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Author Topic: Rank The Tracks #28: Stars & Stripes, Vol. 1  (Read 4881 times)
Eric Aniversario
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« on: March 19, 2013, 01:05:25 PM »

Many question whether this was a Beach Boys album.  Like it or not, it definitely was and is!  The artist labeled on the CD is The Beach Boys, and they did substantial promotion for it.  It charted, and was credited to the Beach Boys on Billboard.  It also had 4 charting singles on the Country and AC charts.  A musical trend at the time was duet albums...Frank Sinatra's Duets album featured many guest artists, but was still credited to Frank Sinatra, and was considered a Frank Sinatra album. I don't see any reason why this should not be considered a Beach Boys album.  Tony Bennett followed suit a decade later with his 2 duets albums.

That aside, the content of the album is just OK.  Some beautiful backing vocals from the 90's BBs and Matt Jardine.  I always wished there had been some versions released that excluded the lead vocals.

1. Don't Worry Baby - This one edges out the competition with just the background vocals alone.  Great arrangement, and Lorrie Morgan singing in the style of ... Lorrie Morgan.  A minor country chart hit: peaked at #73.
2. Little Deuce Coupe - Not sure if James House still records, he was new to the country pop scene at the time.  But he did a great job, and the Boys seem to give it their all here.  I like the a capella intro. Also a minor country hit, peaking at #69.
3. 409 - Junior Brown gives even more energy to this fast-paced remake.

4. Sloop John B - Collin Raye is an artist that country fans either love or hate...his 70's pop equivalent would be Christopher Cross.  That said, I think he did a great job of incorporating his style into this song and making it work.

5. I Can Hear Music - Kathy Troccoli's music was never really my favorite, but she seems like a great lady, and she seemed genuinely honored to perform and record with the Beach Boys.  This AC remake charted respectably at #16.  The a capella break is something I look forward to when listening to this song.  I wonder if Carl recorded a lead for this.  That would have been cool to hear!

6. The Warmth Of The Sun - This is great, but did not work as well for me as I thought it would.  I know it's probably the fan favorite of many on this board, but it doesn't do much for me, especially on repeated listens.

7. Caroline, No - Same comments for WOTS.
8. Long Tall Texan - This is fun, but doesn't bear repeated listening, but I like that Mike has a "guest" lead vocal line on this...wish there were more "guest" lead vocals on the album in general.  As fun as it is hear other artists remake the Beach Boys' classics, no one matches the original Beach Boys. Charted at #69.
9. Help Me, Rhonda - A manic remake from T. Graham Brown, a bit repetitive toward the end.

10. Fun, Fun, Fun - Ricky Van Shelton's star was fading by this point.  A predictably done remake, nothing that special.
11. Be True To Your School - Not great.
12. I Get Around - Sawyer Brown has won so many musical awards - how they got mixed up in making such a predictable yet inferior remake is beyond me.

I would have welcomed Stars & Stripes, Vol. 2 had it come out.  But the album underperformed despite the promotional push.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 01:06:54 PM by Eric Aniversario » Logged
gfac22
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2013, 01:23:07 PM »

For whatever reason, S&S vol. 1 is the only Beach Boys album I've never owned.  Not that I have anything against it, I've just never come across it, and really have never felt compelled to seek it out.  The few promotional appearances with the guest vocalists I've heard seem alright, maybe I'll pick it up someday.
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 01:45:07 PM »

I dunno...to me, even SIP warrants further (i.e., decadely) spins.
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 01:56:15 PM »

I'll elaborate later.

1. Caroline, No
2. I Can Hear Music
3. Don't Worry Baby  
4. Sloop John B
5. The Warmth Of The Sun
6. Little Deuce Coupe
7. 409
8. I Get Around  
9. Fun, Fun, Fun
10. Long Tall Texan
11. Help Me, Rhonda
12. Be True To Your School
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 02:08:34 PM »

I've never listened to this album before.  Should I?
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 02:14:22 PM »

I've played this maybe three times to review for my book. It's such an unworthy project for Carl to go out on. Outside the box set tour the mid eighties to late nineties were dire as far as group projects went. The songs the recorded that I like in that time would take up maybe one LP side. The ballads are worth hearing once but don't invite repeat plays. Why I would want to hear the nineties Beach Boys sing backup when I can the sixties group sing all the parts with their pristine voices?
Caroline, No
I Can Hear Music
Warmth Of The Sun
Don't Worry Baby  
Sloop John B
Long Tall Texan
409
Little Deuce Coupe.
I Get Around  
Help Me, Rhonda
Fun, Fun, Fun
Be True To Your School
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shelter
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2013, 02:19:24 PM »

I love Willie Nelson's version of 'The Warmth of the Sun'. Very touching, I might even prefer it over the original. I like 'Caroline, No' a lot too, the lead vocal sounds cool, I love the backing vocals and the instrumental arrangement, and Brian's haunting backing vocal is chilling. And I can tolerate 'Don't Worry, Baby' and 'I Can Hear Music', in my opinion country music just works much better with a female than a male voice.

But I hate the rest of this album. I hate country music, I hate line dancing and I hate cowboy hats.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 02:20:35 PM by shelter » Logged
Nicko1234
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2013, 02:32:36 PM »

Generally speaking I think the slower songs work better. So probably:

1, Caroline, No
2, Warmth of the Sun
3, I Can Hear Music
4, Don't Worry Baby

5, 409 - Quirky and maybe I don't mind it because the original isn't a classic
6, Long Tall Texan - Ditto

7-12, The rest

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SMiLE Brian
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2013, 02:33:32 PM »

The BBs Turned down the Paley sessions for this crap.... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2013, 03:00:25 PM »

Worthless album. I would love to hear backing vocals-only versions of every track though. That would probably rate at least a B+ across the board.

B-
The Warmth of the Sun

B
409
Caroline, No

D
Don't Worry Baby
I Can Hear Music

F
Little Deuce Coupe
Long, Tall Texan
I Get Around
Be True to Your School
Fun, Fun, Fun
Help Me, Rhonda
Sloop John B

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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2013, 03:07:46 PM »

What I still don't get is why they left off In My Room with Tammy Wynette and Sail On Sailor with that guy whose name I cannot recall. Sawyer Brown's version of I Get Around is one of the worst things in the Beach Boys recorded history.
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2013, 03:10:48 PM »

What I still don't get is why they left off In My Room with Tammy Wynette and Sail On Sailor with that guy whose name I cannot recall. Sawyer Brown's version of I Get Around is one of the worst things in the Beach Boys recorded history.

Oh yeah, I love the Tammy Wynette track, really should have been on the album. It's almost as though they were trying to make bad decisions in the 90s.
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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2013, 03:30:50 PM »

I really like country music through the early eighties. After that it got silly which can be heard on here.
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Sheriff John Stone
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2013, 04:04:31 PM »

What I still don't get is why they left off In My Room with Tammy Wynette and Sail On Sailor with that guy whose name I cannot recall.

Rodney Crowell was the artist and I agree with you, I wish those two songs would've been included. There's a good chance they were saving them for Stars & Stripes, Vol. 2.

I got a good solid year of enjoyment out of this album. I played it a lot, mostly in my car. It was a nice, crisp recording, kind of a summer-y album. I also videotaped a few of the TV appearances and enjoyed them, too. I used to go to the local record store to peek at the Billboard magazine on the counter to see where the singles were on the Country charts. I also forced myself to watch those cable country channels to catch the videos.

It was exciting to see Brian back in the mix. I thought Joe Thomas did a helluva job in making The Beach Boys sound great. I really didn't care too much which songs they chose; I just liked hearing the harmonies again. I wasn't listening to the album for the country artists anyway. Back then I was still videotape trading and I got a hold of Nashville Sounds: The Making Of Stars & Stripes. I still think it's one of the 3-4 best documentaries on The Beach Boys. There's a couple of really emotional and funny parts in that video. It's even more poignant with the passing of Carl.

I still enjoy the album. I listen to it occasionally. I don't necessarily wish for a Volume 2, but I would like to see a reissue with the 2 (or more) bonus tracks and an accompanying DVD at a budget price.

1. The Warmth Of The Sun
2. Caroline No
3. Don't Worry Baby
4. Long Tall Texan
5. Sloop John B
6. I Can Hear Music
7. Little Deuce Coupe
8. 409
9. I Get Around
10. Fun, Fun, Fun
11. Be True To Your School
12. Help Me Rhonda

Bonus Tracks ( In No Particular Order)

13. In My Room - Tammy Wynette
14. Sail On Sailor - Rodney Crowell
15. God Only Knows - Glen Campbell
16. Surf's Up - Vince Gill, Jimmy Webb, David Crosby
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 04:09:27 PM by Sheriff John Stone » Logged
Nicko1234
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2013, 04:08:52 PM »



Rodney Crowell was the artist and I agree with you, I wish those two songs would've been included. There's a good chance they were saving them for Stars & Stripes, Vol. 2.

I got a good solid year of enjoyment out of this album. I played it a lot, mostly in my car. It was a nice, crisp recording, kind of a summer-y album. I also videotaped a few of the  TV appearances and enjoyed them. I used to go to the local record store and peek at the Billboard magazine on the counter to see where the singles were on the Country charts. I also forced myself to watch those cable country channels to catch the videos.

It was exciting to see Brian back in the mix. I thought Joe Thomas did a helluva job making The Beach Boys sound great. I really didn't care too much which songs they chose; I just like hearing the harmonies again. I wasn't listening to the album for the country artists anyway. Back then I was still video tape trading and I got a hold of Nashville Sounds: The Making Of Stars & Stripes. I still think it's one of the 3-4 best documentaries on The Beach Boys. There's a couple really emotional and funny parts in that video. It's even more poignant with the passing of Carl.

I still enjoy the album. I listen to it occasionally. I don't necessarily wish for a Volume 2, but I would like to see a reissue with the 2 (or more) bonus tracks and an accompanying DVD at a budget price.

1. The Warmth Of The Sun
2. Caroline No
3. Don't Worry Baby
4. Long Tall Texan
5. Sloop John B
6. I Can Hear Music
7. Little Deuce Coupe
8. 409
9. I Get Around
10. Fun, Fun, Fun
11. Be True To Your School
12. Help Me Rhonda

Bonus Tracks ( In No Particular Order)

13. In My Room - Tammy Wynette
14. Sail On Sailor - Rodney Crowell
15. God Only Knows - Glen Campbell
16. Surf's Up - Vince Gill, Jimmy Webb, David Crosby

Al's California Saga would be another bonus track and it should be considered for the box set imo.
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2013, 07:20:28 PM »

1.Warmth of the sun (great and beautiful)
2.caroline no (The one song that actually has a Brian Wilson sound to it and it's not as country as the other ones)
3.I can hear music (good)
4.don't worry baby (great harmonies)
5.Long tall texan (Not a great song but since this is actaully recorded in the studio as opposed to being Live it's kind of like the"Unreleased" song of the bunch)
The rest is pretty bad..not a fan of country anyways, so the really twangy country sounding songs are at the bottom of my list)
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Smilin Ed H
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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2013, 12:13:49 AM »

01.  In My Room (or it would've been...)
02.  Caroline, No
03.  The Warmth of the Sun


Sailor would've been there had it been a full version and I love Al's acoustic California, allegedly cut as a 'demo' for Merle Haggard?

The rest is witless stuff though the ballads are better and I have a soft spot for the guitar on 409.

The nadir is Long Tall Texan but Be True To Your School runs it a close second. Utter sh*t.
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2013, 01:02:10 AM »

1.  Caroline, No
2.  409
3.  The Warmth of the Sun
4.  I Can Hear Music 
5.  Don't Worry Baby
6.  Help Me, Rhonda
7.  Long Tall Texan
8.  Sloop John B   
9.  Be True To Your School
10.Fun, Fun, Fun
11.I Get Around
12.Little Deuce Coupe
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SonicVolcano
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« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2013, 02:20:49 AM »




I love Al's acoustic California, allegedly cut as a 'demo' for Merle Haggard?



Is that the one which can be heard briefly on the Endless Harmony documentary?
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Nicko1234
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2013, 02:41:34 AM »


Is that the one which can be heard briefly on the Endless Harmony documentary?

Yes and it was issued with ESQ magazine.
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« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2013, 11:34:54 PM »

1. Caroline, No
2. The Warmth of the Sun

3. I Can Hear Music
4. Don't Worry Baby
5. Sloop John B
6. Fun, Fun, Fun
7. I Get Around
8. Be True to Your School
9. Long Tall Texan
10. 409
11. Help Me, Rhonda
12. Little Deuce Coupe

What would have been much worse: if a similar album of old songs was done in the style of current top 40.  I shudder at the thought.  This ranges from reasonably pleasant new arrangements (the top 4 songs) to moderately distasteful country crossover (the rest).  Easily their most disposable studio album, but it did provide us backing vocals to Caroline, No at long last.
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« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2013, 12:21:20 PM »

I do have the tallies for That's Why God Made the Radio, but it doesn't look like it was transferred over to this board.

1. Caroline, No - 121 (6)
2. The Warmth of the Sun - 116 (4)
3. Don't Worry Baby - 104 (1)
4. I Can Hear Music - 103
5. 409 - 73.5
6. Sloop John B - 65
7. Long Tall Texan - 60
8. Little Deuce Coupe - 55
9. I Get Around - 44
10. Fun, Fun, Fun - 42
11. Help Me, Rhonda - 38
12. Be True to Your School - 32.5

My thoughts? The top four songs are in their rightful spot well above the rest.  The others really depend on how much country you can tolerate and how much you like the original songs.  I'd have these versions of 409 and Little Deuce Coupe lower myself.
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« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2014, 11:37:44 PM »

From Worst to Best:

12. Be True To Your School.
11. 409.
10. Sloop John B.
09. Little Deuce Coupe.
08. Fun, Fun, Fun.
07. Help Me, Rhonda.
06. Long Tall Texan.
05. I Get Around.
04. I Can Hear Music.
03. Don't Worry Baby.
02. Caroline, No.
01. The Warmth Of The Sun.
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« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2014, 10:16:32 AM »

Wow I thought Summer In Paradise was hard to rank. I can only rank my two favorite tracks.

1. Warmth Of The Sun
2. Caroline No

3. The rest. I cannot stand it.
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2014, 10:44:52 AM »

I own it but have never once listened to it.
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