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t bedford

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Posts: 2,004
Reply with quote  #16 
01 This Whole World
02 Lay Down Burden
03 If I Fell
04 Surf’s Up
05 Help Me, Rhonda

06 You Still Believe in Me
07 Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)
08 Cabin Essence
09 The Ballad of John and Yoko
10 Oxygen to the Brain

Kinks - End of the Season

I'm not a real billionaire, but I play one on TV!
Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,148
Reply with quote  #17 

Well, here we are at the grand finale, and so far it looks like a much-deserved Brian Wilson classic will be our top song for the year and headed into honorific retirement from BOTBs competition, along with the handful of other classics that won the overall gold and were retired in past years:

#1. "Surf's Up" (SMiLE sessions), Beach Boys. It doesn't matter to me which version of this classic would be in the battle, this gem is my all-time favorite Brian Wilson / Beach Boys song (followed by "'Til I Die" and "God Only Knows"). An already gorgeous, powerful, and lyrically moving song, the closing "surf's up...child is father..." segment during the last third of the song is about as emotionally powerful and thematically uplifting as popular music can get, in my opinion. Way back in late 1966, Leonard Bernstein also recognized that Brian Wilson and this song were truly something special:

2. "Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)", Beach Boys. One of Brian's most gorgeous and emotionally connected, intimate love ballads, one of the key musical and thematic centerpieces from his majestic Pet Sounds album.

3. "Cabin Essence" (SMiLE sessions version), Beach Boys. Another Brian Wilson masterpiece from the lost SMiLE album, and originally appearing on 20/20. Much more powerful in its broader context as part of the SMiLE album, rather than simply as a stand-alone song. There's so much going on in this song, both lyrically and musically, especially in the context of the extended musical saga that is SMiLE.  

4. "You Still Believe in Me", Beach Boys. Another musically and lyrically gorgeous piece from Brian's masterwork, Pet Sounds, considered by many to be one of the greatest pop albums of the rock and roll era -- and that's saying a lot.

5. "Lay Down Burden", Brian Wilson. One of Brian's very best and most lyrically poignant songs from his now-lengthy solo career, and from his excellent Imagination album. On its own merits, the song is beautiful and touching; when dedicated by Brian as a tribute to his late brother Carl in concert, it's even more poignant and brings a tear to my eye every time.

(Editorial comment: despite whatever Mike Love may say about his important lyrical contributions to the Beach Boys music, none of my top songs above were co-written by Mike, and he only co-wrote one song below. In fact, my top four above were from what I consider to be Brian's two great masterpieces, Pet Sounds and SMiLE, both of which were initially scorned by Mike because they didn't stick to the Beach Boys' so-called "formula". Well, so much for that!)

6. "Ballad of John & Yoko", Beatles. A fantastic latter-day Beatles classic from 1969, telling the story of John and Yoko with some added social commentary. Best of all is the excellent instrumental backing on the song, provided by Lennon and McCartney, without George and Ringo who were both away at the time. Back-to-basics rock and roll with a contemporary/hip sound and story for its time.

7. " If I Fell", Beatles. If this were the original recorded version from the "A Hard Day's Night" album, it might have moved up to my number six spot. Nevertheless, a classic early Beatles ballad, gorgeous in its simplicity and shimmering harmonies. For me, it's the musical equivalent of the early Beach Boys classics "Surfer Girl" or "In My Room" -- simple but gorgeous.

8. "Help Me, Rhonda", Beach Boys. One of their classic hits. Also, a song that has worn out much of its original luster for me, due to my having heard it so many times, and nothing particularly distinctive about its lyrics or instrumentation. A catchy radio and concert hit, but far from my favorite Brian Wilson song.

9. "Oxygen to the Brain", Brian Wilson. A musically compelling bit of personal autobiography from Brian's excellent album, That Lucky Old Sun". After Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE, this might be my favorite solo Brian Wilson album.

10. "This Whole World", Beach Boys. One of the better songs on Sunflower, and a fine solo songwriting effort by Brian. A strong 10th place performer this week, but places lower for me than the songs I ranked above it.

Well, another year of the BOTBs is about to fade into history, and we'll soon embark on Season 8. I'm eager to see what musical delights everyone here, myself included, and perhaps some new or former participants, will be contributing in our upcoming weekly battles in 2017.
Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,404
Reply with quote  #18 
Thanks very much to Al, Pete, David, Lisa, bonnie, t and Tom for the latest votes and comments. 

Tom, we're unable to post the A Hard Day's Night version of 'If I Fell' due to the ban on Beatles recordings (previously owned by EMI) on internet video-sharing services. As I wrote in the opening...  

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.

I've recorded your scores as is, but please feel free to amend them if you would like.  

Competition is still strong for the final medal placings. 

The week will close within 30 hours.
Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,148
Reply with quote  #19 
Thanks, Darren, for the clarification regarding "If I Fell". Since I do like "The Ballad of John & Yoko" so much too, I'll just leave my votes as I have already cast them.
Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,404
Reply with quote  #20 
Thanks a lot, Tom. [smile]
Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,489
Reply with quote  #21 
A few more Surf's Up clips and versions - it looks as though it will cross the finish line:

LOVE the above one ^
Tom, check out what's #1:

A diamond necklace played the pawn...

Posts: 234
Reply with quote  #22 

1.If I Fell

2.The Ballad of John and Yoko

3.Help Me, Rhonda

4.Lay Down Burden

5.You Still Believe in Me

6.Oxygen to the Brain
7.This Whole World
8.Surf’s Up
9.Cabin Essence
10.Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)

Cantina Margarita

Posts: 347
Reply with quote  #23 

Hi all,

haha ! No need for re-listening this time, all of them seem familiar. So more time to comment.

There are two obstacles to doing justice to all of them. Firstly, I’m tending to have sportsmanlike sympathy with the underdog, which is everything but BW or the BB, which is the Beatles (!), which is the minimal choice you have, retrieving them on Youtube. Second, I’m happy to have given at least one useful proposal throughout all these years which made it to the finals. So that song grows one me even more, if this is possible at all. Here’s a bit of arguing.

If I Fell (Beatles), 1964, from the Hard Day’s Night movie

Funny movie (why b/w ??), great soundtrack, good album. The album’s best sequence, however, is over after listening to the first five seconds. I mean that world-famous big fat Rickenbacker 12string chord right at the beginning. The rest, imo, can’t keep up with their incomparable streak of masterpieces by length, which started later that year with “I Feel Fine”. If somebody had been able to exchange the letters a little bit, and to find this one on Youtube, it would have been top 3 for me. But this way, not my piece of cake.


This Whole World, BB, 1970

not one of my favourites, although I’m remembering some music analyzer in a BW TV documentation hailing its chord progressions very much. Maybe it’s because they’re a bit too hard for me, playing the piano, maybe it’s because of preferring Add Some Music among their work of that style and that time (easier to plonk, easier to sing).


Help Me Rhonda, BB, 1965

a very nice song, though it might have sounded a bit retro already in 1965, when people were able to do California Girls and Rubber Soul, and when a few people even had that revolutionary green sleeve production inside their heads which nowadays is being compared to Shakespeare turning up to read us Hamlet. Al Al Cool J. at his very best, it’s a gas to have it performed on BW+Friends shows today.


The Ballad of John And Yoko, Beatles, 1969

Here we get to their real masterpieces. I remember there was an EP realease in 1969 with 4 very ambitioned songs that didn’t make it to any of their contemporary albums (White A., Yellow Submarine, Let It Be, Abbey Road), for whatever reasons. 3 of these 4 songs are among my Top 10 Beatles songs, with only one falling back a tiny little bit … this ballad. But that’s complaining on a very high level.


You Still Believe In Me, BW+the Background Boys, 1966

Though I still don’t buy the refined lyrics because of all his downs that followed, I think it’s an amazing song by the most gifted babyface of that time. No need here for praising the production and the vocals – that’s why we all are here. Great idea to find a sequel to the famous bicycle horn in 2015 on NPP … “if you drive your car to the county fair, or ride your bicycle anywhere ...”. That BW moment makes a tear roll down for me. It’s from the godfather of symbolism, saying “hey, it’s me again, but this time you really can believe”.


Oxygen To The Brain, BW and Scary Scotty, 2008

Oh that great album, oh that great autobiographic song, oh that great lyricist and collaborator, in a row with VDP and TA. Oh that latent idiotism sleeping in people’s brains and pants and pussies (sorry, I’m getting political again...). Back in my week, there was that fantastic “Heffalumps And Woozles” song (I’m immediately tapping the march and whistling, writing this). A Brian song like OTTB was needed to beat it for me.


Surf’s up, BW and the Wrecking Crew, 1967/2011

The big challenge of this week will be, not to make it the song of the year without reflecting. So no further laudatio, that would be distorting competition. Stop … only one thing … I like the Jewish symbol in the piano video. Intended or not, this is a statement. All the best to Marilyn and her familiy, on this occasion.


Cabin Essence, Brian and Carl and Mike (with question marks in his eyes), 1966/67

One of BWPS’s live show peaks in 2004. Scotty’s “hey mister ...” and Brian’s hand gestures nail it for me. The Jolly Fiddling Swedes, beautiful Taylor Mills in her breathtaking Pet Sounds coloured robe, Darian and Scott in their sorcerer’s apprentice t-shirts, swaying up and down behind their mikes. WHAT A GREAT BAND. The old track stands back behind all this quite a bit, sorry.


Don’t Talk (BW and the Weird Wall Of Strings), 1966

Is this song really back from that year ? Sorry, people (including me) have written so much about this track, but is it really from 1966, only one year past “Help Me Rhonda” ? A pity Brian is no longer able so sing this in an appropriate way, and no other band member even dares to try. Once more, I’m regretting Taylor’s absence.


Lay Down Burden (BW, 1998)

The real “Brian Is Back” track for me, announcing what was about to come in the 21st century – one of the greatest “elder rock star” comebacks of all time (only maybe second to Tina Turner or Peter Gabriel), and much more than anyone could have expected. The Imagination album, on the whole, seems to represent the moment when the time capsule opens and H. G. Wells steps out of it, saying “I just wasn’t made for those times”. The song, however, is not among Brian’s greatest work for me, sorry. But what we hear for the very first time, is Brian’s aged voice which doesn’t need to hide behind the past. It’s different, not worse.

hat results for me, is this ranking:

1. Don’t Talk

2. Surf’s Up

3. John + Yoko

4. Oxygen

5. You Still Believe In Me

6. Cabin Essence

7. Help Me Rhonda

8. This Whole World

9. Lay Down Burden

10. If I Fell

Thank you Darren, again, for conducting this game for another year. Everybody keep your heads up, I feel like having another 4 rounds of it – that’ll help me to give a sh*t on all brain blondes in the meantime.


"The Wall Builders"

"here's why encapsulating makes no sense !"

"Metallzeitung", members' issue Feb 2017, metal workers union "IG Metall"

Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,148
Reply with quote  #24 
Al, Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! and YES! What a dazzling array of "Surf's Up" clips and performances! Thanks so much for pulling them all together here, and especially as we approach the end of the Gold final round for this past year. I especially liked the two special tribute performances -- 1. Vince Gill/Jimmy Webb/David Crosby from the Tribute to Brian Wilson Concert in the early 2000s and 2. the more recent live concert performances featuring Jeff Beck's inspired guitar accompaniment to "Surf's Up". No doubt, "Surf's Up" may be THE all-time Brian Wilson classic.

The articles were also fascinating, and I couldn't agree more with Rolling Stone's Top 10 Beach Boys "deep cuts". Not only were they right on with their #1 choice, but I couldn't agree more with their #2 choice ("'Til I Die") as well!

Won-won-wonderful!!! Thank you, Al, and thank YOU, Brian!
Verden McCutcheon

Posts: 458
Reply with quote  #25 
2016..Battle of the Golds

           1)You still believe in me

           2)Don't Talk (put your head on my shoulder)

           3)Help me Rhonda

           4)Surfs Up

           5)Cabin Essence

           6)Lay Down Burden

           7)If I Fell

           8)This Whole World

           9)The Ballad of John and Yoko

          10)Oxygen to the Brain

                                                 The golden greats !

paul g adsett

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Posts: 1,360
Reply with quote  #26 
nearest to a consistent sequence of 'like' as i can get.
several could've been different yesterday / likely to be tomorrow...          

'surfs''s up'

2: 'cabin essence'

3: 'you still believe in me'

4: 'don't talk (put your head on my shoulder)

5: 'if i fell' 

6: 'the ballad of john and yoko'

7: 'this whole world'   '

'lay down burden'

'oxygen to the brain'

10: 'help me rhonda
bonnie bella

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Posts: 2,032
Reply with quote  #27 
Yes, thanks Al, for an excellent compilation of what MUST be the Gold song of the year.  Looks like it romped in. [smile]

Clowns divorce: custardy battle.     Simon Munnery

Lisa G/TS

Posts: 803
Reply with quote  #28 

If I Fell (Beatles), 1964, from the Hard Day’s Night movie

Funny movie (why b/w ??),

Cantina, I remember in both the "A Hard Day's Night" DVD and Blu-Ray extras, director Richard Lester recalls the United Artists studio heads pushing him to have it ready for a July release, on an assumption their popularity would be starting to slump by then.

[confused]  Strange but true in retrospect, huh?  Hence, I reckon that would be one of the major reasons investing in colour/color film for subjects of a presumed short shelf life didn't happen. I think Mr. Lester had a few other movies around that era that were also b/w, but yep, in hindsight it seems kinda silly.

In other news...

Al Forsyth - Thanks for that Rolling Stone Top 10 BBs deep cuts link. IMO pretty spot on! On a personal level, that CBS/Bernstein clip has another point of interest, learning now it was filmed on my brother's 3rd birthday.
Cheers, again!  [cool]
Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,489
Reply with quote  #29 

@ Cantina,  The big challenge of this week will be, not to make it the song of the year without reflecting. So no further laudatio, that would be distorting competition. Stop … only one thing … I like the Jewish symbol in the piano video. Intended or not, this is a statement.

I did post enough laudable-links (too many possibly).  Are you referring to what looks like a menorah on the piano?  Hanukkah was just ending that year as this piece for the Bernstein/CBS/Inside Pop was filmed.  This piece does re-examine, however, the why Brian, did you not proceed with the release of Smile when you have one of the most famous musical minds in the entire US singing it's praises? The piece was filmed in December of 66 and aired in April of 67.  Very shortly after, Sgt Pepper would rewrite and effectively change the rock world buy highlighting textured rock/pop music inside of a "concept" album in it's own way did usher in the "summer of love".  But there was no Smile!  

And to Lisa, Bonnie and Tom - thanks for the thanks.  I was going to put up the Bernstein/Inside Pop piece all along and Tom, once again, beat me to the punch.  Soooooo, I simply "compiled" the list of other performances and statements about it thinking that it was too late now to influence the rankings (right Darren?).  No one really knows what Smile would have/could have done or changed in fact the pop music landscape, but Sgt. Pepper sure had a hand in the change that came to be.  

As mentioned, had there NOT been a YouTube ban on the Beatles ongoing, this ranking would have more-than-likely been a different one.  Somehow fate can intervene. 

A diamond necklace played the pawn...
John E

Posts: 860
Reply with quote  #30 
Here's my order:

1. You Still Believe in Me

2. Surf's Up

3. Cabinessence

4. Oxygen

5. Don't Talk, Put Your Head on my Shoulder

6. If I Fell

7. This Whole World

8. Help Me Rhonda

9. Lay Down Burden

10. Ballad of John and Yoko
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