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Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #16 

It’s a good thing you couldn’t use ‘Daybreak Over the Ocean’, Tom.

Anything to spare us of you and Lee further extolling the virtues of the poor guy!

And it’s not as if it would’ve challenged ‘Rio Grande’.

It would’ve simply been another occasion where real competition had been sacrificed in order to satisfy the constricting parameters of yet another theme.

Gold - Rio Grande (Brian Wilson - 1988)
The last track off Brian’s eponymous debut album and probably the most impressive. Not my favourite, though.

Silver - Pacific Ocean Blues (Dennis Wilson - 1977)
Conversely, mercifully short. The lyrics, never before Denny’s strong suit, are the best part of it. I’m guessing he didn’t write them. 

Bronze - Don’t Fight the Sea (Al Jardine featuring The Beach Boys - 2011)
Tom, this video should’ve come with a warning about the disturbing vision from 1:10 into the clip. Those images of Mike and wrinkly Al are enough to upset some here. Where is the Artic Sea, Al? For once, I’ll give a song points for its clip with the beautiful sea creatures and its hopefully genuine sentiment. But the song is rubbish. Wiki says:  Al Jardine's version was also issued on a Vinyl 45 RPM Record Record Store Day 2011 in a limited edition of 2,500 copies (1,000 White Vinyl and 1,500 Black Vinyl) with the proceeds to benefit tsunami relief for Japan. 2,500 copies were manufactured? Talk about optimistic. Plenty of plastic going into landfill there. Hope it doesn’t eventually go into the ocean. 

Participant - Don’t Go Near the Water (The Beach Boys - 1971)
According to Wiki, Jack Reilly encouraged the Boys to record this in order to seem more relevant. It’s a shame he didn’t encourage them to record something not boring and more than token lip service to environmentalism. And what’s with the abrupt end?


THIS is a battle.  


What’s your definition of ‘battle’, Al?

Mine is a close week.

PS ‘Daybreak Over the Ocean’ would’ve gotten my Silver.

Larry Franz

Posts: 555
Reply with quote  #17 
A consideration: One song may stand out in a battle, but it can still be interesting to see what comes in 2nd, 3rd or 4th.

I've got a battle coming up in which I could use a group's well-known, popular song or one of their little-known songs and will probably use the little-known song. I want to see how well or poorly it will do and having it in the battle will be more fun.

More wet ones:

Neil Young, "Down by the River"

The original with Crazy Horse from 1969

A 4-minute solo, acoustic version from Live at Massey Hall, 1971

A 15-minute live version with Crazy Horse from 1994

One from Hank Williams:

"On the Banks of the Old Pontchartrain" (that being Lake Pontchartrain, "a brackish estuary in southeastern Louisiana")

Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,641
Reply with quote  #18 
@Darren - that's a good definition - a close week.  Mine here, for this week, is VERY difficult to decide.  I agree with you about Daybreak.
I REALLY like this:

A diamond necklace played the pawn...
bonnie bella

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Posts: 2,038
Reply with quote  #19 
As Larry explained, this won't play everywhere, but it seems Youtube is right; there is no other version.

Blondie Chaplin, "Riverboat Queen".

I love a good theme. [smile]


Clowns divorce: custardy battle.     Simon Munnery

Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,163
Reply with quote  #20 

Time for a mid-week check in. Thanks to all of you who have contributed your comments, votes, and body-of-water songs so far this week -- Al, Paul, Lee, kds, John, Larry, bonnie, and Darren.

As for Mike Love, he has been such a vital (and controversial) member of the Beach Boys over so many years (regardless of whether you love him or not), I was really disappointed that I was not able to feature his solo version of "Daybreak Over the Ocean", for a few reasons: 1) it is such a different interpretation than his group version on TWGMTR so I wanted to see how people here would react, 2) so that people here could give a fair assessment of this song from Mike's recent solo album, 4) I really wanted to feature separate solo songs from four original/longtime Beach Boys members, and 3) because I knew that he would stir up some reaction from both his fans and detractors. What's a good battle without at least one song that may be a polarizer. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a body-of-water solo song from Carl's recordings, so he had to sit this one out. 

Al, glad you liked this week's battle, and that you were intrigued by Mike's solo version of "Daybreak". It IS so different than the original Beach Boys version.  Thanks also for posting the original BBs version as a comparison to Mike's new version. Thanks also for finding/posting Al's lovely alternative version of "Big Sur" from the unreleased Landlocked album which I think I like even better than the released Surf's Up version, despite its more sudden ending. The SMiLE Sessions version of "Cool, Cool Water" (version 2) reminded me of this much earlier song (featuring a young Leonard Franklin Slye):

paul, no doubt, a bathtub is a body of water, albeit a small one. Here's one that's even smaller:

Lee, thanks for your votes and comments. It's too bad that Dennis was not recognized for his songwriting ability at the time his songs were released. I just wonder whether he had received more personal recognition at the time of his songs whether that would have had any effect on his self-destructive behavior and untimely demise.

You're right about "Rio Grande". It does take a while to absorb the full scope of Brian's extended song "Rio Grande". While some here might consider it a pastiche of song bits, I see it as more of an impressionistic soundscape. In April, as part of a Texas vacation, my wife and I spent several days in the huge Big Bend National Park in the very southern extreme of western Texas, where we got to see a number of sections of the Rio Grande River along the Texas/Mexico border. That experience gave me an added appreciation for the various elements of Brian's fine song and its imagery (cowboys, Cherokee trail, big big sky, she's waiting for me on the other side (obviously before Trump's planned "wall"), night bloomin' jasmine, etc.) Only problem was that with all the water that gets siphoned off upstream for irrigation and due to climate change droughts, this spring the Rio Grande wasn't very deep or very wide along the long stretch of Big Bend National Park. We did, however, get to see the omni-present prickly pear cactus (cacti) in full bloom, which was quite a sight in the rugged, mostly desert terrain.

Mike may be good at catchy lyrics (e.g., on numerous big Beach Boys hits) and "how to speak hip" words, but sometimes he seems to get lazy and he's generally not too good at more serious or poignant subject matter; hence Brian also working with a number of other lyricists over the years.  

Thanks also for pointing out and sharing Terry Jacks' original 1970s recording of "Don't Fight the Sea". Interesting that Al decided to revisit and update that song some 40 years later. Actually, I thought he did a decent job of it.

kds, thanks for your votes and for adding Led Zep's lovely "Down By The Seaside", the Who classic from Quadrophenia, and some good Jimmy Buffett. Glad you liked Al's "Don't Fight The Sea". I always enjoy your exploration of rock artists to help keep us from getting too "pop-y" around here. It's also one of my favorites on Al's Postcard album. 

John B, thanks also for your votes and comments. Seems you and kds often have different music sensibilities. But, like Lee, you also observed the limitations of Mike's lyrical abilities, even though he provided lyrics to a number of Beach Boys hits and has repeatedly sued Brian to prove his worth as a songwriter (despite his thin/weak body of solo work and inability to play musical instruments with expertise). 

Larry, as always, thanks for finding more good songs to fit this week's theme and for providing the full version of "Don't Go Near the Water". I had considered using that original Beach Boys video, but the resolution was so poor and the alternative version I used did a better job of aligning with the song's environmental lyrics. But, by all means, one should vote based on the entire song. 

Yes, yes, yes, to some classic Neil Young! His early Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere album, featuring the extended song "Down by the River", is one of my all-time favorites by Neil. 

"Rio Grande" certainly stands out, perhaps especially for Brian's ambitious reach on this song. Not satisfied to give us the basic 2-3 minute pop song, he explores several interesting musical and lyrical themes, then blends them together into this broad musical soundscape.

bonnie, good find with the Wondermints tune. I love those guys' music; I just wish they'd create more. A year or so ago, I asked Probyn on Facebook whether the Wondermints might record more music, but he didn't think that was likely. Your Wondermints' song's title immediately made me think of this old classic with some water-related lyrics:

And what a good "rarity" find with Blondie's old solo recording, "Riverboat Queen"!

Darren, thanks as always for your votes and comments. Always clear in opinion and rationale. NO TIES!

As I described above, I really DO wish I would have been able to use Mike's "Daybreak" song in this week's battle, for all the reasons I described above.

I have to disagree about "Daybreak" having the effect of increasing " the constricting parameters of yet another theme". Themes in battles are fun, especially when they explore an interesting topic, period, musical style, or group of artists. They also provide focus to the additional songs people choose to add -- otherwise, anyone could throw any song into a weekly battle. Focus in our weekly battles is a good thing.

I had to laugh out loud at the comments you added about Al's vinyl copies of "Don't Fight the Sea" for a past Record Store Day. Hopefully, the 2500 copies ended up in the hands of collectors and not out in the Pacific Ocean's vast garbage patch. 

A few more "body of water" songs to add to this week's battle theme:

Here's an oldie that some of my fellow "geezers" around here may remember from 1964:

And this catchy nugget from solo John Phillips:

And a couple classics by Creedence Clearwater Revival (sorry, Darren!):

Finally, this Al Green classic, perhaps more famous as covered by Talking Heads:

Keep the votes, comments and songs coming, everyone. Back later this week. 



Posts: 118
Reply with quote  #21 

My choices

Gold -  “Don’t Fight the Sea”, Al Jardine ... 

Silver -  “Rio Grande”, Brian Wilson

Bronze -  “Don’t Go Near the Water”, Beach Boys

And way down at bottle of ocean

Tin - “Pacific Ocean Blues”, Dennis Wilson ...



Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #22 
This would've gotten my Gold this week, Tom.

Great alliteration. And a genuine conservation song. He's a great writer, Albert Hammond...

And this was cool too. A #1 hit here for two different groups - Autumn (a Sydney band) and this by Jigsaw (a Melbourne band)... 

Larry Franz

Posts: 555
Reply with quote  #23 
The story is that radio stations thought praying for surf was sacrilegious. 

The Honeys, "Pray for Surf"

More recent:

Metronomy, "The Bay"

The War on Drugs, "An Ocean Between the Waves"

Less recent:

Charles Trénet, "La Mer"

Nine Inch Nails, "La Mer" (not the same body of water)

bonnie bella

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Posts: 2,038
Reply with quote  #24 
My votes.

GOLD - Brian.  Seems unfair to put this little masterpiece in any other position.  An excellent, brilliant Brian creation and a real journey.  From the four-minute mark, it becomes something really stunning.   

SILVER - Denny. Oh boy, I love this album.  Love how Denny sounds, the groovy bluesy beat, the lyrics. THIS is the way to share a message, not what I put in Tin place. If this had been an album competition, not much would have stood on this one's way.

BRONZE - Al.  Nicely blended harmonies, gorgeous, in fact. I liked the original, but in this case, I might be willing to say that the cover might be even better.  I'd never heard this song before, so as usual Tom shows me something new that I like (like that trippy little Monkees song, "Randy Scouse Git").

TIN - Mike.  Not really a fan of this song.  Great sentiments, but it's all a bit strange and I do not like the lyrics.  The background whistles and dings do nothing for me but make me search for my cell phone.  I also don't like the lead vocal, too whiny.  This has nothing to do with who is singing the lead vocal, and everything to do with it sounding too whiny.  

PSEUDO TIN - Mike Unleased.  Yup, it plays here.  Or I should say, it played once here for one minute and thirty-two seconds.  As long as there is an ocean, I'd chuck this CD in it.

Thanks, Tom. I always enjoy what you bring to these weeks.

Ricky Fataar in here.


Clowns divorce: custardy battle.     Simon Munnery

Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,641
Reply with quote  #25 

Votes r’ ready

Gold – hands down to Al and the Boys!  It has the Beach Boys all over and LOVE to see/hear the group on the clip.  The vocal just cuts through everything – other than what follows.  The message works.  As does …

Silver the BB’s from Surf’s Up.  I know this sounds like “you know” but it IS true that this album made the BB’s hip and cool again.  The ecological theme worked!  It is a weird little ditty but when everyone comes in  – wow.  Ow-whoo.  The message of this song!  All of the oooo’s at the end seals it all for me. 

Bronze – to Brian and the suite that this song really is.  Some people love it.  I just think that it’s a mixed bag of snippets soldered together to make something.  It is the most ambitious piece of the week.

Leaving Tin to Denny.  I’m not a big Denny solo fan, including this album, but he will always be Mr. Cool.  On seeing him with the BB's  in 72, his back was turned to the audience about half of the concert (probably looking at Toni Tennille who was right behind him in her bleached blonde, long hair, California doll look.)  Mr. Cool.

Mike would have taken the second if DGNTW was not used.  The Beach Boys saved their career by NOT releasing Seasons In The Sun.  Al and the Boy’s completely get the importance of DFTS over the Jacks’ version.

Some wet sounds:
The GR's

Patti Page and summer days on olde Cape Cod (kind of wet)!

From old Cape to Mr. Robeson's river (Mississipp or Jordan)

A diamond necklace played the pawn...
Larry Franz

Posts: 555
Reply with quote  #26 
According to the internet, Chase Webster (Gary D. Bruce) wrote "Moody River" and sang it for the obscure Southern Sound label before it was a #1 hit in 1961 for someone much more famous.

Akron/Family, "River"

Geowulf, "Saltwater"

Guster, "On the Ocean"

Beach House, "On the Sea"

Popeye (not the sailor)

Posts: 156
Reply with quote  #27 
My votes:

Gold: Rio Grande - Brian Wilson - Epic song.

Silver: Pacific Ocean Blues - Dennis Wilson - Love that funky bass!!!

Bronze: Don't Fight The Sea - Al Jardine - A favorite from Al's excellent "Postcard" album.

Tin: Don't Go Near The Water - Beach Boys - Al's vocal is a fun listen as is that humming 20 second tag at the end.

A favorite river song.

Thanks Tom!
t bedford

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Posts: 2,004
Reply with quote  #28 
GOLD:  Pacific Ocean Blues/Dennis. 

SILVER:  Rio Grande/Brian.

BRONZE:  Don't Go Near the Water/Beach Boys. 

TIN:  Don't Fight the Sea/Al.

Doors - Horse Latitudes

Gentle Giant - River

XTC - River of Orchids

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

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 1,951
Reply with quote  #29 
Fluid subject matter this week, Tom, and some interesting videos posted. I particularly liked bonnie's post of Blondie Chaplin's "Riverboat Queen", Al's of Paul Robeson, and even Larry's La Mer even though I don't speak French.
All great songs this week, but they fell in order for me.

Gold - Brian - Rio Grande - It is almost a mini smile. I can get lost in it. Especially those transitions between segments..🙂
Silver - Dennis - Pacific Ocean Blue - the vocal is rough, but appropriately so. It takes more than one listen. The music is very good. Powerful.
Bronze - Al - Don't Fight the Sea - just the opposite of POB here, a very strong vocal from Al.
Tin - The BBs - Don't Go Near the Water. Weakest on all points, but still an ok song. Somewhat cliche lyrically, but I lived in Cleveland when the Cuyahoga River burned, so, maybe not...

From the wayback machine:

I try hard to be strong
But sometimes I fail myself
And after all I've promised you
So faithfully
You still believe in me
I wanna cry . . .”

Larry Franz

Posts: 555
Reply with quote  #30 
Ketty Lester, "River of Salt" (1962)

Petra Haden & Bill Frisell, "Moon River"

Bruce Springsteen plays "The River" in someone's backyard and talks about the song, mostly at the end.

"The River" live from 1980.

If I ever do a "Rivers" theme, I'll use "The River", along with Brian's "Rio Grande", Neil Young's "Down by the River" and this one. A watery week wouldn't be complete without it:

Alison Krauss, "Down to the River to Pray"

Thank you, Tom.

PS: I've warmed up to "Take Good Care of Your Feet" since earlier in the week. (I know everyone will be relieved.)

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