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what is the best Beach Boys album?
but I'd put 'Beach Boys Today!' and 'Sunflower' as the next best two.
And 'SMiLE' if you count that as a kind of beach boys release.
has the bleakest album cover of all time too I dont know what they were thinking
is sold as a twofer with Sunflower, makes that a pretty great Beach Boys cd to get.
Surf's Up would be a whole lot better if it didn't have student demonstration time on it.
Surf's Up contains some of their best stuff, you can really hear where Super Furry Animals got a lot of their sound from, but it also contains their 2 worst songs by a mile (Disney Girls and Student Demonstration Time) so can't be counted as a perfect album.
Disney Girls is great.
For the climate at the time it's a remarkably conservative affair. "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times"? Everyone else was out getting laid and fucking shit up and dear old Brian wanted nights in with his mum. It's got its moments, obviously - it is the Beach Boys - but when you consider what was going on in '66 it seems like a frightened response to things they didn't understand.
Removed from all of that it's better and the legacy will always remain, and I'd much rather a record actually have something like this within that can lead to thought and debate, but I can't hear the record now without comparing it to contemporary music.
i'd say there was a lot of drug taking and partying going on amongst the beach boys at that point. The sentiment of 'i wasn't made for these times' is more to do with brian wilson's creativity and need to innovate and push the boundries musically being stifled by those around him and his own paranoia.
At that point, with Pet Sounds, Good Vibrations, and the smile sessions, the Beach Boys were pretty much leading the way musically.
but i think lyrically (at least the Brian Wilson songs) they reveal a lot of discomfort with everything that was going on.
i'm not sure i see Brian Wilson as 'avantgarde'... by 1966 the Beach Boys sound was remarkably traditional if you look at what was happening within jazz and rock music had taken on yet more of the youth rebellion aspect that'd been present since the 50s. The Beach Boys didn't have any of that.
I like the Beach Boys, but most of my preferred stuff isn't the Brian-dominant work...
but it goes without saying that everyone's experiences in the music scene of the 1960's would have been different. It doesn't have to be one collective zeitgeist of partying and drug taking. Some people (like brian wilson) wouldn't have been suited to that, and any discomfort expressed on Pet Sounds is just as relevant to the times as say, Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix.
Also, if you listen to the bootleg tapes available of the Smile sessions, there's some pretty avantgarde stuff going on. But the label and people around brian shelved it (as well as his own personal problems).
and i've not listened to any other Beach Boys stuff in so long i'm having trouble remembering it; you'll have to bear with me because i'm mostly trying to provoke some debate.
i'm not one to defend hippies and baby boomers and their horrible self-indulgence; but there's something rather wussy about Brian Wilson's attitude to the 60s and his opting out of all of that shit when he could've confronted that whole scene head on, especially when you consider the kind of people on the periphery of the Beach Boys and their social circles. Rather than becoming a critic of it, the lyrics and style of Pet Sounds now seem to me like a man retreating into the past rather than facing up to the future.
the main theme appears to be that Brian Wilson (and this record is all Brian, ultimately; he had the final say on everything) is uncomfortable with aging and becoming an adult, and would rather look back to the comfort of childhood. The songs contain no attempts to understand or challenge this new world, more a cowardly desire to curl up and hide from it all. There's no fight to it, and this at a time in American history when fighting for rights and beliefs was at the forefront.
The negativity of the lyrical content is rather striking in terms of the general sound of the record and the style, but the simpering nature of it all doesn't make it an enjoyable listen.
don't bring the instrumentation into this, that's obviously brilliant and i'm not disputing that at all. this is hardly black and white, is it? i'm trying to stimulate some debate as to the content of the album. this isn't a personal dig at you and your beliefs, as much as you seem to want it to be.
then it's clear why he wrote along the themes he did. He sounds pretty much impossible as a person.
it's all very understandable. i'm being contrary for the most part because i like getting people to debate these things.
i do think it's a great record and any record that can inspire a decent amount of thought/debate is worthwhile certainly. there aren't many pop albums you'd be able to discuss like this.
Or not sat and listened to it, anyway.
for sunflower/surfs up next, then so tough/holland or smiley smile/wild honey. trouble with the beach boys is that some amazing stuff is spread right through all their albums.....with quite a lot of guff too..... if not get the good vibrations boxset, it's a great round up (if not digitally remastered)
is about feeling too far ahead of everyone, not behind. Brian Wilson is a guy who essentially destroyed himself in a effort to transcend and push on from what was around him. if you want to hear retreat and fear, it's so obviously there in the post-Smile work ('Friends' is probably the biggest example of music as comfort food) that to pick out Pet Sounds beggars belief.
Summer Days & Summer Nights for awesome naive pop stuff like Help Me Rhonda, Then I Kissed her and Girl Don't Tell Me (clearly the best song ever...)
and Surf's Up for woozy weirdness like Long Promised Road and Feel Flows... But NOT Student Demo Time :(
I was led to believe it was up there with all of those ultra music defining albums made in the 60s (Revolver, Doors, Piper At The Gates..., Highway 61, etc.) but I was ultimately underwhelmed.
That's not to say I don't like them. In fact I'd say they were one of my favourite bands. They make me happy like no other band. But I'm worried that if that album apparently stands high above the others, then the others won't be much cop at all.
I think the rest of the American stuff at that time was streets ahead of Pet Sounds. 'Parsley Sage...' by Simon & Garfunkel, 'Younger Than Yesterday' by The Byrds, and obviously what Dylan was doing.
before hearing an album. But as has been said, it's best not to think of Pet Sounds as a 60's album, with all the perceptions and expectations that come with it. It's just great timeless music that could exist anywhere.
And even if Pet Sounds isn't your thing, all of the other albums mentioned above are well worth checking out, all good in their own ways. As are the solo albums - Pacific Ocean Blue by Dennis Wilson, and SMiLE by Brian Wilson. Plenty of great music all round really.
Is the one for me. Nice, back to R&B basics. Plus the Beach Boys Party album is pretty cool.
Is great. A really solid twofer, even with the troubling 'All dressed up for school' on it.