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672387 Posts in 27078 Topics by 3979 Members - Latest Member: sloopfan3 October 17, 2021, 05:30:02 PM
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Author Topic: Would-Be Hits  (Read 2102 times)
TimeToGetAlone
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« on: August 13, 2021, 08:24:06 PM »

Curious what tracks people think could have been hits for them if released as a single at the time?

Not talking simply songs good enough to be, but that had a realistic shot given the momentum of the band at the time. That mostly rules out the early 70s songs, sadly, which seemed destined not to get much traction on the charts no matter what they put out.

Personally, I think the most obvious choice is All Summer Long. Right in the heyday of their commercial success, upbeat and on-brand, and an accessible singalong melody. It even sounds like it would be one of their singles from that period. I could easily see that one reaching the top 10 had it come out stateside.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2021, 08:28:32 PM by TimeToGetAlone » Logged
Emdeeh
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2021, 08:30:38 PM »

Catch a Wave
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TimeToGetAlone
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2021, 08:35:10 PM »

Catch a Wave
That's a great pick. And I guess it kind of was a minor hit for Jan and Dean with Sidewalk Surfin'.
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phirnis
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2021, 10:29:13 PM »

Catch a Wave - definitely! One of their best surf songs for me.

Some other picks: Little Honda, maybe Hawaii, maybe California Feelin' (with minor lyrics revision), maybe This Whole World (unlikely though given the climate at the time, maybe a minor hit); I think that It's OK could've been a major hit would it have come out on the heels of Endless Summer / Spirit of America as a standalone single.
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waketheworld
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2021, 06:28:07 PM »

Catch a Wave is a great choice, as is This Whole World (although I doubt it would get airplay, sadly).  Slip On Through, Here She Comes, California Calling, All Dressed Up For School.
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DonnyL
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2021, 08:31:23 PM »

409
Farmer’s Daughter
Catch a Wave
Hawaii
Then I Kissed Her
Salt Lake City

… and: Seasons in the Sun. If the group had released this in 1970-1, I believe it would have been a huge hit, but probably not for tbe crowd they were looking toward at that time. I think it would have been a hit in the Partridge Family kind of way, not anything hip.
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maggie
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2021, 05:19:45 AM »

409

Capitol did promote "409" over "Surfin' Safari" in the heartland of the US. It charted at #76, so it did similar business nationally to "Surfin'".
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TimeToGetAlone
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2021, 08:23:22 AM »

Catch a Wave is a great choice, as is This Whole World (although I doubt it would get airplay, sadly).  Slip On Through, Here She Comes, California Calling, All Dressed Up For School.
Sadly, a Slip On Through/This Whole World single did get release at the time and went nowhere.
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thebaron
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2021, 12:21:09 PM »

Solar System, with different lyrics and a slightly different arrangement.
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RubberSoul13
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2021, 09:00:29 PM »

"Isn't it Time" could've been the 2012 version of Kokomo if only it had more modern production, a less abstract (and changing?) bridge, and FAR greater promotion. If that single had taken off, things would be very different today. I was in my junior year of high school and used to play it on my ukulele. It always brought joy to the room. They easily could've "rode the wave" that "Hey Soul Sister" had started just two years prior for summer ukulele based pop tunes, and improved it!

Heck, I'd go so far as to say it should've been the album title. What would be more fitting?
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2021, 09:30:52 PM »

Sometimes I misremember some songs as having been hit singles. Endless Summer was such a sensation back in 74-76, radio stations were playing all of those songs as hits - All Summer Long, Wendy, The Warmth of the Sun, Girls on the Beach, the album version of Help Me, Ronda. Spirit of America got a similar response - I know I've heard Hushabye and a few other SOA tracks on oldies radio. 63-66 was the era when the band could do no wrong. I wish Joe Public was as familiar with album tracks from 67-69, or even into the Warner Years. Imagine driving down the highway and This Whole World or Aren't You Glad comes blaring out of the car radio.
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DonnyL
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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2021, 11:39:38 PM »

409

Capitol did promote "409" over "Surfin' Safari" in the heartland of the US. It charted at #76, so it did similar business nationally to "Surfin'".

Oh yeh that’s true. Well it was the A-side originally I believe.
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Greg Parry
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2021, 01:38:27 AM »

Two HUGE missed opportunities.

All Dressed up for School

Sandy

In the 1990 twofer liner notes, David Leaf posited that the lecherous nature of the former track may have been behind the decision to shelve it. Judging by the flak California Girls came under recently, that may have been wise in hindsight. However, this track is so dynamic, and I think it could have been a huge hit with a different lyric and title. Of course the song was revisited as 'I Just got my Pay'.

Sandy is another one which was attempted more than once. I still shudder to think of that hideous Joe Thomas version, which just goes to prove that just as a mediocre song can be made great by effective arrangement and production, the opposite is also sadly true. In it's original 1965 form however, there is a masterpiece in the making, a diamond just shy of its finishing cuts. Just imagine this as the single which precedes Pet Sounds, rather than Barbara Ann. It is truly tragic to hear the MIC reconstruction, where the late 70's completion gives way to their youthful voices on the fade. I can only listen to the SOT version.

That these two songs were not released as singles, or even finished, is a crime of Smile-esque proportions!

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HeyJude
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2021, 06:27:24 AM »

"Isn't it Time" could've been the 2012 version of Kokomo if only it had more modern production, a less abstract (and changing?) bridge, and FAR greater promotion. If that single had taken off, things would be very different today. I was in my junior year of high school and used to play it on my ukulele. It always brought joy to the room. They easily could've "rode the wave" that "Hey Soul Sister" had started just two years prior for summer ukulele based pop tunes, and improved it!

Heck, I'd go so far as to say it should've been the album title. What would be more fitting?

Barring some weird, off-the-wall viral moment probably unrelated to the music itself, there was no way the Beach Boys were going to get a hit single in 2012. "Isn't It Time" was one they clearly tried to push, going so far as to Frankenstein an alternate version for a single release. They obviously doomed that single even further by prepping it and releasing it at a point where the reunion was essentially already over and they were on the brink of the awful PR that closed out the reunion. Nobody cared at that point. But even if the reunion had had more legs, and "Isn't It Time" (in either iteration) had been pushed earlier, it would not have reached "hit" status. The band, like most any old band, had no presence on pop radio, and next to none even on "classic rock" radio, and really only a hand full of songs on "oldies" radio, and back in 2012 didn't have a strong presence in various digital formats.

The main angle they had in 2012 was a strong album performance (which they got with a Top 5 album), strong awards activity (which they didn't get), and strong tour performances and reviews (which they did get). Beyond that, the next most unexplored angle was things like song placements in movies, movie trailers, etc. "Spring Vacation" should have been in some s**tty comedy movie trailer back in 2012.
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2021, 01:12:15 PM »

"Isn't it Time" could've been the 2012 version of Kokomo if only it had more modern production, a less abstract (and changing?) bridge, and FAR greater promotion. If that single had taken off, things would be very different today. I was in my junior year of high school and used to play it on my ukulele. It always brought joy to the room. They easily could've "rode the wave" that "Hey Soul Sister" had started just two years prior for summer ukulele based pop tunes, and improved it!

Heck, I'd go so far as to say it should've been the album title. What would be more fitting?

Barring some weird, off-the-wall viral moment probably unrelated to the music itself, there was no way the Beach Boys were going to get a hit single in 2012. "Isn't It Time" was one they clearly tried to push, going so far as to Frankenstein an alternate version for a single release. They obviously doomed that single even further by prepping it and releasing it at a point where the reunion was essentially already over and they were on the brink of the awful PR that closed out the reunion. Nobody cared at that point. But even if the reunion had had more legs, and "Isn't It Time" (in either iteration) had been pushed earlier, it would not have reached "hit" status. The band, like most any old band, had no presence on pop radio, and next to none even on "classic rock" radio, and really only a hand full of songs on "oldies" radio, and back in 2012 didn't have a strong presence in various digital formats.

The main angle they had in 2012 was a strong album performance (which they got with a Top 5 album), strong awards activity (which they didn't get), and strong tour performances and reviews (which they did get). Beyond that, the next most unexplored angle was things like song placements in movies, movie trailers, etc. "Spring Vacation" should have been in some s**tty comedy movie trailer back in 2012.
this
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Jay
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2021, 09:33:08 PM »

I will always say that "It's About Time" should have been a MONSTER hit. If it wasn't, it should have been all over the radio at the time.
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« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2021, 04:58:35 PM »

I watched Carl perform Hold Me and Heaven on YouTube today and I thought these are great songs and really should have been at least top twenty hits.
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2021, 07:35:29 PM »

I watched Carl perform Hold Me and Heaven on YouTube today and I thought these are great songs and really should have been at least top twenty hits.
Heaven is a song everybody should know. Maybe it would have done better if it had come out as a Beach Boys record.
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dombanzai
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« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2021, 02:36:39 AM »

For me, Drive In had hit written all over it, especially as it was recorded in that 1964 boom period. The ‘dead air’ is always highlighted as a negative factor, but it would have been interesting to see how this would have impacted the charts, along with Little Honda. Two great rocking numbers from their early days.
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Pretty Funky
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« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2021, 06:49:25 PM »

"Isn't it Time" could've been the 2012 version of Kokomo if only it had more modern production, a less abstract (and changing?) bridge, and FAR greater promotion. If that single had taken off, things would be very different today. I was in my junior year of high school and used to play it on my ukulele. It always brought joy to the room. They easily could've "rode the wave" that "Hey Soul Sister" had started just two years prior for summer ukulele based pop tunes, and improved it!

Heck, I'd go so far as to say it should've been the album title. What would be more fitting?

Barring some weird, off-the-wall viral moment probably unrelated to the music itself, there was no way the Beach Boys were going to get a hit single in 2012. "Isn't It Time" was one they clearly tried to push, going so far as to Frankenstein an alternate version for a single release. They obviously doomed that single even further by prepping it and releasing it at a point where the reunion was essentially already over and they were on the brink of the awful PR that closed out the reunion. Nobody cared at that point. But even if the reunion had had more legs, and "Isn't It Time" (in either iteration) had been pushed earlier, it would not have reached "hit" status. The band, like most any old band, had no presence on pop radio, and next to none even on "classic rock" radio, and really only a hand full of songs on "oldies" radio, and back in 2012 didn't have a strong presence in various digital formats.

The main angle they had in 2012 was a strong album performance (which they got with a Top 5 album), strong awards activity (which they didn't get), and strong tour performances and reviews (which they did get). Beyond that, the next most unexplored angle was things like song placements in movies, movie trailers, etc. "Spring Vacation" should have been in some s**tty comedy movie trailer back in 2012.
this

And now this week ironically an oldies act, ABBA, may have a genuine couple of Top 10 hits after 41 years. 😮
The Beach Boys have never really disappeared so a ‘hit’ was always going to be unlikely, but ABBA shows it can be done.
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phirnis
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« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2021, 08:30:08 PM »

ABBA have absolutely mastered the perfect presentation with their two new songs. I wouldn't want the Beach Boys to do something similar but it's very impressive.
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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2021, 05:32:46 AM »

"You Are So Beautiful" [counterfactually] recorded as a single (right after Billy Preston's album-release)! by the Beach Boys with a Dennis Wilson co-writer's credit already back then (just by adding an extra verse). Beating Joe Cocker to it - and with a Dennis lead vocal just as soulful' and raspy as Joe's???
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All Summer Long
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2021, 09:52:14 AM »

"You Are So Beautiful" [counterfactually] recorded as a single (right after Billy Preston's album-release)! by the Beach Boys with a Dennis Wilson co-writer's credit (just by adding an extra verse). Beating Joe Cocker to it - and with a Dennis lead vocal just as soulful' and raspy as Joe's???

That's part of my alternate history/albums ideas to some extent.  Even without an extra verse (but Dennis still deserves credit of course), you could theoretically put a live version on an alternate 15BO.  My concept (currently, it changes all the time) tries to do 7 originals, 7 covers, and YASB - which kind of does a little bit of both.
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feelintheflows
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2021, 12:50:10 PM »

Lana
Surfers Rule
No Go Showboat
Custom Machine
This Car of Mine
Keep An Eye On Summer
I Do


List goes on….
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