Love
Forever Changes


5.0
classic

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
January 14th, 2005 | 251 replies | 23,176 views


Release Date: 1967 | Tracklist


Love - Forever Changes
Arthur Lee - Vocals, Guitar
John Echols - Lead Guitar
Bryan Maclean - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Michael Stuart - Drums, Percussion

Released 1967.
Elektra Records.
40th in Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums Of All Time.

The text on this album's slip says it all, really.

"1967. Nothing caught the strangeness of these days, or captured the combination of beauty and dread they contained, quite like Love's masterpiece Forever Changes."

Let's be honest - a lot of stuff that record labels slap on albums to sell them is utter guff. But I can't think of a better way to encapsulate this album than this. It's one of those rare albums that captures its time perfectly, and somehow becomes timeless. Masterpiece? You betcha.

The best thing about this album is the constant sense of ill-ease. Throughout, the music is quite fast-paced, upbeat, and full of life. But there's always something just under the surface, letting you know that something is just plain wrong. It's like a secret burning a hole in you, but you're too afraid to tell anyone. Or like a group of people just getting on with their lives, ignoring all the evil around them. Perhaps it's this that makes it the ultimate hippy album.

The music is based in folk, but is utterly technicolour. The brass arrangements, the lead guitar breaks, the vocals - everything is teeming with life. Folk is often boring to those who don't listen to it much, but I defy ANYONE to listen to this and get bored. I can't tell you how much energy this record has. It works as a great pick-me-up, especially as it achieves lift-off towards the end. Think of it this way - The Who had Pete Townshend AND Keith Moon, and Love STILL rival them.

The best known album that I could compare it to is Pink Floyd's Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. However, there are key differences. Whereas the lyrics to the two are superficially similar, PF's come across as quite childish and unskilled. Love's, however....don't. I can't quite explain why. It just boils down to the impression you get from listening to it. Love's element of psychedelica is also a much more active one. If I knew enough about drugs, I'd use a metaphor here. Let's just say that Pink Floyd encourage you to sit down and get all spaced out, whereas Love would make you get up and **** well do something, to enjoy that state of uneasy euphoria while it lasts. Consequently, it has aged much better.

A more recent album to compare this to might be Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, in the both of them are practically unclassifiable, and both are cult albums with feverishly loyal followings. What's more, the liners to this album are excellent - the icing on the cake.

Picking faults with this album is an exercise in being anal; however, it's possible. The album appears to 'dip' in the middle - when you're done listening to it, the first three and last three tracks are the ones that stick out in the memory. Plus the album lacks one truly standout moment that defines it - or one standout song (Alone Again Or comes close though). Then again, most people complain when one song dominates the rest of the album, so is that really a fault? Oh, and the out-takes don't really add much, but that really is nitpicking.

Maybe I can describe this album best to you by telling you that this is my favourite album to listen to when I'm playing GTA: Vice City. Get it. Now.

5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ZEROthirtythree
August 3rd 2004



234 Comments


You are my new favorite reviewer. I like your unique style.

Iai
Emeritus
August 3rd 2004



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

[QUOTE=ZEROthirtythree]You are my new favorite reviewer. I like your unique style.[/QUOTE]

Wow. I've come over all emotional.... :thumb:

Thank you.

Bartender
Emeritus
August 3rd 2004



826 Comments


You are writing great reviews so far. Keep it up.

And I love it especially because they're all in the Top 500 :D

Iai
Emeritus
August 3rd 2004



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

[QUOTE=Bartender]You are writing great reviews so far. Keep it up.

And I love it especially because they're all in the Top 500 :D[/QUOTE]

:lol:

That list has actually made me dig up quite a few old albums and re-evaluate them. I'd forgotten how much I love this album. Probably because I haven't played Vice City in a while.

manoulos
August 12th 2004



28 Comments


Wonderful review!!! Acute analysis. I'm really not used to it. This album is simply genius work. Easily among the best 3 ever. 5/5

Congratulations!!!

moderaterock222
August 12th 2004



121 Comments


My favourite album from the 60's. I saw Arthur Lee and love in Glastonbury and the blew me away, he's still rocking.

Yeah, once again excellent work on the review. I've said it before and i will keep on saying it; you are my favourite reviewer.

Iai
Emeritus
August 31st 2004



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

[QUOTE=ianpurton]Top 6 entry in the NME Top 100 Album's of all time must say something...[/QUOTE]

Haha.....well, I hate NME, but I agreed with that. Pretty much the only thing in the whole list I did agree with.

Dimes Make Dollars
November 21st 2004



241 Comments


Extraordinary review, extraordinary album. One of my favorites of all time.

If you don't have it, get it with the bonus tracks - it's fun to hear Arthur Lee being an evil studio tyrant.

Iai
Emeritus
November 21st 2004



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Funny that this got bumped today. I just got San Andreas a couple hours ago. :cool:

Bartender
Emeritus
November 21st 2004



826 Comments


I also find it coincidental this was bumped today, because the bonus edition's on sale in HMV for 6.99 right now (hint hint, British readers). I was going to buy it this weekend, but found I was too lazy. I'll be getting it soon, hopefully.

BlackDeathMetalJazz or really ANYTHING else please-
January 25th 2005



200 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Great album!

Broken Arrow
February 11th 2005



220 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

About what Nacho Chez said is true I love Your Mind and We Belong Together. He keeps on nagging at the band soo much. And after the great solo he just gets mad at him.

Anyways this is a great album. 5/5 no doubt.

Med57
Moderator
June 12th 2005



1001 Comments


This is a truly excellent album. Undoubtedly 5/5. I think that's all that really needs to be said.

Woodstock
December 17th 2005



154 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great, great album.

Spectrum
January 29th 2006



347 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fantastic review, I quite like the style. You also nailed the album, at least from the first impression I got when I listened to it. I need to listen to it more, right now.

Rocksta71
July 26th 2006



1023 Comments


luverly.

Bladder
August 4th 2006



204 Comments


R.I.P Arthur Lee :0(

Sepstrup
August 10th 2006



1563 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Are the bonus tracks worthwhile?

Med57
Moderator
August 10th 2006



1001 Comments


I've heard a few of them and don't really think so. The "real" album is so good in itself that I wouldn't think that the bonus tracks on the end really add much to it, although I don't really like bonus tracks on albums anyway for some reason. If you see a cheap version of the album with them on though then it might be worth getting.

On a side note, how the hell does this have so few views after a year and a half on the site? This is easily one of the classics of the '60s.

Cygnus Inter Anates
August 10th 2006



721 Comments


People would rather masturbate to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, silly.



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