Love “Black Beauty” Album Review
By Rob Watts
Not since Brian Wilson’s Magnum Opus “SMILE” has there been a more highly anticipated rock album than LOVE’s “Black Beauty.” Recorded in 1973 by Arthur Lee, the band’s singer and principal songwriter, the album was conceived as a solo album by Lee whilst signed to Buffalo Records. Unfortunately, Buffalo Records closed its doors prior to BLACK BEAUTY being released. It had remained shelved ever since.
Until now, that is. Receiving a proper release in the form of Vinyl and Deluxe CD by High Moon Records, this unearthed collection of songs is well-worth the wait.
Where LOVE’s “Forever Changes” album is simply a masterpiece, BLACK BEAUTY is that album’s well-nurtured child. But unlike the psychedelic garage sound of FOREVER CHANGES, BLACK BEAUTY is pure electric acid rock. Bold and in your face.
Drawing from influences of Jimi Hendrix, friend and sometimes collaborator of Lee, many of the tracks (Young & Able, Midnight Sun and Walk Right In) have that loose guitar swagger that Hendrix made popular. Songs such as Stay Away combine Lee’s trademark driving rhythm with his hypnotic vocal style. Beep Beep is a quirky calypso-reggae jam, while See Myself in You is a rather raucous sounding ballad.
The Deluxe CD version is a lovingly-crafted Hardbound Eco-Book, containing 64 full-color pages of rare photos and commentary. In addition to the original album’s ten tracks, bonus material includes 3 live tracks, an interview with Arthur Lee and 2 outtakes. The Deluxe CD is limited to 5000 copies. Each CD contains the number out of 5000 stamped right into the CD packaging. A highly recommended purchase for your collection if you’re a fan of classic 60s-70s rock!
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