7/10/18: Ten Years After “I’d Love to Change the World”

“I’d love to change the world, but I don’t know what to do. So, I’ll leave it up to you.” Those words were ringing loud and clear in my head this morning, and the song they’re found in has been playing non-stop in my head today.

“Ten Years After” was a British blues and rock band who really made their mark in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The band featured a legendary guitar player and lead vocalist by the name of Alvin Lee, and had a very memorable set at Woodstock backed up by a bunch of hit records in the United Kingdom. Their 12 albums were all released over a period of roughly six years, and while they were a big ticket act in the UK, the band had exactly one hit here in the United States. But, boy, was it a big one!

“I’d Love to Change the World” came off an album called “Space in Time.” It was a hit for a lot of reasons, and not only was the song socially conscious… it also features some absolutely killer guitar work! Alvin Lee wrote it during a chaotic time. The lyrics reflect an environment of social confusion and unrest, and it makes direct reference to the long-running Vietnam War too. There was obviously a lot going on in 1971 when this song came out, and it makes sense that Alvin Lee would have a lot on his mind. But so do we all these days, right? There’s a lot going on right here in the good ol’ U.S.A. that I’m not happy about, and plenty of other people feel the same. It feels a lot like the ’60s and ‘70s again, and the issues we’re still dealing with now tend to weigh heavy. Especially when I’m trying to get to sleep! So, no wonder I woke up with a song like this in my head!

Alvin Lee died about five years ago at the age of 68. As far as I’m concerned, though, he’ll live on forever through this song. There’s still a version of Ten Years After out there playing today, too, with at least 45 years of history behind them. That’s the magical thing about music: it never really goes away. It manages to stick around, to keep playing, to keep speaking to and inspiring new artists. So, give this song a listen! See if it gets stuck in your head! It’s great stuff.