The beauty, darkness, and transcendent nature of the album makes sense when you know that Arthur Lee really believed he was dying as he wrote the album. Forever Changes is his epitaph. In Arthur's own words ""When I did that album I thought I was going to die at that particular time, so those were my last words."
Any serious student of early psychedelia will know this album. A truly wonderful record. I had the good fortune to see Arthur and his band in London in the 2003 and it was incredible!
Those who are familiar with this pressing will know how hard it is to find a copy that plays without excessive surface noise. Even with top copies, the delicate intro to “Alone again, or” is always marred by some crackling and/or ticks. This is not necessarily because the vinyl is of poor quality, but because the recording itself had to be mastered very softly (due to its dynamic range and wide stereo separation.)
Elektra had this particular title pressed in 1967 by three different plants: Allentown (AL), Columbia, Terre Haute (CTH) and Monarch (MON). Each plant was sent a different master lacquer to cut from (rather than a copy of the mastertape which was more common in those days), thus ensuring that all pressings had similar high sound quality. Although these three cuttings are almost identical, there is a distinction between pressings when it comes to vinyl quality: Allentown & Columbia copies are usually quieter than the ones from Monarch because they used a higher quality vinyl mixture which is especially preferable when it comes to this album.
Signed to Elektra records along with the Doors (who were influenced by them in their early days), Love were the kings of the Los Angeles psychedelic rock scene during the late sixties period - the "Forever Changes" album (1967) is regarded as one the greatest rock albums of all time.
Arthur Lee continued to make music under the name Love after the original line-up split in early 1968, as well as working on solo material.
He spent his last years touring the Forever Changes album with a new backing band following his release from prison in 2001.
Arthur Lee died peacefully at Methodist Hospital in Memphis, a little after four in the afternoon Aug 3, 2006 with his wife Diane by his side. He was 61 years old.
Lee was suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Several recent benefit concerts, including one at New York City's Beacon Theater featuring Robert Plant, Yo La Tengo, and Ryan Adams, among others, raised money to help pay Lee's medical expenses.
This could well be the best album of all time.T