Episode 153: “Heroes and Villains” by the Beach Boys A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs

    • Music History

Episode one hundred and fifty-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Heroes and Villains” by the Beach Boys, and the collapse of the Smile album. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a sixteen-minute bonus episode available, on "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" by the Electric Prunes.

Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/



Resources

There is no Mixcloud this week, because there were too many Beach Boys songs in the episode.

I used many resources for this episode. As well as the books I referred to in all the Beach Boys episodes, listed below, I used Domenic Priore's book Smile: The Story of Brian Wilson's Lost Masterpiece and Richard Henderson's 33 1/3 book on Van Dyke Parks' Song Cycle.

Stephen McParland has published many, many books on the California surf and hot-rod music scenes, including several on both the Beach Boys and Gary Usher.  His books can be found at https://payhip.com/CMusicBooks

Andrew Doe’s Bellagio 10452 site is an invaluable resource.

Jon Stebbins’ The Beach Boys FAQ is a good balance between accuracy and readability.

And Philip Lambert’s Inside the Music of Brian Wilson is an excellent, though sadly out of print, musicological analysis of Wilson’s music from 1962 through 67.

Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson by Peter Ames Carlin is the best biography of Wilson.

I have also referred to Brian Wilson’s autobiography, I Am Brian Wilson, and to Mike Love’s, Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy.

As a good starting point for the Beach Boys’ music in general, I would recommend this budget-priced three-CD set, which has a surprisingly good selection of their material on it, including the single version of “Heroes and Villains”.

The box set The Smile Sessions  contains an attempt to create a finished album from the unfinished sessions, plus several CDs of outtakes and session material.

Transcript
[Opening -- "intro to the album" studio chatter into "Our Prayer"]
Before I start, I'd just like to note that this episode contains some discussion of mental illness, including historical negative attitudes towards it, so you may want to check the transcript or skip this one if that might be upsetting.

In November and December 1966, the filmmaker David Oppenheim and the conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein collaborated on a TV film called "Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution".  The film was an early attempt at some of the kinds of things this podcast is doing, looking at how music and social events interact and evolve, though it was dealing with its present rather than the past.
The film tried to cast as wide a net as possible in its fifty-one minutes. It looked at two bands from Manchester -- the Hollies and Herman's Hermits -- and how the people identified as their leaders, "Herman" (or Peter Noone) and Graham Nash, differed on the issue of preventing war:
[Excerpt: Inside Pop, the Rock Revolution]

And it made a star of East Coast teenage singer-songwriter Janis Ian with her song about interracial relationships, "Society's Child":

[Excerpt: Janis Ian, "Society's Child"]

And Bernstein spends a significant time, as one would expect, analysing the music of the Beatles and to a lesser extent the Stones, though they don't appear in the show. Bernstein does a lot to legitimise the music just by taking it seriously as a subject for analysis, at a time when most wouldn't:

[Excerpt: Leonard Bernstein talking about "She Said She Said"]

You can't see it, obviously, but in the clip that's from, as the Beatles recording is playing, Bernstein is conducting along with the music, as he would a symphony orchestra, showing where the b

Episode one hundred and fifty-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Heroes and Villains” by the Beach Boys, and the collapse of the Smile album. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a sixteen-minute bonus episode available, on "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" by the Electric Prunes.

Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/



Resources

There is no Mixcloud this week, because there were too many Beach Boys songs in the episode.

I used many resources for this episode. As well as the books I referred to in all the Beach Boys episodes, listed below, I used Domenic Priore's book Smile: The Story of Brian Wilson's Lost Masterpiece and Richard Henderson's 33 1/3 book on Van Dyke Parks' Song Cycle.

Stephen McParland has published many, many books on the California surf and hot-rod music scenes, including several on both the Beach Boys and Gary Usher.  His books can be found at https://payhip.com/CMusicBooks

Andrew Doe’s Bellagio 10452 site is an invaluable resource.

Jon Stebbins’ The Beach Boys FAQ is a good balance between accuracy and readability.

And Philip Lambert’s Inside the Music of Brian Wilson is an excellent, though sadly out of print, musicological analysis of Wilson’s music from 1962 through 67.

Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson by Peter Ames Carlin is the best biography of Wilson.

I have also referred to Brian Wilson’s autobiography, I Am Brian Wilson, and to Mike Love’s, Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy.

As a good starting point for the Beach Boys’ music in general, I would recommend this budget-priced three-CD set, which has a surprisingly good selection of their material on it, including the single version of “Heroes and Villains”.

The box set The Smile Sessions  contains an attempt to create a finished album from the unfinished sessions, plus several CDs of outtakes and session material.

Transcript
[Opening -- "intro to the album" studio chatter into "Our Prayer"]
Before I start, I'd just like to note that this episode contains some discussion of mental illness, including historical negative attitudes towards it, so you may want to check the transcript or skip this one if that might be upsetting.

In November and December 1966, the filmmaker David Oppenheim and the conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein collaborated on a TV film called "Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution".  The film was an early attempt at some of the kinds of things this podcast is doing, looking at how music and social events interact and evolve, though it was dealing with its present rather than the past.
The film tried to cast as wide a net as possible in its fifty-one minutes. It looked at two bands from Manchester -- the Hollies and Herman's Hermits -- and how the people identified as their leaders, "Herman" (or Peter Noone) and Graham Nash, differed on the issue of preventing war:
[Excerpt: Inside Pop, the Rock Revolution]

And it made a star of East Coast teenage singer-songwriter Janis Ian with her song about interracial relationships, "Society's Child":

[Excerpt: Janis Ian, "Society's Child"]

And Bernstein spends a significant time, as one would expect, analysing the music of the Beatles and to a lesser extent the Stones, though they don't appear in the show. Bernstein does a lot to legitimise the music just by taking it seriously as a subject for analysis, at a time when most wouldn't:

[Excerpt: Leonard Bernstein talking about "She Said She Said"]

You can't see it, obviously, but in the clip that's from, as the Beatles recording is playing, Bernstein is conducting along with the music, as he would a symphony orchestra, showing where the b