No West Coast band put a deeper psychedelic spin on the mid-60s’ burgeoning folk-rock scene than Love. And during a twelve-month period between late 1966 and 1967, no group rivaled Arthur Lee and company’s freewheeling imagination and musical blend. Love’s tenure was brief, but its impact and influence will forever loom large.
Home to the collective’s lone Top 40 hit, Da Capo is psychedelia at its best: a thoroughly original, vivid, unrestrained canvass for Lee’s beautiful, eclectic ideas and pioneering sonic journeys.
Arriving shortly after its debut, Da Capo established Love as psychedelia visionaries.
A cult classic since its original release in January 1967, the record greatly expands on the experimentation of the Beatles’ Revolver and predates the Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request, Fab Four’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Pink Floyd’s Piper at the Gates of Dawn by months. Executed by an expanded seven-piece lineup, Da Capo encapsulates baroque pop, proto punk, bossa nova, garage rock, and hard-driving jazz. Its limits are bounded only by Lee’s scope, and the Memphis native remains unbounded throughout.
Accurately tabbed by critic Lillian Roxon as “an amusing paradox,” Lee’s identity as an African-American channeling the sound of a white Englishman expressing the Southern blues gives Da Capo added mysticism and muscle. From the tumbling house of mirrors that is the opening “Stephanie Knows Who” to the galloping, heavy, reverb-appointed “Seven & Seven Is”—a hit tune that confirmed Love’s identity as Los Angeles’ baddest street toughs—the effort swings and surprises, each turn leading down new corridors.
Such discovery lies behind the groundbreaking “Revelation,” a 19-minute jam that occupied the entire second side of the LP and strongly rumored to have been produced by an uncredited Neil Young. Originally titled “John Lee Hooker,” it progresses as a free-for-all boogie that, according to myth, soon inspired the Stones to pen “Goin’ Home.” Similar tradition is tied to Love’s harpsichord-fragranced “She Comes In Colors,” a baroque gem that led to the Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow.”
1. Stephanie Knows Who - 2:38
2. Orange Skies (B. MacLean) - 2:54
3. ¡ Que Vida ! - 3:43
4. Seven And Seven Is - 2:26
5. The Castle - 3:05
6. She Comes In Colors - 2:47
7. Revelation (A. Lee, B. MacLean, J. Echols, K. Forssi) - 19:02
8. Stephanie Knows Who - 2:34
9. Orange Skies (B. MacLean) - 2:53
10.¡ Que Vida ! - 3:43
11.Seven And Seven Is - 2:19
12.The Castle - 3:03
13.She Comes In Colors - 2:48
14.Revelation (A. Lee, B. MacLean, J. Echols, K. Forssi) - 19:04
15.Seven And Seven Is (Tracking Session) - 3:13
All songs by Arthur Lee except where noted.
Tracks 1-7 Mono
Tracks 8-14 Stereo
*Arthur Lee – Lead Vocals, Harmonica, Guitar, Drums, Percussion
*Johnny Echols – Lead Guitar
*Bryan MacLean – Rhythm Guitar, Vocal
*Ken Forssi – Bass
*Alban "Snoopy" Pfisterer – Organ, Harpsichord
*Michael Stuart – Drums, Percussion
*Tjay Cantrelli – Saxophone, Flute, Percussion