Carl and the Passions - So Tough

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Carl and the Passions - So Tough
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Released: 1972, 15 May
Labels: Brother Records / Capital Records
Average rating: Based on DM and site visitor ratings
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Tracks

Average song rating You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone (Rieley, Wilson) - 3:26 Lyrics
Average song rating Here She Comes (Chaplin, Fataar) - 4:38 Lyrics
Average song rating He Come Down (Jardine, Love, Wilson) - 2:56 Lyrics
Average song rating Marcella (Rieley, Wilson) - 3:48 Lyrics
Average song rating Hold on Dear Brother (Chaplin, Fataar) - 3:24 Lyrics
Average song rating Make It Good (Dragon, Wilson) - 2:36 Lyrics
Average song rating All This Is That (Jardine, Love, Wilson) - 4:00 Lyrics
Average song rating Cuddle up (Dragon, Wilson) - 5:29 Lyrics
All album lyrics on one page 

Credits

Recorded: December 4, 1971 - April 13, 1972

Mike Love - Vocals, Producer
Brian Wilson - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Producer
Carl Wilson - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Producer

Dennis Wilson, Al Jardine, Ricky Fataar, Blondie Chaplin - Producers
Stephen Moffitt - Engineer

Reviews

Site visitor reviews
7/10 Bruce Beatlefan (November 24, 2008)
"Carl and the Passions--So Tough" is the whimsical name for the Beach Boy's album of 1972. The album was mostly dismissed as second-rate by most fans and reviewers, with the primary factors being the almost complete absence of Brian Wilson in the making of this album, and the paucity of music (only eight songs). It certainly is an eccentric album, maybe the least "Beach Boys sounding" album of their entire career. But, in the final reckoning, I enjoy the album a great deal.

A lot of tumult in the band accounts for its disjoint sound. In addition to Brian Wilson's withdrawal, Dennis Wilson injured his hand, rendering him unable to drum for a couple of years. Bruce Johnston, who had been a vocal, production, and occasional songwriting presence for the past eight albums, left the group (he was to rejoin in 1989). To fill the many gaps, two new members were recruited to become Beach Boys. Former members of the South African group Flame, Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar, became unlikely but very welcome members, lending a earthy, soulful sound to the erstwhile California hedonists.

Continuing the trend of the Surf's Up album, the songs are extremely disjoint, being divisible into four pairs of distinct sounds: (1) Ramshackle Brian Wilson/Tandyn Almer collaborations which were re-furbished lyrically by Jack Rieley and freshly produced by Carl Wilson ("You Need a Mess of Help" and "Marcella"). (2) Two excellently organic Blondie/Ricky songs which sound more like The Band than the Beach Boys ("Here She Comes" and "Hold On Dear Brother"). (3) Mike Love/Alan Jardine paeans on the joys of meditation ("He Came Down" and "All This is That"), and (4) Dennis Wilson and Daryl Dragon's collaborating on lush productions of remarkably vulnerable and voluptuous songs penned by Dennis Wilson ("Make it Good" and "Cuddle Up").

Holding the whole thing together is Carl Wilson's presence throughout each song, with his remarkable vocals and his quite original production work. Despite its rather bad reputation, I thoroughly enjoy "Carl and the Passions--So Tough" as a Beach Boys change of pace.

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