Forever Changes [Collector's Edition]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Released at the end of 1967 to the sound of almost no hands clapping (even Rolling Stone appraised it in tepid terms), Love's Forever Changes, the third and final album from the original band lineup led by the late Arthur Lee, has gained an Olympian stature in time. It brooks favorable comparisons to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (released earlier in the same year) and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (1966) for its daring compositional, structural and production appropriations from various non-rock sources and its articulation of the prevailing, increasingly splintered, post-Summer of Love zeitgeist, when the Vietnam War came home with a vengeance. Both ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Released at the end of 1967 to the sound of almost no hands clapping (even Rolling Stone appraised it in tepid terms), Love's Forever Changes, the third and final album from the original band lineup led by the late Arthur Lee, has gained an Olympian stature in time. It brooks favorable comparisons to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (released earlier in the same year) and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (1966) for its daring compositional, structural and production appropriations from various non-rock sources and its articulation of the prevailing, increasingly splintered, post-Summer of Love zeitgeist, when the Vietnam War came home with a vengeance. Both "The Red Telephone," with its pronounced Renaissance flourishes, sinister, nursery-rhyme-like spoken word passages, and disjointed lyrics; and the angry "A House Is Not a Motel," driven by a military beat and guitarist Lee's vocal and instrumental howls (one virtually indistinguishable from another in the swirling mix), reflect an oncoming crisis born of a generation's refusal to advance an illegal, immoral conflict abroad. Another 1967 album, the Jefferson Airplane's masterpiece, Surrealistic Pillow, clearly affected Love's approach too, in feel, and in particular in the speed-rapped "Bummer In the Summer," widely pinpointed as a Dylan homage because of the way Lee drew out words with drawled, extra syllables, although the entire exercise sounds heavily indebted in tempo, sound and style (almost to the point of copyright infringement) to the Airplane's "Plastic Fantastic Lover." On the other hand, two beautiful, plaintive Brian MacLean ballads ("Alone Again Or," with close-harmonized verses and choruses, shifting tempos, a vibrant mix of acoustic and electric textures, "Lonely Bull" horns and idealistic but oddly resigned lyrics; and the winsome "Old Man," sung by MacLean in a tiny, fragile, affecting falsetto over a surging orchestral arrangement keyed by strings, woodwinds, horns and acoustic guitars) are more indebted to the pop majesty attempted by The Association on the Bones Howe-produced LPs, Insight Out (1966) and Birthday (1967). And at several junctures the arrangements quote from the pop-classical fusions of the Left Banke, who debuted in 1966 with "Walk Away, Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina." So there is much to chew on here, in the original album as well as a second disc offering an unremarkable alternate mix of the album and bonus material notable for the inclusion of "Hummingbirds," an early version of one of Lee's weirdly sunny musings on the official album, "The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This." So rich in so many ways, and so open to continuing debate about its proper place in the hierarchy of ambitious, late '60s rock experiments in form and substance, Forever Changes remains -- dare it be said? -- forever young, and ever fascinating.
Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Released at the end of 1967 to the sound of almost no hands clapping (even Rolling Stone appraised it in tepid terms), Love's Forever Changes, the third and final album from the original Love lineup led by the late Arthur Lee, has gained an Olympian stature in time. It brooks favorable comparisons to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (released earlier in the same year) and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (1966) for its daring appropriations from various non-rock sources and its articulation of the increasingly splintered, post-Summer of Love zeitgeist, when the Vietnam War came home with a vengeance. Both "The Red Telephone" -- with its pronounced Renaissance flourishes, sinister nursery rhyme-like spoken-word passages, and disjointed lyrics -- and the angry "A House Is Not a Motel," driven by a military beat and Lee's vocal and instrumental howls (one virtually indistinguishable from another in the swirling mix), reflect an oncoming crisis born of a generation's refusal to advance an illegal, immoral conflict abroad. Another 1967 album, the Jefferson Airplane's masterpiece, Surrealistic Pillow, clearly affected Love's approach, particularly in the speed-rapped "Bummer in the Summer," widely pinpointed as a Dylan homage because of the way Lee drew out words by drawling extra syllables, although the entire exercise sounds heavily indebted in tempo, sound, and style (almost to the point of copyright infringement) to the Airplane's "Plastic Fantastic Lover." On the other hand, two beautiful, plaintive Brian MacLean ballads ("Alone Again Or," with close-harmonized verses and choruses, shifting tempos, and idealistic but oddly resigned lyrics; and the winsome "Old Man," sung by MacLean in a fragile, affecting falsetto over a surging orchestral arrangement keyed by strings, winds, and acoustic guitars) are more indebted to the pop majesty attempted by the Association on Insight Out (1966) and Birthday (1967). And at several junctures the arrangements quote from the pop-classical fusions of the Left Banke, who debuted in 1966 with "Walk Away, Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina." So there is much to chew on here, in the original album as well as a second disc offering an unremarkable alternate mix of the album and bonus material notable for the inclusion of "Hummingbirds," an early version of "The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This," one of Lee's weirdly sunny musings. So rich in so many ways, and so open to continuing debate about its proper place in the hierarchy of ambitious, late-'60s rock experiments, Forever Changes remains -- dare it be said? -- forever young and ever fascinating. Mark this reissue essential.
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Love's Forever Changes made only a minor dent on the charts when it was first released in 1967, but years later it became recognized as one of the finest and most haunting albums to come out of the Summer of Love, which doubtless has as much to do with the disc's themes and tone as the music, beautiful as it is. Sharp electric guitars dominated most of Love's first two albums, and they make occasional appearances here on tunes like "A House Is Not a Motel" and "Live and Let Live," but most of Forever Changes is built around interwoven acoustic guitar textures and subtle orchestrations, with strings and horns both reinforcing and punctuating the melodies. The punky edge of Love's early work gave way to a more gentle, contemplative, and organic sound on Forever Changes, but while Arthur Lee and Bryan MacLean wrote some of their most enduring songs for the album, the lovely melodies and inspired arrangements can't disguise an air of malaise that permeates the sessions. A certain amount of this reflects the angst of a group undergoing some severe internal strife, but Forever Changes is also an album that heralds the last days of a golden age and anticipates the growing ugliness that would dominate the counterculture in 1968 and 1969; images of violence and war haunt "A House Is Not a Motel," the street scenes of "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hillsdale" reflects a jaded mindset that flower power could not ease, the twin specters of race and international strife rise to the surface of "The Red Telephone," romance becomes cynicism in "Bummer in the Summer," the promise of the psychedelic experience decays into hard drug abuse in "Live and Let Live," and even gentle numbers like "Andmoreagain" and "Old Man" sound elegiac, as if the ghosts of Chicago and Altamont were visible over the horizon as Love looked back to brief moments of warmth. Forever Changes is inarguably Love's masterpiece and an album of enduring beauty, but it's also one of the few major works of its era that saw the dark clouds looming on the cultural horizon, and the result was music that was as prescient as it was compelling. [After releasing a fine expanded and remastered edition of Forever Changes in 2001, Rhino Records upped the ante by issuing a two-disc "Collector's Edition" of the album in 2008. The 2001 master of Forever Changes is featured on disc one, while an alternate mix of the album leads off disc two. The liner notes offer no information about when, where, or why the alternate mix was created, or who was responsible; for the most part, it sounds leaner and less detailed than the original version, and reveals a bit more studio chatter and count-offs while placing a shade less emphasis on the strings and horns. It's interesting for obsessive fans, but ultimately isn't different enough to reveal many new insights about the music. The highlights of the remaining bonus material appeared on the 2001 reissue, and though there are more studio outtakes, they tend to document studio chatter rather than music, beyond a sloppy, impromptu version of "Wooly Bully." While Andrew Sandoval has written excellent new liner notes for this edition, unless you're enough of a fan to need the alternate mix of Forever Changes, this doesn't offer much incentive to upgrade from the single-disc 2001 reissue.]

Love's Forever Changes made only a minor dent on the charts when it was first released in 1967, but years later it became recognized as one of the finest and most haunting albums to come out of the Summer of Love, which doubtless has as much to do with the disc's themes and tone as the music, beautiful as it is. Sharp electric guitars dominated most of Love's first two albums, and they make occasional appearances here on tunes like "A House Is Not a Motel" and "Live and Let Live," but most of Forever Changes is built around interwoven acoustic guitar textures and subtle orchestrations, with strings and horns both reinforcing and punctuating the melodies. The punky edge of Love's early work gave way to a more gentle, contemplative, and organic sound on Forever Changes, but while Arthur Lee and Bryan MacLean wrote some of their most enduring songs for the album, the lovely melodies and inspired arrangements can't disguise an air of malaise that permeates the sessions. A certain amount of this reflects the angst of a group undergoing some severe internal strife, but Forever Changes is also an album that heralds the last days of a golden age and anticipates the growing ugliness that would dominate the counterculture in 1968 and 1969; images of violence and war haunt "A House Is Not a Motel," the street scenes of "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hillsdale" reflects a jaded mindset that flower power could not ease, the twin specters of race and international strife rise to the surface of "The Red Telephone," romance becomes cynicism in "Bummer in the Summer," the promise of the psychedelic experience decays into hard drug abuse in "Live and Let Live," and even gentle numbers like "Andmoreagain" and "Old Man" sound elegiac, as if the ghosts of Chicago and Altamont were visible over the horizon as Love looked back to brief moments of warmth. Forever Changes is inarguably Love's masterpiece and an album of enduring beauty, but it's also one of the few major works of its era that saw the dark clouds looming on the cultural horizon, and the result was music that was as prescient as it was compelling. [After releasing a fine expanded and remastered edition of Forever Changes in 2001, Rhino Records upped the ante by issuing a two-disc "Collector's Edition" of the album in 2008. The 2001 master of Forever Changes is featured on disc one, while an alternate mix of the album leads off disc two. The liner notes offer no information about when, where, or why the alternate mix was created, or who was responsible; for the most part, it sounds leaner and less detailed than the original version, and reveals a bit more studio chatter and count-offs while placing a shade less emphasis on the strings and horns. It's interesting for obsessive fans, but ultimately isn't different enough to reveal many new insights about the music. The highlights of the remaining bonus material appeared on the 2001 reissue, and though there are more studio outtakes, they tend to document studio chatter rather than music, beyond a sloppy, impromptu version of "Wooly Bully." While Andrew Sandoval has written excellent new liner notes for this edition, unless you're enough of a fan to need the alternate mix of Forever Changes, this doesn't offer much incentive to upgrade from the single-disc 2001 reissue.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/22/2008
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 081227993849
  • Catalog Number: 428796
  • Sales rank: 36,934

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Love Primary Artist
Robert Barene Musician
Arnold Belnick Musician
Chuck Berghofer String Bass
Norman Botnick Viola
Bud Brisbois Brass Ensemble
Roy Caton Brass Ensemble
John Echols Guitar, Group Member
Jesse Ehrlich Cello
Ken Forssi Bass, Group Member
James Getzoff Musician
Arthur Lee Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Richard Leith Trombone
Bryan MacLean Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Ollie Mitchell Trumpet
Marshall Sosson Musician
Darrel Terwilliger Violin
Michael Stuart Percussion, Drums, Group Member
Technical Credits
Robert Barene String Section
Arnold Belnick String Section
Bruce Botnick Producer, Engineer
James Getzoff String Section
John Haeny Engineer
Dan Hersch Remastering
Bill Inglot Remastering
Arthur Lee Arranger, Composer, Producer
Bryan MacLean Arranger, Composer
Domingo "Sam" Samudio Composer
Andrew Sandoval Liner Notes, Reissue Producer, Remastering
Marshall Sosson String Section
William S. Harvey Cover Design
Bob Pepper Illustrations, Cover Art
Steve Stanley Art Direction
Steve Hoffman Remastering
David Angel Arranger, Orchestration
David Peter Housden Photo Courtesy
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