Love Albums Ranked

Love is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965. Led by Arthur Lee, Love was one of the first racially-diverse American rock bands. Their music drew from an eclectic range of sources including folk-rock, hard rock, blues, jazz, flamenco, mariachi, and orchestral pop. While finding only modest success on the music charts, Love would come to be praised by critics as one of the most influential American rock groups of all time. Their third album, Forever Changes (1967), is generally regarded as their artistic masterpiece and was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2011. Here are all of the Love albums ranked.

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7. The Forever Changes Concert (2003)

“Lee gives a good, solid performance. It’s interesting to see him once again, after all this time. His voice hasn’t changed much, surprisingly. The band, Baby Lemonade, provides musicianship on this disc which is so much superior to previous “Live” Love recordings, which, even with MacLean, could be somewhat sloppy.”

6. Black Beauty (2012)

“Black Beauty, in my opinion, has some of Love’s most unique and funky tracks ever recorded. This album brings a fresh sound, certainly not another go at another Forever Changes. Arthur is in top notch vocal form, and the instrumentals on each track are just simply great. My favorite songs off the record are “Young and Able (Good and Evil)”, “Can’t Find It”, “Walk Right In”, “Skid”, and “Beep Beep”. Every track on this record is good, and I can easily listen to the entire thing and not skip anything, but those tracks I named are the really great ones.”

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5. Out Here (1969)

“OUT HERE is actually much more multifaceted than might be supposed at first glance. The opening track, “I’ll Pray For You” has strong elements of gospel in it, followed by “Abalone,” a quasi-country picker reminiscent of Moby Grape’s “Ain’t No Use.” The remake of “Signed DC” from the band’s eponymous 1st album doesn’t diminish the power of either song or performance, just recasts it differently, while “Listen To My Song” is so much in the mold of FOREVER CHANGES that Lee included it on the live FOREVER CHANGES CONCERT album a few years back.”

4. Four Sail (1969)

“This album featured the last of any serious incarnations of Love and it rocks, but very differently from “Forever Changes” or “Da Capo”. There’s no angry venting, as in “7 and 7 Is” or “Stephanie Knows Who”; no comments on the world at large, as in most of “Forever Changes”…just rocking, stream-of-consciousness tunes that stick with you after you put the album back in its case. “August” is the first cut, and it’s a good one, with a snap-out guitar jam at the end reminiscent of the ending of “A House Is Not A Motel”. “Your Friend And Mine” is one of two songs on the album that are very similar, with ruminations and promises concerning long-term friendships.”

3. Love (1966)

“A prime example of garage rock. Jimi Hendrix surely was a fan of his vocal style, and no, ‘Hey Joe’ is not an example of that, merely evidence that he listened to this album. I prefer the next two albums for adding some interesting instrumentation and structural complexity on which the simplicity of Lee’s songwriting really reaches its full potential.”

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2. Da Capo (1966)

“Not as brilliant as, Forever changes, the songs just aren’t quite as good. But it’s a really interesting album, although, for me, it’s a stepping stone on their way to making their true masterpiece. It’s almost impossible to listen to this album without thinking about what comes next. Still a good album though.

1. Forever Changes (1967)

“An album just as relevant in today’s political climate as back then. Especially “The Red Telephone” whose themes about authoritarianism in America ring true more than ever today. The closing track is a wonderful reflection by a man who at the time believed he was going to die, and how he was accepting his impending doom.