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.
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Welcome to another Jim Fusco Tuesday here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog. I can’t believe it’s been another week- here I am again to send a new cover song music video your way.
I realized I’ve only done one Beach Boys song so far in 2009 (and a quite unknown one, at that), so I decided to please the Beach Boys faithful (who’d have to be REALLY faithful to wait three months for another video) by doing a song everybody knows in “Do You Wanna Dance?”!
Originally written and recorded by Bobby Freeman in the late 50’s, the Beach Boys version is very far removed from the original recording. Freeman’s version has a more bossonova feel to it and is a little slower-paced. Brian Wilson, clearly budding into an ambitious producer at the time, took the song and turned it pure mid-sixties rock and roll. It peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at Nubmer 12, and was the highest charting record with Dennis Wilson on lead vocals.
This was a great song for Denny to sing- I love the Beach Boys version so much more because Brian gave Dennis a chance to sing on it. The production on the Beach Boys version is very Phil Spector influenced, so my acoustic cover version of it married the Beach Boys verison (in terms of style) without all the guitars, tympanies, etc.
I had to fight siging this song like Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys, as in concert he’s the one who sings Dennis’ lead vocals. He sings much differently than Dennis normally would, so there’s different inflection to the words. I sing more like Bruce than Dennis, so I was inclined to sing the Bruce version- but stopped myself and tried to stay true to Denny’s original vocal style, raspy voice not included.
Right after “Do You Wanna Dance?” was released, the Beach Boys came out with one of their Number One singles in “Help Me Rhonda”, a great song. 1965 was an amazing year for music, but especially for groups like the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan. It was also the break-out year for the Byrds. The Beach Boys’ “Today” album has to be one of the best recordings ever, especially because it combines the happiness of earlier Beach Boys albums and (some of) the production value of later recordings like “Pet Sounds”.
I hope you enjoy my version of “Do You Wanna Dance?”. On a personal note, I’m scheduled to receive my copies of my new album, “Halfway There”, tomorrow on CD, but the release date still stands for April 7th. I hope you’re as excited as I am! When I get the CDs, I’m sure I’ll get ambitious and do a ton of promotion, so stay tuned! Have a great week- I’ll try to post an original, but I’m pretty tired, so we’ll see. Talk to you again soon!
Here’s a great tune from the Beach Boys, originally sung by the legendary Carl Wilson (written mostly by Brian). Good Timin’ is one of those gems that clocks in at just over 2 minutes. But, so do many of the Beach Boys’ hit songs. Of course, most of those I’m talking about came out in the early 60s. “Good Timin'” is from 1980, off of the “Keepin’ the Summer Alive”. It’s not the best album of all time, but it holds some serious sentimental value with me.
You see, every year on the last day of school, we would get picked up from school in my dad’s 1990 Camaro. He’d pull up to the school, blasting “Keeping the Summer Alive”. It was the sure-fire way to know that summer was here! So, I associate this album with being extremely happy and that great times were ahead. So, even though I know “Keeping the Summer Alive” isn’t the Beach Boys’ best album, I still love it. I’ll be doing many acoustic cover songs off of that album in the future.
“Good Timin'” just sounds like a classic Beach Boys song. I can imagine that they were all very proud of this track when they were finished. Plus, the song has a great message. I end up singing “Good Timin'” to myself quite often. And nothing feels better than when you’ve got good timing on something- it could even be a well-timed joke. When the timing clicks, you can’t help but feel good about yourself.
One note about “Keepin’ the Summer Alive”- it’s the last album Dennis Wilson appeared on for the Beach Boys, but he’s hardly on it. In fact, the credits only say he played percussion on the song “Endless Harmony”! I always thought he had the line, “Goin’ on!” in the raspy voice (in the song with the same name), but it turns out it was just a 350 pound Brian that sang that line. It’s such a shame that Dennis didn’t get to contribute, whether it was his fault or not. He had such a great contribution to “L.A. (Light Album)” the year before with songs like “Baby Blue” and “Love Surrounds Me”, plus an amazing lead vocal on “Angel Come Home”, written by his brother, Carl. I’ll probably be recording acoustic versions of those songs, too, as they could use the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song treatment!
I love this period in Beach Boys history, as they were making great music from every one of the band members, not just Brian. I hope you’ll agree and that you’ll enjoy tonight’s Beach Boys cover song.
Okay, so they might not be household names, but Jim Fusco’s acoustic cover song music videos have gotten some pretty interesting comments over the years. Here’s an ever-growing list of notable people that have become fans of Jim’s videos:
Geoffrey Cushing-Murray: This late-70’s Beach Boys lyricist wrote “Goin’ South” with Carl Wilson and even “Love Surrounds Me” with Dennis Wilson, which appeared on “L.A. (Light Album)”.
I enjoyed seeing this very much. It’s gratifying to know this song still has a life. Carl and I were very proud of it and hoped it would find an audience over time. Thanks again and good job. Geoffrey Cushing-Murray
Greg Douglass: He wrote the music to the #26 hit “Jungle Love”, made famous by Steve Miller in the late 70’s.
Wow. I co-wrote this tune, and this is impressive. Works well unplugged! Good work, dude…Wrote the music & played guitar on the track, as well as touring with Steve for a few years. Again, cool job. Always fun to see something I’m involved with re-interpreted.