Title - 'Black Beauty: Deluxe Edition' (High Moon Records)
Artist - Love
Finally, after all the years waiting for a non-bootleg sounding release of the link between Love's Forever Changes sounds to the harder edged R&B guitar of Arthur Lee's later releases, the label High Moon Records has delivered this deluxe edition.
It is quite the high-quality package, to say the least! It comes in a Deluxe-Hard Bound eco-book, with an excellent 64 page full-color annotated book with many never before seen photos, as well as an insightful essay by Mr. Ben Edmunds, which features an all new enlightening interview with the late Arthur Lee, who passed in 2006.
It also contains the most revealing interview with Arthur that I have ever heard which contains some jaw-dropping revelations by Lee. The interview was conducted with Steven Rosen from 1974, which was partly published by Rolling Stone Magazine in 1975. The original interview was 90 minutes long, and there are just over 20 minutes of it included here.
Overall, this package contains 15 musical tracks, with a total of nearly 75 minutes, if you include the 20 minute interview. In addition to Arthur Lee, the other band members are Melvin Whittington on lead guitar, Robert Rozelle on bass, and Joe Blocker on drums.
While the 60's incantation of Love was notable for including an integrated mix of musicians, Arthur later wanted an "all-black" band so that he could play a more funky, R&B sound. Thus, the name, Black Beauty notes a more significant meaning, in itself.
The band (Melvan Whittington - guitar/harpsichord, Robert Rozelle - bass, and Joe Blocker - drums/vocals), with a few occasional additional musicians, is as good as any electric guitar based band Lee has used, and better than some he's previously played with. The bass and drums are nothing fancy (which would've been a mistake), but most importantly they create a foundation for Whittington's electric guitar to roam around the songs--accenting Lee's vocals.
Just listen to the guitar and vocal on 'See Myself In You' for a good example of how well everything meshes together. Sure it was a total departure from his earlier work, but that's what music is all about, isn't: Experimentation.