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Author Topic: Rating list for the BB Solo albums  (Read 8073 times)
punkinhead
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« on: April 03, 2011, 05:55:20 PM »

I started to make a list earlier today, it was a tough call for me on what's the number 1 best Solo album. I will have a list of runners up which consist of albums that some may not consider an actual solo album but more of a project of a live album....Also, Postcard from California will be on that list because I have yet to purchase it (I know, shame on me!) It's up to you whether you wanna include other related solo albums such as Blondie's or David's or Bruce's early solo albums, which I've never heard.

My list starts at the best to the least of my favs...I'm gonna cheat though and have 3 #1's because I can't decide:
1) TLOS
1) BWRG
1) BWPS
2) POB
3) BW (88)
4) Bambu
5) Mike Love Not War
6) Walkin' Down the Path of Life (alternate GIOMH/related projects fan mix, I'll post the tracklist at the bottom and you'll see why
7) Youngblood
8)Imagination
9) GIOMH
10) Looking Back with Love
11) Carl Wilson
12) Sweet Insanity
13) Goin Public


Runner's up: BW Live at the Roxy, PS Live, Gary Usher sessions, Pet Projects, Orange Crate Art, Paley sessions, IJWMFTT, Country Love, Al Jardine (Family/Friends) Live at Las Vegas, What I really Want for Christmas, & Postcard from California.

BW-Walking Down the Path of Life (Alt. GIOMH)
1. Walking down the path of life
2. You've touched me*
3. Live let live
4. The first time*
5. Heaven
6. Desert Drive*
7. What love can do
8. The Waltz
9. Forever she'll be my surfer girl
10. Fairytale
11. What I really want for Christmas
12. A friend like you
13. Believe in yourself
14. This isn't love*
15. Christmasey
16. California Feeling
17. Midnights another day
18. How could we still be dancing?*

*-has been better edited either by cutting the intro or cutting out obvious audience noise
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 08:47:55 PM by punkinhead » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2011, 01:59:10 AM »

Sticking entirely with completed, released studio albums:

1 - POB
2 - TLOS
3 - BWPS
4 - BWRG
5 - BW
6 - PFC
7 - I
8 - LBWL
9 - YB
10 - CW
11 - GIOMH
12 - GP
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2011, 02:29:02 AM »

POB
Spring
The Flame
TLOS
BWPS
BW (88)
BWRG
What I Really Want for Christmas

The others aren't worth hearing and only the first 5 are faves.
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The Heartical Don
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2011, 03:22:50 AM »

Is it sacrilege to confess that POB has fallen in my estimation over the years? No, I don't think so. I rarely play it. There are a couple of decent songs on it. 'Moonshine' has always been a top favourite, still is. But nowadays I find quite a lot of it overblown, or else: aimless funk.

Then there's the matter of Dennis' voice. It sounds forced, like's he's really pressing to get some air out.

On the other hand: BWPS has only grown in stature, and it started in the 5-star category to begin with. It never ceases to inspire me, console me, whatever. Despite Brian's 'older' voice, it sounds eternally youthful, spring-like. Reviving tonic that's sorely needed sometimes.

(I'm not in the mood for lists today.)
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2011, 03:27:39 AM »

Sticking entirely with completed, released studio albums:

1 - POB
2 - TLOS
3 - BWPS
4 - BWRG
5 - BW
6 - PFC
7 - I
8 - LBWL
9 - YB
10 - CW
11 - GIOMH
12 - GP

Rats - knew I forgot one. OK, version 2.0:

1 - POB
2 - TLOS
3 - BWPS
4 - BWRG
5 - BW
6 - PFC
7 - I
8 - LBWL
9 - YB
10 - CW
11 - GIOMH
12 - WIRWFC
13 - GP
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2011, 04:37:46 AM »

Pacific Ocean Blue
Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson Presents Smile
That Lucky Old Sun
Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin
Orange Crate Art
Carl Wilson
Imagination
I Just Wasn't Made For These Times
Youngblood
What I Really Want For Christmas
Gettin' In Over My Head
Looking Back With Love
Going Public
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 04:38:57 AM by mikeyj » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2011, 05:34:08 AM »

BWPS
TLOS
Spring
POB
Brian Wilson
Bambu
Paley Sessions
Sweet Insanity
What I really want for christmas
Imagination
Postcard from California
Carl Wilson
Youngblood
Getting in Over My Head
Lookin back with Love
Going Public
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2011, 06:50:01 AM »

To me the biggest dissappointment was CW.  Carl's voice seemed so well suited to a blue eyed soul sound (think "Silk Degrees").  The producer (JWG) had a history of producing jazzy/R&B flavored music (Buckinghams, BS&T, Chicago).  I really thought it would have taken a different direction.

Also, it seems that Carl composed the music on guitar while in his previous work it seems like he had composed songs using a piano.
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2011, 07:25:44 AM »

1 POB
2 BWPS
3 TLOS
4 Blondie Chaplin*
5 BWRG
6 BW88
7 Between Us (Blondie Chaplin)*
8 Young Blood
9 Postcards
10 Carl Wilson
11 Imagination
12 GIOMH
13 LBWL
14 Going Public
15 WIRWFC

* both post BBs-involvement and therefore as eligible as anything Brian's released!


We've all so far neglected David's solo post-BBs releases. As I haven't got them (yet) I haven't included them.
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2011, 07:51:25 AM »

Maybe I should give Going Public another try. Cheesy
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The Heartical Don
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2011, 07:59:07 AM »

Maybe I should give Going Public another try. Cheesy

Do it. Works better than Valium.
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2011, 08:14:27 AM »

Maybe I should give Going Public another try. Cheesy

Do it. Works better than Valium.

Alright, I'll listen to the "PT Cruiser" single instead. Seriously, judging by some of these guys' solo material you would never guess the sheer brilliance of what they were capable of as a group...
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The Heartical Don
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2011, 08:21:11 AM »

Maybe I should give Going Public another try. Cheesy

Do it. Works better than Valium.

Alright, I'll listen to the "PT Cruiser" single instead. Seriously, judging by some of these guys' solo material you would never guess the sheer brilliance of what they were capable of as a group...

Agree. Totally agree.
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2011, 08:52:13 AM »

Sticking entirely with completed, released studio albums:

1 - POB
2 - TLOS
3 - BWPS
4 - BWRG
5 - BW
6 - PFC
7 - I
8 - LBWL
9 - YB
10 - CW
11 - GIOMH
12 - GP

Rats - knew I forgot one. OK, version 2.0:

1 - POB
2 - TLOS
3 - BWPS
4 - BWRG
5 - BW
6 - PFC
7 - I
8 - LBWL
9 - YB
10 - CW
11 - GIOMH
12 - WIRWFC
13 - GP

You dislike WIRWFC more than GIOMH? I thought the latter was the worst BB solo album in your eyes...
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2011, 09:20:14 AM »

Sticking entirely with completed, released studio albums:

1 - POB
2 - TLOS
3 - BWPS
4 - BWRG
5 - BW
6 - PFC
7 - I
8 - LBWL
9 - YB
10 - CW
11 - GIOMH
12 - GP

Rats - knew I forgot one. OK, version 2.0:

1 - POB
2 - TLOS
3 - BWPS
4 - BWRG
5 - BW
6 - PFC
7 - I
8 - LBWL
9 - YB
10 - CW
11 - GIOMH
12 - WIRWFC
13 - GP

You dislike WIRWFC more than GIOMH? I thought the latter was the worst BB solo album in your eyes...

On the inbuilt principle that, unless I'm being paid to, I can only listen to it maybe two months in a year. If I wanted to. Which I don't.  Grin
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2011, 09:33:47 AM »

A lot of my runners up weren't included because I just don't feel like they're justifiable Solo albums...maybe OCA and IJWMFTT, I was more looking for all new material, or what's considered "new."

My non-inclusion of Blondie or David Marks material is because I've never heard em.
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-Mikie

"in this online beach boy community, I've found that you're either correct or corrected. Which in my mind is all in good fun to show ones knowledge of their favorite band."- punkinhead
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2011, 10:01:30 AM »

This is assuming download albums count, too. The current list runs:

1. POB
2. A Postcard from California
3. Youngblood
4. Live at Eddie's Attic (David Marks)
5. Bambu
6. Something Funny Going On (David Marks)
7. Carl Wilson
8. BWPS live at Carnegie Hall (PBS broadcast)
9. Blondie Chaplin

...and anything else by David Marks!



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« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2011, 12:49:43 PM »

Row I rate them:
POB/BAMBU disc set
BWPS
TLOS
BWRG (those three are interchangebale sometimes---pretty much a holy trinity)
BW88
IJWMFTT
PFC
WIRWFC
I
YB
CW
GIOMH
LBWL
Never heard, Goin' Public, not a ton of desire to do so.

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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2011, 12:51:33 PM »

Oh, it's pure ass. Trust me...
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« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2011, 03:02:31 PM »

Oh yeah the first Moon LP is great.
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2011, 01:05:17 PM »

Released only and no BWPS or Roxy or IJWMFTT or the Family and Friends show - and nothing I haven't heard:
POB
BW88
TLOS
Bambu
Postcard
WIRWFC
Imagination
Like a Brother (kinda solo...)
Carl Wilson
GIOMH
Going Public
Youngblood
LBWL

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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2011, 04:09:04 PM »

1. Pacific Ocean Blue (Dennis Wilson)
2. Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin (Brian Wilson)
3. Brian Wilson (Brian Wilson)
4. That Lucky Old Sun (Brian Wilson)
5. The Fragile Thread (Blondie Chaplin)
6. I Think About You Often (David Marks)
7. First Love (Michael Love)
8. Blondie Chaplin (Blondie Chaplin)
9. A Postcard From California (Al Jardine)
10. Something Funny Goin' On (David Marks)
11. Between Us (Blondie Chaplin)
12. Mike Love Not War/Unleash the Love (Michael Love)
13. Surfin' 'Round the World (Bruce Johnston)
14. Surfers' Pajama Party (Bruce Johnston)
15. Looking Back With Love (Michael Love)
16. Imagination (Brian Wilson)
17. Youngblood (Carl Wilson)
18. Carl Wilson (Carl Wilson)
19. Country Love (Michael Love)
20. Going Public (Bruce Johnston)
21. Sweet Insanity (Brian Wilson)
22. What I Really Want For Christmas (Brian Wilson)
23. Pet Sounds Live (Brian Wilson)
24. Gettin' In Over My Head (Brian Wilson)
25. Brian Wilson Presents Smile (Brian Wilson)
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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2011, 06:38:18 PM »

Shucks...forgot about OCA...darn thats a toughie... revised list with my notes

List 2.0
POB/BAMBU disc set (a brilliant collection of a brilliant talent...genius in it's darkness and quirkiness...enough said)
BWPS (it's one of the main elements to why I'm such a big fan...even though most of it is vintage, it's an amazing collection, I love every minute of it and Brian sings beautfully)
TLOS (just right under BWPS, which is quite an achievement; I keep coming back to TLOS and it keeps rewarding me, it's so impressive that Brian AND Scotty were able to come up with such a cohesive work when Brian was in his mid-60s, and you can feel Bri's enthusiasm throughout)
BWRG (the best vocals Brian's accomplished in many years, creative arrangments that are pure BW, and a really satisfying album overall. The two new tracks are astonishing. Bursting with creativity.)
American Spring ("Sweet Mountain," "Forever," "Tennesse Waltz," "Thinkin' About You Baby" and ESPECIALLY "Sweet Mountain" are genius. Great arrangements and I love the Rovell voices, but not quite a cohesive album)
OCA (I love this album, well most of it, there's a few duffer cuts. VDP wrote really imaginative songs, the title cut is INSANE when you try to work it out musically; and Brian's vocals are adventurous and spirited--although he's capable of better today. Just a calming, relaxing, gorgeous album...with a bit of duffer)
The Flame (patchier than some say, but the only cuts I don't really enjoy are "Hey Lord," "Make it Easy," "Dove" and the reprise that ends the album. The rest is genius, from the great uptempo "See the Light," the beautiful "Highs and Lows," the Beatle brilliance of "Another Day Like Heaven," the great folky feel of "Lady," and the energetic "Get Your Mind Made Up." Should've been a hit)
BW88 (The most substantial new work Brian did in over a decade. Seriously good songs. "Melt Away," "Love and Mercy," "Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long," "Meet me In My Dreams Tonight" and "Rio Grande," are as solid a nucleus as one could hope for. Not the best arrangments, they are of the time and the mixing burries the cool bits. Brian's lead vocals are really good. Basically, an update of the Love You sound with better performances and the same share of awkward lyrics, but without the brilliant arrangments of LY)
Live at the Roxy (worth it alone for the great version of "Lay Down Burden" with amazing harmonies. Has some great moments throughout)
IJWMFTT (Very adequate collection that ages better than I thought it would)
PFC (Jardine can't quite come up with a full album of good material, and he can barely write a song on his own, but his voice alone makes this essential. "Don't Fight the Sea" is highly satisfying and the title cut has some great moments as well, the remake of "California Feelin'" is very soulful. The rest is pleasant if not terrible scintilating)
CW (a couple of great songs, "Hold Me," "Heaven" and "What You Gonna Do About Me" I enjoy particularly, and boy can this man do anything with his voice, but bland overall)
WIRWFC (some great arrangments and BW sings well throughout, the two new cuts are terrific, but the rest is pleasant if nothing more)
I (too overprocessed for my tastes and lacking the typical edge BW material usually has. That being said, the title cut is amazing even in this form, "South American" I like a lot, "Happy Days" is quirky enough for me to love, "Cry" has some great moments too. The rest is beneath BW standards except for "Lay Down Burden," I HATE this recording but love this song)
YB (boring throughout)
GIOMH (beneath BW, but "You've Touched Me" and "City Blues" are well above average, and "Friend Like You" I've always liked. Still, quite a tough listen)
LBWL (too cheesy for my tastes)
Never heard, Goin' Public, not a ton of desire to do so.
What I've heard of "Pet Sounds Live" I didn't particularly care for, but the DVD is wonderful.

I'm going to seek out the Blondie Chaplin albums soon. I'm impressed by the samples I've heard.
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« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2011, 07:39:40 PM »

BWPS
LOS
BAMBU (disc 2 of POB deluxe...whatever you wanna call it)
OCA
Imagination
BW88
IJWMFTT
POB
GIOMH
POSTCARD
WIRWFXMAS
BWRG
LOOKING BACK
...everything else....
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 07:40:51 PM by Bubba Ho-Tep » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2011, 11:18:49 PM »

I'll just limit this to the [officially released] Brian Wilson solo albums:

11.  Orange Crate Art - actually not a knock against the album; I just never bothered to purchase it.  So it gets last place by default.  I actually like a few songs that I've heard on here though.
10.  What I Really Want For Christmas - Pleasant, but totally inessential.  
9.    Pet Sounds Live - Well-done live performance of the album, but I rarely listen to it.  The Japanese release (with a terrific live version of "Meant For You"/"Friends") is well worth seeking though.
8.    Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin - Yeah, I know I'll get some heat for this but I just never really got into this album.  I like Gershwin, I like Wilson; but the two never really mixed well for me.  Couple of nice tracks like "S'Wonderful", but there are some weak moments.  "I Loves You, Porgy" sounds incredibly awkward anyway you slice it, and the ham-fisted "I've Got Rhythm" so pales in comparison to the Happenings' splendid version.
7.    Gettin' In Over My Head - A big disappointment.  I was really looking forward to the guest artists' contribution but was ultimately let down.  The duet with Paul McCartney was a truly wasted opportunity, Eric Clapton's guitar solo feels out of place, and Elton John makes a notable effort on an otherwise unremarkable song.  It is nice having "Soul Searchin'" see an official release, but the unreleased version with the Beach Boys singing harmony is still greatly desired.  
6.    I Just Wasn't Made For These Times - A nice (if brief) run-through of some of Brian Wilson's most underrated songs.  None of these new versions beat the originals (with perhaps the exception of the songs from his 1988 album), but this is a fun, quick listen.  I like the fully realized flute solo on "Caroline, No".
5.    Imagination - This album was quite well-received when it originally came out.  And it was this album that officially put Brian Wilson back on the map; he's been recording and touring ever since.  That being said, it has not aged well.  The production is too glossy and the songs veer a little too far in the "adult contemporary" category.  Still, Brian is in great vocal form.
4.   Live At The Roxy Theatre - So Brian Wilson is hardly a good performer.  In fact, we get all excited when he manages to sing a song in tune!  That all being said, this was a really satisfying live album.  Most of the credit goes to his backup band, who really "get it" and manage to recreate the classic Beach Boys sound.  Brian himself seems connected with the audience (well for BW standards anyway) and you can't beat the terrific setlist.
3.   Brian Wilson - His 1988 debut solo album has aged even worse than Imagination, but that's OK.  It is a quirky collection of (mostly) strong songs, that concludes with the outstanding SMiLEesque "Rio Grande".  
2.   That Lucky Old Sun - By far, BW's most focused album he's put out on his own.  Sure, the narration is awkward and you get a little tired of hearing the title track creep its way into the songs, but this was overall an extremely satisfying effort.  Quite a few winning numbers, such as "Good Kind of Love", "Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl", "Live Let Live" and "Midnight's Another Day".  Would have easily been his best solo album if it wasn't for...
1.   SMiLE - I so wanted to hate this version when I first heard he was going to finally finish it.  An aging, mentally-inept old headcase attempting to rerecord and release a fully-realized version of the most famous "lost" album of all time?  Blasphemy!  But when I finally heard it, the music won at the end of the day.  You simply can't beat this.  Brian Wilson and his crackpot band managed to tastefully reproduce this album and they did a stellar job.  Now with the unfinished Beach Boys version of this album is finally seeing the light of day, it's a bit disappointing that the 2004 version may get somewhat discredited.  In any case, I believe this is about as good as it gets with SMiLE.

Bonus mention - Sweet Insanity - Let's not kid ourselves here.  There is a perfectly good reason why this thing never saw the light of day.  It sucked.  The production sounded like a bad anime soundtrack and all the best songs on here have been rerecorded and put out on other albums.  And then there is the truly nauseous "rap" song, "Smart Girls".  The only cool thing about this album is that Bob Dylan actually appeared on it.  And his appearance on a Brian Wilson song is far more remarkable than the lame song itself.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 11:29:06 PM by Awesoman » Logged

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Yes, I'm fumbling and I know my car don't start.
Yes, I'm stumbling and I know I play a bad guitar.

Give me little drink from your loving cup.
Just one drink and I'll fall down drunk.
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