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Poll
Question: Rate Friends
5 - 106 (54.4%)
4 - 67 (34.4%)
3 - 18 (9.2%)
2 - 2 (1%)
1 - 1 (0.5%)
0 - 1 (0.5%)
Total Voters: 182

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Author Topic: Friends  (Read 92030 times)
Don't Back Down
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« Reply #75 on: April 18, 2006, 09:10:07 AM »

knowing that Murry is singing the bass line to be here in the morning makes the song all the much better

really? where does it say that?

and someone needs to clear this up, that one falsetto part in 'be here in the mornin' is it brian or al? the 'haaa-ah ha'


Sounds like Brian to me
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« Reply #76 on: April 18, 2006, 09:29:05 AM »

Popular Misconception of  Friends:  Insignificant collection of pleasant but overly-simplistic, underproduced throwaways.   

The Truth:  Maybe the best of the post- Pet Sounds Beach Boys albums.  Perhaps the best ever?  Twelve songs.  Under twenty-six minutes.  Indescribably great.



 For the most part, these songs are well orchestrated, but in a far more halcyon manner than before.  The chord progressions and instrumental textures are undeniably the work of a master composer.   

Take, for example, the breezy bossa-nova influenced "Busy Doin' Nothin", or the waltz-time title track.   In their own way, these songs are every bit as innovative and rewarding as anything Brian had produced before.  And though Friends sported a democratic "Produced by the Beach Boys" credit on its jacket, this record has Brian's fingerprints all over it.  In truth, it's the last time he'd dominate a Beach Boys album until 1977's The Beach Boys Love You.   

The instruments utilized on the recording are as diverse as you would come to expect from Brian.  "Wake the World" features a tuba underscoring the chorus.  The instrumental "Diamond Head" utilizes ukulele and Hawaiian steel guitar, interspersed with guitar amp-derived "thunder crashes" to create a tropical ambiance similar to that of the beautiful "Let's Get Away for Awhile" from Pet Sounds.   

Other tracks, like the lovely thirty-second opener "Meant for You", Dennis Wilson's "Be Still" and the superb "Anna Lee the Healer", are backed by barely any instruments at all. But astonishingly, this lack of accompaniment only emphasizes the inherent beauty of the simple melodies and words to these hymns.  Taken together with such contemporaneous Beatles songs as "Dear Prudence" and "Mother Nature's Son", you get an idea of the kind of vibes these groups were picking up from Maharishi while first studying TM in India.   



"Be Here in the Morning" is a great example of the group's absolute mastery, featuring an emotional falsetto lead by Brian and lovely ensemble harmonies on the choruses.  When the Beach Boys' voices coincide at the end of the refrain "be here and make my life full" (or at other critical spots throughout the album... "Anna Lee, Anna Lee the hea-ler", or "let's be friends, let's be frie-ie-ie-ie-iends" or "little bird up in a tree look down and sing a song to me") a sort of blissful haze encompasses the mind, as the soul is drenched with those everlovin' Good Vibrations.

The final track on Friends,"Transcendental Meditation", deserves special mention, because it completely changes the feel of the entire album-- at its climax!  Yet while it does deliver an abrupt change, it remains a brilliant one.  This driving jazz-bop pounder is completely unlike anything else in the Wilson canon, and it remains a dense masterpiece of tonal domination... the last thing you'd ever expect from a "Beach Boys Record".




Fantastic review, Jason.  Friends is an utterly extraordinary album, as you so eloquently describe.  I was particularly thrilled to read your praise for "Anna Lee, the Healer" and "Transcendental Meditation," two songs that get bashed quite a bit around here but that I think are really wonderful.  I think they get hated on because of their subject matter, but it's really pretty innocuously (even humorously) presented.  It's amazing that "Anna Lee" features just a piano (Brian?) and a little bass and bongo instrumentally, and "Transcendental" is such a cool jazzy song with the discordant vocal notes.

One note:  I thought it had been pretty well established that the falsetto lead on "Be Here in the Morning" ("Been such a long day so you better hurry home") is Al, though I agree that the introductory "ah-ah" is Brian.
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« Reply #77 on: April 18, 2006, 09:33:33 AM »

knowing that Murry is singing the bass line to be here in the morning makes the song all the much better

really? where does it say that?

He sings the lowest note in the "make my life FULL" because Mike couldn't do it. Stephen Desper said so.
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« Reply #78 on: April 18, 2006, 10:26:46 AM »

The falsetto behind Carl on the "Be Here In The Morning" chorus has that Jardine element.  I say Al.
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« Reply #79 on: April 18, 2006, 11:41:35 AM »

I love what Brian and Dennis do on the quiet parts with this song. Strange song musically.
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« Reply #80 on: April 18, 2006, 04:24:58 PM »

i think i read it here on the board. maybe our engineer friend mr. desper can clear this up; listen to it, it makes sense, since mike wasnt at most of the sessions, perhaps he helped out?
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« Reply #81 on: April 18, 2006, 04:25:58 PM »

it's more on the group vocals like:
lit all my incense and i wish you were home
ahhhhhhh ahhhh oooooo
no calls from korthof, parks, or grillo
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« Reply #82 on: April 20, 2006, 05:29:01 AM »

Listening now, I can definitely hear an unfamiliar low voice in the mix.
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« Reply #83 on: April 20, 2006, 05:55:47 AM »

Listening now, I can definitely hear an unfamiliar low voice in the mix.

That unfamiliar low voice, my BB lovin' friends, is Lucifer in full drag.
He made an uncredited cameo that session...filled in for Mr. Love.

Also he's that quavering vox at 2nd chorus beginning.


P.S.-"be here..."is one of my fave's too.  right next to Passing By, meant 4u, & when a man....
           very plain spoken LP. An acid comedown record fer shure
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« Reply #84 on: May 03, 2006, 12:02:46 PM »

This is one of my absolute favorites; a record only the Beach Boys could make and probably the most coherent (in terms of stylistic unity) record the Boys made in the "Produced by The Beach Boys" years. Easily a five.

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« Reply #85 on: May 25, 2006, 12:57:25 PM »

It's amazing that "Anna Lee" features just a piano (Brian?) and a little bass and bongo instrumentally...

I was just thinking about this as I listened to the song on the way home yesterday. So much is done with so little instrumentation here, as on most of the album. There's a lot of space in this music, and IMO it really works.
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« Reply #86 on: August 31, 2006, 05:49:29 PM »

I love this record, so much. I really do.  Rock!
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« Reply #87 on: October 25, 2006, 10:47:43 PM »

It is amazing how their voices sound so much a like at times. Even unrelated Al gets mixed up with them.

I think the A-ah-ah intro is Brian, but singing the falsetto lead right after is Al.
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« Reply #88 on: March 01, 2007, 07:14:01 PM »

I read somewhere once something that goes like this "why would anyone like friends? well, its that feeling that it gives you, of being with your friends, being warm in the sun, and feeling relaxed, and that's hard to get."

That's what friends is all about. This is an incredibly warm, loving album. The song When A Man Needs A Woman is a perfect example. Ironically enough, Brian Wilson never had a boy, but apparently he wanted one. But it's very touching.

This entire album flows and can really give you some good memories. I recommend it completely.
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« Reply #89 on: March 17, 2007, 07:42:55 PM »

5 from me. A great album. One that I always put on to just sit back and relax to
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« Reply #90 on: March 17, 2007, 07:55:17 PM »

This album contains three or four (or five) of my absolute favorite Beach Boys songs ever. When a Man..., Be Here in the Morning and Wake the World are al criminally underappreciated in the BBs catalogue, not to mention the world of pop.

OK, maybe not criminally.
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« Reply #91 on: March 17, 2007, 10:25:57 PM »

I dig PASSING BY myself
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« Reply #92 on: March 23, 2007, 08:35:36 PM »

is there a new mix of ol man river included on the 2000 capitol 2 fer or 20/20 friends
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« Reply #93 on: March 24, 2007, 11:37:59 PM »

I think it's the previously used mix.
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« Reply #94 on: March 27, 2007, 10:47:49 AM »

I think it's the previously used mix.
i think its a different mix from the 1990 2fer....
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« Reply #95 on: June 25, 2007, 04:57:49 PM »

4 out of 5. I adore this freakin' album! 'Be Here In  The Mornin' my personal favourite track - experimental, eccentric, ridiculously melodic, the BBs at their best! Dennis' songs are a revelation, and the title track is gorgeous! Only the TM song spoils it and stops me giving it the full 5.
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« Reply #96 on: July 04, 2007, 10:13:21 PM »

I was they had included 'Can't Wait Too Long' on the album instead of TM Song.
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« Reply #97 on: July 09, 2007, 10:48:39 AM »

You guys are nuts! Transcendental Meditation is a GREAT song. Sure, it doesn't fit in with the rest of the album, but after a few listens it really swings man. The horns sound great and the vocals are just so much fun. I always find myself blasting this in the car stereo and singing along.
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« Reply #98 on: July 09, 2007, 12:03:13 PM »

Agreed!  'Transcendental Meditation' is one of the highlights on this album for me.  It's hilarious and utterly unique in their canon.
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« Reply #99 on: July 09, 2007, 12:15:58 PM »

I know what fans mean when they claim TM doesn't fit the rest of the album. Yet to me, that song makes perfect sense as a closer to Friends, just as anything on Friends makes perfect sense to me.
I Went To Sleep sounds great on 20/20.
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