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Author Topic: BB albums sabotaged by one song  (Read 1751 times)
B.E.
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« on: March 26, 2019, 02:48:24 PM »

Are there any albums that you feel are significantly let down by the inclusion of one song? Feel free to expand your answers to include any specific element of an album that bothers you.

1) Surfer Girl: This may still rate as a classic, all-time great album, but the inclusion of "South Bay Surfer" epically undermines its greatness. I like the underlying song, but the performance, arrangement, production, and sequence leave a lot to be desired. It's entirely out of place; whereas, the rest of the album is fantastic and cohesive. If it weren't for this blunder Surfer Girl would easily be among my top 10 favorite BB albums. Instead, it's #15.

2) Shut Down Vol. 2: This album could stand to lose 2-3 of its tracks. The disparity between the best and worst material does not make for an enjoyable listening experience. That said, sequencing "Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson" in the middle of Side 1 was a huge mistake. I had the same misgiving with "South Bay Surfer". In my opinion, if you are going to include an inferior song on an album you are best off hiding it in the middle of Side 2 and if you are going to include a talk track you are best off including it as the last track (that way it can be heard as a bonus/hidden track). The sequencing of "Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson" torpedoed the listening experience. It's a shame when you consider just how great 3/4 of this album is. I never listen to it from start to finish.

3) Smiley Smile: Okay, I'm only being half serious with this one, but "Good Vibrations" takes me out of this album! Production-wise, it's jarring. Simple as that. I've said before that GV is probably my most skipped BB song, and that's true. It's also one of my favorite BB songs. So, do I believe that Smiley Smile is worse off because of it? No.

4) Carl & the Passions - So Tough: I feel like this album is a bit underrated. Personally, I prefer it to Surf's Up. Unfortunately, it only has 8 songs. I love 7 of them. "Here She Comes" is not one of them. To make matters worse, for me, it's sequenced 2nd and is over 5 minutes long. Not ideal. The lead vocals are also mixed ridiculously low relative to the rest of the album (and most importantly the songs immediately preceding and following it). I don't hate the song, though. The fade out is awesome. Perhaps with a better mix, edit, and another Beach Boy sharing the lead with Ricky, I'd love it too.

5) Keepin' The Summer Alive - Mike's nasal lead vocals, and the production thereof, on "Some Of Your Love" and "Santa Ana Winds" really brings the album down for me. It's too bad, because I think it's actually a pretty good album, all things considered. "Santa Ana Winds" is especially frustrating because it was such an easy fix. Just have someone else sing his lead vocal line if he couldn't get it right. His bass vocal part is fantastic.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 03:13:57 PM by B.E. » Logged
Needleinthehay
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2019, 05:37:44 PM »

Student Demonstration Time on Surf's Up. Really the 1 song that messes up a classic album
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2019, 05:56:28 PM »

.

3) Smiley Smile: Okay, I'm only being half serious with this one, but "Good Vibrations" takes me out of this album! Production-wise, it's jarring. Simple as that. I've said before that GV is probably my most skipped BB song, and that's true. It's also one of my favorite BB songs. So, do I believe that Smiley Smile is worse off because of it? No.


Yes! I wonder if substituting the Lai'd In Hawaii version of Good Vibrations would temper that. I've never tried it though.
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B.E.
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2019, 06:33:58 PM »

3) Smiley Smile: Okay, I'm only being half serious with this one, but "Good Vibrations" takes me out of this album! Production-wise, it's jarring. Simple as that. I've said before that GV is probably my most skipped BB song, and that's true. It's also one of my favorite BB songs. So, do I believe that Smiley Smile is worse off because of it? No.


Yes! I wonder if substituting the Lai'd In Hawaii version of Good Vibrations would temper that. I've never tried it though.

Good idea. I'll try that sometime.
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2019, 08:57:13 PM »

Are there any albums that you feel are significantly let down by the inclusion of one song? Feel free to expand your answers to include any specific element of an album that bothers you.

1) Surfer Girl: This may still rate as a classic, all-time great album, but the inclusion of "South Bay Surfer" epically undermines its greatness. I like the underlying song, but the performance, arrangement, production, and sequence leave a lot to be desired. It's entirely out of place; whereas, the rest of the album is fantastic and cohesive. If it weren't for this blunder Surfer Girl would easily be among my top 10 favorite BB albums. Instead, it's #15.

2) Shut Down Vol. 2: This album could stand to lose 2-3 of its tracks. The disparity between the best and worst material does not make for an enjoyable listening experience. That said, sequencing "Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson" in the middle of Side 1 was a huge mistake. I had the same misgiving with "South Bay Surfer". In my opinion, if you are going to include an inferior song on an album you are best off hiding it in the middle of Side 2 and if you are going to include a talk track you are best off including it as the last track (that way it can be heard as a bonus/hidden track). The sequencing of "Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson" torpedoed the listening experience. It's a shame when you consider just how great 3/4 of this album is. I never listen to it from start to finish.

3) Smiley Smile: Okay, I'm only being half serious with this one, but "Good Vibrations" takes me out of this album! Production-wise, it's jarring. Simple as that. I've said before that GV is probably my most skipped BB song, and that's true. It's also one of my favorite BB songs. So, do I believe that Smiley Smile is worse off because of it? No.

4) Carl & the Passions - So Tough: I feel like this album is a bit underrated. Personally, I prefer it to Surf's Up. Unfortunately, it only has 8 songs. I love 7 of them. "Here She Comes" is not one of them. To make matters worse, for me, it's sequenced 2nd and is over 5 minutes long. Not ideal. The lead vocals are also mixed ridiculously low relative to the rest of the album (and most importantly the songs immediately preceding and following it). I don't hate the song, though. The fade out is awesome. Perhaps with a better mix, edit, and another Beach Boy sharing the lead with Ricky, I'd love it too.

5) Keepin' The Summer Alive - Mike's nasal lead vocals, and the production thereof, on "Some Of Your Love" and "Santa Ana Winds" really brings the album down for me. It's too bad, because I think it's actually a pretty good album, all things considered. "Santa Ana Winds" is especially frustrating because it was such an easy fix. Just have someone else sing his lead vocal line if he couldn't get it right. His bass vocal part is fantastic.

Fantastic thread idea.

Completely agree about the Surfer Girl album. It is still one of my favorites, but when I listen to the vinyl I kinda just have to block out when 'South Bay Surfer' comes on.

As for Carl and Passions, I think 'Here She Comes' is so damn catchy, it's one of my more played tracks from that album - that bass riff is so fast, the drums have such a rhythmic punch, and that chorus with those harmonies makes such a great Flame sound but done in a Beach Boys fashion. Having said all that: Carl and Passions needed the equivalent of a book editor to whittle down the song times. There are only two songs on that album that are basically under or around 3 minutes. The songs just seem to go on and on...and their all great songs! But a few minutes into 'Cuddle Up' I'm like, I get it already, and 2 minutes is still left on the song. Anywho, that's my lousy armchair quarterback qualm with the album. I'm beyond happy we have all this music, so this isn't supposed to be a rip at the album, just an observation.

SDT is a travesty on Surf's Up. I have heard every in-depth analysis of the song and why it's not as bad as many of us think. I don't care, my ears tell me it's bad. I think contextually it fits perfectly, but the final product with ear-splitting sirens, Mike singing through a megaphone...it's just too jarring for the album.

And to add my own to the mix:

All Summer Long's 'Our Favorite Recording Session' - basically the entire album is chock full of hooks, harmonies, killer chords, hits (even a #1 hit), and the flow is kinda just abruptly halted by the filler talking track. Idk, it doesn't really sabotage the album, but on the other hand, I'm less likely to play it when other people are around lest they have to hear Mike Love's fake southern accent. And I'm not knocking that either, I'm glad these guys had fun, and I'm glad they thought it would be funny to put on a record. I'm just less inclined to play it for other people because of how weird that track is.
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2019, 09:05:58 AM »

Anywho, that's my lousy armchair quarterback qualm with the album. I'm beyond happy we have all this music, so this isn't supposed to be a rip at the album, just an observation.

Absolutely, rab. It's understood.

All Summer Long's 'Our Favorite Recording Session' - basically the entire album is chock full of hooks, harmonies, killer chords, hits (even a #1 hit), and the flow is kinda just abruptly halted by the filler talking track. Idk, it doesn't really sabotage the album, but on the other hand, I'm less likely to play it when other people are around lest they have to hear Mike Love's fake southern accent. And I'm not knocking that either, I'm glad these guys had fun, and I'm glad they thought it would be funny to put on a record. I'm just less inclined to play it for other people because of how weird that track is.

Yeah, I was just having a little fun using the word "sabotage" in the title, but if a certain aspect of the album keeps you from playing it as often as you otherwise would then it deserves a mention. I appreciate the little bit of effort put into the last few seconds of OFRS to set up the final track. Brian says, "Let's make one. You guys ready? Let's go."

Out of curiosity, how highly do you rank All Summer Long among your favorite BB albums? Would it be higher if it weren't for OFRS? Personally, All Summer Long has always been top 5 for me. Usually, either 3rd or 4th.
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2019, 10:10:53 AM »

I would like to point out first, that it is actually Al Jardine singing lead on Santa Ann Winds. I really like this song, but agree that the vocal is a bit jarring.  Al can do better than that.

As for Good Vibrations on Smiley Smile, I think you are saying the production sticks out. Which is true. What if it was replaced with the Leid in Hawaii version? I think the production would fit better. Heroes and Villains also sticks out a bit and perhaps the same live version of that song.  I agree 100% with Student Demo. I do like the song as maybe a single only, but doesn't fit the album.
A few for me:

1 Pet Sounds- Sloop John B. This may be a minor quibble, because it doesn't stick out too much. My main complaint is that it's not a Beach Boys original. Good Vibrations would have fit if it was ready, or maybe The Little Girl I Once Knew. This was make put all originals on one of the greatest albums ever. If it could have been Good Vibrations,  this would add even more intrigue commercially as well as artistically.

2 Wild Honey-Mamma Says. Replace this with Can't Wait Too Long to end the album and I would be a happy man!

3. Love You-Good Time. Though I like the song, it seems odd to have a production from 1970??? with these 1977 songs. Given how much their voices and the production had changed.
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2019, 10:21:14 AM »

I would like to point out first, that it is actually Al Jardine singing lead on Santa Ann Winds.

Mike sings...
"And see the San Gabriel Mountain scene"
"Becoming one with the boundless sea"
"Whispering the wisdom and its purity"

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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2019, 10:31:05 AM »

The only one that I could truly say sabotages an otherwise seamless album is Student Demonstration Time.  It never fails; I'm listening to that album thinking how amazing it is...song after great song...and then the siren starts blaring and Mike's voice comes through a megaphone.  Just awful. 
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2019, 10:35:01 AM »

Oh, I forgot.  I might get attacked for this, but I really don't feel like Sloop John B fits on Pet Sounds.  It's obviously a great track in its own right but it really stands out to me as being very different from all the rest. 
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2019, 11:12:01 AM »

Anywho, that's my lousy armchair quarterback qualm with the album. I'm beyond happy we have all this music, so this isn't supposed to be a rip at the album, just an observation.

Absolutely, rab. It's understood.

All Summer Long's 'Our Favorite Recording Session' - basically the entire album is chock full of hooks, harmonies, killer chords, hits (even a #1 hit), and the flow is kinda just abruptly halted by the filler talking track. Idk, it doesn't really sabotage the album, but on the other hand, I'm less likely to play it when other people are around lest they have to hear Mike Love's fake southern accent. And I'm not knocking that either, I'm glad these guys had fun, and I'm glad they thought it would be funny to put on a record. I'm just less inclined to play it for other people because of how weird that track is.

Yeah, I was just having a little fun using the word "sabotage" in the title, but if a certain aspect of the album keeps you from playing it as often as you otherwise would then it deserves a mention. I appreciate the little bit of effort put into the last few seconds of OFRS to set up the final track. Brian says, "Let's make one. You guys ready? Let's go."

Out of curiosity, how highly do you rank All Summer Long among your favorite BB albums? Would it be higher if it weren't for OFRS? Personally, All Summer Long has always been top 5 for me. Usually, either 3rd or 4th.

As far as albums go it's definitely up there for me. Even with the inclusion of OFRS it is one of their stronger albums. For their pre-Pet Sounds I'd rank it behind Today and Summer Days. It's probably #5 or #6 for me overall.

Oh, I forgot.  I might get attacked for this, but I really don't feel like Sloop John B fits on Pet Sounds.  It's obviously a great track in its own right but it really stands out to me as being very different from all the rest. 

I think Bruce wanted Sloop John B on Summer Days and Summer Nights, he agrees that it sounds so out of place on Pet Sounds.

I have always thought it fits perfectly on Pet Sounds though - especially the stereo version. The song is just so full of sonic color that it fits like a glove with all the other crazy sounds and textures from PS. And even though it's not a Brian original, he crafted that thing so well that the song will likely forever be related to The Beach Boys. I'd also argue that it fits the narrative of PS perfectly. It relates in two ways: 1) It's about a man stuck on a journey he doesn't want to be on, and it's the worst trip. 2) the nautical setting fits perfectly well with the exotica infused 'Lets Go Away For A While' - LGAFA is a perfect blend of Denny/Baxter/Abhez, and that style of tune puts you right in the location a boat would harbored.

Anywho, that's just my opinion. I don't judge anyone who thinks it's out of place, it would fit perfectly on SDSN too.
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2019, 11:31:27 AM »

I would remove Ten Little Indians from Surfin Safari.
Remove Finders Keepers from Surfin USA.
Remove South Bay Surfer from Surfer Girl.
Remove Our Favorite Recording Sessions from All Summer Long.
Remove Cassius... from SDV2.
Remove Bull Session from Today.
Remove Good Vibrations from Smiley Smile --one of my favorite songs ever just ruins the vibe
Remove TM Song from 15BO.
Remove Good Time from Love You --again ruins the vibe
Remove Hey Little Tomboy from MIU.
Remove 11 min HCTN from LA (shorter version would be fine, I just can't listen for that long)
Remove Wipe Out from Still Cruisin --I think it sounds really annoying and tacky in a collection of otherwise great, pretty adult (all things considered) BBs songs
Remove Summer of Love from SIP.


Also Remove Wont Somebody Dance With Me from Goin Public for surrrreeee
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B.E.
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2019, 11:45:02 AM »

Out of curiosity, how highly do you rank All Summer Long among your favorite BB albums? Would it be higher if it weren't for OFRS? Personally, All Summer Long has always been top 5 for me. Usually, either 3rd or 4th.
As far as albums go it's definitely up there for me. Even with the inclusion of OFRS it is one of their stronger albums. For their pre-Pet Sounds I'd rank it behind Today and Summer Days. It's probably #5 or #6 for me overall.

That's high praise, and I never tire hearing it! 'The Definitive SSMB Album Ranking' thread currently has it at #13.  Angry
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2019, 12:17:41 PM »


Also Remove Wont Somebody Dance With Me from Goin Public for surrrreeee


I actually totally like that one as a guilty pleasure!

In fact, I just re listened to it on YouTube right now, and I stand by my love of this tune.

It kind of reminds me of something sappy, yet awesome, that would be on a late '70s teen movie soundtrack during a romantic scene.
Sort of has a similar vibe to this underrated and hardly known tune by Cotton, Lloyd, and Christian, which I discovered from the soundtrack of a crappy yet rad 1978 film called Malibu Beach.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FcAG-57rsQ
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2019, 02:23:33 PM »


Also Remove Wont Somebody Dance With Me from Goin Public for surrrreeee


I actually totally like that one as a guilty pleasure!

In fact, I just re listened to it on YouTube right now, and I stand by my love of this tune.

It kind of reminds me of something sappy, yet awesome, that would be on a late '70s teen movie soundtrack during a romantic scene.
Sort of has a similar vibe to this underrated and hardly known tune by Cotton, Lloyd, and Christian, which I discovered from the soundtrack of a crappy yet rad 1978 film called Malibu Beach.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FcAG-57rsQ

That and Thank You Baby are the only ones I actually like!   Cheesy
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"Over the years, I've been accused of not supporting our new music from this era (67-73) and just wanting to play our hits. That's complete b.s......I was also, as the front man, the one promoting these songs onstage and have the scars to show for it."
Mike Love autobiography (pg 242-243)
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« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2019, 02:41:16 PM »

south bay surfer isnt that bad--- but i get what youre saying i think. do you think its a cop out song cause its based on "swanee river", like they could of tried harder?  i mean i like the melody a lot so im ok with it, but i think i get what you guys are saying-
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2019, 05:06:31 PM »

“Here Comes the Night” from “Light Album”
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« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2019, 09:25:59 PM »

“Here Comes the Night” from “Light Album”

bro- before you make that yr final answer be sure to experience it on compact disc.  i just did and it completely changed my feeling for the track
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2019, 12:38:21 PM »

What's so different about it on CD?  Did you buy the CD from Amazon?
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2019, 01:10:21 PM »

There's nothing different about the CD compared to the vinyl, beyond the difference between any CD and vinyl version of an album, and between any alternate masterings of an album.

Certainly, especially if one has been listening to thrashed vinyl, a nice clean CD will sound better, and can offer an opportunity for reexamination.

The only actual difference I can think of on "LA (Light Album)" is that the 2000 "MIU/LA" two-fer CD from Capitol featured a new mastering for "LA" that included *longer* fades on the songs compared to the old 1990 Sony/CBS CD or the original 1979 releases.
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« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2019, 01:15:43 PM »

What's so different about it on CD?  Did you buy the CD from Amazon?

Perhaps Chewy has a version that replaces HCTN with a 3 minute track of The Beach Boys telling Bruce what a horrible idea an 11 minute disco track on a Beach Boys album is. I would pay for that version. Also, I can't believe 5 edits of this song exist.
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« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2019, 01:25:07 PM »

I mean, the '79 "Here Comes the Night" isn't literally the worst thing they ever released, and it is arguably the most harmony-intensive overtly "disco" song ever released.

But beyond all the obvious reasons it was a clunker (out of step with the BB style, too late for the peak "disco" era to be a hit, etc.), it's also not much of  *Beach Boys* song. Bruce and Curt Becher and their guys did most of the tracking and vocals, and then Mike, Carl, and Al supposedly came in and added one final layer.

I'm guessing during some other era of the band's career when they weren't floundering and desperate to not *completely* blow the new CBS deal and accompanying payday, maybe they would have told Bruce to toss out the 37-minute disco track. But they needed to not piss off CBS even more, they needed an album done, Brian was out of it, and Bruce was left semi-in-charge. Why they didn't just pull a third "Bambu" era song or something, I dunno.

Listen to "Full Sail." *That's* Bruce taking on his most effective latter-day role within the band, as a facilitator to getting stuff done and adding nice clean layers of backing vocals.
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« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2019, 02:48:49 PM »

Don't crucify me, but I think "Look (Song For Children)" is rubbish. It feels like the Smile version of Trombone Dixie. My Smile edits never includes it.
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« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2019, 02:51:10 PM »

I mean, the '79 "Here Comes the Night" isn't literally the worst thing they ever released, and it is arguably the most harmony-intensive overtly "disco" song ever released.

But beyond all the obvious reasons it was a clunker (out of step with the BB style, too late for the peak "disco" era to be a hit, etc.), it's also not much of  *Beach Boys* song. Bruce and Curt Becher and their guys did most of the tracking and vocals, and then Mike, Carl, and Al supposedly came in and added one final layer.

I never realized that Curt and other non-BBs sang on that track.
Is it mainly the "dits" and the like?


I'm guessing during some other era of the band's career when they weren't floundering and desperate to not *completely* blow the new CBS deal and accompanying payday, maybe they would have told Bruce to toss out the 37-minute disco track. But they needed to not piss off CBS even more, they needed an album done, Brian was out of it, and Bruce was left semi-in-charge. Why they didn't just pull a third "Bambu" era song or something, I dunno.

Listen to "Full Sail." *That's* Bruce taking on his most effective latter-day role within the band, as a facilitator to getting stuff done and adding nice clean layers of backing vocals.

It's interesting, because the LA Light Album does have a backing vocal harmony sound that is pretty unique, and while I can tell that the album's backing vocals don't quite sound like other BBs albums (presumably because it's the only time that mainly Bruce and Carl did most of those vocals), I nevertheless can't really say that I can ID Bruce/Carl's voices in the backing vox and say "that's clearly a wall of Bruces/Carls" in the way that it's much more obvious when it's a wall of Brians on songs like Transcendental Meditation, or the Don't Talk unused intro.

Would be super duper interesting if backing vocals-only mixes could get created from this era. I hope we don't have to wait another decade for that to happen!
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« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2019, 03:01:34 PM »

here comes the night in particular made the biggest differnce for me on cd- it just is real crisp.  its the same mix as the lp but sounds way more open without the vinyl eq and surface noise
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