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.