Arthur Lee and his band Love were active participants during the antiwar era of the late 60’s. ‘Forever Changes’ was their third album, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Forever Changes
SERIAL: EKS 74013
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: See Wikipedia Page (link below)
TRACK LISTING: 01 Alone Again Or * 02 A House Is Not A Motel * 03 Andmoreagain * 04 The Daily Planet * 05 Old Man * 06 The Red Telephone * 07 Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark And Hilldale * 08 Live And Let Live * 09 The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This * 10 Bummer In The Summer * 11 You Set The Scene
WEBLINKS: Love WikiPedia Page
These Californians were doing their thing well before music took a hold of my life several years later. Of course the band Love and Arthur Lee became identities during the peace-flag waving and hippy dominated era of the Summer of Love.
It must surely have been an unusual time to be a teenager growing up through the Vietnam war era post the JFK assassination timeframe. Music from bands like Love would’ve been played on AM stations all across America as well as Army barracks throughout Vietnam too.
‘Forever Changes’ was the band’s third album, having released two albums in double quick time during 1966: the debut ‘Love’ and the second ‘Da Capo’. At the time, it wasn’t as successful as the previous two. Over the years, its reputation and standing has improved substantially, to the point where it has become a revered album of its era, where it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.
Musically, this was from an era that preceded lengthy and outrageous guitar solos, so expect none of that here. From the opening strands of ‘Alone Again Or’ you hear the orchestration; acoustic guitars, Mexican mariachi like horn work. Lee had visualized extensive piano and horn parts long before the recordings took place, but they were not added until the very end.
‘A House Is Not A Motel’ belies its jangly introduction, by turning into a veritable ball of energy including some stark guitar work. The languid and flowing ‘Andmoreagain’ is a good example of music constructed through the Flower Power era.
‘The Daily Planet’ is another jangly affair which is certainly from a different era of time, more carefree and hopeful, despite the oppression going on around the world. ‘Old Man’ too is feature-filled with much orchestration. The long-winded title ‘Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark And Hilldale’ is similar to the opener ‘Alone Again Or’ with a boatload of brass/horn work.
‘Live And Let Live’ sees Love lifting the tempo with some lead guitar adding new dynamics. ‘The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This’ takes the orchestration to a new level, with strings and horns to the fore. Even the occasional string pluck can be heard.
‘Bummer In The Summer’ is the bounciest song on offer, some nifty acoustic guitar and some great vocals are the features here. The scene-setter is the engaging ‘You Set The Scene’, excuse the pun. It’s built upon a permanent acoustic guitar motif that permeates through the song’s run-time.
The history of Love is rather chequered, so too the quality beyond the first three albums, which is where one should focus their attention if doing a circum-navigation of their discography. The band, and this album had lots of friends, including Robert Plant for whom Led Zeppelin would be knocking on the door of youthful minds and ears in a year or two.
Arthur Lee could be interpreted as a minor genius, but the fact remains that much of Love’s discography was patchy to say the least, personnel came and went via the turnstile, and the band hardly ventured outside of California. Still this album has a happy vibe, and for what it’s worth, tipped 1967 on its head, even if they were a blip on the British Invasion scene happening across the pond.
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[Eric] Great band and certainly in my top 10 albums of all time. Wonderful stuff but the first two and the follow-up are excellent as well. Very nice to see this here!