Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Yorick, May 10, 2018.
Love this. "Heroes and Villains" shines
To say that Mike Love wrote "very little" is absurd in my book. To say what little he wrote was "not very well" is subjective at best. It's your opinion, and that's fine, but I disagree. Take a look at the writing credits on the 2003 "Sounds of Summer" best of comp and it's companion piece 2007's "The Warmth of the Sun". These comps comprise of 58 of the Beach Boys biggest hits and most loved tracks. Mike Love is a cowriter on 27 of them. We are talking massive hits here. Songs that are major pieces of rock/pop history. That's a lot. Again, quality is subjective, but I think that Mike Love's lyrics alongside the music and harmonies define the classic early Beach Boys sound. I'm a massive Brian Wilson nerd/fanboy and I certainly don't think Mike has been a saint over the years (neither has Brian or any of the others for that matter), but I can't help but to laugh when people try to downplay his role in the band's success. As much as I adore Brian and the rest of the Boys, I don't think that they make their initial impact without Mike Love. His Chuck Berry style teenage storytelling lyrics on the early material is perfect. His unwillingness to move past that and keep retreading through the past would end up being his downfall as a lyricist, but for a time, he was a perfect counterpart to Brian.
As far as whether or not Mike should be able to tour as The Beach Boys goes, the Beach Boys corporate entity BRI votes on these matters. Mike, Brian, Al, and Carl's estate all get to vote on who gets the touring license. Brian has always voted to let Mike have it. That really is all that matters in the end. I'm sure they all look at it from a financial aspect as opposed to an artistic one, but nonetheless, they vote for Mike. I think Al is the only one who has ever tried to challenge it, but he gets outvoted. It's easy money for all involved. Mike is willing to tour much more than the others and Brian, Al, and Carl's estate get paid for it. Dennis' estate sold his vote to pay off outstanding debt.
I gave the album one listen through. It's not awful, but to me, it's pointless. A lot of the material is among the most orchestrated (though not always with actual orchestra instruments) pop/rock music of all time. Why mess with it more when it's already perfect? I just think it's kind of pointless.
This could've been really cool if they'd completely eliminated the original instrumentation entirely and constructed full orchestral arrangements around just the original Beach Boys vocals, rather than attempting to just layer the orchestra on top of already layered 60's instrumental tracks. That might've been an album worth listening to.
They did it! They made "Kokomo" even worse
They did replace a lot of the original instrumentation in several places, really makes it interesting. And the enhanced low end on *everything* adds a lot.
Hey, that's fine and I respect your opinion even though I don't agree with it. I do agree about the "for a time he was..." however it was for a very short time. Brian wanted to move on from the early stuff to a more sophisticated grown up type of material. I'd say Mike was best suited for the teenage themed material that was popular from 1962 to 1966. He was insanely jealous of anyone other than him supplying Brian with lyrics and while we and Brian moved ahead, Mike wanted things the way they were. The Beach Boys most interesting work for me came from a time between Pet Sounds and the Holland Album. With Brian as prolific as he was in the early days, I'm sure he would have found someone capable of supplying adequate lyrics to his incredible music. And please, I did not label your opinion as "absurd".
Which is what put them on the map. Without those groundbreaking years we wouldn't be having this conversation at all.
Funnily for me, it's about the only period I seldom listen to anymore. 1966, The magic just begins for me.
Cool info, thank you for the post.
I recall seeing a quote where Mike says Brian will always be a Beach Boy or something like that as a response to the notion that the original guys were fired after the reunion.
Seems that Brian gets paid twice that way, one for his own shows and again for the Beach Boys shows. Not bad!!!
I've wondered though, if Brian wanted to tour as BB, could he insist upon it and join Mike's band?
Seen Mike's band twice so far this year, with one more coming up. Will see Brian in December for his xmas shows.
Took my mother, aged 71 to see Love's BB for mothers day. She loved it. We were in the third row and Mike pointed at her as he voiced "cutest girls in the world." I wouldn't trade that moment it was so cool and she's been talking about the show ever since then.
I would say the Wilson I most miss on stage is Carl. Never saw them with Dennis. Saw them twice in the early 90s with Mike, Bruce, Carl and Al. Only missing Dennis who had passed ten years prior. Didn't think of Brian as missing since he had only toured sporadically with them for the prior thirty years. John Stamos sang "Forever" and while I'll never understand his status as an auxiliary Beach Boy, I was inspired to seek out the song which I hadn't heard before.
You had me at Cuckoo Clock.
I respect your opinion as well. The only part of your post I called absurd was that Mike wrote very little. I stand by that. While other aspects are subjective, to say he wrote very little just isn’t true and is the kind of thing the extremely anti-Mike crowd says to downplay his importance in the grand scheme of all things Beach Boys. Mike co-wrote a huge amount of their early material with Brian and continued to be a contributing part of the songwriting team after the Pet Sounds/SMiLE era. The quality of his lyrics varied, but he was involved a lot. In fact, out of all of their post 1967 singles, all of the original material (not including covers) that made the top 40 in the US, I believe only one song doesn’t have Mine’s name on the credit (Goid Timin’). I feel that most of those songs are good ones too (Wild Honey, Darlin, Do it Again, It’s O.K., Getcha Back).
Again, I’m not saying that your opinion is absurd, but the notion that Mike wrote very little is indeed absurd. It’s not a statement based on fact. The fact is, out of all of Brian’s co-writers as a Beach Boy, the number of compositions bearing the name Mike Love far outweigh any other.
As a Beach Boys fan from the very beginning for their national hits (we didn't hear their regional hits in West Virginia)..This is Grammy Nomination quality! It is by far the best of the Royal Philharmonic projects.
I don't know why people try to say Brian, Al and David Marks were fired after the "Reunion Tour." It was a one year tour. Brian and Al put thier touring "on hold" for one year to participate. Both Al and Brian have been doing their own touring separately and shows for years. And you are right, all the original members of the Beach Boys, and the estates of the deceased ones.....get money every time the current touring band fronted by Mike and Bruce perform. That's over 200 performances a year..some days they do two shows in the same day, in two different parts of the country thanks to jet planes.
Also - and I realize we are off track here - based on a recent clip of Brian from this year, I'm not really sure he should be touring at all. And no Mike's voice ain't great these days either, but in Mike's case, he never had the voice Brian did anyway, so the decline is less of an issue (what I think of as The Ringo Principle). It's more of an issue with Bruce, but then Bruce only does one or two leads. The reason the Love/Johnston act works (IMO) is that a large amount of the leads go to the supporting cast, who are very capable.
I’ve seen and thoroughly enjoyed both acts in the past 15 years. I think both are capable of representing the catalog in a huge way. The Brian show I saw on the 2004 SMiLE tour was among the musical highlights of my life. Fantastic! I saw Brian’s band last year on the never ending final Pet Sounds Performance tour and it was rough to say the least. Brian wasn’t engaged at all and like most reports from that tour, his vocal sound and delivery were pretty bad. I don’t know how much of it was due to inability to sing well at this point or if he’s just bored to death of doing Pet Sounds over and over again. Had it not been for Al and the band, it would have been an awful show. They saved it for me. Blonde Chaplin, who I love, was also pretty bad on both guitar and vocals.
The one Mike show I saw was at a theatre back when his son Christian was in the band singing the Carl parts, very well I might add. Due to it being a theatre show, the setlist was a bit more adventurous than their greatest hits type show they do at fairs and casinos. Similarly to Brian, the backing bands music and vocals helped do a lot of heavy lifting, but Mike did a fine job that night. Bruce was basically just a cheerleader clapping along, adjusting his mic stand endlessly and singing occasionally. Yes, it was corny at times and full of schtick, but I expected that. I still really enjoyed the way that band performed those great songs tonight. Not as good as Brian in ‘04, but good in their own way.
I'm holding out for "Bull Session with Big Daddy" orchestrated in the style of Darius Milhaud.
I heard "That's Why God Made The Radio" in the grocery store the other day. I was like, "yeah, nice. Damn straight!" I don't listen pop/rock radio (is that still around?) and outside of my fandom, I wonder if the rest of the world hears this stuff, you know? It was cool.
I'm leaning towards getting this Philspectorharmonic release. I sorta like the Elvis ones, though I feel a little dirty about it. But I tell myself it's okay. There's actually a handful of really nice moments on those. And there's other moments that just don't work very well.
I find it interesting to read the posts of pro and con Mike Love
I hope the thread is permitted to continue.
Also, I have BB, Roy O, Elvis with Philharmonic and love them. (Bob Dylan w Tokyo 94 was great though too short)
What else should I try of the Philharmonic projects?
I’d give my left arm to see Philharmonic perform live with Jeff Lynn’s ELO.
But Brian stopped being prolific with the demise of SMiLE. It was what everyone else was bringing to the table between then and Holland that kept things going. Whether we want to admit it this or not, the Beach Boys’ legacy is 95% made up of their 1962-1966 material plus Kokomo. The other 5% is everything else which except for hardcore fans, is relatively obscure. That is what it is. Mike Love is a very large part of that legacy. Sure, you say with as prolific as Brian was he could have found another co-writer (which you said to minimize the value of Mike’s co-writing) but that’s like saying that John Lennon and Paul McCartney during their co-writing primes in the Beatles, they could have merely have found someone else to write with. The reasons Lennon-McCartney songs work and the reasons the Wilson-Love songs work are because of how they compliment each other’s contributions. Mike’s co-writing contributions with Brian can’t be minimalized.
The album landed at #4 in the UK in the final weekly chart. It doesn't appear to have charted at all here in Ireland. Strange! Maybe they'll flog a few copies at their Dublin gig tomorrow
Sounds better than I thought it would. Other than the intro, the rest of the orchestration seems kept to a minimum and actually enhances the quieter parts.
At least the orchestra is in stereo. Did they use the original mono mix of GV or the later extraction mix done a few years ago?
Yeah, always a good show.
Feel like i have seen bits and pieces of this... but first time the whole video? Is that Brian's wife with the bball? Pretty cool, of course made me think of the Monkees, but not sure if this is a little before of after the airing of the show...
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