Customer Reviews


23 Reviews
5 star:
 (16)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sublime listening - in no way a disaster
If you were to believe what you were told, Carl and the Passions is a murky, half-finished, unlistenable mess, and Holland is a couple of good songs unfortunately punctuated by a Mike Love-penned atrocity in 'California Saga'. So when I finally got the scratch together to buy this, I was delighted to find that both albums were not only listenable, but very good...
Published on 18 July 2002 by Mr. J. W. Allison

versus
1 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not half as good as it's made out to be
Well, these albums aren't really worth 1 star, I just thought I'd try and balance out a few of these five star reviews on here. If you're a die hard Beach Boys fan, it's probably worth getting these records; most of the pleasure of them comes from knowing that Carl and Dennis had really started to make some reasonable music and that Brain was at least still alive. The...
Published on 26 Oct. 2000 by john_davey@hotmail.com


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sublime listening - in no way a disaster, 18 July 2002
By 
Mr. J. W. Allison "freedomeagle" (Chadderton, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Carl and the Passions "So Tough" / Holland (Audio CD)
If you were to believe what you were told, Carl and the Passions is a murky, half-finished, unlistenable mess, and Holland is a couple of good songs unfortunately punctuated by a Mike Love-penned atrocity in 'California Saga'. So when I finally got the scratch together to buy this, I was delighted to find that both albums were not only listenable, but very good indeed.
The addition of Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar makes this a different band even from the Surf's Up/Sunflower era (with Bruce 'I Write The Songs' Johnston's occasional twee numbers). It's a rootsy, live sound a million miles away from Pet Sounds.
Carl and The Passions 'So Tough' is a sweet little 8 tracker, bookended by the highlights of Brian's loopy honky-tonk 'You Need A Mess of Help to Stand Alone' and Dennis' string-drenched, emotional monster 'Cuddle Up'. 'All This Is That' is as gentle and moving as anything they did in the 70s. 'He Comes Down' is kind of rotten but you can always put your fingers in your ears during the verses.
Holland is a self-consciously weightier statement, full of tricksy arrangements (if someone told you 'Steamboat' was by some little band on Sub Pop, you'd believe them), great singing and playing. Carl Wilson is a colossus on both these albums and his 'Trader' is the high point - a great shame this was the last time he was in charge. The California Saga is insanely hippy-dippy in places, but if you can't draw pleasure from the amazing voices and melodies then you must be dead from the neck up. And the Van Dyke Parks-assisted 'Sail On Sailor' is a tour de force.
Tacked on the end is Brian's EP 'Mt Vernon and Fairway', which I calculate you will probably listen to once, if you can get through it. It's meant to be cute, I suspect 'harrowing' is a better word.
This isn't the place to start listening to the Beach Boys. If you want to pray at the church of Brian Wilson, these aren't the albums for you. But if you want to hear oddball, melodic, inventive, beautiful American music rich in ideas, I don't think at the price you'll be let down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Carl's albums, 24 May 2007
This review is from: Carl and the Passions "So Tough" / Holland (Audio CD)
Carl and the Passions is criminally underated. I'm so tired of reading reviews of these two albums where everybody tows the line and says "So Tough" has an unfinished feel and that "Holland" is the better of the two albums. Although not the most prolific of writers, both albums are mostly produced by Carl Wilson and contain some real gems. "So Tough" kicks off with a great track from Brian, "A Mess of Help"- although this isn't his only contribution to the album, by now he was in a bad place emotionally and his contributions became sparodic and less involved. The two tracks written by Ricky Fataar and Blondie Chaplin are good but might confuse some by not sounding a lot like the Beach Boys, but don't let that sway you from giving them a fair listening. The last three tracks on "So Tough" are exemplary and deserve a hearing from anybody who considers theirselves to be a Beach Boys fan. Two towering ballads from Dennis and the other track, "All This Is That" is a personal favourite, reminding me in places of "Feel Flows" from the "Surf's Up" album. From the reviews I'd previously read, I was expecting Holland to be a great step forward, but it's very similar in feel and texture to "So Tough". Again Brian pens the first track, and "Sail On Sailor" is a gem. I'm usually keen on any Dennis Wilson track but "Steamboat" has to be one of my least favourite tracks written by him and the albums then wallows as Mike Love and Al Jardine get the "California Saga" trilogy of songs out of their system. Luckily Carl's back to the rescue with "The Trader" which lifts the album again. Blondie and Ricky then return with another cool song to keep the flow going, although come the end of the song, some listeners might think they're listening to Traffic, not the Beach Boys. Believe it or not, there follows a beautiful ballad written by Dennis and Mike Love, before the album proper closes with Brian re-appearing with "Funky Pretty", not one of his best by any means, although the true potential of this track is shown to far greater effect on the live album from the same period. The Holland album originally came with a bonus E.P. called "Mount Veron and Fairway" written by Brian with help from Carl and the bands then manager Jack Rieley when he ran into trouble trying to complete it. These tracks are included on the end of this C.D. Listening to this, it's obviously the work of a deeply troubled man, although it isn't as bad as I feared it might be. All in all these two albums are worth investing in, especially if you enjoy the "Sunflower" and "Surf's Up" period Beach Boys.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AT LAST : overdue reissues of undersold gems, 4 Jun. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Carl and the Passions "So Tough" / Holland (Audio CD)
Here at long last, after however much wrangling in studios and offices, is the kind of music that the Beach Boys really deserve to be remembered for. Yes, Pet Sounds is very fine, but here are the real highs - still undermined with fay noodlings as always, but that's the price of the process. Make your own edits with the remote, and you won't be sorry to own this, or the sublime melodies and arrangements of the Sunflower/Surf's Up pairing. I'm off down to the beach to play frisbees with the early stuff. Happy listening, George Davis-Stewart.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant surprise, 18 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Carl and the Passions "So Tough" / Holland (Audio CD)
I only bought this album because I was being completeist but I was very pleasantly surprised.

I'd previously bought their Wild Honey/Friends/20-20 albums and found them a bit disappointing but with some good moments - understandably the Beach Boys' albums fell off a bit of a cliff after Pet Sounds.

I'd avoided this and other 70s albums for a long time after reading lack-lustre reviews. Holland, in particular, however, I've had for 6 months now and I completely love it. It's a grown-up, laid-back Beach Boys, melodic and sentimental. The album has a great atmosphere, one of those you can listen to from beginning to end with much pleasure.

Not quite so keen on Carl & the Passions (hence 4 stars not 5) but it's definitely worth it as part of the package. It also feels like an album rather than a collection of singles. It's very emotional and creative, worth it to listen to a band trying to find a new direction.

I agree with the one-star review that this isn't for someone looking for the 'California Girls' Beach Boys but if you're looking for something different from them I'd give it a try. I put off buying this album because of mixed reviews but am very pleased that I eventually took the plunge.

Definitely wish Carl had had more input on later albums.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Holland is Great/Carl & The Passions-Couple Of Good Songs, 28 Mar. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Carl and the Passions "So Tough" / Holland (Audio CD)
'Carl & the Passions' sounds like an unfinished album. The good songs, 'Marcella' a Brian Wilson 'classic' at the time, really shows the group singing and playing very well together. 'Cuddle Up' by Dennis Wilson is overdrenched in strings, which buries a song that could have been really good without the over production. The rest of 'Carl & The Passions' is barely tolerable listening. 'Holland' is the best Beach Boys album of the 70's except for the, 'Beaks of Eagles'? Carl and Dennis shine on Holland as do Ricky Fataar and Blondie Chaplin. Blondie Chaplain's vocals on 'Sail On Sailor' really put the Beach Boys music into perspective. Dennis' 'Only With You' with Carl's sweet lead vocal is the standout song on the album.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassed, 1 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Carl and the Passions "So Tough" / Holland (Audio CD)
The three albums The Beach Boys released between 1971 and 1973 (Surf's Up, Carl and the Passions, Holland) constitute, to me, the pinnacle of their career, which really exclaims what an essential band they really were considering everything that had gone before. Brian was still there, but Carl, Dennis and Al were really starting to pen some wonderful tunes and were coming into their own in a big way. They were breaking genuinely new ground as a band, both compositionally and production-wise.
On CATP: the two heartfelt Dennis orchestral masterpieces (Make It Good, Cuddle Up - nothing in Beach Boy history prepared you for these wonders!); Carl's rockin' Marcella; Al's uplifting All This Is That. On Holland: Carl's masterpiece, The Trader (building on the sublime Feel Flows and Long Promised Road from Surf's Up) and the greatest vocals ever; Al's majestic California Saga; Dennis's stunning ballad Only With You (that gorgeous piano break!). These were as good as anything being released at the time, which, considering what amazing stuff there was, says everything you need to know about these masterpieces. But ask the majority of casual Beach Boy lovers and they don't have a clue about them. To them it's still Surfin' USA and California Girls!
To put it bluntly, these albums (and Surf's Up) elevated the Beach Boys as a group to genuine genius status (if they weren't there already) and they belong in everyone's collection. As good as anything the Beatles did post Pepper.
Were we lucky to live through the '70s, or what!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most underated of all the Beach Boy albums a must own cd, 6 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Carl and the Passions "So Tough" / Holland (Audio CD)
The great lost Beach Boys album of the 70,s I have been trying toget this album on CD for ages, so imagine my delight when it get rereleased. Great songs arrangements and even a Fairy tale which is quite beleivable if you have had enough to drink ! This album is in my top ten of all time and will be there as long as Eagles have Beaks. BUY IT NOW
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars this is a great era from the band., 13 July 2012
By 
Michael Dobey (colorado springs) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Carl and the Passions "So Tough" / Holland (Audio CD)
This set features two of the better 1970's releases from the beach boys. And it has one of the best songs they ever did on here 'sail on sailor' , I think any beach boys or fan of well written pop rock should enjoy these cd's. There's the wonderful 'marcella' on here too. The last few songs though are a harder swallow. Side two of "holland" featured a story of radio. A little rock opera that is ok; but not up to the rest of the songs on this package which are just good beach boys rock n pop songs. Critics at the time were on the beach boys side. The rock press was impressed with these releases and for good reason they are strong beach boys cd's. These sold very well in the u.s. , canada, germany and japan. I have no idea if the uk gave them the chance that these two records deserved. Brian wilson was still carrying on here, much more than a few years later so I would ignore the one star review on that account.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Beach Boys on song again!, 22 May 2001
This review is from: Carl and the Passions "So Tough" / Holland (Audio CD)
For any fan of the Beach Boys who respects or is curious about their progression as musicians from the early Sixties through to the Seventies,these two albums are a must.Songs like Marcella and The Trader show the Boys back on top of their game and the inclusion of two South Africans in the line up produces what I believe to be gems of the Seventies namely Here she comes,Hold on Dear Brother and Leaving this Town. But if none of this appeals to you then Make it Good by Dennis Wilson might; a song that is brimming with all the emotions in the world and could almost have been written for his funeral ten years later. Absolutely brilliant!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Long loved Holland so to gain "Carl and the Passions" too was a great bonus., 20 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Carl and the Passions "So Tough" / Holland (Audio CD)
"Holland" was one of those vinyl albums from my boyhood memories that I've long wanted to get back on CD. I am pleased to report that this digitally-remastered version sounds as fresh and as enchanting as ever I remember. I have never heard "So Tough" until now, but with its endorsements by Elton John and Amazon Reviewers, I am looking forward to the added bonus of some mostly new (apart from Marcella) songs to get to know and love.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Carl and the Passions "So Tough" / Holland
Carl and the Passions "So Tough" / Holland by The Beach Boys (Audio CD - 2000)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews