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Ang Jones

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Reply with quote  #16 
I agree that there is nothing wrong with Christmas music being joyful and yet some aspects of Christmas have pagan origins and there are traditions like telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve. Brian has amazing skill at incorporating magic and spooky atmosphere into his music and so if he ever should decide to do more Christmas songs, I'd love it if he would do that. Of course he HAS celebrated winter in songs like Time to Get Alone. In musical terms, Brian really is A Man for All Seasons.
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bugs

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarfool2002


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.



[bw_large] 


Right on, Craig!  And I'll take this opportunity to thank you for giving us your ongoing gift of time and effort in helping to administer this board.  Having a place like this to learn, share, wonder (and sometimes gripe) is a great gift for me.

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β€œLike a dream that's somehow linked to all the stars above." 🌟 🌟 
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Cretanwelsh

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Marshall
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.]



Thanks I think I understand you better now. Being just a listener I've the luxury of making the best sense of these records that I can just for myself. As a radio guy there must always be a part of you that naturally thinks 'what will the audience make of this.'

I don't know if the original mono recordings can be blamed for how they sound in stereo. Maybe creating stereo versions at all is barbarous -something like colourising Citizen Kane! I take the view that it's a creative act and if a record sounds great in mono but bad in stereo, we should criticise the engineer, not the record.

Conversely I love the study videos Stephen Desper makes. They are revelations, so rich with insights, and great credit goes to him. But as Desper himself says (and just as with cover versions) they don't supplant the original mono.

I certainly don't think mono is intrinsically better than stereo. The proofs in the pudding!
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BeachBoysAR312

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kds
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. 

Agreed re Wish You a Merry Christmas as album closer
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BeachBoysAR312

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thorgil

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


Good point. I would actually like to hear that. 
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BeachBoysAR312

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cretanwelsh
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.
I'd say it's probably either WIRWFC or No Pier Pressure as Brian's strongest. Or maybe the Imagination but probably one of the other 2
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BeachBoysAR312

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Marshall
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]


Well said. Thank you, Lee
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BeachBoysAR312

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugs
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.
Oh yeah, I forgot about SMiLE in my earlier comment
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BeachBoysAR312

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarfool2002
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.
Thank you for mentioning this--why is BW's X-mas album NOT on the radio?
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kds

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachBoysAR312
Thank you for mentioning this--why is BW's X-mas album NOT on the radio?


Because, for the most part, FM radio is reluctant to play newer songs by legacy artists.  

However, I have a few Christmas channels on Pandora (including a Brian Wilson Holiday Channel).  One, which is called Rockin Holiday I believe, will play some cuts from the BW Xmas album.  
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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #26 
These days the great majority of FM radio is owned, operated and controlled by NON BROADCAST corporations with nary even one creative instinct in their rotting pile of bones.  That they don't know what they're doing is easily proven simply by tuning one of these lifeless, homogenized, non musical cookie-cutter, cold-wired, air polluting wastes of time in.  Then the medium market, smaller broadcast companies merely copy the 'big' boys.  In North America?  THAT'S the way it happens.  It's only about corporate profits and dividends for the shareholders.

There was a time when competitive radio was done well.  Not perfectly...but well.  Those days are long gone.  These days FM radio stations are sitting ducks and ripe for the picking OFF.  With ever-so-few exceptions it seems that nobody has the 'pills' or the knowhow needed to stand up and wack 'em easily to the ground.  Video killed music.  Radio?  Killed itself.  Idiots!!!
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bugs

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Reply with quote  #27 
Don't hold back, Lee.
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β€œLike a dream that's somehow linked to all the stars above." 🌟 🌟 
-Brian Wilson, 1976
                        

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kds

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Marshall
These days the great majority of FM radio is owned, operated and controlled by NON BROADCAST corporations with nary even one creative instinct in their rotting pile of bones.  That they don't know what they're doing is easily proven simply by tuning one of these lifeless, homogenized, non musical cookie-cutter, cold-wired, air polluting wastes of time in.  Then the medium market, smaller broadcast companies merely copy the 'big' boys.  In North America?  THAT'S the way it happens.  It's only about corporate profits and dividends for the shareholders.

There was a time when competitive radio was done well.  Not perfectly...but well.  Those days are long gone.  These days FM radio stations are sitting ducks and ripe for the picking OFF.  With ever-so-few exceptions it seems that nobody has the 'pills' or the knowhow needed to stand up and wack 'em easily to the ground.  Video killed music.  Radio?  Killed itself.  Idiots!!!


Sad, but 100% true.  

Here in Baltimore, there's an FM station that plays all Christmas music between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  So, you have about, what, 75 years plus of recorded Christmas songs to play, and they stick to the same ones over and over.  
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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugs
Don't hold back, Lee.


So what you're saying is I should maybe tell you what I really think bugs? [wink]  This is a Christmas oriented thread my friend.  So?  I need to hold back. [angel]

kds...There are too many young people picking the tunes as the so-called station, or corporate, music director.  They actually don't know the difference between an original recording and one of those same artist/same song recreations.  All they know is what their eyes tell them...by reading old Top 40 charts...if they even do THAT.  Radio stopped using ears to select music about 20 - 25 years ago.  It became all about the eyes...and not only because of videos.  As a result these young 'programmers' have often never heard the REAL versions or much of the good stuff which otherwise might have stood the test of time.  They don't understand who the foundational artists, many of whom still tour and record, are.  If it wasn't for the fact that the younger, inexperienced NO TALENTS were far less expensive for the corporations to hire things might be different.  But... ... ...Quality no longer counts.  These conglomerates sold their collective souls for the extra pieces of silver they use to line their pockets. 

Except for 'them'...everybody continues to lose.  Well at lest the audience and, truth be told, even the poor unsuspecting advertisers.  And THAT pretty much wraps that up in a long red scarf.  So Merry Christmas.



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bugs

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Marshall

...There are too many young people picking the tunes as the so-called station, or corporate, music director.  They actually don't know the difference between an original recording and one of those same artist/same song recreations.  .... Radio stopped using ears to select music about 20 - 25 years ago....these young 'programmers' have often never heard the REAL versions or much of the good stuff which otherwise might have stood the test of time.  They don't understand who the foundational artists, many of whom still tour and record, are.  If it wasn't for the fact that the younger, inexperienced NO TALENTS were far less expensive for the corporations to hire things might be different.  But... ... ...Quality no longer counts. 

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Interesting perspective (and I say that with the respect you're due...actually doing it as you do, Lee). 
Seems to be yet another reflection of a young, mobile society these days - they don't appear to want to spend the time to learn the history of ______ (fill in the blank).  Accordingly, this is just one of several aspects of life that seems so watered-down now. For years...No, decades.

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β€œLike a dream that's somehow linked to all the stars above." 🌟 🌟 
-Brian Wilson, 1976
                        

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