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i think when you're talking about this, i can understand it from their earlier work - yes their early stuff has all those influences you said. but, by the time you get to Today! and Summer Days (Summer Nights), and then on to Pet Sounds they've gone well beyond those influences you mentioned - or maybe they just started using more influences like classical music and jazz etc... i don't know - but, nobody else was doing it like them. Also, one thing you can always say about The Beach Boys - when anyone ever says that a band "sounds like the beach boys" you know it's gonna be a good thing. You can't ever say that about people who say such and such sounds like "Dylan/Neil Young/The Rolling Stones/Brian Eno/Especially The Beatles/Prince/Michael Jackson etc...." That's gotta count for something!

 

 

I donno.....there is Dylanesque, Beatlesque, etc. It is true that the Beach Boy sound is unique. I don't dispute that. But then so was Phil Spector's wall of sound etc. Part of what makes the Beach Boys distinctive are the actual voices; the guys in the group (a touch whinny), the reverb, and the harmony.

 

I have been derided for this before, but in general, the Beach Boys are "kids music" whereas most of the other groups you mention (with the exception of early MJ and the very earliest Beatles) is far more adult in nature. Even the untouchable Pet Sounds deals with the trials and tribuations of giving up childhood, not with real adult issues. (Which is why the half throwaway Sloop John B sounds kinda dumb to me, because it has no real feeling for what life must have been like on a sailing ship....it sounds like a lark....) Now that doesn't mean that hearing the Beach Boys isn't an enjoyable experience and that their sound isn't important, its just that you might not want to try and dissect the lyrics because even in the best of songs, the content is childish. But then again who doesn't feel like being a child every once in awhile.

 

LouieB

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I donno.....there is Dylanesque, Beatlesque, etc. It is true that the Beach Boy sound is unique. I don't dispute that. But then so was Phil Spector's wall of sound etc. Part of what makes the Beach Boys distinctive are the actual voices; the guys in the group (a touch whinny), the reverb, and the harmony.

 

I have been derided for this before, but in general, the Beach Boys are "kids music" whereas most of the other groups you mention (with the exception of early MJ and the very earliest Beatles) is far more adult in nature. Even the untouchable Pet Sounds deals with the trials and tribuations of giving up childhood, not with real adult issues. (Which is why the half throwaway Sloop John B sounds kinda dumb to me, because it has no real feeling for what life must have been like on a sailing ship....it sounds like a lark....) Now that doesn't mean that hearing the Beach Boys isn't an enjoyable experience and that their sound isn't important, its just that you might not want to try and dissect the lyrics because even in the best of songs, the content is childish. But then again who doesn't feel like being a child every once in awhile.

 

LouieB

 

what i meant was not that their aren't Dylanesque people or Beatlesque - what i meant was that those Dylanesque & Beatlesque people are 90% of the time bad, whereas i've still yet to hear Beach Boysesque music that is not good. that's what i meant by that.

 

i don't really get the childish thing, i mean i could say Neil Young's lyrics are equally naive most of the time (written down on the page) - it's just a case of whether they express what they want. The Beach Boys aren't as complex as Dylan, but that's not a grown-up thing, and it's interesting that Dylan moved further away from politics etc... within his lyrics when he got older - "i was so much older then, i;m younger than that now" perhaps love songs about girls and dancing and having fun are far more important than all that other miserable crap. also Dylan & Young are certainly far far less complex and grown up musically - so i guess it levels itself out, even if you disagree with the other bit.

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what i meant was not that their aren't Dylanesque people or Beatlesque - what i meant was that those Dylanesque & Beatlesque people are 90% of the time bad, whereas i've still yet to hear Beach Boysesque music that is not good. that's what i meant by that.

 

i don't really get the childish thing, i mean i could say Neil Young's lyrics are equally naive most of the time (written down on the page) - it's just a case of whether they express what they want. The Beach Boys aren't as complex as Dylan, but that's not a grown-up thing, and it's interesting that Dylan moved further away from politics etc... within his lyrics when he got older - "i was so much older then, i;m younger than that now" perhaps love songs about girls and dancing and having fun are far more important than all that other miserable crap. also Dylan & Young are certainly far far less complex and grown up musically - so i guess it levels itself out, even if you disagree with the other bit.

Actually 90% of the the time when people are BBesque they suck too....

 

A few years back I listed the Beach Boys Greatest Hits. Put the content of those songs up against any one of the aforemented groups and you will see what I mean. Maybe singing about cars and girls and being at the beach is more important than the miserable crap that Dylan, Neil Young, later Beatles, the Rolling Stones (Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, etc, Van Morrison, etc.) put out, but the fact is, being miserable is what being an adult is about isn't it? I donno, I have been an adult for quite some time and what those guys write about is more what my life is about than the Beach Boys. It doesn't make it better or worse (to drop the value judgements....), but put California Girls (a song I just heard a couple hours ago) up against Like A Rolling Stone and there simply is no comparison. And both were written by guys in their 20s (about the same age) and were on the charts at exactly the same time. One is a kind of stupid song about girls and the other is one of (if not THE greatest) rock song of all time reflecting a deep poetic sense and a high degree of alienation.

 

LouieB

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well ok. we're never gonna agree on this.

i think comparing california girls with like a rolling stone is not really fair. if you compare god only knows to like a rolling stone then at least you're talking about what a lot of people would call their best songs.

what are the bad bands that sound like the beach boys?

Fleet Foxes...(just kidding...half....)

 

Even putting up God only knows next to Like a Rolling Stone doesn't cut it.

 

GOD ONLY KNOWS (Beach Boys)

 

I may not always love you

But long as there are stars above you

You never need to doubt it

I'll make you so sure about it

God only knows what I'd be without you

 

If you should ever leave me

Though life would still go on, believe me

The world could show nothing to me

So what good would livin' do me

God only knows what I'd be without you

 

God only knows what I'd be without you

 

If you should ever leave me

Though life would still go on, believe me

The world could show nothing to me

So what good would livin' do me

God only knows what I'd be without you

 

God only knows what I'd be without you

 

If you should ever leave me

Though life would still go on, believe me

The world could show nothing to me

So what good would livin' do me

 

God only knows what I'd be without you... (fade)

 

Once upon a time you dressed so fine

You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you ?

People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"

You thought they were all kiddin' you

You used to laugh about

Everybody that was hangin' out

Now you don't talk so loud

Now you don't seem so proud

About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

 

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be without a home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone ?

 

You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely

But you know you only used to get juiced in it

And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street

And now you find out you're gonna have to get used to it

You said you'd never compromise

With the mystery tramp, but now you realize

He's not selling any alibis

As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes

And say do you want to make a deal?

 

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone ?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns

When they all come down and did tricks for you

You never understood that it ain't no good

You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you

You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat

Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat

Ain't it hard when you discover that

He really wasn't where it's at

After he took from you everything he could steal.

 

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone ?

 

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people

They're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made

Exchanging all precious gifts

But you'd better take your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe

You used to be so amused

At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used

Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose

You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

 

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone ?

 

Not even close...

 

LouieB

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yeah, well like a rolling stone is clearly more complex lyrically, but nothing really stands up to it in that way. you won't find tom waits, neil young, the beatles etc... matching that in that sense either.

 

what about surf's up? i mean, i don't think the lyrics are as good as many of dylans, but it's not childish either.

 

A diamond necklace played the pawn

Hand in hand some drummed along, oh

To a handsome man and baton

A blind class aristocracy

Back through the op'ra glass you see

The pit and the pendulum drawn

Columnated ruins domino

 

Canvass the town and brush the backdrop

Are you sleeping?

 

Hung velvet overtaken me

Dim chandelier awaken me

To a song dissolved in the dawn

The music hall a costly bow

The music all is lost for now

To a muted trumperter swan

Columnated ruins domino

 

Canvass the town and brush the backdrop

Are you sleeping, Brother John?

 

Dove nested towers the hour was

Strike the street quicksilver moon

Carriage across the fog

Two-Step to lamplight cellar tune

The laughs come hard in Auld Lang Syne

 

The glass was raised, the fired rose

The fullness of the wine, the dim last toasting

While at port, adieu or die

 

A choke of grief HEART hardened I

Beyond belief a broken man too tough to cry

 

Surf's Up

Aboard a tidal wave

Come about hard and join

The young and often spring you gave

I heard the word

Wonderful thing

A children's song

 

Child, child, child, child, child

A child is the father of the man

Child, child, child, child, child

A child is the father of the man

A children's song

Have you listened as they played

Their song is love

And the children know the way

That's why the child is the father to the man

Child, child, child, child, child

Child, child, child, child, child

Na na na na na na na na

Child, child, child, child, child

That's why the child is the father to the man

Child, child, child, child, child

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Guest Speed Racer

Not even close...

 

You're very right. God Only Knows carries much more emotional weight, definitely has a better arrangement, and is a technically superior recording. Absolutely a much better love song. ;)

 

Bottom line: if you want a pie, a stew will never be an acceptable subsistute, no matter how awesome it is.

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Guest Speed Racer

Also, one thing you can always say about The Beach Boys - when anyone ever says that a band "sounds like the beach boys" you know it's gonna be a good thing.

 

Yeah, this especially doesn't work with Bob Dylan:

 

ConorOberst_bp%20jpg.jpg

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Jan and Dean? :)

 

Actually, if that is a joke - Jan and Dean have two fantastic baroque pop albums "Carnival of Sound" (which was unreleased, but is out now) and "Save For A Rainy Day"

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uInJQO1NiDI

 

yes, it's not bob dylan lyrically, or even close, but i think it's great!

 

Louie B said Fleet Foxes as a joke, and White Winter Hymnal seems to be a lot of people's favourite from the album - and interestingly that is the most Beach Boyseque of all! coincidence? i think not!

 

modern bands that have beach boys influences - Animal Collective, Super Furry Animals, Beach House, Grizzly Bear - most of the good ones!

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Apparently Surf's Up's lyrics were written by Van Dyke Parks, so Brian Wilson doesn't get credit for that. And once again you get no argument from me that Brian Wilson knew how to record stuff better than Bob Dylan, that's obvious. It's a good song.

 

And there are plenty of Dylan inspired singers and writers that were great, including Lou Reed, Patti Smith, the Beatles, and nearly every singer songwriter you can think of including Van Morrison, Tom Waits, and a bunch of people we talka about here every day.

 

Like a Rolling Stone isn't a love song. And despite the lo-fi quality, musicians would kill to record a song that sounds like that.

 

LouieB

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Apparently Surf's Up's lyrics were written by Van Dyke Parks, so Brian Wilson doesn't get credit for that. And once again you get no argument from me that Brian Wilson knew how to record stuff better than Bob Dylan, that's obvious. It's a good song.

 

And there are plenty of Dylan inspired singers and writers that were great, including Lou Reed, Patti Smith, the Beatles, and nearly every singer songwriter you can think of including Van Morrison, Tom Waits, and a bunch of people we talka about here every day.

 

Like a Rolling Stone isn't a love song. And despite the lo-fi quality, musicians would kill to record a song that sounds like that.

 

LouieB

 

i'm not talking about Brian Wilson, i'm talking about the Beach Boys - it's a Beach Boys song just like when they collaborate with other lyricists on Pet Sounds etc... Wilson and Van Dyke Parks sat down together at the piano (in his dog shit filled sandbox) and wrote it. even then, it still takes all the other Beach Boys recording it to make it what it is.

 

also, one last time - i was not saying people aren't influenced by Bob Dylan or The Beatles or whoever i said, i'm not even saying some of those people that sound like/are influenced by them aren't really really great. i was saying that people who were influenced or sound like The Beach Boys are always good.

 

and as for the other point, i'm not saying Like A Rolling Stone is not fantastic - i was just defending the point that you said The Beach Boys are childish lyrically.

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Guest Speed Racer

i was just defending the point that you said The Beach Boys are childish lyrically.

 

And even if they are, there's a reason they became so successful: the lyrics most definitely resonate with listeners. Whether it's about having fun in the sun, wanting California girls, wishing you had a fast car, or being so broken down and depressed you don't want to leave your bedroom, the simplicity of the lyrics - the fact that they could convey so much emotion, so much "I know just how he feels!" with just simple lyrics - is hardly a liability.

 

What I hear you saying, Louis, is "The Beach Boys weren't Bob Dylan!" You're right. You can keep saying that, and you'll still be right. Doesn't knock the achievements of either of them.

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i was just defending the point that you said The Beach Boys are childish lyrically.

Of all the things you said, I agree with them all (except that all the groups that are influenced by the Beach Boys are great and the ones influenced by Dylan are not, but I know just like everyone here including me you are speaking in hyperbole), but there simply is no way to take the bulk of the Beach Boys (Van Dyke Parks was not a Beach Boy really....Brian also had lyrical help on Pet Sounds from someone outside the group...) material and consider it lyrically equal to Bob Dylan. I have been listening to both my entire life and while the Beach Boys did fun, frothy, and great sounding songs, I don't sit and listen to the Beach Boys for lyric content and I would guess you don't either. While the Beach Boys have sold way way way more records than Bob Dylan, few people have ever covered them whereas hundreds and maybe thousands of singers have covered Dylan. In fact the only instance of them being covered I can think of off the top of my head is Dave Alvin covering Surfer Girl for his California songs album. Even Surfer Girl doesn't exactly have brilliant and adult lyrics. People cover the BEach boys if they are doing oldies and want to get the crowd on its feet dancing, a worthy goal. You can't do that to most Dylan songs.

 

(And before anyone else mentions it, of course Jeff Tweedy has often covered a Brian Wilson song, from his solo career.)

 

Could this horse be deader??

 

LouieB

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Guest Speed Racer

there simply is no way to take the bulk of the Beach Boys material and consider it lyrically equal to Bob Dylan. I have been listening to both my entire life

 

Um...no, there is no way YOU can. Simply. You are having an argument of opinion and projecting your opinion as statement of fact. So ask yourself, "Can this horse be deader"?

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And even if they are, there's a reason they became so successful: the lyrics most definitely resonate with listeners. Whether it's about having fun in the sun, wanting California girls, wishing you had a fast car, or being so broken down and depressed you don't want to leave your bedroom, the simplicity of the lyrics - the fact that they could convey so much emotion, so much "I know just how he feels!" with just simple lyrics - is hardly a liability.

 

What I hear you saying, Louis, is "The Beach Boys weren't Bob Dylan!" You're right. You can keep saying that, and you'll still be right. Doesn't knock the achievements of either of them.

Not knocking the Beach Boys at all. I just think their accomplishments need to be put into perspective (as do Dylans and any other singer/songwriter/musician.)

 

Most of Pet Sounds is great. There are a handful of masterpieces on it, there are some okay songs and there are a few dogs. I won't back down from my position that Pet Sounds is a great record, but flawed (Sloop John B has no place on the album and isn't brilliant in any fashion.)

 

Back when I still made mix tapes, Wouldn't It Be Nice often went on the tape. I am also very fond of Carolina No and God Only Knows and I wasn't Made for These Times are also great songs. Some of the rest..not so much.

 

LouieB

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(except that all the groups that are influenced by the Beach Boys are great and the ones influenced by Dylan are not, but I know just like everyone here including me you are speaking in hyperbole)

 

obviously i do need to say it again. i did not say ALL, i said most. some people that sound like Dylan are fantastic, but many or most are not - he's just lucky that lots of people are influenced by him so even with a 90% fail rate - there are still some good ones. where the ALL comes in is where i said that all the people that sound like The Beach Boys are good.

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