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Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,404
Reply with quote  #1 

Hi everyone.

Welcome to the Season VII Battle of the Golds, the fifth and final play-off.

After 44 weeks of competition and four weeks of play-offs, it has come down to this.

From 176 selections, we’re left with the last 10 standing. 

This week will decide the Gold, Silver & Bronze winning songs for the year!

Contesting songs are the seven highest ranked Gold songs through 2016 and the top three vote getters from last week's Preliminary Final.


Here are your nominees:- 


If I Fell (The Beatles - 1964) (70 votes, 36.84%) (Week 2 - D.A.N)
-       The Carpenters, ‘Leaving This Town’ and Paul Kelly & the Coloured Girls fell by the wayside, catapulting this Beatles favourite into its second Gold Play-Off after a 5th placing in the Season V decider. D.A.N’s third entry in a Gold Play-Off.

This Whole World (The Beach Boys - 1970) (2016 re-master)
(71, 35.50) (Week 3 - Al Forsyth)
-       Emerson, Lake & Palmer, James Taylor and Chicago were no match for a Beach Boys song that had also previously finished 5th, in the Season II Gold Play-Off.

Help Me, Rhonda (The Beach Boys - 1965)
(61.5, 30.75; 123) (Week 7 - BrianFan)
-       3rd place in last week’s Preliminary Final after defeating ‘Help’ (The Beatles) (winner of the Silver Play-Off), Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell in Week 7. BrianFan’s first entry in a Gold Play-Off.

The Ballad of John and Yoko (The Beatles - 1969)
(74, 37.00) (Week 8 - Cindy Hood)
-       Had a huge win over Don Henley, ‘The Private Life of Bill and Sue’ and Elton John to come into this final ranked 1st. Cindy’s record-equalling tenth entry in a Gold Play-Off, the Queen of the Battle is shooting for her fifth crown in seven years.

You Still Believe in Me (The Beach Boys - 1966) (73.5, 33.41; 148) (Week 14 - Larry Franz)
-       Trumped ‘True Love Ways’ (Buddy Holly), The Temptations and The Ronettes before coming 1st in last week’s Preliminary. Further proof that Pet Sounds is the favourite album of Blueboarders as a whole. Larry’s second entry in a Gold Play-Off.

Oxygen to the Brain (Brian Wilson - 2008)
(80, 34.78) (Week 21 - Cantina Margarita)
-       Proved too strong for ‘Picasso’s Last Words’ (Paul McCartney & Wings), ‘Heffalumps and Woozles’ (from Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day) and ABBA. Not counting ‘Caroline, No’ (8th in Season I), this is just the third Brian solo track (see below) to ever make a Gold Play-Off, after ‘Your Imagination’ (8th in Season IV) and ‘Love and Mercy’ (8th in Season VI). Cantina’s first entry in a Gold Play-Off.

Surf’s Up (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1971/2011) (72, 36.00) (Week 28 - Al Forsyth)
-       Had a resounding win in a strong week against classics from Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones and the song that won this year’s Tin Play-Off, ‘My World Is Empty Without You’ (The Supremes). The Surf’s Up version came 2nd in the Season II Gold Play-Off. Could this Smile Sessions track go one better?  

Cabin Essence (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1968/2011)
(75, 35.71) (Week 37 - Darren J. Ray)
-       Another Smile Sessions track. Smashed Kasey Chambers, Ross Ryan and ‘Crazy Horses’ (The Osmonds) to come into this final ranked 2nd. My fourth entry in a Gold Play-Off. (My last two, in Season V, finished 9th and 10th!)

Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) (The Beach Boys - 1966)
(66, 36.67; 146) (Week 40 - Peter Simpson)
-       Finished head and shoulders above ZZ Top, Bread and The Weeknd before coming a very close 2nd in the Preliminary Final. Came 5th in the Preliminary in Season I, 1st in last year’s Preliminary before finishing in 2nd place (Season Silver) in the Season VI decider, behind ‘Don’t Worry Baby’. Another Pet Sounds winner in its 50th anniversary year.

Lay Down Burden (Brian Wilson - 1998)
(69, 38.33) (Week 42 - Al Forsyth)
-       And here is just the fourth Brian solo track to make a Gold Play-Off. Laid out Leonard Cohen, Twenty One Pilots and Regina Spektor to give this Imagination track its first play-off of any type after three previous attempts, and it’s struck Gold. And has never lost a week in the four it’s been selected. Al’s third entry this week and record-equalling tenth entry in a Gold Play-Off.


The clips have been posted below.

Throughout the play-offs, I have listed all links previously used by the respective hosts excepting where clips have been taken down for copyright infringement or when clips with improved audio have become available. 

I have sought the approval of substitute clips from the hosts whose selections this has affected.

Nine clips this week are the originals used by the hosts.

As everyone is aware, there is a ban on Beatles recordings (previously owned by EMI) on internet video-sharing services.

This affects one of this week’s contenders, ‘If I Fell’.

I welcome any help in showcasing the master recording of this song from A Hard Day’s Night.

Unlike weeks when hosts choose to use live clips to represent their selections, I would encourage voters to judge the song from that studio version rather than the live BBC recording presented here, which is a poor substitute in this case but the best currently available.

The clip for ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ is the one used by Cindy in Week 8. As per that week, please click the link and the song should play. 

Also, ‘Oxygen to the Brain’, as in its original week, has two clips due to copyright infringement blocking certain clips in some countries.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to view at least one of them.

Now if any of these links do not work for you, just let me know and we’ll endeavour to find an alternative clip.

As per each week of the play-offs, I ask you to vote using either one of three methods.

Ideally, people will vote 1-10 (in their order of preference).

If this appeals to you, you can copy and paste the titles (just below) into your post and put next to each song your order (1 = favourite song, 10 = least favourite song).

Otherwise, feel free to just vote for your top 3 or top 5 in order. (The songs you don't rate will then be allotted equal points of the remainder.)

Which song will join ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘God Only Knows’, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’, ‘Surfer Girl’, ‘I Get Around’ and ‘Don’t Worry Baby’ in the Battle Hall of Fame?

See you next Monday (with the results).

If I Fell
This Whole World
Help Me, Rhonda
The Ballad of John and Yoko
You Still Believe in Me
Oxygen to the Brain
Surf’s Up
Cabin Essence
Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)
Lay Down Burden


If I Fell (The Beatles - 1964)


This Whole World (The Beach Boys - 1970) (2016 re-master)


Help Me, Rhonda (The Beach Boys - 1965)


The Ballad of John and Yoko (The Beatles - 1969),the-ballad-of-john-and-yoko,3lvxr.html


You Still Believe in Me (The Beach Boys - 1966)


Oxygen to the Brain (Brian Wilson - 2008)


Surf’s Up (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1971/2011)


Cabin Essence (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1968/2011)


Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) (The Beach Boys - 1966)


Lay Down Burden (Brian Wilson - 1998)


Cindy Hood

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 1,517
Reply with quote  #2 
If I Fell - 5
This Whole World - 6
Help Me, Rhonda -3
The Ballad of John and Yoko -2
You Still Believe in Me - 8
Oxygen to the Brain - 10
Surf’s Up - 4
Cabin Essence - 9
Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) - 7
Lay Down Burden - 1

My final answer

"They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God".
Lee Marshall

Posts: 2,378
Reply with quote  #3 
So  N O W  it  gets tough!!!!!  But not THAT tough.

1.  Cabin Essence...My all-time favourite Beach Boys song.  From the day I first heard 20/20 'til today...THIS song is the epitome of all things GREAT that Brian and the Boys were capable of delivering.  NO ONE else could have come up with THIS...or performed it as 'they' did back in 1967/68.  Perfection.

2  This Whole World.  The modern sound of the Beach Boys as they zeroed in on their 2nd decade...the 1970s.  Positively perfect.  An all time Beach Boys stand-out track.

3.  You Still Believe in Me.  A key track from the all time best album I've ever heard.  More perfection...followed immediately by even more.

4.  Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder).  Misses 3rd by a mere wisp.  Edges 5th by a similar margin.  Perfection to the 4th degree.

5.  Surf’s Up.  Another perfect doesn't move me quite the way the previously 4 do.  So?  There must be degrees of perfection.

6.  Lay Down Burden...a great contribution by a man who can still outdistance his contemporaries from way back when.  I think that most composers only have SO MANY really good songs that they can access and deliver to the waiting ears of an adoring public.  Unlike Paul...Brian still has quite a few left to deliver.

7.  If I Fell.'s a very pretty song.  But in this company?   It's rather out of its element.  [and ever-so dated]

8.  Help Me, Rhonda...Very nice...circa 1965.  Quite successful as well.  It stands the test of time but nowhere near atop the shoulders of the top 7.  And... ... ...I remain rather tired of it.  [Sorry Al J.]

9.  Oxygen to the Brain.  OK but not really competitive.  The confines of the internet, I suppose, stuck us with this misleading video?  The song is but a portion of a larger piece of music and the way it ends loudly conveys that it's only a partial slice.

10.  The Ballad of John and Yoko.  Good tune but sadly overshadowed and out of place in this kind of company. KNOW it ain't easy.  I'm still not a Yoko fan.  Now there's someone who landed with her butt in the butter.  A smart business person but only sometimes.  A horrible EVERY sense of the word.  [Oh!!!  And I've seen her naked.]

Popeye (not the sailor)

Posts: 155
Reply with quote  #4 
My top 5 gold votes:

1. Surf's Up - Beach Boys

2. Cabin Essence - Beach Boys

3. You Still Believe in Me - Beach Boys

4. Don't Talk (Put Your Head on my Shoulder) - Beach Boys

5. This Whole World - Beach Boys

Thanks Darren!

Posts: 2,996
Reply with quote  #5 
Some stellar competition here:

1.  Surf’s Up - This and Warmth of the Sun are my two favorite songs in the canon.

2.  You Still Believe in Me - Like I said in the previous round, I think these are the best harmonies in the BB catalog. 

3.  If I Fell - An early Beatles classic.  

4.  This Whole World - A stand out track from my favorite Beach Boys album. 

5.  Cabin Essence - One of the best Smile moments 

6.  Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) - 

7.  Help Me, Rhonda - Great song, but to be honest, this is one of the few Beach Boys classics that I'm starting to get burnt out on.  I'd sure I'll appreciate it more after taking a break from it.

8.  The Ballad of John and Yoko - John and Paul together bang out a great song.  Although, I'm not a Yoko fan, so I'm not a fan of the lyrics.  

9.  Lay Down Burden - Nice tribute to Carl.

10. Oxygen to the Brain - An OK song, but IMO one of the weaker moments on an otherwise really good album. 

Mr Ferm

Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #6 
1 Surfs Up - Only God Only Knows can compare to this

2 Don't Talk - A Masterpiece
3 You Still Believe in Me - Bach would be proud
4 Cabinessence - Pet Sounds and Smile are still unbeatable
5 Help me Rhonda - Very good Pop
6 This whole World - Beautiful
7 Lay down Burden - One of his best Soloefforts
8 If I fell - Lovely Beatletune
9 Ballad of John and Yoko
10 Oxygen to the Brain  
Professor Dewey

Posts: 141
Reply with quote  #7 
  1. Surf’s Up 
  2. Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)
  3. Cabin Essence
  4. You Still Believe in Me
  5. Help Me, Rhonda
  6. Lay Down Burden
  7. If I Fell
  8. This Whole World
  9. The Ballad of John and Yoko 
  10. Oxygen to the Brain (nothing against these last ones at all, but the competition is impressive)

To everyone here who doesn't live in the US: Most of us deeply regret that a minority of American voters, by virtue of our archaic electoral system, were able to install an evil baboon in the White House. We are trying to stop him from doing too much damage, but it's not going to be easy. 


Avatar / Picture

Posts: 1,873
Reply with quote  #8 

These are all 10’s in my book. For me, the hardest to rank were Oxygen to the Brain, If I Fell, and You Still Believe in Me.
1. Surf’s Up
2. Lay Down Burden
3. Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)
4. This Whole World
5. Oxygen to the Brain
6. If I Fell
7. You Still Believe in Me
8. Cabin Essence
9. Help Me, Rhonda
10. The Ballad of John and Yoko

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.”

Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,404
Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks very much to Cindy, Lee, Popeye, kds, Mr Ferm, Prof and Deb for the early votes and comments. 

Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,489
Reply with quote  #10 
Finals Votes for 2016 Season:

1) Surf’s Up 

I chose this song for Battle and have to give it top shelf.  The Smile Sessions version is my favorite by far and it represents one of the “Four Corners” of Smile.   I love it.  Interestingly, I had originally planned to pit it against a Beatles’ heavy hitter but the YouTube block precluded this battle from happening  - and so it goes. 

2) If I Fell

This is just one of those songs that hits me hard as well. The beautiful vocals over a very clever song structure.  The Beatles were showing that they could REALLY write and sing.  They took Sure to Fall from Carl Perkins, Everlied up a vocal in their style, and put an early Beatles’ stamp on A Hard Day's Night classic.

3) Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)

A song from Pet Sounds that blows me away.  The vocal, the strings, the arrangement.  Ever since the Pet Sounds Session box came out this moved up the ranks of faves of mine from PS.  Interestingly, Brian kind of speaks the vocal now as it is one bear to sing.  The range is phenomenal.

4) Help Me, Rhonda

Rhonda, you’ll always be fine.  CLASSIC Beach Boys’ song.  Brian taught the audience I was in, in 2000, to only clap on four when they did it and I was astounded how that four count works with it.  The man thinks VERY rhythmically as well as harmonically.  Love it still!

5) This Whole World

The Beach Boys REALLY are a band and so goes Sunflower.  This version has the ending that should have been.  You have key changes galore and a great message.  Beautiful. 

6) You Still Believe in Me

The song that begins to bring cohesion to Pet Sounds and with the pins and tacks and all else on that piano sound brings an opening that would only become magnificent later on as a beautiful vocal line.  Pet Sounds was the Beach Boys growing up and this song, directly after Wouldn’t It Be Nice, really showed the universe that Brian was growing in every way possible. 

7) The Ballad of John and Yoko

John and Paul rock out on this with it’s Beatles “get back” sound.  Shades of Hamburg?  Fifty acorns tied in a sack. 

8) Lay Down Burden

A Brian Wilson solo classic. Brian can go deep in so many ways and this song touches my heart every time that I hear it.  It just makes you stop and appreciate. Song for Carl indeed.  

9) Cabin Essence

More Smile and another of the “Four Corners”.  Good Vibrations and Heroes and Villains the other two along with aforementioned, Surf’s Up.  This song is broad and goes all around and all over the place, like a crow flying over a cornfield.  Capitol suits had to have been going crazy (along with Mike) about what is going on here. A sonic and visual sculpture.  Breaking new ground again.

10) Oxygen to the Brain

Kind of the song that doesn’t fit this week.  I do like it and will always remember hearing it live with Jeff F. and Taylor doing a little workout walk to it.  It is on Brian’s BEST solo collection of songs, but there are far better songs on it than this. Just saying.   

GREAT job on EVERYTHING that MC Darren does throughout the year promoting and keeping this ALL going over the years and truly becoming a moddy mod at Brian Wilson dot calm.  He preserved and grew a spirit which brings shear joy of music and no pretense to this message board.  A good man and good muso who is the brains and brawn to this entire operation. And to the posters and weekly voters who keep this all going.  May the NEW season bring even more interest.  

A diamond necklace played the pawn...
Peter Simpson

Posts: 837
Reply with quote  #11 
5.If I Fell
1.This Whole World
7.Help Me, Rhonda
9.The Ballad of John and Yoko
3.You Still Believe in Me
10. Oxygen to the Brain
8.Surf’s Up
4.Cabin Essence
2.Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)
6.Lay Down Burden
Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,404
Reply with quote  #12 

1. If I Fell (The Beatles - 1964)
Saints John and Paul. Sits at #5 in my favourite Beatle tracks ever. I received A Hard Day’s Night LP for my 14th birthday (not 1964) and it remains my favourite Beatles album.

2. Lay Down Burden (Brian Wilson - 1998)
Not quite my favourite off Imagination, an album I love. I bought it in '98, and took it with me on a rainy weekend at the Marriott on the Gold Coast where I played it for the first time. I've listened to 'Lay Down Burden' many times, even through a big PA, and it gets me each time. Whether or not it was originally intended for Carl, it still stands up regardless, as a great song. "Just remember the way I held you. You're always in my heart".

3. The Ballad of Jock and Joko (The Beatles - 1969)
Well, it’s the Beats, innit. Two of them. McCartney playing the same bass line as ‘Don’t Be Cruel’. John tells a good story. I doubt she wore deodorant.

4. This Whole World (The Beach Boys - 1970) (2016 re-master)
A re-master done by a fan with a longer ending and it’s still less than two minutes! An esoteric slice of the Beach Boys in near-top form and a highlight, of which there were many, from Sunflower. Nifty Carl lead and clever group BV's. And those chord changes - I doubt this could've been written on a guitar! But – and here I go again – someone, please tell me what this song is about. It could never have been a hit - there is nothing for Joe Public to latch onto. By 1970, record buyers were listening to the lyrics. There's no chorus and the words are inconsequential. One for us fans only.

5. Help Me, Rhonda (The Beach Boys - 1965)
A Beach Boys song I wouldn’t mind never hearing again. I don’t think there was a time I actually liked it. But it is vintage Boys. And the lyrics make sense.

6. Surf’s Up (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1971/2011)
Still think it’s unfinished. ‘Surf’s up, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm’. That’s finished? I know Jimmy Webb is a big fan. I just wish he’d written the lyrics. Great music, nonetheless. And those vocals!

7. Cabin Essence (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1968/2011)
Sweet sound. But I’m of the camp wishing the lyrics from SMiLE were not so inaccessible. I do wish it wasn’t so. Would win my Gold in some weeks here, but it doesn’t move me as much as other contenders.

8. Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) (The Beach Boys - 1966)
This is not a favourite of mine at all.

9. You Still Believe in Me (The Beach Boys - 1966)
Another track off Pet Sounds that I have no emotional connection to beyond it being Brian and I often use the melody to do my scales before I sing!

10. Oxygen to the Brain (Brian Wilson - 2008)
Not a song I’d seek out to play. Plenty of better songs on That Lucky Old Sun

David W

Posts: 464
Reply with quote  #13 
Thanks Darren for keeping this comp going !

My votes :

1)Surf’s Up

2)If I Fell
3)Lay Down Burden
4)Help Me, Rhonda
5)This Whole World
6)Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)
7)The Ballad of John and Yoko
8)You Still Believe in Me
9)Cabin Essence
10)Oxygen to the Brain
Lisa G/TS

Posts: 803
Reply with quote  #14 
Premium creme de la creme here, so here goes:

1 - Surf's Up
2 - You Still Believe in Me
3 - Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)
4 - Cabin Essence
5 - Lay Down Burden

6 - This Whole World
7 - If I Fell
8 - Help Me, Rhonda
9 - The Ballad of J & Y
10  Oxygen to the Brain

Well done, everyone! Over and out!
bonnie bella

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 2,032
Reply with quote  #15 
I think it has to go in this order.

1.  Surf's Up.
2.  Don't Talk
3.  You Still Believe In Me
4.  Cabinessence
5.  Lay Down Burden.

From here, it's a tangle of John Lennon's arms and legs and a few other bits and bobs.

Thaks Darren, for hosting another year of excellent music.


Clowns divorce: custardy battle.     Simon Munnery

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