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Author Topic: '70s Beach Boys Songs Brian Didn't Sing On  (Read 3550 times)
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« on: December 23, 2017, 09:23:55 PM »

Was just thinking about if there's any Beach Boys songs from the '70s that Brian didn't sing on.

After hearing this vocals-only version of "Cottonfields," I'm almost positive he doesn't sing on this. The super high stuff sounds like Al and Bruce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thm2b8XBGwY

Others off the top of my head:
Mona
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2017, 09:46:14 PM »

I would imagine there are plenty of examples, especially on stuff like the LA Light Album sessions.

I'm pretty sure "Come Go With Me" from MIU is all Al.

Goin' South and Full Sail seem to be pretty much just Carl and Bruce.

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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2017, 04:32:37 AM »

Most of CATP (he's on Mess of Help, Marcella and He Come Down but not sure about anything else), most of Holland (only on California Saga, Funky Pretty and I swear The Trader backing vocals), and tons of others. After Sunflower and outside of the brief Brian's Back era it's more a case of listing what songs he actually did sing on.
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2017, 09:12:38 AM »

Was just thinking about if there's any Beach Boys songs from the '70s that Brian didn't sing on.

After hearing this vocals-only version of "Cottonfields," I'm almost positive he doesn't sing on this. The super high stuff sounds like Al and Bruce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thm2b8XBGwY

Others off the top of my head:
Mona


Al has said that Brian definitely sang on the single version of "Cottonfields" (although, to your point - maybe not the super high stuff?) - and why would you think he's not singing on "Mona"? He's definitely on that one, as well as all the other Love You songs - in fact, on "Mona", it seems he's doubling Dennis' lead at times.
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2017, 09:17:36 AM »

I would imagine there are plenty of examples, especially on stuff like the LA Light Album sessions.

I'm pretty sure "Come Go With Me" from MIU is all Al.

Goin' South and Full Sail seem to be pretty much just Carl and Bruce.



I've seen the track sheet notations for these - "Come Go With Me" does feature a layer of doubled group vocals, as well as Mike and Al separately singing the low bass line "You never give me a chance" - I think they used Mike for some of that in the final mix, and Al for some. But there are multiple intro parts by Al, and that all sounds like him.

Mike sings on "Goin' South" and "Full Sail" - just briefly - but not Brian or Al.
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2017, 08:28:18 AM »

Hey there c-man, I got a few questions for you...if you choose not to answer I understand but there's a few tidbits I've been wondering about.

First, did we ever get true documentation of what exactly Brian does on L.A. (Light Album)? He plays piano on "Good Timin'" and "Shortenin' Bread" right? Does he appear vocally on the album at all? I know it's been rumored that he's on "Angel Come Home", and I feel like I may hear it, but maybe not.

Do we know the approximate date of the 1975 studio recording of "In the Back of My Mind" as featured on the various versions of No Pier Pressure?

Also, what was the lineup for "Da Doo Ron Ron" as featured on Made In California?

And lastly since this one's been bugging me, in the Ultimate Christmas booklet it says "Winter Symphony" was originally tracked in either 1975 or 1976. Did we ever get a more exact date on that one?
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2017, 09:04:09 AM »

I would imagine there are plenty of examples, especially on stuff like the LA Light Album sessions.

I'm pretty sure "Come Go With Me" from MIU is all Al.

Goin' South and Full Sail seem to be pretty much just Carl and Bruce.



I've seen the track sheet notations for these - "Come Go With Me" does feature a layer of doubled group vocals, as well as Mike and Al separately singing the low bass line "You never give me a chance" - I think they used Mike for some of that in the final mix, and Al for some. But there are multiple intro parts by Al, and that all sounds like him.

Mike sings on "Goin' South" and "Full Sail" - just briefly - but not Brian or Al.

I wonder if it's still "all Al" on any of the early mixes of the song, either the version mistakenly included on the 1990 Caribou "MIU" CD, or the other early mix on that "Brother Rarities" set of discs that surfaced several years back.

I'm curious where Mike could be on those two LA tracks, especially "Full Sail." My best guess would be the "adventure on the high seas..." lines.

I would imagine there are also a few tracks over the years where a member may be mixed in there somewhere, but is mixed as to be essentially inaudible.
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2017, 09:18:54 AM »

Hey there c-man, I got a few questions for you...if you choose not to answer I understand but there's a few tidbits I've been wondering about.

First, did we ever get true documentation of what exactly Brian does on L.A. (Light Album)? He plays piano on "Good Timin'" and "Shortenin' Bread" right? Does he appear vocally on the album at all? I know it's been rumored that he's on "Angel Come Home", and I feel like I may hear it, but maybe not.

Do we know the approximate date of the 1975 studio recording of "In the Back of My Mind" as featured on the various versions of No Pier Pressure?

Also, what was the lineup for "Da Doo Ron Ron" as featured on Made In California?

And lastly since this one's been bugging me, in the Ultimate Christmas booklet it says "Winter Symphony" was originally tracked in either 1975 or 1976. Did we ever get a more exact date on that one?

If we included unreleased material recorded during the "L.A. (Light Album)" sessions, Brian is definitely on the early version of "Santa Ana Winds" recorded during those sessions. You can hear him prominently in the backing vocals near the end. These backing vocals were later re-used for the version on the KTSA album (where Brian's backing vocals are still audible, though slightly less so).

Assuming Al's "Looking Down the Coast" was recorded the LA sessions, Brian is definitely on that singing the lead on the opening lines.

I'm not sure of the provenance of the few Brian lead lines of the "MIC" version of the '78 version "California Feelin'", but if those lines are from those sessions, then that's another Brian bit from "LA."

Are "Calendar Girl" and "I'm Begging You Please" also from the LA sessions?

I'm sure c-man can offer a more complete answer, but "Do Doo Ron Ron" seems to audible include at least Carl, Bruce, and Mike. Lots of high-end, slightly nasaly Bruce especially. I would guess Al's in the mix as well. Sounds like probably Scott Matthews on drums?

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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2017, 11:56:32 AM »

I'm curious where Mike could be on those two LA tracks, especially "Full Sail." My best guess would be the "adventure on the high seas..." lines.

I would imagine there are also a few tracks over the years where a member may be mixed in there somewhere, but is mixed as to be essentially inaudible.

To answer the first point - on "Full Sail", the notation indicates Mike sings the low part when the group sings "Full sail" in the refrain - while the bridge part ("adventure on the high seas") is sung in unison by Bruce, Carl and Geoffrey Cushing-Murray (with Carl obviously to the fore)...and on "Goin' South", Mike sings a bass vocal (which I can just barely hear in the background harmony stack behind Carl's lead in the final verse, where the drums and bass drop out: "I could be lying on some sun-washed floor / Don't know what I'm waiting for", or words to that effect). Per engineer Tom Murphy, he and Bruce drove to Santa Barbara to add Mike's voice to a few songs, and I'd bet his parts on these two songs were among them.

To answer the second point - I'm sure that's the case, and a case in point might be the aforementioned bridge of "Full Sail", where I can't necessarily hear anyone but Carl - but if you took out the other voices, it might not sound the same! Such is the nature of a unison blend.
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2017, 12:01:57 PM »


Assuming Al's "Looking Down the Coast" was recorded the LA sessions, Brian is definitely on that singing the lead on the opening lines.

I'm not sure of the provenance of the few Brian lead lines of the "MIC" version of the '78 version "California Feelin'", but if those lines are from those sessions, then that's another Brian bit from "LA."

Are "Calendar Girl" and "I'm Begging You Please" also from the LA sessions?


"Looking Down The Coast" was recorded in the summer of '78, so yes - Light Album era.
Yes, Brian's lead lines on the MIC version of "California Feelin'" do indeed come from the late August/early September '78 Criteria sessions.
And, yes - "Calendar Girl" comes from Criteria, as well - as for "Beggin' You Please": Brian's piano/vocal demo is on the Criteria rough mix reel, although we can't say for sure that's where he recorded it. A piano/electric piano/bass/drums basic track was laid down in L.A. for L.A., but no vocals were added and so it remains unfinished.
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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2017, 12:05:26 PM »

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A piano/electric piano/bass/drums basic track was laid down in L.A. for L.A

For "I'm Begging You Please"? I'm so used to the demo that I can't picture a "full" version
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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2017, 12:13:37 PM »


Assuming Al's "Looking Down the Coast" was recorded the LA sessions, Brian is definitely on that singing the lead on the opening lines.

I'm not sure of the provenance of the few Brian lead lines of the "MIC" version of the '78 version "California Feelin'", but if those lines are from those sessions, then that's another Brian bit from "LA."

Are "Calendar Girl" and "I'm Begging You Please" also from the LA sessions?


"Looking Down The Coast" was recorded in the summer of '78, so yes - Light Album era.
Yes, Brian's lead lines on the MIC version of "California Feelin'" do indeed come from the late August/early September '78 Criteria sessions.
And, yes - "Calendar Girl" comes from Criteria, as well - as for "Beggin' You Please": Brian's piano/vocal demo is on the Criteria rough mix reel, although we can't say for sure that's where he recorded it. A piano/electric piano/bass/drums basic track was laid down in L.A. for L.A., but no vocals were added and so it remains unfinished.

Hey there c-man, just making sure you didn't miss my questions in the mix...

Hey there c-man, I got a few questions for you...if you choose not to answer I understand but there's a few tidbits I've been wondering about.

First, did we ever get true documentation of what exactly Brian does on L.A. (Light Album)? He plays piano on "Good Timin'" and "Shortenin' Bread" right? Does he appear vocally on the album at all? I know it's been rumored that he's on "Angel Come Home", and I feel like I may hear it, but maybe not.

Do we know the approximate date of the 1975 studio recording of "In the Back of My Mind" as featured on the various versions of No Pier Pressure?

Also, what was the lineup for "Da Doo Ron Ron" as featured on Made In California?

And lastly since this one's been bugging me, in the Ultimate Christmas booklet it says "Winter Symphony" was originally tracked in either 1975 or 1976. Did we ever get a more exact date on that one?
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2017, 12:17:17 PM »

Hey there c-man, I got a few questions for you...if you choose not to answer I understand but there's a few tidbits I've been wondering about.

First, did we ever get true documentation of what exactly Brian does on L.A. (Light Album)? He plays piano on "Good Timin'" and "Shortenin' Bread" right? Does he appear vocally on the album at all? I know it's been rumored that he's on "Angel Come Home", and I feel like I may hear it, but maybe not.

Do we know the approximate date of the 1975 studio recording of "In the Back of My Mind" as featured on the various versions of No Pier Pressure?

Also, what was the lineup for "Da Doo Ron Ron" as featured on Made In California?

And lastly since this one's been bugging me, in the Ultimate Christmas booklet it says "Winter Symphony" was originally tracked in either 1975 or 1976. Did we ever get a more exact date on that one?

Brian's contributions on L.A. (Light Album):
"Good Timin'" - piano, harpsichord, organ or synth (all recorded in '74)
"Lady Lynda" - possible background vocals (I think I can kinda hear him - but have never seen the track sheets and can't confirm it)
"Angel Come Home" - background vocals (in the refrains - confirmed by track sheet annotations)
"Shortenin' Bread" - piano, Moog (recorded in early '78)
And, there are various outtakes, such as those mentioned by Hey Jude below - as well as the notorious "Drip Drop".

Lineup for "Da Doo Ron Ron" would appear to be as follows (based on a comparison of the AFM session contract and the actual track sheet annotations):
Ed Carter and Bill House - guitars
Jerry Scheff - bass
Gary Mallaber - drums
Brian - tack piano
Bruce - Fender Rhodes
Mike Meros - Moog, additional tack piano
Carl - lead vocals
"Group" (probably Brian, Carl, Mike, Al, and Bruce) - background vocals

I don't remember ever coming across an exact date for either "In The Back Of My Mind - '75" or "Winter Symphony" - sorry!
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2017, 12:19:51 PM »

Quote
A piano/electric piano/bass/drums basic track was laid down in L.A. for L.A

For "I'm Begging You Please"? I'm so used to the demo that I can't picture a "full" version

Maybe they couldn't, either - which maybe is why they never finished it!  But then, again - Brian's initial piano/vocal demos frequently have a real "basic" sound to them, compared to his fully-realized arrangements on the finished versions, which can incorporate parts we'd never imagine based on just hearing the demos - that's why he's a genius!
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« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2017, 12:40:32 PM »


Lineup for "Da Doo Ron Ron" would appear to be as follows (based on a comparison of the AFM session contract and the actual track sheet annotations):
Ed Carter and Bill House - guitars
Jerry Scheff - bass
Gary Mallaber - drums
Brian - tack piano
Bruce - Fender Rhodes
Mike Meros - Moog, additional tack piano
Carl - lead vocals
"Group" (probably Brian, Carl, Mike, Al, and Bruce) - background vocals


I'm curious how piecemeal the sessions were for the various KTSA songs. I would imagine the AFM sheets would tell us, but I'm curious when names that aren't on the album liner notes pop up for other outtake sessions, like Jerry Scheff in this case. It's probably just a case of Bruce hiring out for the session and grabbing who he could.

Seeing the name Bill House reminded me that he's the same guy (presumably) that co-wrote "Make It Big" several years later. Anybody familiar with how he came into their orb? Did he have an extended relationship with someone (maybe Melcher?), or is there any chance "Make It Big" was written far earlier than 1987?
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« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2017, 01:20:11 PM »


Lineup for "Da Doo Ron Ron" would appear to be as follows (based on a comparison of the AFM session contract and the actual track sheet annotations):
Ed Carter and Bill House - guitars
Jerry Scheff - bass
Gary Mallaber - drums
Brian - tack piano
Bruce - Fender Rhodes
Mike Meros - Moog, additional tack piano
Carl - lead vocals
"Group" (probably Brian, Carl, Mike, Al, and Bruce) - background vocals


I'm curious how piecemeal the sessions were for the various KTSA songs. I would imagine the AFM sheets would tell us, but I'm curious when names that aren't on the album liner notes pop up for other outtake sessions, like Jerry Scheff in this case. It's probably just a case of Bruce hiring out for the session and grabbing who he could.

Seeing the name Bill House reminded me that he's the same guy (presumably) that co-wrote "Make It Big" several years later. Anybody familiar with how he came into their orb? Did he have an extended relationship with someone (maybe Melcher?), or is there any chance "Make It Big" was written far earlier than 1987?

Bill House is on other KTSA tracks, and is listed as Associate Producer for "Rock And Roll To The Rescue" - and he also played (uncredited) on the L.A. (Light) version of "Sumahama", so I'd say he definitely traveled in the Johnston/Melcher orbit. That last song brings up a point you referenced - names on AFM contracts that aren't on album liner credits. None of the musicians who played on "Sumahama", except Joel Peskin, are listed in the credits for that album - nor are other notables such as Lyle Ritz, who overdubbed string bass on "Goin' South". Lyle also plays on the KTSA version of "Santa Ana Winds" - as does harmonica player Tommy Morgan - but neither names show up in that album's list of contributors. As for Jerry Scheff - he played on a few of the KTSA sessions, including the one for "Oh Darlin'", so he's presumably on that one, even though his name isn't in the credits. More likely than not, these were mere oversights (or, in the case of "Sumahama", a temporarily misplaced AFM sheet).

EDIT: to answer your main point - judging by the AFM documentation, I wouldn't say the KTSA sessions weren't "piecemeal" at all - but rather, a group of musicians was hired and played on several dates before one or two of them were replaced by other players for the next round of sessions, etc. etc. Thus, to use a football analogy, Gary Mallaber was the "staring Quarterback" on drums, but Ricky Fataar soon replaced him for several sessions, before Scott Matthews replaced him...then Mallaber came back for one last session toward the end. Based, I'm sure, on a particular musician's availability at the time, rather than a playing-related injury or a drop on the scoreboard!  Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2017, 09:13:03 AM »


Lineup for "Da Doo Ron Ron" would appear to be as follows (based on a comparison of the AFM session contract and the actual track sheet annotations):
Ed Carter and Bill House - guitars
Jerry Scheff - bass
Gary Mallaber - drums
Brian - tack piano
Bruce - Fender Rhodes
Mike Meros - Moog, additional tack piano
Carl - lead vocals
"Group" (probably Brian, Carl, Mike, Al, and Bruce) - background vocals


I'm curious how piecemeal the sessions were for the various KTSA songs. I would imagine the AFM sheets would tell us, but I'm curious when names that aren't on the album liner notes pop up for other outtake sessions, like Jerry Scheff in this case. It's probably just a case of Bruce hiring out for the session and grabbing who he could.

Seeing the name Bill House reminded me that he's the same guy (presumably) that co-wrote "Make It Big" several years later. Anybody familiar with how he came into their orb? Did he have an extended relationship with someone (maybe Melcher?), or is there any chance "Make It Big" was written far earlier than 1987?

Bill House is on other KTSA tracks, and is listed as Associate Producer for "Rock And Roll To The Rescue" - and he also played (uncredited) on the L.A. (Light) version of "Sumahama", so I'd say he definitely traveled in the Johnston/Melcher orbit. That last song brings up a point you referenced - names on AFM contracts that aren't on album liner credits. None of the musicians who played on "Sumahama", except Joel Peskin, are listed in the credits for that album - nor are other notables such as Lyle Ritz, who overdubbed string bass on "Goin' South". Lyle also plays on the KTSA version of "Santa Ana Winds" - as does harmonica player Tommy Morgan - but neither names show up in that album's list of contributors. As for Jerry Scheff - he played on a few of the KTSA sessions, including the one for "Oh Darlin'", so he's presumably on that one, even though his name isn't in the credits. More likely than not, these were mere oversights (or, in the case of "Sumahama", a temporarily misplaced AFM sheet).

EDIT: to answer your main point - judging by the AFM documentation, I wouldn't say the KTSA sessions weren't "piecemeal" at all - but rather, a group of musicians was hired and played on several dates before one or two of them were replaced by other players for the next round of sessions, etc. etc. Thus, to use a football analogy, Gary Mallaber was the "staring Quarterback" on drums, but Ricky Fataar soon replaced him for several sessions, before Scott Matthews replaced him...then Mallaber came back for one last session toward the end. Based, I'm sure, on a particular musician's availability at the time, rather than a playing-related injury or a drop on the scoreboard!  Smiley

Really interested about Jerry Scheff because I'm a big Elvis fan (for those who don't know, Jerry Scheff was Elvis' bassist on the road and a little in the studio from 1969 through most of the 1970's). Were these his only sessions with The Beach Boys, c-man? And do we know the exact list he played on?
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2017, 09:23:26 AM »

Assuming Al's "Looking Down the Coast" was recorded the LA sessions, Brian is definitely on that singing the lead on the opening lines.

I find it interesting how Al got Brian to sing a little even at times when he was really reclusive and wasn't even singing on most of his own compositions. California Saga would be the other example that comes to mind.
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2017, 09:40:34 AM »

Assuming Al's "Looking Down the Coast" was recorded the LA sessions, Brian is definitely on that singing the lead on the opening lines.

I find it interesting how Al got Brian to sing a little even at times when he was really reclusive and wasn't even singing on most of his own compositions. California Saga would be the other example that comes to mind.

And also, even in the midst of whatever weirdness was going on when Al decided to not go on that UK 2007 tour with Brian, Al was still able to coax a bunch of vocal work out of Brian for the one day he had him to record for "Postcards." Brian sang on even more stuff than what made it on the album. Brian is seen in a behind the scenes video adding lead lines to the title track "A Postcard from California", and I believe Brian also sang on "And I Always Will" at some point.

Al also got Brian back circa '89 to sing on "Island Girl" and "Don't Fight the Sea."
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« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2017, 09:44:26 AM »


Brian's contributions on L.A. (Light Album):
"Good Timin'" - piano, harpsichord, organ or synth (all recorded in '74)


Awesome info as always. Back to "Good Timin'", do we know if Carl's *verse* lead vocals were cut in '74 by any chance? I recall that a backing track circulates (presumably all '74 studio work), but then another interim version circulates that's just the '74 backing track plus Carl's lead vocal lines on the verses only. So no Carl lead on the choruses, and no backing vocals. Obviously, any sort of "underdub" mix can be created given access to the multitracks, but I was curious if this represented the work done in 1974 on the song. I can't imagine why else (other than random curiosity) either a vintage rough mix or latter-day rough mix would be done with Carl's lead on the verses only.
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2017, 04:34:22 PM »


Brian's contributions on L.A. (Light Album):
"Good Timin'" - piano, harpsichord, organ or synth (all recorded in '74)


Awesome info as always. Back to "Good Timin'", do we know if Carl's *verse* lead vocals were cut in '74 by any chance? I recall that a backing track circulates (presumably all '74 studio work), but then another interim version circulates that's just the '74 backing track plus Carl's lead vocal lines on the verses only. So no Carl lead on the choruses, and no backing vocals. Obviously, any sort of "underdub" mix can be created given access to the multitracks, but I was curious if this represented the work done in 1974 on the song. I can't imagine why else (other than random curiosity) either a vintage rough mix or latter-day rough mix would be done with Carl's lead on the verses only.

The verse lead vocals on the bootlegged mix you refer to were indeed vintage '74. The lead vocals on the final version, however, were apparently redone in December '78. I say "apparently", because that's what the track sheet notations tell us, and that's also what engineer Tom Murphy told me. I haven't A/B'd the two mixes, though, to see if they sound noticeably different.
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2017, 04:49:33 PM »

Really interested about Jerry Scheff because I'm a big Elvis fan (for those who don't know, Jerry Scheff was Elvis' bassist on the road and a little in the studio from 1969 through most of the 1970's). Were these his only sessions with The Beach Boys, c-man? And do we know the exact list he played on?

Besides "Oh Darlin'" and "Da Doo Ron Ron", he's also listed on AFM sheets for a few other outtakes - among them the legendary "Boys And Girls" (first version, from the KTSA sessions) and, a decade later, the even more legendary BW/CW cover of "Proud Mary"(on which it seems he played upright bass to "Hutch" Huchinson's electric bass).

I'm sure you know that Jerry's son is also a famous bass player - Jason Scheff, with the band Chicago since the mid-'80s!
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« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2017, 05:59:41 PM »

And Jason Scheff also sang some backing vocals (along with fellow Chicago member Bill Champlin) on the 1986 Brian/Gary Usher sessions.

Jason Scheff left Chicago in the last year or two and was replaced by a new guy.
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HeyJude
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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2017, 06:02:08 PM »


Brian's contributions on L.A. (Light Album):
"Good Timin'" - piano, harpsichord, organ or synth (all recorded in '74)


Awesome info as always. Back to "Good Timin'", do we know if Carl's *verse* lead vocals were cut in '74 by any chance? I recall that a backing track circulates (presumably all '74 studio work), but then another interim version circulates that's just the '74 backing track plus Carl's lead vocal lines on the verses only. So no Carl lead on the choruses, and no backing vocals. Obviously, any sort of "underdub" mix can be created given access to the multitracks, but I was curious if this represented the work done in 1974 on the song. I can't imagine why else (other than random curiosity) either a vintage rough mix or latter-day rough mix would be done with Carl's lead on the verses only.

The verse lead vocals on the bootlegged mix you refer to were indeed vintage '74. The lead vocals on the final version, however, were apparently redone in December '78. I say "apparently", because that's what the track sheet notations tell us, and that's also what engineer Tom Murphy told me. I haven't A/B'd the two mixes, though, to see if they sound noticeably different.

Great info again! The lead on the 1974 backing track version sure sounds the same to me, but I haven't directly compared one right after the other. I'll have to try that out and check.
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« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2017, 08:02:32 PM »

And Jason Scheff also sang some backing vocals (along with fellow Chicago member Bill Champlain) on the 1986 Brian/Gary Usher sessions.

Jason Scheff left Chicago in the last year or two and was replaced by a new guy.

Knew I shoulda Googled him before writing that!
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