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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #16 
Great covers coming up this week.

A kiwi take on "Don't Worry Baby"  Zed (2003).



And a version from Rivers Cuomo (1992).



And then this lovely piano piece from Conrad Tao.


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John B

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Reply with quote  #17 
All Right!  A Larry Franz-eseque week with four golds! 

okay, okay, I'll do my best to play.

1) Gold for the Fendertones, "Kiss Me Baby"

it's not fair to downgrade them for faithfulness if that is what they were aiming for

2) Redwood, they got the silver for 'Time to Get Alone'

almost a gold for me--really excellent.

3) Bronze to Vince Gill for 'Warmth of the Sun'

4) and not really worse, by any means, and probably unfair to downgrade for the song?, 
    but to Solomon Burke for 'Soul Searchin''
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t bedford

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Reply with quote  #18 
Well, I've hit the snooze alarm enough, so time to get up & vote:

GOLD for Vince Gill - The Warmth of the Sun - Er, trumps them all. A beautiful rendition. That's a great back up band[wink].

SILVER to Redwood - Time To Get Alone - Fun to hear what might have been their first hit.

BRONZE awarded to Solomon Burke - Soul Searchin' - Interesting interpretation.

TIN for Fendertones - Kiss Me Baby - Too perfect (not necessarily a complaint).



And here's the Ramones with Surf City:

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kds

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Reply with quote  #19 
Gold - Vince Gill

Silver - Fendertones

Bronze - Redwood

Tin - S. Burke 
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D.A.N

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Reply with quote  #20 
GOLD Vince Gill
SILVER Fendertones
BRONZE Redwood
TIN Solomon Burke

Very close.
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Graciegirl

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Reply with quote  #21 
Hi Tom,

Here is my vote for the week.

Gold - The Warmth of the Sun – Vince Gill

Silver -Kiss Me Baby - Fendertones

Bronze - Time To Get Alone – Redwood

Tin - Soul Searchin – Solomon Burke


Graciegirl [smile]

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Tom Tobben

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Reply with quote  #22 

All right, more votes, videos, and commentaries in the last few days! Thanks to Al, John B., t, kds, DAN, and Graciegirl for your votes. There appears to be a pattern developing, but still ample variety in voters' rankings.


Al, I'm going to have to pass on that Big Beat fiasco. Not so hot. On the other hand, Brian's own version of "The Surfer Moon" is gorgeous! Good to see you had to struggle a bit on your voting rankings. I've been facing the same dilemma all week about how to rank my votes, since I really like all four of the cover songs in this week's battle.

bonnie, those were some very interesting covers you provided. Zed's cover of "Don't Worry Baby" was quite distinctive and frenetic. A rocked-up version of a classic BW/BB ballad, and quite the contrast to Rivers Cuomo's very different Pentatonix-styled a cappella version. And young Conrad Tao's sensitive piano interpretation of "Surf's Up" was gorgeous -- great find!

John B, good to see you felt challenged by this week's battle too! As far as I'm concerned, there's no real losers in this batch of battle songs.

t, thanks for your comments too. I, too, was fascinated by the Redwood version of "Time to Get Alone" as a peek into what their sound would eventually become as Three Dog Night a year or two later. And those Ramones don't disappoint with their punked up take on "Surf City". 


After wrestling with my own rankings this week, here's my best take (although I could easily have copped out and ranked them all a gold tie):

Gold -- "Soul Searchin'", Solomon Burke. As a self-admitted fan of classic soul and R&B, King Solomon gets my nod this week for a distinctively soulful interpretation of Brian's lovely "Soul Searchin'". Unlike this week's other songs, where the artists render pretty/very faithful versions of Brian's originals, Burke interprets this nugget in his own distinctive manner and really turns the song into his own lovely soul music gem, with his own powerful vocal stylings, the sinuous organ that weaves its way throughout the song, the understated rhythm section and keyboards, and the traditional female soul harmonies. And Burke made this his own personalized interpretation before Brian's original had even become widely known. There's a reason why in the R&B community Burke was sometimes referred to as "King Solomon", and this is a perfect example of how he could put his own distinctive stamp on a song and have it turn out to be both powerful and emotive.

Silver -- "Warmth of the Sun", Vince Gill. Vince has one of the clearest and purest voices in popular or country music and it's fully evident here. It's also self-evident that he sings this song from the heart, filling the song with tenderness and emotion. And it doesn't hurt that he's got Brian's fantastic band backing him up. For me, this song was THE musical highlight among many during the Tribute to Brian Wilson concert event, all due to Gill's sensitive interpretation and gorgeous vocals.

Bronze -- "Kiss Me Baby", Fendertones. What's not to love about this large group of part-time musicians. This is perhaps my favorite example of their spot-on interpretations of classic BW/BB songs, and the video illustrates all the voices and instruments needed to capture the classic Brian Wilson sound, dating way back to this selection from 1964's Today! album, which provided a foreshadowing of where Brian was headed on his next few albums, most notably Pet Sounds. Back in 1964, when most pop/rock songs consisted of guitars, bass, drums, and perhaps keyboards or tambourine, Brian was also using instruments like oboes, English horns, baritone/bass saxes, wood blocks and other distinctive percussion instruments to create such lovely, and richly textured pop gems like this one. Brian's magic with group harmonies and double-tracking is also illustrated here by the large number of vocalists used by the Fendertones to emulate Brian and the Boys' original studio version.

Tin -- "Time to Get Alone", Redwood. It certainly doesn't seem fair to cast this song, or any other one above, in fourth place this week. Not much later, Three Dog Night emerged and became known for their multi-part lead vocalists, and their distinctive style, which can be heard in this early unreleased recording by them. It's no surprise that Brian and the Beach Boys ultimately decided to keep this song for themselves, recording their own version and releasing it on their 20/20 album, years before Redwood's version was ever heard by the public. The song itself is fascinating in that Brian wrote and arranged it as a waltz, quite unusual for a pop song.


Another fine tribute album to Brian Wilson's music is Making God SMiLE: An Artists' Tribute to the Songs of Beach Boy Brian Wilson, which was released on Silent Planet Records in 2002. I couldn't find on YouTube some of my favorite songs from that compilation (e.g., "Your Imagination" by Tom Prasada-Rao & Amelia K. Spicer), but here is one I did find, "Add Some Music", by Kate Campbell:

One more excellent cover version worth mentioning at present is Ronnie Spector's lovely interpretation of Brian & the Boys' classic "Don't Worry Baby", which Brian wrote in response to Ronnie and the Ronettes' earlier recording of "Be My Baby", and with Ronnie Spector's original in mind. Thus, only fitting that she eventually recorded this version of Brian's Ronettes-inspired song:

Still plenty more time for everyone to add more of your favorite covers of Brian Wilson songs, provide commentaries, and, for those who haven't already done so, to cast your votes!

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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #23 

Tom,

I didn't give the accolades for Solomon Burke that you did as I only placed votes but this was one amazing singer/artist:


Here is what I almost used this week (I finally have my battle ready) after my "soul" week went down as I was going to use Soul Searchin' (Brian Wilson).


This one of the greats from MGS -(agree with you about Amilia K and Tom's version of Your Imagination). They REALLY "spiced" it up [smile]

I "almost" did a covers 2 to follow you!


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t bedford

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Reply with quote  #24 

One of the very first "tribute" discs was Smiles, Vibes & Harmony - A Tribute to Brian Wilson (various artists) from 1990. Here's a few examples:

The Records - Darlin'



Sonic Youth - I Know There's an Answer


The Vacant Lot - Meet Me in My Dreams Tonight


The Cynics - Be True to Your School


[220px-Smiles_Vibes_Harmony] 



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Lisa G/TS

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Reply with quote  #25 
Time's a-tickin' away, so I'll be kinda brief:

GOLD -- Vince Gill, The Warmth Of The Sun -- Simply sublime.

SILVER -- Solomon Burke, Soul Searchin' -- Originally my Bronze (tough to upstage what was Carl's last lead vocal), but gotta give credit the late Mr. Burke was a two-legged music encyclopedia for being aware of this rarely heard tune in the first place. Enhanced it quite nicely.

BRONZE -- The Fendertones, Kiss Me Baby -- Always a treat to watch and hear, but it's a very respectable Bronze in this competition.

TIN -- Three Dog Night, Time To Get Alone -- Sounds ridiculously close to the BB's version recorded a year later -- minus Carl's great vocal and that great reverb effect on "deep and wide". 

Terrific week, Thomas! Well done with some pretty prime selections!   [thumb]

P.S.:  Since you brought up Pentatonix (re: bonnie's Rivers Cuomo video), I'll toss on another apropos a cappella :



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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #26 

Gold - Kiss Me Baby (The Fendertones - 2014)
Respect to these guys for having that much respect for the Boys’ records, even though they’re made up almost entirely of nerds and terminal dorks. It doesn’t hurt that the original is in my Top 5 Beach Boys records, although this does miss Mike and Brian.

Silver - The Warmth of the Sun (Vince Gill, from AnAll-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson - 2001)
Yes, he can sing. But I’ve never before seen anyone ever sing with their right hand stuck deep inside their trousers pocket for a whole song. He should have been charged entertainment tax.

Bronze - Time to Get Alone (Redwood - 1967/1993)
Didn’t need that abrupt end. What was that? The tale of why this wasn’t released is sad. Felt for both sides.

Participant - Soul Searchin’ (Solomon Burke - 2002)
Not a huge fan of the song, but I like the earnest delivery here. But you know me, Tom - when it comes to Soul music, David Soul will always be my champion.

 

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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #27 
There's a hare's breath between all these songs, and seeing as a hare's breath is not particularly pleasant, I should vote.

GOLD - Gotta be the Fendertones.  Almost as good as the real thing.  Sublime and almost unnervingly perfect.  Interesting also to see how much work goes into a piece like that.  

SILVER - Solomon.  Love what he's done with this song.  If it weren't for the utter perfection of the Fendertones, this would have risen to gold this week.  I'm partial to Brian and Carl singing this song, but Solomon gives it a much funkier edge.    

BRONZE - Vince.  Never heard of this guy before, but he has a gorgeous singing voice.  Nicely done, and heartbreakingly sad.  Cannot believe this fella gets my Bronze this week with such a stellar performance, but I refuse to tie them otherwise I'll end up in knots.

TIN - Redwood.  This is no reflection on the song, because it's one of my very favourites, and I love Carls lead.  This one just misses the mark somehow.  The boys just did it better.

Thanks, Tom. 


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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #28 
Wall of Voodoo "Do It Again."  Disturbingly eighties, and not very a nice time in Brian's life.



The Descendents cover "Wendy" (2009).



Not quite sure who these guys are, but they kept popping up, and they are great!  So here they are.


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Tom Tobben

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Reply with quote  #29 

All right, we're coming down the home stretch with less than a day left to cast your votes. We've got some close battles shaping up, so every remaining vote counts in determining the final outcome this week. Lisa, Darren, and bonnie, thanks for your recent votes, and there still should be at least a handful of remaining voters this week.
 
Al, good find on that Beach Boys' previously unreleased recording of "Soul Searchin'", finally released on the 2013 box set Made in California, with Carl's powerful lead vocals, and interestingly different than the version Brian released on GIOMH in 2004. And thanks for adding your two cents regarding Solomon Burke's impressive career and the career compilation of many of his best songs. Thanks also for adding another fine song from the Making God SMiLE tribute CD -- still fun to go back and listen to that album from time to time.

t, thanks for reminding us of the early BW tribute album, Smile, Vibes & Harmony from way back in 1990, shortly after Brian formally launched his solo career, and for including several songs from that compilation. Seeing the image of the SMiLE-like cover art and the "Radiant Radish" health food store name reminded me that way back in the early 90s I found this album as a cassette tape in the cutout bins at one of our local record stores. Since it's a cassette, I've not played it in years; will have to dig it out and play it again -- if one of my old cassette players still works. Good find, t!

Lisa, nice inclusion of Straight No Chaser's a cappella version of "Little Saint Nick". Lovely stuff from  them, as usual, and certainly timely for the upcoming holiday season.

Darren, interesting way to think of the Fendertones as "nerds and terminal dorks". Come to think of it, some of the most talented musicians, artists, mathematicians, scientists, engineers, writers, thinkers, and other talented people are also "nerds and terminal dorks"! Where would our world be without them -- thank goodness for "nerds and dorks"! Some might also consider our hero Brian Wilson to be such a special soul who has (sometimes awkwardly) graced us all with his rare and abundant talents over these many decades.

bonnie, I just love seeing and hearing what unusual songs, artists, and videos you turn up each week. That gibberish (foreign language?) snippet of "Barbara Ann" by the Minions is a hoot! And Wall of Voodoo's "Do It Again" is certainly way out there on the edge of 80s music -- quite amusing that a late-80s Brian even participated in the video! The more recent Descendents' cover of "Wendy" really rocks out too -- it's fascinating what a wide range of interpretations Brian's music has inspired over the decades. Your find of the 19-member Colgate Resolutions' a cappella Beach Boys medley was quite lovely, despite a few off-key vocals. Their finish with "And Your Dream Comes True" was stunning! 

Vince Gill is a massively successful American country music vocalist and guitarist. For a few years, back at the end of the 1970s, he was the lead vocalist for the country rock group Pure Prairie League (he sang lead on their hit "Let Me Love You Tonight"), then for a while was a member of Rodney Crowell's band before launching his very successful solo career as a country music artist in the mid-1980s. He's released a ton of country music albums, won a bunch of Country Music Association and Grammy awards in the US, is in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, is a long-standing member of the Grand Ole Opry, has had roughly 50 country music Top 40 hits, and has recorded songs with lots of other popular country artists. He has been married to singer Amy Grant since the year 2000.   


As for additional Brian Wilson cover albums and tributes, here are some more.

First, this instrumental medley of "Fall Breaks and Back to Winter"/"Good Vibrations"/"Heroes & Villains" from Gary Usher's (remember him?) fascinating 1970 Brian Wilson tribute album SMiLE for Me: A Symphonic Tribute to Brian Wilson, later re-released as Add Some Music to Your Day.

And here's another interesting, mostly a cappella, version of an all-time Brian/Beach Boys classic, "Good Vibrations" by the 12 Tenors:

Finally, here's Linda Ronstadt's lovely cover of Brian's early confessional masterpiece, "In My Room", from her 1996 album Dedicated to the One I Love:

 

Please feel free to keep adding some of your favorite or most interesting Brian Wilson cover songs. And for those of you who haven't done so yet, don't forget to cast your votes before the polls close early Monday morning US time, when I'll post this week's final results.

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Deb#1

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Reply with quote  #30 

Wow, Tom, these songs are all great versions of the originals.

Gold – Vince Gill - "The Warmth of the Sun"…Just an incredible rendition.
Silver – Solomon Burke - "Soul Searchin'"   Sung so well…
Bronze – Redwood - "Time to Get Alone"….A beautiful song …done well.
Tin – The Fendertones - "Kiss Me Baby"…almost as good as Mike and Bruce.

Here are two more Brian Wilson covers:

Thanks to all for the great videos this week.
Thanks to Tom for the great songs this week.


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