Love is a psychedelic band that originated in Los Angeles, California. They were popular in the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s. Though considered a psychedelic band, they drew musical inspiration from many types of genres, including folk, jazz, blues, hard rock, and even some flamenco. Love never was a big hit on the charts, however they are considered on of the great bands of the psychedelic era of the late sixties, early seventies.
Love was one of the first bands that were diverse, both racially and musically. They were first signed by Elektra Records, along with Elektra’s most popular band, The Doors. Jim Morrison of the Doors once wrote that Love was one of his favorite bands. I can see why.
Forever Changes, Love’s third album, is considered by many to be one of the top rock records of all time. Arthur Lee, Love’s lead singer, is highly respected in the music industry, with his voice sometimes being compared to Johnny Mathis.
Alone Again Or is the first track off of Forever Changes, and starts out with the acoustic guitar which leads into drums and behind the scenes flamenco guitar. There is a great flamenco horn solo in the middle of the song that really makes it pop. Horn arrangements are a recurring theme throughout the record, and this was one of Arthur Lee’s favorite parts of the record. He liked the use of horns throughout the album.
The next song, A House is Not a Hotel, is one of the more recognisable songs on the record, and has a great psychedelic guitar solo. Arthur Lee’s voice shines on this piece, and he has a distinct sound that at times really does mimic Johnny Mathis.
Andmoreagain is a beautiful song, slow, silky, and when Lee inserts “Thrum pum pum pum” at time during the tune, I always think of The Little Drummer Boy, but that’s just me.
Old Man is a slow, mellow, hauntingly beautiful psychedelic folksy song, and Lee’s vocals are superb. I never tire of hearing any of the songs on Forever Changes, and the music on this record never gets old, and is always fresh. I listen to it over and over and it always is stellar.
The Red Telephone is a rather pessimistic song, with Lee’s vocals on full display, and even a bit of a droning, repeating phrase toward the end of the tune, “They’re Locking Them Up Today, They’re Throwing Away The Key, I Wonder Who It’ll Be Tomorrow, You Or Me.” I almost got a hint of a pre-rap, rap, but on further listen, I decided I didn’t really believe that.
Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale is, in my opinion, a masterpiece, own of my favorite Love songs. It has a lot to it, the long awkward sounding title, some great horn arrangements, a bit of flamenco guitar, and Lee’s voice brings together one of the best songs of the psychedelic era.
Live and Let Live is, at first a humorous song, then gets more serious lyrically, and is another great song, as is the whole record from beginning to end.
Bummer in the Summer is probably my least favorite song on Forever Changes, and I still love it, which shows how much I dig the record.
The album ends on a high note with You Set The Scene. It closes out one of the top albums of all time, critically acclaimed, even though Love was never a big hit on the charts. It makes me wonder, how a group this good was never appreciated more, but like a fine wine, Forever Changes gets better every time I listen. A timeless record, and one that absolutely deserves many, many listens.