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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:25 am 
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pauldrach wrote:
Bruce wrote:
pauldrach wrote:
And while the acclaim of "Pet Sounds" grew, "Tommy"'s decreased a little over time. It's still a very acclaimed album but it doesn't match the universal acclaim "Pet Sounds" gets nowadays.


It's not quite "universal." Other than the big hit singles, the rest of "Pet Sounds" is weak if you ask me. I never understood what all the fuss is.

"Everybody but Bruce" could still be called pretty universal I guess.


Lots of people don't like that album. Here's some reviews from RYM.

Pros:

+ Nice harmonies.
+ Very, very, very, warm and happy-sounding melodies.
+ Interesting production.
+ God Only Knows.

Cons:

- Simple music with redundant instrumentation, harmonies and instruments. At it's core it's still easy-listening pop music and nothing of the aforementioned changes that.
- So happy and upbeat it's ridiculous and childish.
- Weak lyrics, trying too hard to be serious and mature but coming off as a dialogue off a soap opera, or a weak romantic movie.
- All in all fails to strike a chord as the uplifting, passionate music that was intended. Sounds empty and dull.

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Insufferable.

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One-dimensional is the key word here. One could argue, in view of the arrangements, that at least this album is well-crafted, if not anything else. And what do these arrangements consist of? A keyboard most of the time playing the chords of the song, them being nothing unusual or unique, nor the song being some sort of structural masterpiece. Percussion basically there to keep the beat. Bass there, check. And then there are those elements sporadically thrown around: choral arrangements, brass, and the occasional sound you hear in the song only once or twice, leaving you baffled as to what the point of it is. These, of course, are there to keep you distracted from the fact that the main melodies (a.k.a. the element of a pop song able to carry the whole thing and make it count even when everything else sucks) are childish at best, trite, boring and uninspired at worst. The arrangements are novelty and unnecessary, and really work and carry the songs only in a few places, mostly in 'God Only Knows'.

Emotionally, this doesn't go anywhere. The songs lack any sort of contrast, tension building and depth. While I recognize that pop music should be fun and easy to listen, the fact that Pet Sounds just drools along and the 36 minutes of music just pass you by before you realize it is inexcusable. Songs just state something and repeat it in different ways, without any sort of context: pointless, and not striking the listener with anything in particular.

I could dig music with a more childish and cheesy vibe. I could dig simple music. But not simple-headed music. For Pet Sounds is just that: dull, shallow and, in the end, pretty much worthless, musically speaking.

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i had such high expectations for this......just horrible....everyone listens to the critics and goes along with what they say....

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overrated crap.i dont understand why people love this album so much.it sounds like crap they cant sing.its is just an all around bad album.

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Tears came down from my eyes while listening to this album , as i could not stop YAWNING.How childish , tedious and boring stuff . Half a star too many for this crap

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This is one of those '60s albums that shows up on all the bullshit critics lists. "This is that Beach Boys album you just have to buy!" Then you buy it, listen, and... unless you like happen to like the Beach Boys pre-fab formula sound...bores the socks off of you. What is it with collectors that they buy into this shit that this album is some sort of rock and roll tour de force?! If you're building a collection of "essential" '60s albums, pass this one over and download the two or three important songs on this album in MP3 format. Then you can get bored of it for free then delete the files a few days later, none the poorer for it.

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Is that a billy goat California's finest are molesting on the cover, or just your friendly neighbourhood llama?

Not being an expert on animals, I wouldn't know. But I do know that one man's pet is another man's dinner, and that Pet Sounds is perhaps the first great example of one of my abiding musical axioms: The longer it takes to make a record, the more likely it is to be perfectly worthless.

Now, here's the rub. I also know that this LP is greatly admired for the groundbreaking production work, performed in competition with The Beatles and George Martin. What I suspect is that Brian Wilson's reputation has everything to do with the desire of many to view his subsequent descent into whatever nightmares he lived in his mind as an emblem of genius.

Or to put it another way: The production work is elaborate and seminal, but strip it away and what you have left is a gaggle of intensely annoying, slightly cloying songs. This is a group (or at least an individual) straining to overcome limitations too severe to be surmounted. After all, as a surf outfit the Beach Boys were never as good as Dick Dale, and were far too often Chuck Berry rip-off merchants with a California twist. Augmenting that basic formula with inventive studio trickery doesn't alter it significantly, it just means that you set yourself up for someone, someday to shout: "The Emperor's got nothing on under his ornate robe!".

In some instances wearing no underwear can be quite titillating, but when you're dealing with grown men singing like little girls the per... sorry, the reverse is true.

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Genuinely an unbearable record.

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Like reading a self-helping book written by a christian hippie being deep and marveling about things while trying to show this girl how he is sincere about being sincere and how important it is that he is seen as important but then she seems to have cut her hair or something and he is being miserable something somewhat all hallelujah all love, can not compute. I really tried to listen to this album from start to end in my headphones and searching for this masterpiece that so many people acknowledge, I can not find it neither in the lyrics or ambition or idea or that annoying music or wherever it is supposed to be, it is all just so very bad.

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I suppose we all have them, those highly lauded albums where we just don't get all the praise. Abbey Road has always been one for me, but nothing seems more completely out of whack as this thing. There are a couple decent songs, but mostly it's utter dreck. The tunes are forgettable, the arrangments are amateurish at best, the singing is awful for the most part, and the production just sucks. For those who enjoy this, good for you, I'm sure you hate some of my favorites too, but man! I just plain don't get it.

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I bought this to 'expand my horizons' but I dont like it. It is the most inspid, spineless piece of pop I have ever heard. It makes the Beatles early albums sound like fucking Black Flag.


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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:45 am 
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Bruce wrote:
That's what I told her, greatest American rock band, but actually, Diane grew up with the Beach Boys. She was 15 years old in 1963.


I think she's five years older than my mom (maybe six). My mom bought Pet Sounds, then decided the Beach Boys were no longer cool, so she gave it away. She later regretted it. This isn't very relevant to the discussion, I just felt like adding it. Also, the types of bands she bought albums from in the late '60s (The Moody Blues being a notable example) are not the same type of music groups she tends to listen to now from that era (mostly Motown). I'm not sure what that means.


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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:49 am 
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pgm wrote:
Bruce wrote:
That's what I told her, greatest American rock band, but actually, Diane grew up with the Beach Boys. She was 15 years old in 1963.


I think she's five years older than my mom (maybe six). My mom bought Pet Sounds, then decided the Beach Boys were no longer cool, so she gave it away. She later regretted it. This isn't very relevant to the discussion, I just felt like adding it. Also, the types of bands she bought albums from in the late '60s (The Moody Blues being a notable example) are not the same type of music groups she tends to listen to now from that era (mostly Motown). I'm not sure what that means.


Your mom outgrew her hippie tendancies and now just likes good music.


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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:20 am 
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That might be it. It could just be that she didn't buy many albums for the Motown artists (She had some such as Stevie Wonder and Supremes). She had a lot of singles that have since disappeared, so it could be that they were mostly Motown.


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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:26 am 
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pgm wrote:
That might be it. It could just be that she didn't buy many albums for the Motown artists (She had some such as Stevie Wonder and Supremes). She had a lot of singles that have since disappeared, so it could be that they were mostly Motown.


Yes, most of us bought singles then.


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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:33 am 
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Pet Sounds was an iconic musical statement and an American response to the British Invasion when (other than Motown) no artists could garner much attention or consistantly chart. When Paul McCartney calls God Only Knows the most "beautiful" rock ballad he's ever heard..that says a lot. My only issue with The Beach Boys in general is that I often wonder how they would have sounded with a really vocally talented lead singer.


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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:47 am 
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StuBass wrote:
Pet Sounds was an iconic musical statement and an American response to the British Invasion when (other than Motown) no artists could garner much attention or consistantly chart.


Ever hear of the Four Seasons and James Brown?


StuBass wrote:
When Paul McCartney calls God Only Knows the most "beautiful" rock ballad he's ever heard..that says a lot. My only issue with The Beach Boys in general is that I often wonder how they would have sounded with a really vocally talented lead singer.


I agree that they were not very good singers and that they used a lot of studio tricks to get the vocals to sound good. I've had this argument before with Sampson, who thinks they were great singers, especially Brian.

When you hear their live stuff you cringe. They're all off key most of the time.

There's a live version of "Surfer Girl" on youtube that is absolutely putrid.



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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:50 am 
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StuBass wrote:
Pet Sounds was an iconic musical statement and an American response to the British Invasion when (other than Motown) no artists could garner much attention or consistantly chart. When Paul McCartney calls God Only Knows the most "beautiful" rock ballad he's ever heard..that says a lot. My only issue with The Beach Boys in general is that I often wonder how they would have sounded with a really vocally talented lead singer.


Stu, how about you participating in this project?


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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:57 am 
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Yeah, I've heard of those other artists...but by the time of Pet Sounds The Four Seasons were already looking to change record companies and JB was just moving more into the mainstream from his success on the R&B charts. That said...The Beach Boys were terrific singers so far as vocal harmony is concerned. They were influenced by The Four Freshmen, The Hi Lo's, and even The Modernaires which Brian modeled their harmonic style after, and which other rock groups were not doing that style of harmony...either using more doo wop style backgrounds or more unison singing. My criticism was directed at the lead singing...not their beautiful background harmonies.


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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:00 pm 
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Bruce wrote:
StuBass wrote:
Pet Sounds was an iconic musical statement and an American response to the British Invasion when (other than Motown) no artists could garner much attention or consistantly chart. When Paul McCartney calls God Only Knows the most "beautiful" rock ballad he's ever heard..that says a lot. My only issue with The Beach Boys in general is that I often wonder how they would have sounded with a really vocally talented lead singer.


Stu, how about you participating in this project?


I'll look the thread over and contribute to whatever opinions I feel are appropriate.


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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:04 pm 
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StuBass wrote:
Yeah, I've heard of those other artists...but by the time of Pet Sounds The Four Seasons were already looking to change record companies


The Four Seasons left Vee Jay for Philips in 1964, two years BEFORE "Pet Sounds." They had four huge hits in 1966, when "Pet Spunds" came out. Three of them were top ten and the 4th was top 15.


StuBass wrote:
My criticism was directed at the lead singing...not their beautiful background harmonies.


The beautiful background harmonies were done with studio effects. They could not duplicate it live, check out the version of "Surfer Girl" that I posted.


Last edited by Bruce on Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:05 pm 
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StuBass wrote:
Bruce wrote:
StuBass wrote:
Pet Sounds was an iconic musical statement and an American response to the British Invasion when (other than Motown) no artists could garner much attention or consistantly chart. When Paul McCartney calls God Only Knows the most "beautiful" rock ballad he's ever heard..that says a lot. My only issue with The Beach Boys in general is that I often wonder how they would have sounded with a really vocally talented lead singer.


Stu, how about you participating in this project?


I'll look the thread over and contribute to whatever opinions I feel are appropriate.


Just read the first couple posts in the thread and you'll see what it is about. We need your list of the ten most deserving rock and roll hall of famers for this first round of the project.


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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:11 pm 
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That Surfer Girl cut was not their best live effort, but far from "putrid". Interesting that Brian was totally self conscious of his falsetto singing, to the point that his wife once had to warn a friend at a rehearsal to not look Brian in the eye when he sang, because he thought people were laughing at him. Their performance on the hearalded T.A.M.I. show was outstanding and also garnered my respect to Dennis as a first rate R&R band drummer.


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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:15 pm 
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StuBass wrote:
That Surfer Girl cut was not their best live effort, but far from "putrid". Interesting that Brian was totally self conscious of his falsetto singing, to the point that his wife once had to warn a friend at a rehearsal to not look Brian in the eye when he sang, because he thought people were laughing at him. Their performance on the hearalded T.A.M.I. show was outstanding and also garnered my respect to Dennis as a first rate R&R band drummer.


Brian would not let Dennis play on many records, usually using Hal Blaine instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Rank The Hall Of Famers
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:20 pm 
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I know that. He also used Glen Campbell, Tommy Tedesco, Larry Knectel, and a slew of Wrecking Crew musicians including Carol Kaye, except he wrote out the bass parts himself. I'd use Blaine on a session over most anyone too...but Dennis came along quite well. He learned to keep the songs moving along and driving forward. Check out his performance on the T.A.M.I. show I mentioned.


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