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Poll
Question: Rate L.A. (Light Album)
5 - 4 (3.1%)
4 - 40 (30.8%)
3 - 58 (44.6%)
2 - 20 (15.4%)
1 - 6 (4.6%)
0 - 2 (1.5%)
Total Voters: 123

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Author Topic: L.A. (Light Album)  (Read 43931 times)
Charles LePage @ ComicList
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« on: December 24, 2005, 07:35:14 PM »

Discuss, review and rate L.A. (Light Album), released March 1979.

« Last Edit: December 30, 2005, 01:04:49 PM by Charles LePage » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2005, 07:36:57 PM »

Jesus, no...
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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2005, 07:49:36 PM »

Great album. 4.
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2005, 11:35:02 PM »

L.A. - 1. John - 3:16.
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Jason
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2005, 01:05:15 PM »

The last time the group really made an effort.
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« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2005, 04:27:20 PM »

"Baby Blue" is worth the price of the Lp..
Sad that Dennis's 2nd Lp was not issued.
Maybe someday?
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2005, 12:51:10 PM »

Good Timin.
The BB on the radio, in full harmony,  and sounding good.  For the last time.
The Bamboo material.  Some good stuff.  And the cover is great!

And I know I'm going out on a limb here, all by myself, but I just don't care much for Sumahama.


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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2005, 12:52:35 PM »

Sumahama was better on First Love. MUCH better.
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2005, 12:58:05 PM »

I've not heard Fiirst love.  Didn't know that song was on there.  See thats why I hesitated to be critical of that song...there are so many who love it.
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Jason
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2005, 01:00:20 PM »

I don't particularly love the song, it's just there, but I can spot a better version, and First Love had the better version.
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« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2005, 01:09:38 PM »

Besides Sumahama and a few others the album is not too good.



2 1/2
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2005, 01:36:39 PM »

Good Timin'
Angel Come Home (Carl's last good song)
Love Surrounds Me
Baby Blue
and maybe Full Sail (maybe, but it has that dull ballad feel that his better dull ballads like Heaven and Like a Brother have)


The rest is a disappointment, not helped by the sheer weight of Here Comes The Night.  Imagine if you had the songs above, plus California Feelin', Looking Down the Coast, (the original and better) Santa Ana Wind.  If you did, you could forgive the inclusion of Goin' South and you'd have an album at least heading in the Holland direction, albeit with a more plastic production sound.  And if you must have Shortenin' Bread, then use the earlier, ballsier version.  And hey, I know it arrived a bit late, but if it was available, I'd stick on It's a Beautiful Day, Al's least worst pastiche BB fun song (see california calling for a crappy one).  The four tracks above elevate this to a three: the band's last decent effort.
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2005, 01:38:08 PM »

Besides Sumahama and a few others the album is not too good.



2 1/2

WHA?Huh!!!!

The album is great besides Sumahama!!!
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« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2005, 06:16:32 PM »

UPDATED REVIEW 20060222
------------------------------------
"L.A. (Light Album)" is probably my second favorite Beach Boys album period, after "Sunflower".  This was their first album for CBS Records and I think the reason that this album is hated so much is because, by 1979, the majority of the Beach Boys remaining fan base were people who became fans in the 1960s and just stuck with them.  Those people were probably well into their "modern music is crap" phase by 1979.  That's a phase we all get into.  So when the Beach Boys did this wonderful soft rock record that sounded very contemporary for 1979, the fans heard it and, because modern music was crap, this album was automatically crap.

Take this for what it is.  No, this is not girls, cars and surfing like Little Deuce Coupe or All Summer Long, but why would the Beach Boys be singing about that kind of stuff in 1979?  The world was a far different place in 1979 than it was in the early 1960s.

I personally love when bands have the attitude of "we don't want the next record to sound like what we've done before", and that was the attitude the band had here.  They had two choices: release another "All Summer Long" and have critics say "These guys just don't get it.  They're stuck in the 60s and they're more out of touch than ever with today." or release something contemporary-sounding and have critics say "The Beach Boys are no longer musical innovators and are just following trends."  Basically they were in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" position and at least they erred on the side of doing something they'd never done before.

The Beach Boys could put out a polka album and, as long as it's a great polka album, I'd give it props if it deserved it.  That's where L.A. is.  It's a soft rock record and a damn good one at that.  I'd love for someone to name five soft rock albums that came out in 1979 that are any better than this one.  The songs are melodic, the vocals are excellent, the production is great.  What else do you need?

Now on to the songs.  As far as "Here Comes the Night", get over yourselves people.  Disco was king in 1978 when the song was done.  If Rod Stewart (a self-proclaimed disco hater), Paul McCartney, and the Rolling Stones could all release disco singles in the late 1970s, why couldn't the Beach Boys?  If you turn off your Brian Wilson biases for a minute and actually listen to it, what you'll notice are awesome harmonies, a great beat and something you can move to.  This song is not bad at all.

Of Brian Wilson's two contributions, Good Timin' (actually recorded in 1974) is probably one of the best songs they did post 1970.  The harmonies are killer and the music is nice.  The rock and roll arrangement of "Shortenin' Bread" is odd to say the least, but it's a lot of fun and it's one of only two songs on L.A. that you can dance to.

Al's "Lady Lynda" was a huge hit over in England.  It actually uses a classical theme from Bach, which is pretty cool.

Carl Wilson provides some awesome songs here too.  "Full Sail" and "Angel Come Home" are absolute beauties.  "Goin' South" is also nice but there isn't much to it musically.

Mike's "Sumahama" is a Japanese fantasy and the music is so well done.  The lyrics are pretty good too, even where he sings in Japanese.  This is definitely not what you'd expect from the man who, 2 years later would put out a solo album and actually rhyme "Good Vibrations" with "assassinations".

Dennis steals the show here though.  "Baby Blue" and "Love Surrounds Me" are both absolute masterpieces.

Overall, this album is a shining gem in the huge catalog of Beach Boys albums and every fan should be proud of this album as one of the last times the band did something risky.

5 Stars
« Last Edit: February 22, 2006, 11:59:56 AM by analogdemon » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2006, 07:35:15 PM »

I have always truly dug this breezy sweet album.  Many songs that I love all thru the track line-up.   (Four stars out of five)
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2006, 04:47:52 PM »

I give it a 4, because I think it's really kind of an group effort. "Here comes the night" doesn't fit and the original is much better (though I like the disco-version), so they should have put on a more fitting song instead, but overall it's a real good album and the singing is good also. Only thing that isn't as good, is the sound, I think ith Stephen Desper for example they would have gotten a better sound. The released one sounds not bright enough imho
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2006, 06:20:37 PM »

i dig this album, but what BB album dont i? it's a great album to sleep to, and i mean well with that....it's nice to wake up to in the middle of the night, usually wake up at the end of Here comes the Night (which i really like) and it goes into baby blue, which is lovely to hear in the middle of the night.
So i heard there's a promo disc from 79 that has HCTN and other BB hits in a disco fasion, has anyone heard this? should i be excited to want to hear this?
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« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2006, 03:32:45 PM »

Definitely Dennis' songs bring this one up, but it's his tunes with Carl thta make this one a pretty good overall album.  The neverending disco Here Comes the Night though, ugh. 4 stars despite the epic disco song.
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2006, 03:34:48 PM »

You know, I understand why some fans don't like LA.

I think it's easier for newer fans like myself to like the late 70s/early 80s stuff because we weren't fans from the beginning. I can imagine that someone who had been a fan since the early 60s and bought all the albums as they came out would definitely have a tough time with stuff like LA because it's not anything like what the Beach Boys were doing when they originally became a fan.

As someone who is a newer fan, I get the advantage of seeing the entire back catalog in retrospect and therefore, each album is something new to explore. For that reason, I don't tend to judge LA by comparing it to records previous. I judge each album purely based on the quality of the music and how the album holds together as a whole.
Well said. I've been a fan going on 11 years now, so I wasn't there from the beginning, or hell, even the beginning of the end. Nah, I was a fan *after* they ceased to be a viable recording act. So, I guess you can I say I developed a post-mortem  appreciation of the music. Really, I can find good things to say about *every* BB album.

I love LA, except..."Full Sail" and "Goin South". Other than that, I quite like it. Now, where I think they missed the boat was putting the long version of HCTN on the album, and the edited version as the single. I would've done just the opposite, personally. The only people who would even *want* to hear a 10 minute version would be at a dance, not listening to it at home.
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2006, 11:01:09 AM »

You're right, HCTN takes up so much space and drags the album down.  Replace it with Santa Ana Winds and Looking Down the Coast; replace Sumahama (nice vocals; dumb song) with California Feeling; replace either Shortenin Bread or Goin' South with It's a Beautiful Day and you have their last decent album.
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« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2006, 11:34:52 AM »

This is the worst BB album I own, and the last.
1 great song, Good Timin.  Dennis material in this period is vastly overrated in my opinion.
I give it 4 stars.
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« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2006, 06:26:17 PM »

Good Timin' - Beautiful song with great harmonies!
Lady Lynda - cheesy, file under "guilty pleasure"
Full Sail - ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Angel Come Home - Nice track with great Dennis vocal
Love Surrounds Me - Great song, Christine McVie's vocal is the icing on the cake!
Sumahama - Let's talk about this shitty Mike Love song! Or not.
Here Comes The Night - I appreciate the work that might have went into this remake, that doesn't mean I want to hear a BB disco track!!!!
Baby Blue - This is real. This is sincere. This will break your heart in so many pieces.
Going South = This is a real gem amoung an uneven pile.
Shortenin' Bread - That's my Brian!!!!! Ruining the RUMORS-esque vibe with beautifully ham-fisted, doo-wopped boogie woodie piano!!!! THAT, ladies and gentlemen is not only Rock and Roll, but that is so punk rock!!!

I give the album a 3.
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« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2006, 06:31:20 PM »

I really agree with you, but I would exchange your fondness for Bread to Full Sail.
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« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2006, 06:36:06 PM »

Oh man, Full sail HuhHuh

Bread rocks like a sunabitch, Man! I thought you, of all people would dig Bread! Shortening, that is.
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« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2006, 11:46:49 PM »

I like the Adult Child version better. That sh*t ROCKS.
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