A Day in the Life & Surf's Up

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Uncle Ernie, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. Uncle Ernie

    Uncle Ernie Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Just an observation, really. I've always been struck by the structural similarity of these two great--and contemporaneously created--songs. Both had a brooding melancholy that set them apart from the rest of their respective albums. Both featured three distinct musical parts (the Lennon sections, the McCartney section, and the orchestral bits for ADITL, while SU had the two opening verses, the middle verses, and the coda). The primary verses in both songs climaxed with soaring falsettos ("if he was from the House of Lords," "having read the book," "it takes to fill the Albert Hall" for the Beatles and "columnated ruins domino" for the Beach Boys) Then in a couple of places, those vocal climaxes are immediately followed by a transitional line sung in the upper register ("I'd love to turn you on" and "are you sleeping, brother John"--heck, they even rhyme). Those do not strike me as common songwriting techniques. Yet there we were--late '66, early '67 with two of the biggest bands in the world simultaneously creating two oddly similar (but completely original) songs that were to be the centerpieces of their most ambitious albums. Interesting coincidence. Synchronicity or hashish? Either way, can't argue with the results.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
    Eska68, Tord, Mike Bass and 9 others like this.
  2. Crimson jon

    Crimson jon Forum Resident

    Both are all time masterpieces that I can listen to forever without tiring. Musically they have a lot of beautiful ideas and they should be discussed together as top if the top tier in music
  3. Chance

    Chance Forum Resident

    Morris County, NJ
    Very interesting topic and observations. Love both songs, but never thought to parralel them like that. Great insights.
    Tord, bumbletort and DK Pete like this.
  4. Uncle Ernie

    Uncle Ernie Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I recently had some fun putting together a multi-hour "Beachles" playlist--consisting of alternating Beatles and Beach Boys songs--for my teenage son. Lots of interesting musical and thematic parallels, as well as songs that just sound great together (e.g., Penny Lane/Wouldn't it be Nice, For No One/Caroline No, Yellow Submarine/Sloop John B, Good Vibrations/Strawberry Fields, Here, There and Everywhere/God Only Knows, Martha My Dear/Time to Get Alone, Mother Nature's Son/Big Sur, I am the Walrus/Heroes and Villains, With a Little Help from My Friends/Friends, She's Leaving Home/Wonderful, Because/Our Prayer, When I'm 64/Deirdre, etc.) But nothing stood out quite like ADITL and SU.
  5. Chance

    Chance Forum Resident

    Morris County, NJ
    That's great! What did he think of it? Wish my dad shared my love of music like that. He gave me all of his records from the fifties when I started getting obsessed, he had some Elvis and Belmonts, but he wasn't really a music guy. :)
  6. Uncle Ernie

    Uncle Ernie Forum Resident Thread Starter

    His expression changed from surly to pensive, so I think he liked it. Actually, he's a fan of both bands. But like many youngsters, he doesn't do albums much. So I figured the best way to get him into the deep cuts of both bands was with a playlist of alternating songs that never got boring. Truth is, I listen to it a lot myself.
    willy and bumbletort like this.
  7. Chance

    Chance Forum Resident

    Morris County, NJ
    So would I, looks like a great mix!
  8. The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man Forum Resident

    I'm thinking the hashish. But really really good hashish!

    Both truly breathtaking songs, btw.
    quakerparrot67 likes this.
  9. samthesham

    samthesham Forum Resident

    Moorhead MN
    For a real treat seek out David Thomas&two pale boys cover of Surfs Up

    It can be found on LP of the same name.

    Essential as well
  10. Uncle Ernie

    Uncle Ernie Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I’m feeling the hash now.:) Creative stuff.
    samthesham likes this.
  11. samthesham

    samthesham Forum Resident

    Moorhead MN
    Yes.One of my fav David Thomas side projects.

    A perfect 1A.M. album.
  12. Cassius

    Cassius On The Beach

    Lafayette, Co
    Two of the greatest minds of their generation going big with LSD.
    Chris M likes this.
  13. dumangl

    dumangl Forum Resident

    To me "Surf's Up" is one of The Beach Boys' triumphs and "A Day in the Life" is a pretentious and unmusical piece of crapola. I don't think it's fair to compare the two songs because The Beatles released many finer songs than "A Day in the Life" and The Beach Boys released many songs that are inferior to "Surf's Up".
  14. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    So did the Beatles release any worse songs than "A Day in the Life" and did the Beach Boys release any better songs than "Surf's Up"?
  15. dumangl

    dumangl Forum Resident


    For example "Revolution 9" and "Cabinessence"
    gregorya likes this.
  16. HfxBob

    HfxBob Forum Resident

    Unmusical...well, that's a new adjective for this song.

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