Thursday, February 14, 2008

jimmy eight cat's top reissues of 2007

in no particular order we begin

Love The Blue Thumb Recordings (Hip-O Select)

One of the many annoying things about record collectors (beside their habit of talking to me) is that outside of their pet schizophrenic Brian Wilson (and Elvis if you’re Dave Marsh, whose blaming every somnolent latter-day performance on RCA and Colonel Parker essentially reduces Presley to a mongoloid in a sequin jumpsuit), they frequently subscribe to what could be called the “on/off switch” theory. Artists who are at the pinnacle of their creativity one album aren’t even worth considering the next. Lou Reed on the Velvet Underground’s Loaded is a genius. Lou Reed on his first solo album a year and a half later, using many unreleased Velvets songs is a hack. Many record goons abandon Arthur Lee’s Love after the original band breaks up following “Forever Changes”, partially because Bryan MacClean is gone. Yeah, MacClean’s Love songs were great, all four of them. The harder rocking band that recorded “Four Sail” (on Elektra) and “Out Here” (found here), still had Arthur Lee singing and writing at his peak, albeit a bit more self-indulgent, with ten minute drum and guitar solos. “False Start”, the second album found here, isn’t quite as good, but still has some great songs, and on one track, Lee’s pal Jimi Hendrix. The live disc is a little wobbly in recording quality, but is further proof that this version of Love deserves serious critical re-evaluation. The whole package does.

Obsessive record geek nit-picking: it omits the shortened versions of “Doggone”, “Love is More than Words or Better Late than Never” and “Gather Round” that were used on the early eighties comp “Love Live/Studio”.

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