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Smiley Smile Stuff => General On Topic Discussions => Topic started by: Matt H on September 13, 2018, 03:00:26 PM



Title: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: Matt H on September 13, 2018, 03:00:26 PM
I would love to know the backstory on this song.  It is surprising to me that a Mike and Terry Melcher song would feature a lead vocal by Brian in 1986.  Maybe it was a condition of Landy's to have Brian involved (speculation on my part).  I also find it interesting that apparently on the tape box it says that Brian was a co-producer, but he didn't get a producers credit.  I would have thought that Landy would be getting credit for Brian for anything he did.  Does anyone know the backstory on this song, and how Brian came to be the lead singer?

BTW, I think that Carl sings the hell out of his parts.  I love hearing him grit it out.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: CenturyDeprived on September 13, 2018, 03:12:24 PM
I would love to know the backstory on this song.  It is surprising to me that a Mike and Terry Melcher song would feature a lead vocal by Brian in 1986.  Maybe it was a condition of Landy's to have Brian involved (speculation on my part).  I also find it interesting that apparently on the tape box it says that Brian was a co-producer, but he didn't get a producers credit.  I would have thought that Landy would be getting credit for Brian for anything he did.  Does anyone know the backstory on this song, and how Brian came to be the lead singer?

BTW, I think that Carl sings the hell out of his parts.  I love hearing him grit it out.

I think this song is quite underrated. I want to know its backstory too.

I was surprised that Robin Leach mentioned it by doing a "Rock N Roll to the Rescue" pun in his narration as late as 1990 with Mike's appearance on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (surely the last-known mention of this song anywhere in the BBs universe, I'd think).


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: c-man on September 13, 2018, 04:29:00 PM
The story I've read (from someone who allegedly asked Melcher) is that Brian and Terry started out coproducing the track, then Landy pulled Brian out mid-production to have a stress test in Hawaii. Melcher was pissed, and removed his name at that point.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: southbay on September 13, 2018, 04:54:07 PM
The story I've read (from someone who allegedly asked Melcher) is that Brian and Terry started out coproducing the track, then Landy pulled Brian out mid-production to have a stress test in Hawaii. Melcher was pissed, and removed his name at that point.

I heard Brian relate that exact set of events in a radio interview maybe 20 years ago


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: c-man on September 13, 2018, 07:16:51 PM
The story I've read (from someone who allegedly asked Melcher) is that Brian and Terry started out coproducing the track, then Landy pulled Brian out mid-production to have a stress test in Hawaii. Melcher was pissed, and removed his name at that point.

I heard Brian relate that exact set of events in a radio interview maybe 20 years ago


Well...maybe THAT'S where I heard it, too! 


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: CenturyDeprived on September 13, 2018, 09:08:40 PM
The story I've read (from someone who allegedly asked Melcher) is that Brian and Terry started out coproducing the track, then Landy pulled Brian out mid-production to have a stress test in Hawaii. Melcher was pissed, and removed his name at that point.

Fascinating. Was that Brian and Terry's only collab (or attempt at one)? I guess Brian and Terry may (?) have collaborated in some way for Getcha Back, though maybe not in a co-production sense.

Side note: when I hear the term "stress test", I think of Scientology, although I'll assume this was not that.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: c-man on September 14, 2018, 05:10:20 AM

Side note: when I hear the term "stress test", I think of Scientology, although I'll assume this was not that.

I think it more likely involved a tread mill - not sure why that couldn't have been accomplished in Southern California, though...


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: Tony S on September 14, 2018, 05:31:33 AM
Landy probably wanted a free trip to Hawaii.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: Rocker on September 14, 2018, 06:58:38 AM
BTW, I think that Carl sings the hell out of his parts.  I love hearing him grit it out.

Its probably my favorite late-Brian lead. He is getting a super rocking sound. But all the guys put on great vocals on this one imo


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: HeyJude on September 14, 2018, 09:59:36 AM
The song resulted in another a long line of slightly weird, awkward TV appearances where Brian and the band mimed the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxJfuml6ir8

And then they did it live at Farm Aid, with Al singing Brian's lines:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfwxe0W9h2A


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: Zargo on September 14, 2018, 05:59:22 PM
The song resulted in another a long line of slightly weird, awkward TV appearances where Brian and the band mimed the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxJfuml6ir8

And then they did it live at Farm Aid, with Al singing Brian's lines:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfwxe0W9h2A

Al and Mike share Brian's vocals in that Farm Aid live performance. Rough start and Al is uncharacteristically hoarse, but the song comes off alright once they get into it.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: CenturyDeprived on September 14, 2018, 07:20:45 PM
If the song had become a Kokomo level hit, I wonder if Howard Stern would play the song on air, and add his "Hey now!" audio clip repeatedly on top of all of the "hey nows" on the second verse.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: Matt H on September 17, 2018, 06:08:38 AM
Thanks for the information!


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: urbanite on September 17, 2018, 12:28:45 PM
I thought the song was alright, but Brian's voice was in rough shape and detracted from the track.  Al or Carl would have been the better choice.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: CenturyDeprived on September 17, 2018, 12:45:08 PM
I thought the song was alright, but Brian's voice was in rough shape and detracted from the track.  Al or Carl would have been the better choice.

It's all opinion of course, but I respectfully disagree. While Brian was certainly trying out a new type of voice (I'm not sure he's ever sung a full lead that sounds quite like this), I don't think he sounds bad at all. It's almost his '80s voice doing a cross between a "You're So Good to Me" or "Wouldn't it Be Nice" type of lead, with a little more of a layed-back (and only very slightly wacky) vibe.

Most importantly to me, he sounds like he's having fun, and seems legit engaged and excited to be singing this lead.

Maybe it's just because his voice is in so much better shape than material released in subsequent decades to this song, but I think it's Brian giving it his '80s all, and surprisingly succeeding in a general sense. Not to mention the backing harmonies are TOP notch... the "hey nows" sound as Beach Boys as it gets (recalling their 60s harmonies), perhaps for the 2nd or 3rd to last time ever (the only BBs songs released after Rock N Roll to the Rescue that have that very specific GROUP vocal blend that sounds exactly like it came out of the '60s would be Make it Big and Island Girl (intro).


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: Tony S on September 18, 2018, 03:42:39 PM
I also think Brian's vocal on rock and roll to the rescue its pretty good. Certainly very different from any other vocals we heard from him during this time or since.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: SMiLE Brian on September 18, 2018, 03:53:25 PM
BW sounds good on it! ;D


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: Lonely Summer on September 21, 2018, 10:02:33 PM
I like the song, but I would've chosen Al to be the lead singer on this song. Mike would be the natural choice, and that's why I choose Al - just because he sounds great on it, and he needs more lead vocals.  :afro


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: jparis51 on September 23, 2018, 05:49:47 AM
Well I was driving when I first heard it and it was one of those times I had to just pull over to take in a song. I was stunned, I love nearly everything about it and I would have put it on both the 1993 and 2013 box sets following Kokomo. The autobiographical nature would have capped those playlists perfectly and erased some of Kokomo's aftertaste.

I love the way the whoo-ooh vocals, surf guitar (Carl?), handclaps, piano and sax each rotate in during the first verse. Love the energy of the acoustic rhythm guitar. But most of all I love Brian's vocal, he's engaged and I've laughed out loud when he sings "it happened I was lookin' through my mama's things" and later when he practically spits out "I lose my in-hi-BI-tions when I move across the stage." And I love Al doing the second verse but it seems like the song was written for Brian to sing.

Also completely agree with CenturyDeprived about both Brian and the group vocal sound. And Brian playing the keyboard with his fist 1:11 in on the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxJfuml6ir8 video makes me laugh too, I guess I'm just easily amused.

I did say I love nearly everything, I'm a fan of Terry Melcher's production but I hate the programmed drums on this. I wish Mark Linett would remix it substituting John Cowsill on real drums. Also the beginning is weirdly abrupt, I have to keep the volume low to start and then raise it when I feel like blasting this on my stereo. Which happens a few times each year.

This is my first post by the way, so hello and I'm sorry for lurking for years and never jumping in before. I'll do better going forward, I've got other unpopular opinions to share! :) I'm an old guy and hardcore BB fan since I bought the first release of Surfin' USA.


    


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: adamghost on September 23, 2018, 01:44:39 PM
Coming out of my cave to say: one more vote for loving Brian's vocal.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: Aum Bop Diddit on September 23, 2018, 05:54:21 PM
Yes, I dig the track -- dig the video too.  Shoulda been a hit.  One more thing -- I always felt a poignancy in Brian singing "I said it rescued me and it'll rescue you".  Sort  of a Higher Power tip of the cap to Brian being up and at 'em and not where he was.  Well for me anyway.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: Awesoman on September 24, 2018, 06:11:07 PM
Eh, the song is definitely not essential listening, but I kind of dig it's scrappy little stomp beat.  Carl's vocal contributions are quite nice. 


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: Joel Goldenberg on September 28, 2018, 12:02:11 PM
Brian's vocal is fun, but Al's vocal is like Brian's 1960s vocals.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: mustomax on October 01, 2018, 08:58:29 AM
The intro is so great! and Carl...


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: Slow In Brain on December 29, 2018, 08:15:33 PM
The Brian vocal reminds me a little of Male Ego but less gruff and more relaxed


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: The LEGENDARY OSD on December 29, 2018, 08:37:50 PM
BW sounds good on it! ;D
He does but the song is one of those least favorites in the catalog. A tad too much self parody going on.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: astroray on December 30, 2018, 02:29:10 PM
Brain and Terry worked together on the "California Music" project!


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: CenturyDeprived on December 30, 2018, 03:05:37 PM
BW sounds good on it! ;D
He does but the song is one of those least favorites in the catalog. A tad too much self parody going on.

I feel like what you're saying is true with regards to parody, but for some reason I still really like this song a lot. Maybe it's just Brian sounds like he's having legit fun on this one!  I can't think of any songs from this era or the preceding decade + that have Brian sounding quite as engaged in a "having fun" way.

And the group vocals surprisingly sound as good as they did 20 years earlier. I think it's really underrated (despite dated production that annoys some fans but which doesn't bug me, and lyrics that are mediocre but again not particularly bothersome to me), and is just a fun song to not take very seriously. Just in my humble opinion.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: SBonilla on December 30, 2018, 03:19:25 PM
Brain and Terry worked together on the "California Music" project!

Regarding California Music WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE, it was more like Terry rescuing a track that Brian had been contracted to produce. You can hear Brian's arrangement and production touches in the basic tracks: sleigh bells, accordion, loopy drum part, bari and tenor pad parts along with his background vocals. It sounds like that's as far as Brian got on the production of the song. I don't think there was much collaboration involved, even if Terry is the lead vocalist on the record. 
In the bridge of Why Do Fools Fall In Love, you can hear where Terry takes over the production reins. Also, the last part of the song does not contain much meat. The bg vocals are missing and there's just miscellaneous banter between Terry and the female vocalist over the rhythm track.


Title: Re: Rock N Roll to the Rescue
Post by: Don Malcolm on December 30, 2018, 03:46:40 PM
Warning: thirty to forty-five degree thread hijack here. BBs in the 80s are very problematic--what with the overweening lethargy at the beginning of the decade; Dennis' death; the long, LONG interregnum between albums; and the escalating estrangement between Brian and the band thanks to Landy's power grab. Songwriting in this timeframe is very spotty, and Mike's push backwards in time is awkwardly fused with a desire to glom onto that omnipresent "80s sound," a lamentable situation that messed up BB '85 and spilled over into BW '88. My theory is that songs like RRTTR, while not technically "bad," just reinforced the notion that they had nothing new to offer even if their harmonies were solid and the track had energy. By contrast, "Kokomo" had something different to offer, the BBs strained through the cheesecloth of Jimmy Buffett with Mike singing a cheezy-but-sultry lead and a stunning, out-of-nowhere Carl-fueled chorus that sold it to "the masses." RRTTR is an attempt to find a sweet spot, just as CD was a bit later: they are competent but uninspired. "Kokomo" has cringeworthy moments for many long-time BB admirers, but even they need to admit that the song builds to its chorus in a way that goes beyond any of the other essentially paint-by-numbers efforts.

Brian is OK here, but it's not a demanding vocal. Carl's chorus on "Kokomo" immediately reminds people of the level of virtuosity used to be like in BBs vocals, and sells it to those who've not paid enough attention to know the difference between the real thing and an incredibly good simulation. People wanted the BBs to be "back," but they wanted it to be on some "different" basis that what was the popular understanding of what they'd been earlier. "Kokomo" stumbled into that intersection of specific moment and particular approach--and we know what happened (and why it never happened again).