gfxgfx
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
logo
 
gfx gfx
gfx
668475 Posts in 26886 Topics by 3904 Members - Latest Member: Charlie Dontsurf May 15, 2021, 01:43:27 AM
*
gfx*HomeHelpSearchCalendarLoginRegistergfx
gfxgfx
0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.       « previous next »
Pages: 1 [2] 3 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Problem Child on CD  (Read 3452 times)
UEF
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 256


Sheriff John-ston


View Profile
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2021, 07:25:08 AM »

I love it, I tried to work out the chords but found it rather swathed in 80s mush and hard to
work out what music is being played
Logged
Awesoman
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1609


Disagreements? Work 'em out.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2021, 06:35:36 AM »

Guilty pleasure might not be a bad way to describe it. I just want it on CD before my tape messes up.


Definitely a guilty pleasure.  At least Carl provides a nice vocal. Too bad cheesy production totally felled this song.  That said it wouldn't hurt to see a compilation of the Beach Boys songs from the 80's and 90's since most of them are out of print.  There are some not-bad tracks out there such as "Chasin' The Sky" and "Rock & Roll To the Rescue" that I wouldn't mind a proper remastering. 
Logged

And if you don't know where you're going
Any road will take you there
CenturyDeprived
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5647



View Profile
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2021, 09:31:28 AM »

Guilty pleasure might not be a bad way to describe it. I just want it on CD before my tape messes up.


Definitely a guilty pleasure.  At least Carl provides a nice vocal. Too bad cheesy production totally felled this song.  That said it wouldn't hurt to see a compilation of the Beach Boys songs from the 80's and 90's since most of them are out of print.  There are some not-bad tracks out there such as "Chasin' The Sky" and "Rock & Roll To the Rescue" that I wouldn't mind a proper remastering. 

I feel like other than the admittedly cheesy lyrics, the 2 cheesy production points that seem to bug people (and sometimes myself, though I've become a bit immune to it bothering me now) are:

-The repeating "nah nah" sample (is that indeed a sample of the kid, Junior, from the film?) which plays right at the start of the song.
-The Beach Boys vocal parts that sound like they were put through a synthesizer, also similar to the "nah nah" part, but with a different very early 90s flavor.

Those synthesized vocal sample parts are very cheesy, yet they don't seem terribly out of place production-wise for the era. I can't recall specific examples off the top of my head, but I feel 1990 pop music had other songs with that effect too. I guess viewing it in the context of pop songs of the time, it doesn't bug me as much.

I should like this song a lot less than I do, but it has become quite the guilty pleasure for me. I've become a Problem Child apologist. Maybe I have a soft spot for it because it's Carl's last lead vocal on an original BBs song released in his lifetime.
Logged
Conspiracy Jim
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


View Profile
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2021, 06:04:26 AM »

Random question, but isn't the video the last time Bruce is seen playing bass? I've no idea if he was also playing it during gigs at the time (my immediate assumption is that he stuck to keyboards), but it's definitely an unusual sight.

My own CD single of Problem Child was one of the first things I ever bought on eBay back in the late 90s (along with a 7" of East Meets West and another of Happy Endings, plus the Up The Creek soundtrack). I must've sold it in the last ten years, but I have no idea when. Definitely wasn't for a significant amount though. I've added all four of those songs, plus Crocodile Rock to Still Cruisin' in place of the oldies make a more cohesive (if not actually better) album.
Logged
Tony S
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 622


View Profile
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2021, 07:09:24 AM »

Never really got what they were trying to do with the song selection for Still Crusin. My only thought is they figured the new songs were weak, so to push sales to include some of the old hits Definitely would have een beeter to have included some of their lesser known non movie songs of the 80's and 90's like the ones you mentioned, if only for the sake of originality, and let the chips fall where they may
Logged
thetojo
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 380



View Profile
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2021, 12:31:52 PM »

IIRC Lady Liberty was recorded (the vocals) in 1987, the same year as Wipe Out.

Adding that and the two new releases from 1986 would have allowed an album of the same number of tracks all recorded somewhat contemporaneously to make a more coherent album, without having to worry about any rights issues.

Clearly there was a strong intention to favor soundtrack songs for that 'theme over contemporary music.
Logged
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9231



View Profile WWW
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2021, 12:18:58 PM »

IIRC Lady Liberty was recorded (the vocals) in 1987, the same year as Wipe Out.

Adding that and the two new releases from 1986 would have allowed an album of the same number of tracks all recorded somewhat contemporaneously to make a more coherent album, without having to worry about any rights issues.

Clearly there was a strong intention to favor soundtrack songs for that 'theme over contemporary music.

"Lady Liberty" was released in '86; they even did it live at some gigs that year, including "Farm Aid."

I think some folks are looking at the "Still Cruisin'" album from the point of view of years after the fact rather than what was going on in 1989. It's easy to try to re-mold it years later into a catch-all for weird b-sides and tracks that didn't have homes on albums, but that's not how the album was viewed back then.
Logged

THE BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE IS ON FACEBOOK!!! http://www.facebook.com/beachboysopinion - Check out the original "BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE" Blog - http://beachboysopinion.blogspot.com/
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9231



View Profile WWW
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2021, 12:22:14 PM »

Regarding the "Still Cruisin'" album:

To understand the context of this album, it helps to read interviews with the guys (mainly Mike) from that era.

It appears that the original idea for the album was for it to be entirely BB songs that had been featured in movies. It was intended to be essentially a re-package/compilation with a "movie" theme. I think initially it was not viewed as a "new" album the way they had done them in the past. I think Mike was viewing the thing more like those Radio Shack compilations from earlier in the 80s.

While from the fan perspective it was usually felt that the reissued/hits/oldies were what watered down the album, an interview with Mike discussing the album indicates that he felt the "non-movie" songs were what watered the album down, and that it was all inter-band politics that led to other members getting tracks (and "non-movie" tracks at that) like Brian's "In My Car" and Al's "Island Girl." Mike of course contradicted his own reasoning here by contributing his own "non-movie" song, "Somewhere Near Japan."

The band, particularly Mike, also seemed annoyed that Capitol didn't push "Somewhere Near Japan" harder as a single, feeling it got lost in label politics in terms of what they chose to push to radio and promote. While "SNJ" was undoubtedly a highlight of the album, I don't think it would have scored the band a big hit under any circumstance.

Ultimately, despite the album going gold (due surely to it being the first BB album to feature "Kokomo"), the Capitol album deal was a one-and-done, and within a few years they were having to bankroll "Summer In Paradise" themselves.

But, while fans often view this album as a "new album" that got watered down with oldies, Mike at least viewed it as a compilation album that got watered down by "new" music. Interesting.
Logged

THE BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE IS ON FACEBOOK!!! http://www.facebook.com/beachboysopinion - Check out the original "BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE" Blog - http://beachboysopinion.blogspot.com/
Matt H
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1287



View Profile
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2021, 01:06:56 PM »

Regarding the "Still Cruisin'" album:

To understand the context of this album, it helps to read interviews with the guys (mainly Mike) from that era.

It appears that the original idea for the album was for it to be entirely BB songs that had been featured in movies. It was intended to be essentially a re-package/compilation with a "movie" theme. I think initially it was not viewed as a "new" album the way they had done them in the past. I think Mike was viewing the thing more like those Radio Shack compilations from earlier in the 80s.

While from the fan perspective it was usually felt that the reissued/hits/oldies were what watered down the album, an interview with Mike discussing the album indicates that he felt the "non-movie" songs were what watered the album down, and that it was all inter-band politics that led to other members getting tracks (and "non-movie" tracks at that) like Brian's "In My Car" and Al's "Island Girl." Mike of course contradicted his own reasoning here by contributing his own "non-movie" song, "Somewhere Near Japan."

The band, particularly Mike, also seemed annoyed that Capitol didn't push "Somewhere Near Japan" harder as a single, feeling it got lost in label politics in terms of what they chose to push to radio and promote. While "SNJ" was undoubtedly a highlight of the album, I don't think it would have scored the band a big hit under any circumstance.

Ultimately, despite the album going gold (due surely to it being the first BB album to feature "Kokomo"), the Capitol album deal was a one-and-done, and within a few years they were having to bankroll "Summer In Paradise" themselves.

But, while fans often view this album as a "new album" that got watered down with oldies, Mike at least viewed it as a compilation album that got watered down by "new" music. Interesting.

I have always found the movie idea odd.  Here are songs from Movies on the album:

Still Cruisin'
Kokomo
Make It Big
I Get Around
Wouldn't It Be Nice
California Girls

That is only 6 songs.  Were there other songs that he wanted on there instead of the following:

Somewhere Near Japan
Island Girl
In My Car
Wipe Out


Logged
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9231



View Profile WWW
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2021, 02:52:14 PM »

Regarding the "Still Cruisin'" album:

To understand the context of this album, it helps to read interviews with the guys (mainly Mike) from that era.

It appears that the original idea for the album was for it to be entirely BB songs that had been featured in movies. It was intended to be essentially a re-package/compilation with a "movie" theme. I think initially it was not viewed as a "new" album the way they had done them in the past. I think Mike was viewing the thing more like those Radio Shack compilations from earlier in the 80s.

While from the fan perspective it was usually felt that the reissued/hits/oldies were what watered down the album, an interview with Mike discussing the album indicates that he felt the "non-movie" songs were what watered the album down, and that it was all inter-band politics that led to other members getting tracks (and "non-movie" tracks at that) like Brian's "In My Car" and Al's "Island Girl." Mike of course contradicted his own reasoning here by contributing his own "non-movie" song, "Somewhere Near Japan."

The band, particularly Mike, also seemed annoyed that Capitol didn't push "Somewhere Near Japan" harder as a single, feeling it got lost in label politics in terms of what they chose to push to radio and promote. While "SNJ" was undoubtedly a highlight of the album, I don't think it would have scored the band a big hit under any circumstance.

Ultimately, despite the album going gold (due surely to it being the first BB album to feature "Kokomo"), the Capitol album deal was a one-and-done, and within a few years they were having to bankroll "Summer In Paradise" themselves.

But, while fans often view this album as a "new album" that got watered down with oldies, Mike at least viewed it as a compilation album that got watered down by "new" music. Interesting.

I have always found the movie idea odd.  Here are songs from Movies on the album:

Still Cruisin'
Kokomo
Make It Big
I Get Around
Wouldn't It Be Nice
California Girls

That is only 6 songs.  Were there other songs that he wanted on there instead of the following:

Somewhere Near Japan
Island Girl
In My Car
Wipe Out




That's a very pertinent question. If anybody ever had an answer, it has probably been lost to time.

Here's what Mike said an a 1992 Goldmine interview:

Q: I understand that you're putting out the new album ["Summer In Paradise"] yourself and bypassing major labels.

A: The Beach Boys have been on Capitol Records, Warners, CBS, back to Capitol, and in the case of "Kokomo," it was on Elektra. So we've been distributing our records through major labels all our lives except for our first record, "Surfin'," which was on a label called Candix, which went bankrupt [laughs]. We got a total of $900 on the royalties for that one and we signed to Capitol in 1962.

But the problem with a major is that just as recently as the Still Cruisin' album, the same week that we went to radio with a song called "Somewhere Near Japan," which was getting really good airplay, Capitol Records went to CHR radio stations with eight singles. That was just one label in the same week. They'd also just done a deal with Duran Duran. They had paid a lot of money for Duran Duran, whereas we did an album of half new and half older songs. The theme of that album was to have been songs that have been in movies. It was basically a repackage.

But then in got watered down with politics, meaning Brian's Dr. Landy forcing a song called "In My Car," which was never in a movie, and a song by Jardine, which ultimately ended up on the album, called "Island Girl," which was never in a movie either. So to me the concept was a little bit diluted there politically.

So what happened in this instance was I was not happy that the album was half repackage and half politics. What happens when you do things politically just to accommodate the fact that if you're in a group and you divide it by five members, and you got two songs each, it may be a nice thing to do but everybody has their own point of view that isn't taken into consideration objectively.


It is indeed worth asking, what songs was he planning on suggesting?

It's entirely possible that he was more annoyed by having to compromise with other members in putting the album together; I have little doubt having Landy insist on "In My Car" was probably not a pleasant experience (and Carl separately noted in an interview that he thought Landy's lyrics on the song were ridiculous), and in general it's probably true that the concessions to other members was down to politics/democratization of the album process.

Most notably of course is that Mike himself ended up putting a non-movie song on the album (and also in this same interview complained that that label didn't support it more!), so one wonders if he just threw his hat in the ring as well to get one of his own songs on there once he realized it was going to get bogged down in those sort of personal accommodations for songs selections.

Another possibility in all of this is that Mike's vision/assumption about the album's theme is just not what anybody else fully assumed, even the label. Indeed, it has always seemed the whole album deal was largely predicated on getting the hit "Kokomo" onto an album more than wanting a movie-themed repackage (and really, how many people knew or cared that "Make It Big" had been in "Troop Beverly Hills?"). Mike may have latched onto the movie theme idea because it was his buddy, Terry Melcher, who had been scoring the band a lot of those movie placements, including other movie soundtrack songs that didn't even make it into the album, like "Happy Endings."
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 02:52:51 PM by HeyJude » Logged

THE BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE IS ON FACEBOOK!!! http://www.facebook.com/beachboysopinion - Check out the original "BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE" Blog - http://beachboysopinion.blogspot.com/
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 9392


"Barba non facit aliam historici"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2021, 03:31:21 PM »

Mike still has a bee in his bonnet (or ball cap) over Somewhere Near Japan, and is still upset that Capitol - in his opinion - put more of their promotional weight behind Duran Duran than they did Somewhere Near Japan. But seriously, hearing that song now, is it commercial at all? Was it MTV or top-40 radio worthy material without help from a major film promotion like Kokomo had been? I don't think so, apparently Capitol agreed.

I'm repeating myself again, too many times, but it still astounds me that the band could not come up with something viable in terms of either a follow-up album or single to strike while the iron was hot, the hottest it had been for the Beach Boys and Capitol in two decades, and instead did this half-cocked "movie" compilation...which was basically done so that Capitol could start making money on fans who wanted to buy Kokomo and whose only option to have it on an album was to buy the Cocktail soundtrack on a label Capitol had nothing to do with. Without enough strong original material to actually surround Kokomo on a full album, and maybe spin off 2 or 3 follow-up singles which is what Capitol was banking on, they got another compilation instead.
Logged

"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
CenturyDeprived
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5647



View Profile
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2021, 03:46:15 PM »

Getting back to the discussion of the 1989 Still Cruisin' album, it is unfortunate that the album isn't available on Spotify and other digital platforms, which I have chalked up to either general lack of interest, or possible licensing snafus.

Yet my girlfriend recently made me aware that the film Troop Beverly Hills as recently as a couple years back was having revival screenings with an interactive sing-along twist, such as the example below.



That movie does have somewhat of a cult following amongst mainly ladies who grew up in the late 80s, and Make it Big is probably the song off the album that is best remembered - and in a fond way - on the entire album LP other than the famous/infamous Kokomo.

For that reason alone, I'm surprised they haven't re-issued it digitally and have let it go out of print for so long. Maybe the powers that be are aware, but I do hope there can be some additional awareness made of the popularity of this song from that movie which might give an extra push to have the SC album re-issued, since MIB has never been released on any other Beach Boys compilation. I happen to love the hell out of the song.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 03:50:50 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
CenturyDeprived
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5647



View Profile
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2021, 04:04:55 PM »

Mike still has a bee in his bonnet (or ball cap) over Somewhere Near Japan, and is still upset that Capitol - in his opinion - put more of their promotional weight behind Duran Duran than they did Somewhere Near Japan. But seriously, hearing that song now, is it commercial at all? Was it MTV or top-40 radio worthy material without help from a major film promotion like Kokomo had been? I don't think so, apparently Capitol agreed.

I'm repeating myself again, too many times, but it still astounds me that the band could not come up with something viable in terms of either a follow-up album or single to strike while the iron was hot, the hottest it had been for the Beach Boys and Capitol in two decades, and instead did this half-cocked "movie" compilation...which was basically done so that Capitol could start making money on fans who wanted to buy Kokomo and whose only option to have it on an album was to buy the Cocktail soundtrack on a label Capitol had nothing to do with. Without enough strong original material to actually surround Kokomo on a full album, and maybe spin off 2 or 3 follow-up singles which is what Capitol was banking on, they got another compilation instead.

I think that by this point, creative malaise, as well as interpersonal politics really started taking their toll. I don't think it's an accident that a large amount of songs from this era in the late 1980s have virtually every band member taking a minimum of one or two lead lines in each song (like SNJ, Make It Big), I have a hunch which of course could be unfounded that this was perhaps indicative of additional attempts to make everyone in the band happy and feel a part of the proceedings.

And of course this was shortly before Al was almost kicked out of the band during the SIP sessions so I think there must've just been many unfortunate factors at play that led to this happening.
 
They were hardly a functioning studio band with some isolated exceptions here and there at this point, and they must've been pretty off their game in terms of the thought of trying to write a whole new album. Plus I have to think it must have weighed on them to try to decide how/if to include Brian as part of an album as the Landy years wore on and got more icky and creepy.
Logged
thetojo
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 380



View Profile
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2021, 08:11:02 PM »

Mike's issues with Somewhere Near Japan and drug references are a pretty strong echo of his concerns back 20+ years earlier with Hang Onto Your Ego.

The truth of the matter is that Mike's biggest concern is to ensure that he gets a songwriting credit on as much as possible. Listen to the pre-Mike Love versions of Fairy Tale Girl and Kokomo, and tell me I'm wrong.

As for whether or not Still Cruisin' is available -- the simple fact is, if there was decent money to be made, it would be available. Who knows maybe we could be thrown a 35th anniversary edition in a few years time - getting a worldwide smash number one is probably worth commemoration at some point!
Logged
thetojo
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 380



View Profile
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2021, 08:16:49 PM »


That movie does have somewhat of a cult following amongst mainly ladies who grew up in the late 80s, and Make it Big is probably the song off the album that is best remembered - and in a fond way - on the entire album LP other than the famous/infamous Kokomo.

For that reason alone, I'm surprised they haven't re-issued it digitally and have let it go out of print for so long. Maybe the powers that be are aware, but I do hope there can be some additional awareness made of the popularity of this song from that movie which might give an extra push to have the SC album re-issued, since MIB has never been released on any other Beach Boys compilation. I happen to love the hell out of the song.

It's a great song indeed. I prefer the version from the opening credits of the movie. Can't really say why, I just do.
Logged
Lonely Summer
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3616


View Profile
« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2021, 11:01:34 PM »

The time to come out with an all new album was in the wake of Kokomo's success; instead, we got another compilation. Carl said in an interview back then that Capitol only wanted 3 new songs, and the BB's gave them 5.
By the time the guys - primarily Mike - got around to doing a new studio album,  all the momentum was gone, and SIP became their all time worst seller.
Logged
Conspiracy Jim
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


View Profile
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2021, 01:11:42 AM »

My own Still Cruisin' tracklist - it's nearly an hour long, so more than Wild Honey and Friends combined, but I guess it's an approximation of what would've happened if The Beach Boys had embraced the CD era, or used the album as a clearing house for all their stray tracks.

1. Still Crusin'
2. Rock N Roll To The Rescue
3. Chasin' The Sky
4. Problem Child
5. Island Girl
6. East Meets West
7. Somewhere Near Japan
8. Make It Big
9. Crocodile Rock
10. Kokomo
11. In My Car
12. Happy Endings
13. California Dreamin'
14. Wipe Out

I remember being slightly disappointed that this and Summer In Paradise weren't included in the 2000 twofer reissue program, if only for the sake of completeness.
Logged
Tony S
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 622


View Profile
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2021, 02:35:55 AM »

This would've been a pretty good collection of most of their latter day releases, must better than what was released officially. Too bad.
Logged
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9231



View Profile WWW
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2021, 07:45:25 AM »

My own Still Cruisin' tracklist - it's nearly an hour long, so more than Wild Honey and Friends combined, but I guess it's an approximation of what would've happened if The Beach Boys had embraced the CD era, or used the album as a clearing house for all their stray tracks.

1. Still Crusin'
2. Rock N Roll To The Rescue
3. Chasin' The Sky
4. Problem Child
5. Island Girl
6. East Meets West
7. Somewhere Near Japan
8. Make It Big
9. Crocodile Rock
10. Kokomo
11. In My Car
12. Happy Endings
13. California Dreamin'
14. Wipe Out

I remember being slightly disappointed that this and Summer In Paradise weren't included in the 2000 twofer reissue program, if only for the sake of completeness.

This would have and still would be difficult to put together due to licensing/rights issues. Deals can almost always be cut, but it's often not worth it to pay to license too many songs for an album, then or now. I'm pretty sure the Four Seasons partnership owns "East Meets West", and I think Carl said back in 89/90 that "Chasin' the Sky" was tied up in rights issues, as likely would be "Happy Endings" as well, and probably "Problem Child." I'd guess "Crocodile Rock" is owned by the label/company that put that Elton tribute album together.

Also, there's a point at which filling out space on a *1989* album with material spanning all the way from 1984 to 1990 seems kind of odd, even given the already patchwork nature of the album. Had Capitol been intent on including the SC album in the 2000 two-fers program, something like this would have worked well enough as a catch-all (though I'm sure if they had done this they would have included the 7 "proper" album tracks and then everything else after as a bonus), but outside of that scenario, I think the only venue for a catch-all of largely mediocre b-sides and one-off 80s tracks would be some sort of larger boxed set.

I'd rather a label put out good unreleased material from the 80s than pay extra to license "Crocodile Rock" or "Problem Child", etc. Especially in the era of YouTube, these rando 80s tracks are easy to track down. Some of them can still easily and cheaply be tracked down on CD still (e.g. the "Made in USA" tracks, the Elton cover, the Four Seasons track). I bow to nobody in my enjoyment of 80s Beach Boys, but I don't think I need any label or BRI resources put into spending much time or money putting together a "Most Mediocre of the Mid 80s" compilation.
Logged

THE BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE IS ON FACEBOOK!!! http://www.facebook.com/beachboysopinion - Check out the original "BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE" Blog - http://beachboysopinion.blogspot.com/
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9231



View Profile WWW
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2021, 08:08:43 AM »

Mike still has a bee in his bonnet (or ball cap) over Somewhere Near Japan, and is still upset that Capitol - in his opinion - put more of their promotional weight behind Duran Duran than they did Somewhere Near Japan. But seriously, hearing that song now, is it commercial at all? Was it MTV or top-40 radio worthy material without help from a major film promotion like Kokomo had been? I don't think so, apparently Capitol agreed.

I'm repeating myself again, too many times, but it still astounds me that the band could not come up with something viable in terms of either a follow-up album or single to strike while the iron was hot, the hottest it had been for the Beach Boys and Capitol in two decades, and instead did this half-cocked "movie" compilation...which was basically done so that Capitol could start making money on fans who wanted to buy Kokomo and whose only option to have it on an album was to buy the Cocktail soundtrack on a label Capitol had nothing to do with. Without enough strong original material to actually surround Kokomo on a full album, and maybe spin off 2 or 3 follow-up singles which is what Capitol was banking on, they got another compilation instead.

I think you're correct; "Somewhere Near Japan" is near and dear to many BB fans simply for not sucking as much as a lot of stuff from that era, but there's no scenario where the song would have been a hit single. Perhaps if Capitol had put every resource possible into essentially doing whatever a 1989 legal version of a payola job on the single would be, they might have cooked it enough to get it a decent chart placement.

I think by 1989, the band had long since ceased being a recording act that also toured, and had become a touring act that occasionally barfed out a random movie soundtrack song here and there. They obviously didn't have their s**t together to better capitalize off of "Kokomo" (though perhaps they got better tour bookings once it became a hit, and *that's* how they cashed in on it), and let's not forget that they actually left other stuff on the cutting room floor when recording stuff to fill out the "Still Cruisin'" album. A lot of what we heard years later on Al's "Don't Fight the Sea" was actually recorded in 1989 during the "Still Cruisin'" era, including Brian's vocals.

They didn't have the wherewithal to more *effectively* mine their vaults to put a stronger album together. I'm surprised Capitol didn't offer to pay for a producer to get the band into the studio and crack the whip and get a decent *new* album of *new* material out of them.

Listening to the uncut audio of Mike's 1992 Goldmine interview is very informative and of course fascinating. This era was the peak of Mike thinking he knew the band and knew what was commercial better than anybody. He claims to know what will sell, claims to know whose voice works best on which material, etc. This interview is right around the release of "SIP", so he's basing this bravado off of one fluke single success ("Kokomo"), and a rather limp album in "Still Cruisin'" that only did as well as it did because it had "Kokomo" on it. Mike is of course quick to blame Capitol (and Landy, and Brian, and Al, and group democracy in general) for the album's lack of success. The interview clearly lays out that *everybody* is aware at this stage that "SIP" is Mike's baby, and he's in FULL charge of it.

It's then not surprising that when SIP was the ultimate failure, that Mike never discussed the album's failure, never again tried to take the lead on an album project (with the partial exception of "Stars and Stripes"), and proceeded to later spend multiple projects (the Paley sessions in 1995 and TWGMTR in 2011/2012) essentially sitting in the corner with his arms folded, seemingly begrudgingly contributing to Brian-centric group projects that were artistically much more interesting.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2021, 08:12:40 AM by HeyJude » Logged

THE BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE IS ON FACEBOOK!!! http://www.facebook.com/beachboysopinion - Check out the original "BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE" Blog - http://beachboysopinion.blogspot.com/
CenturyDeprived
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5647



View Profile
« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2021, 02:07:44 PM »



I think you're correct; "Somewhere Near Japan" is near and dear to many BB fans simply for not sucking as much as a lot of stuff from that era, but there's no scenario where the song would have been a hit single. Perhaps if Capitol had put every resource possible into essentially doing whatever a 1989 legal version of a payola job on the single would be, they might have cooked it enough to get it a decent chart placement.
 

You're probably right based on what charted in 1989, although I wonder if it was earlier in the 1980s, wouldn't SNJ have fit in a bit more with yacht rock type of material that was doing well on the charts? It does have that adult contemporary vibe, maybe a bit somewhere between the production stylings of "Full Sail"/ "Goin' South" and Brian's later "Imagination" tracks by Joe Thomas. It almost has elements in both of those worlds.

I guess it's not firmly yacht rock, but I kinda feel it could have been marketed to the Christopher Cross type of fans and been a moderate hit in that musical universe if promoted as such, but it might have needed to have been written/recorded/released a few years earlier than it was.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2021, 02:08:24 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9231



View Profile WWW
« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2021, 02:28:05 PM »



I think you're correct; "Somewhere Near Japan" is near and dear to many BB fans simply for not sucking as much as a lot of stuff from that era, but there's no scenario where the song would have been a hit single. Perhaps if Capitol had put every resource possible into essentially doing whatever a 1989 legal version of a payola job on the single would be, they might have cooked it enough to get it a decent chart placement.
 

You're probably right based on what charted in 1989, although I wonder if it was earlier in the 1980s, wouldn't SNJ have fit in a bit more with yacht rock type of material that was doing well on the charts? It does have that adult contemporary vibe, maybe a bit somewhere between the production stylings of "Full Sail"/ "Goin' South" and Brian's later "Imagination" tracks by Joe Thomas. It almost has elements in both of those worlds.

I guess it's not firmly yacht rock, but I kinda feel it could have been marketed to the Christopher Cross type of fans and been a moderate hit in that musical universe if promoted as such, but it might have needed to have been written/recorded/released a few years earlier than it was.

At the end of the day, "Kokomo" was a fluke. I can't really think of much of anything the band *released* in the 80s and 90s that could have been, or frankly deserved, to be a #1 single or even a Top 10 or 20 single. And I *truly enjoy* their 80s stuff as much as anybody. It just wasn't "hit" material.

They should have focused on making strong *albums* instead of trying to get "hits." It's absurd on multiple levels that Mike was ranting about Capitol trying to push the BBs to radio in 1989. The band should have been cutting strong albums all through the 80s and into the 90s that got them grammy nods and good *album* chart placements. Instead, they were stuck trying novelty records to replicate the fluke success of "Kokomo."

Then Brian comes in in the mid 90s with something with more substance, and the most the band are "meh" about it, only work on a few tracks, and the thing is shelved before anything is released.

Again, I encourage people to listen to the unedited audio of Mike's 1992 Goldmine interview. He is intent on taking control of the band *artistically*, and lays out how he views the creative center of the band on the then-current album as Mike Love, Terry Melcher, and Bruce Johnston. He describes the active *disdain* he has for Brian's recent solo material, only has praise for the *voices* of Carl and Al (and seems to take credit for recognizing their talent, as if nobody else ever noticed), and is 100% confident that *he* knows the way forward artistically (or at least commercially) for the band. One wishes the same interviewers could have snagged a post-mortem about the SIP album after it tanked.

Logged

THE BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE IS ON FACEBOOK!!! http://www.facebook.com/beachboysopinion - Check out the original "BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE" Blog - http://beachboysopinion.blogspot.com/
CenturyDeprived
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5647



View Profile
« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2021, 02:53:17 PM »



I think you're correct; "Somewhere Near Japan" is near and dear to many BB fans simply for not sucking as much as a lot of stuff from that era, but there's no scenario where the song would have been a hit single. Perhaps if Capitol had put every resource possible into essentially doing whatever a 1989 legal version of a payola job on the single would be, they might have cooked it enough to get it a decent chart placement.
 

You're probably right based on what charted in 1989, although I wonder if it was earlier in the 1980s, wouldn't SNJ have fit in a bit more with yacht rock type of material that was doing well on the charts? It does have that adult contemporary vibe, maybe a bit somewhere between the production stylings of "Full Sail"/ "Goin' South" and Brian's later "Imagination" tracks by Joe Thomas. It almost has elements in both of those worlds.

I guess it's not firmly yacht rock, but I kinda feel it could have been marketed to the Christopher Cross type of fans and been a moderate hit in that musical universe if promoted as such, but it might have needed to have been written/recorded/released a few years earlier than it was.

At the end of the day, "Kokomo" was a fluke. I can't really think of much of anything the band *released* in the 80s and 90s that could have been, or frankly deserved, to be a #1 single or even a Top 10 or 20 single. And I *truly enjoy* their 80s stuff as much as anybody. It just wasn't "hit" material.

They should have focused on making strong *albums* instead of trying to get "hits." It's absurd on multiple levels that Mike was ranting about Capitol trying to push the BBs to radio in 1989. The band should have been cutting strong albums all through the 80s and into the 90s that got them grammy nods and good *album* chart placements. Instead, they were stuck trying novelty records to replicate the fluke success of "Kokomo."

Then Brian comes in in the mid 90s with something with more substance, and the most the band are "meh" about it, only work on a few tracks, and the thing is shelved before anything is released.

Again, I encourage people to listen to the unedited audio of Mike's 1992 Goldmine interview. He is intent on taking control of the band *artistically*, and lays out how he views the creative center of the band on the then-current album as Mike Love, Terry Melcher, and Bruce Johnston. He describes the active *disdain* he has for Brian's recent solo material, only has praise for the *voices* of Carl and Al (and seems to take credit for recognizing their talent, as if nobody else ever noticed), and is 100% confident that *he* knows the way forward artistically (or at least commercially) for the band. One wishes the same interviewers could have snagged a post-mortem about the SIP album after it tanked.



I'm fine with the song Kokomo, I admit to liking it and I don't have any major disdain for it, but it's definitely absurd how its success (finally a hit without Brian to prove what Mike had felt all along) caused Mike's ego to go off the rails.

I think history might've played out differently for this band in terms of the power dynamic of Mike getting too much power and having his ego swollen as big as it swole to, if Kokomo had never existed.

I certainly can't blame everything on that one song, but it really does feel like Mike's reaction to its success caused a seismic shift in both the band's power dynamic as well as the eventual direction for the band. In fact, the "band" at least in a touring capacity has now existed for more years post-Kokomo than it did pre-Kokomo, so as laughable as it may sound, that song perhaps led to a greater amount of impact for the career trajectory of the band than virtually any other song in the catalog of the band.

Obviously songs like good vibrations and the pet sounds album have staying power and changed music history, but Kokomo seems to be a dividing line where creative malaise, coupled with Mike now feeling justified in his quest for power, culminated in a direction that at least in terms of longevity nothing else has been able to match. But I suppose it's also fair to make the argument that if Kokomo hadn't existed, a similar career trajectory may have happened anyway. I'm open to that being plausible, but the after affects of Kokomo surely made a difference, and most certainly not for the better.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2021, 02:54:33 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
Lonely Summer
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3616


View Profile
« Reply #48 on: February 17, 2021, 10:57:31 PM »

I don't have a problem with the Beach Boys 80's material. It was fun, commercial sounding stuff - not unlike what the reunited Monkees were doing in 86-87. IMO, that's where both groups fit in during the 80's - fun, frivolous pop music. There was an element of that throughout the 80's - catchy, pop songs with good melodies, lots of vocal harmonies, no heavy messages. If you were an older act, you could stick with a purist approach and be written off as stuck in the past; or you could embrace the changes in technology and at least have a chance of getting some radio play. So I don't fault the BB's at all for trying to stay contemporary.
Now, to continue with the Monkees comparison - in 1996, the four Monkees reunited to do an album that was a little rough around the edges; just the four of them in the studio, writing all the songs, playing all the instruments. The album, Justus, was not a big seller, but it did seem to give them a bit of artistic credibility. Imagine if Brian, Carl, Mike, Al and Bruce had regrouped to do an album like that. And I don't mean a Brian Wilson solo album with Beach Boy vocals; I mean an album with full involvement from each member.
Logged
Conspiracy Jim
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


View Profile
« Reply #49 on: February 18, 2021, 05:06:52 AM »

I don't have a problem with the Beach Boys 80's material. It was fun, commercial sounding stuff - not unlike what the reunited Monkees were doing in 86-87. IMO, that's where both groups fit in during the 80's - fun, frivolous pop music. There was an element of that throughout the 80's - catchy, pop songs with good melodies, lots of vocal harmonies, no heavy messages. If you were an older act, you could stick with a purist approach and be written off as stuck in the past; or you could embrace the changes in technology and at least have a chance of getting some radio play. So I don't fault the BB's at all for trying to stay contemporary.
Now, to continue with the Monkees comparison - in 1996, the four Monkees reunited to do an album that was a little rough around the edges; just the four of them in the studio, writing all the songs, playing all the instruments. The album, Justus, was not a big seller, but it did seem to give them a bit of artistic credibility. Imagine if Brian, Carl, Mike, Al and Bruce had regrouped to do an album like that. And I don't mean a Brian Wilson solo album with Beach Boy vocals; I mean an album with full involvement from each member.

I've said the same thing about The Association - after coming back with every surviving member in the early 80s and having a couple of minor hits, they tailed off from there onto the oldies circuit, and their only 90s album had two members on it and all the backing tracks make Summer In Paradise sound like Steely Dan.

It really breaks my heart because there wasn't any bad blood among them, and they really could have pulled together for a final album with all six of them writing and playing (which they were more than capable of doing). Trying it now, with most of them either in their 80s or retired (and Larry Ramos dying), it wouldn't be the same.
Logged
gfx
Pages: 1 [2] 3 Go Up Print 
gfx
Jump to:  
gfx
Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Page created in 1.193 seconds with 21 queries.
Helios Multi design by Bloc
gfx
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!