“The Night Was So Young” (The Beach Boys Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco.

I promised a new Beach Boys video today, and even though it took me until 10:30 to do it, it’s finally here. Actually, this is one of the rare Sessions that was recorded the same day I’m posting it.

I’ve been practicing this song for weeks now, as I needed to make sure it was perfect before I did a video. “The Night Was So Young” is my favorite track off the Beach Boys “Love You” album and shows the great songwriting skills of Brian Wilson coupled with the singing of Carl Wilson.

I love the minimalist approach to the recorded version of this song- it’s great in contrast to the terribly-dated synth-sounds of most of the tracks. This song also doesn’t have that cheesiness factor that some of the others have. Although, this song does tell of Brian Wilson’s lonely trip to the sink to pour some milk at 3 am…

I hope you like this toned-down Session. We’re still chugging-along at one-a-day here in 2008. I’d like to wish a Happy Birthday to my brother, Mike, who’s 22 today. Hope you had a great one!!

“Don’t Cry No Tears” (Neil Young Cover)

By Jeff Copperthite:

Happy Saturday to everyone out there on the internet! It’s Jeff Copperthite bringing you the latest installment of The Laptop Sessions. I bring you a new artist for me, but not a new artist for the sessions.

That of course would be a classic one at that – Neil Young, and the first track off of his album “Zuma” called “Don’t Cry No Tears”. It’s a short and sweet song that I was able to technically record in one take. I had meant to record it earlier in the day, but battery problems with my camera (read: camera turning off in the middle of a take) caused me to postpone recording it until about 10 minutes ago. Thankfully I have practiced this one all week.

I decided to record this song after hearing a Wallflowers cover of this song, and you will hear another song in 6 days because of the same reason. It will also be a new artist to the sessions, unless Jim or Chris randomly decide to cover the same artist, or the same song! I’ll leave that to chance, and let you wonder who it could possibly be.

In the meantime, enjoy this classic from Neil Young. Come back in a little while to hear Jim’s newest session!

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and original music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

“‘Til I Die” (Beach Boys Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

Hello everyone and welcome to another Beach Boys edition of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog! Tonight’s song, “Till I Die” by the Beach Boys, goes out to everyone on the Brian Wilson message board, especially those who contributed to that great post about the Laptop Sessions.

Tonight’s song is ‘Til I Die, one of Brian Wilson’s most introspective and personal songs. I love the harmonies (Bruce Johnston once said that he believes it’s the last true Beach Boys song, with all the counter-harmonizing), but I think this paired-down version translates well. This performance shows how singularly personal this song can be.

If you’re a big fan like me, then I’m sure you’ve heard the alternate version of “Till I Die” that a producer made while mixing and mastering the “Surf’s Up” album.  That version of this great Beach Boys song is very unique.  It features almost the whole song with just the instruments playing.  It’s pretty spooky to hear the cool vibes that Brian Wilson put into the original song.  But, the most fascinating part of the instrumental section is how few instruments are used.  The Beach Boys’ harmonies in “Till I Die” are wonderful and they fill up the whole song.  It’s incredible to hear how Brian Wilson put it all together.

Of course, when you start listening to the lyrics, you realize how alone Brian felt while writing this song.  As a songwriter, Brian Wilson usually had other people write the lyrics for him.  But, I’m sure he contributed to the meaning of the song and knew the sentiment he wanted to get across.  As you can tell, Brian was feeling lonely and realized that his life wasn’t going to change.  And, yes, that was true for quite some time.  Even when his other band members/family finally got him out of bed a few years later, it was embarrassing (remember the “Brian Is Back” campaign?) and short-lived.  Instead of being the songwriter he was for the Beach Boys back in the early-mid sixties, he only wanted to play old songs he loved.  Thus, the cover songs you hear on “15 Big Ones”.  And when he actually went back to writing again, he was writing about pedestrian things like watching TV (“Johnny Carson”) and his family (“I Wanna Pick You Up”).  I guess the good part was that Brian was finally living his life again, but somehow I doubt the PR image we’ve all been given really reflects his life at the time.  He was neglecting his family members and I think there are some clues to that in songs from “Love You”.  For instance, in “I Wanna Pick You Up” is about how he still thinks his children were “babies”, even though he had essentially missed those important years of their lives.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s music video and thanks for watching this Beach Boys cover song here on the music blog!

Behind the Scenes III (“This One’s For the Birds” – Covers…)

By Chris Moore:

(I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t do another one of these progressively cheesier “Behind the Scenes” segments, but this actually happened to me yesterday and I just had to share!…)

Welcome to The Laptop Sessions: Behind the Scenes III! Come one, come all – see how the Laptop Sessions may appear easy to produce, but this is just one of the many problems we face behind the scenes! 🙂

Seriously, I hope you enjoy…

P.S. As with the previous two “Behind the Scenes” segments I’ve done (well, at least with the first one…), this was completely unscripted!