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Author Topic: Keepin' The Summer Alive  (Read 16355 times)
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« on: January 19, 2017, 09:00:32 AM »

 I've noticed that almost NO ONE will admit that there are some good tunes on this album (except hardcore BB fans of course). Everyone trashes it and calls it one of their bottom worst albums they've ever done. I don't know, I'd at least give it 3 stars out of 5. There are a bunch of Brian Wilson written tunes and even though some are old and they aren't exactly A+++ material or anything, there's nothing wrong with much of the material. It's fun and catchy enough imo.

Sunshine, Goin' On, When Girls Get Together, Livin' With A Heartache, and Endless Harmony are really good songs to me.

My favorite is "Oh Darlin'". Has that classic Brian Wilson style to me and a great Carl vocal

The production isn't great, they aren't very inspired and Dennis is nowhere to be found but it's still not a bad record. What do you guys think?
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2017, 09:08:16 AM »

Not the worst album, but only songs I really dig are the title track, Santa Ana Winds, Sunshine, and Livin' with a Heartache. Goin' On is ok apart from that horrible sax solo.  I much prefer the version of OH Darlin with the BW vocals
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2017, 09:11:59 AM »

Yeah I like this album. It's really fun. I think it's the second best out of the three. MIU LA KTSA

Santa Ana Winds, Some Of Your Love and Sunshine are my favourites
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 09:28:27 AM »

I think you can find decent songs on every Beach Boys album, including Keeping the Summer Alive. 

That being said, I think it's the 2nd worst album they ever did (second only to SIP), but I do like Santa Ann Winds, Goin On, and....believe it or not...Endless Harmony, especially the oh too brief vocals at the end. 
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2017, 09:49:36 AM »

Not the worst album, but only songs I really dig are the title track, Santa Ana Winds, Sunshine, and Livin' with a Heartache. Goin' On is ok apart from that horrible sax solo.  I much prefer the version of OH Darlin with the BW vocals

I love Sunshine, Goin' On, and Livin' With a Heartache, but I especially love Oh Darlin'. I didn't know that a Brian vocal version of that song existed... where might one find it? The Google is not helping!
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2017, 10:07:09 AM »

The title song, KTSA, is horrible.
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2017, 10:11:55 AM »

KTSA, for me, shares similarities with LA Light, apart from the Bruce Johnston production and the label.

The material released, in my view, on both albums, is very strong.  The common thread between both albums is what's missing, not what was released.  KTSA would have greatly benefited from Goin' to the Beach, Da Doo Ron Ron, and from what I've heard tell (though not heard myself), Surfer Susie and I'll Always Love You.  At the time, this was initially going to be called "Brothers, Cousins and Friends," and contain a cross section of material, including a finished mix of Can't Wait Too Long, The Lord's Prayer in stereo, possibly the new mix of San Miguel prepared for MIU.  It might have even been a double album at one point.  I remember reading something about that back in the day.  But a lot of it just didn't cut and we were left with the ten cuts we got.

Using the Made in California set, drop in Goin to the Beach, Why Don't They Let Us Fall In Love, Da Doo Ron Ron... It's A Beautiful Day (all of which mix very well into the unique sound of this album)...maybe It's Not Too Late from Bambu... maybe San Miguel or a snippet of Can't Wait Too Long... and you've got a very different, richer album, perhaps a little closer to what was intended.
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2017, 11:08:25 AM »

Not the worst album, but only songs I really dig are the title track, Santa Ana Winds, Sunshine, and Livin' with a Heartache. Goin' On is ok apart from that horrible sax solo.  I much prefer the version of OH Darlin with the BW vocals

I love Sunshine, Goin' On, and Livin' With a Heartache, but I especially love Oh Darlin'. I didn't know that a Brian vocal version of that song existed... where might one find it? The Google is not helping!

I believe its on the "Get The Boot" set? The 2nd disc.. I am very surprised its not on youtube!
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2017, 11:12:02 AM »

Not the worst album, but only songs I really dig are the title track, Santa Ana Winds, Sunshine, and Livin' with a Heartache. Goin' On is ok apart from that horrible sax solo.  I much prefer the version of OH Darlin with the BW vocals

I love Sunshine, Goin' On, and Livin' With a Heartache, but I especially love Oh Darlin'. I didn't know that a Brian vocal version of that song existed... where might one find it? The Google is not helping!

I believe its on the "Get The Boot" set? The 2nd disc.. I am very surprised its not on youtube!

It was probably taken down during the unfortunate recent purging of rare BB stuff from YouTube.
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2017, 11:29:02 AM »

Bruce had a rather homogenous production sound on KTSA (and on LA as well; though it's less prevalent since several songs were cut outside the "proper" LA sessions), and that's part of why KTSA sounds so limp.

Bruce Johnston is not the guy you ever wanted to produce a "rock" song, so the KTSA title track for instance is a rather lackluster recording of an okay (if total BTO ripoff) song. KTSA sounded ten times better during 1980 shows, especially the DC July 4th show (and to a very slight lesser extent the Knebworth 1980 show).

Stuff like "Goin' to the Beach" and "Da Doo Ron Ron" is cut from the same cloth; inoffensive stuff with a super bland production style. And putting "The Lord's Prayer" on the album would have been insane and beyond weird. Imagine McCartney putting a 1963 previously-released track on "Back to the Egg" or "McCartney II."

"Can't Wait Too Long" is a cool outtake, but it's really just the opening bit (with has been mined numerous times, including a vocals-only mix on "Hawthorne" and Brian's TLOS album) that's really ear-catching. The rest of the song is interesting and quirky and noteworthy for it's "Smile" connections. But it would have sounded totally weird on KTSA too.

There are some good compositions buried under there on KTSA. "Oh Darlin'" has some interesting bits, and I have always *loved* the dissonant backing vocals during the bridge. But it's an awful recording/production, beyond cheesy.

"Santa Ana Winds" is probably by default the standout track on the album in terms of both composition and production, and would be near perfect if not for the awful spoken intro.

"Goin' On" is a cool song, but the production even on that one is weird. The backing vocals are too indistinct, the sax solo is total overkill. The 1980 "Friday's" TV show performance of the song is actually more enjoyable I think.

"Livin' with a Heartache" is a solid song, but once again with pretty limp production. The rare live performance of that one also sounded better.

I'd say almost everything the band did from about 1978-79 through the early 80s, including Carl's solo stuff, tended to sound better live. Which is extra ironic because the BBs were more apt by that time to quickly drop "new" songs from the setlist. But most KTSA stuff sounded better in concert. Carl's solo stuff sounded *much* better during his '81 club gigs.
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2017, 11:41:40 AM »

I used to HATE KTSA(the album), but now I actually like it quite a bit. Livin' With A Heartache and Goin' On are both great songs. I hate the sax solo on GO, but I love the song, especially when it transitions from  "I love you, I miss you" , to "Come be my redeemer". I don't know why, but I LOVE that part.  Grin KTSA could have been a great album opener, buy t the production is so sterile that it sucks all the life out of it. Oh Darlin has a beautiful vocal from Carl, but the song is boring as hell. Going To The Beach could have replaced When Girls Get Together, and would have been a highlight of the album, especially if it would have had the Brian backing vocals that are in the video of him, Mike, and Carl at the piano.
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2017, 12:12:05 PM »

Not the worst album, but only songs I really dig are the title track, Santa Ana Winds, Sunshine, and Livin' with a Heartache. Goin' On is ok apart from that horrible sax solo.  I much prefer the version of OH Darlin with the BW vocals

I love Sunshine, Goin' On, and Livin' With a Heartache, but I especially love Oh Darlin'. I didn't know that a Brian vocal version of that song existed... where might one find it? The Google is not helping!

I believe its on the "Get The Boot" set? The 2nd disc.. I am very surprised its not on youtube!

It was probably taken down during the unfortunate recent purging of rare BB stuff from YouTube.

Isn't this the Brian-led "Oh Darlin'"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H02cP3UHUXU
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2017, 01:00:06 PM »

Goin' On is the standout track of the album because it's unmistakably a group sound, lead by Carl.  My problem with the track is Mike is too prominent in the mix, and the tag at the end with Brian, whose voice is way too rough to be singing that part. 

Brian sang the tag on Getcha Back, same hoarse, horrible voice that brought that song down.   
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2017, 01:02:20 PM »

Keepin' the Summer Alive should have been the lead single off this album.  I disliked Sunshine, School Days (one of their worst covers ever) and both When Girls Get Together and Livin' with a Heartache seem like they will never end and are pretty lame at any length.  Oh Darling was a pale GOK imitation and the God Only Knows How I Love Only You chorus or refrain is truly grating in a Mike Love quoting the title of Good Vibration for the Looking Back with Love single.  Oh, and Mike's nasal vocals on Santa Ana Winds pretty well single-handedly sunk that track, though I'm not sure the public was ready for another Al Jardine folk excursion at any time in the ahem, 80's.  The rest of the album was palatable enough, but definitely I have to agree with the Rolling Stone review assessment that the Beach Boys were now a rock and roll wax museum.  Perhaps that is what spurred the next album to be an attempt at modernity, albeit mostly a failed attempt....
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2017, 01:16:34 PM »

Goin' On is the standout track of the album because it's unmistakably a group sound, lead by Carl.  My problem with the track is Mike is too prominent in the mix, and the tag at the end with Brian, whose voice is way too rough to be singing that part. 

Brian sang the tag on Getcha Back, same hoarse, horrible voice that brought that song down.   
Which part in Goin' On do you mean?
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« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2017, 01:27:36 PM »

I love KTSA!
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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2017, 01:40:13 PM »

Love this album. Strong side 2 especially as Sunshine is really the only song I don't play a lot.
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« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2017, 02:25:41 PM »

It's not a bad album, but not nearly as good as LA. I have to admit, though, that it's embarrassing to hear Mike croon those high school lyrics on "Some of Your Love". The track itself is catchy enough, but come on guys, grow up! You're not teenagers anymore! Apparently they thought they were, because then they cover Chuck Berry's "School Days", and it's truly bad. Just a limp remake with no life in it at all. I used to hate "When Girls Get Together", but it is growing on me in a perverse way. The title track is fun, but then I am a BTO fan. Love the bass line and the middle eight ("Lay down..."). "Oh Darlin" is pretty good - primarly because Carl is singing it. Surprising to hear that early mix with Brian on lead - I didn't know he could sound this good in 1980! Sounds like his MIU voice. "Livin' With a Heartache" is one I play over and over, just can't get enough of it. I'm biased - i'm a Carl fan. It is vocals that lift "Goin' On" into the area of musical magic.
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« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2017, 03:05:53 PM »

Not the worst album, but only songs I really dig are the title track, Santa Ana Winds, Sunshine, and Livin' with a Heartache. Goin' On is ok apart from that horrible sax solo.  I much prefer the version of OH Darlin with the BW vocals

I love Sunshine, Goin' On, and Livin' With a Heartache, but I especially love Oh Darlin'. I didn't know that a Brian vocal version of that song existed... where might one find it? The Google is not helping!

I believe its on the "Get The Boot" set? The 2nd disc.. I am very surprised its not on youtube!

It was probably taken down during the unfortunate recent purging of rare BB stuff from YouTube.

Isn't this the Brian-led "Oh Darlin'"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H02cP3UHUXU

Thanks for this, JK! After listening and comparing the two, I can't decide if I have a preference, they're both good for different reasons. Brian's vocal is charming, but it is of course missing the polish of the KTSA version. And I think Carl's vocal is great on that one too. It'll be interesting to see if one emerges as a favourite over time, but I'm happy to have both versions in my life now  Cheesy
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« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2017, 04:59:41 PM »


"Which part in Goin' On do you mean?"

There's a part of the song, actually twice, where it's only Brian singing - Gooin' Oon.  I'm sure it was done to make him more part of the effort, but he didn't have the vocal ability to pull it off.
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« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2017, 03:06:37 AM »


"Which part in Goin' On do you mean?"

There's a part of the song, actually twice, where it's only Brian singing - Gooin' Oon.  I'm sure it was done to make him more part of the effort, but he didn't have the vocal ability to pull it off.

I think you are wrong with this in a few ways.  For one when I listen to that I hear Al in there.  For two, I don't think it has anything to do with his voice at the time.  I hear it as an intentional timbre they are doing.  If you listen to the backing of Be True To Your School (esp. verses) you hear a similar timbre and certainly none of them had any problems singing in 1965.
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« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2017, 04:03:26 AM »

It's definitely Brain doing that part, not Al.
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« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2017, 04:34:15 AM »

What I mean is, I hear a stack that contains more than one person's voice.  I certainly could be wrong though.
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« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2017, 06:12:39 AM »

This recent recreation is pretty good at capturing what a more decent KTSA album would be like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BET3DAY1Tsw&ab_channel=ICanHearMusic551

Also the title of the album and the title song is rubbish. Better call it "Summer" or "Sunshine", simply for being a light collection of pretty light songs about summer by a band that had had its best days.

Oh Darlin' with Brian on lead works far better. He really delivers the rough yearning in that song that Carl's delicate voice is less suited for.
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« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2017, 06:21:32 AM »


"Which part in Goin' On do you mean?"

There's a part of the song, actually twice, where it's only Brian singing - Gooin' Oon.  I'm sure it was done to make him more part of the effort, but he didn't have the vocal ability to pull it off.

I think you are wrong with this in a few ways.  For one when I listen to that I hear Al in there.  For two, I don't think it has anything to do with his voice at the time.  I hear it as an intentional timbre they are doing.  If you listen to the backing of Be True To Your School (esp. verses) you hear a similar timbre and certainly none of them had any problems singing in 1965.

The little solo interjected "Goin' Oo-on!" bits after the verse are Brian, not Al. When they did the song live in 1980, with both Brian and Al on stage, Brian sang that part as well. (I remember in the distant olden days of the internet, some fans contended it was Dennis rather than Brian because of the sort of distant rasp, but I think that's before most knew of the more concrete evidence that Dennis hardly attended the KTSA sessions).

Brian's voice was hit-and-miss at best during the 1979/1980 KTSA sessions and subsequent touring, and his voice on the studio version of "Goin' On" sounds like what his voice sounded like at that time, with some effects added so it isn't totally dry.
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