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637859 Posts in 25496 Topics by 3625 Members - Latest Member: spgass September 22, 2018, 05:43:18 PM
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Author Topic: A Bizarre Retrospective on Friends  (Read 1063 times)
Gettin Hungry
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« on: June 28, 2018, 12:07:59 PM »

I came across this article on the Beach Boys 1968 album, Friends: https://www.theyoungfolks.com/music/122268/from-the-record-crate-the-beach-boys-friends-1968/

I was surprised there didn't seem to be much discussion about the album, considering its 50th anniversary just passed. However, this article has to be one of the stranger takes on the album I've ever read. The author repeatedly compares it to Pet Sounds and focuses entirely on Brian Wilson's contributions. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the article. And while you're at it, how about your own reflections on Friends?
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♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2018, 12:25:02 PM »

Agree with many of the points (Friends is my favorite album) but it seems like the writer unfairly overlooked Wild Honey, which is a shame.


Also,
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Wilson found new life in his artistry, effectively abandoning the bright summer tunes that made him famous in the first place (much to the distaste of his two brothers Carl and Dennis, his cousin Mike Love, and his friend Al Jardine)

Hmmm....
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 12:35:53 PM by ♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮ » Logged

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Gettin Hungry
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2018, 12:51:46 PM »

I found the last three paragraphs to be particularly strange, especially the parts I put in boldface.

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If Pet Sounds was the introduction to a tormented genius, Friends became a segue for Wilson to pour out an even bigger range of emotions. Due to the instrumental similarities between the two projects, people did not react to Friends with as much praise unfortunately. In a way, fans just kind of expected this from him it seemed like.

Eventually, the tour for the record failed miserably, and Friends flew under the radar. Even to this day, if you ask any mild Beach Boys fan about the 1968 release, most if not all would say they don’t remember it.

Unsurprisingly, Pet Sounds became a more successful body of work because it was ultimately sad. And people love sad music. Heck, sir Paul Mccartney said he still cries when he hears the song, “God Only Knows.” On the other hand, the lasting legacy of Friends ironically developed into a shrug for listeners. No one knows about it, but the record was just as inventive and forward-thinking as Pet Sounds. As an accomplished musician dealing with a drug problem, Wilson became an instant legend in the latter part of the 60s. And many were lucky to witness his magic at the time.

So Pet Sounds is a masterpiece because it's sad?
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♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2018, 12:54:10 PM »

Yeah that was a bit weird.
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RangeRoverA1
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2018, 07:33:58 PM »

No PS track is sad to me melody/ singing-wise. It's happy music to these ears. :D

Friends, otoh, is boring, few exceptions aside.
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Short notice: the cat you see to the left is the best. Not counting your indoor cat who might have habit sitting at your left side when you post at SmileySmile.

Droopy & Snoopy, respectively ugly & cute dogs, swapped places in cartoon history which brought havoc to either side.

At Halloween, Smiley posters should be disguised with smiley face masks. PS posters should be in green-brown costumes & each member imitates by mouth their favorite sounds. Easy, ain't it?
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2018, 05:04:53 AM »

Friends is my favorite too. For me, it has a lot in common with Smile, it's like a laid-back, more homespun, less psychedelic version of some of the stuff Brian was doing during those sessions. Friends may have been a group effort but Brian was clearly still involved as their overall creative leader. Imho that's pretty obvious despite the shared production credit and the other members' contributions to the songwriting process. Sunflower, on the other hand, despite Brian's presence throughout the sessions, doesn't sound like a very Brian album in terms of production, more like a Carl/Desper/Brian/Dennis/Bruce/Al team effort woth Brian involved but occasionally absent.
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JK
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2018, 04:37:48 AM »

No PS track is sad to me melody/ singing-wise. It's happy music to these ears. :D

Friends, otoh, is boring, few exceptions aside.

"IJWMFTT" happy music? And "Caroline, No"? Wistful, I'd say, rather than sad, but happy?

Friends is a wonderfully mellow album that has grown on me over the years.

That article sounds weird so I won't be reading it. Grin
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RangeRoverA1
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2018, 05:50:17 AM »

I hear NOTHING sad, wistful, similar moods in PS. As I said, it's happy music, i.e. music that brings positive, nice, joyful, happy abstract imagery. It's the way *I* hear it. Sad music to me is sth. like Bach's organ prelude which begins Tarkovsky's 70s film "Solaris".
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Short notice: the cat you see to the left is the best. Not counting your indoor cat who might have habit sitting at your left side when you post at SmileySmile.

Droopy & Snoopy, respectively ugly & cute dogs, swapped places in cartoon history which brought havoc to either side.

At Halloween, Smiley posters should be disguised with smiley face masks. PS posters should be in green-brown costumes & each member imitates by mouth their favorite sounds. Easy, ain't it?
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2018, 07:44:36 AM »

I'm going to generalize a bit, and I mean this purely to help other posters understand rather than attack or question, but if you look back through RangeRover's posts, there is a common thread of not finding lyrics particularly interesting or noteworthy.

In one old thread, in response to an assertion that "it ruins the listening to music if I try to hear what the song's about", I posited the question of whether then it would be okay if "Good Vibrations" were about a serial killer, or if "Heroes and Villains" was about massive diarrhea, and I was stunned that the answer was anything other than "of course not."

There's no wrong way to like this music. If you dig the music and don't care about (or don't listen to, or don't understand) the lyrics, then more power to you. But then it makes it difficult when someone who cares very little about lyrics seems incredulous as to why sad lyrics make a song sad, or dumb lyrics make what might be a musically okay song sound really awful (e.g. "Wrinkles", "Hey Little Tomboy", "Lazy Lizzie", etc.).
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RangeRoverA1
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2018, 08:03:47 AM »

It's difficult to see maybe but hearing song, I pay 100% attention to music. Lyrics I hear as voices that sing words, i.e. meaningless. Musically, I didn't & don't think PS is sad album. 2 tracks would be exception by not being exactly happy to these ears.  LGAFA is boring but it's got few nice things. "Don't Talk" isn't fave either but again, it's not sth. I'd describe sad.
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Short notice: the cat you see to the left is the best. Not counting your indoor cat who might have habit sitting at your left side when you post at SmileySmile.

Droopy & Snoopy, respectively ugly & cute dogs, swapped places in cartoon history which brought havoc to either side.

At Halloween, Smiley posters should be disguised with smiley face masks. PS posters should be in green-brown costumes & each member imitates by mouth their favorite sounds. Easy, ain't it?
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