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Smiley Smile Stuff => Brian Wilson Solo Albums => Topic started by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on December 26, 2005, 08:32:52 AM



Title: Brian Wilson
Post by: Charles LePage @ ComicList on December 26, 2005, 08:32:52 AM
Discuss, review and rate Brian Wilson, released August 1988.

(http://www.smileysmile.net/images/albums/bw88.gif)


Title: Re: Brian Wilson (BW solo)
Post by: the captain on December 26, 2005, 12:27:53 PM
I like apprioximately half of the songs. I hate approximately all of the production. Now that we've gotten better releases of L&M and of Melt Away, I'm caring less and less about this. Give me a better There's So Many and MAYBE Rio Grande (arguably BW's most overrated song ever) and I'm OK just leaving it on the shelf.

But it's still better than Imagination.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson (BW solo)
Post by: Jason on December 26, 2005, 01:22:49 PM
It's synthy, it's computerized, but it has more life than anything else Brian has released solo (bar BWPS). A very weird animal indeed, but isn't that why we love Brian? 4.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson (BW solo)
Post by: I. Spaceman on December 26, 2005, 01:28:51 PM
I agree totally, Jason.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: dogbreath on December 27, 2005, 06:32:26 AM
I give it four stars. It shouldn't work, this album, but it does. Downsides are well-known, and obvious, but the upside is, it's a proper album, with some great songs. Maybe Rio Grande is fake-Brian-Smile-era, but nobody does fake-Brian better than he does.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: JRauch on December 28, 2005, 03:00:26 AM
"Love And Mercy" is a real classic, in some way Brian´s "Imagine". "Rio Grande" tries to hard to be SMiLE part II. All in all, great songs, but bad production and singing. It´s amazing how far Brian came in these aspects.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: HighOnLife on December 28, 2005, 04:21:16 AM
It's a good album, even with the synths drowning everything else out. I think 'Love and Mercy' is overrated. I'll take 'Melt Away' any day over any of the other tracks. Great way for Brian to start out though.

3 Stars.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: artie on December 29, 2005, 11:29:34 AM
It is still a treat to play this album after almost 18 years. Brian's voice was good and powerful. Melt Away is absolutely gorgeous, and One For The Boys is a treat. I am not a fan of Rio Grande or Night Time, but I love the rest of the album. Landy's influence wsas the cause for all the additional bells and whistles, most of which detract from the overall sound. But after not hearing anything cohesive from Brian since 1977's "Love You", it really satisfied.

A 4 for sure.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Susan on January 04, 2006, 07:57:31 AM
It took me a while to get this one, but i've really come to enjoy it.  Solid to really good songs [Melt Away is a stunner, imho], and surprising cohesion in spite of the actual lack thereof in the making thereof.  Beats the hell out of GIOMH.  Solid 4.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: APPLEI on January 04, 2006, 11:45:38 PM
i give this album 4 stars!
i still think its one of the better albums released by anybody in the late 1980s.
i agree with those who say that it is stronger than any album that the beach boys released since "beach boys love you"
i liked "rio grande" at the time it was released,it gave us an idea to what "heroes & villians" was originally supposed to sound like!
however i agree who people who say that "little children" sounds alot like "mountain of love"


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Old Rake on January 06, 2006, 07:01:53 AM
Love, love, love, love.

Part of that straight line that goes: Pet Sounds and Party --> Smile and Smiley Smile --> Friends --> Love You --> Adult Child --> This one.

Even though I know Dr. Landy picked through this album ridiculously, and the record company tampered within an inch of its life, this still sounds like a purer expression of Brian's songwriting than almost anything he's ever done.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: JoeP on January 16, 2006, 07:26:06 AM
3 for me, with the obvious stand out opening song, which sounds great in spite of the production, Melt Away, and yes Let it Shine as well.  Portions of of Rio Grand are excellent.  I can do without the unlistenable opeing 50 seconds and the long transition between the first river segment and the second one.  But there are products out there that can crop such annoying parts of songs there days, which allows me to really an enjoy those excellent portions, which would otherwise be on a track that I would rarely listen to, if I had to put up with the rest of the song.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Chris Brown on January 17, 2006, 08:12:16 PM
A 4 for me...with time, I learned to live with the production and just listen to the songs, and this has led to my increased enjoyment of this album.  L&M is classic Brian, simple yet poignant.  Melt Away, One For the Boys, There's So Many, Meet Me In My Dreams Tonight are my other favorites, and even the worst of the cuts are still listenable.  Rio Grande, while definitely overrated, is still more inventive than most other artists could ever dream (though I still wish they had let Brian keep his "Child, Adult, Parent suite).  Wonderful album, high replay value for me. 


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Billgoodman on January 18, 2006, 12:25:57 AM
if this album was produced like GIOMH
with the same songs and Brian's 80's voice
it would have been 5 stars (in this poll)
Still like it the way it is now though


Title: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: donald on January 25, 2006, 08:40:39 AM
I couldn't find an existing thread on this al hough I know I read one somewhere recently.

Anyhow.

I bought the CD of this in December but did not listen until today.  I've had the LP since its first release and had it on tape for a while as well.  I merely bought it to "have it" on disc. 

What a surprise when I brought it to work this morning and listened to this album for the first time on cd with headphones.   I had written it off as flawed, with poor vocal quality,  ruined by too many producers and  co-writers, although a good effort on Brians part in terms of getting back in the business of making records.

Wow!!!I couldn't believe how  good it sounded, especially Brians voice.  I had listened to OCA the day before and thought once again that the vocals were a little weird, words slurred and such.

So I was surprised when listening to BW88 again that he sounded so good.

Anybody else think his vocals are better here than on OCA or IJWMFTT?


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: Swamp Pirate on January 25, 2006, 09:47:06 AM
Lead vocals are fine.  I don't care for the backgrounds-especially on One for the Boys.   Musically- way too much synth.

But songwise, BW88 is his post non-Smile related solo CD.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: NimrodsSon on January 25, 2006, 11:04:39 AM
I love this album! It's one of my favourite Brian albums, and by far the best album of his solo career (except for SMiLE), in my opinion. His vocals are great, much better than his current vocals, and the tone of his vocals is much more like 60's Brian than anything following this album. The songs are amazing, and I think that's exactly what's lacking from his more recent efforts (I guess the only more recent efforts of new songs are Imagination and Getting In Over My Head, but the song selection is much better than either of those). Every song on the entire album is a gem! And the album rocks almost as much as Love You. I'm actually a fan of the productoin for the most part. It's really got that Love You vibe to it, and I would bet Brian was more involved in the production of this album than any of his more recent efforts. I don't mind the synths at all, but the only complaint I've got about this entire album (literally the ONLY complaint) is the electronic drums. That sound just doesn't go with this music. So if he used real drums throughout the album, I would say this is practically a perfect album.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: Smilin Ed H on January 25, 2006, 11:48:37 AM
I'm with the Pirate on this one.  I think there are many fine non-BW 88 songs around, but this is the best overall collection; while I, too, hate the synthy production values, I prefer it to the sound of Imagination and the too busy mess of GIOMH.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: smackdaddy on January 25, 2006, 12:31:54 PM
I think people make too much of the synth/80's production.  I don't find it half as annoying as the last 10 years tendency to, say, mix voices all the way in the front (the last Cure album, anyone?)


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: SurferGirl7 on January 25, 2006, 02:02:54 PM
It's really nice on vinyl. I have the CD w/o the bonus tracks though. I have the tape, vinyl and CD. The only thing I have more of in the whole catalog  8)


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: monkee knutz on January 25, 2006, 02:19:05 PM
Super fine album, flawed only by the synth-etic production. Great songs. Great melodies. Nice vocals. Nice arrangements. TOO MUCH SYNTHESIZER. Such a great album it pains me to say I can overlook the synthesizers for everything else.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: Reverend Joshua Sloane on January 25, 2006, 02:20:04 PM
I'm only just getting into this album.

Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long reminds me of I Just Wasn't Made For These Times.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: SurferGirl7 on January 25, 2006, 02:28:26 PM
I'm only just getting into this album.

Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long reminds me of I Just Wasn't Made For These Times.

 :o That and the first three other songs I only played for months. I brought the tape of it before I had Smile (still wasn't out yet) and Rio Grande confused me. Confused me enough to not play it straight through for a long time.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: I. Spaceman on January 25, 2006, 02:36:21 PM
I think it's one of his best albums, even if it's "plug Brian in and write half his songs for him" time. Meet Me In My Dreams Tonight is just as good as any BB track, for me.
I hate the draggy arrangement of Let Your Hair Grow Long, though.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: RobtheNobleSurfer on January 25, 2006, 03:30:14 PM
Hands down, his best solo album and indeed his best effort since Love You. All great songs, wonderful vocal arrangements that play to his musical strengths. And I don't really mind the synths. Not like I did in the 90's. And yes, I do agree with you, Ian about Meet Me..... that would have made a GREAT BB song.  Brian did great work with Andy and Andy certainly got a lot out of Brian.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on January 25, 2006, 05:15:34 PM
Overrated material (Love And Mercy is the only great song). Vocals are shouted which ruins some of the songs (i.e. Melt Away). The production doesn't bother me too much. Some of the lyrics are embarrassing (Night time is delight time, it's starlight time, and it's the right time for me). Should've been incorporated into a Beach Boys' album. I read somewhere that Brian didn't care for this album. It reminds be of the Landy era. Rio Grande sounds contrived (those yelping indians are annoying). Why wasn't his collaboration with Lindsey Buckingham "He Couldn't Get His Poor Old Body To Move" included on the album? I can't listen to the complete album from beginning to end - it sounds like Brian is yelling at me! Just my opinion...


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: monkee knutz on January 25, 2006, 06:36:05 PM
I hate the draggy arrangement of Let Your Hair Grow Long, though.
CHECKMATE!
Thanks Surfer Girl for reminding me that I had the record. I'm listening now and the vinyl is totally alive with texture & complexity! Amazing, really.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: SurferGirl7 on January 26, 2006, 01:17:59 PM
Cool. Yeah Rio Grande sounds a billion times better on vinyl then on anything else really. As you said, much more deph.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: donald on January 26, 2006, 01:32:28 PM
Seems to me that album has been much maligned over the years so it is interesting to see this level of appreciation at this point.

I had listened to OCA and IJWMFTT several times over the past months.  I have them on disc.  But I hadn't listened to my vinyl copy of 88 in a couple of years.  When I listened to the CD on the good headphones the other day I was amazed.  He is in much better voice on 88 than I remembered. As someone said, listening to it now, one hears a YOUNGER Brian Wilson.  A man in his 40's rather than in his 60's.  And it shows.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: smackdaddy on January 26, 2006, 05:01:43 PM
Overrated material (Love And Mercy is the only great song). Vocals are shouted which ruins some of the songs (i.e. Melt Away). The production doesn't bother me too much. Some of the lyrics are embarrassing (Night time is delight time, it's starlight time, and it's the right time for me). Should've been incorporated into a Beach Boys' album. I read somewhere that Brian didn't care for this album. It reminds be of the Landy era. Rio Grande sounds contrived (those yelping indians are annoying). Why wasn't his collaboration with Lindsey Buckingham "He Couldn't Get His Poor Old Body To Move" included on the album? I can't listen to the complete album from beginning to end - it sounds like Brian is yelling at me! Just my opinion...

What the hey, no way is love and mercy the best song on that album.  Most undeveloped, maybe (the chorus comes in WAY TOO FAST.)  I gotta give it up for Melt Away as best song.  I don't think's there's much sense in complaining about Brian's post Love You vocals as they basically are what they are (and the same can probably be said for his lyrics,) but I really don't see how they detract from that song.  BW 88 is a really nice album.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: I. Spaceman on January 26, 2006, 05:06:10 PM
Love And Mercy's passion exceeds craft. Same way Working Class Hero is a better song than say, Mind Games.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson 88 Revisited Again
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on January 26, 2006, 05:19:36 PM
Overrated material (Love And Mercy is the only great song). Vocals are shouted which ruins some of the songs (i.e. Melt Away). The production doesn't bother me too much. Some of the lyrics are embarrassing (Night time is delight time, it's starlight time, and it's the right time for me). Should've been incorporated into a Beach Boys' album. I read somewhere that Brian didn't care for this album. It reminds be of the Landy era. Rio Grande sounds contrived (those yelping indians are annoying). Why wasn't his collaboration with Lindsey Buckingham "He Couldn't Get His Poor Old Body To Move" included on the album? I can't listen to the complete album from beginning to end - it sounds like Brian is yelling at me! Just my opinion...

What the hey, no way is love and mercy the best song on that album.  Most undeveloped, maybe (the chorus comes in WAY TOO FAST.)  I gotta give it up for Melt Away as best song.  I don't think's there's much sense in complaining about Brian's post Love You vocals as they basically are what they are (and the same can probably be said for his lyrics,) but I really don't see how they detract from that song.  BW 88 is a really nice album.
Not that it means "Love And Mercy" is the best song on the album, but it is the one song that Brian still performs live today. Actually, didn't he recently release like the 4th version of the song as a single? Like I said, it's only my opinion. You like "Melt Away", I think it's overrated.

You're right, Brian's post Love You vocals are what they are. And I don't care for what they are. That's all. It's not so much the comparison to his 60's vocals, I just don't find his voice attractive.

One final point I didn't make on my original post. One aspect that is often ignored when discussing Brian's solo albums is that EVERY SONG features a lead vocal by him. And this is where he misses the Beach Boys most importantly. On the Beach Boys' classic albums, you had maybe 3 Mike vocals, 3 Brian vocals, 3 Mike and Brian shared leads, maybe 1 Al, and 1 Carl and/or Dennis. The lead vocals were shared. There was variety. Very important.

With Brian's solo albums, you have 38-45 minutes of ALL BRIAN lead vocals, and quite frankly, that's too much. I believe that is the MAIN reason for the relative lack of success of his solo recordings.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: TV Forces on February 07, 2006, 11:28:54 AM
When I was first getting into the Beach Boys about seven years ago, I found this vinyl at my local record store.  I took it home and spun it non stop for weeks.  It's the only 80s music where I didn't mind the production.. coming from just meeting Pet Sounds, I assumed thats the way Brian wanted it to be so all I had to do was sit back and love it.. I didn't know much about how out of control he was, his personal demons, or the story of the making of the record.. I just thought these songs and melodies were cool.  I couldn't get enough of it.   I found the CD used and then another version with bonus tracks soon came out.. but I didn't buy it because I heard someone complain that incorrect mixes were used for a couple tracks.

Has that ever been fixed?

Has a Beach Boys release come out in the last 10 years that DIDN'T need to be reissued with correct mixes used at a later date?


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: L Ransford on February 10, 2006, 10:53:37 AM
Sorry but I rate it a 5. It was my favorite Brian album until BWPS. What Brian was singing about in "Love And Mercy" was not something that was being said in pop singles in 1988.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: theeponymuseudonym on February 13, 2006, 03:53:21 PM
i totally agree with you, though could u elborate here wht chu mean?


Title: Was Brian Wilson (88) Corrected?
Post by: TV Forces on February 13, 2006, 08:16:30 PM
I have Brian's 1988 solo album on vinyl and CD, but I never got around to getting the new Rhino reissue because the first reports said that some of the wrong mixes were used.  Was this ever fixed and if so, how could I identify the correct copy?

Endless Harmony and the Pet Sounds mono/stereo two-fer had to be reissued in corrected versions as well.  The Ultimate Christmas disc was deleted and replaced with a disc with a new title and cover art and one less song.  What is up with these guys?!


Title: Re: Was Brian Wilson (88) Corrected?
Post by: forgetemarie on February 13, 2006, 09:40:01 PM
I believe it was "corrected," but I still much prefer the original Sire CD, or the original vinyl.  With all that synth garbage going on, who wants it more clearly mixed?  The original is less harsh.


Title: Re: Was Brian Wilson (88) Corrected?
Post by: monkee knutz on February 14, 2006, 12:31:44 AM
The vinyl sounds less synthy to me. Played it just the other night and you can actually hear the guitars!


Title: Re: Was Brian Wilson (88) Corrected?
Post by: Andreas on February 14, 2006, 12:33:46 AM
I believe it was "corrected," but I still much prefer the original Sire CD, or the original vinyl.  With all that synth garbage going on, who wants it more clearly mixed?  The original is less harsh.
I don't think the reissue was remixed, but I also prefer the Sire CD.


Title: Re: Was Brian Wilson (88) Corrected?
Post by: TV Forces on February 14, 2006, 05:28:13 AM
I believe it was "corrected," but I still much prefer the original Sire CD, or the original vinyl.  With all that synth garbage going on, who wants it more clearly mixed?  The original is less harsh.

I'm not getting rid of the Sire cd.  But it doesn't have all those bonus tracks,
so how can you fault me for wanting those?


Title: Re: Was Brian Wilson (88) Corrected?
Post by: Bubba Ho-Tep on February 14, 2006, 05:42:36 AM
The corrected album was not issued.

The only thing that bugs me is the lack of that high vocal at the end of Melt Away.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: L Ransford on February 16, 2006, 03:14:27 PM
i totally agree with you, though could u elborate here wht chu mean?

"I was sittin’ in a crummy movie with my hands on my chin
Oh the violence that occurs seems like we never win"

...Can you imagine Bon Jovi or Whitney Houston, Van Halen singing those words?

"Love and mercy that’s what you need tonight
So, love and mercy to you and your friends tonight"

"I was lyin’ in my room and the news came on t.v.
A lotta people out there hurtin’ and it really scares me"

...or Inxs or Madonna or the Escape Club?

"Love and mercy that’s what you need tonight
So, love and mercy to you and your friends tonight"

"I was standin’ in a bar and watchin’ all the people there
Oh the lonliness in this world well it’s just not fair"

In Most top-40 songs in 1988, the verse  would have been more like this:

I was groovin' in a club and watchin' all the hot babes there
so many freaky freaks, only so much time
ya know it just ain't fair

Radio programmers did not have any love and mercy.






Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 16, 2006, 03:19:29 PM
Quote
Madonna

Yes.
Love Makes The World Go Round, 2 years earlier:

Make love not war we say
It's easy to recite
But it don't mean a damn
Unless we're gonna fight
But not with guns and knives
We've got to save the lives
Of every boy and girl
That grows up in this world

Chorus:

There's hunger everywhere
We've got to take a stand
Reach out for someone's hand
Love makes the world go round
It's easy to forget
If you don't hear the sound
Of pain and prejudice
Love makes the world go round

They think that love's a lie
But we can teach them how to try
Love means to understand
Reach out for someone's hand
'Cause everything you do
Comes back in time to you
We have to change our fate
Before it gets too late

(chorus)

Don't judge a man 'til you've been standin' in his shoes
You know that we're all so quick to look away
'Cause it's the easy thing to do
You know that what I say is true

Love makes the world go round...

Make love not war we say
It's easy to recite
But it don't mean a damn
Unless we're gonna fight

(chorus)


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: L Ransford on February 16, 2006, 03:32:15 PM
Madonna's sounds like a big political slogan - just like Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror," "We Are The World" or "Heal The World." Brian's song works on a more person to person level. "Love Makes The World Go Round" would probably have been a hard sell to programmers too.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 16, 2006, 03:36:55 PM
Why not attack Lennon then? Talk about rank sloganeering. That Give Peace A Chance-Imagine-All You Need Is Love junk gives a bad name to pacifists everywhere.
My point is that you lumped Madonna in with non-caring non-political artists. Madonna has always had pacifist contene in her music, back to Holiday.
I agree that Brian's is the best, though.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: L Ransford on February 16, 2006, 03:46:14 PM
Actually I said this was not the common theme for top-40 singles in 1988. That Madonna track was never issued as a single.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 16, 2006, 03:51:00 PM
OK, well, substitute Holiday then.
I agreed with the rest of your post.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: L Ransford on February 16, 2006, 03:55:00 PM
I think that's why her single "Oh Father" did not burn up the charts like her less topical ones did.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: I. Spaceman on February 16, 2006, 03:57:32 PM
Well, there's always Papa Don't Preach. I think Oh Father was too slow and downbeat to be much of a hit. A brave but uncommercial choice.
Quote
I was groovin' in a club and watchin' all the hot babes there
so many freaky freaks, only so much time
ya know it just ain't fair


Not bad, actually!  ;D


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: L Ransford on February 16, 2006, 04:01:44 PM
Well I guess that could have been the reason. I never thought of that. I thought "Live To Tell" was way to slow for a hit !


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Dr. Tim on February 19, 2006, 12:49:36 PM
I say 4.  That's for the HDCD reissue with the bonus stuff.  No corrections or remixing that I know of.  The original 1988 CD (which I still have) sounded OK but very thin, lots of digititis.  I know other posters above consider the old CD better but to my ears the shrillness was largely cured on the reissue (as much as it can be as it's so synth-heavy).  I should try to find BW88 on vinyl (probably easily enough in the 99 cent bins) and see how that compares, though of course that lineup ends with the original Rio Grande.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: CosmicDancer on March 14, 2006, 11:47:21 AM
I will give this a 3.  Some fine songs, some not so fine songs and some really bad production!!  Love And Mercy, of course, is a terrific song and I think Melt Away is great as well.  Rio Grande is pretty cool although I think it could have been much better.  One For The Boys is a nice vocal workout.  I know that I am in the minority on this opinion, but I absolutely love Let It Shine.  Of course, I am also a huge Jeff Lynne fan so maybe that has something to do with it.  So sue me!!  Overall, a fine effort.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Lonely Summer on February 01, 2007, 11:37:35 PM
I gave it a 5. My favorite Brian solo. Not knocking the others, but this one connected with me in a deeper way. A lot has been said about the collaborators/interferance on this album, but I hear a lot of pure Brian coming through. Brian had all these people around him, but not the ones he needed, and his loneliness comes through in songs like "There's So Many" (even if I can't be with her, I still have my fantasy, fantasy world). I related to that so much, in my adolescent loneliness. I listened to these songs and felt like Brian was the only person who understood my loneliness. "Melt Away" is my favorite, "Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long" took a while to...uh... grow on me, but I love it now, especially the transition from the "baby let your hair grow long" part to the "i've been waiting to see that change in you" part. I like "Love and Mercy" but don't understand why it is rated above all the others on this album. Got to see Brian do it and "Let it Shine" live in 1990, and those were the highlights of the show for me. "Meet Me in My Dreams Tonight" should have been a single, it's got potential hit written all over it. "Rio Grande" is a masterpiece. I love all the sections, I don't care if it's trying to copy "Smile", everybody else who tries to copy that style is praised, Brian has more right to do it than anyone. I don't even mind the synths throughout the album. Everything was synthy in the 80's (i.e, The Beach Boys 1985), but this album uses them more artfully than most. Brian's voice isn't the sweet voice of Pet Sounds, but it's miles better than the croaky/scratchy 15 Big Ones era. A more mature voice than on the 60's hits.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: mikeyj on April 26, 2007, 06:49:28 AM
I gave it a 5. My favorite Brian solo. Not knocking the others, but this one connected with me in a deeper way. A lot has been said about the collaborators/interferance on this album, but I hear a lot of pure Brian coming through. Brian had all these people around him, but not the ones he needed, and his loneliness comes through in songs like "There's So Many" (even if I can't be with her, I still have my fantasy, fantasy world). I related to that so much, in my adolescent loneliness. I listened to these songs and felt like Brian was the only person who understood my loneliness. "Melt Away" is my favorite, "Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long" took a while to...uh... grow on me, but I love it now, especially the transition from the "baby let your hair grow long" part to the "i've been waiting to see that change in you" part. I like "Love and Mercy" but don't understand why it is rated above all the others on this album. Got to see Brian do it and "Let it Shine" live in 1990, and those were the highlights of the show for me. "Meet Me in My Dreams Tonight" should have been a single, it's got potential hit written all over it. "Rio Grande" is a masterpiece. I love all the sections, I don't care if it's trying to copy "Smile", everybody else who tries to copy that style is praised, Brian has more right to do it than anyone. I don't even mind the synths throughout the album. Everything was synthy in the 80's (i.e, The Beach Boys 1985), but this album uses them more artfully than most. Brian's voice isn't the sweet voice of Pet Sounds, but it's miles better than the croaky/scratchy 15 Big Ones era. A more mature voice than on the 60's hits.

I agree with pretty much everything you say. Except Id say that Love And Mercy is one of my favourites of this album, though I love them all. I totally agree that I dont really mind the synths on this album, it just works for me. Anyway a great album and certainly my favourite Brian Wilson solo album (Yes, even over SMiLE) I just love this album. A definite 5 from me.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: 8o8o on January 05, 2008, 09:56:47 AM
I'm with Eddie Cochran here: Three Stars.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Mahalo on January 23, 2008, 10:20:21 PM
Haven't heard the album yet.......but I downloaded ONE FOR THE BOYS and it rules.............. :rock

Love the emotion it conveys..........in fact, I hear it as a Prayer.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: lance on April 04, 2008, 08:06:46 AM
Not all eighties productions were bad, but this is one of the one that is. I don't mind synthesizers, I do mind sterility. THe sound is sterile. Some of the material though is so damned good that it definitely overcomes that sterility. A couple of the songs annoy me the heck out of me, the vocals could be...younger..., but the high points are so high that I give it a solid 3. I'd like to give it a four, but it just doesn't make it quite so high. Three is still listenable, though.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Mahalo on April 12, 2008, 07:26:55 PM
Got this album today, listened to it once....this record has incredible tunes that are crumpled under the weight of the 900 producers and their use of bad 80's synthesizer exploitation. Why not get a synthesizer to sing the lead vocals too? Even the drums sound fake.

After one listen, I prefer Brian's Love You/ Adult Child, BWPS, and IJWMFFT voices to his voice on this record.

Before I rate this strange beast I'm going to have to listen to it again a number of times...

Oh, it wasn't the first time a rock band or musician used crickets and frogs in a song- New Order did it on The Perfect Kiss, 1985. It was probably even done before that but I wouldn't know.



Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: the captain on April 12, 2008, 07:32:58 PM
Even the drums sound fake.

That's because there is no lack of synth-drum sound. Fucking gag.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Mahalo on April 12, 2008, 07:52:22 PM
Even the drums sound fake.

That's because there is no lack of synth-drum sound. fodaing gag.

I stand corrected...I just assumed they used real drums and then processed the hell out of them.
 
I wish Carl contributed vocally to some of these tunes...and I also wish Brian did an MTV unplugged episode playing all the songs from this album. He would've killed it...(meant as a compliment)


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: the captain on April 13, 2008, 07:24:07 AM
There are real drums on it, but there are also synth drums played by some guy named Roland or Yamaha. It's those shitty sounds that have often made me say that it would be nice if they took the better songs and tried to knock them out in the studio with the new band. Hell, I wouldn't even care if Brian did anything (knowing that such motivation obviously isn't a daily thing for him) other than sing a few parts. Let the others arrange them for real instruments, play them and sing backups and appropriate leads. Bring in Brian to work on the things he'd need to do. I think there's a very good album in there, but when you try to get close, it's so damn slippery to fly right off, careening into space.

People use the excuse that it sounds no worse than other synth-heavy albums of the time. And they're right, but that doesn't make it better. Comparing it to 85 is no fucking compliment. The production is trash, and it's an embarrassment that shows a master of the craft clearly working as part of a team that's chasing trends. Bo-ring. Thank goodness we got Love & Mercy redone in different versions, and Melt Away.




Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Mahalo on April 22, 2008, 09:28:08 AM
I decided to give this album a 4. By "this album" I mean the re-issue with the bonus trax.

Love and Mercy- brilliant even though it is over cooked

Walkin' the Line- cool but prefer the demo version

Melt Away- brilliant (I'm curious as to what the high voice was that was removed)

Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long- outstanding

Little Children- great, but I prefer the demo

One For the Boys- great

There's So Many- prefer the demo

Night Time- annoying with catchy chorus

Let It Shine- OK tune, amazing vox by Brian

Meet Me In My Dreams Tonight- annoying

Rio Grande- Too long but with cool moments

I LOVE He Could'nt Get His Poor Old Body To Move, Too Much Sugar, Night Bloomin' Jasmine, and to a lesser extent Being With The One You Love . I also dig Brian's muses on the bonus trax.

Since I like the bonus trax so much I decided to give this record a 4 instead of a 3. To give this a five is a little over the top. However, IMO this is his best solo album except for BWPS. I haven't heard GIOMH yet, but since it has artists on it I more or less can't stand I'm in no rush to buy this especially since there are other BB's product I still need to get.

Amazing how so much of Brian's solo demo's and unreleased stuff sounds superior to the released versions.



Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: John on April 22, 2008, 06:09:54 PM
Melt Away- brilliant (I'm curious as to what the high voice was that was removed)

It was a tiny but very nice part on the fade that just went "AH-Ah". The song is slightly weaker without it, in my opinion.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: John on April 22, 2008, 06:17:09 PM
Oh, it wasn't the first time a rock band or musician used crickets and frogs in a song- New Order did it on The Perfect Kiss, 1985. It was probably even done before that but I wouldn't know.

You Never Give Me Your Money from Abbey Road has crickets and the like at the end.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Mahalo on April 22, 2008, 07:36:37 PM
I thought that was the sound of Yoko Ono meditating. My bad....


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: carl r on May 07, 2008, 03:05:39 PM
"BW88" - simply is what it is. The follow up to "Love You" which often matches in quality and seriously iffy moments.

Re-recording it would work in theory - like everyone else, I find the drum machines horrible. However, I prefer the melodramatic "Melt Away" with Brian's voice a bit stretched, to the version on IJWMFTT where he sounds more relaxed. Perhaps I'm odd in this regard. I also like the crashing percussion on some of the tracks, the obvious throwback to Pet Sounds. When we say this has bad production, it's often an understatement. But in patches the production has brushes of greatness. Sometimes the great and terrible co-exist in the same song. "Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long." It's all dissonant... making the album a hard listen to from start to finish.

Whatever the sins of Landy it's fair to say by this stage Brian needed some serious pushing and some of the songs - "Night Time" sound forced. I would argue Brian finds it hard to do filler - he either has a song or not. Maybe I'm wrong. Hard to see how changing the instrumentation could save some of these. The lyrics are often odd, whoever wrote them. The "Walkin' The Line" vocals could be replaced with a theremin with no loss to world of verse.

But in an ideal world, more of these songs would still be there in his live shows, rather than just the one, great version of "Love and Mercy."



Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: lance on September 03, 2008, 10:29:03 AM
Just received the reissued version and am listening. It sounds as it has been corrected(at least my ears hear no different; certainly the "high vocal" on Melt Away is still there) and, to be honest, I think the sound squashes the original like a grape. I can dig that it would sound better on vinyl, but the clarity works better for me than the original. I almost feel like Im spouting heresy on this board. I like it even better than I did before.

(I must say that my copy of the original, however, was a copy that may have had slightly muddier sound.)

As eighties stuff goes, it's IMO a good deal less sterile sounding than a lot of stuff of the era--perhaps the arrangements are just so good that...Drum machines are not bothering me, I like the boom and crash of it all. I'm giving it a four out of five...I may have already given it that, if I have...I'm retaining that score...if I haven't, I'm changing it. The only problems for me are that, while I like every song, some of the songs I like less than others...


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: The Heartical Don on November 19, 2008, 10:43:54 AM
3. Why? Jeff Lynne.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Mahalo on February 26, 2009, 04:45:20 PM
After going on a TLOS spree over the past few months, I had an urge to listen to BW88 and I have to say this music has really grown on me... There is more of an edge to this record relative to TLOS, which can sound too prozac-y to these ears. With the right combo of mindless rock, ballads, and Rio Grande this album truly entertains. The synths don't really bother me at the moment.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: TdHabib on July 31, 2009, 02:32:39 PM
I listened to this today during a jog for the first time in a long time...I still like it quite a bit in fact it surpassed my memory of it. Along with TLOS it is miles ahead of everyhting else Brian has RELEASED (If the Paley sessions were released or will be counted it would be Paley Sessions first).

The main reason I like it so much is the material. Brian's songs haven't been this consistant in a while, Adult/Child had about six great new songs but not a whole album worth (it made up for it with the covers and leftovers), but here everything is presented in mostly good form. For my money both "Melt Away", and admittedly to a lesser extent "Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long" capture an unpdated version of Pet Sounds pretty well...not quite up to the level of the best PS tracks mind you...have that endearing quality that Brian's best ballads do. "Melt Away" is a gorgeous melody mainly, and, while it's not stated very often I think "Baby" is a darn good lyric which Brian wrote without any help from Landy. "Night Time" is the stinker for me, as well I don't think "Little Children" is up to par with the album, weak, weak, weak. I think that "Melt Away" and "Meet Me In My Dreams Tonight" are the best cuts on the album.

"Let It Shine" is an interesting situation...under Jeff Lynne's tutelidge Brian sings his best vocal with very little effects on his voice. His vocals are good on some of his own cuts "Melt Away" is gentle, "Meet Me" is fast and happy and "One for the Boys," while a tad rougher than say "Our Prayer," is very nice...but a bit too much reverb for me on the whole with these cuts. "Night Time" is a weak vocal as well as "Little Children," is too shouty. "Walkin' the Line" is right in the middle in terms of good and bad.

As for the production....deep breath...I do like some of it. "Melt Away" is a strong, organic production with lots of good percussion as is "Rio Grande"...perhaps the fact that I heard the latter's sessions decunstructed makes it real cool. I DON'T like the mixing on the album at all...too thin! As for the synths....they don't quite bother me too much, but here and there they do. The reason I don't really mind them so much is that they're basically an update of Love You's synthesizers in an 80s sheen...the latter part I don't like but the fact is the voicings, chord patterns and bass runs are basically an update of Love You's cool synths. So again, I'm partial.

So this gets a 4 from me...not quite a contender for one of Brian's best but a real cool album in a very dark period of Brian's life in my opinion.

Some good quotes aboout this album:
Super fine album, flawed only by the synth-etic production. Great songs. Great melodies. Nice vocals. Nice arrangements. TOO MUCH SYNTHESIZER. Such a great album it pains me to say I can overlook the synthesizers for everything else.
Love And Mercy's passion exceeds craft. Same way Working Class Hero is a better song than say, Mind Games.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: JaredLekites on May 14, 2010, 12:45:10 PM
I might be in a minority opinion but I think "Let It Shine" is the best song on this album, at least in terms of production. I'm a big fan of Jeff Lynne and Brian sounds FANTASTIC on this track. Really strong and commanding lead that I haven't heard from him before or since. It's especially astonishing when considering that this was recorded in pre-Auto Tuned/Pro Tools days.

Other standout tracks for me include "Walkin' The Line", "There's So Many" and "Melt Away". The only track that has me reaching for the skip button would be "Night Time".

Ending the album with the euphoric "Rio Grande" was a wonderful touch although it sounds more contrived than organic in certain sections (at least in comparison with Smile and other "modular" songs that Brian has done). I love the "river is deep" section of it most.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: busy doin nothin on July 30, 2010, 03:44:54 PM
I love this album and give it a 4.5.  In retrospect, the production is dated, but I don't hate the 80s sound, and I think it's cool Brian was trying to keep up with the times.

Two points:  I agree that "Let It Shine" is a strong track.  I think it's a very good tune -- better than Jeff Lynne's usual.  And I think Lynne deserves credit for the cleanest, crispest production of any track on the album.  Plus, however he did it, he really did get an awesome vocal out of Brian.

I disagree with all the hating on "Night Time."  It's one of my favorites.  High energy, catchy.  Sure the lyrics of the chorus are idiotic, borderline annoying, but that's part of the charm for me.

Best BB-related album post-MIU.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Wirestone on July 30, 2010, 04:20:31 PM
The best of BW's three non-conceptual solo albums. With the bonus tracks, the 2000 edition is one of his best solo albums, period.

About two-thirds of the material is excellent to great. The final third is -- okay to poor. The addition of tracks from the time makes the 2000 version even better (they should have added Black Widow, though).

Vocals are the tough part -- Brian has a somewhat harsh sound on this record, which makes it less than accessible. The synth production has become part of the historic record, now.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on August 01, 2010, 03:56:58 PM
I might be in a minority opinion but I think "Let It Shine" is the best song on this album, at least in terms of production. I'm a big fan of Jeff Lynne and Brian sounds FANTASTIC on this track. Really strong and commanding lead that I haven't heard from him before or since. It's especially astonishing when considering that this was recorded in pre-Auto Tuned/Pro Tools days.

Your opinion wasn't shared by the artist: Brian hated that song, didn't want it on the album. Might have had something to do with the fact that he only composed the vocal round at the intro and outro: everything else is pure Jeff Lynne.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: rab2591 on August 01, 2010, 04:27:28 PM
Love and Mercy - 5/5 - has one of my favorite vocal harmonies on any Brian Wilson album, but the reverb heavy drum and synth take away from the beauty of the song.
Walk the Line - 2/5 - doesn't strike me as a good song - no matter how deep I listen I never find much to like about it.
Melt Away - 5/5 - an amazing song - perfect in every way, even the production.
BLYHGL - 4/5 - has a great hook and I listen to it constantly....the lyrics really remind me of the songs on Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!).
Little Children - 4/5 - The production really adds to the childlike feeling of the song, but I prefer the '76 demo...
One For The Boys - 5/5 - probably not his best vocal arrangement, but very nostalgic of his early BB years.
There's So Many - 5/5 - LOVE everything about this song - even the production.
Night Time - 0/5 - worst Brian Wilson song I've heard....subject reminds me too much of MJ's 'Thriller' - just a terrible song all around.
Let It Shine - 5/5 - I like the lyrics and the melody of the song. Very commercial but great!
MMIMDT - 2/5 - Brian seems like he's yelling into the mic on this one, and the reverb heavy drums and synths just KILL the song.
Rio Grande - 4/5 - I like the idea, but the production somewhat ruins it for me...but it doesn't really keep me from listening to it. I LOVE "the river's deep and the river's so wide," part. Rio Grande is a great closeout to the album.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: ukulelejesus on September 21, 2010, 09:49:40 PM
I don't see why people are ragging on the production. It sounds like a logical progression from Love You. Brian likes farty see saw sounding synths. It sounds like a more polished Love You. The songwriter isn't quite as solid, but good overall, it's idiosyncratic, great melodies, the background vocalists sound fine to me. It's a pretty good album.

If you think of Love You as Brian as New Wave this is his follow up. Personally, I fucking love New Wave, so I dig this.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: carl r on September 22, 2010, 12:52:43 AM
I'd probably go further than that, as there a flashes of 'Brian-as-Bach' on this album. I can think of a couple: the intro to 'Meet Me In My Dreams Tonight' is a hint at a sort of prog-rock synth landscape, though Brian and co would always be thinking of 'hit record' rather than developing this further, whilst the Night Blooming Jasmine part of Rio Grande has a synthy harpsichord bridge part which just for a sec glances towards pop as art. Of course, Andy Paley may have written these bits; but they do show how layered and intricate a lot of the songs on BW88 are...


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: rab2591 on February 09, 2011, 07:06:41 PM
This is scary. I actually voluntarily listened 'Night Time' today because I wanted to hear it. For the longest time I hated that song.....that part before the chorus where he sings "Wait for a while because...." is flipping great. I love this album!


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: pobbard on February 28, 2011, 10:34:04 AM
This is scary. I actually voluntarily listened 'Night Time' today because I wanted to hear it. For the longest time I hated that song.....that part before the chorus where he sings "Wait for a while because...." is flipping great. I love this album!

That is a great part of "Night Time"... for 22 years, I've considered "Night Time" the weakest track on the record ("Little Children" comes close, but at least it recycles a great melody and doesn't suffer the sin of being boring) but I confess, after all this time, it is growing on me.

Still, so many other things I would have liked as "bonus" material on the 2000 reissue than the backing track for "Night Time". Blah.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: rab2591 on February 28, 2011, 12:26:52 PM
This is scary. I actually voluntarily listened 'Night Time' today because I wanted to hear it. For the longest time I hated that song.....that part before the chorus where he sings "Wait for a while because...." is flipping great. I love this album!

That is a great part of "Night Time"... for 22 years, I've considered "Night Time" the weakest track on the record ("Little Children" comes close, but at least it recycles a great melody and doesn't suffer the sin of being boring) but I confess, after all this time, it is growing on me.

Still, so many other things I would have liked as "bonus" material on the 2000 reissue than the backing track for "Night Time". Blah.


Yeah, I would have liked to see more backing tracks and original demos, but it was a far better package than most BW solo albums.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Mahalo on April 11, 2011, 11:53:31 AM
Been listening to this album all week. A couple of points- Gotta listen to this with headphones, the intricacies come through the denseness. Also, I think the demo of Walkin' The Line is superior to the final version. The suthed out bridge section sounds fierce! Also, I think Rio Grande might be truly underestimated by his fans...stunning work of art.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: homeontherange on August 10, 2011, 03:31:03 AM
Love and Mercy - 2.5/5 - it's alright. very mediocre arrangement and predictable chords but kinda cute melody/lyrics. overrated
Walk the Line - 4/5 - love this one! very fun to listen to. bass is great
Melt Away - I'm saving this one
BLYHGL - Savin' this too.
Little Children - This as well
One For The Boys - 3.5/5 - pretty vocal arrangement. not very special but nice
There's So Many - 4/5 - really good song. especially the backing track
Night Time - 4/5 - another fun song. chorus is classic brian
Let It Shine - 4.5/5 - great chords, lovely melody.
MMIMDT - 4/5 - chorus melody is wonderful
Rio Grande - 4.5/5 - not that good production, but that goes for the whole album. great little pieces of music and "Night bloomin' Jasmine" is so good I almost died when I first heard it (Must be a leftover from the Smile sessions or did he still have this potential in the 80s? Why the hell didn't he do more of this stuff?)


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Jonas on August 10, 2011, 05:41:19 AM
There is a 'remastered' version of this on Spotify. Its the first time I got to hear it complete.

Have to say, I am LOVING Rio Grande.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Dr. Tim on November 12, 2011, 06:51:57 PM
This benefits from the HDCD remastering, plus the bonus tracks and retooled booklet.  The synthesized strings and drums do sound unfortunately very 80's, but so it goes.

PS: redundant post.  Said the same thing earlier.  Didn't check.  Sorry, Move along.  Move along.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Rocky Raccoon on January 25, 2012, 10:45:15 PM
This is Brian at his best.  I know he had Landy behind him and the production has not aged too well but I really love these songs.  There's not one bad song, even the really cheesy numbers like Night Time and Little Children have a certain charm that only Brian Wilson can bring.  Love and Mercy, Melt Away, and Rio Grande are masterpieces on their own.  This is a rare Brian Wilson album that's good from beginning to end and should be up there with Smile and Pet Sounds.  The bonus tracks and demos on the reissue are nice to have as well though two of the B-sides, Let's Go to Heaven In My Car and Too Much Sugar are kind of awful.  His collaboration with Lindsey Buckingham isn't bad but very forgettable.  On the other hand, Being With the One You Love is a great gem and the Brian interview snippets are great as well.  The demos give an opportunity for the listener to hear some of the tracks stripped of their production showing Brian's emotions at their barest and they are great listens too.

Key tracks: Love and Mercy, Melt Away, One for the Boys, Let It Shine, Rio Grande

5/5


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on January 26, 2012, 10:00:04 AM
Let It Shine - 4.5/5 - great chords, lovely melody.

Yeah... gotta love Jeff Lynne.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: FatherOfTheMan Sr101 on January 26, 2012, 06:23:09 PM
This is one of my favorite albums, I don't really know why though :P

The writing and melodies are top notch, mixed with some 80's synths, dang!


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: rab2591 on March 07, 2012, 06:22:32 PM
Love and Mercy - 5/5 - has one of my favorite vocal harmonies on any Brian Wilson album, but the reverb heavy drum and synth take away from the beauty of the song.
Walk the Line - 2/5 - doesn't strike me as a good song - no matter how deep I listen I never find much to like about it.
Melt Away - 5/5 - an amazing song - perfect in every way, even the production.
BLYHGL - 4/5 - has a great hook and I listen to it constantly....the lyrics really remind me of the songs on Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!).
Little Children - 4/5 - The production really adds to the childlike feeling of the song, but I prefer the '76 demo...
One For The Boys - 5/5 - probably not his best vocal arrangement, but very nostalgic of his early BB years.
There's So Many - 5/5 - LOVE everything about this song - even the production.
Night Time - 0/5 - worst Brian Wilson song I've heard....subject reminds me too much of MJ's 'Thriller' - just a terrible song all around.
Let It Shine - 5/5 - I like the lyrics and the melody of the song. Very commercial but great!
MMIMDT - 2/5 - Brian seems like he's yelling into the mic on this one, and the reverb heavy drums and synths just KILL the song.
Rio Grande - 4/5 - I like the idea, but the production somewhat ruins it for me...but it doesn't really keep me from listening to it. I LOVE "the river's deep and the river's so wide," part. Rio Grande is a great closeout to the album.

Well, it's been almost 2 years since writing my original review here. I've found that in the last two years I've really fallen in love with this album. Night Time, which I originally rated 0/5, has become one of my favorite BW tunes. As has MMIMDT. Every song on this album is now a 5/5 in my book.

I really wish this album were more well known - it really is a gem!


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: FatherOfTheMan Sr101 on March 07, 2012, 08:18:38 PM
As I've said several times, this is a genius album, one of my personal favorites, I have a history with this album and absolutely love it.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Lowbacca on March 29, 2012, 07:32:15 AM
Having some time to kill today, wandering into the campus record store, browsing BBs records, retrieving Brian Wilson for €2,50.  :)

Apart from BWPS it's my first Brian solo album on vinyl. Dunno why I don't have TLOS or BWRG yet.. they gotta sound great. BWPS on vinyl is one of the most awesome things I've ever heard off a sound recording medium.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: hypehat on March 29, 2012, 07:45:45 AM
They do sound good! As does my copy of this, bar the fact it manages to loop itself on the initial section of Rio Grande....


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Lowbacca on April 26, 2012, 09:39:04 AM
Where does the track "Too Much Sugar" come from? It's a bonus track on the Deluxe Edition. Sounds like a "younger" Brian vocal than '87/'88, but I could be wrong. It's another one of brother Brian's "health awareness" songs.  :3d


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: EgoHanger1966 on April 26, 2012, 04:01:38 PM
This is a solid album! I don't mind the production so much. Brian sounds like he's into it - that's what makes this album (and what doesn't make GIOMH). It's not a chore to listen to the whole thing start to finish. There's a cohesiveness about everything, and it doesn't get boring or repetitive. Meet Me In My Dreams Tonight is sooo good based on where it is placed in the track line-up. I also like the 1-2-3 punch of Love & Mercy, Walkin' The Line, and Melt Away.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Wirestone on April 26, 2012, 04:05:25 PM
Where does the track "Too Much Sugar" come from? It's a bonus track on the Deluxe Edition. Sounds like a "younger" Brian vocal than '87/'88, but I could be wrong. It's another one of brother Brian's "health awareness" songs.  :3d

It was the B-side to "Let's Go to Heaven in My Car," Brian's contribution to the Police Academy IV soundtrack and a single in 1987. Don't know much about its origins otherwise.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Lowbacca on April 27, 2012, 06:12:02 AM
Where does the track "Too Much Sugar" come from? It's a bonus track on the Deluxe Edition. Sounds like a "younger" Brian vocal than '87/'88, but I could be wrong. It's another one of brother Brian's "health awareness" songs.  :3d

It was the B-side to "Let's Go to Heaven in My Car," Brian's contribution to the Police Academy IV soundtrack and a single in 1987. Don't know much about its origins otherwise.
Thanks, mate!


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: JoeP on April 30, 2012, 07:00:38 PM
I thought the liner notes of the deluxe edition commented on each bonus track, but I don't recall for sure.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: musicismylife101 on June 27, 2012, 05:39:02 PM
Brian sounded good on this though not the best vocally, still he sounds great. I don't have a problem with the production at all though it does sound a bit dated, but then most of their material released in the 80s sounded like that. songs like Love and Mercy, Melt Away, Meet Me in My Dreams Tonight, Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long, One For the Boys, and Let's Go to Heaven in My Car are worth the listen.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: FatherOfTheMan Sr101 on June 30, 2012, 10:27:08 AM
Just needledroped "Melt Away" It has 2 skips, but it still sounds AMAZING.



Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: JCM on July 11, 2012, 07:56:48 AM
I'm ashamed to say I never listened to the whole thing until this morning; nearly 24 years after it was released (July 12th, 1988).  I was all of 12 years old when it was released and I seem to have this memory of the promotion for the album but no memory of the album itself.  Fast forward 24 years and I'm hearing this record with fully developed ears, knowing much of the history of this album's history without actually having heard it previously.  It is odd -- to know about all of the baggage of a piece of music before you ever hear it.  I have to wonder if I'm more prone to empathy while writing this because of my love of the artist or where the artist was mentally when he did this.  It's hard to say.

What I can say is I agree with an earlier post that said 'I love approximately half of the songs and dislike the other half and hate all of the production'.  And yet, even within the songs I dislike there are fragments that I do love.  The synthy production, while so terribly dated, still has charms that are hard to articulate.  The strongest songs here are: "Love And Mercy", "Walkin' The Line", "Melt Away", "Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long", "One For The Boys" and "Let It Shine".  Songs like "Rio Grande" have their own charms, the middle section is absoultely beautiful. 

Strangely, while I feel like (if I'm being honest) this is a wildly uneven album; it is oddly my favorite BW solo album.  Don't ask me to explain that because I don't think I could.

3.5 out of 5.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Dudd on May 19, 2013, 02:25:45 PM
I'll give it a 3. Exhaustingly overproduced, but enough good solid tunes on there. Love & Mercy, Melt Away, and Rio Grande would be my favourites. I quite like BLYHGL too.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: StillSurfin on June 20, 2013, 01:16:41 PM
'Melt Away' is a great track, listened to it alot recently. I would like to hear an updated version. I also like 'Love & Mercy', 'Walkin The Line', 'One for the Boys', 'There's So Many', 'Let it Shine' (would have liked to have heard Jeff talk about Brian on the documentary about Jeff & ELO), 'Meet me in My Dreams Tonight' & 'Rio Grande', overall it's a very good album.

The 80's production on this album and other album's produced in the later half of the 1980's when recording moved away from analog is that the more 'solid' quality of the music was replaced with a more synthetic type sound. Now artists have gone back to in some cases using analog recording and/or analog instruments as I think that gives music a more 'authentic' sound. The computers, synths etc. used at the time had their limitations too, although some of the old vintage synths/drum machines etc. have their own unique sound too like the Linn-LM1 & 2, Arp, Fairlight synth etc. 


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Orange Crate Art on July 20, 2013, 03:30:44 PM
I love the songs but I don't like how it's produced. I don't like 1980's style synthesizer sound. However, the songs are great. Love & Mercy has incredible harmonies and is definitely one of his best non-Beach Boys songs. Walkin' The Line is energetic and I dig the shouting-style of singing. Melt Away, if it were recorded with the Wrecking Crew in '66, would've been acceptable on Pet Sounds in my opinion. Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long has an amazing middle-eight. Little Children is bouncy and fun. One For The Boys is dark but delicate. There's So Many has a cool tag. Night Time and Let It Shine are fun rockers. Meet Me In My Dreams Tonight should've been a single. Rio Grande is my favorite part of the album, probably because I'm a SMiLE nut, but parts of it remind me of Mount Vernon And Fairway, too. It proved that in 1988 Brian was capable of making progressive music. I've always wondered how much input Gene Landy really had in the whole production of things. I'm guessing not as much as Landy may have claimed, but who knows...


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Seaside Woman on August 06, 2013, 03:16:08 AM
When this was released mobiles were the size of house bricks and only a few had them. Our house didn't have internet yet and any news of Brian was very thin on the ground.

My husband was working and on the road when an item came on the radio saying Brian Wilson was releasing a new album and here was a track 'Love & Mercy'.

He had to find a phone box to ring me and let me know and I'm saying to him, how did the song go, this to man who can't even clap in time.I went to town and went into the record shop and there it was the LP. My God, how happy was I. This album always brings great memories with it.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: bluesno1fann on August 30, 2013, 10:56:36 PM
In my opinion, this is his best solo album.
I've got a "Not for sale - Promotional" Copy of this album on Vinyl!
"Love and Mercy" is my favourite track, but the others are quite good as well.
For what it is, it's much better than most of the Beach Boys stuff that came out around that time.
4 out of 5


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Lonely Summer on March 22, 2014, 03:41:22 PM
I love TLOS, but it's so different in mood and sound, really hard to compare the 2. The Brian of 1988 was enjoying kind of a second adolescence, and so to my ears, this album is kind of an 80's Beach Boys Today/Pet Sounds mishmash. A lot of energy in the performances...so it might be my favorite solo of Brian's...but hard to choose between these 2.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Dudd on July 23, 2014, 03:31:03 AM
Goddang, Meet Me In My Dream Tonight is so good. Listened to it like a hundred times and it still gives me chills - has to be cranked though.

When/if you get past the production, this album really is something special.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Tomorrowville on July 23, 2014, 08:27:19 AM
I really love this album, and think it's the strongest overall of Brian's non-SMiLE solo albums.  Count me as one who is not bothered by the production - I don't mind it because it is unabashedly, ridiculously rolling around in its '80s synth-ness, much how "Love You" is unabashedly, ridiculously rolling around in its '70s synth-ness, and that makes it easy for me to just roll with it (I much prefer BW88's unashamed crazed '80s synth-ness over "Imagination's" sterile, weak sauce adult contemporary-ness).  And songwriting wise, I think it's greatness, with only one true stinker ("Night Time," naturally) and only a couple of songs besides that one that I tend to skip ("Little Children," "One for the Boys," maybe every so often "There's So Many").  I love the rest - I much prefer the peppier, poppier version of "Love & Mercy" to the slowed-down one from the later live performances, "Walkin' the Line" through "Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long" is a great run of songs, and after a little sagging in the middle the album pops back to life for "Let It Shine," "MMiMDT," and "Rio Grande," which (however and whoever came up with the idea) is still one of the best things Brian's created in his solo career, IMHO.

IMHO, great album.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Lonely Summer on July 23, 2014, 11:49:49 PM
In my opinion, this is his best solo album.
I've got a "Not for sale - Promotional" Copy of this album on Vinyl!
"Love and Mercy" is my favourite track, but the others are quite good as well.
For what it is, it's much better than most of the Beach Boys stuff that came out around that time.
4 out of 5
For example what (except for "Night Time" which you said was your favorite, if I recall)? I think L&M is more beautiful than MA. Let It Shine is def the worst track here.
I like Let it Shine - stays in my head for hours after listening to the album. Night Time just sounds so 80's - the song, not just the production.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: KDS on June 11, 2015, 06:50:21 AM
After listening to BW 88 again, I rate it a low 4. 

There are some really good songs on here.  Love & Mercy and Melt Away are classics.  The production tries really hard to make it sound like Pet Sounds meets the 80s. 

I really like Jeff Lynne song. 

Rio Grande is.....OK. 

Part of me wanted to downgrade the album for its 1980s production.  But the songs hold up.  And the album is a product of the times.  It's held up better than other albums of the time (ie. Roger Waters - Radio KAOS). 


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: undercover-m on July 08, 2015, 07:56:29 PM
Listening to this album... for the second time today. First on Spotify, now on vinyl... interesting experiential difference.

"One for the Boys" just blew my mind.

I don't know if I could give it a 5, not yet, anyway... The 8-year-old Beach Boys fan that's still inside of me still finds Brian's post-70's voice so different. But I'm growing to love it. And his work on this and all other solo albums.
The harmonies and lyrics definitely stick out to me; they're lovely.

There are some interesting noises and sound effects on this album.
Anyway, listening to Love and Mercy is always a pleasure. I cannot wait to see this man in concert.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Mike's Beard on September 27, 2015, 02:27:48 PM
1. Love and Mercy 4/5
2. Walkin' the Line 3/5
3. Melt Away 3/5
4. Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long 3/5
5. Little Children 5/5
6. On for the Boys 3/5
7. There's So Many 2/5
8. Night Time 4/5
9. Let It Shine 2/5
10. Meet Me in My Dreams Tonight 3/5
11. Rio Grande 4/5

I like the production on this, it's a snapshot in time. Still Brian's best album after all these years.
3.5/5


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: You Kane, You Commanded, You Conquered on April 03, 2016, 10:26:19 AM
Rio Grande is nothing short of brilliant, as affecting as Good Vibrations, with FANTASTIC vocals from Brian, especially on ''the great big river, makes my heart beat stroooong!".


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Lonely Summer on April 07, 2016, 10:27:05 PM
Rio Grande is nothing short of brilliant, as affecting as Good Vibrations, with FANTASTIC vocals from Brian, especially on ''the great big river, makes my heart beat stroooong!".
Agreed. His voice IS different than on the 60's hits, but I think he sounds great. Really enjoy hearing the demos on the Rhino cd, too, fascinating to hear how these songs developed. I almost like the demo of Walkin' the Line better than the proper studio version.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: JK on May 07, 2017, 01:52:23 PM
Borrowed this from my local friendly record-lending library today. The original 1988 version that is, with Dr. the most
prevalent abbreviation in the CD notes and Landy's name all over everything. I must admit it sounds great! "Melt
Away" never sounded better, although the whole album has an amazing atmosphere. "Overproduced" my Aunt Fanny...

(http://vinylalbumcovers.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/brianwilsonsleeve2.png)


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Lonely Summer on May 08, 2017, 11:16:57 AM
Borrowed this from my local friendly record-lending library today. The original 1988 version that is, with Dr. the most
prevalent abbreviation in the CD notes and Landy's name all over everything. I must admit it sounds great! "Melt
Away" never sounded better, although the whole album has an amazing atmosphere. "Overproduced" my Aunt Fanny...

(http://vinylalbumcovers.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/brianwilsonsleeve2.png)
Nice to know someone shares my opinion of this album.


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: HotAsIce on November 22, 2017, 11:45:03 AM
some of his stuff is really good


Title: Re: Brian Wilson
Post by: Lonely Summer on November 22, 2017, 10:19:05 PM
some of his stuff is really good
Brian's or Landy's?  :lol