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Author Topic: Unpopular Beach Boys opinions  (Read 205977 times)
CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #1500 on: July 08, 2020, 06:48:17 PM »

Also - Caroline, No (original speed) version is SOOO much better, more heartfelt, sincere, real, etc compared to the original sped-up album version. It's much harder for me to elicit an emotional response from the album version after having heard the original speed version.

I might even consider that speed-up to be one of the greatest follies of Brian's career. (Makes sense that it was a Murry idea, which to me means there might have been an element of coercion in the decision). Obviously the song is still remembered as one of his great songs, so I only find it to be a huge folly in terms of an artistic "could have been" as opposed to it having done any real damage to his career. Although one wonders how the Brian Wilson solo release might have fared minus the unnecessary speed  tinkering. Probably the same, but who knows.

It's almost a primitive equivalent of drenching a perfectly fine vocal in autotune and somewhat ruining it in the process. There is pure emotion in the original speed version, Brian is adding every last bit of emotion into each syllable. I don't understand how anyone can say that speeding that entire vocal up by 1/3 could cause all of that emotion to be retained in the same manner. It's just not natural. Not saying it's horrendous or the worst thing ever by any means, but when comparing those two different versions, it's impossible to unhear how much better the un-f*cked-with one is. And for such an incredible piece of art, it bugs me that anything would be diminished by such a simple, and in my opinion careless, error in judgment.

It doesn't quite sound like him... it's the same argument that one might have one listening to the 2011 assemblage of SMiLE, Where the "wind chimes" tag vocals were flown in and they had to be sped up significantly in order to match the tempo (also see "Love to Say DaDa"). At that point it just doesn't sound quite right. I appreciate they had to do such a Frankenstein thing in that case, but Brian on PS had no reason to do that back then other than a misguided attempt to "sound younger".

And frankly, that's the same bad "sound younger" logic that has caused producers to drench his voice in autotune in recent years. I think in all of these cases, it's a matter of outsiders making that suggestion, and shaking Brian's confidence a bit, thus he gives a thumbs up to some tinkering that's not necessary.

If I never have to hear the 1966 album version again, I'd be fine with that!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 06:57:26 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #1501 on: July 08, 2020, 06:59:46 PM »

Ok, Brian sounds shrill, smug, annoying, amateurish, nasal, or otherwise terrible on the following songs:
Finders Keepers, HawaiI, Ballad of Ole' Betsy, Spirit of America, No-Go Showboat, The Warmth of the Sun, Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Louie, Louie, Wendy, Don't Back Down Good to My Baby, Let Him Run Wild, And all over the party album. But obviously that is understandable, that album was not taken very seriously. And by the way, Iím not saying that these songs were bad, but Iím just saying that I feel like they can be annoying at times. Obviously a lot of these are complete classics that are amazing.
Oh, and another unpopular opinion? I donít think that Carl became a great vocalist until the late 60s.
Of course he sounds amazing on god only knows, but the majority of his vocals from 1962 to about 1967 range from eh ď Pom, Pom Play Girl, Girl Donít Tell MeĒ to ear piercing ď I Was Made to Love HerĒ
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« Reply #1502 on: July 08, 2020, 07:07:24 PM »

Letís rustle some jimmies...
Luau is an absolute bop.
Surfin' USA only has 3 good songs on it, Surfin' USA, Lonely Sea and Shut Down.
Boogie Woodie is their best instrumental.
Little Deuce Coupe is Their worst album. The four best songs on it come from other albums that I would rather listen to, and the rest are forgettable.
Besides Smiley Smile, the stereo mixes are always better. All the mono makes it sound way more compressed, sound like the instrumental is mixed way too quietly, and sound way too dated. prime example, listen to the stereo version of the drive-in, then listen to the mono version. One just sounds way better than the other.
While I love Brian, I must admit that his voice between 1961-1965 can be absolutely terrible at times.
While the stereo mix of :-) smile technically sounds good, it completely defeats the entire aesthetic and purpose of the album by making it sound overly polished.
By contrast, the stereo mix of wild honey is amazing, because they were not trying to go for a LF sound with that albums, they were just using the equipment that they had at hand.
Even if Smile would have came out on its original intended release date of January 15, 1967, it would have been terribly received at the time and been a commercial and critical failure. even though it was experimental, the good vibrations single was still very accessible. The majority of stuff on smile was not. It was lyrically complex, and would have confused most audiences.
Canít Wait Too Long backed with the Oct 67 version of Cool Cool Water would have been a moderate hit.
The main reason for the BBs commercial down slope in the late 60s had very little to do with any of the group members, and had a lot more to do with lack of promotion and lack of faith from their record label.
So Tough is mixed absolutely horribly.
The BBs were very stupid for not releasing anything in 1974-75. While I understand they were not exactly in a position to record new material, they had so much material in the can from the past for albums that they could have scrapped something releasable together. Even if it was just a repackaging of their previous couple albums with some bonus tracks or something, it could have been done, and I could have brought a lot more attention to the newer material at the time.
Honestly, Dennis and Mike both sound like they were very unlikable human beings.
LA is one of their best albums.
KTSA is only saved by a couple Carl bangers.
When Girls Get Together is their worst song.
BB85 is a very good 80s adult contemporary album, and is only hated because itís compared to their older classic material. The landscape of music in 1985 was a very different place than in 1966, and this album perfectly matched the time.
Still Cruisin' and SIP deserve to still be in their catalog, and deserve re-masters.
Besides the 1992 version of Surfin, Summer of Love and Slow Summer Dancing, SIP isnít that bad. It was just released three years too late. It wouldíve sold very well in 1989, but by 1992 all of its ideas had already been dated for several years.
Stars and stripes volume one was a horrible idea, along with the NASCAR Album.
That Lucky Old Sun should have been the BBs reunion album.

i think the only thing i seriously disagree with here is that Brian's voice could sound horrible in the glory years of 61-65. I sure can't think of any song where he sounds bad. He had such a beautiful voice back then.
I agree that Dennis could be difficult, but unlikable? It seems that his good qualities were so strong, that they caused many people to forgive his bad side - the womanizing, the addictions. I will never convince anyone on this forum that Mike is NOT the villain; he will probably claim that he is just misunderstood. I wonder what the perception of Mike was before Leaf's book came out?
From all accounts Iíve heard, while Dennis was extremely charming and generous, he was also majorly manipulative, violent, angry, short tempered, and overall a person Who wasnít afraid to cause a lot of trouble, and never faced any consequences for his actions, and would never apologize or admit any wrong doing.
As for Mike, you canít really fault him too much. He was a businessman, The BBs were his business, and a businesses main goal is to gain and maximize profits.
To me, heís just in the wrong place. He should be the head of some huge firm, because he knows how to make money and hurt people. Not exactly a good place for someone who is the leader of a band with several sensitive souls
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #1503 on: July 08, 2020, 09:21:27 PM »

Ok, Brian sounds shrill, smug, annoying, amateurish, nasal, or otherwise terrible on the following songs:
Finders Keepers, HawaiI, Ballad of Ole' Betsy, Spirit of America, No-Go Showboat, The Warmth of the Sun, Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Louie, Louie, Wendy, Don't Back Down Good to My Baby, Let Him Run Wild, And all over the party album. But obviously that is understandable, that album was not taken very seriously. And by the way, Iím not saying that these songs were bad, but Iím just saying that I feel like they can be annoying at times. Obviously a lot of these are complete classics that are amazing.
Oh, and another unpopular opinion? I donít think that Carl became a great vocalist until the late 60s.
Of course he sounds amazing on god only knows, but the majority of his vocals from 1962 to about 1967 range from eh ď Pom, Pom Play Girl, Girl Donít Tell MeĒ to ear piercing ď I Was Made to Love HerĒ

Thank you for the list! Just to make my perspective clear, what first drew me into this music before I even knew what a falsetto voice was let alone who the band members were and any musical knowledge of any import was that high voice of Brian's (before I knew who he was) on those songs. It cut right through whatever speakers I heard it on, from the little table jukeboxes at the shore diner where I'd ask for coins to keep playing I Get Around, to the car, to the TV (pre-stereo) to the little 8-track setup we had in the basement with my 8-track of "Best Of" volume 2. So a few of those on your list of absolutely terrible were actually some of the exact vocals that really drew me into this band overall before I had any musical knowledge or even a critical ear. I was a kid who heard that high voice cutting through over everything else and wanted to hear more, and that never changed. It's also why, for the most part, (unpopular opinion in 3, 2, 1...) I never felt the same deep connection to the Beach Boys music created that decade after Brian's falsetto disappeared from the records. They didn't have the same magic...for me. Good records, some great records, but not the same for me.

It just goes to show that what someone describes as absolutely terrible can be another person's life-changing enjoyment first experienced when listening to music was on the most pure and basic levels of liking, not liking, or being captivated by the sounds.
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« Reply #1504 on: July 08, 2020, 09:27:37 PM »

Gotta disagree with Hawaii, Warmth of the sun, why do fools fall in love, Wendy , and let him run wild (although Brian himself had stated his distaste for his lead on the last one), personally. Louie Louie isnít as bad , just not a fan of the song itself that much 😒
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« Reply #1505 on: July 08, 2020, 09:41:47 PM »

From all accounts Iíve heard, while Dennis was extremely charming and generous, he was also majorly manipulative, violent, angry, short tempered, and overall a person Who wasnít afraid to cause a lot of trouble, and never faced any consequences for his actions, and would never apologize or admit any wrong doing.
As for Mike, you canít really fault him too much. He was a businessman, The BBs were his business, and a businesses main goal is to gain and maximize profits.
To me, heís just in the wrong place. He should be the head of some huge firm, because he knows how to make money and hurt people. Not exactly a good place for someone who is the leader of a band with several sensitive souls

Ok, let's deal in some facts here even within the discussion of unpopular opinions. For one, exactly how successful of a businessman is or was Mike Love? Look at the history, his history in business. How many times has he been bankrupt, how many business ventures of Mike's have either failed, stalled out prematurely, or simply never got off the ground? We just saw one when they tried to turn Kokomo into a "lifestyle brand", perhaps inspired by Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville franchises and all the other Jimmy tie-ins...and if it was legit, it never went beyond a website looking for investors. Mike in the 80's was a financial trainwreck...if you don't believe me, look it up. His "Club Kokomo" restaurant chain idea started off with a bang but literally stalled out almost as soon as they got done cleaning up the dishes from the premiere event. Mike was taking any gigs he could in the 80's to offset some of these financial issues. He sued his own brother and had him arrested (and later cleared and fully exonerated of the charges) over supposed financial malfeasance or something when according to his brother, the deals he was planning for the band and his brother in real estate could have made them millions without lifting a finger, all legit.

And that's why I'm still not over the morning I was listening to a podcast interview with Jim Hirsch, author of Mike's book, when he said how astute of a businessman Mike was...whatever cereal I was eating flew out of my mouth along with the milk, and I'm glad I was sitting down at the time.

Which leads to unpopular opinion #2 in a row (or more Mike hatred in some circles)...Mike's financial situation would have been far, far worse if he hadn't sued Brian for 8 figures worth of legal settlement.  It's a good thing he had that cushion too based on some of his failed business ventures prior to and even since that settlement, as without a cushion it would mean really difficult financial woes for many investors who didn't win a whopper of a lawsuit against a family member and wasn't holding the license to use a brand name as powerful as The Beach Boys for his own bookings. It would be enlightening to see some of the books and how much red ink is there under those failed ventures such as the various Club Kokomo branded businesses. It would also probably be enlightening to see some sliver of a sales tally for Mike's solo projects. Then consider how successful he might or might not be if he did not have the license to use "The Beach Boys" brand moniker for his tour bookings and promotions.

I'm mixing in opinion at the end there, but there is enough fact on the books to suggest without several lawsuit settlement payments and without the name "The Beach Boys" behind him, Mike would probably not be in a position to lead a company much less be considered an acute businessman as his co-author describes him. I'm wondering how these various nuggets like "Mike's business acumen" and Mike's "leadership" get bandied about with more evidence against those claims than in support. That is unless you factor in the power of holding a license to be billed as The Beach Boys and having an 8-figure legal settlement dropped into your bank account, one can afford to fail repeatedly in business and keep pushing the stone up the hill.
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« Reply #1506 on: July 08, 2020, 10:35:50 PM »

From all accounts Iíve heard, while Dennis was extremely charming and generous, he was also majorly manipulative, violent, angry, short tempered, and overall a person Who wasnít afraid to cause a lot of trouble, and never faced any consequences for his actions, and would never apologize or admit any wrong doing.
As for Mike, you canít really fault him too much. He was a businessman, The BBs were his business, and a businesses main goal is to gain and maximize profits.
To me, heís just in the wrong place. He should be the head of some huge firm, because he knows how to make money and hurt people. Not exactly a good place for someone who is the leader of a band with several sensitive souls

Ok, let's deal in some facts here even within the discussion of unpopular opinions. For one, exactly how successful of a businessman is or was Mike Love? Look at the history, his history in business. How many times has he been bankrupt, how many business ventures of Mike's have either failed, stalled out prematurely, or simply never got off the ground? We just saw one when they tried to turn Kokomo into a "lifestyle brand", perhaps inspired by Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville franchises and all the other Jimmy tie-ins...and if it was legit, it never went beyond a website looking for investors. Mike in the 80's was a financial trainwreck...if you don't believe me, look it up. His "Club Kokomo" restaurant chain idea started off with a bang but literally stalled out almost as soon as they got done cleaning up the dishes from the premiere event. Mike was taking any gigs he could in the 80's to offset some of these financial issues. He sued his own brother and had him arrested (and later cleared and fully exonerated of the charges) over supposed financial malfeasance or something when according to his brother, the deals he was planning for the band and his brother in real estate could have made them millions without lifting a finger, all legit.

And that's why I'm still not over the morning I was listening to a podcast interview with Jim Hirsch, author of Mike's book, when he said how astute of a businessman Mike was...whatever cereal I was eating flew out of my mouth along with the milk, and I'm glad I was sitting down at the time.

Which leads to unpopular opinion #2 in a row (or more Mike hatred in some circles)...Mike's financial situation would have been far, far worse if he hadn't sued Brian for 8 figures worth of legal settlement.  It's a good thing he had that cushion too based on some of his failed business ventures prior to and even since that settlement, as without a cushion it would mean really difficult financial woes for many investors who didn't win a whopper of a lawsuit against a family member and wasn't holding the license to use a brand name as powerful as The Beach Boys for his own bookings. It would be enlightening to see some of the books and how much red ink is there under those failed ventures such as the various Club Kokomo branded businesses. It would also probably be enlightening to see some sliver of a sales tally for Mike's solo projects. Then consider how successful he might or might not be if he did not have the license to use "The Beach Boys" brand moniker for his tour bookings and promotions.

I'm mixing in opinion at the end there, but there is enough fact on the books to suggest without several lawsuit settlement payments and without the name "The Beach Boys" behind him, Mike would probably not be in a position to lead a company much less be considered an acute businessman as his co-author describes him. I'm wondering how these various nuggets like "Mike's business acumen" and Mike's "leadership" get bandied about with more evidence against those claims than in support. That is unless you factor in the power of holding a license to be billed as The Beach Boys and having an 8-figure legal settlement dropped into your bank account, one can afford to fail repeatedly in business and keep pushing the stone up the hill.
Iíve never said that he never had financial problems, or that he wasnít a flawed businessman. I was just saying that heís good at marketing himself and the beach boys brand. As for being a decent human being, heís not. Heís a huge A*****e
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« Reply #1507 on: Yesterday at 10:28:20 AM »

I'm just suggesting people consider the actual history of the situation whenever these reports of Mike's keen business sense show up, from whichever sources are putting it out. As the saying goes, the facts are out there if you know where to look for them, and the other element to consider is how much money any of us could make if we had both an 8-figure settlement deposited into our bank accounts and were licensed to use a brand name that literally sells itself based mostly on the legacy of songs that are 50-60 years old and which have never *not* sold or been out of the public consciousness. Unpopular opinion #3, perhaps, but I wouldn't call someone who bought a 2 dollar lottery ticket and won 20 million a keen businessman.
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« Reply #1508 on: Yesterday at 02:36:09 PM »

Well, GF, the opinion that Mike is a keen businessman is clearly unpopular (except in select circles, many of which are on some version of Mike's dole...) because as an opinion it is silly and one-sided. The same is true concerning the opinion (clung to far more tenaciously than the myth of Mike's business acumen) that he "saved the BBs" (most voluble recent convert: Ron Hamady). What Mike did was keep the BBs idea in the public eye for the portion of the fan base that is happy with the "fun fun fun" image of the band (61-65) as opposed to what the band did in their "artistic/democracy phase" (66-73). That was not as egregious an act as some believe, but we should note that Mike (who's not stupid) eventually figured out that once Brian was out touring, he needed to up his game.

So the most unpopular opinion of all might be that it's actually a very good thing that Brian and Mike continue to remain estranged, operating in separate camps--because that provides more coverage and interest in the band and the music than would be the case if they had to formally reconcile their still-divergent approaches. With Mike and Bruce making their shows more encompassing while still pushing the Lovester's "positivity," and Al, Dave and Blondie adding their still-intact talents to broaden the range of Brian's show, we actually have the best possible arrangement, so long as Mike can refrain from fixating in public on the vagaries of "the Wilson blood"--which, of course, he is also "tainted" by...
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« Reply #1509 on: Yesterday at 06:55:12 PM »

I ĎSkipí Good Vibrations more than I listen to it. Both the album and live versions.
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« Reply #1510 on: Yesterday at 07:25:16 PM »

Actually lately I think Iíve listened more to various TSS Good Vibrations session takes than the actual song. I love it, but have heard it way too often, so I too am guilty of skipping it at times. When listening to BWPS or TSSís album I never skip it though.
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« Reply #1511 on: Yesterday at 11:30:26 PM »

Weren't the music mags in 1960s giving criticism of the BBs stage act with Mike's beyond annoying banter on stage?
I think that's very possible. There were times in the past when I heard people blame a lot of the negative spin about Mike on stuff that was in Leaf's book - "don't f*** with the formula", for example. Mike denies he ever said that.
I did not say Leaf was the only source of negative stories about Mike; but it was my impression that the book was the first time that kind of stuff was in print.
But i do find it interesting that fans in general seem to be far more forgiving of Dennis for his failings. Maybe it's because Mike is still here, and still adding to his legacy with behavior that does not meet with the approval of all in fandom.
As a villain in the Beach Boys story, Mike seems to rank only below Murray Wilson and Gene Landy.
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« Reply #1512 on: Today at 10:02:27 AM »

Hereís another one, I donít think good vibrations should be played live. Other than BrianĎs smile shows in 2004, it never sounds good live. It never sounded good live in the 60s, it sounded too empty. Same with the 70s, and now it just sounds horrible on stage.
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« Reply #1513 on: Today at 10:24:20 AM »

LA is a better album than LY.
Itís got Good Timin, Which shouldíve been a much bigger hit, Lady Lynda, the best song that Al ever wrote for the group, 3 nice Carl Ballads, a slightly over long disco track, some amazing Dennis stuff, and Brian being goofy Brian.
Another unpopular opinion? People only hate on Sumahama because Mike wrote it. If this was a BW composition, people would be tripping over themselves to rave about how great it is. For the record, in my opinion, I donít think itís the best moment on the album, but itís not as bad as some people say it is.
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« Reply #1514 on: Today at 11:18:11 AM »

LA is a better album than LY.


La is the album that led to the start of my disinterest in the band. I have heard all the songs, but I've never been able to listen to LA all the way through.
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« Reply #1515 on: Today at 11:37:03 AM »

LA is a better album than LY.


La is the album that led to the start of my disinterest in the band. I have heard all the songs, but I've never been able to listen to LA all the way through.
It took me a while to get it as well, but hereís my advice. Listen to it either super late at night or super early in the morning.
This is my Ultimate sleep and wake up album.
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