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Happy Valentine’s Day. What better time is there to feature a SotW by a band called Love that is itself, a love song (of sorts). It is called “Andmoreagain” from the classic 1967 album Forever Changes.
I like some of how Matthew Greenwald reviewed the song at AllMusic.com, though I don’t necessarily interpret the lyrics the way he does:
“Andmoreagain” is another example of Arthur Lee letting the song he was writing lead him, rather than the other way around. Its lilting, slightly spaced folk melody is somewhat similar to Burt Bacharach, as well as Neil Young’s “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing.” Loaded with sweet, major-7th chords, its calm, infectious beauty is, in a word, mesmerizing. Lyrically, it’s another example of Lee free associating on his acid-magnified state of mind, meditating on reincarnating his own defense mechanisms. The line “undone, wrapped in my armor/’cause my things are material” bears this out. One of Lee’s best-loved compositions, it’s always been included in his concert repertoire, even after disbanding Love.
To me, the lyrics are a text book example of the kind of hazy, mystical, psychedelic mumbo jumbo to come out of the “Summer of Love;” so vague and cryptic that they can be construed an infinite number of ways.
I’ve heard interpretations that the title refers to the girlfriend of Love’s leader Arthur Lee, or the film and TV actress Ann Morgan. (I think it’s just a word that is sung to sound like a name.)
I’ve heard that it is about love’s “duality” – the light and dark of love. But my favorite theory is that Angmoreagain is a succubus, defined by Wikipedia as “a female demon or supernatural entity in folklore (traced back to medieval legend) that appears in dreams and takes the form of a woman in order to seduce men, usually through sexual activity. The male counterpart is the incubus.” Now that’s cool!
And when you’ve given all you had
And everything still turns out
Bad, and all your secrets are your own
Then you feel your heart beating
Wrapped in my armor
But my things are material
Lost in confusions
‘Cause my things are material
And you don’t know how much
I love you
Oh, oh, oh
The music has a baroque rock (The Left Banke) feel. Arthur Lee’s vocal is reminiscent of Bee Gee Robin Gibb circa “I Started a Joke” but not nearly as maudlin.
Forever Changes is a great album that really deserves your attention if you’re not familiar with it. It has received numerous accolades — #40 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, #11 on Mojo’s list of the 100 greatest albums ever made. Other songs to check out include “Alone Again Or”, “The Red Telephone” and “You Set the Scene.”
Enjoy… until next week.