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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love: Reincarnated
After having loved their debut, Da Capo, and Forever Changes I was a little skeptical when I first popped Foursail into my cd player. How could Arthur Lee possibly reform Love after coming off of an album that many consider one of rock 'n' roll's greatest? After listening to Foursail, I realize that the acoustic symphonies of Forever Changes are long gone, but replaced...
Published on January 31, 2004 by leopardskinpillbxht

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Digital Remaster/Best Love?
First, don't be fooled by the Digital Remastering spin; this is marketing pure and simple. The sound is adequate but a bit muddy and thin. Still, given that this album was recorded virtually live, its not bad and pretty close to the vinyl version.
Second, granted this is a matter of taste, but this is not even close to the best Love work. All three of the first...
Published 11 months ago by Hankster


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love: Reincarnated, January 31, 2004
This review is from: Four Sail (Audio CD)
After having loved their debut, Da Capo, and Forever Changes I was a little skeptical when I first popped Foursail into my cd player. How could Arthur Lee possibly reform Love after coming off of an album that many consider one of rock 'n' roll's greatest? After listening to Foursail, I realize that the acoustic symphonies of Forever Changes are long gone, but replaced by a much more powerful, dynamic rock sound, reminiscent of Cream and Zeppelin at times. In strong contrast with Forever Changes, which was Arthur Lee's death letter to the world, Foursail abandons the longer lyrical patterns for shorter, yet equally witty lyrics. Jay Donnallen shines on lead guitar; every solo just booms with intensity and originality, which almost makes you forget the abscense of Johnny Echols. Still present are the complex rhythm changes that Arthur Lee loves so much, and shows that he can still execute to perfection. While Foursail is not the masterpiece that Forever Changes was, and not as experimental as Da Capo, there is still something to be said for just putting out an exceptionally "cool" album. The track listing does not contain anything of the magnitude of "You Set the Scene" (which I personally consider one of the greatest songs in rock n roll), yet songs like "August", "Robert Montgomery", and "Singing Cowboy" boast excellent guitar riffs, and lyrics that you just can't help but sing along to. "Good Times" is another song off of the album that really just stuck with me. Although the band is different, songs such as "Neil's Song" and "Dream" remind us that Arthur Lee is still at the helm, which means the lyrics are dark and mysterious, despite the campy, sing-songy feeling evoked by "Neil's Song". To cap off the album, Lee ends with "Always See Your Face", a beautiful song that blends the horn sounds of Forever Changes with his newer rock sound characteristic of the rest of the album. Foursail is not the experimental delight that Da Capo was, nor the everlasting classic that Forever Changes is. Keeping this in mind, Foursail is an essential for any Love fan, or any fan of late 60's acid rock. Lee still proves that he is more than just another psychedelic rock band with Foursail, putting his newly-formed band on the top of the rock pedestal of 1969. This album has been unfairly forgotten, and deserves (in my opinion)to earn recognition in the top 50 or so rock albums. Please explore this album and other works by Love so we can all experience the musical genius that was and still is Arthur Lee.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the most underrated love album, November 19, 2002
This review is from: Four Sail (Audio CD)
for some reason this has been the hardest love album to find. now it has been remastered and released with some fine liner notes and cool photos. it's not a great album, it should really be given about a B if you could rate it as a report card. some of the tracks , like talking in my sleep, are pretty weak, despite the fine guitar playing of jay donnellan. nothing is kind of boring, too. and i'm with you, while a pretty good cut, sounds like other songs from their catalogue. like bob dylan, arthur lee occasionally recycled the same riffs and ideas- like on the first album, when love used the same arrangement for both their rendition ofhey joe and their original track my flash on you.
songs by the later version of the band were not as good as the first three classic albums, and this is their 4th best record out of the 6 the band made from 1966-70.in contrast, the instrumental skills of the latter members were actually , in my opinion,of a higher degree. donnellan was a superb guitarist, just listen to the smoking leads he plays on AUGUST. ROBERT MONTGOMERY is another classic cut, one of the great tracks in the arthur lee repertoire. SINGING COWBOY also features some killer riffs from lee and donnelan. YOUR FRIEND AND MINE is a catchy, bouncy, old-timey, bluesy ,track dealing with the decesded former road manager of the band, who'd apparently ripped off the band's equipment for drugs. despite this somber subject, it is a likable and cool track. GOOD TIMES is a jazzy number with some more fine guitar work. ALWAYS SEE YOUR FACE is a pretty, orchestrated song that is quite reminiscent of the earlier incarnation of love. and DREAM is an inspirational and spiritual tune with heartfely lyrics and a memorable melody, bassist frank fayad and drummer george suranovich make fine contributions to this gem of a song.
i really think that this album doesn't get enough credit. by no means is it a masterpiece, but it displays a talented, often hard rocking aggregation. the lyrics aren't as awesome as forever changes, which is simply one of the greatest albums of all time, but this stuff is still quite good. i think the later albums do have their moments. as an aside, i saw arthur lee and love perform in cambridge mass. last august, and he's still in fine form. his new band is also good. catch them when and if you get a chance...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arthur Lee..., October 8, 2006
By 
Photoscribe "semi-renaissance man" (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Four Sail (Audio CD)
Another casualty of the Summer of Love's excesses. This is the man behind the seminal sixties' group Love, dead of leukemia at 61 on August 3, 2006. Now John Echols is the only original member of the group left alive, if my information is right. Bryan MacLean, along with Echols, Lee's main songwriting partner and co-leader of the group, died somewhat earlier.

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. "Dream" dwells on this to a degree, too. Apparently friends were very important to Lee, who wrote everything on the album, collaborating on only one, "Singing Cowboy", which has a vaguely homo-erotic tinge to it. "Robert Montgomery" is one of the few songs Lee or Love had done that actually has a character title or subject matter for a whole song, telling the tale of a bourgeois cipher who has trouble communicating with his friends. It has EXCELLENT guitar work! "Nothing" is rather reminiscent of "Forever Changes" in that it has a lyrical, pretty lilt to it, and some wizard guitar work, (not to mention good drumming!) It will put you in mind of "Orange Skies". but does the same thing a lot better. It's almost MOR in flavor, it's so nice! Then there's my personal favorite of the piece "Talking In My Sleep", a song where he lays down the law after being irked by a lady friend. Very country-flavored, with a Hendrix-like vocal by Lee, who sounds like he's trying to imitate Mick Jagger on the rest of the album, especially as the songs trail off. Finally, of the non-reprieves, there's "Always See Your Face", the OTHER "friendship" song. A fitting closer, it runs down what's important to Lee, as he tries to remember important people, places and things, taking care to remember his friend of the moment.

Lee and his incarnations of Love were perhaps the most undervalued and estimated groups in Rock, and his passing will make it impossible to see them live ever...I always missed him when he came to my town.

MAN, I hate mortality!!

Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love's Best Album....?, August 16, 2011
This review is from: Four Sail (Audio CD)
Everybody seems to think of the album 'Forever Changes' when Love is mentioned. That album has become popular over the years due to curiosity, film soundtracks, etc. But most people dont seem to be very familiar with Love's other work. And even though 'Four Sail' featured a different line-up (with Arthur Lee) the album - in my opinion holds out just as much and just as strongly as 'Forever Changes'. Actually I listen to 'Four Sail' much more often then 'Forever Changes'. The band's line up here were very gifted, funky and heavy musicians. But you also have the beautiful voice and lyrics of Mr. Lee. You get the heavy as well as the soft and emotional.
'Four Sail' is heavier than one would expect and is so much more than your typical late 60s psychedelia. The bands first 2 albums are more pop-like in terms of the so-called "flower power" sounds. Then of course later things changed. For the better. Im not knocking their first works. Not at all. Everything you can find from Love is amazing. ( I own all the albums) But for me- Ill take 'Four Sail' over the others if I had to choose only one. It never gets old. Im never tired of listening to this band ever- and especially this album. This could have been a major hit.....possibly. But youd have to know the band's history to understand why their albums didnt sell as well as most great bands from that time. I strongly suggest any album from Love but this one in particular. It will indeed blow your mind. Arthur Lee was one of our great Amerikan minds. He can make you cry, smile, dance, and love all at the same time. He can make you free. God bless him.

Stand-out trax on this album:
*Singing Cowboy
* Always See Your Face
* Robert Montgomery
* Nothing
* Dream
* Talking In My Sleep........actually every song is brilliant.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four the Love of Arthur Lee, August 27, 2007
By 
Blake Maddux (Arlington, MA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Four Sail (Audio CD)
Love guitarist Johnny Echols is quoted in the CD liner notes of their debut album as saying that Love was at times a less hard-rocking band than they might have envisioned themselves, and that this was due to the influence of co-guitarist Bryan MacLean. This is certainly not a put-down, as MacLean's four contributions to the band - "Softly To Me", "Orange Skies", "Alone Again Or", and "Old Man" - were unique enough to earn him a healthy amount of credit for Love's enduring influence. MacLean must have rubbed off onto frontman Arthur Lee, who - while never a full-on rocker himself - clearly benefited from smoother-around-the-edges style of his bandmate. Unfortunately, MacLean decided to go solo and Lee decided to break up the original line-up of Love following 1967's Forever Changes. This band had produced a classic and strongly individual body of work, and could have broken nationally if only they would have toured more extensively outside of California.

It is interesting to consider how Four Sail would have turned out had it been recorded by the erstwhile group of musicians. Since it was not, one might expect it to be decidedly weaker than its predecessors. This is far from the case. It is different in that is rocks much harder from beginning to end. However, as their early singles made perfectly clear, Love was always a band that had the ability to rock hard. On Four Sail, Lee explores the electric side of psychedelic folk rather than the acoustic. Guitarist Jay Donellan is a superb conduit for this approach. There are moments during which he threatens to overdo the style of Lee's once and future collaborator Jimi Hendrix. Thankfully, these moments are very few.

"August" might be one such case of slight overindulgence, as there are about 45 seconds of too much jamming. I can't really say which 45 seconds are the unnecessary ones, but it does feel a bit too long. Still, the guitar work is splendid, arguably more powerful than anything on Forever Changes. Lee's voice, meanwhile, is ghostly as ever and firmly intact. "Your Friend and Mine - Neil's Song" is a much more relaxed affair, and sounds like a campfire singalong. This contrasts effectively with the song's subject: the death by heroin overdose of Love roadie Neil Rappaport. "I'm With You" and "Good Times" sport warm and jazzy musical backdrops. "Dream" is one of the moodiest pieces on the record, and includes Lee's second reference to New York City on the album. This is interesting because, as mentioned before, Lee generally refused to tour outside of California. "Nothing" is also quite moody, with gentle guitar riffs and soft, unforced vocals. Unfortunately, Lee affects a strange and sloppy voice to poor effect on "Talking In My Sleep". Good thing that the musical passages are so strong, or this would be the one truly superfluous track on the album.

Now, I stop just short of the final track so that I can include it with two of the other stronger tracks on Four Sail. While the album begins with the formidable "August", it ends with the tender "Always See Your Face". As sincere as this song sounds, one has to wonder why he is so sure that he will always her - and she always see his - face (assuming that he is referring to a woman). I can see how he would imagine seeing her everywhere he goes, because he will always be thinking of her. Unless he expects her to be thinking about him just as often, then it seems like he will be making sure she sees his actual face. But I hate to put a creepy twist on such a beautiful song. "Singing Cowboy" and "Robert Montgomery" serve as sturdy pillars for the album's middle section. Both are powerful, carefully-constructed rockers which use the situations of their title characters to offer a bit of philosophical commentary. The shouting at the end of "Singing Cowboy" will surely remind the listener of a singer who was long a vocal admirer of Arthur Lee, and whose band (Led Zeppelin) released their debut album the same year that Four Sail was released.

While not a Love album in the proper sense, Four Sail is worthy of the attention of the band's fans. Even without the musicians and co-writers who helped make the band great, Lee shows that he was the heart and soul of the group, and that he could just as easily write an album of Love songs entirely by himself. It might be tough for fans of the original Love to admit it, but new members Jay Donnellan, Frank Fayad, and George Suranovich (and Drachen Theaker, who filled in on drums on three songs) give Lee's songs all of the muscle and restraint that they need. Four Sail is proof that there was greatness left in Arthur Lee after his magnum opus, and it should be included in any estimation of his legacy. (Fans who are willing to invest heavily in Love with their first purchase would be wise to seek out the 2-CD collection Love Story, which contains the four essential tracks from Four Sail and two others.)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Approaches the greatness of Forever Changes, from a different angle, January 8, 2007
By 
Elliot Knapp (Seattle, Washington United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Four Sail (Audio CD)
Four Sail rocks pretty hard--Arthur Lee's new Love lineup is essentially a power guitar rock quartet. Most of the songs consist of Lee's electric rhythm backed by a pretty tight bass/drums groove, and some up-front, bluesy and often psychedelic lead from Jay Donnellan. Gone are the intricate string, horn arrangements and subtle acoustic textures sharply contrasted with screeching electric guitar that typified the sound of the classic Forever Changes (which probably everyone visiting this page owns). Don't fear--despite the fact that the baroque folk rock sound of Forever Changes isn't present on Four Sail, it's still a really strong album. Overall, it's not the group's instrumentation and the production techniques used that hold the album back from being 5 stars, it's the songwriting, which is uniformly good, just not as transcendently brilliant as Forever Changes (which is a pretty tough set of shoes to fill).

When the songs on Four Sail are good, they're REALLY good--the opener, "August" is ethereal and spacey, rocking in a way that Love's earlier lineup would never have attempted, with some wicked, spiraling lead guitar. Lee's voice is a comfort--despite the difference in musical style, those signature vocals casually drawl out the mysterious, dark lyrics. On first listen, I felt pretty good about the new Love after the first track (I admit it, I was unsure whether I'd be into it). The highlights continue, especially on the hard rockers--"Singing Cowboy" is a well-known Love classic with a stormy ending sequence, and the guitars on "Robert Montgomery" cut with surprising force. A couple of the midtempo tracks are also pretty great--"Talking In My Sleep" is an interesting stylistic detour, and the closer "Always See Your Face" contains some of Lee's classic ironic lyrics.

There are two things that hold this album back from getting 5 stars from me. The first is the lyrics. They're usually pretty good, especially on the aforementioned highlights, but many of them just don't have that magic spark. On Forever Changes, it seemed like Lee was cutting down the curtains that obscure the workings of the world we live in with every ironic, bitter line he spat out of his mouth. With such transcendent, revelatory, and clever lyrics to be compared to, Four Sail's lyrics often don't hold up--where Lee sang about questioning the nature of society's laws and factored mortality into human beings' place in the world on Forever Changes, on Four Sail he sometimes sings about much less compelling (for me) topics like having fun ("Good Times") or friendship and the good old days ("Your Friend and Mine - Neil's Song"). While these are identifiable subjects that most people have experienced, they're pretty pedestrian. Countless people have written these kinds of songs, some better (some much worse, though). Very few people manage to reach the clarity that results in the kind of writing that Arthur Lee produced on Forever Changes. I guess I expected a little more out of the same guy on the next album and was slightly disappointed. However, this is just in comparison with the phenomenal Forever Changes, so it's not a serious problem with Four Sail by any measurement.

The second thing that holds me back from giving Four Sail 5 stars is the relative lack of stylistic diversity. It's mostly blues rock (identified strongly by the lead guitar style), with a few forays into some more psychedelic hard rock (would have liked to hear more of those) and some strutting grooves. Eventually though, a lot of it sounds the same. A lot of "I'm With You" sounds pretty similar to "August," and several of the midtempo jazzier numbers sound like slight tweaks of the same song. I realize that it's unrealistic to expect the cosmopolitan diversity of Forever Changes, I just wish the individual songs on Four Sail sounded a little different from each other.

For all these minor gripes (most of them are in comparison to the incomparable Forever Changes), Four Sail is a strong album and a repeatedly enjoyable listen, and I recommend it to fans of earlier Love. Just keep an open mind--it sounds a fair bit different. Anybody who tells you Love never produced any worthwhile music after Forever Changes is clearly turning a blind eye to some really great material.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Sail is a underrated piece, and should be given more attention, January 11, 2007
This review is from: Four Sail (Audio CD)
By 1969 Lee was the only constant from the original line-up, and pretty much put this out to fufill the contract to Elektra as relationships probably got strained. It starts out with a rather nice jazz-rock song called "August" that is the longest track on the album at 5 minutes flat. There is also "Your Friend And Mine" which hints at some country rock, and this can be a wonderful album to listen to. Forget what the dj's try to tell you what's good and what's bad. If you have an open mind then use it, and listen because there's some tasty little numbers on here. "August" and the song with the line "I'll be with you my love" are my 2 favorites. Love just never got the breaks that the Doors, or other artists got because Lee stood his ground, and played with whoever he wanted, did the music his way, and anything else. If anything perhaps the group was too much of a free spirit, and that's why they didn't get more recognition. We will never know as Lee died at the age of 57 in 2003. Love would attempt to release "False Start" off the Blue Thumb record label in 1970, but it quickly disappeared, and the on the RSO label with Reel to Real in 1974, but pretty much Love never got back to the creativity of the first 4 albums.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LEE'S NEW LOVE, May 27, 2006
By 
Randall M. Benton (Clearwater, Florida) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Four Sail (Audio CD)
There is no way "Four Sail" is better than any of the first three LOVE albums. "Love," "Da Capo," and the masterful "Forever Changes" are unbeatable. They stand as three of the greatest albums in rock history. Period.

That being said, when Arthur Lee emerged in 1968 with a new version of the band, many felt that the chance of another great LOVE album was nothing but a dream. That was totally untrue! "Four Sail" may feature a completely new line-up, but it can certainly stand up to the first three. It doesn't quite match any of them song for song, but it IS a wonderful collection of music overall.

One listen to "August," "Robert Montgomery," "Your Song And Mine - Neil's Song," "Singing Cowboy," and the fabulous "Always See Your Face" proves that Arthur Lee could still write some incredible music - post "classic-LOVE."

This album was released in August, 1969, a month of both love & peace and brutality & murder - in the forms of Woodstock and a creepy little ex-con named Charles Manson. That month love and death stood side by side, forever linked. And once again Arthur Lee and LOVE fit in perfectly with the times that were "forever changing" if you will. A time they were very much a special part of.

"Four Sail" is widely considered the last great LOVE album. Sadly, that is probably true. But it should never be overlooked because it no longer featured the classic line-up. Or because it had so much to live up to by constanly (and unfairly) being compared to the "big three." It rightfully deserves its place among the best LOVE had to offer. This one is well worth the listen.

LOVE on!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Great Love Album, April 15, 2005
This review is from: Four Sail (Audio CD)
For the longest time I had this on an old, scratchy vinyl record that a friend gave me. I listened to it once and thought it so inferior to the previous Love albums that I shelved it. Then one day, on a whim, I gave it a second chance, and that time the quality of the songs and playing blew me away. The entire first side is a classic. "August," "I'm With You" and "Singing Cowboy" are among the best Arthur Lee songs (the latter was co-written with new lead guitarist, Jay Donnellan). The second side is weaker, though you can't go wrong with "Dream" and "Robert Montgomery." I searched for years for a CD version and when this import appeared, I grabbed it, despite the high price tag. This record is not as breath-taking or consistent as Forever Changes; but then, how do you follow an act like that? I would definitely rate it as one of the great Love albums though. It is better than everything that followed, as the band continued to disintegrate through the late sixties and seventies. A good companion to this record is the follow-up, Out Here, which has some more great songs from this version of the band ("Listen to My Song," "Willow Willow" and a few others), but suffers from being a double album with too much filler.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the anti-forever changes, December 12, 2002
This review is from: Four Sail (Audio CD)
taken in the context of Arthur Lee's recording career up to this album I'm sure many people are forever bummed that Mr. Lee didn't continue in the same vein as De Capo and Forever Changes- In fact, I think that FourSail is a quite brilliant antithisis to those two albums.
The recording technique is purposefully lo-fi and muffled compare to the extravagant yet still rugged Forever Changes; listening to the bonus cut of "Talking in my Sleep" and you'll hear that his vision was to make an even more muttled attack, even thicker and distorted than the final product that the records company ended up with.
Another big change was the minamal use of hooks- certainly there are some good melodies, but the songs rely more on the energy of the performance and production value. With a new line-up on hand the music was obviously going to take a change and in the liner notes Arthur Lee alludes that his new bandmates had not entirely respected the folk-rock sound that had made up the previous two Love albums. As he put it he wanted it to be more of a band sound so he wrote the songs around what the other musicians wanted to play and less to what he wanted to say (I think by now he had a pretty jaded view of the business of making music).
There are some really solid memorable songs in here like the urgent August or spiteful Neil's Song, and as a whole the album works quite well together. It would have been interesting to hear what he would have invisioned both production-wise as well as song choices (another thing that is mentioned in the linear notes is that he intended this album to be a double album). I think that this album lines up pretty well with Love, Da Capo, and Forever Changes- it was a definitly a departure, but really it was an inside out anti version of Forever Changes and Da Capo bookends it perfectly.
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Four Sail
Four Sail by Love (Audio CD - 2002)
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