SH Spotlight By request, a reposting of Love "Forever Changes" alt. mix story about Joe Saraceno. Good times!

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Mar 6, 2022.

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  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I posted this on Facebook in 2020, thought I would repost it here for ****s and giggles. It involves one of my favorite albums "Forever Changes".. Might be of some interest. I might have posted some of this in a previous thread but I forget which one so I'll post it again..

    Good old Joe Saraceno. He was an old-school record producer. You've heard his productions: The Ventures, The Routers, The Marketts, Annette, The T-Bones, Sunshine Company, hits like Surfer Stomp, Out Of Limits, Sting Ray, Let's Go, No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In) and many other hits, mainly instrumentals.

    Joe used to come around to our record company offices (DCC Compact Classics in Northridge) in the 1990s all the time. He always carried a brown paper grocery bag full of tapes of stuff he said he "owned" for us to possibly license. Mainly junk but one day he said "You'll like this, it's rock and roll, I don't know the artist, but I own it. If you want it, you can have it for $500.00."

    We played it in my office and I was surprised to hear clearly an unknown mix of LOVE "FOREVER CHANGES." I said, "Joe, where did you get this?" He told me he got it from the DJ Roger Christian. I told him it was owned by Elektra Records. He just shrugged, looked in his brown paper bag and said, "Oh well, let's try this one!"

    As Joe was leaving I asked him if I could have the rock & roll tape ("Forever Changes"). He tossed it to me and it went in my desk and I thought nothing more of it for over 10 years.. This tape was eventually remastered by me and released by Rhino on Elektra and is the source of the alternate mix of FOREVER CHANGES that we know so well now. Not as good as the original album mix but an interesting alternate version.

    In the year 2000 a record company was suing Joe because a well-known group's early catalog (The Beach Boys) was being sold and pesky Joe was still licensing the music himself. The new owners of the music filed suit for him to stop and nominated ME to testify as a witness against Joe. Yikes. I didn't want to do that AT ALL but my boss said I had to, politics, business and all that. So, one day I put my best Brooks Brothers dark blue suit with the gold buttons on, went downtown to court early on a Monday morning and sat in the hallway of the courthouse waiting to be called and glowering about it. I felt really bad.

    Thing is, I liked Joe (who was probably only getting about $500.00 a year from the artists' catalog) and I didn't like the record company dudes at all. That's how it goes sometimes.

    At any rate, I was sitting in the hall waiting for my name to be called with our lawyer and Joe and his lawyers walk in. I felt sad and miserable but Joe saw me, quickly smiled and waved. I rose, walked over to him and he hugged me, whispering "It's OK, it's not your fault, it's OK, don't worry" over and over again to comfort me. Our lawyers tried to break us apart. I was touched because I was feeling quite bad about everything...

    Turns out I didn't have to testify, an agreement was reached. My laywer told me to just go back to work so I did, but I got on my couch and laid out for a while. It had been an emotional morning.

    Next time you hear "Out Of Limits" on the radio or play the alternate mix of LOVE "FOREVER CHANGES" think of old Joe Saraceno. A rascal but a good guy--- As long as he didn’t owe you money.

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  2. Maggie

    Maggie funky but chic

    Toronto, Canada
    I thought it had been established that the "alternate mix" was something to the effect of a fold-down of an incomplete/unreleased quadrophonic test mix of the album?
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  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Might have been, makes sense. It sounds very 1974..
    zobalob and Maggie like this.
  4. Fred Dender

    Fred Dender Forum Resident

    Eastchester, NY
    I love that this record is definitely haunted.
    JuanTCB likes this.
  5. pdenny

    pdenny 21-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    Hawthorne CA
    What a record. The American Pet Sounds, if there hadn’t been a Pet Sounds :p
    George P likes this.
  6. The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man Forum Resident

    The alternate mix of Forever Changes is a wonderful listen. It’s great to hear the full endings, the differences
    in instrument placement... This was a big surprise for me, as my Rhino contact had left the company and moved overseas (“Too much business, not enough music anymore”) and hearing that a 2 disc set was coming out was intriguing. It did not disappoint.
    One of the local indies around here has a bunch of these deluxe sets for cheap and I tend to buy a copy every other visit, because I give them away to friends. Everybody needs a copy of this!

    Thanks Joe! Thanks Steve!
    zobalob and Signed DG like this.
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    My only fear is that the later mix is going to eventually replace the original 1967 mix. It shouldn't, the original is the original and sounds pretty good on modern gear. I hope that doesn't happen 'cause then I'll feel bad..
  8. Signed DG

    Signed DG Dune buggy rentals

    Yeah, when my wife plays FC via Apple Music it's always the alternate mix, since that's somehow top of the list when she searches for the album.

    Algorithm nonsense I guess :(
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  9. zobalob

    zobalob Senior Member

    Glasgow, Scotland.
    Yeah, that mysterious other mix is interesting as a novelty but the one that was released is the one, it's tighter for one thing...the other seems to have been a test mix for whatever reason (the left in voices preceding some of the cuts serve no real purpose). I remember the suggestion that this may have been a fold down of a projected Quad mix (as mentioned by @Maggie) was made in another thread several years ago. It does work well when put through Dolby Pro Logic II, but obviously that's no proof of the theory whatsoever. I wonder if there's any extant proof that the album was ever being considered for release in a quad version.
    Maggie likes this.
  10. Lownotes

    Lownotes Senior Member

    Denver, CO
    Please, sir, may we have another? :)
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  11. The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man Forum Resident

    For me, the alternate mix will never replace the original mix - even if the original isn’t a perfect mix.
    The alternate is more of a novelty in the way I enjoy hearing early mixes or roughs of other bands I love. I will always
    need to hear the skipped ending of ‘The Good Humor Man.’ The original is a sentimental favorite.
    When I finally got the album after about a two year search, you would have thought I had won the lottery.
    The iconic cover (at least in my opinion); the selection of great songs; this album had it all.
    I immediately committed it to tape so I wouldn’t scratch the record and listen to it in the car when my brother drove
    me around. I was a freshman in high school at the time. This album blew my little mind.
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  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Thank God the alternate will never replace the orignal mix. The original is canon!
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  13. The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man Forum Resident

    The original truly is canon. But you did a helluva job mastering the alternate version.
    That was a fun surprise when that hit the shelves.
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  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I was against its release but RHINO wanted it out. It's not a very good mix at all, but, it IS fun to listen to, I guess..
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  15. The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man Forum Resident

    I think it was definitely interesting enough to be released.
    And that meant I had another Love resissue to work for WEA.
    When the first reissue and the 2CD reissue was released I had 2x2 and 3x3 foamcores made from high-res
    graphics (made with Rhino marketing budget $). I gave them to my favorite indies who also happened to be rabid Love fans. Of course, I had to keep one for myself!
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