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Posts: 1,191
Reply with quote  #31 
GOLD Brian
SILVER Beach Boys

It was a close battle for me.  Props for four BB-related tracks, .
David W

Posts: 466
Reply with quote  #32 
All this talk of water .....makes me want to "go" again ! Or maybe it was the coffee !

My votes :

GOLD:  Pacific Ocean Blues

SILVER:  Rio Grand

BRONZE:  Don't Go Near the Water 

TIN:  Don't Fight the Sea

Probably the greatest "pop" 45 ever :

.....and in this case the making of it :

Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,641
Reply with quote  #33 
@David W - I was thinking about that last week - why River Deep is not recognized and I think that it is too much - too much.  If you polled 100 people what do you think of the song - most wouldn't even know it.  This is why I believe that Mike really did save Good Vibrations with his lyrics.  Everyone knows Good Vibrations!  It was very weird in it's infancy. Good Vibrations - a far better, song, production than River Deep, but I DO like it! Spector was going over the top.  Brian would follow later.

To the group - I HAVE to order this album and soon:

This week is helping me in the process.  Cue Macca again, for intro to the section. 

A diamond necklace played the pawn...
paul g adsett

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Posts: 1,399
Reply with quote  #34 
oh, how to choose...
just back from a delightful concert performance at glyndebourne opera house
as part of this year's brighton festival.
baritone / tenor / piano + rory kinnear.
a concert of poems and 'songs of the sea',
from schubert / wolf / tippett / finzi/ elgar / britten /
kipling / emily dickinson / stevie smith / coleridge / thomas hardy / edward lear  
and plenty more.,
which kind of complements what i've been listening to here this week
(they ended with a four part a cappella 'shenandoah',
which was a cheat but crept into this week's theme).
impossible to pick a favourite amongst those
('the jumblies' or 'the owl and the pussycat'
versus 'not waving but drowning' or 'the kraken',
'sea fever' vs ''meeres stille',
'sail on sail on' against 'les berceaux'?) 

makes these choices look easy
- but they weren't.
before we set off to see amanda palmer unveil whatever exotic show she's concocted,
i'll get my votes in now.

gold: 'pacific ocean blue'
- most soulful of the contestants.
most funky of the choices.
most genuinely heartfelt of the performances.
most 'difficult' to listen to too.
most worthy gold pickofthepops.

silver: 'rio grande'
- love it. love it. love it.
but, is it an overly contrived mish-mash?
a deliberate attempt to recreate a 'smile' era opus?
of course it is.
but, what's wrong with that?
it doesn't have the allure of oblique vdp lyrics,
but it flows neatly through its episodes.
and it's lush and joyful.
if bw was teased into sculpting this piece
as part of rehabilitation back into work and performance,
it's more than served it's purpose.
and, it remains the solo era bw piece i,
and plenty plenty other, would love to see / hear performed live.
the section from 'night bloomin' jasmine...' onwards
is worth the entry fee alone.

bronze: 'don't go near the water'
- talking of quirky...
i've loved the quirky, shimmery arrangement here since first heard.
love the variety of vocal touches. 
don't care if the lyrics are less than, um, deep,
'cos they're, er, meaningful' aren't they?
('...water', um? yes '...oughtta'!
it's heart and soul is in the right place.

tin: 'don't fight the sea
- 'boat' / 'float'
'dream'/ um, quick, find a rhyme...
a worthy adaptation of a leftover, dangling participant.
hate to reduce it to tindom,
but it doesn't deserve to be above the others this week.

good stuff, oh, compiler of the picks.

Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #35 
 If you polled 100 people what do you think of the song - most wouldn't even know it.  

Maybe in the US, Al. But it went to #3 in the UK and was a big hit here is Australia. 

The song itself is standard karaoke and talent quest fare for women of all ages here, unfortunately. 
Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,163
Reply with quote  #36 

As we come down the home stretch of this week's battle, thanks to all who have cast your votes, made comments, or posted additional theme-related songs in the past few days -- stkilda4ever, Darren, Larry, bonnie, Al, popeye, t, Deb, D.A.N., David, and paul

stkilda -- Good to see you enjoyed Al's contribution this week. Though he may keep a lower musical profile than some of the other long-time Beach Boys, his first solo album is actually quite good, with a few excellent songs. Dennis’ song didn't seem to fare too well with you this week. It's certainly a good enough contribution from Dennis, but there are other songs on his solo album that I like more. 

Darren, interesting that two separate groups had #1s with their versions of "Yellow River". Here in the states, the British group Christie had the hit version but only reaching #23 on the US pop charts. I remember Jigsaw, however, for another of their hits, "Sky High" in the mid-70s:

Larry, thanks as usual for all the additional song contributions. Interesting to hear two totally different "La Mer" songs, both the traditional Charles Trenet song and the very different and interesting song by NIN. Quite a contrast. And your contribution from Beach House was quite nice too, a delightful group and album (Bloom). Bruce's "The River" is certainly a classic, and it was interesting to see/hear Bruce talk about the song in the separate clip you included. The lovely version of "Moon River" by Petra Haden and jazz guitarist Bill Frisell was a nice find too! Most of all, I enjoyed Alison Krauss' "Down to the River to Pray" – it brings to mind the entertaining river scenes from O Brother, Where Art Thou.

bonnie, you’re so right about Brian’s brilliant creation, and especially about the segment from 4:00 – 6:13, it’s pure musical magic; then it’s followed by the also delightful “night bloomin’ jasmine” segment and the final coda.  Such an excellent piece of music! Al Forsyth justifiably refers to this multi-part extended song as a “suite”, the way it delightfully transitions from one distinct segment to the next and as an overall whole piece of music. If you’re a big Dennis fan, I hope you have the extended 2-CD version of his Pacific Ocean Blue album from 2008, which also includes Dennis’ uncompleted Bambu album and a handful of additional songs. There are certainly plenty of lovely songs on the 2008 extended re-issue of POB, such as the exquisite “Holy Man”. Being a fan of good instrumentals, I also love Dennis’ “Mexico”, which is included as a bonus track on the 2008 extended edition of POB.

Since you also liked Al Jardine’s contribution this week, you may want to check out his solo album, A Postcard from California, released in 2010. There are a number of good songs on that album. See my further comments on this subject below to Al Forsyth.

Al, thanks as always for your votes, insightful comments, and added songs. So Al’s “Don’t Fight the Sea” gets your gold! It really is a lovely and powerful song, and Al managed to get the other Beach Boys (including Carl) to contribute backing vocals, so he must have had this song in the works for some time before finally releasing it on his solo album in 2010. If you liked this song, you should really check out the rest of the album, then go get it. He does perform fresh cover versions of a few older songs (e.g., “Help Me Rhonda” with Steve Miller and members of his band making a major contribution, “Honkin’ Down the Highway” with Brian, Al’s sons, and others, and an updated version of “A California Saga” ("On my way to sunny Califor-ni-a") with contributions by Neil Young and David Crosby, including Neil taking lead vocals on one verse and other parts).

But, more than revisiting a few older songs, Al also has some lovely new recordings, such as his “San Simeon” with Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell from America:


Here’s another nice one, a reflective ballad, “And I Always Will”, which closes out the album:

Thanks also for including the extended video of Al Jardine previewing the album with segments from the studio sessions. You definitely need to get this album if you like what you’ve heard to date.

Popeye, glad you enjoyed all this week’s battle songs. Another big fan of Brian’s “Rio Grande”! It’s definitely an ambitious multi-part epic among Brian’s solo catalogue. And good call with that old Johnny Cash nugget, “Big River”!

t, yet another fan of Dennis’ “Pacific Ocean Blues” with “Rio Grande” as your runner-up. Nice selection of additional songs from some of your favored groups – good to see XTC and Gentle Giant work their way into the mix this week.

Deb, thanks for your votes, and another Brian/Dennis finish in the top two slots. Dennis’ often rough vocals are an acquired taste, in my opinion, but they certainly can be powerful as well as vulnerable. And Al certainly is in good vocal form on his song, as he still is in concert – probably the best current vocalist of the remaining original Beach Boys. And good flashback with the old Phil Phillips classic, “Sea of Love”. Some years later, as a member of the Honeydrippers, Robert Plant recorded an excellent update of that old nugget:

David, thanks for your votes (this time a Dennis/Brian combo in the top two slots) and for sharing Tina Turner’s powerful “River Deep, Mountain High” with us. Definitely a classic, even if it wasn’t a big radio hit in the US, though it was elsewhere. Gave us a hint of what was to come from Tina in the future as a solo performer.

paul, insightful and entertaining comments as always. And yet another 1-2 finish for Dennis’ and Brian’s songs. For a person who got so little musical respect during the Beach Boys’ prime years, Dennis proved in the 70s that he was an excellent creative force too, perhaps exceeded only by Brian as a songwriter.  And I couldn’t agree more about Brian’s solo magnum opus, “Rio Grande”. That extended piece would be won-won-wonderful to see and hear Brian and his band perform live in concert. Sorry that Al’s solo contribution ended up in your final spot this week, but something has to finish in fourth place. It’s interesting to see that the better-known “Don’t Go Near the Water” from Surf’s Up has not held up too well against the other solo Beach Boys contributions this week, despite its excellent vocals and environmental message and a few clunky lyrics.


As for my own votes this week, it was a tough call after my gold selection, because I really liked all four songs:

Gold – “Rio Grande”, Brian Wilson. Ditto the many positive things others have said about this ambitious extended form song from Brian’s debut solo album. Since it was a selection on Brian’s recent solo Anthology album, perhaps we may get to see him perform it live in concert one of these days. That would be special!

Silver – “Don’t Fight the Sea”, Al Jardine (with the Boys). What a delightfully gorgeous surprise from Al’s fine solo album. I’ve listened to this song many times over the past 7-8 years and it still holds up really well for me. When I picked the body-of-water themed songs for this week, it turns out that three of the four songs had an environmental theme. Nice! Now if our people, businesses, and countries would only learn to control the pollution and waste that enter our bodies of water and often eventually into our planet’s oceans and seas.

Bronze – “Don’t Go Near the Water”, Beach Boys. This was really a difficult choice, because I hated to place Dennis' fine song in fourth place. But this song, and especially its environmental message, has resonated with me ever since the Surf’s Up album was released way back in 1971, the year after the very first Earth Day was celebrated in the US and around the world. There’s a bit of lyrical and end-rhyme laziness as others have pointed out, but the overall music and message are spot on.

Tin – “Pacific Ocean Blues”, Dennis Wilson. Shame on me for having to rate this song in fourth place this week, because it’s a fine song, just one of a number of excellent songs from Dennis’ solo debut album. I love the funky blues feel of this song, and it goes so well with Dennis’ raspy vocals. I’ve always wondered if Dennis had got his life together in those later years what additional excellent music he would have created after finding his creative voice as a songwriter.

I really DO wish we could have included Mike’s solo version of “Daybreak over the Ocean” this week. It would have been fascinating to learn how everyone would have reacted to its different interpretation and how it would have fared against the other three solo Beach Boys songs. C’est la vie!

It bit more good music about bodies of water:

First, the Band:

And one of my all-time favorites from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band:

Finally, back to Led Zeppelin for this classic from Houses of the Holy:


For anyone who hasn’t voted yet or wants to make additional comments or song contributions, please get your votes in before midnight tonight (Sunday night) US time. I’ll plan to wrap up the voting by around midnight US time tonight, then share the results sometime tomorrow after Darren and I balance out our preliminary results.  

Cindy Hood

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Posts: 1,522
Reply with quote  #37 
Sorry about using River Song a couple of weeks ago, Tom.  But, POB is a good choice, too.

You've got some good contenders this week and all about the ocean and water.

I'll go with:

Gold - Don't Fight The Sea.  Great song with incredible harmonies and disturbing video content.  We've got to stop polluting our oceans,waterways and harming the sea life before its too late.A 

Silver - Pacific Ocean Blues.  Kind of a funky beat to it and a fave from Dennis' POB album.

Bronze- Rio Grande.  A multi faceted tune that sounds reminiscent of SMiLE.

Tin/Pewter - Don't Go Near The Water.  

My final answer.

"They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God".
Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,641
Reply with quote  #38 

A diamond necklace played the pawn...
Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #39 
Thanks, Tom. 

That's a different Jigsaw. 

When 'Sky High' charted in Australia, it was credited as British Jigsaw to avoid any confusion. 

'Yellow River' was performed by Christie and written by Jeff Christie, the leader. 

It was recorded by the Tremeloes but not released as a single (there is a YouTube clip of them performing it), so the producer stuck Jeff Christie's vocal on the recording and they released it. Wiki says it went to #1 in the UK and #23 in the US. 

A similar thing happened with Neil Sedaka's recording of 'It Hurts to Be in Love' (which he co-wrote) to the benefit of Gene Pitney. 

In 1970, there was a radio ban on international records here, so bands like Autumn and Jigsaw (and several other local acts) took advantage of it and had hits here with their cover versions.
John E

Posts: 863
Reply with quote  #40 
Here's my order:

1. Brian

2. Beach Boys 

3. Al

4, Dennis

Meanwhile, here's one of the songs that was a potential U.K. entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in the Sixties (it wasn't chosen)! [smile]

t bedford

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Posts: 2,004
Reply with quote  #41 
Some background on Yellow River, from Wiki:

"Yellow River" is a popular song recorded by the British band Christie. Written by band leader Jeff Christie, it was offered to The Tremeloes, who recorded it with the intention of releasing it as a single early in 1970. However, after the success of their then most recent single, "Call Me Number One", and after considering it too pop-orientated for their future direction, they decided to follow it up with another of their own compositions, "By the Way", which was only a minor Top 40 success.

Producer Mike Smith therefore took their vocals off the recording and added those of Jeff Christie.

Here's the Tremeloes version...

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

Posts: 1,163
Reply with quote  #42 
And that's a wrap for week 12. 

Thanks to our final voters and commenters, Cindy, Al, John E., Darren, and t, who brought this past week's battle to a close. 

Cindy, not a big deal that you had recently used Dennis' "River Song". His "Pacific Ocean Blues" was a good choice too and a differently styled song from his excellent POB album. Nice to see that you were also a fan of Al's "Don't Fight the Sea". I wasn't sure how his song would fare this past week, but it certainly held its own, garnering four 1st place votes. 

Al, nice flashback to the old Grateful Dead nugget "Ripple", which was the flip side of their hit "Truckin'" and one of a number of memorable songs from their classic American Beauty album from 1970. Though the "ripple" in the song relates to water, I tend to think of it in terms of the cheap, flavored wine of the same name that was so popular with the young crowd back in those days. 

John, thanks for your votes and for sharing the UK's potential Eurovision entry back in the 60s. It's too bad we here in the US were never widely exposed to the annual Eurovision competitions over the decades, because we have missed out on so much interesting European music and a major international music competition.

Darren and t, thanks for clarifying the back story on Christie's "Yellow River" and its origin as a planned song by the Tremeloes. Likewise, it was interesting, Darren, that there were actually two groups called Jigsaw, one Australian and one British. The interesting musical tidbits we can learn here in our weekly battles and commentaries! Some weeks the extra insights and throw-in songs are as much fun as the battles themselves.  

As for this past week's battle of the (mostly) solo beach boys singing about bodies of water, here are the final results:

Gold -- "Rio Grande", Brian Wilson, 56 points (9G, 5S, 2B, 1T)
Silver -- "Pacific Ocean Blues", Dennis Wilson, 44 points (4G, 6S, 3B, 4T)
Bronze -- "Don't Fight The Sea", Al Jardine, 36 points (4G, 1S, 5B, 7T)
Tin -- "Don't Go Near The Water", Mike and the Beach Boys, 34 points (0G, 5S, 7B, 5T)

Brian's ambitious entry, "Rio Grande", clearly won the battle with 9 golds out of 17 voters, and with only 2 bronzes and 1 tin vote, but it was not a landslide win. Dennis' "Pacific Ocean Blues" also made a very respectable showing with four gold votes and a fairly even balance among the other rankings. From the 17 voters this past week, Dennis' song received a combined total of 10 gold or silver votes. 

Al's "Don't Fight The Sea" and the Boys' "Don't Go Near The Water" couldn't keep up with the top two songs, but they ran neck-and-neck for the Bronze, with Al's song edging out Mike and the Boys among the final voters. And Al's song garnered a very respectable 4 gold votes this week, while also having the highest number of tin votes. A bit of a polarizer perhaps, but still outperforming "Don't Go Near The Water". 

For any of you who were not previously familiar with Dennis' fine solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue (especially the reissued expanded double CD version from 2008), or Al's more recent solo album, A Post Card from California, from 2010, both are well worth checking out further. I'm not able to comment on Mike's recent solo album, Unleash The Love, from 2017, since I've not yet listened to much of it, though many of the songs are remakes of earlier Beach Boys hits. Brian's albums, including his solo debut album, can pretty much go without further mention here, since they're already pretty well known here. What do you suppose Brian's next solo album will be like?

Thanks to all 17 individuals who participated with your votes, comments, and additional songs this past week!

In wrapping up this past week's battle, here are some more "body of water" songs that were not previously mentioned, some famous and some lesser known:

First, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band's, "Fire Lake", with harmonies by members of the Eagles, inspired by a lake in Seger's home state of Michigan:

Next, Steve Miller's underappreciated nugget "Wide River":

And the old Cowsill's Top 40 classic, "Indian Lake", which is located in the US state of Ohio:

The "Tennessee River" made popular in song by Alabama is the largest tributary of the Ohio River and runs along or within various states in the southeastern U.S., most famously Tennessee:

John Hiatt's Americana classic "Buffalo River Home" presumably refers to a famous river in the U.S. state of Arkansas that the U.S. National Park system designated as its first National River because of its scenic beauty:

Sturgill Simpson's song "Sea Stories" is from his third studio album, A Sailor's Guide to Earth, which won Best Country Album at the Grammys in 2017 and was also nominated for overall Album of the Year:

Finally, this Americana folk/bluegrass song, "French Broad River", by the little-known Stillwater Hoboes from Asheville, North Carolina, refers to one of the oldest rivers in the world, which runs through the city of Asheville and through parts of North Carolina and Tennessee before emptying into a tributary of the Tennessee River (see above):

Don't forget to check out and vote in D.A.N.'s foreign language Beach Boys covers battle in Week 13!
Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #43 

Thanks, Tom.

It was the third appearance for ‘Rio Grande’.

Its record:

- a Gold in Week 18 of Season II (Teenage Symphony),

- a Silver in Week 4 of Season VII, 3rd in Silver Play-Off (t Bedford),
- a Gold in Week 12 of Season IX (Tom Tobben)

In Season VII, ‘River Song’ (Dennis Wilson) beat it on a countback.

The songs that beat it in the final were ‘Help!’ (The Beatles) and ‘True Love Ways’ (Buddy Holly).

Its scores in the prior two weeks were 62.5 points and 32.89% from 19 voters, and 59.5 and 33.06 from 18 voters.

This time, it scored 56 and 32.94 from 17 voters.

‘Pacific Ocean Blues’ was Dennis’s seventh solo entry.

His record:

Holy Man (Dennis Wilson/Taylor Hawkins) (a Silver in Week 42 of Season II - Roy Roger Bridge),
River Song (demo) (a Silver in Week 43 of Season III - paul g adsett),
Farewell My Friend (a Gold in Week 9 of Season VI - Verden McCutcheon),
River Song (a Gold in Week 4 of Season VII - t Bedford),
Sound of Free (Dennis Wilson & Rumbo) (a Gold in Week 27 of Season VII - bonnie bella),
River Song (a Silver in Week 10 of Season IX - Cindy Hood),
Pacific Ocean Blues (a Silver in Week 12 of Season IX - Tom Tobben)

Although he has won only Golds and Silvers, he is yet to make a play-off; an indication, perhaps, that people love him but not everyone here loves his solo music.

‘Don’t Fight the Sea’ is the second Al Jardine solo song in the Battle.

‘And I Always Will’ also won a Bronze, in Week 4 of Season III (Deb#1).

‘Don’t Go Near the Water’ is the seventh track from Surf's Up to have been used.

Its record:

Don’t Go Near the Water (a Tin in Week 12 of Season IX - Tom Tobben),

Long Promised Road (a Gold in Week 25 of Season II, 2nd in Preliminary Final, 9th in Gold Play-Off - Roy Roger Bridge),

Student Demonstration Time (a Bronze in Week 11 of Season V - Tom Tobben; a Tin in Week 26 of Season VII - Cindy Hood),

Feel Flows (a Gold in Week 44 of Season VIII, 8th in Gold Play-Off - GGH),

A Day in the Life of a Tree (a Silver in Week 10 of Season III - Tom Tobben),

'Til I Die (a Gold in Week 27 of Season I - Lisa Graham; a Gold in Week 13 of Season VIII, 1st (annual Gold) in Gold Play-Off - Tom Tobben),

'Surf's Up' (a Gold in Week 8 of Season II, 2nd (annual Silver) in Gold Play-Off, 6th in the Ultimate Battle - Cynthia D. Hood)

‘Don’t Go Near the Water’ is a possible starter for the Tin Play-Off at end of season.


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