Ranking every Beach Boys album/song: “Shut Down Vol. 2” (by Songwriter Jim Fusco)

Originally posted 2008-02-20 11:44:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Each song gets a ranking out of a possible 10.


Fun, Fun, Fun – 8
The Warmth of the Sun – 10 (doesn’t get much better than this)
Don’t Worry, Baby – 10 (see last song)
Pom Pom Play Girl – 4 (too Jan and Dean for me)
Why Do Fools Fall in Love – 6 (again, not a big fan of covers, but this one is very well done, especially that vocal break in the middle)
*I Do – 6 (even though the verse is a clear re-tooling, the chorus is pretty amazing)
In the Parkin’ Lot – 8 (I really like this song- it’s got great harmonies and I love the tag at the beginning and end)
This Car of Mine – 6 (I love Denny’s vocals on this one!)
Keep an Eye on Summer – 9 (just wow)
Louie, Louie – 1 (ugh- why guys, why??)
Shut Down, Part II – 3 (okay, but only because Carl wrote it!)
“Cassius” Love vs. “Sonny” Wilson – 2 (Can this even count? They can’t even get the jokes right! But, it is cute.)
Denny’s Drums – 4 (I hate that Dennis doesn’t get a lot of credit for his drumming, but he clearly has the chops here)

** You have five or six songs that are not only great, but classic on this album and it makes this album a great listen. In my opinion, the Boys really honed the harmonies on this album- not a bum note to be found. Plus, showing off the talents of Dennis (singing and playing) and Carl (writing and playing) is just great. Brian was truly in his prime starting with this album. I find it hard to talk down to any album with the likes of Don’t Worry Baby and The Warmth of the Sun on it. Their greatness truly cancels out any mediocrity the few clunkers on the album express. **

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:


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! **

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:


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 album and song: “Surfer Girl” LP (by Songwriter Jim Fusco)

Originally posted 2008-02-08 10:59:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:


Hawaii – 7
Surfer Girl – 9
In My Room – 9
Catch A Wave – 8
Little Deuce Coupe – 8
(great blues song)
Surfer Moon – 8
Surfers Rule – 5

Our Car Club – 6 (I like it better on the Little Deuce Coupe album!)
Boogie Woodie – 3
Your Summer Dream – 7

The Rocking Surfer – 2
South Bay Surfer – 1 (ugh)

** Other than a little flakiness at the end of the album, this is a GREAT one- some classics on Side One and the songs I like, I like a LOT. **