Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Watamushi, Jun 18, 2018.
Striped shirts forever!
Not going higher than a 2 on this. It's fine, nothing wrong with it...but at this point in their career there is little excuse for a cover song, especially if it sounds old fashioned already.
Then I Kissed Her -- gotta be a 5/5 from me. I've loved everything about it since I first heard it for myself almost 50 years ago. Beats the original for me. Looking back at the recordings from this era, I think Al Jardine was almost criminally under utilised for lead vocal slots.
I've probably given AP U.S.A. short shrift and appreciate the enthusiasm others have expressed regarding the song.
I tend to think of Today and Summer Days & Summer Nights in terms of the 2fer, as that is how I became familiar with those albums. When I loaded them into my iPod many moons ago, I jettisoned the weaker tracks or the tracks that didn't fit musically.
Therefore, I may have an automatic bias if the song is not on my playlist. This exercise does force one to give some songs a more thorough listen or a first listen in some time. I may have been too harsh in my ranking of the song.
"Then I Kissed Her"
I have to approach this track as if I had never heard the Crystals, Ronette's, Darlene Love, etc. I have to pretend that The Beach Boys were the first to do a song like this, with this style of arrangement. The gender reversal seems a bit odd when you know what the original version is. Taking The Beach Boys track on its own merits, however, it works exceptionally well.
Not only can The Beach Boys rock out with "Shut Down", "Little Deuce Coupe", "Surfin' USA", "Help Me, Rhonda", etc., but they can also do this sensitive guy music too, which adds depth and breadth to their repertoire. This is one of their best sensitive guy songs and recordings.
Dig the harmonies and Al's passionate lead vocal. It don't get much better than this.
I like "Then I Kissed Her" -- and the fact that it's one of the songs played mostly by the Beach Boys themselves edges it higher to me: this is really what they sounded like in the studio and it was really pretty good. "Then I Kissed Her" from "Then He Kissed Me" sounds like more of a boys' boast than anything, but I like it even so...because kids do boast about sexual conquests (even if it just kiss.) I don't take points off for covers; but this one is probably the least exciting on the album for me.
I'd say 3.5 out of 5, but what the heck: 4/5.
"Then I Kissed Her": to me, it is one of Spector's most boring songs for melody and chord structure, with lazy lyric writing. This is well-done Wilson Does Spector, but I just don't like the song. A 2.
Your ratings for Then I Kissed Her:
Today's song is Salt Lake City:
Lots of people rag on Salt Lake City as pure filler for its travel brochure lyric, but it's far more than that IMO. It is one top tier track in my book, despite the lyric. Once again, all of it comes together -- a superior instrumental track and classic harmonies and more of Brian Wilson's incredible falsetto still in top form. Love repeating four ascending notes notes on the intro and the crash of the drums, the hits on the vibes on the instrumental break and I love that sax riff and the way the outro (..."will be coming soon") always makes me think of a train going down the track or the looking out the window as a kid as the car was going down the long highway to our destination.
I've never let critical blather take away my enjoyment of this fantastic sounding classic Beach Boys track.
Utah's long love affair with the Beach Boys
Utah's long love affair with the Beach Boys
Salt Lake City
A very enjoyable track. It slightly pales in comparison to the run of tracks that are going to follow it, but that doesn't mean it isn't a melodic, well-arranged, well-sung piece. I actually find the lyrics kind of interesting--just the idea that they would pick such a city to dedicate a song around. And the name "Salt Lake City" is naturally aesthetically pleasing with some nice consonant sounds in it. Band of Horses has a great song called "The Great Salt Lake" that I also really enjoy and still find that phrase "Salt Lake" to be really nice on the ears. Anyway, I like it!
Salt Lake City - Another musically ambitious song. Plucky bass intro, Mike/Brian verse interaction, mad cool sax/percussion break (I was happy to hear this accurately recreated in person at a BW concert in 2008), some subtle keyboard work that calls back to "Boogie Woodie", some organ and/or vibraphone adding the sensation of forward motion, an acapella break just for the heck of it... There's just so much stuff packed into this song, it's a smorgasbord of delights.
The lyrics, again, focus on the lighter side of things, and if you aren’t receptive to such feelings in 1965 you might not be able to bring yourself to savor it. At least the people of Salt Lake City must really like this song. Makes it sound like quite the vacation spot.
I know in hindsight people probably wish this track featured deeper lyrics, but the album is called "Summer Days (and Summer Nights)" for a reason. We can rap about LSD, Vietnam, alienation, heartbreak, marital infidelity, arson, and social injustices later. Let's just enjoy some wholesome entertainment for a little while longer. It won’t be long before those dirty drug-addled hippies show up and ruin everything anyway. Present company excluded, naturally.
The way the kids talk so cool is an outtasight thing.
The lyrics are inconsequential: this is the Brian Wilson and the Wrecking Crew in full-out rock mode, the pounding drums, the piano solo, that sudden saxophone break, the triple bass-line. This is an absolute peak, music wise of Brian Wilson, even if the song is kind of dopey. This is the next level after Today!
I give it a 4/5, but if the lyrics spoke to me just a little more, I think this would rival "California Girls" as the perfect example of the brief moment in time that Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys were both hot-stuff commercially and "outtasight" artistically.
I never really got into Salt lake city much until I heard the backing track, and I love ths chiming vibes or whatever is the main rhythm instrument. Turn it up loud or on headphones and you can really hear the energy
Then I Kissed Her. Solid 4/5 for me. I don't mind bands doing the occasional cover, and this is rather different than the original of course. Mostly I am an Al on vocals fan, so I am even tempted to go to a 5 here. But 4 is good enough.
Salt Lake City. 3/5. Great production, but the overall song veers too closely to being a parody of past Beach Boys songs (Hey the kids here are great!). New York City girl, amusement parks, love the way kids talk in... Hey I love the Beach Boys, but it's hard to find this inspirational. I'd rate it lower but the arrangement is great.
Then I Kissed Her 5/5. Beats the Spector production, which is also very good.
Salt Lake City 5/5. To my mind it fits the spirit of the album. Getting away doing stuff, just enjoying life. It's well produced and keeps the LP movin' along.
Based on the arrangement, writing and vocals, I'll high five it. Hearing the Wrecking Crew pull out all the stops sends shivers up and down. For me, it's become the highlight of the album. Hey, I'll always love CG but this is one of my high energy Beach Boys cuts which is right up there with DDD.
The first time I heard "Salt Lake City" was the stereo version on the Hawthorne, CA comp. I was enthralled. This more than anything is probably what started me down the path of Beach Boys fanaticism that lasted years and never completely went away. The somewhat silly lyrics don't bother me at all. 5/5
Salt Lake 4/5
Replace the lyricist and lyrics with ANYthing, and this would be a 5/5 going away.
I never paid much attention to this one until the stereo remix came out, at which point the composition and performance becomes obviously overwhelming. Wotta muscular track.
Wonder what a lyricist such as Jagger or Belew might have done with this.
There is something so guileless about the lyrics, which I often find in Brian Wilson written or co-written songs. He tells it like it is: a song designed purely to thank a particularly strong Beach Boys market. The fact that the lyric is wedded to such amazing music is odd, but its ultimately one of those things that make the Beach Boys so quirky and interesting. Who else would do something like this? Absolutely no one.
I wish I could keep up with this thread... So I apologize for always having to back track:
The Girl From New York City 5/5 ... This is a great song. I wouldn't rate it a 10/10, but on a 5 point scale, it's above a 4, so I'll give it a 5.
Amusement Parks, U.S.A. 3/5 ... I almost considered giving this a 4 as I've always enjoyed this track above expectation.
Then I Kissed Her 4/5 ... I do agree they didn't need to do a cover at this point, but I love when hearing Al sing it. (It was nice when Al, Carl & Dennis got vocals back then)
Salt Lake City 3/5 ... I want to like this track more, the backing track is excellent, but the song feels uneven and uncomfortable lyrically and vocally sometimes. Still a cool tune though
SLC, 3/5, I've always clumped these first 3 or 4 songs together as sounding like the same song (save Then I kissed Her)...this whole side 1 is ok - but side 2...!!
Salt Lake City. I am sure if Mike Love had his druthers, the whole album would have been paeans to different cities the band was big in
Nonetheless, considering the dubious inspiration for the song, it is a thoroughly enjoyable tune. I especially love Brian's falsetto.
Can't give full marks but I will give it a 4/5.
I was interested to read that Dennis played drums on "Then I Kissed Her" and "Girl Don't Tell Me". http://www.tiptopwebsite.com/custommusic2/craigslowinskicom3.pdf
"Salt Lake City"
It should be comforting for the Lake set to know that Mike Love and company will be flying to Salt Lake soon. But it's not just the Salt Lake afficianados who can relate to this song. We all can relate, because we all want the band to visit our county fair, megadome, or wherever.
Further, Mike Love has done extensive research on girl cuteness and found that Utah, girl for girl, has the cutest of the Western states, even outperforming California's girl cuteness quotient.
I kinda wish that he coulda worked Craig Breedlove, who raced on the Utah salt flats, and his jet car into this song, but that's probably asking for too much. It would have brought the early Beach Boys full circle with the modern 1965 Beach Boys.
No complaints with this Beach Boys deep cut either.
With respect, (because I know that the invocation of MIke Love is often an invitation to a cyber-brawl, and I know that nobody wants that) I think that SLC is as much Brian as Mike. "The way the kids talk so cool is an outtasight thing" sound 100% Brian to me. Let's not pretend that Brian is an intellectual. He probably thought it was a good idea too -- at the moment.
It's not like Mike wrote all the lyrics on all their songs; my understanding is that, more often than not, Brian came up with the theme and choruses and Mike generally filled in the blanks.
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