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648768 Posts in 25950 Topics by 3701 Members - Latest Member: Little E. Honda July 23, 2019, 10:07:37 PM
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Author Topic: Why in the world did they cover Battle Hymn Of The Republic?  (Read 1397 times)
Crack Smokerson
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« on: May 10, 2019, 07:45:15 PM »

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AT_dU3ohFkk


No offense to the tune itself, but could they have chosen a worse tune to show of Mike Love's vocal prowess?
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RubberSoul13
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2019, 09:14:40 PM »

I teach elementary and middle school music...and that was the most offensive thing I've heard today.
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Bicyclerider
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2019, 09:21:14 AM »

Because we needed another track to add to our top ten list of the worst Beach Boys songs of all time?
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Gerry
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2019, 10:22:58 AM »

It was coming up to the Bicentennial.
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Joel Goldenberg
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2019, 11:19:42 AM »

IIRC, Peter Ames Carlin thinks Brian was being mischievous.
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pixletwin
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2019, 12:10:26 PM »

Cuz, Brian.
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Jay
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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2019, 06:27:00 AM »

Cuz, Brian.
I think "Because, Brian Wilson" might be the greatest response for basically any given situation.  LOL
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MyDrKnowsItKeepsMeCalm
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 06:33:38 AM »

I'll throw out another suggestion--that it was a 'comfort food' choice during a tumultuous time for the band and for Brian personally. Maybe it's a song he and Mike learned as kids or something.

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HeyJude
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2019, 07:14:11 AM »

Back in the era when the band was relatively active in the studio (e.g. up to the early-mid 80s), and especially when they had active record deals where the label would and/or could pay for studio time, and also when they had a corporate structure in BRI that could also foot bills for studio time, it was easier for them to have some whim of an idea for a recording and just go do it.

Look at all the backing tracks with no vocals. Half-finished ideas. There are tons we don't even know about, or know little about and certainly haven't heard.

Check out contemporary interviews with band members over all the years. They often seemed to have fantastical ideas about future projects, and sometimes they actually did get in there and start them.

That's the procedural/logistical reasons such recordings as "Battle Hymn" actually happened. Whether any members also had weird, non-provable ulterior and/or subversive and/or self-sabotaging motives, it's much harder to say. I think it's usually too easy of a potential answer to suggest that a given song was a purposeful bad idea.

While "Battle Hymn" is not good, it's far the worst thing they have done. It sounds somewhat like a "15 Big Ones" style goofy recording of the song. And, if credit is due in any way, it's worth noting the band *did* choose not to release it, nor has anyone put it on an archival compilation. Think about all the other wonky ideas that *were* finished, and mixed, and mastered, and released. Those are the much more curious events in the band's history, as those cases didn't just involve a whim of an idea, but involved many layers of artists and business decision-makers allowing things to happen.
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Jay
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2019, 12:06:34 PM »

Back in the era when the band was relatively active in the studio (e.g. up to the early-mid 80s), and especially when they had active record deals where the label would and/or could pay for studio time, and also when they had a corporate structure in BRI that could also foot bills for studio time, it was easier for them to have some whim of an idea for a recording and just go do it.

Look at all the backing tracks with no vocals. Half-finished ideas. There are tons we don't even know about, or know little about and certainly haven't heard.

Check out contemporary interviews with band members over all the years. They often seemed to have fantastical ideas about future projects, and sometimes they actually did get in there and start them.

That's the procedural/logistical reasons such recordings as "Battle Hymn" actually happened. Whether any members also had weird, non-provable ulterior and/or subversive and/or self-sabotaging motives, it's much harder to say. I think it's usually too easy of a potential answer to suggest that a given song was a purposeful bad idea.

While "Battle Hymn" is not good, it's far the worst thing they have done. It sounds somewhat like a "15 Big Ones" style goofy recording of the song. And, if credit is due in any way, it's worth noting the band *did* choose not to release it, nor has anyone put it on an archival compilation. Think about all the other wonky ideas that *were* finished, and mixed, and mastered, and released. Those are the much more curious events in the band's history, as those cases didn't just involve a whim of an idea, but involved many layers of artists and business decision-makers allowing things to happen.
I'll never, ever, understand how and why the group listened to the playback of "Hey Little Tomboy" in the studio during the MIU sessions and thought "Now that deserves to be on this record!" .  Brow Brow Brow
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HeyJude
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2019, 07:02:46 AM »

To their *very slight* credit, they did at least excise the spoken word bit from "Hey Little Tomboy", which takes the song to another level of creepy and gross.

They actually added some overdubs to the song during "MIU", and I'm frankly not sure whether they get extra points for *trying* to polish up the song, or get docked points for burning time and effort on a song that was never *not* going to be gross and creepy and skeevy without the lyrics being completely rewritten.

Not that the song is amazing musically, but it's pleasant enough in terms of the backing track and lead melody. It's just the lyrics that are problematic, and arguably tone deaf even for 1976/1978.

I'm frankly surprised someone hasn't tried to dredge up "Hey Little Tomboy" (and "Lazy Lizzie" for that matter) and write a clickbait article about how offensive the lyrics are on those tracks. I guess the band is lucky their late 70s output, especially "MIU" stuff and unreleased stuff, remains extensively under the radar.
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