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False Start

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Sensing a new direction would be necessary to face the beckoning ‘70s, Arthur Lee turned Love into a hard rock ensemble that kept few trademarks from their psychedelic beginnings exemplified by their late-‘60s masterpiece Forever Changes. False Start features plenty of heavy-riffing guitar and gruff arrangements. “The Everlasting First,” the album’s opening cut, features Jimi Hendrix on lead guitar, and from there, new guitarist Gary Rowles fills in the empty spaces with aggressive solos heavy on the wah-wah pedal. Lee’s a capable hard rock singer, even if his forte remains the contemplative ballad, and his call to arms on “Flying,” “Gimi A Little Break,” and “Slick Dick” reflect his interest in emulating the direction he sensed that Hendrix was aspiring towards before his untimely death. Even the quirkier material — the country-influenced “Keep On Shining” — has a lively, agitated aggression fueling it. Lee was an increasingly frustrated artist and whatever optimism his muse once fed him was turning bitter, as were the sounds and feelings behind much of the emerging rock and funk of the early ‘70s.


Formed: 1965 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '00s

One of the best West Coast folk-rock/psychedelic bands, Love may have also been the first widely acclaimed cult/underground group. During their brief heyday -- lasting all of three albums -- they drew from Byrds-ish folk-rock, Stones-ish hard rock, blues, jazz, flamenco, and even light orchestral pop to create a heady stew of their own. They were also one of the first integrated rock groups, led by genius singer/songwriter Arthur Lee, one of the most idiosyncratic and enigmatic talents of the '60s....
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