Ranking every Beach Boys song/album: The Beach Boys Today! (by Songwriter Jim Fusco)

Originally posted 2008-03-19 10:36:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

THE BEACH BOYS TODAY!

Dance, Dance, Dance – 8
Kiss Me, Baby – 9.5
Please Let Me Wonder – 9 (I actually like the arrangement on the “Live at the Roxy” CD better- which really doesn’t fit with my stance on live versions…)
She Knows Me Too Well – 8 (What an ending! Probably one of the best endings ever)
When I Grow Up – 7 (This song is great, don’t get me wrong, but when I first learned it, I always found it to be a bit boring. But, the subject matter is amazing.)
Help Me, Ronda – 6 (I love this song, but sadly, not this version.)
Do You Wanna Dance? – 7 (Great Denny vocal here and I consider this the “standard” version of the song)
Good to My Baby – 7.5 (I love the style of this song, the great guitar riff, and the a capella vocals in the beginning)
*Dance, Dance, Dance (alternate) – 6 (Why do the unreleased alternate takes always sound so tinny?)
Don’t Hurt My Little Sister – 5 (Funny story about this song- my friends and I talk in the tune of this song! I know it sounds weird, and that’s because it is. We’ll say any line with seven syllables to the tune of this song, for instance, “Did you go buy the hot dogs?” Sing it- it fits!)
I’m So Young – 6 (This has some interesting sounds to it. Even though I like Dennis’ part at the end, it’s a bit out of his range)
*Graduation Day – 5 (Great harmonies, just not exactly “engaging”)
In the Back of My Mind – 6.5 (This is a great song with a personal message from Brian Wilson shroud in the vocals of Dennis Wilson. He really nails this and the tune is so unique that I have to give it a good rating)
*I’m So Young (alternate) – 5
Bull Session with the “Big Daddy” – 1

** This is clearly one of the Boys’ best albums of all-time. The production quality, although mixed in mono (which I’m not a fan of, growing up in the surround-sound age), is great. I do miss the Boys playing their own instruments, as they did on the Christmas album’s first side, but the song quality is so good here, that I can look far past it.

I think, without using composite song scores, but ranking albums as “albums”, that this would probably end up in the Top 5 for me. With it would be “Holland”, “Sunflower”, “Pet Sounds”, and the fifth spot is up for grabs. Of course, everyone knows by now my affinity for the ’85 album, but I do value my life, here! :-)

As a bit of genealogy to my Beach Boys past, we actually started with Pet Sounds (after the Greatest Hits, of course), which we got in 1992. I was 8. Talk about starting with some heavy stuff! But, we hear it over and over and over and over again. My father couldn’t get enough. We listened to “God Only Knows” about three times a day for a year- I’m not exaggerating. It was like Brian Wilson listening to “Be My Baby”. We then moved on (because many of the Beach Boys albums weren’t so easy to find) to the Box Set that just came out in 1992. Now, you have an 8 year old kid listening to Smile!! But, I do think that listening to, and really getting into, such deep and complex music at the age of 8 helped me to grow into a musician and songwriter at an early age. And, thus, is the reason why Brian Wilson will always be my musical idol.

Well, enough about me- this album’s great, and it’s only gonna get better for me, as I’m such a fan of the other band members’ compositions that I can’t wait for the “Sunflower” days! **

Ranking every Beach Boys song/album: The Beach Boys Christmas Album (by Songwriter Jim Fusco)

By Jim Fusco:

BEACH BOYS CHRISTMAS ALBUM:

We Three Kings of Orient Are – 9.5
*Little Saint Nick (single) – 10
Little Saint Nick (album) – 9.5
*Our Father – 5
*Auld Lang Syne (alternate) – 5
Santa’s Beard – 7 (LOVE the chord progression and the combination of Mike’s low part and Brian’s high part on “He wants to meet old Santa Claus”)
Christmas Day – 6
I’ll Be Home for Christmas – 7 (I consider this the standard for this song)
The Man with All the Toys – 7.5 (The same reason why I like this song is the reason why it gets docked some points. It has this “dark” sound to it that kinda doesn’t sound very Christmas-song like. However, I like the darker sound because I love those dark Christmastime nights)
Blue Christmas – 6.5
White Christmas – 6
*Little Saint Nick (alternate) – 6.5
Merry Christmas, Baby – 7
Santa Claus is Coming to Town – 5
Frosty the Snowman – 5
Auld Lang Syne – 4 (They couldn’t have done ONE more take to let Dennis have another chance?)

** This is one of my favorite albums. That doesn’t mean it’s the best by any means, but this always makes me SO happy. I have 200 Christmas songs and know how to play most of them. I love Christmas and everything that goes with it. This album contains songs that make me SO happy every time I listen to them, that it automatically brings back memories. I love Elvis’ first Christmas album because of that, too. Something about that innocence and that late ’50s, early ’60s Christmas time vibe… I’ll never live in that kind of world. I’ll never get to experience that, seeing as I grew up in the ’90s (and still growing, in fact, at 23). I hope to give my future children Christmases like that, and that’s why every note on this album is like gold to me. I listen to it about 50 times a year- more than any other album. I know the songs aren’t perfect and the recording sounds a bit rushed, at best. But, they’re voices are at top-notch form here. Classic. **