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Underrated Albums
17 April 2020
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Beatlebug
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QuarryMan said
I've always liked the way roman numerals looked, so I just call it IV.   

Let's all be honest here, IV is the coolest Roman numeral. a-hard-days-night-george-4

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17 April 2020
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I'm gonna pull an unsurprising move for me and say every Beach Boys album from 1967's Smiley Smile right up to 1973's Holland. Without a doubt, the most experimentally diverse period of their career and my favourite, and yet the general American home attitude was to overlook and avoid them because they were apparently no longer hip. paul-mccartneySure, Brian was unfortunately only rearing his head to participate here and there on most of these albums due to his mental health, but I'd argue the other five members (plus Blondie Chaplin and Stig O'Hara  Ricky Fataar later) did an exceptional job in his place of taking turns of leadership during this time, and all bloomed greatly in their own compositional talents, especially Carl and Dennis. 

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17 April 2020
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SgtPeppersBulldog said
I'm gonna pull an unsurprising move for me and say every Beach Boys album from 1967's Smiley Smile right up to 1973's Holland. Without a doubt, the most experimentally diverse period of their career and my favourite, and yet the general American home attitude was to overlook and avoid them because they were apparently no longer hip. paul-mccartneySure, Brian was unfortunately only rearing his head to participate here and there on most of these albums due to his mental health, but I'd argue the other five members (plus Blondie Chaplin and Stig O'Hara  Ricky Fataar later) did an exceptional job in his place of taking turns of leadership during this time, and all bloomed greatly in their own compositional talents, especially Carl and Dennis. 

I haven't listened to them all through and through but I'll back you up on Surf's Up and Smiley Smile (Good Vibrations and Heroes and Villains? come on!).

Also, one of my favourite Beach Boys songs is on 20/20, which is Charles Manson's Never Learn Not to Love. Oooh! spooky. But really tho, it's a great song.

And I assume you realize the reason those albums didn't connect as much with people was because of their incapability to match with either Pet Sounds (easily their best album, even if it is a cliché) and the English Invasion (that in hindsight was putting out way better stuff). Those albums aren't THAT good, but I'll agree the material I've heard so far is pretty solid and it should be discussed more.

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17 April 2020
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Friends and Sunflower are probably the two most underrated due to the contributions from each member of the band. I also love Wild Honey and 20/20. Brian’s new, non-SMiLE tracks across great in my opinion, and the rest of the band steps up big time as they realize they can’t rely on him as the leader. 

Ill have to take strong exception to @Jules about Surfs Up and Smiley Smile. While there are some good songs on both, (Little Pad, With Me Tonight) It pisses me off the way the band split up Brian’s SMiLE project with no though for order. Stripping down Vegetables the way they did is downright offense. Surf’s up is the most egregious case, as I don’t actually think its a very good album overall, and they had to practically pry the lead song out of Brians hands. Its tragic really. The only song they did justice to is Heroes and Villains and that is because they barely touched the original version (only they did cut the cantina bridge and the A-CAPELLA TAG those assholes) Plus, having such an underwhelming album follow perhaps the greatest album opener in history is bad in itself. The lazy organ sounds throughout, even though played by Brian, sound like they just gave up. 

Just listen to Wind Chimes on Smiley Smile vs. SMiLE. Its a travesty. Yes they wanted a laid back vibe, but they butchered some of the most Genius songs is pop history. 

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17 April 2020
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the lazy and underproduced Smiley Smile deprived fans of THE TRUTH for decades, inevitably causing them to revert to the old surfer tunes, (which I might add are absolutely genius) by releasing endless summer and then touring with the same set forever barring a few hits here and there. 

In my opinion the most underrated album of all time is Beach Boys Today! the precursor to Pet Sounds, which believe it or not I think is a better album. 

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17 April 2020
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SgtPeppersBulldog said
I'm gonna pull an unsurprising move for me and say every Beach Boys album from 1967's Smiley Smile right up to 1973's Holland. Without a doubt, the most experimentally diverse period of their career and my favourite, and yet the general American home attitude was to overlook and avoid them because they were apparently no longer hip. paul-mccartneySure, Brian was unfortunately only rearing his head to participate here and there on most of these albums due to his mental health, but I'd argue the other five members (plus Blondie Chaplin and Stig O'Hara  Ricky Fataar later) did an exceptional job in his place of taking turns of leadership during this time, and all bloomed greatly in their own compositional talents, especially Carl and Dennis. 

  

I kinda sorta agree with you. The Smiley Smile/Wild Honey double with backup from the Sunshine 67 makes for a fascinating listen. However Smile kicks its ass from one side of the spectrum to the next.

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17 April 2020
11.24am
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I listened to SMiLE the other day it gets better every time I listen. Joyful, Sweet, Sincere, Emotional, and Tragic. absolutely stunning

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17 April 2020
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I'm happy they at least got some better chart success and appraisal during that period over here in the UK and across Europe, if not at home. And those eight albums were absolutely up to date with the times in terms of sound. You have the proto-lo-fi and avant garde of most of the Smiley Smile album, some excellent R&B/blue-eyed soul on Wild Honey, almost prog sounding offerings like "Feel Flows" and "All This Is That", as well as a touch of country-rock scattered across Carl & The Passions and Holland, to name a few examples.

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17 April 2020
11.45am
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The Beach Boys discography is yet another discography that I really need to fully explore but keep getting distracted by other things and never end up doing so. But I'll do it someday, I promise!

But what I've heard I've really loved (which is basically their most popular tunes-- "Surfin' U.S.A," "Good Vibrations," "California Girls," "I Get Around," "Surfer Girl"*, "Help Me Rhonda"* etc.). And I've only listened to bits of Pet Sounds, but again what I've heard I've enjoyed a lot so far and I very much respect the genius that is Brian Wilson. 

I also love hearing them cover Help ! tracks and "The Times They Are A-Changin'" on The Beach Boys ' Party!. It really makes me feel connected to artists when I realize that "Hey! These rock and pop stars have the same taste in music as I do!" 

*Particular favorites of mine 

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17 April 2020
11.54am
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I'm not sure I'm comfortable giving Smiley Smile credit for being proto-lo-fi or Avant-garde. While it was unique for them to retreat to a low budget Hawaiian studio and to create music that sounds like you're swinging in a hammock, there is very little creativity in the instrumental arrangements, despite always brilliant vocal harmonies. I would consider avant-garde and lo-fi music to enhance the sound through finding inventive ways to record in order to elevate the song, whereas Smiley Smile detracts from the songs in my opinion. 

I agree with pepdog 100% though on Wild Honey, Carl & The Passions, and especially Holland. That album was very inventive and captured a new feel not yet heard on a Beach Boys record, and opened the doors to the later period of relative success in the U.S

One more underrated Beach Boys album - 1979 L.A Light Album. They were crucified for the extended disco version of Here Comes the Night, but it really is not that bad. Dennis really rocks on this one. Love Surrounds Me is one of my favorite Beach Boys songs, and Good Timin, oh man. You NEED Good Timin. Its a treasure of a song.

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17 April 2020
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sir walter raleigh said
I'm not sure I'm comfortable giving Smiley Smile credit for being proto-lo-fi or Avant-garde. While it was unique for them to retreat to a low budget Hawaiian studio and to create music that sounds like you're swinging in a hammock, there is very little creativity in the instrumental arrangements, despite always brilliant vocal harmonies. I would consider avant-garde and lo-fi music to enhance the sound through finding inventive ways to record in order to elevate the song, whereas Smiley Smile detracts from the songs in my opinion. 

I agree with pepdog 100% though on Wild Honey, Carl & The Passions, and especially Holland. That album was very inventive and captured a new feel not yet heard on a Beach Boys record, and opened the doors to the later period of relative success in the U.S

One more underrated Beach Boys album - 1979 L.A Light Album. They were crucified for the extended disco version of Here Comes the Night, but it really is not that bad. Dennis really rocks on this one. Love Surrounds Me is one of my favorite Beach Boys songs, and Good Timin, oh man. You NEED Good Timin. Its a treasure of a song.

  

I'll agree with Good Timin but not really big on the rest of the album.

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17 April 2020
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sir walter raleigh said
Friends and Sunflower are probably the two most underrated due to the contributions from each member of the band. I also love Wild Honey and 20/20. Brian’s new, non-SMiLE tracks across great in my opinion, and the rest of the band steps up big time as they realize they can’t rely on him as the leader. 

Ill have to take strong exception to @Jules about Surfs Up and Smiley Smile. While there are some good songs on both, (Little Pad, With Me Tonight) It pisses me off the way the band split up Brian’s SMiLE project with no though for order. Stripping down Vegetables the way they did is downright offense. Surf’s up is the most egregious case, as I don’t actually think its a very good album overall, and they had to practically pry the lead song out of Brians hands. Its tragic really. The only song they did justice to is Heroes and Villains and that is because they barely touched the original version (only they did cut the cantina bridge and the A-CAPELLA TAG those assholes) Plus, having such an underwhelming album follow perhaps the greatest album opener in history is bad in itself. The lazy organ sounds throughout, even though played by Brian, sound like they just gave up. 

Just listen to Wind Chimes on Smiley Smile vs. SMiLE. Its a travesty. Yes they wanted a laid back vibe, but they butchered some of the most Genius songs is pop history. 

Oh! Don't misinterpret me, I would've much rather gotten Smile instead of those messy post-Pet Sounds records. But it is what it is. The albums are still pretty good, even if they betray Brian Wilson's vision. Whatcha gonna do? We can only listen to those and the reconstructing of Smile (which is kind of messy to me, not even near being the masterpiece Brian promised in the 60s). So it's kind of a "what we got" situation. I agree with you in most of what you say. Besides, even though Pet Sounds is one of my favourite albums, the Beach Boys themselves generally don't strike me as one of the best bands ever, or a band I'm in love with, so, to sum up, I don't really care. I still enjoy Smiley Smile in and of itself, and I don't give it that much thought.

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18 April 2020
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another underrated album is Steely Dan’s Countdown To Ecstacy 

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18 April 2020
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sir walter raleigh said
another underrated album is Steely Dan’s Countdown To Ecstacy 

  

yeah! King of the World is a top 5 Dan song for me

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19 April 2020
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Vera Chuck and Dave said

sir walter raleigh said

another underrated album is Steely Dan’s Countdown To Ecstacy 

  

yeah! King of the World is a top 5 Dan song for me

  

Great album. My personal favorite from that album is Razor Boy. Definitely my favorite Steely Dan song.

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19 April 2020
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plus the Boston Rag, My Old School, etc. In my opinion it is a real breakthrough. 

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19 April 2020
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...also Pearl of the Quarter, Your Gold Teeth...

I guess nobody here is underrating "Countdown"!

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