Nightman Listens To – Shut Down Vol 2 – The Beach Boys!

ShutDownVol2Cover.jpg

Greetings, Glancers! At the time of writing this, the Northern Ireland Covid Shutdown Summer 2020 Special is drawing to a thunderously dull close. It’s currently pissing down outside, and the prevailing colour all around is GREY. What better way to chase away the grey blues than with a dose of sun, sand, and summer, courtesy of The Beach Boys? I know I haven’t been a huge fan of the albums I’ve listened to so far, but I still love most of the singles that I’m aware of, and maybe this record will include a few golden oldies to bring back the warmth to my bones. I realise this will probably make no sense when I get around to publishing, but in truth, it’s always kind of grey, dull, and wet here. What do we have here?

Fun, Fun, Fun’ is exactly what I’m talking about. The Chuck Berry intro quickly morphs into a song which just reminds me of the Popeye & Sons show I used to watch. Nostalgic, melodic, light-hearted, sunny, and fun – exactly what I think of when I think of The Beach Boys.

Don’t Worry Baby’ opens like a summery Motown song. I don’t recall hearing this. But I instantly like it – it again has that quintessential Beach Boys tone and feel. Great chorus harmonies, lovely all around. The chorus sounds like it was ripped off by – was it McFly – It’s All About You song.

In The Parking Lot‘ follows the harmonic, summery style where the previous song left off. Then it takes off at a charge for a whipping verse. There’s another 50s Rock influenced guitar break in the middle, then it switches back to the slower pace to close.

Cassius Love vs Sonny Wilson‘ is a mess. I’m not sure why this is on the album. I’m sure hardcore fans love this, but it’s pretty cringy for everyone else. It’s like a compilation TV episode, except featuring snippets of all their big hits. This would be a much more fitting B-Side or novelty extra, but absolutely has no place in the middle of an album.

The Warmth Of The Sun‘ is a slower ballad, but retains the harmonic style of the opening tracks. The transitional notes between words in the vocals, sometimes they don’t land and feel whiney. Musically, there’s nothing adventurous here and feels like the band is on auto-pilot. Still, it’s very nice and inoffensive, but you’re not going to remember it, and it’s the first example on the album of things feeling samey.

This Car Of Mine‘ means they’re back to singing about cars again. Sure, there are mentions of cars in earlier songs on this album, but this is more overt. It’s a basic 4 bar rocker, mid paced, nice harmonies. Nothing special in the melodies, the lyrics are atrocious, but they sound earnest.

Why Do Fools Fall In Love‘ is a cover, obviously. I love the original – it’s one of those classic golden melodies. This offers some assorted varying percussion and a range of harmonies so that the song is different enough from other versions you’ve heard. It’s not as good as Frankie or Diana’s versions, but it’s decent.

Pom Pom Play Girl‘ has a few temp changes and pauses to try to change things up a little. There’s a loud handclap accompaniment to the guitar solo, the lyrics are silly – at this point we can expect the lyrics to be, not the most intelligent, but they’re apt for every juvenile subject they cover. It’s another fine, but forgettable song.

Keep An Eye On Summer’ starts with a slightly dreary choral section, it’s definitely reminiscent of decades earlier than the 60s. Unusually, it feels more like a Christmas song than anything Summery. The guitars take a different faster strummed approach. It’s too sleepy for my tastes and lacks a killer hook, plus the lead high pitched vocals line should have been re-recorded as it’s not the cleanest and not 100% on pitch, especially when the key changes at the end.

Shut Down Part 2‘ is the title track, and surprisingly not part of a prog album. If there was a Part 1, I’ve already forgotten what it sounded like. It has a silly countdown, a huge horn which sounds like, well, a car horn, then it becomes an actual song. Or possibly an instrumental song. See, the thing about this and a lot of Beach Boys music is that they’re just picking their riff and then playing it in four bar scale repetitions. That was of course the hallmark of 50s rock, but once again it makes this band sound dated. Think of the other bands who were musically innovating in the 60s – I previously believed The Beach Boys were part of this group but based on everything I’ve heard so far there has been precious little innovation or invention. This is a simple, quick jam, nothing more.

Louie Louie‘ is a cover, – they’ve done two instrumentals and have run out of ideas so are dragging out a cover. To its credit, I guess, it’s quite different from the original. You can make out the lyrics at least. The vocals sound like they’re taking the piss, other than that it’s just an unexciting cover.

Denny’s Drums‘ closes the album, and it’s another pointless instrumental. To make it worse, it’s a drum solo. Fine if you’re into drums, not fine for anyone who isn’t John Bonham. I mean, as far as drum instrumentals go, it’s perfectly okay. But it’s not anything anyone will ever choose to listen to more than once.

We started out with a banger, and gradually go worse, eventually descending into the creative void of covers and instrumentals. At this point for me the band is very much a singles band. I’m still waiting to hear anything which makes them the supposed rivals of The Beatles in terms of creativity, and they’re barely more than a boy band who happen to be able to play their instruments and once or twice an album make a pretty tune. I get there will be people who love this – mainly people who bought it at the time and are already predisposed to love it, but I’m saddened that the band isn’t turning out to be the big musical revelation I hoped it was going to be.

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: Fun Fun Fun. Don’t Worry Baby.

Nightman Listens To – Litte Deuce Coupe – The Beach Boys!

LittleDeuceCover.jpg

Greetings, Glancers! Wow wow, ease on the breaks there and pull the vehicle over to the kerb. Wasn’t Little Deuce Coupe the name of a song on the last Beach Boys album we listened to? I know they were writing and recording constantly, but are they already resorting to releasing the same material across two albums just to bulk things out? Maybe they just liked the name so much they thought they would take the song and name and build an album around it – because if there’s one thing that sounds like a great idea to make an album about its…. a car? Why not a microwave, a wheel-barrow, or a whoopie-cushion? Those are things people use. Anyway, I don’t know anything about this album, so lets get started.

‘Little Deuce Coupe’ is the same song as on the previous album. I don’t think it has been re-recorded or anything. It’s fine, fun, breezy, but you get the impression that these boys would have been excruciatingly boring to hang around with all this car talk.

‘Ballad Of Ole Betsy’ is another car song. They’re really going all in with this shtick then. I suppose it’s supposed to be clever in making you think it’s about a girl. It’s slow, dreamy, has the easy listening harmonies and melodies. It’s just nice, doesn’t stand out in any way, but is so saccharine you can’t hate it too much.

‘Be True To Your School’ is an odd title for me. That’s one major difference I see between the USA and the UK. Or at least Northern Ireland. I don’t know if it’s really true but I’ve spoken to enough people and seen enough that it certainly seems like you guys are into school pride in a way that simply does not exist over here. All these rivalries and seeming allegiance to the place where teachers teach you stuff is completely bizarre to me. We have no such patriotism over here, beyond the rugby teams, but they have too much of an air of the entitled inbred rapist about them to be considered on an equal intellectual or emotional level. Back to the song… and holy hell the lyrics are shocking. The melody seems like a direct rip off of I Get Around in places, which is both a shame and a plus because it’s still a good melody. It’s all very nice and I’m sure it’ll bring a tear to a certain type of American listener whose rose-tinted glasses have taken over their soul, but for the rest of the sane world this is hammy, alien stuff.

‘Car Crazy Cutie’ begins with a ‘run run do run run’ harmony. It’s good. It feels like a 50s cut, with a very familiar structure and melodic approach to songs from ten years earlier. Lucky then that I like those songs. It isn’t sung particularly well, which is strange, and again the subject matter is nonsense, but that’s a given at this point.

‘Cherry Cherry Coupe’ begins with some bar stool guitars. They’ve run out of words for ‘car’ so they’ve returned to ‘coupe’. Featuring lyrics like ‘Door handles are off but you know I’ll never miss ’em. They open when I want with the cellunoid system’ is as much of warbling embarrassment to me as ‘I don’t want to see a ghost, It’s a sight that I fear most, I’d rather have a piece of toast’. Music’s okay though.

‘409’ is either a road to drive your car on or a car or an engine or some bollocks. Wasn’t this one on a previous album too? It sounds familiar. It’s catchy and short and yes, this was definitely on another album which proves this album is scarping the barrel.

‘Shut Down’ is familiar too. Now I’m paranoid that I have heard all this before. Then again, they have a very distinct sound till now that they don’t deviate from so either I have heard it already or it’s a carbon copy.

‘Spirit Of America’ is one I don’t think I’ve heard. It has the low and slow ‘ba da dums’ and the high and screechy ‘ah ha haaas’ that many of their songs do. I think I like these songs in shorter bursts – if I hear this as part of a larger playlist with other artists I don’t mind, but when there’s a batch of them they begin to grate. Still, this is nice, sounds again like a ballad from another era, and you know exactly what you’re getting.

‘Our Club’ starts with a horn riff which instantly reminds me of Bottom – the British sitcom. Which is a good thing, except that in the lyrics they’re still harping on about cars. They even mention deuce coupe again. Believe me, this is all as bizarre to me as someone making an album filled with songs about wash baskets.

‘No Go Showboat’ is more of the same – high pitch vocals, horns, jangling guitars, and they take things a few rungs down the ladder with some unacceptable hand clapping.

‘A Young Man Is Gone’ at least has a promising title. It starts out with slow harmonizing. Why do all these sounds sound Christmasy? It’s about a kid who died in a car crash. I’m not sure how I feel about the absence of music or the choice of melody. It’s sort of meh, but also interesting because it’s only vocals.

‘Custom Machine’ ends the album and it’s almost identical to any of the other car songs on the album. More descriptions of the car’s look and performance, and lots of wailing ‘waas’ and ‘oohs’. We do get a basic piano interlude. We end as we begin – nonsense which just scrapes into the fun category.

So… you know all the surf stuff got annoying after a while but at least they had the good sense and wit to make the associated feelings which come with surfing universal. At this point the band may as well be reciting a list of their favourite VIN numbers. The lyrics may as well be ‘Remember back in 1967 when For released a Mustang, it was good because my Volkswagon had gone bang bang. And look! Oldsmobile, Chevvy, Dodge, Buick, window wiper, fan belt, greasy nipples, nuts and bolts, Peugeot, Porshe, Subaru. Peugeot, Porshe, Subaru!’ I mean, write about what you love, but it is ridiculous nevertheless. The music hasn’t progressed in any meaningful way – the band at this point was comfortable in their sound and made no attempts to break away from that. It still works, but more often than not it’s repetitive and waning thin, made all the more noticeable by the lack of a killer single. Still worth listening to, but I get more out of it in shorter bursts. When do they start getting good – like Beatles good?

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: Car Crazy Cutie.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Little Deuce Coupe!

Nightman Listens To – Surfer Girl – The Beach Boys!

SurferGirlCover.jpg

So we’ve had Surfin Safari, Surfin USA, and now we have Surfer Girl. Presumably the next one will be Surfin In Space. Yes, we’re hitting the sand again with another Sixties smash by The Beach Boys. I don’t have much else to say about this – I hope the band continues to improve and that I get to reap those benefits.

Surfer Girl: Ahh, listen to that full and dreamy production. Beautiful. The song is a little too sleepy for my tastes. It’s very sweet. Very pure. Melodies are nothing to write home about.

Catch A Wave: This really is a massive step forward in how full the sound is. A more bouncy song, obviously another ode to surfing so the lyrics are mostly nonsense. It is twee but it’s so much fun that it doesn’t matter. More interesting melodies too.

The Surfer Moon: Ouch, this one hurts when heard through headphones. The right side gets all the sound until the vocals come in on the left. Another dreamy one, but better lyrics this time and the string section slaps another tick in the plus column. The vocals… the sing in this yawning style, but it’s still good. The strings really do give it so much more depth.

South Bay Surfer: Ouch, those beats hurt too. Is that supposed to mimic a group of rowdies beating down your door? This is very silly and cheesy – terrible lyrics, cringeworthy vocals, shouty melodies, and to top it off, my favourite pet hate, hand claps. Dreadful stuff.

The Rocking Surfer: I’m honestly not sure what they’re trying to say with all of these instrumentals. It does nothing that the others haven’t already done – which wasn’t much in the first place. Generic surf rock sounds and tones. You’ve heard it before, even if you  haven’t.

Little Deuce Coupe: So they’ve moved on to singing about cars now. A fairly famous song, I’m not really why though. It’s the same melodies you’ve heard from the band before and the lyrics are car cliche stuff.

In My Room: Now, this is better. The dreamy stuff actually has some meaning, the melodies are backed up with some sort of emotion, and the harmonies build up a wall of sound which you can take to mean the narrator’s thoughts or the deafening timbre of the outside world. Or just take it as a nice song.

Hawaii: Well, I wouldn’t mind going to Hawaii. The vocals are high, even for me. So the beaches and warmth and waves of California aren’t enough. Good harmonies but the main melodies aren’t great and the vocals grate quickly.

Surfers Rule: More silly lyrics about nothing, but it’s silly fun. The main vocals are covered more by the harmonies this time, but we do get more damn handclaps. Lots of ‘woo ooh oohs’.

Our Car Club: A drum intro hints at something different. This does feel marginally different from everything else. Lyrics are a nonsense but it feels like another song they put more thought into, like ‘lets do something different with this one’. The uppy downy rhythm is still there, along with the ‘oohs’.

Your Summer Dream: This one starts differently too, a different tone and approach. Gentle. Lyrics are better. The dreamy atmosphere works. Sweet and simple.

Boogie Woogie: Credit for another different sound. Is it another instrumental though? It still follows the same pattern as the others, though it does feel more manic. Well played. Uppy down rhythm again. It almost feels like it gets faster as it goes along, but that’s some sort of aural illusion.

Another selection of happy, fun, bouncy pop songs. I get the feeling that they had one full album of great material if we take the best of these first three albums, and the rest ranges from your standard filler to forgettable. They’re not reinventing themselves yet, but there are hints of growth and experimentation. The production is light years ahead of the previous albums and the full sound is great. There isn’t one truly great song like we had on the last album, but many are consistently good.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Surfer Girl!

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: Surfer Moon. Catch A Wave. In My Room. Your Summer Dream.

Nightman Listens To: The Beach Boys – Surfin’ USA!

Surfin'USACover.jpg

Greetings, Glancers! It’s time to grab a board and hit some gnarly waves, bruh! Cowabunga! Other words! Surfin’ USA was released in 1963, the first of a ridiculous three albums released by the band that year. That’s one thing you notice about the early 60s – these bands had a ridiculous schedule of writing, recording, touring, and most of the biggest bands released each year, sometimes multiple times. Compare that to now, where the biggest to the smaller acts tend to release one album every three years. The good thing about Surfin’ USA is that I recognise the title track – it’s a classic – and I’m looking forwards to more sunny pop. The bad news is that no fewer than five of the twelve tracks are instrumental. In my limited knowledge of the band, it’s their vocal harmonies and melodies which set them apart – none of the instrumentals on the debut sparked me. Maybe they’re good. Time to find out.

Surfin’ USA: Is there any more iconic opening selection of notes in 60s pop than that? Before you even hear the vocals there’s something summery about that guitar tone. Then the vocals, with those harmonies and melodies join in and it’s game over. The lyrics are silly yet perfectly evocative of those idyllic ideas of beaches, sun, freedom, and fun. There’s a great organ solo, a decent guitar solo, and some handy drum moments too. As perfect a slice of pop rock as you’ll ever hear.

Farmer’s Daughter: I don’t believe I know this one. It’s immediately one I’ll want to hear again. I don’t know if the vocals on this one will annoy me over time, but at the moment its newness is a blessing to my ears. It gets straight to the point and doesn’t even reach the two minute mark – back when pop didn’t outstay it’s welcome. There are a few gulps and missed marks in the vocals. Melodies and harmonies good again, not as strong as the first track, but much better than today’s chart muck.

Miserlou: This is of course ‘The Pulp Fiction’ instrumental. This is a less ominous version than the one you know, but retains its Eastern roots more clearly. Honestly I’ve never been a fan of this piece of music – mostly the yells which come in the second half, and now I can’t hear any version of it without hearing that utterly horrific Black Eyed Peas massacre.

Stoked: A Beach Boys original instrumental piece now, as if to say ‘look, we can do it just as good as those guys’ coming right after an existing popular instrumental. It even has it’s own annoying yells. The problem with these types of instrumentals is that I’m always waiting for vocals to come and so they feel like they’re missing something. It’s okay, a decent main riff but basically a twist on one you’ve heard countless times.

Lonely Sea: Wait, is this Radiohead? Well, those long held notes are wonderful. I keep expecting the note to change, but he holds it in a hypnotic way. The doleful harmonies give a sweet and sullen undercurrent. Just when a pseudo-speaking part threatens to ruin things, we return to falsetto and fade out. That was nice.

Shut Down: This sounds like another car song. It’s also sounds like Johnny B Goode. Seems like a middle of the road album track rather than a highlight, but it’s still catchy. Again, at under two minutes it’s not going to annoy anyone.

Noble Surfer: This opens the second half of the album and isn’t much of a departure from the previous track. Funny deeper harmonies here. Interesting keyboard sound in the middle. The chorus is a bit silly – still, under two minutes.

Honky Tonk: It is what is says. I feel like I could be listening to The Stones with this. The guitar tone is changed just enough to bridge the gap between Blues and Beach Boys. Absolutely identical to any Blues song you could write yourself.

Lana: Begins with honky tonk piano, again the band showing how they can do their own versions of things, without actually covering. Very high falsetto now, bordering on off-putting or ridicule. Not much else goes on here.

Surf Jam: Now it’s their own instrumental. This one feels like a definite surfer rock instrumental – if you told someone to write a surfer rock instrumental, this is what would come out the other end 9 times out of 10. Some great guitar on show, not sure about the shouting. As far as short instrumentals go, it’s very good.

Lets Go Trippin‘: I assume this isn’t about drugs. No, it’s another instrumental and not all that different from the previous track – feels more pop oriented while the previous song was more furious.

Finders Keepers: Finally, more vocals. It’s not quite as Summery as I was hoping for, the lyrics are funny enough. The most interesting thing is the timing shift – we get a fast paced verse and chorus section, then it slows down for a brief bridge, before charging up again to the chorus. The song sways smoothly between these different sections giving something different than the norm.

After a fantastic start, the song quickly falls away. The reliance on instrumentals hurts it for me, as I’ve stated again and again, instrumentals almost never excite me unless they’re exceptional. A couple of songs I didn’t know about before which I’ll definitely listen to again, and the rest are middling. No bad songs, but too many fall into the meh category for me, a shame after starting so well.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Surfin’ USA!

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: Surfin’ USA. Farmer’s Daughter. Lonely Sea.

 

Nightman Listens To: The Beach Boys – Surfin Safari!

saf.jpg

Greetings, Glancers! Glutton for punishment as I am, it’s time to undertake another massive undertaking by listening to all thirty (count ’em) studio albums by The Beach Boys. Unless I become their biggest fan, this journey isn’t going to cover EPs, Live albums, or compilations. As alluded to in my announcement post, I’ve known The Beach Boys for as long as I can remember. Their songs are everywhere and eternal. I remember one of my last days in P7, my teacher decided to just let us mess about all day while he played Beach Boys songs, and he would occasionally quiz us on the band, presumably to mock us young’uns and our love for the Nirvana and the Rave. I knew quite a few of the songs, so he was impressed.

We start, in a shocking twist, with their first album from way back in 1962. When I first started listening to The Beatles, I never realised that The Beach Boys actually got their first records out before The Fab Four. I’ve no idea if any of these early albums are any good, but that’s what I’m here to find out. In terms of the band’s history and how they developed as a band, I don’t know all that much. I know they started out with the three Wilson brothers and two others, I know they started out as a surfer band and eventually experimented more though I don’t know how their sound changed. I know Pet Sounds is considered their best, I know Brian Wilson went a bit wrong for a while… but that’s about it. I know most of their singles and I’ve probably heard other album tracks. There’s a couple I recognise here, but lets just get on with it.

Surfin’ Safari‘ opens the album and pretty quickly gives away that familiar sound you think of when someone mentions the band – harmonies, warmth, guitar tone, clambering bass. I guess the first thing to say is that the production is a little flat – you can tell this was a first album, and you can tell it was made before the significant advances which would come over the next five years. The backing vocals are deeper than what I would expect – maybe the US wasn’t quite prepared for singers who weren’t big burly men in suites or cowboys with low down croons. The lyrics are mostly nonsense, various rhymes about surfing. Even here, the first song on their first album, the band have captured the ability to write a catchy melody – while the vocals leave something to be desired at times, and the playing is fine, it’s those melodies and harmonies which catch the attention.

County Fair’ opens with a similar rhythm and pace. The lead vocals are still a little off, but this one is quirkier due to the entertaining spoken word parts which come off as charming rather than corny. The lyrics are stronger here, actually telling a simple story with clear language instead of the random surf repetitions of the first song. Melodically, very similar to the first.

Ten Little Indians‘ seems misjudged to the modern listener. I guess we can forgive it because it was a less enlightened time. It’s based on the nursery rhyme – adding contemporary music to old poems and rhymes is something I don’t mind, but it rarely works. This song is as simple as they come, and again it’s almost the same rhythm and melodies as the others. Still enjoyable.

Chug A Lug‘ opens in a very similar fashion to I Get Around. It’s funny that the band are name-checking themselves and it’s not very serious. It’s still flat production wise but very catchy. It has a nifty organ and guitar solo piece, but then it’s hurt by a hand-clapping section – always a no for me.

Little Girl‘ has more of a 1950s vibe. That’s because this is a cover. I don’t think I’m familiar with any other version. It breaks up the familiar rhythm and melody style of the album, while retaining the Beach Boys sound. It goes without saying that all these songs are very short.

409‘ starts with some engine revving. I’m assuming a 409 is a car or a road or something. I wouldn’t go as far as comparing The Beach Boys with chavs, but liking cars is something both have in common. US Muscle Cars or Hot Rods or whatever they’re talking about are more interesting to me than what the British chav raves about. But yeah, I don’t care about cars. The giddy up giddy up stuff is funny enough, but it gets repetitive quickly. Luckily it’s short so doesn’t get annoying.

Surfin‘ starts with the deeper vocals again, before bringing in the lighter harmonies and leads. It’s another which has either nonsense or simple lyrics about surfing. All I know about surfing is from Big Wednesday and Baywatch. And that 80s Popeye spin off with his kids.

Head You Win-Tales I Lose‘ goes for a different direction – a percussive intro. The familiar stuff joins quickly and it’s the same uppy downy melodies as most of the other songs, with the same rhythm. With these songs alone you could write your own authentic Beach Boys song by this point and no-one would know any better. I like the chorus – the high vocal/deep vocal accompanied by the double guitar chords.

Summertime Blues‘ is another cover, obviously. It’s mostly similar to the original, though with added sweetness and harmonies. A bit too soft for my tastes compared to the original.

‘Cuckoo Clock‘ is another which reminds me of 50s rock, that swaying between minor and major. Good cuckoos, but the verse vocals aren’t great. More silly lyrics, but it is still pulled off with an innocence or charm or some nameless quality. Good that the style is slightly different from most of the other songs, again retaining the core song.

Moon Dawg‘ has a drum intro which reminded me, of all things, of Mastodon. I’ve no idea what a Moon Dawg is – Sixties slang or some such. I’m going to take it literally and imagine it is a dog made out of Moon chunks, its eyes as craters and its tongue a barren airless void. This is gonna be an instrumental, is it? Well, we have some ahhs and oohs and barks. I’ve said it before, but unless an instrumental is a masterpiece I probably won’t care for it. This isn’t a masterpiece.

The Shift‘ closes the album and returns to the standard rhythm and melody. It sounds a bit pervy, lyrically. Not much to say about it – there’s a solo in there which isn’t all that different from the others on the album, it moves swiftly, it’s not as catchy as others.

That’s kind of what I expected from a Beach Boys albums – short catchy songs with that trademark sound. It’s lacking in big hits, it doesn’t vary much, but it retains a summery feeling and is easy listening. Nothing challenging here, but good signs from a band just starting out and new to the musical world. I wouldn’t lift anything off this onto my personal playlist, but I wouldn’t be averse to hearing any of it again.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Surfin Safari!

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: N/A

Nightman Listens To – The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys

Greetings, Glancers. As I near the end of my adventures with Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, David Bowie, and Madonna (I’ve only started with Roxette) I’m already looking forward to which artists I should cover next. Fair enough, Bowie will take some time to finish and the Roxette posts will go on for a while – I’m also looking at the Iron Maiden solo input and Disney Soundtracks, God help me.

Ideally I want to cover those artists that I’ve always kind of liked, but whose albums I’ve never heard. The Beach Boys are a band you just can’t avoid. You hear there songs at an early age – certain songs are simply part of Western or even World culture – you’ll hear them in movies, on TV shows, on adverts, or of course on the radio (or whatever passes for radio these days). I want to cover artists who have been around for a while – those who have had more than 5 albums – ideally more than 10. They should be people I know with a few songs I know, but who for whatever reason I have just never got into. I thought about Bob Dylan, but then I’ve never heard a Dylan song (performed by him) that I’ve really liked (I’ll admit to only hearing a tiny amount). I thought about Elvis, but Elvis is too much of a cover artist. I pondered over ABBA and The Bee Gees, but I’m not convinced on their credentials on having great albums – they’re always seen as Singles bands, right?

Anyway, I’ll probably get to those guys some day, and maybe some of their albums are covered in my Top 1000 Albums Quest. For now, I’ve picked two bands who have stood the test of time – emerging in the 1960s and still playing and recording today (sort of). It’s time to be honest – I’ve never listened to a single Beach Boys Album. I know a tonne of their songs, even ones that weren’t singles to my knowledge, but I’ve never stuck on an album and listened from start to finish. The Rolling Stones however, I have listened to many of their albums, around the same time I started properly listening to The Beatles. At that time, to my mind, there was no comparison – The Beatles were smart, funny, talented, innovative, while The Rolling Stones seemed to be playing the same old blues songs over and over with the odd exception. It’s time to go back and listen again.

Both bands have written some of my favourite songs ever, but still I’ve never been fully sucked in. It’ll be interesting to see if I find any new favourites or a new appreciation. Everyone else loves them, so it’s about time I gave them their due respect. Why not join me on my adventure and share your thoughts and memories of their albums and songs? Because you don’t like me or my musical taste? I suppose that’s fair enough….