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Category Archives: Beach Boys Songs
Beach Boys songs & covers: Acoustic cover songs – music videos by the songwriters of the Laptop Sessions video blog. Daily music blog with new indie rock acoustic songs.
Welcome to your Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco.
I promised a new Beach Boys video today, and even though it took me until 10:30 to do it, it’s finally here. Actually, this is one of the rare Sessions that was recorded the same day I’m posting it.
I’ve been practicing this song for weeks now, as I needed to make sure it was perfect before I did a video. “The Night Was So Young” is my favorite track off the Beach Boys “Love You” album and shows the great songwriting skills of Brian Wilson coupled with the singing of Carl Wilson.
I love the minimalist approach to the recorded version of this song- it’s great in contrast to the terribly-dated synth-sounds of most of the tracks. This song also doesn’t have that cheesiness factor that some of the others have. Although, this song does tell of Brian Wilson’s lonely trip to the sink to pour some milk at 3 am…
I hope you like this toned-down Session. We’re still chugging-along at one-a-day here in 2008. I’d like to wish a Happy Birthday to my brother, Mike, who’s 22 today. Hope you had a great one!!
Producer: Brian Wilson, Mark Linett, Alan Boyd, and Dennis Wolfe
Released: November 1, 2011
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Top Two Tracks: “Surf’s Up” & “Our Prayer ‘Dialog’”
I’ll keep this one brief, as there’s already been so, so, so much written about SMiLE, that infamous, legendary album that almost was, then wasn’t, then in 2004 pretty much was, and finally in 2011 finally is. Well, it “is” in the best, closest manner it could ever have been, as The SMiLE Sessions are compiled from what Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys managed to finish before it all fell apart, nothing new added. So, the Sessions lack the polish and finality of 2004’s Brian Wilson Presents… SMiLE!, afforded it by modern recording equipment and, no less significantly, Wilson’s healthier state of mind. Inversely, the 2004 version lacked the spark, the elusive x factor presented by the Beach Boys’ voices. When blended, there simply has never been another group quite like Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston. Accordingly, I would first recommend you hear Pet Sounds (1966). If you’ve already heard that, you might be ready for SMiLE. If you are, judge the version of the Sessions you’ll buy relative to how hardcore a fan you are (I had to go for the full 5-disc boxset, but you might not). If you’re not, try out Sunflower (1970) or The Beach Boys Today! (1965) first. But don’t forget to make it back to the greatest album that never was. And also don’t forget to check back for more Beach Boys cover songs here on the music blog!
Camp (Childish Gambino)
Producer: Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson
Released: November 15, 2011
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Top Two Tracks: “Fire Fly” & “Hold You Down”
Camp is an imperfect album, with flares of talent and inspiration tempered with stretches of less notable work. Being that this is Childish Gambino’s first studio album proper, this is all to be expected, particularly of an up and coming talent, and there is much evidence here to suggest that he is. His attitude toward achieving success, especially in light of past experiences being ignored by girls and others, is explored across multiple tracks, the best of which is “Fire Fly,” truly the standout track for its incisive catchiness. Childish Gambino has all the necessary bravado, as well as a unique personality and willingness to let his guard down; although I’ve heard it argued that his beats are derivative (I’m far from an authority on this front), his lyrics have an interesting blend between those typical of contemporary rap and those drastically different from the normal.
Welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco! A quick update: the recording for my new album has been a fun process and every day I’m more and more excited to hear the finished results. If you haven’t been following my progress, either go to my website at http://jimfusco.com or directly to my music Twitter feed @jimfuscomusic.
Tonight’s video is one from The Beach Boys- my favorite band of all time. This song is from one of their most liked albums among fans. Unfortunately, I don’t fall into that category. “15 Big Ones” is an interesting album. Sure, it’s the album where the other members finally got Brian Wilson back into the studio, but to me, it spelled the end of a once-great band. You see, in the years leading up to “15 Big Ones”, the Beach Boys (the members other than Brian) were writing and producing some amazing music. IN fact, “Sunflower” may be my favorite album from them. But, as the nostalgia of the Beach Boys’ #1 greatest hits album, “Endless Summer”, grew in popularity, the band decided to get Brian back to the forefront. Of course, Brian wasn’t really ready. He’d been locked away in his room, listening to old music he loved from Fats Domino, Freddy Cannon, etc. These were songs he loved as a kid and were what got him into rock’n’roll.
So, Brian wasn’t that interested in writing new songs- he ended up going into the studio and having the Boys record many of his old favorites, such as “Rock’n’Roll Music” and “Blueberry Hill”. Those are the good ones on the album- I’m pretty sure they could’ve left off “A Casual Look” and made it “14 Big Ones” instead.
But, the pun in the title was because the Beach Boys had been a band for 15 years. And, if I’m not mistaken, this was considered their 15th album.
It’s not a bad album, but it’s definitely dated now. The synthesizer, brought to even more prominence on “Love You” from the next year, is hard to play for someone right now. Playing “Palisades Park” for someone and saying, ‘This is from an album considered one of their best” doesn’t really make much of a case for potential fans.
Anyway, there are some great tracks on “15 Big Ones” though, including “It’s OK”. Actually, I’ve already covered “Blueberry Hill”, “Just Once In My Life”, “Palisades Park” – I must like this album after all! But, “Everyone’s In Love With You” is my favorite. It’s definitely Mike Love at his best. His vocals are sweet and it’s got a great melody. Songs like this make me wish he had written more (that is, as long as they aren’t “Summer Of Love” from 1992).
I’ve always wondered if “Everyone’s In Love With You” had a bit of a racy meaning to it. I mean, if you just literally listen to the words, you’ll see what I mean. But, Mike has said the song is about transcendental meditation, which he was really into at the time. It’s more of a feeling that everyone shares “love” with each other and individuality takes a back seat to a collective well-being. At least, that’s what I’ve gained from the whole thing over the years…
I hope you enjoy this song- maybe it’ll prompt you to give “15 Big Ones” a shot someday. It’s definitely worth a listen, I’ll say that. I’m pretty busy for the next couple of weeks, but I won’t forget about the music blog. I’ll be back with another great video soon, so stay-tuned!
Back into my favorite domain: the obscure Beach Boys cover songs! Today’s song is by request, and I’ll tell you, it wasn’t easy.
I always loved the acoustic guitar part in “Busy Doin’ Nothing”, especially because there’s not too many acoustic-guitar driven Brian Wilson songs.
But, this song uses some crazy chords, including some that 99.9% of rock songs never use- kind of like old jazz chords.
Needless to say, I learned all these new chords and practiced it over and over again for this cover song music video. That same night, I made this recording. It was actually pretty easy because I knew the words completely by heart (any Beach Boys songs I can sing in my sleep). That’s always the hardest part of the Laptop Sessions- learning the chords to a cover song is easy, but if you forget the order of the verses (see Jeff’s post yesterday), you’re stuck.
About this song: From the Friends album, this tune (I always thought) kind of shows the state of mind Brian Wilson was in during the late 60s. I think after the craziness of SMiLE, he wanted to be at home. This song describes a “day in the life”. Although, I still don’t know why Brian Wilson had a “pocket book”! Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry had the pocket-book: “It’s European!” But seriously, “Busy Doin’ Nothing” doesn’t really sound like any other Beach Boys song. It has it’s own sound, from the acoustic guitars (that I mentioned earlier) to the flutes. It has the same bossa nova beat The Beach Boys were into during the Friends sessions, though. I think The Beach Boys were looking for a way to forge their own niche. After the SMiLE project broke down, the Beach Boys tried doing psychedelic music on “Smiley Smile”, but to me, it just didn’t work. I can imagine that they didn’t want to always follow in the (large) footsteps of the Beatles. At that time, they were working on the White Album and were going back to basics with their sound. The Beach Boys kind of did that in a way, but they also changed their style. It became more relaxed. Beach Boy music was always peppy and fast-paced under the tutelage of Murray Wilson, the Wilson brothers’ father. Under their own management, the Boys decided to take a more mellow approach. It didn’t gain them much commercial success for quite a while, but I do look back on this period of albums fondly.
This is a big shout-out to all the Blueboarders (fans of Brian Wilson’s message board on his official website) that always give me encouragement and always want more videos! I have so many great cover song music videos up my sleeve, I can’t wait to release them to the world! Enjoy tonight’s cover song video in the Beach Boys’ “Busy Doin’ Nothing” here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!
Beach Boys & Brian Wilson Acoustic Rock Cover Songs and Free mp3 Downloads
The Beach Boys have often been referred to as America’s band, and the title is well-earned. After all, these “cousins, friends, and brothers” (to quote “Endless Harmony”) skyrocketed to early success in the 1960s and have released a variety of tracks, both those written by the songwriters in the band as well as cover songs such as the 1950s classic “Barbara Ann.” Those who consider their catalog to just surfer music have missed the majority of the excellent new music this band has released. Music reviews unanimously praised both 1966’s Pet Sounds, considered Brian Wilson’s masterpiece at the time, as well as Brian Wilson’s 2004 release of Smile, a failed Beach Boys record slated for release in 1967 and recently hailed as some of his best music ever. Brian Wilson continues to tour, and his band is multi-talented – even unplugged, they are as amazing as any band trying to fill the shoes of Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine could be. Meanwhile, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston continue to tour, although they tend to play less new music and more hits and cover songs. Without question, the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson are two of the most often covered artists/bands that the Laptop Sessions has to offer!