Paul Simon comments on Macca, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones

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Postby maccastheman » Sat May 13, 2006 7:04 am

Lazarus_2 wrote:How can Brian Wilson be considered for a high honour like that when he accomplished no work of significance since the 60's, save for Smile?

Bob Dylan didn't go into hybernation, this is why he is #1, to put Brian Wilson at #2 would be a slap in the face to all the songwriters that kept producing good-great material from the 60's-present.


That's why my vote goes to Paul Simon for #2 American songwriter. Let's face it, a lot of artists have a high moment when they produce their greatest work, then either die or never achieve great success again. It takes a lot more to be consistant and to continue to making influential music throughout your career. Whether you like Graceland or not, it's still a highly influential album. Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes recently said it was one of his favorite albums, so his influence is still alive and well today. And that influence came from a record 25 years into Paul Simon's career. Not many other artists can claim that. Sure, a few can, but not many.
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Postby 2 of 3 » Sat May 13, 2006 7:08 am

Excuse my ignorance here....but what did Brian Wilson write that was so great other than the Pet Sounds stuff? I mean, the surfer stuff was basically all the same song. I have the same opinion of Chuck Berry. Great stuff, but all the same song. Of course I basing this opinion only on what I've heard, and that is not a lot. Did I miss something?
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Postby maccastheman » Sat May 13, 2006 7:30 am

I used to feel the same way about the Beach Boys, but then I started listening to the music a lot closer and realized the variety in it. Ture, from the very first notes of a Beach Boys record, you know who you are listening to. Once you get that out of the way, if you listen closer you can hear some great variety and experiments IMHO. For instance, I think the Wild Honey album is highly underrated . It's got a great, raw R&B feel to it. This was released right after the whole Smile episode in the late '60s, and it was kind of a precursor to the back-to-basics movement in the late '60s/early '70s. (And the abandonment of studio experimentation)

But, yes, Pet Sounds and Smile are by far Brian Wilson's two greatest accomplishments. The amazing vocal arrangements, odd instrumentation, and experiemental songwriting are easiest to hear on those two records. And he really didn't do anything after Wild Honey of any great significance IMHO. A lot of people like the Surf's Up record, but to me it just feels like Smile-lite. His solo debut was alright, but it was more of a "Brian's back" kind of album instead of an earth-shaking album. Imagination was easy listening. (But very melodic easy listening), and, to be honest, I haven't even heard Gettin' In Over My Head :?
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Postby 2 of 3 » Sat May 13, 2006 7:35 am

One of my favourite Beach Boy albums is Holland, and I don't think Mr Wilson is even on it. It has Sail on Sailor and Funky Pretty on it, if you know those tunes.
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Postby kylestyle » Sat May 13, 2006 7:43 am

I'm going to name some of my favourite Brian Wilson / Beach Boys songs that are neither surfer nor Pet Sounds era related:

In My Room
Don't Worry Baby
Help Me Rhonda
Wendy
You're So Good To Me
Wild Honey
Country Air
Here Comes The Night
Darlin'
Friends
Bluebirds Over The Mountain (not written by Brian but still non-surfer material)
I Can Hear Music
Break Away

Wow that's a heck of a collection of great songs, and they have nothing to do with California Girls, beaches, T-birds or Good Vibrations. And I think Brian did something quite special to the surf sound by giving each song such elaborate harmonies and musical arrangements, this is something Chuck Berry could never dream about, I'll say it right now.. Chuck Berry, rock and roll legend he is... would be completely and utterly incapable of creating the magic Brian did. I'm glad Brian nicked his Sweet Little Sixteen riff for Surfing USA - he did much more with that little riff than Chuck would ever envision.
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Postby maccastheman » Sat May 13, 2006 7:59 am

2 of 3 wrote:One of my favourite Beach Boy albums is Holland, and I don't think Mr Wilson is even on it. It has Sail on Sailor and Funky Pretty on it, if you know those tunes.


Yeah, I think Blondie Chaplain is on that record. (Currently with the Rolling Stones) I like that song.
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Postby 2 of 3 » Sat May 13, 2006 1:27 pm

Don't Worry Baby
Help Me Rhonda


I call those surfer sounding tunes. The others off hand, I really can't say....but I will look into them. Thanks Kyle :)
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Postby kylestyle » Sat May 13, 2006 8:02 pm

But the lyrical content of those songs have nothing to do with surfing, and the melodies are gorgeous. I say what's wrong with the surfing songs anyway!

The other songs I mention, quite a few were off the Wild Honey album, which I agree with maccastheman, is very underrated.
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Postby maccastheman » Sat May 13, 2006 9:04 pm

Tying all of this in with the topic at hand, I think it's great that Paul Simon invited Brian Wilson to tour with him in 2001. I didn't see the show, but I thought it was an intersting choice. I never would have tied the two together. (Like the Macca - Wilson link. That one is rather obvious)

Paul Simon does try different song structures and likes to experiment, so I guess that's where the admiration came from.
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Postby Cologne girl » Sat May 13, 2006 9:46 pm

Just to go back to PS's comments on PM, of course we have got only a snippet from the interview here, but to me it sounds like he wanted to say something in praise of the Rolling Stones and their great staying (together) power rather than diss his colleague. I think the idea was that one member of a legendary band can never be on the same level as another legendary band still together. Surely if for instance Mick Jagger went out on his own playing Rolling Stones classics, it wouldn't (according to Paul Simon) be half as great as having the entire band doing them.

If my interpretation is correct, I must say the man has a point, as I see it.

Which would be another reason for Macca to lay more emphasis on his solo career...
It's the start of a journey
To a much better place
And this wasn't bad
So a much better place
Would have to be special...
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