On Jan. 6, 1968, Love’s Forever Changes entered the Billboard Top LP’s chart at #197.
Love was a Los Angeles band formed by guitarist Arthur Lee in 1965. The band had a cult-like following in L.A. Clubs (they’re credited as an early inspiration for The Doors). Love’s music style ranged from folk rock to psychedelic, incorporating horns and orchestral arrangements amid the acoustic and electric jams.
Forever Changes was the band’s third, and last, album with Lee on lead vocals and guitar, Bryan MacLean on rhythm guitar, Johnny Echols on lead guitar, and Ken Forssi on bass (Michael Stuart joined the group as drummer for this recording). The band broke up shortly after the album’s release, but Lee continued recording as Love with other musicians.
The LP only reached #157 in the US, but it would go to #24 in the UK (Love always had a stronger following in Britain than at home). Over the years, Forever Changes has been recognized as a masterpiece. In 1995, Mojo, the British classic rock magazine, placed Forever Changes at #11 among the 100 Greatest Albums Ever Made. In 1998, readers of another British music magazine, Q, voted it as #82 among the greatest albums of all time. Rolling Stone ranked it at #48 on its list of the 500 greatest albums. That same year (2003), Britain’s NME (New Music Express) rated the album as #6 among the all-time greatest, and in 2008, Forever Changes was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
The single from the album, “Alone Again Or,” was written by MacLean, whose mother was a flamenco dancer. The song has a flamenco rhythm and a Mexican horn arrangement with a beautiful, strong trumpet. “Alone Again Or” has been covered by several performers over the years, including The Damned, Sarah Brightman, Calexico, and a duet by Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs (Bangles).