Saturday, June 20, 2015

Love, Another trainride, another dream... Alone again, or... (another playlist)

A couple of days ago, a Facebook friend posted something about Love's song, Alone Again Or... And I realised I hadn't heard it for a long time. And I remembered how much I loved that song, from the band's iconic album, Forever Changes (or rather, Love Forever Changes). Released on Elektra in November 1967, I think I heard it for the first time late in the year of 1976, part of my introduction to "West Coast" music, along with The Doors, Tim Buckley, The Greatful Dead (two of which I still listen to, guess which?). When you listen to the song, no, it's not a faulty recording--the first few seconds are one channel, one speaker, one ear only. Then the second channel kicks in, and the music is inside your very being.

Love were not just-another psychadelic folk-rock band; they were that, and more; heavy rock, but with horns, strings, a glimpse of a mariachi band... and so much Love.

You may be far too young to have even heard of this band. Key band members, including singer and songwriter, Arthur Lee and guitarist Brian MacLean, are, sadly, long dead and gone. But... it's an album to hear. (At the time it was released, and for many years after, it was far better recognised, and charted higher, in the UK than here in the USA.)

So... sitting on the train, riding home to Sacramento from San Francisco, I started another playlist, with Love's Alone Again Or... as the anchor. And this is what came out: dreamy, a mix of old, and new... nothing too heavy, nothing too hard. Just a good mix for a gentle, sunset ride home to the state's capitol. And an occasional surprise thrown in.

Love: Alone Again Or...
The Nits: Bauhaus Chair
Steve Winwood: Dust
The Three Way: Fade Away
Wyclef Jean: Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Chris Whitley: Look What Love Has Done
Beth Hart: Stay
Richie Havens: What About Me
Marillion: Beyond You
Tom Waits: Blue Valentines
Steve Vai: For The Love Of God
Benny Mardones: Into The Night
U2: Love Is Blindness
The Damned: Alone Again Or...

(If you like Love, be sure to listen to the album Black Beauty. Recorded not long after Forever Changes, the recording wasn't released until very recently. Not all the same lineup--Arthur Lee liked to switch things around--and published after his death, the "deluxe" version has a book of stories and some wonderful photos.)

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