The Beach Boys



The Beach Boys

Postby N2yes » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:00 am

Never a big fan of theirs, but I cannot deny what is the truth. All-American material with vocals and harmonies that were just amazing. Their pop leanings really didin't do it for me, but God they could sing!!!!!!!!!! To boot, I have to admit, some of their tunes were pretty 'catchy'. I am not going to immortalize them but if any of you are fans, please don't hesitate and post your feelings of a positive vibe.
These guys rode the wave of early American rock n' roll and I will not deny them that credit which they righteously deserve.
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Re: The Beach Boys

Postby happytheman » Sun Aug 26, 2007 11:30 pm

N2yes wrote:Never a big fan of theirs, but I cannot deny what is the truth. All-American material with vocals and harmonies that were just amazing. Their pop leanings really didin't do it for me, but God they could sing!!!!!!!!!! To boot, I have to admit, some of their tunes were pretty 'catchy'. I am not going to immortalize them but if any of you are fans, please don't hesitate and post your feelings of a positive vibe.
These guys rode the wave of early American rock n' roll and I will not deny them that credit which they righteously deserve.

I own one Beach Boy album "Endless Summer" but could sing just about every song of theirs that comes on the radio. They did what they did extremely well. And of course they covered every "teenager topic" imaginable (girls, cars, girls, cars, did I mention girls? Tis a shame what with the breakdown of their leader's mental health. Almost a mirror of the Syd Barrett story.
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Re: The Beach Boys

Postby sound_chaser » Sat May 17, 2008 7:43 pm

If you’re of a certain age (and when Yes came to prominence in 1970 and you were a teenager, is about the age I’m talking about.) then you’ll probably remember that The Beach Boys were a band whose time had well and truly past. I certainly thought that, even though I couldn’t deny a love of the classic singles when they came on the radio. But they were no longer serious contenders and in some way, the same fate be felled them, as be felled Yes when punk came along in late 1976.

I was certainly no fan and back then, could not have imagined a situation in which I would become one, let alone fall head over heals in love with the music and the legend of the band. But that time would come, although, admittedly, it wouldn’t be until the early nineties. The Beatles had also fallen from favour to some extent by the time the eighties became the nineties. But as the new decade began, there seemed to be a reappraisal of rock and roll history and who were the true defining bands. For The Beatles, that reappraisal would come with the Anthology series, as well as the advent of Britpop, in which bands like Oasis championed the Fabs for the pop geniuses that they were.

And for me, this reappraisal corresponded with a desire to dig back into history to discover, to do my knowledge and seek out the real classic albums: which brought me pretty quickly to The Beach Boys. I was a regular subscriber to first Q and then, Mojo magazines. It was in one of those magazines that I read an interview with Paul McCartney. He talked about The Beach Boys, and Brian Wilson in particular, with a reverence that I found unnerving, because I had long written them of as has-beens. But McCartney spoke in awe of the God Only Knows single and also of the album it came from, Pet Sounds, which he described as his favourite album of all time.

I was very wary of buying the album, not least because it had such a naff cover! But I did get over my prejudices and finally went into a record shop, sometime in 1992 I’m thinking, and bought the damn thing. On first listen, I can quite clearly remember being disappointed, as the album as a whole sounded pretty dated. But, it’s McCartney’s favourite I thought, so I endeavoured to persevere. On the second listen, I was also not that impressed, but the songs were more familiar now. On the third listen…musical epiphany…nothing less! I was absolutely stunned at the sublime beauty of the song-writing, the playing, the lead vocals, the harmonies, the whole damn thing!

My God, did I go overboard on The Beach Boys: when I finally got them, I really got them! From Pet Sounds, I went backwards and forwards through their albums and from then onto the solo albums. I fell in love with the whole SMiLE myth and discovered what a fantastic album it would have been, by spending hours putting together on cassette, an approximation of how it would have sounded. It’s no exaggeration that I found The Beach Boys in the same way that some people discover religion. I’d like to share some of that experience with you, but for now, all I’ll say is: If you’ve never heard Pet Sounds before, then just get it: music gets no better than this!
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Re: The Beach Boys

Postby sound_chaser » Sun May 18, 2008 8:16 am

This is how highly I rate Pet Sounds: In my collection, I have literally hundreds and hundreds of albums, in the form of CD, vinyl, cassette and mini-disc. And through friends and the radio, I have heard hundreds more. But of all those albums, most don’t match up to the sheer excellence of Pet Sounds. Quite a few are not too far off. And a rarefied few are as good. But, and I can’t stress this highly enough, I don’t own and have never heard an album that is better. If you’re interested in collecting the landmark albums and don’t own this, then do yourself a favour and get hold of a copy. Live with it for a while…and then bathe in its luxurious aural glow!
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Re: The Beach Boys

Postby Chris2210 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:49 pm

When I first became 'musically aware' (in the sense of searching out music of my own volition, around puberty), The Beatles and The Beach Boys were both 'those old bands'. The reputation of the latter at that time (early 70's) was that they were washed up and a little naff. Their seeming naivete and simplicity (which belied so much) put them out of time.

But my older brother had '20 Golden Greats' and I would spin that myself from time to time. I always loved (and still do) Breakaway, which in my view is an under-celebrated gem. It has those qualities which for me will always make the best of The Beach Boys (particularly Brian Wilson's compositions) amongst those songs I adore as much as any songs from the modern era. It has that incredible beauty of harmony, combined with a wistful longiness that is sad and sublime. There's a deeply spirtual quality about it and it moves me profoundly. There is something about the theme and mood of The Beach Boys which seems to evoke a pure and innocent era that probably never existed in reality. But we could all wish that it did.

As for finding an album that is better than Pet Sounds... I'd cite Smile. Had that been actually released in 1967, I think the history of rock music may have had a subtly different shape. Great, great, great music.
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Re: The Beach Boys

Postby sound_chaser » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:08 pm

Chris2210 wrote:But my older brother had '20 Golden Greats' and I would spin that myself from time to time. I always loved (and still do) Breakaway, which in my view is an under-celebrated gem. It has those qualities which for me will always make the best of The Beach Boys (particularly Brian Wilson's compositions) amongst those songs I adore as much as any songs from the modern era. It has that incredible beauty of harmony, combined with a wistful longiness that is sad and sublime. There's a deeply spirtual quality about it and it moves me profoundly. There is something about the theme and mood of The Beach Boys which seems to evoke a pure and innocent era that probably never existed in reality. But we could all wish that it did.

As for finding an album that is better than Pet Sounds... I'd cite Smile. Had that been actually released in 1967, I think the history of rock music may have had a subtly different shape. Great, great, great music.


Oh yes, you're absolutely right about Breakaway: a song I will never tire of listening to. You're probably right about Smile as well, but have you heard side 2 of their 1965 album Beach Boys Today? It has a suite of ballads that point the way Brian Wilson would go with Pet Sounds. These songs, Please Let Me Wonder, I'm So Young, Kiss Me Baby, She Knows Me Too Well and In The Back Of My Mind, are unbelievably great. Brian Wilson had already written some beautiful ballads with Surfer Girl, The Warmth Of The Sun and In My Room, but the "Today" songs had that emotional fragility he was to realise most clearly on Pet Sounds.
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