5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Finger at the ready?,
This review is from: Forever Changes (Audio CD)
Well… here’s a problem: an indispensable late 60’s album that is regularly rated in industry polls as amongst the best of all time for good reasons, one of which is that the original record just flowed from start to finish. So, now we have an excellent digital re-mastering that enhances the original tracks by fully revealing their extraordinary intricacies – particularly the group’s use of multiple acoustic guitars – but which also includes seven bonus tracks that range from the intriguing to the essential.
The problem?… well, a key feature of the original LP was its sequencing with side two building-up to the final ecstatic fade out on it’s last cut – “You Set the Scene” – leaving the listener, quite deliberately, to reflect in the silence that followed. On this version there’s not much time for reflection before being jarred back into reality by bonus tracks that weren’t on the original because they weren’t good enough, weren’t recorded yet or didn’t fit. And, while there’s nothing wrong with “Laughing Stock” and the fabulous “Your Mind And We Belong Together” and, for Love fans, real interest in the other alternate mixes and unreleased workouts that have been added to this version, the truth is that they shouldn’t be there! Subtle but important stuff when dealing with a carefully crafted masterpiece. The solution?… program your CD player to stop after track 11, but it’s a pain to remember and, for first time recruits, an unlikely event.
Here’s an idea: with “classic” records that deserve this kind of meticulous re-mastering (and which have usually been elevated to such high status precisely because they worked so well as a unified whole) why not put the bonus tracks on a separate disk – the cost can’t be that great and the benefits would be enormous. In the meantime have your programming finger at the ready to savour the full impact of this magnificent slice of musical genius.