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Poll
Question: Rate 20/20
5 - 44 (30.3%)
4 - 66 (45.5%)
3 - 30 (20.7%)
2 - 5 (3.4%)
1 - 0 (0%)
0 - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 136

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Author Topic: 20/20  (Read 38566 times)
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« Reply #125 on: February 24, 2013, 10:10:09 AM »

As an album I value it not so much either - but then THE SONGS ARE FANTASTIC (All I Want To Do & Bluebirds don't inspire me too much though...).
I fail to remember which 'underground paper'(?) it was D.Priore quoted in his book, praising the last two tracks, but then:"most of side 2 is weak". Amen, the premiere of the 2 SMiLE! outtakes must have been a revelation even to a Beach Boys-hater like the unknown reviewer quoted above - but side 2 kills! A failure as an album (as in an entity), a great success in terms of meaningful music. A tiny bit better than Sunflower or Friends and a whole lot more than Surf's Up!
5/5
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« Reply #126 on: May 03, 2013, 01:01:27 AM »

I think 20/20 is a pretty bad album. It's pretty clear that none of the other Beach Boys knew how to write good, tasteful music other than Brian at this point. That and the fact that there is no cohesion or unity really detracts from the experience.

I just don't like living in a world where Cabin Essence is on the same album as Bluebirds Over the Mountain.
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« Reply #127 on: May 03, 2013, 07:01:07 AM »

I think every song on 20/20 is very good. But the stone cold amazing classics are many: 'Do It Again', 'I Can Hear Music', 'Be With Me', 'I Went To Sleep', 'Time To Get Alone' and the two Smile tracks. And Lady Xoc, isn't 'Be With Me' a wonderful example of somebody in the band other than Brian writing a great song? And I also think that even though it's a cover, not an original, Carl's production of 'I Can Hear Music' was really a nice call back to Brian's pinnacle productions in '65-'66.

Opinions are opinions, but one of my favorite things about this band is that eventually the other members were able to write and produce great material in the late '60s through early '70s and even a little bit in the late '70s (mainly Dennis in all cases) after Brian retreated more and more. Sunflower and Holland are two particularly amazing albums that feature strong GROUP songwriting and production, not just strong Brian Wilson songwriting and production as it mainly had been during '61-'67.
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« Reply #128 on: May 03, 2013, 08:49:36 PM »

I think every song on 20/20 is very good. But the stone cold amazing classics are many: 'Do It Again', 'I Can Hear Music', 'Be With Me', 'I Went To Sleep', 'Time To Get Alone' and the two Smile tracks. And Lady Xoc, isn't 'Be With Me' a wonderful example of somebody in the band other than Brian writing a great song?

I do love the Brian songs on the album (besides the regressive Do It Again), but they are unfortunately surrounded by pap.

Be With Me is a pretty awful song. The choruses are let downs, and the lyrics are very poor and filled with laughable hippie cliches. Dennis's other song on the album is even worse, and may be the very worst Beach Boy song until Mike's Student Demonstration Time.

I don't think any of the other Beach Boys ever approached Wilson in terms of pop songcraft, even by 72-73 when he was contributing almost nothing.  I would honestly sacrifice every song Dennis, Carl, Al, Mike, and Bruce wrote for more Brian songs following Friends. I know that's a controversial opinion, but I'm on this board so I can express my opinions about the music I love.

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« Reply #129 on: May 04, 2013, 07:37:21 AM »

That's okay, I see what you're saying, and that's fine (even if I think Dennis was the group's second best songwriter, he was still a distant second). And I do agree that Brian left the others in the dust in songwriting and producing, even at their best, often even during Brian's isolation from the group.

The other Beach Boys, particularly Mike, would likely disagree, but they were simply incapable of making anything near the quality of Pet Sounds without Brian, or even near the quality of, say, All Summer Long and certainly Today. Sunflower is an utterly amazing album, and that's due to the whole group participation thing, but Brian's contributions like 'This Whole World' are just beyond killer. On Surf's Up, it's even more pronounced; 'Till I Die' and 'Surf's Up' make Mike's, Bruce's, Al's and even Carl's tunes look crummy in comparison.
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« Reply #130 on: June 25, 2013, 04:08:53 PM »

When i first got into The Beach Boys about two years ago, this was the third album of theirs that i bought (right after Pet Sounds and Smile). For the longest time, it was my favorite of the three. I liked the three lead off tunes, most of Dennis' contributions, the Smile tracks and a few other songs here and there. It felt like a Beatles album, what with all its varying styles. And since the Beatles were my favorite group at the time, it was only natural that i dug it.

However, upon more recent listens, I've realized how odd it really is. I still like it, but I wouldn't call it my favorite. For example, two years ago, "I Went To Sleep" was a song that i could listen to for hours on end. But now, in the year of our good lord 2013, i'd probably skip over it. The album looks good from afar, with its hits and (at the time of its release) unheard Smile tracks. I mean, you'd think it'd be a smash! But once up close, and after you've finished all of the previously mentioned tracks, you just have to sit back and think: "What a strange album".

Still, a good album nonetheless. Just a bit off-putting is all.
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« Reply #131 on: June 25, 2013, 11:30:35 PM »

That's okay, I see what you're saying, and that's fine (even if I think Dennis was the group's second best songwriter, he was still a distant second). And I do agree that Brian left the others in the dust in songwriting and producing, even at their best, often even during Brian's isolation from the group.

The other Beach Boys, particularly Mike, would likely disagree, but they were simply incapable of making anything near the quality of Pet Sounds without Brian, or even near the quality of, say, All Summer Long and certainly Today. Sunflower is an utterly amazing album, and that's due to the whole group participation thing, but Brian's contributions like 'This Whole World' are just beyond killer. On Surf's Up, it's even more pronounced; 'Till I Die' and 'Surf's Up' make Mike's, Bruce's, Al's and even Carl's tunes look crummy in comparison.

Brian's songs on Sunflower are no better or worse than Dennis'. Likewise, Carl's Surf's Up compositions are the equal to Brian's. Brian was the best overall songwriter in the group, however Dennis wasn't a distant second, he was frequently snapping at Brian's coattails and in fact he quite regularly outclassed Brian from 1970 onwards...
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« Reply #132 on: June 26, 2013, 02:34:42 AM »

One of the first Beach Boys albums I picked up after getting all the early surf/hot rod era stuff, and an album I picked up around the same time as Pet Sounds. For me, 20/20 is an album full of great songs, and worth the price of entry just to hear the awesome "Time To Get Alone". There's not a song on this album I don't like, and in my early years I actually preferred this to Pet Sounds.

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« Reply #133 on: July 11, 2013, 07:38:07 AM »

The whole album is great except for Nearest Faraway Place which I consider unappealing, saccharine and blah. With the exception of said song, I think the tunes are excellent and worthy of repeated listening. I know that many don't care for All I Want To Do but I find it exciting and extremely rock & roll. Never Learn Not To Love is contreversial but I think it's catchy as hell. Time To Get Alone is one of the best BB songs of the late 60s. And of course the SMiLE material...magical! 20/20 rocks.
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« Reply #134 on: July 11, 2013, 10:18:06 AM »

The whole album is great except for Nearest Faraway Place which I consider unappealing, saccharine and blah. With the exception of said song, I think the tunes are excellent and worthy of repeated listening. I know that many don't care for All I Want To Do but I find it exciting and extremely rock & roll. Never Learn Not To Love is contreversial but I think it's catchy as hell. Time To Get Alone is one of the best BB songs of the late 60s. And of course the SMiLE material...magical! 20/20 rocks.
Aw, I like NFP! Bruce's stuff is so underrated Tongue
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« Reply #135 on: July 14, 2013, 12:59:34 AM »

Possibly my favourite Beach Boys album ever. I love 20/20, i think it has a lot to do with the variety. But there are a few flaws.

Do It Again is highly overrated, I never cared for it. I Can Hear Music is a favourite, Carl at one of his best. On a personal note, it's one of the first songs I learned on guitar. Bluebirds over the Mountain is all right, it never grew on me, but I don't mind the song. Be with Me is easily the best song on this album, one of the best Dennis songs, and one of the best Beach Boys songs. A must-listen for anyone. All I Want To Do is another favourite, and possibly the heaviest song they ever did. Not surprised Dennis wrote it at all. It may be Mike's all-time best vocals! The Nearest Faraway Place is quite beautiful, but another song that hasn't quite grown on me.

Cottonfields I quite like, even though I'm not really into Country. I do prefer the single version, and it should have been a much bigger hit in the US (it was no.1 in my country). I Went To Sleep and Time To Get Alone are both forgettable, i never cared for them. I am aware that Charles Manson wrote Never Learn Not To Love You as Cease To Exist, and not many people like it because of it's connection to Manson. But here's the thing: I don't give a flying f***. It's actually a great song, and if people weren't so sensitive, they'd enjoy a lot more. I do feel sorry for Dennis for what happened after, however. I'd say this is the third-best song on this album (equal to I Can Hear Music, not quite as good as All I Want To Do and Be With Me).

Our Prayer and Cabinessence in my opinion shouldn't have been put on this album. Break Away and Celebrate The News would have made much better additions. Don't get me wrong, they're both brilliant, but still.

I rate this album 4/5. This album should have been remastered last year, but for some reason, they chose to skip it. Shame, really.

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« Reply #136 on: July 14, 2013, 01:31:47 AM »

Good to see some love for NLNTL. A very unfortunate backstory, but honestly I think the song itself is damned brilliant.
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« Reply #137 on: October 25, 2013, 01:39:31 PM »

I just wanted to comment that I'm so so hooked on Time To Get Alone. Yeah, I'd known it for quite a while, but as it always happens, it just came forth to my special attention (which strays from song to song within the BB's catalog).

It's simply outstanding. I love how Carl pronounces "toboggan"
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« Reply #138 on: October 28, 2013, 02:27:08 PM »

One of my favorites. I don't care of it's hodgepodge or not, it's awesome. I love everything starting from the cover art. Cool!

Do It Again - 4.5/5 - The drum intro is one of the best things ever! But the song is a little bit too short...
I Can Hear Music - 5/5 - Could be the best cover beach Boys ever recorded.
Bluebirds Over The Mountain - 4/5 - I like the guitars a lot. Great cover.
Be With Me - 4.5/5 - Wow! The fade-out is so creepy! Very different kind of Denny track.
All I Want To Do - 5/5 - I'll give it five, it's just so GOOD! Well it should be a little longer. And the fade-out a little louder...
The Nearest Faraway Place - 4/5 - Best Bruce track after Disney Girls.
Cotton Fields - 4/5 - This mix is better than the single version.
I Went To Sleep - 4/5 - Reminds me a lot of Sunflower. Another awesome track.
Time To Get Alone - 5/5 - One of the best BB songs ever! I love every part of it.
Never Learn Not To Love - 3.5/5 - Good song, but propably the weakest of the album. A little bit boring.
Our Prayer - 5 - Out of place but perfect.
Cabinessence - 5 - Out of place but perfect.

4/5 for the album. It doesn't have a single mediocre or bad song. That's pretty well done for a BB album. But the fact is that it sounds too much of a compilation than an actual album... I just wonder where the name 20/20 comes from?
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« Reply #139 on: October 28, 2013, 11:57:23 PM »

I just wonder where the name 20/20 comes from?

Easy. 2 reasons. It was their 20th album (compilations included) for Capitol. And inside the gatefold Brian is hiding behind an eye examination chart, as a play on the title.
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« Reply #140 on: December 12, 2013, 01:19:05 PM »

Great record and a favorite of mine.. 5/5  Not a clinker on the LP.. Flows from one track to the next easily.. Great production + Harmonies.. Hit singles + unreleased songs left off other LP'S .. Smile tracks etc.. Should had been a bigger hit in its day..
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« Reply #141 on: March 08, 2014, 12:29:04 AM »

This album is an album with a lot a variety which is a good thing IMO. I'll go track by track.

Do It Again: Great single. Maybe a little too commercial. I like the extra workshop effects at the end.
I Can Hear Music: Carl's vocal on this is very good. Although I reckon they should have made this song a bit more dynamic. It's the same thing throughout except for the bridge. Good song nevertheless.
Bluebirds Over The Mountain: I like this one quite a bit. The bass is awesome on this. The guitar is a bit strange but great though. I don't know why people tend to hate this. Ending is awesome as well.
Be With Me: This is when Denny had full confidence. Amazing song.
All I Want To Do: Dennis sure knew how to write a rocker. Mike's vocal is awesome. Guitar solo sucks though. Need more rhythm guitar! I wonder when they'll release the full 10-hour session of the ending 'dialogue'.
The Nearest Faraway Place: Why didn't Bruce do this more often? Great peaceful instrumental.
Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song): The Intro and Outro are weird. Nevertheless great country tune. Single version is better arrangement wise. But this version is better produced.
I Went To Sleep: Should've been on Friends. Disrupts the pace of the album. It's good but not great.
Time To Get Alone: Beautiful tune. Carl's vocal is great as usual (Brian's too).
Never Learn Not To Love: I quite like this one. Harmonies and the chords are great. That backwards cymbal intro is quite creepy and scary considering the person who apparently wrote it.
Our Prayer: Seems very out of place but you can't say anything bad about Our Prayer.
Cabinessence: Chorus seems a bit 'soft' but you can't say anything bad about Cabinessence.
 
Overall great album 5/5
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« Reply #142 on: August 31, 2014, 02:20:51 PM »

Do It Again - GREAT
I Can Hear Music - GREAT
Bluebirds Over The Mountain - fine
Be With Me - fine
All I Want To Do - fine
The Nearest Faraway Place - fine

Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song) - GREAT
I Went To Sleep - REALLY GREAT
Time To Get Alone - REALLY GREAT
Never Learn Not To Love - GREAT
Our Prayer - AMAZING
Cabinessence - AMAZING

So despite the tracklist, why is it that I've never cared much for this album  Sad
Side 2 is an absolute monster.
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« Reply #143 on: August 31, 2014, 02:47:19 PM »

So despite the tracklist, why is it that I've never cared much for this album  Sad
Side 2 is an absolute monster.

Well, it's like the expression that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I suppose in some cases the parts can be greater than the whole. I feel similarly about 20/20.
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« Reply #144 on: April 15, 2015, 06:57:47 AM »

I rate the final Beach Boys album of the 60s a five.  

This hodge podge of singles, new songs, and leftovers shouldn't work, but it does.  

20/20 is proof that albums don't always need to flow seamlessly.  Sometimes albums just need to be a good collection of songs.  

I can picture Brian and Mike writing Do It Again, saying "one day, we're going to do a massive one-off reunion tour, maybe in 2012, and we'll need a song to open the shows."  The Beach Boys first of several nostalgia based songs, and probably their best.  Gets the album off to a great start IMO.  

Then, you've got Carl's cover of I Can Hear Music.  The cover of Bluebirds Over the Mountain hints at some of what would come in the early 70s.  

Time to Get Along and I Went to Sleep are nice tracks.  

Al sings a great version of Cottonfields.

Bruce sets a good mood on Nearest Faraway Place, proving he's more than just Brian's tour stand in. 

That Charlie Manson should've had a hit on his hands with Never Learn Not to Love.  Easily the most memorable thing he ever did.   And Dennis sings it very well.  

Then, the album closes with two of the best songs from Smile.  
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« Reply #145 on: May 11, 2015, 09:18:53 AM »

That Charlie Manson should've had a hit on his hands with Never Learn Not to Love.  Easily the most memorable thing he ever did.
No. most memorable is his connection to T-Lb massacre. Sadly, because I think Charlie had talent, he could've been a solid solo act, toss "Family". I like his voice, it got soul. I don't believe he was THAT bad.

My saying that Never Learn Not to Love is the most memorable thing Manson ever did was an attempt at humor. 

But, in actuality, I think Never Learn Not to Love is a very good song that unfairly gets overlooked or dismissed due to the association with Manson. 
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« Reply #146 on: May 12, 2015, 12:19:45 AM »

20/20 is proof that albums don't always need to flow seamlessly.  Sometimes albums just need to be a good collection of songs.  
I've been listening to this album a lot recently, and I agree with this. It's kind of a weird album, but I really do enjoy so many of the songs. And I enjoy listening to it as an album, because for some reason, for me, it works.
I don't think any of the songs stick out to me quite like some of my favorites; I think what I like about 20/20 is that it's a happy album to listen to Smiley. I Can Hear Music and Be With Me (the horns kinda remind me of Tower of Power?) are wonderful in every way.
Having Smile songs on there may be random but I do think Cabinessence is a great way to exit out of an album...

I also love Al's sweater on the album cover Tongue
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« Reply #147 on: September 26, 2015, 03:45:30 AM »

Do It Again - 5/5
I Can Hear Music - 5/5
Bluebirds Over The Mountain - 2/5
Be With Me - 3/5
All I Want To Do - 3/5
The Nearest Faraway Place - 5/5
Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song) - 3/5
I Went To Sleep - 4/5
Time To Get Alone - 5/5
Never Learn Not To Love - 5/5
Our Prayer - 5/5
Cabinessence - 5/5

Side 1 is a little wonky as Dennis was still developing as a songwriter, but side 2 is killer. With this album the seeds were sown for the band's creative peak.
Overall 4.5/5
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« Reply #148 on: May 02, 2016, 11:49:16 PM »

The reverse of Friends - I think side one of Friends is perfect; side two of 20/20 is killer! Oh, wait, bad choice of words, there's that Manson track on there, which I have never liked very much anyway. Side one's keepers for me are Do it Again, I Can Hear Music, and All  I Want to Do - nice to hear Mike rocking out like this!
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« Reply #149 on: May 27, 2016, 09:32:08 PM »

This album is fucking creepy
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