#trackbytrack is a feature in which people discuss an LP or an EP track by track.
Occasionally, I have 40 minutes or so of my day to spare to listen to this beauty of an LP whilst carefully watering the plants in my room and doing other household chores. If I decide to pay some much-deserved attention to the incredible musical composition of the album, I take a seat and step into a madhouse, staring out the window and losing track of time (sadly, not exaggerating). This is definitely one of the best LPs to zone out to – from some of the dreamiest, expressive talents of the 60s.
Forever Changes – Love
1. Alone Again Or – Forget about vocals for a minute; Love will give you heartfelt vocals, but truly flourish in their dynamic use of instruments. As the first track, ‘Alone Again Or’ quite perfectly establishes the bipolar sounds of the LP; in this track, as evidenced by the juxtaposition of defiant horns with the harmonic plucking of a classical guitar. There’s something about a riff built on Spanish motifs that Love does not screw up.
2. A House is Not a Motel – On top of the fantastic drum work intermittently dotted throughout the song, a simple melody is reminiscent of a working-class anthem, if you will. It reminds me of the punk song that they wrote but never executed, so they thought, “fuck it, we’re adding a wailing guitar solo at the end of this”. It brings up my spirits, especially this: ‘The news today will be the movies for tomorrow’.
3. Andmoreagain – This is one of the stranger songs. It invokes so many feelings, and is effective because of its simplicity. Also memorable because we hear them vocalise an actual heartbeat, conveniently tugging on your heart strings. It’s to this mellow psychedelic song that I completely blank out to – there’s no time to reflect because it’s so painfully short, but it definitely makes me feel something.
4. The Daily Planet – We’re introduced to a more cheery song in Love’s repertoire. If I can’t be bothered or don’t have the time to listen to all of the LP, I tend to skip this song.
5. Old Man – Another heartfelt beauty, best heard through headphones to do the song justice. This throws me into a nostalgic bubble of how it feels to be dazed and confused, and how chance encounters with random people can put so much into perspective. It personally reminds me of the stranger encounters I’ve had, and how little I think of such things when absorbed in my daily life.
‘And in his eloquent way, I think he was speaking of you’
6. The Red Telephone – By far my favourite track on the LP, and generally one of my favourite songs of all time. The eerie chord shift just gives me shivers every time. This song haunts me and takes me into a daze, throwing me into the clearer, more curious moments of my life. I was confused, happy, and incredibly sad all at the same time, and listening to this song still gives me the same peace it did back then.
‘They’re locking him up today, they’re throwing away the key. I wonder who it’ll be tomorrow, you or me’
7. Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hillsdale – I’d be surprised if an LP from 1967 didn’t have a track name consisting of over 10 words. After an interlude of psychedelic madness, this song brings us back to the dance-y tracks. Prepare for some hip-swinging ‘ba-da-da-da-da-da’.
8. Live and Let Live – Some questionable lyrics, but then most of the lyrics were. I think of this song as a little movie I’ve constructed in my head because of the gripping lyrics; in my version, a man goes through a series of dreams that involve his land being taken away, and in each dream he’s a different, but similarly frustrated, character. It feels anti-war and anti-establishment, but done in the most uplifting manner.
‘And so the story ended, do you know it oh so well?’
9. The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This – This is a sillier song, but classic. Extreme easy listening. One of the best examples of where the music so inherently describes the title of the track. At this point in the LP, I am reminded why I love Love’s humour and their desire to keep everything so beautifully simple.
‘In the middle of the summer I had a job bein’ a plumber’
10. Bummer in the Summer – This song reminds me of those awful, musty summers with basically nothing to do. It also reminds me of a cowboy running aimlessly through the Wild West. To top it off, it’s an uncanny reminder that Love sometimes sounds like the folkier version of the Rolling Stones. The first time I made this connection, I remember getting quite excited.
11. You Set the Scene – If you can’t end the LP with a literal bang-clash of cymbals, throw in some electrifying cello and crazier lyrics. The song is fun, but doesn’t really do much for me. It’s got a grand ending with the orchestra in full bloom, turning into just that healthy dose of crazy that you’d expect from Love.
‘There’s a chicken in my nest and she won’t lay until I do my best’
Sam is a student of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews, but aside from making mean drugs, the loves of her life are music and film. When she isn’t lusting over techno and cinematography, you can find her improving her knife skills in the kitchen or hanging out with her buds.
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