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Tom Stoppard’s 2006 play Rock ‘n Roll is a rather austere work about early 1960s Pink Floyd of the Syd Barrett era rather than the Dark Side of the Moon or Comfortably Numb eras and the Czech dissident band Plastic People of the Universe. It really only ignites at the end of the first act when the Czech dissidents listen to the Beach Boys’ ethereal Wouldn’t It Be Nice.

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys was born just days after his arch-rival Paul McCartney of the Beatles. Here’s my review of the 2015 biopic Love & Mercy:

Life of Brian
Steve Sailer

June 10, 2015

Love & Mercy is a superb new biopic about head Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s creative summit in 1966, the year of the groundbreaking Pet Sounds album (featuring the sublime :Wouldn”€™t It Be Nice”and ‘God Only Knows”) and follow-up “Good Vibrations” mega-single, the greatest Southern California track ever constructed. The film follows Wilson briefly into his rapid collapse into mental illness and obesity, and then skips to his slow but gratifying recovery in the early 1990s.

This may not sound particularly promising, in part because musical biopics are out of fashion. Further, the Beach Boy’ family melodrama is familiar from two TV movies plus the thousands of interviews Wilson has done over the decades to promote the legend.

Moreover, it sounds gimmicky that two actors who don’t look much alike were cast as young Brian (moonfaced Paul Dano, who may be best known as the preacher in There Will Be Blood) and old Brian (John Cusack, whose career also peaked at age 23 when he held up the boom box in Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything…). But then again, Wilson’s face matured unexpectedly from chubby innocence to weathered ruggedness.

In fact, Love & Mercy resembles two separate movies interwoven, with distinct casts and color palettes: Young Brian seemingly lives in David Hockney’s Hollywood Hills swimming-pool paintings, while old Brian inhabits the muted, blue-gray June Gloom color scheme that took over early-1990s movies.

Another legitimate concern is that it’s an authorized biography, with the subject’s current wife having much input over script and casting. Melinda Wilson chose Elizabeth Banks to play herself, the Cadillac saleswoman whose love rescues a fortysomething Wilson from enslavement to his quack psychiatrist (Paul Giamatti). But Mrs. Wilson’s self-image doesn’t make use of Banks’ sardonic alpha-blonde sense of humor, currently on display in her hit Pitch Perfect 2, which she directed.

In partial defense of the megalomaniacal Dr. Eugene Landy, his “24-hour therapy system” basically, having a glowering bodyguard hover around Brian, did reduce the quantities of drugs and hamburgers Wilson could wheedle out of fans and fellow celebrities who couldn’t help liking the overgrown kid no matter how many times he’d let them down. But much like with Britney Spears and her parasitical keeper a half-dozen years ago, Landy kept his meal ticket dependent upon his prescription medicines.

Finally, the Beach Boys have long divided fans of 60s rock into three camps, at least since the band suddenly became unhip when they failed to show up to headline the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, which wound up being dominated by Jimi Hendrix. There are those who love them for their early hits about California’s golden age of surfing and cars (such as “I Get Around” and “Fun, Fun, Fun”); those who dismiss them for these early hits; and finally those, often musicians and writers, still agog over Wilson’s 1966 peak, which motivated the Beatles into striking back the next year with Sgt. Pepper.

Veteran movie producer-turned-director Bill Pohlad, son of the late billionaire owner of the Minnesota Twins Carl Pohlad, is firmly in the third camp. And I’d say he has now won the three-way debate, and in the best way possible: by making a work of art about how Wilson made his finest works of art. Few musical biopics before this rich man’s labor of love have paid as close technical attention to what went on in the studio, which, after all, is really why we care about Wilson.

Dano is tremendous as the 23-year-old Brian, a seemingly guileless musical savant who just wasn’t made for these times. Yet Wilson responds to the challenge posed by the Beatles’ 1965 Rubber Soul album by disappearing for half a year into the studio, where he commands a crew of ace studio musicians in expanding the limits of sound. My only complaint about Dano’s performance is that the movie star isn’t quite as good-looking as his subject. Part of Wilson’s appeal has always been the irony that he’s this huge all-American galoot who is emotionally sensitive to the point of fragility.

It’s perhaps not coincidental that the two prime American inventors of the “œstudio as instrument”concept both went nuts: Wilson’s idol Phil Spector turned bad crazy after his “River Deep, Mountain High” failed to catch on in 1966, and Brian Wilson went sad crazy trying to record Smile in 1967.

But in the meantime … Wilson’s Late Protestant religious music inspired the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper.

Read the whole thing there.

 
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  1. Unit472 says:

    The first records I bought were Little Deuce Coupe and Shut Down. I wasn’t old enough to drive and really wasn’t into cars but I knew there was real talent behind the guys that made those songs since they left half the teen audience out ( females) and still made two classic records.

    The Southern California teen music scene in the early sixties didn’t have the talent of the British rock n roll revolution then taking place so the Beach Boys kind of wandered into Surfing music after that since that was the popular genre in Southern California at the time but Brian Wilson didn’t have to apply himself or his band to outdo Jan and Dean, The Safaris or the Trashmen and be the best Surfer rock band. The Beatles couldn’t just relax and write more teen love songs and stay on top. McCartney had much fiercer competition for that ranking even within his own band to say nothing of other British bands like the Hollies, Kinks, Rolling Stones etc. You really kind of wish the Beach Boys had a So Cal version of the Dave Clark 5 in 1964 threatening to take their crown to see what they would have had to come up with stay number one.

  2. “It’s perhaps not coincidental that the two prime American inventors of the ‘studio as instrument’ concept both went nuts…”

    As did Joe Meek, the closest thing the British had to Phil Spector at the time.

    And, of course, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5TB3kUdw-0

    • Thanks: MEH 0910
  3. dearieme says:

    GOK and GV were fine stuff. The Beatles would have been proud of them. Given what appalling rubbish almost all pop music is it’s remarkable that those two groups were around at the same time.

    • Replies: @Curle
  4. Not bad for geezer rock. You should’ve been a DJ, Sailer. You know, you still can be one. Assuming your new dog is eating you out of house and home and you have no other means of support. Wouldn’t want you to turn into Old Father Hubbard or anything like.

    • Replies: @Anon
  5. “Wilson’s idol Phil Spector turned bad crazy after his “River Deep, Mountain High” failed to catch on in 1966”

    Did it not catch on in the States? It was never off the radio (pirates, Radio Luxembourg, little BBC pop in those days) in the UK, got to #3. And it would still get played as a classic all through the late 60s and 70s. I wasn’t mad about it, but radio producers surely were.

    I see it only made #88 in the States.

  6. MEH 0910 says:

    What is greatest music album of all time? | Rick Rubin and Lex Fridman

    [MORE]

    Rick Rubin: Legendary Music Producer | Lex Fridman Podcast #275

    Apr 10, 2022

    OUTLINE:
    0:00 – Introduction
    1:52 – Nietzsche and music
    12:53 – Rick’s approach with artists
    24:16 – Beautiful simplicity in music
    28:00 – Marvin Gaye
    37:15 – Best album of all time
    41:08 – Paul McCartney
    43:13 – Ideas
    45:36 – Rebellion and conformity
    50:24 – Fitness
    53:32 – Johnny Cash
    1:03:28 – Tom Waits
    1:08:07 – Lyrics vs rhythm
    1:12:54 – Johnny Cash continued
    1:14:53 – Beastie Boys
    1:21:14 – Depression
    1:25:36 – Art vs Business
    1:34:24 – Art of conversation
    1:50:57 – Rick’s podcast
    1:54:07 – Advice for young people
    1:58:13 – Mortality
    2:00:48 – Meaning of life

  7. So, who was the creator of the “Wall of Sound” aesthetic from that time? Spector or Wilson? It seems like they may have played off of one another during that era before both descended into madness.

    It’s probably the case that what drives people like Spector or Wilson mad is a more developed perception – they’re both probably hearing things and experiencing them in ways that mortals don’t, and so they’re likely to get increasingly monomaniacal as they chase those things that they hear but we can’t.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  8. Wilson’s idol Phil Spector turned bad crazy after his “River Deep, Mountain High” failed to catch on in 1966

    Clicked on the video: yikes, what a horrible f’n racket. It ain’t no “The Right Stuff” :

    it’s mountain high, river deep

  9. The high art fans of both Brian Wilson and the Beatles seem to resent the early “boy band” success of each, but their later genius (for those so inclined to praise it) wouldn’t have occurred without the more insipid early career. Indeed it’s harder to write good derivative simple pop and rock than critics generally think.

  10. @John Milton’s Ghost

    The high art fans of both Brian Wilson and the Beatles seem to resent the early “boy band” success of each, but their later genius (for those so inclined to praise it) wouldn’t have occurred without the more insipid early career. Indeed it’s harder to write good derivative simple pop and rock than critics generally think.

    I think you have a point – record labels aren’t going to invest in music that is so out of the ordinary that they don’t know whether they will sell any records.

    Conventional wisdom is that musicians peak around 26-27-28. My theory is that their early successes under the thumb of the record label and its staff (which push them into making salable music) earn them the ability to explore musically and to call more of their own shots. So they have a mega hit album, which earns them the ability to work essentially unobstructed by the record label. But then the music geniuses become overly indulgent of their own tastes and aesthetics, and the music that they put out later in their career cycles don’t have a real mass appeal. Take, for example, Prince who cycled up from a sort of disco funk sound to his opus Purple Rain for which he essentially engaged in a sort of musical world building complete with an accompanying film – after which he became wealthy and self-indulgent but never reached the heights of Purple Rain again.

    It’s the friction between their musical creativity and people who have skin in the game financially that yields the best musical product.

  11. Anonymous[954] • Disclaimer says:

    Just want to remind everyone that Wilson had the entire Wrecking Crew at his beck and call, putting in long hours for Wilson’s wettest dreams. If he had them log a shit ton of hours to get something right, the Wrecking Crew did so without any sassing.

    Meanwhile McCartney was limited to the musicianship of the Beatles. George was a brat, John was lazy, had ADD, and Ringo, also lazy, resisted anything beyond his norm that McCartney, or anyone, asked him to do. Paul had to threaten to kick Ringo in the nuts to get that damned drum solo in Abbey Road, and we’ve all heard Ringo crying like a woman wronged at the end of “Helter Skelter.” The Wrecking Crew wouldn’t be pulling that shit.

    Granted, George Martin was a huge plus, but imagine if Paul could call in the Wrecking Crew whenever he wanted, and made the brats sit in the corner until needed. We can dream about it, but we’ll never know the extent of Paul’s semi-thwarted genius.

    Brian Wilson was a fine song writer until he finally fried his brain with LSD. These days, he needs an instruction manual to chew oatmeal, while McCartney continues to delight the teeming masses.

  12. J1234 says:

    But in the meantime … Wilson’s Late Protestant religious music inspired the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper.

    For many years when I heard God Only Knows (starting in the mid-’70’s, when I first became aware of the song) I thought it was the Beach Boys trying to sound little more like the Beatles, but that wasn’t accurate. I suspect there were/are other fans out there who’ve had the same wrong perception. It makes me wonder, though: was there an equivalent figure to George Martin who handled orchestral arrangements for the group, or did Brian do all of that? Happy Birthday, Brian.

  13. A kid in 1960s Huntington Beach threatened to beat me up when I said the Beatles were better than the Beach Boys.

    For me there are only a few BB songs I enjoy much. From the later period, God Only Knows and Good Vibrations are it. The earlier period has Surfin’ U.S.A., and it has California Girls (of which the Beatles did a great parody called Back in the USSR.)

    The Ukraine girls really knock me out.

  14. Since we’re talking (pop) music:

    Attention night owls! Song and video of the summer right here. You’re welcome.


    [MORE]

    Premiered Feb 15, 2022

    Directed by the legend Tanu Muiño & filmed in Kyiv, Ukraine last month. Thank you to the amazing dancers, choreographers, set designers & everyone who made this vid happen.

    Timing!

    • Thanks: Buzz Mohawk
  15. Feryl says:

    WRT the drug phase and creativity, I think that peak musical creativity for most pop artists is in their mid-late 20’s, after which both self-destructive behavior and creativity decline*. Also, drug issues tend to become pretty bad as an artist is nearing their peak because they end up surrounded by enablers as their fame increases.

    *There are some (but not really that many) artists who exit their turbulent 20’s both more mature and still capable of making interesting music. But in general most pop/rock artists range from mediocre to terrible by the time they are in their mid-30’s, with maybe 1-2 songs per album that are anywhere near as good as the stuff they did earlier.

  16. @Buzz Mohawk

    The Ukraine girls really knock me out.

    Whoa Buzz, I swear I didn’t see your comment before I posted this:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/happy-80th-birthday-brian-wilson/#comment-5404076

    • LOL: Buzz Mohawk
  17. Turning 80 next month, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds.

    • Thanks: Malcolm X-Lax
  18. No one with any interest in Brian Wilson should miss the two hour episode of the PBS Series, “American Masters”, which is devoted to him. https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/masters/brian-wilson/

    • Thanks: MEH 0910, Malcolm X-Lax
  19. @John Milton’s Ghost

    the more insipid early career

    I enjoy their early songs like “I Should Have Known Better,” “If I Fell,” and “You’re Going To Lose That Girl,” than I do the songs on the White album, most of which if I never heard again I wouldn’t miss.

  20. @Feryl

    But in general most pop/rock artists range from mediocre to terrible by the time they are in their mid-30’s,

    I agree, but why is that so much the case with pop musicians and not as true with visual artists and writers? Why does there seem to be this inability to keep composing great popular music, this burnout? It didn’t always seem to be the case–Irving Berlin was in his mid-50s when he wrote “White Christmas.”

    • Replies: @Feryl
    , @J1234
  21. Mike Tre says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I just learned that Jack Palance was born to Ukrainian immigrant parents, spoke 5 languages, and declined an award from a Russian film academy in person that was specifically endorsed by Putin back in the early oughts.

    Say what you want, but that took balls.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  22. Altai says:

    OT:

    Many may have remembered the ‘Day Zero’ situation in Cape Town a few years ago where the introduction and adoption of extensive water conservation actions stopped the city from having it’s reservoirs too low to supply water. They just stopped the crisis there. They even tracked your water usage per household and made it public.

    Meanwhile, in Nelson Mandela Bay, an area with a rough population of 1.5m, they’ve been having repeated droughts bringing it to the brink of ‘Day Zero’ for some time and may be out of luck this time. Much more badly governed than Cape Town they seem to be unable to bring together the efforts needed.

    https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/day-zero-two-dams-in-nelson-mandela-bay-metro-have-6-days-of-water-left-as-consumption-spikes-20220621

    Those events made international headlines.

    But in the US there seems to be little concern for a ‘Day Zero’ in the South West. Lake Mead is getting low. That’s the water source for 40 million people.

    All the horsemen seem to be gathering to make 2022 or 2023 a year to remember.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  23. If you thought the summer of Floyd was bad, just wait ’til they kick off the summer of Ruth.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/night-rage-flyers-spotted-dc-ahead-roe-v-wade-decision

    But at least it will give Janet Yellen an excuse for having turned the US economy to shit.

    https://www.wibc.com/kendall-and-casey/janet-yellen-says-overturning-roe-v-wade-would-be-very-damaging-for-the-economy/

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  24. Sound Pet says:
    @MEH 0910

    Pet Sounds is the single greatest expression of genius in popular music. There is simply no brainchild of one person that comes close. Beatles had three auteurs. But they didn’t match it anyway.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Curle
  25. Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys was born just days after his arch-rival Paul McCartney of the Beatles.

    Brian was the “other man”!

    This is the greatest! Turn it up, turn it right up. It’s GOT to be a hit. It’s the greatest record I’ve heard for weeks. It’s fantastic. I hope it will be a hit. It’s all Brian Wilson. He just uses the voices as instruments. He never tours or anything. He just sits at home thinking up fantastic arrangements out of his head. Doesn’t even read music. You keep waiting for the fabulous breaks. Great arrangement. It goes on and on with all different things. I hope it’s a hit so I can hear it all the time.

    – John Lennon reviewing “She’s Not the Little Girl I Once Knew” for Melody Maker, December 1965

    • Thanks: Malcolm X-Lax
  26. those, often musicians and writers, still agog over Wilson’s 1966 peak, which motivated the Beatles into striking back the next year with Sgt. Pepper

    I didn’t realize today was Brian’s birthday, but we were just talking about him in the Paul McCartney thread the other day. Considering the influence they had on one another, it’s amazing they were born only two days apart!

  27. If banished to the proverbial desert isle and allowed to bring three BB songs they would be “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “God Only Knows” and “Good Vibrations.”

    Pure and simple: Wilson and The Beach Boys were the greatest rock/pop music band ever produced by this country, with “Pet Sounds” being one of the greatest albums of all time.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  28. nosods says:

    “Brian Wilson’s creative summit in 1966, the year of the groundbreaking Pet Sounds album (featuring the sublime :Wouldn”€™t It Be Nice”and ‘God Only Knows”) …”

    Hah! FEATURING: the greatest track the Beach Boys ever cut & the closest they ever soared to the unattainable polyphony of Bach – their unmatched, Sloop John B.!

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
    • Thanks: AceDeuce
  29. @Mike Tre

    Though I know the US and its allies lit the fire that resulted in the current war in the Ukraine, and though I adamantly argue that we should not have anything to do with that war, I do admit that there are real Ukrainian nationalists, because I dated one in 1999.

    She was an engineer who had worked on laser gyroscopes when she and her homeland were part of the USSR. She really knocked me out, and she was an avowed Ukrainian nationalist living here in the USA and dating me.

    (BTW, she had the same hair and cut as the girl in your video. It’s a very European thing.)

    PS: Regarding the engineer thing, I have observed that women going into technical fields is more common over there. My wife the Transylvanian mathematician is another example. We here in the West seem to have some kind of complex and difficulty getting our heads around this.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  30. @Anonymous

    Wow Steve! Paul McCartney reads your blog!

    • LOL: Mike Tre
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  31. @MEH 0910

    Pets Sounds the most overrated album ever, 3 good songs and the rest is filler, and look its Rick Ruben, the most overrated producer of all time

    • Agree: Jonathan Mason
  32. northeast says:
    @Feryl

    In general, I agree with you. A massive exception is Van Morrison, who came out of the 60s rock movement, but has superseded all his peers. Some of his best work came out from 1990-2010.

    • Agree: Ron Mexico
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  33. @Buzz Mohawk

    … the same hair and cut as the girl in your video…

    Sorry, I mean Jenner Ickham Errican’s video, of course.

  34. “But in the meantime … Wilson’s Late Protestant religious music inspired the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper.”

    The Sgt. Pepper concept was largely McCartney’s creation (as also was Revolver), so in that sense Pet Sounds served its purpose: to take the concept album one step further.

    Really not seeing the big whoop about Phil Spector. Seems like for the most part he was a hack. A producer who exploited girl bands, as opposed to ’90’s boys bands being exploited. Many of the songs from the early ’60’s that were largely Spector’s haven’t stood the test of time in the same way, as say, Elvis’ ’50’s music, or even the best of his early ’60’s music (e.g. It’s Now or Never, Are you Lonesome Tonight, Can’t Help Falling in Love, etc). Spector’s songs, at least the lyrics, are a bit childish, immature, and on the puerile side, especially when he’s compared to a legitimate artistic producer in the mold of George Martin. Just not seeing it with Spector: A hack who made it big by exploiting girl bands (many of whom barely had any musical talent to begin with). Spector got lucky, or had incredible timing, in that LP’s started to go to Stereophonic ca.1960, which helped his Wall of Sound productions, and would help the concept album reach amazing creative heights. If Stereo had not come along in the early ’60’s, perhaps there wouldn’t have been a big to do about Phil Spector.

    For example, the Beatles hated his production work on Let it Be. I think most rock critics would start to choke if someone put the Shirrelles, the Chrystals, the Ronnettes, in the same sentence with the Beatles. After a point, the Beatles’ sound and lyrics matured, grew up, whereas Spector’s work did not.

  35. SafeNow says:


    Brian Wilson’s 1966 peaking coincided with a 1966 peaking of album covers. This Herb Alpert album was album of the year, excellent musically, but probably owing “best album” mainly to the cover. Instantly recognizable to geezers like me, who not only recognize it, but still own the album cover. Despite the salacious aspect, note the rose, the symbol of traditional courting and romance; don’t be fooled by the whip cream, she is saying; court me. That was then…

  36. Right_On says:

    For a classic rock album, Pet Sounds has a truly dire cover photo.

    Always thought the Beach Boys’ song Little Honda had a subliminal sexual kick, but it’s probably just my filthy mind projecting.
    I’m gonna wake you up early cause I’m gonna take a ride with you.
    First gear, it’s all right
    Second gear, I’ll lean right
    Third gear, hang on tight
    Faster, it’s all right.

    Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, but The Hondells’ version is probably better with its extended, breathless coda.

  37. @John Milton’s Ghost

    It’s not harder to write enduring songs, it’s impossible if you aren’t one of the chosen. Melody is the most elusive talent of all artistic endeavors. You don’t have to like the form or the perfomance to recognize it when it happens. Songs that catch on without melodic genius hold a temporary stay limited to the culture that spawned it. If a song plays in a language you don’t understand it’s a keeper.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Anonymous
  38. @SafeNow

    That is one of the first albums I owned. My dad told me in a store one day to pick out any record I wanted. When I saw the lady in the whipped cream, I wanted that one. Dad laughed, and I think he understood something I had yet to learn. The music was good, BTW.

    • Thanks: SafeNow
  39. Feryl says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Crazy speculation: perhaps hearing loss sets in very quickly and that’s why they lose their “ear” for a good tune? Visual based artists, on the other hand, don’t have to worry about visual deterioration until they are well into middle age.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  40. Feryl says:
    @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    But less successful artists still typically put out inferior stuff once they get older. Something organic/biological is going on, perhaps once the brain starts to lose plasticity by circa age 30, the ability to create an exciting song begins to decline*. The funny thing is that aging musicians often put down their early work as immature, sloppy, rushed etc., yet for the most part their later more “polished” work feels flat and lifeless.

    *You could argue that creating appealing music is the most difficult thing in the artistic realm, we marvel at artists effortlessly sounding great for 5-10 years than kaboom a sniper blows their creative brains out and at best they make 1 or two good songs periodically. Meanwhile, the more visually oriented arts have creators that sustain greatness for decades.

  41. Jay Fink says:
    @Feryl

    Could a part of this be the result of success? Do musicians lose their hunger and drive to make good , creative music after they become millionaires?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  42. MEH 0910 says:
    @SafeNow

    Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass · Whipped Cream & Other Delights playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_l9K8Dbyl_TvqYqJzStd0HKbH5VO8xnXIY

  43. J1234 says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    in general most pop/rock artists range from mediocre to terrible by the time they are in their mid-30’s

    I suppose, but this reveals a fixation with youth.

    Irving Berlin was in his mid-50s when he wrote “White Christmas.”

    True. Mozart died early but Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and hundreds of others did some of their best work as older artists. I think Handel was in his late 50’s when he composed Messiah. Not pop music, but I’m talking about the creative process.

  44. Mike Tre says:

    Steve-O!

    Since we’re talking about music, any thoughts on Justin Bieber’s Ramsay Hunt Syndrome at age 28? Or his wife suffering a stroke and having heart surgery to remove a blood clot at the ripe old age of 26?

    Totally normal, amirite?

  45. @Altai

    But in the US there seems to be little concern for a ‘Day Zero’ in the South West. Lake Mead is getting low. That’s the water source for 40 million people.

    Sin City Outdoors has also been reporting on the Lake Mead situation:

    If the worst case scenario happens I expect China to grab Taiwan.

    Building that new semi fab in Arizona is looking pretty dumb.

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
  46. Ian Smith says:
    @Anonymous

    Thankfully, McCartney left those losers behind and reached his full potential by soaring with Wings!

  47. Anon[390] • Disclaimer says:
    @Unintended Consequence

    His wife went to see McCartney and wouldn’t take him with!
    ” You’d only cramp my style!” Mean girl!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  48. @Prester John

    I am partial to Be True To Your School

    • LOL: Harry Baldwin
    • Replies: @Prester John
  49. @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    Conventional wisdom is that musicians peak around 26-27-28.

    It’s interesting that these years are also widely accepted as the peak years for baseball players. Peak years for other athletes are likely similar, although they may vary a bit depending on the physical demands of the sport in question.

    Who else peaks in their 20s? Poets and mathemeticians? Novelists, not so much.

  50. Feryl says:
    @Corvinus

    Not knocking Rick Beato’s sincere appreciation for what he likes (mainly the rock stuff made in the late 60’s-early 90’s), but he also glosses over the mountains of crap made during that time period in order to sell his audience on this mythical golden age of great rock music. He also generally ignores softer/dance oriented music which generally charts higher than hard rock. I think the whole “classic rock” thing (in itself a revisionist marketing phenomena that often excludes a number of charting rock hits of the 60’s-80’s) has led to the misconception that loud white guy guitar music ruled the airwaves in the 70’s (a crock of shit, look at the actual charts in the 70’s, lots of soft rock and disco/R&B dominated).

    He also elides the extant criticism that rock got in the late 70’s (it was over-produced, corporate, “fascist” etc.) and the disdain that 80’s rockers and their fans sometimes have for 90’s rock (when musicianship nose-dived).

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
    • Replies: @Mr. Grey
    , @Corvinus
    , @Chriscom
  51. @Feryl

    Well, Beethoven handled hearing loss pretty well.

  52. @SafeNow

    I’m sorry to throw a wrench into your narrative, but this was released in 1965 and wasn’t even nominated for Album of the Year, which went to Stan Getz & João Gilberto.

    Also, despite the name, 29-year-old and 3-months-pregnant Dolores Erickson was actually covered in shaving cream, as it held up better under the hot lights.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
  53. Mr. Grey says:
    @Anonymous

    An interesting thought, but when Paul was freed from the Beatles and could work with anyone… he chose Denny Laine and Linda McCartney.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @AceDeuce
  54. Mr. Grey says:
    @Feryl

    Movies almost always get it wrong too. A movie that takes place in the 1970s will have Lou Reed or Led Zeppelin or The Ramones, or some similar band that is revered in the 21st century blasting out of a radio in the background. In reality one was way more likely to hear something from Captain and Tenille or Leo Sayer, or even Christopher Cross.

  55. @Buzz Mohawk

    It was a great album, but Alpert made his fortune by co-founding A&M Records, which was eventually sold to PolyGram in 1987 for half a billion dollars. It may or may not surprise you that, despite his name and appearance, Herb Alpert is a member of the tribe.

  56. People always mention “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” as a good song, but maybe that is because it leads off Pet Sounds, an album every sound engineer and recording artist says is great.

    Pet Sounds is a great achievement in recording, mixing and studio work, but does it move you? Only “God Only Knows” moves me, because it means something I can identify with as an adult. The rest of the album is very well mixed plinka-plinka-plinka and tinkle-tinkle-tinkle.

    “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” sounds like the lament of a teenager. “Gee, I wish we were old enough to shack up together.” The sound is appropriately cutesy and juvenile.

    Nothing wrong with that. I felt that way when I was about sixteen, “Gee, I wish I was old enough to have my own place and take that girl to bed without worrying about my parents,” but I realized that soon enough I’d be old enough to make that wish come true. Why is a song about juvenile sexual frustration so great?

    Give me the Rolling Stones belting out “Honky Tonk Women,” singing about going upstairs with a gin soaked bar-room queen. Hell, give me my father’s favorite Dixieland Jazz. “Ya gotta see your momma every night, or ya can’t see your momma at all.” It moves.

  57. @Buzz Mohawk

    I will add that none other than the great Tom Petty once said of rock music (or whatever this stuff is called) “It’s not supposed to be really good.” If you understand what he meant, then you understand.

  58. Corvinus says:
    @Feryl

    “Not knocking Rick Beato’s sincere appreciation for what he likes (mainly the rock stuff made in the late 60’s-early 90’s), but he also glosses over the mountains of crap made during that time period in order to sell his audience on this mythical golden age of great rock music.”

    No, he simply breaks down music for people to gain an appreciation of it as an art form.

    “He also generally ignores softer/dance oriented music which generally charts higher than hard rock.”

    He’s not ignoring it purposely; rather, he is targeting a specific audience. Nothing wrong with that in the least.

    “I think the whole “classic rock” thing (in itself a revisionist marketing phenomena that often excludes a number of charting rock hits of the 60’s-80’s)”

    It’s a genre of music that people enjoy. Nothing revisionist about certain groups like Pink Floyd and the Steve Miller Band, for starters, who broke new ground in music that led to dozens of groups fitting into a specific category.

    “has led to the misconception that loud white guy guitar music ruled the airwaves in the 70’s (a crock of shit, look at the actual charts in the 70’s, lots of soft rock and disco/R&B dominated).”

    Lovers of music during this decade generally appreciated it all.

    “He also elides the extant criticism that rock got in the late 70’s (it was over-produced, corporate, “fascist” etc.)”

    In what episodes? What specific points did he make?

    “and the disdain that 80’s rockers and their fans sometimes have for 90’s rock (when musicianship nose-dived)”

    Depends upon who you talk to.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  59. @Mr. Grey

    Damien Chazzelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man” was unusual in using the type of now highly unpopular music Armstrong liked in college in 1949 and would have played on his record player at home in 1969 rather than what was on the radio in 1969 like “Gimme Shelter.”

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  60. @Buzz Mohawk

    Also, while his name isn’t very popular around these parts but Herb Alpert was a great guest on Alec Baldwin’s podcast Here’s The Thing on WNYC. If you’re a fan of the former, I would definitely listen even if you’re not a fan of the latter.

    • Replies: @David In TN
  61. SafeNow says:
    @ScarletNumber

    Herb was the “most popular musician in America in 1966” according to this 50-year reminiscence. Sorry I didn’t get it right about album of the year. Thanks for correcting.

    “As music critics release “best of 2016” lists, who can name the most popular musician in America fifty years ago? The Beatles? The Rolling Stones? Wrong. The Supremes or another Motown act? Nope. Bob Dylan? Johnny Cash? The Beach Boys? No, no, and no.

    Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Brand sold about fourteen million LPs in 1966. Anyone who has rifled through old records at thrift stores and rummage sales has seen his albums. Most famously, Whipped Cream and Other Delights featured a young woman covered in (apparently) nothing but whip cream.”

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  62. @Steve Sailer

    rather than what was on the radio in 1969 like “Gimme Shelter.”

    In every Vietnam movie there is a scene featuring a helicopter. During this scene the same song plays, no matter the actual movie. That song is

    [MORE]
    Fortunate Son by CCR

  63. @Mr. Grey

    George Harrison liked to bring into the Beatles guys who were better musicians than him such as Eric Clapton and Billy Preston.

  64. @ScarletNumber

    “Ride of the Valkyries” is better, and it doesn’t matter what era it comes from.

    [MORE]

  65. Mr. Anon says:

    The Beach Boys.

    Bleh.

    Crap.

    There was lots better music from that era. These guys, for example:

  66. @SafeNow

    Don’t get me wrong; I also enjoy Herb Alpert and I had to look up who the literal winner was the year WC&OD was released. I was just adding additional background.

  67. Mike Tre says:
    @ScarletNumber

    In Hamburger Hill that song was We Gotta Get out of This Place by the Animals.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  68. @Jay Fink

    I suspect thinking about money and management tends to get in the way of songwriting for successful rock musicians. When they are young and poor, they focus on the music, but once they are successful and realize they are getting ripped off, they have to think more about business, lawsuits, power struggles and so forth, which isn’t great for creativity.

    E.g., it took McCartney all the way until 2019 to fully regain control of the Lennon-McCartney catalog. That’s a lot of meetings with lawyers and bankers.

    John Fogerty was a hit machine for a few years, but then lawsuits and the like came to dominate his time.

    One striking thing about the music business is how even brothers tend to wind up at each other’s throats. E.g., the Everly Brothers wound up hating each other.

    I suspect Broadway songwriting had some sort of structural arrangements that let songwriters work together or apart more amicably and professionally, whereas rock songwriting partnerships were more all-consuming, burned brighter for shorter periods, and more likely to all end in tears.

  69. Anon[179] • Disclaimer says:

    I can’t believe in that long post and then all the comments until now nobody has linked to the Bob Dylan performance of Happy Birthday Dear Brian posted on Brian Wilson’s TikTok channel (who knew?).

    I’m on an iPad, so I’m gonna leave it up to someone else to finally make that link.

  70. @james wilson

    “If a song plays in a language you don’t understand it’s a keeper.”

    I like that.

    On the other hand, Americans know very few songs from other languages. Heck, we tend to forget Puccini’s Nessum Dorma until once a decade or so somebody sings it in a contest and everybody is amazed again.

  71. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “Spector’s songs, at least the lyrics, are a bit childish, immature, and on the puerile side”

    Plus he was a homicidal lunatic.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    , @Anon
  72. @Bill Jones

    If you thought the summer of Floyd was bad, just wait ’til they kick off the summer of Ruth.

    Argh, I came back to post the ZH link about the summer of rage flyers.

    Looks like my supposition that the Open Society Foundation finished the pay packages for this summer’s cadres was pretty accurate.

    I bet the phone trees and WhatsApp groups are lighting up as we speak.

  73. Hhsiii says:

    Nice use of galoot.

  74. @(((They))) Live

    Sometimes I think people give “Pet Sounds” credit for “Good Vibrations” the way The White Album is better if you give it credit for Hey Jude. It’s not unreasonable to think about “Pet Sounds Era” Beach Boys, but these famous later 1960s albums can be a little disappointing because they don’t include all the famous singles.

  75. Never could understand why critics – and it is mostly critics – are so enamored of Pet Sounds. Sure, it’s a departure from the cars-and-surfing stuff that the BB’s did just a year or two earlier, but it’s still sugary pop. If I never hear “God Only Knows” again I won’t miss it. Same with at least half the tracks on Sgt. Pepper. Maybe these guys did pioneer some terrific studio techniques at the time, but wasn’t all that overshadowed by the technology of the Seventies anyway? Can anyone convince me that Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, or the entire Electric Light Orchestra catalog would have been of lesser quality if not for Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper?

    • Thanks: Kylie
  76. @Mr. Grey

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High came out in 1982, but Damone suggests that Rat play side one* of Led Zeppelin IV, which was released in November 1971. The scene then cuts to Rat driving Stacey around playing Kashmir, which was released in February 1975 on Physical Graffiti.

    *

    [MORE]
    Black Dog, Rock and Roll, The Battle of Evermore, Stairway to Heaven

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  77. @Mike Tre

    Memories of the young who listened to the AM radio starting around 1966…

  78. @Steve Sailer

    Agree. “Good Vibrations” is great, and it ain’t on Pet Sounds.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  79. @Steve Sailer

    I just checked the track listing and G/V isn’t on the album, although I and millions of Boomers have for decades assumed it was. Scratch that track and you have three – count ’em, three! – tracks that a mass audience recognizes, and one of those is Sloop John B which Brian Wilson didn’t even write. On another note, while Sgt. Pepper’s cover art was a project in its own right, the Beach Boys just went down to a local petting zoo for some photos. I’m sorry, but Pet Sounds is no masterpiece, and truth be told neither is Sgt. Pepper when put side-by-side with Revolver and Rubber Soul.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  80. @Steve Sailer

    “I suspect thinking about money and management tends to get in the way of songwriting for successful rock musicians.” Which is exactly the reason Don Henley and Glenn Frey let Irving Azoff take care of everything for them. “But he’s our Satan,” said Henley at the RRHOF.

    • Replies: @DCThrowback
  81. Daniel H says:

    OT: Shame on Steve, myself and all of us. We are so willing to assume the worst about others (and better about ourselves) based on biased and reinforcing stereotypes. Well now I’m going to break a stereotype, that of the well-behaved, civil German. Here it is, a case of Germans behaving badly. 100 German men engage in an all-out brawl at a municipal swimming pool on a hot sweltering Berlin afternoon. Did I say that loud enough. 100 Germans, 100 GERMANS. If you question my report view the accompanying video and news story yourself. BTW, German women weren’t involved. In fact, there seem to be very few German women in the vicinity. This breaks another stereotype, that of the genteel and decorous German (or any western) man. Why does the German woman avoid the German man in social mixing these days. Could it be the intransigent bias and racism of the German man? Take your bias and stereotypes and stuff it.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10938557/100-MAN-brawl-breaks-sparked-WATER-PISTOL-prank-Berlin-outdoor-pool.html

    • Replies: @flyingtiger
  82. @Corvinus

    Boston basically sucked infected donkey balls, and critics of the time rightly said so. It was all slick production. Their “follow-up” album was worse, and don’t get me started on “Third Stage.” That doesn’t mean we 20-something Boomers didn’t listen to the 1st album; we did. But when “Amanda” came on the radio a few years later, we knew we’d already heard it. The band Didn’t Age Well. Hope they banked the dough at the time, ‘cuz what else do they have?

    • Agree: Mike Tre
    • Replies: @Feryl
    , @Anonymous
  83. I’ve always had a special feeling for Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. The Beatles and Stones were exotic by comparison. It’s just kind of nice to see a guy sort of like me–awkward, shy, middle-class, suburban Califonia shlub–create some of the greatest music ever made. From Hawthorne of all places! (See Mick Jagger’s induction of the Beatles into the R-n-R Hall of Fame when he makes a similar remark about the Beatles–it’s one of the best inductions, easily).

  84. @ScarletNumber

    Not from a movie, but probably the best ‘period song’ Vietnam War footage edit on YouTube. (Headphone users watch out past 2:22.)

  85. FPD72 says:
    @Anonymous

    These days, he needs an instruction manual to chew oatmeal

    I know that a lot of decline can occur in seven years, but in 2015 I saw Brian (with Al Jardine and others) perform in Austin. He played and sang well and his between songs patter was lucid and laced with humor. He seemed sharper mentally than the opening performer, Sixto (Sugarman) Rodriguez, who is about the same age.

  86. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    LP’s started to go to Stereophonic ca.1960

    1958 was the year of stereophonic sound, with ‘S Awful Nice often being cited as the first commercial stereophonic LP. It was definitely Columbia Records’ first. And guess what? It wasn’t rock and roll, it was the Ray Conniff Singers. Other first stereo releases were by Mitch Miller, Les Elgart and Percy Faith. A big stereo fave back then was The Kirbystone Four with their “Go Sound — new for 1958!” as they were promoted. Rock and roll was pimple music for teens. They bought inexpensive 45s of things like Tab Hunter singing “Young Love” that they could play on portable record players. It was mom and dad with the brand new stereo console who bought stereo LPs to play on it.

  87. S Johnson says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Song-writing seems pretty zero-sum in that sharing a credit with someone inevitably detracts from your share of the profits, whereas with movies you can negotiate a higher salary or more percentage points if you feel you’re not getting a fair shake. So the temptation for duos like Lennon and McCartney must always be to go it alone and maximise earning ability. Even with bands like the Eagles or the Band where there were multiple songwriters you can see this kind of tension, e.g. Robbie Robertson buying his bandmates out in exchange for sole composition credits. To have a long-lasting partnership you seem to need both a clear leader and lack of opportunity as a solo artist, the exemplar being Jagger-Richards (although even Jagger tried to go solo) or more recently perhaps Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  88. @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    they’re both probably hearing things and experiencing them in ways that mortals don’t, and so they’re likely to get increasingly monomaniacal as they chase those things that they hear but we can’t.

    Brian had a tape loop made of “Be My Baby” so he could listen to it over and over again for hours.

    One of the interesting things in the biography Catch a Wave is that Brian hired a guy to travel around LA with equipment to record water sounds–waves, rain, rushing streams, water dripping into cisterns, etc. Brian thought there would be something useful there.

    There is that odd element on Pet Sounds where you hear a train approaching an intersection, with a dog barking and bell clanging, then the Doppler effect as the train passes. An interesting bit of audio but an odd thing to put on a record album. ’60s songs often had sound effects of revving engines and screeching tires.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
  89. Chriscom says:
    @Feryl

    Not knocking Rick Beato’s sincere appreciation for what he likes (mainly the rock stuff made in the late 60’s-early 90’s), but he also glosses over the mountains of crap made during that time period in order to sell his audience on this mythical golden age of great rock music.

    I’m too old now to really understand the current popular music scene, though I can see it’s almost inconceivably fragmented compared to the 1960’s+. But as much as I love the era that Beato loves, because I grew up with it, it’s an eye-opener to listen to SiriusXM at any length on the 60’s and 70’s channels that are right in my wheelhouse. The best songs–and there were a lot of them–are epic, but Lord it took mountains of garbage to get there.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  90. Feryl says:
    @Mr. Grey

    My take on that is Boomers and Gen X-ers prefer hard rock from the 1970’s because it doesn’t date as much as the poppier stuff, and they want period pieces to be “cool” rather than embarrassing. On the other hand, a lot of funky 70’s R&B still sounds cool, but screenwriters tend to be angsty introverts who would find dance oriented music to be insufficiently tight assed. And the Ramones etc.? What a joke, the punk bands were the other side of the pretention coin that featured Prog rock. The difference being that Prog had serious and talented musicians while most punk was a joke. The punk attitude that you don’t have to be virtuoso rock god was put to good use by New Wave* and (some) 80’s metal bands who blazed forth in all kinds of wild directions without the Carter era drab nihilism of early punk or the ludicrous depths of indulgent arrogance that blighted a good amount of non-punk 70’s rock.

    *Would you rather listen to New Order or The Sex Pistols?

  91. njguy73 says:
    @Mr. Grey

    In the first episode of the Showtime series “Yellowjackets,” there’s a scene set in 1996 where two teenage girls are riding in a car. The driver, the “smart one,” is playing Liz Phair’s “Supernova” but her friend, the “shallow one,” switches it to Snow’s “Informer.” I like that scene because it shows the gap between our memory of what we think defined that decade versus what was actually popular.

  92. Feryl says:
    @Viva La Migra

    Tom Scholz would’ve been a great producer for other artists, but he dominated and basically sucked the life out of Boston with his tyranny. Scholz could write a decent tune and produce well but his nerdy OCDness+the lack of emotional depth/resonance to his art meant that his band could sound great but quickly one realized that he just doesn’t have much to say yet he still has a Prince complex about his level of control.

    • Disagree: Corvinus
  93. @ScarletNumber

    I liked Herb Alpert, had an album of the Tijuana Brass.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  94. Feryl says:
    @Corvinus

    Beato often does videos about “what happened to rock” etc. He plays on nostalgia hard, and moreover, he emphasizes a very particular type of “serious” rock music to give the impression that the past era had more credibility. So he essentially is very biased and a propagandist. Other YouTube music critics/historians spend more time giving a more accurate picture of past eras of music.

    The music/radio industry created “classic rock” via emphasizing certain songs and ignoring others, it’s creation is infact revisionist because it crucially DOES NOT reproduce, in quantity of plays, what was and wasn’t played in the 70’s and 80’s. It plays on nostalgia yet doesn’t simulate what once was reality. Beato is obviously a pusher of classic rock ideology.

    Beato as far as I know has not addressed the poor quality reputation that late 70’s rock developed over it’s slickness and expensive and time consuming recording sessions, which led to a backlash in the 80’s in the form of cheaper and faster recording sessions and less use of session musicians.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Corvinus
  95. AceDeuce says:
    @Mr. Grey

    An interesting thought, but when Paul was freed from the Beatles and could work with anyone… he chose Denny Laine and Linda McCartney.

    Still better than Yoko Ono, no?

    One artifact that made the rounds back in the day-several artifacts, actually, were various bootleg tapes of Linda’s isolated vocals, either in the studio or in concert. She sounds like a moose getting hit in the testicles with a Louisville Slugger.

    Enjoy.

  96. @ScarletNumber

    The biggest rock stations in New York were playing plenty of Led Zeppelin in the ‘80s. It was rare for them to play an act that hasn’t been around and popular in the ‘70s (with the exception of metal shows that played newer hair bands). A lot of iconic ‘80s music like The Smiths was consigned to college radio.

  97. Feryl says:
    @Chriscom

    I’m a Millennial, I really dig quite a few 80’s pop hits and also into any kind of metal from that era besides the stuff with vocals that annoy me, like Death Metal or Motorhead (Jesus Lemmy might as well have croaked in 1982 given how hoarse and weak that degenerate sounded). I would rather listen to A Flock of Seagulls than 95% of the soft rock crap of the 70’s. Outside of the 80’s I really don’t like most pop music. I like some of the proggier bands of the 70’s, but AC/DC or Bad Company or Aerosmith? Uh, no I’d much rather listen to Rush. 70’s Judas Priest is cool, too (really dark and weird for the era, becoming a major influence on the high-tech 80’s metal to come, and aiming for something more substantial in contrast to the he-man blue collar boogie of the aforementioned shat-upon bands).

    Beato I think is trying to be a populist so he avoids offending nostalgia-heads by not reciting the litany of boring or annoying songs that actually were on the charts in the 70’s or early 90’s (he does the obligatory rock snob thing of dissing 80’s music for using too many synths or samples, but that’s about as far as he goes in being critical of anything released in the older eras.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  98. Anon[179] • Disclaimer says:

    Trumpism theorist and member of Trump’s National Security Council Michael Anton bizarrely wrote a lengthy encomium to Brian Wilson and Smile in of all places the conservative Claremont Review of Books.

    https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/paradise-lost-and-regained/

  99. anonymous[215] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr. Grey

    Could you give me your review of “Afternoon Delight”? I’ve always felt it might be the best example ever of Fear of Getting Caught Liking.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  100. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    I must disagree with your view of Phil Spector and his work. A few points:

    1. The Beatles were big fans of girl groups, and covered two Shirelles songs (“Chains” and “Baby It’s You”) early in their career. They also invited the Ronettes to open shows for them on their last tour, in 1966 — the only girl group ever to tour with the Fab Four. As at least one other commenter noted, “Be My Baby” was Brian Wilson’s favorite single, and he played it obsessively. Wilson viewed both Spector and the Beatles as his chief competitors, and he used the studio (and, yes, the Wrecking Crew) to make records worthy of standing with “Be My Baby” or “I Feel Fine.”

    2. The advent of stereo sound (initially, for LP’s only) had nothing to do with Spector’s success in the early ’60’s, as he recorded almost exclusively in mono, and was primarily concerned with how his 45 RPM singles would sound coming out of portable transistor and car radios and cheap record players.

    3. Calling Spector a “hack” severely underestimates his acumen in a recording studio. Nik Cohn, from Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom, p. 95 (1972): “Spector himself was a prodigy, knew more about the actual mechanics of recording than any other producer before or since. Most producers say what they want and their engineers provide it, but Spector ran it all, understood every last insignificant dial or switch in his control box and bossed it.”

    4. When you write of “Spector’s songs,” please remember that most of his best records were written by the Aldon songwriting teams of either Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich or Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. If you find their songs “puerile,” well, they were intended to appeal to teenagers. Nonetheless, by 2012, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” became the most-played song on radio and television, according to BMI, one of the two major royalty-collection companies. Other Spector productions have played memorable bit parts in the movies (the Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me,” in Goodfellas, to accompany Henry and Karen’s first date at the Copacabana; the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody,” in Ghost). It’s fair to say that his best work has stood the test of time.

    5. Spector’s Wall of Sound was not only admired, but also imitated by other producers looking for hits. The British reissue label Ace has put out three separate volumes of ’60’s records made in the Spector style: Phil’s Spectre: A Wall of Soundalikes, followed by Another Wall of Soundalikes and A Third Wall of Soundalikes. Some of these — e.g., “‘Cause I Love Him,” by Alder Ray [whose voice is a ringer for Darlene Love], “My One and Only, Jimmy Boy” by the Girlfriends, written and produced by David Gates, later of Bread — are frighteningly close to the real thing, showing how closely the record business was watching Spector, trying to decipher his code.

    Girl group records went out of fashion for a long time, and orthodox rock histories — those that suggest pop was a vast wasteland between Elvis’s entry into the Army and the Beatles’ appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show — have tended to dismiss it as empty-calorie fluff. More recent work — see Bob Stanley’s Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop, chapter 11 (“The Trouble With Boys: The Brill Building and Girl Groups”) — is much kinder, and gives the genre its due.

    • Thanks: Mark G.
    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  101. Mr. Anon says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” sounds like the lament of a teenager. “Gee, I wish we were old enough to shack up together.” The sound is appropriately cutesy and juvenile.

    Didn’t Brian Wilson end up shacking up with members of Charlie Manson’s lunatic skank harem?

    Wouldn’t it be nice…………………?

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  102. Anon[202] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: This is big. Biden plans to remove nearly all the nicotine from cigarettes.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/biden-administration-moving-to-remove-nearly-all-nicotine-from-cigarettes-11655869159

    Yep, Democrats thought they had the 2022 election in the bag if abortion is banned. Then they went and own-goaled themselves over tobacco. Smokers across America will revolt in fury if they can’t get a nic fix. The Nanny State finally crossed the uncrossable line. Biden has just turned all the smoking liberals into libertarians.

    By the way, what is it with Democrats wanting to legalize drugs, but ban nicotine? Yes nicotine will kill you, but it takes decades to do it. People don’t have psychotic breaks on tobacco and end up a homeless street person like they do on hard drugs.

  103. Anon[202] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    I would not say The Beatles were great players, but they had ‘playing chemistry’ when they worked at it. And getting ‘that sound’ which sounds very distinctively like the Beatles, beats any batch of studio musicians that were ever thrown together. It takes the right combination of musicians and a lot of gigging to produce chemistry, and there has been an ocean of bland bands that never managed to produce any special chemistry.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  104. Anon[179] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Money is the shadow reason for Brian Wilson’s rise & downfall.

    By ’65, Wilson was a multimillionare and the other boys (sans stage replacements) were just hitting or about to cross over that line with no end to their popularity in sight. This seeming financial security engendered a lot of good will and allowed for the now famous arrangement of Brian staying off the road and in the studio.

    While Wilson could now concentrate his artistry and keep the Beach Boys on the cutting edge of pop hipsterdom, there was now no financial incentive to keep him in line. It is no secret that Brian obsessed about writing #1 commercial hits but at the same time, he started to make a lot of non-commercial, avant-garde decisions that made it clear that the art was more important than the pop. If the kids followed, as hoped, great; but whether they did or not wasn’t going to have a financial bearing on him– he was set for life.

    The same wasn’t really true for the others. The act and their financial security lived and died with their popularity and their ability to recreate what was on the record live; both aspects started to nose dive [especially the popularity in the states]. The songs became too sophisticated musically and mid-60s technology too primitive for them to satisfyingly rearrange the songs for the live show. Then there were bad investments and profligate spending habits, and by ’67, every other band member was financially wiped out– and this isn’t even getting into the contract arguments between the Beach Boys and Capitol records.

    “Don’t f*** with the formula” is attributed infamously to Mike Love, but it is often only brought up in terms of Love not understanding the music or as an example of how he bullied his cousin; no one brings up the frustration and stress of being in a crashing live act, having no money left and being dependent to a cousin who was far removed from any of these struggles.

    Wilson’s studio experiments and ambitions were brought to an end before his first major breakdown (where he was institutionalized for a time) in late ’68.

    The next several years, starting with the shelving of the Smile project, only make sense if one recognizes that the Beach Boys were circling the wagons and changing gear to survive financially (which took years). They started by making the whole band “producers” on the albums and simplifying everything to make live arrangements easy, to starting Brother Records and controlling masters, to preventing Brian from working outside the group and forcing him to accept an arrangement that the band had 1st refusal on anything he wrote. His formal presence got them breaks they didn’t deserve (like that Warner Brothers contract) but it also crippled him and his output.

    The worst thing to happen to Wilson wasn’t the drugs and grandiosity leading to a burnout, it was being tethered to a group he outgrew due to family concerns. He wasn’t quite the same after his institutionalization (possibly due to the heavy psychotic drugs they were giving him) but he still had his muse, he still mostly had it for several more years but by all indications, he resented the arrangement he found himself under and all but stopped sharing music. It withered away without regular use. That’s when the drugs and mental illness really went into overdrive.

    We can say the good is that in some highly convoluted, backwards way, it probably did save his life by slowing him down just enough for all the messy decades to play out. The bad is just how messy it has been, and how Brian Wilson has been a living shade for most of the past 50 years who is praised for a 3-year period of output and what could have been. It opens up the question on whether it would’ve been better for Wilson to move on from the Beach Boys (he was working with an early version of 3 Dogs Night) and becoming a composer/producer for others then to be saddled forever with his family and childhood friend. That Wilson would’ve probably had a much longer string of hits, maybe some more stunning than what we got; but he’d just as likely would’ve died of a drug overdose (or some ailment attached to years drug abuse) at a younger age in the 70s or 80s.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  105. Mr. Anon says:

    You want music? Spectacle? Fun? Check out this act – pure weapons-grade entertainment:

    • Replies: @Daniel H
  106. J.Ross says:

    OT The ugly white face of white supremacy strikes whitely again!

  107. OT – Monkeypox news

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/monkeypox-vaccine-to-be-offered-more-widely-to-help-control-outbreak

    A strategy published today by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) recommends that some gay and bisexual men at higher risk of exposure to monkeypox should be offered vaccines to help control the recent outbreak of the virus.

    Although anyone can contract monkeypox, data from the latest outbreak shows higher levels of transmission within – but not exclusive to – the sexual networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.

    The virus is not currently defined as a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be passed on by close and intimate contact that occurs during sex.

    In response, the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) vaccination strategy recommends offering the smallpox vaccine Imvanex, which is shown to be effective against monkeypox, to men considered to be at higher risk of exposure.

    The strategy is endorsed by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which was consulted on the eligibility criteria for the vaccine.

    An individual’s eligibility would depend on a number of factors but would be similar to the criteria used to assess those eligible for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – but applied regardless of HIV status.

    Also in Monkeypox news

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10939725/British-Airways-crew-isolation-monkeypox-fears.html

    An entire British Airways crew has been put into isolation in Singapore after one of them caught monkeypox.

    The two pilots and nine stewards and stewardesses have all been put in quarantine for 21 days, it is understood.

    Health officials detected the infection in one steward when staff were tested after landing on Sunday evening.

    You could have put your house on the infected person being cabin crew (and male) rather than flight deck. I wonder what the average pilot thinks of the average male steward? I imagine they try not to.

  108. @anonymous

    “Afternoon Delight” is an absolute gem of a record.

  109. anonymous[320] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m a mid-westerner in my forties now and I remember when come every summer during my childhood and teenage years Beach Boys music was constantly playing.

  110. Thoughts says:

    Beach Boys >> The Beatles

    Hey Jude and Let me Hold Your Hand

    I can’t think of anything else by The Beatles

    Good Vibrations, and California Girls

    The Beach Boys songs make me happier

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  111. @Gary in Gramercy

    1. The Beatles were big fans of girl groups, and covered two Shirelles songs (“Chains” and “Baby It’s You”) early in their career.”

    Operative word is “early”. When they were close to being teenagers themselves. For teenagers Spector was the be all. As they matured, the girl groups held less sway over them. Also, perhaps they were also attracted to the girl groups (the Rolling Stones toured with the Ronettes and Keith Richards admitted to a brief affair with the lead singer).

    3. Calling Spector a “hack” severely underestimates his acumen in a recording studio.

    A fine technician, not an artist. “I am the Walrus”, and “Strawberry Fields Forever” dwarfs anything conceptually and artistically that Spector ever came up with. The creative ideas on how a song should sound (sonics) weren’t his strong suit. Wall of sound = making sure the overall technical aspects of the song sounds “big”, while impressive at times, doesn’t create any new sounds in the same way that adding different instruments to a song (e.g. a sitar on Norwegian Wood, adding discordant radio sounds on the Walrus, etc) wasn’t Spector’s thing. Again, there must be a reason that the Beatles hated his work on Let it Be.

    “If you find their songs “puerile,” well, they were intended to appeal to teenagers. ”
    Thre you go. They’re in the same vein as songs written for the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC. Smae thing. All filler, no content. Totally trivial, superficial. Content wise, many of Spector’s songs weren’t any different than other hits like “Itsy Bitsy Teen Weeny…Poka Dot Bikini.”

    Girl group records went out of fashion for a long time, and orthodox rock histories — those that suggest pop was a vast wasteland between Elvis’s entry into the Army and the Beatles’ appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show — have tended to dismiss it as empty-calorie fluff.”

    Because it is empty fluff. The songs are no different than the ’90’s NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, Take That, etc. Only difference is that many rock histories are written by NYers, who have a bias toward things from…NY. Perhaps one day the boy bands of the ’90’s will be given its due and we’ll find histories written about their songs as well. There is no substantial difference between Phil Spector’s girl groups of the ’60’s and the boy bands of the ’90’s. They are essentially the same: Same style, same sound, and especially, the same type of trivial fluff from a lyrics content perspective.

    But again, perhaps one day the boy bands will be given their “just due” in music history as well. No difference between the two, period. Except perhaps that the ’60’s girl groups was what the Boomers grew up listening and thus every single aspect of their coming of age yrs should be taken as gospel.

    Regarding Spector’s artistic brilliance, to quote a NY phrase that aptly fits here: fogettaboutit.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Anonymous
  112. Daniel H says:
    @Feryl

    My take on that is Boomers and Gen X-ers prefer hard rock from the 1970’s because it doesn’t date as much as the poppier stuff, and they want period pieces to be “cool” rather than embarrassing.

    What? Poppier stuff dating? Pope sixties was more than some of the best sixties.

    This song will be enjoyed 200 years from now. Why aren’t Burt Bacharach and Hal Leonard already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Feryl
  113. Daniel H says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Kid Creole and the Coconuts. Great act. I remember him/them from the early ’80s. Thought more would come of him/them

    Kid Creole (August Darnell) not to be confused with Kidd Creole (Nathaneal Glover) a popular rap star from the 80s/90s who inexplicably knifed a homeless man to death back in 2017. He was tried, convicted and sentenced for the crime to over 15 years in jail in August 2022.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  114. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Lots of 1960s rock stars had mental problems — Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett, John Lennon (while Paul McCartney was always remarkably sane) — but offhand I can’t think of anybody besides Spector who was a dangerous loon toward other people. Tom Wolfe put a cheerful spin on Spector’s craziness in the mid-1960s, but the Ramones were outspoken about how scary he was in the late 1970s.

    That said, Spector was, briefly, an astonishing sonic artist. Note that the most popular Christmas song of the last 3 decades, Mariah Carey’s 1994 “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” is in the style of Spector’s early 1960s Wall of Sound productions. Similarly, Peak Springsteen tracks like “Born to Run” owe a big debt to Spector.

    My guess is that if Spector weren’t such a horrible person, he’d have been a greater artist and thus would have exploited the great advances in recording technology and style of the later 1960s, which he failed to do. But he was still pretty good before the Golden Age.

  115. @Feryl

    Rick Beato is 95% about why the good stuff is good rather than why the follow-up album was disappointing. For example, at David Pinsen’s suggestion, I posted Beato’s epic analysis of Boston’s 1976 first single “More Than a Feeling.”

    Beato explains why in 1976 this track was both astonishing and highly welcome, what the Youth of Today had been waiting before. On the other hand, Beato isn’t the guy to go to for depressing analyses of why that was Boston’s high point and the their subsequent stuff wasn’t as good.

    If you were a weekly music reviewer back then, it was important to point out that Boston’s later albums disappointed so that your readers wouldn’t waste their money on them. On the other hand, if you are Rick Beato today, it’s more important to explain why Boston’s first album in 1976 was great than why the second and third albums were up to the standard of the first because nobody these days cares.

    • Replies: @Feryl
    , @MEH 0910
  116. @Feryl

    I was out ahead of the most of the public in 1977-1982 in advocating the cheaper and faster approach.

    On the other hand, that stylistic ideology caused me to not pay much attention at the time to Pink Floyd’s old-fashioned 1979 masterpiece “Comfortably Numb:”

    Obviously, today, “Comfortably Numb” sounds like the greatest electric guitar solo(s) of the last 2/3rds of a century, but at the time I didn’t pay much attention to it.

    • Replies: @Mike Tre
    , @Corvinus
  117. @Daniel H

    I prefer Dionne Warwick’s version.

    It’s interesting why I Say a Little Prayer For You seems like it’s clearly the best of the many outstanding Bacharach – David songs of the 1960s

    • Agree: AceDeuce
  118. Feryl says:
    @Daniel H

    I said soporific 70’s pop, not sixties pop. I was responding to the comment about period pieces emphasizing 70’s hard rock.

  119. Brian Wilson is the exception to the rule about younger siblings tending to be the most musically talented member of a music group with siblings (Eddie Vam Halen, Michael Jackson, Donny Osmond).

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    , @Curle
  120. Feryl says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I don’t think Beato personally likes all tht much of the punk, New Wave, or 80’s Metal (which all is part of constellation of the “alternative” movement that the Stooges, Devo, Kraftwerk, and Sparks spearheaded many years before people got sick of mainstream rock) that came about partly as a backlash to the perceived staleness of 70’s rock so that’s why he doesn’t really cover this history. He’s doing his viewers a disservice.

  121. So, what about The Brother Years?

  122. MEH 0910 says:
    @Mr. Grey

    or even Christopher Cross.

    The Greatest Guitar Solo You Can’t HEAR!

    In this episode I rediscover the greatest guitar solo that is inaudible from this classic song.

  123. @Steve Sailer

    “https://youtu.be/Q495KZzlhnc”

    The teen hit once the adults decided might be something there. Layers revealed.

    The foreign language is the rejection of our 1,000-year development of choral & orchestral music. From sacred to profane, from orchestral to band. Voice & Instrument capable of any of it.
    The heart of the First Amendment, rejected.

    No intercession today by even a touch of grace whereby electricity becomes master versus servant. The true post-war story.

    We are:

    Heartbeat
    Control of breath
    Timing

    — Harry gets closer to the actual music in his interpretation than did the original.

    Armstrong and Sinatra had the same ability, and Nelson Riddle turned the table around to make all things new. 1958 is not 1938, boys.

    On what instrument were you instructed? Are you tenor, baritone or bass? The steps to sociability aren’t accidental. Call them waltz or rhumba. An intercessional or a march. The Open Door. Take your grandmother around the floor and she might at that moment know which girl for you to court.

    Vistas are what are beyond that door.

    Neal Hefti (with Riddle) is where the power of music went. It’s the sound of advertising of great institutions. The real background of the 1960s and into today. (You don’t hear it, do you?).

    Neal Hefti:

    “https://youtu.be/BE8Lbjm3rq4”

    “https://youtu.be/JILWmj4Dzog”

    Nelson Riddle:

    The last great moment before 11/1963.

    “https://watch?v=AcJoY4xFXNk”

    The original liner notes state best what was this accomplishment. It’s far, far removed from whence it got its treacly start.

    But y’all keep debating what’s on the approved list of subjects. ((PBS or Rolling Stone)). Believe that there are “genres” or “generations” . . and it is our instruments & ways at stake. Y’all are arguing what’s the least offensive insult in your embrace of Clown World.

    “https://youtu.be/9a0FYE_rj1w”

    Recorded several times over thirty years.
    Not ever the same. But ever new.

    .

  124. MEH 0910 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    In this video (starting at 25:45 minutes in) Rick Beato actually discusses how Boston’s second record doesn’t sound as good as their first record:

    Is this BOSTON’s Greatest Song?

    Streamed live on Mar 20, 2022

    In today’s livestream we discuss if this is the greatest song by Boston.

  125. Brutusale says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Overproduced? Nah…

    Pet Sounds personnel list Per band archivist Craig Slowinski.[119]

    The Beach Boys

    Al Jardine – vocals
    Bruce Johnston – vocals
    Mike Love – vocals
    Brian Wilson – vocals; plucked piano strings on “You Still Believe in Me”; bass guitar, Danelectro bass, and organ on “That’s Not Me”; piano on “Pet Sounds”; overdubbed organ or harmonium on “I Know There’s an Answer”
    Carl Wilson – vocals; lead guitar and overdubbed 12-string electric guitar on “That’s Not Me”; 12-string electric guitar on “God Only Knows”
    Dennis Wilson – vocals; drums on “That’s Not Me”
    Guests

    Tony Asher – plucked piano strings on “You Still Believe in Me”
    Steve Korthof – tambourine on “That’s Not Me”
    Terry Melcher – tambourine on “That’s Not Me” and “God Only Knows”
    Marilyn Wilson – additional vocals on “You Still Believe in Me” introduction (uncertain)
    Tony (surname unknown) – tambourine on “Sloop John B”
    Session musicians (also known as “the Wrecking Crew”)

    Chuck Berghofer – string bass
    Hal Blaine – bicycle horn, drums, percussion, sleigh bells, timpani
    Glen Campbell – banjo, guitar
    Frank Capp – bells, beverage cup, timpani, glockenspiel, tambourine, temple blocks, vibraphone
    Al Casey – guitar
    Roy Caton – trumpet
    Jerry Cole – electric guitar, guitar
    Gary Coleman – bongos, timpani
    Mike Deasy – guitar
    Al De Lory – harpsichord, organ, piano, tack piano
    Steve Douglas – alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, piano, temple blocks, tenor saxophone
    Carl Fortina – accordion
    Ritchie Frost – drums, bongos, Coca-Cola cans
    Jim Gordon – drums, orange juice cups
    Bill Green – alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, güiro, tambourine
    Leonard Hartman – bass clarinet, clarinet, English horn
    Jim Horn – alto saxophone, clarinet, baritone saxophone, flute
    Paul Horn – flute
    Jules Jacob – flute
    Plas Johnson – clarinet, güiro, flute, piccolo, tambourine, tenor saxophone
    Carol Kaye – electric bass, guitar
    Barney Kessel – guitar
    Bobby Klein – clarinet
    Larry Knechtel – harpsichord, organ, tack piano
    Frank Marocco – accordion
    Gail Martin – bass trombone
    Nick Martinis – drums
    Mike Melvoin – harpsichord
    Jay Migliori – baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, bass saxophone, clarinet, flute
    Tommy Morgan – bass harmonica
    Jack Nimitz – baritone saxophone, bass saxophone
    Bill Pitman – guitar
    Ray Pohlman – electric bass
    Don Randi – tack piano
    Alan Robinson – french horn
    Lyle Ritz – string bass, ukulele
    Billy Strange – electric guitar, guitar, 12-string electric guitar
    Ernie Tack – bass trombone
    Paul Tanner – Electro-Theremin
    Tommy Tedesco – acoustic guitar
    Jerry Williams – timpani
    Julius Wechter – bicycle bell, tambourine, timpani, vibraphone
    The Sid Sharp Strings

    Arnold Belnick – violin
    Norman Botnick – viola
    Joseph DiFiore – viola
    Justin DiTullio – cello
    Jesse Erlich – cello
    James Getzoff – violin
    Harry Hyams – viola
    William Kurasch – violin
    Leonard Malarsky – violin
    Jerome Reisler – violin
    Joseph Saxon – cello
    Ralph Schaeffer – violin
    Sid Sharp – violin
    Darrel Terwilliger – viola
    Tibor Zelig – violin
    Engineers

    Bruce Botnick
    Chuck Britz
    H. Bowen David
    Larry Levine
    Other engineers may have included Jerry Hochman, Phil Kaye, Jim Lockert, and Ralph Valentine.

    • LOL: Buzz Mohawk
  126. Brutusale says:
    @Feryl

    Some prog bands released their own “punk” songs.

  127. @Steve Sailer

    Thanks; I had forgotten Greil Marcus’s rave (in his Rolling Stone review of Springsteen’s Born To Run) that the LP was “a ’57 Chevy running on melted down Crystals records.” https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-album-reviews/born-to-run-87675/

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  128. Mike Tre says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Gilmore’s best guitar solo is from Have a Cigar. 2nd one is from Time.

    The boring thing about Beato is that his “WMTSG” series simply takes the biggest hit from any given album and “breaks it down.” But basically what makes the song great is that it was played on the radio a lot.

    The greatest piece of music on the album The Wall – which was in some ways is just one very long song (as it represented the life of man) – is the opening from tracks 1 (In the Flesh) through 5 (Another Brick in the Wall Part II.)

    Beato as far as I can remember never features a deep cut as one of his chosen great songs, because they guy just wants views. Which is fine, but he’s not exactly authentic.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  129. slumber_j says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Brian had a tape loop made of “Be My Baby” so he could listen to it over and over again for hours.

    And he created “Don’t Worry Baby” out of that obsession, which is an amazing-sounding song, with a lot of musical weirdness jammed into it. Sometimes obsession pays off.

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
  130. Corvinus says:
    @Feryl

    You are mistaken slickness with the vast technological improvements in recording equipment. As the 1970’s progressed, 16 tracks were starting to become standard, and 24-track machines arrived. Audio company Dolby developed its Dolby B noise reduction system, and cassette usage exploded. and the first cassette players using the technology.

    Furthermore…

    https://happymag.tv/technobabble-and-night-fever-how-music-production-changed-in-the-1970s/

    “The music/radio industry created “classic rock” via emphasizing certain songs and ignoring others, it’s creation is infact revisionist because it crucially DOES NOT reproduce, in quantity of plays, what was and wasn’t played in the 70’s and 80’s.”

    There is nothing revisionist about stations choosing a format and building an audience based on that format. High listener recognition and identification drove the programming.

    “It plays on nostalgia yet doesn’t simulate what once was reality. Beato is obviously a pusher of classic rock ideology.”

    He is a pusher in people understanding how and why hard rock music was created, and why specific songs became popular. That is the reality. In other words, he meticulously goes through the arrangement and sound of a piece of music, and he has garnered a following based on his detailed explanation.

  131. Corvinus says:
    @Steve Sailer

    “I was out ahead of the most of the public in 1977-1982 in advocating the cheaper and faster approach.”

    Do tell, because that is a bold statement.

    “For example, at David Pinsen’s suggestion, I posted Beato’s epic analysis of Boston’s 1976 first single “More Than a Feeling“

    And when was that?

  132. @Steve Sailer

    OMG that sound!

    [MORE]

    On the radio with the top down in the red TR3, on the way to the beach at Crystal Cove.

    Nobody else was ever there!

    Then the radio would play something like “Up, Up and Away.”

  133. Goatweed says:

    One of my two cassettes purchased was Anita Kerr’s group doing Bacharach -David.

    However, I prefer to turn the sound down and listen to Blondie sing Heart of Glass. Could someone give me an edit without the guys?

    Since I currently like smooth jazz, yawl are an education.

  134. @Mr. Anon

    Didn’t Brian Wilson end up shacking up with members of Charlie Manson’s lunatic skank harem?

    That was Dennis Wilson.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  135. Mr. Anon says:
    @Daniel H

    Kid Creole and the Coconuts. Great act. I remember him/them from the early ’80s. Thought more would come of him/them

    I gather they were fairly big in Europe. I don’t get why they weren’t bigger Stateside. As you say, they were a great act. Not just good musicians, but exceptional entertainers.

  136. Mr. Anon says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    That was Dennis Wilson.

    I stand corrected. I got my mixed-up Wilsons mixed up.

  137. slumber_j says:
    @Steve Sailer

    clearly the best of the many outstanding Bacharach – David songs of the 1960s

    I’d say that would be “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” but there’s no accounting for taste. I do remember hearing it a lot when I was three I guess, so maybe preference has to do with that.

    Anyway both are obviously amazingly good songs, although Dione Warwick apparently hates my favorite. From Wikipedia:

    Warwick did not like “Do You Know the Way to San Jose”, and she had to be convinced to record it. In a May 1983 interview with Ebony, she said: “It’s a dumb song and I didn’t want to sing it. But it was a hit, just like [her recent Top Ten hit] ‘Heartbreaker’ is. I’m happy these songs were successful, but that still doesn’t change my opinion about them.” Though she still does not like it, the song remains one of Warwick’s most popular chart selections, and she still includes it in almost every concert she performs.

  138. @The Wild Geese Howard

    Lake Mead is getting low. That’s the water source for 40 million people.

    The solution to this issue is the same as any issue: more immigration. 40mm people living in the arid southwest isn’t enough. We need more. Always more. If we’re going to get to a billion then the SW needs to do its part.

  139. @Daniel H

    Looks like recent arrivals. Those Afganies are afraid of guns.

  140. Anonymous[282] • Disclaimer says:
    @S Johnson

    So the temptation for duos like Lennon and McCartney must always be to go it alone and maximise earning ability.

    In their case, it wasn’t about the money. They increasingly didn’t see eye to eye.

    Also, the ‘Lennon & McCartney’ formula worked pretty well as they were about equal in talent and output.

  141. Anonymous[282] • Disclaimer says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Girl group records went out of fashion for a long time

    The Supremes so blew away the competition that other girl groups didn’t matter anymore.

  142. Anonymous[312] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Just want to remind everyone that Wilson had the entire Wrecking Crew at his beck and call…
    Meanwhile McCartney was limited to the musicianship of the Beatles. George was a brat, John was lazy, had ADD, and Ringo, also lazy, resisted anything beyond his norm that McCartney, or anyone, asked him to do….

    McCartney became his own or one-man wrecking crew. Some say he became a better drummer and guitarist than Ringo and Harrison and secretly substituted his playing over theirs. Ringo came to live with it.

    Still, Wilson was in a more problematic situation because he had to do it alone. McCartney could lean on Lennon, another heavyweight and even partially on Harrison who could be good for a song or two on an album. In contrast, Wilson was the only real song writer though Mike Love helped a little.

    Also, despite the increasing divergence, Lennon and McCartney appreciated each other’s talent and styles. And they both understood the need for change in the 60s. Swim or sink.

    Wilson, in contrast, was misunderstood and unappreciated by others in the band when he came up with Pet Sounds, and it was even less so with Smile. Because Wilson didn’t have a creative ‘soulmate’ in the band, he had to rely on outside talent, fatally with Van Dyke Parks whose artiness was too much for the band.

    Another limiting factor was Beatles began as a pop band, which meant they could try just about anything. They were fixed to a label. But the Beach Boys were stuck with the ‘surf’ label, and this was limiting in both expression and expectation, and that explains why critics were initially lukewarm to Pet Sounds. It sounded too arty for a ‘surf’ band. ‘Good Vibrations’ was the limit to which Wilson could be part of the new scene. Proto-psychedelic and experimental but still about sunshine and the beach, away from hippies. It was like innocence on acid.

    In sensibility, Wilson was closer to McCartney but closer to Lennon in eccentricity. He was sweeter than McCartney but madder than Lennon, not least because of father issues, like Michael Jackson(and partly Elvis with surrogate father figure in Tom Parkers). Wilson was the most intelligent and talented by far in the band but also most childlike and emotionally stunted.

    Brian Wilson was a fine song writer until he finally fried his brain with LSD.

    A lot of rockers over-indulged drugs but in Wilson’s case it was worse because of his ear-related neurological problems from childhood when his father bashed his head with a 2 x 4. So, he didn’t just lose brain cells but the circuitry got seriously messed up.

    Likewise, Syd Barrett was affected worse by drugs because of underlying psychological issues. He was abnormal to begin with.

  143. Anonymous[312] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sound Pet

    Pet Sounds is the single greatest expression

    Sadly, their only great album.

    One of those works that promise greater things to come but turns out to be a swan song of sorts.

    Smile, which was finally released some years ago, is a remarkable work but spotty, overripe or thin at times.

  144. Anonymous[618] • Disclaimer says:
    @northeast

    Morrison is great but overdid the soulful thing.

    • Replies: @Ron Mexico
  145. Anonymous[279] • Disclaimer says:
    @james wilson

    Songs that catch on without melodic genius hold a temporary stay limited to the culture that spawned it.

    Two kinds of longevity in culture. Institutional and popular. ‘Sugar Sugar’ is lightweight but has infectious melody and will be bouncing in someone’s head for a long time.

    Then, there are institutions that create canons and passed them down to the educated and cultural elites. Most people don’t know about this culture but it will be passed down, elite to elite for a long time.

    If a song plays in a language you don’t understand it’s a keeper.

    With many rock songs you can’t hear half the lyrics(and that’s putting it generously), and many people don’t even care about the lyrics as they’re for the energy. And many rock songs have nonsense lyrics. Misheard rock lyrics constitute a genre of their own. Before the internet and easily available lyrics, there were different takes on lyrics, like ‘and there’s a wino down the road’ from ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Correction: ‘and as we wind on down the road’.

  146. Anonymous[399] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It doesn’t belong on Pet Sounds, which is about innocence. ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ is about expectation of conjugal bliss, of which sex is a part and much of the album is forlorn and wistful.

    ‘Good vibrations’ is about orgasm on psychedelics, something wilder than theme of Pet Sounds.
    It was meant to be the more ambitious Smile, a project that collapsed on Wilson.

  147. Anonymous[200] • Disclaimer says:
    @Viva La Migra

    ‘More than a Feeling’ is an all-time great rock song. ‘Peace of Mind’ is pretty good.

    ‘Amanda’ is a fine ballad.

  148. Anonymous[149] • Disclaimer says:
    @S Johnson

    Song-writing seems pretty zero-sum in that sharing a credit with someone inevitably detracts from your share of the profits, whereas with movies you can negotiate a higher salary or more percentage points if you feel you’re not getting a fair shake.

    On the other hand, better to take 50% of a big hit than 100% of a non-hit. Jagger and Richards couldn’t have done it alone.

    Also, breakups have less to do with money than egos and sensibility. Paul Simon wrote all the songs but had personality issues with Garfunkel. And he wanted to move away from the kind of poetic folk rock that made the duo famous.

    Sting was the sole composer for most Police songs but wanted to go his own way.

    9 times out of 10(or maybe 19 times out of 20), going solo after gaining fame with a certain act is fatal.
    Even if you’re the sole composer, you lose the chemistry that made you what you are.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  149. Anonymous[149] • Disclaimer says:
    @David In TN

    I thought Herb Albert was Latino but was actually Jewish.

    A hipper version of Mantovani, something for everyone, especially those over 30 who wanted something fresh but not too loud. Something Mrs. Robinson might put on just for mood.
    Not something to listen to but something to drink to or relax with.

    Jazzy but not Jazz, fast but not rock, easy but not quite elevator music.

    Most of his stuff was third-fate but ‘This Guy Is in Love with You'(Burt Bacharach-composed) is an all-timer.

    He had a little comeback with ‘Rise’.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  150. Anonymous[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    I would not say The Beatles were great players, but they had ‘playing chemistry’ when they worked at it.

    Also, some of their best songs didn’t rely on complex or expert instrumentals.

    Their early stuff owed mainly to high energy, speed, and inspiration. It was primal volume that mattered.

    And songs like ‘Norwegian Wood’, ‘Yesterday’, ‘For No One’, and ‘Hey Jude’ rely more on vocals than instruments.

    And ‘Penny Lane’ relies on non-rock instrumentals(English-style brass), and Strawberry Fields is more about production and distortion than conventional instrumentals.

  151. @Steve Sailer

    “My guess is that if Spector weren’t such a horrible person, he’d have been a greater artist and thus would have exploited the great advances in recording technology and style of the later 1960s, which he failed to do. But he was still pretty good before the Golden Age.”

    Yeah…okay…..

    I’m just not seeing it. I don’t see any substantial difference from a creative standpoint between Spector’s ’60’s girl groups and the ’90’s boy bands (like the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, etc), basically the songs on the radio that your kids might have enjoyed at one time. It basically appeals to the same type of audience: Tweeners and early teenagers. Like Spector’s work, the boy bands music was well produced.

    I’ll mention a name of an American producer who never really got the creative credit he was due, and that’s Chips Moman. From the mid/late ’60’s through most of the ’70’s he recorded many popular and some rock stars and his work contributed to about 150 songs in the top 40. Very few producers can claim that kind of credit. Far more than Phil Spector, Chips Moman was an amazing sonic producer who knew how to get the most out of a song. Unlike Spector, Chips Moman didn’t kill anybody, wasn’t psychologically disturbed like Brian Wilson, and was a pleasure to work with in the recording studio.

    Chips Moman. Compared to Spector, he’s clearly an American institution in the music business.

    PS: Re: Christmas music, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” remains the 20th century’s biggest selling record and is still among the biggest selling records ever.

  152. Anonymous[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thoughts

    Beach Boys >> The Beatles

    Problem is the Beach Boys are from 62 to 66 whereas Beatles are from 62 to 70.

  153. Mr. Grey says:
    @Feryl

    I think it’s simply that modern filmmakers use music from the 60s or 70s or 80s that remain popular with today’s audience, whatever age, instead of trying to acurately portray what would have been on the radio. Because I am in my mid-50s, I notice it mostly with films set in the late 70s and early 80s when I listened to punk/new wave stuff mostly. Iggy Pop is a good example- he was famous in a small circle, but ignored by the mainstream. A few decades later, his music is on all kinds of commercials and you would think he ruled AM radio in 1979.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  154. Since it seems like we are talking a little bit about woulda coulda shoulda with entertainers Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. How about someone in the entertainment industry that did great things, but never got the credit he deserved. That would be John Meston. Meston was the co-creator, along with Norman Macdonnell, of the radio and television series Gunsmoke. Of course, Gunsmoke is still by far the best TV series ever produced. And it was Meston that wrote nearly all the older episodes. These older episodes, done in black and white, are, in general, amongst the most riveting and best TV episodes ever created. They also set the stage for Gunsmoke’s long term success. Thanks John Meston, no TV show has passed the test of time as well as your Gunsmoke.

  155. @Mr. Grey

    If hollywood wants to know what was popular with music fans in their period pieces, all they have to do is look at the top of Billboard charts for a range of particular years and they’d get the idea.
    Whatever was on commercial radio back in the day, were the artists that charted the most.

    But they generally get it right. They know that Elvis was the ’50’s, the Beatles were the ’60’s, a total free fall was the ’70’s, Michael Jackson, U2, Prince, were the ’80’s, grunge & boy bands were the ’90’s.

    And mostly rap for the last 20 yrs or so.

  156. @Anonymous

    That isn’t possible.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  157. @Viva La Migra

    …Sloop John B which Brian Wilson didn’t even write.

    As with “La Bamba”, “Scarborough Fair”, “Day-O”, “Guantanamera”, and “House of the Rising Sun”, whoever wrote ” Sloop John B” was long gone by the 1960s. This is quite convenient, as the arranger gets the royalties. The other Animals were sore at Alan Price for putting his name alone under “House”.

  158. @Anonymous

    Paul Simon wrote all the songs but had personality issues with Garfunkel. And he wanted to move away from the kind of poetic folk rock that made the duo famous…

    …and that, of the two, only Garfunkel could sing. At least Simon’s later work was by a man who honestly recognized how dopey his voice sounded, and was written to match.

    A similar case of honesty is seen in Carole King who, after a brief (but highly remunerative) spell as her own lyricist, went on to hire professionals for the job.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Curle
  159. Hey people. Brian Wilson and the Beachboys were great for a very simple reason–as were the Beatles; they made music that you like to sing to yourself or out load with friends. Sometimes things are simpler than we make them. All the theory stuff is great, but Brian never forgot that music should be fun.

    I read a biography about Wilson in 2004. Remember, their father was a talented musician and producer. He drove them hard to be great vocalists. Their voices were tiered like a church choir and they used this to great effect.

    I owned a Concept II rowing ergometer. Always, to inspire my workout I would put on (Steve shows above) The Beach Boys, Sounds of Summer album. It stoked many a workout. I tried others, but they didn’t work. By the time I got to Shut Down I was going full bore. Pure stoke.

    There’s no other music like it.

    Anyway, there’s my two cents. I’m not heavy into theory. I can sing most Beach Boy songs by heart, was 13 in 1964 and sang I Get Around and Good Vibrations in three part harmony with my high school partying buddies. Sometimes music is just about feeling good.

    The Beach Boys had a different sound from the British Invasion because the BBoy’s were about water. The British were about inter-city angst.

    p.s. I bought Smiley Smile in 1968, so I’m not indifferent to their later stuff.

  160. AceDeuce says:
    @Anonymous

    Alpert made a lot of albums, many very successful–he’s the only person to have a Number One record as a vocalist and another as an instrumentalist. He’s in the R & R Hall of Fame.

    And, while he made a lot of money as a musician, he made much more from the record label he co-founded-A & M (He was the “A”).

  161. Anon[206] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Now hold on there!
    I’m no expert on King,but I do believe she composed “You’ve Got A Friend”, ” I Feel The Earth Move,” and ” Brother,Brother” by herself. That’s pretty good!
    Also,as a horny lovelorn teen,I had a crush on the lady. But now,being testosterone free,I can look at her more objectively. She was a homely girl,tbqh,but they photographed her,and fixed her hair,etc, to make her look just right on the verge of being sexy.
    Still I woulda banged( bung?) her all the way up to the 90s.

    I was surprised to hear that Gerry Goffin had a baby with Jeanie Reavis,an R& B singer they worked with. Carole apparently accepted this for a few years. I later found out her goyim husband would clobber her. Something tells me Carole was into something that wasnt good.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  162. Anon[206] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    And,as Rodney Dangerfield might say,he was ugly too!

  163. Curle says:
    @dearieme

    “The Beatles would have been proud of them.”

    Sgt Pepper was an imitation of Pet Sounds.

  164. Curle says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    King co-wrote songs with her husband Gerry Goffin b/w ‘61-68. The list of songs is formidable and can be found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_songs_with_lyrics_by_Gerry_Goffin

    She wrote three more hit songs with him b/w ‘68-‘84.

  165. Curle says:

    “I don’t see any substantial difference from a creative standpoint between Spector’s ’60’s girl groups and the ’90’s boy bands (like the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, etc), basically the songs on the radio that your kids might have enjoyed at one time. It basically appeals to the same type of audience: Tweeners and early teenagers.”

    Because female love of an imperfect boy set to an mini symphony is an boring topic for adults? Do you hate Rodgers and Hammerstein as well?

  166. Curle says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Randy Bachman was the oldest Bachman in BTO.

  167. Curle says:
    @Feryl

    The Pistols while posing as Lefties released the most reactionary song in popular music history and got away with it (briefly). For that alone, they will always be remembered.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  168. Curle says:
    @Sound Pet

    Problem is their best songs weren’t necessarily on the album. Beach Boys really weren’t an ‘album’ band in any meaningful sense given the distribution of their best work across many albums. Sure, Caroline No is great. But, Warmth of the Sun, Till I Die, Girl Don’t Tell Me are among their finest but aren’t on any single album.

  169. anon[338] • Disclaimer says:
    @(((They))) Live

    I ended up buying Pet Sounds after hearing all the hype. But really only ever listened to the two or three singles I knew on it.

  170. @Steve Sailer

    I’m a huge Beach Boys fan but I would have to agree that Pet Sounds is good but not absolutely great. Keep in mind that the Beach Boys released a lot of monster hit singles and didn’t do the album quite thing like the Stones and Beatles who ushered in a new pop era with ‘Album Rock’.

    Here are some hits of the Beach Boys that equal (and sometimes beat) anything on Pet Sounds:

    Don’t Worry, Baby
    Fun, Fun, Fun
    All Summer Long
    Surfing USA
    I Get Around
    Darlin
    Help Me, Rhonda
    I Can Hear Music

  171. anon[338] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The important question is: was Dionne ever considered hot? Like her (I think) niece Whitney Houston? Her nostrils just always seem a bit too flared, but I didn’t exactly catch her when she first hit big.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  172. @Curle

    The lyrics of “Jazzman” were written by David Palmer, who was, briefly, a member of Steely Dan. He’s the one who sang “Dirty Work” and “Brooklyn Owes the Charmer” on the first Dan album.

  173. Feryl says:
    @Curle

    Some early punk and New Wave was actually somewhat against the Left, if not apolitical or simply against the establishment and boring cliches. Oingo Boingo and Fear in particular (Danny Elfman would later say that he was being ironic and a troll with some of those lyrics). Then in the late 80’s nearly all artists who “got political” once again began spouting obligatory Lefty rhetoric that artists are supposed to say.

    I don’t think the Pistols were though of as “Left-wing” as much as snotty brats rebelling against staid respectability. Brit punks wore Nazi iconography usually to piss off the generations who lived through WW2.

  174. MEH 0910 says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endless_Summer_(The_Beach_Boys_album)

    Endless Summer is a compilation album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released on June 24, 1974. A collection of hits from the band’s 1962–65 period, Endless Summer was compiled by their old label, Capitol Records, following the success of the film American Graffiti, in which several songs were featured. It revitalized the band’s popularity after years of lukewarm sales, but also inspired nostalgia for the Beach Boys’ early surfing and hot rod-themed music, repositioning the group as an oldies act.

    • Replies: @mark green
  175. @(((They))) Live

    Lists of the greatest (pop) albums of all time will always come up with the best selling albums of the most popular groups, but the trouble is that once you really try to search for the best album of all time, you will start to hit genre boundaries, because if your musical taste is really so refined, then ultimately you may prefer jazz or opera.

    Pet Sounds is OK, but I doubt if it has inspired many people’s lives by listening to it.

    But then if you look at the list of the best jazz albums of all time, you find the same thing, a list of the most popular albums of the most popular artists, and you usually end up with Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue as the table topper, which I personally don’t enjoy that much.

    Then you have the movie soundtrack albums that obviously reawaken viewer memories of heartwarming movie tales. This could be the best soundtrack album of all time, but everyone has their own personal experience of music, so who knows?

    • Replies: @Curle
  176. @MEH 0910

    ‘Endless Summer’ is the Beach Boys’ best album. Nothing comes close. This album actually contains 20 songs (including Wendy, Shut Down, Little Deuce Coup, Don’t Worry Baby, Surfer Girl, and more). Every song is very good. Most of the songs are outstanding hits. ‘Pet Sounds’ is not even in the same league as this unpretentious Beach Boys album.

    • Replies: @IronForge
  177. @Curle

    King co-wrote songs with her husband Gerry Goffin b/w ‘61-68.

    When asked why she hadn’t written lyrics before Tapestry, she replied that when you have a Gerry Goffin to do it for you, why bother?

    She’s basically a straight, female, Jewish, American, toned-down version of Elton John. With multiple Bernies.

    As for “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, which many here resent, I give the Goffins the benefit of the doubt and assume they were mocking themselves along with their neighbors. After all, they left New Jersey for California, didn’t they?

    She lives in Idaho now. You know who else lived in Idaho, until their respective deaths in 2016 and 2020? Patty Duke and “Chad” Chadwick of Chad and Jeremy. She (Carole) should have gotten together with Chad!

    Chad did get together with Patty, but many years before. Here she is with Jeremy:

  178. @Anon

    ”I Feel The Earth Move,”

    I feel my stomach move whenever I hear “the sky tum-BOO-lin’ down, a-tumboolin’ down…” That’s downright amateur. People don’t talk in rhyme, but we do talk in scansion.

    She should have run that through Gerry first. Or just gone back to the Brill.

  179. @Buzz Mohawk

    “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is the lament of a teenager, for sure. “Caroline, No” is the lament of an older man who sees the past and realizes that it is gone and cannot be brought back. It’s a marvelous 3 minutes, 30 seconds of music and lyric.

  180. Curle says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    “ and you usually end up with Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue as the table topper, which I personally don’t enjoy that much.”

    Agree. I keep thinking I’m missing something.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  181. @Gary in Gramercy

    Creatively, vocally, The Chrystals, The Ronnettes, etc. are no different than the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC. Only the genders are different. Just that one side came mostly out of NYC, and the other side did not, therefore because bubble gum junk is NYC branded, then “automatically” its creative genius.

    Nope. It’s still junk.Those girl groups weren’t any different than the novelty songs a la “Itsy bitsy teeny weeny…bikini.”

    Same thing.

    If you have a problem with the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and all the other commercially successful boy bands of the ’90’s then that’s called hypocrisy.

    “But, our girl groups were great! They inspired the greatest music, ever!”

    BS

    • Replies: @Curle
  182. @Ron Mexico

    part one of the eagles documentary (produced by azoff, natch) is absolutely incredible and led to one of my favorite bill simmons’ columns on it

    https://grantland.com/features/the-eagles-greatest-hit/

    • Thanks: Ron Mexico
  183. @Steve Sailer

    At the risk of sounding mildly controversial, could it be that Burt Bacharach/Hal David, for the most part (not all, but mostly) basically just wrote upscale bubble gum feel good pop songs? I mean, their commercially successful songs certainly give that appearance of accuracy. Even their Oscar winning “Raindrops keep falling on my Head.” Can be labeled bubble gum lite.

    Not a whole lot of depth in these tunes, Steve. But they certainly would’ve done wonders for Elvis’ late period film soundtracks.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  184. @anon

    No she wasn’t ever considered hot. Neither was Whitney Houston, must’ve missed that one. Certainly nowhere near as hot as Vanessa Williams, if one’s into that sort of thing.

  185. Anon[390] • Disclaimer says:

    I will never forget when Chad and Jeremy did a guest spot on Dick Van Dyke.
    When Chad met the Petries ,he entered their home and pointed at a chair.
    ” You know what we call one of these in England?”
    The curious Petries said no.
    ” A chair.”
    My 8 yr old self thought that was hilarious.
    A few years later,visiting my relatives in England,I used that joke,in reverse.. I killed.

  186. Curle says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “If you have a problem with the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and all the other commercially successful boy bands of the ’90’s then that’s called hypocrisy.”

    No. It’s called discernment.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  187. Feryl says:
    @Mike Tre

    Yep, Beato takes a band (that he usually likes to begin with) from a genre he likes to begin with, and then a song that has some degree of popularity and thus won’t risk obscurity or hostility from normies. I liked him for a bit, and he knows music on a technical level, but it gets boring and formulaic after a while. And if we really want to enlighten people on older music we need to address all genres, annoying songs that somehow got popular, as well as good stuff that languishes in obscurity. And addressing innovation (esp. by lesser known bands) would also be good.

  188. @Curle

    Agree. I keep thinking I’m missing something.

    Basically it comes down to your musical tastes.

    Professional musicians, critics, and teachers of jazz may not have the same criteria for judging the best album of all time, and even if they’re right, it is not necessarily the most enjoyable listening for while you are washing the dishes or lazing around the house.

  189. IronForge says:
    @mark green

    Greetings:

    Since I’m not familiar with any direct messaging protocols here, I wanted to thank you for your recent NewsLink Posts.

    Great Search and Posting. I’m personally disturbed to see these Woked/Failed-State Psycho-Sociopathic Entities attempt to force “Cultural Changes” upon Society.

    Begging first for Tolerance, then Forcing their Ideological Agenda upon the 98% of the General Populace who don’t practice their Idiosyncracies.

    Again thanks; and Best Wishes,

    • Thanks: mark green
  190. @Curle

    Nope. There’s no substantial, creative difference between boy bands and girl groups. Its the same bubble gum junk thats been marketed and packaged to tweens and early teenagers. The old Boomers who fondly recall the girls groups of the early ’60’s were roughly tweeners and early teenagers when the records first came out.

    Put the two songs together: “And then he Kissed Me”, and “As Long as You love Me”. Content wise, theme-atic wise, maturity level wise, both songs are the same thing. Whether it’s Bubble Yum, or Bubblelicious. Empty content, saccharine, and not all that for your teeth.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  191. Anonymous[231] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Mexico

    • Replies: @Ron Mexico
  192. Anonymous[173] • Disclaimer says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    There’s no substantial, creative difference between boy bands and girl groups.

    Big creative difference. Not much difference in sensibility as both are about “i love you, you love me”, but the best songs of the Girl Groups were composed and produced by top talents. They transcended formula and created a fresh sound whereas the boy band music that took off later was totally formulaic.

  193. Anonymous[279] • Disclaimer says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Burt Bacharach/Hal David, for the most part (not all, but mostly) basically just wrote upscale bubble gum feel good pop songs?

    Feel good but more like a top bartender who knows how to mix drinks. Their best songs are like martinia or rum and coke(a genius product) than bubblegum, which would be ‘sugar sugar’ by Archies.

    If no drink around, they at least made good coffee. If you sip drink like DiCaprio and Pitt, there’s still Jill’s coffee for Robards and Bronson. “Say a Little Prayer” is great coffee song. Gourmet coffee as sound before it was a marketable commodity.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  194. Anonymous[199] • Disclaimer says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Burt Bacharach/Hal David’s music is like cocktail or coffee than bubblegum.

    Cocktails for DiCaprio and Pitt.

    Coffee for Robards and Bronson.

    Gotta have that coffee. Bacharach coffee is best.

  195. @Anonymous

    Was “Say A Little Prayer” always clearly the finest Bacharach-David song, or did it take decades for it to emerge as the the consensus choice?

  196. @Anonymous

    Van’s soul is in all of his music. 40+ albums. You meant don’t be black.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  197. Anonymous[401] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Mexico

    Black soulfulness is usually happy and uplifting.

    Morrison’s is often antsy, nagging, and glum. Astral Weeks is a great album but he wears his emotions on his sleeves, and the whole thing is hard to take, especially as some songs go on and on. Despite the obvious talent, it’s an exercise in self-aggravation, a tailspin of depression and morbid navel-gazing. Some of the songs start nice but turn into prolonged gripes. That song “Beside You” keep yapping, ‘beside you, beside you, beside you, beside you…” and you wanna say ‘enough already, okay beside you, so shut up.’ It’s like a beating a dog to death and then some. John Lennon also sometimes had this self-indulgent streak, like with “I Want You” where he keeps repeating the same lines over and over.

    Moondance works better because it’s looser and lighter, especially with his greatest song, “Into the Mystic”.

    Morrison is one of the greats, no doubt, but I never much cared for Nag-Rock. Signs were already there with ‘Gloria’ by Them(after the ant-monster movie?). I suppose ‘Gloria’ is a great rock song, but Morrison’s voice is so pesty.

    He was better when lighter in tone with songs like “Brown Eyed Girl”.

    This 10 min song with Morrison nagging and bitching and whining with his blackened whiskey-soaked Irish soul is just too much. Astral Weeks is good sausage but too much mustard and sauerkraut. The vinegar really gets to you. It needs some beer but there’s just hard whiskey.

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