Love Affair was one of the great, all-too-unheralded pop bands of the late '60s in Britain, not a million miles in approach from the Small Faces -- and in Steve Ellis they had a soulful belter who was close to the genius of Steve Marriott. "Everlasting Love" was the big hit, a wonderful slice of music that crossed and recrossed the line between soul and pop, and which still stands proudly after all these years. But it's far from being the only excellent work here. The covers of "Hush," "Tobacco Road," "Handbags and Gladrags," and "The First Cut Is the Deepest" positively steam, while "Rainbow Valley," although a formulaic retread of the big hit, still has plenty going for it. Perhaps the big problem for the band was that they were tagged simply as a pop band, so when they attempted to break that mold, they weren't taken seriously. That's a shame, as "The Tree," which veers into both psychedelia and prog rock (close neighbors in those days) is an excellent piece of work, and "Once Upon a Season" offers a few echoes of Traffic. That's not to say everything is wonderful: "Could I Be Dreaming?" and "The Tale of Two Bitters" are readily dispensable, and a couple of other tracks are simply nondescript. But the ratio of good to bad is extremely high, and Steve Ellis is convincing throughout.
Everlasting Love Affair Review
by Chris Nickson