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Smiley Smile Stuff => Smile Sessions Box Set (2011) => Topic started by: desmondo on October 28, 2011, 08:14:21 AM



Title: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: desmondo on October 28, 2011, 08:14:21 AM
All version welcome here


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: desmondo on October 31, 2011, 05:55:46 AM
Just listened to the 67 version - just beautiful - a fantastic version fragile beyond belief



Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: JMZ on October 31, 2011, 07:37:07 AM
I only heard the begining of it on Brian Wilson's facebook. It's beautiful.

Now a question: how many fan-mixes will try to sync it with the "1st movement" backing track ?

IMO, this would be a mistake. This 67 version seems to be so perfect in every ways. Maybe an over-produced backing would spoil its beauty...


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: hypehat on October 31, 2011, 11:03:06 AM
JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH. SU 1967 just ruined me. SO GOOD


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: runnersdialzero on October 31, 2011, 03:58:53 PM
Now a question: how many fan-mixes will try to sync it with the "1st movement" backing track ?

IMO, this would be a mistake. This 67 version seems to be so perfect in every ways. Maybe an over-produced backing would spoil its beauty...

They're in different keys + the earlier demo works a lot better anyway.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Chris Brown on October 31, 2011, 08:17:01 PM
So many great versions on the box it's hard to choose just one - guess I don't have to, but it's an interesting thing to debate.

Love the new "album" mix with Brian's '66 vocals flown in.  The extra reverb added to his voice at just the right moments really sends tingles down my spine.  I like that they kept a few of Carl's parts in there too, it gives the track a more complete feel, and it's nice being able to hear the brothers sing again in a way we hadn't heard before.

The '67 demo is mindblowing, as just about everyone else who has heard it has said.  Such a raw and understated vocal from Brian, and the Wild Honey-era piano, while a bit jarring at first, really works.  I'm positive that this is one of the tracks that will be in heaviest rotation for me in the upcoming days/weeks/months.

Overall though, I still prefer the '66 "demo" above all others.  It's Brian's peak, as far as I'm concerned, and continues to inspire me no matter how many times I listen to it. 


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Wrightfan on November 01, 2011, 03:35:07 PM
Really blown away by this. Especially during the verses.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on November 01, 2011, 05:04:24 PM
The 67 version just so happens to be my favorite version of the song now. Possibly one of my favorite BW vocals as well.

Beautiful.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: aeijtzsche on November 01, 2011, 05:14:44 PM
Both Surf's Ups are really enjoyable to me.

The more I listen to '67, the more it makes sense that SU be orchestrated subtly--simplicity benefits the song very much.  I think I can hear how a "full band" "Part 2" would sound now.  Interesting how good Brian's high F is too, better supported than the earlier vocal.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: trismegistus on November 01, 2011, 05:59:48 PM
I thought that the 'album mix' on disc 1 was really great...the falsetto during 'columnated ruins domino' blew me away. It's a fitting mix to one of the more epic songs of the 60s, and I could see Brian's vocals growing on me and becoming as grandiose as the 71 mix.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Les P on November 01, 2011, 08:57:28 PM
The 67 version just so happens to be my favorite version of the song now. Possibly one of my favorite BW vocals as well.

Beautiful.

It might be my favorite too, at least for now.  When I heard about a Wild Honey-era "Surf's Up," I thought, "ok, interesting curio."  But OMG.  One of his best vocal performances ever IMO.  Definitely the best surprise for me on this whole set.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Wirestone on November 01, 2011, 09:15:21 PM
Every time I hear Surf's Up it basically makes me stop in my tracks. I doubt Brian has written a better song.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: adam78 on November 02, 2011, 02:34:26 AM
hello all,
this may have been discussed before so sorry if it has, but now we have 2 versions of brian running through surfs up as a full take, and each time he doesn't sing "canvas the town.." on the first verse, i for one now assume that he never intended to sing it there in the first place.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Wrightfan on November 02, 2011, 06:47:08 AM
hello all,
this may have been discussed before so sorry if it has, but now we have 2 versions of brian running through surfs up as a full take, and each time he doesn't sing "canvas the town.." on the first verse, i for one now assume that he never intended to sing it there in the first place.

I don't know because the canvas the town that he does sing IS the same melody that Carl sings after the first verse in the 71 version.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: adam78 on November 02, 2011, 07:17:49 AM
hello all,
this may have been discussed before so sorry if it has, but now we have 2 versions of brian running through surfs up as a full take, and each time he doesn't sing "canvas the town.." on the first verse, i for one now assume that he never intended to sing it there in the first place.

I don't know because the canvas the town that he does sing IS the same melody that Carl sings after the first verse in the 71 version.

That's a very good point! I wonder now wether they listened to this 67 run through before finishing it in 71 and took the idea from there? Brian could easily ad lib a change like that on a run though. Then again, maybe he ran through it with the others with both parts sung in each place. I do look to why if you're doing a complete run through, would you leave out a line...twice in the same place? Going as far as doing a double tracked vocal for the piano version and not singing in there both times!?

Has this been topic of discussion in the past that i've missed? I never really thought too much of it on the first piano only demo, but adding the 67 version now, just stood out too much for me as his intention.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: desmondo on November 02, 2011, 07:39:30 AM
The new version with Brian's lead is simply stupendous - the best version IMHO


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: egon spengler on November 02, 2011, 01:17:17 PM
Both Surf's Ups are really enjoyable to me.

The more I listen to '67, the more it makes sense that SU be orchestrated subtly--simplicity benefits the song very much.  I think I can hear how a "full band" "Part 2" would sound now.  Interesting how good Brian's high F is too, better supported than the earlier vocal.

Well due to the key change, it's actually "only" a high E.. Perhaps that's the threshold of his comfortable falsetto.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: tansen on November 02, 2011, 02:11:40 PM
I much prefer the his 'Columnated ruins domino..' on the 66 version. His phrasing is a lot better on that one, and he is more in pitch. The 67 version is a nice curiosity though :)


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Loaf on November 02, 2011, 04:11:12 PM
The 1967 version sounds so poignant to me. Having read some of the liner notes, where it mentions that Brian's greatest music was trapped in his soul, never getting a full release, then the late 67 version must have been another attempt by Brian to get some of this stuff out. Imagine writing Surf's Up (Surf's Up for Christssake!) and not releasing it! No one the man became depressed.

Each version of Surf's Up (66 demo, SMiLE version, 67 demo, 71 version) has some quality unique to it, added to the mystique and meaning(s), but having heard the 67 demo for the first time, it really blew me away.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: aeijtzsche on November 02, 2011, 06:10:00 PM
Both Surf's Ups are really enjoyable to me.

The more I listen to '67, the more it makes sense that SU be orchestrated subtly--simplicity benefits the song very much.  I think I can hear how a "full band" "Part 2" would sound now.  Interesting how good Brian's high F is too, better supported than the earlier vocal.

Well due to the key change, it's actually "only" a high E.. Perhaps that's the threshold of his comfortable falsetto.

Yeah, I realized that after I typed this up--that could be only as high up to as he felt good.  Perhaps that's why he brought it down and incorporated the key change.  And not to dredge up an old debate, but I still believe that Brian is in modal voice there, not falsetto.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Rerun on November 02, 2011, 06:54:13 PM
I love this 1967 version, but all the glitches in the sound detract from the quality and can be distracting at times.  Otherwise?  Gorgeous.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: GeorgeFellInHisHorn on November 02, 2011, 09:31:13 PM
I love this 1967 version, but all the glitches in the sound detract from the quality and can be distracting at times.  Otherwise?  Gorgeous.

no glitches on my version.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Ron on November 02, 2011, 09:41:16 PM
Both Surf's Ups are really enjoyable to me.

The more I listen to '67, the more it makes sense that SU be orchestrated subtly--simplicity benefits the song very much.  I think I can hear how a "full band" "Part 2" would sound now.  Interesting how good Brian's high F is too, better supported than the earlier vocal.

Well due to the key change, it's actually "only" a high E.. Perhaps that's the threshold of his comfortable falsetto.

Explain the key change to me, I didn't quite pick it out (it's harder for me to find key changes when there's LESS going on, just vocals and piano in this case).  I've only listened to that song twice so far, though, but where does he change the key?

When I listened to it, I noticed he was HIGH.  I couldn't tell if it was the original key or not (from the year before, lol, 'original').  Towards the end, though, it sounds like he's higher than he wants to be, but he struggles through it a little bit and just kills the performance in my opinion.  Hell of a performance. 


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Ron on November 02, 2011, 09:50:12 PM
Each version of Surf's Up (66 demo, SMiLE version, 67 demo, 71 version) has some quality unique to it, added to the mystique and meaning(s), but having heard the 67 demo for the first time, it really blew me away.

When I first heard the 71 version, I was blown away.  Get this. I was a casual fan, then a pet sounds fan, then a hardcore fan, then got into listening to some Smile bootlegs.  So I heard the Surf's up 'demo', and all the Smile stuff, and the "child" chants, etc....

I had never heard the "Surf's Up" album.  So keep in mind, my exposure to the song was first the demo.  So I bought "Surf's Up" at a record store, and listened through it.  When I got to Surf's up and Carl was singing it, I thought wow, so cool.  Then I heard how they spliced in Brian's demo, whoa, that's awesome.  When he got to the end, I already knew how it went.  So he goes up into the falsetto 'children's sonnnnnnnggggg'....  and then it's like a sonic tidal wave blew me away.  All the 'child' chants, the Children's song lyric, Mike's bass vox, Brian's falsetto STILL in the background over everybody from the demo, Brian's double timed piano part from the demo.... it was just mind blowing.  I had goosebumps on top of my goosebumps.

In THAT version, you hear in my opinion the dichotomy of what Brian heard in his head, and what he was able to show others.  So to the outside listener, they heard Brian singing the demo.  Piano, beautiful voice.  In Brian's head, though, were all the other harmonies and voices singing along with him, like they are at the end of that version.  So it goes from outside Brian's head, inside Brian's head when the boys all chime in with their incredible vocals at the end.

Now I know that's not the official version of the song or whatever, but the '71 version will always have a special place in my heart. 


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: egon spengler on November 02, 2011, 10:18:37 PM
Both Surf's Ups are really enjoyable to me.

The more I listen to '67, the more it makes sense that SU be orchestrated subtly--simplicity benefits the song very much.  I think I can hear how a "full band" "Part 2" would sound now.  Interesting how good Brian's high F is too, better supported than the earlier vocal.

Well due to the key change, it's actually "only" a high E.. Perhaps that's the threshold of his comfortable falsetto.

Explain the key change to me, I didn't quite pick it out (it's harder for me to find key changes when there's LESS going on, just vocals and piano in this case).  I've only listened to that song twice so far, though, but where does he change the key?

When I listened to it, I noticed he was HIGH.  I couldn't tell if it was the original key or not (from the year before, lol, 'original').  Towards the end, though, it sounds like he's higher than he wants to be, but he struggles through it a little bit and just kills the performance in my opinion.  Hell of a performance.  

from the beginning of the song up till part 2, it's all a half-step lower than the traditional versions we know and love. from the beginning of part 2 through "come about hard," it's a whole step lower.  from there through the ending, it's back to usual.  kind of a classic BW, Surfer Girl/Warmth of the Sun/I Get Around-style key change trick.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Ron on November 02, 2011, 10:35:28 PM
So at the end, then, he kicks it back up into the key it's supposed to be in?  That's pretty bad-ass.  Kind of the opposite of him doing "Don't Worry Baby" in Long Beach, ever heard that?  He comes out live, sings the song in the original key and it sounds god-awful, so halfway through he just goes down an octave for the rest of the song, lol. 


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Loaf on November 03, 2011, 05:02:30 AM

In THAT version, you hear in my opinion the dichotomy of what Brian heard in his head, and what he was able to show others.  So to the outside listener, they heard Brian singing the demo.  Piano, beautiful voice.  In Brian's head, though, were all the other harmonies and voices singing along with him, like they are at the end of that version.  So it goes from outside Brian's head, inside Brian's head when the boys all chime in with their incredible vocals at the end.

Now I know that's not the official version of the song or whatever, but the '71 version will always have a special place in my heart. 

I think the 71 version is just as legitimate as the Smile-era versions. It has the exact same feeling, of goosebumps, like you said. :)


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Bleachboy on November 03, 2011, 09:17:48 AM
The stereo version is simply amazing. Goosebumps every second.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: pixletwin on November 03, 2011, 10:28:11 AM
I love every version for different reasons. Weird eh?  ???


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: TerryWogan on November 03, 2011, 11:26:03 AM
Without wanting to jump on the 'audible edits' bandwagon, can anyone else hear an obvious (on headphones at least) edit at around 2:05 just before 'while at port' on the '67 solo version?


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: prefect319 on November 03, 2011, 12:12:57 PM
OK i posted this question in another part of the boards but i'm curious. Do you think that that key change at the end of the 67 surfs up was intentional or did brian suddenly think to himself oh crap i'm in the wrong key here lets fix it?


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: TerryWogan on November 03, 2011, 12:28:13 PM
OK i posted this question in another part of the boards but i'm curious. Do you think that that key change at the end of the 67 surfs up was intentional or did brian suddenly think to himself oh crap i'm in the wrong key here lets fix it?

Intentional without a doubt. I mean, he'd have to have specifically learnt how to play it in the '67 key, as opposed to accidentally falling into the wrong key. I suppose on a guitar it's easy enough to accidentally transpose something if you don't have a reference and you're playing barre chords, but on a piano? Nah :).


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: tansen on November 03, 2011, 12:48:38 PM
OK i posted this question in another part of the boards but i'm curious. Do you think that that key change at the end of the 67 surfs up was intentional or did brian suddenly think to himself oh crap i'm in the wrong key here lets fix it?

Intentional without a doubt. I mean, he'd have to have specifically learnt how to play it in the '67 key, as opposed to accidentally falling into the wrong key. I suppose on a guitar it's easy enough to accidentally transpose something if you don't have a reference and you're playing barre chords, but on a piano? Nah :).

Totally intentional, but don't think he would have to specifically 'learn' it, to play it. Any (good) piano player will be able to transpose pretty much on the fly.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: TerryWogan on November 03, 2011, 12:59:55 PM
Totally intentional, but don't think he would have to specifically 'learn' it, to play it. Any piano (good) piano player will be able to transpose pretty much on the fly.

Fair dos. I'm an appalling piano player, so that's not something I could ever do :p.
But I do think even if you're that proficient, it'd be difficult to accidentally play in the wrong key; when you're playing a tune you know well and muscle memory takes over, if your fingers aren't on the right keys it's going to sound messy.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: pixletwin on November 03, 2011, 03:06:44 PM
Totally intentional, but don't think he would have to specifically 'learn' it, to play it. Any piano (good) piano player will be able to transpose pretty much on the fly.

Fair dos. I'm an appalling piano player, so that's not something I could ever do :p.
But I do think even if you're that proficient, it'd be difficult to accidentally play in the wrong key; when you're playing a tune you know well and muscle memory takes over, if your fingers aren't on the right keys it's going to sound messy.

Exactly... Plus it's not even a strait transposition as the bass note emphasis on the 67 version is quite different. Definitely intentional on Brian's part.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: tansen on November 03, 2011, 03:44:38 PM
For sure. He knew what he was doing!


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The Song Of The Grange on November 03, 2011, 08:44:50 PM
The Surf's Up 1967 version is a surprise to me. It sounds like a Smiley Smile or Wild Honey outtake, but I've never heard a thing about it in the pre-box set years. I haven't found any info on it in my first pass through the big box set book. If this is post-Smile, I wonder if Brian was considering putting the song on either SS or WH?


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Chris Brown on November 03, 2011, 08:48:48 PM
The Surf's Up 1967 version is a surprise to me. It sounds like a Smiley Smile or Wild Honey outtake, but I've never heard a thing about it in the pre-box set years. I haven't found any info on it in my first pass through the big box set book. If this is post-Smile, I wonder if Brian was considering putting the song on either SS or WH?

It wasn't discovered until fairly recently - they were going through the Wild Honey tapes and found 5 takes of Brian playing the song at the end of a "Country Air" reel. 

As far as why he did it, I haven't heard any reason given, although I'm inclined to think it was just something he felt like doing on a whim, or, if planned, wanted to do for the sake of posterity.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The Song Of The Grange on November 03, 2011, 08:59:27 PM
Thanks for the info Chris Brown. I did find some info in the book under "Additional tracks". It just says "Fall 1967". Very interesting that it was at the end of a Country Air reel. Man, I was not expecting a Fall '67 Surf's Up and I am sure glad to have heard it. Biggest moment so far for me with the box set.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: donald on November 04, 2011, 07:39:18 AM
I am at work and don't have the box in front of me, but, is the 67 demo the one very near the end of disc one, just Brian and the piano?    I didn't think I had heard that before and it is truly nice.   Could be MY fav version of the song.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Chris Brown on November 04, 2011, 10:06:30 AM
I am at work and don't have the box in front of me, but, is the 67 demo the one very near the end of disc one, just Brian and the piano?    I didn't think I had heard that before and it is truly nice.   Could be MY fav version of the song.

Yep that's the one. The '66 demo is on disc 3 along with the other "Surf's Up" material. Both amazing, I'm so glad we now have all these great versions of the songs to listen to!


Title: the magnificent stereo Surf's Up: vinyl only? Why???
Post by: AlFall on November 04, 2011, 10:34:52 AM
The stereo Surf's Up on side 4 of the vinyl is one of the most beautiful recordings of any music ever.    I am very, very happy to be able to afford the $150 box set and have a turntable to hear it, and I am truly thankful that TSS was finally released.

Considering that the Beach Boys' music is arguably better than the Beatles during the 1965-67 period (and that's saying a lot), the Beach Boys' marketing continues to pale in comparison to the Fab Four.  The Beatles did exactly the right thing in 2009: they knew that most people listen to music today on headphone units like iPods, which are not designed for mono.  They released the original albums in their original stereo, adding a little bit of limiting and EQ to make the recordings sound modern.  For hard-core fans, they released a mono box set, with no limiting, as the mono mixes on the early albums sound a lot better on high quality equipment.  They also released 24-bit digital tracks on a USB stick.  That way, everybody got everything.  

The 2-CD version of TSS should be for the general public, and the tracks should be in stereo.  SMiLE is too good a work for it not to be heard by the public at large.  As it is, the mono sounds hollow on iPods.  A potential new fan will probably delete the tracks from the iPod after listening for a few minutes, wondering what all the hype is about.  They may never listen long enough to hear the stereo sessions and alternate takes tracks on the 2 CD set, which are well worth hearing.  

I have no complaints about the full 5 CD / vinyl box set.  It is a magnificent product, well worth the $150 I paid.  On this set, they did everything right - the hard core fans like us want to hear the mono on vinyl. It's a wonderful bonus to hear the stereo mixes on side 4 of the vinyl, but it's poor marketing to put the stereo mixes on the $150 set rather than the main 2-CD release.  I guess SMiLE will be forever relegated as a niche product with a cult following, rather than the magnificent work of art that rivals Beethoven's 9th Symphony in beauty and grandeur.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: donald on November 04, 2011, 12:07:10 PM
well put alfall


Title: Re: the magnificent stereo Surf's Up: vinyl only? Why???
Post by: LetHimRun on November 04, 2011, 12:47:25 PM
The stereo Surf's Up on side 4 of the vinyl is one of the most beautiful recordings of any music ever.    I am very, very happy to be able to afford the $150 box set and have a turntable to hear it, and I am truly thankful that TSS was finally released.

Considering that the Beach Boys' music is arguably better than the Beatles during the 1965-67 period (and that's saying a lot), the Beach Boys' marketing continues to pale in comparison to the Fab Four.  The Beatles did exactly the right thing in 2009: they knew that most people listen to music today on headphone units like iPods, which are not designed for mono.  They released the original albums in their original stereo, adding a little bit of limiting and EQ to make the recordings sound modern.  For hard-core fans, they released a mono box set, with no limiting, as the mono mixes on the early albums sound a lot better on high quality equipment.  They also released 24-bit digital tracks on a USB stick.  That way, everybody got everything.  

The 2-CD version of TSS should be for the general public, and the tracks should be in stereo.  SMiLE is too good a work for it not to be heard by the public at large.  As it is, the mono sounds hollow on iPods.  A potential new fan will probably delete the tracks from the iPod after listening for a few minutes, wondering what all the hype is about.  They may never listen long enough to hear the stereo sessions and alternate takes tracks on the 2 CD set, which are well worth hearing.  

I have no complaints about the full 5 CD / vinyl box set.  It is a magnificent product, well worth the $150 I paid.  On this set, they did everything right - the hard core fans like us want to hear the mono on vinyl. It's a wonderful bonus to hear the stereo mixes on side 4 of the vinyl, but it's poor marketing to put the stereo mixes on the $150 set rather than the main 2-CD release.  I guess SMiLE will be forever relegated as a niche product with a cult following, rather than the magnificent work of art that rivals Beethoven's 9th Symphony in beauty and grandeur.

I agree, but how much could they really have of SMiLE in full stereo? The general public would delete the tracks after they realized the majority were incomplete or when the songs switched from stereo to mono in sections where stereo isn't possible. It'd be a mess.

Seriously, the biggest song on the album that the general public knows, Good Vibrations, can't even be in full stereo.

This is why they went with the all mono on the 2CD set, not counting that if it were officially released in 1967, it would be mono.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Bleachboy on November 04, 2011, 03:33:02 PM
If it were released officially in 1967, we wouldn't have a 19 song album. As much as I love mono, I really think that the 2cd version at least shold have been as much stereo as possible. The stereo mixes on side 4 literally blew my mind. Mono can do justice to a beautiful production work (I'm thinking about Spector's River Deep, Montain High), but I don't really think it's the case here.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: positivemusic on November 04, 2011, 08:04:05 PM
So far, I have only heard the versions on disc 1, though I am finally getting to the sessions.

First, I love the new studio version. The echo on Brian's first "domino" is mind blowing and powerful. I'm very glad they included the "bygones" and along with Carl's "canvas the town..." part being included, he gets the due he deserves, considering the work he did on the song in '71.

I love the '67 demo version as well. The "first movement" is so intimate and touching its unreal. I'm not a big fan of the style that Brian sings the "dove nested towers" part in, but I'm in love with the way he moves back into playing the chords into the coda of the song. Overall, a gem. One of the pieces on the box I'm most thankful for!


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: LetHimRun on November 04, 2011, 09:56:09 PM
If it were released officially in 1967, we wouldn't have a 19 song album. As much as I love mono, I really think that the 2cd version at least shold have been as much stereo as possible. The stereo mixes on side 4 literally blew my mind. Mono can do justice to a beautiful production work (I'm thinking about Spector's River Deep, Montain High), but I don't really think it's the case here.

Doesn't matter. Was never going to happen.

And for 1967, it wouldn't have been 19 tracks, but I can bet you the lot that it would have been 19 tracks before it was true stereo.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mahalo on November 05, 2011, 10:33:55 PM
I really really dig the version that was assembled on the 'album' proper... really.


Title: Re: the magnificent stereo Surf's Up: vinyl only? Why???
Post by: robertgotshall on November 06, 2011, 01:44:24 AM
I agree, but how much could they really have of SMiLE in full stereo? The general public would delete the tracks after they realized the majority were incomplete or when the songs switched from stereo to mono in sections where stereo isn't possible. It'd be a mess.

Honestly, who would know? I really don't think that the general public would care or even notice that a couple sections/songs here and there aren't in stereo. We, the fans, would notice, but IMO it's not the end of the world going from a stereo track to a mono track.

Take Purple Chick's reconstruction, for example. While the vast majority of the album is in stereo, or "stereo", there are quite a few sections in mono, or close to it. And you know what? To this guy right here, it sounds great (come at me, haters). In particular, Barnyard sounds pretty cool in mono amidst all of the stereo; it almost acts as a nice little audio effect.

I sent the Purple Chick mix to a friend of mine (pre TSS, of course) who definitely qualifies as the "general public", and he LOVED it. Did he notice that some of it was in mono? Not in the slightest. I even used the version of "In Blue Hawaii" with the mono sections that PC included as a bonus track in lieu of the full stereo one because it sounds so much better.

Also, didn't The Beatles include a couple of songs in mono on the stereo Past Masters disc? Some of the early stuff that doesn't exist in stereo at all? That was released in 2009 and I'm pretty sure no one dropped dead upon hearing it.

My long-winded point is that, had disc one of TSS been released in as much stereo as possible with mono here and there, we would be fine. That said, I'm very grateful for what we've been given.

Anyway, back to Surf's Up. It roolz.  ;D


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The Demon on November 06, 2011, 07:27:37 AM
So at the end, then, he kicks it back up into the key it's supposed to be in?  That's pretty bad-ass.  Kind of the opposite of him doing "Don't Worry Baby" in Long Beach, ever heard that?  He comes out live, sings the song in the original key and it sounds god-awful, so halfway through he just goes down an octave for the rest of the song, lol. 

I really hope/wonder if he'd have tried a similar trick with the key changes if there had been a backing track for "Surf's Up" with the band.  Guess we'll never know.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Ram4 on November 07, 2011, 11:23:26 AM
I was listening to the vinyl at a friends house on a very good system and I have to agree with those who prefer the stereo stuff.  Surf's Up in particular was GORGEOUS in stereo.  I was a little off put by a few things in the new version (lot of echo, Carl suddenly appearing, harmonies on "are you sleeping," the end...).  But now I really love the new version.  Especially the stereo mix. 

As much as I wanted to embrace the mono, just like most of the Beach Boys stuff that finally gets a stereo mix, it just gets better in stereo (with some exceptions of course).  Brian's use of so many instruments get lost in a mono mix and the stereo mixes allow so many things to be heard better.  Sometimes I miss the punch of mono on a stereo mix and I normally don't like when you have too many things on one side or another, but that is not usually the case with the BB.

But thanks to technology, what we have, and what some other people have - we can still enjoy stereo versions of almost everything on SMiLE and that's the best part.  We have both. :-D

Surf's Up 1967 is incredible.  It's very emotional to listen to, knowing what state he must have been in at the time.  Not only was the entire album scapped, his world starting to unravel, his band's popularity falling at an alarming rate, but he still had a song like this... perhaps the best he has ever written and he can't/won't release it.  In his mind at the time, he might be thinking that no one would EVER hear it (aside from the CBS broadcast) again.  Very sad and beautiful.  The end of an era. :'(


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The Demon on November 07, 2011, 03:39:19 PM
Laughing horns...possible idea for overdub around the "Laughs come hard..." line?


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Micha on November 10, 2011, 01:35:06 AM
I'm happy they kept the 1971 "Bygone, bygone" and the fade but left that organ from the mix. That 1971 organ always annoyed me. Man, they were the frigging Beach Boys, why didn't they just sing that part like they do on H&V? That would have been great!


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: runnersdialzero on November 10, 2011, 02:31:25 AM
I kinda wished the organ had it's own track, I've wondered what Brian's vocal with the organ would've sounded like for ages.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Jeff on November 11, 2011, 10:15:01 PM
I'm happy they kept the 1971 "Bygone, bygone" and the fade but left that organ from the mix. That 1971 organ always annoyed me. Man, they were the frigging Beach Boys, why didn't they just sing that part like they do on H&V? That would have been great!

+1


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The Radiant Radish on November 12, 2011, 04:29:08 PM
I kinda wished the organ had it's own track, I've wondered what Brian's vocal with the organ would've sounded like for ages.

You can get an isolated Brian vocal for the middle section - that is separate from his piano track from the demo version - with the organ on another track by extracting the 5.1 mix from the Endless Harmony dvd into each individual channel of the mix.

There is also a clean 'dry' Carl vocal to be had which I mixed into a more subdued less spatial mix removing Al's "a children's song" bit and thus emphasizing the lower register vocals in the coda for a more fitting (in my opinion), less bells and whistles version.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: harrisonjon on November 14, 2011, 05:14:34 AM
I still find the transition to the 'dovenested towers" section too abrupt but I'm not sure that problem can be overcome.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Reverend Rock on November 14, 2011, 07:11:39 PM
I still find the transition to the 'dovenested towers" section too abrupt but I'm not sure that problem can be overcome.

I've always figured that was Brian's design.  And the more I listen to this new version, the more I think it is the new "definitive".  At first, I was put off by the fly-ins (other than the coda from '71, which is the only way of doing it that ever sounds right to me), but on repeated listenings, they feel more and more natural, and more and more like an appropriate way of paying tribute to Carl.

And I have to agree with the emerging consensus on what an awe-inspiring revelation "Surf's Up 1967" is.  Wow, what a mind-blower.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Reverend Rock on November 14, 2011, 07:24:07 PM
If it were released officially in 1967, we wouldn't have a 19 song album. As much as I love mono, I really think that the 2cd version at least shold have been as much stereo as possible. The stereo mixes on side 4 literally blew my mind. Mono can do justice to a beautiful production work (I'm thinking about Spector's River Deep, Montain High), but I don't really think it's the case here.

Doesn't matter. Was never going to happen.

And for 1967, it wouldn't have been 19 tracks, but I can bet you the lot that it would have been 19 tracks before it was true stereo.

That's one of many reasons that I end up being rather grateful it wasn't finished until 2004.  There was too much great material for a single LP, not quite enough for a double, and anyway, Capitol would have never swung for a double before the White Album.  I always felt that BWPS was the "just right" solution to the SMiLE puzzle, and to see the sessions released according to that as a template is just perfect.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on November 14, 2011, 07:47:07 PM

I've always figured that was Brian's design.  

You don't mean that it was Brian's design to cut to a demo of himself, do you?


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Reverend Rock on November 14, 2011, 08:41:14 PM

I've always figured that was Brian's design.  

You don't mean that it was Brian's design to cut to a demo of himself, do you?

No, I mean that the abrupt shift to "Dove nested towers..." was always his intent.  It's done that way on absolutely every version of Surf's Up that we've ever heard.  There's no reason to think he didn't intend it to be abrupt.  Even on BWPS it's done that way.  And he had his chance to "correct" it there. I guess we could say that by adding strings, he did correct the "demo" bit, but I've always liked the piano-and-vocal approach so much that it actually took me a while to get used to the strings on BWPS' "Surf's Up", and I'm not sure they sound right to me even today, though I've become more accustomed to them.  I love what happens in the second section on the '71 version and all the SMiLE era recordings.  It jars me in a good way.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on November 15, 2011, 08:41:32 AM

I've always figured that was Brian's design.  

You don't mean that it was Brian's design to cut to a demo of himself, do you?

No, I mean that the abrupt shift to "Dove nested towers..." was always his intent.  It's done that way on absolutely every version of Surf's Up that we've ever heard.  There's no reason to think he didn't intend it to be abrupt.  Even on BWPS it's done that way.  And he had his chance to "correct" it there. I guess we could say that by adding strings, he did correct the "demo" bit, but I've always liked the piano-and-vocal approach so much that it actually took me a while to get used to the strings on BWPS' "Surf's Up", and I'm not sure they sound right to me even today, though I've become more accustomed to them.  I love what happens in the second section on the '71 version and all the SMiLE era recordings.  It jars me in a good way.

I agree with you that it probably would have been fairly jarring but I think the second section to Surf's Up would have sounded entirely different from any of the versions we have now. The Smile aesthetic was, for the most part, crazy, over-the-top arrangements. Even Wonderful, which is simple, has a lot going on, when you put together both the instruments and the vocals. And when you consider that Surf's Up was kind of the epic of the album, the second half was really primed for some kind of magnificent treatment. Of course, I love the demo and I do enjoy the versions we have but there is also something very sad about the song that we have because it most likely would have been something wholly different.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The Demon on November 15, 2011, 12:55:35 PM
I wouldn't doubt Brian had something else in mind for part two, at least at some point, but I find the combo of his backing track and solo version to work very well.  The song is about society breaking down, so the song slipping from complexity to simplicity makes total sense.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Reverend Rock on November 15, 2011, 06:39:25 PM
The song is about society breaking down, so the song slipping from complexity to simplicity makes total sense.

Wow.  That's a really great point.  And it makes me think, this song is SO relevant.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: TerryWogan on November 17, 2011, 11:47:23 AM
Right, I'm working on my personal 'definitive' mix of Surf's Up (which happens to be my favourite song of all time), using the backing track and demo from TSS and the coda from the stereo vinyl version. I've tried to give the TSS CD1 mix  the benefit of the doubt, but my ears are telling me the vocals are just laggy rather than intentionally syncopated, and my own work-in-progress attempt at matching the two tracks confirms this.

It's actually pretty amazing how close in tempo the demo is to the backing track. The method I'm using is to split the demo each bar, and match the first beat of the demo piano in each bar to the first beat of the backing track. Some sections also need to be divided further where the tempo of the demo changes within a bar.

Firstly I'd like your suggestions and requests for this mix, but also I'd like to know if anyone has a vocals-only version of the demo (or as near as dammit), or if you can suggest how to produce one? Since the backing track/demo are matched as close as I can get, the synch sounds fine with the demo piano included, but removing it would be the icing on the cake.

EDIT: Just tried 'canvas the town' from Surf's Up '67 to fill the gap in the '66 piano demo and it actually fits quite nicely with some slicing and dicing. However, the Wild Honey-era piano stands out a bit. Are any technical experts able to isolate the vocals for this section?


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: TerryWogan on November 17, 2011, 06:15:10 PM
Incidentally, have they autotuned the second 'columnated ruins domino' on the TSS piano demo? It sounds more in tune with the backing track than the Anne Wallace mix.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: runnersdialzero on November 17, 2011, 11:28:01 PM
EDIT: NEVARMIND


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: adam78 on November 18, 2011, 06:27:02 AM

I agree with you that it probably would have been fairly jarring but I think the second section to Surf's Up would have sounded entirely different from any of the versions we have now. The Smile aesthetic was, for the most part, crazy, over-the-top arrangements. Even Wonderful, which is simple, has a lot going on, when you put together both the instruments and the vocals. And when you consider that Surf's Up was kind of the epic of the album, the second half was really primed for some kind of magnificent treatment. Of course, I love the demo and I do enjoy the versions we have but there is also something very sad about the song that we have because it most likely would have been something wholly different.

This is exactly how I feel about this song summed up perfectly. I could cry that he never finished certain things in particular. This probably being front of the queue. In my mind, I don't doubt for a second it would have elevated an already incredible song. Imagine hearing God Only Knows on piano only for years and then suddenly hearing the finished product. I doubt the effect would have been too far for surfs up.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: adam78 on November 18, 2011, 06:30:37 AM
Incidentally, have they autotuned the second 'columnated ruins domino' on the TSS piano demo? It sounds more in tune with the backing track than the Anne Wallace mix.

I think the masses of reverb they add to anytime brian sings falsetto on this set maybe what's masking it. Therefore it sounds smoother and more in tune. Unless they autotuned it of course....


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: CarlTheVoice on November 20, 2011, 05:59:25 AM
I like the Smile versions of Surf's Up. However, I have to admit that I think the SU album version is better. Did Carl produce that one, am I right in thinking that? It just seems to flow more and in my opinion Carl's voice was better for the start of the song. I can feel the emotion in the 67 version but it just doesn't do anything for me.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Dr. Tim on November 20, 2011, 09:49:42 AM
Here is my question for the scholars (Andrew, Craig, Peter, etc.):

The session logs descrbe a "string sweetening" session for part 2 of Surf's Up, a tape that was either lost or wiped.*  For BWPS, Brian asked Paul Mertens to add a string section for part 2.  My question: is that string arrangement something Brian remembered from 1967 and told Paul how it should go?  Or was that one of the 2003 improvements and "new things" added to BWPS?

*Correction: I see in the "What's Missing" thread Andrew says nothing was recorded string-wise for part 2.  OK.  My question still stands.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: runnersdialzero on November 20, 2011, 01:48:50 PM
I like the Smile versions of Surf's Up. However, I have to admit that I think the SU album version is better. Did Carl produce that one, am I right in thinking that? It just seems to flow more and in my opinion Carl's voice was better for the start of the song. I can feel the emotion in the 67 version but it just doesn't do anything for me.

Listening to a decent edit may remedy the "flowing" problem you talk about.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: aeijtzsche on November 20, 2011, 03:21:08 PM

I agree with you that it probably would have been fairly jarring but I think the second section to Surf's Up would have sounded entirely different from any of the versions we have now. The Smile aesthetic was, for the most part, crazy, over-the-top arrangements. Even Wonderful, which is simple, has a lot going on, when you put together both the instruments and the vocals. And when you consider that Surf's Up was kind of the epic of the album, the second half was really primed for some kind of magnificent treatment. Of course, I love the demo and I do enjoy the versions we have but there is also something very sad about the song that we have because it most likely would have been something wholly different.

This is exactly how I feel about this song summed up perfectly. I could cry that he never finished certain things in particular. This probably being front of the queue. In my mind, I don't doubt for a second it would have elevated an already incredible song. Imagine hearing God Only Knows on piano only for years and then suddenly hearing the finished product. I doubt the effect would have been too far for surfs up.

It is interesting to imagine, based on the instrumentalists on the sheet for the mythical "part 2?" session, what it would have sounded like, if, of course, that's actually what was being recorded.  It's pretty light, 4 horns and a small rhythm section.  I have thought of scoring something based on the instrumentation and overlaying it.  Hmm, new project, I guess.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: gxios on November 24, 2011, 06:05:08 AM
Someone played me a session tape of Surf's Up where Brian is trying to establish a rhythm up in the booth and starts singing the verse briefly. What "collection" is that from?


Title: Re: the magnificent stereo Surf's Up: vinyl only? Why???
Post by: nickdunning on November 24, 2011, 07:47:22 AM
I have no complaints about the full 5 CD / vinyl box set.  It is a magnificent product, well worth the $150 I paid.  On this set, they did everything right - the hard core fans like us want to hear the mono on vinyl. It's a wonderful bonus to hear the stereo mixes on side 4 of the vinyl, but it's poor marketing to put the stereo mixes on the $150 set rather than the main 2-CD release.  I guess SMiLE will be forever relegated as a niche product with a cult following, rather than the magnificent work of art that rivals Beethoven's 9th Symphony in beauty and grandeur.

I've just spent an hour trying to get my hifi to talk to my computer so I can record the side four of the vinyl as I don't want to wear the vinyl out.

That's my gripe, I'd really like a digital copy of those stereo mixes for posterity and cannot locate them (and am having difficulty doing a home made job). The stereo 'Wind Chimes' and 'Surf's Up' sounded magnificent on my friend's excellent system a few nights ago. 


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: stack-o-tracks on December 12, 2011, 12:59:51 AM
I just noticed that Carl's version he sings "a diamond" and in Brian's versions he sings "the diamond." Important stuff.  :smokin


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: runnersdialzero on December 12, 2011, 10:06:08 AM
I just noticed that Carl's version he sings "a diamond" and in Brian's versions he sings "the diamond." Important stuff.  :smokin

Always noticed that, too - both Brian takes are "the". Surprised this wasn't picked up on in 2004 and used, albeit while recognizing some would consider it trivial.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Aegir on December 13, 2011, 05:13:07 AM
well, that obviously means that Carl was the one singing it wrong.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Wrightfan on February 24, 2012, 12:58:01 PM
Every day, I start growing more and more convinced that "Talking Horns" is the second movement. The length of the lyrics fits perfectly.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Freddie French-Pounce on May 14, 2012, 01:52:26 PM
Every day, I start growing more and more convinced that "Talking Horns" is the second movement. The length of the lyrics fits perfectly.

I made a VERY poor bash at this - it works in some sections (about 3 seconds in total)
http://soundcloud.com/frederickjamesfrench-pounce/surfs-up-2-movements (http://soundcloud.com/frederickjamesfrench-pounce/surfs-up-2-movements)


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: sly74 on May 20, 2012, 05:29:31 AM
Every day, I start growing more and more convinced that "Talking Horns" is the second movement. The length of the lyrics fits perfectly.

I made a VERY poor bash at this - it works in some sections (about 3 seconds in total)
http://soundcloud.com/frederickjamesfrench-pounce/surfs-up-2-movements (http://soundcloud.com/frederickjamesfrench-pounce/surfs-up-2-movements)

Could you re-up this? I'm curious to hear it.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: SgtTimBob on October 01, 2012, 05:47:13 AM
One of my favourite moments from TSS. It's hard to pick a favourite song, because there's just so much to love, but this is definitely in the top three (along with Heroes and Villains and Wonderful).

On the subject of the simplicity of part two, I really like the bleakness. It gives a nice contrast to part one and really accentuates the layers that suddenly wash over everything at the end after 'a children's song.' I love that beautiful ending coming in after that brief moment of loneliness. That bass part is from another planet, the harmonies are just incredible and Brian soaring over everything just blows my mind every time.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Phoenix on November 02, 2012, 05:51:08 AM
Every day, I start growing more and more convinced that "Talking Horns" is the second movement. The length of the lyrics fits perfectly.

I made a VERY poor bash at this - it works in some sections (about 3 seconds in total)
http://soundcloud.com/frederickjamesfrench-pounce/surfs-up-2-movements (http://soundcloud.com/frederickjamesfrench-pounce/surfs-up-2-movements)

Could you re-up this? I'm curious to hear it.

I concur!  I gave it a quick whirl myself and am curious to see if our experiments are in any way similar.  If they are it would show that it's not just one of us imagining it but two separate guys, isolated from each other, seeing possibilities, which carries a little more weight.  As it stands, I just THINK I hear something that kinda makes sense but feel like I could be completely off base.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: punkinhead on December 04, 2012, 01:25:30 PM
Every day, I start growing more and more convinced that "Talking Horns" is the second movement. The length of the lyrics fits perfectly.

I made a VERY poor bash at this - it works in some sections (about 3 seconds in total)
http://soundcloud.com/frederickjamesfrench-pounce/surfs-up-2-movements (http://soundcloud.com/frederickjamesfrench-pounce/surfs-up-2-movements)

Could you re-up this? I'm curious to hear it.

I concur!  I gave it a quick whirl myself and am curious to see if our experiments are in any way similar.  If they are it would show that it's not just one of us imagining it but two separate guys, isolated from each other, seeing possibilities, which carries a little more weight.  As it stands, I just THINK I hear something that kinda makes sense but feel like I could be completely off base.
I third it, I'd love to hear it


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: FatherOfTheMan Sr101 on December 06, 2012, 06:44:06 PM
4th, after reading "Glimpses" the whole talking horns part is so much more interesting!


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Wrightfan on December 07, 2012, 08:57:44 PM
Oh crap, I missed it too lol.

RE-UP PLZ!  :P


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: punkinhead on December 11, 2012, 01:40:45 PM
4th, after reading "Glimpses" the whole talking horns part is so much more interesting!
really? I've had that on my Amazon Wishlist for a while, wondering if I should get it or not...not heard a lot of talk of it on here.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Freddie French-Pounce on December 22, 2012, 05:24:54 AM
Okay, so I was alerted about this from a PM, and didn't realise the interest I'd missed!

I've dug it out - it's not brilliant, and it was pre-my acquisition of the Vocals only surfs up, so the second half has reverbed piano (I OOPS the main lot of it out though.) I haven't actually bothered modifying since, but, y'know, maybe...

Surf's Up (2 movements): http://www.mediafire.com/?aa94dhe10hjhqbi (http://www.mediafire.com/?aa94dhe10hjhqbi) Okay, that appears to be dead...

try this: http://www.4shared.com/mp3/_KWBIlYi/38_Surfs_Up__2_Movements_.html? (http://www.4shared.com/mp3/_KWBIlYi/38_Surfs_Up__2_Movements_.html?)


Notes to say: I left the Brian talking (closer to the mic...) in since it fitted, and when it begins Talking Horns there is a sudden click or two. This really was a rough try, but it may inspire some others to do a far better job!


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Generation42 on December 23, 2012, 11:02:37 AM
Thanks for taking the time to share this with us again.  I agree, it has its moments where it does work its way in there and as it happens, it inspired a few new mental images for me when listening.  As you say, this was a quick job and I find myself wondering how things might turn out after a very considered musical effort.

Whether or not this lends any clues as to Brian's intentions, well, I suppose 'God Only Knows.'

Thanks again.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Phoenix on December 26, 2012, 01:37:19 AM
Yes!  Thanks for the re-up.  Just when you think you've explored every possible Smile theory...  Like I said earlier, at least I know I'm not the ONLY one to chase the cat up this particular tree.  It certainly makes you wonder if two, unrelated, isolated individuals could hear the possibilities...  What about the rest of you?  Do you think it's possible it's what or part of what Brian may have had in mind or considered at one point?


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on February 16, 2013, 12:06:46 PM
No way would Brian sabotage his song like that.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: SMiLE-addict on November 23, 2013, 04:50:04 PM
No way would Brian sabotage his song like that.
This.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: bluesno1fann on March 13, 2014, 01:00:13 AM
I only just realized this when listening to TSS Surf's Up yesterday. I'm not sure if everyone else has but I'll say it anyway.

I noticed how Brian sang the whole song - except for the first "Canvass The Town And Brush The Backdrop" which I noticed was Carl singing from the 1971 version of Surf's Up. Wonder if this was intentional or a mistake?


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Roger Ryan on March 13, 2014, 01:15:33 PM
Brian did not sing this line on either the solo demo track he did during the SMiLE sessions nor on the version he cut during the WILD HONEY sessions. It appears he intended the line to only be sung once following the second verse. By the time Carl cut the vocal for the '71 version, he included the line after the first verse as well. Since the '71 version became the official release, both the band and Brian have included the line after the first verse during live performances. Likely, Carl's vocal on the line was included on the compiled TSS version because that's the way the song has been heard for forty years.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: sly74 on March 18, 2014, 04:15:42 PM
Brian did not sing this line on either the solo demo track he did during the SMiLE sessions nor on the version he cut during the WILD HONEY sessions. It appears he intended the line to only be sung once following the second verse. By the time Carl cut the vocal for the '71 version, he included the line after the first verse as well. Since the '71 version became the official release, both the band and Brian have included the line after the first verse during live performances. Likely, Carl's vocal on the line was included on the compiled TSS version because that's the way the song has been heard for forty years.

Brian's original plan was to have a string passage there. One can only imagine how beautiful it would have been.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: runnersdialzero on March 19, 2014, 12:09:58 AM
Brian did not sing this line on either the solo demo track he did during the SMiLE sessions nor on the version he cut during the WILD HONEY sessions. It appears he intended the line to only be sung once following the second verse. By the time Carl cut the vocal for the '71 version, he included the line after the first verse as well. Since the '71 version became the official release, both the band and Brian have included the line after the first verse during live performances. Likely, Carl's vocal on the line was included on the compiled TSS version because that's the way the song has been heard for forty years.

Brian's original plan was to have a string passage there. One can only imagine how beautiful it would have been.

Where'd you read this?

I also like that Carl not only included the melody from the original '66 demo, but also the '67 Wild Honey sessions variation. The guy really wanted to get this song right and do his brother's work justice. Thanks, Carl. ^_^


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: sly74 on March 19, 2014, 11:50:18 AM
Brian did not sing this line on either the solo demo track he did during the SMiLE sessions nor on the version he cut during the WILD HONEY sessions. It appears he intended the line to only be sung once following the second verse. By the time Carl cut the vocal for the '71 version, he included the line after the first verse as well. Since the '71 version became the official release, both the band and Brian have included the line after the first verse during live performances. Likely, Carl's vocal on the line was included on the compiled TSS version because that's the way the song has been heard for forty years.

Brian's original plan was to have a string passage there. One can only imagine how beautiful it would have been.

Where'd you read this?

I have been trying to remember myself. I believe it was on Steve Hoffman's forum but as to specifically who is was,etc. If there isn't hard proof out there, it makes perfect sense to me and the discussion that was had included a lot of good points. Given there were pages upon pages in those threads, it'd be tough find it. I'm not a member there anymore either. I will keep thinking though.  :)


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: AJOG on March 20, 2014, 12:38:40 PM
No way would Brian sabotage his song like that.

If you believe the conventional thinking, BW sabotaged a whole bunch of 'em on "Smiley Smile".
 :-\


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: punkinhead on March 22, 2014, 06:44:06 AM
Brian did not sing this line on either the solo demo track he did during the SMiLE sessions nor on the version he cut during the WILD HONEY sessions. It appears he intended the line to only be sung once following the second verse. By the time Carl cut the vocal for the '71 version, he included the line after the first verse as well. Since the '71 version became the official release, both the band and Brian have included the line after the first verse during live performances. Likely, Carl's vocal on the line was included on the compiled TSS version because that's the way the song has been heard for forty years.

Brian's original plan was to have a string passage there. One can only imagine how beautiful it would have been.

Where'd you read this?

I also like that Carl not only included the melody from the original '66 demo, but also the '67 Wild Honey sessions variation. The guy really wanted to get this song right and do his brother's work justice. Thanks, Carl. ^_^
What do you mean by including the 67 Wild Honey sessions variation?


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: runnersdialzero on April 07, 2014, 10:34:54 AM
Brian did not sing this line on either the solo demo track he did during the SMiLE sessions nor on the version he cut during the WILD HONEY sessions. It appears he intended the line to only be sung once following the second verse. By the time Carl cut the vocal for the '71 version, he included the line after the first verse as well. Since the '71 version became the official release, both the band and Brian have included the line after the first verse during live performances. Likely, Carl's vocal on the line was included on the compiled TSS version because that's the way the song has been heard for forty years.

Brian's original plan was to have a string passage there. One can only imagine how beautiful it would have been.

Where'd you read this?

I also like that Carl not only included the melody from the original '66 demo, but also the '67 Wild Honey sessions variation. The guy really wanted to get this song right and do his brother's work justice. Thanks, Carl. ^_^
What do you mean by including the 67 Wild Honey sessions variation?

The '66 demo and the 67' Wild Honey sessions versions of "Surf's Up" contain a difference in the melody on the "Canvas the town and brush the backdrop" part, in the second verse. When Carl did the '71 version and put that part in the first verse, he used the lower Wild Honey melody for the first verse and the melody from the '66 demo in the 2nd.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on January 16, 2015, 03:39:46 PM

I agree with you that it probably would have been fairly jarring but I think the second section to Surf's Up would have sounded entirely different from any of the versions we have now. The Smile aesthetic was, for the most part, crazy, over-the-top arrangements. Even Wonderful, which is simple, has a lot going on, when you put together both the instruments and the vocals. And when you consider that Surf's Up was kind of the epic of the album, the second half was really primed for some kind of magnificent treatment. Of course, I love the demo and I do enjoy the versions we have but there is also something very sad about the song that we have because it most likely would have been something wholly different.

This is exactly how I feel about this song summed up perfectly. I could cry that he never finished certain things in particular. This probably being front of the queue. In my mind, I don't doubt for a second it would have elevated an already incredible song. Imagine hearing God Only Knows on piano only for years and then suddenly hearing the finished product. I doubt the effect would have been too far for surfs up.

You made me cry :'( I think the song works ok as it is where the second half is more sparse, but I think a truly completed version would really blow all of us away. It only speaks to how great the song is that it's still listenable in its half-finished, frankensteined state. I have to agree with whoever said the transition between halves probably would have been pretty abrupt, even in a finished SU. The other SMiLE songs have a lot of those abrupt transitions. Wind Chimes, Heroes, Wonderful--had the insert been finished, etc. Nothing wrong with that, tho. GV did just fine and sounds great with the same thing.

If it were released officially in 1967, we wouldn't have a 19 song album. As much as I love mono, I really think that the 2cd version at least shold have been as much stereo as possible. The stereo mixes on side 4 literally blew my mind. Mono can do justice to a beautiful production work (I'm thinking about Spector's River Deep, Montain High), but I don't really think it's the case here.

Doesn't matter. Was never going to happen.

And for 1967, it wouldn't have been 19 tracks, but I can bet you the lot that it would have been 19 tracks before it was true stereo.

That's one of many reasons that I end up being rather grateful it wasn't finished until 2004.  There was too much great material for a single LP, not quite enough for a double, and anyway, Capitol would have never swung for a double before the White Album.  I always felt that BWPS was the "just right" solution to the SMiLE puzzle, and to see the sessions released according to that as a template is just perfect.

Are you kidding? So just because every single piece of music associated with SMiLE wasnt going to be released at once, it's better that the world be deprived of that magnificent music and the Boys reputations be ruined? No way. SMiLE would have perfectly fit the mood of the times in '67 and elevated the band to the level of respect of the Beatles or even above that. BWPS is nice, and the fact that we got that and Smiley is a cool silver lining to the tragedy, but I think it is, undeniably a tragedy, that the album wasn't finished when it would have made the greatest impact. A lot of that material could have made nice B-sides or held over to other projects as well, you know.

Laughing horns...possible idea for overdub around the "Laughs come hard..." line?

I'm pretty sure that idea was used in the first section of the song. Makes me very certain that the "moaning" and "wailing" horn sections in Talking Horns would have been used in Part 2 in some capacity.

I'm happy they kept the 1971 "Bygone, bygone" and the fade but left that organ from the mix. That 1971 organ always annoyed me. Man, they were the frigging Beach Boys, why didn't they just sing that part like they do on H&V? That would have been great!

Agreed. Love those bygone overdubs. I

The Surf's Up 1967 version is a surprise to me. It sounds like a Smiley Smile or Wild Honey outtake, but I've never heard a thing about it in the pre-box set years. I haven't found any info on it in my first pass through the big box set book. If this is post-Smile, I wonder if Brian was considering putting the song on either SS or WH?

It wouldn't have fit on WH at all. But on Smiley it could have been brilliant. In a perfect world that would have made a great addition to Side 2 in place of GV which doesnt fit at all.


In THAT version, you hear in my opinion the dichotomy of what Brian heard in his head, and what he was able to show others.  So to the outside listener, they heard Brian singing the demo.  Piano, beautiful voice.  In Brian's head, though, were all the other harmonies and voices singing along with him, like they are at the end of that version.  So it goes from outside Brian's head, inside Brian's head when the boys all chime in with their incredible vocals at the end.

Now I know that's not the official version of the song or whatever, but the '71 version will always have a special place in my heart.  

I think the 71 version is just as legitimate as the Smile-era versions. It has the exact same feeling, of goosebumps, like you said. :)

Disagreed. I think Surf's Up '71 is no more legitimate an attempt at a SMiLE song than any other SMiLE fragment released on later albums. It's nice, but not the intent of the song from '66-'67 and still a forced , somewhat desperate bid for attention. That may rub some of you the wrong way, but thats how I see just about every reworked SMiLE fragment on a later album. These songs, in spite of what some of you think, were made to be together in my opinion. Putting them on something else is like painting a picture, then cutting out a piece of Van Gogh's Starry Night and pasting it in the middle of the new painting, in the misguided belief that because it has a piece of a masterwork in it it makes the new painting better.

The 67 version just so happens to be my favorite version of the song now. Possibly one of my favorite BW vocals as well.

Beautiful.

It might be my favorite too, at least for now.  When I heard about a Wild Honey-era "Surf's Up," I thought, "ok, interesting curio."  But OMG.  One of his best vocal performances ever IMO.  Definitely the best surprise for me on this whole set.

It really is beautiful. Probably my favorite take on the song too. I wish Brian had released something like that for a single instead of wasting so much precious time forcing H&V to be commercial instead. Would have been a great contrast to GV, and still kept the orchestrated SU a surprise for the album.




I also just want to thank this thread for giving me the idea to use Talking Horns as the Second Movement of SU. The more I think about it, it really makes sense. Maybe the take we have wouldnt have been used, but I think something like it would.

For my money, I hate the '71 fade tho. I think it's too busy and kinda cheesy sounding, and not the original intent but rather a last minute decision to recycle an unused fragment that was too brilliant to go unheard by the masses. Brian never sang the CIFOTM chorus or "and the children know the way" in any of the versions before '71. I think he would have, in place of the "aahs" had it been so integral in '67.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: runnersdialzero on January 16, 2015, 07:46:47 PM
For my money, I hate the '71 fade tho. I think it's too busy and kinda cheesy sounding, and not the original intent but rather a last minute decision to recycle an unused fragment that was too brilliant to go unheard by the masses. Brian never sang the CIFOTM chorus or "and the children know the way" in any of the versions before '71. I think he would have, in place of the "aahs" had it been so integral in '67.

We have no way of knowing if it that ending was the "original intent" or not. I would say the anecdotes of Brian rushing into the studio unannounced while they were working on the song, handing out parts for everyone, may have been his way of saying, "If you guys HAVE to finish this song, let's at least do it right."

I'm a big fan of the ending. If Brian wanted to finish and put out "Child" on a later record, he could have. What's taken from "Child" is just one vocal part (transposed to fit "Surf's Up", it really needs to be mentioned. He didn't just change the key and throw it in there) and nothing more, anyway - the rest of the vocals weren't heard prior to '71, either.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on January 16, 2015, 10:03:56 PM
For my money, I hate the '71 fade tho. I think it's too busy and kinda cheesy sounding, and not the original intent but rather a last minute decision to recycle an unused fragment that was too brilliant to go unheard by the masses. Brian never sang the CIFOTM chorus or "and the children know the way" in any of the versions before '71. I think he would have, in place of the "aahs" had it been so integral in '67.

We have no way of knowing if it that ending was the "original intent" or not. I would say the anecdotes of Brian rushing into the studio unannounced while they were working on the song, handing out parts for everyone, may have been his way of saying, "If you guys HAVE to finish this song, let's at least do it right."

I'm a big fan of the ending. If Brian wanted to finish and put out "Child" on a later record, he could have. What's taken from "Child" is just one vocal part (transposed to fit "Surf's Up", it really needs to be mentioned. He didn't just change the key and throw it in there) and nothing more, anyway - the rest of the vocals weren't heard prior to '71, either.

Obviously we cant be 100% certain, but we can make educated guesses. I'd say the fact that none of those other lyrics were ever sung prior to '71 is pretty solid proof. That and I dont think Brian handing out those vocal parts is any indication that that had been his initial plan. If he really wanted to do the song right, as you say, why not record or tell Carl how to record the Second Movement? No, I think it was a last minute, albeit inspired, idea to get a little bit of CIFOTM out there. As a "if we're gonna pilage SMiLE, might as well get some of the best unused pieces out there." I dont think CIFOTM was ever going to come out after the horn part was recycled into Little Bird. I used to feel the same way about that anecdote, but now I see it differently. The rest of the vocals for Child were very possibly never recorded and probably forgotten by 1971 so Im not sure what your point is regarding that.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: runnersdialzero on January 16, 2015, 11:34:48 PM
For my money, I hate the '71 fade tho. I think it's too busy and kinda cheesy sounding, and not the original intent but rather a last minute decision to recycle an unused fragment that was too brilliant to go unheard by the masses. Brian never sang the CIFOTM chorus or "and the children know the way" in any of the versions before '71. I think he would have, in place of the "aahs" had it been so integral in '67.

We have no way of knowing if it that ending was the "original intent" or not. I would say the anecdotes of Brian rushing into the studio unannounced while they were working on the song, handing out parts for everyone, may have been his way of saying, "If you guys HAVE to finish this song, let's at least do it right."

I'm a big fan of the ending. If Brian wanted to finish and put out "Child" on a later record, he could have. What's taken from "Child" is just one vocal part (transposed to fit "Surf's Up", it really needs to be mentioned. He didn't just change the key and throw it in there) and nothing more, anyway - the rest of the vocals weren't heard prior to '71, either.

Obviously we cant be 100% certain, but we can make educated guesses. I'd say the fact that none of those other lyrics were ever sung prior to '71 is pretty solid proof. That and I dont think Brian handing out those vocal parts is any indication that that had been his initial plan. If he really wanted to do the song right, as you say, why not record or tell Carl how to record the Second Movement? No, I think it was a last minute, albeit inspired, idea to get a little bit of CIFOTM out there. As a "if we're gonna pilage SMiLE, might as well get some of the best unused pieces out there." I dont think CIFOTM was ever going to come out after the horn part was recycled into Little Bird. I used to feel the same way about that anecdote, but now I see it differently. The rest of the vocals for Child were very possibly never recorded and probably forgotten by 1971 so Im not sure what your point is regarding that.

I'm sayin' only one transposed vocal part from "Child" is used on the '71 "Surf's Up" amid several vocal parts that weren't part of "Child", thus the notion that Brian just lifted/inserted "Child" into "Surf's Up" isn't accurate. Regardless, if the "original" ending would have been per the demo, just piano and a falsetto vocal, Brian had no more work to do on that. The fact that he came in with this huge, multi-part vocal shows some amount of work was put into it. He was only about four years removed from the original writing, which isn't long at all, so I trust the guy's judgement and assessment that the song needed the ending. You don't have to like it, I guess, but to say you don't like it as evidence that it wasn't going to be that way in '67, ehhh.

Brian not giving a f*** fairly often back then may be why he didn't insist that Carl get the Wrecking Crew together to re-cut section two.

Even using educated guesses, I wouldn't say either conclusion ("Brian had the '71 'Surf's Up' ending written in '66" or "The 1971 'Surf's Up' ending was added at the last minute") is more certain than the other.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on January 17, 2015, 12:43:08 AM
For my money, I hate the '71 fade tho. I think it's too busy and kinda cheesy sounding, and not the original intent but rather a last minute decision to recycle an unused fragment that was too brilliant to go unheard by the masses. Brian never sang the CIFOTM chorus or "and the children know the way" in any of the versions before '71. I think he would have, in place of the "aahs" had it been so integral in '67.

We have no way of knowing if it that ending was the "original intent" or not. I would say the anecdotes of Brian rushing into the studio unannounced while they were working on the song, handing out parts for everyone, may have been his way of saying, "If you guys HAVE to finish this song, let's at least do it right."

I'm a big fan of the ending. If Brian wanted to finish and put out "Child" on a later record, he could have. What's taken from "Child" is just one vocal part (transposed to fit "Surf's Up", it really needs to be mentioned. He didn't just change the key and throw it in there) and nothing more, anyway - the rest of the vocals weren't heard prior to '71, either.

Obviously we cant be 100% certain, but we can make educated guesses. I'd say the fact that none of those other lyrics were ever sung prior to '71 is pretty solid proof. That and I dont think Brian handing out those vocal parts is any indication that that had been his initial plan. If he really wanted to do the song right, as you say, why not record or tell Carl how to record the Second Movement? No, I think it was a last minute, albeit inspired, idea to get a little bit of CIFOTM out there. As a "if we're gonna pilage SMiLE, might as well get some of the best unused pieces out there." I dont think CIFOTM was ever going to come out after the horn part was recycled into Little Bird. I used to feel the same way about that anecdote, but now I see it differently. The rest of the vocals for Child were very possibly never recorded and probably forgotten by 1971 so Im not sure what your point is regarding that.

I'm sayin' only one transposed vocal part from "Child" is used on the '71 "Surf's Up" amid several vocal parts that weren't part of "Child", thus the notion that Brian just lifted/inserted "Child" into "Surf's Up" isn't accurate. Regardless, if the "original" ending would have been per the demo, just piano and a falsetto vocal, Brian had no more work to do on that. The fact that he came in with this huge, multi-part vocal shows some amount of work was put into it. He was only about four years removed from the original writing, which isn't long at all, so I trust the guy's judgement and assessment that the song needed the ending. You don't have to like it, I guess, but to say you don't like it as evidence that it wasn't going to be that way in '67, ehhh.

It's possible those other vocal parts were part of SU and the Child one was an addition since Brian knew that song was dead. Or that Brian was struck by some last minute inspiration that night for the other vocal parts. Sure, Brian put a lot of work into it, but does that really mean that work had to be done in 1967? A lot of work went into Cool Cool Water on Sunflower too, but that wasnt all vintage SMiLE either. Four years may not seem like a long time now considering how far removed these events are almost 50 years later. But its long enough for him to have forgotten or changed his mind about the song. Ultimately this argument could go on in circles like this forever. We just don't know. But I don't think Brian would have had parts of one song repeated in another like that, or having Heroes and Worms share a chorus. He only did the latter when the singles took priority and the whole album was up for scrap. And it's my intuition (of course, i cant be 100% certain) that he only did it with Child and Surf when the former had already been partially recycled in Little Bird and was thus, dead.

Quote
Brian not giving a f*** fairly often back then may be why he didn't insist that Carl get the Wrecking Crew together to re-cut section two.

Your argument contradicts itself. You say the ending must be vintage because Brian didnt want them to do the song the "wrong" way, but surely if that's the case he wouldnt want it to be half finished like it ended up being? He really couldnt tell Carl what the Second Movement was, but it was super important he tell them about some coda vocals?

Quote
Even using educated guesses, I wouldn't say either conclusion ("Brian had the '71 'Surf's Up' ending written in '66" or "The 1971 'Surf's Up' ending was added at the last minute") is more certain than the other

I agree. We can never be 100% certain on anything SMiLE. All we can do is weigh the (often contradictory) evidence and vote with our ears. I happen to think Brian would have sang the "the song is love, and the children know the way" in the demo or on TV or the Fall 1967 versions of the song had that been a vintage lyric, instead of the "aahs" which would otherwise be a backing vocal and not the main melody if those lyrics actually existed in the SMiLE Era. I never used the fact that I dislike the coda as evidence...but yeah, i do dislike it. I think the "wailing horns" section of the Talking Horns track sounds much better over the fade then those half dozen vocal parts and piano. Since the "laughing horns" section ended up being rerecorded for Part 1, I think perhaps those wailing horn sounds would have also been rerecorded for Part 2. Not claiming this as fact, just my intuition again.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Keeniwakapula on July 06, 2015, 09:06:07 PM
SMiLE's original tracklisting:

Side A - Americana
Our Prayer / Gee
Heroes and Villains
Do You Like Worms
------------- / Barnyard
My Only Sunshine
Cabin - Essence

Side B - The Cycle of Life
Wonderful
Song for Children
Child is Father of the Man
Surf's Up

Side C - The Elements
I Wanna Be Around / Workshop
Vege - Tables
I'm in Great Shape / ----------------
On a  Holiday
Wind Chimes
-----------------------
-------------------------
Cool, Cool Water
Love to Say Da Da
The Elements - Earth (-----------------------------)
The Elements - Wind (-----------------------------)
The Elements - Fire (Mrs. O'Leary's Cow)
The Elements - Water (----------------------------)

Side D - Hawaii
----------------------------
----------------------------
---------------------------
Good Vibrations
(Hidden track: You're Welcome)

24 tracks, thats twice Pet Sounds 12. It would've been 60 minutes long, Brians true Teenage Symphony to God.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on July 23, 2015, 06:09:35 PM
SMiLE's original tracklisting:

Side A - Americana
Our Prayer / Gee
Heroes and Villains
Do You Like Worms
------------- / Barnyard
My Only Sunshine
Cabin - Essence

Side B - The Cycle of Life
Wonderful
Song for Children
Child is Father of the Man
Surf's Up

Side C - The Elements
I Wanna Be Around / Workshop
Vege - Tables
I'm in Great Shape / ----------------
On a  Holiday
Wind Chimes
-----------------------
-------------------------
Cool, Cool Water
Love to Say Da Da
The Elements - Earth (-----------------------------)
The Elements - Wind (-----------------------------)
The Elements - Fire (Mrs. O'Leary's Cow)
The Elements - Water (----------------------------)

Side D - Hawaii
----------------------------
----------------------------
---------------------------
Good Vibrations
(Hidden track: You're Welcome)

24 tracks, thats twice Pet Sounds 12. It would've been 60 minutes long, Brians true Teenage Symphony to God.

Nope. No evidence that a double album was ever considered. They'd never done anything like that before or after, the cover makes no mention and only lists 12 tracks, and honestly SMiLE becomes less than the sum of its parts if you include too much material. It's much tighter, more focused and more dynamic as a ~40 minute two-sided album than a 50~70 minute three or four sided one. Sure, a lot of good material gets scrapped that way, but ultimately He Gives Speeches, Dada, With Me Tonight etc don't add anything thematically to the album. Stuff like Look, Barnyard and IWBA aren't as strong and drag the music down. Beach Boys albums rarely ever crossed the 35 minute mark much less double that. Need I go on? Well, Brian is also quoted saying the original SMiLE would have been a two suite cantata. So..?

I'd say the real sequence would be closer to:

Side 1 (Americana and/or Pisces Age)
1-(Prayer) Do You Dig Worms?
2-Heroes and Villains
3-Cabin Essence (Taxi Cabber)
4-The Elements [it was only ever supposed to be 1 song, not 4]
5-Vega-Tables (Vegetable Fight)

Side 2 (Life and/or Aquarian Age)
6-Good Vibrations
7-Wind Chimes
8-Wonderful (Workshop/Ice Cream Man)
9-Child is Father of the Man
10-My Only Sunshine
11-Surfs Up (George Fell Into His French Horn)

It's my hunch that the Psychedelic Sounds skits would be on the album. Smiley Smile had goofy bits on it, these sketches were recorded with expensive Wrecking Crew musicians, and they tie into a lot of the themes of the album. Brian considered laughter to be therapeutic and enlightening in its own way too. It's not as weird an idea as it might initially seem. Give it a listen this way. Sounds a lot more focused, flows a lot better, makes more thematic sense, and again, it's much more likely SMiLE fit on a standard 45 minute LP


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 04, 2015, 05:07:24 PM
Since this thread seems to heading in this direction anyway:

SIDE A
1. Do You Like Worms (3.29)
2. Heroes and Villians (2.51) (V1/Acapella V/Cantina/"Bag of Tricks"/"Children were raised"/"Stand or Fall")
3. I'm in Great Shape (2.17) (IWBA/WS/IIGS/BY)
4. Cabin Essence (3.31)
5. Wonderful (2.54) (inc. He Gives Speeches as insert)
6. Child is Father of the Man (2.52)
7. The Old Master Painter (1.54)

SIDE B
1. Good Vibrations (3.33)
2. The Elements: Fire (2.01)
3. Vega-Tables (1.57) (Psycodelic Sounds "Veggies Chant" excerpt/VT "Demo"/"Air Chant" excerpt)
4. Wind Chimes (2.41) (V/C/Piano bridge/"Underwater Chant" excerpt)
5. Surf's Up (3.43) (original "Demo" ending)
6. Prayer (1.06)

Might look like a mess from the notations - and of course I have a certain ego involvement - but I really think the sequencing works convincingly as a rather avant-garde 60's pop LP. Total time 35:16 - only major missing '66 tracking sections are "H&V Intro" (re-made in '67 as "Bag of Tricks"/"Fire Intro"), CFOTM original bridge section and "All Day".

EDIT: Oh, and "Look", "Holidays" and "You're Welcome", of course! Stupid of me - I have these as bonus tracks so managed to forget they were included in BWPS/TSS sequencing etc. I still think as full length tracks with no surviving vocals, or known connections to any of the titles listed on the "12 track memo" the first two at least would likely have gone the way of "Trombone Dixie" - but that, of course, is pure conjecture.

1-(Prayer) Do You Dig Worms?

Quick aside - why is there still any conjecture over the correct titling of this track? (Apart from "Do You Dig Worms" being a nice pun and rather hipper.) Not only is it called such on the much-maligned Dec '66 Memo but Brian explicitly states "Do You Like Worms" as the title during the tracking session for the verses (as presented on TSS Disc 3).


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on August 05, 2015, 07:52:13 AM
In my opinion, I can't imagine that Brian would not have put Do You Like Worms and Cabin Essence side by side on the album. Listening to one right after the other sounds seamless to me.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 05, 2015, 03:20:53 PM
Try blasting straight from the final piano tinkle of DYLW into "I've been in this town so long". SMiLE has a surprising number of "natural fits".


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on August 05, 2015, 04:58:07 PM
Maybe, but even the chord change from the final note of Worms to the first note of Cabin is natural.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 05, 2015, 08:48:45 PM
Try blasting straight from the final piano tinkle of DYLW into "I've been in this town so long". SMiLE has a surprising number of "natural fits".

Absolutely agreed! And I realize Like is the correct title over Dig. But as you say, dig is hipper. It makes more sense. It makes the title a clever pun not just a rhetorical Question.

CSM, I also agree with you that Cabin and Worms are "brother and sister songs." The two share a lot of similarities and supposedly Brian even switched choruses between them once or twice during the sessions. But while they're undeniably related, I don't think they work as well side by side. They are both standard pop song structure, verse/chorus/verse/chorus/fade. They keep Side One "grounded" between the more formless Heroes and Elements in my book.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on August 06, 2015, 06:16:35 AM
CSM, I also agree with you that Cabin and Worms are "brother and sister songs." The two share a lot of similarities and supposedly Brian even switched choruses between them once or twice during the sessions. But while they're undeniably related, I don't think they work as well side by side. They are both standard pop song structure, verse/chorus/verse/chorus/fade. They keep Side One "grounded" between the more formless Heroes and Elements in my book.

I see what you mean but they simply fit too well together. I think that Heroes and The Elements seem formless because of how unfinished they were and, in the case of the former, because Brian somewhat lost the plot in his endless recordings. Indeed, Heroes on Smiley Smile doesn't sound formless and while the version on Smile would have been a whole different kind of thing, I would be surprised if it would have been haphazard. The edit of Heroes from the Smile era doesn't sound particularly formless to me either.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 06, 2015, 01:05:45 PM
CSM, I also agree with you that Cabin and Worms are "brother and sister songs." The two share a lot of similarities and supposedly Brian even switched choruses between them once or twice during the sessions. But while they're undeniably related, I don't think they work as well side by side. They are both standard pop song structure, verse/chorus/verse/chorus/fade. They keep Side One "grounded" between the more formless Heroes and Elements in my book.

I see what you mean but they simply fit too well together. I think that Heroes and The Elements seem formless because of how unfinished they were and, in the case of the former, because Brian somewhat lost the plot in his endless recordings. Indeed, Heroes on Smiley Smile doesn't sound formless and while the version on Smile would have been a whole different kind of thing, I would be surprised if it would have been haphazard. The edit of Heroes from the Smile era doesn't sound particularly formless to me either.

Personally, I think you need something between them to break it up. Otherwise they're almost *too* similar. The chorus of Worms is about killing Indians, then Heroes is about the old west. Cowboys and Indians. Cabin is about painting a serene landscape in the verses, then the train comes in with a vengeance on the choruses and ruins that natural tranquility. Apparently part of Fire is mirrored in Cabin, and I think that idea of manipulating/disrespecting nature is shared in Cabin and Elements. So these two songs fit together just as well with other tracks. And they both reference different forms of travel. Since Americana was to be a journey across America, I think it makes more sense to space that motif out a bit instead of use it up at the beginning and then never again.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 06, 2015, 09:32:12 PM
Back to "Surf's Up" - I've been re-reading this thread from the top, and there's some interesting stuff in here.

My feeling - and it is just that - is that after the 15 (16?) December vocal sessions which [Siegel] "went very badly", Brian going in late at night to double-track the 'demo version' (as distinct to the CBS solo version) is in some way significant. Let's remember, this song was always somehow significant - in '66, it was the tune taped for 'Inside Pop', a TV showcase for 'the new sounds' and the coming album. In '67, it was exhumed for the Fall "Country Air reel" recording. Brian spoke about the track - sometimes dismissively - in a few different interviews in the following four years. Then, in '71, it was explicitly recognised as meaningful, as a lost opportunity, to the extent both Jack Reilly and Wilson (according to Reilly) considered its inclusion (as the titular song, no less) on their follow-up to Sunflower crucial to making the deal with the studio brass. The same could not be said, frankly, of "Child is Father" (coda aside) or "The Old Master Painter", or even the SMiLE originals of "Wonderful" or "Wind Chimes" (though, of course, versions of these were released).

Let's consider, also, that the structure of the tune (down to the one-and-done "canvas the town" refrain and wordless coda) remained identical in the two 60's recordings. Which isn't to suggest this - Brian alone at a keyboard - is how he initially intended to release the song (the Part 1 backing proves otherwise), but there does seem to be a suggestion that the naked quality of the second half was at least in consideration post 15th December '66. I'm also in the camp which posits "Talking Horns" stuff as being in contention for Part 2 - I have a personal mix in which the slightly discordant horns enter at the end of each line before "Surf's Up, mmm hmmm" and are, I think, very effective. Rather "A Day in the Life"-like and which required almost no cutting on my part to make the timing work.

This all conjecture, of course, but if evidence is lacking as to an intended "fully produced" rendition of "Surf's Up" for SMiLE proper, my contention is that rather more exists to suggest the opposite. The rush of "Child" choral vocals in the fade, maybe - could that be part of the '66 vocal sessions that didn't quite work out? - though I've written elsewhere about my scepticism over the Priore-advanced (?) theory that repeated musical and lyrical themes were to be a part of SMiLE as its creators conceived it. And note that Reilly himself has apparently taken credit for the (in my estimation, rather lame) "Their song is love" couplet that finishes the '71 version.

Apart from the Peabody Award stuff, and the Johnston firing issue, are there many BB-related Reilly claims that have been positively disputed by those who were there?



Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 06, 2015, 10:06:37 PM
Back to "Surf's Up" - I've been re-reading this thread from the top, and there's some interesting stuff in here.

My feeling - and it is just that - is that after the 15 (16?) December vocal sessions which [Siegel] "went very badly", Brian going in late at night to double-track the 'demo version' (as distinct to the CBS solo version) is in some way significant. Let's remember, this song was always somehow significant - in '66, it was the tune taped for 'Inside Pop', a TV showcase for 'the new sounds' and the coming album. In '67, it was exhumed for the Fall "Country Air reel" recording. Brian spoke about the track - sometimes dismissively - in a few different interviews in the following four years. Then, in '71, it was explicitly recognised as meaningful, as a lost opportunity, to the extent both Jack Reilly and Wilson (according to Reilly) considered its inclusion (as the titular song, no less) on their follow-up to Sunflower crucial to making the deal with the studio brass. The same could not be said, frankly, of "Child is Father" (coda aside) or "The Old Master Painter", or even the SMiLE originals of "Wonderful" or "Wind Chimes" (though, of course, versions of these were released).

Let's consider, also, that the structure of the tune (down to the one-and-done "canvas the town" refrain and wordless coda) remained identical in the two 60's recordings. Which isn't to suggest this - Brian alone at a keyboard - is how he initially intended to release the song (the Part 1 backing proves otherwise), but there does seem to be a suggestion that the naked quality of the second half was at least in consideration post 15th December '66. I'm also in the camp which posits "Talking Horns" stuff as being in contention for Part 2 - I have a personal mix in which the slightly discordant horns enter at the end of each line before "Surf's Up, mmm hmmm" and are, I think, very effective. Rather "A Day in the Life"-like and which required almost no cutting on my part to make the timing work.

This all conjecture, of course, but if evidence is lacking as to an intended "fully produced" rendition of "Surf's Up" for SMiLE proper, my contention is that rather more exists to suggest the opposite. The rush of "Child" choral vocals in the fade, maybe - could that be part of the '66 vocal sessions that didn't quite work out? - though I've written elsewhere about my scepticism over the Priore-advanced (?) theory that repeated musical and lyrical themes were to be a part of SMiLE as its creators conceived it. And note that Reilly himself has apparently taken credit for the (in my estimation, rather lame) "Their song is love" couplet that finishes the '71 version.

Apart from the Peabody Award stuff, and the Johnston firing issue, are there many BB-related Reilly claims that have been positively disputed by those who were there?



I think it's fair to say Surfs Up was a very important song to Brian, and why not? The title is the perfect ironic reference to their roots while being the furthest they ever got from them stylistically. Thematically, I think it ties all the other ideas in SMiLE together (one of the reasons I'm sure it would have been the last song.) And it's something that sounds amazing fully vocalized/orchestrated as well as solo at the piano. It's not my personal fave, but you could make an argument it's his crowning achievement as a musician.

I wouldn't be so dismissive of CIFOTM. It was abandoned because VDP (it seems) never wrote verse lyrics and the defining horn sound had already been recycled into Little Bird by that time. It's my belief the coda was a new '71 invention precisely because he wanted to save those epic chorus vocals in some way and discovered they'd work well in Surfs Up. I agree that OMP is a weak, throwaway track outside the SMiLE context, but Child could have been Cabin Essence-calibur if it was finished.

I'm not sure if I'm willing to accept that the naked sound of part 2 was intentional. I just don't see how that suits the song or fits the other complex productions on the album. But it's great to see another believer in this Talking Horns theory. Baring the discovery of some lost acetate or music sheet, I'm convinced that's as close to a Part 2 as we will ever get. Maybe some strings too as Brian had said in 2003 whose sessions were cancelled or lost as well.

Is it certain the sessions that went "very badly" were Surfs Up? I thought I read here that they were Wonderful vocals? I'm also very skeptical of Priore's theories, as well as many other older SMiLE myths/sequence ideas. The idea of repeating sections as you mention, and this baseless, misguided insistence that Side 2 would be an "elements side" in spite of the mountain of evidence that Elements was only intended as one four part instrumental not four vastly different songs that sounds terribly jarring put together. Not to mention Dada wasn't a track until April and there's no evidence that it was water back then.

Yes, Reilly is credited with those lyrics. I think they're lame too, as are the cloying "na na na" backing vocals. I know I'm in the vast minority, but I hated that '71 fade and don't believe it's vintage at all. Brian would have sang the main "their song is love" lyrics in at least one of those 66-67 versions instead of always just doing those "aah" backing vocals. It wouldn't make sense not to, or not to do the CIFOTM lyrics if they were also vintage.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 07, 2015, 01:40:11 AM
Is it certain the sessions that went "very badly" were Surfs Up? I thought I read here that they were Wonderful vocals?

A quick look at TSS sessionography confirms that vocal sessions for both 'Wonderful' and 'Surf's Up' occurred from 7pm-10pm Dec 15th 1966. The 'Wonderful' vocals were - again, as recorded by the sessionography - backing vocals (apparently the yodels on the TSS mix). Of the 'Surf's Up' tracks, "involving all six Beach Boys", nothing more was ever heard. What seems more likely to have been the problematic part of the sessions?

Also, I would hate to sound dismissive of CFTOM. I think it's an extraordinary tune, in terms of composition and arrangement, and I fully believe that given the full lyrical/vocal treatment, it would have been the SMiLE track closest to Pet Sounds in terms of emotional heft and sweep. I also believe it was never fully worked out by BW/VDP - possibly because, like "Wind Chimes", it was an idea closer to Wilson's sensibility than Parks'.

Finally, I have absolutely come about to the idea of 'The Elements' as four separate, titled tracks. Evidence A: "Fire", the one concrete, fully-mixed track we have notated as "an element", is two minutes long. On that basis, "The Elements" would have been a 6-8 minute unbanded track, pushing the overall album - as it does in most fanmixes - over 40 mins in duration. This has little non-Dylan precedent in mid-sixties pop LPs. (The reason Dylan LP's were able to push the fifty minute limit was because the mixes were very bass-light.) Evidence B: The booklet, which includes "Vega-Tables" very clearly as an Element. I know people try to argue this was a misunderstanding on Holmes' part, or a typo, but that seems to me a deliberate misreading of the contemporary evidence to suit modern tastes. Evidence C: - and here we return to "Surf's Up" - Holmes is quoted as saying there is an additional Element featured in his "Vega-Tables" illustration. Look at it - there's a "hole in the ground", taps, picture frames with smiles, fields, etc. There is also a wall of Surf. Which is Up.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 07, 2015, 10:36:23 AM
Is it certain the sessions that went "very badly" were Surfs Up? I thought I read here that they were Wonderful vocals?

A quick look at TSS sessionography confirms that vocal sessions for both 'Wonderful' and 'Surf's Up' occurred from 7pm-10pm Dec 15th 1966. The 'Wonderful' vocals were - again, as recorded by the sessionography - backing vocals (apparently the yodels on the TSS mix). Of the 'Surf's Up' tracks, "involving all six Beach Boys", nothing more was ever heard. What seems more likely to have been the problematic part of the sessions?

Also, I would hate to sound dismissive of CFTOM. I think it's an extraordinary tune, in terms of composition and arrangement, and I fully believe that given the full lyrical/vocal treatment, it would have been the SMiLE track closest to Pet Sounds in terms of emotional heft and sweep. I also believe it was never fully worked out by BW/VDP - possibly because, like "Wind Chimes", it was an idea closer to Wilson's sensibility than Parks'.

Finally, I have absolutely come about to the idea of 'The Elements' as four separate, titled tracks. Evidence A: "Fire", the one concrete, fully-mixed track we have notated as "an element", is two minutes long. On that basis, "The Elements" would have been a 6-8 minute unbanded track, pushing the overall album - as it does in most fanmixes - over 40 mins in duration. This has little non-Dylan precedent in mid-sixties pop LPs. (The reason Dylan LP's were able to push the fifty minute limit was because the mixes were very bass-light.) Evidence B: The booklet, which includes "Vega-Tables" very clearly as an Element. I know people try to argue this was a misunderstanding on Holmes' part, or a typo, but that seems to me a deliberate misreading of the contemporary evidence to suit modern tastes. Evidence C: - and here we return to "Surf's Up" - Holmes is quoted as saying there is an additional Element featured in his "Vega-Tables" illustration. Look at it - there's a "hole in the ground", taps, picture frames with smiles, fields, etc. There is also a wall of Surf. Which is Up.

I could be wrong but as I understood it, the Wonderful sessions were what was planned and went "very badly" only in the sense that CBS couldn't use some fragmentary vocal snippets on their program. So, Brian did an impromptu performance of Surfs Up to give them usable material for their program.

Glad we can agree on CIFOTM. I'm starting to think VDP just pushed the song off to last and never got around to it, or purposefully refused to after Chocolate Shake's point about his anti-transcontinentalism was brought to my attention.

I think you're wrong about the elements. Fire is called Elements: Fire on the physical tape boxes and session recordings. Wind Chimes Dada and Veggies are not, and are listed separately on the original tracklisting. It's said the elements was to be an instrumental. Wind Chimes and Veggies aren't, and we can't be sure about Dada. When it was All Day, a Heroes fragment, Brian can be heard saying there would be a lot of talking in the pauses. On the psychedelic sounds bootleg, we have various underwater themed chants and vocal experiments, a breathing/laughing vocal exercise and veggie themed chants and comedy skit. Combined with the Frank Holmes book, I'm willing to concede Veggies is probably our best bet for Earth. But barring further evidence, I think those water/air skits are working ideas for the other two elements. Makes a LOT more sense than Wind Chimes and Dada. There's just the simple fact that an upbeat funny song, somber tranquil song, thunderous scary song and then mellow groovy song altogether just sounds terrible one right after the other. It was the worst part of BWPS and sounds just as bad on fanmixes that try it.

I don't believe for a second Surfs Up is water. Just because it has surf in the title? The song itself is about society breaking down but looking to the children for inspiration. The "canvas the town and brush the backdrop" references Old Master Painter. It's has nothing to do with water. Fire makes me visualize a raging inferno. Undersea Chant makes me visualize a busy ocean floor. Breathing makes me think of air and wind. Veggies...doesn't make me think earth, but with the other evidence that supports it, I'm willing to let it slide. Surfs Up and Wind Chimes don't do that. Just because they have surf and Wind in the title means nothing. Neither does a vague illustration in the book.

I also think if Veggies was an element, it was the one~two minute demo version, not the fully fleshed out, 3.5~4 minutes we all know now. It grew out of the elements to be its own thing. Fire was fleshed out into its own later when someone put the Heroes intro unto the front of it in the '80s. But that doesn't change the fact that the initial concept was a four part song. On my mix, I have it as Fire/Undersea/Breathing-Laughing which fades into Veggies as a separate track. Not an ideal scenario, but the best possible with the material available.

As I understand it, a LP record could go up to 45 minutes no issue. It's when you'd go past that when things pushed the realm of possibility/plausibility.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 07, 2015, 03:11:56 PM
I could be wrong but as I understood it, the Wonderful sessions were what was planned and went "very badly" only in the sense that CBS couldn't use some fragmentary vocal snippets on their program. So, Brian did an impromptu performance of Surfs Up to give them usable material for their program.

Here's the quote from Siegel: "Earlier in the evening the film crew had covered a Beach Boys vocal session that had gone very badly." I wouldn't read that to mean "went very badly for the film crew in their efforts to capture usable footage", myself, but I suppose that's an interpretation.

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I think you're wrong about the elements. Fire is called Elements: Fire on the physical tape boxes and session recordings. Wind Chimes Dada and Veggies are not...

Fair enough. But Veggies is called (or at least associated with) an Element in the booklet. So there's at least a strong suggestion that some parts of "The Elements" were to have vocals (at least in October, when Holmes got the commission and the lyrics from VDP). It would also imply the Elements were to be four different songs, not one unbanded suite, as just including Fire and VT we have three and half minutes of material. Adding in even a minute each for "Water" and "Air" means a track of close to six minutes - there is no precedent for this in Brian's work to that time, or for many years afterwards - though this isn't to say it's not possible, it just strikes me as unlikely.

So, on this basis - and if it was still the case in December - "Vega-Tables" being separately listed on the Capitol memo would also imply the Elements was, indeed, a sequence of separate songs (my work-around in my own mix, in order to remain true to the song titles given on the cover slick, is to kick off with "The Elements: Fire" and then link the three other tracks with excerpts from the Psycodelic Sounds chants).

I've written at length elsewhere about my own theory, as supported by Vosse, for instance, in the Fusion article, that up until about December 1966 SMiLE was [Vosse] "a totally conceived entity", and that it's about then things started fracturing. It is quite possible, then, that we're both right - and the original intention for "The Elements" became something else by April '67.

Even so, apart from Fire, what instrumental tracks exist that could plausibly be part of the kind of suite you're suggesting? "Dada", which turns up right at the end of 1966 as a Rhodes/piano "feel" called "All Day", is usually posited as a contender for 'Water', but I've always thought that was a bit spurious, and based largely on aspects of it turning up again in "Cool, Cool Water" quite a bit later on. Otherwise, we have "Look" and "Holidays", neither of which have titles with any Elemental collection, or which - to use your own argument - are associated on tape boxes etc with The Elements in any way. They're also both between 2.5 and 3.5 minutes long, fully tracked and (I believe) rough-mixed, right? So, again, with "Fire" and "Dada" that's a track pushing a good eight minutes at least. I suppose it's possible Brian only intended to use sections of each of these, but do we have any period evidence to suggest this?

EDIT: Sorry, I missed this:
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But barring further evidence, I think those water/air skits are working ideas for the other two elements.

So Fire would be the only instrumental piece in the suite, or are we including Vega-Tables again?

But on the other hand, you also say this:
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It's said the elements was to be an instrumental.
 

Not being difficult, but who said this, where, and when? I'm always wary of received opinion turning into fact with things like this. I know Brian referred to the "Air" element as being an instrumental thing "we never finished" (or did he? That's from the "auto-bio", right?), but what else do we have on the record about his or VDP's intentions for "The Elements"?

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There's just the simple fact that an upbeat funny song, somber tranquil song, thunderous scary song and then mellow groovy song altogether just sounds terrible one right after the other. It was the worst part of BWPS and sounds just as bad on fanmixes that try it.

A matter of taste, maybe? I happen to think the sequence sounds pretty convincing in my mix.

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I don't believe for a second Surfs Up is water. Just because it has surf in the title?

Again, fair enough. I'm just going from that quote of Frank Holmes', who at least was a participant of some description, and talked about the record with VDP if not Brian at the time.

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I also think if Veggies was an element, it was the one~two minute demo version, not the fully fleshed out, 3.5~4 minutes we all know now. It grew out of the elements to be its own thing.  

Agreed. Part of the unwinding/reworking of the album I'm suggesting started to happen in early '67?

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As I understand it, a LP record could go up to 45 minutes no issue. It's when you'd go past that when things pushed the realm of possibility/plausibility.

You're quite right, of course - happily conceded!




Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 07, 2015, 07:54:42 PM
I could be wrong but as I understood it, the Wonderful sessions were what was planned and went "very badly" only in the sense that CBS couldn't use some fragmentary vocal snippets on their program. So, Brian did an impromptu performance of Surfs Up to give them usable material for their program.

Here's the quote from Siegel: "Earlier in the evening the film crew had covered a Beach Boys vocal session that had gone very badly." I wouldn't read that to mean "went very badly for the film crew in their efforts to capture usable footage", myself, but I suppose that's an interpretation.

Im not claiming to be an expert on this particular piece of the puzzle, just saying that's what I heard.

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I think you're wrong about the elements. Fire is called Elements: Fire on the physical tape boxes and session recordings. Wind Chimes Dada and Veggies are not...

Fair enough. But Veggies is called (or at least associated with) an Element in the booklet. So there's at least a strong suggestion that some parts of "The Elements" were to have vocals (at least in October, when Holmes got the commission and the lyrics from VDP). It would also imply the Elements were to be four different songs, not one unbanded suite, as just including Fire and VT we have three and half minutes of material. Adding in even a minute each for "Water" and "Air" means a track of close to six minutes - there is no precedent for this in Brian's work to that time, or for many years afterwards - though this isn't to say it's not possible, it just strikes me as unlikely.

I still think there's a decent chance Veggies wasnt an element. There seems to be an equal amount of contradictory evidence. The booklet is Frank Holmes going by VDP. It's possible VDP got it wrong or Frank did. Or Brian changed his mind as the song got recorded. The psychedelic sounds skits are decent evidence too, but Id say the tracklisting and other things like Brian fleshing it out to a full song in the months following counteract that evidence all the same. BUT...it's still the most plausible candidate for Earth so...I guess it just is what it is. An unsolvable puzzle. But I dont see how any of this implies a four song elements suite in any way. Its clear there's a lot of songs that are unquestionably Americana themed. And the second suite on BWPS was called "pure Brian" by Darian, it all flows spectacularly and is universally regarded as the best part of BWPS. Instrumentation matches, thematically those songs all build on each other. Then there's the third movement, the elements, which sounds totally disjointed instrumentally, lyrically and stylistically. When asked what allowed him to finish it, Brian said "a third movement." Implying there wasnt one before, and to further prove the point, he also is quoted saying the original SMiLE would be "less uplifting" and "a two movement cantata." Now...if I had to guess which movement wasnt vintage...well, it wouldnt be hard. We might disagree, but I think there's a stronger evidence for an Americana/Life sequence than Americana/Elements just by grouping the songs by instrumentation and lyrical content.

So what if it was 4~8 minutes long? This wasnt a single, it was a deep cut on a far-out, purposefully inventive psychedelic album. Unusual? Yes. But this was the time to push boundaries. And remember...Brian scrapped the song, ultimately. It's possible he was hung up by the length too, and that played a role in his decision to scrap it by the new year.

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So, on this basis - and if it was still the case in December - "Vega-Tables" being separately listed on the Capitol memo would also imply the Elements was, indeed, a sequence of separate songs (my work-around in my own mix, in order to remain true to the song titles given on the cover slick, is to kick off with "The Elements: Fire" and then link the three other tracks with excerpts from the Psycodelic Sounds chants).

I've written at length elsewhere about my own theory, as supported by Vosse, for instance, in the Fusion article, that up until about December 1966 SMiLE was [Vosse] "a totally conceived entity", and that it's about then things started fracturing. It is quite possible, then, that we're both right - and the original intention for "The Elements" became something else by April '67.

Well, I'm intrigued by your idea of using the psychedelic sounds as linking segments at least. Thought I was the only one who believed in that.

I also agree with you and Vosse about SMiLE being more-or-less settled upon until January. Just looking at the sessionography supports that as well. Suddenly it's all about the potential singles, new songs which dont fit in thematically crop up (With Me Tonight, Dada, Tones, Dont Know) and wasting time on stupid novelty songs like the Jasper Daily tracks. Anyway, thats why I always get annoyed when people here dismiss ANY attempt at reconstructing the sixties album saying "Brian had no plan" and things like that. I don't buy it at all. There was more than enough material to fill an LP--and a structured, meaningful one too--it's just that certain songs were never finished. All we needed were a few vocals and final mixdowns.

I'd argue the elements as a concept was abandoned right after the Fire sessions. He wanted to scrap Fire...and you cant have the elements without that. Veggies, if it even was an element, branched off and became a complete song. A potential single even, when work stopped temporarily on Heroes and Villains.

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Even so, apart from Fire, what instrumental tracks exist that could plausibly be part of the kind of suite you're suggesting? "Dada", which turns up right at the end of 1966 as a Rhodes/piano "feel" called "All Day", is usually posited as a contender for 'Water', but I've always thought that was a bit spurious, and based largely on aspects of it turning up again in "Cool, Cool Water" quite a bit later on. Otherwise, we have "Look" and "Holidays", neither of which have titles with any Elemental collection, or which - to use your own argument - are associated on tape boxes etc with The Elements in any way. They're also both between 2.5 and 3.5 minutes long, fully tracked and (I believe) rough-mixed, right? So, again, with "Fire" and "Dada" that's a track pushing a good eight minutes at least. I suppose it's possible Brian only intended to use sections of each of these, but do we have any period evidence to suggest this?

EDIT: Sorry, I missed this:
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But barring further evidence, I think those water/air skits are working ideas for the other two elements.

I'd argue they were never recorded. Simple as that. Fire was the first, it caused fires in his mind, he abandoned the concept. Again, Id say the Psychedelic Sounds holds some invaluable insights into his working ideas for the others, but they never came to be. Glad we can agree Dada isnt it. I think Look and Holidays were scrapped. That seems to be more or less accepted fact. We could all be wrong, but Looks vocals were recorded over (and part of it was recycled into GV) and Holidays had none (and is a rather lackluster instrumental by Brian standards) plus they werent on the Tracklist. Pretty solid evidence by my book.

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So Fire would be the only instrumental piece in the suite, or are we including Vega-Tables again?

But on the other hand, you also say this:
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It's said the elements was to be an instrumental.
 

Not being difficult, but who said this, where, and when? I'm always wary of received opinion turning into fact with things like this. I know Brian referred to the "Air" element as being an instrumental thing "we never finished" (or did he? That's from the "auto-bio", right?), but what else do we have on the record about his or VDP's intentions for "The Elements"?

To be honest...Im not sure where that originates from. You could be right and it may be some oft-repeated talking point that then becomes "fact" due to everyone referencing it in an echo-chamber. I think a lot of similar half-truths/speculation have also become "fact" over the years, so there is a precedence for that happening. Priore, while Im eternally grateful for LLVS and his work spreading awareness...I think has done some harm in terms of the search for the "true" SMiLE. I think he let a lot of his preferences be cemented as unquestionable truth, and we could all do well to forget everything we think we know and just look at the primary evidence--mostly the music itself. Anyway, yeah Brian is quoted as saying Air was a flighty piano theme and Vosse and Catch a Wave mention recording water sounds for water. So there's that. As for the music itself...we have one undeniable element. One strong(ish) contender for the Earth element. And two skits which sound very much to me like working ideas for Air and Water, to be presumably rerecorded later. He could be wrong, but AGD has mentioned on this board that he asked somebody about the Elements and they said it was to be two variations of two seperate themes. AGD took this to mean Fire/Fall Break and Dada/Second Day would make up the elements. Me? I take it to mean the elements wouldve been half instrumental, half a capella. The instrumental being Fire and some unknown Earth (possibly Workshop?) and Undersea & Breathing skits.

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I don't believe for a second Surfs Up is water. Just because it has surf in the title?

Again, fair enough. I'm just going from that quote of Frank Holmes', who at least was a participant of some description, and talked about the record with VDP if not Brian at the time.

His insight is valuable, but remember this was Brian's show and he was twice removed from him. Hes getting his info from VDP who got it working with Brian. It's always possible he made a mistake or two, or assumed things he shouldnt have. He very well could have heard Surfs Up just the title name and thought it must be a song about the ocean and hence, water.

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I also think if Veggies was an element, it was the one~two minute demo version, not the fully fleshed out, 3.5~4 minutes we all know now. It grew out of the elements to be its own thing.  

Agreed. Part of the unwinding/reworking of the album I'm suggesting started to happen in early '67?

Sorta. More like part of scrapping the elements but reusing some ideas. Putting the album on hold in search for a possible single.



Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 07, 2015, 08:15:13 PM
Excellent thoughts, Mujan - and may I just say, I'm thoroughly enjoying this back-and-forth. I think we agree on more than we disagree about. I'm intrigued by the AGD "two themes/two variations" comment - first time I've heard that. And "scrapping Fire led to scrapping The Elements" (or at least its original conception) is, likewise, a new idea to me. It seems plausible to me. Any chance you'd like to take a listen to my mix? Can PM you deets if so. I'm pretty proud of it, perhaps unduly so.

Only real qualification I'd make to your post above is that we know Frank Holmes knew more than the title of Surf's Up - and presumably saw full lyrics - as one of his booklet illustrations is "Two step to lamp's light".


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 07, 2015, 09:50:04 PM
Excellent thoughts, Mujan - and may I just say, I'm thoroughly enjoying this back-and-forth. I think we agree on more than we disagree about. I'm intrigued by the AGD "two themes/two variations" comment - first time I've heard that. And "scrapping Fire led to scrapping The Elements" (or at least its original conception) is, likewise, a new idea to me. It seems plausible to me. Any chance you'd like to take a listen to my mix? Can PM you deets if so. I'm pretty proud of it, perhaps unduly so.

Only real qualification I'd make to your post above is that we know Frank Holmes knew more than the title of Surf's Up - and presumably saw full lyrics - as one of his booklet illustrations is "Two step to lamp's light".


As have I, and yes it seems so. Which is really nice, because I often feel like my views run contrary to what a lot of the old timers (if any of you are reading this, I mean that in an affectionate way) have decided upon and stuck to long ago. Or it seems like a lot of people take BWPS as the final word and consider discussing the what-ifs a waste of time or even an insult to Brian's current intentions.

I wish I could find where he said that, but if you asked Im sure hed confirm it. This was awhile ago--when I was still a lurker or else when I just started posting here but before uploading my mixes to the board. I forget where exactly he said it. The idea intrigues me too, especially since it would explain why Fire is instrumental but none of the other plausible elements contenders are. I think Workshop, perhaps with the Veggie Fight overlaid, could have been Earth and led into Veggies as a separate track. That's how I did it in my Aquarian SMiLE mix and I thought it sounded great.

Absolutely I would! Ill message you. Mine, it seems, have been taken down from youtube. But Im reuploading them to Vimeo now, actually. They'll be up by tomorrow if you want to listen to them.

Hmm...that's true. I forgot he quoted the songs under the pictures. Still...I really dont buy this Surf's Up as water idea. Veggies has some plausible evidence for it. Surf's Up? No.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 09, 2015, 08:11:38 PM
I'm not sure why I've adopted the "Surf's Up" might be water position - I didn't hold it until the last couple of years, and it might be partly just a matter of me being contrary. It's also the case that my own sequence was put together originally in attempt to back up a developing theory that it was a number of issues arising in December 1966 - not least the return of the Boys, fresh from a smash "world tour" - that didn't only throw SMiLE into a confusion not present until that time, but derailed a project much closer to completion than is usually considered to be the case. So my decision to use, as much possible, only sections tracked until that time, with reference to any period information/quotes etc available, was to see how satisfying an LP I could manage within that framework.

It surprised me just how finished-sounding it is. There were some dodges - BWPS verses for DYLW, a compromise I wasn't all that happy about; Humble Harv fly-ins for "I'm in Great Shape"; "Cantina" and "Fire Intro" for Heroes. But just about everything else is properly tracked and pre-'67; and I was deliberately conservative when it come to the within-track sequencing. The vocal-less passages in CIFOTM is really the only place where uninformed ears seem to have noticed a particularly unfinished quality, and even then the music is so beautiful it doesn't appear to bother them.

But: what it did also mean was an album much more linear than most fanmixes, the TSS/BWPS assembly, or my own previous attempts. DYLW, CE, Wonderful, CFTM, OMP, GV, Fire, VT ("demo"), WC and SU and Prayer all have at least one full test edit made by BW in '66, and usually that initial full assembly stayed put, in terms of basic structure at least (GV is an obvious exception; Wind Chimes and CFTM got re-records and to a certain extent re-sequencing) until the new year, when parts of those songs started being pillaged and repurposed for the projected singles. So what does this tell us? Nothing concrete, of course, but a pretty compelling case can be made for twelve-stand-alone-tracks-of-2-4-minutes-apiece being the general plan in 1966; ie. the same basic approach as every BB's album that preceded and followed it into the seventies. It's the music and lyrics themselves - and the modular method of recording - that distinguish the tracks, not the form of the tracks themselves.

So: I found, having decided on splitting H&V into two (with the second part, IIGS, using IWBA/Workshop (notated as (Great Shape) on the tape box/session sheets) and the tracking sections for IIGS and Barnyard, knowing they were originally part of H&V and tracked as such) that natural groupings pretty organically occurred. I have always felt that DYLW - being American history, being silly in places, being deeply evocative and moving in others - was an appropriately out-there opening salvo for the album BW and VDP may have been trying to make. H&V/IIGS again, quite naturally and pleasingly follow. Cabin Essence seems to belong, thematically and musically, in this grouping. Wonderful's closing bass notes lead very pleasingly into its "male counterpart", CFTM. And CFTM's closing notes, in turn, into the "children's song" of YAMS/OMP - side one therefore closing up with the "Barnshine" fade referred to BW in the tapes as being [a] "grand finale".

All up, 18 minutes on the first side. Which leaves, by default, those remaining five tracks from the Capitol memo. GV kicks off Side B, as it did on Smiley - a slightly obvious placement, perhaps, but let's remember there was some conversation between Brian and Anderle (at least) about whether it was going to be a part of the record at all. So, "The Elements" - well, Fire, of course, and then - bearing in mind I'm making these decisions from the point of view of late '66 - VT seems plausible. VT, which is included as its own track on the memo. So we have "The Elements[: Fire]", then [The Elements:]Vega-Tables. What of Air and Water? Fade aside, Holidays doesn't sound particularly Air-y - at least not enough to take that particular leap - and never seems to have been finished anyway. Wind Chimes does, at least, have "wind" in the title, and one shorter assembly put together in '66 (the version with only the one chorus part). Which leaves one track left from the cover line-up, one with "Surf" in the title, a coda which rolls in "like waves", and which Frank Holmes seems to have vaguely suggested as being part of The Elements as outlined to him. Musically, the only other possible section tracked for this in '66 - and let's remember, the album was looking at a Christmas-period release right through to November/December of that year - was "All Day". I've already said I feel it's a pretty big stretch to assume this keyboard-feel was intended to be "Water" at the time. Prayer ("a choral amen-type thing to close the album" - Vosse) unlisted at the end.

I have used, as we discussed, "Psycodelic Sounds" chants to link these last four songs (excepting Prayer), though I'd be surprised if Brian and his pals mucking around in the studio late one November night were ever intended to actually be used on a Beach Boys album. So these were likely - if there was ever really an intention to use versions of them at all, which seems to be a particular and atypical indulgence of ours - going to be re-recorded by the Boys and employed either a) as I posit, to link the full 'Elements' tracks outlined above or b) as you suggest, used at least in part to be parts of a shorter "Elemental suite".

I think, frankly, the surviving record is more supportive of my interpretation than yours, at least if you give any credence to Holmes' titling of "My Vega-Tables - The Elements" in the booklet. If so, that means in October '66 - yes, The Elements was intended to include at least one fully conceived song (90 secs), with lyrics, alongside The Elements: Fire (2 minutes). Why not Wind Chimes (short version 2.5 mins) as the third? And, again, if so, by default "Surf's Up" - and that's not even taking into account Holmes' comment.

Anyway, that's my contention, even if I agree SU in particular doesn't seem on the face of it an obvious fit. Will PM the link to my mix later tonight, so at least you can hear for yourself how the sequence works as I've conceived it.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 09, 2015, 09:01:33 PM
I realise, re-reading the above, that I do seem to be - and probably am - in the old-fashioned "Elemental Side" camp. Maybe I'm an old-timer after all!

I guess it's just I can see good reasons why three of the songs from the tracklisting, at least, could have been intended for the Elements, and good reasons why the data we have suggests strongly that two of those twelve tracks named on the memo (given, one is just "The Elements", but then again, that is how Fire is uniquely notated on the session logs) were to be stand-alone, banded selections as part of that larger Elemental sequence. After that, it's largely my own conjecture, I grant you.

I would also point out that all named '66 "non-Element" contenders - excepting, perhaps, the problematic "GV" - fit happily on one 18-minute side of an LP. Unless you start assuming H&V was going to be 6+ minutes, "two-sided" etc, that the whole record was going to be full of "link tracks" and atmospheric sections - which I appreciate hugely as elements (excuse the pun) of your own mix, but I see almost no period evidence for - or that Brian had no intention to use the rough assembly structures he bothered to produce at the time, or always had the intention to do several sessions of additional tracking in '67... then the logical assessment is that parts of "Cycle of Life" were either intended to be part of the "first cantata", or "Look" was intended to be a part of the album proper against all evidence to the contrary, or that "Surf's Up" was to close the first side. Because if you group the surviving period assemblies/demo of CFTM, Look, Wonderful and Surf's Up, you're looking at around 12 minutes of material - well over half a side of a conventional mid-sixties pop LP, but well under an acceptable length as well.

Try juggling the pieces, as we have them, from 1966 and not end up with an "Americana Side" and an "Elemental Side", in terms of what was tracked and the cover slick tracklisting. I'm not saying such a split was articulated, or even fully intended, at the time, but if you're strict about what you actually use, and conscientious about your consultation of the Sessionography in TSS - as well as the Vosse and Anderle/Williams interviews, the "Humble Harv" Heroes demo etc - it's hard not to eventually come down to such a divide.



Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 10, 2015, 01:23:05 PM
I'm not sure why I've adopted the "Surf's Up" might be water position - I didn't hold it until the last couple of years, and it might be partly just a matter of me being contrary. It's also the case that my own sequence was put together originally in attempt to back up a developing theory that it was a number of issues arising in December 1966 - not least the return of the Boys, fresh from a smash "world tour" - that didn't only throw SMiLE into a confusion not present until that time, but derailed a project much closer to completion than is usually considered to be the case. So my decision to use, as much possible, only sections tracked until that time, with reference to any period information/quotes etc available, was to see how satisfying an LP I could manage within that framework.

Ill agree that SMiLE was much closer to completion than most people give it credit for. Seems like the conceptual work was laid out, all that was needed was vocals from the group, recording the rest of the elements, and making final edits of a few songs and a final mixdown of the album. Still a lot of work I guess, but the point is there was still a light at the end of the tunnel at that point until things mysteriously got unfocused and singles-oriented in January. Im actually not too familiar with Brian's test-edits for the songs (they should have made the boxset, damnit) but I think you're right to stick with them as much as possible.

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It surprised me just how finished-sounding it is. There were some dodges - BWPS verses for DYLW, a compromise I wasn't all that happy about; Humble Harv fly-ins for "I'm in Great Shape"; "Cantina" and "Fire Intro" for Heroes. But just about everything else is properly tracked and pre-'67; and I was deliberately conservative when it come to the within-track sequencing. The vocal-less passages in CIFOTM is really the only place where uninformed ears seem to have noticed a particularly unfinished quality, and even then the music is so beautiful it doesn't appear to bother them.

I felt the same way when I stuck with just the Captiol tracklist songs for my Olorin mix. I had always looked at the list before and thought it was rubbish, but actually working with it...it really does make sense and give you a finished album. The only stipulation I have is Great Shape as a full track. Unless there's a bunch of material we're missing like the vocal session and stuff, I just dont see it as a track. I dont believe 1 minute fragments would have made the cut like in TSS and BWPS, I think they'd be sections of the main tracks in '66. Everyone has to resort to BWPS or Smiley to fill in gaps, man, much less '67 sessions. Dont feel too bad about that.

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But: what it did also mean was an album much more linear than most fanmixes, the TSS/BWPS assembly, or my own previous attempts. DYLW, CE, Wonderful, CFTM, OMP, GV, Fire, VT ("demo"), WC and SU and Prayer all have at least one full test edit made by BW in '66, and usually that initial full assembly stayed put, in terms of basic structure at least (GV is an obvious exception; Wind Chimes and CFTM got re-records and to a certain extent re-sequencing) until the new year, when parts of those songs started being pillaged and repurposed for the projected singles. So what does this tell us? Nothing concrete, of course, but a pretty compelling case can be made for twelve-stand-alone-tracks-of-2-4-minutes-apiece being the general plan in 1966; ie. the same basic approach as every BB's album that preceded and followed it into the seventies. It's the music and lyrics themselves - and the modular method of recording - that distinguish the tracks, not the form of the tracks themselves.

I feel like I mislead people when I refer to my mixes as two-suites but Im not sure how else to phrase it. But let me make it clear I believe in stand-alone tracks too. When I say suites, I mean groupings of tracks that are musically and thematically related. Heroes, Cabin, Worms and Veggies share musical motifs and other ideas between them. They can all make sense within an Americana context. So thats a "suite." A side of vinyl. And Wonderful, Wind Chimes, CIFOTM and Surf's Up share the instrumentation of pianos/harpsichords and horns. The lyrics between each song build on one another and make for one powerful, overall statement on the nature of childhood, aging, nostalgia and innocence. Another suite or side of vinyl as you prefer. So, the general idea would still be the same as most Beach Boys albums, just with even more of a meaningful connection than usual between the songs on a side. Kinda like Today! but even more so.

Brian said 10 to 12 songs on the album as well, so that's another clue that some of the songs may have been longer than usual.  

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So: I found, having decided on splitting H&V into two (with the second part, IIGS, using IWBA/Workshop (notated as (Great Shape) on the tape box/session sheets) and the tracking sections for IIGS and Barnyard, knowing they were originally part of H&V and tracked as such) that natural groupings pretty organically occurred. I have always felt that DYLW - being American history, being silly in places, being deeply evocative and moving in others - was an appropriately out-there opening salvo for the album BW and VDP may have been trying to make. H&V/IIGS again, quite naturally and pleasingly follow. Cabin Essence seems to belong, thematically and musically, in this grouping. Wonderful's closing bass notes lead very pleasingly into its "male counterpart", CFTM. And CFTM's closing notes, in turn, into the "children's song" of YAMS/OMP - side one therefore closing up with the "Barnshine" fade referred to BW in the tapes as being [a] "grand finale".

I agree with Worms being first. I used to be against it, but the fact that Prayer fits with that "church of the american indian" chorus well, ties in with the idea that the original pilgrims came for religious freedom (and, hypocritically, denied that to the Indians) and the first lyric on Worms is "Once Upon..." convinced me it's first. The Rock, Rock, Roll lyrics too--it solidifies the idea that this is a rock album about america.

Never considered that CIFOTM was a male counterpart to Wonderful, but I agree they are linked. I just dont think they fit in well at all with the Americana songs. The instrumentation is totally different, and lyrically theyre not about America. They could be, metaphorically, but the other Americana tracks are much more overt about it. There's no question that those other four songs Ive listed are about America, so to me it doesnt then make sense that suddenly the last 3 are so much more indirect. I dont see My Only Sunshine as a children's song. I see it as a loss of faith, or a sun setting on one (astrological) age and heralding in the new. It could go on either the Americana or Innocence side. In Olorin I have it on the former and in Romestamo, the latter. I think it works either way--one of the few songs that do, along with Elements. Im leaning towards putting it on the Innocence side nowadays tho, because Surfs Up's "canvas the town and brush the backdrop" lyrics make direct reference to it.

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All up, 18 minutes on the first side. Which leaves, by default, those remaining five tracks from the Capitol memo. GV kicks off Side B, as it did on Smiley - a slightly obvious placement, perhaps, but let's remember there was some conversation between Brian and Anderle (at least) about whether it was going to be a part of the record at all. So, "The Elements" - well, Fire, of course, and then - bearing in mind I'm making these decisions from the point of view of late '66 - VT seems plausible. VT, which is included as its own track on the memo. So we have "The Elements[: Fire]", then [The Elements:]Vega-Tables. What of Air and Water? Fade aside, Holidays doesn't sound particularly Air-y - at least not enough to take that particular leap - and never seems to have been finished anyway. Wind Chimes does, at least, have "wind" in the title, and one shorter assembly put together in '66 (the version with only the one chorus part). Which leaves one track left from the cover line-up, one with "Surf" in the title, a coda which rolls in "like waves", and which Frank Holmes seems to have vaguely suggested as being part of The Elements as outlined to him. Musically, the only other possible section tracked for this in '66 - and let's remember, the album was looking at a Christmas-period release right through to November/December of that year - was "All Day". I've already said I feel it's a pretty big stretch to assume this keyboard-feel was intended to be "Water" at the time. Prayer ("a choral amen-type thing to close the album" - Vosse) unlisted at the end.

Sorry, but I really think "oh this has wind/surf in the title" is terrible evidence. I honestly dont understand this obsession with finding the elements among SMiLE mixers. Have you ever considered that MAYBE, just MAYBE...it wasnt recorded? Is that so hard to fathom? Im not trying to sound mean but I truly think you're chasing the moon with this one. It seems Fire was the first recorded, others were to follow, and a week or so later Brian got scared by the track and abandoned the concept. Makes a lot more sense to me than "there has to be Air! Lets shoehorn in this track as that because it has wind in the title!" Besides, while I agree SMiLE was more finished than many seem to think, that doesnt translate into "all the songs were recorded and ready." That's just your speculation.

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I have used, as we discussed, "Psycodelic Sounds" chants to link these last four songs (excepting Prayer), though I'd be surprised if Brian and his pals mucking around in the studio late one November night were ever intended to actually be used on a Beach Boys album. So these were likely - if there was ever really an intention to use versions of them at all, which seems to be a particular and atypical indulgence of ours - going to be re-recorded by the Boys and employed either a) as I posit, to link the full 'Elements' tracks outlined above or b) as you suggest, used at least in part to be parts of a shorter "Elemental suite".

I believe Brian was just using his friends to hear how some of his ideas sounded since the Boys werent back yet, but that he'd rerecord some of the better ones with them or the Wrecking Crew (as he did with Vegetable Fight and George Fell) for the album. I think the rough ideas for Air and Water can be found there, yes. Undersea chant, you could argue, grew into the Water chant for example. Tho the latter wasnt actually recorded until well after SMiLE. And it's not just the elements stuff. I think one or maybe two of those skits might have served as a "filler" comedy section at the end of one or both of the sides, or perhaps as lead ins to the two big showstoppers on each side, Veggies (w/ the fight) and Surf's Up (w/ George Fell.) We really cant say. I tried to ask Brian but he didnt answer me :-\

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I think, frankly, the surviving record is more supportive of my interpretation than yours, at least if you give any credence to Holmes' titling of "My Vega-Tables - The Elements" in the booklet. If so, that means in October '66 - yes, The Elements was intended to include at least one fully conceived song (90 secs), with lyrics, alongside The Elements: Fire (2 minutes). Why not Wind Chimes (short version 2.5 mins) as the third? And, again, if so, by default "Surf's Up" - and that's not even taking into account Holmes' comment.

Anyway, that's my contention, even if I agree SU in particular doesn't seem on the face of it an obvious fit. Will PM the link to my mix later tonight, so at least you can hear for yourself how the sequence works as I've conceived it.

And I think mine is more accurate, once you drop this misguided idea that the elements must exist. The sad truth is, it was an unfinished song. People like yourself and Priore speculated that other songs must be the elements and stuck with that interpretation, and that leaked into BWPS and solidified this as fact to a lot of people. But BWPS also has the Heroes intro as part of Fire, one-minute Barnyard and Great Shape as stand-alone songs, and includes the scrapped Holidays and Look as tracks...so despite it being Brian, I really dont see it as reliable evidence of what a 60s SMiLE was. You're ignoring the Capitol tracklist (at least as reliable as the booklet if not more so) and the tape boxes and session recordings in your argument. And thats what SMiLE disagreements always boil down to. Using evidence that suits your argument but ignoring that which doesnt. That's why I advocate ignoring that as much as possible and just going by the music. And to my ears, Heroes/Veggies/Worms/Cabin and Surf/Child/Wind/Wonderful are undeniably linked. Sunshine and Elements and GV are more vague in their placement.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 10, 2015, 02:01:05 PM
I realise, re-reading the above, that I do seem to be - and probably am - in the old-fashioned "Elemental Side" camp. Maybe I'm an old-timer after all!

Nothing wrong with that. I just think it's past time for an alternate structure to at least be heard and discussed and there's a lot of evidence for an Americana/Cycle of Life (or, as I postulated in another thread, Pisces/Aquarius) structure that's been unexplored if not ignored until now.

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I guess it's just I can see good reasons why three of the songs from the tracklisting, at least, could have been intended for the Elements, and good reasons why the data we have suggests strongly that two of those twelve tracks named on the memo (given, one is just "The Elements", but then again, that is how Fire is uniquely notated on the session logs) were to be stand-alone, banded selections as part of that larger Elemental sequence. After that, it's largely my own conjecture, I grant you.

Well, either one of us could be right. I just think the elements suite and most proposed elements sides on mixes sound...not very good, lol. Your's at least sounds interesting with the psychedelic sounds linking the tracks tho. Personally I just think all this speculation of the elements is a waste of time when it seems pretty obvious to me that the song was abandoned early on and nothing else came of it. Fire was recorded more or less as intended, I think Air and Water were rough ideas we heard a bit of in the PSych bootleg, and Veggies was probably the grand finale of the elements as well as the Americana side. To me, this sounds better and makes more sense than shoehorning in a bunch of wildly different songs together as the elements.

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I would also point out that all named '66 "non-Element" contenders - excepting, perhaps, the problematic "GV" - fit happily on one 18-minute side of an LP. Unless you start assuming H&V was going to be 6+ minutes, "two-sided" etc, that the whole record was going to be full of "link tracks" and atmospheric sections - which I appreciate hugely as elements (excuse the pun) of your own mix, but I see almost no period evidence for - or that Brian had no intention to use the rough assembly structures he bothered to produce at the time, or always had the intention to do several sessions of additional tracking in '67... then the logical assessment is that parts of "Cycle of Life" were either intended to be part of the "first cantata", or "Look" was intended to be a part of the album proper against all evidence to the contrary, or that "Surf's Up" was to close the first side. Because if you group the surviving period assemblies/demo of CFTM, Look, Wonderful and Surf's Up, you're looking at around 12 minutes of material - well over half a side of a conventional mid-sixties pop LP, but well under an acceptable length as well.

That's interesting about that 18 minute connection, and ill concede that 18~20 minutes is probably the most realistic running time for a side. But we cant be 100% sure of the individual song structures, which songs absolutely made the cut, etc. So that by itself isnt really evidence. I dont think Heroes would be 6 minutes. 3:30 ~ 4:30 seems most likely. 5 tops. The longer cuts you see on mixes are just the result of all the wild endless sessions where there was enough material recorded for that one song to make up a whole side of vinyl by itself. I dont believe in an album full of link tracks either. I tried it in Olorin, and liked it. But the more i listened the less convinced i was. Now Im thinking there would have been maybe one or two comedy sketches per side, to link some of the less-related songs together. Like Taxi Cabber linking Cabin Essence to the Elements. I dont see how believing in a two suite structure means i think Look would have been included. I don't. It's not on Romestamo which is my personal estimate of what SMiLE would have been (more or less.) My second side would be those tracks you mention sans Look but including GV, Sunshine and Wind Chimes.

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Try juggling the pieces, as we have them, from 1966 and not end up with an "Americana Side" and an "Elemental Side", in terms of what was tracked and the cover slick tracklisting. I'm not saying such a split was articulated, or even fully intended, at the time, but if you're strict about what you actually use, and conscientious about your consultation of the Sessionography in TSS - as well as the Vosse and Anderle/Williams interviews, the "Humble Harv" Heroes demo etc - it's hard not to eventually come down to such a divide.

But the '66 material is not a finished album. Again, more finished than most think...but that doesn't translate into a finished album as Brian envisioned. Either way...if I was to do that, I'd have my SMiLE more or less exactly as is. Just minus a few pieces of certain tracks here and there that were recorded in '67.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 10, 2015, 06:33:07 PM
It's funny how cyclical ideas are - ie. I only actually came round to the "Elements Side" concept quite recently, well after BWPS. When I first got into SMiLE in the late nineties, fandom was just moving out of the Propoky/Web Sounds Era, which used a kind of modified Priore approach, into the comparatively simple classicism of the Lane and Hunt/Smile Shop Period (11-12 short songs, no links or outtakes etc). One of their major decisions was to stand by a four-minute, stand-alone "The Elements" track, moving even further away from the "Elements Side" already falling out of favour with the Propoky notes.

My default stance when first getting into the record, therefore, was absolutely to believe "The Elements" were to be a single, unbanded track, of "Fire" and three other short sections (with the general understanding the other three were largely a matter of conjecture). I was not swayed particularly by the BWPS sequence - I always understood it was more about "getting SMiLE done" (and, to a certain extent, "done right") than "getting it done as was originally intended". All the key players were quite honest about that.

So though I can absolutely see why you make the points you do, I do bristle slightly at this:

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The sad truth is, it was an unfinished song. People like yourself and Priore speculated that other songs must be the elements and stuck with that interpretation, and that leaked into BWPS and solidified this as fact to a lot of people.

because actually, I originally and for a long time thought the opposite, right up till close reading of the TSS Sessiongraphy in 2012, really, and it's on the basis of the available data I changed my original position. Not because I was "using evidence that suits my argument [and] ignoring that which doesn't." It's fine we disagree, but I do slightly resent being deemed an Old Traditionalist Whose Fixed Ideas Pollute the Discourse when a) I'm not that old and b) I've actually revised my position in a number of directions, and to no small degree, as new information has come to light.

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Sorry, but I really think "oh this has wind/surf in the title" is terrible evidence. I honestly dont understand this obsession with finding the elements among SMiLE mixers. Have you ever considered that MAYBE, just MAYBE...it wasnt recorded? Is that so hard to fathom?

A) Yes, but it's some evidence - and so is the Holmes' quote about "more than one element" being present in the illustration. More than "I believe Brian was just using his friends to hear how some of his ideas sounded since the Boys werent back yet."

Or: "I think Air and Water were rough ideas we heard a bit of in the PSych bootleg"

And: "Veggies was probably the grand finale of the elements as well as the Americana side. To me, this sounds better and makes more sense "

Or: "And it's not just the elements stuff. I think one or maybe two of those skits might have served as a "filler" comedy section at the end of one or both of the sides, or perhaps as lead ins to the two big showstoppers on each side."

Can you back up any of these contentions using actual data, interviews, anything but "your ears" and pure conjecture? I don't mind if you only use evidence that suits your argument. If this is an actual discussion that goes beyond "Yes, but that's what I feel would have happened", at least. If it's not, fair enough, but I'll take this opportunity to drop out.

B) No, it's not hard to fathom. It's quite possible. I'm just not willing to take it as a fact for the reasons I have outlined in probably tedious detail earlier in this thread.

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You're ignoring the Capitol tracklist (at least as reliable as the booklet if not more so) and the tape boxes and session recordings in your argument.

Am I?

A) TRACKLIST

My Side B: 1. Good Vibrations. [2 sec gap] 2. The Elements: Fire. 3. Vega-Tables. 4. Wind Chimes. 5. Surf's Up. [3 sec gap] Unlisted: Prayer.

Yes, I have added the text ": Fire" to the selection titled "The Elements". Is that really such a leap? The cover does not list a track called "My Vega-Tables - The Elements" (or, indeed "Home on the Range"), so there is some precedent for the tracklist and booklet to, in some minor ways, contradict each other. To reflect different phases of development. That said: (One more time now!) "Vega-Tables" being given by the booklet as an "Element", at least in Oct '66, is a decent hint as to their intentions at that time, surely?

EDIT: Again, please bear in mind I'm coming at this from the perspective of mid-December 1966. It's at that point I believe everything begins to spiral off and the original conception begins to collapse. (Again, see the Sessionography and the Fusion Article etc as back-up for this contention.) It's quite possible The Elements collapsed when Vega-Tables was nominated as a potential single and re-recording on it began in April - but not in December, when TE was included on the Capitol Memo. Some version of "The Elements" existed then, at least couple of weeks after the "Fire recording" if the mid-Dec dating for the Memo is correct, alongside Vega-Tables - and the only version we know of that to exist then (or was to for another four months) was the 90-second "Cornucopia" version marked by Holmes as part of The Elements.

If I'm being (very) slightly agnostic about the Capitol Memo, you're ignoring the implications of the Booklet with a true religious fervour.

[Related: we know VDP gave Holmes the information for the booklet directly. There is ongoing debate about the provenance/handwriting of the Memo, though I personally believe Cam Mott's assertion there is no way Brian didn't sign off on it.)

B) SESSION RECORDINGS/TAPE BOXES

Fire is given as "The Elements: Part One" on the tape boxes/session sheets, isn't it? (I'm at work so can't check my TSS book.) It's certainly 1) explicitly called "an Element" and 2) you'll see I have used it as "Part One" of The Elements in my sequence. Since the only other piece we have explicitly identified with The Elements is VT, I've chosen to use that as Part Two. I've already admitted that after that the tunes are conjecture, based on the Capitol tracklist. But the Booklet absolutely makes the suggestion - I say again - that the Elements might well have been whole songs, possibly linked (by chants/FX etc?). And that at least one of these tracks also turned up with its own placing on the Capitol Memo, so how is it delusional to interpret any of this data as I have? What's the actual period evidence to the contrary, either to dispute my assertions or to back up your ideas? I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing/being reminded of such if you've got some, other than simply what sounds right to you.

[Related: "Rebuilding after the fire". Since IWBA was recorded the night after the Fire session, these comments on the tape from Carol Kaye surely might have been a comment on the two night's sessions as opposed to an intended sequence for the eventual LP? If I remember right, the actual workshop sounds seem to have been recorded some time later, too, so do we know Kaye's comment on the tape was from the original "Jazz/IWBA/WS" session, or from the overdub? If from the earlier, before the workshop FX were recorded, then it might suggest she knew something about Brian's sequencing intentions. On the other hand, the box is marked [Great Shape]. Room for differing interpretation here.]

There is a lot of conjecture in the above, of course, which I've tried to clearly admit and identify as such. There is also a substantial amount of hard period data. If there's other data to dispute the stuff I've used, or an alternate analysis based on it, I sincerely welcome the challenge. As I hope I made clear at the beginning of this post, I'm totally open to revising my position on SMiLE as new facts, ideas, interpretations come to my attention. I've been doing so more-or-less continuously since 1998.

*****

This strikes me as a good time to say again how much I'm enjoying all of this, and I hope the above doesn't come across too aggressively (text, of course, being famously difficult when it comes to tone). I also thought your 'Romestamo' mix was fantastic, and have given it another listen in the interim.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 10, 2015, 07:30:50 PM
Half an hour later: I think I may have missed one of the key points you were making earlier, or at least I've had a follow-up thought about the tracklist that might be more in line with your thinking.

Let's say Brian's deteriorating mental state ("Fire" causing fires) and the beginning of alienation from VDP, etc, did lead to a reshuffle and rethink even before the Capitol memo was drawn up. That being the case - for sake of argument - who ever wrote the tracklisting, even if it had Brian's approval, or was transcribed from Brian himself, might well reflect that confusion. Ie. "The Elements" instead of "The Elements: incorporating "Mrs O'Leary's Cow", "My Vega-Tables", [Air] and [Water]" as the Booklet suggests might have been intended.

If "Fire" was indeed abandoned within a week or so of its recording, then you're right, the whole Elemental sequence gets thrown into doubt - at least from our perspective, and the information we have available. It's quite possible, then, that the other intended parts of the sequence, recorded or unrecorded, get split off into their own tracks, or junked, and the placeholder "Elements" title put into the list to incorporate whatever Brian might decide to do with that idea. Which doesn't mean that Veggies, or indeed Wind Chimes and Surf's Up were not once intended to be part of a side(ish)-long "Elemental movement", but that as of The Crunch in December room may well have been being made for a totally different conception - including a stand-alone "The Elements" instrumental/vocal suite.

Not sure how that relates to the Psycodelic Sounds stuff (even just as ideas), taped before the Boys' return in early November and therefore much closer to the making of the Booklet (inc. Veggies at least as an Element), but it does widen the playing field from my admittedly pretty narrow scope above. At least as it relates to December onwards.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 10, 2015, 09:18:21 PM
It's funny how cyclical ideas are - ie. I only actually came round to the "Elements Side" concept quite recently, well after BWPS. When I first got into SMiLE in the late nineties, fandom was just moving out of the Propoky/Web Sounds Era, which used a kind of modified Priore approach, into the comparatively simple classicism of the Lane and Hunt/Smile Shop Period (11-12 short songs, no links or outtakes etc). One of their major decisions was to stand by a four-minute, stand-alone "The Elements" track, moving even further away from the "Elements Side" already falling out of favour with the Propoky notes.

My default stance when first getting into the record, therefore, was absolutely to believe "The Elements" were to be a single, unbanded track, of "Fire" and three other short sections (with the general understanding the other three were largely a matter of conjecture). I was not swayed particularly by the BWPS sequence - I always understood it was more about "getting SMiLE done" (and, to a certain extent, "done right") than "getting it done as was originally intended". All the key players were quite honest about that.

Im sorry for making assumptions. In my experience, most proponents of the elements suite structure do so because "that's the way it's always been" from Priore to BWPS, and now new fans seem to do that with their attempts at accurate mixes simply because that's all they know. That's the way it's always been, it seems. But I shouldnt have assumed EVERYONE who buys this theory is like that.

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Sorry, but I really think "oh this has wind/surf in the title" is terrible evidence. I honestly dont understand this obsession with finding the elements among SMiLE mixers. Have you ever considered that MAYBE, just MAYBE...it wasnt recorded? Is that so hard to fathom?

A) Yes, but it's some evidence. More than "I believe Brian was just using his friends to hear how some of his ideas sounded since the Boys werent back yet."

Or: "I think Air and Water were rough ideas we heard a bit of in the PSych bootleg"
[/quote]

It really isnt tho. It's baseless conjecture. I mean, if Brian called Worms "Roll Plymouth Rock" back in the day, would that be your Earth all the sudden? Or if Wonderful was called "Tears of Youth" would that be water just because it has something vaguely watery in the title? Maybe Im wrong but I always took the Elements concept as a way to visualize all the natural elements using music. When you listen to fire, nobody has to hold your hand and tell you "this is about fire" it's innate. The undersea chant and breathing skit also do that for me with water and air. Listening to them, I immediately think of the ocean floor with fish swimming around and the push and pull of a breeze (or breath) of air. Wind Chimes and Surf dont do that at all. One's a song about enjoying the simple things. Some read it as a metaphor for lonliness and depression. Some, about the anticipation of death. Surf's Up is about the flaws of society but how our children can make a better world, or that we need to make a better world for them. Literally the last things that come to my mind listening to these songs are "Air!" and "water!" and I guaruntee if you played them for uninformed laypeople they'd feel the same way. So...if this was Brian's elements...Im sorry to insult the man but he failed miserably at his goal. And isnt it just weird to you that only one song of the elements should be a relatively one-note instrumental while all the others are fully fleshed out pop songs with choruses and more complex structures? Seems pretty uneven to me.

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And: "Veggies was probably the grand finale of the elements as well as the Americana side. To me, this sounds better and makes more sense "

Or: "And it's not just the elements stuff. I think one or maybe two of those skits might have served as a "filler" comedy section at the end of one or both of the sides, or perhaps as lead ins to the two big showstoppers on each side."

When it comes to specific order, I cant prove my conclussion. Neither can you. If we all wanted, Im sure we could each find a quote from Vosse, Brian, VDP, Holmes that supports our preferences. For me the most important thing is what sounds right within the realm of plausibility.

As for my idea about the use of Psych Sounds...Ive repeatedly admitted this is a hunch. Ive never claimed it as fact. I just think like you; before 1967 there was a reason Brian did the things he did. So if he had his friends record these skits that obviously fit in conceptually with the album...doesnt it stand to reason that it's because he was playing with ideas he may or may not have the Boys or Crew record? He had the Fight and George Fell done with expensive studio musicians. Why would he do that, again pre-1967, if he wasnt serious about some of these comedy bits? Smiley Smile has offbeat "funny" moments too. Brian is on record saying spoken word humor would be part of the new LP. The cantina edit of Heroes has "You're under arrest!" And Brian can be heard on the All Day tapes saying there'd be talking in the pauses of that song. That sounds like a fair bit of evidence to me.

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Can you back up any of these contentions using actual data, interviews, anything but "your ears" and pure conjecture? I don't mind if you only use evidence that suits your argument. If this is an actual discussion that goes beyond "Yes, but that's what I feel would have happened", at least. If it's not, fair enough, but I'll take this opportunity to drop out.

So much evidence on this is contradictory that feeling and personal preference has to factor in somewhat. Im trying to at least be honest about that saying we should (at least partially) ignore the evidence and just go by what sounds best. I think two suites of thematically/lyrically/instrumentally/tonally linked songs sounds better than a side of 3 similar tracks and two that are very different, and a side of a bunch of unrelated tracks all completely different in many ways.

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B) No, it's not hard to fathom. It's quite possible. I'm just not willing to take it as a fact for the reasons I have outlined in probably tedious detail earlier in this thread.

Just as I find this elements suite structure preposterous for my own reasons Ive outlined here and elsewhere a million times.

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You're ignoring the Capitol tracklist (at least as reliable as the booklet if not more so) and the tape boxes and session recordings in your argument.

Am I?

A) TRACKLIST

My Side B: 1. Good Vibrations. [2 sec gap] 2. The Elements: Fire. 3. Vega-Tables. 4. Wind Chimes. 5. Surf's Up. [3 sec gap] Unlisted: Prayer.

Yes, I have added the text ": Fire" to the selection titled "The Elements". Is that really such a leap? The cover does not list a track called "My Vega-Tables - The Elements" (or, indeed "Home on the Range"), so there is some precedent for the tracklist and booklet to, in some minor ways, contradict each other. To reflect different phases of development. That said: (One more time now!) "Vega-Tables" being given by the booklet as an "Element", at least in Oct '66, is a decent hint as to their intentions at that time, surely?

Yes, I'd argue you are. The implication is clearly that Elements was one song. Brian did refer to the fire section as Mrs Oleary's Fire in a contemporaneous interview...but then why isnt that on the tracklist? You're also putting the word of Vosse ahead of Brian himself, which to me is another example of putting emphasis on less reliable evidence (like Holmes over the official tracklist/session tapes). Of course...maybe Vosse and Holmes are right. No one can definitively say. But Id put my money on Brian (on the session tapes that is) and the session tapes/labelling of Fire as opposed to these other songs above some vague drawing of a guy who wasnt even involved with the music itself. I dont understand why you put so much weight on the booklet. Clearly Holmes is just quoting snippets of the lyrics there, that's no basis for song titles or anything else as you're constantly insinuating. Its not reflective of different phases of development. VDP gave his friend his lyric sheets and said "make drawings about these." Its not, and was almost certainly not meant to be, gospel. I'll grant you Veggies tho. But I never doubted that in the first place. I still think it's possible Holmes got it wrong and something else like maybe Workshop was Earth, but I concede Veggies was a likely candidate too.

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EDIT: Again, please bear in mind I'm coming at this from the perspective of mid-December 1966. It's at that point I believe everything begins to spiral off and the original conception begins to collapse. (Again, see the Sessionography and the Fusion Article etc as back-up for this contention.) It's quite possible The Elements collapsed when Vega-Tables was nominated as a potential single and re-recording on it began in April - but not in December, when TE was included on the Capitol Memo. Some version of "The Elements" existed then, at least couple of weeks after the "Fire recording" if the mid-Dec dating for the Memo is correct, alongside Vega-Tables - and the only version we know of that to exist then (or was to for another four months) was the 90-second "Cornucopia" version marked by Holmes as part of The Elements.

If I'm being (very) slightly agnostic about the Capitol Memo, you're ignoring the implications of the Booklet with a true religious fervour.

As am I, at least in my last two mixes. We're in agreement on Dec '66 being the last time there was a clear goal. I think the elements collapsed when he thought Fire caused fires. Seems pretty obvious. Veggies wasnt fleshed out into a single until March or April I believe. Im not going against the book with religious fervor. Im just accepting it for what it is. Two degrees of separation from the mind of Brian, in Fall when the album was still conceivably evolving, from a guy who--to my knowledge--was just working with some lyric sheets and was just doing some fun illustrations. I truly think if he knew people were using his pictures as a blueprint for the album hed laugh. To me, it'd be like using the mustaches in the Pepper LP to argue some alternate sequence or something.

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[Related: we know VDP gave Holmes the information for the booklet directly. There is ongoing debate about the provenance/handwriting of the Memo, though I personally believe Cam Mott's assertion there is no way Brian didn't sign off on it.)

Right. Brian's collaborator who constantly tells everyone this is Brians music, Brians album, and he was just putting words to the ideas Brian had...gave his lyric sheets with no music and probably little context to an outside party to make some pictures. These pics were just auxiliary entertainment to the main project. Just some cool abstract art to exemplify the music. It wasnt ever supposed to be a guide to the album. Its just because it wasnt finished that fans put so much weight on it, for better or worse. There may be a clue or two in there, but Id argue probably not. Out of all the evidence to sift through, tracklist, contemporaneous interviews, retrospective interviews, the session tapes, Smiley Smile, Psychedelic Sounds, the music itself...the booklet is probably the absolute LAST thing I would lend credence to.

I agree, there's no way something like that went through without Brian's at least passive approval. It's important evidence. Ive learned that using it as a guide really gives you a satisfying album without any extraneous stuff that (when you get down to it) detracts from the experience more than helps. My only sticking point is Im In Great Shape, but Im guessing there's some lost acetate and the vocal session would show me how that couldve been a track. Im of the opinion now that the Do A Lot chorus was originally part of that and then recycled into Vega-Tables when that became a single.

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Fire is given as "The Elements: Part One" on the tape boxes/session sheets, isn't it? (I'm at work so can't check my TSS book.) It's certainly 1) explicitly called "an Element" and 2) you'll see I have used it as "Part One" of The Elements in my sequence. Since the only other piece we have explicitly identified with The Elements is VT, I've chosen to use that as Part Two. I've already admitted that after that the tunes are conjecture, based on the Capitol tracklist. But the Booklet absolutely makes the suggestion - I say again - that the Elements might well have been whole songs, possibly linked (by chants/FX etc?). And that at least one of these tracks also turned up with its own placing on the Capitol Memo, so how is it delusional to interpret any of this data as I have? What's the actual period evidence to the contrary, either to dispute my assertions or to back up your ideas? I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing/being reminded of such if you've got some, other than simply what sounds right to you.

Yes. Exactly. That, to me, is a huge point against your theory. VT wasnt explicitly called an element except in the booklet, which as Ive already said, I find among the least reliable pieces of evidence. Still...with the psychedelic sounds seemingly pointing in that direction as well, Ill grant you that. As Ive said before. Its not delusional so much as reaching. Ive laid out the evidence here and many other times all over the board. I think the evidence is stronger for a Cycle of Life side than Elements. You want me to dig up evidence that specifically disproves your theory? Like a contemporary interview where Brian says "Surf's Up is NOT an element"? We both know thats impossible. But the burden of proof is on the one proposing the theory. So it comes down to which of us proves our idea better, because I could just as easily say the same "prove me wrong" to you. You cant seriously say that I havent provided a pretty substantial block of evidence. At least as good as your's. We may disagree on which evidence to take more seriously, but Im not just farting out baseless stupid ideas.

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There is a lot of conjecture in the above, of course, which I've tried to clearly admit and identify as such. There is also a substantial amount of hard period data. If there's other data to dispute the stuff I've used, or an alternate analysis based on it, I sincerely welcome the challenge. As I hope I made clear at the beginning of this post, I'm totally open to revising my position on SMiLE as new facts, ideas, interpretations come to my attention. I've been doing so more-or-less continuously since 1998.

As have I. I used to believe BWPS was the final, unquestionable word. Then I started taking some of this board's ideas, and the idea of a two sided (because thats how LPs work) structure and played around more with the songs and found a general outline which I think is undeniable. The exact order may change, and certain songs like GV, IIGS, OMP and the Elements may change sides from mix to mix...but the basic blueprint of Heroes/Veggies/Worms/Cabin and Wonderful/Child/Wind/Surf groupings are unshakeable to me. I myself am resentful of your attitude now, acting as if I havent presented any evidence thus far but you have some unshakeable arguement which I just find untrue and unfair.


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This strikes me as a good time to say again how much I'm enjoying all of this, and I hope the above doesn't come across too aggressively (text, of course, being famously difficult when it comes to tone). I also thought your 'Romestamo' mix was fantastic, and have given it another listen in the interim.


No, I love discussing this. I do take some offense to this attitude as if I havent presented any evidence yet, but I understand I stepped on your toes a bit too presuming youd never changed your mind or thought about this. So no harm no foul. Glad you liked my mix. Would still love a link to your own ;D


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 10, 2015, 09:37:47 PM
Half an hour later: I think I may have missed one of the key points you were making earlier, or at least I've had a follow-up thought about the tracklist that might be more in line with your thinking.

Let's say Brian's deteriorating mental state ("Fire" causing fires) and the beginning of alienation from VDP, etc, did lead to a reshuffle and rethink even before the Capitol memo was drawn up. That being the case - for sake of argument - who ever wrote the tracklisting, even if it had Brian's approval, or was transcribed from Brian himself, might well reflect that confusion. Ie. "The Elements" instead of "The Elements: incorporating "Mrs O'Leary's Cow", "My Vega-Tables", [Air] and [Water]" as the Booklet suggests might have been intended.

If "Fire" was indeed abandoned within a week or so of its recording, then you're right, the whole Elemental sequence gets thrown into doubt - at least from our perspective, and the information we have available. It's quite possible, then, that the other intended parts of the sequence, recorded or unrecorded, get split off into their own tracks, or junked, and the placeholder "Elements" title put into the list to incorporate whatever Brian might decide to do with that idea. Which doesn't mean that Veggies, or indeed Wind Chimes and Surf's Up were not once intended to be part of a side(ish)-long "Elemental movement", but that as of The Crunch in December room may well have been being made for a totally different conception - including a stand-alone "The Elements" instrumental/vocal suite.

Not sure how that relates to the Psycodelic Sounds stuff (even just as ideas), taped before the Boys' return in early November and therefore much closer to the making of the Booklet (inc. Veggies at least as an Element), but it does widen the playing field from my admittedly pretty narrow scope above. At least as it relates to December onwards.

I'll admit youve got me curious to hear or try out my own version of a mix with an elements side that uses the psychedelic sounds to bridge the songs and make them less...jarring. Like Fire into the Veggie Fight into Veggies into Breathing into Wind Chimes into Undersea Chant into Surfs Up. I still dont believe that was the intent even after this additional point, but Id like to hear how something like this might sound.

Once again, I think you're coming up with a convoluted explanation to suit your theory when there's a much simpler explanation. There would have been one song called the elements that probably would have been decently long. It was scrapped, for a variety of reasons: fire caused fires, the length may have become a problem, the song was too scatterbrained for Brian's liking, he couldnt get Air/Water/maybeEarth written or at least not the way he wanted. So the idea was scrapped, and that (along with VDP leaving and other things) caused a big black hole that swallowed the album from within. Wind Chimes and Veggies were completely separate songs.

To add yet another point to my argument...Brian specifically said 10 to 12 tracks. If the Elements swallowed up those 3 other songs, thats only 9. Also, Brian called the Fire section Mrs OLearys Fire in a contemporary interview. So why is it only Fire thats called The Elements and not its other name while the other supposed elements are listed by their own names? It just doesnt make sense. It's not believable.

And I have to ask, because I looked it up. Which picture are we talking about that's literally the crux of your whole argument? This? (http://www.goldminemag.com/wp-content/uploads/SurfsUp_FrankHolmes.jpg) If so then...really? This picture is your proof that Surfs Up is an element? I really dont see it. If Im using the wrong one, I apologize and would like to see what youre referring to.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 10, 2015, 10:36:54 PM
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Brian specifically said 10 to 12 tracks.
Count the tracks on the cover listing. Make one of them The Elements: Fire (2.01). That and three more of those 12 tracks make up the Elements. Viola!

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So why is it only Fire thats called The Elements and not its other name while the other supposed elements are listed by their own names?
My conjecture on exactly this, from my previous post: "If "Fire" was indeed abandoned within a week or so of its recording, then... it's quite possible... that the other intended parts of the sequence, recorded or unrecorded, get split off into their own tracks, or junked, and the placeholder "Elements" title put into the list to incorporate whatever Brian might decide to do with that idea."

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The implication is clearly that Elements was one song. Brian did refer to the fire section as Mrs Oleary's Fire in a contemporaneous interview...but then why isnt that on the tracklist?
See immediately above.

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Wind Chimes and Veggies were completely separate songs.
Oh, they were? You have this directly or indirectly on the record? You have a direct quote that says Vega-Tables and Wind Chimes not part of the Elements? I have a clear period indication that, at least at one point, Veggies was.

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[Re: Surf's Up/Wind Chimes:] Baseless conjecture. I mean, if Brian called Worms "Roll Plymouth Rock" back in the day, would that be your Earth all the sudden?
Conceded. But see my last point below.

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So...if this was Brian's elements...Im sorry to insult the man but he failed miserably at his goal.
Right, so could you please explain to me, with sources and references, what Brian's specific goal was? Unless you mean your own guess at what his goal was. In which case you probably needn't bother.

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Clearly Holmes is just quoting snippets of the lyrics there, that's no basis for song titles or anything else as you're constantly insinuating.
Categorically untrue, if I'm reading you correctly. The 6 small illustrative panels feature: two captions which are just lyrics: "Diamond necklace play the pawn" and "Lost and found you still remain there." Three which are captioned with both lyrics and song titles: "Two-step to lamps light" Surf's Up; "The rain of bullets eventually brought her down" Heroes and Villians; "Uncover the cornfield" Home on the range. And one which is just a title: "Do you like worms".

In all above cases the lyrics are clearly differentiated from the song titles by being italicised, whereas the titles are in plain text. The final, and most relevant illustration is the full page one - "My Vega-Tables" The Elements. The clear indication, therefore, being that "My Vega-Tables" are lyrics from "The Elements", the italics/plain font formatting mirroring those for H&V, "Home on the Range" and Surf's Up.

So, as I mooted last post, a firm suggestion that Vega-Tables started off as part of The Elements before being extracted for the Capitol tracklist; and if so, who's to say what else was or wasn't part of the original "Elements"? After that - as I keep saying - it's conjecture, but your refusal to grant any importance to the booklet captioning is exactly the kind of blind refusal of evidence in order not to disrupt your own schema that you seem very confident attributing to others.

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I still think it's possible Holmes got it wrong and something else like maybe Workshop was Earth
It's not impossible. But isn't it likelier either Brian or VDP or both actually looked at his artwork before it was submitted to the Art Department to have an estimated 10,000 copies made?

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You cant seriously say that I havent provided a pretty substantial block of evidence. At least as good as your's.
But I am. Your conclusions are interesting, but I think your methodology is flawed. (Ie. There is indeed a track called simply "The Elements" on the cover. That might mean it's a two-minute instrumental we know as "Fire/MOC". It might not. It just means there's a track on the cover called "The Elements". The whole point of this debate is to establish what this might be, isn't it?] Maybe I'm misunderstanding, however. Can you list your actual evidence, as opposed to supposition?

Finally, this is the illustration I thought it was obvious I was referring to. (Unfortunately this is the "projected single" version from TSS, which omits the captioning I speak about above. Do you have a copy of the booklet you can refer to to check my observation about lyrics/title formatting?) About which - in specific reference to this picture - Frank Holmes said "There's more than one element present in it." You see the same Wall of Surf from both "Surf's Up" illustrations, right? I'm not saying it's proof, of anything, but that's what Holmes said, and there it is.

EDIT: I don't seem to be able to get an attachment up. Here's the link to the illustration: http://the-adventurers-club.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c801b53ef017ee5546e6e970d-800wi

Anyway, I'm not sure there's much point continuing with this. I'm willing to give it one more go-round if anything useful is likely to come out of it? Otherwise, an excellent exchange and I'll fire through that link to you soon - it's just uploading now.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 10, 2015, 11:36:12 PM
One more thing that seems relevant: this is the closest to a contemporary description of the Elements that seems to exist. (It's Anderle, in 1968)

"We were aware, he made us aware, of what fire was going to be, and what water was going to be; we had some idea of air. That was where it stopped. None of us had any ideas as to how it was going to tie together, except that it appeared to us to be an opera. And the story of the fire part I guess is pretty well known by now."

Okay, so let's parse this for a moment, because I think it helps and hinders us both.

First of all, most obviously there are no individual track titles given. Does this mean named tracks couldn't be part of it? No, but on the other hand it does seem a bit odd Anderle doesn't reference them if they were.

Secondly, it's odd the one other part there seems to be some evidence for, Earth: Vega-Tables, is the one part Anderle seems to know nothing about at all.

Thirdly, if we count "Dada" as water (tracked initially in Dec '66) - and recall Vosse was sent out to get water sounds for this part of the album regardless - and use the old auto-bio quote about "Air", then this description seems to fit with quite a lot of supposition that neither you and I are particularly enamoured of.

Fourthly - doesn't it suggest, however, that Psycodelic Sounds (recordings of which Anderle was actually a part) were not to be a part of "The Elements"? He was "made aware" of what Fire and Water were going to be, but only had "some idea" as to Air and "it stopped" before Earth. Since the Chants have seemingly obvious Water, Air and Veggies connections, then the preceding comments seem a bit odd - if indeed these chants had ever been actual ideas/rough sketches for The Elements. Of all the collaborators of the time, including quite possibly Van Dyke, Anderle seems to be in a position to know.

Lastly - "an opera". Operas contain multiple themes, songs, motifs. The word suggests dramatic flow, movement. Assuming that the Fire part - "which I guess is pretty well known by now" - was to be the Fire we do indeed know by now, then a larger conception of several major compositions, perhaps - as AGD says elsewhere - with crossfades, etc, doesn't seem out of keeping with Anderle's comments here. Whether or not they're any of the ones I've suggested seems less likely.

Anyway, I realise this factors more into your line of thought than mine. But having found the quote, I thought it only appropriate I enter it into the discourse.





Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 11, 2015, 12:22:46 AM
Aha! But, here, from Vosse in Fusion:

"For example, he was doing a four part suite called "The Elements", and the fire section of it was all done with percussion instruments. It was like was Stravinsky. It was beautifully done, and lasted about two minutes... You've heard all about that time, with the tape and the fire destroying it... But at the same time he did that, he took the tail end of Wind Chimes... and he had a minute and a half tag on it where he took a stand-up tack piano and a grand piano; and, a track at a time, did little music box overdubs, and then he went in and mixed them with different echoes on different channels into... I've never heard anything like it."

This is the one quote, and though there's no explicit mention of WC as an Element, it is brought up quite organically in a statement about "The Elements", as a four part suite, and directly following a description of "Fire."

EDIT: I can't help but increasingly feel this dialogue should be taking place in almost any other Smile Sessions thread than this one!


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 11, 2015, 12:58:38 AM
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Brian specifically said 10 to 12 tracks.
Count the tracks on the cover listing. Make one of them The Elements: Fire (2.01). That and three more of those 12 tracks make up the Elements. Viola!

It still makes absolutely no sense to me that only one of the elements would be called that on the cover. You're so certain of The Elements being The Elements: Fire but you're totally blind to how ridiculous that is. Why wouldnt they have used Mrs Oleary's Fire? Or Elements: Water/Air/Earth? It just doesnt add up, any of it.

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So why is it only Fire thats called The Elements and not its other name while the other supposed elements are listed by their own names?
My conjecture on exactly this, from my previous post: "If "Fire" was indeed abandoned within a week or so of its recording, then... it's quite possible... that the other intended parts of the sequence, recorded or unrecorded, get split off into their own tracks, or junked, and the placeholder "Elements" title put into the list to incorporate whatever Brian might decide to do with that idea."

Or maybe they never were elements in the first place. They were recorded before Fire, with absolutely no indication on the tape boxes or session recordings they were elements. Why is the whole song such a big mystery if it was all recorded? Because you're trying to tie everything in a neat little bow when in reality the song/concept was never finished, simple as that. What would be the purpose of even having an Elements placeholder, in your scenario, if the other songs could simply stand alone? Just remove them from that conceptual umbrella and let them be. And then the fact that that's so easy to do at all should be a good indication the song/concept is NOT what you say it is.

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Wind Chimes and Veggies were completely separate songs.
Oh, they were? You have this directly or indirectly on the record? You have a direct quote that says Vega-Tables and Wind Chimes not part of the Elements? I have a clear period indication that, at least at one point, Veggies was.

I find that easier to believe than your runaround to make sense of the booklet. And let's stop with the bullshit "prove me wrong" stuff. I could just as easily say it to you and you'd be lost. Because Brian and Van are not on record saying what is and isnt an element. Like seriously, why dont YOU tell ME where Brian says (pre-BWPS) that Wind Chimes is an element? And since I mention it, why isnt Surf's Up an element in that album, since that was aparently the big plan all along? So Brian remembered Veggies and Wind Chimes but not Surf's Up? Im giving you Veggies because it's also backed by the Psychedelic Sounds and anecdotal evidence by Brian's friends in interviews. But I dont buy Wind Chimes or Surfs Up at all. You do NOT have solid evidence for those that I see.

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So...if this was Brian's elements...Im sorry to insult the man but he failed miserably at his goal.
Right, so could you please explain to me, with sources and references, what Brian's specific goal was? Unless you mean your own guess at what his goal was. In which case you probably needn't bother.

I know, I know...wikipedia. But based on your second reply above, I get the idea youve read the wiki article about this part of the album. Nothing there proves your point at all. In fact, it seems to all point to the simple, undeniable conclussion Ive been saying the whole time--the concept was never finished before it was abandoned. Period. Here's the references for that section which show that whats written there wasnt made up: http://www.gadflyonline.com/05-06-02/ftr-smile.html , https://books.google.com/books?id=Oy4BAAAACAAJ , https://books.google.com/books?id=sLEMdjRhDgQC&hl=en , http://www.aquariumdrunkard.com/2011/10/12/the-ad-interview-darian-sahanaja-behind-the-smile-sessions/

One I found interesting is that VDP told Domenic that the Elements would have evoked fitness and environmentalism. Ok, Ill grant you again, that seems to point to Veggies. But how do Wind Chimes or Surfs Up fit that AT ALL? Darian is quoted saying Brian didnt point to anything as part of some elements concept. Hmm. David Anderlee says it was unfinished and there were vague ideas for water and air. That could point to the Psychedelic Skits. Why not? David was there for those, Im pretty sure. And if air and water were Wind and Surf...wouldnt he damn well have said that?

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Clearly Holmes is just quoting snippets of the lyrics there, that's no basis for song titles or anything else as you're constantly insinuating.
Categorically untrue, if I'm reading you correctly. The 6 small illustrative panels feature: two captions which are just lyrics: "Diamond necklace play the pawn" and "Lost and found you still remain there." Three which are captioned with both lyrics and song titles: "Two-step to lamps light" Surf's Up; "The rain of bullets eventually brought her down" Heroes and Villians; "Uncover the cornfield" Home on the range. And one which is just a title: "Do you like worms".

In all above cases the lyrics are clearly differentiated from the song titles by being italicised, whereas the titles are in plain text. The final, and most relevant illustration is the full page one - "My Vega-Tables" The Elements. The clear indication, therefore, being that "My Vega-Tables" are lyrics from "The Elements", the italics/plain font formatting mirroring those for H&V, "Home on the Range" and Surf's Up.

Ive been willing to agree that Veggies is probably the most likely piece for Earth, assuming Earth was even recorded. If this was the only evidence...Id be pretty skeptical. But I concede that the book, along with the Psych sounds, and the fitness component VDP mentions in regards to the Elements swayed me.

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So, as I mooted last post, a firm suggestion that Vega-Tables started off as part of The Elements before being extracted for the Capitol tracklist; and if so, who's to say what else was or wasn't part of the original "Elements"? After that - as I keep saying - it's conjecture, but your refusal to grant any importance to the booklet captioning is exactly the kind of blind refusal of evidence in order not to disrupt your own schema that you seem very confident attributing to others.

By that logic, maybe Im in Great Shape is Air. Brian sings "fresh air all around my head" and apparently one vague reference is all you need. You cant just blindly speculate like that against all logic. You've proved a strong case with Veggies, I can agree. But that doesnt translate into "well, its the case with that so it must also be the case with these two other songs!"

My blind refusal? Dude...I dont know how else I can say this...the booklet by itself is NOT evidence. Or at least it's the vaguest, least-helpful, least reliable evidence that there is. That's not blind refusal that's just simple fact. Sorry, but Ill take what Brian can be heard saying over the sessions, the labelling of those sessions, and the various interviews which only talk about fire and unclear concepts when the subject of the Elements is brought up over a collection of abstract art with questionable level of clarity to the concept of the music. I guess Im crazy, but that's how I choose to weigh the evidence. And at least Im trying to tie in as much of that as I can in how I construct my SMiLE. You seem to take this booklet, this unsubstantiated idea that the Elements--and SMiLE as a whole--was finished come December, and use that to twist everything else to fit the narrative you've constructed. What's your hierarchy of evidence, just curious?

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I still think it's possible Holmes got it wrong and something else like maybe Workshop was Earth
It's not impossible. But isn't it likelier either Brian or VDP or both actually looked at his artwork before it was submitted to the Art Department to have an estimated 10,000 copies made?

You're contradicting yourself. You say the book cant be wrong cause Brian and/or VDP must have seen it...but you've also been saying the cover is wrong calling Fire "The Elements." So...which is it? For myself, I think Brian didnt particularly care about the artwork. He chose that cover, and probably said to have that artist do any other artwork that was needed. I guess probably picked out the pictures. But I dont think he was that involved in that aspect of the production. Now, for the list, that's different. Those are the actual SONGS. So while he didnt write the list, I think someone--Carl, Diane, David--said "Brian, Capitol insists on a tracklist NOW. What are the songs gonna be?" and Brian ran off a list right off the bat of the ones he envisioned would make the cut. So either could be wrong. But I think Brian would be more concerned with making sure the right songs would be listed--which is kinda really important--than some additional artwork which, if there was an error or two, wouldnt really be an issue. 

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You cant seriously say that I havent provided a pretty substantial block of evidence. At least as good as your's.
But I am. Your conclusions are interesting, but I think your methodology is flawed. (Ie. There is indeed a track called simply "The Elements" on the cover. That might mean it's a two-minute instrumental we know as "Fire/MOC". It might not. It just means there's a track on the cover called "The Elements". The whole point of this debate is to establish what this might be, isn't it?] Maybe I'm misunderstanding, however. Can you list your actual evidence, as opposed to supposition?

Im looking at a multitude of things; interviews, psychedelic sounds, the session tapes, Smiley Smile, the tracklist, the lyrics/instrumentation, etc to make my points and construct my SMiLE. Your argument relies entirely on the booklet of all things, and the unsubstantiated belief that the Elements had to be finished by December...so...with all due respect you have no right to tell me my methodology is flawed. Why would he refer to only one piece of the concept as The Elements and not any of the others? Again, you're speculating/twisting things to fit the narrative you've constructed. I've listed my evidence. I dont see how my arguments have been any more supposition-based than your's, so I dont understand where you get off getting uppity and dismissing my interpretation like that.

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Finally, this is the illustration I thought it was obvious I was referring to. (Unfortunately this is the "projected single" version from TSS, which omits the captioning I speak about above. Do you have a copy of the booklet you can refer to to check my observation about lyrics/title formatting?) About which - in specific reference to this picture - Frank Holmes said "There's more than one element present in it." You see the same Wall of Surf from both "Surf's Up" illustrations, right? I'm not saying it's proof, of anything, but that's what Holmes said, and there it is.

I dont have my boxset or the online pics Ive saved with me. Theyre at home, Im at school. But I believe you on the text formatting. That's not a point of contention. Im sorry again to sound like a jerk, but this is your trump card? THIS is what's made you so sure of Surf's Up as an element against all evidence to the contrary? There's some WATER in the picture. And there's water coming down from the clouds to water the carrots. And based on that...Surfs Up. And I'm the one who's speculating. Ok then.

To me, I see that and hear his quote and think water and earth. Not necessarily Surf's Up. To me, this just shows how the elements are combined. The water nourishes the veggies, the ocean waves are formed by the breeze. I know Im sounding rude here, but how one can look at that and think "OMG Surf's Up is an element!" is totally beyond me. I guess it's just cause you're saying I havent provided any evidence and then offer...this...that gets me feeling kinda insulted. Ok.

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EDIT: I don't seem to be able to get an attachment up. Here's the link to the illustration: http://the-adventurers-club.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c801b53ef017ee5546e6e970d-800wi

Anyway, I'm not sure there's much point continuing with this. I'm willing to give it one more go-round if anything useful is likely to come out of it? Otherwise, an excellent exchange and I'll fire through that link to you soon - it's just uploading now.

Ive honestly enjoyed it too and really would like to listen.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 11, 2015, 01:06:20 AM
Aha! But, here, from Vosse in Fusion:

"For example, he was doing a four part suite called "The Elements", and the fire section of it was all done with percussion instruments. It was like was Stravinsky. It was beautifully done, and lasted about two minutes... You've heard all about that time, with the tape and the fire destroying it... But at the same time he did that, he took the tail end of Wind Chimes... and he had a minute and a half tag on it where he took a stand-up tack piano and a grand piano; and, a track at a time, did little music box overdubs, and then he went in and mixed them with different echoes on different channels into... I've never heard anything like it."

This is the one quote, and though there's no explicit mention of WC as an Element, it is brought up quite organically in a statement about "The Elements", as a four part suite, and directly following a description of "Fire."

EDIT: I can't help but increasingly feel this dialogue should be taking place in almost any other Smile Sessions thread than this one!

Im not convinced. Who's to say whether that means a side of vinyl or a big, four-part song? And I think Vosse just meant he was doing the songs at the same time. To me, this is like the booklet with Veggies. By itself, not convincing. Give me a few other things to corroborate it and Ill come around.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 11, 2015, 01:19:58 AM
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Im not convinced. Who's to say whether that means a side of vinyl or a big, four-part song? And I think Vosse just meant he was doing the songs at the same time. To me, this is like the booklet with Veggies. By itself, not convincing. Give me a few other things to corroborate it and Ill come around.

Absolutely fair enough.

Agree to disagree, I guess? Apologies if at any juncture I sounded - or was! - rude.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 11, 2015, 01:42:54 AM
One more thing that seems relevant: this is the closest to a contemporary description of the Elements that seems to exist. (It's Anderle, in 1968)

"We were aware, he made us aware, of what fire was going to be, and what water was going to be; we had some idea of air. That was where it stopped. None of us had any ideas as to how it was going to tie together, except that it appeared to us to be an opera. And the story of the fire part I guess is pretty well known by now."

Yes. This seems to corroborate my interpretation. That is, it was unfinished. Fire was recorded, there were vague ideas for water and air (undersea chant and breathing) that weren't finished...and the idea was scrapped. So that's that.

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Okay, so let's parse this for a moment, because I think it helps and hinders us both.

First of all, most obviously there are no individual track titles given. Does this mean named tracks couldn't be part of it? No, but on the other hand it does seem a bit odd Anderle doesn't reference them if they were.

Yes. Im sorry, but if Wind Chimes and Veggies were definitely those elements...I would think he would say so. Those songs were released. The public knew (gimped) versions of them and he was part of the SMiLE brigade so that he would be at least vaguely familiar with the old SMiLE versions. It would be so much easier and clearer for him to just say "Veggies and Chimes were Earth and Air...and Surfs Up--which hasnt been released--was Water." The fact that he doesnt do that is very strong evidence against your theory, Id say.

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Secondly, it's odd the one other part there seems to be some evidence for, Earth: Vega-Tables, is the one part Anderle seems to know nothing about at all.

Yes, for the dozenth time, I agree of all the songs you postulate...Veggies has a good chance of being Earth. It's still totally possible it wasnt actually Earth tho and this is all a red herring. I know you're very invested, but thats still a valid possibility you need to keep in mind. Theres about as much evidence against Veggies as for it Id say. And almost none for Chimes and Surf except your speculation.

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Thirdly, if we count "Dada" as water (tracked initially in Dec '66) - and recall Vosse was sent out to get water sounds for this part of the album regardless - and use the old auto-bio quote about "Air", then this description seems to fit with quite a lot of supposition that neither you and I are particularly enamoured of.

Dada? Oh, you mean "All Day" tracked as a Heroes fragment with "lots of talking" in the pauses according to Brian on the tapes? I dont buy it. That fragment eventually became Cool Cool Water and later Blue Hawaii...which are water related, sure, but All Day was a Heroes fragment no different than Barnyard or Do a Lot and Dada in April was just some random song spun off from that fragment that was probably a working single or b-side.

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Fourthly - doesn't it suggest, however, that Psycodelic Sounds (recordings of which Anderle was actually a part) were not to be a part of "The Elements"? He was "made aware" of what Fire and Water were going to be, but only had "some idea" as to Air and "it stopped" before Earth. Since the Chants have seemingly obvious Water, Air and Veggies connections, then the preceding comments seem a bit odd - if indeed these chants had ever been actual ideas/rough sketches for The Elements. Of all the collaborators of the time, including quite possibly Van Dyke, Anderle seems to be in a position to know.

Not sure how on earth you came to that conclusion. If anything, Id say it confirms it more than casts doubt on it. He specifically says he knows what water and air were but not Veggies. Ive been saying all along undersea chant (which actually was the foundation for the Water chant) and Breathing were more than likely working ideas for those elements. You admitting David was part of those sessions all but confirms it. What's your hangup? That he doesnt name-drop them or describe them in detail? Why would he? This was before bootlegs were out. Saying "the breathing skit" would mean NOTHING to the readers of the interview. Additionally, describing them wasnt his place--what if Brian finished the concept some day--and also would do them a disservice and make them sound stupid. "Oh, he had us make fish noises"/"he had us breathe."  Just reading that, youd think those recordings must be the stupidest things ever. But if you listen...they sound wonderful. Completely mesmerizing and the embodiment of those elements as Fire is.

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Lastly - "an opera". Operas contain multiple themes, songs, motifs. The word suggests dramatic flow, movement. Assuming that the Fire part - "which I guess is pretty well known by now" - was to be the Fire we do indeed know by now, then a larger conception of several major compositions, perhaps - as AGD says elsewhere - with crossfades, etc, doesn't seem out of keeping with Anderle's comments here. Whether or not they're any of the ones I've suggested seems less likely.

I stopped reading after that first sentence and asked "how doesnt that apply to the structure Ive proposed?" Why cant there be crossfades in what Ive proposed? I dont think this disproves my claim at all.

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Anyway, I realise this factors more into your line of thought than mine. But having found the quote, I thought it only appropriate I enter it into the discourse.

Glad you acknowledge that. I own LLVS but havent read it yet. You bringing this quote to my attention seems to more or less confirm my ideas. Not trying to rub it in.






Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 11, 2015, 01:43:27 AM
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Im not convinced. Who's to say whether that means a side of vinyl or a big, four-part song? And I think Vosse just meant he was doing the songs at the same time. To me, this is like the booklet with Veggies. By itself, not convincing. Give me a few other things to corroborate it and Ill come around.

Absolutely fair enough.

Agree to disagree, I guess? Apologies if at any juncture I sounded - or was! - rude.

I suppose we must. And same goes for me.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Vega-Table Man on August 11, 2015, 07:38:10 AM
Quick question here; if it's been discussed before a link would be fine, but I searched and didn't find anything.

The Made in California box includes a "2012 mix" of the 1967 "Surf's Up" recording. What exactly is different between that and the SMiLE Sessions version? Thus far I've not noticed any differences.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 11, 2015, 06:22:27 PM
Quick question here; if it's been discussed before a link would be fine, but I searched and didn't find anything.

The Made in California box includes a "2012 mix" of the 1967 "Surf's Up" recording. What exactly is different between that and the SMiLE Sessions version? Thus far I've not noticed any differences.

Maybe making it surround sounds, slightly different stereo panning, or cleaned it up? I don't know either


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Sam_BFC on August 13, 2015, 01:44:39 PM
To me it sounds like the MIC version is a little drier/lighter on the reverb compared to the original mix that we got. I'prefer the original.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: rab2591 on August 13, 2015, 01:54:05 PM
To me it sounds like the MIC version is a little drier/lighter on the reverb compared to the original mix that we got. I'prefer the original.

I noticed this as well, especially during Brian's first "columnated ruins domino" falsetto.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: king of anglia on August 13, 2015, 02:08:45 PM
Anyone else think the key change on the 67 version on the "come about hard and join..." is  due to an edit?

What I mean is that I reckon the 67 version is mix of more than one version. One version is in a lower key than another.

I guess there wasn't a full version they could use.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: seltaeb1012002 on August 13, 2015, 02:13:03 PM
Anyone else think the key change on the 67 version on the "come about hard and join..." is  due to an edit?

What I mean is that I reckon the 67 version is mix of more than one version. One version is in a lower key than another.

I guess there wasn't a full version they could use.

I don't doubt that it's comped from a few takes. You can hear an edit somewhere in the 2nd section, can't remember which line off hand. That said, I'm thinking the key change was moreso an arrangement idea on Brian's behalf. But who knows! Maybe someone who has heard the full takes can weigh in.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 17, 2015, 04:31:39 PM
I was hoping not to continue to clutter this thread with non-"Surf's Up"-specific speculation, but in the absence of a general "Elements" thread, this seems the most appropriate place to add a couple of closing remarks to the debate Mujan and I were having above. Sorry if I have detracted from any other conversations, will move this somewhere else if it looks like any non-SU discussion is likely to continue.

After reaching the ol' "agree to disagree" end game with Mujan, I managed to find an online Crawdaddy archive with the relevant Williams/Anderle chats (I think the only major piece of SMiLE lore I hadn't read).  After reading this three part conversation (particularly Part II), I have now largely come round to Mujan's position on "The Elements".

Anderle on "Fire": "Anyway, after we all laughed at him, as we normally did in these situations, he went ahead and destroyed the tape. Completely. Eliminated it, never to be heard again. That basically destroyed the Elements."

Which seems pretty equivocal. What it means for the Memo two weeks later - and "The Elements" still being on it - who knows? Maybe he had decided to revise the concept entirely into one far-out extended track, as you suggest. I did notice in the interview that there's an extended description of the "chanting" session, which has no reference to Elements, which anyway were done three weeks before Fire "destroyed the Elements" - but it does suggest that Brian combined these chants with musical tracks in the studio (though see Teen Set below...):

"For instance, the chanting: one night we were at the studio and Brian didn't feel like putting down a track. We were just laying around and he said, "Come out here, everyone." So we all went out there, not one of us a professional, and he had us making noises, incredible noises, directing us from the control room. "Louder." "Softer." "More expansive." "Get in closer." The whole thing. We started off very conscious of what we were doing, looking at each other and very embarrassed, and he just drove us into it, totally. We went into the studio and listened to it; he put it with music, we listened to it again and walked out knowing that once again Brian had done it."

[The same Nov 4 scene as described, part-satirically I believe, by Vosse - and allegedly, Brian himself - in Teen Set magazine:
'Now it is late, and time for fun. Brian and four friends sit in the dark studio around an open microphone. Each person makes and repeats a sound which represents the "feeling" of underwater life to him... Brian softly whispers into ears asking for a variation here, a more pronounced rhythm there, soon the effect is created and Brian returns to the booth to mix the sounds with echoes and pitch changes to create a vocal Atlantis. "This is an interesting direction. When the guys get back we'll try something similar."']

No indication these chants were ever intended to be part of "The Elements", and as far as Anderle seems to be aware, seem to have been an of-the-moment whim of Brian's. Perhaps an idea for "the humour album", which is clearly in Anderle's mind not the same as the SMiLE album (in fact, he suggests Smiley Smile was in some ways a way of combining the two ideas).

Though I'm still clinging (not, I still feel, entirely without reason) to Veggies as being an Element at one time - and, almost without reason, that Wind Chimes might have been - in almost all other aspects I am duly chastened.




Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 17, 2015, 09:52:17 PM
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"This is an interesting direction. When the guys get back we'll try something similar."

This right here is the KEY line, for me. Badda boom. This is what Ive been saying all along--the Psychedelic Sounds is a series of experiments he was playing around with to see if any would sound good with the Boys or Wrecking Crew. Some did. Brian falls into a piano/mic became George Fell Into His French Horn. Brian is heard on one of the skits (forget which) saying "we've got to fight, we've gotta keep fighting, and then we'll make up" as an idea to the other guys, a way to focus the sketch on something. That idea was fleshed out as the vegetable fight. And, the undersea chant eventually became the water chant, the closest thing to Water of the Elements we will ever get. No official word from Anderle on Breathing? I still think that's the most plausible Air.

Is there any actual proof of this comedy album idea ever actually being a serious endeavor of Brian's? I only heard about it on the wiki and a few posters here echoing the idea but never heard anything from a serious source. I always assumed it was people misunderstand Psychedelic Sounds--thinking it must have been Brian's ideas for a whole separate project, when in reality (as far as Im concerned barring some further evidence) they actually are one and the same thing. I think the humor was a latter addition (like, Nov/Dec/Jan-ish) but intended for SMiLE. The Cantina edit of Heroes seems to corroborate this. It sounds similar to what happens in With Me Tonight (the "Good!") but even more effective. The Laughing half of the Breathing skit could be seen as similar to how the Boys laugh during the first verse of Little Pad, for another example. And that laugh could have been a great transition between the scary fire and more lighthearted Vega-Tables, if indeed the latter was an element. It's funny because it's over-the-top laughter, but there's something vaguely creepy about it as well. Kinda like a lot of things on SMiLE, there's an innocence as well as a veiled sense of foreboding and sadness there. Hmm.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 19, 2015, 02:14:07 PM
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This right here is the KEY line, for me. Badda boom. This is what Ive been saying all along--the Psychedelic Sounds is a series of experiments he was playing around with to see if any would sound good with the Boys or Wrecking Crew. Some did. Brian falls into a piano/mic became George Fell Into His French Horn.

Sure, but I'd say that extended vocal experiments with the Wrecking Crew making it to a Beach Boys LP is as unlikely - or, in any case, unprecedented - as the Nov 4 chanting material with the Vosse Posse. It's also a stretch, I think, to say that George Fell into His French Horn was a release-quality development of "Brian Falls Into a Piano"; the basic gag is the same, yes, but ideas are re-used in creative arts all the time. Sometimes it's 'cos something sounds good in one setting, or was well-responded to, or you're out of ideas on a particular day and you go back to a familiar well. Using the latter usage to explicate intentions for the former is like saying the Good Vibrations hook was a work-out for the ultimate use of the word "excitations" in "Summer of Love".

I'm sure Brian was working out ideas in '66 as they came to him, with the tools and people on hand to explore those ideas as they occurred. Anderle and Vosse speak at length about this (the abandoned "cutlery rhythms" dinner party recording, for instance). The connection that needs to be backed up is that these experiments were intended to be refined/re-recorded/deployed for SMiLE, or any other BB projects. One of the recurring themes of the interviews I've mentioned is the sense that Brian was slowly working towards solo, or at least non-BBs-related releases. Anderle is quite explicit about this. The "pop humour album" seems to be one of those nascent concepts.

I'll grant you "This is an interesting direction. When the guys get back we'll try something similar" appears to make such a connection. And it may well do so, though it's also worth remembering this article was written by Vosse and possibly Brian for the Capitol in-house magazine, so what motivations might there be to justify that hour-or-so's messing-about/exploration (on studio time) as investigating a potential direction for the band?

Finally:
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Is there any actual proof of this comedy album idea ever actually being a serious endeavor of Brian's?
There's quite a lot about this in Brian: Part One in Crawdaddy if you want to take a look at that (I don't have time to transcribe all the relevant material; I believe it's in LLVS). As I said above, it's certainly referred to by Anderle as a quite distinct proposition to SMiLE proper, though I don't doubt there would have been some bleed-through between the two projects.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 19, 2015, 02:22:59 PM
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And, the undersea chant eventually became the water chant, the closest thing to Water of the Elements we will ever get. No official word from Anderle on Breathing? I still think that's the most plausible Air.

Well, kinda. The "water chant", recorded in very different circumstances not far off a year later for a specific track, doesn't bear much relation to "Fishy, fishy, swim, swim - tiiiidal" except that it's a group of unadorned voices around a microphone. The harmonic approach, the lack of emphasis on syncopation, rhythm and differing proximities, the one repeated word - it's a very different beast. The "undersea chant" isn't even "about" water in so much as the things that live in the oceans. (Though I'm sure, quite understandably, you might disagree.)

I'm not saying there isn't some kind of connection, but I think you're overstating what there is. The strongest link the chants have to "Elements", somewhat ironically, is in the re-use of actual lyrics from Vega-Tables ("I'm gonna chow down all my vega-tables") - which you largely dispute as being an "Element" in the first place.

And no, Anderle doesn't refer to breathing specifically - or to the undersea stuff, actually. The "vocal Atlantis" reference is Vosse/Brian in Teen Set.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 21, 2015, 09:17:04 AM
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This right here is the KEY line, for me. Badda boom. This is what Ive been saying all along--the Psychedelic Sounds is a series of experiments he was playing around with to see if any would sound good with the Boys or Wrecking Crew. Some did. Brian falls into a piano/mic became George Fell Into His French Horn.

Sure, but I'd say that extended vocal experiments with the Wrecking Crew making it to a Beach Boys LP is as unlikely - or, in any case, unprecedented - as the Nov 4 chanting material with the Vosse Posse. It's also a stretch, I think, to say that George Fell into His French Horn was a release-quality development of "Brian Falls Into a Piano"; the basic gag is the same, yes, but ideas are re-used in creative arts all the time. Sometimes it's 'cos something sounds good in one setting, or was well-responded to, or you're out of ideas on a particular day and you go back to a familiar well. Using the latter usage to explicate intentions for the former is like saying the Good Vibrations hook was a work-out for the ultimate use of the word "excitations" in "Summer of Love".

Well, we all know your example is just Mike nostalgia-pandering. But the difference with Brian is I don't think he'd waste expensive studio time on something he wasn't serious about. He tested the gag out on his friends and seemed pleased so he tried it "for real" with the professionals.

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I'm sure Brian was working out ideas in '66 as they came to him, with the tools and people on hand to explore those ideas as they occurred. Anderle and Vosse speak at length about this (the abandoned "cutlery rhythms" dinner party recording, for instance). The connection that needs to be backed up is that these experiments were intended to be refined/re-recorded/deployed for SMiLE, or any other BB projects. One of the recurring themes of the interviews I've mentioned is the sense that Brian was slowly working towards solo, or at least non-BBs-related releases. Anderle is quite explicit about this. The "pop humour album" seems to be one of those nascent concepts.


That's true. And if the silverware symphony had been recorded with professionals too I'd argue it also might have made the cut. As is, it was just a working idea probably forgotten about the next day or week. As for this supposed comedy album...I just think the skits fit SMiLE too well. A fight about Vegetables? Making ocean sounds and breathing when we are all searching for the Water and Air of the Elements? A taxi cab driver giving directions about traveling America? It fits the SMiLE concepts too well for me to dismiss as a separate project. Unless it would've been an extra EP like with Holland, but I'd argue then that it's still SMiLE.

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I'll grant you "This is an interesting direction. When the guys get back we'll try something similar" appears to make such a connection. And it may well do so, though it's also worth remembering this article was written by Vosse and possibly Brian for the Capitol in-house magazine, so what motivations might there be to justify that hour-or-so's messing-about/exploration (on studio time) as investigating a potential direction for the band?

Possibly, but I think that's reaching. If they were trying to hide it, I think it'd make sense not to mention it at all.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 21, 2015, 09:22:23 AM
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And, the undersea chant eventually became the water chant, the closest thing to Water of the Elements we will ever get. No official word from Anderle on Breathing? I still think that's the most plausible Air.

Well, kinda. The "water chant", recorded in very different circumstances not far off a year later for a specific track, doesn't bear much relation to "Fishy, fishy, swim, swim - tiiiidal" except that it's a group of unadorned voices around a microphone. The harmonic approach, the lack of emphasis on syncopation, rhythm and differing proximities, the one repeated word - it's a very different beast. The "undersea chant" isn't even "about" water in so much as the things that live in the oceans. (Though I'm sure, quite understandably, you might disagree.)

I'm not saying there isn't some kind of connection, but I think you're overstating what there is. The strongest link the chants have to "Elements", somewhat ironically, is in the re-use of actual lyrics from Vega-Tables ("I'm gonna chow down all my vega-tables") - which you largely dispute as being an "Element" in the first place.

And no, Anderle doesn't refer to breathing specifically - or to the undersea stuff, actually. The "vocal Atlantis" reference is Vosse/Brian in Teen Set.


I'm talking about the recording where they imitate fish not just say "fish fish fishy underwater etc". That creates a very visceral and undeniable feeling of water, the ocean and fluidity. You could just as easily say Fire isn't about fire but a fire engine then. I think the actual Water Chant is even a step down from that. It's not as complex or beautiful or all-encompassing. But I still think it's an evolution of the same idea.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 21, 2015, 04:47:19 PM
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I'm talking about the recording where they imitate fish not just say "fish fish fishy underwater etc".

Ah, okay - sorry, I'd forgotten about that section completely!


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 21, 2015, 05:42:30 PM
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I'm talking about the recording where they imitate fish not just say "fish fish fishy underwater etc".

Ah, okay - sorry, I'd forgotten about that section completely!

Its cool.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 26, 2015, 02:07:52 AM
A quote I rediscovered recently, from VDP in 2003. I make no further comment:

"I'd sat out that so-called 'Mrs O'Leary's Cow' session in 1966: I felt an emerging irrelevance. With no lyrics, yet. The writing was on the wall... The only piece of "The Elements" I worked on was 'Vege-Tables' [sic]."


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 26, 2015, 03:31:20 AM
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It fits the SMiLE concepts too well for me to dismiss as a separate project. Unless it would've been an extra EP like with Holland, but I'd argue then that it's still SMiLE.

Yes, but Anderle - a "serious source", and only 18 months later - talks about the recording of "very humorous situations" (which in context, to me, quite clearly includes 'Taxi Cabber', though I grant you that's not made explicit - or is it? Vosse may mention it) and "the first pop humour LP", quite distinctly from SMiLE, in the Crawdaddy interview. You may well be the first person to ever suggest a "Mt Vernon" style EP as an intended destination for these experiments: and someone who was there, and managing a good chunk of Brian Wilson's personal and the Beach Boys' group business affairs, describes specifically "the first pop humour LP". Not EP. And not SMiLE. Surely Anderle, of all people, was in a position to know the difference.

I'm increasingly finding you're as inflexible on your positions - as willing to ignore or highlight particular pieces of the puzzle as suits your predetermined opinion - as "the old-timers" you affectionately decry.

I appreciate your passion for this subject and willingness to think creatively, intelligently and without restriction on the historical and artistic issues at play. But it's a little disheartening to dig out and reference articles - which you concede you own in LLVS - that include relevant material (evidence, data, anecdote, what have you) only to get responses like "Is there any actual proof of this comedy album idea ever actually being a serious endeavor of Brian's?".  

Well, yes. I've told you where that information is, and you own it. At least give the debate, if not me, the respect of bothering to read a six-page article you already possess before typing up a dismissal of its (unread) contents.

EDIT: Further, I even offered to email you [links to] a PDF of Brian: Part One (and the other two Crawdaddy pieces) to spare you the effort of digging out and through LLVS. I received no response from you to this offer. Is that because you were worried the data within would not support your thesis?


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 27, 2015, 12:26:20 AM
A quote I rediscovered recently, from VDP in 2003. I make no further comment:

"I'd sat out that so-called 'Mrs O'Leary's Cow' session in 1966: I felt an emerging irrelevance. With no lyrics, yet. The writing was on the wall... The only piece of "The Elements" I worked on was 'Vege-Tables' [sic]."

Indeed. Very strong evidence there.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 27, 2015, 01:18:22 AM
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It fits the SMiLE concepts too well for me to dismiss as a separate project. Unless it would've been an extra EP like with Holland, but I'd argue then that it's still SMiLE.

Yes, but Anderle - a "serious source", and only 18 months later - talks about the recording of "very humorous situations" (which in context, to me, quite clearly includes 'Taxi Cabber', though I grant you that's not made explicit - or is it? Vosse may mention it) and "the first pop humour LP", quite distinctly from SMiLE, in the Crawdaddy interview. You may well be the first person to ever suggest a "Mt Vernon" style EP as an intended destination for these experiments: and someone who was there, and managing a good chunk of Brian Wilson's personal and the Beach Boys' group business affairs, describes specifically "the first pop humour LP". Not EP. And not SMiLE. Surely Anderle, of all people, was in a position to know the difference.

I never used the phrase serious source. I asked if there was definitive proof of it being a serious endeavor of Brian's. As in, that it was a fully conceptualized plan that he stuck with for more than a day, a week, a month. Otherwise Im inclined to think it was another passing thought, like so much else at that time. Im not doubting Anderle's involvement, Im doubting Brian's resolve with all this. The suggestion about a separate EP was only half-serious. In any case, those skits are still born out of the SMiLE concepts. Veggies, Breathing/water, stoners journeying across America--mentioning Chicago specifically, with a section of music referred to in another interview as "Mrs Olearys Fire"--it all fits. If this pop humor LP was a separate project, it was still undeniably related to SMiLE. And Im not convinced it was a serious endeavor. The details are non-existent, and the concept is too vague. How do we know the Psychedelic Sounds werent still meant for SMiLE, but Brian was so excited at how they turned out he thought of doing a whole new album in that style in the future? Maybe the Psychedelic Sounds really were a separate thing. Id argue then that the two idea were melded together later, and before Smiley. The cantina edit of Heroes and contemporaneous interview he gave about spoken word humor on the album attest to that. The fact that George Fell was part of a Surfs Up session attests to that. The two are intrinsically linked, end of story. The question is how much, and that probably changed as time went on. But theyre still part of SMiLE, still pieces of the puzzle, still worth examining in the context of the album and still worthy inclusions to any fan mix.

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I'm increasingly finding you're as inflexible on your positions - as willing to ignore or highlight particular pieces of the puzzle as suits your predetermined opinion - as "the old-timers" you affectionately decry.

My views on this have changed greatly over time. My view now was formed through years of listening and playing around with the material as well as reading some interviews, etc. Just because I dont radically change my perspective every time you throw another quote at me, sometimes out of context, often tinted with your own interpretation of said quote, doesnt make me inflexible. Im taking your propositions and evidence into account. You've totally convinced me on VT being an element, for example.

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I appreciate your passion for this subject and willingness to think creatively, intelligently and without restriction on the historical and artistic issues at play. But it's a little disheartening to dig out and reference articles - which you concede you own in LLVS - that include relevant material (evidence, data, anecdote, what have you) only to get responses like "Is there any actual proof of this comedy album idea ever actually being a serious endeavor of Brian's?".  

Thank you for that first part, tho Im not sure what you mean by "without restriction on the historical and artistic issues at play." If you mean, the years of speculation before me and the release of BWPS, thank you. If you mean Im deliberately subverting historical fact or something, I take offense to that as you nor me nor anyone can claim to know historical fact on this. Yes, because there's only one reference by one guy and nothing else. As great as that source is...all it means is that at some point Brian said "hey lets do a comedy album." The same Brian who said "hey lets put this clanging silverware on the album" and threw out a hundred other ideas at the time. In any case, it doesnt prove Psychedelic Sounds was a separate project, for all the reasons Ive listed above. Again, its all about weighing the evidence. Does one vague quote/concept negate all else that seems to point to PS and SMiLE proper being related? I dont think so. You seem to disagree. And Im sure everyone reading this is convinced their SMiLE is right for XYZ reasons too. Im open to new ideas on this, but again you cant expect me to just throw out my current understanding of SMiLE over your interpretation of one vague quote.

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Well, yes. I've told you where that information is, and you own it. At least give the debate, if not me, the respect of bothering to read a six-page article you already possess before typing up a dismissal of its (unread) contents.

One bit of evidence from a guy we previously agreed was probably talking about the PS in context to the elements earlier. Im not dismissing the contents, just questioning how we should best interpret them. I dismissed your assertion of Surfs Up as an element because of the booklet. You see the difference?

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EDIT: Further, I even offered to email you [links to] a PDF of Brian: Part One (and the other two Crawdaddy pieces) to spare you the effort of digging out and through LLVS. I received no response from you to this offer. Is that because you were worried the data within would not support your thesis?

At this point, youre just being obnoxious.

What you sent me was already quoting what I presumed would be the relevant quotations you wanted to discuss in the message itself. Forgive me for not giving out my personal email address to a stranger for files I already own and have just been quoted to me anyway. Forgive me for not refreshing myself on the article proper. School has started, I am busy with moving roommates in and exroommates out of my apartment, Im starting transitioning which has been wonderful but stressful and scary, Im in the midst of reading another book already (Storm of Swords, by grrm) and trying to have a social life besides. I go on this board for fun because I deeply love this album and band and enjoy discussing it. But for the time being, yes, Ive been a bit too preoccupied to read this article for the sake of proving my interpretation to someone on the internet. Especially so when thus far all the seemingly relevant excerpts have been quoted to me and all your conclusions drawn from them I find inconclusive. You accuse me of speculation whenever I come to an interpretation different than your own, but I myself dont find yours any more inherently truthful or infallible than my own. So what, your big point here is that psychedelic sounds wasnt part of SMiLE? I think there's some solid evidence to warrant disagreeing with you. From Anderle himself even, given yours and my agreement regarding the water and possibly air sections of SMiLE being in PS, at least in rudimentary form. Im genuinely sorry. But there's no need to publicly accuse me of evasion like that, given the circumstances. As if Im really so invested in the idea of PS skits being on SMiLE that I just cant handle the thought that maybe Im wrong. No.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: The_Holy_Bee on August 28, 2015, 09:52:59 PM
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Is there any actual proof of this comedy album idea ever actually being a serious endeavor of Brian's? I only heard about it on the wiki and a few posters here echoing the idea but never heard anything from a serious source.

So there's that. I wasn't putting words in your post.

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If you mean, the years of speculation before me and the release of BWPS, thank you.

That is what I meant, yes.

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Forgive me for not giving out my personal email address to a stranger for files I already own and have just been quoted to me anyway. Forgive me for not refreshing myself on the article proper.

Forgiven on both counts. I thought you were genuinely interested in getting into this, with full recourse to the interviews we were discussing, so I offered to send you pdfs of those articles in case that would make things easier for you. I understand your reluctance to share personal data with a stranger, but a polite recognition and refusal would have been nice. Not necessary, but nice.

I still stand by the stance that if you want to discuss these issues - or, at least, raise questions about sources and what they may have said (several times; the quote beginning this post is just one) - then being expected to read short, relevant articles that are referenced and which you have said you own is hardly - to quote VDP by way of Dickens - "a great expectation". That was the minor beef expressed in my previous post. You're posting daily, in multiple threads, sometimes at length. So you have some time at your disposal. What you do with it is, of course, up to you and none of my concern. But you do have time.

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At this point, youre just being obnoxious.

Well, I'm sorry about that. I wasn't trying to be. I was enjoying the debate, but that enjoyment was being increasingly tempered by the feeling you were being a bit recalcitrant both in your arguments - I've already conceded, remember, the "Elements-as-four-tracks" and "Surf's Up-as-one-of-'em" debates on the basis of your points and further reading - and reluctant to engage with relevant material. So maybe I was a bit aggressive; and if so I apologise. Especially considering the happenings in your personal life, of which I wasn't aware (school pressures aside) -  a sincere congratulations on your transitioning, by the way; I can imagine there must be some stressful times in the midst of that process.

I would ask, however, that you look at the thread listings of the SS Box Set forum and see on how many you're the final poster. You have here someone willing to engage in serious and thoughtful conversation on a topic, and who hasn't been run off by your willingness to do the same. To take this album and these songs seriously. EDIT: deleted paragraph.

In any case - with the knowledge we haven't really engaged in any conversation about "Surf's Up" for several posts now, I am also retiring from this part of the forum. Thanks for acknowledging my Veggies conviction/the VDP quote, and I think we largely concur on PS being at least a working draft for ideas that may have been re-recorded with "the Boys" as part of an one-track "Elements" suite, if other factors hadn't intervened. If you do find the time to read those Crawdaddy pieces, I'm keen to take this back up somewhere else. Otherwise, I'm still hugely enjoying your mix - it's on as I type this - and look forward to reading your posts elsewhere on the Board.


Title: Re: TSS - All things Surf's Up
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on August 29, 2015, 09:54:57 AM
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If you mean, the years of speculation before me and the release of BWPS, thank you.

That is what I meant, yes.
In that case, thank you.

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Forgiven on both counts. I thought you were genuinely interested in getting into this, with full recourse to the interviews we were discussing, so I offered to send you pdfs of those articles in case that would make things easier for you. I understand your reluctance to share personal data with a stranger, but a polite recognition and refusal would have been nice. Not necessary, but nice.

I am, Ive just had a lot of other things going on right now. I was content to reply to the excerpts youve been quoting until you brought up the fact that I didnt have you email me the article as some kind of trump card against me. When I get a chance to read the whole article, if it changes anything for me, Ill let you know.

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I still stand by the stance that if you want to discuss these issues - or, at least, raise questions about sources and what they may have said (several times; the quote beginning this post is just one) - then being expected to read short, relevant articles that are referenced and which you have said you own is hardly - to quote VDP by way of Dickens - "a great expectation". That was the minor beef expressed in my previous post. You're posting daily, in multiple threads, sometimes at length. So you have some time at your disposal. What you do with it is, of course, up to you and none of my concern. But you do have time.

Posting on a couple threads on my phone here and there while Im on the go throughout the day is different than sitting down and reading the article--which i meant to and will read at some point. Like I said the past week or two have been pretty hectic. Im just going by what youve quoted to me, and nothing seems particularly definitive or clear. Vague talks of some comedy album from which you assume must mean PS was a separate project, things like that. Im just trying to point out that theres no saying how serious Brian was about such a thing, or if that means it was PS. I think thats far to point out without having read the full article just yet.

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Well, I'm sorry about that. I wasn't trying to be. I was enjoying the debate, but that enjoyment was being increasingly tempered by the feeling you were being a bit recalcitrant both in your arguments - I've already conceded, remember, the "Elements-as-four-tracks" and "Surf's Up-as-one-of-'em" debates on the basis of your points and further reading - and reluctant to engage with relevant material. So maybe I was a bit aggressive; and if so I apologise. Especially considering the happenings in your personal life, of which I wasn't aware (school pressures aside) -  a sincere congratulations on your transitioning, by the way; I can imagine there must be some stressful times in the midst of that process.

I have as well, I just thought the public accusation of evasion was unnecessary. But you're right, I ought to read the article before saying too much. I'll edit this post in the next couple days with my thought on it, how about that?

Yes, Im glad you were willing to reconsider your points in the face of further evidence--as have I with VT being an element. That last quote from VDP especially sealed the deal for me. I appreciate the kind words :)

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I would ask, however, that you look at the thread listings of the SS Box Set forum and see on how many you're the final poster. You have here someone willing to engage in serious and thoughtful conversation on a topic, and who hasn't been run off by your willingness to do the same. To take this album and these songs seriously. EDIT: deleted paragraph.

Yes, I entered into those topics fairly late in the game. When the boxset was released, I was a lurker here. I enjoyed reading those threads. When I first started posting (and was much more infrequent) I saw a LOT of interesting discussions about this album that changed the way I see it. Things like the arguments for Worms going first which Ive parroted above, Wind Chimes being a song about the anticipation of death and an expression of loneliness, Talking Horns being (a rudimentary version of) the second half of Surfs Up...etc. Since I have a lot of thoughts on the material, and especially because bumping older SMiLE threads got me a bit of scorn, I thought coming here and adding my two cents to each would be the best idea. It is a shame more havent added to the discussion since, but I kind of understand it. As much of a jerk as she was, KitKat (or was it KittyKat?) had a point about how these discussions have been going on forever for a lot of fans. Theres hardly any more to say for them, Im sure. I do appreciate your willingness to do so. Like I said, I too was enjoying this, just a few comments here and there--that Im all speculation, that Im evading--I felt were somewhat unfair and insulting.

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In any case - with the knowledge we haven't really engaged in any conversation about "Surf's Up" for several posts now, I am also retiring from this part of the forum. Thanks for acknowledging my Veggies conviction/the VDP quote, and I think we largely concur on PS being at least a working draft for ideas that may have been re-recorded with "the Boys" as part of an one-track "Elements" suite, if other factors hadn't intervened. If you do find the time to read those Crawdaddy pieces, I'm keen to take this back up somewhere else. Otherwise, I'm still hugely enjoying your mix - it's on as I type this - and look forward to reading your posts elsewhere on the Board.

Thats a shame:/ Like I said, Ill update this post and probably send you a PM in a few days when I get an hour or so to read this article and type up my thoughts all the same. I confess I havent listened to your mix just yet, but I have downloaded it. Ill give you my thoughts on that as well. Cheers.