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616578 Posts in 24867 Topics by 3535 Members - Latest Member: All Summer Long September 20, 2017, 05:49:52 AM
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Author Topic: The Psychology of Beach Boys Album Covers: Christmas Album  (Read 1200 times)
Rick5150
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« on: July 04, 2017, 06:46:56 AM »

I often wondered if there was more to the album covers that we will every know. We may find out things in interviews about why certain poses and backgrounds were used, but I started to wonder if there is something deeper going on. I thought it would be fun to examine a few album covers and see what we can come up with about what the subliminal message can be.

For example, what if we took a closer look at the Christmas Album.



Dennis is visually the "star" of the band that all the girls were screaming for. He is on top (the epitome of cool) and wearing the flashiest "look at me" sweater. He wants to be noticed.

Brian, clearly the standout, is wearing a sweater that is in stark contrast to all the other guys. Looking at the image, we know he is the leader. His tree decoration skills are like his recording skills. Meticulous and done with extreme care. Everything has to be there the way he sees it in his head. Everything must have a purpose.

Mike is confidently on the opposite side of the tree - mimicking his commercial yin to Brian's creative yang. Interestingly, he has always had a competition with Dennis and here he is looking up at him, admiring Dennis' skills and perhaps subliminally acknowledging Dennis' superiority in some areas?

Carl, the self-conscious, chubby kid seems unsure of himself at this point unaware of what he is to become. He does not quite have Dennis' flashy sweater, but still has a more subdued version that is saying, I am not looking for too much attention but I am not to be overlooked, either.

Al, undeservedly, often gets overlooked and is down in the corner at Brian's feet, learning and emulating his style. He seems like the happiest one to be involved and until further examination, most do not realize what a great job he is doing.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 06:47:40 AM by Rick5150 » Logged
JK
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 07:30:54 AM »

I often wondered if there was more to the album covers that we will every know. We may find out things in interviews about why certain poses and backgrounds were used, but I started to wonder if there is something deeper going on. I thought it would be fun to examine a few album covers and see what we can come up with about what the subliminal message can be.

For example, what if we took a closer look at the Christmas Album.

Dennis is visually the "star" of the band that all the girls were screaming for. He is on top (the epitome of cool) and wearing the flashiest "look at me" sweater. He wants to be noticed.

Brian, clearly the standout, is wearing a sweater that is in stark contrast to all the other guys. Looking at the image, we know he is the leader. His tree decoration skills are like his recording skills. Meticulous and done with extreme care. Everything has to be there the way he sees it in his head. Everything must have a purpose.

Mike is confidently on the opposite side of the tree - mimicking his commercial yin to Brian's creative yang. Interestingly, he has always had a competition with Dennis and here he is looking up at him, admiring Dennis' skills and perhaps subliminally acknowledging Dennis' superiority in some areas?

Carl, the self-conscious, chubby kid seems unsure of himself at this point unaware of what he is to become. He does not quite have Dennis' flashy sweater, but still has a more subdued version that is saying, I am not looking for too much attention but I am not to be overlooked, either.

Al, undeservedly, often gets overlooked and is down in the corner at Brian's feet, learning and emulating his style. He seems like the happiest one to be involved and until further examination, most do not realize what a great job he is doing.

Rick, that's fantastic! You've set a pretty high bar for the rest of us...
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 10:20:05 AM »


Dennis is visually the "star" of the band that all the girls were screaming for. He is on top (the epitome of cool) and wearing the flashiest "look at me" sweater. He wants to be noticed.

Brian, clearly the standout, is wearing a sweater that is in stark contrast to all the other guys. Looking at the image, we know he is the leader. His tree decoration skills are like his recording skills. Meticulous and done with extreme care. Everything has to be there the way he sees it in his head. Everything must have a purpose.

Mike is confidently on the opposite side of the tree - mimicking his commercial yin to Brian's creative yang. Interestingly, he has always had a competition with Dennis and here he is looking up at him, admiring Dennis' skills and perhaps subliminally acknowledging Dennis' superiority in some areas?

Carl, the self-conscious, chubby kid seems unsure of himself at this point unaware of what he is to become. He does not quite have Dennis' flashy sweater, but still has a more subdued version that is saying, I am not looking for too much attention but I am not to be overlooked, either.

Al, undeservedly, often gets overlooked and is down in the corner at Brian's feet, learning and emulating his style. He seems like the happiest one to be involved and until further examination, most do not realize what a great job he is doing.

Wow!
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Jukka
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 11:12:32 AM »

I analyzed the cover after reading the topic headline but before reading the first post, and I came to exactly same conclusions! Yeah, never thought this cover would have so many hidden layers...

Also, if you look quickly, those decorations on both sides of the photo remind me of Brothers Records' "Indian spreading his arms" logo. Coincidence... or is it?
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2017, 11:18:18 AM »

Not many people know this but moments after this picture was taken, Mr. McGivens ran out onto his lot where he sold his Christmas trees and said, "Are you boys intending on buying this tree or not?"
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briansthegreatest
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2017, 11:22:10 AM »

Sitcom Christmas episode script in the works? Grin
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I don't see the point in punishing Brian's musical output solely because Mike wants to wow the President Elect with how long he can weeze "wheeeeeeen" into a microphone.- rab2591
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 11:22:23 AM »



Next up?
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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 11:29:40 AM »

I just generally get a warm and fuzzy feeling from those sweaters. The only thing missing in my mind from the picture is a roaring fireplace.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2017, 11:34:34 AM »

Are the sweaters on the Today! album cover supposed to represent a different symbolism than on the Christmas album? They're essentially the same. Clean-cut American boys taking a break off-campus in their sharp sweaters and loafers.

Johnny Mathis and Andy Williams owned the sweater look on Christmas albums in the late 50's.
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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2017, 11:45:04 AM »

Is the cover of SIP an artistic image of Mike Love's warped mind? Evil
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I don't see the point in punishing Brian's musical output solely because Mike wants to wow the President Elect with how long he can weeze "wheeeeeeen" into a microphone.- rab2591
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2017, 11:49:52 AM »

Is the cover of SIP an artistic image of Mike Love's warped mind? Evil

It might be if it were an ocean full of self-portraits of Mike and Stamos floating around surrounded by bags of money and bikini models wearing scuba gear.
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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
briansthegreatest
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2017, 11:50:38 AM »

Plus BW trapped in a room on shore....
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I don't see the point in punishing Brian's musical output solely because Mike wants to wow the President Elect with how long he can weeze "wheeeeeeen" into a microphone.- rab2591
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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2017, 11:52:05 AM »

Yeah, sitting at a piano with an empty chair, notepad and pencil waiting for Mike...
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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
briansthegreatest
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2017, 12:05:29 PM »

And court settlement....
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I don't see the point in punishing Brian's musical output solely because Mike wants to wow the President Elect with how long he can weeze "wheeeeeeen" into a microphone.- rab2591
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2017, 12:16:40 PM »

And court settlement....
LOL LOL LOL
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2017, 12:30:28 PM »

I have to admit guys, I'm kind of impressed. It only took 6 or 7 posts to start talking about Mike instead of the album cover. It's really amazing Grin
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JK
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2017, 12:32:18 PM »

I was browsing Silken's BB album cover topic at PSF and had a good laugh at the invisible goat Dennis was feeding. But what if it wasn't invisible? And what if it were Bruce, squatting down behind the white goat with his mouth open hoping to get him some of this good food being handed out? Remember Bruce wasn't allowed on the front cover of PS "for contractual reasons" and thought up this ploy to get on it anyway. In that case, it wouldn't surprise me if Dennis, being Dennis, wasn't about to drop him something distinctly inedible.  LOL  

« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 01:59:42 PM by JK » Logged

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briansthegreatest
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« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2017, 12:35:41 PM »

I think you are onto something with the Bruce "the Goat" Johnston.
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I don't see the point in punishing Brian's musical output solely because Mike wants to wow the President Elect with how long he can weeze "wheeeeeeen" into a microphone.- rab2591
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« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2017, 01:02:03 PM »

I have to admit guys, I'm kind of impressed. It only took 6 or 7 posts to start talking about Mike instead of the album cover. It's really amazing Grin

Aim to please.  Grin

Funny, I was going to note something similar about seeing another of the regular if not daily name-checks of the PS forum show up here.  LOL
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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
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« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2017, 02:06:35 PM »

Great analysis Rick.

The one point that's in contention for me is Mike. I'm seeing his pose as supervisory; he's making sure things are going to plan, and is satisfied with Dennis' work. Perhaps he even sees a bit of himself in the kid?
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« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2017, 04:04:41 PM »

Dennis was the "adventurous" one, who surfed, raced cars, risking injury. So it makes sense for him to be the one climbing up on a stool or ladder to decorate the top of the tree.
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« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2017, 05:40:50 PM »

Clearly we have completely run out of interesting things to discuss...

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« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2017, 07:52:06 PM »

I can't believe nobody's noticed this yet: Carl, Mike and Al are wearing blue sweaters. So is Dennis but it's being covered up. Brian is the only one who wasn't wearing a blue sweater.

Clearly this signifies that Brian is the outstanding leader who doesn't need to conform to the rest of the group's conformity. Dennis - the most troubled person in the troupe even at that early stage - wants to conform but is covering it up. Carl, being the straightest of the Wilson brothers, was also the most conformal (if that's a word) and was eager to wear the blue sweater. Mike and Al were both confomists at the time and thus were pretty happy to wear the blue sweater.

For the Beach Boys, blue, of course, was the conformal color because it represents both the sunny blue California sky as well as the blue, surf-filled ocean.
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« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2017, 08:23:11 PM »

Is it just me or is the placement of those two Christmas balls beneath Carl's crotch really unfortunate?
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« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2017, 08:31:42 PM »

Alright let's get this bad boy going.....
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