Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Backslapping time. Well done us. We are fantastic.

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Beach Boys
38
49%
Velvet Underground
40
51%
 
Total votes: 78

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GoogaMooga
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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby GoogaMooga » 30 Mar 2011, 15:37

Guy E wrote: I’m sure they share a love for many of the same influences.


They both admire Doc Pomus, one of the finest songwriters ever. Make of that what you will.
1966 and all that

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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Rated B » 30 Mar 2011, 15:46

Beach Boys never got sampled by Blue Sky Black Death...



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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Guy E » 30 Mar 2011, 15:49

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Objectively speaking, Brian Wilson had a greater command of melody, arrangement and production than Lou Reed. Reed was a better lyricist ( I say was, because he is a pretentious twat now) . The best Beach Boys records are simply more inventive than the best Velvets records.

I think you're undervaluing the genius of the Velvet's simplicity. Their clarity of vision was unparalleled. Designing an object or a sound with no extraneous baggage is no mean feat.
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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Matt Wilson » 30 Mar 2011, 15:52

Snarfyguy wrote:I wonder what all the talk about being "able to relate to" an artist or a work of art means.

Davey can't relate to Lou Reed's protagonist, as they don't have much in common, and indeed why should he have to?

I can't "relate" to Monet's haystacks, although they're sublimely evocative renderings and some of the best, most moving art I've ever seen.

So why do should we have to "relate" to the subject matter?


It's all in the way one appreciates art.
Some need to identify with the lyrical subject matter of a song just like they do with the protagonist of a film or novel. Others can get off on the passion imbued in the work itself, in the aesthetics of the finished product. I can enjoy a Kubrick film without concentrating on the acting, or Raging Bull without giving a shit about Jake LaMotta.

That's rare though, I'm still mostly in the former camp. It helps to think there's a little of me in the lyrics of a song.

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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Jeff K » 30 Mar 2011, 16:16

Davey seems to be ignoring the fact that the Beach Boys had many talented people outside the band helping them out whereas the Velvets more or less went it alone. I don't consider Warhol making little suggestions here and there as making a major contribution to their music. Where would Brian be without the input of Gary Usher, Van Dyke Parks and the Wrecking Crew?
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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Matt Wilson » 30 Mar 2011, 16:22

Jeff K wrote: Where would Brian be without the input of Gary Usher, Van Dyke Parks and the Wrecking Crew?


Not your strongest argument.
Most of the great Beach Boys song's words are not written by Gary Usher or Van Dyke Parks but by Mike Love, who was definitely "in the band."
And for the type of studio-perfected playing that Brian was looking for he felt he needed the Wrecking Crew, so what's wrong with that? Are you gonna bring up the Monkees argument now, too?

You VU nuts are starting to flounder around now. It's obvious neither side is going to convince the other of anything, the poll merely asks to pick a preference. The same arguments are being endlessly recycled.

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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Brian Wilson » 30 Mar 2011, 16:24

Jeff K wrote:Davey seems to be ignoring the fact that the Beach Boys had many talented people outside the band helping them out whereas the Velvets more or less went it alone. I don't consider Warhol making little suggestions here and there as making a major contribution to their music. Where would Brian be without the input of Gary Usher, Van Dyke Parks and the Wrecking Crew?


I never considered Van Dyke's one album's worth of lyrics as a "major" contribution. Same goes for Tony Asher, who's lyrics I actually like more than Van Dyke's. Mike Love's imput qualifies as major.

Gary Usher's greatest achievement with Brian was writing the lyrics for "In My Room". I don't think that's a "major" contribution.

The Wrecking Crew did what Brian told them to do down to the arrangements (very few exceptions) and besides, the Beach Boys played on more cuts and albums than many people (even music fans) realize.
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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Jeff K » 30 Mar 2011, 16:26

Lance Matthew wrote: Are you gonna bring up the Monkees argument now, too?


I'll wait for the Monkees vs the Stooges thread before tackling that one.
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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Jeff K » 30 Mar 2011, 16:33

Jeff K wrote:Davey seems to be ignoring the fact that the Beach Boys had many talented people outside the band helping them out whereas the Velvets more or less went it alone.


This is what makes me laugh about the Brian disciples. No one will admit that this is basically a true statement. I'm not saying it's wrong that the Beach Boys had more outside help but they did make it easier for Brian to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish. The Velvets never had that advantage. Brian may be a genius but he's a genius with a little help from his friends. How is that disputable?
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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby nathan » 30 Mar 2011, 16:39

He's 'wounded', Jeff.

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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Matt Wilson » 30 Mar 2011, 16:42

Jeff K wrote:
Jeff K wrote:Davey seems to be ignoring the fact that the Beach Boys had many talented people outside the band helping them out whereas the Velvets more or less went it alone.


This is what makes me laugh about the Brian disciples. No one will admit that this is basically a true statement. I'm not saying it's wrong that the Beach Boys had more outside help but they did make it easier for Brian to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish. The Velvets never had that advantage. Brian may be a genius but he's a genius with a little help from his friends. How is that disputable?


It's not disputable, why would you think it so?
The Beach Boys were Brian Wilson anyway so I hardly think your conclusion warrants attention.

Most bands who recorded in LA at the time utilized the Wrecking Crew for some of their recordings: The Mamas & Papas, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Byrds (at least on "Mr Tambourine Man"), Love, etc. It's hard to think of one who didn't. The Doors, maybe?

With the kind of primitive playing the Velvets were known for, it's no wonder they didn't use session pros for their records. What would've been the point? Reed sure used them on his solo records once he split the band though.

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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 30 Mar 2011, 16:48

Jeff K wrote:
Jeff K wrote:Davey seems to be ignoring the fact that the Beach Boys had many talented people outside the band helping them out whereas the Velvets more or less went it alone.


This is what makes me laugh about the Brian disciples. No one will admit that this is basically a true statement. I'm not saying it's wrong that the Beach Boys had more outside help but they did make it easier for Brian to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish. The Velvets never had that advantage. Brian may be a genius but he's a genius with a little help from his friends. How is that disputable?


Oh, as I Brian disciple I agree with the above. I even seem to recall that Sagittarius epic 'My World Fell Down' predated 'Good Vibrations' and 'Heroes and Villains'. So Usher, Boettcher and co. did provide Wilson with some good hints - listen via phones and see the similarities. Millennium's 'Begin' is also a case in point, although I can't pinpoint the exact release date from here. California's musicians surely were more of a large 'posse' than New York's were, if one compares the BBs and the VU.

But Wilson was able to do the right things at the right time, on a larger scale than the aforementioned musicians. He called in Tony Asher to voice his own emotions and insecurities in love, and Asher succeeded. Parks was meant to give a voice to the Grand American Dreamscape that SMiLE should have become. Again, a perfect choice. Mike Love, his primary lyricist up to 1966, was not pleased. This, and Wilsons mounting mental instability and drug use made great and unified projects impossible from then on.

And Wilson really was the musical director of the Wrecking Crew whenever he used them. Tack piano, empty Sparklett's bottles - whichever account you read or hear, he had the sounds in his head before they were actually produced by one of the musicians.
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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Jeff K » 30 Mar 2011, 16:48

Lance Matthew wrote: Reed sure used them on his solo records once he split the band though.


Of course he's going to use session musicians on his solo albums. What else is he supposed to do, play all the instruments himself?
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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Matt Wilson » 30 Mar 2011, 16:56

Jeff K wrote:
Lance Matthew wrote: Reed sure used them on his solo records once he split the band though.


Of course he's going to use session musicians on his solo albums. What else is he supposed to do, play all the instruments himself?


Stevie Wonder and Todd Rundgren did.
John Fogerty, too.

:lol:

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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby TG » 30 Mar 2011, 17:01

I've just read this thread all the way through to this point and I can see both sides of the argument(s). For me it's the Velvets even though I do love the Beach Boys. I think the big difference is that there is not a BB's album that I ever want to hear from end to end. Some truly great songs but not the kind of consistency I look for.

I could pull together several CDs of BB's songs as a comp and that might come close to the VU but they just never produced an LP that I want to sit through.

With all of that said it certainly depends on my mood. When I want to hear Don't Worry, Baby or Marcella there is nothing by the Velvets that could stand in their place.

And with all of that having been said let me just add that Mr. Coan could not be more right about this track -



It is simply awful.
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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby The Modernist » 30 Mar 2011, 17:06

Jeff K wrote:
Jeff K wrote:Davey seems to be ignoring the fact that the Beach Boys had many talented people outside the band helping them out whereas the Velvets more or less went it alone.


This is what makes me laugh about the Brian disciples. No one will admit that this is basically a true statement. I'm not saying it's wrong that the Beach Boys had more outside help but they did make it easier for Brian to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish. The Velvets never had that advantage. Brian may be a genius but he's a genius with a little help from his friends. How is that disputable?


On the other hand, Reed never had to put up with Mike Love. :)

Can you imagine if he'd been presented with Sister Ray "Sucking on my ding dong? I'm not singing that! What happened to that song you wrote about the car?"

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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Jeff K » 30 Mar 2011, 17:11

Sea Of Tunes v2.0 wrote:Oh, as I Brian disciple I agree with the above. I even seem to recall that Sagittarius epic 'My World Fell Down' predated 'Good Vibrations' and 'Heroes and Villains'. So Usher, Boettcher and co. did provide Wilson with some good hints - listen via phones and see the similarities. Millennium's 'Begin' is also a case in point, although I can't pinpoint the exact release date from here. California's musicians surely were more of a large 'posse' than New York's were, if one compares the BBs and the VU.

But Wilson was able to do the right things at the right time, on a larger scale than the aforementioned musicians. He called in Tony Asher to voice his own emotions and insecurities in love, and Asher succeeded. Parks was meant to give a voice to the Grand American Dreamscape that SMiLE should have become. Again, a perfect choice. Mike Love, his primary lyricist up to 1966, was not pleased. This, and Wilsons mounting mental instability and drug use made great and unified projects impossible from then on.

And Wilson really was the musical director of the Wrecking Crew whenever he used them. Tack piano, empty Sparklett's bottles - whichever account you read or hear, he had the sounds in his head before they were actually produced by one of the musicians.


Now that I can get aboard on. My argument is more with Davey's assumption that the Velvets had a limited palate and you basically heard all there is to hear on the four albums. They didn't have the people, the money and the studio time Brian had to play around much. The fact that they were able to produce such magnificent music under those circumstances speaks volumes about their accomplishments. Brian might have reached higher levels but he had people who helped hold the ladder. If he had to work under the same conditions and budget as the VU would the results be the same? Can you imagine Brian working with Warhol? He'd play him a new song and Andy would reply, "umm, that's nice, Brian" and leave it at that. Even though Davey says he likes the Velvet Underground, he still manages to undermine them at the same time.

But hey, in the end it all comes down to the music. I prefer the Velvets and others prefer the Beach Boys and it doesn't really matter how they arrived there. Cased closed.
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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Goat Boy » 30 Mar 2011, 17:14

Brian may have had the wrecking crew helping him but if you hear the bootlegs the guy - around 22/23 at the time - is in complete control and is bossing them around like a total pro. For someone his age to be doing that with musicians of that quality is astounding. I think this only adds to his greatness.
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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Jeff K » 30 Mar 2011, 17:17

The Champion wrote:Can you imagine if he'd been presented with Sister Ray "Sucking on my ding dong? I'm not singing that! What happened to that song you wrote about the car?"


The song would have been left in the vaults only to be resurrected decades later. Love would then proclaim he would have had no problems singing about sucking ding dongs and was behind the song all along. Meanwhile, over on the Hoffman boards, there would have been multiple threads about which version of Sister Ray they should use. :lol:
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Re: Beach Boys vs Velvet Underground

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 30 Mar 2011, 18:01

Snarfyguy wrote:I wonder what all the talk about being "able to relate to" an artist or a work of art means.

Davey can't relate to Lou Reed's protagonist, as they don't have much in common, and indeed why should he have to?

I can't "relate" to Monet's haystacks, although they're sublimely evocative renderings and some of the best, most moving art I've ever seen.

So why do should we have to "relate" to the subject matter?


We don't have to. But since we are comparing these specific two things - this is an area of contrast. The Beach Boys music moves me more.
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