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Author Topic: Why the hate for "Barbara Ann"?  (Read 9247 times)
JK
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« on: August 23, 2015, 03:35:59 AM »

I've always loved this joyous racket. Why on earth anyone should dislike it is beyond me.

So do tell. Grin
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2015, 04:20:02 AM »

I prefer the album version...I'm not overly fond of Dean's 'sound'...as I find it a little hard and irritating.  And...realizing that it was about their 5th or 6th biggest charting song doesn't excuse the fact that it was a just an easy cover...hurriedly thrown together...recorded tongue in cheek.  IMO novelty songs really don't have a regular shelf life.  That said...it does work well at a Beach Boys concert...'cause THAT is a party.  Brian shouldn't really lean on it though.  He has WAY better songs in his repetoire.

I guess I feel like I'm being cheated out of hearing something astonishingly great when Brian wastes another 2/12 minutes on it...although they did kind of jazz it up a tad this year.  Still.  I'd rather hear Busy Doin' Nothing.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 04:24:10 AM by Add Some » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2015, 06:41:22 AM »

If I had to guess, the reason people don't like it, is because it's so overplayed. It feels like it has been played at nearly every BBs show since the song was a hit! They did lay off it in the early 70's, but for the most part, at this point- It's as iconic as Surfin' USA.

I hate to say it but it's true. When the average person thinks of the BBs they think the five striped shirt guys singing Barbara Ann.

I really enjoy Barbara Ann... In small doses. When I saw M&B last year, they really rocked it, which made the experience much more thrilling.

Oh yeah... One more reason why people hate it....... The awkward kickline.....
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2015, 06:43:17 AM »

There is not enough musical substance there to hold up under repeated hearings.
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2015, 07:32:30 AM »

I guess I dislike Barbara Ann for the same reason I dislike Do It Again or  Endless Summer. It's not so much the songs themselves, but the context of the times. Barbara Ann represented the label friendly safe single on the eve of Pet Sounds. Do It Again was a successful single that is a nice song, but had enough success to make many believe the Beach Boys were still a surf band. Endless Summer was a major reason they didn't continue to progress after Holland. But if you take away the context, I still like those songs. My favorite version of Barbara Ann was live in 1966.
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2015, 08:29:32 AM »

It's beneath them and by extension as a fan it is beneath me.   For such an amazing musical entity to be widely known for this loathsome knockoff is endlessly frustrating.   
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2015, 08:39:23 AM »

I love it. Add Some mentioned it being a hurriedly thrown together cover, and it is, but that further goes to show just how perfectly these guys could harmonize together. These are some of the most lively/perfect vocals/harmonies these guys put on tape...which is exactly why it was a hit.

That being said, during the encore in Philly, EVERY song there had the crowd really energized, but then Barbara Ann came on and you could tell the crowd was a bit less enthusiastic about it. So perhaps it should be retired from Brian's setlist.
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2015, 08:59:49 AM »

It's not among my favorites, but I certainly don't hate it...or even grossly dislike it. 

My only issue with it is that, along with a few other of the Boys' bigger hits, it's been overplayed, and I don't feel a serious need to hear it again in the near future.  That is not the fault of the song itself.

I think the sparse instrumentation and the (deliberately) sloppy arrangement tends to throw some people, as they knew that by the time Party was released, the Boys were on such a higher musical level.  If Barbara Ann had appeared on one of the earlier albums, would it had seemed more in place?
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2015, 09:20:07 AM »

Barbara Ann is a classic song. I don't hate it. Not everything has to be Pet Sounds.
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2015, 09:24:39 AM »

The only people who I know of who ever expressed dislike for "Barbara Ann"... are on this board.

When I used to DJ weddings, parties, dances, etc., I could never get the people to dance to Beach Boys' songs, and I tried a lot of them. But every now and then, if I was DJing at a bar or a small party, I could play "Barbara Ann" and get some response, even a fair amount of singing along and head bopping.

Many, many years ago, I was trying to impress - win over! - this special girl, and one of the first things I did was make a Beach Boys' mix tape for her. It was one of my 90-minute Maxell high bias cassette classics! And, I included not only the hits, but some hidden gems like "This Whole World", "Cuddle Up", and "The Night Was So Young". Well, I let her digest the tape for about two weeks, and then, when I asked her what her favorite song was on the tape, thinking she'd say "God Only Knows" or "Surfer Girl" or even "Fun, Fun, Fun,", no, she immediately blurts out "Barbara Ann"!!!!!! Shocked
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2015, 09:28:48 AM »

Barbara Ann is a classic song. I don't hate it. Not everything has to be Pet Sounds.

  Ding! Ding! Good answer. Every group of some duration ends up with a novelty hit or two.

 
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the captain
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« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2015, 09:30:34 AM »

Another hate thread, huzzah! Let's hate!

I don't hate "Barbara Ann." It doesn't rank among--or even near--my favorites. But it's fine. I wish to hell I'd written or otherwise been identified with it, that's for sure. It's a lightweight, but it's fun. If someone wants to push the artistic depths of the Beach Boys, "Barbara Ann" isn't going to be the example. OK, fine. But it's fine for what it is, which is a track I'll mostly always skip at home, but can enjoy live if I've had a few. And I've always had a few.
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2015, 09:48:01 AM »

I love it. Add Some mentioned it being a hurriedly thrown together cover, and it is, but that further goes to show just how perfectly these guys could harmonize together. These are some of the most lively/perfect vocals/harmonies these guys put on tape...which is exactly why it was a hit.

That being said, during the encore in Philly, EVERY song there had the crowd really energized, but then Barbara Ann came on and you could tell the crowd was a bit less enthusiastic about it. So perhaps it should be retired from Brian's setlist.
I was there and saw no such thing. Hell, where I was sitting everyone was singing along with it and standing and clapping.
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« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2015, 09:52:17 AM »

I love it. Add Some mentioned it being a hurriedly thrown together cover, and it is, but that further goes to show just how perfectly these guys could harmonize together. These are some of the most lively/perfect vocals/harmonies these guys put on tape...which is exactly why it was a hit.

That being said, during the encore in Philly, EVERY song there had the crowd really energized, but then Barbara Ann came on and you could tell the crowd was a bit less enthusiastic about it. So perhaps it should be retired from Brian's setlist.
I was there and saw no such thing. Hell, where I was sitting everyone was singing along with it and standing and clapping.

Just what I perceived. Haha I and everyone around me was singing, standing, clapping along with it really enthusiastically to the song (pretty sure the whole crowd was!), but it was just a bit less enthusiastic than the rest of the songs in the encore.
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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2015, 10:26:07 AM »

Another thing to consider...if you ever get an opportunity to sing with the Beach Boys, you will probably be singing Barbara Ann! 🎤
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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2015, 10:28:57 AM »

Another thing to consider...if you ever get an opportunity to sing with the Beach Boys, you will probably be singing Barbara Ann! 🎤

"Barbara Ann" has also been a staple at Brian Wilson's shows.
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« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2015, 10:39:39 AM »

Because we all have an ex girlfriend named Barbara Ann somewhere in our lives (for females it was a college experiment) and we don't want to hear her name repeated over and over again, driving us crazy, until we can't take it anymore!!!!  Shocked Shocked Shocked  LOL
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JK
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« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2015, 10:49:41 AM »

Because we all have an ex girlfriend named Barbara Ann somewhere in our lives (for females it was a college experiment) and we don't want to hear her name repeated over and over again, driving us crazy, until we can't take it anymore!!!! 

LOL

Perhaps hate is too a strong a word but I have seen it mentioned here as "Barbara f*ckin' Ann" by at least one erudite poster, lol.

"Barbara Ann" to me is the 45 that came out in late '65 with "Girl Don't Tell Me" on the flip. Period. At the time there was nothing like it----who else was singing doo wop in 1965?

Thanks for the heartwarming and (so far mostly) encouraging answers, guys. :=)   
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« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2015, 10:49:54 AM »

I detest this inane ditty with an unholy passion usually reserved for that sanctimonious twat Morrissey. It is my life's stated ambition to persuade Mike and/or Scott to remove it from the set list, just once. I was close in 2014, at Epsom. Next time...
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« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2015, 10:59:08 AM »

The only people who I know of who ever expressed dislike for "Barbara Ann"... are on this board.

When I used to DJ weddings, parties, dances, etc., I could never get the people to dance to Beach Boys' songs, and I tried a lot of them. But every now and then, if I was DJing at a bar or a small party, I could play "Barbara Ann" and get some response, even a fair amount of singing along and head bopping.

Many, many years ago, I was trying to impress - win over! - this special girl, and one of the first things I did was make a Beach Boys' mix tape for her. It was one of my 90-minute Maxell high bias cassette classics! And, I included not only the hits, but some hidden gems like "This Whole World", "Cuddle Up", and "The Night Was So Young". Well, I let her digest the tape for about two weeks, and then, when I asked her what her favorite song was on the tape, thinking she'd say "God Only Knows" or "Surfer Girl" or even "Fun, Fun, Fun,", no, she immediately blurts out "Barbara Ann"!!!!!! Shocked

 I take it that was then end of the wooing then?  Grin

 I dislike the song....although my love of The Beach Boys knows few bounds, there are some songs in there I just plain don't enjoy hearing...this tops that list. For me, the populist, sing-a-long surf music period is probably my least favourite from the band. There are a few moments of genius in there, don't get me wrong, but you could probably take the bands first 6 albums and turn it into one great best of and not lose any sleep over the discarded tracks....
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« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2015, 11:15:49 AM »

At the end of the day, it's just a repetitive song with bad production and 90% of the lyrics being "baa baa" like a bunch of sheep. So by itself it sucks. Combined with what it represents as some one else said--the label holding them back musically--and it's even worse. It's one of those songs that's a total embarrassment when trying to turn people on to their music or admitting you like their music. Someone will bring up or put it on and be like "really? This is what you like?"

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« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2015, 11:48:12 AM »

I think it helps to have heard it on the radio when it came out as a single. At that time no one was aware of an album version, or certainly hadn't heard it if they were. No live versions to throw into the mix. It was what it was. It's been denigrated since then by that obnoxious "bomb Iran" business and its use in ads but I love it still.  
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 11:49:23 AM by john k » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2015, 11:48:40 AM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFWfMkJUklk
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 11:50:20 AM by john k » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2015, 11:58:53 AM »

Nothing wrong with Barbara Ann. Sure, it's not deep or complex, but not every song has to be. It's a fun, party song, and that's ok. I sometimes wonder if we all need to quit analyzing things so much and just kick back and enjoy it all a bit more.  People hate Barbara Ann because some music snobs think it's representative of everything the Beach Boys do? Why do we care? We know the band is capable of turning out a massive party hit one minute, switch gears and do a cool arrangement of traditional music the next, then switch gears again and release a groundbreaking psychedelic pop single. They're just that good!  Like what you like. If you like Barbara Ann, cool! If you don't, that's cool too. In my world, good music is whatever brings you joy.

I can tell you this: when my group sings Barbara Ann, we're guaranteed to get the crowd involved. They enjoy it and it's all good.
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« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2015, 12:03:10 PM »

I reject the repetitiveness and nonsense syllables as being a negative. Those are staples of popular music.

It ain't art music. It's the song SJS's would-be romantic partner was wooed by. The latter is more important than the former, to steal and wildly paraphrase a thought Linda Ronstadt shared in the IJWMFTT doc.
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