Sagittarius – “Another Time”


Having posted a Beach Boys video last weekend, I’m reminded that I keep meaning to talk about Sagittarius. Something I keep meaning to do is put together a non-Beach Boys Beach Boys album by collecting tracks by various groups writing in a pastiche of the Brian Wilson sound. It’d be easy enough to do this by compiling tracks by surf artists such as Jan and Dean, the Sunrays, and the Hondells, but I’m thinking more of songs mimicking later-period Beach Boys music, such as The Dukes of Stratosphear’s “Pale and Precious” or anything by the Wondermints, the Thrills, and the High Llamas.

Such a compilation would have to include Sagittarius, who came close to actually being the Beach Boys, in much the same way I’ve suggested that you could put together a parallel Wilco lineup using Jeff Tweedy’s discarded collaborators. Though really just a studio group rather than an actual band, Sagittarius included no less than three major players in the Beach Boys story: Brian Wilson’s earliest songwriting partner outside the group, Gary Usher; Brian’s initial touring replacement, Glen Campbell; and Campbell’s successor as Brian’s replacement, Bruce Johnson,  eventually a more-or-less full-fledged Beach Boy in his own right. They  were also backed by top session musicians such as Carol Kaye and Hal Blaine, members of the famous “Wrecking Crew” who played on Pet Sounds, “Good Vibrations” and other Brian Wilson hits of the mid-60s. I’d put that lineup up against whatever cover band Mike Love’s dragging to casinos and county fairs under the Beach Boys name right now.

Sagittarius is best remembered for “My World Fell Down”, which was featured Nuggets, the double-album garage rock compilation compiled by Lenny Kaye, the future guitarist of the Patti Smith group and is the group’s answer to “Good Vibrations” — it’s not only the group’s biggest hit but also, with its musique concrète bridge, experimental and downright weird pop music. That said, I just prefer the much prettier “Another Time”, written by seemingly one of the few people in Sagittarius who wasn’t a Beach Boys alumnus, Curt Boettcher — but more on him, well, another time.

4 Responses to “Sagittarius – “Another Time””

  1. Mr. Lynn, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and this is the first time I’ve ever thought to thank you for turning me on to the Beach Boys. I sort of grew up aware of them but for some reason never really got into their music. Too shiny and happy, I guess, especially considering my first memory of their music came from the Sesame Street rendition of “Kokomo”. Your holiday playlists are what started my fascination, and now I’m knee deep of their more obscure tunes. Great stuff.

    Anyway, thanks for that.

  2. If there’s one thing my girlfriend is sick of hearing about by now, it’s the Beach Boys. (If there’s another thing, it’s either hockey, Star Trek, professional wrestling, and/or transit planning.) But I’m glad you’re not sick of hearing about the Beach Boys.

    Also, fuck Mike Love.

    By the way, for more Sesame Street renditions of shiny happy songs, here’s REM and the Muppets performing “Furry Happy Monsters”.

  3. On the zodiac front, while it is preposterous that the same thing happens to 1/12th of the population every day, have you noticed that 1/12th of the population seem to have the same personality traits?

  4. Let me suggest The Explorers Club, whose first album Freedom Wind is possessed by the spirit of the Beach Boys.

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