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Author Topic: History of Mike's reputation  (Read 63348 times)
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« Reply #350 on: January 15, 2010, 08:29:47 AM »

But the Love Rehabilitation Movement still marches on, inch by inch. It's not hard, when you start from scratch. Smiley Like Al Jardine once said, it's not the story of one genius, but a bunch of them.
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« Reply #351 on: January 15, 2010, 10:34:00 AM »

After 18 pages of posts, I think it must be asserted that judgment on Mike has softened in the last years. Haters are a minority, and most of them have grown up. At least he's seen as a human being and not as a villain of rock and roll that screwed up the careers and lives of his cousins, depriving the world of some great music.

And please. We all know what a valuable bass singer he is (singing lines that include heavy chromaticism and usual leaping from tenor lead to bass), and the stage persona and so on... But do not overlook his leads. No one in the band or from outside could match the ease and excitement of Mike's vocals on the 60s rockers. And he's still got it. Even as disposable an album like NASCAR (I know it's ten years old, but he still sounds good onstage) includes a lead on Little Honda that makes you wish for at least one last brand new rocker written by Brian and sung by Mike.

I'm sure it's been noted before, but Brian wrote those great early tunes with Mike's voice in mind -and immortalized and took full advantage of his cousin's voice with his genius craft for songwriting and arranging-, but it also seems that newer songs are conceived for a Love-type lead (a cocky, mid-range delivery)... "Desert Drive" with its flow from lead to bass or "Morning Beat" with its quasi-stomper quality come to mind.
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« Reply #352 on: January 15, 2010, 12:45:13 PM »

Brian wrote those great early tunes with Mike's voice in mind -and immortalized and took full advantage of his cousin's voice with his genius craft for songwriting and arranging

Good points.
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« Reply #353 on: January 15, 2010, 01:02:38 PM »

After 18 pages of posts, I think it must be asserted that judgment on Mike has softened in the last years. Haters are a minority, and most of them have grown up. At least he's seen as a human being and not as a villain of rock and roll that screwed up the careers and lives of his cousins, depriving the world of some great music.

And please. We all know what a valuable bass singer he is (singing lines that include heavy chromaticism and usual leaping from tenor lead to bass), and the stage persona and so on... But do not overlook his leads. No one in the band or from outside could match the ease and excitement of Mike's vocals on the 60s rockers. And he's still got it. Even as disposable an album like NASCAR (I know it's ten years old, but he still sounds good onstage) includes a lead on Little Honda that makes you wish for at least one last brand new rocker written by Brian and sung by Mike.

I'm sure it's been noted before, but Brian wrote those great early tunes with Mike's voice in mind -and immortalized and took full advantage of his cousin's voice with his genius craft for songwriting and arranging-, but it also seems that newer songs are conceived for a Love-type lead (a cocky, mid-range delivery)... "Desert Drive" with its flow from lead to bass or "Morning Beat" with its quasi-stomper quality come to mind.


I don't know about that.

It is my opinion that in the songs were Mike was assigned the lead vocal,  his part is typically the least interesting thing in the song.  I believe that the vast majority of Mike's lead vocals could have been given to Dennis or Al and they wouldn't be any worse (although the BV's would be hurt by Al's absence and the songs would rock little more with a Dennis vocal. 

It is no accident that the most memorable Beach Boy lead vocals are by Brian or Carl or that they sang the songs that had the most emotional content.
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« Reply #354 on: January 15, 2010, 01:14:17 PM »

Just as a point of information on "Child is Father of the Man," from Wikipedia:  The title is a quotation from a similarly titled poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, slightly misquoting a poem by William Wordsworth called "My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold".

Ahh, Susan, That would be true, except that Hopkins poem was "Child is the Father TO the man", just as in the BST title. Brian's ( Van Dyke's?) lyric uses "Child is the father OF the man", and would seem to come more directly  from Wordsworth's. Which by the way ( also via Wiki) came from the longer ode referenced here: 

"Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood" is a long ode in eleven sections by the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth. It is a deeply philosophical work, with themes ranging from the Platonic belief in pre-existence, to Wordsworth's belief that children have an instinctive wisdom that adults lack. Composed at Grasmere, in the English Lake District, between 1802 and 1804, "Intimations of Immortality" was first published in Poems, in Two Volumes (1807).[1] Arranged in eleven stanzas of anywhere from eight to forty lines each, the poem is written in anisometric verse, with lines of varied iambic stresses.
Wordsworth applies memories of his early childhood to his adult philosophy of life. According to the author's prose introduction, "Intimations of Immortality" was inspired in part by Platonic philosophy. Plato taught pre-existence, meaning that the soul dwelled in an ideal alternate state prior to its present occupation of the body, and the soul will return to that ideal previous state after the body's death. The immortality the title refers to is the immortality of the soul, which Wordsworth maintains is felt or intimated during early childhood.[2] Hence Wordsworth's famous line: "The Child is Father of the Man."
"Intimations of Immortality" begins with the speaker recalling how nature and "every common sight" once seemed divine to him. In Stanza II, he reminds himself that rainbows and the like are still "beautiful and fair" to him, but nevertheless he feels "there hath past [passed] away a glory from the earth." In Stanza III, he feels that no private grief can diminish the joyous quality of nature. He feels nature's joy in the fourth stanza, but the feeling quickly fades.
In Stanza V, Wordsworth begins to philosophize in earnest. "Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting," he says, for our souls originate in a purer, more glorious realm: heaven itself. Small children retain some memory of paradise, which glorifies their experiences on earth, but youths begin to lose it, and adults, distracted by earthly concerns,[3] entirely forget it (Stanza VI).
Next, the speaker observes a six-year-old boy mimicking adult behavior in his play, "as if his whole vocation / Were endless imitation." In Stanza VIII, the speaker addresses the child, wondering why he, "thou best Philosopher" and "Mighty Prophet," imitates adult behavior as though he were eager to hasten "the inevitable yoke" of earthly cares and customs ("freight").
In the ninth stanza, the speaker rejoices that his memories of childhood ("those shadowy recollections" that "are yet a master light of all our seeing") remain to inspire him. In the tenth stanza, he calls on the birds to sing and the lambs to bound, to share his joy. Instead of mourning the loss of childhood innocence and wisdom, the speaker vows to "find / Strength in what remains behind" and to develop a mature "philosophic mind", 'which stems from a consciousness of mortality, as opposed to the child's feeling of immortality.' [4]
Wordsworth sums up his philosophy in the final stanza (XI). His mature mind, he says, 'enables him to love nature and natural beauty all the more, for each of nature's objects can stir him to thought, and even the simplest flower blowing in the wind can raise in him "thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears."' [5]
Stirringly written with 'linguistic strategies [that] are extraordinarily sophisticated and complex', "Intimations of Immortality" is Wordsworth's 'mature masterpiece' reflecting his belief that 'life on earth is a dim shadow of an earlier, purer existence, dimly recalled in childhood and then forgotten in the process of growing up.' [6]
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« Reply #355 on: January 15, 2010, 01:29:39 PM »

Perhaps the writers on this board can answer this question:

Multiple books have been written about Brian, a couple about Dennis, one about David Marks, so why never a book about Mike? He's certainly not shy about talking to the media when it comes to newspapers and TV, so why no Mike book?

I actually consider that a compliment to Mike. This isn't a knock against Brian, Dennis, or David, but the fact that Mike's "story" isn't filled with as much drama, tragedy, and heartbreak - after 50 years of being in THAT band - speaks well for Mike.
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« Reply #356 on: January 15, 2010, 01:43:37 PM »

After 18 pages of posts, I think it must be asserted that judgment on Mike has softened in the last years. Haters are a minority, and most of them have grown up. At least he's seen as a human being and not as a villain of rock and roll that screwed up the careers and lives of his cousins, depriving the world of some great music.

And please. We all know what a valuable bass singer he is (singing lines that include heavy chromaticism and usual leaping from tenor lead to bass), and the stage persona and so on... But do not overlook his leads. No one in the band or from outside could match the ease and excitement of Mike's vocals on the 60s rockers. And he's still got it. Even as disposable an album like NASCAR (I know it's ten years old, but he still sounds good onstage) includes a lead on Little Honda that makes you wish for at least one last brand new rocker written by Brian and sung by Mike.

I'm sure it's been noted before, but Brian wrote those great early tunes with Mike's voice in mind -and immortalized and took full advantage of his cousin's voice with his genius craft for songwriting and arranging-, but it also seems that newer songs are conceived for a Love-type lead (a cocky, mid-range delivery)... "Desert Drive" with its flow from lead to bass or "Morning Beat" with its quasi-stomper quality come to mind.


I don't know about that.

It is my opinion that in the songs were Mike was assigned the lead vocal,  his part is typically the least interesting thing in the song.  I believe that the vast majority of Mike's lead vocals could have been given to Dennis or Al and they wouldn't be any worse (although the BV's would be hurt by Al's absence and the songs would rock little more with a Dennis vocal. 

It is no accident that the most memorable Beach Boy lead vocals are by Brian or Carl or that they sang the songs that had the most emotional content.


Come on, BillA. Seriously. I know it is your opinion, and I don't usually argue opinions, but I think you're dead wrong.

First, even though Brian was the producer, Mike's leads weren't "assigned" to him. The songs which feature Mike Love lead vocals were usually written by Mike (the lyrics, that is), are faster, rock & roll tunes which suited him, were concepts that Mike sometimes/many times came up with, and were sung by Mike - in his California nasal tone - better than just about anybody else out there. Mike's voice is "the voice" of the Beach Boys for many fans; it was instantly identifiable. His voice separated many of the contenders and pretenders (in the surf & turf genre) out there in those early years.

And, with all due respect to Al and Dennis, they would NOT have been able to sing those songs with the same effectiveness as Mike. In those days, they simply weren't as good a rock and roll singer as Mike. Look, if you wanna come on and call Mike a bunch of names to make your case, go for it. But, talk about trying to re-write history or being innacurate with credit, jeez....

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BillA
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« Reply #357 on: January 15, 2010, 02:59:21 PM »

SJS - Yes, that is my opinion.  Al's voice, BTW says California every bit as Mike's

My central point, though, is that in the vast majority of the songs that he sang lead on the lead vocal was the least interesting part of the song.  He was part of the sound but not the key element. 

I would also dispute that he was the voice of the Beach Boys.  The thing that set the Beach Boys apart in the early days were the harmonies and the quality of the tune.  As Brian progressed as producer the arrangements also set the songs apart.

Mike was/is a good singer (although not as good as pre 1974 Brian, Carl or Al) but his voice is not what made the Beach Boys the Beach Boys.

There is a reason that Mike did not sing lead on Brian's more emotional songs - he didn't have the voice for it.  To prove my point think about this question: Let's say that Carl and Mike switched leads on the following songs - "California Girls" & "God Only Knows", "Good Vibrations" & "I Get Around", and "Fun, Fun, Fun" and "Girl Don't Tell Me - Which songs lose the most with the switch in lead singer?  In each case it is the song sung by Carl.

This came to me after listening to "Live at the Roxy".  On the "Mike" songs I did not is his voice even a scintilla as much as I missed Carl's voice on his songs.

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« Reply #358 on: January 15, 2010, 03:40:10 PM »

Perhaps the writers on this board can answer this question:

Multiple books have been written about Brian, a couple about Dennis, one about David Marks, so why never a book about Mike? He's certainly not shy about talking to the media when it comes to newspapers and TV, so why no Mike book?
The general public knows who Brian Wilson is-they also know(albiet not as well) who Dennis is. Most people don't know who Mike Love is anymore. I guess a phamplet or brochure would suffice with the most interesting paragraphs being devoted to hat selection, turbans, robes, jewelery, wives and a word about legal affairs. 3D
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« Reply #359 on: January 15, 2010, 03:49:11 PM »

Mike was/is a good singer (although not as good as pre 1974 Brian, Carl or Al) but his voice is not what made the Beach Boys the Beach Boys.

There is a reason that Mike did not sing lead on Brian's more emotional songs - he didn't have the voice for it.  To prove my point think about this question: Let's say that Carl and Mike switched leads on the following songs - "California Girls" & "God Only Knows", "Good Vibrations" & "I Get Around", and "Fun, Fun, Fun" and "Girl Don't Tell Me - Which songs lose the most with the switch in lead singer?  In each case it is the song sung by Carl.

This came to me after listening to "Live at the Roxy".  On the "Mike" songs I did not is his voice even a scintilla as much as I missed Carl's voice on his songs.



Where do I start....First, nobody said that Mike's voice is what "made" the Beach Boys the Beach Boys. I just said that Mike's voice was identifiable with The Beach Boys - still is, actually - and that his tone and quality were hard to duplicate - and it was.

Second, nobody said that Mike had as "emotional" a voice as Brian, Carl, or Al, or Dennis, for that matter (see Pacific Ocean Blue). So why bring it up to take away from Mike? Neither Mike's supporters or Mike himself never claimed that he could hit those notes or sing those types of songs as well. What's the point? I'm sure you've attended a Beach Boys' concert or two, though. Well, Mike put his own type of emotion into his leads. Listen to Mike sing the car or surf medleys, or how he gets into the closing "Fun, Fun, Fun" encore. Yes, the music's rocking, but don't tell me Mike's vocals aren't moving people.

Finally, you will never convince me - your opinion or not - that Mike's voice isn't missing when Brian performs those songs singing Mike's leads. Frankly, I think Brian does a poor job at singing Mike's leads. Brian's just trying to get the words out, hitting the notes, and shows little of the tone or inflection that Mike does. I've sat through Brian Wilson concerts thinking, "I'm sitting here listening to a bunch of Beach Boys' songs with a guy singing Mike Love's parts - and not as good..." You can't possibly hear Brian singing those early rockers and think that he is as good as Mike.
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« Reply #360 on: January 15, 2010, 03:49:55 PM »

SJS - Yes, that is my opinion.  Al's voice, BTW says California every bit as Mike's

My central point, though, is that in the vast majority of the songs that he sang lead on the lead vocal was the least interesting part of the song.  He was part of the sound but not the key element.  

I would also dispute that he was the voice of the Beach Boys.  The thing that set the Beach Boys apart in the early days were the harmonies and the quality of the tune.  As Brian progressed as producer the arrangements also set the songs apart.

Mike was/is a good singer (although not as good as pre 1974 Brian, Carl or Al) but his voice is not what made the Beach Boys the Beach Boys.

There is a reason that Mike did not sing lead on Brian's more emotional songs - he didn't have the voice for it.  To prove my point think about this question: Let's say that Carl and Mike switched leads on the following songs - "California Girls" & "God Only Knows", "Good Vibrations" & "I Get Around", and "Fun, Fun, Fun" and "Girl Don't Tell Me - Which songs lose the most with the switch in lead singer?  In each case it is the song sung by Carl.

This came to me after listening to "Live at the Roxy".  On the "Mike" songs I did not is his voice even a scintilla as much as I missed Carl's voice on his songs.




Depends on what one considers "having a voice for emotional songs" to be!

I think Mike's finest lead is on That's Not Me. It's a very emotional lead. Who better could portray a cocky adolescent/young adult striking out on their own and missing the comforts fo home better than Mike? He nails it! Some of his distinct "parts" on songs are very emotional too. His reading of "waited for you girl" on Let Him Run Wild, is the emotional anchor of the song, in my opinion. Uh, Kiss Me Baby! All I Wanna Do! Sumahama! His part on In My Room! Meant For You! Everyone's In Love With You! to name a mere few.... all emotional vocals!


Oh yeah, and please thank Surfer Joe for my re-christening!!  Grin
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« Reply #361 on: January 15, 2010, 03:51:21 PM »

Perhaps the writers on this board can answer this question:

Multiple books have been written about Brian, a couple about Dennis, one about David Marks, so why never a book about Mike? He's certainly not shy about talking to the media when it comes to newspapers and TV, so why no Mike book?
The general public knows (albiet not as well) who Dennis is.

No, they don't.
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« Reply #362 on: January 15, 2010, 03:55:36 PM »

Btw, each time I've seen Brian singing Fun Fun Fun, he's come off like a guy at a karaoke bar who's not quite drunk enough! Mike simply owns that song!!!!!!

The Sheriff is right. Only Brian can be considered a well known household name. I mean, non Beach Boys fans even know who he is and worship him  Razz

Dennis and the other guys are strictly cult material!
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« Reply #363 on: January 15, 2010, 04:11:32 PM »

Having read this article over the course of a few weeks, I don’t recall if this has been mentioned yet or not, but…

While I have tried to see Mike in a light other than being an outright “villain”, it’s pretty hard to think of the man as essentially a gigantic tool at the core of his character, when one considers his actions (at least as far as I’ve read about online and such) regarding his refusal to acknowledge Shawn Love as his daughter. It smacks of Mike doing so out of fear of losing any kind of money.

Even on her deathbed, didn’t Mike refuse to acknowledge her or help her in any way? (I would see this as an obvious action by Mike, because “help” of any kind would be an acknowledgment of some sort). I think these are just 2 of many examples of rather low and reprehensible actions from a person.
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« Reply #364 on: January 15, 2010, 04:38:20 PM »

Oh yeah, and please thank Surfer Joe for my re-christening!!  Grin

Just rolled off my chair laughing, erik!
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« Reply #365 on: January 15, 2010, 04:41:43 PM »

People definetly know who Mike Love is. Almost as much as Brian. "He's the asshole who killed Smile, who hated Pet Sounds, who ruined Brian Wilson's ambitions". This is rock'n'roll common knowledge. You only have the Brian myth of unrealised potential if you add Mike Love to the tale.

A book about him would sell quite well, IMO.
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« Reply #366 on: January 15, 2010, 04:52:52 PM »

Ok, who's gonna have the balls to write it?

You think David Leaf and Priore get vilified: just wait and see what happens to the sucker who writes "Mike Love And The California Myth" or "Look, Listen, Vibrate, Love"
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« Reply #367 on: January 15, 2010, 05:05:52 PM »

I'd love to write a book about Mike, but he'd have to endorse me and give me carte-blanche. I think it would be an amazing book. It'll never happen. However, my position regarding Mike would definitely evolve, and probably in a positive direction. But maybe not.
I was just thinking how I'd love for you to write a book about Mike. What makes you think he wouldn't let you? Or have you already tried?
David gave me complete freedom to write his story the way I wanted, in fact he encouraged me to be as honest as possible. All the dirty laundry was in play. Can you imagine Mike okaying that kind of approach? I can't. However, I do think a completely honest, no holds barred book about Mike would improve his reputation and earn him some respect. Love him, hate him or somewhere in between, Mike is a fascinating person with an epic history. He's seen more than practically any living American rock personality. I seriously doubt he'd ever allow that can of worms to be opened up all the way. But if he did, IMO it would be a fantastic read.
See the Stebbins thread. It would be a great book as long as it wasn't a P.R. / puff piece.
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« Reply #368 on: January 15, 2010, 05:11:31 PM »

Perhaps the writers on this board can answer this question:

Multiple books have been written about Brian, a couple about Dennis, one about David Marks, so why never a book about Mike? He's certainly not shy about talking to the media when it comes to newspapers and TV, so why no Mike book?
The general public knows (albiet not as well) who Dennis is.

No, they don't.
yes they do
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« Reply #369 on: January 15, 2010, 05:15:21 PM »

Is the appropriate follow-up here "no they don't"? And then--you guessed it--a "yes they do"? Because that would make for a great thread.
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« Reply #370 on: January 15, 2010, 05:21:47 PM »

The notion that Dennis Wilson is more known than Mike Love is.... well..... laughable. Who was talking about history rewriting?  Smiley
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« Reply #371 on: January 15, 2010, 06:02:33 PM »

This "known" thing is interesting. I think Mike might be nearly as known as Brian if we are talking everyone... including the average low information man on the street. If we are just talking music fans with at least some knowledge then Brian is the most well known, with Mike second. Dennis would be third partly because his notoriety for non-musical things (Manson, drowning) has penetrated many avenues of popular culture. And as a musical artist Dennis has moved beyond cult status. His 2008 release outsold Brian's 2008 release worldwide...and charted higher in many places. Cult artists do not sell 125,000 units in this day and age...no way. Reissue of the year in Rolling Stone, Mojo, Uncut does not equal a "cult" artist. A primetime BBC television documentary next month as well. So, DW is not Lady Gaga...but he's not a cult artist either. With that said, Brian is the most known, Mike is a close second, Dennis a gaining third. Now, the question is, what percentage of all the people who "know" each of those three individuals considers them something positive? What percentage of everyone who knows those three individuals are fans of one or more of them?
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« Reply #372 on: January 15, 2010, 06:35:08 PM »

Well, I should have said "cult material (in Dennis' case)" BEFORE all the good work of you, John, Jim Guercio, The BBC, and others!  Smiley

I personally have long known a lot of "friend's Moms" who love love love Dennis but couldn't care less about the Beach Boys, btw.  Razz
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« Reply #373 on: January 15, 2010, 06:42:02 PM »

Mike was/is a good singer (although not as good as pre 1974 Brian, Carl or Al) but his voice is not what made the Beach Boys the Beach Boys.

There is a reason that Mike did not sing lead on Brian's more emotional songs - he didn't have the voice for it.  To prove my point think about this question: Let's say that Carl and Mike switched leads on the following songs - "California Girls" & "God Only Knows", "Good Vibrations" & "I Get Around", and "Fun, Fun, Fun" and "Girl Don't Tell Me - Which songs lose the most with the switch in lead singer?  In each case it is the song sung by Carl.

This came to me after listening to "Live at the Roxy".  On the "Mike" songs I did not is his voice even a scintilla as much as I missed Carl's voice on his songs.


Where do I start....First, nobody said that Mike's voice is what "made" the Beach Boys the Beach Boys. I just said that Mike's voice was identifiable with The Beach Boys - still is, actually - and that his tone and quality were hard to duplicate - and it was.

Second, nobody said that Mike had as "emotional" a voice as Brian, Carl, or Al, or Dennis, for that matter (see Pacific Ocean Blue). So why bring it up to take away from Mike? Neither Mike's supporters or Mike himself never claimed that he could hit those notes or sing those types of songs as well. What's the point? I'm sure you've attended a Beach Boys' concert or two, though. Well, Mike put his own type of emotion into his leads. Listen to Mike sing the car or surf medleys, or how he gets into the closing "Fun, Fun, Fun" encore. Yes, the music's rocking, but don't tell me Mike's vocals aren't moving people.

Finally, you will never convince me - your opinion or not - that Mike's voice isn't missing when Brian performs those songs singing Mike's leads. Frankly, I think Brian does a poor job at singing Mike's leads. Brian's just trying to get the words out, hitting the notes, and shows little of the tone or inflection that Mike does. I've sat through Brian Wilson concerts thinking, "I'm sitting here listening to a bunch of Beach Boys' songs with a guy singing Mike Love's parts - and not as good..." You can't possibly hear Brian singing those early rockers and think that he is as good as Mike.

I did not write that Mike's voice was not missed, just that it was not missed as much as Carl's (or Brian's old voice for that matter).  I did not write that Brian did a good or even adequate job on the songs.  My point is that on the "Mike" songs the absence of Mike's vocals does not impact my enjoyment of the song as much as the absence of Carl because on the "Mike" songs the other elements of the song (backgrounds, harmonies, arrangement, etc.) are more important than the lead vocal.  In the songs that Carl sings the lead vocal much more important to the song.

It is just my opinion.

Now there are some songs where Mike's lead is a would be missed.  Off the top of my head I can think of "Meant for You", "All I Wanna Do" and of course Kokomo (although for different reasons).
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« Reply #374 on: January 15, 2010, 06:53:33 PM »

Interestingly (if only to me), I think I miss Mike's voice more in Brian's concerts than I do Carl's. Maybe it's that Brian has that familial similarity, decayed though it may be. Maybe I infer Brian giving more effort or emotion to Carl's songs. I don't know. But I'm with--brace yourselves--SJS on this. I'd rather hear a more accurate Mike-style voice than a more accurate Carl-style voice in Brian's modern shows.
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Demon-Fighting Genius; Patronizing Twaddler; Argumentative, Sanctimonious Prick; Sensationalist Dullard; and Douche who (occasionally to rarely) puts songs here.

No interest in your assorted grudges and nonsense.
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