Published Nov 25, 2015Reel to Real, the final studio album properly credited to '60 psych rock band Love, came at a tumultuous time for its leader, Arthur Lee. Released seven years after the band's undisputed masterpiece, Forever Changes, 1974's Reel to Real finds Lee battling substance abuse problems, a revolving line-up and waning relevance. Over the album's 11 tracks, Lee comes off sounding nothing short of subdued, toothless and aimless.
Still, always ahead of his time, tracks like "Stop the Music" and "Which Witch is Which?" find Lee tapping into mid '70s funk and R&B, and this remastered and repackaged LP, released digitally for the first time by High Moon Records (who also put out Love's lost LP, Black Beauty, in 2012), includes alternate takes, four unheard bonus tracks and a 23-page booklet with liner notes from Rolling Stone editor David Fricke. For such a low point in Love's career, Reel to Real is lovingly assembled and digitally enhanced, but nonetheless, shouldn't be mistaken for an essential release. (High Moon Records)