Song of the Day, January 20: Alone Again Or by Love

LoveAAOsingleToday’s song is the opening track from Love’s stunning third album, Forever Changes. The band’s first two efforts had met with critical acclaim but limited sales. They had also demonstrated the dichotomies that drove the group — hard, fast guitars balanced against lush melodies; early psychedelia countered with dark, jazzy explorations. Band founder, leader, vocalist, and principle songwriter Arthur Lee also had a nice foil in guitarist Bryan MacLean, who wrote a couple of songs on each disc. Forever Changes — the last album to feature the band’s classic lineup — found the group exhausted but inspired, turning out a powerful set of eclectic, folk-edged rock that explored the darker side of the end of the 60s.

Alone Again Or is MacLean’s most famous composition and his favorite of the songs he contributed to Love. Inspired by his mother, a flamenco dancer, it features beautiful, energetic guitar work with an exotic flair. MacLean has expressed his disappointment with the final mix of the track; his lead vocals are mixed very low, while Lee’s high harmonies are pushed to the front, serving as a new lead vocal. That tension, however, contributes to the odd beauty of the song. With a lyric that juxtaposes free love and loneliness in a few simple but compelling lines, the whole package is a folk-pop masterpiece.

Enjoy this wonderful song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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