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Author Topic: Songs That Should’ve Been Hits  (Read 1285 times)
BananaLouie
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« on: March 22, 2019, 06:39:01 AM »

This topic has probably been covered before but what Beach Boys song (released or otherwise) do you think should’ve been released as a single? Or perhaps a single that should’ve charted higher? For me there are many but one in particular is Soulful Old Man Sunshine, I think it sounded radio friendly and commercial with the potential to be a hit. I also think the catchy Slip On Through single should’ve made a bigger impact on the charts.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 07:03:04 AM by BananaLouie » Logged

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Steve Latshaw
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 09:18:58 AM »

Should have been singles or bigger hits:
MARCELLA - I think had this been the lead single it might have been a hit.  It's a question of taking your best first shot and this had everything you wanted in a classic Beach Boys single - but sounded fresh and modern.
ROLLER SKATING CHILD - should have been the lead single from Love You
COUNTRY PIE - Had The Beach Boys recorded a version of this in 1978 it would have been a big summer hit, based on the reactions of crowds at concerts that year.  But given the dynamics of the band, recording the song was just not going to happen.  Hate it or love it, it had hit song written all over it in the summer of 1978, especially in the midwest.
MATCHPOINT OF OUR LOVE - should have been a single in the fall of 1978... it had that soft disco shuffle later heard in Dr. Hook's WHEN YOU'RE IN LOVE WITH A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.  Great melody, catchy and hook-filled and Brian's best vocal in years.  Far superior to HERE COMES THE NIGHT. And speaking from experience, it sounded great on the radio.
HERE COMES THE NIGHT - supposedly there is a 3 minute version of this that is incredibly commercial.
ANGEL COME HOME - Bruce had high hopes for this as a single, as I recall from his PET SOUNDS magazine interview in the fall of 1978.  It reminded me of the band Exile ("I Wanna Kiss You All Over").
CONSTANT COMPANION - According to Carli Munoz, Carl Wilson wanted this to be the lead single from what became LA Light Album.  I think Dennis' track and vocal, augmented by The Beach Boys, would have been a 1979 hit in the same way Goodnight Tonight was for Paul McCartney & Wings
ROLLER SKATING CHILD (LIVE) - I heard from some sources at the time that there was some thought given to recording a disco version of this as a single in 1979.  It was in the set list all year.  If true, it was, of course, DOA after the reaction to HCTN.
KEEPIN' THE SUMMER ALIVE - Should have been the lead-off track from the album of the same name.
RUNAWAY (LIVE) - I think CBS dropped the ball on this one.  Paul McCartney was just coming off a hit record with his live version of COMING UP.  I think a release of Runaway as a follow-up to COME GO WITH ME would have been a hit.  Not particularly creative - but a top 30 hit at least.
ROCK & ROLL TO THE RESCUE - Don't get me wrong - I love this song just the way it is... vocals, production, everything.  But I think it would have peaked at a much higher chart position if Mike had been singing lead instead of Brian.
STILL CRUISIN'- I don't know why this didn't do well - it's a car song, had placement in a major studio movie and was one of the best tracks from the Terry Melcher era.
SOUL SEARCHIN' - It's a great pity this project fell apart.  I think this and That's Why God Made the Radio are the last two genuine Brian Wilson hit singles for The Beach Boys

Just my two cents...
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 09:20:29 AM »

Should have been singles or bigger hits:

ROLLER SKATING CHILD - should have been the lead single from Love You

MATCHPOINT OF OUR LOVE - should have been a single in the fall of 1978... it had that soft disco shuffle later heard in Dr. Hook's WHEN YOU'RE IN

CONSTANT COMPANION - According to Carli Munoz, Carl Wilson wanted this to be the lead single from what became LA Light Album.  I think Dennis' track and vocal, augmented by The Beach Boys, would have been a 1979 hit in the same way Goodnight Tonight was for Paul McCartney & Wings


Completely agree about these.
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The LEGENDARY OSD
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2019, 09:39:21 AM »


PITTER PATTER
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2019, 12:04:57 PM »

Lahaina Aloha.
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2019, 12:27:47 PM »

I think Funky Pretty should have been on side A of their second single for Holland. Give the 45 some cosmic artwork to go along with it. I think that song is much like 'Good Vibrations' in how timeless it sounds.
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2019, 01:15:01 PM »

In terms of the more personal, subjective "I like this song a lot, I think it should have been a hit!", then there are countless great under-recognized songs in the catalog.

If we're talking about positing that, had such-and-such song been pulled from an already-existing album and pushed as a single, it *would have* been a hit, then I think we're in much murkier territory.

I can really only think of a few examples where, had single release strategies been altered, they would have seen another minor to moderate hit. But even then, some of those examples would be items that *were* pulled as a singles but could have been pushed differently (timing wise for instance) to gain more traction. Things like pushing "It's OK" earlier and harder.

But most of the stuff, including the good or great stuff, off of latter-day albums, wasn't often in step with anything else that was popular at the time. I don't think there was any way they would have seen hit status with "Marcella" in 1972. It didn't rock hard enough to play to that audience, and wasn't poppy enough for the other.

Similarly, I don't think anything off of "Love You" would have gained much more traction on the singles charts. Same with MIU, etc.

I don't think lead vocal switch offs on that latter-day stuff would have helped with the charts. "Rock and Roll to the Rescue" was never going to be a hit, even with Mike singing. Mike sang the lead on "Getcha Back", and that was absolutely as good as they could have mustered on the single charts in 85/86.

One of the few compelling arguments I've seen for a single potentially being more popular with a different singer was, interestingly, as I recall, Jon Stebbins positing that "Do You Wanna Dance" would have done better on the charts with a Mike lead. I think that was possible during their peak chart era in 63-66-ish.

The main way the band, especially in the post-KTSA 80s, could have snagged a hit single would have been to go somewhat the Chicago route of pairing with a David Foster-type and using outside writers (or at least co-writers) and outside producers. Steve Levine was a bit like that, but I'm not even sure if Levine was an absolute A-lister even in 1985. He was a successful producer, no question. But I'm not sure if he was in the same category as Hugh Padgham or David Foster and folks of that ilk.

The Brian/Paley mid-90s stuff was *never* going to garner a hit single. Much like McCartney's work with Elvis Costello in 87/88, the Paley stuff was (or would have been) about making a critically well-received *album* (that could have also performed well on the charts). But those songs weren't going to be hits in 1995. Even McCartney, who was producing, to varying degrees, more "commercial" single releases in that era, wasn't getting traction on the *singles* chart.

By the 90s, the BBs could have and should have gone the "Flaming Pie" route of doing well on the album charts, getting good *album* reviews, and getting Grammy nods for *albums*.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 11:27:01 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2019, 09:05:43 PM »

Breakaway and Cottonfields should have been hits.  Long Promised Road as well.  Marcella the studio version is way too plodding . The BB were doing far superior live versions to their songs in the 70s . Marcella Roller Skating Child sail on sailor off the top of my head
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2019, 12:04:10 AM »

*cough* It's About Time *cough*
« Last Edit: March 23, 2019, 12:04:47 AM by pdas1996 » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2019, 05:27:00 AM »

I agree with the original poster about Marcella, Angel Come Home and Constant Companion.

I wish the Beach Boys had found Jack Rieley before they had left Capitol. I think Jack would have known not to waste Breakaway and Celebrate the News on a single Capitol was never going to promote. Give Capitol We're Together again and a cover for the B-side, then use Breakaway/Celebrate The News as a selling point to get a new deal, while beginning the image makeover (no more stage uniforms, longer and better shows, etc.) that restored their credibility.

THEN you release Breakaway and watch it become a million and two seller. :-)
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chewy
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2019, 05:34:22 AM »

god thats so weird i just started freaking out about our car club, and then i see this---- so ill add one: catch a wave, not a single either. 
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2019, 11:22:08 AM »

I think pushing Add Some Music as Sunflower's lead single was a total mistake. The harmonies are great, but lyrics about a dentist chair obviously weren't going to fare well going into the 70's... Pushing It's About Time or All I Wanna Do as A side lead singles would've been much better in marketing towards the Hard Rock or Art Pop markets respectively.
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Bill30022
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2019, 05:17:14 PM »

“Marcella” from “In Concert” - It rocks much better than the studio version.

“It’s OK” - It should have been the first single from 15BO

“Time to Get Alone”

“All I Wanna Do” - Mike Love’s finest movie

“Where I Belong”

“From There to Back Again” - Best thing the band recorded since “Til I Die”.

“Soulful Old Man Sunshine”
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2019, 01:38:28 PM »

I always thought Drive-In would have been a huge hit despite the dead air.
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2019, 01:47:08 PM »



Lady Lynda - if the song didn't have the awkward (IMO) bach intro.  If the song started with Al singing "Lady" . . . .at about 0:23 in  - makes for a much better song IMO
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« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2019, 10:45:22 AM »

'Let The Wind Blow' b/w 'Aren't You Glad'. Double a side.
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