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677339 Posts in 27334 Topics by 4045 Members - Latest Member: iggy October 07, 2022, 07:48:03 AM
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Author Topic: The uniqueness of the Beach Boys  (Read 739 times)
Zenobi
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« on: August 27, 2022, 04:06:01 PM »

This just dawned on me, and is the best answer I ever found to my question of almost sixty years: among all the fantastic music around, what makes the Beach Boys (and, of course, Brian) UNIQUE? Why do I always return to them, and still think there is no better music?

My answer, now: the Beach Boys music is not just a bunch of albums, songs and sessions. It is a SPACE. It's an enormous sea where you fish the tools to build the music of your dreams, even if only in your dreams.

Of course, many go further than dreams. I'm no musician, but when the legendary GV boxset was released, practically the first thing I did was my own very simplistic SMiLE mix, appending the long Good Vibrations session to the SMiLE songs and getting a totally heavenly 41 minutes album.

And it is not only SMiLE. I have listened to fanmixes of transcendental beauty, lasting one or even two hours and built using music from ALL the Beach Boys "eras". The best of them, imho, are better than anything released by the Boys themselves. By the way, there is also at least one uncannily believable and satisfying "completed" 1967 SMiLE following the fabled twelve songs "list".

I know no other band or musician with that same feature: enabling practically anybody to fiddle endlessly with their music, and get good and even awesome results. I'll take as an example one of my fav musicians: John Coltrane. Yes, you could fiddle with his music, but you would have to be a very accomplished jazz musician.

Most pop/rock music simply lacks the modularity and flexibility. Or, when the structure is modular and flexible, the melodies and harmonies aren't good enough to warrant fiddling much with them.

« Last Edit: August 28, 2022, 01:13:30 AM by Zenobi » Logged
rab2591
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2022, 05:28:49 PM »

Zenobi,

Not sure if you were around for this thread, but what you write is kinda why I created this mix (this link is timestamped to a particular track in the mix that is my favorite collage of Beach Boys tracks):

https://youtu.be/pcsPPBR11zY?t=708

Here is the original thread for it (if you like it and want to read about the making of it): http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,23016.0.html

Also, the entire YouTube mix that is linked is not my original - but much of it is in tact from my original. Another fan uploaded my work to YouTube and I think did some changes here and there (which is what that YouTube link is). Honestly I appreciate that they uploaded it to keep the mix alive, but I do wish they hadn't added to my work. It took me a long time to create it and I really felt my original mix was perfect (or as perfect as I could get it). But that being said, I also realize that I took original/perfect work of The Beach Boys and morphed it into something different, so I can't really complain.

I don't know what happened to my original on Vimeo, but it's not there anymore so this YouTube version is all that remains online of this mix (that I'm aware of)/

Regardless, this is a mix that took me a long time to make, and it combines all elements of different Beach Boys songs to create unique tracks. Tonight I'm looking at the comments on that YouTube video and feel very blessed that people really like the mix. I didn't know it was that appreciated among fans.
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Bill Tobelman's SMiLE site

God must’ve smiled the day Brian Wilson was born!

"ragegasm" - /rāj • ga-zəm/ : a logical mental response produced when your favorite band becomes remotely associated with the bro-country genre.

Ever want to hear some Beach Boys songs mashed up together like The Beatles' 'LOVE' album? Check out my mix!
rab2591
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2022, 05:42:51 PM »

Man, actually they changed a lot about my original - half the songs seem to not be mine. I think I'm going to try and upload my original soon. Its funny because I first tried uploading it to YouTube when I first made it and it was rejected due to copyright, but this person did it just fine!
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Bill Tobelman's SMiLE site

God must’ve smiled the day Brian Wilson was born!

"ragegasm" - /rāj • ga-zəm/ : a logical mental response produced when your favorite band becomes remotely associated with the bro-country genre.

Ever want to hear some Beach Boys songs mashed up together like The Beatles' 'LOVE' album? Check out my mix!
Zenobi
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2022, 09:51:13 PM »

It's great, Rab, but I have an inkling your original was even better... Smiley
Is Heroes and Villains at the start still your original?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2022, 09:55:10 PM by Zenobi » Logged
Zenobi
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2022, 09:55:58 PM »

Do you know the works of Jaywalker6? He would seem inspired by your mix. Very, very psychedelic, as I like. The legendary Peter Reum himself praises them! Smiley
« Last Edit: August 28, 2022, 01:15:37 AM by Zenobi » Logged
rab2591
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2022, 02:26:05 PM »

It's great, Rab, but I have an inkling your original was even better... Smiley
Is Heroes and Villains at the start still your original?

I didn't listen to all of his H&V mix, but he added in these drums/handclaps over much of my mix that (imo) kinda take away from the song underneath. I think he also took out my section with some of Brian and a friend talking in Spanish (from his home tape-recorder back in high school, practicing Spanish).

Listening to a couple of Jaywalker6's tracks now - very cool! Notice he's got quite a bit of Beatles mashed up tunes...In my original mix of LOVE I mashed together the vocals from The Beatles' 'Hello, Goodbye' with the instrumental of 'Please Let Me Wonder' - it honestly turned out pretty decent.
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I uploaded my original mix today here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsUZaFEv6aA
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Bill Tobelman's SMiLE site

God must’ve smiled the day Brian Wilson was born!

"ragegasm" - /rāj • ga-zəm/ : a logical mental response produced when your favorite band becomes remotely associated with the bro-country genre.

Ever want to hear some Beach Boys songs mashed up together like The Beatles' 'LOVE' album? Check out my mix!
Zenobi
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2022, 10:38:00 PM »

Thanks Rab, it's great. Your original version is much better than the modified one. And the amount of work you put into it shows, resulting in a unique mix. Totally psychedelic, too! Smiley

Ah, Wouldn'it It Be Nice with the Worms track... brilliant!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2022, 10:41:27 PM by Zenobi » Logged
rab2591
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2022, 07:02:13 AM »

Thanks, Zenobi.

And getting back to your original post (didn't mean to hijack the thread): I think you're absolutely right about The Beach Boys. There is something there, that "space" in which there is so much creativity, so much emotion and beauty, that it really becomes this place or space (and it's the majority of the catalog). It's not just limited to track listing or playlists, but to hear vocals-only tracks, or the stack-o-tracks, some of Brian's demos (Awake, Still I Dream of It) can be absolutely heavenly.

When I listen to 'Til I Die' I can see the waves, I can see the floating leaf, I can see the tumbling rock...and it's not just the lyrics, but it's the production that sends me to that chaotic ocean, or floating in the sky. I know that sounds ridiculous and corny, but it's really unexplainable and that's the best way I can explain it.

Perhaps the couple other examples I can think of are 'Across The Universe' and 'Penny Lane' by the Beatles - those songs take me somewhere because there's an authenticity in both the production and the lyrics. But The Beach Boys seem to have that with most of their work and not just a couple songs. And perhaps that is all subjective.

One thing I love about The Beach Boys is that they weren't usually afraid to go against the grain, or try something completely new...whether its releasing a Bossa nova tune, or some synth music - yet it all usually had that ethereal quality to it - 'Busy Doin Nothin' takes me right to the sunny/breezy day Brian is writing about, 'The Night Was So Young' takes me to a still evening. And yet those songs are so different both production and lyrically.

Perhaps it's all tied together with "harmony" (not just vocal harmony, but a dedicated harmony of the instruments or themes).
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Bill Tobelman's SMiLE site

God must’ve smiled the day Brian Wilson was born!

"ragegasm" - /rāj • ga-zəm/ : a logical mental response produced when your favorite band becomes remotely associated with the bro-country genre.

Ever want to hear some Beach Boys songs mashed up together like The Beatles' 'LOVE' album? Check out my mix!
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