Welcome to my Beach Boys Session for this week! Today, this song goes out by request, but I probably would’ve done it eventually, anyway.
This is a technically unreleased song called “Soulful Old Man Sunshine” that was only released on a compilation a few years ago.
I truly think the only reason the Beach Boys never released it is because of Carl’s “shun-shine” gaff in the middle 8.
I figured out this song’s chords by myself and even though I took some liberties, I think it stays true to the original.
Also, I think this is one of the few over-produced Beach Boys songs. That’s why I was so excited to strip all that excess out and just make an acoustic version. You’ll notice that I even sing a bit of it like Brian Wilson did in the original demo of the song, also included on that compilation. I love that version, too- it’s a bit more jazzy.
Thank you for making this ongoing series so incredibly popular! We’re doing a Session a day in 2008, so make sure to check back EVERY DAY you go on the computer for fresh, new material at http://laptopsessions.com. Don’t forget to RATE the songs, too!
Back again for more Laptop Sessions! It’s been a while, but now that the planning is finally done for our annual Christmas/New Year’s party, I’ll be back doing more sessions more often! So, today, I’m actually putting four new videos online, as these were salvaged from my last laptop’s hard drive before it died. Props to me, though, because I uploaded these to my web space before the hard drive crashed!
“Lay Lady Lay” is an oddity. If you listen to Dylan’s Greatest Hits/Best Of compilations, you’ll notice that this song stands out from the rest because of, dare I say it, his good voice! For the album “Nashville Skyline” (one of my favorites), he decided to try a new style of singing and playing. Chris and I put a new spin on this song with a guitar solo, and I hope everyone likes what we’ve done with it, especially because it took about 34 takes!
Stay tuned for part 2 of today’s 4 part Laptop Sessions extravaganza!
Okay, so here’s a bit of an anomaly. Most of us cast members of WCJM.com Free Internet Radio will be surprised, if they’re not listening to the shows as often as I do, to find me playing a Billy Joel song. I want to take this opportunity to clear the air.
If you listen to the Beach Boys’ music through the ages, you’ll hear a progression in the music. The styles may be different as the years go on, but most of it is just building on what was previously there.
Conversely, you can listen to Paul McCartney or the Moody Blues through the years and notice that their song/music styles change with the TIMES. For instance, in the seventies, songs got longer, then got disco-y, then got electronic once they reached the eighties. Around 2000, you heard drum loops and “new age” production on albums from both McCartney and the Moodies.
But, their SONGS and the general “type” of music (rock or pop) stayed pretty constant. I’m not giving any free passes for horrible disco versions (Beach Boys fans can goan at “Here Comes the Night”) or electronica from the early 80s, but at least you still knew it was a “Paul” song or a “Moodies” song.
Billy Joel, for me, falls into two categories, both of which I’ll briefly address:
As you’ll note with the bands I like, I tend to stay away from bands that are generally “overrated”. Yes, the Beatles are lauded all the time, but it’s pretty clear they’re the ONLY band that deserves the accolades they get. But, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys NEVER won a Grammy for their songs (unless you count “Best Instrumental” for “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow” a few years ago- what an insult). The Moody Blues STILL aren’t in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. I don’t think America’s had a decently reviewed album in Rolling Stone since their first one.
But, look at who gets ALL the attention:
– Bruce Springsteen
– Elton John (who sells concert tickets like Tickle-Me-Elmos did the day after Thanksgiving)
– Bob Dylan, whom I’m convinced can fart on the microphone and earn a Five Star Rolling Stone review. Don’t get me wrong, I love the man, but he is overrated, as well.
Now, Billy Joel is playing TEN, yes TEN shows at Mohegan Sun Casino here in Connecticut and sold them all out. The man hasn’t done an album in like 15 years and is more popular than ever. I swear more people go to his concerts than have EVER bought his music. And THAT’S the kind of crowd that makes someone so overrated. The “Starbucks” crowd that loves what all the other soccer moms love.
The theme here: It’s not Billy Joel’s fault. I really don’t blame HIM for my dislike of his music.
2. He changes the TYPE of music he plays ALL THE TIME.
As I said earlier, bands I like have changed their styles through the years, either through progression, or just keeping up with the times. But, again- a Beach Boys song was a Beach Boys song, you know?
Now, Billy Joel:
Sometimes, he’s the crooner, singing in that horrid “holier than thou” voice about “regular people” from New York and their stories.
Then, out of nowhere, he’s formed a barbershop quartet in “For The Longest Time”.
Then, he’s some teeney-bopper singing “Uptown Girl”.
Then, 80’s rocker while singing “We Didn’t Start the Fire”.
And, finally, he’s a good old fashioned rock’n’roller on tunes like this one, “You May Be Right”.
What style of music IS this man? Epic piano numbers? Guitar-based rockers? Vocals-only diddies? What?
That question, I cannot answer. And maybe I’m being a bit too general here, as since I’ve noticed this trend, I’ve never gotten past the Greatest Hits.
In closing, I love this song, I love the style, and I wish this was the REAL Billy Joel. I hope you enjoy my rip-roarin’ rendition of this Billy Joel song! (What a rant…)
I’ve recorded a series of Bob Dylan songs for the Laptop Sessions, and yet I haven’t recorded any songs from one of his best albums, Blood on the Tracks. From the moment I heard “Tangled Up in Blue,” I’ve always loved this song. I think it’s the story and how — even though it’s a classic structure of verse, bridge, chorus (repeat seven times) — the story shifts after every chorus. My favorite alternate version of this song is from his 1984 live album Real Live. I was caught off guard by this version, as Dylan changes a good portion of the lyrics and shifts the perspective of the narrator.
When Jim and I went to see Dylan a couple years ago in the rain in an open field (which was a less than pleasant way to spend $60!), the highlight of the show was probably when one of the band members broke out an acoustic guitar and Dylan sang a rockin’ “Tangled Up in Blue.” We were still soaked, but it helped make up for it…
I hope you enjoy tonight’s Bob Dylan acoustic cover song version of “Tangled Up In Blue” here on the Laptop Sessions music video blog. Stay tuned for even more music videos of your favorite songs from your favorite songwriters- all done acoustically!