"¡Que Vida!" is a song written by Arthur Lee and first released in 1967 by the band Love. It was released both on Love's album Da Capo and as a single, backed with "Hey Joe". It has also been included on several Love compilation albums.
|Single by Love|
|from the album Da Capo|
|Recorded||1966 at RCA Studios|
|Producer(s)||Paul A. Rothchild|
|Love singles chronology|
The song's title is Spanish for "What a Life", though the working title for the song was "With Pictures and Words". The lyrics, involving topics such as death and reincarnation, suggest to Hoskyns "bad-trip paranoia" and to Greenwald "a psychedelic state of mind". Music critic Richie Unterberger claims that in the song "Lee's Johnny Mathis inclinations start to flower in a series of question and answer lyrics." The melody is based on the 1965 song "Lifetime of Loneliness" by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It employs a bossa nova rhythm, described by author Bob Cianci as a "lilting Latin rhythm." It also incorporates sound effects such as sleigh bells, merry-go-round music and a popping champagne cork. Arthur Lee biographer John Einerson describes Lee's vocal tone on the song as "mellow". As described by author Barney Hoskyns, the song uses "Latin rhythms and cool jazz shadings to fashion a kind of spaced-out MOR." Music critic Fredrik Eriksen feels the song sounds like a mixture of The Rolling Stones and Jefferson Airplane.
Allmusic critic Matthew Greenwald regard "¡Que Vida!" as a "true groundbreaking composition for Arthur Lee" in the way the allows the song to flow freely in the direction it wants to go. Greenwald also notes that although the chords always resolve, they go in surprising directions. Edna Gundersen and Ken Burns of USA Today described the song as "summery jazz-pop". Sean Elder of Salon calls the song "whimsical" and notes that it "almost seems like a parody of a hippie song, punctuated with what sounds like a pop gun."
- Einarson, J. (2010). Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book of Love. Jawbone Press. p. 142. ISBN 9781906002312.
- Greenwald, M. "¡Que Vida!". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-07-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Hoskyns, B. (2009). Waiting for the Sun: A Rock 'n' Roll History of Los Angeles. Hal Leonard. p. 123. ISBN 9780879309435.
- Unterberger, R. (1998). Unknown Legends of Rock 'n' Roll. Hal Leonard. p. 139. ISBN 9780879305345.
- Greenwald, M. "Lifetime of Loneliness". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-07-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Kent, N. (January 27, 1999). "Bryan McLean (Love) – Le malaimé". Les In Rocks. Retrieved 2012-07-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Cianci, B. (2006). Great Rock Drummers of the Sixies. Hal Leonard. p. 135. ISBN 9780634099250.
- "Crawdaddy, Volumes 10-23". Crawdaddy. 10–23. Crawdaddy Publishing Company. 1967.
- Eriksen, F. (April 14, 2003). "The Best of Love". groove.no. Retrieved July 9, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Gundersen, E. & Barnes, K. (July 18, 2007). "20 albums that defined an era". USA Today. p. D5.
- Elder, S. (May 22, 1999). "Love's Labors Lost". Salon. Retrieved 2012-07-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)