Wednesday, September 13, 2006

87. Love - Forever Changes (1967)

Track Listing

1. Alone Again Or
2. House Is Not A Motel
3. Andmoreagain
4. Daily Planet
5. Old Man
6. Red Telephone
7. Maybe The People Would Be The Times
8. Live And Let Live
9. Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This
10. Bummer In The Summer
11. You Set The Scene


This album comes shortly after Love's previous effort, Da Capo, yet it is infinitely better. Forever Changes is an inspired and original work of what you can call some kind of weird psychadelic folk-rock that is still very accessible to a mainstream audience. The songs are simply beautiful.

It is not a flawless album however, but most of the criticism come from personal taste rather than an objective criticism of the work. On of the best tracks in the album, Alone Again Or is in my opinion marred by it's reliance on flamenco guitar which always sounds tacky to my Portuguese ears trained to dislike all things Spanish from an early age.

My criticisms of this album are however a bit petty considering the fact that it is a great piece of work. It has dated a bit since 1967 but not enough for that to be a considerable problem with the album. I have read plenty of reviews that say that it sounds as fresh today as when it was made... which is a bit of sycophantic bollocks. It belongs to its time, but is good enough to transcend it.

Arthur Lee shows a beautiful knack for composing here but one must not disregard the very good lyrics indeed, which although quite downbeat are very fun and at times provocative. So, hear it today on Napster, or just buy the little fucker at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Maybe The People Would Be The Times
2. Alone Again Or
3. A House Is Not A Motel
4. Bummer In The Summer

Final Grade



Rock Out With Acoustic Guitars!

From Wikipedia:

"When I did that album," commented Arthur Lee, "I thought I was going to die at that particular time, so those were my last words." This is borne out by perhaps the most famous lines from the album, on the song "The Red Telephone":

"Sitting on a hillside
Watching all the people die
I'll feel much better on the other side."

A September recording session finished the album, sweetening the final mixes with horns and strings (arranged by David Angel with each song's respective songwriter), as well as some additional piano from Randi, who played all the keyboard parts on the album as the band now had no keyboard player.

The album was released in November with cover art by Bob Pepper and disappeared, rising to a lowly #154 on the Billboard charts. It did however reach the Top 30 in Britain. Only well after the group's break-up would the album be recognized as a masterpiece by the rock journalism press. It was re-released in an expanded version in 2001 on Rhino Records, featuring alternate mixes, outtakes and the group's 1968 single, "Your Mind and We Belong Together"/"Laughing Stock", the last tracks featuring John Echols, Ken Forssi, Michael Stuart and, in most likelihood, Bryan MacLean. As for Arthur Lee, he would reform the group in late 1968 with all-new members and carry on the Love name for a few more years.

In 1998 Q magazine readers voted Forever Changes the 82nd greatest album of all time. In Joe S. Harrington's Top 100 Albums it comes in at #69. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Forever Changes 40th in its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time in the December 11, 2003 issue. In a special issue of Mojo magazine, it was ranked the second greatest psychedelic album of all time. Forever Changes was ranked 83rd in a 2005 survey held by British television's Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time.

No comments: