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Author Topic: The Beach Boys  (Read 51243 times)

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Joost

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #100 on: January 24, 2010, 05:06:47 PM »

It is impressive that Bruce was working as a professional songwriter and producer while still in his teens (although it should be noted that Bruce comes from a filthy rich family, so he could probably have done any job he wanted to do), but I think he threw away his abilities because he just stopped being creative once he joined the Beach Boys in 1965.

If you look at what he's done musically in the last 45 years, since 1965, it really isn't much. He toured and recorded as a member of The Beach Boys from 1965 until 1972 and from 1979 until the present day, but wrote no more than seven songs for them in all those years. He released just one solo album (during his seven year absence from the group), consisting almost entirely of lame re-recordings of his best known songs, and a few covers. He wrote just one hit song ('I Write The Songs'). And he sang backups on a few albums by other artists. That's pretty much it.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 06:17:54 PM by Joost »
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dcowboys107

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #101 on: January 24, 2010, 08:57:21 PM »

So did Pet Sounds go platinum in 2000 "finally" or did a new release of a CD or something push it to that?  If it is the former, then, wow.
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Mairi

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #102 on: January 24, 2010, 09:00:41 PM »

It is impressive that Bruce was working as a professional songwriter and producer while still in his teens (although it should be noted that Bruce comes from a filthy rich family, so he could probably have done any job he wanted to do), but I think he threw away his abilities because he just stopped being creative once he joined the Beach Boys in 1965.

If you look at what he's done musically in the last 45 years, since 1965, it really isn't much. He toured and recorded as a member of The Beach Boys from 1965 until 1972 and from 1979 until the present day, but wrote no more than seven songs for them in all those years. He released just one solo album (during his seven year absence from the group), consisting almost entirely of lame re-recordings of his best known songs, and a few covers. He wrote just one hit song ('I Write The Songs'). And he sang backups on a few albums by other artists. That's pretty much it.

That's interesting, and kind of sad. Why do you think that is? Did he lose his ambition once he joined the group? Maybe he felt like his work as a songwriter wasn't needed with the other great songwriters in the band.
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alexis

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #103 on: January 24, 2010, 09:05:14 PM »

^^ I mean another way to look at it is maybe the muse left him  :'( . He did write a #1 Grammy, he'll always have that.
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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #104 on: January 24, 2010, 09:21:47 PM »

Oh damn, never thought of that.
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Joost

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #105 on: January 24, 2010, 09:28:38 PM »

That's interesting, and kind of sad. Why do you think that is? Did he lose his ambition once he joined the group? Maybe he felt like his work as a songwriter wasn't needed with the other great songwriters in the band.

Oh, he was definately needed as a songwriter. After 1967, Brian became less and less productive as a songwriter and none of the other members really wrote songs yet. Dennis didn't start writing songs until 1968, Carl and Al wrote their first proper songs in 1970/1971. Mike pretty much always sticked to writing lyrics.

I think Bruce has never really been very ambitious as a musician. When The Beatles quit, George released a three disc solo album. When Bruce left The Beach Boys in 1972, it took him five years to release a solo album and it consisted almost entirely of re-recorded older material. That should say something.

I don't think you should feel sad for Bruce Johnston at all. Like I said, the guy's always been very rich. The money he inherited from his parents is more than any of the other Beach Boys ever made with their music. I think being a Beach Boy has always been mostly a cool hobby to him.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 09:32:01 PM by Joost »
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #106 on: January 24, 2010, 09:54:09 PM »

It did, it went to #2 in the UK and #10 in the US. But the previous Beach Boys albums all did better in the US, so it was a commercial failure but only relatively. I guess it just wasn't the music that people expected or wanted to hear from the Beach Boys.

That sums it up very well, Joost.  Just the way The Beatles were maturing in their music during 1965 and 1966, so were The Beach Boys.  I first noticed the change in 1964 with Wendy and in 1965 with When I Grow Up, California Girls and The Little Girl I Once Knew.  I welcomed the change from surf music as I was maturing too.  But I remember the disappointment of many with The Beach Boys at that time.  Times were changing in the mid-60s.  The Beach Boys tried their hardest to change too.  Perhaps if Brian Wilson had the benefits of medications we have today, things would have been different.  We certainly would not have waited 38 years for SMiLE.
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Joost

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #107 on: January 24, 2010, 10:08:05 PM »

Perhaps if Brian Wilson had the benefits of medications we have today, things would have been different.  We certainly would not have waited 38 years for SMiLE.

I think Brian's main problem was that his band wasn't too willing to evolve with him. While he was writing 'Smile', the other guys were still touring in their matching striped shirts, playing songs like 'Barbara Ann' and 'Little Deuce Coupe'.

Imagine this: John Lennon steps into the studio and plays his latest composition 'Strawberry Fields Forever' to Paul, George and Ringo. And they're like "Wow, John. That's really... ehm... different. But, uhm... People seemed to dig 'Please Please Me' and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', so why not just write another song like that?". That's pretty much the position Brian was in, I guess. I think that was the biggest problem of all.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 10:22:49 PM by Joost »
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alexis

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #108 on: January 24, 2010, 10:28:58 PM »

I think Brian's main problem was that his band wasn't too willing to evolve with him. While he was writing 'Smile', the other guys were still touring in their matching striped shirts, playing songs like 'Barbara Ann' and 'Little Deuce Coupe'.

Imagine this: John Lennon steps into the studio and plays his latest composition 'Strawberry Fields Forever' to Paul, George and Ringo. And they're like "Wow, John. That's really... ehm... different. But, uhm... People seemed to dig 'Please Please Me' and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', so why not just write another song like that?". That's pretty much the position Brian was in, I guess.  think that was the biggest problem of all.

I guess without songwriting competition, like John and Paul had with each other, these things may be more likely to happen.
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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #109 on: January 25, 2010, 12:00:34 AM »

Re: the songwriting: I've never looked at Brian Wilson's chords in detail, but I do know that as I listen, I am constantly "surprised", with chords that always seem unusual for the key of the song.

In this sense, I think his writing style reminds me more of John's, than Paul's.

You BB fans, how do you like to characterize Brian's writing?
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Alexis

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #110 on: January 25, 2010, 12:49:29 AM »

I think Brian's main problem was that his band wasn't too willing to evolve with him. While he was writing 'Smile', the other guys were still touring in their matching striped shirts, playing songs like 'Barbara Ann' and 'Little Deuce Coupe'.

That's right, Joost.  That was Mike Love being a pragmatist.  The Beatles were touring too at the time.  And that was Brian Epstein being a pragmatist.  

Ultimately The Beatles, all four of them, had their way and concentrated on time in the studio.  The Beach Boys went on touring.  But we here liked that.  They came to be a Fourth of July institution in Washington DC.  They continued giving their fans what they wanted for years.  

As for me,  it hurt to see Dennis Wilson pass on and not see him on stage or see him develop on his own.  Carl Wilson's passing marked the end of The Beach Boys as we knew them.  It was a great 37 years.  

It could have been even greater.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 12:51:14 AM by Hello Goodbye »
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #111 on: January 25, 2010, 01:24:08 AM »

Re: the songwriting: I've never looked at Brian Wilson's chords in detail, but I do know that as I listen, I am constantly "surprised", with chords that always seem unusual for the key of the song.

In this sense, I think his writing style reminds me more of John's, than Paul's.

You BB fans, how do you like to characterize Brian's writing?


Alexis, I would say Brian Wilson's writing style was unique.  Where else would you get a 45 RPM record with the A-side Be True to Your School and the B-side In My Room?

There's an out-of-production LP by The Beach Boys called Stack-O-Tracks.  It's 15 backing tracks, without vocals and harmonies, of their early hits.  It's now available again in a paired CD with Beach Boys Party!  It's amazing to listen to these tracks without the vocals.  You gain a true appreciation of Brian Wilson's genius.


beach boys- california girls (instrumental)
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 01:30:26 AM by Hello Goodbye »
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #112 on: January 25, 2010, 01:43:23 AM »

Here's another...

beach boys- wouldnt it be nice (instrumental)
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #113 on: January 25, 2010, 03:06:54 AM »

I first noticed the change in 1964 with Wendy and in 1965 with.....The Little Girl I Once Knew.


Beach Boys Wendy


The The Beach Boys - The Little Girl I Once Knew
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Joost

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #114 on: January 25, 2010, 07:24:41 AM »

Re: the songwriting: I've never looked at Brian Wilson's chords in detail, but I do know that as I listen, I am constantly "surprised", with chords that always seem unusual for the key of the song.

In pretty much every interview I've read from people who recorded with Brian (from the session musicians he used in the 60s to the members of his current band), they mention how the chords they were given often didn't seem to make any sense at all on paper, but that when they played them it seemed like they were the most logical chords possible.
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Joost

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #115 on: January 25, 2010, 09:45:35 AM »

A few details you can listen for in Beach Boys songs:

- During the second 'Who Ran The Iron Horse?' section of 'Cabinessence', if you listen closely you can hear Dennis softly singing entirely different lyrics in the background. It sounds a bit spooky once you notice it (the lyric he sings is "Truck driving man do what you can / High-tail your load off the road / Out of night-life-it's a gas man / I don't believe I gotta grieve / In and out of luck / With a buck and a booth / Catchin' on to the truth / In the vast past, the last gasp / In the land, in the dust, trust that you must / Catch as catch can").

- If you listen closely to the fade of 'All I Want To Do' (not to be confused with 'All I Wanna Do') you can hear Dennis having sex with a prostitute in the studio. I know this sounds like it's probably some kind of urban legend, but it's been confirmed by long-time Beach Boys engineer Stephen Desper, who recorded the "session".

- On the fade of the single version of 'Do It Again', you can hear workshop noises. These were originally recorded for a 'Smile' track called 'Workshop'. They're really out of place in 'Do It Again', but the group figured "Hey, we payed for the session to have these sounds recorded so we might as well just use 'em somewhere".

- Carl Wilson sings lead on 'God Only Knows', but he's not on the final section of the song ("God only knows what I'd be without you") cause he was tired and went home. The three voices you hear there are Brian twice, and Bruce.

- During the "Sometimes I feel very sad" part of 'I Just Wasn't Made For These Times', you can hear the background vocals singing "Can't find nothin' I can put my heart and soul into". But if you listen very closely, you can also hear different backing vocals singing "Cuando será? Un dia será". Sounds very distant and ghostly and you probably won't even notice them unless you know they're there.
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dcowboys107

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #116 on: January 25, 2010, 02:15:50 PM »

A few details you can listen for in Beach Boys songs:

- During the second 'Who Ran The Iron Horse?' section of 'Cabinessence', if you listen closely you can hear Dennis softly singing entirely different lyrics in the background. It sounds a bit spooky once you notice it (the lyric he sings is "Truck driving man do what you can / High-tail your load off the road / Out of night-life-it's a gas man / I don't believe I gotta grieve / In and out of luck / With a buck and a booth / Catchin' on to the truth / In the vast past, the last gasp / In the land, in the dust, trust that you must / Catch as catch can").

- If you listen closely to the fade of 'All I Want To Do' (not to be confused with 'All I Wanna Do') you can hear Dennis having sex with a prostitute in the studio. I know this sounds like it's probably some kind of urban legend, but it's been confirmed by long-time Beach Boys engineer Stephen Desper, who recorded the "session".

That sounds almost unbelievable. Why were they rolling while that was happening??! XD

- On the fade of the single version of 'Do It Again', you can hear workshop noises. These were originally recorded for a 'Smile' track called 'Workshop'. They're really out of place in 'Do It Again', but the group figured "Hey, we payed for the session to have these sounds recorded so we might as well just use 'em somewhere".

- Carl Wilson sings lead on 'God Only Knows', but he's not on the final section of the song ("God only knows what I'd be without you") cause he was tired and went home. The three voices you hear there are Brian twice, and Bruce.

- During the "Sometimes I feel very sad" part of 'I Just Wasn't Made For These Times', you can hear the background vocals singing "Can't find nothin' I can put my heart and soul into". But if you listen very closely, you can also hear different backing vocals singing "Cuando será? Un dia será". Sounds very distant and ghostly and you probably won't even notice them unless you know they're there.
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Joost

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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #117 on: January 25, 2010, 02:27:16 PM »

Quote
That sounds almost unbelievable. Why were they rolling while that was happening??! XD
Desper and Dennis were alone in the studio when Dennis got the idea. So he took a hooker off the street, asked Desper to turn the microphones on and did it with her. I have no idea why. I like to think that he passed the bill for the services of the "backing vocalist" to his record company.  ;D
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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #118 on: January 25, 2010, 02:43:31 PM »

Here are The Beach Boys performing Good Vibrations live


Another one. And who's there at 1.40?

The beach boys -good vibrations
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Re: The Beach Boys
« Reply #119 on: January 25, 2010, 11:37:19 PM »

I think that's Stella, Cor.  She went along on the Wings Over America Tour in 1976.
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