Ranking every Beach Boys album and song: “Surfin’ USA” LP (by Songwriter Jim Fusco)

Originally posted 2008-02-08 10:56:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

ALBUM – SURFIN’ USA

Farmer’s Daughter – 6 (early promising song)
Surfin’ USA – 6 (catchy, but also a stolen melody, so it loses some points)
Lana – 5
Lonely Sea – 7
Shut Down – 7
(this is a great bluesy song)
Finders Keepers – 6 (endearing)
Let’s Go Trippin’ – 4 (filler)
Stoked – 3 (see last song)
Misirlou – 2 (because at this point in the album, I am sick of instrumentals!)
Noble Surfer – 6
Honky Tonk – 1 (why all the instrumentals!!)
*The Baker Man – 1 (probably the most ridiculous song they did next to Ding Dang)
Surf Jam – 1 (we get the idea)

** Here’s another album I like, but I think it’s a step back from their first. I know they were trying to make music people could dance to at parties, but the instrumentals don’t stand up now. They come across as a lack of effort. They have so much vocal talent- it’s a shame there’s not more songs with vocals! **

“Temptation Eyes” (The Grass Roots Cover)

Originally posted 2008-07-20 22:33:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Tonight’s video blog entry is from yet another “new” band to the Laptop Sessions: The Grass Roots.

Chris and I have loved this song since my mini-obsession with it back in mid-high school.  For some reason, we equated someone I had a crush on to this song.  It was when I was first learning piano and learned how to play this song, which I was pretty impressed with.

I actually got to see the Grass Roots in concert a few years ago at the North Haven Fair here in CT.  Actually, I’ve seen a lot of great bands there, including America and Herman’s Hermits.  I always love getting to see a show there- you get to see some great acts and it’s just part of the general admission.  During my schooling years, the North Haven Fair was truly the only good thing about September.

This song, “Temptation Eyes”, is a bit “campy”, but I still love it and think it’s got a great tune.  It’s always a candidate for getting stuck in my head at a moment’s notice.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s Laptop Session here on the Fusco-Moore Productions music video blog.  We’re happy to have all of you new fans here to listen to us!  Also, if you have an iPhone (like Chris and I sport), you’ll be happy to know that all of our videos will play on it!  Before, there was no option to play videos from the Laptop Sessions page.  But now, it shows a still of the video and a play button over it.  Tap the play button and the YouTube player will come up, letting you watch the video.  Plus, if you add us to your iPhone web clip home screen, you’ll see our great new Laptop Sessions iPhone logo!



“To Be Alone With You” (Bob Dylan Cover)

Originally posted 2008-03-13 22:28:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Just to prove that Chris isn’t the only one that listens to Bob Dylan, I give you one of my favorites of his, “To Be Alone With You” from “Nashville Skyline”.

I did this song originally on my “That’s All Folks” album, but couldn’t keep on the version I sold because of royalties.

I hope you enjoy my Laptop Session version! Coming up next week is my Original Wednesday, and I’ve already got my next two planned out. Make sure to check back every day!


“Farmer’s Daughter” (Cover by Jim Fusco)

Originally posted 2007-10-30 00:27:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Hello all! Here’s another song for the Laptop Sessions! This one is by request for an early Beach Boys tune called “Farmer’s Daughter”.  It’s a pretty cute little song (only four chords!) made exponentially harder because of the fact that it’s ALL sung in falsetto!  But, as Brian Wilson was about when he recorded this, I’m in my early 20s, so I think I hit the notes!  I, for one, love the songs from the very early Beach Boys albums.  It was definitely a different time.  It was before the Beatles made it big in America and there was an innocence to the music.  Of course, that’s why I love the music I love- I try not to listen to too many depressing songs.  For instance, I was starting to get in to Elliot Smith’s music.  But, as anyone who has heard of Elliot Smith knows, his songs are almost always dark and with an overtone of suicidal thoughts.  Elliot was a great musician and songwriter.  But, I could never become a huge fan because of the songs’ subject matter.  Listing to music has always been a source of joy for me, so I’ve decided to stay in my happy pre-Vietnam music world, smiling all the way. :-)

Although, I will admit, “Farmer’s Daughter” is a bit too “vanilla”, even for me.  But, Brian Wilson sings it so sweetly and it works.  In fact, many of the songs from their early albums are a bit embarrassing to listen to now.  Remember “Chug a Lug”?  Probably not- it’s not that memorable.  But, basically, it’s about drinking beer…root beer!  I’ve played that song for people over the years and it’s embarrassing every time I do.  But for some reason, I really like that song.  It’s just a song a bunch of teenage friends, brothers, and cousins wrote and sang together for fun.  And their voices are so “cute” that you can’t help but smile while singing.

Speaking of SMiLE, I wonder if these early songs gave Brian Wilson some influence over his most notable work.  He wanted SMiLE to be something fun- something that was brilliant, but also made you not take the music so seriously.  He always seemed stuck in a child-like state.  I wonder if he looked back on these early songs and thought, “Yeah, I’d like to get back to that fun again.  How do I do that while still sounding cool, complex, and relevant?”

One other album I love so much (which you’ll see plenty of videos from here on the music blog) is the Beach Boys Christmas Album from 1964.  It’s one of my absolute favorite albums of all time.  Why?  Well, it fits all the criteria I listed above!  It’s great music with the wonderful innocence and happiness of Christmas built right in.  Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face (musically) than their Christmas songs.

I hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for many more updates to the Laptop Sessions Acoustic Cover Songs Music Video Blog in the coming days.