In praise of Bruce Johnston

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GoogaMooga
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In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby GoogaMooga » 03 Nov 2018, 16:31

Bruce Johnston. Then he joins the BB's in 1965, and quickly becomes the band member best at wearing shorts, adjusting his mic stand, and encouraging the fans to clap.

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1966 and all that

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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby GoogaMooga » 03 Nov 2018, 16:50

Two main contributions as songwriter/co-writer:

Deirdre
Disney Girls (1957)

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1966 and all that

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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby GoogaMooga » 03 Nov 2018, 16:57

Bruce on Mike's traveling jukebox:

from https://eu.tallahassee.com/story/entert ... /27306143/

As much as I miss Brian, Carl, Dennis (Wilson) and Al (Jardine), this band is so together," Johnston said. "We rehearse every day and all the songs are sung in the original keys. We just sing — and without vibrato. Because I don't smoke and never did drugs, my voice is in pretty good shape. I'm just as boring as I was then (in 1965).
1966 and all that

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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby Matt Wilson » 03 Nov 2018, 18:20

Bruce Johnston is the most worthless Beach Boy next to Al Jardine. In fact - it's pretty close, as at least Al sang "Help Me, Ronda."
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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby Muskrat » 03 Nov 2018, 18:23

Matt Wilson wrote:Bruce Johnston is the most worthless Beach Boy next to Al Jardine. In fact - it's pretty close, as at least Al sang "Help Me, Ronda."


Somebody's got to keep Mike Love company. It's like Nash being the only one who'd speak to Crosby.
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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby GoogaMooga » 03 Nov 2018, 18:29

Matt Wilson wrote:Bruce Johnston is the most worthless Beach Boy next to Al Jardine. In fact - it's pretty close, as at least Al sang "Help Me, Ronda."


No member of Beach Boys is worthless - which is why I think they are the greatest band of all time. Nine very talented band members, and here I include David, Blondie, and Ricky, of course. I just wish Bruce had written more songs - he's got it in him.
1966 and all that

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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby Matt Wilson » 03 Nov 2018, 18:31

Muskrat wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:Bruce Johnston is the most worthless Beach Boy next to Al Jardine. In fact - it's pretty close, as at least Al sang "Help Me, Ronda."


Somebody's got to keep Mike Love company. It's like Nash being the only one who'd speak to Crosby.


Nash is underrated. He wrote almost as many good songs as say... George Harrison.
Coan wrote:'Vertigo' is one of the best things U2 have ever done, one of a handful of occasions where they get it just right. That bit near the end where the song lifts off? You don't get that with The Allman Brothers.

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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby Charlie O. » 03 Nov 2018, 18:48

GoogaMooga wrote:I just wish Bruce had written more songs - he's got it in him.

"Tears In The Morning" and "I Write The Songs" make me wish he'd written fewer.

Seems like a nice guy, though.
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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby GoogaMooga » 03 Nov 2018, 19:04

... and he surfs, too.

Bruce was a bit ambivalent about his songwriting Grammy - why should he get one when Brian never did. Still, the Grammy is mentioned at Mike's gigs.
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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 05 Nov 2018, 17:05

He's competent; a good gift for melody, but it's all too saccharine-like -

he lacks adventure, daring.

The second of these has the immortal 'Makshah At Midnight', though.

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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby borofan » 05 Nov 2018, 17:21

Caught the last episode of an archive BBC doc on the Beach Boys on 6Music VERY early this morning. Interesting that Bruce Johnston said that he wished he had never put forward Dierdre and Tears In The Morning for Sunflower, and in retrospect he didn't think they fitted.
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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 05 Nov 2018, 17:36

borofan wrote:Caught the last episode of an archive BBC doc on the Beach Boys on 6Music VERY early this morning. Interesting that Bruce Johnston said that he wished he had never put forward Dierdre and Tears In The Morning for Sunflower, and in retrospect he didn't think they fitted.


Remarkable -

I'd say Tears fits on the album, but only just (it sounds compressed and should've been more lively); but Deirdre is mere filler to me.
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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby GoogaMooga » 05 Nov 2018, 17:36

I wonder why he'd say a thing like that. Maybe he wanted to save them for a solo album, or something.
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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby Snarfyguy » 05 Nov 2018, 21:00

They should have kept Glen Campbell in.
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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby Muskrat » 05 Nov 2018, 21:13

GoogaMooga wrote:I wonder why he'd say a thing like that. Maybe he wanted to save them for a solo album, or something.


Could be.

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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby GoogaMooga » 05 Nov 2018, 21:44

Ha ha, how embarrassing, I ought to know that. Just goes to show I've got too many CDs!
1966 and all that

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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby NowhereMan » 06 Nov 2018, 00:06

Disney Girls (1957) is a great song, but nothing else that Bruce wrote would even approach my Top 100 favourite Beach Boys songs. Bruce come off too often as fairly saccharine to me in his songwriting, whereas Dennis's songs can also be fairly overdramatic but it works because they feel genuinely heartfelt. I don't really get much of a sense of that with Bruce, and even worse, I don't really get the sense that he overtly enjoys what he does all too much. Contribution wise he seems to have been phoning it in since he rejoined in the late 70s.

In comparison, someone like Al Jardine may not have written much either in the way of great material but he had what I believe to be the best voice in the Beach Boys besides Carl and Brian. Plus he wrote California Saga and sang Help Me Rhonda. And maybe a bit unfair to say, but Bruce in comparison is no match for the other five classic Beach Boys in their prime. (Including Mike)

I also have more respect for a Beach Boys member that chooses to side with Brian Wilson over Mike Love (not that I hate Mike, but I don't particularly respect him or his touring BB's jukebox). Since Carl's death, Al's had far and away the best BB voice of the surviving members, being the highlight of most shows of the last 20 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDZgl7H-coQ

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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby Charlie O. » 06 Nov 2018, 00:13

I like "The Nearest Faraway Place" too, but otherwise that sounds about right to me.

Though to be fair, unlike Mike, Bruce has always been one of Brian's biggest champions in interviews, etc.
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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby GoogaMooga » 06 Nov 2018, 00:31

Ranking the nine, in order of importance:

1. Brian
2. Carl
3. Mike
4. Dennis
5. Al
6. Bruce
7. David
8. Blondie
9. Ricky
1966 and all that

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Re: In praise of Bruce Johnston

Postby NowhereMan » 06 Nov 2018, 06:30

David most likely beats him in historical significance, but Blondie (and Ricky) is a pretty big part of their early 70s period, 'Sail On Sailor' is one of their most notable songs recorded after the sixties, and that was sang by Blondie. Not to mention Here She Comes, Leaving This Town and Hold On Dear Brother, which they both also had a large part in writing and well as singing on. Before David rejoined in the late 90s, a shared lead of Summertime Blues with Carl on Surfin' Safari was the only major vocal work he had done. Which isn't to disrespect his contribution to the early BB's, but I don't think he really got a chance to spread his wings. (He'd barely turned 15 when he quit the group in late 1963, before the band had truly blossomed into the dominant force in pop music they would become)