Author Topic: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums  (Read 457 times)

Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« on: May 19, 2017, 01:21:20 pm »
This thread has probably been done a whole bunch of times, but I'm pretty confused over which ones to check out.

So firstly the ones I do know:
There seems to be a lot of mixed opinion on Surf's Up. Some dreadful songs on it and better ones that were left unreleased, but more than anything else I find it suffers hugely from the fact that there are such better versions of that song available now. The album just about pulls through from the Carl songs and Til I Die (another song that feels like there was potentially a far better cut of it somewhere).

I kind of love The Beach Boys Love You, with it's incredibly naff cover and synths. In a lot of ways it feels like the closest Brian got to some of the strongest aspects of Pet Sounds, he's pretty much spent but there's definitely still something there.


and questions about the ones I dont:
So Sunflower seems to be the one everyone can agree on being fairly good? I haven't heard it yet but there's something about the whole vibe it gives off that seems depressingly unambitious, would be that right?

Holland is meant to be okay, I gather? Really can't be arsed having heard that thing from Brian at the end though.

Wild Honey just feels like a kind of a nothing album to me, but I'm interested in hearing arguments for it. The fact so many reviews are like "such a short album shat out so quickly has no right being this not awful" probably makes me a bit less willing to take it in.

...and I assume Smiley Smile is just not worth bothering with nowadays?

SteveDave

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Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 01:35:37 pm »
Holland is the winner for me with Wild Honey a close second.

Holland has The Trader which is a masterpiece by Carl

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3udOtr6U84

Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 01:36:09 pm »
Everything they released from 1965 to 1977 is essential, bar a few songs (most of those on 15 Big Ones).

Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 02:36:45 pm »
These are just my opinions:

Smiley Smile is great for the vocals alone, and is an eccentric gem. It's obviously very low-key, but I find it lovely and calming.

Wild Honey is a little difficult to be fully enthusiastic about as it kind of lacks personality, but Country Air and Let the Wind Blow are haunting and wonderful.

Friends has Brian pretty much back in the driving seat and is another low-key effort with a really warm, friendly vibe. Individual songs don't really stand out for me, but the record is more than the sum of its parts. Awful final track, though.

20/20 is a more lively effort, with more full-bodied production. Lots of highlights and great tracks but feels very thrown together.

Sunflower is commonly held to be a triumph, but it sounds a little too MOR to me. Begins with the fantastic one-two punch of Slip on Through and This Whole World but it's a mixed bag from there on. Tears in the Morning is awful, sappy shit. And I've never held Forever in particularly high regard either, though it's not bad.

Surf's Up is an album where Side one is mostly guff and Side two is mostly transcendent. Some of the best music they ever made is on there. A Day in the Life of a Tree is so affectingly fragile.

Carl and the Passions is solid. More of a live band feeling, with lots of great singalong hooks. Similar to Wild Honey, in that it's solidly likeable but not in the interesting way you might expect from the group. Still, it's an intriguing change in direction.

Holland is a bit more ambitious and retains the 'actually playing as a solid unit' feeling but I find it difficult to like. The California Saga leaves me cold and the rest of it sounds a bit muddy. Some of the songs would sound much better on the In Concert album released the same year. The Brian Wilson fairytale thing included as an appendage is just deeply depressing and faintly disturbing.

15 Big Ones is a crock of shit with only the chirpy It's OK and That Same Song as redeeming features. There's honking noises all over the album, it's dreadful. Manages to feel both overproduced and underproduced at the same time.

Love You is pure personality and eccentricity and is therefore delightful. The songwriting is top-notch and Brian's introspective touches are back. It feels very authentic and heartfelt, even in the sillier moments. Brian's voice is fucked at this point, but he sings with great feeling. So many great songs and musical ideas on it, it's hard to pick a highlight.

Their music went right off a fucking cliff after that. Even the reunion album is bland and sterile.

Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 02:54:30 pm »
Sunflower is decent enough. Certainly the pick of the post Smile stuff anyway IMHO, particularly Dennis' contributions.
You could probably make a good compilation of Dennis' Beach Boys songs.

Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 05:30:47 pm »
Track down the Steve Desper mix (actually a decoded surround mix) of Sunflower. It might be one of the best sounding pop records ever.

Sparers

  • He searched hither, as well as yon.
Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 09:08:10 pm »
Had a massive binge on 66-79 Beach Boys albums and singles recently. Got everything on vinyl from Pet Sounds to L.A (Light Album). All apart from 15 Big Ones are ace. Even got a copy of the disco Here Comes The Night



Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 03:47:18 am »
Sweet.

Penus

Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2017, 04:15:23 am »
You would have to be a fucking complete and total maniac to not adore Forever. What a fucking song. It's hard to choose a Beach Boys tune that comes anything like halfway as close to being as beautiful as Forever for me, personally. Thank god for Dennis.

Porter Dimi

  • The artist formerly known as Subtle Mocking
Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2017, 04:37:49 pm »
...and I assume Smiley Smile is just not worth bothering with nowadays?

Heresy! It's a wonderful little album. Perhaps their strangest, but it's hard not to see the influence it might have had on modern lo-fi psychedelic stuff, yer Animal Collectives and such. Don't ignore it.

Friends, Sunflower, Surf's Up and Holland are all great, with only one or two naff tracks among them. Carl and the Passions is a bit all over the place but it has the stunning 'All This is That'. 20/20 and Wild Honey are pleasant but unremarkable, and I really don't get on with 15 Big Ones and Love You (that's not to say that they're bad albums - just not my cup of tea).

the science eel

  • achieving an iconoclastic micro-stiffy
Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2017, 05:19:54 pm »
Wild Honey is a little difficult to be fully enthusiastic about as it kind of lacks personality, but Country Air and Let the Wind Blow are haunting and wonderful.

- and don't forget the title track, 'Darlin'' and 'Here Comes The Night'! all fired-up, irresistible pop.

Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2017, 06:05:17 pm »
Got these on 2 lps on 1 cd late 90's early 2000s. Used to listen to Smiley Smile/ Wild Honey and Friends / 20/20 a lot and really enjoyed them ( never really played the others enough to get into them). Imagine they would be a hard sell to people who just know the early singles or even Pet Sounds. Nice little curio's / ' lo-fi' albums I used to think of them as.Will have to give them a listen again.

Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2017, 06:09:20 pm »
Got these on 2 lps on 1 cd late 90's early 2000s. Used to listen to Smiley Smile/ Wild Honey and Friends / 20/20 a lot and really enjoyed them ( never really played the others enough to get into them). Imagine they would be a hard sell to people who just know the early singles or even Pet Sounds. Nice little curio's / ' lo-fi' albums I used to think of them as.Will have to give them a listen again.

Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2017, 08:01:30 pm »
Less than two minutes of fab rocking fluff and fun from the Wild Honey album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsL3vycdKFg&sns=fb

Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2017, 11:20:34 pm »
'Darlin''

After GOK*, that's my favourite Carl vocal.

*there's an acronym I'll be using more!

Sparers

  • He searched hither, as well as yon.
Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2017, 01:48:25 am »
From The Avalanches Breezeblock mix. Matchpoint Of Our Love
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-I3DPmwlPIg

Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2017, 09:17:22 am »
Heresy! It's a wonderful little album. Perhaps their strangest, but it's hard not to see the influence it might have had on modern lo-fi psychedelic stuff, yer Animal Collectives and such. Don't ignore it.
All of that stuff was from a time before there being easily available amazing versions of Smile though. It's surely at best a curioso, some weird alternative cuts of songs that were meant for something completely different?

Got these on 2 lps on 1 cd late 90's early 2000s. Used to listen to Smiley Smile/ Wild Honey and Friends / 20/20 a lot and really enjoyed them ( never really played the others enough to get into them). Imagine they would be a hard sell to people who just know the early singles or even Pet Sounds. Nice little curio's / ' lo-fi' albums I used to think of them as.Will have to give them a listen again.
One of the others was Sunflower/Surf's Up!

Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2017, 02:55:43 pm »

One of the others was Sunflower/Surf's Up!
[/quote]
Ha  yeah , just di do muh for me , will give that one a listen


Re: Post-Smile Beach Boys albums
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2017, 05:00:55 pm »
Flippin' 'eck lads

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/beach-boys-unearth-rare-songs-for-sunshine-tomorrow-set-w483761

Holy shit.

Quote
Along with Smiley Smile alternate takes, disc two of Sunshine Tomorrow boasts the Beach Boys' previously unreleased "live" album, Lei'd in Hawaii.