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Author Topic: Reviewing Adult/Child as an actual Beach Boys album  (Read 49890 times)
Jay
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« on: July 28, 2008, 08:37:10 PM »

I've been doing a lot of listening to Adult/Child recently. I'm wondering what everybody here thinks of it. Let's pretend that this is a "real" album, in the context of 15BO/Love You/MIU/LA Light. Where would this album have gone, had it been released? I actually think that this would have been one of the better albums that the group put out. Everybody Wants To Live is, in my opinion, a minor "masterpiece". The same goes with It's Over Now and Still I Dream Of It. I also think that Deep Purple is one of Brian's greatest 1970's vocals.
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variable2
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2008, 08:43:53 PM »

I actually really love "It's Trying to Say." nice background vocals.
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MBE
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2008, 09:02:12 PM »

It's not perfect but I like it much more then Love You. The vocals are a bit better, the production is a lot more ambitious, and the tracks selected from the archived among my favorites. It's not up to pre 1976 standards, but it would have made for an interesting release.
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Jay
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2008, 09:10:44 PM »

I agree with you, MBE, on the production. Just listen to the backing track on Life Is For The Living. It kicks butt! Ok, maybe you have to be into brass to like it.  Grin Who was in charge of the production? Was it Brian? I doubt that Carl would have "sweetened' it like he did with Love You. This was the start of his "decent into the abyss", as AGD so poetically once put it.  Grin
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2008, 09:42:36 PM »

Adult/Child is like the bastard offspring of Pet Sounds and Love You, an alternately introspective and goofy Frankenstein's monster of an LP. Deeply flawed, but it was 1977. We were lucky the man did anything then. Better than almost anything that came after, though.

Standouts are all the new cuts.
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2008, 10:36:55 PM »

I love the music on this album.. flawed but still stirring + emotional..I dont think it would have been a huge Lp in sales but it would have done better than..Love You..I read somewhere a long time ago the lp was rejected for release...HMM..?? I find the music BB recorded that stretches  the boundaries of their classic sound very interesting..Its too bad much of it isnt accepted by the average fan..
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MBE
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2008, 10:47:29 PM »

I agree with you, MBE, on the production. Just listen to the backing track on Life Is For The Living. It kicks butt! Ok, maybe you have to be into brass to like it.  Grin Who was in charge of the production? Was it Brian? I doubt that Carl would have "sweetened' it like he did with Love You. This was the start of his "decent into the abyss", as AGD so poetically once put it.  Grin

Abyss for who Carl? Yes 1977 also saw Dennis began his real decline.  Brian by the end of the year was going downhill too.

Dick Reynolds arranged and Brian produced the 4 big band tracks. I don't know what Carl did behind the board.

If I were to make a 1977 LP in leiu of Adult Child or Love You it would have
I'll Bet He's Nice
Night Was So Young
My Diane
Come Go With Me
Sherry
Ruby Baby
You've Lost That Loving Feeling
Sea Cruise
It's Over Now
Still I Dream Of It
Everybody Wants To Live
Lazy Lizzie (forgot about this) so new inclusion.
Of course if Dennis wanted to lend a few songs that would have been great.
Games, H.E.L.P. and Good Time are all great but should have been saved for something like Ten Years Of Harmony.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 08:37:23 PM by MBE » Logged
Dancing Bear
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2008, 11:03:44 PM »

Life Is For The Living, Hey Little Tomboy, It's Over Now, Everybody Wants To Live, Lines, It's Trying To Say, Still I Dream Of It. Seven tracks, I don't love all of them, but they are not the problem.

Deep Purple is horrible. H.E.L.P. and Games Two Can Play are cute as unreleased tracks in a box set, but head scratching when thrown here as if no one's gonna notice they were recorded almost a decade before the rest of the album. Shortenin' Bread: Yawn. On Broadway: I kinda like Al's vocals, but this track doesn't bring anything new to the table. It sounds like a cheap New Jersey band hacking it in a wedding.

Whoever sequenced this album just didn't care. Where's "My Diane", which is beter than 70% of those tracks?
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2008, 01:42:09 AM »

I agree with some of these posts, the new material is fine but the older stuff doesn't fit, something with these tracks would have been better;

Life is for the living
Still I dream of it
It's over now
Lines
Everyone wants to live
Its trying to say
Hey Little Tomboy

Add on;
Marilyn Rovell
Lazy Lizzie
My Diane
That Special feeling (if it was finished)
Sherry she needs me

Overall this may have been more cohesive and solidly enjoyable! (apart from Sherry)
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2008, 10:37:55 AM »

I think that Adult/Child is a great album and would've been a minor treasure in the BB catalog. Shame it wasn't released, as it's much more accessible than Love You (which is, nevertheles, one of my favorite BB albums). I'd agree that "My Diane," "Sherry She Needs Me," "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," "Sea Cruise" and "Lazy Lizzie" deserve release, in addition to AC.
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2008, 10:55:37 AM »

Oddly, it beat Joe Jackson by half a decade, in a pop artist doing Big Band material, even though Brian only had 4 cuts like that. Not sure what they would have sounded like without Dick Reynolds's arrangements, though.

I run across the occassional big band/swing revival record from the '70s and '80s, but most of them are more like tributes to the Glenn Miller era, and more than a tad dorky. I have come across very little that pointed to the full-on swing revival of the mid-'90s, and bands like Cherry Poppin' Daddies or Squirrel Nut Zippers, both of whom I love. That psychotronic notion, tongue-in-cheek and lacivious to boot... it's always missing from the '70s and '80s swing material. But Brian's four songs, especially "Life"... they work in being contemporary and old-sounding, and not lame at all. Just my opinion.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 10:58:56 AM by brianc » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2008, 10:59:03 AM »

I do have a lot of these tracks on LP, as a bootleg called 1976 New Album...the track listing is as follows:

Side A:
My Diane
Marilyn Rovell
Hey Little Tomboy
Ruby Baby
You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
Sherry She Needs Me
Come Go With Me

Side B:
Mony Mony
On Broadway
Sea Cruise
H.E.L.P. Is On The Way
Games Two Can Play
When Girls Get Together
Honkin Down The Highway

...decent album, a little scattered of course. I guess I can see how their record company didn't think this stuff was commercial...I still like it though  Grin
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2008, 11:01:55 AM »

What was 'Winter Symphony' originally intended for? I love this song, and think it should have been included on something.
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John
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2008, 11:18:21 AM »

The 1978 Chirstmas album.
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2008, 11:45:49 AM »

What I probably love most about BW's 1977 music is its unadulterated directness. Love You might be "flawed" in the sense that it's obviously not a pop masterpiece in the most conventional sense (think Pet Sounds), and I can see why critics do obviously not feel safe enough around it in order to call it a classic. Yet as an emotional listening experience, the album is hard to beat, to my ears anyway. You might not even want to play this music to some of your friends, but to me it is music you can actually relate to, which is always so hard to find, isn't it? If The Beach Boys released Adult/Child in '77 or '78, it might have tanked just like the M.I.U. Album. Who knows? It would have been quite an intriguing addition to their catalogue anyway and it really is a shame that a song as beautiful and touching as Still I Dream Of It did not see official release for so many years. It probably should have been a one-off BW solo single.
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2008, 11:46:47 AM »

Adult Child is a real lost classic, the true follow up to Love You.  It would have been a great record (which would have bombed commercially, i'm sure).  I have a vinyl boot and it seems the record was completed and ready to go (sequenced w/ the correct fades, etc).  
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« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2008, 01:36:02 PM »

Adult/Child was assembled June 27, 1977.
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the captain
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« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2008, 02:53:09 PM »

I really like most of the material on A/C, and it is among the top half of BBs albums for me. There's no question the older recordings in the middle of new ones throws things off, but considering they'd just done that pretty blatantly on the previous few albums, I guess that's not a problem. I love Lines and Baseball, specifically. Very much.
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« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2008, 02:53:28 PM »

Oh, but I think On Broadway is atrocious. Really bad. Fucking awful, in fact.
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« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2008, 02:54:50 PM »

I also love the big band swing vibe - I think there should have been more tracks in that vein rather than just Deep Purple, Life is for the Living, It's Over Now, and Still I Dream of It.  The old tracks and cover don't fit unfortunately.  Definitely had potential to be a great though uncommercial album.
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« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2008, 03:08:10 PM »

I'm mostly unfamiliar with the 'Adult Child' track listing, apart from the released tracks and the ones on 30 Years of good Vibrations.

'Games Two Can Play' is a very nice track.

But nothing earth shattering.

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« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2008, 08:20:23 PM »

I agree that the older tracks don't quite fit. Somebody here mentioned Marilyn Rovell as a possible inclusion. I think it would have been a GREAT fit.  Smiley It would probably have fit well backed with Lines. Two charming little songs, with rather odd "childlike" lyrics. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling would have worked well in my opinion. It could have been stuck into the "big band" section. I get the feeling that this would have been a "cult classic", had it been released. Kind of like how Love You is today.
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Jonathan Blum
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« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2008, 11:55:32 PM »

I remember thinking that the old/new track mix could work depending on how you sequenced the album -- perhaps starting off with some of the younger-sounding and younger-oriented material, "Hey Little Tomboy" and the oldies, "Games Two Can Play", "Lines", maybe "Marilyn Rovell" for a childlike view of marriage, working your way into more grown-up concerns like "HELP"... then hitting you with more adult-oriented tracks like "It's Over Now".  In fact, a progression from the early stuff to a sort of divorce mini-set -- "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", "My Diane", "It's Over Now", and the rest of the big-band material to wrap up with "Still I Dream Of It" -- could make a pretty damn powerful record...
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« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2008, 02:21:15 AM »

I admit I think 15 Big Ones is better for Susie and Love You Better for Good Time. Not because they "fit" but because I like 1969-70 Beach Boys far more then 1976-77 Beach Boys.
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« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2008, 06:38:25 AM »

For some reason I love, and can't get enough of, this era of the Beach Boys.  Quite possibly my favorite.  Maybe there's something very "direct" about it, as someone mentioned, I don't know.  Brian was so involved, strangely enthusiastic, but at the same time a train wreck and sporadic.

So from an artistic stand point, there's a lot--just as much, maybe even more--soul-bearing here as I find in the Today/Pet Sounds/Smile era.  Perhaps that's it.  Added to it though is that miraculous window into one's creative world, without any pretension or "need-to-be-liked" or apparent "success-drive" that you would find in someone trying to score hits.  There was a lot of pressure for Brian to maintain formulas, expectations and chart-appearance in the 60s.  But not here.  They were happy to get the ole' bear into the studio.  Even more happy when he had some "feels."

Clearly Brian was needed, so I'm talking just about Brian here.  Though even for the rest of the guys, this era has some of the more interesting Brian-less efforts.   It was a brief period -- after they stopped trying to redefine themselves as "not the Beach Boys" in the late 60s-early 70s, but before they succumbed fully to the Disneyland train wreck of the late 80s-90s.  They're oddly comfortable saying "Listen, we're the Beach Boys...we're men now, not boys...we drink, we smoke, Brian's half-retarded himself--can't hide that anymore...but you know what?....people love us.  Brian's out of bed now so, let's record a song about tennis balls.  Dennis is on the kit and Brian's got a wild synth bass line to go with it. Smokin"

That directness is delicious.  Brian on TV saying, "Oh yeah, coke this, acid that...I came back, but I don't know in how many pieces."  That's even more direct than any of the Madonna-shock-me, reality-show Bullcrap we get today.  And I ain't foolin.

But that directness combined with some of Brian's most unique and fascinating compositions is quite a powerful concoction to me.  I really hope they make available all of this material.  Demos, finished and unfinished material.  If Love You made it out (still can't believe it!!) than Adult/Child and all the rest from this time should too.
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