Love: Forever Changes (1967)

Dipping back into the 60s psyche today, of the (relatively) non-obscure variety. Though while Love's third album is these days considered one of the true greats of the psychedelic era, you still don't see Love getting a ton of... well, love... outside the rock snob crowd. Which is a shame, because it's a simply... damn, gonna say it... lovely album.

Like a lot of US music from the Summer of Love era, this one's much more folk-oriented than the deliberately trippy post-Sgt. Pepper/Piper at the Gates British releases of the age. It's also more orchestrated and lush, almost adult-oriented sunshine pop. Still, the artistry is in full bloom, making it far more interesting than mere 60s pop music.

The opening track, "Alone Again Or," is the big hit, the song that deserves to completely permeate classic rock airwaves; it's also one of the few not written by frontman Arthur Lee (who, after this album, would largely continue to release Love albums with a rotating band of supporting players). And while nothing else has the obvious, insanely great hooks of that tune, much of the balance manages the feat of being quietly low-key yet just introspective and thoughtful enough to be downright addictive. "A House Is Not A Motel," the relatively upbeat "The Daily Planet," the horn-driven "Maybe The People Would Be The Times," the Dylanesque "Bummer in the Summer" -- all jump off the record, but it's pretty damn solid from start to finish.

I personally find it's the guitars that make the album distinctive, a blend of acoustic and electric strumming and picking that truly shine without being showy. (My CD remaster sounds particularly delightful, while adding a few bonus tracks that are wholly worthy of inclusion on the proper album.) As psychedelia, it's more folk/pop-oriented in the style of Moby Grape or Spirit than the lysergic strains of the Dead or Airplane, though still plenty headphone friendly. It's a must-own for music buffs, but still firmly user-friendly for casual listeners of 60s pop.

Here's a wonderful live performance of "Alone Again Or" with Arthur Lee:
...and a live "Daily Planet":
Here's an audio rip of "A House Is Not A Motel":

Here are the additional outtakes and alternate versions:

Comments

  1. I really love this album. In my mind (and I'm sure I'm not alone) it forms a sort of holy trilogy of late '60s "lost" classics along with Odessey and Oracle and S.F. Sorrow. They were all great discoveries at a time in my life when I was starting to realize that there was a lot more to the '60s than classic rock radio. Your website helped in particular to introduce me to The Pretty Things and the great Moby Grape. And as much as I love S.F. Sorrow, I actually love Parachute even more. Love's Da Capo is also well worth a listen, even if it doesn't quite match Forever Changes.

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