Album Review: The hippie-power band Love was so popular among rock's West Coast avant garde in the late 1960s that a then-unknown Jim Morrison said he hoped the Doors would one day be as big as Love. Morrison got his wish, of course, as the Doors were soon to become wildly popular. But the statement is a testament to Love's unique rock vision, the talent of its band members, and the music they produced. These qualities are still obvious when
listening to their music today. The album Forever Changes is widely recognized as their pinnacle, a collection of songs that were perfect then and still are now. Forever Changes fit right in with the new crop of adventurous, more serious rock that was being offered by groups like the Beatles, Byrds, and Zombies in a mind-expanded musical world of 1966-1967, where artists were finally figuring out that there was more to rock music than sunshine,
lollipops, and fluffy million-selling singles. The album opens with "Alone Again Or," which features a beautiful blend of Spanish guitar, horns, and strings, with one of the best lines ever written in the era of elevated consciousness: "You know that I could be in love with almost everyone." The creative, beautifully understated use of acoustic and electric instrumentation continues throughout the album, with the singing perfectly matched to
the music. The top song on the album, "Andmoreagain," has one of the most sweetly sung hooks ever. Throughout the album, the band always finds the right balance of honey and vinegar, which keeps the package from feeling too angry or too flowery. Among the original 12 tracks that appeared on the vinyl release, there isn't a single weak song—a requirement for any album that tries to live up to the label "masterpiece" (which Forever
Changes does easily). This CD release of Forever Changes augments the original 12 tracks with some alternate versions, the B-side song "Laughing Stock," and another song recorded during the album's studio sessions but not released with the record, "Wonder People." Perhaps Love never found the stratospheric or lasting popularity enjoyed by some of their contemporaries, but their work in general—and Forever Changes in particular—showed that they deserve a place in the same rock pantheon as the others.