Monday, June 18, 2012
That's Why God Made The Radio
As promised, I went out this weekend and bought me the new Beach Boys lp. Released for their 50th anniversary, it is the first lp of all-new stuff since 1992, and the first to have as original a lineup as is still possible- originals Brian Wilson, Mike Love, and David Marks, and long timers Bruce Johnston and Al Jardine. My thoughts?
I hate to say I enjoy it more than Pet Sounds after just 3 sit-throughs. But it is a very special album.
THINK ABOUT THE DAYS...
A short, haunting instrumental of french horn and piano. Sets the mood well.
THAT'S WHY GOD MADE THE RADIO...
Capturing memories from afar
In my car...
This is the lead single, and quickly eliminates the question, "Do they still have it?" Just a great summer cruising song.
ISN'T IT TIME...
Every time I think of you
All those things we used to do
Remember the nights we spent just you and I
Little did we know how the time would fly...
Like the title track, this has a co-write from Jim Peterik (Ides Of March, Survivor) and also are the only songs the boys will be doing live. My son listened to the first verse and chorus and downloaded it to his phone. The first part of the lp is kind of a double entendre- you can take it as the band getting back together, or that lost love from your past...
Spring Vacation, Good vibrations
Summer weather, We're back together
Easy money, ain't life funny
What's it to ya, Halelelujah...
The most obviously "band's back together" song on the disc. One reviewer thinks that's a negative. Didn't stop it from being the first one to really catch in my mind. Brian, Mike, and Joe Thomas wrote this one, as well as co-writes on most of the songs.
THE PRIVATE LIFE OF BILL AND SUE...
California to Mexico
Everybody's just got to know
Dallas Texas to Monterrey
Wasting time on a sunny day
Santa Barbara to Jersey Shore
At the line in the grocery store
Everybody I ever knew
The Private Life Of Bill And Sue...
You'd think that a song about a fictitious reality TV show might be the dumbest on the disc. But one listen to the chorus changes that. Maybe musically the best on the record.
I'll give you shelter from the storm
and a house to keep you warm
I'll give you shelter through the night
and a chance to make this right...
Another song about trying to re-ignite a lost love, and probably my favorite. The last chorus really gets me.
DAYBREAK OVER THE OCEAN...
No cool lines to pull out here, just a tremendous "bring my baby back" chorus from Mike and his kids, 46-year-old Hayleigh and 44-year-old Christian. Written and sung by Mike, it was originally done on both of his solo lps- neither of which got released for some stupid reason.
BEACES IN MY MIND...
Here the lp begins its turn from uptempo "let's get back together" to a more somber, "it won't come true" theme. Big drums from John Cowsill.
Multi-colorful lives we run
to catch a glimpse of the setting sun...
An ode to the people who just don't fit in... except with each other.
THE HIDDEN SUITE:
1. FROM THERE TO BACK AGAIN
You've been thinking 'bout some things we used to do
Thinking 'bout when life was still in front of you...
2. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY
My life, I'm better off alone
My life, I'm better on my own...
3. SUMMER'S GONE
It's finally sinking in
One day begins
I live them all and back again...
Originally this was going to be a six-song suite, but was cut to these three. We're not young any more, we can't find what we once were so long ago. Summer's Gone was at first intended by Brian as the last song on the last Beach Boys album... Now he's not so sure this is the end. It was written in 1998 with some crucial help from a visiting Jon Bon Jovi, who termed the song "Brian's 'My Way' ", which is as good a way to put it as any.
The lp starts with the dream of making what was once, a long time ago, new again. It ends with the realization that sunsets, summers, loves, and lives all come to an end eventually. If you are my age, this is a very hit-home record. If you are a fan of Pet Sounds and Smile, this will be an instant classic for you. If you just long to hear music- real music- once again, you'll enjoy it.
I'm not a big fan of Doonesbury, but I remember a few years back, one of the characters was dying in a hospital bed. Another came in and played Pet Sounds for him. He told her, "That's not a record, it's our lives!" That's Why God Made The Radio is the other end of our lives.
I'm gonna sit and watch the waves
We laugh, we cry,
We live, then die
And dream about our yesterday....