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Poll
Question: Which do you think did better in 1965?
The Beach Boys
The Beatles

Pages: 1 [2] Go Down Print
Author Topic: 1965: The Beach Boys vs. The Beatles  (Read 2261 times)
Hickory Violet Part IV
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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2018, 11:47:30 AM »


Ideally, you would think this poll would be a win for The Beatles.


Would I?

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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2018, 03:14:22 PM »

Yeah, I was functioning on a lack of sleep when I wrote that LOL
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« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2018, 11:49:14 PM »

Just out of sheer stubbornness, as a US fan, I continue to rate the Fab Four on their US output. So, in 1965, there's 3 albums, 2 which I love: Beatles VI and Rubber Soul. Yes, THAT Rubber Soul, with I've Just Seen a Face and It's Only Love. Help! has 7 excellent Beatles songs, and a lot of annoying soundtrack instrumentals.
The Beach Boys also released 2 excellent albums, Beach Boys Today, and Summer Days and Summer Nights, and one that is definitely filler (although fun, enjoyable filler), Beach Boys Party. Singles? Well, there's Help, Ticket To Ride, Eight Days a Week, Yesterday, Day Tripper, We Can Work it Out. Some of their best ever. But then I look at the Beach Boys side, California Girls, Help Me Rhonda, Let Him Run Wild, The Little Girl I Once Knew....I think I have to vote Beach Boys this time. But both groups are doing absolutely phenomenal work here. Well, okay, I could live without Ba-ba-ba, Ba-babber Ann.
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« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2018, 08:45:43 AM »

This thread, and the last couple of threads on Beatles vs Beach Boys has got me thinking about their legacies.

My two favourite groups, as I'm sure is the case with a hell of a lot of fans of both bands.

Ideally, you would think this poll would be a win for The Beatles. It definitely is that case in terms of how you look at the albums and singles as they came out in 1965. However, when you compile 'the best' of the individual years of The Beach Boys, adding in unreleased choice cuts and using the best fidelity possible it comes across much, much closer than originally assumed in terms of musical value. In most other areas where it counts, in terms of live performances, star power, chart placements ect. The fabs knock the Beach Boys out cold.

But when you get to the heart of the best of Brian's studio work for the group, (not just starting with the coveted Pet Sounds, "Good Vibrations" and SMiLE stuff but throughout everything he/they have produced from 1961 to now) you see a sense of musical development , that is similarly awe-inspiring to The Beatles discography. The main difference when comparing both groups against each other is that the fab four distilled all of their best work between 1962-1970 into their 217 studio recordings plus maybe a mere dozen or so of their outtakes. When they broke up in April 1970 that was it, all their albums were out there in perfect fidelity. The recorded work already speaks for itself. Stuff like 'Leave My Kitten Alone', 'Come and Get It' and even the 'Strawberry Fields Demo' is fantastic but if it wasn't available it wouldn't alter the groups legacy in quite the same way that say, 40-50 of the best Beach Boys unreleased material can literally change the way you might look at their entire oeuvre. The BB's also had the unfortunate habit of spoiling a lot of would be out and out classic albums with filler and spoken word tracks with little musical value.

The Beach Boys are different, in that their musical legacy is still evolving in a way that is kind of impossible for John, Paul, George & Ringo. When John died in 1980, everyone and their mother was already familiar with everything Beatles. It took a long time, decades even, for Brian Wilson/Beach Boys music to get many of the plaudits from a musical perspective that they've always deserved. (Not saying that they weren't appreciated a hell of a lot, just saying that for years people have taken for granted just how perfect and absolutely thrilling their best work can be) Often it's seen as a case of the group sticking around and diluting their 'brand' for way, way, way, way too long,

But even as of 2018, whilst we are still getting incredible new stereo mixes, unreleased recordings, and their are accolades and exposure to new generations of fans and critics, the groups legacy will keep evolving in a way that was unprecedented even in the sixties. In this decade alone we've had the likes of, 'The SMiLE Sessions', 'Made In California', 'Sunshine Tomorrow', 'Party! Unplugged' and Live recordings from 1964, 1965 & 1966!

In quantity, the Beach Boys discography doesn't compare extremely favourably to the lads from liverpool, but separate the wheat from the chaff in The Beach Boys discography of say, '61-'71, (let's say the equivalent 217 recordings, distilled to the best available released and unreleased recordings. and you have a staggering catalog of music.

Below are my favourite BB recordings of 1965, ideally The Beatles would probably win for this year in terms of lyrics and influence alone. But in terms of exhilarating studio performances, and musicality which do I get more enjoyment out of? It depends on the day. That these recordings were largely the work of one man's enormous vision probably seals the deal for me.

God bless The Beach Boys for all that wonderful music.

My choice cuts from 1965 (using sparkling Stereo mixes where applicable)

1. Dance, Dance, Dance
2. Do You Wanna Dance?
3. Please Let Me Wonder
4. Good To My Baby
5. Don't Hurt My Little Sister
6. I'm So Young
7. Kiss Me, Baby
8. In The Back Of My Mind
9. Guess I'm Dumb (Instrumental)
10. All Dressed Up For School
11. Help Me, Rhonda
12. You're So Good To Me
13. The Girl From New York City
14. Amusement Parks U.S.A.
15. Then I Kissed Her
16. Salt Lake City
17. Girl Don't Tell Me
18. California Girls
19. Let Him Run Wild
20. Summer Means New Love
21. And Your Dreams Come True
22. Sandy, She Needs Me
23. The Little Girl I Once Knew
24. Graduation Day
25. Tell Me Why (Party! Sessions mix) *
26. Devoted to You (Party! Sessions mix)
27. There's No Other (Like My Baby) (Party! Sessions mix)
28. Barbara Ann (Single Version)


*Yeah I see the irony of including a Beatles cover, but it's so much fun to listen to, especially in its sessions form, that I almost like it as much as the original! LOL


That was good stuff, Sam, regardless of how much or how little sleep you had.

I'm sure we could all rank the 28 tracks you listed as your faves--and it's all great stuff, but some is transcendent and some of it is good stuff that went along for the ride...

----TRANSCENDENT--
3. Please Let Me Wonder
7. Kiss Me, Baby
11. Help Me, Rhonda [45/SDSN version]
18. California Girls
19. Let Him Run Wild
23. The Little Girl I Once Knew
26. Devoted to You (Party! Sessions mix)

---EXCELLENT, SHOWS ONGOING GROWTH---
8. In The Back Of My Mind
9. Guess I'm Dumb (Instrumental)

---BRIAN WORKING OUT HIS SPECTOR THING---
6. I'm So Young
15. Then I Kissed Her
22. Sandy, She Needs Me
27. There's No Other (Like My Baby) (Party! Sessions mix)

---PAYING FORWARD THE NEED FOR UP-TEMPO SINGLES*--
1. Dance, Dance, Dance
2. Do You Wanna Dance?
4. Good To My Baby
13. The Girl From New York City

*songs that fit the “formal” category even if they were not actual A-sides…

---ADVANCED ARRANGEMENTS ON ALREADY-FAMILIAR THEMES---
5. Don't Hurt My Little Sister
10. All Dressed Up For School
12. You're So Good To Me

--UP-TEMPO FILLER
14. Amusement Parks U.S.A.
16. Salt Lake City

---SMOOTHING THE BLEND, WHETHER VOCAL
OR INSTRUMENTAL---
20. Summer Means New Love
21. And Your Dreams Come True
24. Graduation Day

---ACKNOWLEDGING THE BEATLES---
17. Girl Don't Tell Me
25. Tell Me Why (Party! Sessions mix) *
29.* You've Got to Hide Your Love Away

*actual Beatles covers

---THE "KOKOMO" OF 1966---
28. Barbara Ann (Single Version)

Arguments here, as with ones about baseball--where folks have a bunch of fancy formulas with which to quantify things--are strongly aligned to "peak" vs. "career" (or, retooling this concept the sake of this year-by-year discussion format: "bulk"). We will never agree on which one of these concepts to use, nor will are we likely to reach agreement as to how to blend them--too many "aesthetic libertarians" and not enough time left in the life of the universe, etc.

But let's try, even if just for a parsec here. Just what would one mean by "transcendent"? I will leave to the reader to look up the definition and decide how to apply it. But from my vantage point, the seven songs in that list capture an absolute peak about the musical/spiritual essence of the group--part of what we might characterize as a "mountain range of achievement." These seven are going to part of the range that has the highest elevation. And "elevation" is a very good term here, as the songs should take the listener to someplace higher.

Feel free to quibble with the list, that's what we're here for--but I am confident I can defend all seven songs in terms of what was just defined. "Devoted To You" might raise eyebrows, but it speaks to two different essences within the group, a relationship to previous harmony groups in general and the "family blend," plus it captures the transcendent aspect of the "Brian and Mike" relationship that is so often overlooked and cast aside in the seemingly endless need to focus on the oppositional aspects of that association. Here we see it at its glorious best.

Of course, even in this formulation, and even with what I've written above, we will likely never agree that the seven BB tracks I've ranked that way are "transcendent." Polly Poller could do an up/down poll on those tracks and see how people feel about them, which might tell us something interesting. I defer to his decision as to whether to take a detour from this more straightforward polling effort to see if voters will participate in a more "ethereal" exercise. If the poll structure permits, simply list the seven songs in that "transcendent" list and ask--do you agree with the assertion that these songs are "transcendent"? Click on those for which you agree, don't click on the ones you disagree.

As far as this poll is concerned, the "transcendent" notion is what many are alluding to in how they characterize their preference for BBs. There is something more "exalted" in the BBs best work than any other group, and for many this outweighs the Beatles' more massive and enduring acclaim and greater success. Do the Beatles have seven "transcendent" songs in 1965? Are all of their five #1 singles in that year "transcendent," or do they fit into some of the other categories I've listed above that apply to the rest of Sam's list of 28 (now 29) BB songs from 1965.

I don't want to impose my opinions about the Beatles' songs in this post in the hopes that a few of the participants here might find a way to pick up on these slightly hazy thoughts and run with them on their own. I recognize that this is really coming out of left field...and now I'll shut up and see if anyone decides to give it a go.
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« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2018, 10:50:48 AM »

That's pretty insulting to the entire board frankly.

Also, why would the debate influencing someone's vote be a bad thing?
I'd appreciate it if people didn't exaggerate things I say & if they read it carefully before replying.

Well Beatles is ubiquitous band, there's plenty information, books about it. Everybody knows at least the Abc. In 1963 thread, BBs won. It's 1st year comparison. Then 1964, you & others started bringing up the well-known facts about Beatles' influential status, greatest band, best selling music act etc. that the pendulum swang towards Beatles. So, the way I see it is some people chose Beatles after re-reading these documented facts. It made me suspicious that they could've picked the BBs but didn't/ hesitated to do. I.e. these posts opened their eyes & they suddenly see they're wrong when, again, the points raised in Beatles' favor were just mention of old facts written elsewhere. If they like BBs' 1964 stuff better, they should stick to BBs. You ask why is it bad thing - but, is it good thing if people change minds fast, not really reliable?

I think your assumption that someone's mind would be changed, as well as your assumption that people changing their mind would be a bad thing, are both insulting to anybody if not everybody in the discussion.

I also think you're overstating how much people have simply spouted "well-known facts" about the Beatles, as if people arguing "for" the Beatles have only statistics on their side. I've made a number of arguments pertaining to the music itself. I've pointed out specific song titles, and how the BBs albums usually had some amount of filler or lesser material where the Beatles albums were strong front-to-back.
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« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2018, 11:10:42 AM »

As to 1965, both "Today" and "Summer Days" are great, great albums. I actually rate them closer together in quality than some other fans who seem to feel "Today" is markedly better.

"Today" still has a bit of filler and a few solid but not great songs. "Bull Session" is filler, no question. I don't rate the "I'm So Young" cover or "Don't Hurt My Little Sister" as highly as the rest of the songs on the album, and I also think this first iteration of "Help Me Ronda" is kind of limp, and has strange backing vocals. Great album, but it's got a few "skippable" bits.

"Summer Days" - the best stuff on this is right on par with "Today." I do think the first couple of songs ("The Girl from New York City" and "Amusement Parks USA") are slightly lesser material; I've always been perplexed as to why the album leads off with those. I guess they're up-tempo. I LOOOVE "Salt Lake City", but it's weird pandering is a little bizarre. Many bands have written about places they like or lived or enjoyed visiting. But this is a bit too "Chamber of Commerce" lyrically. "I'm Bugged...." is obviously interesting as an insight into Brian. But isn't a-list material in terms of enjoying it musically. I've also never been super up on "Summer Means New Love." Love it as an insight into Brian's production and arrangement; it's got nice chord changes. But it's undeniably a bit elevator music-ish in a way that the PS instrumentals (even "Let's Go Away for Awhile) were not.

"Party" is a curio. It's impossible to dislike it. But it's just not substantive on the same level as the other albums.

With the Beatles, both "Help" and "Rubber Soul" are strong start to finish. The weakest material is Ringo's cover of "Act Naturally", which is still a great performance, and their cover of "Dizzy Miss Lizzie", which is still a barn burner with a *great* Lennon vocal. Note that the Beatles were much more discerning in crafting their albums, with three *obviously* inferior tracks being recorded and trashed ("That Means a Lot", "If You've Got Trouble", and "12 Bar Original.") Even Harrison's material on these albums is top notch. The worst criticism I could come up with on "Help" is that they used that same electric keyboard on so many of the songs. But even the "obscure" stuff on these albums like McCartney's "Tell Me What You See" or "You Won't See Me" are amazing, melodic McCartney.

Both albums have upbeat stuff and somber stuff. But there's nothing goofy like there is on the BB albums. The Beatles sound like adults on "Norwegian Wood." The BBs, even in the transcendent, otherworldly moments on their '65 albums, still seemed to *want* to sound like teenagers. George Harrison was writing "Think for Yourself" at *22 years old.*

And then in the mix of all of that is a double-sided amazing single with "We Can Work It Out" and "Day Tripper." Still amazing that, in the UK, they so often said "Meh, f*** it, we won't even put our #1 singles on the albums!"

I've read about a billion "UK vs. US" debates regarding versions of "Rubber Soul", but I think many will acknowledge that objectively as a collection of songs, the UK version is more substantive. It was the, in my opinion *slightly weaker* US version (with four *amazing* songs cut and two older but still great "Help" songs added) that stunningly spurred Brian to new creative heights. Brian's mind was blown by "Rubber Soul" *without* "Nowhere Man", "Drive My Car", "If I Needed Someone", and "What Goes On."

So yes, 1965 I think clearly goes to the Beatles. And the BBs did amazing material in 1965.
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« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2018, 11:17:52 AM »

Quite frankly I see nothing wrong with facts and objective discussion about the music of both bands...and if such talk sways people’s votes in a poll, so be it. We’re partially here because we want to learn more about The Beach Boys and one good way to do that is by learning about their biggest “competitors”.

But I also see nothing wrong with some people solely talking about the spiritual aspect of The Beach Boys music in these poll discussions. We’re here to learn about our favorite band but we’re also here to share what makes us love this band so much...trying to stifle one or the other is foolish.

Honestly I get more enjoyment out of knowing that people share that spiritual connection with this music than knowing that Wouldn’t It Nice was recorded on Jan 22 1966 at Gold Star. Facts have their place here, no doubt. Talk of chart numbers, chord progressions, compositions, etc. But we also shouldn’t discourage people sharing that spiritual connection for the 100th time either...even if that’s all they contribute.
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« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2018, 12:00:19 PM »

About the "age" issue, the Beatles did indeed have an advantage. First, two of their members were older than any of the Beach Boys. Second, they had the Hamburg experience that took away all illusions of innocence and helped bring on a snarky attitude as shown by George in his early compositions.(I like the snark BTW)
When the Today! album came out, Dennis had just turned 20, and Carl was 18 when he sang Girl Don't Tell Me.

On another issue, am I allowed to say that the songs In My Life and Yes It Is affected me emotionally/spiritually?  Grin
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« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2018, 01:39:05 PM »

It's good to hash out the parameters of these polls and the criteria. I was weighing in chart positions and success as much as personal opinion, but that may not have been the intention of the polls to begin with. I wasn't clear on that. But knowing that's the case, whoever it was that mentioned this being a Beach Boys board with almost a natural swaying of opinion toward them if it's mostly based on feelings and opinions was right about that. I hope there is still room for criteria like how well did a song or album actually do and how many people did it reach and influence *at the time* versus decades later. Because that does matter, unless it's all opinion-based with no room for that.

I guess apart from this, and not specific to The Beatles v Beach Boys, if a 1967 poll were taken I'd bet you'd see some calling that the year of The Zombies or Love, based on two incredible albums released when the respective bands were all but splintered yet those albums took on a huge cache of influence decades later. It doesn't factor in what actually took place when those albums came out, unless that's not a parameter to include.
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« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2018, 05:15:56 PM »

Beatles were doing it better in 1965.  Yes, there are some Today tracks that were very mature for their time, but a few tracks that were just decent.  They even had to have a do-over with Help Me Ronda/Rhonda on the next album which was kind of lame (although a superior re-make).  The Beach Boys were even covering three Beatles songs on Party.  Help! was a transitional album that most bands would kill to have.  Rubber Soul is a watershed album combined with a double A side of Day Tripper and We Can Work It Out.  I love the Beach Boys, but The Beatles are tops for me in 1965 based on Rubber Soul and the single alone.  Add the Help! LP and the two B-sides and it's over.
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« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2018, 07:01:03 AM »

It's good to hash out the parameters of these polls and the criteria. I was weighing in chart positions and success as much as personal opinion, but that may not have been the intention of the polls to begin with. I wasn't clear on that. But knowing that's the case, whoever it was that mentioned this being a Beach Boys board with almost a natural swaying of opinion toward them if it's mostly based on feelings and opinions was right about that. I hope there is still room for criteria like how well did a song or album actually do and how many people did it reach and influence *at the time* versus decades later. Because that does matter, unless it's all opinion-based with no room for that.

I guess apart from this, and not specific to The Beatles v Beach Boys, if a 1967 poll were taken I'd bet you'd see some calling that the year of The Zombies or Love, based on two incredible albums released when the respective bands were all but splintered yet those albums took on a huge cache of influence decades later. It doesn't factor in what actually took place when those albums came out, unless that's not a parameter to include.

These polls started last month on the PSF, and the primary intention was to use personal tastes / opinions.  Let's face it, if voters were 100% objective, using popularity, charts, etc, The Beatles would easily win each year with the possible exception of 1966. 

But, I think there's room for all kinds of reasoning why one would vote one way or the other. 
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« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2018, 07:50:50 AM »

It's good to hash out the parameters of these polls and the criteria. I was weighing in chart positions and success as much as personal opinion, but that may not have been the intention of the polls to begin with. I wasn't clear on that. But knowing that's the case, whoever it was that mentioned this being a Beach Boys board with almost a natural swaying of opinion toward them if it's mostly based on feelings and opinions was right about that. I hope there is still room for criteria like how well did a song or album actually do and how many people did it reach and influence *at the time* versus decades later. Because that does matter, unless it's all opinion-based with no room for that.

I guess apart from this, and not specific to The Beatles v Beach Boys, if a 1967 poll were taken I'd bet you'd see some calling that the year of The Zombies or Love, based on two incredible albums released when the respective bands were all but splintered yet those albums took on a huge cache of influence decades later. It doesn't factor in what actually took place when those albums came out, unless that's not a parameter to include.

These polls started last month on the PSF, and the primary intention was to use personal tastes / opinions.  Let's face it, if voters were 100% objective, using popularity, charts, etc, The Beatles would easily win each year with the possible exception of 1966. 

But, I think there's room for all kinds of reasoning why one would vote one way or the other. 

Yeah, Watamushi has been very clear in each of these threads that voters need to vote “by your personal preference (not the historical significance, critical or commercial success)

I think its more of a thread about how Beach Boys/Beatles songs move us personally. Shouldn’t mean we can’t discuss chart places, style, etc, though.
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« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2018, 07:54:54 AM »

It's good to hash out the parameters of these polls and the criteria. I was weighing in chart positions and success as much as personal opinion, but that may not have been the intention of the polls to begin with. I wasn't clear on that. But knowing that's the case, whoever it was that mentioned this being a Beach Boys board with almost a natural swaying of opinion toward them if it's mostly based on feelings and opinions was right about that. I hope there is still room for criteria like how well did a song or album actually do and how many people did it reach and influence *at the time* versus decades later. Because that does matter, unless it's all opinion-based with no room for that.

I guess apart from this, and not specific to The Beatles v Beach Boys, if a 1967 poll were taken I'd bet you'd see some calling that the year of The Zombies or Love, based on two incredible albums released when the respective bands were all but splintered yet those albums took on a huge cache of influence decades later. It doesn't factor in what actually took place when those albums came out, unless that's not a parameter to include.

These polls started last month on the PSF, and the primary intention was to use personal tastes / opinions.  Let's face it, if voters were 100% objective, using popularity, charts, etc, The Beatles would easily win each year with the possible exception of 1966. 

But, I think there's room for all kinds of reasoning why one would vote one way or the other. 

Yeah, Watamushi has been very clear in each of these threads that voters need to vote “by your personal preference (not the historical significance, critical or commercial success)

I think its more of a thread about how Beach Boys/Beatles songs move us personally. Shouldn’t mean we can’t discuss chart places, style, etc, though.

I agree 100% that all factors should be a part of the discussions.   
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« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2018, 10:25:34 AM »

One element to note on both sides would be the influence of drugs, namely pot, on both bands' releases in 1965. Brian has said "side 2" of Today was written under the influence, and the Beatles have said around the time of the Help filming that they were almost perpetually stoned, and having marijuana for breakfast. Then it gets further into the cases of California Girls and the music made after John and George got dosed unknowingly at that dentist's party in London. It changed the music, no matter how one feels about the taking of drugs.

And if you listen to it overall, especially the textures, the grooves, and the way the songs ebb and flow throughout..."Rubber Soul" is one of the highest albums ever released. Going on the full UK version, on certain tracks like Girl, Nowhere Man, Norwegian Wood...you can hear the influence plain as day in the way the songs are sung and played. It's more organic in that way, just like hearing the themes of side 2 Today, without being or trying to be overt about it as some lesser artists would do that became almost a parody.

So I do think when Brian heard Rubber Soul, and it hit him hard (in a good way) as an entire, whole album that is a gas start to finish, I think he may have picked up on that more esoteric element just as he may have picked up on the LSD-like flow of Strawberry Fields when he first heard that on the radio while driving with Michael Vosse in '67.
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« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2018, 10:32:35 AM »

I'm sure someone has posed this question at some point over the years, but imagine McCartney getting his hands on a version of "Pet Sounds" that was altered in the same way the US "Rubber Soul" was that Brian absorbed.

Imagine "Pet Sounds", minus 3 or 4 songs, and with 3 or 4 songs flown in from "Summer Days." Imagine, perhaps, "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times", and "Here Today" being cut in favor of "Let Him Run Wild", "You're So Good to Me", and "Salt Lake City."

I really have no conclusion to reach from such a hypothetical (and admittedly kind of useless) scenario. But maybe something slightly interesting to chew on.
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THE BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE IS ON FACEBOOK!!! http://www.facebook.com/beachboysopinion - Check out the original "BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE" Blog - http://beachboysopinion.blogspot.com/
Watamushi(Polly Poller)
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« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2018, 01:23:05 AM »

Result:

The Beach Boys  19 votes
The Beatles 14 votes

The winner in 1965 is The Beach Boys.

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« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2018, 09:01:04 PM »

The winner in 1965 is The Beach Boys.
We should throw the party BBs style. 3D Cheesy
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