Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Rest in the Peace you Deserve, Arthur
David S. Jenkins | On the Road | 08/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tonight came the news that Arthur Lee has left us.
I had the honor to present a double bill of the Zombies and Arthur Lee with Love in concert two years ago - the band seen on this DVD, with virtually the same playlist.
It isn't often that rock music can be described as being transcendantly beautiful but what you'll hear in this presentation and what we heard that night was just that. The audience was in a gentle state of rapture, in awe.
Forever Changes was identified by the British Parliament a few years ago as being the Greatest Album of All Time, which of course it isn't as NO album is, but what this signified was the enduring power and emotional gravity of that classic recording.
To see and feel this monumental work live was deeply moving, just beyond words, and this DVD of the concert a bit earlier in the UK is crafted with such care and affection for the man, such reverence, that it deserves to be a staple of your collection.
I told Arthur that I was honored to meet him, and I meant it. He was a gentleman, a total professional, and as close to a genius as this art form has ever created.
We're all fortunate that this DVD records forever this artist's finest moment. An amazing performance and a gift to us all.
May you enjoy the peace you so richly deserve, Arthur. May your star shine on...."
Beyond all odds, an outstanding disc
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 08/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bizarrely I only learned of the existence of this DVD about two weeks ago and when I did I immediately bumped it to the top of my Netflix queue. I received it two days later and almost immediately listened to it. Then, a couple of days later, Arthur Lee died. I was shocked. The two events took place so close to one another that in a bizarre way they seemed casually linked.
If one knows much about Arthur Lee's life it would have seemed highly unlikely that this would have been a good disc. Some of the high points include drug abuse, mental problems brought on by drugs abuse, and a six-year stint in prison on a firearms charge. It seemed highly unlikely that Lee nearing sixty would be anything other than a shell of the performer he had once been; it seemed more likely that the concert performance captured on the disc would be an embarrassment. But if you are a Love and FOREVER CHANGES fan like I am, giving it a listen was not an option: it was a necessity. Shockingly, Arthur Lee not only did not embarrass himself, he showed just what an extraordinary piece of music FOREVER CHANGES truly is. No, his voice isn't as good as ever. He strains a bit on the high notes, even the notes he sang on the original album recording; he strains even more on the bits sung originally by Bryan MacLean, who had a higher pitched voice. But it is perhaps 90% as good as it was when he was 22. Given his long history of self-abuse and misfortune that is pretty astonishing.
Many of the obituaries following Lee's death last week of leukemia (he was 61) commented on FOREVER CHANGES. Many noted that it almost always makes the top ten of lists of the Ten Best Albums ever. Some even nominated it as the best album ever. I won't go that far, but there is no question that it is one of the undisputed masterpieces of rock. Love had built quite a reputation for its hard driving, high-energy rock numbers. They played loud and they played fast. But FOREVER CHANGES was frequently quiet, often contemplative. The electric guitars had been replaced by acoustic ones. It was almost, though not quite, soft rock. Some said it sounded like elevator music if elevator music could somehow be transformed into high art. The lyrics were bizarre, strange, unearthly, with one non sequitur following another, the songs not really producing any single message, but being so open that anyone could create their own subtext. Despite their opaqueness, the lyrics were nonetheless unforgettable, as fascinating as those strange song titles: "Andmoreagain," "The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This," and "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hillsdale." The lyrics were coupled with what was then and remain now music that is almost impossibly beautiful for rock and roll. And the beauty of the music is dramatically embellished by some of the finest arrangements in the history of rock. In addition to the musicians comprising Love, Lee brought in horns and a small string orchestra. The result was, as nearly everyone acknowledges, one of the great albums ever recorded. Most remarkably, it is an album that I have come to like more and more over the years. I have probably listened to it well over a hundred times and I unquestionably liked it more on the 101st listen than on the 11th.
But what about the concert captured on the DVD? It is pretty much a note for note reproduction of the studio album. There are some minor differences: a guitar solo here that wasn't on the original, a back up vocal that has been added. But all in all the differences are incredibly slight. As mentioned, Lee, though looking very much his age, nonetheless did a remarkable job. The audience clearly wants him to do well and he doesn't disappoint. You expect to cut him slack, but are thrilled that you don't have to. That a man who has had a life as hard as Lee's can still produce such lovely music is truly exhilarating.
Love, of course, no longer exists. The band sitting in is in fact Baby Lemonade. What personality they normally possess as a band (they did a very good album that I own called HIGH LIFE SUITE) is completely submerged in channeling the original album. The band is rounded out by first-rate horn and string sections. The result is something truly magical. Is it as good as the original album? No. Is it a good introduction to the album? I would guess that it is, though I do think that anyone wanting to possess an even moderately decent music collection is going to want a copy of the original. For me the joy was seeing Arthur Lee alive and well on stage."
Lee Sets The Scene
Kurt Harding | Boerne TX | 03/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was the cover which caused me to give this CD a second glance. After all, I already own the original recording of Forever Changes, and though the colors and psychedelic style are similar to the original album cover, something was strangely different. On closer examination I discovered the happy news that the recently freed Arthur Lee is back on track with a grand new project.
OK, so I bought the DVD first and after viewing it, gave it my highest recommendation. So why did I buy this too? The extras made me open my wallet and as it turns out, the extras are well worth the additional money.
This CD features Lee and his new band in England performing music from the legendary sixties Forever Changes album. Often this sort of project flops. Not here. Lee's new band has learned the music inside out and plays it with astounding authority. Fans of the original should have no reservations about getting this. From the first notes of Alone Again Or to the fading sounds of You Set the Scene you will be mesmerized at the quality of this CD. The performance is inspired from start to finish.
My favorite cuts are A House Is Not A Motel, featuring some blistering guitar by Mike Randle;The Red Telephone, which energizes both the listener and the crowd; ...Between Clark and Hilldale, again with some great guitar work; the timeless Live and Let Live; and finally a command performance of You Set the Scene.
What about those extras? Well, a couple of the songs here are different from the extras that come with the DVD. The band's rendition of Signed DC alone makes it worth the extra cash. This is Lee's best take on a song he originally wrote back in 1965 and has reworked twice. The guitar and harmonica work on this arrangement are stupendous. There are some other extras that you can view on your computer, I have not yet sampled those.
You might think that with all these superlatives there would be at least one negative. If there is, I have not found it.
With his return to the stage, Arthur Lee has set the scene once again. Forever Changes In Concert is a recording that should one day attain the legendary status of its namesake. Get this one soon, you won't be sorry."
A treat for Love fans
Jean-Claude Aron | Applegate, Oregon | 11/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw Arthur Lee and Love live twice in 2002 (once in San Francisco & once in LA) & despite the fact that Arthur was somewhat hoarse at one show & limping from a bathtub accident at the other, they were both outstanding, high-energy shows that left me very well-satisfied. The concert on this DVD was very different (though no less satisfying) than either of those shows - due to the addition of strings & horns, the fact that Arthur's voice was much stronger and purer, and that the band was much tighter and more in control. In Dolby 5.1 surround (& yes, played LOUD), the sound quality is superb - crystal clear & very lush. As a matter of fact, except for the audience's very enthusiastic response, it sounds more like a fine studio recording than a live show. And while it's not a note for note replication of the classic Forever Changes album, it comes very, very close. Though "You Set The Scene" has always been my favorite song from the original album, I found "The Red Telephone" to be the most moving & spirited song on the DVD. It's remarkable that the tag lines - "They're locking him up today & throwing away the key, I wonder who it will be tomorrow, you or me?" are so chillingly resonant in light of the "Patriot" Act and the current anti-terrorist hysteria.The visuals are fine - nothing flashy or especially innovative, just a document of the show done in a very straightforward way that complements the honesty of the music appropriately. As far as the bonus materials go, the extra tracks are mostly very good (though I found "7 & 7 is" to be a little too low energy, which is a shame for such a fierce, powerful song), the interview with Arthur (primarily about his youth & early days with the original Love lineup) provides some insights into a very unique & creative talent, & the tour documentary gives us a perspective from the other folks involved (the band, their manager, etc.). It would have been nice to have included some audience reaction too, but that's a very minor quibble. Who would have thought that Arthur Lee could come back after more than 30 years, find the perfect band and treat his longtime fans to such an incredible recreation of his masterpiece? Forever Changes was one of the most beautiful, honest & creative works to come out of the psychedelic era and this DVD gives it fresh new life. A must-have for any fan & a great opportunity to discover a unique talent for those unfortunate enough to never have experienced Love before."