Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

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Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Brian Wilson
13
42%
Paul McCartney
18
58%
 
Total votes: 31

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Diamond Dog
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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby Diamond Dog » 10 Dec 2014, 21:09

If you seriously believe "Pet Sounds" is a mere rehash of what the Beach Boys had done before, and after, then we have no further business together on this thread.
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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 11 Dec 2014, 21:52

Quacoan wrote:I was thinking a similar thing this morning: that McCartney had this great, functional machine making his (and hell, even George's) songs sound the best they could be, while one almost gets the impression that Wilson's achievements were in spite of various obstacles.


It's a difficult comparison because while McCartney had a clearly delineated role in The Beatles, Brian Wilson was essentially the cash cow expected to provide everything for The Beach Boys.

But the issue seems to be more about Wilson's chosen idiom, which is a bit more old-fashioned (Four Freshman crossed with Chuck Berry) and very commercial. I have come to accept that the Beach Boys are kind of corny, but reading countless interviews with the musicians who worked with Brian Wilson leaves one with the impression that Wilson was something of a preternatural genius. I use "genius" in the sense that his gift doesn't come from any obvious source. Rather, he could do things that others hadn't even conceived. He was producing The Beach Boys before The Beatles had even broken in America. The Beach Boys created and defined their own niche. It's no exaggeration to say that it was clear pretty early on that The Beach Boys were going to be huge. When Brian Wilson gave his friends Jan & Dean the song "Surf City", Capitol, Mike Love and the Wilson family shit a collective brick.

So: if you are inclined to accept his chosen idiom, you can hear the brilliance in things like "Warmth of the Sun", "Don't Worry Baby", "She Knows Me Too Well", "California Girls", etc. It took me awhile to get past the idea that The Beach Boys ditched drums and guitars around '64 and Wilson began using studio guys because he was moving that fast. It's cool to read about Mick Jagger raving to the UK press about "I Get Around" or Lennon blustering about "The Little Girl I Once Knew". They certainly heard something beyond "twee". Again, if you are focused simply on the fact that the B-Boys don't really rock or have much grit, you may miss that they had plenty of soul. That was their influence on the post-'65 Beatles. Wilson could infuse his music with real feeling. The words were secondary. Maybe even fourth place behind arrangement, music, and stacked vocals

I could stack up Wilson and McCartney songs and after subtracting every "Salt Lake City" for every "Another Girl" and each "All Together Now" for each "Pom Pom Playgirl", I'd still have a tough choice to make (partly because this is isn't 'apples for apples' unless you're talking clearly about songwriting). But here's the thing: Brian Wilson's songs touch me in a way that McCartney can only occasionally approach. Solo McCartney ("Yesterday) vs. solo Wilson ("Caroline, No") is a lot closer than public consensus would suggest. But once you add Side Two of Today!, the consistency of All Summer Long (released July 1964, concurrent with A Hard Day's Night - The Beach Boys were on their sixth album at this point), the singles from "Help Me, Rhonda" to "Good Vibrations", and of course Pet Sounds -

You've got yourself a hell of an argument. I still can't choose.
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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby Quaco » 11 Dec 2014, 22:03

Great post, man. Another way of outlining the problem is by saying maybe The Beatles are better, but McCartney was writing only half (or fewer) of their songs.
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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby Diamond Dog » 12 Dec 2014, 08:57

Quacoan wrote:Great post, man. Another way of outlining the problem is by saying maybe The Beatles are better, but McCartney was writing only half (or fewer) of their songs.



Yes but they wrote many more than twice as many great songs so - percentage wise- they contributed more in terms of quality and quantity .
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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby Quaco » 12 Dec 2014, 15:25

Oh I don't know. I've never counted but it seems pretty even to me. Depends on what you call great too. Some will say "Salt Lake City" is dumb but "Things We Said Today" is seminal Merseypop.
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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby The Slider » 13 Dec 2014, 11:23

and theyd be absolutely right
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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby Diamond Dog » 13 Dec 2014, 11:32

Quacoan wrote:Oh I don't know. I've never counted but it seems pretty even to me.


You honestly think The Beatles wrote only twice as many great songs as the Beach Boys 62-65? I'm surprised Jim.
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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby MALLETT » 13 Dec 2014, 11:45

toomanyhatz wrote:...I do think there's a UK/US divide here. I don't think ordinary Brits connect with the Beach Boys. I think ordinary Americans do.
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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby Rayge » 13 Dec 2014, 12:51

Rootie Tootie wrote:
toomanyhatz wrote:...I do think there's a UK/US divide here. I don't think ordinary Brits connect with the Beach Boys. I think ordinary Americans do.

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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby Matt Wilson » 13 Dec 2014, 17:04

And yet the Beach Boys were very popular in Britain during the mid-late sixties, winning that 1966 poll over the Beatles, having late sixties UK hits when they couldn't get noticed in America, etc. And then there's the continued deification in magazines like MOJO. No, I'd say the overall praise for the Beach Boys over the decades lies in Britian's hands just as much as America's.

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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 13 Dec 2014, 17:51

Matt Wilson wrote:And yet the Beach Boys were very popular in Britain during the mid-late sixties, winning that 1966 poll over the Beatles, having late sixties UK hits when they couldn't get noticed in America, etc. And then there's the continued deification in magazines like MOJO. No, I'd say the overall praise for the Beach Boys over the decades lies in Britian's hands just as much as America's.


Agreed. Were it not for British audiences, The Beach Boys would have been toast by 1969. Just where did Wilson choose to premiere Smile live? It weren't San Bernardino.
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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby The Slider » 13 Dec 2014, 23:36

We love 'em. Just like we love Herman's Hermits and The Searchers.
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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 13 Dec 2014, 23:52

The Slider wrote:We love 'em. Just like we love Herman's Hermits and The Searchers.


Quite the opposite. The albums Pet Sounds through Holland charted in the UK. It was the U.S. that insisted they keep churning out that Endless Summer crap.
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Re: Brian Wilson vs Paul McCartney 62-67

Postby steadyeddie » 21 Mar 2020, 00:04

... finely poised. Its all to play for
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