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Things are never quite the same 2nd time round
on 3 November 2002
By 1968 Love had given us 3 albums. One promising Byrds/Who influenced debut ( Love ), another ( Da Capo ) comprising one side of pop gems and one side 17 minute turgid chugging unlistenable jam, and then in 1967 their masterpiece ( Forever Changes ) mixing darkly apocalyptic lyrics with lush orchestration. Then it all went wrong.
Drug and money problems split the bands original line up leaving only main singer-songwriter Arthur Lee to soldier on under the name Love. Lee recruited a new band and hit the studio in the latter half of '68. The result were about 27 new songs which were bizarrely split over two albums, and as Love were in the process of changing labels. Elektra had the first pick of the songs and chose 10 which became Four Sail. The remaining 17 went to new label Blue Thumb who released the lot as a double album ( Out Here ) about six months after the release of Four Sail. Most of the songs from Out Here are now on a compilation album Out There.
The first thing you notice on listening to Four Sail is how different it is to the first three albums. Lee had gone for a harder, more rock orientated sound which just didn't seem to work as well as the Latin flavoured pop songs on Da Capo and Forever Changes. The musicianship is certainly better on Four Sail but you can't help thinking theres something missing. The only tracks that come even close to the standard of the earlier stuff are I'm With You and Dream, while the likes of Talking In My Sleep just plod lifelessly along and Robert Montgomery is such an Eleanor Rigby rip-off its embarrassing.
Even though its quite patchy I preffered Out There to Four Sail as it has more stand-out tracks like Willow Willow and Listen To My Song, however if you haven't already got it then the Love album to have is Forever Changes. No CD collection should be without it.