Reel to Real (album)

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Reel to Real
Studio album by Love
Released December 1974
Recorded 1974
Genre Soul, folk rock, rhythm and blues[citation needed]
Length 34:05
Label RSO
Producer Arthur Lee
Love chronology
False Start
Reel to Real
Out There
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B+[2]
Exclaim! 5/10[3]

Reel to Real is the seventh and final album by the American rock band Love, released in 1974.


Reel to Real was the first official Love album in four years, and bandleader Arthur Lee recorded the album with studio musicians after dismissing all previous band members. It follows the release of Lee's solo album Vindicator in 1972 and two different Love albums that had been recorded but never released.

Reel to Real featured the same musicians that played on the unreleased Black Beauty and was originally intended as part of a two-album deal with Robert Stigwood's RSO Records. A long-time admirer of Arthur Lee, Skip Taylor, approached the label and convinced Stigwood to give the previously commercially unsuccessful Lee the largest advance he would ever receive, followed by the biggest touring opportunity any incarnation of Love would ever embark on, opening for acts such as Lou Reed and Eric Clapton.[citation needed] The tour was a disaster due to Lee's increasing erratic behavior.[citation needed]

The album received a CD and vinyl re-release in 2015 from High Moon Records.

Critical reception[edit]

Writing about the 2015 reissue for Exclaim!, Daniel Sylvester noted that Lee "comes off sounding nothing short of subdued, toothless and aimless," adding that the record "is lovingly assembled and digitally enhanced, but nonetheless, shouldn't be mistaken for an essential release."[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written and arranged by Arthur Lee, except where noted.

Side 1
  1. "Time Is Like a River"
  2. "Stop the Music"
  3. "Who Are You"
  4. "Good Old Fashion Dream"
  5. "Which Witch Is Which?"
  6. "With a Little Energy"
Side 2
  1. "Singing Cowboy" (Lee, Jay Donnellan)
  2. "Be Thankful for What You Got" (William DeVaughn)
  3. "You Said You Would"
  4. "Busted Feet" (Lee, Charles Karp)
  5. "Everybody's Gotta Live"


  • Arthur Lee - rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, vocal
Additional personnel
  • Melvan Whittington - guitar
  • John Sterling - guitar
  • Sherwood Akuna - bass
  • Joe Blocker - drums
  • Bobby Lyle - keyboards
  • Gary Bell - synthesizer
  • Herman McCormick - conductor
  • Wilber Brown, Fred Carter, John Clauder, Alan DeVille, Clifford Solomon and Billy Sprague - horns
  • Venetta Fields, Jessica Smith and Carlena Williams - vocals
  • Robert Rozelle - bass (6, 7, 10)
  • Buzzy Feiten - lead guitar (3)
  • Art Fox - acoustic guitar (5)
  • Harvey "The Snake" Mandel - electric guitars (5)
  • Joe Deaguro - vocal, vibes (8)


  1. ^ "Love: Reel to Real" at AllMusic. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Love". Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Sylvester, Daniel (November 25, 2015). "Love - Reel to Real". Exclaim!. Retrieved December 17, 2015.