Monday, March 09, 2009


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1967on Elektra Records.
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 320 kbps
Produced By: Arthur Lee & Bruce Botnick
Engineer: Bruce Botnick
Cover Art: Bob Pepper
Alone Again Or
A House Is Not A Motel
The Daily Planet
Old Man
The Red Telephone
Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark And Hillsdale
Live And Let Live
The Good Humor Man, He Sees Everything Like This
Bummer In The Summer
You Set The Scene
*All songs written by Arthur Lee
Arthur Lee - Guitar, Vocals
John Echols - Guitar
Bryan MacLean - Guitar, Vocals
Ken Forssi - Bass
Michael Stuart - Percussion
A very nice and melancholy bit of well-arranged psychedelic rock/pop, January 7, 2007
Jeffrey J.Park (Massachusetts, USA) - (Amazon Customer Review)
This was a random purchase I made as part of my exploration of psychedelic music released during the late 1960's. Happily, this turned out to be one of the nicer listening experiences I have had as of late and was generally impressed with the lush arrangements, acoustic textures, and melancholy mood. Although sounding partly like a product of its time (November 1967), this album is pretty sophisticated musically, with themes of paranoia and death commingling with at least a few cheerier themes. In spite of the fact that this record is largely unsung, it apparently influenced a few other musicians, as I can hear bits and pieces of this album on The Soft Parade (The Doors, 1969) and Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus (Spirit, 1970). The musicians on Forever Changes include bandleader Arthur Lee (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars); John Ecols (lead electric guitar); Bryan Maclean (rhythm guitar and vocals - lead vocal on Alone Again and Old Man); Ken Forssi (electric bass guitar); and Michael Stuart (drums and percussion). In addition to the key band members there is an additional bassist, guitarist, drummer, and a pianist along with string and brass ensembles. The string ensemble is used a lot throughout and very effectively. I guess it's worth noting that the liner notes indicate that Arthur felt that the band did not possess the technical ability of a Cream or a Jimi Hendrix Experience and channeled his efforts into arrangement. As such, Forever Changes features layers and layers of instruments, excellent orchestration, rich vocal harmonies, nice melodies, acoustic textures, great production, and gloomy atmospheres. As a progressive rock fan I certainly appreciate virtuosity but appreciate good arrangements a whole lot more - I really enjoyed this album a lot in fact. The eleven pieces (2'20" - 6'49") largely consist of strummed acoustic guitars and the occasional electric guitar solo atop a solid foundation of electric bass and drums. Skillfully woven into the overall "psychedelic rock sound" are trumpet and string parts that range from classical to big band (just like Chicago used their brass section, although Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass sound does creep in there too). The trumpets really add a distinctive touch, while the strings make an unavoidable Beatles connection. Although I have described this music as melancholy and gloomy, there are occasionally bouncy and cheery sections that provide a nice balance. Rhino did a great job remastering this album and there are extensive liner notes and photos of the band. The bonus tracks do not add too much, although they certainly are of historical value to fans of the band. This is a great album that should prove to be of interest to those folks that like the proto-progressive British bands such as The Moody Blues (In Search of the Lost Chord, 1968) and Procul Harum (A Salty Dog, 1969) along with other American west coast psychedelic acts like Jefferson Airplane (After Bathing at Baxter's, 1967), Spirit (Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, 1970) and The Doors (Waiting for the Sun, 1968). I can honestly say that as a huge progressive rock fan who is exploring the psychedelic roots of the genre, this is a great album and is definitely worth adding to the psychedelic/progressive rock collection.
By Yours Truly
I never really understood why I liked this album so much back in it's day, but I did. It was quite unique and progressive for late 1967 and the songs lent themselves to me singing along, but other than those superficial things there was something there under the surface which has left an impression on me that has lasted over 40 years now.
If you're a collector of music from the late 60's and the whole woodstock era then this album needs to be in your collection for it to be anywhere near complete.
READ THIS for more information on this album.


Post a Comment

<< Home