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Poll
Question: Rate Surf's Up
5 - 61 (32.6%)
4 - 97 (51.9%)
3 - 25 (13.4%)
2 - 2 (1.1%)
1 - 2 (1.1%)
0 - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 171

Pages: 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 10 11 12 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Surf's Up  (Read 113858 times)
JK
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« Reply #175 on: September 12, 2011, 01:11:14 AM »

People seriously consider Al's side two contribution to be on the same level as "Til I Die" or "Surf's Up" or even "Tree"?

Perhaps I do put too much faith in atmosphere but I'd say it fits the mood of side two perfectly. And that's good enough for me. :=)
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« Reply #176 on: October 16, 2011, 04:22:58 PM »

1. Don't Go Near The Water 8/10
2. Long Promised Road 9/10
3. Take A Load Off Your Feet 6.5/10
4. Disney Girls 7/10
5. STD 4.5/10
6. Feel Flows 10/10
7. Lookin' At Tomorrow 6.5/10
8. A Day In The Life Of A Tree 10/10
9. Til' I Die 10/10
10. Surf's Up 10/10

Album Rating: 8.15
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« Reply #177 on: October 17, 2011, 12:59:18 AM »

I just can not understand anyone hating on "Take A Load Off Your Feet".

*cries*
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« Reply #178 on: October 17, 2011, 02:05:43 AM »

I really like Lookin' at Tomorrow, and it's always surprised me to see it held in such low regard. My only complaint is that I've always felt it should have a trombone or trumpet solo rather than a scat vocal in the middle-eight.
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« Reply #179 on: November 09, 2011, 04:48:26 PM »

Could very well be. They turn what was already a majorly impressive record into an absolute masterpiece.

Statements like this make me cringe.  The word "masterpiece" loses all meaning if Surf's Up is one.

I gave it a 2, because this just isn't an album.  It's a collection of songs recorded at various times, with radically different sounds and levels of quality. Although an attempt was made to tie them all together, there's no cohesion at all.

The title track and Til I Die are certainly great songs, and Tree is very good, though marred by the vocals.  Carl's songs are decent but way too long.  Water, Disney Girls and Al's folk song are tolerable. 

But Feet and SDT?  Complete, utter embarrassments.  So bad that they more than offset the greatness of Til I Die and Surf's Up.  Shows once again that the Beach Boys were probably the worst popular group ever at judging what to release and what to keep in the can.

Really- a "masterpiece"?  Let's have some sort of standards.
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« Reply #180 on: November 09, 2011, 05:27:53 PM »

Albums are collections of songs. Not every album is made to be a concept album. How old are you? Do you realize that in 1971 almost all songs had to be three minutes or longer? Take a look at some albums from the period. You sound like a record snob. I agree that is not a masterpiece, but not near as bad as make it out to be. ...Feet is a comedy song from Brian & Al, and SDT would have been better had they stayed with the original lyric. Had Dennis' songs been included, we might have had a near masterpiece.
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Your Kingdom Come,
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« Reply #181 on: November 09, 2011, 07:19:22 PM »

Albums are collections of songs. Not every album is made to be a concept album. How old are you? Do you realize that in 1971 almost all songs had to be three minutes or longer? Take a look at some albums from the period. You sound like a record snob. I agree that is not a masterpiece, but not near as bad as make it out to be. ...Feet is a comedy song from Brian & Al, and SDT would have been better had they stayed with the original lyric. Had Dennis' songs been included, we might have had a near masterpiece.

Where did you get your degree, "doctor"?  Correspondence school, no doubt.

Four of the 10 songs on Surf's Up were under three minutes long, so I guess the Beach Boys were violating your rule.  But my complaint about Carl's songs isn't the length per se, but that they aren't substantial enough to justify their length.  If they were better songs (like the title track), then the track lengths wouldn't be a problem.

And I said nothing about concept albums.  Pet Sounds, Holland, Sunflower, Wild Honey, Friends, Love You--those are not usually considered concept albums, but they hang together well because, among other things, the group attempted to create a common sound.  Surf's Up, like 20/20, is missing that.  It's really just a comp--but with a couple of tracks thrown on that should never have been released in the first place.

Apologizing for this album by claiming that it would have been better if different lyrics were used, or if different songs were included, doesn't help your argument.  Surf's Up was released as it was, not as you wish it might have been.
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drbeachboy
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« Reply #182 on: November 09, 2011, 07:57:00 PM »

Listen Jeff, SDT is an adaption of Riot In Cell Block No. 9.  You brought up song length, not me. Long Promised Road is not too long. Feel Flows goes on a bit, but lots of songs in rock do also. It is not alone in that regard. I agreed with you that SU is not a masterpiece. So, no argument there. I was just bringing up the point that the album would have been stronger with the possible inclusion of 2 of Dennis' songs. So don't get cocky and act like a prick with me over a review of an album.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 07:58:08 PM by drbeachboy » Logged

The Brianista Prayer

Oh Brian
Thou Art In Hawthorne,
Harmonied Be Thy name
Your Kingdom Come,
Your Steak Well Done,
On Stage As It Is In Studio,
Give Us This Day, Our Shortenin' Bread
And Forgive Us Our Bootlegs,
As We Also Have Forgiven Our Wife And Managers,
And Lead Us Not Into Kokomo,
But Deliver Us From Mike Love.
Amen.  ---hypehat
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« Reply #183 on: November 09, 2011, 08:32:59 PM »

Listen Jeff, SDT is an adaption of Riot In Cell Block No. 9.  You brought up song length, not me. Long Promised Road is not too long. Feel Flows goes on a bit, but lots of songs in rock do also. It is not alone in that regard. I agreed with you that SU is not a masterpiece. So, no argument there. I was just bringing up the point that the album would have been stronger with the possible inclusion of 2 of Dennis' songs. So don't get clocky and act like a prick with me over a review of an album.

Uh ... take a look at your initial post.  You started right in with personal attacks ("how old are you?"; "you sound like a record snob").  If you don't want to hear responses to personal attacks, don't attack.

I'm aware of SDT's origins.  That doesn't make it a good--or even listenable--song.

Yes, I brought up song length, but only with two of the songs (Carl's).  And I do believe they're both too long for what they have to offer.
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« Reply #184 on: November 10, 2011, 06:54:13 AM »

Listen Jeff, SDT is an adaption of Riot In Cell Block No. 9.  You brought up song length, not me. Long Promised Road is not too long. Feel Flows goes on a bit, but lots of songs in rock do also. It is not alone in that regard. I agreed with you that SU is not a masterpiece. So, no argument there. I was just bringing up the point that the album would have been stronger with the possible inclusion of 2 of Dennis' songs. So don't get clocky and act like a prick with me over a review of an album.

Uh ... take a look at your initial post.  You started right in with personal attacks ("how old are you?"; "you sound like a record snob").  If you don't want to hear responses to personal attacks, don't attack.

I'm aware of SDT's origins.  That doesn't make it a good--or even listenable--song.

Yes, I brought up song length, but only with two of the songs (Carl's).  And I do believe they're both too long for what they have to offer.
I asked how old you are for a reason. I wanted to know if you lived through the period (before & after) when this album was released. Records of certain sub-genres were made a certain way, including song length. By 71, a lot of Top 40 hits were running over 3:00 minutes. So, LPR coming in at 3:34 was not far off the mark for normal song length. It wasn't meant as a knock on you.

The snob remark came from how I understood your post. You want to take offense, then so be it. Another person's opinion of your thoughts can come off that way.

I brought up Riot... over SDT because The Boys' included this in their live show in 70 and 71 and it worked much better for them then when they did the rewrite. I'm telling you from the expereince of seeing and hearing it performed live by them. In your original post you didn't mention that you knew of the origins or that you didn't like the song in either  form. You simply talked about SDT. Many fans like the music behind STD, but do not care for the lyric change. I assumed (wrongly) that you were from that same camp. I didn't fully understand that you disliked the song as a whole.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 07:02:16 AM by drbeachboy » Logged

The Brianista Prayer

Oh Brian
Thou Art In Hawthorne,
Harmonied Be Thy name
Your Kingdom Come,
Your Steak Well Done,
On Stage As It Is In Studio,
Give Us This Day, Our Shortenin' Bread
And Forgive Us Our Bootlegs,
As We Also Have Forgiven Our Wife And Managers,
And Lead Us Not Into Kokomo,
But Deliver Us From Mike Love.
Amen.  ---hypehat
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« Reply #185 on: November 13, 2011, 08:30:30 PM »

Listen Jeff, SDT is an adaption of Riot In Cell Block No. 9.  You brought up song length, not me. Long Promised Road is not too long. Feel Flows goes on a bit, but lots of songs in rock do also. It is not alone in that regard. I agreed with you that SU is not a masterpiece. So, no argument there. I was just bringing up the point that the album would have been stronger with the possible inclusion of 2 of Dennis' songs. So don't get clocky and act like a prick with me over a review of an album.

Uh ... take a look at your initial post.  You started right in with personal attacks ("how old are you?"; "you sound like a record snob").  If you don't want to hear responses to personal attacks, don't attack.

I'm aware of SDT's origins.  That doesn't make it a good--or even listenable--song.

Yes, I brought up song length, but only with two of the songs (Carl's).  And I do believe they're both too long for what they have to offer.
I asked how old you are for a reason. I wanted to know if you lived through the period (before & after) when this album was released. Records of certain sub-genres were made a certain way, including song length. By 71, a lot of Top 40 hits were running over 3:00 minutes. So, LPR coming in at 3:34 was not far off the mark for normal song length. It wasn't meant as a knock on you.

The snob remark came from how I understood your post. You want to take offense, then so be it. Another person's opinion of your thoughts can come off that way.

I brought up Riot... over SDT because The Boys' included this in their live show in 70 and 71 and it worked much better for them then when they did the rewrite. I'm telling you from the expereince of seeing and hearing it performed live by them. In your original post you didn't mention that you knew of the origins or that you didn't like the song in either  form. You simply talked about SDT. Many fans like the music behind STD, but do not care for the lyric change. I assumed (wrongly) that you were from that same camp. I didn't fully understand that you disliked the song as a whole.

My dislike of SDT is mainly due to the delivery.  Many of Mike's vocals are great, but not this one.  He could have been singing the "Cell Block" lyrics, and it still would have been almost as bad.  The Beach Boys were not a hardish rock band.  All I Want to Do was awful, and SDT was too.

In any case, I think the main difference of opinion here is this:  I come at things as a music fan who happens to like the Beach Boys, while you come at things as a Beach Boys fan who reflexively wants to defend the group and apologize for its failures.  I don't mean that in any way as an insult to either of us.  It's simply a difference in perspective.

To be clear, over the last 12 years or so, the Beach Boys have revolutionized my music experience.  It's actually become difficult to enjoy much other music, especially much of the Beatles' output, because nothing else really measures up, at least to the Pet Sounds-Smile period.

But that doesn't mean that I have blinders on to the Beach Boys' failures.  Every group has its share of bad tracks--although IMO the Beatles avoided releasing anything really bad.   The Beach Boys, unfortunately, were particularly bad about releasing nearly unlistenable music while leaving fantastic stuff in the vaults.  Surf's Up seems to be a prime example of this.  SDT and the Foot song are just plain awful, while Wouldn't It Be Nice to Live Again apparently is fantastic (though I have not heard it), and other songs like Fourth of July remained unreleased at the time despite being very good.

Anyway, we may not disagree as much as it initially appeared.  I agree with you that Surf's Up had the potential to be a great album, but unfortunately, several bad decisions caused it to be, IMO, a below-average one.
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« Reply #186 on: November 13, 2011, 08:44:47 PM »

Just my two cents, but the most I ever enjoyed Surf's Up was in the middle of consuming a lot of Beach Boys literature and stories, and getting an idea of its complicated history. Sometimes that stuff can color your opinion, which isn't a bad thing -- marketing and psychology have a lot to do with the enjoyment of any art -- but for me at least, it did make a difference.

Like Sunflower though, I don't love Surf's Up in full and usually just merge their best songs into one truncated twofer. I don't think anything is really bad, but I also don't remember the last time I listened to the entire thing.
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« Reply #187 on: November 14, 2011, 10:04:37 AM »

Like Sunflower though, I don't love Surf's Up in full and usually just merge their best songs into one truncated twofer. I don't think anything is really bad, but I also don't remember the last time I listened to the entire thing.

I used to do that, but recently I've been playing each in its entirety. And enjoying it. Perhaps I'm just getting old. Old Man   
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« Reply #188 on: November 14, 2011, 12:18:19 PM »

I've always loved this beach boys record..it was the first i really listened to>Back in the mid 1980,s an older friend said his 3 favourite records included PET SOUNDS. My reaction was "what??the beach boys??"HE said i seriously should check out the beach boys.Then another friend told me that he heard an album called SURFS UP and it was really great.Dubiously i found a copy of SURFS UP and took it round to a friends house who i listened to lots of records with..from captain beef heart to sun ra to nick drake to the velvet underground..He thought the same as me.."the beach boys?? really?? ok lets check them out"..we smoked a big one and sat back as the needle hot the opening sound..some 35 minutes later as SURFS UP finished we looked at each other and exclaimed 'WOW..WHAT THE %$#, THAT WAS INCREDIBLE...AS GREAT AS ABBEY ROAD" MY friend claimed..and that was it for us..we immediately became fanatics..big time fanatics...and running a record store..an indie record store..more known for its independent and alternative stock..as del as a healthy stock of sixties psychedelic..free jazz..delta blues and all things neil young and bob dylan..i think we turned half our customers onto all things beach boys....25 years later..im the first guy in my country with THE SMILE SESSIONS BOX..haah..BUT BACK TO surfs up...WHAT APART FROM MIKES DREADFUL CELL BLOCK is there not to love about this album?? LONG PROMISED ROAD..TILL I DIE...SURFS UP..DONT GO NEAR THE WATER..THE TRULY OUTTHERE..THE DAY IN THE LIFE OF A TREE..THE MAGNIFICENT FEEL FLOWS..wow wow and wow...we used to play DISNEY GIRLS on repeat..just perfect pop..for me this is a total 5 star masterpiece....and carls two songs are right up there as my favourite bb songs...so in a nutshell this sits easily amongst my favourite beach boy albums and in my top 20 lps of all time
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« Reply #189 on: January 09, 2012, 12:27:35 PM »

This album is very interesting to me. It contains none of the first Beach Boys songs I heard, nor has it the personal significance to my youth of albums like Today or All Summer Long. In fact, on first listen I thought this was probably a throw away album. Don't Go Near the Water? What was this? Aren't they surfers? Take Good Care of Your Feet? Student Demonstration Time? A Day in the Life Of a Tree? What's with all these horrible songs? I believe that was my first idea of this album. Then i remember hearing Surf's Up and it totally blowing me away. That song nearly renewed everything for me about the Beach Boys. Even before I heard anything about SMiLE, there was that song. That weirdly psychadelic song on the end of that weird album. It was like hearing A Day in the Life for the first time. Total shock and awe. Since then (that was probably about 3 years ago) I've listened to this album on and off through myspace or youtube, and have really started to appreciate it more than any post Pet Sounds release. It never really got me away from the old surf and car songs, but rather, it transitioned me into their other great era. It worked perfectly to help me not compare their pre and post Pet Sounds albums and decide which is better and just look at their discography as possibly one of the best ever. And it continues to make me interested and still gets repeat listens, and at this point I LOVE every song, including STD, on the album.
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« Reply #190 on: January 09, 2012, 09:27:05 PM »

Like some of the other comments, I to used to overlook Surfs Up and somewhat dismissed it as one of their weaker efforts. One night back in the early to mid nineties I was lying in bed late at night probably well past 2am and I heard this strange song played on one of our local college campus stations, when it was over the dj said that was A Day In The Life Of A Tree by The Beach Boys from their Surfs Up album and I was thinking "Wow, that was The Beach Boys!?" Like many others I assumed they had broken up after Good Vibrations. I was intrigued and sought out this mysterious record, I was then hooked. Although I felt Surfs Up could've been better than it was I was nonetheless blown away by sophisticated experimental songs like Feel Flows, Til I Die and Surfs Up.
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« Reply #191 on: January 10, 2012, 10:14:45 PM »

This might be one of the weirdest Beach Boys albums.  It includes some of my favorite songs by the band yet it's also a bit uneven.  You have Don't Go Near the Water which is almost like a contradicting sequel to Cool, Cool Water (in fact when I first heard the album which was Sunflower and Surf's Up on one CD, I thought they were the same song so I wonder if they intended it to be like that), Take a Load Off Your Feet which I believe is Al Jardine's ode to foot fetishism and it's almost kind of disturbing, Mike Love's cover of a Leiber-Stoller classic with altered preachy lyrics, the very eerie Lookin' At Tomorrow which I think is one of the better Jardine compositions, and finally the depressing but intriguing Day In the Life of a Tree sung by their lyricist Jack Rieley who brings a poignancy and sadness to what I think is an underrated masterpiece by Brian Wilson.  Then there's also Disney Girls which is probably the best song Bruce Johnston ever wrote.  But the best tracks in my opinion are Carl's Feel Flows (which memorably plays over the end credits of Almost Famous, one of my favorite movies), Long Promised Road (another great Carl composition), 'Til I Die which is one of the best songs Brian ever wrote, and of course the title track.  The material itself is great but the track order could have been different and I think even though the album is called Surf's Up, Surf's Up does not belong on this album!  It's a masterpiece but it belongs on Smile and now that The Smile Sessions have been released, it's very strange to see it here (same with Cabin Essence and Our Prayer on 20/20).  But I might be nitpicking.  Overall, I give this album a 4/5.
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« Reply #192 on: January 29, 2012, 08:30:06 PM »

I never understood how ANYONE could see this album as anything BUT magnificent. Then, I read Jeff's post a few posts up and I suppose I see where he is coming from.  However, I'm a music fan who enjoys the Beach Boys too, and I find it hard to listen to much else except them.  I also recognize that they have released some truly horrid stuff. Yet I consider Surf's Up to be leagues ahead of nearly anything else they produced in the seventies, ten times better than Love You, and somewhere close to Sunflower and Holland. I think the record is VERY coherent in that it encompasses sadness, depression, and darkness.

Sure, do I love SDT and Feet? No, but do I love Within You Without You, or Love You To? (not picking on George Harrison here, just the first two examples that came to mind) Absolutely NOT! The fact is, the Beatles' weaker tracks on exceptional albums tend to get a bit overlooked compared to the Beach Boys' weaker stuff, at least on this forum.  Take the White Album, for instance.  Why "Why Don't We Do It In the Road" isn't considered as horrid as SDT I'll never understand.  Bands will have weaker tracks.  It happens, but don't devalue the album for two songs that are a bit iffy. Everything else on Surf's Up is incredible, strong, coherent music.  It's not forced, it's not pretentious, it's just beautiful music. It's beyond Sunflower, I feel, and I guess I'm just baffled as to why this isn't universally agreed on as a masterpiece.  Hell, the only justification I have is that Surf's Up made it to sixty something on Pitchfork's best hundred albums of the 70's.  Guess what's not on that list? Sunflower  Grin
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« Reply #193 on: January 29, 2012, 09:17:49 PM »

Sure, do I love SDT and Feet? No, but do I love Within You Without You...

Are you honestly comparing Take a Load Off Your Feet and Student Demonstration Time to one of the best tracks on Sgt. Pepper?  Dude, I mean, seriously?  How shameful.
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« Reply #194 on: January 30, 2012, 01:27:30 AM »

Sure, do I love SDT and Feet? No, but do I love Within You Without You...

Are you honestly comparing Take a Load Off Your Feet and Student Demonstration Time to one of the best tracks on Sgt. Pepper?  Dude, I mean, seriously?  How shameful.

Ehm, no, you better re-read Zach95's post again.
He wanted to make a point on why an album like Surf's Up can't be called "magnificient" if it happened to contain a weak track or two. And to illustrate that he made a comparison with Sgt. Peppers - by many considered a "magnificent" album - which in his opinion also offers a weaker track.
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« Reply #195 on: January 30, 2012, 04:14:59 AM »

Sure, do I love SDT and Feet? No, but do I love Within You Without You...

Are you honestly comparing Take a Load Off Your Feet and Student Demonstration Time to one of the best tracks on Sgt. Pepper?  Dude, I mean, seriously?  How shameful.
Dude, Within You, Without You in my opinion is the 13th best song on Pepper. So, not everyone is in agreement with your assessment. Zach95's comparison is on the money.
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The Brianista Prayer

Oh Brian
Thou Art In Hawthorne,
Harmonied Be Thy name
Your Kingdom Come,
Your Steak Well Done,
On Stage As It Is In Studio,
Give Us This Day, Our Shortenin' Bread
And Forgive Us Our Bootlegs,
As We Also Have Forgiven Our Wife And Managers,
And Lead Us Not Into Kokomo,
But Deliver Us From Mike Love.
Amen.  ---hypehat
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« Reply #196 on: January 30, 2012, 06:10:26 AM »

Talking about cohesiveness and Pepper / Surf's Up: Pepper is, in my opinion, hugely overrated as a concept album. It's got a lot of good tunes and some great ones, but it is by no means appearing as a cohesive unit. Tag the two Lonely Hearts Club Band tracks (album track #1 and the reprise) onto Magical Mystery Tour and would get something similar to Pepper in terms of cohesiveness.

The difference between Pepper and Surf's Up in this regard is: Pepper wants/claims to be a concept album, where Surf's Up does not.


Also, none of either LP is 'better' than the other... the whole Beatles <-> Beach Boys thing got tiresome a long time ago.


On-topic: Yes, Surf's Up could have been much more (lose SDT, add Denny songs, etc.), but as is exists I'd still give it a 7.5/10.
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« Reply #197 on: January 30, 2012, 11:28:40 AM »

Sure, do I love SDT and Feet? No, but do I love Within You Without You...

Are you honestly comparing Take a Load Off Your Feet and Student Demonstration Time to one of the best tracks on Sgt. Pepper?  Dude, I mean, seriously?  How shameful.
Dude, Within You, Without You in my opinion is the 13th best song on Pepper. So, not everyone is in agreement with your assessment. Zach95's comparison is on the money.
I apologize for getting off-topic but you really think Good Morning Good Morning is a better song than Within You Without You?
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« Reply #198 on: January 30, 2012, 01:56:54 PM »

The "Inner Groove" is even better.  Just kidding. Wink  I am not a fan of George's Indian indulgences.
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Thou Art In Hawthorne,
Harmonied Be Thy name
Your Kingdom Come,
Your Steak Well Done,
On Stage As It Is In Studio,
Give Us This Day, Our Shortenin' Bread
And Forgive Us Our Bootlegs,
As We Also Have Forgiven Our Wife And Managers,
And Lead Us Not Into Kokomo,
But Deliver Us From Mike Love.
Amen.  ---hypehat
Zach95
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« Reply #199 on: January 30, 2012, 05:45:09 PM »

Sure, do I love SDT and Feet? No, but do I love Within You Without You...

Are you honestly comparing Take a Load Off Your Feet and Student Demonstration Time to one of the best tracks on Sgt. Pepper?  Dude, I mean, seriously?  How shameful.
Dude, Within You, Without You in my opinion is the 13th best song on Pepper. So, not everyone is in agreement with your assessment. Zach95's comparison is on the money.
I apologize for getting off-topic but you really think Good Morning Good Morning is a better song than Within You Without You?

Depends on the mood, but you're proving my point further still by pointing out another weaker track. Yes, I realize the Beatles Beach Boys thing is old, but it offers, in my opinion, a perfect comparison in terms of time period, style, popularity, etc.  It's unavoidable.

Oh, and thank you for the backup drbeachboy  Grin
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 05:46:51 PM by Zach95 » Logged

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