‘Forever Changes’ celebrated in 6-disc set

Love’s “Forever Changes” album suffered neglect and indifference in its time, but how times have changed.

The seemingly endless stream of rereleases of the critical favorite continues April 6 with an ambitious “50th Anniversary Edition” box set. Containing four CDs, one DVD and one LP, the collection will retail for about $100.

Forever Changes Arthur LeeRhino, which orchestrated several rereleases of “Forever Changes” in recent decades, says “firsts” in the set include the CD debut of the remastered version from original co-producer and engineer Bruce Botnick (2015, apparently), as well as the debut release of the mono version on CD.

Also included are alternate mixes of the album and “rare and unreleased singles and studio outtakes.” (The alternate mixes appear to be those remastered by Steve Hoffman and released years ago.) The vinyl platter includes the Botnick stereo remaster and is “cut from high-resolution digital audio by celebrated audio engineer Bernie Grundman.”

The “Forever Changes” set includes single versions of “Alone Again Or” and “A House Is Not a Motel” that are “available now for the first time since 1967.”

The last major rerelease of “Forever Changes” was the late 2014 hybrid SACD from Mobile Fidelity. That audiophile label also recently released a 45 rpm version. Rhino had Chris Bellman master the album for a highly regarded 2012 vinyl reissue. And there are many more … (But then, “If you want to count me, count me out,” as Love’s resident genius Arthur Lee sings on the magnificent “The Red Telephone” track.)

Key tracks on the album — recorded by the disintegrating band during the Summer of Love — include Bryan MacLean’s “Alone Again Or” and Lee’s “A House Is Not a Motel” and “Red Telephone” — all widely covered in recent decades.

The new box set’s DVD has a high-res 24/96 stereo mix of the album and an Elektra promo video for “Your Mind and We Belong Together” (see it below). Also look for a 12 x 12 inch hardbound book written by Ted Olsen.

Rhino handles catalog releases from Elektra, the folk and underground music label for which the original band recorded three albums, including “Love” and “Da Capo” (both 1966).

Strange and eclectic, “Forever Changes” is widely considered a classic of the psychedelic music genre — although it bears little resemblance to the West Coast head music produced in ’67/’68 by contemporaries such as the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

The album employed a variety of hired-gun musicians, including L.A.’s famed Wrecking Crew. Classical musicians under the direction of David Angel added depth and drama. Love’s primary creative forces, Lee and MacLean — the band’s ying and yang — were at their creative peak during the recording; neither produced another important work. The two have since died.

Upon release in late 1967, “Forever Changes” reached no higher than 154 on the Billboard album chart — the worst-selling album released by the original Love. The L.A. band, beset by drug problems and buffeted by front man Lee’s whims, would never record another album, although Lee continued to use the Love banner for his projects.

“Forever Changes” was recognized by the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2012. It also was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

> View the “Forever Changes” box set track listings on the Rhino web site.

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