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Author Topic: Love You Re-Appreciation Thread #9: All Things 'Solar System'  (Read 5189 times)
Watamushi
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« on: March 27, 2017, 09:58:21 PM »

It has been about 40 years since The Beach Boys Love You, the fruit of Brian's Back campaign first came out in April, 1977. The album has got a lot of either praise and criticism, but is generally recognized as the best things the Beach Boys did in later 70's.

Now, I think it's time to talk over this album. On this thread, we'll have 24 separate discussions, and try to understand more about what The Beach Boys Love You is. I hope you'll enjoy them.

Here's the plan of the discussions:

1. Introduction  Main Question: What is 'Love You' for you?
2. All Things 'Let Us Go On This Way'  Main Question: Is it the best choice for the opener?
3. All Things 'Roller Skating Child'   Main Question: Did they choose roller skating as the song's them as they chose surfing in 60's?
4. All Things 'Mona'   Main Question: How does the repetition of the same melody work for the song?
5. All Things 'Johnny Carson ' Main Question: Do you find the lyrics silly, or find it interesting?
6. All Things 'Good Time'  Main Question: Was this the best cut for the album off Sunflower era outtakes?
7. All Things 'Honkin' Down the Highway'  Main Question: Was it a wise decision to change Billy's lead vocal into Al's one?
8. All Things 'Ding Dang'   Main Question: Was this jam waste of talents of both Brian and Roger?
9. All Things 'Solar System  Main Question: Would this song, or any on the album, have worked better as instrumentals?
10. All Things 'The Night was So Young '   Main Question: Why did Brian write a song about love affair with someone who's not his wife?
11. All Things  'I'll Bet He's Nice'  Main Question: How do you guess how Brian feel about Marilyn when he wrote it?
12. All Things 'Let's Put Our Hearts Together'  Main Question:  Was it a good idea to occasionally include Marilyn on the group's song and how do people feel about Brian's work with her over the years?
13. All Things 'I Wanna Pick You Up'  Main Question:  Are the lyrics here shows Brian's parentship or love for his children?
14. All Things 'Airplane'  Main Question:  Who do you guess Brian wrote this song for?
15. All Things 'Love is a Woman  Main Question:  Is this embarrassing closer for the album as many people say?
16. Vocals  Main Question: Are the vocals here as good as their vocals before?
17. Production  Main Question: Do you think Brian did his best at that time for the album?
18. Other Members' Contribution Main Question: How other members contribute for the album?
19. Lyrics  Main Question: Do you find the lyrics here childish?
20. Influence on the Album Main Question: Are there anything that influenced this album?
21. Influence of the Album  Main Question: Are there any musicians/albums/songs that were influenced by the album?
22. Reception  Main Question: Is the appreciation given to this album fair?
23. Album's Location in the History of Music  Main Question:  Was 1977 the right time for this album?
24. Conclusion  Main Question:  Was 'Love You' the last greatest album from the Beach Boys?

The rules of the discussions:
1. Each discussion should be on its theme, but don't have to be on its main question. Main question is just a tool to make the discussion easier to do.

2. Each discussion will be held for three days.

3. All the discussions will be taken place on this thread, so please make sure to check the theme and main question at the time when you join the discussions.

4. I'll give you a wrap-up post at the end of each discussion.
« Last Edit: Today at 05:07:36 AM by Watamushi » Logged

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Watamushi
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2017, 10:03:56 PM »

The First Discussion
Theme: Introduction
Main Question: What is 'The Beach Boys Love You' for you?


Love You has been my second favorite Beach Boys album. I listen to it once a week, but I wouldn't feel embarrassed if I had to listen to it once a day.

Each side of the album gives me different feelings. Side 1 makes me excited and cheerful. Side 2 makes me moved and calm.

My first listen to the album was last April. I had already heard the greatness of the album at that time, and I give it a try by streaming. It didn't need the second listen for Love You to be my favorite. I got its physical release last September, and then, my love for the album growing more and more. Now Love You seems like a friend to me.
Conclusion: Watamushi loves you, The Beach Boys Love You.

Now, what is The Beach Boys Love You for you? When did you listen to it for the first time? Looking forward to hearing your stories.

Additional Question for those who are already around when Love You came out: what was your first reaction? What was it like? I'm curious about that, too.


.... Sorry to make almost the same comments on PSF...
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 10:04:32 PM by Watamushi » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2017, 10:59:30 PM »

For me, Love You is Brian unfiltered and beautiful. It is often funny. Sometimes weird. But every track is entertaining and lovable.

I found the album tolerable, at best, until one day I was driving to Idaho. I had sold a printer on eBay for the law office I worked for in Salt Lake City and was delivering it to the buyer's weird house which was  surrounded by windchimes and chihuahuas and the guy was scared to come out and take the printer. He asked me to just leave it on his patio table. The absurdity of the whole situation and some other things in my private life synthesized with the album and I GOT IT. I understood it. I fell in love with that album and I have yet to fall out of love with it.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 11:00:19 PM by pixletwin » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2017, 11:27:53 PM »

I will never get people's obsession with this album. I'm not one of those who consider Pacific Ocean Blue a masterpiece, but it is much, much better than this trainwreck. Dennis' album is the work of a mature artist; LY is the creation of a child. BTW, I used to think the full title of the album was "The Beach Boys Love You", but I always see it referred to now as just "Love You", so which is it?
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2017, 11:37:28 PM »

yeah 'child like' i must go with there, and the reason why i like it.
it's not sophisticated, or complicated. but everything Brian Wilson also.
we all know Brian is musically perfect lol, but this record sounds like just
hangin with the fella, having a fun time and not giving a crap about perfection.
which equals Brian perfection, make sense?....
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 11:50:45 PM by bringahorseinhere? » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2017, 11:41:36 PM »

I will never get people's obsession with this album. I'm not one of those who consider Pacific Ocean Blue a masterpiece, but it is much, much better than this trainwreck. Dennis' album is the work of a mature artist; LY is the creation of a child. BTW, I used to think the full title of the album was "The Beach Boys Love You", but I always see it referred to now as just "Love You", so which is it?

The twofer lists the albums contained as "15 BIG ONES" and "LOVE YOU" as does the album spine.
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2017, 01:15:43 AM »

I will never get people's obsession with this album. I'm not one of those who consider Pacific Ocean Blue a masterpiece, but it is much, much better than this trainwreck. Dennis' album is the work of a mature artist; LY is the creation of a child. BTW, I used to think the full title of the album was "The Beach Boys Love You", but I always see it referred to now as just "Love You", so which is it?

you probably think the wall is a masterpiece too  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2017, 07:03:40 AM »

Love You is one of the BIGGEST disappointments in the BB catalog for me. I was so excited hearing that Brian was working with the guys again, enjoyed hearing them perform a couple of LY songs live in concert, and then was terribly let down when the actual album came out. To me, it sounds like they just threw it together, probably while under the influence.

The two songs I do like are "Honking Down the Highway" (although I prefer Al and Brian's remake on A Postcard from California) and "Good Time" (except for the completely unnecessary lyrics about "falsies"). The rest, not so much.

I certainly don't "get" LY, and this is one album that hasn't grown on me at all. YMMV
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2017, 07:12:04 AM »

Now, what is The Beach Boys Love You for you? When did you listen to it for the first time? Looking forward to hearing your stories.
BBs LY to me is quirky collection of songs. Before Smiley & Shut Down board, I used to read local board whose admin is huge BBs fan. I read the BBs topic there, was weird to read song reviews without hearing them. But I rmbr posters talking about LY & it got me interested. Went to allmusic to read professional review & esp. my favorite key tracks reviews. & that was that. Listened to it 1st back in spring 2011 (got into BBs Dec. 2010). I downloaded it right after SIP, then alternated between the 2 albums i.e. 1st song from LY, the next from SIP etc. But then I listened to it in full, track-by-track. Decided it was very unusual, different than anything I heard before. Not fooling. I won't say I liked it start to finish, still skip some but it's good album. Not favorite but it didn't take repeated listens to get it.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 07:14:29 AM by RangeRoverA1 » Logged

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Watamushi
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2017, 07:19:10 AM »

I will never get people's obsession with this album. I'm not one of those who consider Pacific Ocean Blue a masterpiece, but it is much, much better than this trainwreck. Dennis' album is the work of a mature artist; LY is the creation of a child. BTW, I used to think the full title of the album was "The Beach Boys Love You", but I always see it referred to now as just "Love You", so which is it?
I agree Pacific Ocean Blue isn't a masterpiece.

I'm young enough to be called child(maybe adult child Huh)so I have no problem with listening to 'the creation of a child', and that's why I love it.
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2017, 09:01:18 AM »

I think Love You gets more praise from BB fans than it deserves, but I think it's a weird, fun album and I do enjoy listening to it every now and then.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 09:02:46 AM by bummerinparadise » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2017, 12:10:18 PM »

Read this thread, now I have a sudden urge to listen to "love you"
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Seriously, there was a Beach Boys Love You condom?!  Amazing.
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2017, 12:34:50 PM »

It's now been 5+ years since I became a die-hard Beach Boys fanatic. I remember re-listening to everything from the beginning during the course of a few weeks, and found Love You completely jarring. I think this was originally because I was consuming decades of work in a very short time frame and because it was nothing like my old favorites.

Now, after years of listening and re-listening with added context, my distaste for this album has actually grown.  I think it's because it neither capitalizes on iconic Brian Wilson strengths (arrangement, instrumentation, harmonies), nor progresses from prior work.  I hear no musical genius, no lyrical breakthroughs, no beautiful harmonies at all.  I'm not sure I'll ever come to appreciate this album.

What is Love You for me? A speed bump that could have been written and arranged by my 3 year old.
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2017, 01:25:08 PM »

It took me years to get to understand (and eventually love) Love You. I had to see it (or rather hear it) as "outsider music"----and then it all fell into place.

If The Beach Boys had only recorded this one album, they would undoubtedly have earned themselves a place in Irwin Chusid's brilliant book Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2017, 03:26:59 PM »

I understood Love You immediately.  It did not seem "weird" to me or uncommercial.  In fact, if "Let Us Go on This Way" had been the lead single, I think they may have had a hit on their hands.  "Johnny Carson" would have been a good follow-up, as he was a) popular and b) quite in the news at the time with his contract squabbles with NBC.

I'm not sure, but it may have been one of the first albums from a major artist to feature "synth pop".  Interesting in that a small article with Jack Reilly from Rolling Stone in 1970 about Sunflower, Brian stated something on the order that he hoped the Moog would lead them to something new with their instrumental tracks.  This album was surely the realization of that wish...

And while it is true some of it sounds "childish" (yay!) some of it doesn't.  Also in retrospect (and this can be applied to 15 Big Ones) the lead vocals sound very strong and direct.  No, I'm not talking about is he hitting notes and singing sweetly like in days of yore.  He has a different voice and I think if you sing along with him you will also find that he is much of the time hitting the notes too....just with a different timbre or tonality to his vocals.

As a matter of fact, both Let Us Go on This Way and Rock and Roll Music both had the quality of hitting you over the head, they were so direct, it is like Brian's musical equivalent, both instrumentally and vocally of shouting, "now listen to me dammit!!".  R&R Music in particular has always made me laugh, the vocals and the guitars are just so outrageous, but in a fun, good way...I'm not saying its great music, but again, looking back, I think it probably took that type of production to garner them a big hit single circa 1976.
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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2017, 04:06:28 PM »

I like Love You more than any Beach Boys album since Friends, but I still think it squanders its potential. There's a lot of good songs on it, but I can't help but think that it would have sounded much better without the over reliance on Moogs. I'm just imagining songs like Let Us Go On This Way with a real rocking feel to it, or I'll Bet He's Nice with a more beautiful instrumentation. It's pretty sad when an album's demos sound better than the finished product. Despite all that though, Brian's songwriting still shines through and leads to Love You being an enjoyable listen.
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« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2017, 04:25:41 PM »

Love You is more of a curiosity to me. I don't love it, (  I dont hate it either) Ive tried to listen to it several times and while i can appreciate its uniqueness, it isn't something I really feel motivated to go listen to. There are other albums I  would rather listen to by them.  But I consider Love You to be  the last real artistic statement from the band.

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« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2017, 04:27:20 PM »

It is certainly better than 15 big ones, MIU and Light Album. .


 
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 04:28:48 PM by Senator Blutarsky » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2017, 04:49:38 PM »

For me, Love You is a strange trip inside Brian's mind, much like the second side of Today! or Pet Sounds. 

It rocks!! It has happy moments and sad moments. It has great vocals!

God, I love Love you.
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2017, 11:19:12 PM »

I will never get people's obsession with this album. I'm not one of those who consider Pacific Ocean Blue a masterpiece, but it is much, much better than this trainwreck. Dennis' album is the work of a mature artist; LY is the creation of a child. BTW, I used to think the full title of the album was "The Beach Boys Love You", but I always see it referred to now as just "Love You", so which is it?

you probably think the wall is a masterpiece too  Roll Eyes
No, actually, I hate it! Most overrated double album in history!
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« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2017, 03:08:39 AM »

I used to nearly hate "Love You". Listening to it was even more jarring than my first listen of "Smiley Smile". I didn't even know Smiley was a replacement for fabled "Smile", I was just: "Sloop John B, God Only Knows, Good Vibrations... and then, THIS?" But of course, I love Smiley to pieces now.
Ditto Love You. My first reaction was "WHAAAT?"
But... bit by bit, song by song, I started to like it. Then I started to think of it as a whole, as an artistic statement, and everything clicked. And it has such a staying power: every time I listen to a Love You song, I like it more. The songwriting is just that good.

Adult Child would have been the same. Different, as it would totally have been its own album rather than LY2, but the same story. But we were robbed of that further gem, not for the first time in BB history, as we all know.

P.S.
There is a wonderful story told by a fan of how recently he approached Brian and Al after a concert, with a copy of Love You to sign. Then things go something like this: "Oh, Love You, that's really a good album we did, Al". "Yes, very good, Brian." And they start looking at the titles and singing bits from the songs!!!
Imagine being that fan in that moment. Smiley
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 03:11:16 AM by thorgil » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2017, 07:08:19 AM »

Then I started to think of it as a whole, as an artistic statement, and everything clicked.

So here's the thing-- for me I think it clicks. I get it. I'm listening with much more context now than I was years ago.  But Love You "clicking" for me happens to not translate into enjoyment of the album.

I thought of another-- perhaps more fitting-- analogy for why Love You doesn't even appeal to me even on a curiosity level. Aside from the fact that I don't remotely like any tracks on the album, my real problem with Love You is the way so many Beach Boys fans treat it on the same level as other Beach Boys albums.  Talking about  "Let Us Go on This Way" or "Johnny Carson" being potential hits, etc.  Treating Love You on the same level as nearly any other Beach Boys album is like treating a county fair Skee-Ball game played by Michael Jordan to any of his basketball performances.

THAT'S what Love You is to me-- Michael Jordan playing Skee-Ball. Fun? Meh. Maybe, kinda. Genius? Great? Worth my time? Nah.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 07:09:47 AM by bonnevillemariner » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2017, 07:34:11 AM »

My appreciation of the BB is as such that Today! has settled in as my favorite album of theirs.  Love You is up there too, and the way that I appreciate it is similar to Today!.  I see a lot of similarities between the two, they both come from a similar inspiration of sentimentality for a musical tradition that I identify as "original rock n roll".  The sequencing definitely reminds me of Today!.  Lots of the lyrical content comes from this tradition, like Today!, and is awkward, like Today! (although from an unfiltered part of Brian's brain, as opposed to Mike actually trying hard).  It is territory that had been covered a lot by the band, but when you think about it, they had really moved on for almost 10 years.  That must have been really surprising at the time. 

I am of the opinion that if he would have been able to continue untouched from here, his 1980s wouldn't have been so heartbreaking.  I can't figure out if Brian actually was acute enough to recognize that 1976 was a great time for this record or if his mental state was such that he truly didn't give a sh*t about the expectations that people had for him.  Either way, in my mind this record was creative greatness.  Sometimes I like my creativity to be a bit dirty.  I love love Love You.
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« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2017, 08:57:29 AM »

By 1977, I had moved on from the Beach Boys and was listening mainly to punk/New Wave. My sister, however, bought a copy of 'Love You' and I loved it from the first listen  -- in fact, it sounded quite punk/New Wave to me.

Loved it then, love it still.
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« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2017, 10:13:32 AM »

By 1977, I had moved on from the Beach Boys and was listening mainly to punk/New Wave. My sister, however, bought a copy of 'Love You' and I loved it from the first listen  -- in fact, it sounded quite punk/New Wave to me.

It occurs to me that Fleetwood Mac (and Lindsey B in particular) had a brush with New Wave themselves on Tusk, their how-the-f***ing-hell-do-we-follow-Rumours album. Just an aside, really... 
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