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Carl & The Passions - So Tough / Holland
The Beach Boys
Carl & The Passions - So Tough / Holland
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #2

If the uneven Sunflower and Surf's Up albums demonstrated the Beach Boys resolve to soldier on despite the largely AWOL status of Brian Wilson, their founder and troubled creative mainstay, 1972's So Tough showed how quick...  more »


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All Artists: The Beach Boys
Title: Carl & The Passions - So Tough / Holland
Members Wishing: 9
Total Copies: 0
Label: Capitol
Release Date: 8/15/2000
Album Type: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Style: Oldies
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 724352569427, 724352569458

If the uneven Sunflower and Surf's Up albums demonstrated the Beach Boys resolve to soldier on despite the largely AWOL status of Brian Wilson, their founder and troubled creative mainstay, 1972's So Tough showed how quickly their own disparate instincts could lead to a creative face-plant. Though not nearly the train-wreck its dismal reputation might lead one to believe (its original distributor thought so little of the project that it was packaged as a two-fer with a reissue of Pet Sounds). The album's R&B/gospel sensibilities seem woefully misplaced, while "Marcella" shows just how willing the band was to beat a hasty retreat into comfortable nostalgia. The good news was that Tough was only eight tracks long. Given that background, 1973's Holland seemed like a minor miracle. Possessed of a melodic sense and muscular musicality that the faithful must have given up for dead, the great "Sail On Sailor" leads the way to one of the band's best post-'60s efforts. Bolstered by new bandmates Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar (the latter would become a cult hero as a member of the Beatles-parodying Rutles) and a change of recording venue (hence the title), the Beach Boys attacked Carl Wilson's "Trader," Dennis Wilson's "Steamboat," and other group standouts like "Funky Pretty" and "Leaving This Town" with a vigor and self-assurance they hadn't shown in years. It even overcomes Mike Love's ham-fisted attempt at eco-awareness, the musical triptych "California Saga," and the strange, spoken-word children's tale "Mt. Vernon and Fairway," highlighted only by Brian Wilson's fleeting presence. Both albums are newly remastered on two discs. --Jerry McCulley

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CD Reviews

Expand your Musical Appreciation of the Beach Boys
R. Reviewer | Canada | 10/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Take the time to listen to these two albums and then begin to question why this music has been unavailable for so long. For those of you who only know the Beach Boys as a 60's Surf & Car band now is your chance to hear a little of the 'B side' of this truly wonderful group.

"So Tough/Holland" represents the band at a time when American popular culture was embarrassed to admit that it had ever heard of the Beach Boys. Times had changed and by the early 70's the Beach Boys - it was thought - were of a bygone era. This CD proves otherwise.

"Holland" is the better of the two albums, in fact Rolling Stone magazine named it as one of the top 5 albums of the year. Recording this album 5500 miles from home -in this case the Netherlands - inspired the Beach Boys to new musical heights. "Sail On Sailor", "Trader", and "Funky Pretty" are truly incredible tunes and the strongest of the lot, although the rest of the album is also very good and together represent a unified, somewhat magical sounding tribute to the bands home state. "Carl & The Passions - So Tough", while not having the same thematic cohesion as "Holland" still has some very special musical gems including the beautiful "All This Is That" the funky "Marcella" and the thoughtful "You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone". This album demonstrates Carl Wilson's leadership of the Beach Boys in the absence of his brother Brian, and more importantly, his incredible versatility as a vocalist. Through this album, one can begin to appreciate Carl as one of the most underrated vocalists of the rock era. Having his name in the album title was a fitting acknowledgment of his importance to the Beach Boys and their music."
Contains One Of The Most Beautiful Songs Of All Time
L. Mchoward | 06/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I just want to say that this album contains one of the most beautiful songs of all time. "Only With You" is one of the greatest songs that I have ever heard. I actually heard that song for the first time on the movie "I'm With Lucy". It has a heartfelt message, it is soft and is so real-to-life.

I am a 22 year-old black man, and I am probably not the target audience for The Beach Boys, but I am so grateful to have crossed paths with their music. Thank you Beach Boys. Rock On."
The Beach Boys 'Make It Good' with these efforts!
Nicholas Arietano, Jr. | Edison, NJ United States | 09/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What can I say about "Carl and The Passions: So-Tough" and
"Holland"? Definite necessities for ANY rock and roll
collection. The Wilson Brothers' soul and spirit are both present
especially on "Carl and The Passions". The ones that malign
these releases have stereotyped the group to high Heaven. OK there are
NO surf songs on here. This was the 1970's. Was it necessary for
Warner Brothers/Reprise to release "Carl and The Passions"
with "Pet Sounds"? No. This particular album didn't
"Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone". The first track
features Carl in great soulful fashion on vocal, and the group's
backing does the song justice as well. The Beach Boys took some risks
including Ricky Fataar and Blondie Chaplin during this time.They gave
the group definition in the early 70s. Especially
"live". "Here She Comes" is a great song, nuff
said. "He Come Down" is a good example of how Al Jardine and
Carl Wilson could write an enjoyable (to say the least)
melody. "Marcella" is kick-butt Beach Boys--a great Brian
Wilson composition. "Hold On Dear Brother" HAD to be written
for Brian--no bones about it. Another one of those songs to tell
someone you care about to "hang in there". "All This Is
That" is magical. One of the group's shiniest moments. "Make
It Good" and "Cuddle Up" take us inside the heart of
Dennis Wilson. Think about it--how many drummers could write love
songs as tender as he? Not many. (Of course the music world would be
lost without Ringo's "Don't Pass Me By" from the "White
Album"--but that's another issue, another day). A brief effort?
Yes--but in this case, less is more. "Holland"--another
underappreciated masterpiece from the group(!)What was with the fans
back then? Yeh I know, you were all too busy singing along with Led
Zeppelin and Pink Floyd ("Dark Side of the Moon"--uh
huh....) "Holland" kicks off with "Sail On Sailor"
(I wonder if anybody but yours truly figured out that if you
abbreviate the title you get "SOS"? ) The BEST song to come
out of the Beach Boys early 70s career. "Steamboat" is great
songwriting. I love The "California Saga"
suite. "Trader" is pure Carl Wilson genius--his soul lives
on in his music. "Leaving This Town" is pure 70s--great
keyboard work, more than 5 minutes long--hey at least it brings you
back to earth and doesn't lose you unlike other 70s bands did (Too
many to mention). "Only With You" is a wonderful ballad--The
Wedding Song that never was--"Funky Pretty" is pretty
funky. "Mount Vernon and Fairway"--Brian was creative with
this little piece of wit--just different--how is it when others from
the 70s went out on a limb they were considered "gods" but
when The Beach Boys did this it wound up in the cut out bin? Enjoy!