“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!



“Livin’ With A Heartache” (The Beach Boys Cover)

Originally posted 2009-01-06 22:03:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

I kick off the year with a new Beach Boys acoustic cover song.  I bribed Chris (by making clams and spaghetti for dinner) tonight to do this video with me.  He was a welcome addition and really helped to fill-out this song.

Carl Wilson wasn’t the most prolific songwriter, but when he did come out with a new tune, he made it count.  He really took over the role as “leader” of the Beach Boys in the 70s and 80s.  When “Keepin’ the Summer Alive” came out in 1980, he had to juggle his brother Brian’s worsening condition and his brother Dennis’ increasingly tragic lifestyle.

It’s no surprise that I love this album.  Something about it… The Boys just knew what they were doing.  Yes, it’s really cheesy at points, but it’s a really diverse album.  The only true disappointment for me is the lack of ANY Dennis contribution at all.  Oh, wait, I take that back- I think he plays the tambourine on one song…  That’s especially disappointing because Denny had such an amazing contribution to LA (Light Album).  Those songs were supposed to be for his ill-fated (until recently) Bambu album, but even his vocals on Carl’s amazing “Angel Come Home” made the album that much better.  “Love Surrounds Me” is also an incredible song- to me, it just sounds EXACTLY like a song from 1979 should- with elements of rock, blues, disco and mostly funk.  Of course, Bruce Johnston took the “disco” part waaaaaayyyy too far on the horrible (and horribly long) rendition of “Here Comes the Night”.

Anyway, Carl’s best “albums” (meaning albums where he contributed the most) were “The Beach Boys (1985)” and this one, “Keepin’ the Summer Alive”.  These albums will forever remind me of the last day of school each year, as my father would pick us (my brother and me) up from school in the Camaro and we would go have fun on our first day out.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to love “Livin’ With A Heartache” more and more.  At times, Carl had a bit of a tendency to sound a bit over-dramatic and kind of like a lounge singer (“It’s Over Now” comes to mind), but that may have been just a style of the time.  In this song, Carl sounds angrier and his voice is in perfect form.  I love the country-tinge to this song- another trait I’ve gotten to like more and more as time’s gone on.

I hope you enjoy my first entry for the year.  I hope to bring you a very special duet next week with a new guest to the Laptop Sessions.  We’ll be doing a great Beatles tune, so make sure to come back each and every Tuesday for Jim Fusco Tuesdays!  Oh, and by the way- make sure to check out all the great new sections on the site.  As Chris mentioned yesterday, we have a new homepage design that makes all of the important information and links easier to find.  I hope that the site in its current form will welcome new viewers to the blog better than ever before.