Arthur Lee

Band members                             Related acts

- Arthur Lee (RIP 2006) -- vocals, guitar


  backing musicians:

- Frank Fayad -- bass 
- Dakota Dave Hull -- guitar 
- Charles Karp -- guitar 
- Clarence McDonald -- keyboards 
- Don Poncher -- drums, percussion
- Craig Tarwater -- guitar 




- The American Four
- Arthur Lee and the L.A.G.'s
- Love
- Ronnie and the Pomona Casuals



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Vindicator

Company: A&M

Catalog: SP-4356

Year: 1972

Country/State: California

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; split lower seam

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1111

Price: $30.00


Having recorded six albums in six years with Love, in 1972 a thoroughly frustrated Arthur Lee disbanded the group and struck out in pursuit of what proved an abbreviated solo career. 

Released by A&M, 1972's self-produced "Vindicator" found Lee working with the group Band-Aid. Anyone expecting to hear the measured, fragile sound of an early Love album was likely to be surprised by this set's low-key "thrown together" feel.  The opener 'Sad Song' and jump blues 'He Said She Said' sounded like in-studio jams.  The spoken work snippets '
You Can Save up to 50% But You're Still A Long Ways from Home' and 'Ol' Morgue Mouth' were little more than throw-away song fragments.  Still, highlighting Lee's instantly recognizable voice and a mixture of conventional rockers and pseudo-psychedelics, the set was thoroughly professional, if seldom up to the standard of his Love catalog. Material such as 'Love Jumped Through My Window' and 'Find Somebody' was good, but lacked the spark that made Love's earlier albums so appealing.  Personal favorites were the Hendrix-influenced 'Every Time I Look Up I'm Down or White Dog (I Don't Know What That Means!)', the hysterical 'Hamburger Breath Stinkfinger', and the closing rocker 'Busted Feet'.  Naturally the album sank without a trace.  As a Love fan,  I'll also tell you that the set tends to grow on you the more you play it. 


 Kind of weird, but when I recently played the album for a friend he thought it was Bob Seger.  On reflection Lee's new found growl actually did sound like Seger on a couple of tracks. 

"Vindicator" track listing:

(side 1)
1.) Sad Song   (Arthur Lee) - 2:19  rating: ** stars

Hum, Lee starting off with a bluesy, acoustic number.  Well, even though it didn't sound like much more than an in-studio jam, I'll give it an extra star for the fact Lee sounded like he was enjoying himself.  Given the caliber of some of the other material on the album, I always wondered why A&M tapped this one as a promo single:





197w's 'Sad Song' b/w 'You Want Change for Your Re-Run' (A&M catalog number 1381)







2.) You Can Save up to 50% But You're Still A Long Ways from Home   (Arthur Lee) - 0:17 
rating: ** stars

Beats me ...  I'm guessing it's the only Arthur Lee song that references Harry Truman.  
3.) Love Jumped Through My Window   (Arthur Lee) - 2:15 
  rating: **** stars

The rollickin 'Love Jumped Through My Window' made the wait worthwhile.  Anyone who thought Lee couldn't handle and out and out rocker only needed check this one out.  Awesome guitar solo ...
4.) Find Somebody   (Arthur Lee) - 3:44 
  rating: **** stars

Funky rocker ...   While there wasn't anything particularly original on 'Find Somebody', the funky groove snuck up on you and refused to leave.   Call it an acquired taste.   
5.) He Said She Said   (Arthur Lee) - 2:15 
  rating: *** stars

'He Said She Said' found Lee taking a stab at jump blues.  I'm not a big fan of the genre, so this one just didn;t do much for me.
6.) Every Time I Look Up I'm Down or White Dog (I Don't Know What That Means!)   (Arthur Lee) - 3:54 
  rating: **** stars

Complete with vocal shrieks and gasps, ' Every Time I Look Up I'm Down or White Dog' was easlly the album's most Hendrix-styled number. 


(side 2)
1.) Everybody's Gotta Live   (Arthur Lee) - 3:29 
rating: **** stars

Maybe because it had previously appeared on 1974's "Reel To Real", if there was a song on the solo album with a distinctive Love flavor, then it was the breezy 'Everybody's Gotta Live'.  Sweet, radio friendly pop tune that should have been a massive hit with it was tapped as the album's leadoff single.

- 1972's 'Everybody's Gotta Live' b/w 'Love Jumped Through My Window' (A&M catalog 1361)   No idea when, or where it was recorded and the sound and video quality are poor, but YouTube has a live performance of the song at: 
2.) You Want Change for Your Re-Run   (Arthur Lee) - 4:14 
  rating: *** stars

Always wondered if the title was ironic, or not since 'You Want Change for Your Re-Run' found Lee tuning in his most impressive Hendrix impression ...  
3.) He Knows a Lot of Good Women (or Scotty's Song)   (Arthur Lee) - 3:13 
  rating: *** stars

'He Knows a Lot of Good Women (or Scotty's Song)' offered up the album's most commercial performance, though it wasn't anything particularly exciting..
4.) Hamburger Breath Stinkfinger   (Arthur Lee) - 2:44 
rating: **** stars

Geez, 'Hamburger Breath Stinkfinger' captured Lee at his funniest (who knew he had such a sense of humor), while also rocking out with a vengence.
5.) Ol' Morgue Mouth   (Arthur Lee) - 0:56
  rating: ** stars

Another spoken word effort, though 'Ol' Morgue Mouth' was at least backed by some blazing guitar.  Guess, Lee just needed to sill up some time ...
6.) Busted Feet   (Arthur Lee) - 5:01 
rating: **** stars

And Lee closes the album out by channeling Hendrix again.  Admittedly, on the rocker 'Busted Feet' Lee nailed it perfectly.  Everything including Hendrix's vocal mannerisms was on display.   I'm guessing Jimi would have approved.  Kudos to the rest of the band for some fantastic performances on this one - bassist Frank Fayad and drummer Don Poncher were particularly impressive.