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Poll
Question: Rate The Beach Boys
5 - 8 (6.7%)
4 - 20 (16.8%)
3 - 41 (34.5%)
2 - 30 (25.2%)
1 - 15 (12.6%)
0 - 5 (4.2%)
Total Voters: 112

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Author Topic: The Beach Boys  (Read 42078 times)
Bean Bag
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« Reply #150 on: January 13, 2014, 11:00:09 AM »

I'm sure I've posted this in here before, but too lazy at the moment to look... but this album is really very good.  Its only issue (aside from the sadness of Dennis' recent death hanging over it) is its dated sound quality -- which unfortunately SMACKS you in the face.  And that's really the story.  The 80's sound quality is enough to keep the album from ever being fully appreciated and properly critiqued by many/most fans.

They really tried on this one.  It's not often that the Brian Wilson songs are NOT the reason to buy a Beach Boys album, but that maybe the case with this one.  I'm sure Dennis' death rocked their world and woke them up.  They were getting older and all that.  So I think they really got serious about this effort.  The eponymous title suggesting this as well. 

I think they were taking stock of their contribution to the music world, and weren't taking this one lightly.  As a result, the songs are all very good, sung emotionally and produced with great care and professionalism.  It's also the last time they appeared to "create something new" before they threw in the towel and became a recycled oldies product.

I have a fertile imagination, I suppose -- so I'm able hear the album without all the 80s-ism, if I try to.  But it does, as I said, sideline this otherwise fantastic effort.  Also, like others, I can do a 180 and totally enjoy the nostalgia of the time and relish in the 80s-ism of it all.  Still, I really wish someone was simultaneously recording this on their analog tape deck -- just in case something happened -- a safety copy.

So until that safety copy turns up, this album is going to remain somewhat of an old-ball, fringe delight.
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« Reply #151 on: January 13, 2014, 11:23:26 AM »

I'm sure I've posted this in here before, but too lazy at the moment to look... but this album is really very good.  Its only issue (aside from the sadness of Dennis' recent death hanging over it) is its dated sound quality -- which unfortunately SMACKS you in the face.  And that's really the story.  The 80's sound quality is enough to keep the album from ever being fully appreciated and properly critiqued by many/most fans.

They really tried on this one.  It's not often that the Brian Wilson songs are NOT the reason to buy a Beach Boys album, but that maybe the case with this one.  I'm sure Dennis' death rocked their world and woke them up.  They were getting older and all that.  So I think they really got serious about this effort.  The eponymous title suggesting this as well. 

I think they were taking stock of their contribution to the music world, and weren't taking this one lightly.  As a result, the songs are all very good, sung emotionally and produced with great care and professionalism.  It's also the last time they appeared to "create something new" before they threw in the towel and became a recycled oldies product.

I have a fertile imagination, I suppose -- so I'm able hear the album without all the 80s-ism, if I try to.  But it does, as I said, sideline this otherwise fantastic effort.  Also, like others, I can do a 180 and totally enjoy the nostalgia of the time and relish in the 80s-ism of it all.  Still, I really wish someone was simultaneously recording this on their analog tape deck -- just in case something happened -- a safety copy.

So until that safety copy turns up, this album is going to remain somewhat of an old-ball, fringe delight.


Very well put.
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« Reply #152 on: February 09, 2014, 10:23:57 PM »

My (slightly incoherent) first impressions:

"Getcha Back" - reminiscent of early Beach Boys; Mike's lead is a bit odd; production is a bit thin; pretty good

"It's Gettin Late"  - sounds like it cut into the song already happening; interesting intro; Nice Carl lead; not a bad song

"Crack at Your Love" - gee, that sounds dated; great Al lead; catchy melody; nice Brian cameo

"Maybe I Don't Know" - cheesy guitar parts, so very 80s; another catchy melody; the song is mixed pretty oddly; everything is sorta in the background without having anything in the front; indifferent about this.

"She Believes in Love Again" - very adult contemporary; sounds very average; it's pleasant, but inessential

"California Calling" - "Surfin' USA" with the production style of "Rock n Roll Music"; just an appeal to nostalgia; was surprised to see that Mike had no involvement with this

"Passing Friend" - why?, what's the point; it's not very good; eeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh; why is it so looooooooong, longest song ever; Seriously? 20 seconds of fade?

"I'm So Lonely" - seems promising; I enjoy this; begging for a different production

"Where I Belong" - this sounds stereotypical; nice harmonies on their part, though; nice and interesting beginning, kinda falls off

"I Do Love You" - not bad; good singing; pretty 80s; end is repetitive

"It's Just a Matter of Time" - better production, fuller; decent song, fine lead by Mike

"Male Ego" - here goes; I like the keyboards; nice backing harmonies; funny lyrics; decent production; fun song, sad when it began to fade

General comments: They had so many producers in the band. Why Steve Levine?     The production is pretty thin throughout.     A great deal of the harmonies are rather similar.
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« Reply #153 on: February 09, 2014, 10:24:20 PM »

Songs are fine (apart from the covers), production is utterly drab - except for on Male Ego, which is my jam.
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« Reply #154 on: February 09, 2014, 10:34:14 PM »

My (slightly incoherent) first impressions:

"Getcha Back" - reminiscent of early Beach Boys; Mike's lead is a bit odd; production is a bit thin; pretty good

"It's Gettin Late"  - sounds like it cut into the song already happening; interesting intro; Nice Carl lead; not a bad song

"Crack at Your Love" - gee, that sounds dated; great Al lead; catchy melody; nice Brian cameo

"Maybe I Don't Know" - cheesy guitar parts, so very 80s; another catchy melody; the song is mixed pretty oddly; everything is sorta in the background without having anything in the front; indifferent about this.

"She Believes in Love Again" - very adult contemporary; sounds very average; it's pleasant, but inessential

"California Calling" - "Surfin' USA" with the production style of "Rock n Roll Music"; just an appeal to nostalgia; was surprised to see that Mike had no involvement with this

"Passing Friend" - why?, what's the point; it's not very good; eeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh; why is it so looooooooong, longest song ever; Seriously? 20 seconds of fade?

"I'm So Lonely" - seems promising; I enjoy this; begging for a different production

"Where I Belong" - this sounds stereotypical; nice harmonies on their part, though; nice and interesting beginning, kinda falls off

"I Do Love You" - not bad; good singing; pretty 80s; end is repetitive

"It's Just a Matter of Time" - better production, fuller; decent song, fine lead by Mike

"Male Ego" - here goes; I like the keyboards; nice backing harmonies; funny lyrics; decent production; fun song, sad when it began to fade

General comments: They had so many producers in the band. Why Steve Levine?     The production is pretty thin throughout.     A great deal of the harmonies are rather similar.


I honestly quite like the production on this album. It may be dated now, but it was right for it's time. Kudos to Steve Levine, he did a pretty good job!

As for your song reviews:

Getcha Back - Production is great, Mike's lead the only flaw, great song
It's Gettin' Late - Agreed with everything you said
Crack At Your Love - It's one of the more dated songs. So yeah, Agreed
Maybe I Don't Know - Disagree. Some of the guitar parts are tolerable, the solo is great. The mix helped make this in my opinion the best song off this album. 5 Stars!!!
She Believes In Love Again - Yeah, it's pretty Adult Contemporary. "Pleasent but Inessential"?! tsk tsk tsk... and you call yourself a Brupublican!
California Calling - Agreed, worst song off this album, hands down! Though Mike did sing lead on this
Passing Friend - Not one of the better tracks, but for the most part I totally agree
I'm So Lonely - Agreed. The Production could be better
Where I Belong - Agreed. Great Song, but not one of my favourites
I Do Love You - More than not bad. Beautiful! End may be repetitive, but I really enjoy it, just the same
It's Just A Matter Of Time - Disagree. To me it's Filler. Now this is repetitive!
Male Ego - Disagree. Filler, and should have remained a B-Side
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« Reply #155 on: July 29, 2014, 02:07:17 PM »

Quote
Why Steve Levine?

I think at the time he was a hit producer for Culture Club and maybe were looking for a more 'commercial' sound.

I like 'I Do Love You' (would have fit on Stevie's In Square Circle album IMO) and really good vocal by Carl too. Getcha Back harks back to the classic Beach Boys sound and one of the best tracks on BB85.
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« Reply #156 on: December 22, 2014, 03:02:17 PM »


This one may sound dated in terms of production, but it is very good at its core:

A1 Getcha Back  (5/5) 
A2 It's Gettin' Late    (4/5)
A3 Crack At Your Love    (4/5)
A4 Maybe I Don't Know    (3/5)
A5 She Believes In Love Again    (4/5)
B1 California Calling    (2/5)
B2 Passing Friend    (5/5)
B3 I'm So Lonely   (2/5)
B4 Where I Belong  (3/5) 
B5 I Do Love You    (4/5)
B6 It's Just A Matter Of Time (1/5)
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« Reply #157 on: April 20, 2015, 08:34:07 PM »

I rate this one a high 2. 

Maybe that's harsh, but there's just not much to this one. 

The album kicks off in grand style with Getcha Back.  I love this track, and it's easily my favorite BB song of the 1980s.  I could do without Mike's overly nasal delivery, but you kinda get used to it.  Brian adds some good lead vocals. 

This is another one of those albums where the songs aren't horrible, but there's really not much memorable on here.  A far cry from the quality albums from 1962-73. 

It doesn't seem to be getting a lot of love, but I really like California Calling.  Maybe it's because it features live drums....from Ringo Starr filling in nicely for the recently departed Dennis.  Call it Surfin USA Part 2, or Do It Again Part 3, but I think it's a fun song. 
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« Reply #158 on: September 25, 2015, 03:41:36 PM »

1 Getcha Back  (4/5) 
2 It's Gettin' Late  (4/5)
3 Crack At Your Love  (1/5)
4 Maybe I Don't Know  (1/5)
5 She Believes In Love Again (4/5)
6 California Calling (3/5)
7 Passing Friend  (0/5)
8 I'm So Lonely (1/5)
9 Where I Belong  (5/5) 
10 I Do Love You (0/5)
11 It's Just A Matter Of Time (2/5)
12 Male Ego (4/5)

A very mixed bag, I wonder what Lindsey Buckingham or the Gibb Brothers (who had both expressed willingness to work with the guys around this time) would have done with this kind of material? Still track #9 is very much a latter day highlight.
2.5/5 overall.
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« Reply #159 on: October 12, 2015, 12:50:31 PM »

I have to admit I have a soft spot for Passing Friend, mostly because of how novel it is that the Beach Boys are doing a song written by Boy George and Culture Club guitarist Roy Hay. I also really like Carl's vocal performance.
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« Reply #160 on: October 13, 2015, 10:58:12 AM »



Been playing this album a lot, courtesy of the new Hi-Res download.  So many conflicting emotions/opinions for me.  On one hand, its a DREADFULLY engineered/recorded album.  Digital HORROR.  The background vocals especially, sound trapped in a low 8-bit prison.  It's scary.  Really scary to me.  The enhanced resolution SCARES me.

On the other hand, it's well put together.  The arrangements and all the rest sound well constructed.  It sounds like the most competent album they've put out since, geesh -- Pet Sounds and Sunflower?  By competent, I mean thought out and coherent.  But with that "competence" you get a lot of ...um (what's the opposite of "interesting?")


I gotta say, the new hi-res Download DESTROYS the 2000 CD.  And again with conflicting results.  The better mastering and higher resolution reveals all the ghoulish technology of the recording.  Yet, it also allows the sound to breathe (as if synthetic machines can actually breathe).  I am hearing this album in a whole new way -- and it's a bizarre trip.  It's spooky to me.  Like Michael Jackson Thriller spooky.



As for the tracks -- yet again, I find myself all over the map.  Loving a song one time, the next time finding it odd.  The songs I consistently love are Getcha Back, Maybe I Don't Know, I'm So Lonely and Male Ego.  Those are classic Beach Boy/Brian Wilson tracks that would fill out any favorites collection for me.

I don't find myself hating anything.  Much of the album, initially made me winch, yes -- hell yes.  But now, after all these years (and in much better hi-res sound) I'm enjoying everything from the clumsy California Calling, the Culture Club ambiguity of Passing Friend, to the Stevie Wonder blind-siding of I Do Love You.  I don't hate any of them.  They're extremely well executed and beautifully sung.  Carl Wilson, I'm looking at you!!

There's also the drenched-in-the-mid-80s-slime of It's Getting Late.  The odd and increasingly addictive Crack Of Your Love, I mean Crack AT Your Love.  And the fan-favorite and quite moving Where I Belong (which I like, but don't quite understand the gushing love for by some).  There's also the sappy/nightmarish 80's slow-dance-ballad She Believes In Love Again (which I would never play for anybody I wanted to impress!) and the decent doo-wop It's Just A Matter Of Time that is nice and easily forgettable.  All finely odd and oddly good.



Let's be real.  This is an album only a mother could love.  Or an insane fan (like myself -- and even many of us will want to vomit).  Save for Getcha Back -- which is a minor classic -- this is a stone-cold, awkward album for the Beach Boys.  Which is why I sort of LOVE it.  I do think I'm So Lonely is the gem though.  That's the diamond in the rough.  Listen to the background vocals, as the song fades.  Doo-doo.  Do-Dooooooo.  Gives me chills.



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« Reply #161 on: January 06, 2016, 04:55:22 PM »

I spent my whole life drifting
Underneath the sun
I would have wanderer foreveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer
If your breeze hadn't come
You must be an angel

Love WHERE I BELONG.
I think Carl's voice really shines on this record, his vocal peak. He was a true master vocalist.

Where I Belong (5/5)
Getcha Back (5/5)
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« Reply #162 on: April 29, 2016, 08:51:21 PM »

I'll admit this album is a guilty pleasure of mine, simply because I'm a sucker for 80's pop. I'd give it a 3/5 but it's more of a 1.5/5.
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« Reply #163 on: May 15, 2016, 01:32:10 PM »

One thing I find odd about these 80' style productions is, well, take Getcha Back for example. It starts off with that huge drum sound, then BB voices...a little baritone sax...and that's about all I hear in terms of instrumentation. It feels like the drums are HUGE, the vocals are up front...and everything else is either absent, or mixed really low. I don't hear any guitar.
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« Reply #164 on: May 15, 2016, 09:54:39 PM »

My favorites at 1st were "It's Gettin' Late", "California Calling" (esp. California Calling!) & "Crack at Your Love". Then later I liked "I'm So Lonely" & "Where I Belong", then the rest except "Passing Friend" & "Male Ego". Not too fond of "She Believes in Love Again" either. Carl saved it.
Bruce is always so sappy. Carl's vocal is great, but the song is ..well...okay. I've never been all that turned on about the Beach Boys covering Culture Club, either. Maybe if they had put more of their personal stamp on it, but it just sounds like Carl guesting on a Culture Club record. Crack also sounds like a Culture Club track. The rest of the album I like a lot. One that get better with every listen is the Stevie Wonder track, I Do Love You. Carl sings that wonderfully, and Al sounds good on his cameo vocal. Really a shame he didn't get more lead vocals. California Calling and It's A Matter of Time are the most natural sounding tracks, the former would have been a hit if they had released it as a single. I'm So Lonely is very simple for a Brian song,  but it works thanks to a good sax solo, and...well...it's Brian! But Carl is the definite star of this album. Any one of these songs would have fit in nicely on his solo records. The strength of his songs and vocals makes it that much sadder that he was basically silent on their remaining recordings, other than some strong vocals.
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« Reply #165 on: May 16, 2016, 05:33:55 AM »

My favorites at 1st were "It's Gettin' Late", "California Calling" (esp. California Calling!) & "Crack at Your Love". Then later I liked "I'm So Lonely" & "Where I Belong", then the rest except "Passing Friend" & "Male Ego". Not too fond of "She Believes in Love Again" either. Carl saved it.

I love California Calling.  Maybe it's because its one of the few songs on the album that doesn't sound like a robot is playing drums (thanks Ringo). 

But, it's also a fun song. 
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« Reply #166 on: May 17, 2016, 12:05:59 AM »

My favorites at 1st were "It's Gettin' Late", "California Calling" (esp. California Calling!) & "Crack at Your Love". Then later I liked "I'm So Lonely" & "Where I Belong", then the rest except "Passing Friend" & "Male Ego". Not too fond of "She Believes in Love Again" either. Carl saved it.

I love California Calling.  Maybe it's because its one of the few songs on the album that doesn't sound like a robot is playing drums (thanks Ringo). 

But, it's also a fun song. 
That's the most natural sounding song on the album. There must have been a lot of drummers heading for the unemployment line when the machines took over!
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« Reply #167 on: May 17, 2016, 05:18:29 AM »

The 2nd bit is funny.
 I like "California Calling" for diff. reason tho. It's joyful, that's why.

I'd agree with that.  It's a very fun song.
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« Reply #168 on: July 28, 2017, 02:38:38 AM »

2 stars for Getcha Back, I'm So Lonely and Where I Belong. The rest is rubbish.
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A band called The Beach Boys are mostly going to be a fun in the sun-themed group. And that has, is, and will always be just as it should. There needs to be ONE classic band that isn't a pack of endless "artistic" moan. All people wanna do is make The Beach Boys into another Beatles they are less tired of.
And, for anyone who has actually experienced them, surfing and cars carry PLENTY of emotion and life experience. They can carry as much metaphor as any Van Dyke Parks clever epistle.
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