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Mike sounds so uneasy and unpracticed, he takes what are basically nice enough little fun beach songs and turns them into an unpleasant, anxious listening experience like the kind that the Nazis used as a torture device in the Vietnam War in Korea. And among these are TWO classics ("Surfin' Safari" and "409," which keeps popping up in an ad on Yahoo!Still, you have to give Brian Wilson credit for writing nine original songs on their very first album! this week, much to my tasty delight), ONE additional hit single ("Surfin'," their one-shot song about the "surfing" fad whose success pretty much defined the band's image for all of eternity), one filler track that I for one love and find to be much more musically intriguing than the early-rock-by- numbers of the rest of the album ("Heads You Win - Tails I Lose"), two KICKASS cover tunes (the great surf instrumental "Moon Dawg" and Blue Cheer's classic "Summertime Blues" in what MUST have been the version that The Who covered at Leeds because the vocal harmonies are exactly the same and they sure as hey weren't in the Eddie Cochran version! But does these hits make up for the rest of the album? A miserably depressing "goodtime" song about a guy who loses his girlfriend to a stronger guy at the county fair, with her snottily calling him a "loser" in the song's fade-out? It seems to me you gotta judge an album in the context of its times, and by that I mean that albums in 1962 were not intended to be anything but a hit, its b-side, and filler, so as to exploit the single's success."Surfer Girl" is also on here, interestingly enough. But hey - why harmonize the chorus when you can just have five guys all slowly, surgically sing every syllable in the exact same key?Getting back to the matter at hand, this album's pretty bad.
A grotesque cover of Herb Alpert's Sominex jingle "Little Girl (You're My Miss America)"? [email protected](Adrian Denning) As good as 'Please Please My Bank Manager' by the threetles, that's for sure, although with far worse actual songs, overcome by far better sounds and harmonies. And successfully enough that whassisname, the guy who was in the band for this album and none of the others, has lived the rest of his life off just the royalties from this thing. What you have to understand and forgive is that Capitol Records were even more of a bunch of slave-driving pricks 40 years ago than they are today.
And aside from a couple that appear to be sung by Brian Wilson, a young man with a very nice full-bodied, friendly voice ("What Is A Young Girl Made Of" is simply ADORABLE - especially considering it's an awful song!
), every vocal on here sounds like amateurish garbage.
ather Wilson, Murry they say, was an emotionally abusive bastard (typical of the day, I'm told, what with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder driving World War II veterans to take all their aggression out on their children) who wanted to live vicariously through his musical offspring. Brian was 19, Mike 20, Carl 15, Al 19, Dennis 17, David Marks wasn't in the band yet but he would have been 13. Even at this early point in life's stamina, The Beach Boyz wuz fukin bitchass down wif da harmonizin n strategizin.
He made them practice constantly before introducing them to a producer who said they could record some tracks in her living room or some crap, and here are those tapes! Bruce Johnston was a few years away, but he would have been 17. But vocal harmonies will only take you so far when your lead vocals are quivery, out of tune and constantly threatening to make the mic erupt into ear-piercing amp feedback (just TRY to sit through "Judy" without your ears growing little skin flaps that shut closed and lock until the song is over and the waves in the air are less vomitous and disturbing.).