As I wrote in my 15 Big Ones summary, my initial reaction to Love You was just absolute delight. Confused delight, maybe, but delight. The idiotic, anachronistic, incompetent lyrics worked into the mostly ugly--yet memorable--music really tickled me. And it still does.
I do think the best of these songs would have been hits or classics in a different era. Something like "The Night Was So Young," for example, recorded in the '60s on natural instruments and sung by less damaged throats could absolutely have had more broad appeal. Others are more puzzling regardless of context, but give me "Johnny Carson," "Ding Dang," and "Solar System" any day. I love them.
"Good Time" is another absolute favorite song of mine; shame poor Al keeps sticking out like a (long-since recorded) sore thumb though.
Sadly three of the final four songs are crap. Drop "Airplane," "Love is a Woman," and "Let's Put Our Hearts Together" and I'm a much happier man.
The Beach Boys Love You [Brother/Reprise, 1977] Painfully crackpot and painfully sung, but also inspired, not least because it calls forth forbidden emotions. For a surrogate teenager to bare his growing pains so guilelessly was exciting, or at least charming; for an avowed adult to expose an almost childish naivete is embarrassing, but also cathartic; and for a rock and roll hero to compose a verbally and musically irresistible paean to Johnny Carson is an act of shamanism pure and simple. As with Wild Honey, the music sounds wrong in contradictory ways at first--both arty and cute, spare and smarmy--but on almost every cut it comes together soon enough; I am especially partial to the organ textures, and I find the absurd little astrology ditty, "Solar System," impossible to shake. As for the words, well, they're often pretty silly, but even (especially) when they're designed to appeal to whatever Brian imagines to be the rock audience they reveal a lot more about the artist than most lyrics do. And this artist is a very interesting case. A
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