Beach Boys, It’s About Time

Enjoy the talk about the Beach Boys, who are one of the weirdest pop bands of all time.

Gene made the great point that a lot of the music on Beach Boys elpees was made by the Wrecking Crew. Lawr likes a great song that was apparently a b-side, though the cover art says it was the a-side. Whatever. An excellent song.

Gene replies with a song I didn’t know, but which points out how personal rather than general they were as lyricists, and how determined they were to frame very prosodic and psychologically exposed verses with catchy choruses and brilliantine arrangements.

So, my newsletter guy Lefsetz posts his list of most played songs on the year and this one from the Beach Boys Sunflower album comes up as No. 2. We can psychoanalyze that another time. It’s Carl singing, the rhythm is more Chambers Brothers than anything else, but the lyric strategy has not changed. A great song? Maybe a good one, but a fine tune to listen to.

Time has come today.

5 thoughts on “Beach Boys, It’s About Time

  1. “It’s one of those numbers that tells a story.” – Ed Norton on “The Hucklebuck.”

    Brian Wilson had many lyricists who never got credit. Tony Asher is one, he wrote most of Pet Sounds. This interview somewhat describes the process:

    I don’t think Pet Sounds is a great album. It’s got Sloop John B which is great, Wouldn’t It Be Nice which would be nicer if I hadn’t heard it a hundred too many times, and the rest is pretty floating harmonies signifying little. It is said to be influential but who did it influence? The Association? They say it influenced the Beatles but I don’t hear it on Revolver, the album the Beatles were making when Pet Sounds was released (May 1966). Maybe in the most general sense of increasing sophistication, but that was happening everywhere in 1966.

    I don’t think the Beach Boys ever made a great album. They made several great songs. I don’t know who wrote the lyrics to this one but they’re among my faves. I like the technical talk in car songs. “My 4-speed, dual quad, posi-traction 409.”

  2. Love Sunflower. Sunflower and Friends are my tow favorite Beach Boys albums. Friends released in 1968 is more out there than many of the pysch-pop at the time. Busy Doing Nothing is personal and bizarre at the same time. But Friends and Sunflower were a coming out party of sorts for Dennis as a songwriter with Little Bird, Slip on Through, Got to Know the Woman and the song that the Full House guy ruined, Forever. Pet Sounds and Smile get all the attention but these two albums along with 20/20 and later Holland are a lot more weird and interesting.

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