Forever Changes Reviews

Posted by admin | Posted in Love | Posted on 15-04-2012-05-2008

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Forever Changes

Forever Changes

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Media Type: CD
Artist: LOVE
Title: FOREVER CHANGES
Street Release Date: 02/20/2001

List Price: $ 13.96

Price: $ 5.77

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171 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Let’s set the record straight…, April 27, 2001
By 
Jericho Sagorski (Sherman Oaks, CA USA) –

This review is from: Forever Changes (Audio CD)

I inadvertantly wrote a review for this deluxe re-issue under the banner of the original CD version, so this is my attempt to address the recently released, 7-bonus track edition of this stellar album. I can understand why people wouldn’t know or care about Love, but then again they are probably the same people who think Britney Spears is an “artist”. To the uninitiated, it helps to know that Love was Jim Morrison’s favorite group; when “Forever Changes” was first issued in 1967, it was their third album for Elektra, who eventually signed The Doors and released that group’s incredible debut the same year. If it weren’t for Arthur Lee and Love: 1) Elektra would not have gotten into the rock game; 2) The Doors might not have gotten signed to Elektra (Arthur Lee saw the group play The Whisky a Go Go and referred them to Jac Holzman and Ahmet Ertugen); 3) Jimi Hendrix might not have been exposed to a recording studio until much later in life (Lee recorded Hendrix on a rare 45 in the early ’60′s, and later included sessions with Jimi on subsequent Love LPs); and my life would still be the same. The re-issue offers a little insight into this deliberately mysterious group by supplying fans with outtakes from the original line-up’s last session (“You and I and Your Mind Belong Together”), a demo version of one of the tracks (“The Good Humor Man…” re-titled as “Hummingbirds”), alternate mixes of classic Love tracks (“You Set The Scene” and “Alone Again Or”, which emphasizes Brian Maclean’s vocals more prominently), and even a song deleted from the original album completely (“Wonder People”), as well as the B-side “Laughing Stock” which is from the same session as “You and I…” Needless to say, the album sounds great, despite the original multi-track tapes being MIA. Lee seems like a prophet when he rattles off lines like “The news of today will be the of tomorrow”… Too bad the band went through all the tragic cliches that accompany bands that come close to stardom: infighting, ego trips, money issues, refusals to tour, line-up adds and drops, and the obligatory drug abuse that grew to mythic proportions… Unlike any other album released in 1967, this one shows both sides of the coin that was the Summer Of Love: Hippie pride paired with nihilism, romance with despair, mind-expansion with paranoia. Arthur Lee was onto something, and until he is released from jail in 2005, we may never hear anything this well-written and executed from the man ever again. You can hear in this one album where artists as diverse as The Damned, UFO, The Smiths, Baby Lemonade, Neil Young, The Hooters, Echo & The Bunnymen, and even John Frusciante of the Chili Peppers copped some of their best ideas; you can also hear how well Love incorporated their own influences and peers into their songs: you hear Dylan, Neil Young (again), Brian Wilson, The Byrds, mariachi and flamenco , Memphis Blues, folk, and acid rock peek up here and there, but the overall sound and texture is pure Love. Take a risk, all you adventurous pop fans out there who are looking for interesting, elegant melodies to sing along to as you drive around L.A. or wherever it is you may live.

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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Forever Love, March 14, 2002
By 
Robert Cossaboon “devil doll” (The happy land of Walworth, NY) –
(REAL NAME)
  

This review is from: Forever Changes (Audio CD)

I love this album! It’s gorgeous: completely, utterly and absolutely. It’s one of the most perfect pieces of ever committed to tape, vinyl or CD. Out of all the summer of love albums to have come out, this is the one that strikes the strongest chord of kinship inside me. I don’t know what it’s like to have cavorted about in dippy-hippy peace, man style, but I DAMN sure know what it’s like to be lonely and to be the man who sees things from the outside.
But do not be fooled. This is not a sad album in any way. Like how that totally awesome album cover portrays, it is life itself, a swirling menagerie of colors, moods and emotions. Can anyone doubt this after the way the first song, “Alone again or” begins with that quiet accoustic guitar and then knocks you right out in the middle with that majestic horn solo?
Throughout the album, our singer is sad, but never downtrodden. There is a perkiness even in the really delicate songs like “Andmoreagain” and “The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This”-the latter one of the most gorgeous songs about summer ever written. Even with the two rockers, “A House Is Not A Motel” and “Live And Let Live”, the mood is subdued, the anger is controlled and aimed carefully like a pointed finger.
Then there are the really bubbly songs: “Between Clark and Hillsdale” makes you want to cha-cha past your own local bunch of sidewalk stores right after you get out of work while there’re still a couple hours of summer sun left; and “You Set The Scene” has to be one of the greatest signature songs of the era. It’s one of those majestic march of life songs. Our singer, even in his darkest moment of loneliness where he is talking/longing to an old photograph of a girlfriend (and who among us has never experienced this?), is able to rally an existential optimism of being part of a greater whole-life. Well, when you listen to the song, you see what I mean.
Do the bonus tracks do it for the album? Yes, and no. They do not in manner flaw the original integrity Forever Changes, I’m just not sure if they enhance it that much. “Hummingbird” is excellent, because we see something already great on its way to greatness. “Wonder People” is intersting, because it’s an outtake and you have to wonder how many of those are still floating around. “Laughing Stock” is a pointless addition; I never liked that song very much in the first place. “Your mind and me belong together” is noteworthy because it was the last song the Forever Changes lineup recorded before they disintegrated into memory. The guitar solo is pretty cool, but once again it does nothing to enhance the album. As for the remixes, I can tell no difference, except for that bizarre rap sequence they tagged onto the alternate version of “You Set The Scene” and the couple extra seconds of strings at the song’s end.
Haunting, eerie, chirpy, and bubbly Forever Changes is never a let-down; only after that final horn section marches off from your ears do you feel the come-down.
Rolling Stone said it the best: Forever Changes is “indescribably essential”.

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A very nice and melancholy bit of well-arranged psychedelic rock/pop, January 7, 2007
By 
Jeffrey J.Park (Massachusetts, USA) –
(VINE VOICE)
  
(REAL NAME)
  

This review is from: Forever Changes (Audio CD)

This was a random purchase I made as part of my exploration of psychedelic released during the late 1960′s. Happily, this turned out to be one of the nicer listening experiences I have had as of late and was generally impressed with the lush arrangements, acoustic textures, and melancholy mood. Although sounding partly like a product of its time (November 1967), this album is pretty sophisticated musically, with themes of paranoia and death commingling with at least a few cheerier themes. In spite of the fact that this record is largely unsung, it apparently influenced a few other musicians, as I can hear bits and pieces of this album on The Soft Parade (The Doors, 1969) and Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus (Spirit, 1970).

The musicians on Forever Changes include bandleader Arthur Lee (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars); John Ecols (lead electric guitar); Bryan Maclean (rhythm guitar and vocals – lead vocal on Alone Again and Old Man); Ken Forssi (electric bass guitar); and Michael Stuart (drums and percussion). In addition to the key band members there is an additional bassist, guitarist, drummer, and a pianist along with string and brass ensembles. The string ensemble is used a lot throughout and very effectively. I guess it’s worth noting that the liner notes indicate that Arthur felt that the band did not possess the technical ability of a Cream or a Jimi Hendrix Experience and channeled his efforts into arrangement. As such, Forever Changes features layers and layers of instruments, excellent orchestration, rich vocal harmonies, nice melodies, acoustic textures, great production, and gloomy atmospheres. As a progressive rock fan I certainly appreciate virtuosity but appreciate good arrangements a whole lot more – I really enjoyed this album a lot in fact.

The eleven pieces (2’20″ – 6’49″) largely consist of strummed acoustic guitars and the occasional electric guitar solo atop a solid foundation of electric bass and drums. Skillfully woven into the overall “psychedelic rock sound” are trumpet and string parts that range from classical to big band (just like Chicago used their brass section, although Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass sound does creep in there too). The trumpets really add a distinctive touch, while the strings make an unavoidable Beatles connection. Although I have described this as melancholy and gloomy, there are occasionally bouncy and cheery sections that provide a nice balance.

Rhino did a great job remastering this album and there are extensive liner notes and photos of the band. The bonus tracks do not add too much, although they certainly are of historical value to fans of the band.

This is a great album that should prove to be of interest to those folks that like the proto-progressive British bands such as The Moody Blues (In Search of the Lost Chord, 1968) and Procul Harum (A Salty Dog, 1969) along with other American west coast psychedelic acts like Jefferson Airplane (After Bathing at Baxter’s, 1967), Spirit (Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, 1970) and The Doors (Waiting for the Sun, 1968). I can honestly say that as a huge progressive rock fan who is exploring the psychedelic roots of the genre, this is a great album and is definitely worth adding to the psychedelic/progressive rock collection.

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