Baby Lemonade

Best of Baby Lemonade

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A backwards bow from these returning '90s L.A. power pop wonders. Baby Lemonade are known -- and warrant gratitude -- for serving as late-'60s legend Arthur Lee's last incarnation of Love. They played over 500 astonishingly good shows backing him when he wasn't incarcerated, 1993-2005. Who better to accept the challenge than a terrific band named after a great Syd Barrett song from 1970s Barrett, whose three LPs were a melodic gold rush in a menagerie of classic styles? They loved Love, Beach Boys (the killer "Tailor in the Making," the Epic Soundtracks memorial "Song for Epic," etc.), the Move (1998's Exploring Music opener "Clap Your Hands"), Standells, the Merry Go-Round, etc., and dug Flamin' Groovies, Big Star/Beatles hybrids (2001's High Life Suite title track), Posies, and early Three O’Clock. Attention might turn here to the July 2005 live cover of Lee's immortal 1967 Forever Changes classic "The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This," flanked by original Love guitarist Johnny Echols. (Lee had cancelled due to illness.) But the rest of this crisp best-of demonstrates the value of their own songbook, packed with every such influence co-frontmen Rusty Squeezebox and Mike Randle could squeeze in. Best of all is a reminder of what Lee and savvy L.A. guitar pop aficionados saw in them -- foreshadowing a fourth LP, and reissues of the first three.

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