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Author Topic: Rank the Tracks #26- Still Cruisin'  (Read 7867 times)
♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮
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« on: March 03, 2013, 09:36:43 AM »

Note: I will NOT count the three classics tucked away at the end of the disc, because that would be cheating.  

I'm kind of torn on this one. On one hand, it holds a special place in my heart. I bought this disc for $1 (not a typo) at a clearance sale on 1 June 1997. Why do I remember that exact date? Because my wife and I officially became boyfriend/girlfriend that night. On the other hand, well...

7. Make it Big- More like 'make it suck'. It sounds like a song Huey Lewis threw up at 3am in the morning after a night of ingesting bath salts (which I know weren't around yet, but humor me). This sounds like it was cribbed from various other artists' songs. I normally don't care about lyrics, but these are so atrocious that I think I'd rather have a battery acid enema than hear the 'best buddies with Johnny B Goode' line again.
6. Still Cruisin'- It ain't half shitty, and has a groove you could almost dance to...I give it a 5, Dick! Lame American Bandstand joke aside., this is...um...this is a song. Yeah. That's all I got. Oh, and the production sounds brittle like a peanut, yo.
5. Kokomo- Take away all of the annoyance of the band's image, and just listen to this song. There's a reason why it sold well, and not all of it had to do with the terrible movie. I just...HATE THAT SAX SOLO.
4. Wipeout- I actually like this. It helps that I was a fan of the Fat Boys, although by this point they were at their sell-by date...their earlier work was groundbreaking, but by this point they were too commercial and had lost their edge. Kind of like the Beach Boys at this point! Controversy time...it has been said that BW is the only Beach Boy on this cut, but...I hear Mike as well. Despite what Gary Usher had claimed, I hear NO other Beach Boys on this cut.  The version on the Fat Boys Crushin' album is better, as there are a few differences in the mix, and the beat box section is cut down to nothing here.
3. In My Car- Except for the weak intro (which is the only reason why this isn't #2), this is pretty damn spiffy. A BW solo song with BB vocals added later, this is better than much of BW88 IMHO. Nice production.
2. Island Girl- I'm surprised Al didn't get sued, as much of this song was stolen from Blondie's 'The Tide is High'. That said,vocals on this cut are excellent from everyone, especially Al. The second best cut on the album, and Carl actually sounds like himself for the most part. Okay, maybe not so much his last part on the song, but it's an improvement.
1. Somewhere Near Japan- By far the best production on the album, and the one song that sounds current rather than instantly dated. I love the guitar lines on this cut. Great melody, vocals are excellent, and the lyrics are some of the best from the latter-day Beach Boys. Carl's voice again sounds thin, but it serves a nice contrast to Mike and Al's tone, and Bruce's raspy cameo. Great stuff.


Okay...so I like 5 out of 7 cuts, so I think this is a good album, right? Nope...that statement is a wrong as a cat and dog bumpin' uglies. People complained about Steve Levine's production? AT least that sounded current for its time, and had some kind of edge to it. This sounds like it was done on a Fisher Price 'Baby's First Mixing Board'. Carl was a great singer, and he still had the chops live. Here, though, his voice sounded thin as hell. WTF?! There is no kind of cohesion for obvious reasons; it sounds like somebody with below average intelligence made a  Winamp playlist.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 11:21:53 AM by Righteous Bald Dude » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 11:04:46 AM »

01.   Somewhere Near Japan

Then the rest.
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2013, 12:04:52 PM »

I did not buy this album when it was released, Thank God. Bought it used. Junky when new, junky now with no redeeming value except telling the buyer in which general direction the band was heading.
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2013, 12:31:48 PM »

7) Wipe Out - No. Just No. the video is awesome though... in a "Summer Of Love" style way...  Undecided
6) Island Girl - Just can't quite get this song. I don't hate it, but it's not memorable at all.
5) In My Car - Same as above, but slightly better.
4) Make It Big - Okay. That is all.
3) Still Cruisin' - waaay too cheesy, but does the job.
2) Kokomo - Okay, as much as I want to hate this, it's a fun, rounded song that does the job clearly and concisely.
1) Somewhere Near Japan - Nothing even comes close, though Bruce's vocals annoy me, Al's are over processed, Mike's lead sucks and The Remix is far better. Carl delivers beautifully though - a Very good song that could have been a classic with more effort.
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2013, 12:36:49 PM »

1. Wouldn't it be nice
2. California Girls
3. I get around

The three classics at the end are the "reward" for suffering through the rest.
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2013, 12:48:10 PM »

Somewhere Near Japan
Island Girl
Kokomo

In My Car
Still Crusin'

Make It Big

Wipeout
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 01:09:49 PM »

I don't hate it. I also don't own it anymore. But maybe I'll get it again. I don't know. It's probably worse than the '85 album, but I think I dig it more than Keepin' The Summer Alive. It's definitely not an album I'd play around other people. This is primo "embarrassing Beach Boys". But it does have some redeeming features, unlike Summer In Paradise.

1 "Kokomo": It was a hit for a reason. It's catchy. One of Mike Love's best hooks. Carl sounds great on here. It's a shame Brian couldn't be on it. But it is total bullshit that Mike Love thinks this song is his "vindication" that he can do it without Brian. And that he thinks it stands up to "Good Vibrations" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and whatever else. And it's also a shame that this defines The Beach Boys to many people. Sad. But it was a huge hit for a reason.
2 "Make It Big": Big, cheesy '80s soundtrack pop, a la "It's In The Way That You Use It" by Clapton or that Back To The Future song by Huey Lewis. I like this crap. And I like hearing Brian on the tag. And Carl's vocals sound great. And so do Mike's.
3 "In My Car": In my opinion, not as good as most of Brian's '88 album. But even Brian's middling stuff is usually better than the other guys stuff. Carl and Al sound alright on here. Brian's falsetto is kinda weak, but whatever. For some reason this song is in my mind  once in a while.
4 "Island Girl": The opening harmony with Brian, Carl, and Al is nice. I love reggae music but this sure ain't what it's supposed to be. Once again, it's lame, but I can listen to it and enjoy it.
5 "Still Cruisin'": Mike trying to score another "Kokomo" style hit. I think if it was up to Mike Love, The Beach Boys woulda sounded like this for the past 25 years. I honestly don't think Carl wasn't against this either. Over-produced Beach Boys pastiche with a touch of Byrds-y guitar.
6 "Somewhere Near Japan": Smooth adult contemporary nonsense. But I don't hate it. The vocals are good. Whatever.
7 "Wipe Out": A parody of what The Beach Boys are. Not a good way to introduce them to the '80s generation. I'm not a fan of '80s hip-hop except the Beastie Boys and little Run-DMC and maybe N.W.A. But yeah this sucks.
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2013, 01:13:52 PM »

Probably my favorite BB album from the 1980s. Not nearly as good as BW88 but I really enjoy this one, much more so than KTSA for example!

1. Kokomo
2. Somewhere Near Japan
3. Make It Big
4. Island Girl
5. In My Car
6. Still Cruisin'
7. Wipe Out

All good stuff except probably for "Wipe Out", which is mildly pleasant at best. "In My Car" could've been much better but I still enjoy it for what it is. "Kokomo" is the sh*t.
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2013, 01:19:20 PM »

Was Brian on this song or not? Did they add his voice later? Did he write that song for his solo album or The Beach Boys? Did they re-record the song to include Brian? Is Brian the only Beach Boy on the track? Is Brian a Beach Boy or not?

That's what it became. They still wanted him. Did he want them? It must've driven the guys nuts. It sold a lot. Mike never forgot that.

1. Somewhere Near Japan



2. Kokomo


3. Make It Big



The rest somewhere below....
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2013, 02:52:00 PM »

1, Somewhere Near Japan - Great vocals from Al and an impressive tune. Should be on the box set.
2, Kokomo - A very catchy pop song. Some will never be able to forgive that Brian didn't write it though...

3, Make it Big - Average, forgettable pop.
4, Island Girl -  A little too repetitive but not bad.
5, Wipeout - Obviously many will say that the group shouldn't have been attempting stuff like this but it is moderately enjoyable if you disconnect your brain.

6, In My Car - Terrible lyrics and weak Brian vocals.
7, Still Cruisin' - More dire lyrics.

All in all I don't hate this album but I wish they had included Rock and Roll to the Rescue, It's a Beautiful Day and Chasin The Sky instead of the 3 sixties songs.
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2013, 02:53:49 PM »

1. Island Girl
2. In My Car
3. Kokomo
4. Still Cruisin'
5. Wipe Out
6. Somewhere Near Japan
7. Make It Big
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2013, 03:21:29 PM »

Oretty much too late to capitolize on Kokomo, and in the wake of such a huge hit they couldn't even make a real album. Only like SNJ the rest can rot.
1.Somewhere Near Japan
2 Island Girl
3 Still Cruisin'
4 Kokomo
5.Make It Big
6 Wipeout
7 In My Car (along with SI and his 1985 LP cuts this ranks among Brian's very worst songs.)
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2013, 04:11:59 PM »

1. Somewhere Near Japan - Not a fan of the intro, but still a great tune. (The subtexts about incest and cocaine are... interesting, to the say the least.)
2. Kokomo
3. Make It Big - Complete Cheese. A huge guilty pleasure.
4. Still Cruisin'
5. Island Girl
6. In My Car - A pain to listen to. Worse than anything Mike and Terry ever released, IMO.
7. Wipe Out - I can't take this seriously at all. It's hard to listen to this, even ironically.

Overall, this album is a guilty pleasure for me. It could have benefited from the inclusion of a Carl Wilson song (he had to have had something from Beckley-Lamm-Wilson kicking around at this point?) or the two singles from Made in USA but it still isn't nearly as pretentious as BB85 or BW88, and most of the songs aren't as eye-rollingly lame as Summer in Paradise. At its best, it works as a fun, cheesy 80s playlist for a Beach party.
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2013, 04:22:42 PM »

This ought to make for an interesting thread...

1. Somewhere Near Japan - My favorite 80s BB song.  I wish the alternate version from the music video was available on CD.
2. Still Cruisin' - It's cheesy, sure, but I'll be damned if it isn't catchy as all get-out.  I may be one of the few that was a little disappointed it didn't get played at the C50 show I went to.
3. Kokomo - Again, I know it's cheesy, but I love it.  I have fond childhood memories of the Muppets performing it, and I still enjoy it.
4. Island Girl - I don't really care for it, but Carl's vocal saves what is otherwise a pretty forgettable song.
5. Make It Big - I dig the big 80s synths, and I like Mike's part in the song.  Other than that...it's ok.
6. Wipe Out - I can't get past the video.  The Fat Boys are actually pretty cool, but I'd rather forget this collaboration ever happened.
7. In My Car - What an awful song, made even worse by completely inappropriate production.  The drums are so over the top and I just can't stand Brian's voice in this era.
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2013, 05:26:29 PM »

1. Wouldn't It Be Nice
2. California Girls
3. I Get Around
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2013, 05:35:12 PM »

1. Wouldn't It Be Nice
2. California Girls
3. I Get Around

Somebody already used that joke.
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2013, 07:45:17 PM »

1. Somewhere Near Japan
2. Kokomo
3. In My Car

4. Still Cruisin'
5. Make It Big
6. Island Girl
7. Wipe Out

It's really isn't that bad at all, and its best songs are among their top 80's efforts.  The 60's songs are redundant and of course from a completely different world so I'm not even gonna list them.
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2013, 10:29:09 PM »

SNJ is a great song but so sad to hear now, eh, since we learned that JP was a deranged sexual criminal who assaulted his daughter.  It makes one disassociate the purported historical occasion of the song and hear it more in the abstract. All the Mamas and the Papas music requires this now, since M. Phillip's revelations about her father. Sometimes it's better not to know the story behind a song when it is this grim.
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2013, 10:44:50 PM »

I just got this album on vinyl a few weeks ago.  My high-end cartridge and headphones instantly revealed just how bad the recording and mastering was.  I think I'll stash it in my collection for the sake of being a completest, but I don't think it will cross paths with my record player again.
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« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2013, 11:42:48 PM »

1) Somewhere Near Japan -- the closest thing to a good track released by the Beach Boys between 1986 and 2011. Still not great though.
2) Still Cruisin' -- this one actually works really well live, and I was disappointed that it wasn't in the setlist at the three reunion shows I saw.
3) Uh.... In My Car, I suppose. Other than the two above, I don't find anything on the album listenable.
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« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2013, 12:29:01 AM »

Putting the three oldies on this album was an incredibly dumb move. And not just because it makes no sense at all that they're here, since the soundtrack songs concept went out of the window. Thing is, I think that the new material on this album is not even all that bad, it's all somewhere between listenable and actually enjoyable. But every time I listen to this album and think that it really is OK, you get the oldies and they just remind you of how much better this band used to be, and it just ruins the new songs. But anyway...

1. Kokomo I LOVE this song. There, I said it. I was born in 1978, this song was a hit in my childhood, so it has much more sentimental value for me than all those excellent songs that I discovered much later. But even objectively speaking, I don't think this is bad at all. It's a clever composition with superb hooks, it's as sunny as pop music gets and Mike and Carl sound as good as ever.
2. Somewhere Near Japan Pleasant. A minor gem with a really nice vibe.
3. Island Girl Another plastic Summer song, it's like the musical equivalent of a brochure full of Photoshopped pictures of tropical beaches. But I like to look at those and I like this song as well.
4. Wipe Out I don't have a problem with this as I don't see it as a Beach Boys song, it's a Fat Boys song with the Beach Boys (or apparently just Brian) guesting. So for what it really is, a 1980s novelty rap song, I think it's fun.
5. Still Cruisin' Definately a lightweight, but still this is probably their best attempt at writing a second Kokomo (which does say a lot about the other attempts on Summer in Paradise).
6. Make It Big So yeah, this is the type of music you used to hear in family movies in the 1980s. Very generic for what it is, they could just as well have asked Cyndi Lauper, Wham! or Jason Donovan to do this song.
7. In My Car Most certainly not one of Brian's better vocals or compositions. I'm not sure what to think of the loud drums and rock guitars here.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 12:30:16 AM by shelter » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2013, 01:16:56 AM »

SNJ is a great song but so sad to hear now, eh, since we learned that JP was a deranged sexual criminal who assaulted his daughter.  It makes one disassociate the purported historical occasion of the song and hear it more in the abstract. All the Mamas and the Papas music requires this now, since M. Phillip's revelations about her father.

It wasn't a revelation, it was an allegation.
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« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2013, 02:41:24 AM »

Putting the three oldies on this album was an incredibly dumb move. And not just because it makes no sense at all that they're here, since the soundtrack songs concept went out of the window. Thing is, I think that the new material on this album is not even all that bad, it's all somewhere between listenable and actually enjoyable. But every time I listen to this album and think that it really is OK, you get the oldies and they just remind you of how much better this band used to be, and it just ruins the new songs. But anyway...


Well said, man, I can relate to that.

To take the edge off a tedious household chore (folding laundry is edgy sh*t, man), my 11 year old and I put on the Pet Sounds 5.1 mix; at the end of which she said "yeah, that was ok. What's that song you hate but everyone at that concert you went to liked?"

"Barbara Ann?"

"Not that one"

"Oh, Kokomo", I said, then we put on Still Cruisin' - I know it's hardly comparing apples to apples, but run straight off the back of the big one, it was startling how listless,  thin and insignificant the new offerings were.

The only thing I can rate is Al and Carl's vocals on SNJ, a song which could have been wrapped up in half the running time.
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« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2013, 03:45:38 AM »

SNJ is a great song but so sad to hear now, eh, since we learned that JP was a deranged sexual criminal who assaulted his daughter.  It makes one disassociate the purported historical occasion of the song and hear it more in the abstract. All the Mamas and the Papas music requires this now, since M. Phillip's revelations about her father.

It wasn't a revelation, it was an allegation.
I would hardly take M. Phillip's word as gospel.
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And production aside, Id so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
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« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2013, 04:29:32 AM »

SNJ is a great song but so sad to hear now, eh, since we learned that JP was a deranged sexual criminal who assaulted his daughter.  It makes one disassociate the purported historical occasion of the song and hear it more in the abstract. All the Mamas and the Papas music requires this now, since M. Phillip's revelations about her father.

It wasn't a revelation, it was an allegation.
I would hardly take M. Phillip's word as gospel.

I don't disbelieve her. Just 'cos she has a drug problem doesn't mean she's discreditable. And if did happen to her then that's just awful.

Conversely though, its terrible that because of a single allegation, picked up by the tabloid press, to a lot of  people John Phillips is now, most definitely, a child molester.
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