Top 100 Album Review: #40 – Forever Changes, Love (1967)

Hippie Odds and Ends

A college apartment personified, Forever Changes is a collection of scattered furniture and decorative knickknacks that coalesce into an uneven presentation punctuated by occasional gem. 


Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #30/100
My Rating: smooth-starsmooth-star

If you never knew what being a hippie was like, I’m assuming this is it: disjointed, psychedelic, sometimes smart, drug inspired, bizarre. If I have to give Love some credit, it would have to be in the style. It’s a unique mix of guitar riffs, mariachi horns and lyrical content that suites the hippie era.

While sometimes this all comes together to be brilliant (Such as in ‘Alone Again, Or’ and ‘A House is Not a Hotel’), more often than not I feel like I’m listening to the generic, hippie scrawl that regulates itself to weird background noise.

Pete Johnson said it best: “parts of the album are beautiful; others are disturbingly ugly, reflections of the pop movement towards realism.” This ugly is just too much to over look. I’ve been listening to this album for months, not wanting to sit down and write anything about it because I feel like I don’t have much to say. So in the spirit of Forever Changes, I’m just going to share the word salad of lyrics from the album — ugly, boring, real, and hopefully insightful!

[Trivia Alert] The title came from a break up story where the girl said “You said you would love me forever,” and the guy replied “Well, forever changes.” Arthur Lee, the lead guy, thought this was particularly cool because with band name and title it comes out to read “Love Forever Changes.”

“Moon’s a common scene around my town
Here where everyone is painted brown
And if we feel that’s not the way
Let’s go paint everybody gray
Yeah, gray, yeah”

“I believe in magic
Why, because it is so quick
I don’t need power when I’m hypnotized
Look in my eyes
What are you seeing (I see…)
How do you feel?
I feel real phony when my name is Phil
Or was that Bill?”

“I feel shivers in my spine
When the iceman, yes his ice is melting
Won’t be there on time
Hope he finds a rhyme
For his little mind”

“And so the story ended
Do you know it oh so well
Well should you need I’ll tell you
End, end, end, end, end, end, end, end.”


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