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Author Topic: good vibrations alternate  (Read 5795 times)
wiggbuggie
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« on: April 07, 2008, 07:09:50 PM »

is the version of good vibrations alternate take with the original lyrics on the smiley smile wild honey 2fer cd the same demo mike and the other beach boys heard over the phone while they were touring japan i think and mike was talking about it in the endless harmony dvd?
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008, 04:58:41 AM »

is the version of good vibrations alternate take with the original lyrics on the smiley smile wild honey 2fer cd the same demo mike and the other beach boys heard over the phone while they were touring japan i think and mike was talking about it in the endless harmony dvd?
I really don't know, I don't know if there is a way of knowing, but I would've assumed Brian was just playing them the instrumental track.
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2008, 06:08:37 AM »

I know zero about the history of the demo and what the other beach boys heard etc. But I thought I'd just mention how I'm convinced that Carl is singing on that Twofer "demo" track. I said earlier on the "Definitive vocal credits thread" that I thought it could be Carl and Brian. Now I'm inclining to the view that it is all Carl-it just sounds like him, similar to on  "Girl don't tell me" or something like that.

If this is true, the track still may have been played to the other four Beach boys for all I know.
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2008, 06:44:30 AM »

Naw, it's Brian for sure on the alternate lyric version...MAYBE Brian & Carl, but Brian is definitely there, same as the "God Only Knows" alternate vocal.

And the Boys weren't touring Japan when Brian played them the "Good Vibes" track for the first time...according to Carl, it was North Dakota.  Per the timeline on Bellagio, this would've been mid-August, which means the track Brian played down the phoneline to Carl would likely be the spliced-together master that included the fuzz bass solo that was later replaced by the organ interlude...and it would've only had Brian's work vocals, if any.  By that time, Carl had already played on at least two tracking sessions, so he was familiar with the song, but apparently hearing the pastiche stiched together from several different tracking dates resulted in Carl describing it as "disjointed".
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c-man
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2008, 06:50:48 AM »

...unless, of course, they also played North Dakota in February...there are only two concert dates listed on Bellagio from late February, one in Iowa and the other in Oklahoma, which DOES put them in the right general part of the country...and Carl DID say it was "freezing" in North Dakota at the time (which it WASN'T in mid-August...I checked...but it probably WAS in February). 

Ian, any chance they played N. Dakota around the time of those other two February '66 gigs?  That would make more sense than the August theory I just proposed...
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2008, 09:54:34 AM »

Craig- It is entirely possible that the group played in N Dakota at that time.  This is always a work in progress. I only recently found ads for the Des Moines show (Feb 18).  As far as N Dakota-this state has always given me trouble- I don't have access to any North Dakota papers from that time. I could request a library loan of a week of Feb 66 papers or the next time I am at the Library of Congress- I will check Feb 1966.
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2008, 11:00:30 AM »

I love the smell of research in the morning.
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2008, 11:17:22 AM »

I love the smell of research in the morning.

I know whatcha mean...the big mug of hazelnut java ALONE just isn't cutting it anymore...
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2008, 11:59:09 AM »

OK, so this is geeky in the extreme, and probably tells you more about me that you need to know... but it is such a rush when a bit of info comes my way, and suddenly everything falls into place. More than once I've had to explain a sudden shout of "YES, you bastard !"

'Course, it works the other way too - carefully formulated theories can crumble in a second. But hey, that's what we're in this game for.

Er... aren't we ? Guys ?
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2008, 12:29:16 PM »

I can strongly identify with that, Andrew.

My weakness is seeing new photos from recording studios.  Like when I happened across the one I made a thread about recently, with the Boys in the Home Studio, I believe I said aloud, at a fairly high volume "are you F---ing kidding me!?!?!"

Also, upon hearing new Beach Boys material, generally from a Boot, I've been known to hit things.  And when I discovered the wrecking crew documentary website, I squealed with delight for several minutes causing those downstairs some alarm.

I just hope that whoever is with me if and when I get to hear some isolated multitracks wears a helmet.  Joy seems to make me slightly violent.
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2008, 12:53:53 PM »

Naw, it's Brian for sure on the alternate lyric version...MAYBE Brian & Carl, but Brian is definitely there, same as the "God Only Knows" alternate vocal.

And the Boys weren't touring Japan when Brian played them the "Good Vibes" track for the first time...according to Carl, it was North Dakota.  Per the timeline on Bellagio, this would've been mid-August, which means the track Brian played down the phoneline to Carl would likely be the spliced-together master that included the fuzz bass solo that was later replaced by the organ interlude...and it would've only had Brian's work vocals, if any.  By that time, Carl had already played on at least two tracking sessions, so he was familiar with the song, but apparently hearing the pastiche stiched together from several different tracking dates resulted in Carl describing it as "disjointed".

I should have been a bit more exact. Brian is definitely singing on the track because you can hear him doing a falsetto background on the first chorus. But the lead vocal seems to be Carl. Perhaps there is a Brian guide vocal underneath it that is partially audible but I don't know. It sounds like Carl not Brian. Actually like the "Wild Honey" lead for example.

"God only knows (Brian lead)" is clearly Carl to me. Like with "Good Vibrations" he is singing louder than on the released version but there's no essential difference in the sound. Brian sounds very different when I compare by listening to "God only Knows" from "Live at the Roxy" and "Good Vibrations" from BWPS.
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2008, 01:24:40 PM »

Brian sounds very different when I compare by listening to "God only Knows" from "Live at the Roxy" and "Good Vibrations" from BWPS.

Sorry, but you're making a joke, right ?  Comparing Brian in 1966 to Brian in 2000 and 2004 is like trying to equate 'The Last Supper' just after Leonardo finished it with the ruin we see now.

And the scratch vocal for "GV" Mk 1 is definitely Brian, because with one possible exception, the rest of the band were on tour at the time of those sessions.
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2008, 01:26:05 PM »

Put me down for Brian.

And yeah, the alternate GOK is all Carl.  He's just singing it a little more forcefully.
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Cam Mott
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2008, 02:06:23 PM »

This would be a good time for SOMEONE to post an essay on the recording of Good Vibrations. [hint, hint]
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2008, 05:13:06 AM »

Brian sounds very different when I compare by listening to "God only Knows" from "Live at the Roxy" and "Good Vibrations" from BWPS.

Sorry, but you're making a joke, right ?  Comparing Brian in 1966 to Brian in 2000 and 2004 is like trying to equate 'The Last Supper' just after Leonardo finished it with the ruin we see now.

And the scratch vocal for "GV" Mk 1 is definitely Brian, because with one possible exception, the rest of the band were on tour at the time of those sessions.

I'm not joking! OK, Brian's voice changed over time, but it was still Brian's voice all along that changed. He still now has the same accent, tone with his notes etc. that is unique to him. If I want to try to sound like Carl or Brian, no matter how much it doesn't really sound like them, I have to put my mouth in a certain position and try to make a sound in a certain sort of way. I think Brian has a different way of emphasising and attacking the words and has a clearer less soft and breathy tone than Carl, as well as the pronunciation of words being different.

For "God only knows" as aeijtzsche says, it is definitely Carl. There's practically no difference between this lead and the other alternate versions on the box set.

For "Good Vibrations" I must admit I'm not so sure, but does that sound like Brian to anyone? The verses are just like Carl. The choruses are weird, but more like Carl than Brian, and surely Brian would have sung them in his special falsetto, not in normal voice like they are?
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2008, 06:21:13 AM »

Maybe it's Alan...  Roll Eyes

Seriously, though Brian & Carl can sound very similar, there's a smoothness to Carl, and Brian has that indefinable edge, a curious plantive, slightly metallic quality... plus I don't see Brian calling in Carl just to do a scratch vocal, and the aforementioned concert dates tend to rule Carl out anyway.
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2008, 06:53:45 AM »

Maybe it's Alan...  Roll Eyes

Seriously, though Brian & Carl can sound very similar, there's a smoothness to Carl, and Brian has that indefinable edge, a curious plantive, slightly metallic quality... plus I don't see Brian calling in Carl just to do a scratch vocal, and the aforementioned concert dates tend to rule Carl out anyway.

Yes, Brian has a certain edge and an emotion in his voice that Carl doesn't have, whereas Carl has a smooth sound and smooth way of singing phrases.

Despite the touring dates, it sounds like Carl. But it does sound like another (Brian) vocal underneath. What if Carl recorded his own vocal over Brian's when he got back from touring? It might be that someone can hear both of them clearly. I'll check again.
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2008, 10:23:04 AM »

Alright, Cam Mott, here you go...but just remember I haven't updated this in a few years, so certain things like the dates of the vocal sessions are lacking...oh yeah, and it's actually three separate essays:

*****************************************************************************
FIRST ESSAY - analysis of the finished record:

First and Second Verses - Gold Star, 2/17/66.  The very first tracking session, which actually commenced at 11:30 that night and continued 'til 3:00am the morning of 2/18.  Highlights from this session, as well as the master take's stereo backing track, appear in the Pet Sounds box set from Capitol (on Disc Two).  The two most prominent instruments, Fender bass and Hammond organ, are played here by Ray Pohlman and Larry Knechtel, respectively.  Lyle Ritz plays the upright bass, and Hal Blaine is on drums.  Cal Harris is the engineer.

First, Second and Third Choruses - Western, 6/2/66.  The AFM sheet for this date lists the song title as "Inspiration", but the tape box says "Good Vibrations".  It sounds as if further overdubbing was done at a later date, with more instruments layered on top (i.e. Theremin and percussion - probably tambourine - added on 6/12 at Western).  Carl Wilson is on Fender bass, Don Randi on electric harpsichord, and Hal Blaine is once again the drummer.

First Bridge - Western, 5/4/66.  Al de Lory on tack piano, Ray Polhman on Fender bass, Jimmy Bond on upright bass, Hal Blaine on drums, Jim Gordon on "cups". 

Second Bridge - Western, 9/1/66.  The "churchy" bridge.  Dennis Wilson plays the Hammond organ, Lyle Ritz is on upright bass, Tommy Morgan plays harmonica, and hand-held percussion instruments are shaken by Hal Blaine and Carl Wilson.  Henry Bowen David is the engineer (a rare occasion when a session was held at Western without Chuck Britz).  This section was added relatively late in the recording process, replacing the "fuzz bass" bridge that almost made it to the master.

Third Bridge - Western, 5/4/66.  This is the slow part behind the high vocals after the third chorus and immediately before the fade.  It is from the same session that produced the First Bridge.

Chorus Fade - Sunset Sound, 5/24/66.  The only part of the record featuring Carol Kaye on Fender bass (she had contributed to at least two other sessions, at Gold Star on 4/9/66 and Western on 6/18/66, but nothing from those sessions was used in the master).  This time around, Jim Gordon is on drums.

Tracking was done on 4-track tape (on at least one occasion, two 4-tracks were linked together), and then transfered over to 8-track at Columbia Records studio for vocal overdubs.  Additional Theremin and cello were also apparently overdubbed at Columbia, even though those two instruments were also used on many of the tracking dates.  It is likely that this overdub was needed for only one or two sections (the Chorus and/or the segue between the Third Bridge and Chorus Fade).  Unfortunately dates for the vocal and final mixdown sessions are unknown, but they would have taken place at Columbia, since that was apparently the only studio in L.A. at that time with an 8-track deck.

*****************************************************************************

SECOND ESSAY - the conclusion I've come to as to the sources of the various "sessions" appearing on the Sea Of Tunes label's box set "Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 15 (1966): Good Vibrations".

The set does indeed, as noted, include highlights from nine seperate tracking sessions, but the order, numbering, and indeed composition of these nine sessions are not accurately represented.  Note the disclaimer included which states "All takes are combined into various sessions.  They do not, however, represent the actual recording dates" (this appears on the insert included in the original box set, but I believe it is missing from the subsequent "3-CD jewel box only" repackage).  This implies, as the evidence bears out, that the session groupings assigned by the good folks at SOT are not necessarily based on reality, but rather on their idea of convenience or musical flow.

DISC ONE
"Session #1" (tracks 1-8):  this is actually the second "Good Vibes" tracking session, from Gold Star 4/9
"Session #2" (tracks 9-16):  this is actually the first "Good Vibes" tracking session, from Gold Star 2/17-18 

DISC TWO
"Session #3" (tracks 1-5, called "Insert"):  Western, 6/16 (this session continues on Disc Three, tracks 11-19)
"Session #4" (tracks 6-8, called "Part 1", tracks 9-10, called "Part 2"):  Western, 6/18
(tracks 11-13, called "Part 3"):  Western, 5/4
(tracks 14-15, also called "Part 3"):  Western, 5/27
(track 16, also called "Part 3" but a different musical segment):  also Western, 5/27
(tracks 17-18, called "Part 4"):  also Western, 5/27
(tracks 19-20, called "Part 3"): also Western, 5/27
(tracks 21-22, called "Part 3 Fuzz Bass Rehearsal"):  also Western, 5/27
(tracks 23-24, called "Part 4"):  Western, 6/2

DISC THREE
"Session #5" (tracks 1-9, called "New Track"):  actually the second half of Western 9/1 session
"Session #6":  track 10 is a "Free Jazz Improvisation" from an unknown date; tracks 11-19 are the continuation of the Western 6/16 session begun on Disc Two
"Session #7":  tracks 20-21 are called "Part 3" but they are actually Part 1 of Sunset Sound 5/24 session; tracks 22-23 are correctly titled as "Part 2" of the same session; track 24 is Part 4 of the same session (conclusions based in part on the reproduction of this session's tape box lid, included in the package artwork)
"Session #8" (tracks 25-27, called "Bass Track", referred to on tape as "Piano/Bass Track"):  the first half of Western 9/1 session, which concludes at the top of this disc
"Session #9" (tracks 28-32) are simply rough mixes and overdubs of different segments to be used in the subsequent master edits

*****************************************************************************

THIRD ESSAY - analysis of the montages:

At one time in the late '80s Capitol was considering a "SMiLE" sessions CD release, and in anticipation of that, they had a montage prepared consisting of segments from various "Good Vibrations" sessions,  rumored to last 30 minutes in duration, and consisting of mostly unreleased material.  Portions of this montage leaked out onto bootleg releases beginning in the late '80s and continuing into the early '90s, both on vinyl and CD.  Variations released by Capitol were included on (1) the "Smiley Smile"/"Wild Honey" twofer CD, released in 1990, and (2) the "Good Vibrations:  Thirty Years of The Beach Boys" box set, released in 1993.  These two variations are identical, except that the second one is slightly longer, with additional material appearing at the end.  Since the dawn of this "montage age", Beach Boys fanatics have pondered the question:  "which sessions do these tantalizing musical morsels come from?".  The liner notes for the "Smiley Smile"/"Wild Honey" twofer CD proclaim that the material is from "Various sessions at Gold Star - 2/18 & 4/9, Western - 5/4, 5/27, 6/2, 6/16, 6/18, 9/1, and Sunset Sound - 8/24".  It would appear that the last of these dates is a typo (certainly not unheard of in the Capitol twofer liner notes world - typos and downright errors, especially regarding dates, abound!).  The only Sunset Sound "Good Vibrations" session for which existing documentation is known to collectors (both an AFM musicians' contract and a dated tape box) give the date as May, not August 24.  It is, of course, possible that two or more "Good Vibes" sessions were conducted at Sunset Sound, but due to the similarity between the two dates (5/24 and 8/24), the abundance of typos existing in the Capitol liner notes, and the fact that with the exception of the Sunset Sound date, the dates given above correspond to all known "Good Vibes" sessions for which documentation exists (not counting one or two overdub "sweetening" sessions), it seems likely that the August 24 date is erroneous and is, in fact, May 24. 

The official Capitol montages consist of the following material:

(1) Session dialog, commencing with Brian's slate "'Good Vibrations', Take One", and proceeding through an early take, more dialog ("Hold it, please - let me hear the organ...another stop, please...", "I would  like to start it out now, this time, with the organ and the Fender bass...", "Larry, can you switch that motor on for the verses and off for 'B'...", "Are we all set for that thing where everything drops out...builds up?", "Wait a minute, where are we?...See, what it is, is, the organ's on 2-4 and you guys think it's the "one" beat, don't you?", "Play hard and strong, all the way.  And watch me on that part now".  All of this musical and spoken material is from the very first session, at Gold Star, the evening of February 17 into the early morning of February 18.  Since it was recorded in the heart of the "Pet Sounds" era, it also appears on the "Pet Sounds Sessions" box set from 1997.  Cal Harris, the engineer, is heard calling the final take, "Twenty-eight", but instead the montage takes us straight into...
(2) ...what has been referred to variously as the "overtone", "tack piano", and "toy piano" version, from the second session at Gold Star, April 9.  From this session we hear a verse and a chorus, and then we go to...
(3)...the original second bridge, cut from the final master and replaced with the new "church organ" bridge.  This bridge begins with a fuzz bass riff, soon joined by harpsichord, cups, and other percussion, finally ending with an overdubbed drum pickup, and was recorded at Western on May 27.  This is quickly followed by another attempt at a bridge section,
(4), recorded at the same May 27 session.  This bridge starts with a piano playing higher and lower octaves simultaneously, tympani, flutes, and piccolo.  This bridge is similar, but not identical, to another piano/tympani/flute bridge, recorded at Sunset Sound three days earlier, and left out of Capitol's officially-released montages (but appearing nonetheless on the above-mentioned bootlegs).  After a slight pause, we hear...
(5)...the "guitar melody" version (aka "Toy Piano"?), in which an electric six-string (played by Carl Wilson) replaces the Fender bass as the primary melodic instrument.  This was culled from a June 18 Western session, and we hear a verse and chorus before segueing immediately into...
(6)...the "Dano bass melody" version.  As you might have guessed, for this rendition the melody line is played by the Danelectro 6-string bass instead of the standard Fender 4-string bass.  The Danelectro, like the Fender VI 6-string bass, is tuned an octave higher than conventional 4-string bass, making it sound somewhat like the low to mid range of a conventional electric guitar.  Although appearing second in this "alternate melody" medley, it was actually recorded two days before the "guitar melody" version, at Western on June 16.  We hear a verse (where a "freaky clarinet", as Mike Love put it, joins in), and a chorus.  From there we go...
(7)...to church.  Dennis Wilson's organ bridge, soon accompanied by some unreleased vocals of the "Hum-de-dum" variety.  This was recorded September 1 at Western (I checked and, no, September 1, 1966 was not a Sunday...it just sounds like one).  This is where the "Smiley Smile"/"Wild Honey" twofer version of the montage ends, but the 1993 box set version continues with...
(Cool...the first bridge from the released master version, minus vocal and instrumental overdubs, into a chorus from the same session, then to the slow bridge before the fade, and back to the chorus section.  All of this is from the May 4 Western session.  It appears that in assembling the final edited version, Brian simply took this entire section, excised the chorus, replaced it with, originally, the "fuzz bass" bridge, but ultimately with the September 1 "churchy bridge", left the "slow bridge" intact, added a brief cello/Theremin interlude, and replaced the chorus fade with the one from Sunset Sound, May 24.  Finally, we hear...
(9)..."Really felt good, let's play it".  Brian's comment is the only material from that May 24 Sunset Sound session used in the Capitol montage.   

*****************************************************************************





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LostArt
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« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2008, 06:44:20 AM »

Very cool stuff!  Thanks for that.  Answers a lot of questions for me.
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2008, 12:21:56 AM »

Am I the only one who hears both Carls on the entire thing? In verses, it's Carl, phrasing of certain words ("how she comes in so STRONG"). On chorus, it doesn't sound like Brian's unique falsetto. Carl trying to sound like Brian? Anyway, just my .02 cents.
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« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2008, 10:40:36 AM »

Brian trying to sound like Carl?

Brian trying to sound like Brian ?

Brian just doing a scratch vocal and not really being bothered who he sounds like ?

Alan trying to sound like Brian trying to sound like Carl ?  Grin
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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2008, 01:58:46 PM »

all trying to sound good!
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« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2008, 02:21:23 PM »

Am I the only one who hears both Carls on the entire thing? In verses, it's Carl, phrasing of certain words ("how she comes in so STRONG"). On chorus, it doesn't sound like Brian's unique falsetto. Carl trying to sound like Brian? Anyway, just my .02 cents.

It's definitely not Carl on the verses...he couldn't hit those high notes even in falsetto (at least not at the time of recording), and whoever is singing them on that early version is hitting it in a strong head voice, which only Brian had.
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« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2008, 09:53:44 AM »

Am I the only one who hears both Carls on the entire thing? In verses, it's Carl, phrasing of certain words ("how she comes in so STRONG"). On chorus, it doesn't sound like Brian's unique falsetto. Carl trying to sound like Brian? Anyway, just my .02 cents.

It's definitely not Carl on the verses...he couldn't hit those high notes even in falsetto (at least not at the time of recording), and whoever is singing them on that early version is hitting it in a strong head voice, which only Brian had.

Wait a minute, Chris. It was only a year or so before Carl sang "Wild Honey" which goes several notes higher, in full voice too. And what's more compelling- he sang "Good Vibrations", same tune on the verses, just months after this demo version. It's true he is singing more forcefully on the demo, but it is usually harder to sing high notes softly rather than to sing them loudly, I think.

The chorus goes even higher than the verse, and not in falsetto either. It also is nothing like Brian's "head voice", but still it is a bit less high than "Wild Honey". It also sounds strained in a similar way to "Wild Honey". I vote, with epi, that it is Carl all the way through.

Am I the only one who hears both Carls on the entire thing? In verses, it's Carl, phrasing of certain words ("how she comes in so STRONG"). On chorus, it doesn't sound like Brian's unique falsetto. Carl trying to sound like Brian? Anyway, just my .02 cents.

I agree totally, epi. That is Carl's accent exactly ("She's already working on my brain" right at the start, the same accent as "Hi, little girl, it's me" etc. on "Girl, don't tell me"), and on the choruses too, I think. Carl trying to sound like Brian? It's probably not consciously but there were often a lot of similarities. As for my idea that there may be a partially erased Brian vocal underneath, I would now say probably not. The double-tracking is probably all Carl. But he might have erased over a Brian guide vocal, with backing vocals. There are some Brian background falsettos and some nearly erased stuff in the chorus.

Brian trying to sound like Carl?

Brian trying to sound like Brian ?

Brian just doing a scratch vocal and not really being bothered who he sounds like ?

Alan trying to sound like Brian trying to sound like Carl ?  Grin

It's a difficult one to work out, but if anything, it's certainly not Alan!

Anyway, it's Carl. Nowhere does it sound like Brian. Brian seems very recognisable when it is him. Carl is more difficult, probably because one expects Brian, and because Carl sounds different between singing loud and soft.

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« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2008, 01:19:57 PM »

Brian still sang the falsettos on the verse of the released version though, because Carl couldn't hit them.

My vote: Brian.
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