Author Topic: The beach boys!!!  (Read 9700 times)

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cine

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The beach boys!!!
« Reply #60 on: October 06, 2005, 02:23:31 AM »
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revisionist weirdo..

Lottery

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Re: The beach boys!!!
« Reply #61 on: May 14, 2014, 06:25:30 AM »
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Okay, the last post in this thread was before the Smile Sessions were released.


Anyway, for most of my life, I've thought The Beach Boys were lame. And that's pretty true, they've released a whole bunch of rubbish and they've never really been too consistent for me. We look at The Beatles who released very catchy pop rock ditties before releasing a series of masterpieces from around 1965 onwards (that said, they both had mindless pop phases before striking gold). However there was a time when Brian Wilson and friends (but mainly Brian Wilson) were creating very special music. I think the Beach Boys are part of a story based on unfulfilled potential.

I don't think I'll ever love the whole thing but Pet Sounds was a rather dramatic achievement. Wilson's approach to arranging songs is really fantastic to think about and on top of that, some of the tracks have a great hidden ambience- the actual reverb and sense of space in the sound is incredible. Consider Caroline No, arguably the best track on the album- the echoey percussion and the relatively uncluttered arrangement. It's pretty great.

But the main point of this post was the Smile Sessions. Over the last few weeks I've been listening to some Pet Sounds but mostly a whole lot of the Smile Sessions. Unfinished failure or not, I think if you take out one or two songs it's kinda almost a masterpiece. More often than not, the songs benefit from their oddly structured and edited nature. It's quirky, unconventional but brilliant. There's a greater sense of contrast on this album than Pet Sounds, where the happy and sad came together rather smoothly. It's on this album where I can reconcile the sunshiney-ness and major chordiness of the Beach Boys with the actual genius behind the music.

I'm happy that this wasn't completed back in the 60s, I'm glad that fans had to listen to various iterations of the thing before finally reaching this stage. I imagine if this was completed when it was supposed to, it may have lost its haphazard charm. The Sessions are supposed to be an effort at reconstruction but it's not exactly quite there. It's not perfect, few albums are (even Abbey Road has its errors). What I'm sad about is that Brian Wilson never got to continue with his vision, he never had the support he really needed and the project was probably too much of a challenge for him. It's possible that the best of Brian Wilson was yet to come. You hear the stories of him driving along with a friend and hearing Strawberry Fields Forever and saying 'The Beatles got there first'. The Beatles were formidable rivals but they had the total support of almost everyone, Wilson didn't have that (not to mention the drugs).
But at the very least we should be happy we have the colourful mess that is The Smile Sessions.




On another note, I'm not convinced Good Vibrations belongs on the album.

tpfkabi

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Re: The beach boys!!!
« Reply #62 on: May 14, 2014, 06:27:17 PM »
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I was so huge into the Smile Sessions always hoping for a magical box set.
Then it was announced. I ordered it through Canada because it was cheaper than the US Amazon even with shipping costs.
Got the thing, and I haven't even listened to the discs outside of the main album one.
I think it's because I had just listened to any fragment I could get for so long, I don't feel I could hear anything new.
I got into it back when Napster was still a thing, so I would search for every fragment.
I think someone made their own mix of the mythical full length double sided single version of Heroes & Villains, but I didn't know it was fan made. It was pretty cool. I think they just used what was available at the time - stuff from Good Vibrations box set where they first officially released Smile era stuff.
My favorite album is Radiohead - OK Computer.
2 is The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

Smile Sessions may be my favorite recordings though.

I couldn't understand everyone loosing their lid over the Fleet Foxes when their debut came out. To me, it seemed they made a band sound derived from Cabin Essence. I came around later on FF with Helplessness Blues though.

There comes a point where you've experienced a piece of art so much that it becomes hard to really feel it anymore.
It's sorta like when you're driving and talk on the phone, and you get off and you can't really remember the driving part of the experience. Your brain splits in two sorta. Last time I watched PDL it was kinda like this.

The Beach Boys make it hard to be a fan though. It seems every 2 days they put out a new box set and every one has some 'new' tracks that 'you just got to hear.' It's like when baseball cards killed themselves by producing too many types. It gets to a point where you can't possibly keep up with it, so you just give up totally.
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Lottery

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Re: The beach boys!!!
« Reply #63 on: May 14, 2014, 07:08:07 PM »
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Yeah, I pretty much only have interest in the main album. Outside Smile and some of Pet Sounds, I can't say I'm a particularly big fan of The Beach Boys. If at all really, the story of the band is often more interesting than the music.

And I never understood the brilliance behind Fleet Foxes either, they had a few good tracks and did the cool harmony thing but I couldn't get into either of their so-called masterpieces.

tpfkabi

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Re: The beach boys!!!
« Reply #64 on: May 14, 2014, 07:55:44 PM »
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There are some good songs spread out through the post Pet Sounds albums.
A lot of the mostly complete songs from the Smile sessions made it onto albums in basically the same form, or completely different. Sometimes they would add unneeded stuff to them.

When I was getting into it, I bought a few of the two-fers that would have 2 albums on one CD and then usually some bonus tracks. The Sunflower/Surf's Up two-fer was the latest album I got. There are some great gems/non-singles pre-Pet Sounds, too. Stuff like Your Summer Dream blows me away and I don't know if it ever makes their compilations.

I was just wondering the other day if Mad Men brings in a Manson type, if they will also have a Dennis Wilson type.
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