Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Forgotten Records #3 - Forever Changes

This post was inspired by recent news that Love founder Arthur Lee was diagnosed with leukemia. I have found that most people I talk music with know nothing about Love, yet their 60's albums, particularly the 1967 masterpiece Forever Changes is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock albums ever made. I suppose it's a forgotten record to all but music critics and followers of rock music history.

One of the first integrated rock bands, Love was formed in 1965 by Arthur Lee, an African-American from a tough LA ghetto. Combining his talents with guitarist Bryan MacLean, who was steeped in Broadway show tunes and reportedly dated Liza Minnelli, the band became an eclectic mix of sounds. Lee was into British Invasion singers like Mick Jagger and Eric Burdon, and MacLean, in addition to the show tunes, was a roadie for the Byrds. So you've got a brew of folk, psychedelia, Beatlesque and Byrd-like pop with orchestral arrangements sung by what rock critic Lillian Roxon called "an amusing paradox of an African-American singing like a white Englishman singing like an old African-American." The results? Three terrific albums, culminating in Forever Changes in 1967. The album was a commercial failure, and the band never topped or even equaled this effort creatively and disintegrated by the mid 70's. Lee ended up in prison, and MacLean penned songs for Debbie Boone, among others.

Listening to Forever Changes today, the music is astounding, and so far ahead of it's time in 1967 that you have to consider it along with epic releases like Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper.

The Great Albums - Forever Changes

Listen: Alone Again Or


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Blogger homercat said...

I first became aware of this track yesterday when I got the new Matthew Sweet, Susanna Hoffs CD Under the Covers Volume 1, where they cover it. Had never heard it before. Now I get a chance to hear the original. Thanks one million merc.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous theexilesclan said...

Thank you for this article, quite effective data.

11:41 AM  

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