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Author Topic: Playlist Help - Transitioning into and out of Pet Sounds  (Read 1103 times)
bonnevillemariner
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« on: April 16, 2015, 11:19:30 AM »

I teach computer programming classes to college and high school students, and I use BW and The Beach Boys often both for aesthetics and to teach the underlying principle of harmony in the code writing process (believe it or not, coding is a lot like writing and arranging music).  My students have taken a serious liking to Pet Sounds and have been asking about the evolution of Brian's artistic sensibility in general.  They suggested making a playlist that includes all of the Pet Sounds tracks, plus other tracks from that era that illustrate the transition from the earlier surf rock sound to the Pet Sounds sound, and from the Pet Sounds sound into the uber-modular Smile sound.  Not being an expert on this subject personally, I figured I'd run this past everybody here.  Given these parameters, which non Pet Sounds tracks would you include in this playlist?

EDIT: In the interest of aesthetics, feel free to include tracks that might not awesomely exemplify the transitions, but rather sound good paired with Pet Sounds tracks.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 11:21:00 AM by bonnevillemariner » Logged
KDS
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2015, 11:28:06 AM »

Let Him Run Wild
Summer Means New Love
The Little Girl I Once Knew
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Larry Franz
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2015, 11:41:41 AM »

You're going to get a very long list! The songs from what used to be side 2 of The Beach Boys Today! will have to be represented, like "In the Back of My Mind".

But to let your students understand that it wasn't all surfing and fun in the beginning, I'd go back to "Lonely Sea" and "In My Room".
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Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into. (It became fine later on.)
BJL
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2015, 11:46:35 AM »

Here's how I would do it:

I Get Around
All Summer Long - I would start my playlist with these songs, as a representative of Brian's high level of creativity in traditional pop/surf songwriting.
When I grow up to be a Man – the harpsichord and introspective lyrics linked with the surf beat make this one of the best "in-between" tracks.
Guess I'm Dumb - another step on the road to Pet Sounds. The link from this to I Guess I Just Wasn't Made for these Times is pretty easy to see, in terms of the complexity of the melody itself. A wickedly difficult song to sing!
Kiss me Baby (use the stereo mix, it’s easier to see the link to Pet Sounds that way, I think)
In the Back of My Mind (instrumental track) – the connection to Pet Sounds is easier to make without the vocal, in my opinion.
California Girls (again, using the Stereo mix is a must, much easier to draw out the complexity of the arrangement.)
Let Him Run Wild (instrumental track) – Listening to just the Instrumental Track of this makes clear that there is a direct line from the sounds and sensibilities of a track like this to the Smile material.
And Your Dreams Come True - looking forward to Our Prayer
The Little Girl I Once Knew - using the mix with the acapella drop out from the Hawthorne sessions might make the link to Sloop John B easier to see, although the single mix is better, in my opinion.
Sloop John B – From Little Girl to Sloop you see the Pet Sounds production sensibility being refined.
Pet Sounds (with Sloop John B removed, of course, and Hang On To Your Ego swapped in for I Know There's an Answer - helping to bridge forward into the Smile sessions with it's slightly druggy lyrics)
Good Vibrations
Heroes and Villains (Cantina Mix) – Good Vibrations and the Cantina mix continue to show the progression of Brian’s sound through single mixes.
Prayer – (because you included And Your Dreams Come True, this isn’t so much out of nowhere as a refinement of something Brian was doing before Pet Sounds.
Heroes and Villains Sections (Stereo Mix from Smile Sessions)
Cabinessence
Wonderful
Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow – these four songs cover all of Smile’s major themes, with the Heroes and Villains sections really illustrating Brian’s iterative working methods.
Surf’s Up (Piano demo) – here we see Brian’s greatest song as it was left when Smile was scrapped in ’67.
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bonnevillemariner
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2015, 11:55:07 AM »

Loving it so far, guys.  Keep them coming.  I'm torn on which version of Good Vibrations to use.  I prefer the more complete TSS version with the "hum, we now. hum, we now ohoh" but I'd love to hear why another version might fit better.
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BJL
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2015, 12:17:17 PM »

Loving it so far, guys.  Keep them coming.  I'm torn on which version of Good Vibrations to use.  I prefer the more complete TSS version with the "hum, we now. hum, we now ohoh" but I'd love to hear why another version might fit better.

I would use the single version - as the only truly completed and released Smile track from the time period, I feel that it is an absolutely essential indicator of the level of perfection, attention to detail, and economy with which the final mixes of the Smile songs would been completed! I love the other versions too, of course! One thing I might do is include the single version and the sessions excerpts from the old Wild Honey two-fer, that way you can see all of the cool ideas that didn't make it in, while still understanding, historically speaking, how Brian was working and what he considered an appropriate final product. (this is the reason I use the Cantina mix of heroes and villains too, although of course that wasn't actually released!)
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Rentatris
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2015, 01:01:32 PM »

BJL - I am so making that a playlist on my ipod....
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Pet Sounds, SMiLE, Love You, Adult/Child
kwebb
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2015, 04:43:04 PM »

She Knows Me Too Well
In the Back of My Mind
The Little Girl I Once Knew
Please Let Me Wonder
Kiss Me, Baby

Basically the entire Today album
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