Forever Changes (reissue)

The list of those who have been influenced by Arthur Lee seems to grow yearly, and this re-release is sure to increase his number of admirers. Some of the most beautiful melodies and pointed lyrics of the ‘60s can be found on this long out-of-print, overlooked little gem. Arthur Lee and the late Bryan MacLean crafted some truly marvelous songs, and this album showcases several, all sounding better than ever. From the driving, pseudo-flamenco opening to MacLean’s hit, "Alone Again Or," to the delicate, hesitant beauty of Lee’s "Andmoreagain," there is an emphasis on composition and observation. Lee’s songs naturally dominate—nine of the 11 tracks are his. One thing that made Lee great was his sense of suspense, his ability to get the listener to anticipate his next move, especially prevalent on "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale," where he teasingly refuses to sing the couplet-closing rhyme. The deluxe packaging, liner notes by Ben Edmonds, bonus outtakes, alternate versions and great clear sound all contribute to an appropriate and enjoyable reissue.