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Forever Changes is the third studio album by the band Love, released in 1967. To call this album the product of a tumultuous time would be an understatement.

In the broader world protests against The Vietnam War were starting to heat up, along with a good deal of social/political unrest in general. Members of the band sometimes interacted with members of Charles Manson's family, not violent as of yet but putting up bad signs. However, beginning with the early recording sessions, the band, except Lee, was plagued by internal conflicts and lack of preparation for Lee's intricate arrangements. In order to compel the band to participate, co-producer Bruce Botnick enlisted top session musicians Billy Strange (guitar), Don Randi (piano), Hal Blaine (drums), and Carol Kaye (bass) to work with Lee, completing "Andmoreagain" and "The Daily Planet" in a single three-hour session. It worked; temporarily losing their jobs to outsiders for two songs shocked the rest of the band out of their complacency, and they completed the last nine tracks on their own rather quickly after much rehearsing. On top of everything else, Lee had become convinced that he only had a short time to live (he wound up surviving until 2006).

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The strain of recording Forever Changes wound up breaking this iteration of Love. Lee dismissed the other four and formed a new band, but in effect Love albums after this would be Lee solo projects. Forever Changes stands as an eerie souvenir of its time, though. The album contains "Alone Again Or", a frequently covered song written by band member Bryan MacLean.

The album was listed at nr. #40 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.

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Tracklist

Side One
  1. "Alone Again Or" - 3:16
  2. "A House Is Not a Motel" - 3:31
  3. "Andmoreagain" - 3:18
  4. "The Daily Planet" - 3:30
  5. "Old Man" - 3:02
  6. "The Red Telephone" - 4:46

Side Two

  1. "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale" - 3:34
  2. "Live and Let Live" - 5:26
  3. "The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This" - 3:08
  4. "Bummer in the Summer" - 2:24
  5. "You Set the Scene" - 6:56

Personnel

  • Johnny Echols: Lead guitar
  • Ken Forssi: Bass
  • Arthur Lee: Lead vocals, guitar
  • Bryan MacLean: Rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Michael Stuart: Drums

And I will trope alone again tonight my dear:

  • Baroque Pop
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: "A House is Not a Hotel":
    And the water's turned to blood, and if
    You don't think so, go turn on your tub.
  • Conscription: Conscription into the fighting in Vietnam is implied in "You Set the Scene"
    There's a man who can't decide if he should
    Fight for what his father thinks is right.
  • Epic Rocking: At just shy of seven minutes, "You Set the Scene" is a moderate example.
  • Face on the Cover: The painting on the cover depicts the faces of the band members fused into a continent-like shape.
  • I Will Wait for You: "Alone Again Or":
    Yeah
    Said it's alright
    I won't forget
    All the times I've waited patiently for you
    And you'll do just what you used to do
    And I will be alone again tonight, my dear.
  • Ironic Episode Title: "Live and Let Live", as the narrator of the song sets his pistol sights on a bluebird in the first verse.
  • Last Note Nightmare: "The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This" is a pretty mellow song for the most part, but the ending sounds like a full orchestra version of the Psycho shower scene strings.
  • Location Song: "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale" is named for two streets in Los Angeles, which in a way is the subject of the whole album.
  • Long Title: "The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This", "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale".
  • Longest Song Goes Last: "You Set the Scene".
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The album's main distinguishing characteristic. The majority of the songs are ornate ballads accompanied by lyrics made up of disturbing imagery.
  • Morning Routine: "The Daily Planet": "In the morning we arise and start the day the same old way."
  • Neo Classical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The album's style is often referred to as "punk with strings."
  • Older and Wiser: The title character in "Old Man", who brings wisdom to the narrator as well.
  • One-Word Title: "Andmoreagain", although it's kind of a cheat.
  • Overly Long Title: "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale"
  • Proto Punk: The album was a key influence on many punk musicians.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "The Red Telephone" quotes the "We are normal and we want our freedom" line from Marat/Sade. The Bonzo Dog Band also referred to it around this time in "We Are Normal."
    • "The Daily Planet" is named after the newspaper where Clark Kent works.
    • And in the comic book area, Shade, the Changing Man would later feature a character named "The Forever Changes Man", an old hippie given reality warping powers by the American Scream.
  • Special Guest: The Wrecking Crew members play on "Andmoreagain" and "The Daily Planet", with some overdubs by regular band members. The latter song was arranged by Neil Young.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Bryan MacLean sings lead on "Alone Again Or" and "Old Man", although Lee's voice is mixed higher in the former.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: In "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale", every stanza stops just before a rhyme, with the expected rhyme then appearing as the first word of the next stanza:
    And oh, the music is so loud
    And then I fade into the
    Crowds of people standing everywhere
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: "Bummer in the Summer" is about a busted cross-tracks relationship.
    Well I remember when you used to look so good
    And I did everything that I possibly could for you
    We used to ride around all over town
    But they're puttin' you down for bein' around with me.

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