wanted to be on Capital. It is hard to imagine a young black man in the 1950's and 1960's not being captivated and influenced by those names.


The Chuck Berry comes from the obvious and to anyone who has listened to Vindicator. I see that record moreso as Arthur attempting to reinvent himself as a raunchier, updated Chuck Berry for the 1970's while of course borrowing some things from the then proven formula that was Jimi Hendrix as well as Funkadelic.


A friend told me, he also idolized Little Richard as well.


-Thomas


Arthur would later get a tad lazy with his writing and begin to maybe look at what his contemporaries were doing thusly he may have imitated Hendrix especially on Black Beauty, and even The Buffalo Springfield on some songs from Out Here. Arthur was a tortured genius who began to live a little too hard thusly losing some of his original creative spark. It happens to virtually every great artist.
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ThomasGalasso
Old Love

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 19/04/2007 :  05:14:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


One more thing in regard to the reissue stuff.


While I have certainly had a lot of the DaCapo and Forever Changes stuff to digest, I would like a more in depth look into those days and times. I would prefer that Forever Changes gets the same treatment as The Doors (although it can be argued Love got that treatment first even Four Sail).


I want to have a nice copy of the Blue Thumb stuff the same way with the Elektra stuff. I don't want a dual disc sort of a thing. I would like both albums to get their due (which may be asking too much), with bonus tracks, and expanded liner notes including promotional materials.


As for Reel to Real, I would love the same, and that goes for Vindicator and the unreleased Black Beauty and of course Rhino putting out the "Wig Album". The fact that Vindicator has already been reiussed with bonus tracks and expanded liner notes is quite amazing, but alas the liner notes were a bit...unprofessional in my opinion with poor font and even some misinformation and misspelling of names. With Lee's passing my prediction was that all things Vindicator would become a little hotter.


And they have. try finding a nice used copy online that isn't an arm and a leg. Its going to be the new hipster "must have".


-Thomas


I am going to see about a petition to get a nice copy of Reel to Real, Vindicator and or the 1981 solo record.


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rocker
Old Love

USA
3606 Posts

Posted - 19/04/2007 :  14:43:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thomas..great points and I'd like to elaborate a bit because I'm kind of fascinated by artists, what they do, what makes them go and how they cope.
With all the influences you note I can see them all in Arthur's music especially in his vocals and songwriting. But one thing always sticks out with me when it comes to Arthur and that's the idea that he approached his art on both an emotional AND an intellectual level. Now with me that's where I think his claim to fame resides. I just don't think that other black artists were in the same vein as he was. The Temps sang "My Girl" and "Aint'To Proud To Beg", the 4 Tops "Bernadette" and "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch"..(man that's like a different business) but Arthur is way different he goes and writes "You Set the Scene" and "Maybe the People Would be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale" songs which are so different, mind-blowing and showing genius. Under the circumstances he found himself in, I just think Arthur used his music to "protect" himself from the world especially with the lyrics that arguably hang on some intellectual level that makes people wake up and pay attention or try to pay attention to what they're hearing. FC, in a nutshell, was Arthur's testament to living in our world and his artistry made us see what it contains and as a signpost to leading a good, interesting life while we're on this planet. He will always get a listen from me for all time.
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ThomasGalasso
Old Love

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 19/04/2007 :  17:57:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


I agree Arthur was quite different from any of the other black artists of his day and even before him. At least many of the mainstream artists.


The thing about Arthur's lyrics and his overall style were quite extreme even for the times, and he was truly a leader of a movement. Many of you already know these things, but take this into account, his mother was a school teacher, and he didn't finish high school. Jim Morrison (by many accounts) is looked at by some as the sort of white counterpart to Lee, and for some Morrison is a genius poet, but he had the nuclear family so-to-speak as well as a tenure at Florida State and UCLA. It is interesting to compare the two in that regard.


I get the notion that Arthur was (like many artists) extremely insecure and even a little angry about where he was supposed to fit in. He seems to have had mother issues as I understand his mother was a very strong and sometimes iron fisted woman. Lee sang about things that were happening to him in his life, and he always had a very clever way of phrasing things. That alone was a part of his genius. His obvious understanding and love for jazz is something that can been seen with the arrangements for most of DaCapo and Four Sail. Not to mention his obvious admiration and understanding of classical music with Forever Changes.

But keep in mind, with all of that, and his love for French New Wave films and his overall stylistic departure from what most black performers were doing during those times, he is still a guy from South Los Angeles, raised in the Crenshaw-Adams district which is very much the epicenter of black urban culture in L.A. That is where your Vindicator and your Black Beauty and to an eve greater extent your Reel to Real come from. Maybe some misfires in some eyes, and of course commercially, but it is just understanding the arch of a man who may have peaked too soon, or once again was ahead of his time.


-Thomas


Insecurity and constant pressure from others will make one venture into drastic life changes and that will ultimately affect one's creative output. But give the man kudos for being in reality one of the only members if not the only member of any incarnation of Love to keep himself in the limelight as an artist. So even during the years of the dry muse there was still something in his mind that continued on.
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jimmyboy
Fourth Love

USA
234 Posts

Posted - 20/04/2007 :  05:23:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
it sure is nice to see Thomas Galasso back on the board.He's smart,articulate and respectful.And his love of this music is undeniable. Good to "see" you Tom!
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ThomasGalasso
Old Love

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 20/04/2007 :  06:27:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thank you for the kind words Jimmyboy.


I figure Rhino might be one of the easiest outlets in terms of reissue, and of course that means either a redux of Forever Changes which might be really hard for them to consider or...."The Wig Album".


I have been listening to it a lot over the course of the last two months or so. The opening track "One" is pretty good although there are some moments which make me scratch my head. When Arthur mentions the Pittsburgh Steelers, and brings up Vietnam and "Good ole' China" its hard not to laugh. The song is definetly a trashy, guilty pleasure.


The song "Just Us" is also not bad, this time we have Arthur going into Stevie Wonder territory, as it sounds like it was recorded in the middle 1970's (which it was).


I love "Stay Away From Evil", which may have come a couple of years too late, but alas it is a nice little funk song that ages well. It reminds me of a blaxploitation film. I can see Arthur leaping out of the way of an old Ford LTD and chasing someone down the street for a really bad 1970's film trailer.


And believe it or not "7&7 Is", actually has become more than just a novelty item. I can totally see where the song has this sort of South Bay feel to it. Interesting as all hell.


I figure its plausible for me to contact someone at Rhino and inquire and see what it would take.


-Thomas
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Alone Again
Fourth Love

Ireland
188 Posts

Posted - 20/04/2007 :  13:17:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yea the rerecorded '7&7 Is' is quite interesting.only just heard it recently as its on the Arthur Lee Myspace.
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rocker
Old Love

USA
3606 Posts

Posted - 20/04/2007 :  17:15:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thomas...your insights are clarifying alot for me...you know from the way I see it Arthur's life was like working class boy makes good but has a hard time with it. Always some tension..maybe on success? maybe on failure? on adulation? maybe on the way of a black/white relationships? I think getting a hold of Arthur was problematical for alot of people because he just couldn't be pigeon-holed into anything. He was like trying to pin jello on a wall. Now here's the thing. I always wonder how I would've got along with Arthur and whether we would've got along. From what I've read, he could be tough to deal with. True? Or was it just that he didn't suffer fools gladly,eh?
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floweringtoilet
First Love

19 Posts

Posted - 20/04/2007 :  20:38:46  Show Profile  Visit floweringtoilet's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I find "One" from the "Wig Album" to be a real lowpoint in Arthur Lee's career. It sounds like a really bad re-write of Bob Marley's "One Love." "I Do Wonder" is the best song on the album, but of course it is inferior to the FC version. I think there are some decent songs on the album, but it could have been a lot better if Arthur had put more effort into it. At some point Lee went from being a fastideous craftsman to being extremely lazy. He still had oodles of talent, but little focus. This is a problem that plauges all of his post-Elektra albums to a greater or lesser degree.

Actually, despite it's flaws, my favorite post-Elektra album is Reel To Real. A lot of Love fans hated that album because its sound was so far removed from the sound of the classic line-up. But so what? Taken on its own terms it is (mostly) a very good album. I think part of the problem for some Love fans is that Reel To Real represents Lee's total embrace of black music--a direction he had been moving in at least since False Start. Reel To Real is also a very "commercial" sounding record--many of the songs would have been an easy fit on AM radio circa 1974. IMO, that is not a bad thing at all.

There is much worth hearing in Lee's post-Elektra catalogue, but listening can be a frustrating experience because you constantly get the sense that he could have risen to his former level of greatness if he applied himself a little more. I'd like to see it all reissued.
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