Danny Brown and Johnny Echols on Love's Forever Changes
Today we’re closing out Black Music Month by celebrating one of Rick Rubin’s favorite albums of all time—Forever Changes by the band Love. Formed in 1965, Love was a groundbreaking, interracial L.A. group. While their name isn’t usually mentioned alongside historic psychedelic bands like The Byrds or The Grateful Dead, Love’s influence is vast. Their charismatic, fashion-forward black frontman, Arthur Lee, inspired Jimi Hendrix’s look, and in the mid-60s Love was one of the hottest bands in Hollywood.
In 1967 Love recorded their third album, Forever Changes. It was the last album for the original core group with guitarist Johnny Echols and co-writer Brian McClean. The album ushered in an entirely new sound for the band, combining Baroque sounding strings with horns and folky instrumentation with poetic lyrics.
On today’s episode we’ll hear some of Rick Rubin’s conversation with Detroit rapper Danny Brown, who like Rick, places Love’s album Forever Changes at the very top of his greatest albums of all time list. Then, we’ll hear Rick in conversation with Love’s lead guitarist Johnny Echols about the intense turmoil surrounding the recording of Forever Changes. Echols—who grew up straddling both Black LA and the psychedelic strip—explains how Love was responsible for getting The Doors their record deal, only to be quickly overshadowed by The Doors mainstream success. Echols also recalls first meeting the Beatles when they were an opening act for Little Richard.
Check out our playlist for this episode here!
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