Forever Changes

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Forever Changes
Colorful human faces merged into one head, has text, all on a white background
Studio album by Love
Released November 1, 1967 (1967-11-01)[1]
Recorded June 9 – September 25, 1967
Studio Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California
Genre
Length 42:05[2]
Label Elektra
Producer
Love chronology
Da Capo
(1966)
Forever Changes
(1967)
Four Sail
(1969)

Forever Changes is the third studio album by the American psychedelic 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 ever, ranking 40th on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,[3] being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008 as well as being added to the National Recording Registry in 2012.[4]

Background[edit]

In 1966, Love had released two albums in relatively rapid succession, including their second LP Da Capo, which spawned their only Top 40 hit, "7 and 7 Is".[5] However, the group's opportunity for major national success dwindled as a consequence of frontman Arthur Lee's unwillingness to tour, Lee's deteriorating relationship with Love's other songwriter Bryan MacLean, and the overshadowing presence of label-mates The Doors.[6][7] In a 1992 interview, MacLean spoke of him and Lee "competing a bit like Lennon and McCartney to see who would come up with the better song. It was part of our charm. Everybody had different behaviour patterns. Eventually, the others couldn't cut it".[8] Throughout this period the band – reduced to a quintet with the departures of Alban "Snoopy" Pfisterer and Tjay Cantrelli – were known to retreat to Bela Lugosi's mansion in Hollywood, nicknamed "The Castle", where the group became further stagnated by their use of LSD and heroin.[9]

Rather than base his writings on Los Angeles's burgeoning hippie scene, Lee's material for Forever Changes was drawn from his lifestyle and environment.[9] The songs reflected upon grim but blissful themes and Lee's skepticism with the flower power movement.[10] Writer Andrew Hultkrans explained Lee's frame of mind at the time: "Arthur Lee was one member of the '60s counterculture who didn't buy flower-power wholesale, who intuitively understood that letting the sunshine in wouldn't instantly vaporize the world's (or his own) dark stuff".[11] Love's third studio album also brought about a sense of urgency for Lee. With his band in disarray and growing concerns over his own mortality, Lee envisioned Forever Changes as a lament to his memory.[11]

At this juncture, Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman suggested to Love to "advance backwards" by embracing the more subtle approach of folk music. While typically independent in his musical directions, Lee accepted Holtzman's proposal, setting the foundational approach to the Forever Changes recording sessions.[12] Having already produced the group's first two albums, Bruce Botnick was enlisted in overseeing the production of the third album along with Lee.[13] Botnick, who had just finished working on Buffalo Springfield's Buffalo Springfield Again, invited Neil Young to co-produce the upcoming Love album, but Young, after initially agreeing, excused himself from the project.[14] As Botnick recalled "Neil really had the burning desire to go solo and realize his dream without being involved in another band".[12] According to the liner notes in the compilation album Love Story, Young was involved in Forever Changes long enough to arrange the track "The Daily Planet." Young, however, has denied such involvement.[15]

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.[16]

Recording[edit]

Love started recording Forever Changes in June 1967 at Sunset Sound Recorders. However, beginning with the early recording sessions, the band, except Lee, was plagued by internal conflicts and lack of preparation for Lee's intricate arrangements.[17] Through Holzman's perspective, Botnick was an "album savior", guiding and motivating Lee's bandmates out of their trying period.[18] In order to compel the band to participate, Botnick enlisted top session musicians Billy Strange (guitar), Don Randi (piano), Hal Blaine (drums), and Carol Kaye (bass guitar) to work with Lee, completing "Andmoreagain" and "The Daily Planet" in a single three-hour session.[17] Shocked by the implications of losing their role in the album's development, Botnick's plan succeeded in motivating the Love members in recording the other nine tracks appearing on Forever Changes.[12]

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. Lee envisioned the horns and strings from the beginning, and they were not added as an afterthought.[16] A September 25 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.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[2]
Robert ChristgauA−[19]
Rolling Stonefavorable[20]

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 No. 154 in 1968, by far the worst showing among Love's first three albums. Forever Changes had a much stronger showing in Great Britain, where it reached No. 24 on the UK album chart in 1968. It peaked at No. 63 when it re-entered the chart in 2001.

Initial reviews were positive. Pete Johnson of the 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."[16]

Music critics and writers have described Forever Changes as folk rock,[21] psychedelic folk,[22] baroque pop,[23] psychedelic pop[24] and psychedelic rock.[25]

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.[citation needed] 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."[26] 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.[27] Rolling Stone ranked the album 40th in its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time in the December 11, 2003 issue. In 2013, NME ranked the album number 37 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 1998, Q magazine readers voted Forever Changes the 82nd greatest album of all time.[citation needed] In a 2005 survey held by British television's Channel 4, the album was ranked 83rd in the 100 greatest albums of all time.[28] The album was included in the 2005 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[29] According to the New Musical Express, The Stone Roses' relationship with their future producer John Leckie was settled when they all agreed that Forever Changes was the "best record ever".[30]

Reissues[edit]

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 the Stockholm Strings 'n' Horns ensemble. 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.

A 24 bit 192 kHz High Resolution version of the album was released by HDTracks in 2014, and in the same year a hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD) version of the album was released by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab.

Another 24 bit 192 kHz High Resolution remaster of the album was released through Pono in 2015, remastered by original engineer Bruce Botnick.

A 50th anniversary deluxe edition was released on April 6, 2018 by Rhino, containing both stereo and mono versions of the album, along with two CDs of bonus material.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Arthur Lee, except "Alone Again Or" and "Old Man", by Bryan MacLean.

Side one
No.TitleRecordedLength
1."Alone Again Or"September 10, 19673:15
2."A House Is Not a Motel"August 11 & September 10, 19673:25
3."Andmoreagain"June 9, 12 & August 11, 19673:15
4."The Daily Planet"June 9–10 & September 25, 19673:25
5."Old Man"August 12 & September 25, 19672:57
6."The Red Telephone"August 12 & September 21, 25, 19674:45
Side two
No.TitleRecordedLength
7."Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale"September 10, 19673:30
8."Live and Let Live"August 11, 19675:24
9."The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This"August 11, 19673:00
10."Bummer in the Summer"August 12, 19672:20
11."You Set the Scene"August 12, 19676:49
Total length:42:05

Personnel[edit]

Music[edit]

According to the liner notes of the 2008 "Collector's Edition".[31]

Love

  • Arthur Lee: lead vocals, guitar
  • Bryan MacLean: rhythm guitar, background vocals (lead vocals on "Old Man" and co-lead vocals on "Alone Again Or")
  • Johnny Echols: lead guitar
  • Ken Forssi: bass guitar
  • Michael Stuart-Ware: drums, percussion

Additional musicians

  • 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.[full citation needed]

  • Carol Kaye: bass guitar on "Andmoreagain" and "The Daily Planet"
  • Don Randi: piano on "Andmoreagain", "The Daily Planet", "Old Man" and "Bummer In The Summer"??
  • 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.[full citation needed]

Production and design[edit]

Sourced from the original 1967 album liner notes.[full citation needed]

  • 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
  • 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The official release date was Nov-1st,1967, though it didn't reach many of the record stores outside of Los Angeles until mid-December." Johnny Echols, Love's lead guitarist, answering a comment on Flashback Magazine's Facebook group
  2. ^ a b Deming, Mark. Forever Changes at AllMusic. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  3. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone (Special Issue). 40 | Forever Changes – Love. November 2003. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Love, Dead in National Recording Registry". psychedelicsight.com. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Love – Biography". allmusic.com. Retrieved May 31, 2016. 
  6. ^ Duersten, Matthew. "Halfway Between Watts and Charles Manson: Local idol Arthur Lee". lamag.com. Retrieved May 31, 2016. 
  7. ^ Sullivan, James. "Arthur Lee (1945–2006)". Rolling Stone magazine. Retrieved May 31, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Orbituary: Bryan MacLean". independent.co.uk. Retrieved May 31, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Various writers (2007). The Mojo Collection (4th ed.). Canongate Books. p. 114. ISBN 9781841959733. 
  10. ^ Tobler, John (2013). "The Best of Love (CD booklet)". Friday Music. 
  11. ^ a b Hultkrans, Andrew (2003). Love's Forever Changes. Bloomsbury. pp. 3–4. ISBN 9781441128706. 
  12. ^ a b c Olsen, Ted. ""Forever Changes" – 1967" (PDF). loc.gov. pp. 1–2. Retrieved June 1, 2016. 
  13. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Bruce Botnick interview". richieunterberger.com. Retrieved June 1, 2016. 
  14. ^ Unterberger, Richie (2003). Eight Miles High: Folk-rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 52. ISBN 0879307439. 
  15. ^ McDonough, Jimmy (2002). Shakey: Neil Young's biography. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-679-42772-8. OCLC 47844513.  p. 160 footnote
  16. ^ a b c Einarson, John. Forever Changes: Arthur Lee and the Book of Love. A Genuine Jawbone Book. 2010. ISBN 978-1-906002-31-2
  17. ^ a b Sandoval, Andrew (2008). "Forever Changes (CD booklet)". Rhino Entertainment. 
  18. ^ Olsen, Ted. ""Forever Changes" – 1967" (PDF). loc.gov. pp. 2–3. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 
  19. ^ Christgau, Robert (December 20, 1976). "Christgau's Consumer Guide to 1967". The Village Voice. New York. p. 69. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  20. ^ Bickhart, Jim (10 February 1968). "Love: Forever Changes". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  21. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Great Moments in Folk Rock: Lists of Aunthor Favorites". www.richieunterberger.com. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  22. ^ Jones, Chris (2007). "Love Forever Changes Review". BBC Music. Retrieved February 23, 2017. 
  23. ^ Christopher Monger, James. "Trilogy: Love/Da Capo/Forever Changes > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  24. ^ Howe, Sean (May 2008). "Reissues". SPIN. New York City. Retrieved February 23, 2017. 
  25. ^ J. DeRogatis, Turn On Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock (Milwaukie, Michigan: Hal Leonard, 2003), ISBN 0-634-05548-8, pp. 94 – 99.
  26. ^ "The 100 Greatest Albums Ever Made". Mojo. London: Bauer Media Group. August 1995. ISSN 1351-0193. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  27. ^ "Freed 1960s star meets MPs". BBC News. 18 June 2002. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  28. ^ "The 100 Greatest Albums". Channel 4. Archived from the original on 19 April 2005. 
  29. ^ Dimery, Robert (2009). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Octopus Publishing Group, London. pp. 42–43. ISBN 9781844036240. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  30. ^ "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!' 
  31. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Love-Forever-Changes/release/2526931