[3 March 2011]
LOS ANGELES — A previously unreleased 1973 album by influential Los Angeles psychedelic soul band Arthur Lee and Love will surface belatedly on June 7 as the initial release from a new boutique reissue label, High Moon Records.
Lee had planned to put “Black Beauty” out on his Buffalo Records label, but the company folded before it came out and the tracks were shelved. High Moon will release the 10 tracks originally planned to be on the album along with bonus tracks, new liner notes and previously unpublished photos from the period.
Rolling Stone writer David Fricke wrote in a guide to the band’s bootleg recordings, “‘Black Beauty’ might have been received as a strong comeback for Lee, a turn to steamy R&B with heavy-guitar punch — if it had come out.”
“Black Beauty” was planned as a follow-up to Lee’s 1972 solo album “Vindicator” and featured the first all-black lineup for the previously integrated group, which first hit the charts in 1966 with the singles “7 And 7 Is” and “My Little Red Book” and created the psychedelic era classic “Forever Changes” album in 1968.
New York-based High Moon plans to specialize in rare or previously unreleased material, and in a statement with the announcement of the first release, label president George Baer Wallace said of “Black Beauty”: “It is that rarest of rock artifacts: a never-before-released, full-length studio album, from an undisputed musical genius.”