Is "Love You" anyone else's favorite?

Is "Love You" anyone else's favorite?

Dennis B. on Saturday, January 22, 2000 - 05:02 pm:

I know "Pet Sounds' is a classic. And the early stuff is great. And the "Sunflower"-to-"Holland' era is way better than most people think.

Then why is it that when I'm going to drive somewhere, I always pick "Love You" as my tape of choice? It's always the one I feel like listening to.

This has been going on since 1987, when I found the LP for a buck at college. The album has its flaws but has such a great vibe.

I'm starting to think it may be Brian's best, in a way. Great rockers on side one; sad ballads on side two. "Mona"!!!! I usually have to play the opening cut three times before I can move on. Carl - whatta singer!!

Way better than "15 Big Losers;' shame it didn't sell.

By David K. on Saturday, January 22, 2000 - 06:07 pm:

I've owned this album for many years now (on CD no less) but up until very recently I never gave it much attention. Just too weird, very difficult to approach with all the wacky moogs and Brian's rough voice.

Lately though, I've fallen in love with it. Perhaps because I'm so familiar with the other albums. The songwriting and arrangement is every bit as brillant as Pet Sounds despite the radically different instrumentation and often bizarre lyrics.

Ultimately, Love You is an essential piece of Brian Wilson's musical cannon and probably the last album he's made to date that he had complete control over.

By Jeff on Saturday, January 22, 2000 - 07:09 pm:

"Mona" rules! "Solar System"! "Johnny Carson"! "I Wanna Pick You Up"!

LOVE YOU is a great album. I haven't heard it in years, sadly. When's it coming out on CD?

By trader on Saturday, January 22, 2000 - 11:09 pm:

it is a very nice driving record, isnt it! one of my favorite parts, and i dont know why, is at the end of 'good time', when al says, "hey?!". what the hell is up with that? but i love it. weird.
'solar system', 'the night was so young' 'airplane', 'lets put our hearts together' enough said, baby.

and this is my thought. brian has two phases, i think. one is his beautiful melancholy phase. the other is his wacky, humorous phase that started with this album, and has continued with the Paley stuff.

By dnowak on Sunday, January 23, 2000 - 11:55 am:

It's almost heresy to say that this album is better than Pet Sounds, or even as good as Pet Sounds. Yet I'm willing to say it is. I have long thought this. It's a fun album, for one thing. Pet Sounds is not fun.

I guess it's a great album in a culty way.
It certainly deserves as much attention as Pet Sounds. If you watch all the documentaries, read the books, almost all of them completely neglect and overlook Love You.

I remember Peter Buck, in the Mojo interview, specifically telling Brian how much he loves the Love You record. Appreciates its complexities. My face brightened when I was reading that.
I was like, "Finally!"

I also like the Wilson/Paley stuff because it resembles Love You. It seems quickly thought out and executed, spontaneous. I hope that when Love You gets reissued, that they tell all about how it was made, in a 75 page booklet. I don't think there needs to be any extra tracks, because Love You is perfect.

By Dennis B. on Sunday, January 23, 2000 - 01:55 pm:

Thanks for the responses; I feel less alone. I agree the Wilson/Paley stuff is similar to "Love You," if more contrived.

"Love You" is way different that "Pet Sounds," but Brian seems to inhabit the same artistic "persona" (the melancholy adult-adolescent) somewhat on both LPs. The lyrical mindset of "That's Not Me"/"Waiting for the Day"/"Wouldn't It be Nice" doesn't seem so different than many "Love You" tunes.

This unique voice of Brian's was largely gone from BB records from '67-'74, so it's good to hear it again. It also surfaces a bit on MIU.

With "Love You,' it's almost as if Brian had been frozen in time during those years and returned as a 23-year-old, again looking back on his teen years. Witness the references to parents, curfews, classrooms... I know this was largely a manifestation of Brian's mental troubles, but if it worked for him, great! And it made for great (if unheard) art.

Speaking of R.E.M....the late great rock critic Lester Bangs (who is mention in R.E.M.'s "End of the World") loved "Love You." He said it had a "great roller-rink in the sky sound."

By Trick Mime on Sunday, January 23, 2000 - 02:32 pm:

I too like this album alot. I don't think "Johnny Carson" and "Love is A Woman" are that interesting musically, though. I usually substitute "Hey Little Tomboy" and "Had to Phone Ya" in their place when I play the album. They definitely fit. "I Want to Pick You Up" is an absolutely gorgeous song, although I don't care much for the very end part of it. If that song had been done with a 60s production and a stronger vocal (I like Dennis's lead, don't get me wrong, but it is a little rough for the average listener), it would be much better remembered. Also, "Mona" is an example of a song that is so simple, yet the other Beach Boys could never write anything nearly as catchy.

By Love You -- Euuuwww!!!! on Monday, January 24, 2000 - 08:53 am:

For my money, Love You is one of the worst albums in the BB catalog. The lyrics are awful, the singing nearly as bad (when it's good it sounds wasted b/c of the weak material). This album holds no charm for me and leaves me feeling depressed.

By Betsey Ross on Monday, January 24, 2000 - 09:00 am:

"Love You" is one of my "ugh" records. It's good to know it has an audience, though.

It's really depressing. Brian sounds like a total squirrel on it, especially the lyrics, but even the music. It's a cry for help, not an album. And his voice never sounded worse.

I think "wacky and humorous" are really a kind way of putting it. If you think about where it's coming from, it's deeply disturbing.

By TAD on Monday, January 24, 2000 - 09:15 am:

Love You is worth a chuckle or two, but there's nothing beyond the surface. A fun record, if kinda stupid. Kinda like McCartney's Bip Bop.

By Billy K. on Tuesday, January 25, 2000 - 01:24 pm:

The thing I like about "Love You" is the personal
and creative angle on it. At first, I didn't really care for it, but it kind of grew on me.
It's one of those albums that has a sense of
"warped genius" to it--it's not for everyone.
Just as is in the case of Tom Waits, Syd Barrett,
and some of Prince's non-hit album tracks and
b-sides.....The real thing that is special about
"Love You" is that it's the raw genius and
creativity---something that is lacking with many
artists' music, and especially today........
It may not be as smooth/slick as "15 Big Ones"
nor is it a groundbreaking effort in the case of
"Pet Sounds", but it has a certain quality to it
that makes it worthwhile listening. And some of
the things Brian does on that album have been
inspirational to my own personal musical endeavours, as well.......

By Judy D on Tuesday, January 25, 2000 - 01:36 pm:

I love Love You. I can't tell you how many people I told to buy the cutout LP who couldn't stop thanking me afterward.

By sailonsailor on Tuesday, January 25, 2000 - 08:28 pm:

i just started listening again recently to
love you and was bowled over, not by what i
remember as its rough, unfinished sound, but
how that roughness seems to be so well
thought out. i think it's beautifully
performed and produced. honkin down the
highway is such an irresistible rocker. i
think that album is nearly flawless and is my
favorite, along with friends, holland and
sunflower. i agree with an earlier post. i
admire pet sounds, but sometimes i don't love
it passionately. but love you...ah,

By Dennis B on Wednesday, January 26, 2000 - 05:39 pm:

Betsey Ross has a point about the "disturbing" lyrical thrust of this LP. If I'm not mistaken, what's disturbing is the fact that a 33-year-old man still looks at life (and women) with the mind of a 14-year-old.

I'd argue, though, that's precisely what makes "Love You" great art. Remember that Robert Frost had a hard time dealing w/ reality and his poems take disturbing points of view. He was still great.

Brian - who is often slagged as a poor lyricist- is the best kind of poet: The unconscious kind.

"We run into the kitchen and grab a bite/
her folks let me stay with her till late at nite."

Not only do those lines capture the feel of being a suburban teen, they're brilliantly rendered. The choice of action-oriented language (the words "run" and "grab") exemplify the breathless pace of youth. The words "let me" reflect how teens aren't really in control of their lives.

Sorry to go "English major geek" on everyone ("going to school isnt my fondest desire"), but we often overlook Brian's significant verbal skills because he's such a genius composer (and great singer, arranger, etc.).

The guy possibly captured the American adolescent experience better than any other composer. His influence can be felt watching "90210" or listening to countless modern pop records.

"Love You" presents is with an extenstion of the mythos presented by Brian on the early LPs. "Where it's coming from" (as Betsey Ross writes) may be disturbing, but it's also disturbing when you learn where Nick Drake, John Lennon or Edgar Allan Poe were "coming from."

By Nene on Friday, January 28, 2000 - 04:56 pm:

I madly love Love You. I first became aware of it when friends who were in a local band covered "Roller Skating Child" and "Honking Down the Highway". On their recommendation I bought the album and have been a devoted fan since.

By Jeanne on Saturday, January 29, 2000 - 11:09 am:

Dennis B., I always like it when people analyze Brian's lyrics. Great thread!

By AGD on Saturday, January 29, 2000 - 02:24 pm:

Loved it when it first came out, fell in love all over again when it came out on CD. Oh, and it's Brian who says "Hey" at the end of "Good Time" - it's the only 1976 addition to an otherwise 1970 recording.

By Dennis B on Sunday, January 30, 2000 - 11:05 am:

Thanks, Jeanne!

Hey AGD: Are you sure Brian added that "hey" to "Good Time' in 1976? I always assumed it mixed out of the original 1970 rough mix, but left in (accidentally?) when they did the final mix for "Love You"? Or did they just use a 1970 mix for "Love You"?

By brother john, sleeping on Tuesday, February 15, 2000 - 08:38 pm:

I was 16 yrs old when I saw a full page b & w ad for this album in Rolling Stone(I think it was). It had just been released. I rode my bicycle 4 miles to my local record shop (remember them? usually the owner was a drug dealer on the side) and bought the record. I rode home and put it on the turntable and I remember when the bass came blasting out of the speakers on Let Us Go On This Way -- I was blown away. This is without a doubt a fantastic record, and arguably my favorite.
The night was so young...

By Markus from Sweden on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 08:30 am:

I really dig Love You. The Moogs together with the cool and suttle drum/percussion arrangements makes me go high. A favourite!

By Tim on Wednesday, March 1, 2000 - 05:13 pm:

I know this is hard to believe, but in my cellar this afternoon I was perusing all my old vinyl and found Love You and M.I.U albums STILL IN THE WRAPPER. It's beyond me how that happened! Sale $2.99 LY and $3.99 MIU. I haven't used the turntable on my stereo for a couple of years. Some of you will probably say leave them in the wrapper, but some of the enthusiasm on these posts and some of the write-ups in the album archive have me ready to buy a new needle and give'em a spin!

By Dan Bennett on Saturday, March 4, 2000 - 12:19 pm:

Glad Markus mentioned the drum/persussion arrangements on Love You! I have always been

intrigued by them. Sure would like to hear Brian's

thoughts on how they evolved!

By Surfer Girl on Thursday, March 23, 2000 - 08:29 pm:

Love You is one of my favorite albums too. These songs are not as simple as they seem.. Brian said once that a genius is a person who can make something complex seem really simple. And who can deny that Brian is a genius?
It's hard to choose from all these songs, but if I had to, I'd go for Airplane, The Night was so Young, Love is a Woman, & Good Time.

By Jeff on Monday, April 10, 2000 - 10:59 pm:

Funny you all should like this album so much- I will have to try, try again because it kind of eludes me. I bother writing this because I was standing next to Brian on Friday night at the Roxy when he signed a copy of this album after the show and said "Hey, that's my favorite album".
Take it for what it's worth. It was a great show. I feel very fortunate to have been there!

By smiler on Tuesday, April 11, 2000 - 10:05 am:

If it's his favourite album, why doesn't he play at least one of its tracks in his live shows?

By Neighbor John on Tuesday, April 11, 2000 - 03:29 pm:

Maybe because his "favorite album" changes all the time. At one time he said "Friends" was his favorite, but I don't think he plays any of those songs live either. Or did he at the Roxy.

By Mellowcrate on Tuesday, April 11, 2000 - 04:51 pm:

Hmmm... Love You - I Like Johnny Carson, the Night Was So Young, Honking Down the Microphone.

I would like Lets Put Our Hearts Together (but not our voices) more if wife Marilyn's bland vocals weren't present

Let's Go on This Way - Great until the Lovester kills it with his trashy ESP lyric - Somebody stop him!

Mona - weird but the songs got bells!

Love is a Woman - A festering boil on the album - should have been lanced.

I Wanna Pick You Up - Any one heard the cover version on the Smiles, Vibes 'n Harmony tribute album? - with the right treatment this could be quite diverting.

Good Time - songwriting by numbers - nice Brass arrangement but whats the point?

Ding Dang - Filler

Solar System - Weirdsville - ok for us fans but don't tell anyone else about it.

Airplane - not bad - but I get the feeling the guys are struggling for something to sing about - song could be about anything - Golf Kart/ Golf Kart/ Carry me back to the tee or Tree House/ Tree House/ Life in the can-o-py

Gotta be in the right mood for Love You

By Rhett S on Saturday, April 29, 2000 - 07:13 pm:

In the eighties Bri always said Friends was his fav,but more than once since 95 I've seen Bri quoted as saying Love You is his favorite,so I'ld assume this is indeed his favorite.

By steve555 on Sunday, May 7, 2000 - 12:48 am:

When you listen to this album, keeping in mind the production values of most of the other BB's albums, one gets the idea that some nice idea's were still floating inside the brain of Brian, but his bathrobe lifestyle dictated the production values of "Love You." The "wall of sound" is missing here, as it was with the single "Break Away." While I am as much of a fan of Brian Wilson as anyone, I can still recognize laziness, or disinterest, when I see it.

By el bucko on Saturday, May 13, 2000 - 04:07 pm:

i bought love you when it came out in 1977 - i was into the bech boys and punk (i live in the uk. i found it embarresing but secretly loved it. i still love it (not so secretly). its largely keyboard arrangement predated 80s synth pop, but is so much better and still sounds completely dateless - in fact more so now than when it came out. it's amateurishness is completely charming, and the tunes are all gorgeous. a flawewd masterpiece in the best possible way. i'm so glad so many others love it like i do.

By AGD on Sunday, May 14, 2000 - 12:02 pm:

Really late reply to to Dennis B from 1/30/00 (sorry) - the Love You version of "Good Time" is a remix of the 1970 recording, with the bvs toned down. The original mix can be heard (plus some synth overdubs, minus the lead vocal) on the Spring album... or on about a million bootlegs.

By windchime on Tuesday, May 16, 2000 - 04:36 pm:

I think its great but I didn't like it when I
heard it in the 80's. Now I want to listen to all
the BB's catalogue from 1976-92 to see if there
was any good stuff left.

Great topic

By Gregg on Thursday, May 18, 2000 - 02:41 pm:

Hey, that was MY copy of "Love You" that Brian signed at The Roxy, as Jeff mentioned! When he said that it was his favorite album I couldn't think of anything else to say but "Mine too!" Dean Torrance had signed it also years ago and he even asked me what I thought of the album. I was surprised he cared what I thought, first of all, but I told him what I've always felt about the album - that it's almost like a Brian Wilson solo album. It's always been one of my favorites. Clever, surprising chord changes and arrangements that are filled out with interweaving melodic lines. Classic Brian Wilson.

By girlfanofcarl on Tuesday, July 18, 2000 - 08:10 pm:

I'm reading "Dennis Wilson, The Real Beach Boy" by Jon Stebbins, and I read the other night that "Love You" is mostly a Wilson brother album, that it is mostly Brian, Dennis, and Carl. After reading that and a few other things about it that I can't recall off the top of my head, I really want to get that album. I hope it is being sold somewhere.

I also read that Brian, Dennis, and Carl appeared together at the 1977 or 1978 Grammy's. I would love to see a video of that. I don't remember seeing it.

By Gina on Wednesday, July 19, 2000 - 06:56 pm:

girlfanofcarl, I love Love You, but many do not. I heard it for the first time about 3 months ago. Hope you get to hear it soon.

By Sheila Decker on Wednesday, July 19, 2000 - 08:13 pm:

girlfanofcarl, "LoveYou" will be released next's one of the Capitol records "twofers", with "15 Big Ones", I think.

By girlfanofcarl on Wednesday, July 19, 2000 - 11:44 pm:

Gina and Sheila Decker, thanks for telling me what you think of the album, and especially letting me know that it will be out next month. I can't wait!

By Leo on Thursday, July 20, 2000 - 04:50 pm:

I just love the bass lines on The Night Was So Young. Just before the chorus there is such a beautiful melodic bass line it takes my breath away. Anyone else like that bass line? Its just a few notes, but it adds so much to the song. The last two notes kinda slur into each other, and then, BOOM..."baaaaby, baby baby tell me-"!!!

By leo on Thursday, July 20, 2000 - 04:54 pm:

Correction, "Waaaake up, call me baby call me"!!!

By Adminbuster on Tuesday, July 25, 2000 - 05:36 am:

The Admin Geeks still are deleting any references made by us impartial bb fans who think love you sucks the big one. What is up Admin? Keep your fingers off the delete key and let all views come out. As I said who wants to hear Brian Wilson sing off key the whole album.

If you want a good album get The Today album otherwise Admin keep your hands off!

By sonny on Tuesday, July 25, 2000 - 07:44 am:

Thsi website proves my point on just how non objective this whole board and site is. Anyone stating a post that does not articulate "love" towards Brian gets deleted.
This is like the KGB running this site.

By girlfanofcarl on Tuesday, July 25, 2000 - 04:40 pm:

Someone at the Brian Wilson site put it very clearly how these message boards really work. The 1st Amendment does not apply on private message boards, any more than it applies in someone's private home. Message boards are private property, and they have the right to delete any message they want to. If you had someone in your home who was insulting you or anyone you loved, you could legally order them out of your house. If that person wouldn't leave, you could call the police to have them removed. Private property does have its privileges. That's just the way it is.

By sonny on Tuesday, July 25, 2000 - 07:22 pm:

If that's the case for this website, then don't call the posts and opinions objective. Objectivity seems to have no relevance here if only Brian's "love" posts gets posted here.

By Charlie brown on Tuesday, July 25, 2000 - 09:01 pm:

Sonny please get back on your prozac!

By Andreas on Wednesday, July 26, 2000 - 12:27 am:

I got the feeling, you can post whatever you think here, as long as it is in a polite acceptable way.

I also find "Love You" ridiculous and embarassing (except The Night Was So Young), as well as most Smiley Smile. Brian is the greatest pop music composer, but in these cases he created truly forgettable music. The lyrics are interesting if you want to find out what he's feeling, interesting for hardcore fans like us, but they are plainly stupid.

I have no doubt that this post will stay, and that plenty of you have differing opinions.

BTW, I like Brian's 1988 album really a lot, it was his best work in the last 25 years.

By The Antisonny on Wednesday, July 26, 2000 - 10:28 am:

Adminbuster, Brian does not sing off-key through the entire "Loves You" album. He didn't even sing all the songs. You're also hearing Carl and Dennis singing off-key, and Mike being his usual nasal self.

I used to hate this album, but upon listening to it again, I've grown to like some of it. It is somewhat ruined by the lousy lead singing (where did Carl get that voice?!). Also, the lyrics are stupid, but they're both intentionally and unintentionally funny, so it somewhat redeems some of them. The synth thing is a little weird coming from Brian, but those were the times, and he was just trying to keep up with them. I give him a lot of credit for that. I think that has been one of Brian's great dilemmas since his career in the mid-'60s: how do you stay contemporary when you're so identified with a style that's rooted in the past?

There's some beautiful stuff on there. "The Night Was So Young" is one of Brian's best compositions ever. I love "Let Us Go On This Way," it's a good rocker.

By Gina on Wednesday, July 26, 2000 - 01:52 pm:

I love Love You. I love the lyrics and I love the music. I do not find them embarassing at all, or stupid. Mona, Honkin', The Night Was So Young, I'll Bet He's Nice, I Want to Pick You Up...well there is no point in my naming them all. There's only one I don't particularly care for, and I can't think of the name of it right now. And the album did not have to grow on me. I heard it for the first time about two months ago thanks to Andrew, and I loved it immediately. It's the real thing, it's true to Brian, just less produced(I think that's the right word) than a lot of people want. Shows Brian's quirky humor, his sincerity, charm, simplicity, boyishness and horniness. It's not "spiritual" like a lot of his stuff, so perhaps it gets discounted. On the other hand, I dislike the Paley. I dislike it a lot. It's funny how we all listen to the same thing and hear something different.

Andreas, you are right, it's not what you say but how you say it.

By Sonny Liston on Wednesday, July 26, 2000 - 03:09 pm:

This Sonny unlike the other one - Loves LOVE YOU.

I'm very excited about this album being reissued. So much has been said and really when it comes down to it, you just have to just listen.

It's not for everyone - but while it may not have the grandeur and grace of Pet Sounds - LOVE YOU is just as honest.

It's 180 degrees in production from Pet Sounds (which is the standard we unfortunately seem to hold Brian to when comparing or reviewing any of his other work) - but Love You is the other side of the Brian coin.

Personally I really have always grooved on his heavier - bassier sound on his post 60's music - and as the post 60's BB/BW albums go - This is by far my favorite (appologies to the much discussed and deservedly much loved Sunflower).

To me in my humbly demented opinion, Pet Sounds and Love you are like 2 polar opposites of the musical mind of Brian Wilson and his catalog of fantastic tunes is the landscape that fills the amazing range of sounds between the two poles.

Brian just finds a way (and this album seems to highlight it) to play Piano chords that gets inside the back of your neck and makes you bob up, downand all around like a marionette.

Really looking forward to having more people being able to get/listen to this album later this year. I know some will gripe - but A lot of you are going to be really happy to have this album

By Martin Johnstone on Wednesday, August 9, 2000 - 01:05 pm:

"Love You" is a fantastic record spoiled by possibly the worst sequencing on any BB's LP. Side1 is great but Good Time seems a bit lost and trying to make up for it with the pretty forced sounding chorus which is a pity cos the verses fit right in the rest of the album. Side2 is a complete tragedy. Solar system should be one of the last track on this album instead it ruins any chance of this album keeping up the momentum displayed on side1. It's a real shame that Airplne didn't start of this side instead, the bass in the intro reminds me of Please let me wonder on "Today". The night was so young and I'll bet he's nice is a wonderful pairing and Let's put our hearts together is ok if a little sappy. Love is a woman should follow as it might sound better next to LPOHT instead of trying to follow Airplane. Solar system could then play us into Let's put our hearts together with its lovely homespun acapella in the tag. Its a great shame about Love you as every time I play it I rarely seem to flip it over after Ding dang and it is so much better than that.

By baobob on Saturday, August 19, 2000 - 08:16 am:

I've only heard the tracks that are on the box set, and am only really enamoured of "The Night Was So Young," but after hearing all the "love" here, I can't wait for the re-issue, so I can hear the rest.

It almost sounds like this album was an apology on Brian's part for 15 Big Ones.

Is the lowest-sounding instrument Brian playing an electric bass, or is it some electronic instrument? It's a really neat sound.
Do I hear fuzz distortion, or is that just my imagination?

By Gary L. aka Grand Coolie on Saturday, August 19, 2000 - 06:23 pm:

With the exception of "The Night Was So Young",
"I'll Bet He's Nice",and "Solar System",I found this album disappointing in that it didn't measure
up to the standards I know the BB are capable of.The lyrics,singing and most of the melodies leave much room for improvement.I,for the life of me,can't figure out what it is about this album that some people think is so great.Different strokes for different folks,I guess.
Gina did hit upon a good point though-in that it
doesn't have the spiritual qualities that some of their other albums have which is another reason why I was disappointed with it.

By Just a Girl on Sunday, August 20, 2000 - 05:23 pm:

I just had my first listen to "Love You". To my surprise, I liked "Love is a Women" first time around. "Solar System" is going to take a few more spins. I was not impressed.

I also received my "Good Vibration" box set. Why I waited so long is beyond me. I love disc 3

By flowershop on Sunday, August 20, 2000 - 05:59 pm:

love you is one my favorites as well i think in the least it shows even when brian was at one of his lower points whether attributed to drugs,insanity,laziness or a combination of brian was still capable of making an album that people still speak highly of over 20 years later the fact that it was released shows the desperatness of the beach boys and the label to release anything with brian wilson attached to it as it couldnt have possibly been consdered to be a commercial hit when it came out

By Love You Fan on Sunday, August 20, 2000 - 10:16 pm:

"Love You" is the only rock and roll album Brian and the Boys ever did, at least totally straight-ahead rock.

"Love You" rocks! It's a refreshing addition to the Brian Wilson body of work.

By Inxs on Monday, August 21, 2000 - 02:43 am:

No, not really.

By Gina (Gina) on Monday, August 21, 2000 - 07:59 pm:

Yeah, that's what I love about it--it's rock and roll and that's what makes it more danceable than some of their other stuff.

By Jaxon on Tuesday, August 22, 2000 - 09:19 am:

Love You is the most schizophrenic BB album ever. It contains some fabulous songs, and some total embarrasing songs. It has some cool lyrics and some really lame lyrics. It has some great singing and some really awful singing. It would have been a great rocker if some hot guitars were added to the synthesizers which sometimes just sound like monstrous farting machines. I know it has been praised for it's pioneering use of synth bass lines, but I much prefer Brian's signature Fender bass sound.

I often think of this album as a work in was released before it was fully realized like selling a wine before it has matured. I think it could have benefited from more BB style background vocal arrangements, additional instrumentation etc. Yet it does have it's full measure of Brian's unique's like watching one of his home movies called 'How Do You Like My New Synthesizer"

I must admit I've been listening to it a lot more now that it is on CD because I can simply hit the skip button on the tracks that really annoy me. In the world of Beach Boy vibrant colors, this is definitely the "plaid" album!

By Disco-tech Mama on Tuesday, August 22, 2000 - 10:27 am:

People on this board really hate synthesizers. I grew up on 'em, being a child of the '70s (and listening back then to things other than early Beach Boys, or any Beach Boys, for that matter). To my ears, it doesn't sound all that alienating. I think Brian used 'em better than some people were. At least he added guitars now and then.

By trefsok on Tuesday, August 22, 2000 - 11:39 am:

"Love You" is a case of the emperor (Brian) having no clothes and his court deluding themselves that he does. I don't have a problem with the minimalist arrangements -- the Beach Boys had produced some good music (stuff on "Smiley Smile" and "Friends") with understated instrumentation. What I can't stand about it is the horrible vocals and the infantile lyrics --("Solar System", in particular, is the absolute low point here)coming from a man in his mid 30's. "Love You", as was "Smiley Smile", is a snapshot of a sad, very disturbed mind. Why so many fans like this one and so many critics think it's work of genius rivaling "Pet Sounds" is beyond me. "Holland" and "Surf's Up" had set a new standard for the band that "15 Big Ones" and "Love You" shot to hell.

By gary on Tuesday, August 22, 2000 - 12:56 pm:

I rank Love in my top 5 BB cds of all time. It has a spontaneous feel, rough 'n' tumble, yet sparkling melodies. Harmonically, its not in the same league as Pet Sounds, Sunflower, etc., (except for I Bet He's Nice), but who wants to hear perfection every time out. Frankly, its a fun thing, kinda like their Party album, or very early stuff. Someone said it best: it may be their best pure rock 'n' roll album. It also had their best car song in over 15 years in Honkin' Down The Highway.

By Bungalow Bill on Wednesday, August 23, 2000 - 11:11 am:

Are you kidding ? Brian invented 'New Wave' single-handedly with Love You . I loved it then and having just received 2-fer , love it still . Unlike a lot of posters I've seen here , I've loved the genius of Brian and the BBs in almost every phase . Not just the 'patented sound' many seem to cling to and pidgeon-hole Brian into. No one forced the Beatles to write only Rubber Souls . Love You was/is another new flavor , why cling to just vanilla ? This was a joyride into cartoons ,childhood fun , teenage dating , sing-along melodies , nursery rhyme lyrics , ferris wheel arrangements , funhouse sounds , pure early R'n'R innocence . Can't enjoy that anymore cause you're an adult ? Forgotten the joy of just holding someone's hand ? Such a shame .

By Grenade on Wednesday, August 23, 2000 - 09:18 pm:

I'd never heard the entire album before this release - except for the box set cuts. I've never really liked "Let Us Go On This Way" until I heard it on this album. It kinda puts all those miscellaneous songs in perspective. I think it's an interesting oddity (I do like parts of 15 Big Ones, too).

By Barbie on Wednesday, August 23, 2000 - 09:31 pm:

Nene, 15 Big Ones/Love You cd I also have it. I had to chuckle cause some of these songs were records I had as a teenager and played endlessly like "Chapel of Love" and "In the Still of the Night" I sang in high school like a pro. I always loved Phil Spector songs too. "Be My Baby" I could sing them exact. As for Love You, I liked "Airplane" cause its like something he would do. And "roller skating child" cherished youth. I had these white and pink pom-poms on my skates with little bells. I loved my skates. Its nice to listen to these. But I will always love "PetSounds" the best! Maybe Smile!

By Bungalow 'Can't wait' Bill on Saturday, August 26, 2000 - 12:42 pm:

Another aspect of Love You that hooks me is that deja-vu feeling of the simple melodies . Perhaps some are ones we've heard elsewhere but that 'familiarity' haunts you . You find them dancing in your head for days . Then again , some here think 'they' have 2 left feet . I find them 'Gene Kelly' .

By baobob on Tuesday, September 12, 2000 - 09:56 am:

I just heard Love You in its entireity for the first time this weekend, when I bought the 15 Big Ones/Love You CD, and I've probably already listened to it 7 or 8 times (twice at work yesterday). I had already really started to dig The Night Was So Young and Honkin' Down the Highway, but the tracks new to me just blew me away. Ding Dang and Mona are solid rock and roll, both musically and lyrically! I can't get enough of the whole first side (I think Solar System and Johnny Carson are a little slow musically, but still great art, and conceptually brilliant). Pick You Up, Love is a Woman and the Marilyn Duet will probably have to grow on me, but I'm sure they will. I love the lyrics! More of a rap aesthetic than the artsiness of the late sixties and early seventies (which I love, but this was a perfect statement for 77, I think). I don't know if They Might Be Giants listened to this album, but, if not, they probably should have. I'm going to play Love You for all of my friends!

By baobob on Tuesday, September 12, 2000 - 12:16 pm:

Oh, and for those of you who don't like this album, have you tried listening to it really loud? I know that sounds bizarre, but I didn't like the tracks on the box set until I listened to them really loud on my headphones. The higher volume lets you hear more of what's going on with the bass sound (like on the first track). I read an article in school (I could find out the author if anyone is interested) that theorized this as a connection to African music. The bass and rhythm are central to an appreciation of African music. A lot of their big drums, you feel rather than hear.

Also, Friends helps as a stepping stone to Love You (at least it did for me).

Oh, and what I said about a "rap aesthetic" in the lyrics... I might be really off-base here, but I think it's significant that Brian makes extremely personal references in his lyrics even back in the late sixties (directions to his house, names of associates, talk about washing dishes, songs he likes, etc.). I don't know of any other song lyrics that emphasize art as the by-product of everyday life and not as an end. You know, a complete lack of pretense. Compare this to rap lyrics. Rappers often mention their names, associates names, directions to places, songs they like, what they do in their spare time, etc. Also, rap has a flow to it, often with no repeated words over the course of a song (notice the lyrics to Mona - no repeats).

On a related subject I saw a rap group do "rapped" vocals that reminded me of Beach Boys (well, really just the Smile chant stuff and background vocals). I think the group (or artist) is called Nell.

By boxer monkey on Tuesday, September 12, 2000 - 07:14 pm:

As for the suggestion of playing Love You loud to the uninitiated: It don't work. I've tried, ma, really I have, but they just don't get it. I run through the park with my boom box perched on my shoulder like a godawful parrot, greeted by the long faces of perplexed joggers; I drown out the shop vac at the car wash with the farty synths of "Johnny Carson," enraging the other auto-hygienics; I tie up my girlfriend and sing "I Wanna Pick You Up" to her. None of it works. (Except the girlfriend part, but I'm not sure if it's the song she likes, really.) They just don't get it. But I'm not sad. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. If ya don't like this album, if you've got it set in your mind that juvenile, bathrobey good timin' just isn't your swing, well then you've just got it set in your mind that juvenile, bathrobey good timin' just isn't your swing, dammit, and there just isn't any talkin' to ya and that's fine cause I can't stand to talk to ya anyway! So I won't. I'll just turn Love You up again, way up . . . and I can't hear you!!!@!$%@#$#%&%#@#!@$&)_(+__*)(*^^$

By Honkin' on Tuesday, September 12, 2000 - 09:13 pm:

Doesn't "Roller Skating Child" sound just like the J. Geils Band? Do you suppose they got the idea to do "Centerfold" from "Love You"?

That's the coolest thing to me about this album -- in many ways, it sounds nothing like the Beach Boys, but a completely different band. And I like that band.

By Plymouth Rock on Wednesday, September 13, 2000 - 10:19 am:

I had never heard Love You in its entirety until the 15BO/LY re-release came out last month.

Count me among those who love it. In some ways (not all, but some) I find it a nice companion piece to Wild Honey: an overall R 'n B feel, a combination of both goofy and moving music. Personally, I love the lyrics, which seem to be both a celebration of more innocent rock and roll fare and times and an examination of deeper emotional themes. As someone else has pointed out, the trio of "The Night was Still Young, "I Bet He's Nice," and "Let's Put Our Hearts Together" really hits hard: the first two, especially, are much deeper both musically and lyrically than they seem to be on first listen.

I love Love You!

(my wife would disagree, but the point about playing it loud is well-taken: I think that's true of a lot of music. When you play it loud ---not to the point of distortion, but nice and up---you hear not only the bass lines more clearly but also the ringing overtones that are such a big piece of music. F'rinstance, break out Stack o' Tracks or one of the bootlegs and crank the instrumental track to "Let Him Run Wild" WAYYYY UP. It sounds incredible!)

By baobob on Wednesday, September 13, 2000 - 12:23 pm:

It's only been a day since I last wrote in,
but I just can't get the songs of this album out of my head.
I haven't been this excited about an album purchase since I got Elliot Smith's XO.
In fact, I'm going to listen to it again right now!

By vinnie favale on Wednesday, September 13, 2000 - 08:22 pm:

I feel the same way (baobob). 'love you' get's better with every listen. peter buck's liner notes are excellent and capture the mood perfectly.

By Gina on Thursday, September 14, 2000 - 04:20 am:

That was an interesting comparison between Brian and rap, Baobab. Especially since so many of us love Brian but hate rap. I never listen to rap so I would not be able to find those parallels in the lyrics. We have commented in the past about how Brian's lyrics are "plain"--lacking pretense, etc. When it works, it really works, not just on Love You, but on songs like Busy Doin' Nothin', I Went to Sleep, Wind Chimes, etc. Other times it doesn't quite work--people cite Vegatables, but I like the lyrics to it. It works for me.

It seems that musically, Brian always knew what worked. Lyrically, he threw it all out there, whatever occured to him, and sometimes it was genius and sometimes quite pedestrian! Sometimes very charming and sometimes very cringe-causing.

I had the same response as you when I heard Love You for the first time. I felt like I had finally discovered more real Brian, after hearing the Paley stuff and being not a huge fan of Imagination. Of course it's all Brian, we just differ in what we want from him.

By Howard on Thursday, September 14, 2000 - 11:43 am:

Many of the people who don't like Love You are apologists for disasters like M.I.U. and KTSA.

Maybe if they understood that many of the lyrics are intended to be tongue-in-cheek, unlike the make-me-puke sentimentality of the later albums.

By baobob on Thursday, September 14, 2000 - 12:15 pm:

Last night, I was thinking about what I said about Love You and rap, and then started listening to Chuck Berry and I think that might be the key. It might be an issue of common roots. I have long considered Chuck Berry to be not only the original rock'n'roll guitarist, but also one of the grandfathers of rap (with the great-grandparents living in the country blues of the beginning of this century). Just listen to Come On and Too Much Monkey Business: "Salesman talkin' to me/Tryin' to run me up a creek/You can buy it/Go on try it/You can pay me next week." Very direct, rhythmic rhyme, internal rhyme, etc. Now, compare the themes that Dennis B. shows us above in Roller Skating Child to those in Chuck Berry's Almost Grown. Also, the nursery rhyme lyrics in Roll Over Beethoven, Solar System, and Love is a Woman. I think that Love You is closer to Chuck Berry's original rock and Roll aesthetic than the cover of R&R on 15 Big Ones.

By baobob on Thursday, September 14, 2000 - 12:34 pm:

Oh, and Chuck literally raps on "Little Queenie."

By David Marks on Saturday, November 4, 2000 - 11:01 pm:

The Beach Boys Love you is crap...end of story.

By Pamela Jean on Sunday, November 5, 2000 - 03:09 am:

No, it's not. End of story.

It's actually very enjoyable. It's the best BB LP since "Sunflower." It's fun rock 'n' roll, probably the only rock album they did since before "Pet Sounds." It's a great batch of tunes, even if some people find lyrics on a few of the songs a little embarrassing; I find them entertaining. I listen to "Love You" as much as "PS"-and-before LPs, which is my favorite period of BB. I'd rather listen to "Love You" than any of the later Capitol albums or any of the other Brother albums (and I don't listen at all to any of the albums done after it). It's just a personal preference, that's all. It rocks.

Long live "Love You."

By Mrs. David Marks on Sunday, November 5, 2000 - 09:05 am:

"David Marks", Why don't you use your own name when posting rude comments?

By Anonymous on Friday, December 1, 2000 - 07:40 am:

How come this thread hasn't been deleted?

By Gina on Friday, December 1, 2000 - 10:09 am:

Cause I love Love You. Why not use your real name? It's a valid question.

By Anonymous on Friday, December 1, 2000 - 04:04 pm:

Because I wanna have some fun during these last days as a troll. It's a valid answer!

By Gina (Gina) on Friday, December 1, 2000 - 04:06 pm:

But that wasn't a trollish post! And I meant that your original question was valid, not mine in response to yours.

By Anonymous on Friday, December 1, 2000 - 04:15 pm:

And I meant that your original answer was valid, not mine in respose to yours.

By Gina (Gina) on Friday, December 1, 2000 - 10:10 pm:

I know who you are, sweetie.

By Anonymous on Friday, December 1, 2000 - 11:10 pm:

Of course you do! You know when I've been good and you've know when I've been bad. Only this time, it was only a question in reference to the fact that it had been over two weeks since this thread had been used. Not to worry Gina dear.

By Big L on Friday, December 1, 2000 - 11:47 pm:

Love You.. Brian threw down some rough moog tracks, with his cig voice, and Carl finished it. So, it's as much a Carl album as it is a Brian one..

has anyone listened to Jack Madani's instrumental version of Airplane at the Imagination site? Jack picks up all the nuances of Brian's patented chord structure, and it ends up sounding more like a Pet Sounds cut than a Love You cut..

if Brian could have given even more than a passing glance to Love You, the story might be far different now..

By Susan on Saturday, December 2, 2000 - 05:10 am:

Love You is perhaps the most free and open album Brian made. He wasn't hung up on orchestrations, he was just making fun music. And it had nothing to do with surfing or cars, except peripherally. One of his very best, and one of my very favourites!

By Farmers Daughter on Saturday, December 2, 2000 - 07:20 pm:

Aw, it grew on me!! Now, it is listened to often. My seven year old loves it.

By Gina (Gina) on Sunday, December 3, 2000 - 12:24 pm:

Big L, where is Imagination? Thanks.

By Dominic (Dominic) on Sunday, December 3, 2000 - 02:42 pm:

Susan you say that Brian 'wasn't hung up on orchestrations' but there is some pretty complex stuff going on there underneath.
The way i see it is that Brian was just composing the way that he always does.If you gave those songs the 'pet sounds' treatment in terms of instrumentation + production and the Beach Boys still had their youthful voices ('i wanna pick you up' would probably sound even creepier) then all Beach Boys fans would love it.

Another thing that i love about 'love you' is those harsh , brash + meaty analogue synths.
These aren't your wimpy trying to sound like an organic instrument type synths these are big stupid synths that sound like synths + stick out like a sore thumb.
One of the worst things about pop music in the 80s + early 90s is that rather than use the 'real' instruments most producers used tinny , artificial fm synths (like Yamaha's dx7) to create saxaphone , guitar and organ sounds (not to mention equally tinny drum machines to provide da beatz).
If you want a saxaphone sound then for christ sake use a bloody saxaphone.If you want a drum sound then use a drum.
Synths should be used for 'far out' sounds that are impossible to create using any conventional instrument.
I'm all for screwing with traditional sounds in the studio and stuff in the name of art but using underpowered machines to try to recreate the power of organic instruments is one of the reasons a lot of the stuff in the 80s + 90s sounded so similar + seemed to lack any emotion or honesty.
Of course they compressed the life out of the vocals as well so that it would sit properly in the mix with all the horrible digital shit.

Basically though the point of all this (yes there is one) is that today's digital equipment (computers , recording studios , synths , samplers + various other sound shaping tools) are much higher resolution , have far better frequency response , have less noise + are basically better (in every scientific sense) than anything analogue technology could offer.

If a record producer today wants a saxaphone sound then he can use a sampler , a synth or a combination of the two to create a very convincing sound (of course he should still get off his backside + go and get a saxophone but).

Anyway i've gone completely off the point here.Anologue synths are cool because lets face it they can never do a decent impression of a piano or a flute but the sounds they create are pretty cool + different.
Those fat analogue bass sounds on 'love you' are cool.

By Susan (Susan) on Sunday, December 3, 2000 - 02:47 pm:

Dominic, i didn't say he wasn't doing complex things. I just think the album doesn't suffer from the lack of the Pet Sounds treatment - in fact, much of it would be TERRIBLE if it were over-orchestrated! Johnny Carson doesn't need it....Mona doesn't need it...maybe the ballads on side two, but side one is perfect just the way it is. IMHO, of course....

By Gina on Sunday, December 3, 2000 - 05:35 pm:

When I first heard Love You, I liked it immediately, at the same time that I noticed it was missing some of what I was used to hearing and liked best about BW music(like harmony). But I was also relieved, because I felt it was very clearly signiture Brian Wilson music in a way that the Paley stuff, for example, is not. So I agree with your second paragraph, Dominic.

Also, Love You rocks in a way that none of the other stuff does. And you can't put harmony behind everything; it's not always an improvement.

I don't see anything creepy about I Wanna Pick You Up. I always thought it was Brian talking about his daughters.

As for the synths, I cannot comment, because I've never listened to it that way. I'm not a musician, and I don't have a musician's ear. I may notice that I don't like the sound of 80s pop, but I couldn't tell you why easily. It must be really nice to have a trained ear and be aware of things going on in music that us "regular" listeners aren't aware of.

From an aesthetic point of view however, I'm for the real instrument.

By Big L on Sunday, December 3, 2000 - 08:10 pm:

Gina - Imagination is at:

By Pamela (Pamela) on Monday, December 4, 2000 - 09:35 am:

But there are harmonies on "Love You." They aren't as prominent, and they aren't always Four Freshmen-type, but they're there.

One note about "I Want to Pick You Up": There's more than one interview from the period that album was released in which Brian says it's a guy talking about his girlfriend. He wishes he could pick her up like a baby, but she's too big, so he can only fantisize about it. To me, that song is very sensual, and in the context of making a grown woman a baby, it is a little creepy. It's also darkly funny (especially the line about making her sing and feeding her breakfast from a little cup).

I don't know, when Dennis sings, "I want to rock you back and forth and make you smile," what kind of rocking do you suppose he's talking about? The whole album is probably the sexiest thing Brian ever did, even if it is oddball and adolescent in spots.

By Big L (Bigl) on Monday, December 4, 2000 - 10:09 am:

Gina - unfortunately, they have deleted Airplane.. :(

Pamela - Brian had some weird sexual ideas in the 70s.. i.e. Hey Little Tomboy, Lazy Lizzie..

baobob - Too Much Monkey Business is my fave Chuck Berry track, and vastly underrated, IMHO.. much better than most of his stuff

By Dominic (Dominic) on Monday, December 4, 2000 - 10:28 am:

Well said Pamela the harmonies are still there.
'Love You' has plenty of cool harmonies but they are just a little more sparse and perhaps more original than a lot of other Beach Boys harmonies.

Another point is that Brian possibly new that the voices were a lot deeper + more gruff so decided he couldn't cover it with the usual lush minor seventh harmonies etc so he put vocal harmonies in there when he could but didn't want to swamp the record with deep gravely harmonies.

By Pamela (Pamela) on Monday, December 4, 2000 - 10:40 am:

Somebody has a website devoted to "Love You." The address is:

It has some interviews and background information about the songs. Kind of interesting if you like the album.

By Farmersdaughter (Farmersdaughter) on Monday, December 4, 2000 - 04:25 pm:

The site is very interesting. I've never seen any focus on the album like that. Brian obviously liked it very much, as he said on EH "It hit the spot".