Audio CD | Extra Tracks, Remastered
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Forever Changes (2015 Remastered Version)
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One of the most unusual of all psychedelic albums is still rated by many critics as one of the best rock albums of all time. These are the haunting, poetic sounds of Arthur Lee and Love: A House Is Not a Motel; Old Man; The Daily Planet; The Red Telephone; Live and Let Live , and the rest of the 1967 original plus seven bonus cuts!
One of rock's most overlooked masterpieces, this third album by the L.A. folk-rock outfit led by inscrutable singer-songwriter Arthur Lee sounds as fresh and innovative today as it did upon its original release in 1968. With David Angel's atmospheric string and horn arrangements giving the work a conceptual underpinning, Lee explores mainstream America's penchant for paranoia ("The Red Telephone") and violence ("A House Is Not a Motel") with songs that are as sonically subtle and lilting as they are lyrically blunt and harrowing. Add two gems by Love's secret weapon, second guitarist Bryan MacLean ("Alone Again Or" and "Old Man"), and you've got one of the truly perfect albums in rock history. Rhino's deluxe reissue serves up seven bonus tracks, including outtakes, alternates, and the "Your Mind and We Belong Together"/"Laughing Stock" single. --Billy Altman
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Top Customer Reviews
The only greater tragedy than never touring past going up to S.F. was Arthur finally getting it together and doing a very well-received tour of the UK only to be diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was so talented and after decades in a drug-induced & influenced wilderness Arthur Lee only had that brief, sweet taste of the fame he so richly deserved. He had no medical insurance, not enough money for the huge medical bills. I can recall Ian Hunter at a benefit seeking to raise money for Arthur.
Despite everything, Arthur Lee and Love left us with three albums of note. Forever Changes is a great recording filled with imagination and brilliance that stands the test of time. On a personal level the album sounds as great today as when I first heard it some 40 years ago. It is essential for any fan of R&R. Also a nod to Bryan MacLean, who had the talent & skills to have fronted his own band but was instead another casualty of excessive drug use. MacLean made a strong contribution to Forever Changes and it was not just Arthur Lee and four guys. Without "Alone Again Or" and "Old Man" Forever Changes would not be the transcendant work it definitely is.
Also one of the best uses of overlaying orchestration on a Rock album I've ever heard. Something I'd like to add came up in a conversation I had recently with one of my college-aged sons. This album holds up better than maybe any disc of its era. Better than Hendrix, better than Rubber Soul or Revolver (ok, maybe not Abbey Road), better than most Dylan of the time. It is a top ten all-time album.
Mofi's release of "Forever Changes" captures the sound of the original release to perfection in this SACD. For those used to the sound of the previous mastering done by Bill Inglot, Dan Hersch and Andrew Sandoval for Rhino, this version sounds quite a bit different. The sound is t quite as bright and some might find this a bit veiled compared to previous masterings but that sound was intentional and represents the sound of the master recording. If you are looking for something that sounds like the Rhino, you will be disappointed but for those looking for an accurate representation of the mastertape and that resembles hoe the album should sound, you will be happily surprised. The mastering by Rob LeVerde is exceptional--but this really is all down to taste when it comes to the original album and what you want and expect to hear).
As with all Mobile Fidelity releases sinc the label returned, this is in a gatefold cardboard sleeve. We don't get lyrics or any notes on the making of the album. Nevertheless, this is a handsome presentation of the album with the photo that, as I rexall, was on the back cover of the album when first released.
Don't get me wrong--this doesn't exactly replace the Inglot/Hersch/Sandoval/Hoffman remaster of the two CD set but is a supplement to it.
Original review for 2 CD deluxe: "Forever Changes" was ranked as one of the 100 greatest album of all time. It's deserved. While Love never achieved the large following of their label mates The Doors (The Doors were signed at their recommendation and were big admirers of Love's founder Arthur Lee), the group found critical acclaim, lasting influence on other musicians and found brief mainstream success. The band quickly progressed from a garage sound to a fascinating mixture of strings, horns with the elliptic songwriting of Lee.
"Forever Changes" remains the band's masterpiece (which isn't to slight any of their other albums--the first four are essential flaws and all). Lee's more realistic themes found strong contrast in Bryan MacLean's (older brother of Maria McKee of Lone Justice)more fantasy based material.
This deluxe edition brings the entire album plus singles and b-sides (mastered by Bill Inglot, Dan Hersh and Andrew Sandoval) and a second disc with an alternate mix of the album for the very first time (remastered by Steve Hoffman). Featuring an excellent booklet filled with information on the recording of the album, the deluxe edition of "Forever Changes" is essential.
I'm a bigger fan of Hoffman's work here on the second disc which presents an alternate version of the album but keep in mind that this version was not quite finished when it came to editing, etc. and, as such, is not the version that Lee intended. It's an interesting alternate version to hear with some differences to the mixes on the main album.
If you've heard anything mastered by Inglot, Hersch or Sandoval you know what to expect. If you're not a fan of their work, I'd suggest keeping your original CD mastering, go to vinyl (edit: or go to the SACD or even the high def download available from HDTracks--that one was mastered by Bruce Botnick who worked on the original album as an engineer)
If you don't care for music from the late 1960's, this isn't your album but if you're willing to approach this album with an open mind and listen intently to this influential album, you're in for a treat.
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