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Larry Franz

Posts: 555
Reply with quote  #1 

Earlier this year, we did "Their Last Album". This week we're going back to "Their First Album".

Elvis Costello, "Alison", My Aim Is True, 1977


The Beach Boys, "Heads You Win, Tails I Lose", Surfin' Safari, 1962


The Who, "My Generation", My Generation, 1965


Brian Wilson, "Melt Away", Brian Wilson, 1988


I don't think any of these songs have been in the battle before (that was a big surprise in one case).

It appears that the song "Surfin' Safari" has only been in the battle once. That was six years ago. "409" has been in the battle twice. The last time was four years ago. But I thought it would be more fun to use something else from their first album.


Elvis Costello, "Alison"

The Beach Boys, "Heads You Win, Tails I Lose"

The Who, "My Generation"

Brian Wilson, "Melt Away"


Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #2 
Early prediction - 'My Generation' to win this by the length of the Flemington straight. 

One of the rare occasions where I hit 'play' and sit riveted the whole clip.
Larry Franz

Posts: 555
Reply with quote  #3 
Originally Posted by Darren J. Ray
Early prediction - 'My Generation' to win this by the length of the Flemington straight. 

That's not my prediction unless nobody else votes this week (which seems like a real possibility). [smile]

Flemington Racecourse is a major horse racing venue located in Melbourne, Australia. It is most notable for hosting the Melbourne Cup, the world's richest handicap and the world's richest 3200 metre horse race. The racecourse is situated on low alluvial flats, next to the Maribyrnong River. The area was first used for horse racing in March 1840....

The racecourse is shaped not unlike a pear, and boasts a six-furlong (1,200 m) straight known as 'the Straight Six.' The track has a circumference of 2.312 kilometres (1.437 mi) and a final straight of 450 metres (490 yd) for race distances over 1.2 kilometres (1,300 yd).

This was in the running: The Kinks -- "You Really Got Me", Kinks, 1964

paul g adsett

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Posts: 1,399
Reply with quote  #4 
wowww - looking forward to considering this one!
all high on my musical 'yes'es list...

about to see elvis costello and the imposters
live for the first time in about a decade after dozens of shows
- first saw elvis costello and the attractions
here in sunny brighton a small club, the top rank suite,
on the original stiff records tour way back in october 1979,
with (local boy) wreckless eric / larry wallis / nick lowe (+dave edmunds)  / ian dury and the blockheads.
fab, memorable stuff...

the beach boys i first saw live at the dome brighton
summer of 1969,
hung out with them outside the venu,e in the afternoon
and on the beach, whee=re they were filluming.
saw one show, listened fom outside behind the stage to the other performance,
along with a small bunch of fans, including
(but i won't elaborate, it was a few months before i met ashley.,
oh, crikey, that long ago...)......

first saw the who perform quite late on, really
(nope, not here in sunny brighton where they had an early residency
at a club on the seafront
- even i'm too young to have been granted access to that,
though i do remember not seeing them!)
at the sundown edmonton n london dec 1973
when they were first performing 'quadrophenia'.

that mr wilson chappy,
well, heaven knows how much of my pocket money has been spent on fab concerts
since his return to performing!
and i begrudge not a penny of the expenditure.
honestly never thought i'd see him perform live.
and, there we were in las vegas, summer of 2001,
just passing through, as y'do
(on our east / west transamerican roadtrip)
and there's a poster for,
yes, for brian wilson  support for paul simon
playing a concert at mandalay bay  exactly one week later
(where we were watching billy idol ponce about onstage in front of an artificial beach
- caught 'white wedding' by chance, that was immaculately sufficient, thankyou).
well, i can't really believe it.
so near, yet so far...
i drool,  i convulse, i think 'i'll never have the chance... blah-di-blah...'
and seriously consider abandoning our travels to hang out for just one more week
(in lost wages? what a dumb idea, that was, despite all considerations!)
just to catch that gig.
little did i know that, 17 years later, i'm still forking out dosh to go see him play!

now, were are those songs?
oh, it's late night is it?
oh, no, it's early morning!
can't start listening now

Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,641
Reply with quote  #5 
I can vote early:

Gold - to The Who - this is a classic, after all.

Silver - and this was very close, to Elvis MacManus for a beauty of a song.

Bronze - to Brian and his comeback album with Melt Away.

leaving Tin, and I didn't want to do this.  Surprising that it wasn't a different song chosen here.  It is kind of punky though, considering another "punk" was above it. 

A diamond necklace played the pawn...
Cindy Hood

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Posts: 1,522
Reply with quote  #6 
Gettin' in early this week!

I'll go with:

Gold:  The Who for My Generation.  Like Al said, it's a classic.  I love it!

Silver:  Elvis Costello for Alison.  Never heard this one before and it's really good.

Bronze:  Brian Wilson for Melt Away.  Love the melody.

Tin/Pewter:  The Beach Boys for Heads You Win Tails I Lose.  

I'm not going to change my mind, so final answer.

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

Posts: 2,996
Reply with quote  #7 
Gold - This is easy.   The Who all the way.   Amazing song.   Classic.   Timeless.

Silver - The Beach Boys - Actually one of my favorite tracks from the SS album

Bronze - Melt Away - Great song hidden underneath that terrible production.   I actually prefer the IJWMFTT version (same for L&M)

Tin - Elvis Costello - I've never felt more than indifferent to anything I've ever heard from this guy.  
Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #8 

I don’t usually vote this early, Larry, but it’s a busy week coming up, I’ve been listening to them on repeat nearly all day, and I already knew them anyway.

Gold - My Generation (The Who - 1965)
Iconic. I first heard this on a second-hand compilation record Mum bought me at a garage sale. I played it loudly in my bedroom, hoping Dad would hear the ‘f-f-f-fade away’ line. I was 17 and felt so cool and naughty.

Silver - Melt Away (Brian Wilson - 1988)
Nice memory of buying the album when it came out and playing it for weeks in my new arty penthouse. Brian and band did this the first time I saw him in December, 2002; one of the very few solo songs in the show. 

Bronze - Heads You Win-Tails I Lose (The Beach Boys - 1962)
A shock omission from the C50 tour in 2012. I was yelling out for it. I mean, how many songs have the word ‘arbitrarily’ in them? At 14, we lived out in, what was then, the countryside of The Gap on the outskirts of Brisbane. After a huge walk to the nearest bus stop, I caught two buses into Fortitude Valley to spend my $7.98 on a two-fer LP Surfin’ Safari / Surfin’ USA (still has the price tag on it). This adventure took most of the day. Still debating as to whether it was worth the trip or the expense.

Participant - Alison (Elvis Costello - 1977)
I have a muso friend who would love this. I was definitely more of a Graham Parker kinda guy. I dig a couple of his songs – ‘Oliver’s Army’, and I adore Dave Edmunds’s version of ‘Girls Talk’ – but his voice and most of the stuff I’ve heard from him does nothing for me. The songs he did with Burt Bacharach I found boring. Even the stuff he did with Macca was just ordinary. Speaking of which, he was one of those interviewed in The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years. Nice enough guy, but I do wonder if he’d stuck with his original name if we ever would’ve heard of him. 

John B

Posts: 2,174
Reply with quote  #9 
Larry and his hard contests!   (with all great songs).

This is surprisingly hard because I'll never hear these songs fresh, that is, the way I heard them the first ...several hundred times I heard them.   If going in the order of how often I play these songs now.  It would be much easier.  1.  'Melt Away' (from 'Anthology')  2.  'Heads You Win, Tails I lose'  3. 'Alison'  and 4.  'My Generation'.   (kds' classic rock stations pretty much ruined my objectivity by overplaying some songs disproportionately).

But, am I judging them on their importance?  Then, I would have to flip the above order. Kds: that the punk uh, movement, had a guy who could write songs like 'Alison'...monumental.  The lyrics kind of ...a little misogynistic, though.  So, overall, yes, I'd rank this 2nd.  ('Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes' would have been 1st).  Also, love 'No Dancing' and 'Watching the Detectives' and 'Less Than Zero' and ...from the expanded version, so many more, like 'Radio Sweetheart.'  somewhere deep behind the words of what kds said, lies the explanation for why Elvis Costello could never get big in say the way 'Green Day' did.   I don't understand it...he wrote well over 100 good songs more than the Pistols did.  Easily.

paul: I did not see Elvis Costello until...the 80's, trying to remember when first... about 81 or 82?  near 'Almost Blue' and 'Imperial Bedroom' when as encores, he played with Tom Petty ('American Girl') and The Bangles ('Yes it Is', the Beatles song) at the Beverly Theater that would have been before 'Punch the Clock' at the Universal Amp.   Once saw him open with a rockin 'Why Don't you love me like you Use to do?'  the Hank Williams classic, so that must have been about 'Almost Blue' era.  and then there was several shows down at Irvine, about the time of 'Blood and Chocolate', one with the spinning wheel, one, dominated by audience requests...  Preferred the Attractions to the Imposters, felt 'King of America' was ...overrated.  but then, I was won over again by that more Nick Lowe sounding 'Brutal Youth', 'Spike' (the one with the two McCartney co-written songs), 'Mighty Like a Rose', and 'The Juliet Letters'.  and then the w/Steve Naïve tour/concert album, and 'All this Useless Beauty'.  But then, not a fan of a bunch of collaborations he did, including the Bacharach one, or the opera singing one, and every single time, he 'scales back' to simple blues, like that Delivery Man album=boring to my ears at least. 

only saw the Who once: at Dallas Convention Center, 1979 ? or 1980.  I'm thinking.  

first saw the Beach Boys, April 1978, Tarrant County Convention Center, Ft. Worth.
first saw Brian solo...Oct. 20, 1999, The Warfield in San Francisco, CA 

There's different ways to judge 'best' or 'favorite'.  How are we ranking these again?   

John E

Posts: 863
Reply with quote  #10 
Here's my order:


2. Brian

3. Elvis 

Larry Franz

Posts: 555
Reply with quote  #11 
Al, Cindy, kds & Darren, thank you for your early votes. (Darren -- Four for four so far. You may be right about the horse race. )

paul -- you do get around. I saw the Beach Boys in their very white suits a year earlier than you in sunny Southern California in 1968, and Brian in a rare appearance with the other Beach Boys also in sunny Southern California in 1971. Funny thing is I can't remember the first time I saw Brian solo. I passed up at least one early opportunity because I wasn't sure he was up to it (oh me, of little faith).

John B -- you get around too. You remind me that I also saw Elvis Costello in Irvine (Calif.). It seems to me he began running out of gas after Imperial Bedroom. That's the last one of his I play. His early albums were wonderful.

As for how to vote: That's an interesting question. Is it the one you "like" the most right now or is it "the best" as in "the greatest or most significant achievement"? When challenged, what I sometimes do is try to imagine which song I'd most regret never hearing again. Too bad that doesn't always work. Or there's the modified coin flip method (especially appropriate this week). You assign heads and tails to two songs, flip the coin and pay close attention to your immediate emotional response. Happy to see who won? Or disappointed? 

Two about little kids that were considered (although who knows what an early R.E.M. song is "about"?):

Brian Wilson  "Little Children", 1988

R.E.M.  "Catapult", Murmur, 1983 (I think they just liked the word "catapult")

PS: Thanks, John E. (Five for five, as we say in baseball)

John B

Posts: 2,174
Reply with quote  #12 
Darren J: about being cool and 17 and naughty, I think I played one song in that manner:

in the morning, before school, 'Eton Rifles' by the Jam.  

gosh, I just have to make a decision, which is not my strong suit.  I am good at offering numerous choices for someone else more decisive. 

1.  Who I guess.  

2.  Elvis I guess

3.  Beach Boys I guess and

4.  Brian I guess 


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Posts: 1,951
Reply with quote  #13 
So how to vote comes down to choosing between the emotional response and the rational one. By reasoning My Generation had the most impact for a first time album. Emotionally I'd have to say Melt Away is the song I'd choose if I could only choose one before leaving for some desert island 🌴. If you had posted Red Shoes 👠 instead of Alison it would have complicated matters. HYWTIL would have been left behind. I'm not leaving for that proverbial island anytime soon so here's the ranking:

Gold - The Who - My Generation
Silver - Brian Wilson - Melt Away
Bronze - Elvis Costello - Alison
Tin - The Beach Boys - Heads You Win, Tails I Lose

This is not the way we first heard of these guys in the States, as Meet the Beatles was the first I knew, but this is one I consider the all time best.

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  #14 

I wasn't planning to visit again so soon, but given the seven for seven voting so far, it behooves me to mention Rennie Stennett of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who, on September 16, 1975, went seven for seven -- that's seven hits in seven at bats. The Pirates were playing the Cubs in Chicago and won the game, 22 to 0. Stennett was the only player in the 20th century to record seven hits in seven at bats in a nine-inning game.

The box score is available here:

Al -- "Surfin' Safari" (not "409" or "Surfin'") was seriously considered as being more competitive, but I thought HYWTIL would be more interesting. I thought people may not have listened to it lately (or ever heard it) and was curious how it would do.

The last one I seriously considered:

The Byrds  "All I Really Want To Do", Mr. Tambourine Man, 1965

Thanks for your votes, Deb and John B (I guess). Those Beatles were rather good!

bonnie bella

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Posts: 2,038
Reply with quote  #15 
Hi, Larry.

Good theme.  Of course, My Generation is an epic song, but it won't make my Gold this week.  I'm going to be in a minority here as I can see that as my favourite song in this bunch is lagging near the back.  I shall have to apply the whip.

Deb, Red Shoes is a great song. 

The song that kicked off the Go Go's and certainly their best song in my opinion.

Turning the world upside down briefly.

DD Smash "Devil You Know" and "Repetition",  from their 1982 album, Cool Bananas.

Cold Chisel's "Breakfast at Sweethearts" from their 1979 album of the same name, and "Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye)".


Clowns divorce: custardy battle.     Simon Munnery

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