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664490 Posts in 26633 Topics by 3819 Members - Latest Member: Occasional grilled cheese November 29, 2020, 11:17:00 AM
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Author Topic: Alt LA: Replace 10:51 HCTN with 4:28. Add Still I Dream Of It and It's Over Now  (Read 370 times)
thr33
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« on: November 19, 2020, 07:14:20 AM »

Thoughts?

Some questions to generate discussion:

(1) Does this album perform better in the charts?
(2) Does this improve your personal rating of LA, and how much?
(3) Do the two added songs fit sonically?
(4) Would including them change anything in terms of Brian's/the band's trajectory?
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ForHerCryingSoul
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2020, 12:31:13 PM »

1. The album would still flounder in the charts.
2. This would make LA a more democratic album, and probably better than what came out.
3. No, the production would have to get cleaned up ala MIU in order to become "listenable" I think a new Brian lead and some new drums and percussion would have to be employed in order to make these two songs fit sonically.
4. No, Brian was already petering out at this point due to his divorce from Marilyn at this time, he would have retreated into bed even if different musical events occurred. The man was checked out emotionally since MIU. The band might not have received as much scorn in the media, but I don't think they would have received any more respect if Brian compositions were in it. If LA came out in place of MIU then there would probably be a different story. But, 1979 was way too late in trends for the kind of music the Beach Boys were making in the first place to garner any sort of respect.

The Beach Boys were a joke at this point, both live, and in studio, and wouldn't regain some semblance of a footing until the 80s. I don't think one album can change that trajectory, unfortunately.
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Cabinessenceking
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2020, 12:02:51 AM »

Speaking of The Beach Boys' reputation in the late 70s. I had the impression they lost any credibility following the release of 15 Big Ones and the return of Brian to touring. Yes, it did well on the charts but this was more in anticipation of a new album with BW and oldies content following Endless Summer and also that the band had a very good live act reputation. The moment Brian re-enters the scene both as main songwriter, producer and as a touring member the whole thing went tits up. Brian was in no state to perform live in 1976 onwards, as can be seen in pretty much any concert footage from the period. An overweight, fading star who couldn't even sing or play, nor bore any resemblance to the Brian of old in any way. Must've been a huge put-off for most fans and the causal audience. An album composed of strictly BW songs then subsequently bombed in the charts, meaning MIU or LA (both being lackluster albums) would not make any impact. Also they sucked live and all the Wilsons were being dragged under by their demons. It's sad to acknowledge it, but The Beach Boys were absolutely nowhere in 1979.
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Matt Bielewicz
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 05:55:21 AM »

Well... so shoot me, but I love the remake of HCTN. I rate it as different to the original, but still great. Even I would admit, though, that the 10-minute version overloads the album somewhat. They should have put on the single edit IMHO... maybe included another couple of tracks, and left the 10-minute version of HCTN for the 12-inch single.

Having said that, I love electronic music and a lot of disco and stuff like that as WELL as gentle acoustic things and the Beach Boys 60s recordings, so maybe that's why I'm kinder to the remake of HCTN than a lot of BB fans.

I don't know if that would have improved the album's standing in history/chart placing, though. I was 7 and a half when LA came out and thousands of miles from its home market. But I can see that by the time it was out, disco was on the wane in the States... so they would probably always have been seen as disco bandwagon-jumpers amongst rock fans. And not disco enough, outside that one track, for the disco fans. So I reckon it would still have tanked, at least in the US.

Personally, I find LA too full of really dull, over-smooth late 70s yacht-rock. Good Timing is OK but doesn't break any ground, and HCTN is (to me) fun but too over-long in the album version. The one track I think is truly great, and which always makes my personal Beach Boys Top 20, is Baby Blue. About the last thing, to my mind they ever did (even if it was mostly Dennis and Carl) that had some of the love and soul you can hear in SMiLE and Pet Sounds and the greatest of the late 60s stuff. After Baby Blue, it really is downhill all the way for me (well, until 2012, anyway).

Lastly, I have a feeling no-one ever COULD have got 'It's Over Now' and 'Still I Dream Of It' onto LA in the late 70s, even if anyone had wanted to... which they didn't. The 'clean-livers' in the band were in the ascendant at the time (witness MIU and the yacht-rock smoothness of LA). Even Carl was addicted for some of this period, Dennis was starting the long slide down and out, and Brian was declining towards his very lowest point. The Brian-heavy Love You DID come out but bombed... and the album that DID feature those tracks, Adult Child, was subsequently canned by the band and didn't EVER come out, even to this day. Who, quite simply, would have fought to put those tracks on LA? No-one.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 06:17:00 AM by Matt Bielewicz » Logged
All Summer Long
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 11:55:16 AM »

Well... so shoot me, but I love the remake of HCTN. I rate it as different to the original, but still great. Even I would admit, though, that the 10-minute version overloads the album somewhat. They should have put on the single edit IMHO... maybe included another couple of tracks, and left the 10-minute version of HCTN for the 12-inch single.

Personally, I find LA too full of really dull, over-smooth late 70s yacht-rock. Good Timing is OK but doesn't break any ground, and HCTN is (to me) fun but too over-long in the album version. The one track I think is truly great, and which always makes my personal Beach Boys Top 20, is Baby Blue. About the last thing, to my mind they ever did (even if it was mostly Dennis and Carl) that had some of the love and soul you can hear in SMiLE and Pet Sounds and the greatest of the late 60s stuff. After Baby Blue, it really is downhill all the way for me (well, until 2012, anyway).

Lastly, I have a feeling no-one ever COULD have got 'It's Over Now' and 'Still I Dream Of It' onto LA in the late 70s, even if anyone had wanted to... which they didn't. The 'clean-livers' in the band were in the ascendant at the time (witness MIU and the yacht-rock smoothness of LA). Even Carl was addicted for some of this period, Dennis was starting the long slide down and out, and Brian was declining towards his very lowest point. The Brian-heavy Love You DID come out but bombed... and the album that DID feature those tracks, Adult Child, was subsequently canned by the band and didn't EVER come out, even to this day. Who, quite simply, would have fought to put those tracks on LA? No-one.

I definitely agree that I love the single HCTN and think it shouldíve been on the album instead of the long version. Great vocals and bass, even though the vocoder intro is a little cheesy. Carl kills it as usual. I think we can enjoy Beach Boys rock, pop, and disco just as we can enjoy Beach Boys pop, disco, and rock. I donít think Mike and Al are the reason for the yacht rock sound on LA - itís a Carl- and Dennis- centered album.

I remember liking one of Carlís songs a little but not the other - I think of ACH as Dennis because he sings it. Baby Blue is great to me, except Carlís vocal. Its one of his too-perfect-that-itís-boring vocals (like Our Sweet Love). I donít think Itís Over Now would have made it because Marilyn sings on it; I doubt Brian would have been okay with that with the impending divorce.
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