Did someone forget to vote? Looks like a Surf's Up vote is missing from the poll.
For me, this is automatic - Sunflower. I'll be shocked if my position ever changes on this. Less Dennis and Brian, more Rieley? No thanks, and that's just for starters. And, while I'm not quite as high on Sunflower as I used to be, it's still vying for my top 5. Surf's Up, on the other hand, has dropped significantly. I still rate it a high 7/10, to put things in perspective, but I'd probably have to go back to Shut Down Vol. II or forward to MIU to find an album I find less satisfying. And, in the case of Shut Down Vol. II, the highs are higher ("Don't Worry Baby", "Fun Fun Fun", "The Warmth of the Sun", and "Keep An Eye On Summer"), it's just that the lowers are that much lower. It might be the Beach Boys most uneven album.
By the way, I recently poured over the lyrics of Sunflower and...there's not much there. Not a shock or anything, but a little disappointing. To share a highlight, though, using the title of "Our Sweet Love" to function as both completing the last line of the verse and beginning the chorus is a nice little trick. So...
[There's nothing in this world like [our sweet love] could last forever]
But then you got the pretentious hippy lyrics of "It's About Time" which eerily foreshadow the Rieley era.
Post by Sheriff John Stone on Aug 6, 2020 23:24:02 GMT
I thought I/we recently discussed this/these two albums.
They're both good albums and both overrated. Two prime examples of how shifting/adding/subtracting two or three songs could've catapulted these two albums into all-timers. Many fans already believe they are! Only The Beach Boys could go from four Dennis Wilson-penned songs (and good ones at that) to none. Or, to go from an enthusiastic Brian Wilson to a Brian Wilson who made only cameo appearances. Sunflower is consistently better. Surf's Up took more chances. Sunflower sounds like The Beach Boys. Surf's Up sounds pretentious. What, they weren't happy with their direction AFTER Sunflower and felt the need to go along with Jack Rieley? Well, I guess it worked commercially and critically. I'll take Sunflower most of the time, but I need "A Day In The Life Of A Tree" and "Til I Die" more than I need any of the Sunflower songs except maybe "This Whole World". Yeah, Sunflower I guess.
Dislike highs in the either album. To be frank, when I listened to Sunflower the very initial time, "This Whole World" didn't impress. Ditto "Forever", "Till I Die". But, to dis-shock everybody, I didn't like weaks "Our Sweet Love", "Got To Know The Woman" etc. Nice balance, eh?
Thus, difficult to choose, each being really polarizing. Nevertheless, went with Surf's Up. Who can tell, maybe it's better.
Post by The Cincinnati Kid on Dec 17, 2020 14:58:11 GMT
After giving members four months to break the tie, this poll with close with each album getting four votes each.
Next up, we have a battle between the band's two most polarizing albums, Love You and Smiley Smile (KDS will love this!). Both albums came on the heels of major commercial success, but both disappointed on the charts and critically at the time. These days, both albums are praised among certain groups of the fan base, especially Love You.
I think Love You is the better album in terms of its cohesion. It sounds of a piece, even with the years-old "Good Time" (the goofiness of which fits in alongside the other weird goings-on).
But it doesn't have anything as good as the standout songs on Smiley Smile, "Good Vibrations" and "Heroes and Villains." However, the dropoff on SS between high points and low points--hell, between high points and medium-high points--is far more substantial. And even the H&V that was included wasn't the best possible H&V...
My initial thought is to give the edge to Love You. Frankly I enjoy it much more, which might mean this is an easy decision not worth overthinking. But it does feel strange not favoring the album that has an undeniably great, historically iconic song.
Another thing Smiley Smile has going for it is pristine Beach Boys vocals. In the past, this would have been a no-brainer in favor of Love You, but the gap is closing (in both directions). That said, I still prefer Love You as there's simply more there to love (14 tracks to 11, 1 fragment to 2). Not to mention, as Kapitan pointed out, it's far more cohesive.
I guess I'll give the nod to Love You. With the GV and H&V available on various compilations, Smiley Smile is pretty much the most useless album in my BB collection. I can't listen to Mona or The Night Was So Young on Sounds of Summer.
Smiley Smile all the way, it's one of my favorite Beach Boys albums and a very special one to me. And I don't like Love You that much, there are a few moments on the album I can enjoy but most of it doesn't make up my mind
Post by Sheriff John Stone on Dec 18, 2020 12:48:16 GMT
An interesting one.
Smiley Smile has some of the best Beach Boys' vocals ever; Love You has some of the worst. Other than that, the two albums are more similar than you think. They are both very, very Brian - at that particular time in his career. He did exactly what HE wanted to do, and it cost the Beach Boys' career greatly. They never quite recovered in 1967, and they never quite recovered in 1977 (though 15 Big Ones had a lot to do with that). They are both strange albums; maybe quirky is more accurate. Many - not all but many - Beach Boys' diehards like these albums; the general listening public rejected them. I think Brian likes both of the albums.
I don't like Smiley Smile, and it's not because it was the "substitute" for SMiLE, or even that the songs were drastically changed around. I can live with the strangeness and quirkiness. I get it...I think. I think I know what Brian was attempting. I'm just not sure he totally pulled it off, IMO of course. Smiley Smile is all over the place, musically, lyrically, and production-wise. Maybe poorly assembled is a better description. "Good Vibrations" (especially), "Heroes And Villains", and "Gettin' Hungry" don't exactly mesh with the rest. And, yes, I do somewhat mourn what Brian did to the SMiLE songs. It's one thing to change them, but did he improve them? Not to me.
The Beach Boys Love is one of my favorite Beach Boys' albums. It is firmly entrenched right below Pet Sounds and SMiLE, sitting nicely with Today! 14 Brian Wilson songs. Most of them composed around the same time (not over the course of nearly a year a la Smiley Smile). Catchy, lively, emotional, and customarily quirky. It is a musical snapshot of Brian Wilson in late 1976, and that was a very interesting snapshot. It's a pop album, with barely a guitar in site, yet it's also a rock & roll album. Brian pulled that off. The sad part of Love You? Brian was only a few months away of improving his voice/vocals significantly, and I will always wish he would've recorded his vocals THEN.
lonelysummer: Shoot, i gave up on new music in the 90's.
Sept 18, 2021 2:18:38 GMT
Kapitan: Anyone want to kick off the next year's music to discuss? Pick anything except 1976, 1963, 1989, 2002, or 2010.
Sept 18, 2021 11:22:42 GMT
Kapitan: If not, I'll post a new one later today.
Sept 18, 2021 11:25:26 GMT
jk: Sounds good to me, Cap'n.
Sept 18, 2021 11:50:32 GMT
carllove: If you want to pick one today, I can do one Monday. Gotta start getting ready to power wash my deck this morning! Did get my thoughts in on 2010 this morning. Rough year!
Sept 18, 2021 13:04:24 GMT
carllove: Actually Kapitan, my husband is still sleeping, so I will choose a year this morning. It will be 1972.
Sept 18, 2021 13:14:07 GMT
B.E.: '63-72 - not just the best years for the Beach Boys but for popular music.
Sept 18, 2021 13:25:18 GMT
Kapitan: Great year for music!
Sept 18, 2021 14:34:33 GMT