Arthur Lee – Everybody’s Gotta Live

Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.

Bring up the name Arthur Lee and hipsters in the know will wax poetic about the legendary 3rd album by Love, Forever Changes. A drug fueled trip the dark side of the summer of love (1967), it justifiably is always listed on greatest albums of all time lists. A culmination of Arthur Lee’s folk, jazz, & rock n roll fusions, this spells the end of the original Love band. It also marks the point where most people say “After that, Arthur just lost it, man!”. I’m here to tell you that is not true – not even close. The original band split and Arthur put together a new version of Love. Streamlined, it was a different band in tone and feel. Arthur’s new songs alienated his old audience, but he was following his muse. 1972’s Vindicator was released as a solo record instead of a Love record – kind of a mystery to me since the backing players changed steadily in the late 60’s and 70’s anyway. Everybody’s Gotta Live was the single, and what a single it was. A life affirming anthem, it blurred the lines between soul & singer songwriter poetry. Arthur’s always had a way of delivering lines that hit you right in the heart, and this one is no different. “Everybody’s gotta live / And everybody’s gonna die…I had a dream the other night, baby / I dreamt that I was alone / But when I woke up I took a look around myself / And I was surrounded by fifty million strong”. Note that the song was originally released in 1972, then remade for Love’s 1974 album Reel to Real. The solo version is superior. When I saw Arthur Lee & Love (Baby Lemonade was Arthur’s backing band after his release from prison) in 2002 in Seattle they played the song as a medley with John Lennon’s Instant Karma. At that time I was one of those aforementioned hipsters – not really aware of Arthur’s latter-day material. It gave me chills and changed my life. He passed away just a few years later and I’m left revisiting the magic on vinyl, video, and through words. Everybody’s gotta live…

Love – Forever Changes

Part 26 of a series that will run every Friday throughout 2012 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays

The summer of 2002 was my first summer in the Seattle, WA area. Coming from the Philadelphia, PA region you could call this culture shock (to put things lightly). No unbearable humidity, heat that barely hit 90 for less than a week in August, and salt water that was about 20 degrees cooler than I was used to (both in Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean). It was also the 35th anniversary of what is known as “the summer of love” – 1967. That glorious year where every great album in the history of music came out (may be exaggerating a bit there). The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Love all released critically acclaimed albums (just to name a few household names – there are literally hundreds of great records from this time period). Articles proclaiming the brilliance of these bands / records seemed to be popping up in publications and though I was familiar with most, I hadn’t yet picked up Forever Changes by Love (though I had an old compilation which had some of the songs).

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