The first self titled album had a lot of Byrds influenced guitar riffs, sped up with Lee's growl, which firmly separated Love from those LA counterparts. Most notable was "My Little Red Book", a Burt Bacharach songs performed in a heavier, very un-Bacharach style that rather than a sad love song of regret comes off like the rantings of a stalker. But it was with Da Capo that Love really found their voice. "Stephanie Knows Who" that starts out with a sweet jazzy harpsichord part before breaking into a heavy vocal with fast guitar riffs from Lee, then breaks into a middle section of complex jazz sax and harpsichord layered ecstasy, before returning to Lee's menacing growl again. "Orange Skies" is much lighter fare written by the band's other guitarist-singer Bryan MacLean that is straight hippy acid trip music, albeit high quality acid trip music "carnivals in cotton-candy" lyrics to give you an idea. "Que Vida"and "She Comes In Colors" are two of the absolute best Love tracks (here or anywhere) with Lee's vocals, music, and especially the expansive arrangement (of Que Vida) bringing the listener to another (higher) plane, a dreamland of sorts. On the other hand, "7 & 7 Is" is a thundering piece of mid 60's rock, that will blow the listener's mind after the dreamy "Orange Skies" and "Que Vida". It also gave Love a minor hit/ anthem for the era. "The Castle" cleverly twists flamenco and psychedelic with consistently changing rhythms, the bass and drums running all over the song. The beginning of the track lulls the listener in and boom, the repeated rhythm changes quickly disturb the calm, peaceful intro. Alas, the entire second half is taken up by the 19 minute "Revelation", a long jam that can be quite interesting and fluid (at times) but often ranging from meandering to boring, over that long 19 minutes. While many critics completely panned "Revelation", it isn't as bad as they often made it out to be, however, after the incredibly high standard of the superlative previous 6 tracks (all, in my view, essential must have recordings) the end is a bit of a let down, hence the 4 star vs 5 star rating.
Love was a huge influence on the mid Sixties' music scene. The Doors sited them as a big influence and the Rolling Stones specifically site "She Comes In Colors" as influencing "She's A Rainbow", plus many other LA bands of the era owe Love a big debt.
While "Forever Changes" is the album that Rolling Stone magazine sited as one of the "greatest albums in the history of Rock and Roll" and it has a lot to recommend it, as well, Da Capo (at least the first 6 songs) remain my personal favorites. Unfortunately, after "Forever Changes" MacLean's heroin addiction and fighting with Lee dissolved the original line up. Arthur Lee reformed the band with all new members but with diminished returns, never regained its power of influence leading to Lee spiraling down, eventually ending in prison in the 90's on gun charges.
But Love (along with the Velvet Underground) will forever be memorialized as the least remembered, most influential bands of one of the greatest eras in rock history.