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Beach Boys appreciation thread
18 May 2015
7.32am
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Matt Busby
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castironshore said
I'm really not trying to put a downer on the thread, i actually like the beach boys and enjoy some of their 70s work such as 'holland' or 'surfs up'. But 'pet sounds' has never really connected with me. I've always found it irredeemably wet and hugely overrated.

In terms of influence on the beatles it's firmly in the mccartney corner as neither harrison or lennon had any time for that album.

I think (although I confess I haven't read the Lewisohn, etc. tomes that contain more reliable primary source data) that the Beatles-Beach Boys "interplay" probably took place primarily from 1965-67 (about Rubber Soul /Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!) through White Album /Pet Sounds).  After that the common influences took them different directions.  Their careers and personal lives, and music established two different genres and the bands established more distinct identities ("distinct" isn't quite the right word there...).

With the releases of Sgt. Pepper 's and Pet Sounds, their music had diverged enough that while the bands can be heard borrowing tricks from each other and building on them, their music styles had become different enough that specific comparisons become, to my mind, meaningless.  They're two different bands riding two different types of music that they created out of essentially the same influences.

As far as who had any time for the album, the Pet Sounds Wiki entry: "Paul McCartney spoke often about the album's influence on the Beatles. Bruce Johnston stated that while he flew to London in May 1966, a number of musicians and other guests gathered in his hotel suite to listen to repeated playbacks of the album. This included McCartney, John Lennon, and Keith Moon."

There are also numerous references within this forum to Paul and/or John's influence or inspiration by Pet Sounds tracks.  For example, @RunForYourLife comments on the influence God Only Knows had on Penny Lane and the Beatles' writing during the period here in the Penny Lane topic, and there is this topic about the two bands' influence on each other.

Which is not to say @castironshore has to like Pet Sounds, but it is to say that I feel a need to defend my point of view 😉

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vonbontee

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18 May 2015
9.28am
castironshore
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Fair enough buddy. 

I wouldn't say lennon attending a playback for "pet sounds" meant that he was influenced by it though. I just struggle to see the beach boys/beatles exchange of ideas outside of the odd thing paul was producing around 66/67. They were just both very different types of acts. 

The beatles writing seems far more sophisticated and mature than brian wilson's infantile hankerings for tootsie rolls and amusement parks. IMO "pet sounds" is overblown,syrupy sub spector kack, compared to "Rubber Soul " and "revolver" it's emotionally retarded.  There i've said it..... 😉

Lennon and harrison were both cool about 'pet sounds' in interviews later on. It just wasn't their kind of thing. 

If there was a kind of beatles/beach boys exchange of ideas going on it was predominately the beach boys being influenced by the beatles. You can hear it most explicitly on "smile" (which i love by the way) 

18 May 2015
4.48pm
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Should I start my response with something like "fair enough dood"?

I think it is easy to get side-tracked with trying to demonstrate 'influence'. In my mind most of the influence was in levels of success, sophistication and the concept of the album as an artistic whole rather than musical influence. I think the early Smile demos and out-takes suggest that the musical influence was limited.

I also think that suggesting the Beach Boys music or philosophy are infantile and kack is overly simplistic as both they and the Beatles evolved from "She Loves You yeah yeah yeah" to music and lyrics which are much more developed; in Wilson's case on songs such as In My Room, Girls On The Beach, Warmth of the Sun and numerous others - particularly on the albums from All Summer Long onwards.

I don't think they developed as fast as the Beatles, who had Lennon and McCartney supported by George Martin pushing one-another ever onwards and upwards but to suggest the Beach Boys ' music is "emotionally retarded" is a purely subjective impression which is not supported by the evidence.

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18 May 2015
10.14pm
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Matt Busby
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I define music as any collection of sounds that pleases something or someone.  So with very few exceptions, everything intended to be music is music. That makes it 100% subjective and is an easy way to stop the fun 😉

But I thought of an almost purely objective (and valid) way to rank the "quality" of music, as judged by musicians/artists. In academia, a primary measure of a peer-reviewed paper's "importance" is how many subsequent papers cite it.  So in music, the importance of a piece of music would be the number of covers, influences(what can be gleaned by interviews, early life study, or what was popular in the home during early childhood), and direct citations (like the line "just like Dylan's Mr. Jones").

Hmm sorry kindof rambling.  But, given this premise, an argument can be made that Yesterday is the single most influential piece of music in the last hundred years (based on # of notable covers alone). I'll give that two thumbs up!

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castironshore

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19 May 2015
6.44am
castironshore
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Of course my opinion of 'pet sounds' is a subjective impression, i'm not trying to pretend differently. But i still think in comparison with "Rubber Soul " and "revolver" it pales quite badly - compare the mature emotions and musical expressions of "Norwegian Wood " "im looking through you" and "Tomorrow Never Knows " with the over orchestrated teenage navel gazing of much of "pet sounds".

 I'm not sure the beach boys developed slower in the kind of way trcanberra is suggesting either, with wilson they had the cream of LA musicians and the best studios in the world at their disposal as opposed to the DIY "anything goes" ethic of Abbey Road and the beatles. They were in no way at a disadvantage. The acts developed differently IMO because of the dynamics in the respective bands, for instance it's a shame that the avant-garde pop of "SMILE" wasn't the path the beach boys followed but the likes of mike love and al jardine were already unhappy with the direction they were going in.

Wilson wrote some great songs for his group undeniably, but he was also filling up beach boys albums with nonsense like "amusement parks usa" and "im bugged at my ol man" which was frankly pretty embarrassing. Meanwhile the beatles were well on their way to making the album into an art form. 

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19 May 2015
6.24pm
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^ I guess we'll have to disagree on this one. I think you over-estimate the creative input of a bunch of hired session musicians in LA and under-estimate the impact of the Lennon-McCartney dynamic and the professionalism of George Martin ("anything goes"? I laughed at that one).

There are also a number of complex and mature songs on Sounds, picking lesser examples off other albums hardly helps your argument. Having the Beatles albums as more sophisticated examples also doesn't mean that anything that doesn't match them is '"kack" or "emotionally retarded" - as someone else noted in another thread the Beatles were ahead of most every act in popular music at the time.

I suspect that either I'm seeing something that isn't there in Pet Sounds (something which apparently most music critics around the world also see) or you aren't seeing something due to your strong negative emotional response to the album.

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22 May 2015
2.58am
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Maybe we can try to form some kind of semi-objective critique of the two styles.  It's important that people with differing opinions (meaning all 3 of us I guess lol) chime in, nudging our collective opinion (hopefully something like it will form) towards the "middle." hmm though...from that would follow that the "middle of the road" politics that it takes to get elected US President is an "objective description of what our society should be like" with which few would agree lol.

Integral to such a critique would be the elimination of "judging" (some might say "hating on") phraseology like "teenage navel gazing" or even "nonsense." There are any number of bands that I (and many of us share a group of core, "elite" pop bands in this group) consider nonsense, but I stand by my definition of music - audio sounds that cause enjoyment (to someone...anyone). So objectively, my opinion of nonsense is irrelevant when the fact that people get enjoyment from it is not in question.

Anyway...

Both groups delved deep into reharmonizing chords, or maybe "creating new chords" would be a better phrase.  As George would say, "chords loom large in their legend." The Beatles used many instruments including voice; while the Beach Boys employed a variety of instruments I think saying their specialty was vocal arrangements isn't out of line.  I'd love to work out some of the Beach Boys ' vocal harmonies on keyboard, it would of course take multiple hands and multiple effects to simulate the vocal arrangements, but I think it might shed an interesting light on the different chords used by the bands (and other artists). I know instrumental groups have done this to originally-mostly-vocal arrangements, but I don't know of any (worthwhile) instrumental arrangements of say, Good Vibrations or Little Deuce Coupe.

Sheesh it's 4am, I'm going to risk saving this and hope it's not "nonsense" 😉

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2 June 2015
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This looks great…….

 

 

He took music to new levels at a time in our history when it was the hardest to do……...

 

He wouldn't have been as good without the Beatles to compete with and Paul admits how Brian spurred him on.

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2 June 2015
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ahdn_paul_06 Very interesting. 

I also found an article on the film. 

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Silly Girl said

Linde quietly enthused 
I think God Only Knows is one of the best songs ever written.

So do I. a-hard-days-night-paul-8

Me three.  I have been intrigued by that song since the day it was released. It was one of the very first songs I downloaded onto my first iPad.  There's something very appealing about that melody.  It's just so elegant and, well, melodic. I feel the same way about Pretty Ballerina by the Left Banke.

That beautiful orchestral piece was written by a love-sick sixteen year old kid!  Maybe I need to start a Left Banke appreciation thread.  They were no one hit wonder--they had two.

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3 June 2015
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Ehhh, their ok.  There no BEATLES!~ a-hard-days-night-ringo-10

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3 June 2015
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Just as Bongo said. I think they are great! but if someone said they rival The Beatles, i would disagree. I'm sad SMiLE didn't get Off The Ground .

5 June 2015
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Paul dano is a wonderful actor and resembles mid 60s brian quite well, john cusack as the later version is a bit ....hmmmm

But an interesting movie.

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Necko
8 July 2015
9.29pm
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x-posted (to use parlance terms) from the In My Life thread.

Necko said
As promised (okay, I never promised.  So sue me.), here is Necko's superfantastical, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious report on the Brian Wilson concert he went to on the 6TH.

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We got there and stopped at the merch booth.  I picked up a shirt, which cost forty bucks (a signed vinyl copy of Brian's latest album was going for a hundred clams.  Jeez Louise!).  Here's a picture of the shirt design that I got, taken directly off of Brian Wilson's website:

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I had a smoke outside the venue before the concert (Nasty habit, kids.  Don't pick it up.) and ate dinner inside the venue.  There are several places to eat inside the venue and I got a personal pizza.  It was horrible, but, for eleven bucks, you bet I ate every damn bite.  I was still eating when Rodriguez, the opening act, went on.

It's a large semi-outdoor venue.  Here are some pictures taken by other people:

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There are also lawn seats:

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I had actually been to the venue before... to see Mike Love's version of the Beach Boys that are just him, Bruce Johnston, and a bunch of young guys.  That time, however, I had cheap lawn seats.  I had pavilion seats this time around, so I had a roof over my head.

Rodriguez went on (apologies in advance for the lousiness of these pictures).

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Intermission.  I decided to use the bathroom, just in case.  While on my way out of the pavilion, a staff member told me that it was a fifteen minute intermission.  Not wanting to miss a second and knowing that the bathrooms were far on the other end of the venue, I tried to get there and back as quickly as I could.  The problem was that everybody else was walking with the pace of the final walk past a coffin.  I was weaving around like a reckless motorcyclist.  I got back soon enough.  I took a picture with my aunt, who brought me once I got back.

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Brian went on, and I'll now go song-by-song, based on a combination of information from setlist.fm and my own recollection.

1. Our Prayer

Brian and his band opened with this song from Smile and 20/20.  My aunt turned to me and said "This sounds just like the Beach Boys ."  Indeed.

 

2. Heroes And Villains

Brian continued with this song from Smile and Smiley Smile.  His version was closer to the Smile version.  I actually got a partial video version of this song.  I abruptly stopped when I saw a staff member show an audience member to his seat.  I feared that he was catching me bootlegging and was about to confiscate my phone.

 

3. California Girls

This song was next.  Someone else with better seats and a better quality video recorder uploaded this performance to Youtube.

 

4. Shut Down

5. Little Deuce Coupe

I don't have much to say about these.  Good performances.

 

6. I Get Around

I suppose he was trying to put all the car songs together.

 

7. This Whole World

I think that Al Jardine might have taken vocals on this one.  I don't remember.

 

8. Girl Don't Tell Me

Brian introduced this one with "I wrote this song for John Lennon .  That was when he was still alive."

 

9. Honeycomb

Brian attempted to do a cover of this Jimmie Rodgers song, but stopped partway through.  He said "I messed up the lyrics in the first verse."  Someone brought him a copy of the lyrics, but Brian said "Let's just skip it."

 

10. Then I Kissed Her

Al Jardine took vocals on this one, because he did vocals on the original.

 

11. California Saga: California

Wow.  I was not expecting to hear this one.  Glad I did, though.

12. In My Room

I love this song.  I got a video of both California Saga and In My Room.

In addition, someone else with better seats, better sound quality, and better video quality uploaded In My Room to Youtube.

 

13. Surfer Girl

14. Don't Worry Baby

Matt Jardine took vocals on Don't Worry Baby.  God , he sounds like his dad.

 

15. One Kind Of Love

16. Sail Away

Brian didn't play very many of his solo songs that night.  One Kind Of Love and Sail Away were some from his latest album.  Blondie Chaplin joined them on stage for Sail Away.

 

17. Wild Honey

Another one I wasn't expecting to hear.  Blondie Chaplin took lead vocals on this one.  I recorded this one on video, too.

 

18. Sail On, Sailor

I also got this one on video.  It started to rain when they played this song.

 

19. Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Yeah, I'm not kidding.  Brian suggested that we did this one as a sing-along, probably in reference to the fact that it started raining.  I wish that someone had got it on video.  It's not listed on setlist.fm.

 

20. Darlin'

I think that Darian Sahanaja took vocals on this one...

 

21. Wake The World

A good mix of hits and lesser-known songs were in this concert.  This Friends deep cut was played.  Brian introduced this song... "I wrote this song with Al in... nineteen-sixty... seventy... Al, when did we write that damn song?."  It was in 1968.

 

22. Busy Doin' Nothin'

Another Friends cut.

 

23. Surf's Up

Brian introduced this one by saying that it's a song that's hard to sing and feels like it lasts twenty years.  Then Al Jardine said "...but it's a classic Brian, from Smile."  I recorded this one, too.

 

24. The Right Time

Another song from his latest solo album.  He said he wrote it for his wife when he introduced it.

 

25. Wouldn't It Be Nice

Matt Jardine sang lead on this one.

 

26. Sloop John B

You knew this was coming.  They played it well.  As on the studio recording, they traded off on lead vocals.

 

27. God Only Knows

And you knew this was coming, too.  I got a recording of this one, and so did the person with better seats and a better recorder than me.  Try to figure out which one is which.

 

28. Good Vibrations

And you knew this was coming, too.  The guy with the great seats and great video recorder got a video of this one, too.

 

They then left the stage, and the crowd went wind.  Many people left because of the rain, but...

THE ENCORE

 

29. Band Introductions

The band was introduced.  Fragments of the following songs were played:

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones

Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones

I Feel Fine - The Beatles

The James Bond Theme

 

30. All Summer Long

31. Help Me Rhonda

32. Barbara Ann

33. Surfin' U.S.A.

34. Fun, Fun, Fun

35. Love & Mercy

 

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Al Jardine:

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All in all, I had a lot of fun.

(I spent about four hours on this post... and it's probably longer than the "I Will Survive" post.)

EDIT and P.S.: The people sitting directly in front of us appear to have only cared about seeing Rodriguez, as they left after his thirty-minute set.  Ain't that odd?)

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I'm Necko.  I'm like Ringo except I wear necklaces.

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@Bongo openly stated 
Ehhh, their ok.  There no BEATLES!~ a-hard-days-night-ringo-10

@Georgous chimed in 
Just as Bongo said. I think they are great! but if someone said they rival The Beatles, i would disagree. I'm sad SMiLE didn't get Off The Ground .

Of course not-- no one's the Beatles, except for the Beatles, but that's beside the point. They're different from the Beatles. If you spend all your time comparing everyone to the Beatles, the music world will be a sad, sad place. 

(Easier said than done, of course... a-hard-days-night-john-6

It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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22 August 2015
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Today is David Marks' birthday.  If you aren't fully aware of who he is, here's the biography section from his website.

David Lee Marks is best known for his work as a member of The Beach Boys . Growing up across the street from the Wilson family, Marks spent his formative years singing and playing with Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson.

At age 10, he received his first guitar for Christmas, and he and Carl began studying with John Maus (later John Walker of the Walker Brothers) and developing their own electric guitar style, which caught the attention of Carl’s oldest brother, budding composer Brian. David and Carl’s rock ‘n’ roll guitar sound blended with Brian’s complex harmonies to create the signature sound of the Beach Boys .

Thirteen-year-old Marks joined The Beach Boys in February 1962, and became one of the signatories on the band’s recording contract with Capitol Records. He remained a member through October 1963, performing in over 100 concerts across the United States, appearing on national television, and playing rhythm guitar and singing on the band’s first four albums, and on hits like “Surfin’ Safari,” “409,” “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “Shut Down,” “Surfer Girl,” “In My Room,” and “Be True to Your School.”

Leaving the Beach Boys gave David the freedom to focus on his own songwriting with a new band, David Marks & The Marksmen. One of the first bands to sign to Herb Alpert’s A&M Records, The Marksmen packed concert venues up and down the state of California but ultimately disbanded in 1965.

Marks went on to play with Casey Kasem’s Band Without a Name, psychedelic-pop bands The Moon and Colours, Delaney & Bonnie, and Warren Zevon. By age 21, he had been signed to five major record labels and had grown disillusioned with the Los Angeles music scene. In 1969, he relocated to Boston, where he studied jazz and classical guitar as a private student at the Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory. He earned a reputation as a solid session guitarist.

Through it all, he remained friends and stayed in contact with members of the Beach Boys . He rejoined the band in as a full-time member in 1997, when Carl Wilson, fighting cancer, was unable to continue touring with the group. Marks left the band for a second time in 1999, after being diagnosed with hepatitis C. Since his diagnosis, he has become a leader in the hepatitis C community, often appearing in the media to raise awareness of the disease.

In 2007, David co-wrote his autobiography, The Lost Beach Boy, with Beach Boys historian Jon Stebbins. The book is a frank account of his career with and without the Beach Boys , his health problems, his musical development, and his recovery and acceptance within the Beach Boys community.

In 2012, David Marks joined Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston for the recording of That’s Why God Made The Radio, the first Beach Boys album of new material since 1992, and for the band’s subsequent 50th anniversary world tour which kicked off with the band’s performance at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards.

Post reunion, he and Al Jardine joined Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck for a highly successful North American fall tour voted as the #3 tour of 2013.  David Marks also joined an illustrious group of guest artist who lended their efforts to Brian Wilson’s 2015 solo release, No Pier Pressure – his guitar can be heard on the album’s single, The Right Time, which charted #1 on BBC Radio Two.  In addition to performances with The Surf City All Stars, David Marks continues to tour as a part time member of The Beach Boys .

 

Here are a fantastic series of short Youtube interview videos with David Marks:

 

 

Happy Birthday .

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Here is what Brian Wilson has to say on what would have been John Lennon 's seventy-fifth birthday.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....r_8Mo3RhZA

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9 October 2015
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I've been listening through their albums in chronological order recently - time for some Christmas songs!

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9 October 2015
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^^ I find it oddly satisfying that his favourite is sung by Ringo, but then he IS tone deaf (or part deaf, or ...) 🙂

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9 October 2015
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I think that he's ninety-five percent deaf in one ear.

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trcanberra

I'm Necko.  I'm like Ringo except I wear necklaces.

I'm also ewe2 on weekends.

Most likely to post things that make you go hmm... 2015, 2016, 2017. 

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