“California Callling” (The Beach Boys cover)

Originally posted 2014-09-10 22:00:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco!  Today I go back to my ol’ stomping grounds to give you another Beach Boys cover song.

“California Calling” is from their self-titled album from 1985.  It’s the only track on the whole album that features real drums…and as an added bonus, they’re played by Ringo Starr!  Of course, Dennis Wilson, the band’s drummer since they began, passed away in 1983.  I think Ringo is just about the only drummer fitting enough to be the first person to play drums on a Beach Boys song after Dennis’ passing.  And the drumming on “California Calling” is very similar to what Dennis would’ve played.  I like to think they did that as a tribute to Dennis.  Supposedly, the sequenced drum track on the hit “Getcha Back” was done in the style of Dennis Wilson as a tribute.  I hope that’s true because it would be a great tribute.

To be honest, this really wasn’t one of my favorite songs on the album for many years.  I think I was just irked by the fact that it’s another Love/Jardine “Don’t F with the formula” song that didn’t fit in with the rest of the album.  But I’ve changed my mind on that recently.  I mean, when you’re looking for a Beach Boys song, you’re looking for a song just like “California Calling”!  Plus, it’s a good tune and I’m a sucker for that classic Beach Boys sound.

Onto some personal business: “The Easy Ways”, my new album, is coming out very, very soon- on September 20th, in fact!  It’s an album full of 16 original songs that are assembled into a true “album” instead of just a collection of songs.  You’ll just have to check back soon and grab a copy of the album on CD or digitally to hear what I mean!  I’ve been practicing non-stop for my album release party, so I hope everyone in the Connecticut area will come check it out!  It’s at 5:30 on Saturday, September 20th at Silver City Restaurant in Meriden, CT.

I’ll be back next week with another original song in anticipation of my new album’s release.  I hope everyone enjoys tonight’s Laptop Sessions cover song music video of The Beach Boys’ “California Calling”!



“Slip On Through” (Beach Boys Cover)

Originally posted 2008-05-12 11:43:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to day two of “Track 1” week here at the Laptop Sessions! This week, Chris, Jeff, and I (plus a possible new special guest) will be bringing you our favorite album-starters! This is the second in a series of specialty weeks to come. We’ll be doing “Title Track Week” soon, plus an album closer week, and another new bands week very soon!

This particular week is pretty big for me- but to find out why, you’ll have to visit the Blog at http://laptopsessions.com and read my entry that will appear in the next few days- trust me, it’s worth the click!

Today, I bring you the first of TWO Beach Boys songs because I haven’t done one for a couple weeks. Actually, this just kinda fell into place- I was going to do “Slip On Through” anyway (track 1 off of my favorite album, “Sunflower”), and it just fit into this week, so here it is!

I’m also happy to finally be doing a Dennis Wilson song here on the Sessions. We’re all anxiously awaiting Dennis’ “Pacific Ocean Blue” and “Bambu” collection to come out next month, and you better believe there will be Sessions done from those albums! We’ve had POB for years now and I’ve been itching to do a song from it.

Like I said, “Sunflower” is probably my favorite Beach Boys album (besides my guilty pleasure: the 1985 album), so ANY requests from this one will be fulfilled.

I’ll be back on Thursday with yet another amazing Beach Boys album starter: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” from everyone’s favorite, “Pet Sounds”!! It’ll be my first Pet Sounds Session and I’m very proud of how it came out. See you then, but make sure to check out Chris’ first entry for “Track 1 Week” on http://laptopsessions.com!

Ranking every Beach Boys song/album: “Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!!)” (by Songwriter Jim Fusco)

Originally posted 2012-02-04 04:00:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hi Mike and hello to all other participators. Here is my weigh-in for the “Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!!)” album- a true classic.

SUMMER DAYS (AND SUMMER NIGHTS!!)

California Girls – 10 (An American classic- especially for a Beach Boys fan, it just simply doesn’t get much better than this. I have to rank this a 10, even though I believe God Only Knows deserves the undisputed highest spot.)
Salt Lake City – 7
*The Little Girl I Once Knew – 10 (A long-standing choice for my favorite Beach Boys song of all-time. It’s still gotta be in my Top 3)
The Girl from New York City – 6 (It’s okay, but very much under-produced compared to the rest of the album and they seem to be a bit more sloppy. I do like Mike’s overly-low backing vocals, though!)
Help Me, Rhonda – 10 (You know, it’s kind of expected that people will give songs like this a 10, but if you just sit back and LISTEN to this version of “Help Me Rhonda”, you have to realize it’s an incredible song. It’s catchy, but still has substance. It truly is that “Beach Boys” sound. I love Mike’s low part in this tune, as well.)
Let Him Run Wild – 10 (This is one of the best songs EVER- it’s unique and has that incredible chord progression. I think the bass line and the sound of the bass in this song is the best of any song I’ve ever heard. Brian’s vocals are perfect and the emotion is heartbreaking. I can’t believe I’m putting so many 10’s on this album!)
*Let Him Run Wild (alternate) – 8 (Brian’s vocals don’t have that edge like the final version)
You’re So Good to Me – 6.5 (Still a great song, but its simplicity just doesn’t match up with the rest of the classics. Also, those “la’s” in the background get annoying to anyone but true Beach Boys fans)
And Your Dream Comes True – 5
Then I Kissed Her – 6.5 (One of their best covers- a great lead by Al!)
Girl Don’t Tell Me – 8 (Catchy and a great little jab to the Beatles style of the period. Carl gives a great vocal performance, as well.)
Amusement Parks USA – 3 (All I can say is: eh)
Summer Means New Love – 3 (I like the tune and the production, but it’s kind of elevator-music sounding)
I’m Bugged at My Ol’ Man – 5 (This is a really cute song with great vocals by Brian, bad vocals by the others, and a truer-than-it’s-supposed-to-sound lyrics)

** This album IS the Beach Boys on record, as far as the 60s are concerned. This album is what “Sunflower” is to the 70’s Beach Boys. “Summer Days” defines the Beach Boys sound, especially on cuts like “California Girls”. I would challenge anyone to give this album a bad review. It still has that innocence I love so dearly, but pushes the musical envelope as far as it can go without getting too serious. This album is really the farthest Brian could go before getting into the emotions and themes he did on “Pet Sounds” and “Smile”. For me, this album marks the end of an era and the Beach Boys just wouldn’t be the same after this. That early-60s summer fun, teenager, innocence just evaporated when “Pet Sounds” arrived. Of course, I’m not saying that the music to come wasn’t some of the greatest ever, but looking back, I wish they could’ve stayed innocent for just a couple more years… **

“Lahaina Aloha” (The Beach Boys Cover)

Originally posted 2009-08-11 22:20:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hello everyone!!  I’m back from obscurity to bring you another obscure Beach Boys song!

I’ve been on my honeymoon for the past two weeks.  You’ll notice a certain new accessory on my left hand in the video- I actually notice the difference when playing.  To sum up the trip and the wedding- everything went great.  Great weather, had a good time at the reception, wasn’t nervous at all, heard good music, went great places, hotels were nice, and just got to live the Hawaiian experience for two weeks!

Back to reality now, but there’s a lot to look forward to- a new house on the way and a new life as a married man.  It’s both exciting and tiring and I think I need a couple more days to decompress after my vacation!  You see, my wife (weird to say that) is the type that needs to see and do anything and everything while on a trip.  So, there really wasn’t much relaxation.  I need another vacation! :-)

Anyway, Hawaii is an amazing place- from the weather to the people (who are very jolly, as the Beach Boys have said) to the scenery.  One of our favorite places was Lahaina, which is a nice town along the coast that boasts many art galleries and the second largest banyan tree in the world!  So, of course, this Beach Boys song was stuck in my head the entire time.  Becky and I walked around the town that day and even though it was only in the mid 80s, that “near the equator” sun made it feel like it was 100 or more.  But, the day was nice and I will remember Lahaina fondly.

I hope to have some time in the near future to post some photos, etc.- things I’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t gotten a chance to.  I hope you all followed me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/jimfusco), as I chronicled all the great (and hilarious) things we saw and did on the honeymoon.

I know Jeff is a fan of tonight’s song, as I played it on one of our BSYNHO shows we did for our significant others.  I hope my acoustic cover version does it justice.  “Lahaina Aloha” comes from an album that didn’t sell well and is officially the last ever Beach Boys album, as I truly don’t think there will ever be another.  “Summer in Paradise” isn’t all bad- just half.  I actually really enjoy the other half of the album- Bruce’s “One Summer Night”, with great vocals from Al, and Mike’s “Strange Things Happen”, which is one of Becky’s favorites, as well.

But, “Lahaina Aloha” is the perfect song for the acoustic cover song music blog tonight, as the islands of Hawaii are still very fresh in my mind.

Just as a last funny note- while on the ship, we saw The Second City, which is a comedy troupe not unlike the cast of “Whose Line is it Anyway?”.  They were very good and did a hilarious skit where they pointed out that the word “aloha” in Hawaiian can mean either, “Hello”, “Goodbye”, or even “I love you”!  So, they would sing songs that fit with that.  For instance, they did the Doors hit: “Aloha, aloha won’t you tell your name…”  And, they ended the skit with the best one- the Beatles “Hello, Goodbye”, or in Hawaiian: “Aloha, aloha!  I don’t know why you say Aloha, I say Aloha.”

Anyway, with that, I bid you the same- ALOHA!  It’s great to be back to the best blog ever created!