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Da Capo is the second studio album by the American psychedelic rock band Love, released in November 1966. The bulk of Da Capo was recorded between September 27 and October 2, 1966 in RCA Studios, Hollywood. “7 and 7 Is” was recorded on June 20, and had been released as a single in July 1966 backed with “No. Fourteen”, an outtake from their debut album. After the recording of “7 and 7 Is”, Love’s line-up expanded to include Michael Stuart-Ware on drums and Tjay Cantrelli on saxophone and flute, moving previous drummer Alban “Snoopy” Pfisterer, a classically trained pianist, to harpsichord and organ. Guitarists Johnny Echols and Bryan MacLean, bassist Ken Forssi and vocalist and leader Arthur Lee retained their respective positions.

Da Capo encompasses the psychedelic rock and baroque pop genres. The album’s first half is a departure from the group’s debut, and in some ways anticipates the group’s third album, Forever Changes, with its detailed, delicate arrangements. Abrasive, proto-punk rockers like “7 and 7 Is” and the harpsichord-driven “Stephanie Knows Who” are balanced by lighter fare such as MacLean’s florid “Orange Skies”, and playful, barely classifiable pop tunes like “¡Que Vida!”

The album’s second half is a single track, among the first rock songs to take up an entire LP side (Bob Dylan’s “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” from Blonde on Blonde predated it by a few months, and The Mothers of Invention’s “The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet” suite, on the Freak Out! album, followed Dylan’s by just over a month). The 19-minute jam, entitled “Revelation”, began life as a live showcase for the group. The introduction to the piece is the Giga from the Partita No. 1 BWV 825 by J. S. Bach. Some sources claim it evolved out of their interpretation of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning”, yet its original title was “John Lee Hooker”. The song/jam bears a resemblance to the Rolling Stones’ “Goin’ Home”, recorded at the same studio (RCA) and released earlier in the year, on Aftermath. Arthur Lee is quoted on the back cover of Rhino’s 1980 LP compilation “Best of Love”: “The song ‘Revelation’ was a long jam we did so the musicians could express themselves. The Rolling Stones saw us play at the Brave New World, and they recorded a long song on their next album. After our album came out, I got the blame for copying them!”

Track Listing

Side one

1. “Stephanie Knows Who” 2:33
2. “Orange Skies” 2:49
3. “¡Que Vida!” 3:37
4. “7 and 7 Is” 2:15
5. “The Castle” 3:00
6. “She Comes in Colors” 2:43

Side two
1. “Revelation” 18:57

AllMusic Review: Love broadened their scope into psychedelia on their sophomore effort, Arthur Lee’s achingly melodic songwriting gifts reaching full flower. The six songs that comprised the first side of this album when it was first issued are a truly classic body of work, highlighted by the atomic blast of pre-punk rock “Seven & Seven Is” (their only hit single), the manic jazz tempos of “Stephanie Knows Who,” and the enchanting “She Comes in Colors,” perhaps Lee’s best composition (and reportedly the inspiration for the Rolling Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow”). It’s only half a great album, though; the seventh and final track, “Revelation,” is a tedious 19-minute jam that keeps Da Capo from attaining truly classic status. — Richie Unterberger

Schill Score: 9/10

Stream Album on Spotify

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