The Blue Thumb Recordings (Hip-OSelect.com)
This little red book may be short on Hip-O Select's Internet-only boutique filigree, but its content tri-folds a 3-CD Love supreme. By 1969, Love was losing the war of greater social unrest despite the small matter that matchmaker Arthur Lee's voice remains the voice of the Sixties, both black and white, rock, folk, and soul: commercial, underground, crystalline yet coal. Disbanding the original lineup after four albums for Elektra, including '67's still incandescent Forever Changes, Lee didn't miss a beat in trussing up the overflow of label swan song Four Sail three months later for double-LP Out Here. Four fabulously sprawling sides of Love revamped open with "I'll Pray for You," a gospel song driven by cabaret piano and Lee's pungent choruses. Snickering "Abaloney," scorched "Signed D.C.," and haunting "Listen to My Song" give way to a side of acidic jams, plus the ridiculous ("Discharged") and the divine ("Doggone"). Eleven minutes of "Love Is More Than Words or Better Late Than Never," a dizzying, Owsley-fried guitar workout apparently leftover from the Summer of Love accounts for side three, while the last quarter meshes what the Sixties did best: four tracks of ivory vocals atop golden melodies. An hour's worth of unreleased live highlights culled from the group's debut UK tour proves most feral with Out Here, "Love Is More Than Words" outstripping the snarling disillusionment of Forever Changes' "Bummer in the Summer." Also cut in England and bidding farewell to Love 2.0, 1971's False Start blasts off with Lee/Hendrix mindblower "The Everlasting First" on its way to psychedelia à la Sly Stone backing the Jefferson Airplane: smooth, explosive, and Love-ly to the core. A diamond in the rough, from the high "Flying" and lit fuse of "Anytime" through to anthemic free ride "Slick Dick." The Blue Thumb Recording, a true pacifier of Love.