|Studio album by Love|
|Recorded||June to September, 1967 at Sunset Sound Recorders|
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, folk rock, baroque pop|
|Producer||Bruce Botnick, Arthur Lee|
Forever Changes is the third album by the American rock band Love. It was released by Elektra Records in November 1967 and would be the final album by the original band, as subsequent albums featured leader Arthur Lee backed by a variety of new players.
Forever Changes failed to achieve commercial success when it was first released in 1967, but it has since become recognized as one of the finest albums to come out of the Summer of Love, ranking 40th on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008 as well as being added to the National Recording Registry in May 2012.
After the previous album, Da Capo, keyboardist/drummer Alban "Snoopy" Pfisterer and flautist/saxophonist Tjay Cantrelli were dropped from the band, leaving Love a quintet. The remaining personnel performed on nine of the eleven tracks on Forever Changes. The album was the first to be produced by Arthur Lee, with assistance from Bruce Botnick. Originally, the album was to be produced by Botnick and Neil Young, but Young bowed out due to his commitments to Buffalo Springfield. According to the liner notes of the 1995 compilation Love Story, Young stuck with the album project long enough to arrange the track "The Daily Planet." Young, however, has denied such involvement.
The title of the album came from a story that Lee had heard about a friend-of-a-friend who had broken up with his girlfriend. She exclaimed, "You said you would love me forever!," and he replied, "Well, forever changes." Lee also noted that since the name of the band was Love, the full title was actually Love Forever Changes.
The sessions began in June 1967, with the group (except for Lee and Maclean) replaced by well-known Los Angeles session musicians Billy Strange (guitar), Don Randi (piano), Hal Blaine (drums) and most likely Carol Kaye (bass, guitar). This line-up was put in place due to the regular line-up's alleged inability to function in the studio. The two tracks recorded during these sessions, "Andmoreagain" and "The Daily Planet," were later given sparing overdubs by the actual members of Love, who felt the tracks otherwise sufficed. Drummer Michael Stuart says that bassist Kaye actually played acoustic guitar on "The Daily Planet"  but that Ken Forssi taught her the part.
Botnick recalls that the use of session musicians "sparked" the band, and they "realized they had blown it, got their act together and recorded the rest of the album." After much rehearsal, the group returned to the studio in August and continued through September, quickly laying down the remaining nine tracks, at a total estimated cost of $2,257.
Lee spent three weeks with David Angel, the arranger of the strings and horns, playing and singing the orchestral parts to him. Contrary to what has been reported in other places, Lee envisioned the horns and strings from the beginning, and they were not added as an afterthought.
A September 18 recording session finished the album, adding the horns and strings, 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.
|Robert Christgau||A− |
|Rolling Stone||(favorable) |
Upon its release in late 1967, Forever Changes was largely unsuccessful commercially. It spent 10 weeks on the Billboard 200 album chart, according to Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Albums, peaking at #154 in 1968, by far the worst showing among Love's first three albums. (According to the same book, Love's next album, Four Sail, fared better on the Billboard 200, peaking at #102 in 1969.) Forever Changes had a much stronger showing in Great Britain, where it reached #24 on the UK album chart in 1968. It peaked at #63 when it re-entered the chart in 2001.
Initial critical reviews were positive. Pete Johnson of Los Angeles Times, wrote that the album "can survive endless listening with no diminishing either of power or of freshness", while noting "parts of the album are beautiful; others are disturbingly ugly, reflections of the pop movement towards realism." Gene Youngblood of LA Free Express also praised the album, calling it "melancholy iconoclasm and tasteful romanticism."
The 1979 edition of The Rolling Stone Record Guide gave the album a rating of five stars (out of five). It also received five stars in the 1983 edition of the guide and in the fourth edition that was published in 2004.
In a special issue of Mojo magazine, Forever Changes was ranked the second greatest psychedelic album of all time. In the January 1996 issue, Mojo readers selected Forever Changes as #11 of the "100 Greatest Albums Ever Made."
Forever Changes was praised by a group of Members of the British Parliament in 2002 as being one of the greatest albums of all time.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album 40th in its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time in the December 11, 2003 issue.
Forever Changes was included in its entirety on the 2-CD retrospective Love compilation Love Story 1966-1972, released by Rhino Records in 1995. The album was re-released in an expanded single-CD version by Rhino in 2001, featuring alternate mixes, outtakes and the group's 1968 single, "Your Mind and We Belong Together"/"Laughing Stock", the final tracks ever to feature the Forever Changes line-up of Arthur Lee, Johnny Echols, Ken Forssi, Michael Stuart and Bryan MacLean (Forssi and MacLean both died in 1998).
The Forever Changes Concert was released on DVD in 2003 to great critical acclaim and marked the first time many of the songs had been performed live. The set features the entire album recorded in its original running order during a tour of England by Lee in early 2003, in which he was backed by the band Baby Lemonade and string and horn ensembles. The DVD features the album concert, five bonus performances, documentary footage and an interview with Lee.
A double-CD "Collector's Edition" of the album was issued by Rhino Records on April 22, 2008. The first disc consists of a remastered version of the original 1967 album. The second disc contains a previously unissued alternate mix of the album.
A Super High Material CD (SHM-CD) version of Forever Changes was released in Japan in 2009.
All songs written by Arthur Lee, except where noted.
- "Alone Again Or" (Bryan MacLean) – 3:16
- "A House Is Not a Motel" – 3:31
- "Andmoreagain" – 3:18
- "The Daily Planet" – 3:30
- "Old Man" (MacLean) – 3:02
- "The Red Telephone" – 4:46
- "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale" – 3:34
- "Live and Let Live" – 5:26
- "The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This" – 3:08
- "Bummer in the Summer" – 2:24
- "You Set the Scene" – 6:56
According to the liner notes of the 2008 "Collector's Edition":
- Arthur Lee: lead vocals, guitar
- Johnny Echols: lead guitar
- Bryan MacLean: rhythm guitar, background vocals (lead vocals on "Old Man" and co-lead vocals on "Alone Again Or")
- Ken Forssi: bass guitar
- Michael Stuart: drums, percussion
- David Angel: arranger, orchestrations
- Strings: Robert Barene, Arnold Belnick, James Getzoff, Marshall Sosson, Darrel Terwilliger (violins); Norman Botnick (viola); Jesse Ehrlich (cello); Chuck Berghofer (string bass)
- Horns: Bud Brisbois, Roy Caton, Ollie Mitchell (trumpets); Richard Leith (trombone)
- Additional personnel according to the liner notes of the 2001 release
- Carol Kaye: (possibly) bass guitar on "Andmoreagain" and "The Daily Planet"
- Don Randi: piano on "Andmoreagain" and "The Daily Planet"
- Billy Strange: guitar on "Andmoreagain" and "The Daily Planet"
- Hal Blaine: drums on "Andmoreagain" and "The Daily Planet"
- Additional personnel according to the book "Forever Changes - Arthur Lee and the Book of Love"
- Neil Young: arranger on "The Daily Planet"
- Production and design, credits from the original 1967 album
- Bruce Botnick and Arthur Lee: Producers
- Bruce Botnick: Engineer
- Jac Holzman: Production Supervisor
- Zal Schreiber: Mastering
- William S. Harvey: Cover Design
- Bob Pepper: Cover Art
- Ronnie Haran: Back Cover Photo
- Production and design, credits from the original 1967 album
- Andrew Sandoval: Project Producer
- Andrew Sandoval, Dan Hersch, Bill Inglot: Remastering, Disc 1
- Steve Hoffman: Remastering, Disc 2, tracks 1-11
- Dan Hersch and Andrew Sandoval: Remastering, Disc 2, tracks 12-21
- Michael Kachko: Product Manager
- Andrew Sandoval: Liner Notes
- Amanda Smith: Art Supervision
- Vanessa Atkins and Cory Frye: Editorial Supervision
- Deming, Mark. "Love: Forever Changes > Review" at Allmusic. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone (Special Issue). 40 | Forever Changes - Love. November 2003. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- "Love, Dead in National Recording Registry". psychedelicsight.com. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
- McDonough, Jimmy (2002). Shakey: Neil Young's biography. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-679-42772-8. OCLC 47844513. pp 160 footnote
- Einarson, John. Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book of Love. A Genuine Jawbone Book. 2010. ISBN 978-1-906002-31-2
- Stuart-Ware, Michael (2003). Love: Behind the Scenes: On the Pegasus Carousel with the Legendary Rock Group Love. Helter Skelter Publishing. ISBN 978-1-900924-59-7.
- Christgau, Robert. "Love". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- Bickhart, Jim (10 February 1968). "Love: Forever Changes". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- "The 100 Greatest Albums Ever Made". Mojo (London: Bauer Media Group). August 1995. ISSN 1351-0193. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- "Freed 1960s star meets MPs". BBC News. 18 June 2002. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- "The 100 Greatest Albums". Channel 4. Archived from the original on 19 April 2005.
- Dimery, Robert (2009). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Octopus Publishing Group, London. pp. 42–43. ISBN 9781844036240. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- "The Stone Roses - resurrected?". NME.com. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2011. "Reni said, 'What's your favourite record ever?' I came out with Love's 'Forever Changes' and they all fell about and said, 'That's our favourite record as well!'"