Tag Archive for 'The-Beach-Boys'

Top 10 Favorite Beach Boys Songs

What more can be said about The Beach Boys?

Brian Wilson was a genius. It’s a fact. Dennis was significantly more talented than any idiot critic could understand. Carl had the soul. And Mike Love, well he was just a dick. And no one is really sure what Al Jardine actually did.

Why Pet Sounds wasn’t larger than life is still beyond me. And why Smile has never been officially released as it was originally intended is beyond me. It’s simply a mystery of the world.

  1. Cabin Essence (20/20)
  2. Heros & Villians (Smiley Smile)
  3. Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Pet Sounds)
  4. California Girls (Summer Days [And Nights])
  5. Wild Honey (Wild Honey)
  6. Do You Wanna Dance? (Today!)
  7. Friends (Friends)
  8. Do It Again (20/20)
  9. Vegetables (Smiley Smile)
  10. Good Vibrations (Smiley Smile)

Continue reading ‘Top 10 Favorite Beach Boys Songs’

A Teenage Symphony To God: Smile

This will be the first and last time I post about Brian Wilson’s Smile record. I do want to continue a successful marriage. 😉

So, since having finally heard Brian Wilson’s Smile project (not to be confused with a different Beach Boys record called Smiley Smile) from 1966 that was never really officially released in it’s original form, I have been quite interested (if not obsessed) with it as a whole.

What first blew me away with Smile was the simple fact that is was at it’s purest element, a concept album. Yeah, I know that’s a loaded word. And sure there have been concept records in the past – Brian wasn’t inventing something new. Frank Zappa has had a few. Guns n’ Roses’ Illusion records, The Who’s Tommy, Coltrane’s Interstellar Space. I could go on and on. My point here is that with the later mentions of concept albums, each piece could be considered a song by itself and would make sense as-is without the record as a whole. With Smile the record was broken up in to three movements. I won’t get in to the details, however. Each song could not be understood nor comprehended with out the surrounding songs in context. That, to me, clearly documents what I believe to be a true concept album. It’s an idea that the whole needs to be intact, in order to be understood. The elements alone are sort-of random and non-sequitor, per se. Of course, it’s just my opinion and other people, I am sure, will disagree about my statements. It’s their right as a music listener. It’s what makes music wonderful and enjoyable to talk about and hear.

It’s hard to understand this without first hearing the record, I know. You can hear most of the Smile sessions if you bought to 4 (or 5) disc box set the Beach Boys put out in the 90s. I don’t really recommend Brian Wilson’s re-recording of it as a start as it’s newly recorded and very polished sounding. Brian strangely hits all the notes when in the past years he struggled to hit them. It’s just not the same with the modern production. Still it’s pretty good, but the ’66 unreleased version is clearly and notably different. Better if you ask me. If you are lucky and just a bit clever, you can do a little digging around and might find a copy laying around somewhere to download. There are plenty of versions of this little record put together by fans as they interpreted the setlist to be. Vigotone and Purple Chick’s versions are the ones I hear are the best.

I only ask that everyone hears this record at some point in their life, regardless of your preconceived notions with the Beach Boys. Come on over. We’ll listen to it together and talk about it. I am serious. I ask you to take me up on it. It’s something to be heard.

In conclusion and on the simplest level possible, it’s a glimmer at the idea that Brian Wilson wanted to write about more than just “surfing, girls and cars” without being held back by certain members of his band. It’s a record to be listened to and it will always hold a special place in my heart, as cheesy as that sounds.

The Unfortunate Habits of the Musically Obsessed.

Mat has been operating federal transportation programs incognito in the Deep South this week so I felt I had to fulfill my wifely duty of poking around while he’s gone. And in doing such, I found evidence of a sickness I merely had an inkling about.

Symptom: Mat’s listening habits.

For the last week, he has listened to The Beach Boys 233 times. 233 times. Additionally, he has listened to Dennis Wilson 34 times. By contrast, the man he holds in such high regard that we named our (girl) dog after him, Mr. Frank Zappa, sits sadly at #7 with 7 plays. And the Artist whose picture is framed and displayed proudly on top of our china cabinet is at the bottom of the heap with a pathetic 5 plays.

So we’re talking about a combined total of 267 times that he voluntarily, consciously pressed the PLAY button to listen to the blondies from Orange County that not only launched the musical career of John Stamos but gave life to Wilson Phillips. That means he’s essentially listened to a complete Beach Boys album four times a day, every day, for a week.

Now since I have had no choice but to partake in some of this (i.e. Beach Boys while making dinner, Beach Boys while eating dinner, Beach Boys while talking about the Beach Boys after dinner, Beach Boys in the car, Beach Boys walking to the Metro, Beach Boys before bed, Beach Boys IN bed), I initially grew to have a much greater appreciation for their music than I had ever had before. I found myself singing about “my favorite vegetables” in the shower, in the car, getting dressed, to my best friend’s daughter.

But when he left on Sunday and Marlo came over for dinner, I asked her what she would like to listen to. She unwittingly said: “Oh just hit play and we’ll listen to whatever’s in there”.

But I knew better. I opened the CD player and what do we have? Beach Boys. I pulled the record off the turntable and what do we have? Beach Boys. And what came in the mail from Landon this week? Beach Boys. And what do you think he’s been downloading to the iPod? Beach Boys.

Antidote: The Cure.