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673038 Posts in 27115 Topics by 3988 Members - Latest Member: davidTN December 03, 2021, 02:37:31 AM
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5376  Smiley Smile Stuff / 1970's Beach Boys Albums / Re: The Beach Boys Love You on: January 05, 2006, 06:09:15 PM
I have said it before and I will say it again -- Smiley SMile and Love You must be seen as two sides of the same coin.  They both are pretty much unfiltered Brian Wilson making music for himself.  The pre-Pet Sounds music was Brian being commercial, or doing songs that were a blend of his *musical* vision mixed with the words of others.  PS is Brian with a professional writer speaking for him in more generally accepted terms.  But Smiley Smile is the Brian that started to be seen in hints in "Guess I'm Dumb" -- the insecure goofy person who loves birthday cake, who when meeting the Queen of England says "Hi, Queen".  In other words, the Brian we all know and mostly love.  Both Smiley and Love You had Brian doing most of the instruments and writing most of the lyrics (I think -- I question how much of the Mike Love credits were really him, especially She's Going Bald).  I find that most people who love one love the other and vice versa.  But they certainly are as raw and exposed in their own way as the more celebrated Plastic Ono Band -- and I would argue that they are better than that album.  To appreciate POB you must know John's history (how else could "God" have any meaning?), but Smiley and Love You are self-contained.

I agree with 95% of your post. The only part I question (just a little) is the aspect of Brian "making music for himself". While there's no doubt LOVE YOU is almost a BW solo album, and he was reflecting his unfiltered thoughts and feelings, I was always curious about "Let Us Go On This Way", "Honkin' Down The Highway", and kind of "Roller Skating Child". To me, I always got the impression that Brian was considering that this was a Beach Boys' album, and he might be thinking, "I guess I better throw a couple of BB-sounding songs in there". I don't think he totally forgot the band's image; it was still fairly close to the Endless Summer/Spirit of America releases. And wasn't "Honkin'" and "Roller Skating Child" released as singles? I think Brian was still thinking about producing hits FOR THE BOYS, and himself of course...
5377  Smiley Smile Stuff / 1970's Beach Boys Albums / Re: The Beach Boys Love You on: January 05, 2006, 04:22:10 PM

Brian did everything in his power to destroy his voice because he was trying to sabotage the group's career. /quote]

I don't think Brian intentionally sabotaged the Beach Boys or the LOVE YOU album. I believe Brian awoke from a deep, deep sleep in 1976, re-emerging as a very damaged man, as well as a damaged artist. It's almost as if he lost touch with reality. One can't listen to the vocals on "Solar System" or "Let's Put Our Hearts Together" and wonder how he (or Carl) could allow them to be released. They're downright embarrassing, especially coming from the master himself. Unfortunately, I find this characteristic (losing touch with reality) present throughout much of Brian's solo career. I find a lot of his solo work - on record, in concert, on TV, in print - to very unsettling.

That being said, LOVE YOU is in my top 3-4 favorite Beach Boys' albums. Luther was right, some of those songs are on a par with his earlier, classic material. I was around when LOVE YOU came out, and I truly believed Brian was on his way back. There was still a spark of that old Brian magic (yes, genius) in those songs. Who would've thought that it would've been mostly all down hill from there, at least creatively speaking...
5378  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: mike love's new album. on: January 04, 2006, 06:26:39 PM
I'm listening to it as I write this...It's not what you'd think a Mike Love album would sound like. It's not rock and roll, it's almost acoustic-sounding, like an unplugged recording. On most of the lead vocals, Mike uses his soft, whispery voice, very mellow. He definitely does not use his rocking surf & turf voice. The lyrics are typical Mike Love, mostly positive and sentimental, with those rhyming phrases that occasionally make you wince. The harmonies are very impressive, in some ways more easier to listen to than Brian's because they're not in your face, they're not shouting at you. The songs are kind of mediocre. Theres one or two good ones and a couple of so-so ones. I don't think "Brian's Back" is as good as the previous version(s). I think a diehard Mike Love/BB fan could appreciate this album, but the critcs will have a field day with it.
5379  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Best live act you've ever seen in person. on: January 02, 2006, 07:31:51 AM
Last summer I got to see Bob Dylan, with Willie Nelson opening, in Lancaster, Pa. They were on a tour of minor league stadiums and ticket prices were reasonable.

Willie came on first, smiling, bantering with the audience, and tossing cowboy hats into the crowd. He played a "hits" setlist; what a canon of songs he has! His performance was outstanding. You could tell he loved what he was doing. It was very positive.

Dylan came on and  played a mixture of hits and some newer (post 1988) stuff. He played an electric keyboard the entire set, only occasionally stepping out front to play a harmonica solo. You could understand his vocals, he gave a 100%. The band was tight; it was pretty much a rock and roll sound.

While Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan have some things in common - older, country-influenced, great songwriters, once dueted on "Pancho & Lefty", etc - their sets were completely different from each other. Willie's was loose, fun, kind of clap/sing-along-like. Dylan was serious and kind of aloof, but nevertheless brilliant. It was as if he was trying to make a point that he was there to present great "music", not  just represent some 60's cultural era. He succeeded! It had an effect on me.

I went home and made mix CD's of both artists and have been listening to them constantly since...
5380  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: NEW live CD on: December 31, 2005, 11:27:28 AM
Sounds interesting, but I have another idea.

Release the live stuff on a SINGLE CD and somehow get it to sound like a cohesive concert. Give it a budget price and back it with some TV advertising. Target the WalMarts, KMarts, and Best Buys. I would hope it would be/do better than "Live At Knebworth". How about "The Boys Are Back In Town" or "Sounds Of Summer - Live"...

Now, for the second release. Take the best track that Mike has to offer. Do the same with Al. Next, invite Bruce to contribute a track, and then, call up their old friend, David Marks (who has been recording over the years) to add the best song he has in his bag. Now, add 6-7 songs that Brian has been working on for his rock & roll album. Yes, let Mike contribute some lyrics which he will undoubtedly insist on. And yes, Brian, you can re-record "Surfer Girl" and "No Go Showboat" (I know that high falsetto has been bothering you for 43 years). Brian can even throw in "The Spirit Of Rock & Roll" (we have to tap all of the resources). And there you have it. A NEW Beach Boys album. Take the 5 "Beach Boys" into the studio. Call Darian & Jeff to assist with the recording, and call a couple of old friends to help tour it. The official Beach Boys' 45th Anniversay celebration!

What do you think, Melinda? Is it feasible? You know, Brian needs a new pair of shoes and in a few years, Daria and Delaney will need braces. Don'tcha think this project would make more money than " Brian Wilson Presents Rock & Roll".

5381  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The return of the "What are you listening to now?" thread on: December 30, 2005, 09:40:00 PM
Bad Girl is the hottest tune on that album, but the whole thing's pretty amazing.
"Somethin' musta happened over ManHATTAN..."
Yes, Ian, that album is amazing! You know, the New York Dolls are usually mentioned when it comes to the history of punk/new wave, yet so many people have never even heard their music. I like to spread the word whenever I can.
5382  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The return of the "What are you listening to now?" thread on: December 30, 2005, 09:26:41 PM
I saw The New York Dolls mentioned twice (!) on the board in the last week, so I thought I'd dig out their first album. Boy, didn't David Johansen and Johnny Thunders have it going for a couple of years there...
5383  Smiley Smile Stuff / Brian Wilson Solo Albums / Re: What I Really Want From Christmas on: December 30, 2005, 03:52:50 PM
Like every BW-involved album since 15 Big Ones in 1976, this release falls into the would've, should've, could've category. There are a few highlights, much filler, and a few "why did he do that"s. These are some random thoughts; I apologize for going long...

-The artwork/packaging is terrible; it cheapens the product.

-The sequencing is questionable. I keep hearing "On Christmas Day" as the opener and "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" as the closer, with the little kids' voices and that bass harmonica tailing off. And why did they bunch all of the hymns together like that? It brings the album down.

-The bonus tracks should've been either re-recorded (how long would that take-2 days?) or integrated into the album, not tacked on the end. "Silent Night" (with dit-dits?) should've been left in the can.

-While "The Man With All The Toys" is surprisingly good, and "Auld Lang Syne" is exceptionally good, do we really need another version of "Little Saint Nick"? We already have 4-5 versions on the BB's Ultimate Christmas CD! And like it/him or not, Mike Love's lead on "Little Saint Nick" is so good and identifiable, Brian cannot not do it justice.

-The 2 new songs are good, but they're not great. WIRWFC is a re-working of "One For The Boys" and I hear a lot of "Fairy Tale" in "Christmasey". And those former songs weren't exactly classics.

-A big highlight is "The First Noel". When Brian hits that high note near the end, I get a special feeling, almost goosebumps. And the harmonies at the end of the song are the most impressive harmonies I have heard on a BW track in a long, long time. Seriously, I'm talking about going back to 1967!

-My biggest problem is with the rest of the hymns. While I have no problem with the choice of songs (I like them all), I don't feel that Brian has the kind of voice to do them justice. Brian's voice today is more suited to upbeat, pop/rock songs. On "Joy To The World", he sounds fairly spiritual and emotional. But on the rest of the hymns he's just belting them out, almost rushing them, as if he's just trying to get through them. Sometimes I feel that he's shouting at me. While some like that Brian sang all the verses, I find some of the hymns going too long.

-In my opinion, almost every song Brian recorded as a solo artist would've benefited by having The Beach Boys sing either the lead or backgroung vocals. This album is no exception. These songs did not reach their full potential. I can't help but think how this album would've sounded with contributions from Mike, Al, and Bruce.

-Some people have praised Brian's arranging on this album. I find him rehashing a lot of his old tricks.
Is there anything new or groundbreaking on this album? With Christmas music, there's so much you can do with it, although sometimes to the song's detriment. I just feel Brian played it too safe.

-There's plenty of music, a wide variety of songs, and the sound is great! Brian's vocals will keep it from being a perennial classic, and I'm not sure if any one song will emerge like "Hey Santa" or "Little Saint Nick".  I feel it was a quickie. I think Darian and Jeff had more to do with the recording than we will ever know. I wonder what Clive Davis really thinks? Is he rushing to sign-up Brian for his follow up rock & roll album? What does the general public think about this album? Did it crack the Top 200? Was there a single released?

-I give it 2 1/2 stars out of 5, mostly because of the quantity of the music, not quality.
5384  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson: Solo-Top-5 on: December 30, 2005, 12:15:13 PM
5. On Christmas Day

GREAT choice. Were you as disappointed as I was when the new album didn't turn out to be on the level with that gem?
Yes, I was disappointed to be honest. Many people have stated that Brian sounds "happy" on WIRWFC, but no more so than on "On Christmas Day". Also, even though this song is a couple of years old, and Brian's vocals have supposedly gotten better the last few years, I find his lead on this song as good as any on the album.
5385  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Favorite unreleased Beach Boys/BW song on: December 30, 2005, 12:07:35 PM
The Beach Boys - "Michael Row The Boat" - I'm serious. I've always loved the arrangement and vocals

Brian - "It's Over Now" - I know a version appeared on the boxed set, but I wouldn't mind a version/duet with Taylor Mills or Ann Wilson from Heart

Brian- "Someone To Love" - I'm surprised he hasn't gotten around to re-recording this one; maybe he's saving it for his upcoming rock & roll album!
5386  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson: Solo-Top-5 on: December 30, 2005, 11:56:38 AM
1. Lay Down Burden
2. Love And Mercy
3. The First Time
4. Joy To The World
5. On Christmas Day
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