Rhino Reissues Love's Classic "Forever Changes" Album From Analog Tape! (Corrected)

Rhino recently reissued Love's essential Forever Changes album in conjunction with last November 23rd's "Record Store Day." The album was cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering and pressed at RTI.

Finally! One of the great records from the 1960s properly reissued (we hope!). Certainly with Chris cutting and RTI pressing we have every hope. However, Sundazed's Bob Irwin issued it some years ago and as he told me, the differences between the tape and what the late Arthur Lee intended were major.

For instance the album is supposed to open with a fade-up that's not on the tape. There are apparently dozens of "mastering moves" that separate the tape from the original pressing. Irwin labored long and hard to duplicate the original LP's "moves" and as I recall Sundazed's version, he got them all or mostly correct. Unfortunately, the LP's sound, for whatever reasons, was an opaque rendering of the original.

We fervently hope Bellman's remaster matches or approaches the original's sonic brilliance. We'll know immediately because if the opening doesn't fade up then it's not likely the rest will go much better.

1500 copies pressed for Record Store Day contain a bonus single.

I'm sorry I didn't alert you to this sooner, but I didn't know about it until alerted to it today by a reader, who I thank profusely!

You could argue that I should be on top of the entire vinyl reissue scene but that's almost impossible for one person (which is a good thing!). The fact is, despite asking Rhino to put me on its email public relations list, I haven't gotten as much as a response of any kind from them. Never mind that I interviewed co-founder Harold Bronson back in 1986.

Never mind, because Bronson and co-founder Richard Foos have not had a Rhino connection for years. Oh, sorry to be venting my disgust here about how Rhino doesn't treat me. It's not really about me, it's about my ability to keep you informed.

In any case, my recommendation is to pick up a copy before they are all gone. As soon as the copy I bought arrives, I'll listen and review. This is an album that belongs in every serious rock record collection. I picked up a less than pristine original copy for $50 in New Orleans back in September so $24 for a new RTI pressing strikes me as a bargain!

gubarenko's picture

It's really a steal at 24! Absolute must buy for everyone, also Amazon sometimes lower it's prices, so you should always check, it could be less than 20!


Jim Tavegia's picture

That doesn't sound like much marketing confidence to me. When you look at what the likes of QRP charges for set up and runs that is not much of an investment outside of the mastering and plating costs. The business of vinyl sure takes some odd twists and turns. 

MikeT's picture

I believe the 1500 copies were the run issued for "Record Store Day". Those copies come with a 7" 45rpm single edit cut of "Alone Again Or" as a bonus.  Other than that, the LP, from what I understand, has been released "normally", without the 45, and is not limited.

I picked up a copy of the LP on Black Friday Record Store Day (with the bonus 45), and it sounds tremendous.  I also own a copy of the Sundazed vinyl. I have yet to compare them.

I also didn't listen for the fade up on the new version, so I will do that when I get home later.

Paul Boudreau's picture

...the RSD tip - just grabbed one off eBay.  For some reason I've never had that LP.

TMink's picture

and thought my Rega was out of whack when I played it. The music is superb, but that pressing sounded wooly! I needs this one!


Avalon's picture

What amazes me is that nobody seemed to have found out that Rhino recently released a Chris Bellman cut of Yes - Close to the edge. Mine is made in EU

Love Forever changes and I cant wait to hear it:)

gubarenko's picture

I've seen these editions, here's US imported from UK and here's it's in UK

But, are you sure it's cutted by Bellman? because last time i've bout UK Rhino editions was Madonna's LP and it's not analog, and no info on who mastered it!

there's sticker on YES


earwaxxer's picture

I buy every remaster that they do! Great quality.

Ben Adams's picture

Matches the Deluxe CD reissue and the rip I have of the mono version.  It's a very quick fade in, mind you, but it's not a cold start.

Rayman's picture

Arthur Lee's best album. Someone has to re-issue that one. The sonics were amazing IIRC being A&M and all!

Avalon's picture


Both sides has CB in the deadwax.

Moodeez1's picture

Since most 180g vinyl reissues have been a major disappointment, I'll be very interested to hear what MF has to say about this one since it's an AAA transfer. 

Michael Fremer's picture

I have to disagree with you there!

Michael Fremer's picture

I have to disagree with you there!

Moodeez1's picture

I haven't heard them all.

rockvinyl71's picture

Close to the Edge + Chris Bellman = no brainer.

I listened to Forever Changes yesterday and it sounds great.

Hackmartian's picture

Let me add my voice to the chorus praising the Rhino vinyl reissue. It sounds absolutely stellar.

sluggobeast's picture

I have the Sundazed of "Forever Changes," but it looks like I'll need to pick up this new release. The reviews I've read are nearly unqualified raves.

I'm wondering how this new release of "Close to the Edge" will compare to my MFSL vinyl copy.

SimonH's picture

Hi folks and Seasons Gretings to all - I love this site.

Picking up on this discussion thread ..... the EU Rhino issue of Little Feat's great 'Sailin' Shoes' that came out a couple of months ago at the same time as "Close to the Edge" also has the CB scribe.  I have also seen "Forver Changes", 'Marquee Moon' and 'Crazy Horse' in this "series" - and "Tusk" has also had the treatment.   

My reading of the 1500 'Forever Changes' RSD issues is the same MikeT - that it has a 7" single as well - and is now on general release - my RSD copy eventually got through customs yesterday and I had a quick chance to play it and in parts it sounds really good. I should do a comprison against my Sundazed copy but it's Christmas time and there have been so many great re-issues recently that it is hard to keep up!!!  

As for "Sailin' Shoes" my intial reaction was that it is a revelation but haven't done an A, B, C yet with an orig and the mo-fi.  And with "Close to the Edge' I need to play it again and compare to my old mo-fi to as my intial reaction was, while positive, good in parts - but hey it might be tickling sensitive parts of my hi-fi - and at c.£15 in the UK they are a steal.

While on RSD - I really like the Velvet Undergound's "Scepter Studio Sessions"" release and then there is the  45th anniversary issue of the "banana" lp which sounded so open.  But I am a tad fed up at the RSD hype now where the first batch are numbered and then later you find it also has a normal release - RSD has bought about so many good releases that it will be a shame if if bites itself.

Moodeez1's picture

I stated earlier that most of the audiophile vinyl (180g and half speeds) reissues I've purchased have been major disappointments, especially the MoFi's (even though they weren't 180g back in the 70's and 80's) and I had a LOT of them at one time. Out of a few DOZEN I purchased, I can name two that have decent sound.  

But I had to give this one a chance since finding pristine originals is nearly impossible and "Forever Changes" wasn't an incredible recording to begin with. I must admit I was very pleasantly surprised at what a fine job Rhino did on this LP. There's more of everything on this version; more air, more depth, more detail and even more output. My original, which is in very good condition, pales by comparison. My only criticism is that it's a tad noisy, even after giving it the Disc Doctor treatment. Quite a few ticks that I wouldn't expect from a brand new platter! (Maybe they'll smooth out after a few plays?) But this is a must-have for any fan of this music and reaffirms my belief that AAA is the only way to go. Now, if only the Beatles braintrust could realize this................  

Billf's picture

I bought this on your (sort of) recommendation. This way smokes the original copy I bought at the record store in the Pru in Boston in 1967. Incredible.
I look forward to you review. Please leave out the part about summer camp.
Thank you.

Biff's picture

I have a test pressing of this one - it's amazing.

kelly1223's picture

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kareley's picture


In the extensive liner notes of the 2001 reissue of 1967's epochal Forever Changes, producer Bruce Botnick points out that in the crowded pop marketplace of mid-'60s AM radio, Love's competition wasn't just the Beatles or the Mamas and the Papas