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Love's Forever Changes Format Kindle
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Hultkrans work sometimes reads like a PhD thesis. It can become over reaching in its analysis. Sometime a cigar is just a cigar. Where this book really shines is to put Forever Changes into the context of its time. The "Summer Of Love" give way to the Manson Family and the death of the Hippy.
Hultkrans’ enthusiasm is obvious, but his analyses are often overwrought. On the positive side, a number of worthy sources and ideas are scattered throughout this short book. Hultkrans discusses how “Alone Again Or,” though written by Brian MacLean, was in line with some hermetic tendencies exhibited by Lee. Also, note the “count me out” line and mysterious double-words in Lee’s “The Red Telephone,” as well as the “locked in my armor” and “secrets are your own” lyrics in Lee’s “Andmoreagain.” The strain of social alienation is apparent in many of the songs.
Another interesting area explored by Hultkrans was prophesy – the idea of the bard (or even a preacher) gazing over the city, warning others in cryptic fashion of the impending doom. The third verse of “A House Is Not A Motel” can certainly be interpreted along those lines. Lee lived at the top of Lookout Mountain in 1967, and with the chilling opening lines of “The Red Telephone,” one could imagine Lee perched in deep thought, distraught with his surroundings.
On the other hand, I don’t believe Arthur Lee actually studied Gnosticism. Hultkrans would have been better off making it clear that he was drawing comparisons in his analysis – between Lee’s vision and some of these literary traditions, NOT stating how Lee actually was inspired.
Additionally, MacLean’s contributions are glossed over. “Alone Again Or” is analyzed, but I don’t recall “Old Man” receiving the same treatment. While not thematically in line with concepts explored by Hultkrans, “Old Man” is a strong song, and part of the album.
Ultimately, it’s best to view this as a chaotic book of ideas. There are wild tangents and many of the connections are dubious, but they at least make the reader think. Unfortunately, there is no bibliography, not much information on what actually inspired the songwriting, and absolutely nothing about how the album was recorded from a technical standpoint. This makes the book something of an anomaly in the 33 and a third series. Despite this, I recommend the book to readers not exclusively interested in the technical aspects of recording. That’s probably most people who are reading this, frankly, though this book is far from the final word on Forever Changes.
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