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the best LOVE album in the world... ever!,
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This review is from: Forever Changes [Collector's Edition Digipak] (Audio CD)
Previously issued as a remastered (1CD) in 2001, FOREVER CHANGES came with bonus tracks: "Your Mind And We Belong Together"/"Laughing Stock" single, plus a few nice outtakes & a demo.
But we always knew there was more stuff out there (no pun intended), thanks to THE LAST WALL OF THE CASTLE (CD), also released in 2001, which boasted alternate mixes of "A House Is Not A Motel" and "The Red Telephone" (edited).
Well now it appears we've got the lot in the form of this superb 2CD Collectors Edition, long overdue for a work of this stature.
CD 1 contains the original album mix in all its glory. Again remastered, a marginal upgrade on 2001, it benefits by standing alone, providing a more authentic listening experience for those of us who appreciate silence following the final track.
Of greater interest however is CD 2, which is choc-a-bloc full of different mixes, outtakes, demos, etc, and opens with a complete alternate mix of the album. Since 1968, I have been listening regularly to FOREVER CHANGES and can confirm that there are a multitude of differences in these alternate mixes, many counted in by Lee. Most noticeably different are the manic guitar parts on "A House Is Not A Motel" and "Live And Let Live". There are also several vocal and production variations on tracks like "You Set The Scene" (previously released) and "The Red Telephone".
Incidentally, the aforementioned track is often misquoted as containing the line: "We're all normal AND we want our freedom". In fact Lee says: "We're all normal WHEN we want our freedom". Whether Lee himself is deliberately misquoting from Peter Brook's "Marat/Sade" play or not doesn't really matter, but read this way it adds an even creepier slant to the sinister atmosphere surrounding this wonderful piece. The quote can be heard even more clearly on the alternate mix.
However, it remains a mystery as to when the alternate mix of the album was done. Could be an early working version, possibly? My instincts say not - it would be nice if someone reading this could clear the matter up in a future review.
A further ten bonus tracks follow, five of which appeared on the 2001 release, including "Your Mind And We Belong Together" & "Laughing Stock".
New to this edition are backing tracks for "A House Is Not A Motel" (minus guitar solo), "Andmoreagain" (electric), tracking sessions highlights for "The Red Telephone", plus two outtakes, "Wonder People" (original mix) and "Wooly Bully". All, apart from "Wooly Bully" (a bona-fide barrel scraper!), are more than worthy of inclusion.
New liner notes by Andrew Sandoval are both informative and well written, containing previously unpublished interview material with Michael Stuart and John Echols, who shed further light on the making of the album and the myth of its oft rumoured follow up, "Gethsemane" .
All we need now to complete the cycle is the original mono mix - start saving up for the 3CD box, due for release in 2015 (possibly), ho-ho-ho...