Cover Versions

Alone Again Or…

Alone Again Or

Song: Alone Again Or…
Artist: The Damned
Original artists: Love

The tinkering carried out on this track by band leader Arthur Lee was, according to
guitarist Johnny Echols, “the beginning of the end” of the group Love.
The song was written by band member Bryan MacLean and was originally simply called
Alone Again (not to be confused with the Gilbert O’Sullivan song). MacLean was also
the original lead singer.

However, it appears that Lee developed a bit of “green eye” after the song was recorded
and remixed the track to bring his own vocal to the forefront. It was said that MacLean’s
vocal was “too weak”. Mysteriously, Lee also added the word “or” to the song’s title
though the phrase Alone Again Or does not feature in the lyrics.
The song was the opening track on Love’s Forever Changes album which was released
in 1967. The single did not achieve chart success, peaking at No 123 in the USA.
Though it received much critical acclaim and featured in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest
Songs of All Time poll at No 436 (2004) and No 442 (2010).

I would confess that it came as something if a surprise to me that the song was covered
by the punk rock band The Damned in 1987. It just doesn’t strike me as a typical “punk”
track. Mind you, nor does Eloise, the Barry Ryan song they covered with considerable
success, taking it to No 3 the year before.
The group credits Love as being one of their influences. Their version of Alone Again Or
peaked at No 27 in the UK charts.

By the way, The Damned have not disappeared from the music scene. They are
planning a 12-date UK tour starting in December 2024.

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