Mobile Fidelity - MFSL2-402 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - 821797240215
Pure Analogue Mastered by Kreig Wunderlich from the Original Master Tape at MFSL
AAA 100% Analogue - Numbered Limited Edition - 45RPM - Pressed at RTI
Half Speed Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity The Gain 2 Ultra Analog System
The half speed mastering does produce luxurious depth and precise transient articulation, especially on Arthur Lee's vocals
Sound 9/10 Music 11/10 Micheal Fremer Analogplanet.com
Any discussion about the finest psychedelic rock record ever recorded is incomplete if it doesn’t grant consideration to Love’s Forever Changes. Ranked by Rolling Stone as the 40th greatest album ever made, and named by Mojo the second-greatest psychedelic set in history, the effort is an internationally recognized seminal work of art. Transcending language and convention, its magnitude and magnificence need to be heard again and again. For here is an effort whose mind-boggling acoustic complexities and kaleidoscopic nuances are tailored for high-fidelity playback.
Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s numbered limited-edition hybrid SACD affords the masterpiece the white-gloves treatment and golden-hued sonics it has always deserved. Nearly unlimited headroom, vast instrumental separation, transparent clarity, artifact-free atmospherics, and faithful balances appear out of jet-black backgrounds. The music appears to float on clouds, with the woody tones emanated by cavities of the acoustic guitars and brassy signatures of horns emerging with lifelike detail. Turn it up as loud as you want; the sole limitation will be your system’s potential.
Commercially ignored upon release in November 1967, Forever Changes confronts the alienation, paranoia, violence, and strife that would soon plague the countercultural movement and send the Summer of Love into a tailspin. Apart from its lyrical themes and prescient malaise, the record’s enduring nature equally owes to intertwined arrangements sewn together with Latin guitar-picked lines, finessed folk harmonies, mariachi-inspired horn charts, and subdued strings.
The seemingly opposing combination—ominous, dark reflections situated amidst lush, light melodic beds—affords Forever Changes a distinguished tension of claustrophobia and openness, dourness and ecstasy, ugliness and elegance enjoyed by no other record in the rock canon. Much of the contrast owes to leader Arthur Lee’s mental state and pertinent observations. Lee, whose suppressed romanticism often surfaces even amidst the blackest shadows and most cynical moments, believed he would soon die, and hence channeled everything from lasting hopes to acid-addled decay to the chilling testimony of a Vietnam veteran in his narratives.
Alternatively sad and beautiful, the album-opening and flamenco-inspired “Alone Again Or” establishes the mood for what follows. Vocals overlap and soar; tempos rise and fall; surrealism trades places with reality. Forever Changes thrives both because of and in spite of a surfeit of labyrinthine chords and difficult notes that never repeat. Its ambitious construction almost forced the already fractured band to cede responsibilities to session musicians, which appear on two tracks. The quintet’s resolve to not only complete the album, but to do so with such poignancy and curiosity, further enhances Forever Changes’ standing.
No wonder that, in the twilight of his troubled career, Lee performed the record in its entirely during concerts met with overwhelming critical acclaim. It was, and will always be, a personal manifesto of timeless relevance and appeal.
• Numbered, Limited Edition • 45rpm Speed Edition
• Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
• Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Gatefold Jacket • Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• Mastered from the Original Master Tapes
Arranged By Orchestration – David Angel
Bass – Ken Forssi
Brass – Bud Brisbois, Roy Caton
Double Bass – Chuck Berghofer
Guitar – John Echols
Guitar, Vocals – Arthur Lee, Bryan Maclean
Percussion – Michael Stuart
Producer – Arthur Lee, Bruce Botnick
Strings – Arnold Belnick, Darrel Terwilliger, James Getzoff, Marshall Sosson, Robert Barene
Trombone – Richard Leith
Trumpet – Ollie Mitchell
Viola – Jesse Ehrlich
Violin – Norman Botnick
1. Alone Again Or
2. A House Is Not A Motel
4. The Daily Planet
5. Old Man
6. The Red Telephone
1. Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark And Hilldale
2. Live And Let Live
3. The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This
4. Bummer In The Summer
5. You Set The Scene
GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of MFSL’s founding fathers – Stan Ricker, an audio engineer responsible for many of MFSL’s most heralded past releases.
The GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system is comprised of a Studer™ tape machine with customized reproduction electronics* and handcrafted cutting amps that drive an Ortofon cutting head on a restored Neumann VMS-70 lathe. (*It is worth noting that independent studies have confirmed that the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system can unveil sonic information all the way up to 122kHz!)
First and foremost, we only utilize first generation original master recordings as source material for our releases. We then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master’s sonic information. Our lacquers are then plated in a specialized process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial play back, but as the disc is played more, a high quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). We further ensure optimum sound quality by strictly limiting the number of pressings printed for each release. These limited editions, in addition to being collectors’ items, ensure that the quality of the last pressing matches the quality of the first.
As you can imagine, all these efforts involve a tremendous amount of time, technology, cost and effort. The introduction of GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ maintains Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s position as the world’s leading audiophile record label, where a passion for music with extraordinary sound quality matters most.