Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Love – Da Capo (1967)

Da Capo is the second album by the Los Angeles-based rock group Love.
The bulk of Da Capo was recorded between September 27 and October 2, 1966. "Seven & Seven Is" was recorded on June 20, and had been released as a single in July of 1966 backed with "No. Fourteen", an outtake from their debut album. After the recording of "Seven and Seven Is", Love's line-up expanded to include Michael Stuart on drums and Tjay Cantrelli on saxophone and flute, moving previous drummer Alban "Snoopy" Pfisterer, a classically-trained pianist, to harpsichord and organ. Guitarists Johnny Echols and Bryan MacLean, bassist Ken Forssi and vocalist and leader Arthur Lee retained their respective positions.
The album's first half is a departure from the group's debut, and in some ways anticipates the group's third album, Forever Changes, with its detailed, delicate arrangements. Abrasive, proto-punk rockers like "Seven and Seven Is" and the harpsichord-driven "Stephanie Knows Who" are balanced by lighter fare such as McLean's florid "Orange Skies", and playful, barely-classifiable pop tunes like "¡Que Vida!".
The album's second half is a single track, notable for being among the very first rock songs to take up an entire LP side (Bob Dylan's "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" from Blonde on Blonde predated it by a few months, and Frank Zappa's "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet" suite, on the Freak Out! album, followed Dylan's). The 19-minute jam, entitled "Revelation" began life as a live showcase for the group. Some sources claim it evolved out of their interpretation of Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightning", yet its original title was "John Lee Hooker." The song/jam bears a resemblance to the Rolling Stones' "Goin' Home," recorded at the same studio (RCA) and released earlier in the year, on Aftermath. Arthur Lee is quoted on the back cover of Rhino's 1980 LP compilation "Best of Love":
The song "Revelation" was a long jam we did so the musicians could express themselves. The Rolling Stones saw us play at the Brave New World, and they recorded a long song on their next album. After our album came out, I got the blame for copying them!
The album's critical reputation has suffered as a result of the inclusion of this track, and many blame producer Paul Rothchild for failing to capture the group's live energy and truncating their performance. It is interesting to note, though, that in a contemporary review of the album, critic Robert Christgau praised "Revelation" faintly for its "excellent guitar and harmonica work and great screaming by a lead singer (I don't know his name; the new style in record jackets is to reveal nothing)". [1]
Another song from Da Capo's first side, "She Comes In Colors", was also said by Keith Richards to be the inspiration for the Stones' "She's a Rainbow"[citation needed], as well as -- over thirty years later -- Madonna's 1999 single "Beautiful Stranger."
Though "Seven and Seven Is" had been a minor hit for the group, the album, like its predecessor, was a comparative flop peaking at #80.

"Stephanie Knows Who" – 2:33
"Orange Skies" (Bryan MacLean) – 2:49
"¡Que Vida!" – 3:37
"Seven & Seven Is" – 2:15
"The Castle" – 3:00
"She Comes in Colors" – 2:43
"Revelation" (Lee, Bryan MacLean, Johnny Echols, Ken Forssi) – 18:57

1 comment:

Jim said...

Originally got the LP only 30 years ago or so. I'm not trying to use a weak pun by saying it is lovely; it truly is. Side one is one of the very few 'perfect' LP sides I know of, the texture and emotional delight is continually pleasing. AS far as its side two, I might have listed to it once or twice and never again (I'll check it out again soon). Just never found that extended jam very rewarding, and I'm a veteran listener (and fan) of all sorts of lengthy psych workouts--but this one just didn't do it. Everything on side one, however, is golden.