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Thread: Celebration of "Building the Perfect Beast"

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    Moderator Ive always been a dreamer's Avatar
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    Default Celebration of "Building the Perfect Beast"

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUILDING THE PERFECT BEAST!!!

    Wow - it doesn't seem possible, but this album, which includes the stupendous 'The Boys of Summer' turns 25 today. I'm working on a review that I will, hopefully, finish and post today. Just been so much happening around here lately that it makes it hard to keep up.

    "People don't run out of dreams: People just run out of time ..."
    Glenn Frey 11/06/1948 - 01/18/2016

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    Stuck on the Border eaglesvet's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Building the Perfect Beast" album turns 25

    "The Boys of Summer" still brings back such memories of what was going on in life 25 years ago ...what a great song!
    ~Eva~

    ...the calling of the tide's eternal tune, the phases of the moon, the chambers of the heart, the egg and dart...

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    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Building the Perfect Beast" album turns 25

    I can't remember when I bought this CD - it was several years ago, before I was a hardcore Eagles fan. Maybe it's because I've had it the longest and have listened to it the most, but it's my favorite of all of Don's solo albums. I like almost every song on it.

    The Boys of Summer - what can you say about this song? It's amazing. There's something about the way he goes from a contemplative "Nobody on the road" vocal to the suddenly urgent, impassioned "But I can see you..." that carries you along emotionally with the singer. The "Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac" is a very effective symbolism of the generation who turned from protesting to profiteering in the space of a decade. This song is almost emblematic and to this day brings with it vivid associations of not only the time it was released, but any time that one looks back upon wistfully.

    You Can't Make Love
    - I like this song. It's laid back with a catchy tag line and clever lyrics. It doesn't hurt that Lindsey Buckingham sings backing vocals on the chorus.

    Man with a Mission
    - I like the way he sings "Drop-dead (drop dead) looks" and "Where's the party/where's the party." The title line is kind of catchy. I like nothing else about this song. Some of it, in fact, is freaking annoying. SKIP.

    You're Not Drinking Enough - I love the wry humor of this song as it details the depression of a guy who's just been dumped trying to find comfort at the bottom of a bottle. I think my favorite line is "She passed on your passion" but there are several clever lyrics that make the song more than just your regular country blues. I really like it.

    Not Enough Love in the World - my favorite song on the album after Boys of Summer. Great melody, with interesting progressions; very well put together. My favorite part is "I was either standing in your shadow or blocking your light" - terrific lyric, and that whole musical segment leads perfectly into the title line. His voice sound so aching here as well... love it.

    Building the Perfect Beast - the worst song on the album. Why it's the album track is mystifying to me, but maybe it has some kind of personal meaning to Henley. Regardless, this is another one that gets skipped regularly. Don's vocal is unimpressive here, sometimes sounding almost screeching. The "building, building" chant sounds like it was sampled from some kind of sci fi movie. So do all the weird, dated, electronic sound effects. Maybe that was the idea? Futuristic horror? It's certainly not any fun to listen to, though. One thing redeems this song for me: very clever lyrics. One of his funniest lines is in this song: "Turn us all into Methuselah - but where are we gonna park?" What an original and hilarious way to comment on the dangers of out-of-control technology and how short-sighted and self-centered people can be.

    All She Wants to Do Is Dance - another popular song. I like it, but not as well as some; still, it's catchy and has a good beat.

    A Month of Sundays - I find this song very moving, not only because of the lyrics but because of Don's heartfelt vocal, highlighted by the understated instrumentation. It's the only song he's released that he's written with no collaborator, and it comes across as very personal. The lyrics effectively paint an image of the aging farmer with the world changing around him. Don really pours himself into it and I find it to be quite affecting.

    Sunset Grill - I find this song to be a bit overrated - maybe it's just been overplayed - but I was glad when they dropped it from the Eagles show. That said, I do still like it. It's another song with a good beat and a catchy tune, and it has interesting lyrics. The line "These days a man makes you something, and you never see his face" often occurs to me when I'm thinking about the depersonalization of mass-production. The bridge "Don't worry girl" reminds me a bit of the attitude of Springsteen's "Born to Run." Good tune overall.

    Drivin' with Your Eyes Closed - The first time I heard this song, I have to admit, I thought it was kind of lame. The intro is a bit overlong and the whole French guy thing... eh. The insistent synthesizer is also a bit overdone and the "talk, talk, talk" chant at the end doesn't really work. However, it grew on me, mainly because of the catchiness of the chorus: "You're drivin' with your eyes closed, and you're gonna hit something... but that's the way it goes." It's another lyric that sometimes occurs to me in relevant contexts. lol

    Land of the Living - This song drags a bit at times, but overall I like the melody. His vocal is bluesy and I love the way he sings "You came and pulled me through, baby." The chorus "I want to stay in the land of the living, I want to stay here... with you" is catchy and gets stuck in your head. I also find the line "Considering the choices... I want to stay in the land of the living" both amusing and insightful - when you put it that way, it really does make it clear why you shouldn't just give up on life and love.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

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    Stuck on the Border
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    Default Re: The "Building the Perfect Beast" album turns 25

    Soda, you have made some good points about this album, but it is my least favourite Henley album, mainly because Side 2 is in my opinion not very strong, with the exception of A Month Of Sundays, and Man With A Mission is a throwaway. I do like You're Not Drinking Enough & You Can't Make Love more than I used to, but overall the incessant synthesizers throughout get on my nerves. As for Not Enough Love In The World, I know many people love this, but I can take it or leave it. I am surprised you say its your favourite, because your review doesn't come across that way.

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    Stuck on the Border Koala's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Building the Perfect Beast" album turns 25

    WOW, this album is already 25 years old, unbelievable!
    Boys of Summer was the first song from this album that I knew, it is no surprise because for a while it was running constantly on the radio or on MTV!
    Beside Boys of Summer are Not Enough Love in the World, You're Not Drinking Enough, All She Wants to Do Is Dance and Drivin' with Your Eyes Closed my favorites on this album, the only song that I do not really like is Building the Perfect Beast I do not exactly know why but I just don´t like it.
    "For the record, we never broke up, we just took a 14-year vacation!"
    (Glenn Frey)


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    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Building the Perfect Beast" album turns 25

    Quote Originally Posted by Freypower View Post
    I am surprised you say its your favourite, because your review doesn't come across that way.

    I like it better than The End of the Innocence because while EOTI has some incredible highs, it also has some really low lows. Inside Job has some good songs but no songs that I consider truly standout tracks, and some of its songs are so unremarkable I'm hard-pressed to remember how they go. I Can't Stand Still has great ballads, but some of its other tracks are not so hot. Overall, this album has the fewest weak tracks and it has some terrific highlights, so it's my favorite.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

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    Stuck on the Border TimothyBFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Building the Perfect Beast" album turns 25

    Are you kidding me?-25 years! Ouch!! I just had this on the turntable a couple weeks ago (my original copy never the less!). Love it. What I remember most about it is that life around me stopped every time the videos for BOS and ASWTDID came on MTV (which they did very often and which was on in my apartment 24 hours a day!). I also remember finding out that so many people had a part in this album such as Lindsey Buckingham, Belinda Carlisle (I liked her back then), Steve Porcaro, JD and Waddy.

    My faves off the album are probably about like most peoples...
    Boys Of Summer
    All She Wants To Do Is Dance
    Sunset Grill
    Not Enough Love In The World
    Driving With Your Eyes Closed

    One more note--I remember getting the single of BOS and realizing the B side, Month Of Sundays (I just had to look that up because I couldn't remember what it was ) wasn't on my album. I went to the record store and checked out the cassette and found it there so had to buy it. Still have it also. From what I understand, it is on the cd versions also. Why I wonder, do they do that?
    He sings it high, he plays it low

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    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Building the Perfect Beast" album turns 25

    Perhaps it was a space/time issue - cassettes and CDs can hold more minutes of music than an LP. I know that was why Fleetwood Mac's Silver Springs got left off of Rumours but put on a later CD.... not enough space for it on the vinyl.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

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    Stuck on the Border Maleah's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Building the Perfect Beast" album turns 25

    Quote Originally Posted by sodascouts View Post
    Perhaps it was a space/time issue - cassettes and CDs can hold more minutes of music than an LP. I know that was why Fleetwood Mac's Silver Springs got left off of Rumours but put on a later CD.... not enough space for it on the vinyl.
    That's a shame! My favorite song of theirs!

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    Moderator Ive always been a dreamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: The "Building the Perfect Beast" album turns 25

    Well, sorry I'm a bit late with this. I had most of this review written, but never got a chance to post it on the anniversary date of the album. To me, Building the Perfect Beast is one of the most uneven albums that I can think of. It has some moments of true brilliance and, of course, contains the masterpiece - The Boys of Summer. But for every exceptional song on the album, there is, unfortunately, an equally really bad song. For most of the songs on this album, I either love them or dislike them. This is the only album that I have reviewed in which I have rated any songs a ‘2’ using the scale below.


    I Love It (5)

    The Boys of Summer (5+) – This is simply one of the best songs ever – superb in every way. After 25 years, it is still as masterful as it was when it was first released.

    All She Wants To Do Is Dance (5) – I still love this song. To me, it is just another one of those songs that once it gets into my head, I can’t get it out. Love everything about it.

    Not Enough Love In the World (5) – Another one that I think is a great song. I just love it when Don sings “I was either standing in your shadow or blocking your light” – what a great line. Now, I quoted this line in my review before I read Soda’s comments. It’s funny that we both thought these lyrics were noteworthy.

    Sunset Grill (5) – This is another song that I really enjoy. Although I am glad the Eagles dropped this from their live shows, I think it is a great Henley solo song – great lyrics, music, melody, and vocals. (And OBTW – great burgers, too).


    I Really Like It (4)

    Drivin’ With Your Eyes Closed (4) – I really love the beat of this song and the lyrics are great. I especially love the lines “You Yankees are so silly about matters of the heart; Don't you know that women are the only works of art”. I even find all of the “talk, talk” repetition at the end to be entertaining.

    You Can’t Make Love (4) – Even Don’s jaded views on love don’t kill this song for me. I think this is a clever and catchy tune with great music.


    I Like It (3)

    You’re Not Drinking Enough (3) – While this is far from Mr. Henley’s best work, the song is still likeable. I appreciate the humor, but really could do without all of the “ay-yi-yi-yi’s” at the end.


    Meh (2)

    A Month of Sundays (2) – Now here’s where it really starts to get ugly. I know a lot of people like this song, but it just doesn’t work at all for me. I find the music and melody to be terribly mundane, monotonous, repetitious, and bland. Do I need any more adjectives here to get my point across?

    Land of the Living (2) – Another song that just leaves me cold. I just don’t care for the music, melody, or vocals.

    Man With a Mission (2) – I’m sorry, but this song is just bad. It sounds like it’s supposed to be ‘50’s sock hop music, but I can only say I’m sure glad Don was too young to be a 50’s rock star cause he sure sounds better doing the Eagles style of music.

    Building the Perfect Beast (2) – This is without question the worst song Don has ever recorded, IMHO. Honestly, I don’t like much of anything about it. Every time I hear it, it leaves me with only one thought – “What was he thinking?” I actually considered rating this as a ‘1’.


    key:
    5 - I love it
    4 - I really like it
    3 - I like it
    2 - meh
    1 – yikes

    "People don't run out of dreams: People just run out of time ..."
    Glenn Frey 11/06/1948 - 01/18/2016

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