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4.7 out of 5 stars
73
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 December 1999
It's always refreshing to find that the favourite album from your teens has withstood the test of time. Love, along with the Doors, were at the forefront of the West coast sound of the late sixties but didn't find the latters commercial success. Don't expect an album of hippie ideology. Find instead lush melodies, blistering rock guitar, beautiful memorable songs, strong lyrics and an album that sounds as fresh and relevant as it did in 1969. Still guaranteed to raise the hairs on the neck. Today you can hear echoes of this album in such work as that by the Manic Street Preachers and others. A beautiful, timeless classic.
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on 25 February 2006
That's ART, as in ARTHUR LEE, genius extraordinaire & mastermind of this quintessential hippie classic.
With all due respect to Bryan Maclean, who wrote the album's best-known (& probably stand-out) track, 'Alone again or', as well as another prime cut, 'Old man', this is Arthur's baby.
The third of Love's four Elektra albums (which I tend to think of as representing the 4 seasons, this being autumn - mellow & mature), it is undoubtedly a work of rare quality & supreme beauty - and utterly timeless, despite the hippie trappings.
Basically, it conveys Arthur's 'warped vision of the world' (I read that somewhere, but it's accurate). If it's making a statement at all, it is that LIFE IS DEATH ('and the water's turned to blood', 'I'll feel much better on the other side', 'and then, I'll fade into the crowd', 'I guess I'll take my pistol', 'for every happy hello, there will be goodbye', 'the time that I've been given's such a little while', etc.). And it's this sense of ULTIMATUM that pervades the whole set, giving it a haunting, surreal, doomed quality (Arthur is on record as saying that he felt he was about to die at the time the record was made).
In short, there's nothing I can write that will do real justice to this masterpiece, other than to state that I rated it the all-time No.1 album within 18 months of its release & did not believe that anything would eclipse it. In my opinion, it hasn't and it won't.
P.S. As a matter of interest, the only album I would rank alongside it is SPIRIT's 1st, issued just 3 months later & full of similar drug-induced eeriness, though jazzier).
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on 26 October 2007
I've read a lot of the reviews of this record, and didn't really feel qualified to have a stab at it myself, so I've been waiting, letting it sink in a little more. A lot of the reviewers seem to have had this album for years, whereas I first heard it in the summer.

Statistically this record scores very high - that is, on my iPod list of most played records this one is second. The only record to score higher is Captain Beefheart's "Safe As Milk", which I can't stop raving about. While "Safe As Milk" positively demands that I listen to it, "Forever Changes" just keeps catching my eye, and suggesting that it would be a good idea to listen to it. It always is.

"Forever Changes" is a er... sumptuous sounding record. That seems a good word to describe it. The acoustic guitar is delicately yet urgently strummed, Arthur Lee's vocal is tender and insistent, and sounds more British than it does American. The melodies are quite complicated, yet lead neatly and tidily into each other. The drums are even and inventive, particularly on "A House is Not a Motel," and they sound great, with lovely ringing cymbals (see "Live and Let Live"). Then you have other instruments here and there, brass and strings and such. It's all nicely done.

Lyrically I feel like I get a good idea of the time when this record was made - the whole hippie dream, the opposition from the government... that's what I refer to in my title - paranoid masterpiece. It does seem paranoid to me, like Lee is saying 'we're all the same, we can all love each other, the world can be great, but there are forces working against us'. It conjures up images of a modern right-wing oppression, something like the Stasi.

"They're locking them up today" he says in Red Telephone, "they're throwing away the key, I wonder who it'll be tomorrow - you or me?... we're all normal and we want our freedom."

Where Jim Morrison was defiant when he sang "they've got the guns, but we've got the numbers", Arthur Lee has a more pessimistic - or perhaps realistic edge. He's documenting his own take on the situation rather than playing the rock star, and suggests repeatedly that we're living in a prison, that we are treated like children by a strict and overbearing authority; an authority that he challenges by showing his intelligence and maturity.

"Forever Changes" is a real keeper, and at this moment still the only Love album I have. I'll be rectifying that soon enough.
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on 23 June 2014
OK, first off, there is no need to sing the praises of this album, it is a recording that if you do not have in your collection, there is something wrong with your musical tastes.... GO BUY IT NOW! in any format or edition!!! go on, off you pop.......

Right, onto the collectors pack edition
Music aside, this is one of the better collectors editions out there (bested only by Sabbath and Small Faces), a nice chunky pack gatefolding into pictures, then folding out again to reveal the 2 discs and more pics. A very informative booklet about the recording of the album, recording notes for each track and more pics
Disc 1 - is the original album but sooo much nicer sounding than the 1995 reissue, you can discover that for yourself when you BUY IT
Disc 2 - is an identical track progression as the original, but with alternative - complete takes, some are equally as good as the original album recordings, some in my opinion are better, but all differ enough from the original to make it a completely new listening experience.
also on disc 2 are outtakes and rarities, some available elsewhere but all great stuff
The sound recording and mix are second to none.
Whatever issues or formats you own you should buy this collectors edition RIGHT NOW

Some remastered/ discovery/ collectors editions have awful packaging (Floyd - Zeppelin) and poor mixing (Zep!) this edition will not disappoint

Have I already suggested that you buy it without delay?
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on 13 July 2016
I first heard Love in 1966 I saw "What's new pussy cat" and heard Manfred Mann singing " My little red book". A few months later I heard it again in a very different tempo on Radio Caroline this time by Love. I became a Love fan from then buying the 1st album then the 2nd album " Da Capo" with that timeless song " The Castle ".

I couldn't wait for the next album in 1967 the masterpiece " Forever Changes " to think that the genius Arthur Lee with that wonderful voice and vision had written the majority of the songs and two wonderful compositions by Brian Maclean " Alone again Or " and the eerie " Old man ".
The lyrics on all the songs were so different to any that had been written at that time.
Johnny Eccols beautiful acoustic guitar and stinging electric lead guitar, Ken Forrsi beautiful bass lines following the beat with Michael Stuart's drums.

I've must bought this LP several times over and in CD format I still play the album regularly and haven't heard an album to compare after all these years.
This album will still be here in years to come and that it's influence with real musicians will still be talked about.

Regards,

Martin
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on 25 December 2016
I don't care much for the typical 60ies sound on this CD. As such interesting to listen to as to find out why other peoplle like it so much
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on 30 May 2003
This truly is the most timeless album of the last fifty years. The diversity of the album- from beautiful string and horn accompanied melodies, to ferocious rock- is an integral part of its beauty. Each song, as easily visible from their often obscure and abstract titles, represents the psychedelic, LA scene of the late 60s. 'Alone again or' is a swooping and heartfelt song that,as with 'Old Man', makes tears fall, while songs such as 'A House is not a Motel' and 'The Daily Planet' are upbeat and profound.
This is essential listening of true excitement and energy.
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on 21 February 2003
Arthur Lee was at the forefront of the LA movement, that included The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and later, The Doors. This album, unlike some contemporary efforts, still sounds fresh on all fronts. The range of sound, from acoustic to very hard rock, is a reflection of the mastery of the artists involved. This is musicianship of a caliber that is really not found anywhere near a radio or MTV screen extant today. Within a span of two or three years, these artists poured out a panoply of sound that will live on into one era after the next, and I am not exaggerating here. Give the samples a listen, and if they do not convince you, you are tone-and-soul-deaf. A definite best-buy in terms of 60's music, or any other era, for that matter
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VINE VOICEon 3 October 2013
Because I was lucky enough to be a teenager in the 1960s classic albums like this album have been part of my life for decades. This vinyl reissue by Rhino is fabulous. If you love classic rock - in fact if you love great music - you need this in your collection. It is an extraordinary achievement. Arthur Lee, the leader of Love, had a turbulent life, but his musical vision, as an African-American hippy in LA in the mid to late 60s, was unique and brilliantly realised by him and the other members of Love. "Forever Changes" regularly features in lists of the top albums of all times for a reason - it is a masterpiece.
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on 25 June 2014
This cult recording from the late sixties deserves every plaudit.I have had this record in my life on vinyl,tape,cd.The songs still sound relevant and the arrangements use of strings show how rock and orchestra's can work.From the acoustic guitar intro of "Again or" to the final trumpets of "You set the scene" every song takes you through the LA of 1967 with the shadow of war and death hanging over the sunny hippy trip.Everybody should hear this masterpiece .
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