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Author Topic: I Love Kokomo  (Read 10685 times)
IainLee
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« on: June 14, 2016, 11:20:38 AM »

Been listening to Kokomo a lot over the last few days. It reminds me of being younger, school holidays, first romances. Carl's voice is stunning, the band sound tight (if a little TOO 80's) and Mike's bass is just spot on. Really think this is an under rated classic.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this beautiful slice of summer-shine.

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Emily
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2016, 11:24:49 AM »

Meh. 50/50. Carl's bit is indeed very beautiful and I like the harmony and progression on the chorus. The verses are really boring to me.
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D409
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2016, 11:25:48 AM »

Carl's vocal tag is the soul of Kokomo !
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KDS
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2016, 11:28:16 AM »

Been listening to Kokomo a lot over the last few days. It reminds me of being younger, school holidays, first romances. Carl's voice is stunning, the band sound tight (if a little TOO 80's) and Mike's bass is just spot on. Really think this is an under rated classic.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this beautiful slice of summer-shine.



I used to think the 80s pop sound was overly cheesy.  But, you know what?  I'll take 80s pop over just about any other pop that came after. 

I think Kokomo is a really good song.  Granted, I don't even think it's the best song the Beach Boys released in the 1980s, but I've always liked it. 
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HeyJude
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2016, 11:30:16 AM »

While the song may be considered "cheesy" to some, I don't know if I'd ever term the song "underrated." It hit #1, the video was played incessantly on TV, and it's still recognizable to this day to even non-fans.
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IainLee
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2016, 11:33:28 AM »

While the song may be considered "cheesy" to some, I don't know if I'd ever term the song "underrated." It hit #1, the video was played incessantly on TV, and it's still recognizable to this day to even non-fans.

Apologies. I meant under rated by Beach Boys fans. Sure. It was a huge hit in some of the world, but I feel it is often over looked by perhaps slightly more 'hardcore fans'. When discussing the band, this song is often just a footnote. I think it's a classi and one of their best. Easily in my top ten BB singles.
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KDS
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2016, 11:40:39 AM »

While the song may be considered "cheesy" to some, I don't know if I'd ever term the song "underrated." It hit #1, the video was played incessantly on TV, and it's still recognizable to this day to even non-fans.

Apologies. I meant under rated by Beach Boys fans. Sure. It was a huge hit in some of the world, but I feel it is often over looked by perhaps slightly more 'hardcore fans'. When discussing the band, this song is often just a footnote. I think it's a classi and one of their best. Easily in my top ten BB singles.

I'd agree that it does tend to be overlooked by hardcore BB fans.   I think, to a certain degree, its overlooked because it hit #1 in the charts when many of their hits from their golden years failed to do the same. 
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HeyJude
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2016, 11:42:33 AM »

While the song may be considered "cheesy" to some, I don't know if I'd ever term the song "underrated." It hit #1, the video was played incessantly on TV, and it's still recognizable to this day to even non-fans.

Apologies. I meant under rated by Beach Boys fans. Sure. It was a huge hit in some of the world, but I feel it is often over looked by perhaps slightly more 'hardcore fans'. When discussing the band, this song is often just a footnote. I think it's a classi and one of their best. Easily in my top ten BB singles.

Yep, and it's an unfortunate hot-button topic among hardcore fans. I'm sure it's a little bit like asking a bunch of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship fans what they think of "We Built This City", or a lifelong Clapton fan how much they like "Pretending" or something.  

"Kokomo" is a catchy song, a nice example of good pop song writing in that that late 80s era (I agree with Emily, it's the choruses that are the catchy part, the verses veer more towards camp/novelty).

I've seen few "hardcore" fans say the song sucks. Sure, a few trolls will say so. But most grizzled hardcore fans in my experience have recognized it for what it is, a catchy anomaly in the vacuum that was their mid-late 80s/early 90s output, one that holds up well to their other post-1980 output, partly because there isn't much competition. I think, as objective as hardcore fans can be, most recognize that in terms of impact, composition, structure, arrangement, and production, the song is not on the same level as other generally agreed-upon "classics" from their catalog, including their other well-known hits.

We all have our favorites. I like "Oh Darlin'" from 1980 more than most. I like hunks of KTSA and BB'85 and MIU, and so on.

The reason "Kokomo" ended up becoming a hot button topic among hardcore fans is that Mike Love wasn't content to just see the song for what it was, a good song that gave the band a shot in the arm. I don't think anyone would even begrudge always including it in the setlist. But he felt the need to equate it to the band's best output ever, and talks about the song *all the time.* There are other artists who don't do this. To reiterate an example I used elsewhere, McCartney hasn't regularly contended that "Pipes of Peace" or "Coming Up" are on par with the greatest Beatles songs.
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2016, 11:43:45 AM »

It's not a bad song...until that horrible sax solo kicks in.
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2016, 11:45:06 AM »

While the song may be considered "cheesy" to some, I don't know if I'd ever term the song "underrated." It hit #1, the video was played incessantly on TV, and it's still recognizable to this day to even non-fans.

Apologies. I meant under rated by Beach Boys fans. Sure. It was a huge hit in some of the world, but I feel it is often over looked by perhaps slightly more 'hardcore fans'. When discussing the band, this song is often just a footnote. I think it's a classi and one of their best. Easily in my top ten BB singles.
Wow. That's a strong statement. I think one thing that causes division among Beach Boys fans is what originally caught their interest. The Beach Boys music is varied enough that their fans can differ very strongly in their tastes.
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HeyJude
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2016, 11:45:28 AM »

Also, I think for some fans that lived through that era and actually did listen to radio and watch MTV and VH1, there was a severe burnout on the song. It was definitely *overplayed* in my opinion, and there was a burnout factor the same way people were sick of hearing Hootie and Blowfish tracks in the 90s, or the "Macarena", and so on.

So, while I again wouldn't begrudge including a #1 in their setlist, the fact that the song was also played at *every* show pretty much that they ever did starting in 1988 when it became a hit, might have contributed to the burnout factor a bit for some fans.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 11:46:39 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2016, 11:52:49 AM »

Also, I think for some fans that lived through that era and actually did listen to radio and watch MTV and VH1, there was a severe burnout on the song. It was definitely *overplayed* in my opinion, and there was a burnout factor the same way people were sick of hearing Hootie and Blowfish tracks in the 90s, or the "Macarena", and so on.

So, while I again wouldn't begrudge including a #1 in their setlist, the fact that the song was also played at *every* show pretty much that they ever did starting in 1988 when it became a hit, might have contributed to the burnout factor a bit for some fans.

I could see that.  That's the same reason many Metallica fans hate their self titled 1991 album (AKA "The Black Album"). 
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Disney Boy (1985)
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2016, 12:14:24 PM »

If Brian had written it and released it on his debut album, everyone would still be raving about what a fantastic return to form it was and how genius it was etc.
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2016, 12:19:34 PM »

If Brian had written it and released it on his debut album, everyone would still be raving about what a fantastic return to form it was and how genius it was etc.

Bull. If that were true, nobody would criticize GIOMH or  Imagination, just to name two
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I’m writing a book of online BB fandom. It’s called “Never Trust Anyone Who Spends More Time Reading Signatures Than Bathing”.  It’s sure to sell a million copies in January!

How’s that view from the nosebleed seats?
KDS
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2016, 12:22:05 PM »

If Brian had written it and released it on his debut album, everyone would still be raving about what a fantastic return to form it was and how genius it was etc.

I think there's a bit of truth in there among a fraction of fans.  

Although, to be fair, On the Island from Brian's NPP album has somewhat similar subject matter, and didn't seem to set the world on fire with that same fraction of fans.
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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2016, 12:28:15 PM »

If Brian had written it and released it on his debut album, everyone would still be raving about what a fantastic return to form it was and how genius it was etc.

Untrue.

HeyJude is right; the reaction that a good number of fans have to the song (tending to dislike it, or at least be put off by too much praise for the song) has everything to do with Mike excessively praising the song, and excessively bringing it up as an example of why he is such a great songwriter sans Brian.

If Brian had written Kokomo, and kept going on and on and on about what a kick-ass songwriter he is for writing Kokomo, people would similarly tire of hearing about that at a certain point.

I "get" why Mike does it, I "get" how someone's psychological craving for praise and recognition could lead them to repeatedly boast about a song like this... but in the context of the band's catalog, it does become more than a bit "much" for many people to handle. If one is to cut Mike some slack for repeatedly boasting about Kokomo, one should also understand why many people are put off *specifically* by that boasting.

It's a very good song. No doubt. But Good Vibrations it ain't. Yet if one hadn't yet heard a note of either song, but just heard interviews of Mike talking about both songs, they'd probably come away with the impression that GV + Kokomo are both relative equals in terms of kick-ass-ness. Just because they both hit #1, they are not equals in the slightest.

And I say all this as a fan of Kokomo. I dig it a lot.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 12:51:21 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2016, 12:34:28 PM »

It's a good song, good vocals all around. The sax solo is regrettable.
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KDS
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2016, 12:37:30 PM »

It's a good song, good vocals all around. The sax solo is regrettable.

I know I'm in the minority, but I like the sax solo.  Sometimes some good sax can really improve the day.   

Although I do find Mike's miming the sax in the video to be pretty amusing. 
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« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2016, 12:42:00 PM »

I, too, like the sax solo.  Fits the song well.
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MaryUSA
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2016, 12:44:01 PM »

Hi all,

Kokomo is a fabulous song.  Carl sings very well.
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2016, 01:13:46 PM »

Catchy but super lame presentation. A parody of the Beach Boys sound. West Coast daydream turns into an aging baby boomer fantasy commercial for a Florida cruise. The sickest of all sick things. A career low point that the BB brand has never fully recovered from. Instigator of the Beach Boys' confused cultural paradigm.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 01:19:40 PM by DonnyL » Logged

KDS
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2016, 01:24:09 PM »

Catchy but super lame presentation. A parody of the Beach Boys sound. West Coast daydream turns into an aging baby boomer fantasy commercial for a Florida cruise. The sickest of all sick things. A career low point that the BB brand has never fully recovered from. Instigator of the Beach Boys' confused cultural paradigm.

The self parody thing really started with 15 Big Ones IMO. 

Also, there are lows from 1976-1992 that are much lower than Kokomo. 
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DonnyL
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2016, 01:30:02 PM »

Catchy but super lame presentation. A parody of the Beach Boys sound. West Coast daydream turns into an aging baby boomer fantasy commercial for a Florida cruise. The sickest of all sick things. A career low point that the BB brand has never fully recovered from. Instigator of the Beach Boys' confused cultural paradigm.

The self parody thing really started with 15 Big Ones IMO.  

Also, there are lows from 1976-1992 that are much lower than Kokomo.  

15 Big Ones is a golden masterpiece compared to Kokomo. 15 Big Ones is a deranged madman of a record that would never have seen the light of day if it didn't come from the creative universe of Brian Wilson.

Sure, there are lower lows than Kokomo. But there is no more NOTABLE or INFLUENTIAL low.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 01:45:04 PM by DonnyL » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2016, 01:45:15 PM »

Forever with John Stamos is somewhere beneath it, IMHO
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How’s that view from the nosebleed seats?
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« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2016, 01:46:54 PM »



 the fact that the song was also played at *every* show pretty much that they ever did starting in 1988 when it became a hit, might have contributed to the burnout factor a bit for some fans.

However, which of their Number Ones have not been played at *every* show since 1988 (and long before, since they're all 20+ years older)?  I don't think there's much burnout factor concerning "I Get Around", "Rhonda", and "Good Vibrations", is there?
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