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660533 Posts in 26464 Topics by 3770 Members - Latest Member: robertscool August 07, 2020, 05:12:36 PM
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Author Topic: Endless Harmony, The Song  (Read 1711 times)
urbanite
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« on: July 17, 2020, 01:06:28 PM »

The second half of this song which starts with "And we sing God bless America..." is one of those magical Beach Boys moments.  A tremendous minute and a half of soaring Beach Boys' vocals.  I was wondering if this song, in particular, the second half of it, has ever been used as background music for any scenes in films or television shows?
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2020, 01:20:04 PM »

Well, you have the Eponimous Beach Boys documentary who starts with that song
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HeyJude
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2020, 02:15:48 PM »

The second half of "Endless Harmony" undeniably has some great group vocals. There is the built-in irony that it's Bruce aping Brian's old high voice and whatnot, but it's a great group vocal performance.

The problem with the track's sort of aesthetic is that it still has kind of that dull yacht-rock-esque sound, especially the drums, and the lyrics are actually kind of clunky and, to be frank, dumb.

I'm a bigger fan of this era of the band's than most (their post-LA through pre-BB '85 period is really weird and interesting), so I did on almost all of it. But objectively, "EH" has great group vocals on top of an okay composition, with so-so production and kind of banal lyrics. And that's not even getting into the questionable nature of singing about yourselves. I think BB fans have kind of ended up inoculated against self-referencing lyrics since Mike has done it like dozens of times.   
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thetojo
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2020, 03:07:42 PM »

There's nothing wrong with self-referencing lyrics per se, but Mike has repeated referenced the song titles of the major hits in newer songs. "Good Vibrations, Assasinations"  WTF?Huh

Brian has done a little bit of much more subtle self-referencing in his writing, but it doesn't detract from his great songwriting!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2020, 03:11:33 PM by thetojo » Logged
HeyJude
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2020, 03:16:17 PM »

There's nothing wrong with self-referencing lyrics per se, but Mike has repeated referenced the song titles of the major hits in newer songs. "Good Vibrations, Assasinations"  WTF?Huh

Brian has done a little bit of much more subtle self-referencing in his writing, but it doesn't detract from his great songwriting!

There are many types of self-referencing lyrics. Mike's usual course is to barf out actual song titles and song lyrics. Which always sounds lame, and embarrassing. (There are clever ways to do it, e.g. George Harrison name-checking "Ob La Di..." on the White Album with "Savoy Truffle").

The "Endless Harmony" thing is more of the "buying into your own legend" thing. Maybe it helps a little bit to know it was written by a semi-outsider, but ultimately it's the Beach Boys singing about their own "story", and the song ain't exactly a myth-busting exercise on the level of "God" by John Lennon.
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2020, 05:47:46 PM »

I think KTSA is a decent record, and has some actual nice songs on it (“Some of Your Love”, “Sunshine”, “When Girls Get Together”), but I do not like the song “Endless Harmony” - it doesn’t sound like an authentic BB track to me.

See I’m the kind of guy who thinks “Johnny Carson, he’s a real live wire” is a great lyric, but “and we sang God Bless America / it’s the land where we tour” makes me cringe.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2020, 05:50:18 PM by DonnyL » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2020, 07:49:22 PM »

The processing of some sort that it on Bruce's voice is positively sickening to me and ruins any good vibe the song may have had left after the lyrics (which in all fairness comes from a bit of bias on my part, since I generally hate "looking back" kind of lyrics)
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2020, 09:14:39 PM »

Great harmonies as always but ultra-corny lyrics, song, and production.
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2020, 04:14:37 AM »

The lounge-y "while the lifestyle turns to gold" line makes me shudder more than any other moment in recorded Beach Boys history, and when you think about the competition that's saying something.

Sometimes a complete lack of self-awareness is what makes Beach Boys music endearing. This is... not that.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 04:16:31 AM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2020, 05:28:36 AM »

Yep got to agree with the other posters, I don't mind about this track much. It would propably be contesting for the worst BB song with Tomboy if I'd make a list. The lyrics are just unbearable to me. But well, I'm from Europe anyway.
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2020, 10:55:21 AM »

I can forgive the lyrics a lot more, when I remember that it was written by someone who at the time wasn’t technically in the band. The song was written in 1972, a year after BJ was fired, or quit, or whatever the story is this week.
So the song would be a lot better, if it wasn’t stuffed at the end of an actual BB album.
For example, if it came out as a solo track, then it would be a lot more forgivable. Or even if it was in the vaults until 1998, and was used just for the documentary.
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Gerry
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2020, 11:04:24 AM »

Somebody mentioned KTSA being a decent record, I liked it as well. I think if it had come out in '76 instead of 15 Big Ones, it might've gone platinum.
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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2020, 11:32:49 AM »

I can forgive the lyrics a lot more, when I remember that it was written by someone who at the time wasn’t technically in the band. The song was written in 1972, a year after BJ was fired, or quit, or whatever the story is this week.


Nope, it was written and recorded just prior to Bruce leaving, April 1972.
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2020, 12:27:27 PM »

I think the original title was Ten Years’ Harmony too since it was the 10th anniversary of the band. Probably also inspired the name of the post-Capitol Ten Years of Harmony compilation
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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2020, 03:17:24 PM »

Not a huge fan of Bruce's contributions generally, but he has his moments. I think Bluebirds is great, although obviously that's a cover.

I have to be in the right (wrong) mood for Disney Girls of Nearest Faraway Place: I can appreciate them more than I can enjoy them. Ten Years Harmony/Endless Harmony falls into that same category for me.
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2020, 01:14:09 AM »


I can forgive the lyrics a lot more, when I remember that it was written by someone who at the time wasn’t technically in the band. The song was written in 1972, a year after BJ was fired, or quit, or whatever the story is this week.


Nope, it was written and recorded just prior to Bruce leaving, April 1972.


Just wondering if Ten Years' Harmony was actually written and recorded on or before April 1972.

A year after that, on April 20, 1973, Bruce joined the BBs on stage for both encores at the Hollywood Palladium. After the concert had ended four other fans and I joined Bruce and his wife or girlfriend on stage as he sat at the keyboard and asked if we'd like to hear a new song he said he had just written. The song was Ten Years' Harmony.

I bought the single, by California Music on RCA Victor/Equinox records (as the B side of Don't Worry Baby, both sides listed as being produced by Bruce and Terry Melcher) in Feb. 1975. Its release date is listed on Bellagio as Sept. 1974. The recording sounds just like it did when Bruce sang it that night, just him and a piano. Certainly it could have been recorded in 1972, but when Bruce said in April '73 that it was a new song he had just written, I got the impression that it wasn't something he'd actually written and recorded a year earlier. But, that being said, from the standpoint of ten years of The Beach Boys, 1972 fits better than 1973.

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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2020, 01:41:21 AM »

I can't stand the second half. Ruins the song for me. The first half is beautiful though. Especially the breathy vocals after the first verse (with Bruce sounding like Brian in his glory days).
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« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2020, 07:24:40 PM »

See I’m the kind of guy who thinks “Johnny Carson, he’s a real live wire” is a great lyric, but “and we sang God Bless America / it’s the land where we tour” makes me cringe.

My sentiments exactly.
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« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2020, 03:19:24 AM »

Nice singing, awful song. Not a fan of BJ's songwriting and his production style is even worse.
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urbanite
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2020, 12:37:38 PM »

I love Johnny Carson, but I am also a big fan of Endless Harmony.  The lyrics aren't the greatest, but they are adequate, and their limitations are more than made up for by the soaring vocals.
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« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2020, 04:11:11 PM »

The Free Design did a nice version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSqoGn_YIrA
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2020, 03:10:17 PM »

I think KTSA is a decent record, and has some actual nice songs on it (“Some of Your Love”, “Sunshine”, “When Girls Get Together”), but I do not like the song “Endless Harmony” - it doesn’t sound like an authentic BB track to me.

See I’m the kind of guy who thinks “Johnny Carson, he’s a real live wire” is a great lyric, but “and we sang God Bless America / it’s the land where we tour” makes me cringe.

You can't compare Bruce Johnston to Brian Wilson. I mean, you can, but its pointless.
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« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2020, 05:49:23 PM »

I think KTSA is a decent record, and has some actual nice songs on it (“Some of Your Love”, “Sunshine”, “When Girls Get Together”), but I do not like the song “Endless Harmony” - it doesn’t sound like an authentic BB track to me.

See I’m the kind of guy who thinks “Johnny Carson, he’s a real live wire” is a great lyric, but “and we sang God Bless America / it’s the land where we tour” makes me cringe.

You can't compare Bruce Johnston to Brian Wilson. I mean, you can, but its pointless.
The nearest Faraway Place is up with some of Brian’s instromentals
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« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2020, 01:50:33 PM »

I think KTSA is a decent record, and has some actual nice songs on it (“Some of Your Love”, “Sunshine”, “When Girls Get Together”), but I do not like the song “Endless Harmony” - it doesn’t sound like an authentic BB track to me.

See I’m the kind of guy who thinks “Johnny Carson, he’s a real live wire” is a great lyric, but “and we sang God Bless America / it’s the land where we tour” makes me cringe.

You can't compare Bruce Johnston to Brian Wilson. I mean, you can, but its pointless.
The nearest Faraway Place is up with some of Brian’s instromentals

Really surprised you like that one
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« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2020, 02:47:05 AM »

That is indeed one of his best contributions to the BB's catalogue, together with Disney Girls and... ah... let's see, what else...
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