Love-OUT HERE 2-LP set (Harvest, England)
Hokay, I'm not exactly the biggest fan of this megacult group to have roamed the face of this earth...in fact, I could say that at one time during my record collecting years I found Love an act that I could take or leave 'n without very much thought at that! Yeah, I remember being told by quite a few people "in-the-know" out there just how fantastic these guys were (usually in the context of their Elektrafied associations and influence on the Doors, something which wasn't exactly gonna win me over to anything!), but with a name like "Love" ('n especially during the thankfully anti-love days of the late-seventies/early-eighties) it wasn't like I was on the lookout for any millennial brotherhood visions in my music nosiree! Got more than enough of that in grade school music class when we were forced to sing "Kumbaya" whilst holding hands with the kid next to you who was gonna beat you up in the schoolyard right after the final bell! I mean, if you wanna go 'round listening to Los Angeles folk-rocky Joni Mitchell madrigals dedicated to ugly gal angst with the patter of Little Feat backing go ahead, but please don't be so offended when I refuse to acknowledge your existence anymore!
Oh WAIT...y'mean with a name like Love we're talkin' late-sixties garage band high energy that shoulda been front 'n center on NUGGETS? Hmmmm, now ya poppin' my cylinders! A band that was in fact named after original member and future Kenneth Anger superstar/Mansonoid Bobby "Cupid" Beausoliel? A group that, according to Big Brother and the Holding Company's Peter Albin would have been upfront with their fans if they went by the moniker of "Hate"? Maybe I shoulda chucked my preconceptions out the door way back when even if I didn't think "Stephanie Knows Who" was that bright of a song in the first place!
Naturally once I got over my fear, I began to put a little Love in my heart and listen to them with sixties punk ears firmly in place. Not that I spent a lotta my time searching the ever-elusive Love platters out, but a tape here and a borrow there was perfectly alright with me and my depression wages. True, to this day I've yet to give LOVE 4 SAIL and even all-time blockbuster FOREVER CHANGES a listen, but picking up on a Love album every so often is good enough, keeping my tootsies moist as some might say not to mention giving me something to look forward to whenever I do get into the mood for some West Coast-y extravaganza that isn't gonna be an early-seventies Grace Slick solo project!
So here's the first post-Elektra Love album, the two-disc OUT HERE that came out on the Blue Thumb imprint in the United States but (along with a few other Blue Thumb offerings) ended up on the snat progressive Harvest over there. I made pretty darn sure that my copy of this would be of the Harvest variety for a good number of reasons, the most prominent being that I'd prefer listening to "Arthurly" and his new variation of Love in the context of Syd Barrett, Wire and Kevin Ayers rather than Hugh Masakela. And you know what, it kinda works even if for the most part OUT HERE has about as much to do with the patented "Harvest sound" as the rest of those Blue Thumb albums that got released on Harvest over in blighty back during the early years of that venerated label. Heck, the psychedelic cover (seen above) was about as Harvest-y as you can get, looking a lot like Pink Floyd's MEDDLE a good three years beforehand! (And, of course, you do remember how "My Little Red Book" was swiped by Floyd on their "Interstellar Overdrive"...don't tell me what goes around doesn't come around once more!)
I wouldn't exactly call OUT HERE an "even" album and there are a few bumps, bruises and potholes to be found throughout. The obligatory "anti-war" song "Discharged" misfires just about as much as most of these teenage relevancy numbers that thankfully were made obsolete by 1972 when youth rebellion suddenly turned into youth sarcasm. Too bad Arthurly didn't take a cue from English labelmates the Edgar Broughton Band and do a good war spoof a la "American Soldier Boy". And that drum solo on the twelve-minute (not "thee") "Doggone" shoulda been edited out no questions asked even if it does tend to tickle the stirrup with its twangy plunks!!! And while I'm at it, the country music "goof" entitled "Car Lights on in the Daytime Blues" definitely shoulda been left outta the package...that sorta hick schtick was done a lot better by the Parliament/Funkadelic axis since at least their country music numbers were done with honest-to-deep-south homage in mind and not as some bland jibe at the hillbillies that listened to those primitive hog yallers at least until they unfortunately decided to go upscale a bit.
Maybe if this two-record set was cut down to one OUT HERE woulda been a total winner. But it is good enough, in fact an under-the-counterculture sleeper if there ever was one to come out of the very-late days of the sixties. The new band plays it pretty good West Coast-styled, in fact better West Coast than most of the mellow out that was happening there and really, who else in 1969 was playing garage rock & roll this exciting other'n the Velvets and a buncha Detroit bands who never could get out of their burgh? Folk rock must have been a memory to its practitioners by this time, but Arthurly and band pull it off as if the spirit of '65 was still in their hearts and David Crosby hadn't yet turned into the embarrassing walrus that he would eventually become. Of course with the "progressive" rock modernizations of the previous three years tossed in (not to mention better derivations on funk and soul than one would expect) there is a slight eclectic sense of keeping up with the Garcias here, but that doesn't mean OUT HERE is going to bear all the burdens of a rock scene gone sour and bloated beyond all repair (read, San Francisco 1969)! No, the psychedelia here does not disappoint, and in fact reminds me of some of the more energetic moments of early/mid-seventies psych rock that was coming out of England at a time when it seemed as if nobody told such groups as Hawkwind and Man that the "movement" was over long ago. Thank goodness.
In all, I wasn't bored a tad bit even if the gag tracks mentioned above were more or less filler for a still-powerful outing. I'll say one thing, and that is that OUT HERE will probably speed up my interest in the next unheard Love album by at least a good five years, and considering what a procrastinator I can be that's a good sign!
***A BRIEF WORD OF EGGSPLANATION!: You may notice a big change on my sidebar (look over to the left, dummy!) that's taken place over the past week or so. And in case you're oblivious to things such as that (as Jillery sez of me) let me clue you in...the "Blog Roll", that is, the special section I had created to list some of my favorite weblogs that are currently zooming their way to you via telephone line, is missing, and not only that but the new weekly poll addition to the very same sidebar is seemingly forever stuck on the premier question regarding the rights of zombies to marry which in case you couldn't realize is not what this blogmeister has intended one iota! (And if anyone can tell me just where I got the idea for that particular question, a free back issue of BLACK TO COMM may come your way sooner than you think!) I dunno exactly how I got myself into the predicament of not only losing the Blog Roll but not being able to post another silly poll question but it all started last Sunday when I was trying to add a new blog to the roll, and for some unknown reason I not only lost the entire thang but my "layout page" is somehow missing the "add page element" option which would allow me to create a new one! Not only that, but the layout page is cut off at the bottom end thus not allowing me to add any additional funny poll question for you to get a guffaw outta! Oh woe is me, and the worst part about it is that nobody at blogger is willing to give me any help (it seems as if they've discontinued their email help since my note o' desperation was returned "Mailer Daemon"...methinks I may have pestered them in the past to the point of anger)!
As soon as I'm ready, willing and most obviously able I will do my darndest to create a new Blog Roll as well as zoom some funny poll question your way. Until then bear with me, though if you reg'lar BLOG TO COMM readers have any neat suggestions as to what I can do (other'n shove my head up my ass as I know a lotta ya'd say!) please feel free to send me your bright ideas via the comment box. Until then, settle for a sidebar that really ain't as stunning as the kind you see on Lindsay Whatzizname's THE NEXT BIG THING 'site", but then again we can't all be computer whizzes like he, see?