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Author Topic: Carl & The Passions "So Tough" / Pet Sounds  (Read 15183 times)
c-man
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« Reply #75 on: February 22, 2010, 07:01:26 AM »

I'm surprised about 'Friends'. That doesn't strike me as a particularly complex album; plus recent recordings where you can hear Al play prove he's no amatuer.

Definitely agree, but most of the tracking on "Friends" was done by Brian with members of the "Wrecking Crew".  Sometimes Carl also played. 
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c-man
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« Reply #76 on: February 22, 2010, 07:06:25 AM »

Interesting that Al played guitar on "Endless Harmony" (but not Carl?).  

According to the AFM, Carl played bass, Brian played organ, Bruce played piano, and Dennis played percussion on that one.  

And Bruce on Rhodes too I assume....Wow.  Really?  So they returned to the late '60s band recording configuration one more time on that one. That's kind of a shocker to me.  I wonder what Bruce's motivation for this was?  And who drummed, then?  I'm surprised it wasn't Dennis, since the drums were so minimal.  Wasn't aware there was true Beach Boys band performance that late in the game.  The last or nearly last one, surely.

"Endless Harmony"...according to the AFMs, it was first tracked 11/1/79 at a Rumbo session that also saw overdubbing work on "Little Girl" (the track that was used for "Sunshine").  Players on that contract are the usual "KTSA" crew of studio musicians (including Ricky on drums), plus Brian, Carl and Bruce (all listed as playing keyboards).  However, notation on the contract indicates that the three BBs (plus Ricci Martin, also on keyboards) played on the first half of the session only, whereas the remaining players recorded for another three hours.  The first song listed on the contract is "Endless Harmony", but that might not mean that was actually the first song cut that day.  What I'm getting at is, without listening to the session tape, we can't say for sure how much instrumentation was on the basic track at this point...for all we know, it might have only been the song's "A" section (Bruce alone on the Fender Rhodes).

Then there was there was a series of sessions devoted to vocal work on this song and others at Jardine's Barn, in the middle of which there was an instrumental tracking session logged as taking place on 11/10.  This was for "Goin' To The Beach" and "Endless Harmony".  Musicians on the contract (the corresponding instrument names are provided) are Carl Wilson (bass), Bruce Johnston (keyboards...correction to my earlier post), Alan Jardine (guitar), Brian Wilson (organ), Dennis Wilson (percussion), John Hobbs (keyboards), and Scott Mathews (drums).  From this, we can gather that either the "B" section for the song was laid down from scratch at this session, or this was overdubbing work done on a "B" section basic track from the 11/1 session.

Finally, Scott Mathews added more drums and two percussion doubles to "Endless Harmony" at another Jardine Barn session (12/14).

I can only guess that the point in getting all 5 Beach Boy instrumentalists on this track is because it's a musical "biography" of the band, therefore there was a certain integrity (or "vibe") that came from their presence.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 07:32:05 AM by c-man » Logged
c-man
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« Reply #77 on: February 22, 2010, 07:29:36 AM »

How much of the band was on "Santa Ana Winds"?  That would be my other guess for most group instrumental performance on the album.

"Santa Ana Winds" was cut originally prior to the "Light Album" sessions...at Western Recorders on 6/27/78:  Brian Wilson (electric piano), Ed Carter (bass), Mike Kowalski (percussion), Alan Jardine (guitar), Carl Wilson (guitar), and Chuck Britz are the names on the contract.  On 8/22/78, Tommy Morgan was brought in to add the harmonica at another Chuck Britz-engineered Western session.  More work, including vocals, was done on the song during the November sessions for "L.A. Light":  this would presumably be the "early" version that's been bootlegged. 

Then, during the "KTSA" sessions, Bruce stripped the song of all the original tracks except the harmonica & the chorus vocals, and built a new track with just two acoustic guitars, string bass & brushes on snare drum, plus a string section.  Presumably, Al did the acoustic guitar work...the strings (including Igor Horeshevsky on cello and Lyle Ritz on upright bass) were added at Rumbo on 2/1/80.  It would appear that the snare drum was played by Steve Forman, at a Rumbo session logged as 2/4/80.
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Foster's Freeze
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« Reply #78 on: February 22, 2010, 12:33:11 PM »

Great info c-man!
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« Reply #79 on: February 22, 2010, 02:18:34 PM »

Wow.  I second that, great stuff.

I also have to wonder if, since KTSA was intended to be a band reunification album, Bruce didn't originally plan to have the whole band involved in the tracking as well, and then abandoned the idea as unworkable after that first session (where Dennis apparently was extremely distraught and could barely function).  It's really interesting to me that they had Carl on bass and Al on guitar for sessions that late in the game.

I've asked this question before...what tracks do we know Brian and Bruce played bass on, not counting the obvious ones (first two albums for Brian, PARTY for Bruce).  I know we've got Bruce on bass for "Wild Honey" and now perhaps "Marcella."  Brian MAY be the bass player on "Don't Worry Baby."  Those are the only ones I can remember.  How odd that the ostensible "bass players" in the band hardly ever played bass in the studio, but both the guitar players did.
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« Reply #80 on: February 22, 2010, 02:26:22 PM »

Brian played bass on the 15BO version of "Susie Cincinnati.
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« Reply #81 on: February 22, 2010, 02:29:36 PM »

Brian MAY be the bass player on "Don't Worry Baby." 
Al played bass on Don't Worry Baby, Brian is on piano, Carl guitar, Dennis drums. Carl overdubs the guitar stabs.
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Dr. Tim
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« Reply #82 on: February 22, 2010, 02:35:06 PM »

The 1972 press of Pet Sounds with CATP is good except for one major hiccup.

Listen to Wouldn't It Be Nice. Mono, mono, mono, until the bridge, then lovely duophonic!

It only took me until now to double-check my issue of the CATP/PS double, which also dates from 1972.  And checked the bridge on Wouldn't It Be Nice.

Mono mono mono all the way!  (Which I hope isn't catching)

I am intrigued because what you describe isn't the first mastering mystery about Pet Sounds.  Someone else swore they had what was supposed to be a UK mono LP but that press run was done from a folded-down-to-mono Duophonic tape, so it had both phase cancellation AND bad Elvis echo.

Sometimes what happens is, if the LP is cut with a stereo lathe, and the engineer is sloppy, litle dips in volume in one channel occur for a second or two. Two famous examples: the original US pressing of Cream's Disraeli Gears - on "Deserted Cities of the Heart". Another was the original US run of the White Album, on "Cry Baby Cry."
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 02:36:36 PM by Dr. Tim » Logged

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BJL
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« Reply #83 on: February 22, 2010, 02:45:39 PM »

Didn't Brian play bass on some of Today?  Like So Young maybe? 
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Pinder's Gone To Kokomo And Back Again
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« Reply #84 on: February 22, 2010, 03:22:32 PM »

Brian MAY be the bass player on "Don't Worry Baby."  
Al played bass on Don't Worry Baby, Brian is on piano, Carl guitar, Dennis drums. Carl overdubs the guitar stabs.

 Grin To my ears, this song contains one of  the best, most recognizable/powerful drum intros ever!


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adamghost
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« Reply #85 on: February 22, 2010, 04:34:54 PM »

Brian played bass on the 15BO version of "Susie Cincinnati.

I've talked this over with Boyd and others and they seem to think the bass credit may actually be from playing bass on the organ, and not actual bass guitar.
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lupinofan
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« Reply #86 on: February 22, 2010, 04:46:22 PM »

I am intrigued because what you describe isn't the first mastering mystery about Pet Sounds.  Someone else swore they had what was supposed to be a UK mono LP but that press run was done from a folded-down-to-mono Duophonic tape, so it had both phase cancellation AND bad Elvis echo.

Sometimes what happens is, if the LP is cut with a stereo lathe, and the engineer is sloppy, litle dips in volume in one channel occur for a second or two. Two famous examples: the original US pressing of Cream's Disraeli Gears - on "Deserted Cities of the Heart". Another was the original US run of the White Album, on "Cry Baby Cry."

At least one of the early masters used for the UK "Pet Sounds" is a fold-down of the Duophonic. I had it for years until long after the first CD version came out. It was a first pressing as it had the old Capitol label (similar to the late-1950s US-style) which had been replaced by a later variant in the UK by the time "Smiley Smile" came out. The UK 45s of the "Pet Sounds" tracks were definitely cut in mono from Duophonic tapes, with dynamic compression to make them even nicer sounding.  Cheesy

However, there is a UK "Pet Sounds" with the slightly later 1960s label which used the genuine mono tape. A friend had it - I taped his copy as an upgrade to mine, when the only commercially available alternative was to buy a Duophonic reissue.

The "Cry, Baby, Cry" issue is simply a momentary drop-out ("head clog") experienced when one of Capitol's stereo stampers was being cut. Again, heavily recompressed. I had a foreign stereo copy of "With The Beatles" whose right channel suffered a similar head-clog from halfway through "Til There Was You" right through to the end of side 1.

It was standard practice for several years for US Capitol to supply UK EMI with stereo material on tape, and mono material on stampers. When those stampers got worn through over-use, EMI often simply substituted the stereo tape to make a new folded-down mono stamper. (There are examples of Sinatra LPs peppered throughout the 1960s like this. The folded-down Duophonic "Songs for Swingin' Lovers" is a particular sonic joy.) That said, however, I believe this practice had ceased by 1965, so it's anybody's guess why "Pet Sounds" suffered in this way.
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« Reply #87 on: February 23, 2010, 01:18:59 AM »

I've asked this question before...what tracks do we know Brian and Bruce played bass on, not counting the obvious ones (first two albums for Brian, PARTY for Bruce). 

Not sure how "obvious" these are featuring Brian on bass: "Dance" x 3 (perhaps Nashville version too?), "I'm So Young" (Jan. '65 version), "Sandy She Needs Me", "Then I Kissed Her" and "Girl Don't Tell Me". It's likely there are others but that's all I got. Bruce isn't so obvious.

Thanks go to c-man for the above info. By the way, would you consider authoring a Definitive Instrumental Thread or are you saving this information for future archives/ESQ installments? Your investigative work is much enjoyed and appreciated by many on this board, myself included.
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« Reply #88 on: February 23, 2010, 01:29:14 AM »

Thanks for all this great info, guys. It makes absorbing reading for a nerd like myself.

I don't like looking at the musician credits for albums (like KTSA), with endless lists of session musicians plus the BBs guys, but you know that Dennis didn't drum on every track etc...and you start to suspect that they didn't do anything at all, being too rich, involved in divorces, lazy, etc...

So it's great to find out the tracks that they did actually play on.
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« Reply #89 on: February 23, 2010, 02:41:27 AM »

Rather than look at that way(that they were lazy, though that's definitely a valid way of looking at it) I like to think of the beach boys this way: After a certain time they ceased being a studio band and became an affiliation of songwriter producers...sometimes they used each other for their productions, other times they used others who were in orbit.
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« Reply #90 on: February 23, 2010, 02:52:17 AM »

Rather than look at that way(that they were lazy, though that's definitely a valid way of looking at it) I like to think of the beach boys this way: After a certain time they ceased being a studio band and became an affiliation of songwriter producers...sometimes they used each other for their productions, other times they used others who were in orbit.

I see your point, but the problem with this is that what happens when the songwriting and production is awful?

The muddy mess of Shortenin Bread on LA. The cover versions on MIU, KTSA, BB85. The songs out of the vault, the disco re-treads. Steve Levine.

If they're too lazy to play, write or produce, then why bother?

I'd rather have a song written by Al and played by the guys, than a slick radio-friendly bland piece of plastic.
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« Reply #91 on: February 23, 2010, 06:34:30 AM »

Great information again guys, great insight.
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« Reply #92 on: February 23, 2010, 10:42:27 AM »

Rather than look at that way(that they were lazy, though that's definitely a valid way of looking at it) I like to think of the beach boys this way: After a certain time they ceased being a studio band and became an affiliation of songwriter producers...sometimes they used each other for their productions, other times they used others who were in orbit.

I see your point, but the problem with this is that what happens when the songwriting and production is awful?

The muddy mess of Shortenin Bread on LA. The cover versions on MIU, KTSA, BB85. The songs out of the vault, the disco re-treads. Steve Levine.

If they're too lazy to play, write or produce, then why bother?

I'd rather have a song written by Al and played by the guys, than a slick radio-friendly bland piece of plastic.
Ironically many of the songs written by Al after the "Holland" era WERE slick radio-friendly bland pieces of plastic regardless of who's actually playing on them.
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« Reply #93 on: February 23, 2010, 11:38:36 AM »

Brian played bass on the 15BO version of "Susie Cincinnati.

I've talked this over with Boyd and others and they seem to think the bass credit may actually be from playing bass on the organ, and not actual bass guitar.

Eh, Boyd... what would he know ?  Wink I'll bet he told you Brian didn't play harmonica on that track either.  Grin
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adamghost
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« Reply #94 on: February 23, 2010, 12:53:56 PM »

I've asked this question before...what tracks do we know Brian and Bruce played bass on, not counting the obvious ones (first two albums for Brian, PARTY for Bruce). 

Not sure how "obvious" these are featuring Brian on bass: "Dance" x 3 (perhaps Nashville version too?), "I'm So Young" (Jan. '65 version), "Sandy She Needs Me", "Then I Kissed Her" and "Girl Don't Tell Me". It's likely there are others but that's all I got. Bruce isn't so obvious.

Thanks go to c-man for the above info. By the way, would you consider authoring a Definitive Instrumental Thread or are you saving this information for future archives/ESQ installments? Your investigative work is much enjoyed and appreciated by many on this board, myself included.

These are all new to me, though I guess I should have known he was on "Dance."
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adamghost
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« Reply #95 on: February 23, 2010, 12:59:55 PM »

Rather than look at that way(that they were lazy, though that's definitely a valid way of looking at it) I like to think of the beach boys this way: After a certain time they ceased being a studio band and became an affiliation of songwriter producers...sometimes they used each other for their productions, other times they used others who were in orbit.

I'm actually amazed they played on as much of their own stuff as they did, particularly as it's widely thought they didn't play their own instruments on their records (particularly Dennis).  Past a certain point they thought of themselves as primarily a vocal band, and so it's natural that they'd bring in better players to supplement what they can do.  What we're learning more and more is that all of the Beach Boys (except Mike) were versatile (though not virtuoso) players that could step in in almost any role if there was nobody around that could do it better...but that they were happy to have someone else do it if there was a better player in the room.  I find that really admirable.

Think about what we know they actually played on record:
Brian:  keyboards, harmonica, bass, vibes, drums, percussion -- not sure whether he played guitar on anything that was actually released or not.
Carl:  guitar, keyboards, bass, rudimentary drums, percussion
Dennis:  keyboards, drums, percussion, bass harmonica, and dabbling in almost every other instrument if he wanted it on the track.
Al:  bass, guitar, occasionally keyboards
Bruce:  keyboards, bass, mandolin (and the Wrecking Crew guys thought that he was a musician of their caliber, no small compliment that).

That's a lotta instruments -- and even Mike dived in on theremin, sax and occasional keyboards, even though he couldn't really play anything.  That can-do spirit is really inspiring.  If they wanted to cut a track, they didn't wait for Hal Blaine to show up; they just did it.
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« Reply #96 on: February 23, 2010, 01:40:13 PM »

Admirable indeed!

And here's a cool thing about Dennis: a lot of drummers would be resentful of Hal Blaine getting acclaim as "the guy who played drums on all the Beach Boys records, because Dennis can't play" But what does Dennis do when he cuts his solo album? He gets Hal Blaine!!

He also let's The Beach Boys touring drummer Bobby Figeroua play most of the drums on his album. This is very cool because touring drummers and studio drummers are usually looked at as completely different animals, with the touring guys getting the short end of the stick.
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Jon Stebbins
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« Reply #97 on: February 23, 2010, 01:56:20 PM »

I've asked this question before...what tracks do we know Brian and Bruce played bass on, not counting the obvious ones (first two albums for Brian, PARTY for Bruce). 

Not sure how "obvious" these are featuring Brian on bass: "Dance" x 3 (perhaps Nashville version too?), "I'm So Young" (Jan. '65 version), "Sandy She Needs Me", "Then I Kissed Her" and "Girl Don't Tell Me". It's likely there are others but that's all I got. Bruce isn't so obvious.

Thanks go to c-man for the above info. By the way, would you consider authoring a Definitive Instrumental Thread or are you saving this information for future archives/ESQ installments? Your investigative work is much enjoyed and appreciated by many on this board, myself included.

These are all new to me, though I guess I should have known he was on "Dance."
Adam if those are new to you you've got to check out Craig Slowinski's site...
http://www.beachboysarchives.com/

Its absolutely the best source for session obsessives like you and me.
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« Reply #98 on: February 23, 2010, 03:11:14 PM »

Yeh, whatever the reasons for pairing the two albums it was a strange decision. Surf's Up had been such a success - had the record company lost confidence in the band that quickly? Perhaps its because CATP was just so damn short. I mean, it's not actually that much longer than Surf's Up, and is actually longer than Wild Honey or Friends, but there's no getting over the fact that all you get is eight tracks - eight??! And from a band with so many great unreleased tunes, many of them recent (in particular from dennis - imagine a ten track CATP with Barbara and Wouldnt it be Nice to Live Again...)
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c-man
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« Reply #99 on: February 23, 2010, 03:46:07 PM »

Yeh, whatever the reasons for pairing the two albums it was a strange decision. Surf's Up had been such a success - had the record company lost confidence in the band that quickly? Perhaps its because CATP was just so damn short. I mean, it's not actually that much longer than Surf's Up, and is actually longer than Wild Honey or Friends, but there's no getting over the fact that all you get is eight tracks - eight??! And from a band with so many great unreleased tunes, many of them recent (in particular from dennis - imagine a ten track CATP with Barbara and Wouldnt it be Nice to Live Again...)

I think it was just part of the contract with Warner Brost./Reprise, that each of the post-1965 albums (all which had been out-of-print for a few years) would be paired with a brand-new album, starting with "Pet Sounds" and "So Tough", and priced at just an extra dollar.  A completed "SMiLE" would've been the next one, but when that didn't materialize, and when they were criticized for doing it this way, they switched tactics and paired the remaining four albums with one another for the reissues.  But considering those five albums had sold realitively poorly and hadn't been available for awhile, it seemed at the time like a win-win-win situation for the band, the label, and the fans. 
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