Author Topic: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs  (Read 537 times)

Surfermike

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Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« on: February 10, 2018, 09:22:39 am »
I'm sure we all have our favorite J & D songs from their vast catalog. I can pick out two without a moment of hesitation. Both have been favorites of mine for decades and both were first done by other artists! The 1st and all best song for me is Summer Means Fun. I first heard it when I bought the Gotta Take That One Last Ride double LP and 8 track cassette. 43 years later, that song still knocks me off my feet (or surfboard)! The Legendary Masked Surfers 45 version is even better. Thanks for that one Dean. Simple,innocent words about our youth we can all relate to and a great melody all rolled into one. Listen to the wooo's in the middle and end of the song. Genius production! Nothing comes close except my second favorite. And that one is a Beatle song! From Command Performance, I Should Have Known Better. This has been a favorite of mine as long as I can remember. Before you start booing, listen to Hal Blaine's count down to start the song and hear the Wrecking Crew come blasting in with full force. Jan's vocal has never been better and the arrangement of the music is perfect. Jan took John Lennon's song and made it a masterpiece in my opinion. I know Summer Means Fun was a Fantastic Baggys song, but look what Jan & Dean did to make both of these songs great. Give them another listen. How can you not love 'em!

NateRuvin

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Re: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 01:08:24 am »
Oh man, I could go on and on...

When It's Over is so brilliant, and so touching. I love the production and arrangement, and the chords and harmonies. Everything about that song is pop brilliance.

You Really Know How To Hurt A Guy is a great showcase of Jan's mastery of the Wall of Sound production style.

Ride The Wild Surf is my all-time favorite surf song, and it never ceases to make me feel incredibly energized.

It's As Easy As 123 has a great drum groove and horns. Love it.

Dead Man's Curve is one of the best songs of the 60's. Great rock n' roll, but haunting foreshadowing...

Like A Summer Rain is a fantastic song. Very melancholy.

Others that I love:
Girl You're Blowing My Mind, Surf City, One Piece Topless Bathing Suit, I Found A Girl, Summer Means Fun, My Favorite Dream, Only A Boy, Poor Little Puppet, New Girl In School, White Tennis Sneakers...

If you can't tell, I LOVE Jan & Dean's music

owen

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Re: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 11:44:42 pm »
Hi,

I agree with Summer Means Fun, and I also agree that the vocals on the Legendary Masked Surfers' version are better than the original J&D version.

I have always liked As Easy As 1-2-3. Jill Gibson's vocals are perfect.

My favourite should-have-been-a-single song is 3 Window Coupe - which should have been a single  ;D I just love the vocal fadeout on that.

I find myself going back to Like A Summer Rain a lot - especially the version from Silver Summer. I know many people disparage that album for falsely masquerading as a J&D effort but, for me, Mike Love's suggestion that Dean re-record Like A Summer Rain makes it almost all worthwhile.

From the earlier songs I would pick Gas Money and Bucket-T.

Cheers
Owen


jdman

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Re: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 05:25:29 am »
Well now, that's a big list for me. But because of some recent Facebook posts, I'll go with the Jan Berry compositions today. Three Window Coupe, Bucket T, Little Old Lady from Pasadena, You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy, Dead Man's Curve, Drag City, B Gas Rickshaw, and the best damn album cut that Jan wrote was Hot Stocker! just to name a very few.
How can I forget Gas Money-the original car song.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 05:52:50 am by jdman »

Surfermike

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Re: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 06:42:56 am »
Hey jdman, if I was to list my 3rd favorite it would be Hot Stocker. I first heard that also on the Gotta Take That One Last Ride LP. Right off the bat the song explodes with that great horn section and Jan gives another of his best vocals. You're right, best cut off Drag City! A slight correct about I Should Have Known Better, according to Mark's book, it isn't the Wrecking Crew in its entirety. A few of the guys like Hal but a different band. They still sound great.

jdman

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Re: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 07:53:18 am »
I agree that I Should Have known Better was one of the best covers. Great sound!

Spazzatron

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Re: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 05:21:13 am »
An (almost) daunting task, too many good songs from different points in their career to choose from.  Pretty much everything from 1964 is fun.

For '65, I would choose "It's A Shame To Say Goodbye."  Written by J&D regulars Don Altfeld & Jill Gibson with a stellar arrangement from Jan, it's wistful without being melodramatic and had a current production style while still sounding like a Jan & Dean song.

My favourites though, and what makes me a J&D fan are really the humorous songs.  The just-having-fun, not taking it too seriously joke songs.  Schlock Rod, Submarine Races, Sidney the Seasick Surfer, Time & Space, Hang on Sloopy, Flight of the Batmobile, Gas Money . . . .
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 06:42:49 am by Spazzatron »

jdman

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Re: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 06:34:42 am »
I'd also like to include the Pixie song "I'm Dying to Give you My Love". I've been listening to it a lot lately. What a piece of work by Jan as writer, arranger and producer in 1961!!!

Surfermike

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Re: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 09:09:16 am »
I want to chime in once again about our favorite songs. Looks like I'm up to my 4th all time best. Also from Command Performance and similar to I Should Have Known Better, it's Rock and Roll Music, another song by another artist. As a pre-teen , this was my favorite on the whole album and sounded much better than what Chuck Berry did. Again, a great big band sound and terrific harmonies by both Jan & Dean( or is it Jan & Sloan & Barri ?) singing in unison. I recently heard DJ Cousin Brucie playing this song on Sirius Radio's 60's channel. When was the last time anyone played it - if ever? By the way, all the songs on Command Performance are great thanks to the full orchestra Jan employed. Surf City sounds fantastic with all those instruments. They didn't even have to sing the words "Surf City here we come", just let the horn section do it! As a kid, I was use to hearing guitars, drums and maybe a piano when I listened to Beach Boys and The Beatles. Then I heard Command Performance with all those musicians playing all those great instruments. What a great sound. Still is over 50 years later. What's my 5th favorite? Now it's getting tough. There really are so many great ones to choose from. This needs some thought.

jdman

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Re: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2018, 06:02:59 am »
I agree with you on Command Performance. It's a big sound. Yes, Cousin Brucie has played Jan and Dean's version of Rock and Roll Music several times. He loves that version! So do I.

Surfermike

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Re: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2018, 09:44:05 am »
The last of my top 5 all time favorites of Jan & Dean, and I hate to admit this, is another Beatle song. From side 4 of 1971's Anthology and the new Filet of Soul CD, it's Hide Your Love Away. I know some of you are thinking "that's not even a J & D song! Surfer Mike must have gotten hit on the head too many times with his surfboard!" Sure, but besides me getting a bonk on the head, listen again to what these guys did to a decent Beatle song (far from being a favorite of mine). The original Wrecking Crew is back live this time. Here we have Jan & Dean together, singing side by side with Dean throwing in his falsetto we are all familiar with. They made this song stand out with great vocals. This song and I Should Have Known Better are not even close to being my favorite Beatle songs. It's how J & D used  their own style and arrangement to make these songs in a class of their own.Other favorite Jan & Dean songs of mine: Tell' Em I'm Surfin, Waimea Bay, One Piece Topless Bathing Suit, It's A Shame To Say Goodbye, I Can't Wait To Love You, A Beginning From An End, 3 Window Coupe, Mighty GTO, Ride The Wild Surf and on and on I can go. In 1981, here on Long Island, Jan sat 10 feet away from me and sang Hide Your Love Away with The Bel Air Bandits. How great was that!

telliott

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Re: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2018, 04:35:33 pm »
Hi,

I agree with Summer Means Fun, and I also agree that the vocals on the Legendary Masked Surfers' version are better than the original J&D version.

I have always liked As Easy As 1-2-3. Jill Gibson's vocals are perfect.

My favourite should-have-been-a-single song is 3 Window Coupe - which should have been a single  ;D I just love the vocal fadeout on that.

I find myself going back to Like A Summer Rain a lot - especially the version from Silver Summer. I know many people disparage that album for falsely masquerading as a J&D effort but, for me, Mike Love's suggestion that Dean re-record Like A Summer Rain makes it almost all worthwhile.

From the earlier songs I would pick Gas Money and Bucket-T.

Cheers
Owen


Great stuff!  3 Window Coupe is a great version.  Better than the Rip Chords version but both versions are great.

My favorite period is when they were working with Sloan and Barri (The Fantastic Baggys).  I never figured out why Jan and Dean never bothered to add their vocals to "Move Out Little Mustang".

Surfermike

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Re: Our favorite Jan & Dean songs
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2018, 09:33:56 am »
3 Window Coupe has always been one of my favorites. And you're right, just listen to that great fade out. The background vocals really add to it. Right now I'm not sure if it's Dean, Sloan & Barri or the Matadors. I'll have to get back to Mark's book for that answer.