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LOVE "Forever Changes", one of my favorite albums of all time.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Sep 22, 2003.

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  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I felt in the mood to listen to this for the first time since I skimmed it in 2001 and it's great.

    This is the current version in the slip case that was compiled by SH Forum member Andrew Sandoval and Bill Inglot in 2001. Yes, I'm just getting around to listening to it now! Catalog number R2 76717

    This is such a great album, and I've loved it since I first heard it on a four-track tape cartridge in an older friend's car back in 1969. Funny, the tape cart started with side two so I always expect the album to start there as well....

    Interesting liner notes on this CD version. My friend, photographer Robert Leslie Dean, who is a great Arthur Lee and Love expert always talks about how Lee had this "death obsession" when he was younger; like he didn't expect to live past 23 or something. This is also mentioned in the great booklet notes as well. Knowing this and then listening to the lyrics really changes their meaning around for me.

    I have the old dreadful CD (with the oscillator tone running through it) and of course the original Elektra LP, but this sounds the most life like of anything to me. I actually heard a dreadful "Ledo" cutting master of this album once that really sounded dead, but it's obvious that the master mix is much more dynamic. In fact, the dynamics surprised me.

    Bruce Botnick told me a few years back that he thought that the top end had fallen off of the master tape or something when he revisited it because he didn't remember it sounding the way it does. Well, he indeed mixed it like this because the tape hiss has top end, even if some of the songs don't, heh. Possibly those Altec 604's that he mixed on threw him off (ya think?) I think this was one of Botnick's first eight-track to two-track mixes and it must have been quite complicated to do. The late Paul Rothschild told me that a few of the songs (like "A House Is Not A Motel") started life as four-tracks that were done at United/Western and then bounced to eight-track at Sunset Sound when the project moved forward. He also told me that jazz trumpet great Jack Sheldon is playing the lead horn on "Alone Again Or". Cool. I'm glad they didn't remix this baby because the original mix is so dark that it really adds to the mystery of this album. A remix would just sound wrong....

    The bonus tracks are really neat. I helped furnish some of the outtakes and alternate mixes that Paul Rothschild was working on back in the 1970's or 80's and Dan Hersch & Bill Inglot did a nice job integrating them into the CD. In fact, I had forgotten that I made them those copies from my really old cassette because they sounded so much better on the CD than I remembered, unless they got better copies from someone else which is very possible I guess...

    All in all, this is a great way to revisit this classic album from 1967. If you've never heard it before, you are in for a treat; this record was so ahead of its time it is not funny. Go play it or go buy it!
     
    RiRiIII, DeeThomaz and vonwegen like this.
  2. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Location:
    South Plymouth, Ma
    I agree. They did a good job with rounding off the release with some really revealing bonuses.... Great album.... What can I say?
     
  3. poweragemk

    poweragemk Old Member

    Location:
    CH
    I got this one a couple years ago in Germany...fantastic album. The S/T debut on Elektra/WSM Europe isn't bad either; it includes the mono and stereo mixes....

    --MK
     
  4. RDK

    RDK Active Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    This was one of those "classic" 60s album that fell through the cracks for me - I didn't hear it in its entirety until just a couple of years ago when I picked up the very disc that Steve's talking about. (Though I've loved "Alone Again Or" for about as long as I can remember.) It really is a groovy album that bears repeated (and repeated) listening.
     
  5. Matt

    Matt New Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    I've only heard "Forever Changes" through that same CD. I do like it, but I recall some people favoring the Sundazed Lp. Didn't Bob Irwin mention something about instructions for changing levels while mastering the album? Supposedly, he followed them for his Lp reissue and Rhino didn't. I haven't heard the Sundazed Lp, I've only heard Irwin (no other source with access) say this. Anybody else remember this or am I just going insane?
     
  6. Paul K

    Paul K Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    One of my faves as well! I agree that this is a good master of this record. I always liked this CD of it. They did produce a great masterpiece didn't they! There's debate about whether the mono is a fold down or not. ( I have one and I don't think so - there is definitely something else happening there - longer fade times and less echo, but not much of a difference - I think that the stereo is the great one out of the two mixes anyway. A great LA band, and a great album. I also recommend the one after it (Four Sail) even though everyone else thinks it a dog in comparison - phooey!! It's great too, just a little more rocky.

    Would like to know comparisons between the "LOVE STORY" master and this one. Everyone can participate in this one of course, as well as the tonnmeister, 'cause ya just listened to the album - let's get you to listen to it again sometime!

    as I blather on...
     
  7. Dean De Furia

    Dean De Furia Active Member

    Location:
    Northern NJ
    Totally Agree. I bought this last year part of a "mass buying" I did when "The Wiz" went out of business around here. I was really amazed at how great this sounded for a 60's recording.

    Excellent music and excellent sound. What more could you want?
     
  8. Chris M

    Chris M Senior Member

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4495&perpage=20&pagenumber=1

    The above thread from awhile back has some comments about wheter or not the mono is a fold down or not. IIRC the great Ed Bishop has a copy of the mono FC :D

    Just going from memory but I thought Steve and others here have posted that there is a BIG treble boost on the current FC CD. I've haven't done a comparison but many people I know favor the FC that is on the Rhino Love Story comp.

    Also, IIRC the liner notes mention that they no longer have the multi's for FC and that's why they could remix Alone Again Or to feature Bryan McLean's buried vocal for a bonus track. All of the above is from memory so apologies in advance if anything is incorrect.

    Chris
     
  9. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    Location:
    NY
    Here's a weird Forever Changes related story.

    A few years ago when I bought the 2-CD Rhino Anthology (Love Story ), I gave my original Elektra CD to my older brother Bob. My brother was 10 years older then me, and back in 1967, I would listen to Forever Changes when ever he played it (my parents didn't this 11 year old to listen to records with his "hippie brother", so I had to listen through the heat vents, his bedroom was a floor below mine!)

    Anyway, he enjoyed hearing the album all over again. Around the same time Bob was repairing my older sister's computer, and he named the main hard drive "ANDMORE" and the second hard drive "MOREAGAIN". When my sister looked at her computer, she called me because she didn't understand what the names meant, so I explained it to her.

    After she called, I had to return another call that had come in. I accidentally dialed the wrong area code, and I got someone's answering machine whose outgoing message was a reggae version of
    Aloneagainor !! (I don't know who did this version, though)

    well, I thought that was pretty spooky.
     
    vonwegen likes this.
  10. Paul K

    Paul K Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
     
  11. Matt

    Matt New Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    I actually don't recall anyone ever associating a treble boost with the current Forever Changes reissue, and it never sounded too trebly to me. On the other hand, if there was no top end on those tapes to begin with, a treble boost could easily go unnoticed. Regardless, it sounds good to me.

    Anybody else remember that jive with the levels though?
     
  12. Fortune

    Fortune Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    This is my ALL TIME FAVORITE album to play guitar to!!!! Amazing chord changes...everything...it's amazing how many of the same progressions come into play in all the songs throughout the album. Kind of like a recurring theme. Love the demo of Hummingbirds too.

    Anyway, I have the new remaster but I remember when I had the old Cd version of it and I played it in the car with my girlfriend (at the time) she said there was a high pitched squeal or something before the beginning of Alone Again Or. I never heard it. Maybe cause I'm a guy and as everyone's discussed in the "Dylan singing" thread, women's hearing frequencies are different.

    Wonder People is a great song. It doesn't fit on the album though so I'm glad they left it off.
     
    RiRiIII likes this.
  13. davef

    davef Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vienna, VA
    This truly is an all-time favorite of mine. Glad to hear that Steve gives this remaster a "thumbs-up".

    For me it would be worth it simply for the wonderful bonus track "Wonder People (I Do Wonder), a wonderful breezy song that as the liner notes say was perhaps a bit out of step with the tone and timbre of the album, but just gorgeous!

    The European remasters of the first two albums aren't bad either, as I recall.
     
  14. pdenny

    pdenny 19-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    Location:
    Hawthorne CA
    Thanks Steve for the very interesting "behind the scenes" info on this album. It makes me love it even more....
     
  15. wmspence

    wmspence Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lexington, MA
    I think I saw on the ICE set that Arthurly's "The Forever Changes Concert" is being released.......tomorrow???? Or is it out already? Anyway...

    Mr. Lee always said that he could play "Forever" anytime, anyplace...so I look forward to hearing this.

    Bill
     
  16. Damián

    Damián Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Spain now
    Re: LOVE "Forever Changes", one of my favorite album of all time. The CD sounds great!

    I'll try to hunt down a copy, you guys mention it so often and now this :thumbsup: in the sonics department from Steve, I'll definitely try to get my hands on the CD.
     
  17. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Location:
    Eastern Shore
    This week's local (DC-area) City Paper has an ad for the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. October 21: Arthur Lee and Love. At the risk of being repetitious from my earlier post raving about the British Forever Changes Live set, it should be an amazing evening.
     
  18. jpgettes

    jpgettes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Totally love FOUR SAIL!!! Syd's right, what an amazing album! Talk about falling through the cracks. I know it's totally a different band but nonetheless beautifully rocking.

    I compared several songs from the Forever Changes reissue and the Love Story CD and honestly couldn't hear a huge difference.

    The Sundazed Da Capo is a must-have IMHO. My band actually opens our set with 7 and 7 is....
     
  19. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    When you listen to "Wonder People", think "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones. That is what they were going for in the arrangement. Why, I don't know!
     
  20. Matt

    Matt New Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Found this post by thomoz:

    Steve asked me to post, quote, part of M. Fremer's interview with
    Bob Irwin about this vinyl reissue.

    Apparently, production notes exist telling where to fade up tracks,
    when to fade down, where to compress and where to apply EQ
    to the master tapes for this lp during mastering, and these notes
    were not referenced at all when the new cd was mastered.
    Concequently, "Alone Again, Or" does not build up like a "Bolero" as it should.

    Also, the fades of these songs on the new lp are supposedly
    longer than on any other stereo issue, as Irwin referenced
    the mono mix's running times.

    - - - -

    I found the new cd undynamic, shrill, and was rather disappointed
    with the presentation. My red label Elektra lp pressing beat it
    hands down for dynamics . . . AND supposedly, that one was not
    EQ'ued with the precision that the current Sundazed is.


    __________________
    Thom Osburn / Atlanta, GA
    avatar: 'Grace Vector, the Audiophile Jackalope'
     
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    First of all, nice thread-crap, heh.

    Second of all, the CD doesn't sound shrill to me. Give a listen.

    Third of all, NO ONE follows cutting notes from 1967 LP's when making a CD; not me, not anyone. If we did, you would not like it too much. That's just silly. We aren't mastering music for a portable Magnavox record player (or at least I'm not).

    At any rate, believe me or not; the CD is quite enjoyable and for those of you who just have the old version with the 5k tone all through it, you can retire it.
     
  22. Matt

    Matt New Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Production notes on EQ is one thing (sometimes the instructions for EQ is just baloney and wisely ignored), but the fade-ups and fade-downs is a bit different.

    I like it when we get a bit more song at the end, letting it end cold or simply fading out later, but if this is a change that's going to effect the mood of the entire song, where there's a long build over the course of one or two minutes, or even some distinct fluctuations in volume through the whole album, that could be a big deal.

    Could, but not necessarily so. I only know the current CD, so I can't make that judgment.
     
  23. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    I picked up that old Elektra CD issue of FC right when it came out, to replace (or so I thought) my aging vinyl. Well, I got a load of that nasty tone that runs through it and felt like a dog listening to the Sgt. Pepper run-out groove! I wrote Elektra a letter right away, not a crackpot one, either. Never heard back from them. I'm happy that we have a few better choices these days!
     
  24. I read the same Irwin interview and remember the same info. Btw, are the fades indeed longer on that Sundazed vinyl? I've never had confirmation.

    Aside: I got the shrill to go away by burning it to a black cd (you knew I was gonna say that, didn't you?) I still prefer the red label vinyl for dynamics though.
     
  25. Matt

    Matt New Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Aww, c'mon, that wasn't a thread crap! Seriously, I wasn't trashing the album or the reissue, I was curious. Wouldn't you be if you had a vague memory like that?

    I didn't say the CD sounded shrill, either, I said it didn't sound toppy. When I pasted that old post in, I did it in its entirety. That was just a comment Tom originally made.

    I know what you mean about the notes, though, I think there are several instances where you mentioned albums with EQ notes that you ignored 'cuz if you followed them, the album would've sounded terrible. But the part about changing levels sort of bothers me (I wrote about that in the previous post, which I finished just after yours, so the chronology of these responses are a little off).

     
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