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679049 Posts in 27464 Topics by 4045 Members - Latest Member: reecemorgan June 04, 2023, 11:22:53 PM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Questions for Blondie Chaplin on: March 28, 2014, 09:02:34 AM
Is there any chance (please please please!) that the Flame's second album will ever see the light of day?  What is that album like?
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: What's Your Favorite Car Song? on: June 10, 2013, 10:31:25 AM
If we're talking about songs that are strictly about cars or a car, I would go with Ballad of Ole Betsy and This Car of Mine (just love Denny's vocal on the latter).  I do love all the BB car songs, but those two are particular favorites.
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Rock N Roll To The Rescue Vocals on: June 03, 2013, 09:45:10 PM
No doubt at all that it's Brian singing "I said it rescued me, and it'll rescue you."  Also it is clearly "my momma's things."

Not a great song, but I love the way they really let the vocals rip.  Hearing Brian and Carl sing like that has to be worth something, no?
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Ron Altbach on: June 03, 2013, 08:49:56 PM
Came across this recently on line and thought it was of interest.

Someone posted "She's Got Rhythm" on youtube:

In the comments of the video is one by "Ron Altbach" which reads as follows: "Here's the story. I was sitting at the piano in our studio at MIU, playing what became the verses of this, and Brian walked in and just started singing his falsetto. He liked the energy of what I was playing and it became my first co-written song with Brian and Mike."

I wasn't sure the comment was legit, so I clicked on the name and found Ron Altbach's channel: It turns out the guy is a very talented classical pianist.  He has a number of videos of himself performing Chopin, Debussy, and most recently Beethoven's Waldstein sonata.  I listened to the Waldstein, which is a beautiful piece.  Altbach's performance isn't quite at the level of Horowitz or Schiff, but it's still very impressive.

There is another video on youtube from what appears to be the late 70s in which Altbach talks about his classical music background, training with Nadia Boulanger, his rock and roll work with King Harvest, his meeting of Mike Love, and then his creation of "Lady Lynda" (which seems to have been as much Altbach's work as Al Jardine's).

I've always been a big fan of the MIU album, and learning what an extraordinarily talented guy Ron Altbach is really helped me understand why the album turned out so great.  Makes me wish the band had included him (along with Ricky and Blondie, of course) in the 50th reunion.
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: I'D LOVE JUST ONCE TO SEE YOU on: April 23, 2013, 11:18:48 AM
I always thought certain lines (not just the ending) were subtly racy:

"Oh, honey, don't know how long it's been, but this feeling's building up inside again."

"You had a way of makin' it come alive."

About as perfect a song as there has ever been.
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Because lists are cool: your favorite song on each album? on: July 25, 2012, 12:59:40 PM
Great thread.

Cuckoo Clock
Farmer's Daughter
Your Summer Dream
Ballad of Ole Betsy
This Car of Mine
We'll Run Away
The Man with All the Toys
Please Let Me Wonder
Let Him Run Wild
Mountain of Love
Wouldn't It Be Nice
Wind Chimes (Smiley Smile)
I'd Love Just Once to See You
I Can Hear Music
Cool Cool Water
Surf's Up 71 (Surf's Up)
Cuddle Up
Leaving This Town
It's OK
I Wanna Pick You Up
My Diane
Love Surrounds Me

LA was the last album with involvement of all three Wilsons, so that's where my list ends.
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike's thoughts on \ on: June 29, 2012, 01:45:41 PM
Just curious if Mike has ever spoken about this song? we all know how how truly incredible it is, arguably his great composition..

Are you saying Brian was not involved in writing the song?  The official credits do read "Wilson/Love" - is that inaccurate?  If so, what is the source of that information?

I have seen similar assertions about "Meant for You" - that it is solely a Mike composition, even though Brian's name is on the credit.

AGD's book has no information suggesting that Mike was the sole author of either song.
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: M.I.U vs L.A. on: June 26, 2012, 10:25:36 AM
I think MIU is very solid all the way through.  It's one of my favorite albums.  My Diane, Matchpoint, and Sweet Sunday are among my favorite tracks of all time.  The album would be better with more Dennis, of course, but My Diane is one of his best vocals IMO.

On LA, I love Good Timin, Baby Blue, Love Surrounds Me, and Angel Come Home.  I like Goin South and Full Sail.  But the disco Here Comes the Night is a huge unlistenable hole in the middle of the album.  Sumahama and Lady Lynda are weak, and I do not understand Brian's obsession with Shortenin Bread.  

Obviously there is room for disagreement.  
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Alan Boyd seriously ill. on: June 13, 2012, 08:40:54 AM
Hang in there, Alan.  Get better soon!
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Crack At Your Love and other obscure gems from the 80s catalogue on: June 05, 2012, 02:48:58 PM
To me, BB85 is pretty much a waste, except for "Crack" (awesome) and "I'm So Lonely" (even better).  "Crack" just has a great melody, great lyrics, nice vocal from Al.
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The last GREAT Beach Boys song in your opinion on: May 01, 2012, 10:28:11 AM
I actually like this live version of Goin On better than the one on KTSA>

The last great Beach Boys song cannot postdate December 28, 1983, IMO.
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The last GREAT Beach Boys song in your opinion on: May 01, 2012, 10:22:18 AM
I agree with Goin' On.  I think it could have been better arranged/produced, but the song itself is pure Brian magic.
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Favorite/Best Beach Boys-related book? on: February 28, 2012, 07:05:12 AM
I agree that Gaines makes a number of mistakes on the music, but as to the facts of the story, his research seems to be pretty accurate -- and it is very detailed.  He spent a long time -- close to a decade -- talking to pretty much all of the key people.  Gaines interviewed almost everyone who was close to the Beach Boys in the 60s and 70s -- including Brian, Dennis, Carl, Mike, and Al, as well as Audree Wilson, Stan and Stephen Love, Marilyn, Karen Lamm, and many others (even Steve Desper).  Because of that I think his book is really the primary information source on the band as people.  Some of the key sources are now dead, and the ones that are alive would be much less reliable now on the key subjects than they were when Gaines talked to them.  For this reason (and because Gaines is a good storyteller), H&V is still -- and probably always will be -- the best biography.

I think AGD's book is the best on the music.

Peter Ames Carlin did a good job uncovering some new sources, particularly about the early years when Brian was in high school.  But he spends way too much time talking about song lyrics, many of which were written by Mike and thus of limited interest in relation to Brian.  I thought his book overall was a disappointment.  Also I am much less interested in the story of the band after Dennis died.
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: MIU .. wow underrated album on: February 20, 2012, 08:59:28 AM
About five years ago there used to be some people on this board who really appreciated and loved MIU -- a guy named Jason Penick was a true and great advocate of the album.  I agreed with him then, and still think it's a great album.  It's really fun if you don't take it too seriously.

"She's Got Rhythm" -- great album opener, love the verses musically
"Come Go with Me" -- not Al's best cover idea, almost sounds like a solo track, but not terrible
"Hey Little Tomboy" -- sonically fastastic, great group involvement in vocals, lyrics have to be taken as a joke
"Kona Coast" -- musically based on "Hawaii," the bridge is pretty creative
"Peggy Sue" -- uninspired
"Wontcha Come out" -- really nice Brian vocal, sweet BW composition
"Sweet Sunday" -- I really love this one, great Carl vocal, great Be My Baby-inspired arrangement
"Belles of Paris" -- music is great, lyircs are sort of silly but still they're kind of fun
"Pitter Patter" -- funky chords & harmonies, a creative song
"My Diane" -- one of the ten greatest songs ever recorded, Denny's vocal utterly heartbreaking
"Matchpoint" -- almost as great as "My Diane," people need to get over the tennis metaphors -- they work!
"Winds of Change" -- kind of treacly but not bad
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Most Romantic BB song. on: February 14, 2012, 11:14:18 AM
"Cuddle Up" immediately popped into my head when I read the title of the thread.
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: So Sad About BB's Career After \ on: February 08, 2012, 11:17:55 AM
The underlying premise of the Smile/collapse argument is that the Beach Boys lost their audience beginning in 1967.  That is clearly true for the US.  And I think the fact that the Boys were no longer making hits is the key to viewing Pet Sounds/Good Vibrations/Smile as their peak.

But if you look at the British charts, the story is quite different.  Here are the Boys post-GV singles, with their UK chart peak listed (info taken from AGD's site):

Then I Kissed Her  #4, Heroes And Villains #8, Gettin' Hungry DNC, Wild Honey #29, Darlin' #11, Friends #25, Do It Again #1, Bluebirds Over The Mountain #33, I Can Hear Music #10, Break Away #6, Cotton Fields #5

Does that look like a band in decline?  Check out the UK album charts:Smiley Smile #9, Wild Honey #7, Friends #13, 20/20 #3, Sunflower #29,   Surf's Up #15, Carl And The Passions #25, Holland #20.  Again, that does not look like a band in decline -- at all.  If the Boys had achieved that kind of chart success in the US, their history would have been perceived much differently, and IMO the Smile mythology would have been far less.  The best thing that ever happened to the Smile legend was that Smiley Smile and the subsequent records basically flopped on the US charts.

For whatever reason, the UK public was able to perceive and appreciate the quality of the post-Smile work much better than the US public.  But the quality was there.

17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Were Any Christine McVie Songs Written About Dennis? on: January 03, 2012, 06:10:40 PM
I apologize if this has been covered.  I have always liked her music (I was listening to "Over and Over" and "Think About Me" from Tusk).  Are any of her songs known to have been about/inspired by Denny?
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The \ on: January 02, 2012, 09:14:32 AM
Something that's always struck me about the song is that it didn't seem like Brian wrote it as a duet.  Like, the lines don't respond or answer to each other as two people were singing to each other, rather, they seem like they're all being sung from the same perspective, or by the same "character" within the context of the song.  So it's like Marilyn is just there for practical reasons, to hit the high notes Brian can't reach.  I love it all the same, of course.

I'm glad someone else noticed this!  The lyrics make no sense as a duet.  Brian's part is that of someone very insecure and threatened by his lover's experience: "I don't wanna tell you that I care for you and have you just ignore me . . . ."  When he sings "I know it may sound funny, but you're the kind of woman who'd make a very sweet wife," the implication is that most people would think she wouldn't be a good wife because she's slept around so much.  Then he says "Don't worry bout your past loves and if they never understood you," again suggesting he's singing to someone very experienced.

So you would expect Marilyn's lyrics would be those of a worldly, jaded toyer with affections.  But instead she sings to Brian in the very same character: she, too, is the insecure person threatened by her lover's experience: "I know you've had so much experience that you don't need another person in your life....I never had someone, I need someone to live with and be good to."

Obviously the song was not originally written as a duet, but all the lyrics were written from a single perspective -- that of the insecure guy awed by his sexually experienced, highly desirable lover (perhaps how Brian felt toward Debbie Kiel?).  Brian just had Marilyn sing the parts he couldn't hit very well. 

Still works great as a duet musically, just not lyrically, IMO.

Love You is one of the all-time great albums. 
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: What is their strongest post-Pet Sounds album? (1967-1977) on: December 26, 2011, 11:16:26 AM
I voted for Surf's Up, but to me it's basically a tie between 8 of the 10 albums.  Smiley Smile, Wild Honey, Friends, Sunflower, Surf's Up, Carl and the Passions, Holland, and Love You are all either A or A+ albums.  I would rate 20/20 only a B+, because I don't like "Bluebirds," "All I Want to Do" (Mike's vocal sinks it for me), or Manson's song, and Brian's version of Cottonfields really pales next to Al's.

I would give 15 Big Ones a C-.  The only things I ever listen to from it are "It's OK" and "Had to Phone Ya" (both of which I love).  It really mortifies me that "Rock and Roll Music" hit #5 in the US.
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Is there a chance we will see Blondie and Ricky on the 2012 Beach Boys tour? on: December 19, 2011, 12:13:32 PM
I signed the petition, thanks for setting it up.  Love Ricky and Blondie so much, they have to be included.  They were a huge part of two of my favorite BB albums.  Heck, I think the band should add a Flame song to the reunion set ("Don't Worry Bill" gets my vote).

I agree this is not David vs. Ricky/Blondie.  All three should be included. 

I don't get the "it was only 2 or 3 years out of 50" argument.  We can't seriously consider the Beach Boys to have been an active band for 50 years.  They haven't released an album of new material since 1989.  Realistically, their period of greatness ran less than two decades at best (for me it is '62-'79).  Ricky and Blondie were full-fledged members of the band for about 3 very crucial years of that greatness -- and they contributed a lot, both live and in the studio, during that time.
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Which Beach Boys Album Cover Is Your Favorite & Why? on: November 18, 2011, 06:25:43 AM
Great thread.  My faves are All Summer Long, Summer Days, Party -- all three for the candid shots.  Then Sunflower -- I love the cover photo of the band with the kids, and also the inside shots of the boys on the Hollywood backlot (Brian as Good Humor man).  Surf's Up is awesome and evocative.

The Holland cover photos are cool, but seem really disconnected from the music.  CATP is one of my favorite albums, but I think the cover hurt its reception (and still does).  It was the first sort of "retro" Beach Boys cover, and suggests "Kokomo"-style music -- which CATP most assuredly is not.
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian's worst vocal on: November 10, 2011, 08:46:41 AM
I really dislike these "worst of" threads, I always feel pained when I read some of my favorites dissed.

I cannot believe people have listed "Don't Back Down," "Transcendental Meditation," "Take a Load off Your Feet," "Solar System," "I Wanna Pick You up" (half of which is an incredible Denny vocal!), and "She's Got Rhythm."  Everyone of these is an all-time favorite for me and I wouldn't change a thing about them.

Also, criticizing the '88 "Love and Mercy" vocal?  BW88 was the last time Brian had any of his old vocal magic, so I'm scratching my head on that too . . . .

23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Fun new BW interview on: August 18, 2011, 12:48:42 PM
- this interview musta been edited.

Definitely edited. No American would say "straight away." We say "right away."

I have noticed that British journalists seem to have different standards from Americans in that they will change the wording on what are supposed to be verbatim quotes from their subjects.  In the US, we expect that a published interview will be as close to what was actually said as possible.  But the Brits seem to feel comfortable altering the words.  This frequently shows up when, just as here, they put British-isms in the mouths of Americans.  One I have seen before is where they have an American interviewee say "I rang off" instead of "I hung up."  No American says "rang off" unless they've spent years living in Britain.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Look/ B's 9th symphony on: June 28, 2011, 12:05:54 PM
Beethoven is the only person in history who could possibly make Brian Wilson feel like a "musical midget."
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Calgary & Edmonton shows: Meeting Brian on: June 28, 2011, 12:04:44 PM
Wow, what a fantastic story.  Kayla, your covers are phenomenal -- I am especially partial to Let the Wind Blow and It's OK.  You really deserve the recognition from Brian.  He should be proud to have his music performed so well by a new generation -- and it sounds like he is.
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