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Beach Boys a capella
August 13, 2009 9:38 AM   Subscribe

Strip away the instruments, and Pet Sounds is even more gorgeous. No autotune. No digital editors. Just an analog 8-track tape deck and a surfeit of musical brilliance. God only knows where Brian Wilson got his skills.
posted by Johnny Wallflower (101 comments total) 156 users marked this as a favorite

 
holy crap
posted by Afroblanco at 9:43 AM on August 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've never been a fan of the BB, but damn, this is really good.
posted by DU at 9:45 AM on August 13, 2009


"God Only Knows" is actually a little bit boring without the music; it needs to be rearranged to get rid of the multi-bar silences.

"Sloop John B" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice," though...incredible.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 9:46 AM on August 13, 2009


God Only Knows gets really good later in.
posted by DU at 9:47 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nice find. Yes, no Autotune, and the awesome part is he's human. The lead line in Caroline No is doubled -- he sung it twice, and due to his pitch NOT being absolutely perfect, it has a fatness, a fullness, a richness that you'll never get tuning every nuance out of the human voice.

Sheer opinion at this point, but God Only Knows is maybe the greatest pop melody line ever written. That shit just popped into his head fully formed, apparently. He was sort of a Mozart of pop.

"How was that? was that cool?" Yes.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:48 AM on August 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


Ha, on a related note I just read about the encounter between Thomas Pynchon and Brian Wilson (they get high in a giant Arabian tent):
"When Siegel brought his friend Thomas Pynchon up to the house one night, the famous hipster novelist sat in stunned, unhappy silence while the nervous, stoned pop star — who had dragged him into his then-new Arabian tent to get high — kept kicking over the oil lamp he was trying to light. "Brian was kind of afraid of Pynchon, because he'd heard he was an Eastern intellectual establishment genius," Siegel recalls. "And Pynchon wasn't very articulate. He was gonna sit there and let you talk while he listened. So neither of them really said a word all night long. It was one of the strangest scenes I'd ever seen in my life."
posted by geoff. at 9:50 AM on August 13, 2009 [11 favorites]


Man, "Sloop John B." is incredible.
posted by padraigin at 9:54 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hang on folks...

The lead on "God Only Knows" was sung by Carl Wilson, not Brian. In fact, the recently released The Pet Sounds Sessions (where this probably came from) features a ton of outtakes and alternate versions, including one with Brian trying to sing lead. (Disc 3, track 29.) Spoiler Alert: It doesn't sound good.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:57 AM on August 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


"God Only Knows" is one of the most gorgeous pieces of music ever composed. Truly.

And I'm sure the thread will appear any moment, but Les Paul just passed away, and between hearing this song and that news, I'm too teared up to make the FPP myself.
posted by dbiedny at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2009


Thanks for this. I was just listening to Pet Sounds the other day and decided to finally work up a cover of You Still Believe in Me. This will help, although there isn't actually a whole lot in the way of vocal harmony on that one.

And I can't find the tracks on YouTube, but Pet Sounds also happens to sound wonderful (won, won, wonderful) with no vocals.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2009


Here's a Pet Sounds a capella playlist (don't know why nobody's done this yet)
posted by Afroblanco at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


I listen to this and then I think of my band struggling to get sad little 2-part harmonies to sound decent and then I cringe and want to go get high in a tent with Thomas Pynchon.
posted by COBRA! at 10:00 AM on August 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


This all seems to be ripped from The Pet Sounds Sessions, which has lots of other good stuff too.
posted by dfan at 10:01 AM on August 13, 2009


The Good Vibrations box set has a few "real" vocal only tracks on the 5th disc.
posted by smackfu at 10:01 AM on August 13, 2009


Hang on folks...

The lead on "God Only Knows" was sung by Carl Wilson, not Brian.
I believe the OP was referring to the fact that it was written by Brian.
posted by Flunkie at 10:02 AM on August 13, 2009


Holy hell. I like "Sloop John B", but that's the first time it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:06 AM on August 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


God Only Knows" is actually a little bit boring without the music; it needs to be rearranged to get rid of the multi-bar silences.

On the contrary, it is much better with the silences, the subject and tone of the piece are served well by the sparseness. If I were to say those words to someone, in conversation, it would be the kind of conversation that moves slowly, with long and emotionally heavy silences.
posted by idiopath at 10:08 AM on August 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ah, I didn't know about the Pet Sounds Sessions. I was wondering how the YouTube guy did it. Thanks for the link.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:08 AM on August 13, 2009


That reverb chamber from Pet Sounds:

http://www.audioheritage.org/images/misc/2003-tour/slht-2003-129.jpg
posted by uraniumwilly at 10:08 AM on August 13, 2009


Strip away the instruments, and Pet Sounds is even more gorgeous.

No....

But this is still good.
posted by jeremy b at 10:09 AM on August 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


You know, sometimes I get a little embarrassed that my first stadium concert experience (back in the early eighties when my friends were going to see Prince and Van Halen and Michael Jackson) was when I saw the Beach Boys. Then I listen to "God Only Knows" and realize maybe I didn't do too bad after all.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:10 AM on August 13, 2009 [4 favorites]




I downloaded "Sloop John B" from somewhere ages ago and was as knocked out by it as the rest of you. I now need to get the rest of this.

(Also gorgeous stripped to its skeleton: "Because".)
posted by maudlin at 10:18 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


YouTube doesn't seem to have a full copy (just the second half) but there's a bonus track on the Pet Sounds CD (and I presume the box set) that's a wonderful musical joke of sorts. It's two pieces of a brief passage of a cappella harmony, the first time in a single part (Brian, I think) and out of context it sounds like tuneless caterwauling. This is immediately followed, with the only warning being multiple intakes of breath, by the whole group singing it, but this time it sounds like injecting heroin into your eardrum.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:22 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


They played the acapella version of "Wouldn't It Be Nice" on the radio on a morning show about 10 years back. I mean, I'd listened to Beach Boys before casually without any real attachment to the group, but hearing that stopped me in my tracks, literally. It's not often that a piece of music really gets my attention and that did it.
posted by azpenguin at 10:26 AM on August 13, 2009


Marvin Gaye - I heard it through the grapevine a capella. Also nice.
posted by jouke at 10:26 AM on August 13, 2009 [10 favorites]


ricochet biscuit, my mom took me to see Boston when I was 8. That was my first concert. What's worse is that it wasn't even the REAL Boston; the only remaining member from the original band was the drummer. You could have done much, much worse.
posted by Bageena at 10:32 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


wow, this is nice.
posted by krautland at 10:35 AM on August 13, 2009


Wow. Can we just all agree to not run it through Songsmith. Please?
posted by Cookiebastard at 10:36 AM on August 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Beautiful. Thank you, Afroblanco, for the playlist.

On another note, I wonder if anyone will put this to the Songsmith.
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:36 AM on August 13, 2009


Whoa.
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:37 AM on August 13, 2009


Better
Than
The
Beatles
posted by Damn That Television at 10:37 AM on August 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


infinitewindow, I favorited your comment not just because of the link to the Fark thread, but because the video link that the thread is about is absolutely fantastic.
posted by azpenguin at 10:37 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, MY first concert was Anne Murray at Ontario Place. With my mother. And I'm not ashamed.
posted by maudlin at 10:40 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is the kind of thing that makes you wonder what would have happened had Brian been able to actually finish Smile. I've heard some of the cuts from that and it's pretty freakin' incredible, the man was scary gifted, yes he was.
posted by tommasz at 10:41 AM on August 13, 2009


Strip away the instruments, and Pet Sounds is even more quite gorgeous.
But the theremin portion of "Good Vibrations" makes all the difference.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:46 AM on August 13, 2009


Damn, when I was studying Zulu last semester a friend sent me a YouTube video of a Zulu choir, singing a capella. It was awesome because Zulu has intervocalic clicks and they harmonize with them! Wish I could find it and link it here.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:46 AM on August 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


By choir, I meant quartet. Coffee time.

Also, this post is awesome.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:47 AM on August 13, 2009


Sloop John B needs nothing. Thanks JW.
posted by rahnefan at 10:52 AM on August 13, 2009


it's actually pretty trippy when you play 2 or 3 of them at a time
posted by any major dude at 10:53 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Awesome.

Not to be picky, but do you have a source for them having access to an 8 track machine for this album? I feel like I've read info about the sessions before that suggested they had a 4 track (which makes it even more amazing to my mind).
posted by quarterframer at 10:58 AM on August 13, 2009


Never mind. Wikipedia is good enough for me.
posted by quarterframer at 11:06 AM on August 13, 2009


infinitewindow: that fark guy's 100% synthetic barbershop piece is also pretty darn cool.
posted by ubermuffin at 11:07 AM on August 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is the kind of thing that makes you wonder what would have happened had Brian been able to actually finish Smile.

Actually, the original Smile sessions have been available on bootleg for decades, and many many enthusiasts tried their hand at making a 'definitive' Smile bootleg (apparently using session notes and things like that). After Brian re-recorded and released Smile in 2005, one went back and assembled an 'alternate history' smile, using the original sessions and the 2005 track ordering.

The end result -- remarkably similar! Wilson and Parks created a few new songs and arrangements to make everything go together smoothly, and of course the whole thing was re-recorded, but really the material was pretty much already worked out ahead of time. It made me think that Wilson was a lot closer to actually finishing it than perhaps even he thought.

The documentary on the making of 2005 Smile pretty much bears this out. Wilson went crazy back in the 60s trying to piece together an album from the various "pocket symphonies" that he created. Apparently what aided him the most in making 2005 Smile was the existence of digital technology, and the ability to just randomly cut and paste sequences together to see what sounded good. It sounds trivial to us, but just imagine the effort and splicing this would have involved back in the age of analogue tape!
posted by Afroblanco at 11:08 AM on August 13, 2009


Agree with jouke -- that Marvin Gaye video rocked. I just kept expecting Simon Cowell to interrupt with a "Right. That's enough." I'm pretty sure Marvin would have made it on to the next round though.
posted by bpm140 at 11:15 AM on August 13, 2009


This is like a beautiful, modern version of the Missa Papae Marcelli.
posted by Monster_Zero at 11:17 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


dbiedny - And I'm sure the thread will appear any moment, but Les Paul just passed away, and between hearing this song and that news, I'm too teared up to make the FPP myself.

Agreed. I'm basically listening to these a capella tracks as a tribute to Les Paul's (and Mary's!) influence.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 11:19 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]



Not to be picky, but do you have a source for them having access to an 8 track machine for this album? I feel like I've read info about the sessions before that suggested they had a 4 track (which makes it even more amazing to my mind).


I think 4-track is right. I think the instrumentals were recorded live to four tracks, then bounced down to a single track on another reel, leaving three for vocals. The liner notes from the box go into the process of creating the first full-stereo mix in the 90s - they had to synch the multi-track instrumental reels with the seperate vocal reels.
posted by anazgnos at 11:46 AM on August 13, 2009


I just want to be in this thread on record as saying this is amazing. Pet Sounds already tops my personal list of ten all-time best albums of popular music, and I feel like I just got to listen to it for the first time again.
posted by pineapple at 11:58 AM on August 13, 2009


The Pet Sounds Sessions is worth every penny.
posted by TrialByMedia at 12:02 PM on August 13, 2009


.... Andy? Andy?
posted by dhartung at 12:06 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Um. Not to be a naysayer, but many commenters here are acting like Wilson invented vocal harmony. I mean, the Beach Boys were a nice little pop band, but they didn't spring up from nowhere. Also, there's this guy called Thomas Tallis; look him up if you want to have your mind blown by vocal polyphony.
posted by jokeefe at 12:22 PM on August 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


That reverb chamber from Pet Sounds:

Is it a problem that, when I clicked on "God Only Knows," my very first thought was, "man, if I had reverb that nice, I'd print it, too?"
posted by uncleozzy at 12:25 PM on August 13, 2009


(Not that they had a choice, really.)
posted by uncleozzy at 12:30 PM on August 13, 2009


I just listened to "I just wasn't made for these times" - it's like an angel's lament for lost heaven. It's lame and dated and mediocre when there's only the one voice, but then the harmonies come in, and combined with the stereo effects and reverb, well, whoah.

I can't stand the song otherwise... too many nods to the conventions of the times... but without the instruments, it's really, really potent.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:36 PM on August 13, 2009


Paul McCartney himself called "God Only Knows" the greatest single ever released. Fact.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 12:50 PM on August 13, 2009


The Beach Boys were my first concert, my first musical love, and more than part of the reason why I eventually went on to study bel canto opera and a cappella singing. I've never seen Brian Wilson live, but the version of "Heroes and Villains" he did during the Smile tour is floating around YouTube and gives me happy chills.
posted by annathea at 1:51 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I did look up the Thomas Tallis, after exhausting the other links. On top of being really overwhelmed by the 40 part vocals, I was impressed with the caliber of the youtube commenters. Possibly the nicest and politest batch of youtube comments that I've ever come across.
posted by redsparkler at 1:57 PM on August 13, 2009


> Well, MY first concert was Anne Murray at Ontario Place. With my mother. And I'm not ashamed.

Hey, Anne Murray's first album is great. No, really!
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:06 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


But the theremin portion of "Good Vibrations" makes all the difference.

Tannerin, actually: 1 2 3
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:09 PM on August 13, 2009


I think maybe it's time for DoReMeFi to rise again.
posted by tangerine at 2:59 PM on August 13, 2009


I sing "Sloop John B" to myself on a disturbingly regular basis - especially when I used to work in a coffee shop. Now that I actually *enjoy* my job, I am less likely to sing about the worst trip I've ever been on.

I'll admit that their a capella version sounds better than mine.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:00 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another great thing about the Pet Sounds acapellas is the fun of re-edits. I've dropped this Si Begg one at a few parties; it usually gets a few laughs and a lot of booty shaking!
posted by p3t3 at 4:17 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think maybe it's time for DoReMeFi to rise again.

Oh man. I'm in.
posted by padraigin at 4:48 PM on August 13, 2009


(very) Unworthy Self-Link - a re-edit of Wouldn't It Be Nice
posted by Magnakai at 5:03 PM on August 13, 2009


Previously, Hippocamp Ruins Pet Sounds.

My favorites are the "You Still Believe In Me" and "That's Not Me" remixes. This remix album first turned me on to the Beach Boys a few years ago.
posted by d1rge at 5:26 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really love the Beach Boys. Always have. And this is great.

You can talk all you want about how Brian Wilson stopped working on Pet Sounds after he heard Sergeant Pepper's, and yeah, that's all well and good- it's an amazing album, and I love the Beatles too. But the Beach Boys are the American Beatles- and they're just as important a band. I'll fight anyone who disagrees (I'm looking at you, asshole college roommate from 1993).

The first Compact Disc I ever bought was a Beach Boys best of. And I still have it.

I had a chance to see the Beach Boys when I was in high school. I chose to go to prom instead. Man, did I make the wrong decision.
posted by Shohn at 5:31 PM on August 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Good stuff. Also worth checking out is this - discussion? - on how Sloop John B came together for the group. (There are other similar for other BB songs.)
posted by IndigoJones at 5:34 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh yes. Oh YES. I've studied Pet Sounds like some people have studied, like, the science of medicine, and this is like pure gold to me. I even have the 4-disc version, but I don't think it has the completed vocal tracks only like this. "Sloop John B"... my God.

I hope Mike Love someday gets the punishment he deserves for contributing so much towards for derailing the amazing explosion of genius that was happening with Brian Wilson in 1966-67. He was the main reason SMiLE was never completed, and had a lot of really ignorant negative shit to say about Pet Sounds. Fuck him.
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:41 PM on August 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


I saw this link at work, and waited all day to check it out.
It didn't disappoint. Wow.
posted by ruwan at 5:43 PM on August 13, 2009


I've often wished for an analysis of the Beach Boys material, and Pet Sounds in particular, to match Alan W. Pollack's notes on The Beatles. One day I'm going to write it. I wish someone would pay me for it though.
posted by ludwig_van at 5:50 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


... reverb chamber ...

Just think what David Lee Roth could have done with that!

Haaa-yeah!
posted by bwg at 5:52 PM on August 13, 2009


Yeah, I mean, these vocal arrangements and performances are very nice, and I'm enjoying them. But the arrangements with the instrumental music are better. Those sounds were not surplusage, they were exquisitely designed.
posted by grobstein at 5:55 PM on August 13, 2009


And now, I'm pleased to report that this thread has forced me to spend the last half hour making my six-year-old and four-year-old listen to the Beach Boys. They seem to be on board at this point, but the night is young.
posted by Shohn at 5:58 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


So about two weeks ago I heard "South Town Girls," by The Hold Steady for the first time and got a little obsessed with it, especially the opening.

At first there's just the lead singer doing the coda line, "South Town Girls won't blow you away/ but you know that they'll stay." Sort of half singing and almost half saying it. Then an awkward silence.

A moment later comes the same line, but with the vocal harmonies behind it taking odd thirds and fifths above the original line, sounding kind of odd and off putting, and then more awkward silence.

And then the music comes in, putting everything in context and sounding fucking amazing and triumphant, because you've put it all together. God I love that song.

But I love "Sloop John B" more, and this version acmplishes the same thing, to better effect, not by adding in the instruments, but by bringing in harmonies I'd never noticed in my hundreds of times listening to it.

Great find.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:05 PM on August 13, 2009


Shohn - take heart - in the early eighties my brothers were trying to get me into New Wave (which I adore now) but my first and only love at 4 and 6 was The Beach Boys.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:06 PM on August 13, 2009


Damn you. I had been doing soooo well. And just today I happened to flip over to Joni Mitchell's album "Both Sides Now" and then I ran into this all over the internets and now I find myself right back to having to watch Love, Actually as many times as possible in as short a span of time as possible.

Here we go again...
posted by greekphilosophy at 6:39 PM on August 13, 2009


I think I must have some kind of genetic defect, because I just find this... boring. I understand that it's the product of a time and place, and that they sold a lot of records, but. It kind of does sound like music for tots. It's a neotonous world.
posted by sneebler at 6:41 PM on August 13, 2009


I'd recommend checking out the Pet Sounds Sessions also, since the inverse (instrumental) versions are equally gorgeous.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:08 PM on August 13, 2009


None of all this close harmony stuff was invented by Brian Wilson. The Beach boys' harmony was a conscious copying of the vocal style of The Four Freshmen:

" In his autobiography, Brian Wilson attributes the success of the Beach Boys' initial sound to the harmonic chord choices found in Four Freshmen arrangements. In concert, the Beach Boys honor the Four Freshmen verbally and illustrate the Four Freshmen's voicing with an a cappella version of their hit, "In My Room"."

Submitted for your consideration: the 1964 Beach Boys--featuring a handsome, not-insane Brian-- doing In My Room. Please note how short and ugly Mike Love is on the end.

And anyone here who never danced to a Beach Boys record:
Get off my lawn.
posted by rdone at 7:40 PM on August 13, 2009


That Fuck You Mike Love song is great but someone needs to tell the video producer that when putting text in a video one needs to read the full text three times slowly before cutting to the next shot. I had to pause half of that text to read it!

But still...FUCK YOU MIKE LOVE.
posted by spicynuts at 7:52 PM on August 13, 2009


RE: In My Room youtube....those damn girls can't scream in harmony!!
posted by spicynuts at 7:54 PM on August 13, 2009


For the record I still think we should do a MeFiMu challenge featuring "God Only Knows." I mean, look what we (or Cortex, rather) did with Hallelujah...

(Largely inspired by John Pizzarelli's version featuring Harry Allen on the album Knowing You.)
posted by Kimothy at 9:06 PM on August 13, 2009


Oh jeez. "God Only Knows" is my favourite Beach Boys song, and it is so lovely a cappella. I have no idea why but this song always makes me want to tear up. So as you can imagine, the scene at the end of Love, Actually where they play "God Only Knows" over the REAL footage of people greeting their loved ones at Heathrow airport? Well, forget it. It's my bloody kryptonite.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:43 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sloop John B reminds me of church. In the best way.
posted by mazola at 12:07 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's a stairwell at UC Berkeley that, God's honest truth, produces reverb as good as what I hear on these acapella tracks. If anyone on MeFi wants to meet there and sing, MeMail me (me: bass extending up towards tenor)
posted by zippy at 1:19 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sloop John B reminds me of church. In the best way.

It's supposed to.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 5:30 AM on August 14, 2009


This was better
posted by A189Nut at 6:32 AM on August 14, 2009


After Brian re-recorded and released Smile in 2005, one went back and assembled an 'alternate history' smile, using the original sessions and the 2005 track ordering.


I believe you're referring to the Purple Chick SMiLE.
posted by heffalump at 6:52 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


You've got a tenor for your quartet, zippy. Only, I've never been to California. So it might take me a while to find your stairwell.
posted by greekphilosophy at 7:50 AM on August 14, 2009


heffalump : You are correct! I had no idea it was available on YouTube. Thanks for linking it!
posted by Afroblanco at 8:42 AM on August 14, 2009


There's a stairwell at UC Berkeley that, God's honest truth, produces reverb as good as what I hear on these acapella tracks. If anyone on MeFi wants to meet there and sing, MeMail me (me: bass extending up towards tenor)

In Tolman Hall?
posted by MarshallPoe at 10:05 AM on August 14, 2009


This fan vocal overdub of "Trombone Dixie" is pretty cool. Apparently this Lane Steinberg guy is an associate of R. Stevie Moore or something.
posted by anazgnos at 11:30 AM on August 14, 2009


I downloaded an MP3 of Wouldn't It Be Nice without the backing music several years ago, and it pleases me to realize there are *more*.
posted by rubah at 11:38 AM on August 14, 2009


You can talk all you want about how Brian Wilson stopped working on Pet Sounds after he heard Sergeant Pepper's, and yeah, that's all well and good- it's an amazing album, and I love the Beatles too. But the Beach Boys are the American Beatles- and they're just as important a band. I'll fight anyone who disagrees.

I think you're thinking of Rubber Soul. The Beatles were influenced by Pet Sounds whilst making Sergeant Pepper.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:52 AM on August 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


You can talk all you want about how Brian Wilson stopped working on Pet Sounds SMiLE after he heard Sergeant Pepper's
posted by anazgnos at 1:04 PM on August 14, 2009


The Beach boys' harmony was a conscious copying of the vocal style of The Four Freshmen:

Certainly B.Wilson didn't simply slavishly copy the FF style. It was a tool he used to create his signature sound. He also expropriated C.Berry's licks, but you wouldn't credit him with the BB's sound, either.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:02 PM on August 14, 2009


Brilliant! So enjoyed that! Am sitting here swaying, listening blissfully to "Sloop John B". Thanks for the post, what a great find Johnny Wallflower.
posted by nickyskye at 7:40 PM on August 14, 2009


It was a tool he used to create his signature sound. He also expropriated C.Berry's licks, but you wouldn't credit him with the BB's sound, either.

Well...... there was that small matter of them copying the music from Sweet Little Sixteen and re-appropriating it wholesale for Surfin' USA. I believe that Berry sued them over that and won.

Not to diminish the talent of B. Wilson et al, but yeah, that was kind of a dick move.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:29 PM on August 14, 2009


I don't think I ever took the Beach Boys seriously before hearing some of these, so thank you very much. I've been searching around for other Beach Boys music to listen to for the first time. It's exciting to find and hear this stuff.

Also, it seems to me that, strictly speaking, none of these are "a capella." These are vocal tracks. They're actually singing along with music that we don't happen to hear.
posted by wobh at 11:21 PM on August 14, 2009


elsietheeel and anazgnos are both right. I was terribly, terribly, wrong. Mea cupla and thanks for the gentle correction.

I just want to lie in bed for a few years now.
posted by Shohn at 5:11 AM on August 15, 2009


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