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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" - EPISODE # 33 - "PERFECTION, CURDLED" - FEATURING THE ALBUM " FOREVER CHANGES" By LOVE IN HIGH DEFINITION WITH NARRATIVE BY CAPTAIN BILLY- THE CAPTAIN SELECTS A GEM FROM HIS 8 TRACK ARCHIVE

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“CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL” – THE CAPTAIN SELECTS A GEM FROM HIS 8 TRACK ARCHIVE- EPISODE # 33 – “PERFECTION, CURDLED

EPISODE #27: FOREVER CHANGES by Love (Elektra, 1967)

I’ve avoided this one for awhile, because it’s hard to contain my thoughts and feelings about this record within a short essay. Introduced to me by brother Rich, Forever Changes stands alone in my canon of influences, but articulating why is tricky business, like the album itself. It’s an enigma, a prismatic study in contrasts. A product of the “summer of love” that expresses ironic, paranoid visions of an impending spiritual apocalypse, wrapped in an indescribably beautiful frame.

Arthur Lee’s black R&B roots, stewed in Spanish flavors, and energized by British Invasion melodies is just the starting point for this irresistible recipe. Arranged by Lee and Elektra’s Bruce Botnick, strings, horns, etc. swirl around the songs in eddies of pop psych perfection. Contributions by veteran Wrecking Crew members Hal Blaine on drums, Carol Kaye on bass, and Billy Strange on guitar undergird the evanescence.

This album has everything, and is uniquely itself, a psychedelic masterpiece incarnate, featuring philosophically lyrical jeremiads, nestled among shifting light and dark moods and textures. Bryan Maclean’s innocent contributions help to refresh the atmosphere before it gets too acrid. Forever Changes feels sun-drenched, yet grungy, like Hollywood itself, the place from which it originates, but as described by an alien outsider, an “other” haunting that fabled Utopia two years before the Manson massacres.

Indeed, some years later, Arthur Lee was himself incarcerated and neutralized, partially by his own self-destructive animus (drugs, guns, mental distress), and, partially, as we understand now, by the grinding wheels of the prison-industrial complex. At one point on Forever Changes, Arthur presciently muses: “They’re locking them up today, they’re throwing away the key. I wonder who it’ll be tomorrow, You or me?”

1. “Alone Again Or” September 10, 1967 -3:15 2. “A House Is Not a Motel” August 11 & September 10, 1967 – 3:25 3. “Andmoreagain” June 9, 12 & August 11, 1967 -3:15 4. “The Daily Planet” June 9–10 & September 25, 1967 -3:25 5. “Old Man” August 12 & September 25, 1967 -2:57 6. “The Red Telephone”-August 12 & September 21, 25, 1967 -4:45 7. “Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale” September 10, 1967 -3:30 8. “Live and Let Live” August 11, 1967 -5:24 9. “The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This” August 11, 1967 -3:00 10. “Bummer in the Summer” August 12, 1967 -2:20 11. “You Set the Scene” August 12, 1967 -6:49 Total length: 42:05


By Rich Buckland 11/01/2021 07:23 PM

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