Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Once More Again 

If you thought the '60s band Love should have been famous, here's a second chance

Wednesday, Jan 14 2004
Comments
Forever Changes, the seminal 1967 album by the tragically underappreciated band Love, is one of those "Why the hell didn't this make them famous?" records. It is one of those discs you want to listen to all the way through as you lie in bed in the dark, one you play so often you feel you should send the label more money. Though Forever Changes perennially pops up on those Top 10 Albums of All Time lists in music magazines, only those fans who have mined an exceptionally deep vein of '60s rock have ever heard it.

In many ways Love scotched its own chances. A homegrown success in L.A., the band was a hard sell outside California in the mid-'60s: Its songs swung from folk to rock to mariachi, and its pre-Hendrix groovy black singer sounded more like a Byrds-era David Crosby than Marvin Gaye. Worse still were Love's internal struggles -- bandmates who came and went, nasty drug problems, frontman Arthur Lee's psychological difficulties and peculiar on- and offstage antics.

Love broke up less than a year after releasing Changes, which in spite of the turmoil remains a seamlessly brilliant piece of work. In the band's trademark style, the mood shifts from psychedelia to pop to jazz; Latin horns blare here, sweet strings swell there. And absolutely nothing -- from the flamenco stunner "AndMoreAgain" to the alienated pre-punk of "A House Is Not a Motel" to the spine-chilling love song "Old Man" -- sounds quite like anything you've heard before.

After weathering a particularly bad stretch in the '90s (including a prison stay), Lee gathered a youthful new group of players and hit the road again to polish up Love's cult-classic status. At "The Forever Changes Concert," Lee and company play the masterwork in its entirety. It's a splendid tribute to an album that was truly ahead of its time, one that we hope has found its milieu at last.

About The Author

Joyce Slaton

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • Third Eye Blind @ The Masonic
    Third Eye Blind performed on Sunday, July 26 at The Masonic to a sold out show with the support of Dashboard Confessional & Ex-Cops. Photographs by Christopher Victorio.
  • Morrissey @ San Jose Events Center
    The last stop for Morrissey serenaded the sold out crowd during his only Northern California date on Saturday, July 25 at the San Jose Events Center. Photographs by Christopher Victorio.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed