Led by its founder and primary singer/songwriter Arthur Lee, the Los Angeles-based band Love was one of the first racially diverse American pop/rock bands in a time when it was largely unheard of — the late 1960s-early 1970s. And although they had a sound influenced by rock, garage rock, folk and psych rock, the band had found modest commercial success during the peak of their recording career; however, in the roughly 40 years since the band’s breakup the band has been praised by critics as one of the finest and most important American rock acts of its era, with their third album Forever Changes being regarded as the band’s masterpiece. In fact, Forever Changes has recently been listed on a number of greatest albums lists and the band has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, among some other relatively recent recognitions.
Despite their relative anonymity to most music listeners, the band’s influence has managed to quietly loom larger than perhaps the members of the band could possibly imagine, as bands like Television Personalities, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Damned, The Stone Roses, Primal Scream, The Hellacopters, The Bluetones, Ricky and others have publicity cited the band and Forever Changes as an influence on them, have covered Love songs or had titled an album in tribute.
Over the past couple of years, there’s been a resurgence of interest in Love and as a result, the band has been re-issuing long lost material. Lee and company, along with High Moon Records will be re-issuing a deluxe edition of the last proper Love album, Reel to Reel on CD and digital for the first time ever, and on vinyl for the first time in 41 years. The deluxe re-issue features the official album’s 11 tracks and 12 previously unreleased bonus tracks, including the album’s second single, the previously unreleased single “Graveyard Hop,” which is of course, perfect for Halloween season.
Recorded in one take “Graveyard Hop” is an impromptu, satirical take on “Jailhouse Rock” that’s absurd, hilariously campy, falling completely off the rails unhinged, menacing and perhaps just as important, raw, primal straight out of the garage rock with Lee howling like a man possessed — or set on fire. And the band manages to sound like Chuck Berry‘s backing band after drinking a fifth of Jack Daniels and smoking PCP as the song clocks in at a 107 seconds. But man, the song kicks ass takes names and leave you panting for more.