Author Topic: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?  (Read 8558 times)

scooby1970

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Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« on: January 28, 2010, 06:31:45 AM »
This is a straight forward question. Why exactly do you enjoy listening to Jan & Dean?

The reason I ask, is for the last 30 years I have been trying to get friends, other music fans, work colleagues, and my partner to listen and enjoy Jan & Dean's music. The sad thing is, they all come up with the same reasons on why they don't enjoy the music. Jan & Dean just sound like a cheap Beach Boys imitation/tribute band, Jan & Dean sing out of tune, Jan & Dean who??? These are just some examples I have heard endless times. I just can't get people to see what I see!

I enjoy, no make that LOVE Jan & Dean for the music, the attitude, the comedy, the seriousness, the productions and for the Jan & Dean story... A story of what might have been had Jan not had his accident.  And I think it's the whole Jan & Dean story above all else why I have been such a loyal fan and friend to their legend for all these years

:) Mark

jdman

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 07:19:32 AM »
First and foremost, the productions are great! But I also like the singing and the humor. I think a lot of people appreciate Jan & Dean music. More and more people are starting to hear the value. Almost every surf compilation I've gotten recently at least mentions Jan as a great producer. One surf CD I bought recently mentions the 2 Beach Boys songs(Surfin Safari and Surfin USA) as underproduced,but says Surf City and Ride the Wild Surf were great productions. Overall,however, Jan still doesn't seem to get his due respect with the historians that write books.That affects how people see Jan & Dean.Maybe Mark will change that.

rockngrann

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010, 07:39:54 AM »
I was nearly 13 the first time I heard "Baby Talk". Jan & Dean became my favorites right then, and still are.

Am I the oldest on this group?

2dean2

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010, 12:33:32 PM »
When someone say's they sounded like the BB 's I tell them NO the bb's sounded like J&D! . As said the Capitol rec ex when Murry played them Surfin!
Next is this lie that they were on a down period  when Jan had the wreck . When you look at the backstory you know thats not true . They were actually ready to become an even bigger name than ever! , with the TV show debuting in the fall who knows what woulda happened. Next it alway's amazes me that they ask What would Buddy Holly have done if he didnt die in the plane crash . But have never ask about Jan's might have beens . Even through Jan was better at his craft than Holly [ I am a big Holly fan not putting him down]. AND J&D sound just fine. They probley could'nt explain "OFF KEY" if they tried.  :o I'd say my reasons are pretty much the same as you scooby . It's the whole of their story. It's real Americana.

David Beard

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 10:04:36 AM »
Interesting topic.

Almost any group/duo that was responsible for fun, toe-tapping music, isn't viewed as a great music entity. Jan & Dean's biggest hits were between 1964-1965, and were written about pastimes of young men, changing the demographics for the duo.

During their doo wop years their following consisted mostly of young girls, but that music isn't recognizable. Most people don't even know "Baby Talk," let alone "White Tennis Sneakers" or "We Go Together." 

"Little Old Lady From Pasadena" and "Surf City" are easily their biggest hits, in part because the Beach Boys continue to perform both songs in their set list to this day. Jan & Dean came first, and Jan Berry was as good in the studio as Brian Wilson… You'll notice there are no females on this message board. Need I say more?

I'm 44 (almost 45), and I too caught onto J&D when I was 12 and 13 years old. I was a big fan of Steve Martin's too. I can remember to this day making the connection when I read that Dean O. Torrence was the graphic designer on "A Wild And Crazy Guy." When I got into the J&D catalogue I was completely into "Folk N Roll"; it's my favorite LP, but I am very fond of their humor, which in my opinion defined their later work.

I have an 8-year-old son. He loves "Popsicle" and "Tennessee." Why? I have no idea. I didn't force it upon him… He just picked it up. I think that's the answer. Don't force it. If you're trying to turn someone on to their music, play the ballads for a chick and the rockers and comedy for a buddy.  :o



Mark A. Moore

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 08:46:10 PM »
Chicks? . . . There used to be a few ladies the old board. Spirited types, even.

We should get Lori Brown on here . . . the Queen of all Jan & Dean fandom.

David Beard

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2010, 07:46:03 AM »
We need Lori Brown on here for sure… She's a great "chick" who seldom power shifts.

scooby1970

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2010, 10:45:22 AM »
Of the dozen or so emails I get every other day on www.jananddean.moonfruit.com I'd say at least 70% of them are from women. I had a lovely email off the daughter of "The Little Old Lady" the other day, some great info in it.

Where are Grenacre, Mary W and the rest of the womean? C'mon girls, show yourselves"

:) Mark

Kentucky Surfer

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2010, 06:13:09 PM »
I like the production values that Jan brought to the table, especially where it pertained to his instrumental and vocal arrangements.  Beyond that, it is the spirit of fun that pervades their records.  I always have a smile on my face after listening to their songs.

surferbee

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2010, 11:54:26 AM »
i will be one of the older contributors to this board. I bought my first album in 66 Jan and Dean's Golden Hits (volume 2 in the States) and never looked back.
The reason I bought that record when I could so easily have gone for the Beatles, the Stones, the Beach Boys etc was down to radio coverage in the UK at that time. Before pirate radio took off the BBC had a monopoly - they also had various deals with the musicians' union that limited the number of records played (most output was live) and - most significant - the % of American originals played. (This explains why the early sixties UK charts are full of note for note UK versions of US hits.) The one station we could receive broadcast from Luxembourg which was the other side of a range of mountains. This meant terrible static. But this was how I heard Spector and other great US songs. One night I heard the best song I had ever heard. The production and arrangement were so strong and the build up of drama was so good that it cut through the static. It remains my favourite all time song and is - Dead Man's Curve.
AS I was looking through albums in the store I saw that track and bought the album on the strength of it. I was not disappointed and was amazed at the consistent quality of sound that was more than the strength of the songs but the way they were put together.
Ironically, I came to discover that they had put the album not the single version of D M C on that album - but that allowed me a second treat later on.

jdman

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2010, 12:34:40 PM »
Thanks Surferbee. I enjoyed your story. I didn't know DMC got played in the UK.

RobH

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2010, 01:53:12 PM »
I think the personal story of Jan & Dean told in Deadman's Curve got me first but what drove that story home was the great music. No  matter if it is one of the early Doo Wop garage masterpieces to the surf and drag hits, it is about the music. As far as women on the board there were quite a few in the past: grenacre, MaryW and KarenL all spring to mind. Karen had some great stories about working in public access tv and meeting Jan.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 02:15:35 PM by RobH »

damdamdam

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2010, 06:03:50 AM »
I enjoy, no make that LOVE Jan & Dean for the music, the attitude, the comedy, the seriousness, the productions and for the Jan & Dean story... A story of what might have been had Jan not had his accident.  And I think it's the whole Jan & Dean story above all else why I have been such a loyal fan and friend to their legend for all these years.

I think (now that I'm thinking about it for the first time in a great many years) that the story was a much bigger part of it for me than I realised at the time. I liked bands like the Holllies probably just as much musically, but there was an extra emotional connection for me with both the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean owing to the poignancy of what happened to Brian and Jan. I also think I like and relate to Jan as a person (I mean, insofar as you can feel that way about a public figure you've never met!), and I think his tragedy really moved me.

But I loved a lot of the music too. Now, I still love some of it and other songs haven't aged so well.

And I'm a woman. Music-geek boards tend to be dominated by men -- I doubt this one is any more so than most. As a psychology lecturer of mine once said, "Women have better things to do." :) <ducks>

Ban n Bean

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2010, 11:08:51 PM »
Been a huge fan for many years.  To me the music is fun, exciting to listen to, incredible musicianship.  Even the instrumentals are great!  B-Gas Rickshaw?  A classic!  Covers like "School Days" with an out-of-control guitar and a gong?  A real blast!

I wish Bear Family would release a complete Jan & Dean remixed from the multis with a huge book and DVD.

ripplewine

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Re: Why do you enjoy Jan & Dean?
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2010, 08:57:38 PM »
     I became a huge fan after seeing the movie Deadman's Curve on TV in 1978 when I was 8 years old.  I agree their music is full of excitement and their singing is energetic, with a really cool harmony!  My first Jan & Dean album came soon after--it was a K-Tel compilation called "Surf City" in a purple/maroon jacket with yellow lettering--put out by Exact Reproductions (I lived in a small town and this was the only J&D title I could find)!

     I thought the songs on this record were great--then I found Liberty's reissue of their Little Old Lady from Pasadena album in 1982.  I was absolutely blown away by the quality of the songs and the sound--this was the first time I realized that THESE were the original versions of the songs!  Around the same time I found "The Jan & Dean Story" which introduced me to their early doo-wop songs, which I also like a lot (side 2 on this album). Next was the Anthology Album and both my collection and my appreciation of Jan & Dean's music and Jan's prowess as a producer/arranger ballooned from there.