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BeachBoysAR312

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey Brian fans! 

I love listening to Brian's 2004 (or was it 2005?) Christmas album, "What I Really Want for Christmas", this time of year. In my opinion, it's such a fun album and very fun versions of the Christmas songs. Would be a great album to do live. Lots of organ on the album too. What do you guys think?
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curt lambert

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Reply with quote  #2 
Totally agree. Wonderful Christmas album. Brian has some very nice lead vocals. Love the arrangement of "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen".
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kds

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Reply with quote  #3 
God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman probably my favorite of the Christmas standards.  

I haven't listened to the album yet this year, but I've been hearing the songs on Pandora.  

I love the expanded redone version of The Man With All the Toys also.  The three BW originals are great.  

I only have two gripes.  

1.  The remake of Little Saint Nick seemed a little unnecessary.  

2.  I'd have put We Wish You a Merry Christmas as the album closer. 
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thorgil

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Reply with quote  #4 
Great Christmas album, one of the best imho. My fav piece is "Joy to the World", but I like them all. At the time of release, someone accused it of being too "happy sounding". Got it? A Christmas album. "Too happy sounding". Lol.

I think "The Right Time" would be a great Christmas song with slightly modified lyrics and and arrangement.
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kds

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thorgil
Great Christmas album, one of the best imho. My fav piece is "Joy to the World", but I like them all. At the time of release, someone accused it of being too "happy sounding". Got it? A Christmas album. "Too happy sounding". Lol.

I think "The Right Time" would be a great Christmas song with slightly modified lyrics and and arrangement.


Yeah, don't you just hate those festive / cheerful Christmas albums?  

Maybe the reviewer is more into stuff like The Christmas Shoes.  
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Cretanwelsh

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Reply with quote  #6 
May be the BW solo album that weathers best as a whole.

O Holy Night is a touch of the old sublime. Hark the Herald has me in stitches. The whole album is not only happy but funny as well.
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bugs

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cretanwelsh
May be the BW solo album that weathers best as a whole.....
Well, except for those of us that consider 'Pet Sounds' and 'SMiLE' to be BW solo albums (and, of course, the latter truly is).  Then there's 'No Pier Pressure,' 'TLOS', etc.
And I say this as someone that really likes this Christmas LP.

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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #8 
I'm not at all unhappy that Brian decided to rerecord his own signature Christmas song.  Quite a number of people have laid down their version of it over the years.  The original is 'dated' by virtue of the limitations of both the production facilities and the limited recording techniques available 53 years ago.  That isn't to say that it's a bad song...'cause it isn't.

I also love Run Run Rudolph by Chuck Berry but both Dave Edmunds and Bryan Adams have far more listenable, modern versions which I  M U C H  prefer.  I'm glad that Brian saw fit not to allow ownership of Little Saint Nick to slide on down the hill to someone else standing at the bottom.

I agree that Christmas music should be happy.  It's a celebration...it's glad tidings...it's fun...it's magical...it's a holiday to be shared and enjoyed.  More dirges?  Not necessary.  The birth of an idea is great enough.  The birth of a child and the potential for millions of new ideas?  Ultra grand.  The concept of using Christmas to divide people rubs me 100% the wrong way.

Peace on earth and GOODwill to  A L L  humanity.  Not just 'Christians'...[whatever ''THAT is anyway]...not just men...['cause without women there would be NO men]...and not just for one nation or one 'brand' of people representing certain selfish and ultra narrow interests.  If it can't be for everybody?  It's 100% worthless.  Brian's music is there to be enjoyed by everybody...whether its from his albums recorded for celebrating THIS specific season or for anything else he's done to be relished the other 11 months of the year.

All I REALLY want for Christmas?  A whole different attitude about our fellow humans.  The one we've been collectively using falls well short of what it really and truly should ALL be about.

Let's start by trying to make Christmas great [again].  The rest will automatically fall into place. [cool]
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bugs

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Reply with quote  #9 
And, of course, I LOVE this video showing Brian teaching his band "On Christmas Day" (found on this very website!)....


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Cretanwelsh

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Reply with quote  #10 
It depends what you mean by dated I think. If it means characteristic of the time and place in which it was made, then in that sense everything is dated sooner or later including Little Saint Nick. But really that's character and a virtue.

But if by dated you mean exposed by time to have relied for its appeal mainly on the superficial tastes of the moment or the excitement of novelty, then Little Saint Nick isn't dated. It's still a bit of magic.
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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #11 
I think I explained very clearly what I meant by 'dated'.  It requires no further clarification.
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Cretanwelsh

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Marshall
The original is 'dated' by virtue of the limitations of both the production facilities and the limited recording techniques available 53 years ago.  That isn't to say that it's a bad song...'cause it isn't.

I also love Run Run Rudolph by Chuck Berry but both Dave Edmunds and Bryan Adams have far more listenable, modern versions>



Yes you said it was dated by the limitations of the production facilities and recording techniques of the time. My point is that those recording limitations (among other things) only characterise it as belonging to a period. They don't date it in the sense that it's not as good anymore so that we need a replacement version of the song. (I'm of course not against Brian or anyone else doing new versions whether live or in the studio -but then they're not replacements, they are something new. Brian's fine version of Listen to Me doesn't replace the original -we're now fortunate enough to have both.)

The fifties and sixties were in some ways a happy moment for recording techniques. Musicians still had to play together but they didn't need to get everything right in one take. Also the analogue equipment gave those records an appealing warmth and graininess. Each studio had its own qualities. (We all know the story of Brian using different rooms for different sections of Good Vibrations.) This is part of the reason that it was such a golden age for the record (as distinct from the song) in rock and roll, rhythm and blues, jazz etc. and part of the reason that Brian's talent could fulfil itself to the extent that it did.

Mono recording is another aspect: I like the analogy with black-and-white in movies.

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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #13 
Agreed...Brian updating Little St. Nick is not a replacement...but welcome [as far as I'm concerned] nonetheless as the oldies sometimes tend to get left behind, un-played and forgotten, by modern day programmers who won't go for that [often] homogenized, flat old 'sound'.  Remember...when the original Little St. Nick first came out...classic Big Band songs were more modern at the time than 'it' is in 2016 ...  what with it being 50 some-odd years old now.

AND...many songs which were recorded to be heard in mono don't sound nearly as good in stereo.  The separation reveals too many weaknesses.  [Not true of Brian's productions or Little St. Nick by the way.  The Beach Boys weaknesses from that era are few and far between.]
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guitarfool2002

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Reply with quote  #14 
Love, love, love the album. A great Christmas album that I wish would have more of a push to get it on the regular rotation playlists at any number of radio stations across the US that have gone to the 24/7 Christmas music format. I really enjoy it myself, some say overkill...Nah, I can't get enough Christmas music but I wish some stations would expand the playlist more. Anyway...

Brian's Christmas album is pure joy for me. As soon as I heard the first tracks, it felt like they were having a blast recording it, and I always enjoy sharing that in the music as a listener.

In terms of Christmas music in general, it is such a specific category that the sonics and eras really don't matter. They play Bing's White Christmas next to Elvis next to The Carpenters and up to the Jackson 5, Spector, Beach Boys, etc. That's the cool part of it for me, you get to hear if you're a recording geek all of the different technologies from the different eras on the radio all mashed up together and no one minds the sonic differences.

Brian's Christmas album even has a great cover that reminded me of what my parents had when I was a kid, those old "Firestone" Christmas albums that looked like a wrapped present as the cover, and Brian's cover took me back to that in a perfect tip of the hat to what a lot of us remember seeing every year piled up near the ol' console hi-fi ready to spin. It was and is a cool cover design, kudos for the graphics too.

Play Brian's album and the BB's original Christmas album in one session and you're guaranteed to be decking the halls.

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guitarfool2002

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thorgil
Great Christmas album, one of the best imho. My fav piece is "Joy to the World", but I like them all. At the time of release, someone accused it of being too "happy sounding". Got it? A Christmas album. "Too happy sounding". Lol.

I think "The Right Time" would be a great Christmas song with slightly modified lyrics and and arrangement.


Great points - Agreed with "Right Time", it would sit next to "Time To Get Alone" very well if targeted more specifically to this time of year. Great observation.

Specific to the critics at the time of release, that was and is a really sore point with me. Let me clarify - I don't remember reading or paying attention to any rock writers or music critics or anyone from that club regarding this album. But there were some...people...on various online message forums, now defunct of course.

And those "people" seemed to want to go out of their way to bash the album, every part of it. It was too soft, too nice, too fun, the cover was too generic (one of these deep thinkers called it clip art), Brian's production sounded "too Brian Wilson", too many sleigh bells, etc. And Brian put out an exclusive online track at one point, and these online idiots and lemmings laid into both Brian and the song in a really bizarre display of...something other than fans acting like fans.

And that was when I knew there was something going on beyond the usual fan griping and moaning. Fill in the rest of the story from then up to now and remember any names that may pop up in the process.

So these armchair critics, some of them still bleating and belching out gems of misguided wisdom on various dark corners of the internet and Facebook, thought the album and the online track sucked and proceeded to tell anyone they could that this was the case.

Well, for my two cents, they're wrong. And they were and still are idiots.

But at least they left a footprint of trying to bash and smear anything they could related to Brian, including the unfair bashing the Christmas album received up to calling it "too joyful" and calling the cover "clip art", which those who remember can point to and say..."yep, there it was" and they're still trying. And failing miserably.



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