Changes (1971 compilation album)

Changes is the name of a Strawberry Alarm Clock compilation released originally in 1971 on Vocalion (as VL 73915). It was named for the song “Changes”, the last song on the last studio LP by the band (though there were some additional singles).

Changes bypasses all of the band’s earlier and better-known hits to focus instead on SAC’s later career and interesting album cuts. It indeed succeeds in this, with a fairly insightful selection of some of the Clock’s hidden highlights. As with most SAC compilations, there is nothing new or previously unreleased on Changes.

Included, of course, is the ‘title song’, as well as latter-day singer Jim Pitman’s gentler song writing contributions from Good Morning Starshine, “Dear Joy” and “Write Your Name In Gold”. The excellent “Small Package” from that LP is also on Changes.

The World In A Sea Shell is not particularly well-represented, however: the maudlin “Blues For A Young Girl Gone” and (especially) “Lady Of The Lake” aren’t the most recommended songs from that album. “Love Me Again”, however, is one of the best and more unknown tracks there, and is thankfully on Changes. Reaching all the way back to the band’s second album Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow, this compilation includes all three of the “Black Butter” songs (“Past”, “Present”, and “Future”).

This compilation was evidently intended to be a sort of companion piece to 1970’s The Best Of Strawberry Alarm Clock, which collected a much more expected group of Strawberry Alarm Clock songs (the hits and singles, in other words). Although the band has been anthologized several times since 1970-1, Changes is still recommended, if you can find an old vinyl copy, if you want a brief overview of the band’s last two albums. It has a really cool cover to boot — probably the best part of the album: the overused from the cover of the band’s first album Incense And Peppermints has been painted with a really nice balance of colors around it. Even if you already have all the regular albums, Changes would make a great piece of wall art.

Track listing

Side 1
“Changes” – 5:23
“Write Your Name In Gold” – 3:38
“Dear Joy” – 3:22
“Small Package” – 3:57
(All side 1 songs from Good Morning Starshine)

Side 2
“Blues For A Young Girl Gone” – 2:30 (from The World In A Sea Shell)
“Lady Of The Lake” – 3:02 (from The World In A Sea Shell)
“Black Butter, Past” – 2:23 (from Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow)
“Black Butter, Present” – 2:10 (from Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow)
“Black Butter, Future” – 1:32 (from Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow)
“Love Me Again” – 3:30 (from The World In A Sea Shell)