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Pet Sounds vs Sgt Pepper (cast your vote) - Page 2

post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayW View Post
You should do yourself a favor and go pick up a copy of "Let it be..Naked". It's "Let it Be" mixed without Spector's "Wall of Sound" and without all the choirs and orchestration. It's not a replacement for the original Let it Be but its a great accompaniment. It gives a much different perspective on the results of the "Get Back" sessions.
The only perspective it gave was how much of a tool McCartney can be at times and how much worse the album would have been had it not been saved by Spector's productions. Which along with the title track were the only saving graces of that disaster. And it shows that what an artist wants is not necessarily the best for the music.
post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by scytheavatar View Post
The only perspective it gave was how much of a tool McCartney can be at times and how much worse the album would have been had it not been saved by Spector's productions.
I was very psyched when I heard of the impending release of Let It Be...Naked, and got a copy not long after it was came out. I didn't hate it, but I was not overwhelmed, either. On the plus side, the Harrison guitar solo on the title track was previously unreleased (to my knowledge), and it was definitely interesting to hear what those tracks sounded like without the Spector additions.

What surprised me the most was how unimpressed I was with the unadorned "The Long and Winding Road." I've lost count of how many times I've heard that Spector's treatment buried the song, that the original will make you see God, blah, blah, blah. And I've heard many times that McCartney objected in particular to Spector's handling of this track.

Well, I didn't see God, and I actually missed the strings. Maybe it's because I've heard the Spector version a billion times, but the naked version just sounded thin and sparse to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scytheavatar View Post
Which along with the title track were the only saving graces of that disaster.
Oh, I don't agree with that. As I said in a previous post, it's obviously not their best work, and not what I would have wanted to be their final release as a band. But "Get Back," "Don't Let Me Down," and "Across the Universe" are all solid, in my opinion. And I've always had a soft spot for "For You Blue." I love the part in the movie where you see Lennon playing the lap steel on that tune. Just a very evocative image to me.
post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by VicAjax View Post
I have both on my shelf right now, and I voted for Pet Sounds.you fall into the lazy trap of judging the band and not the album, and believing that because The Beach Boys' early pop hits are now saccharine standards, they could never actually create a masterpiece.
Well, you may be right that I do judge the band rather than the album, but I don't know if I would call that lazy (Unfair, maybe. That I would accept). As for their early work, I'm actually all over the map. I love "I Get Around," "409," "In My Room," "Fun, Fun, Fun," and their cover of "Barbara Ann." "Be True to Your School," on the other hand, makes me want to hit myself in the head with a blunt object. Really hard. That just seemed to me to be the exact opposite of rock n roll attitude -- it's about toeing the line, worshipping the team, and conforming, conforming, conforming. Yechhhhhh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VicAjax View Post
but this isn't about the bands, it's about the albums. sure, as a whole, The Beatles were more interesting and innovative. but Brian Wilson, at the peak of his genius, outshone John and Paul (and George Martin for the arrangements, let's not forget) working together... even if only for a very brief moment. (I include SMiLE in that moment, as well). I mean, it took three or four people on The Beatles' side to come close to what a 23-year-old Wilson achieved essentially by himself on Pet Sounds.

the lush orchestration, arrangement and production on Pet Sounds was groundbreaking and brilliant, and without it, Sgt. Pepper most likely wouldn't have happened... or at least wouldn't have been as dynamic. the recording techniques, the arrangements, the composition... the more you listen to it, the more you'll hear what a masterpiece it really is.
I'll grant you that he deserves major credit for the writing, performance and production, but the arrangements? At that time, there were no string synths or samplers, so someone would have had to sit down and write out parts for the string players. Was Wilson really capable of doing that? I mean, sure, the Beatles had G. Martin for that, but don't you think Wilson had a trained arranger doing similar work? I've heard people insist that Paul McCartney whistled the string parts to "Yesterday" to Martin, who merely wrote them down. I somehow doubt that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VicAjax View Post
and if you listen to the Vigotone bootleg of SMiLE, you'll see where Wilson's genius was taking the Beach Boys, before the label and the rest of the group mutinied and dragged themselves back into mediocrity.
I have to defer to you on that point, since I've heard very little Beach Boys boot material.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VicAjax View Post
after production on SMiLE shut down, Brian Wilson essentially stopped writing and producing for the band and had a nervous breakdown, and ultimately Mike Love kicked him out and turned the group into an oldies act. but that has nothing to do with this (these) masterpieces.
As I said above, I may very well be unfairly allowing my opinion of the album to be colored by my dislike of certain aspects of the Beach Boys legend. Mike Love is not one of my favorite people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VicAjax View Post
as for the comparison, if you listen to Sgt. Pepper, you'll hear that it's littered with some rather conventional pop-candy ditties (Little Help from My Friends, When I'm 64, Getting Better) that aren't particularly unified with the supposed "concept," and frankly are weaker than any tune on its predecessor Revolver (which still came out after Pet Sounds) or its follow-up, Magical Mystery Tour.
Here we are getting pretty far into the realm of subjective opinion. "With A Little Help..." may seem like a trifle composed to give Ringo something to do, but Joe Cocker certainly found plenty of substance in that song by abstracting it from its mild original arrangement and infusing it with some soul. I also think "Getting Better" is one of L&M's better songs. But again, this is a matter of opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VicAjax View Post
Pet Sounds, on the other hand, is a thematically unified whole without a weak track on it.
One man's ceiling is another man's floor, as they say. I'm not for a moment denying that Pet Sounds is a great album, but I couldn't, off the top of my head, recite the track listing. I could do that for Sgt. Pepper, simply because I prefer it.

I have to hand it to you though, I'm intrigued by the idea that I'm not giving this album its due because of my opinion of the band overall. Maybe I need to give it a fresh listen.
post #19 of 46
Okay, as the ultimate Beatles fan, I have to add that about 30 years ago I finally decided that Let it Be was my favorite Beatles album. I literally listened to almost nothing but the Beatles for four years. I loved them that much. Eventually, I settled on Let It Be because it's an imperfect album in some ways, but in many ways its unlike any other Beatles album. It has a rawness and modernity that still hasn't been dated over the years. I can listen to that album and feel I'm with the living Beatles, unlike any other of their albums. It sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday. Being stripped of an ultra-smooth production gives Let it Be a real, almost garage-band soul. I believe that was originally John's idea, to let listeners experience the Beatles in the raw -- or "naked." And, ironically, after all their years of growing as songwriters, I love "I've got a feeling" and "One after 909" to death, and I'm fairly certain "One after 909" was one of the very first songs that Paul and John wrote together as teens (Not sure about "I've Got a Feeling"). To me "Let it Be" is probably the most "rocking" Beatles album, with a bluesy, raw edge that loses their Fab Four signature sweetness all-together. That may be why it's stuck with me for 3 decades and has never aged.
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBenway View Post
Well, you may be right that I do judge the band rather than the album, but I don't know if I would call that lazy (Unfair, maybe. That I would accept).
yes, "lazy" is probably unfair. "unfair" would have been more fair.

Quote:
As for their early work, I'm actually all over the map. I love "I Get Around," "409," "In My Room," "Fun, Fun, Fun," and their cover of "Barbara Ann." "Be True to Your School," on the other hand, makes me want to hit myself in the head with a blunt object. Really hard. That just seemed to me to be the exact opposite of rock n roll attitude -- it's about toeing the line, worshipping the team, and conforming, conforming, conforming. Yechhhhhh.
i pretty much agree with you on this. but what's interesting to me is that this is the dichotomy that makes the Beach Boys so interesting. on the one hand you have Mike Love, the all-American, establishment kinda guy. on the other hand there's Brian Wilson, the lonely, tortured genius who wants to push into the realm of the unknown (and do acid).

And you also have to remember how young they were... basically a teen act. "In My Room" is a classic example of how Wilson's teenage mind was really struggling with his personal demons and turning it into great art. the instrumentation, at that point, is pretty standard... but those vocal arrangements are astounding if you sit back and really listen.

Quote:
I'll grant you that he deserves major credit for the writing, performance and production, but the arrangements? At that time, there were no string synths or samplers, so someone would have had to sit down and write out parts for the string players. Was Wilson really capable of doing that? I mean, sure, the Beatles had G. Martin for that, but don't you think Wilson had a trained arranger doing similar work? I've heard people insist that Paul McCartney whistled the string parts to "Yesterday" to Martin, who merely wrote them down. I somehow doubt that.
Yes, Wilson composed and orchestrated all of the music. He was a bonafide composer. In fact, Leonard Bernstein actually said Brian Wilson was one of the most brilliant minds of modern music.

Wilson had his say in everything, from the bicycle horns and animal sounds to the complex vocal arrangements to making everyone wear firefighter outfits to get in the spirit of "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow." (from SMiLE).

The Pet Sounds Sessions box set comes with a vocal-only mix, and just listening to the vocal arrangements gives one an idea of how much genius really went into making this album. Here's an old, short LA Times article that gives a brief idea about the album's depth.

Quote:
I have to defer to you on that point, since I've heard very little Beach Boys boot material.

As I said above, I may very well be unfairly allowing my opinion of the album to be colored by my dislike of certain aspects of the Beach Boys legend. Mike Love is not one of my favorite people.
you're not alone in that. he was a gifted singer and always kept his eye on the bottom line, but most Beach Boys fans pretty much blame him for turning the band into a lounge act.

Quote:
Here we are getting pretty far into the realm of subjective opinion. "With A Little Help..." may seem like a trifle composed to give Ringo something to do, but Joe Cocker certainly found plenty of substance in that song by abstracting it from its mild original arrangement and infusing it with some soul. I also think "Getting Better" is one of L&M's better songs. But again, this is a matter of opinion.

One man's ceiling is another man's floor, as they say. I'm not for a moment denying that Pet Sounds is a great album, but I couldn't, off the top of my head, recite the track listing. I could do that for Sgt. Pepper, simply because I prefer it.
give Pet Sounds a few more listens, on its own. listen to the vocal arrangements, listen to the ambient noises in the background, the french horn, the strings, and most of all the melodies.

Quote:
I have to hand it to you though, I'm intrigued by the idea that I'm not giving this album its due because of my opinion of the band overall. Maybe I need to give it a fresh listen.
I think the commoditization of the band by Capitol Records and Mike Love, and their subsequent descent into a cheesy nostalgia act really tainted the legacy of the Beach Boys. I think that's why Sgt. Pepper is winning this poll quite handily, because a lot of people haven't really given Pet Sounds a fair listen.

On the flip side, I think history and music fans are gradually coming around and giving them their due.
post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by scytheavatar View Post
The only perspective it gave was how much of a tool McCartney can be at times and how much worse the album would have been had it not been saved by Spector's productions. Which along with the title track were the only saving graces of that disaster. And it shows that what an artist wants is not necessarily the best for the music.
Ah, a man who is utterly certain in his subjective opinion about art! Gotta love it!!

I would be shocked if everyone loved that album (or any album, for that matter). But I can't agree with you. I found the album to be quite interesting and have enjoyed listening to it immensely.
post #22 of 46
Thread Starter 
I'll chime in here I guess and say..............

I think people that adore Pet Sounds (such as myself) tend to feel a lot closer to it than the more steril but brilliant Sgt Pepper.

Sgt Pepper ultimately is the more beloved album, but its hard to have a personal relationship with it, whereas there are songs on Pet Sounds where if you allow, you will let them be the soundtrack of your life in many ways.

I am a MUCH bigger Beatles fan than a Beach Boys fan, but from my point of view Pet Sounds is a significantly more moving piece of work than Sgt Pepper and Pet Sounds ranks with The Beatles' greatest work and maybe surpasses it a little........this includes my two favorites (the White Album and Abbey Road)

From the standpoint of rock music The Beach Boys are even further away from "rock" than the already soft-ish Beatles. But if you do away with all genre categorization, I think Pet Sounds has more going for it........just my opinion though
post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post
I think people that adore Pet Sounds (such as myself) tend to feel a lot closer to it than the more steril but brilliant Sgt Pepper.

Sgt Pepper ultimately is the more beloved album, but its hard to have a personal relationship with it, whereas there are songs on Pet Sounds where if you allow, you will let them be the soundtrack of your life in many ways.

I am a MUCH bigger Beatles fan than a Beach Boys fan, but from my point of view Pet Sounds is a significantly more moving piece of work than Sgt Pepper
my thoughts exactly... Pet Sounds is just incredibly moving, I can't really say that about much of The Beatles' stuff, except perhaps the medley on side 2 of Abbey Road. I'm a big Beatles fan and they made hundreds of great songs, Revolver being the strongest album of songs, but none of their stuff really stacks up to Pet Sounds as an album, in terms of being emotionally and physically moving.

Quote:
From the standpoint of rock music The Beach Boys are even further away from "rock" than the already soft-ish Beatles. But if you do away with all genre categorization, I think Pet Sounds has more going for it........just my opinion though
agreed, I wouldn't even classify Pet Sounds as rock at all. perhaps baroque pop, but far from The Beatles' rock. they can't be compared as a pair of rock albums.
post #24 of 46
so many beatles albums better than sgt. pepp...


Pet Sounds vs Abbey Road or Revolver would have been closer.
post #25 of 46
How about Pet Sounds versus side two of Abbey Road?
post #26 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadbang View Post
How about Pet Sounds versus side two of Abbey Road?
I'd still pick Pet Sounds there....... even though Because and You Never Give Me Your $ are amongst my favorite songs.
post #27 of 46
My choice is Sgt. Peppers...but my preference is 'Revolver'. As for the Beach Boys, my preference would be the album 'Surf's Up'
post #28 of 46

LDS

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds . . . gotta love it. . .

Been there twice . . . both nice.

Ah . . . the good ole days before responsiblity . .

post #29 of 46
obviously Sgt. Pepper
post #30 of 46

Pet sounds!

Pet sounds without a doubt.
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