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Author Topic: "(Wouldn't It Be Nice To) Live Again": opinions nearly four years after release  (Read 7020 times)
RangeRoverA1
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« Reply #50 on: May 12, 2017, 10:42:57 PM »

I still would count it as Dennis' best vocal, as I did however many years ago when I first heard it (1999 Eddie? Alan?). His voice is very pure and powerful, and absolutely in it's peak form. Hearing it now just frustrates me that there aren't more from him while that vocal range was at his disposal.
It sure is Top 5 Dennis vocal. Agree, too bad he didn't keep this voice.


You wouldn't even categorize the song as "good?" I'm willing to say some tracks from KTSA and MIU and even a couple from SIP are "good", so I can't imagine what sort of bar exists to not call WIBNTLA as at least "good."

It's not the greatest of any category in the BB catalog, but to relegate it to "meh" status because people were so enthusiastic to see its release is going overboard in my opinion.
I didn't mention hype. When the song was talk of town, I as everybody was curious "What could it sound like?". Dennis not being favorite songwriter/ vocalist, my expectations were low. When we got to hear it, the single thing I liked about it was the lead vocal. To repeat, it's very good vocal. Few nice musical ideas.    But it's a bit downer. I like joyful/ goofy/ upbeat stuff - "Feet", "All Summer Long", "It's Tryin' To Say". "Got to Know the Woman" & "San Miguel" may be the closest to Dennis writing really upbeat material. His songs tend to be sentimental, melancholic which isn't to my taste. WIBNTLA is rather tasteful in that regard but still wouldn't say it's good.
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« Reply #51 on: May 14, 2017, 04:36:28 AM »

I thought it was utterly majestic and not a letdown by any means when it finally saw release (and still think so), I'll never forget that day. Now if we can only get our hands on the I've Got A Friend instrumental track....
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« Reply #52 on: May 14, 2017, 04:58:46 PM »

A beautiful song from one of Dennis's best writing years
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« Reply #53 on: May 15, 2017, 05:59:09 AM »

Love it and still listen to it regularly.
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« Reply #54 on: May 15, 2017, 06:20:35 AM »

It should be noted that theoretically not fighting for a Dennis song on a given album due to politics (e.g. someone trying to get *their* song on the album instead of Dennis's) and good old fashioned lack of objectivity in realizing which material sucks and which is good are two *separate* things. Both surely went on. But it's not as if every single Dennis song that went unreleased was stifled because everybody else in the band was blocking Dennis tracks. Dennis also may or may not have pushed for a given song at a given time, and sometimes they may have skipped a Dennis song not out of ego but rather out of bad musical decisions.

It's mind-blowing how much quality Dennis material went unreleased, and the material had numerous strikes against it to the point it's also kind of surprising that he got as much released as he did. Sometimes other egos *were* at play, sometimes the band just mad bad or weird artistic decisions, sometimes Dennis didn't push his material or "pulled" his material from consideration, and eventually Dennis not having his s**t together probably didn't help things either.
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« Reply #55 on: May 15, 2017, 10:48:08 AM »

I'm still baffled by the decisions made in the time between the reception of SURF's UP and the release of CATP/PS. A lot of turmoil and changes (Blondie and Ricky added in part to offset Dennis' hand injury; the push by Carl and Jack for a more rock'n'roll direction which hastened Bruce's departure; Steve Desper jumping ship when Mike decided to toss his weight around and have all TM-vetted support staff; Brian variously distracted by side projects and personal issues) led to a truly strange LP. Added to that, the decision (presumably by WB) to package it with PS, a juxtaposition that would make almost any LP look underwhelming by comparison.

Looking at AGD's session listings, it appears that the decision to put "Make It Good" and "Cuddle Up" in the CATP lineup was late in the game (April, after just about everything else had been completed). These tracks are at odds with the rest of the LP, so one gets the sense that this was a last-ditch effort to finish the record--but it can't help but bring up the question concerning WIBNTLA. What caused it to be bypassed at the time? Who was primarily responsible? How could anyone have objectively decided that "Make It Good" was more releasable than WIBNTLA? Was the friction still palpable over how it had been left off SURF'S UP? There must have been some strange dysfunctional dynamics at work during this time frame that, absent a time machine, we are never going to fully understand.

The results, however, were as plain as the nose on your face. CATP got withering reviews; "Mess of Help" didn't register as a BB song to those who'd just heard the harmonizing that dominated SURF'S UP and received a giant WTF; "Marcella" never gained traction. None of the remaining tracks released on CATP brought anything to the table radio-wise. But WIBNTLA would've had more than a shot as an FM track. It could have given the BBs what they so desperately needed at the time--a song somewhere in the range of a hit that wasn't written by Brian. A song that shifted the ground in a way that still had a bridge back to their established sound. Apparently no one saw that in the song at the time...
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« Reply #56 on: May 16, 2017, 05:41:00 AM »

Maybe they had simply forgotten about it by the time CatP/ST was in the works.
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« Reply #57 on: May 16, 2017, 07:28:18 AM »

I'm still baffled by the decisions made in the time between the reception of SURF's UP and the release of CATP/PS. A lot of turmoil and changes (Blondie and Ricky added in part to offset Dennis' hand injury; the push by Carl and Jack for a more rock'n'roll direction which hastened Bruce's departure; Steve Desper jumping ship when Mike decided to toss his weight around and have all TM-vetted support staff; Brian variously distracted by side projects and personal issues) led to a truly strange LP. Added to that, the decision (presumably by WB) to package it with PS, a juxtaposition that would make almost any LP look underwhelming by comparison.

Looking at AGD's session listings, it appears that the decision to put "Make It Good" and "Cuddle Up" in the CATP lineup was late in the game (April, after just about everything else had been completed). These tracks are at odds with the rest of the LP, so one gets the sense that this was a last-ditch effort to finish the record--but it can't help but bring up the question concerning WIBNTLA. What caused it to be bypassed at the time? Who was primarily responsible? How could anyone have objectively decided that "Make It Good" was more releasable than WIBNTLA? Was the friction still palpable over how it had been left off SURF'S UP? There must have been some strange dysfunctional dynamics at work during this time frame that, absent a time machine, we are never going to fully understand.

The results, however, were as plain as the nose on your face. CATP got withering reviews; "Mess of Help" didn't register as a BB song to those who'd just heard the harmonizing that dominated SURF'S UP and received a giant WTF; "Marcella" never gained traction. None of the remaining tracks released on CATP brought anything to the table radio-wise. But WIBNTLA would've had more than a shot as an FM track. It could have given the BBs what they so desperately needed at the time--a song somewhere in the range of a hit that wasn't written by Brian. A song that shifted the ground in a way that still had a bridge back to their established sound. Apparently no one saw that in the song at the time...

What a wonderful, insightful post. Thank you, sir.
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« Reply #58 on: May 16, 2017, 07:49:06 AM »

Maybe they had simply forgotten about it by the time CatP/ST was in the works.

They must've been smoking some strong stuff to have their short term memories be *that* affected. Which in reality may have been exactly what happened.
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« Reply #59 on: May 16, 2017, 09:15:44 AM »

I'm still baffled by the decisions made in the time between the reception of SURF's UP and the release of CATP/PS. A lot of turmoil and changes (Blondie and Ricky added in part to offset Dennis' hand injury; the push by Carl and Jack for a more rock'n'roll direction which hastened Bruce's departure; Steve Desper jumping ship when Mike decided to toss his weight around and have all TM-vetted support staff; Brian variously distracted by side projects and personal issues) led to a truly strange LP. Added to that, the decision (presumably by WB) to package it with PS, a juxtaposition that would make almost any LP look underwhelming by comparison.

Looking at AGD's session listings, it appears that the decision to put "Make It Good" and "Cuddle Up" in the CATP lineup was late in the game (April, after just about everything else had been completed). These tracks are at odds with the rest of the LP, so one gets the sense that this was a last-ditch effort to finish the record--but it can't help but bring up the question concerning WIBNTLA. What caused it to be bypassed at the time? Who was primarily responsible? How could anyone have objectively decided that "Make It Good" was more releasable than WIBNTLA? Was the friction still palpable over how it had been left off SURF'S UP? There must have been some strange dysfunctional dynamics at work during this time frame that, absent a time machine, we are never going to fully understand.

The results, however, were as plain as the nose on your face. CATP got withering reviews; "Mess of Help" didn't register as a BB song to those who'd just heard the harmonizing that dominated SURF'S UP and received a giant WTF; "Marcella" never gained traction. None of the remaining tracks released on CATP brought anything to the table radio-wise. But WIBNTLA would've had more than a shot as an FM track. It could have given the BBs what they so desperately needed at the time--a song somewhere in the range of a hit that wasn't written by Brian. A song that shifted the ground in a way that still had a bridge back to their established sound. Apparently no one saw that in the song at the time...

COMMENT TO Don Malclom:     I BEG YOUR PARDON !! "Steve Desper jumping ship when Mike decided to toss his weight around and have all TM-vetted support staff. "

Perhaps you don't take the existence of God and His Son seriously, but some people do, including me. Whether you do or not, I take the promise of eternal life through the actions of Jesus Christ a cosmic reality. TM is the worship of false gods, Hindu deities.  I'll respect the right of any Beach Boy member to believe whatever they wish, but not to force others to believe the same. As an artist, if Mike Love wishes to surround himself with people he feels comfortable being around, then he should. If he thinks that to be more important than working with talented technical people -- that's his decision, not mine.  Because I refused to disavow my belief in my God and my Savior in favor of the almighty dollar in the form of a job, that should tell you where I place importance in my life. But "jumping ship" i.e., praying to what I believe are false gods, is not a job prerequisite I wish to practice. 

If you, Don, are an atheist, then let's put this another way. Suppose part of your job specification as a Beach Boy employee is to stop making love to your wife. You must stop all intimate relations with the person you love. Would you continue to show up for work?  Would you call that "jumping ship" when you resigned and moved on? 

Please watch the terms you use.  I rest my case.
    ~swd   
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« Reply #60 on: May 16, 2017, 09:25:45 AM »

Well said Desper on your reason for leaving, though Don Malcolm meant that as well!
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« Reply #61 on: May 16, 2017, 10:57:08 AM »

Well said Desper on your reason for leaving, though Don Malcolm meant that as well!

Yeah, that's how I took it as well.
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« Reply #62 on: May 16, 2017, 11:01:59 AM »

Well said Desper on your reason for leaving, though Don Malcolm meant that as well!

Yeah, that's how I took it as well.

Yeah, I took "Steve Desper jumping ship when Mike decided to toss his weight around" as "Steve Desper leaving with very good reason."

I don't think any blame was being placed on Steve from that comment.
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« Reply #63 on: May 16, 2017, 11:25:36 AM »

Well said Desper on your reason for leaving, though Don Malcolm meant that as well!

Yeah, that's how I took it as well.

Yeah, I took "Steve Desper jumping ship when Mike decided to toss his weight around" as "Steve Desper leaving with very good reason."

I don't think any blame was being placed on Steve from that comment.

COMMENT:   OK -- Well maybe I'm being hyper sensitive, but the term "jumping ship" infers that I left the BB organization without cause or authorization or without legitimate reason . . . like abandoning your post. Being an ex-army man, for me that term carries with it a dishonorable  connotation.  I might have followed the Boys to Holland if not for Mike's TM requirement which, for me, was more than my belief system would allow.  I feel I left the BB organization for a legitimate  reason, so the term "jumping ship" rubbed me the wrong way.

I just wanted to set the record straight. 

----------------------------------------------

I wish I could get the second part of my book out on my website, but too many things keep coming up and the second part is very complex and long. I go over much of this in that book along with the topic-song of this thread. There's a lot of misunderstanding out there.

~swd 
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« Reply #64 on: May 16, 2017, 01:47:32 PM »

"Jumping ship" was a poor choice of words - "pushed overboard" might be more accurate.  The whole incident is a shame because Christianity does not have to be incompatible with Transcendental Meditation.
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« Reply #65 on: May 16, 2017, 04:04:51 PM »

"Jumping ship" was a poor choice of words - "pushed overboard" might be more accurate.  The whole incident is a shame because Christianity does not have to be incompatible with Transcendental Meditation.


And more appropriately, religion and beliefs shouldn't affect ones job.
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« Reply #66 on: May 16, 2017, 04:39:38 PM »

"Jumping ship" was a poor choice of words - "pushed overboard" might be more accurate.  The whole incident is a shame because Christianity does not have to be incompatible with Transcendental Meditation.

COMMENT to Bicyclerider:  I like your choice of words.

Nothing wrong with Meditation.  But TM, involves manipulation of the human brain and supports the belief system in which matter is considered an absolute end in itself.  Christianity is essentially a metaphysical belief system in which there is more to life than a physical dimension. Certainly you can meditate and be a Christian, Jew, Muslim, or whatever, but Mike wanted people around him who had joined and supported the TM movement. The TM movement is part of something called "New Religious Movement" also called "Alternative Spirituality." At that time a US district court ruled TM religious in nature. That involves a little too much deviation for me. The tenets of the Church to which I belong, and most Churches, only allow you to belong to one Church and to support the beliefs and practices of that Church -- not some world wide movement of Hindu origin. I was not willing to violate the tenets of my Church just for a job. It would have meant that I would need to remove myself from my Church membership (those are the rules and to which I agreed when I joined) and I was not willing to do that.

Meanwhile, Michael had met an engineer who did support the TM movement to his satisfaction, and was certainly a qualified engineer. He also made the decision to sell all the equipment in the studio that we also used in concert settings in favor of a new console design favored by said engineer. Although it was untested, Michael took the console to Holland and field tested it at the Beach Boys' expense (nearly bankrupting the organization with all the expenses of supporting all the families of The Beach Boys in a foreign country.) To me this was an ill conceived move when it was clear that the equipment they owned was fully capable of recording an album and had a proven design for travel -- with cases. A move and change of equipment and personal only to support the TM movement.

So when Frank Zappa bought all the equipment and ask me to mix for him, no meditation required, I moved on. Zappa had no drug problem, was a realistic, honest, and fantastic musician with a great band -- it was a challenge I looked forward to meeting.  And the rest is history.
  ~swd
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« Reply #67 on: May 16, 2017, 05:26:58 PM »

So when Frank Zappa bought all the equipment and ask me to mix for him, no meditation required, I moved on. Zappa had no drug problem [...]
Being clean-living, I definitely respect Zappa. He didn't buy into 60s-70s drug scene. Unlike the others like idiots trying to impress their "friends" & peers. Roll Eyes

Agree, TM is baloney.
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« Reply #68 on: May 16, 2017, 09:15:05 PM »

So when Frank Zappa bought all the equipment and ask me to mix for him, no meditation required, I moved on. Zappa had no drug problem [...]
Being clean-living, I definitely respect Zappa. He didn't buy into 60s-70s drug scene. Unlike the others like idiots trying to impress their "friends" & peers. Roll Eyes

Agree, TM is baloney.

COMMENT To RangeRoverA1: Don't read me wrong. TM has been good for Mike Love. It has given him a focus in life, a clarity of thought and good health habits. TM has helped many who might otherwise have been lost souls. I'm just saying it's not for me. I have found something else that works in my life, as have many others. Each of us finds our own way, but requiring your beliefs as part of a job is not a job I needed, or wanted.

It's a slippery slope, being a creative artist. If you can't be artistic or creative unless your environment is conducive to your thinking, then so be it. I can understand that and give you the space you need to be creative. And that's what happened.
~swd
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« Reply #69 on: May 17, 2017, 01:01:20 AM »

2 Mr. Desper: We'll agree to disagree then. I do think TM is stupid. They say it helped them but it may just be in their minds. Akin to placebo effect. That said, agree with your p.o.v. about beliefs not being germane/ relevant to work (ethics). It's Mike's business, we shouldn't care what he believes in, we must be apathetic about it.
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« Reply #70 on: May 17, 2017, 01:22:31 AM »

I respect Mr. Desper's ability to be understanding and not resentful under the circumstances. The emotional capacity for that seems somewhat akin to Brian's remarkable capacity for forgiveness, and I mean that as a very sincere compliment.

I can imagine many other people employed and subsequently let go in a similar manner would not have necessarily taken it as well. While I can understand what Mr. Desper said about artists needing a level of peace around themselves in order to create, Mike's actions nevertheless sort of remind me of what I've heard that some powerful Scientologist actors do with regards to throwing their weight around sets to weed out and dismiss all the "SPs" who could be dragging down said actors' "superior" Scientologist lifestyles.

I just think there could have and should have been a better way than laying off phenomenal employees, even ones who are able to make peace with it.
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« Reply #71 on: May 17, 2017, 04:47:24 AM »

It's a very good song. Sometimes Dennis' love songs are a little hard to stomach for me because they're so 'heavy', for lack of a better word. That doesn't mean I don't like them, in fact I do like them a lot. I just have to be in the mood. Not sure if WIBNTLA would've fit on Surf's Up, I think that album is just great the way it is. But they should have put it out one way or another, maybe even just as a b-side, which is still much better than the song staying in the vaults for some 40 years.
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« Reply #72 on: May 17, 2017, 12:40:20 PM »

It lived up to the hype for me. Can't understand why it was left in the can but I guess those unreleased gems are all part of the charm and mystique of the band.
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« Reply #73 on: May 17, 2017, 01:25:23 PM »

I haven't been on the board for a bit, but I must chime in a vote here: entirely and eternally in favor of the Dennis song in question. To me, it sounds like a great lost single, and presages much of Dennis' amazing solo work.
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« Reply #74 on: May 17, 2017, 02:04:35 PM »

2 Mr. Desper: We'll agree to disagree then. I do think TM is stupid. They say it helped them but it may just be in their minds. Akin to placebo effect. That said, agree with your p.o.v. about beliefs not being germane/ relevant to work (ethics). It's Mike's business, we shouldn't care what he believes in, we must be apathetic about it.

Whether it's in their minds or a placebo what does that matter if it works?

Besides, I think most practitioners of TM would agree that it is all in their minds and that is THE POINT.
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