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topherle

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi All:  Just joined the community after listening to That Lucky Old Sun album for the first time yesterday.   I've been a big fan of Brian Wilson's music for a long time but listening to that album last night was so refreshing that I had to write in.  Thanks, Brian!  Can't wait to see you at Tanglewood, MA in June!

Chris
Watertown, MA
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kds

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Reply with quote  #2 
That Lucky Old Sun is a stellar album.  

It's still my favorite Brian Wilson solo album, with last year's No Pier Pressure coming in at a close second. 

Welcome to the board, Chris. 

I'm jealous you for getting tickets to the BW Pet Sounds Tour.  I'm eagerly awaiting the announcement of more tour dates, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for one in the Baltimore/DC area.  
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John B

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Reply with quote  #3 
yes, welcome, indeed, top!   kds and I argue respectfully about quite a few things, but we agree on 'TLOS' being Brian's overall best solo work so far*.   If you are VERY VERY lucky, Brian will perform one of the songs from that album when you see him live. 

* that, is, if we disqualify 'BW Presents Smile' of course because of its Beach Boys era roots.

Why disqualify?  Hmmm. Does anyone feel strongly that BWPS should count as a Brian Wilson solo work?  I guess because if we allow that one, someone is going to argue that 'Pet Sounds' and 'BB Love You' should also be judged as essentially solo works.  [that being said, I would think there's a strong argument for BWPS being included, and voted #1, since in large part, it was the lessor boys' reaction at the time that conspired to prevent its release, so it can never be judged vs. the Beach Boys releases.  How unfair, huh?  If it can't be judged v. the Beach Boys' releases, then it's only fair that it be judged v. Brian's solo releases.  In that case, BWPS is Brian's best solo release.

I think I've said before that 'TLOS' 'Reimagines Gershwin' and 'No PP' are my three favorite Brian solo records, in that order.  So, technically, if RG was disqualified for having so few Brian written songs, then I would agree with kds that 'NPP' would finish second.  Of course, Brian has some great live releases I am not counting...
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kds

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Reply with quote  #4 
John,

I'd probably still rank TLOS ahead of BWPS just on the basis that I prefer the Smile Sessions versions that The Beach Boys released.  That, and I'm not a huge fan of the third movement of Smile, while I love all of TLOS and just about all of NPP (save for two tracks).  

But, I would still rank BWPS as a BW solo album because he does all the leads and it was done with his band.  

You could argue that Pet Sounds and Love You are solo works, but since they feature vocal contributions from the other Beach Boys, I'd still consider them band albums.  Love You also contains more co-writing credits with other Beach Boys members than Pet Sounds does, and many other pre Pet Sounds BB albums for that matter.  
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John B

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Reply with quote  #5 
Not that I meant to hijack this nice 'LOS' topic, but I think I came to 'Smile' from a different POV than kds.  I got my first of several 'Smile' bootlegs--on vinyl, complete with the colorful shop cover, in about...June 1982?, from rock critic Greg Shaw.  It had the same basic skeleton structure of songs, but a number of more instrumentals, such as 'Tones' which I got used to and loved, but still, I preferred it later when it became "On a Holiday."  I also really appreciated the additional musical seque-ways, such as both before as well as after 'Surfs Up' on the more recent Brian and band one (and that are not on the BB's box).  When the BB's box finally came out, it seemed to me that it went out of its way to copy the Brian solo map--but the parts that were missing now stuck out to me like sore thumbs.  So, all in all, I prefer the officially released BWPS to the BB's 'Smile' box.  It was also a heck of a lot less expensive... 
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kds

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Reply with quote  #6 
John,

You've been a fan much longer than I have, so your Smile story's going to be different.  

For one thing, I'm not quite the Smile disciple that many Brian Wilson fans are.  I think there are some absolute masterpiece moments on the piece.  However, there are some parts that fail to land with me.  So, as a full piece of work, I don't rank Smile as highly as, say, Surfer Girl, Today, Pet Sounds, Sunflower, Holland, That Lucky Old Sun, etc.  

And you're right, when the Smile Sessions set was put together, BWPS was pretty much used as the template.  

You had edited your post before I replied, but I would also consider BWRG as a Brian Wilson record.  Same with the Christmas album and the Disney album.  

But getting back to That Lucky Old Sun.  Granted, it's shorter than Smile.  But to me, with the possible exception of the spoken word stuff, it's a near flawless album.  I don't have the same opinion about Smile.  Now, the great moments in Smile might be better than the great moments in TLOS.  But taken as a whole, I'm still going with TLOS.  

I rank NPP just above the Smile record.  But not by much.
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John B

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Reply with quote  #7 
I think the spoken word stuff is killer.  Maybe because I lived in the Los Angeles area for 9 years--so I know it's spot on, including the Venice Beach hobo and the Santa Monica pier and beautiful black haired girls in Los Feliz and all the hustlin would-be actors and the dang chop shop before they found one of my two stolen cars without its hood (?), but with a Rickey Henderson baseball card left where the front seat used to be.  &*^%$! LA.  Great album though!  
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guitarfool2002

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Reply with quote  #8 
Welcome to the board, Chris! Brian's albums have a way of hitting you just the right way at certain times, and it's great to go back and rediscover some great music if you haven't listened for some time.

I'm into the Gershwin album right now.

__________________
[BxNUByo] 
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Sue Schlichter

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Reply with quote  #9 
I sincerely love Lucky Old Sun. Great to be there with everybody. Talk about luck, got backstage to meet the towering human being named BDW. Had my back turned to him when I felt him scrawling his autograph on my CD. Heard the LP in its entirety with the spoken word interludes (plus slideshow). Heavenly. Even my least favorite songs sounded stellar. OMG
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thorgil

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Reply with quote  #10 
Just two things. If any album ever earned the right to be called a solo album, that's BWPS.
And... BWPS, TLOS, BWRG, TWGMTR, NPP. Rank them as you please, but that's FIVE outstanding albums Brian (with a little help from his friends, ok?) put out in a dozen years. And I would add to them a sixth, the Christmas album, which is outstanding in its own way. Isn't that impressive?

P.S.
Leaving alone almost a further album's worth of covers and collaborations, some of them as good as anything in the "official" albums.
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kds

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thorgil,

Yes, the 2000s has been kind to Brian Wilson.  Smile, the Christmas album, TLOS, BWRG, TWGMTR, NPP.  Very good albums. 

Good time to be a fan.
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topherle

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Reply with quote  #12 

Hi All,

I keep listening to this album over and over.  I'm slightly obsessed with the track Southern California and Live Let Live.   Does anyone know if Brian Wilson or Scott Bennett had ever shared the meaning of Midnight's Another Day?  Does anyone have their own interpretation?  It's such a beautiful song. I started reading the official lyrics from the booklet and found two things that I'm so curious about....

 One line of lyrics reads: "There's no morning without 'u'",  That's the letter "u" in quotes instead of "you".  I wonder what he is referring to. 

I also noticed that the words "Midnight's Another Day" is printed in all caps and another font as if it's a title of something.   Perhaps it's a personal motto.  

I'm sure there are many interpretations of the song and entire album and I have my own theories.  Just thought it was just another cool thing about this amazing piece of work. 

Also...Sue....That show must have been AMAZING.

Chris

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John B

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Reply with quote  #13 
I think Brian and Scott are too modest about "Midnight's Another Day."  Maybe as time passes, more people will realize what a classic song it is.

Also, to borrow a word, the song "Southern California" is magical...
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kds

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Reply with quote  #14 
John,

Midnight's Another Day and Southern California are masterpieces, and in my opinion, rank with some of Brian's best work.  

Southern California is also right up there as one of the best closing songs on any BW/BB album.  
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Cantina Margarita

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Reply with quote  #15 
"There's no morning without 'u'"

I often have my issues with Brian's lyrics experts, sometimes not getting the humour, the drama, the sadness and so on. No wonder - I'm not a Californian native, but only an eager central euro English imitator. On the bright side, I can say and understand everything in my own coalminer's idiom, whereas others can't. But who cares.

But this quote above, I think, is obvious to me.

mourning = weeping, worrying
morning = end of the night, mourning without u

So it says, it's an endless night, and I'm mourning all the time.

Hope this helps.

... by the way, I need help with VDP's SMiLE lyrics. I understand every word, but I don't get the sense. What the heck means "canvas the town and brush the backdrop" or "She knew how to gather the forest when God reached softly and moved her body" ? Please translate this for kids.
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