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Smiley Smile Stuff => General On Topic Discussions => Topic started by: startBBtoday on July 22, 2019, 07:15:24 PM



Title: Terry Melcher
Post by: startBBtoday on July 22, 2019, 07:15:24 PM
I find Terry Melcher to be a fascinating and mostly unexamined part of Beach Boys lore. I also have to say some of his 80s and 90s co-writes with Mike Love are guilty pleasures of mine. It's fair to say that he got more out of Mike as a songwriter than anyone other than Brian. I might be in the minority, but I find Getcha Back, Kokomo, Somewhere Near Japan, Still Surfin, Strange Things Happen, Lahaina Aloha and Summer in Paradise to be quality songs. If there was an unofficial member of The Beach Boys, he'd certainly be in the running.

I wanted to try to make an exhaustive list of his actual Beach Boys collaborations.

He was credited as a background vocalist and on tambourines on Pet Sounds.
He co-wrote "Getcha Back" with Mike Love on The Beach Boys.
He co-wrote "Rock & Roll to the Rescue" with Mike Love. He also produced it.
He produced "California Dreamin'."
He co-wrote and produced "Kokomo."
He co-wrote "Still Crusin'," "Somewhere Near Japan," and "Make It Big." Did he also produce those songs?
He produced Summer in Paradise and co-wrote "Summer of Love," "Island Fever," "Still Surfin," "Strange Things Happen," "Lahaina Aloha" and "Summer in Paradise."
He wrote and produced "Problem Child."

He also worked with Bruce Johnston in the early 1960s with Bruce & Terry and The Rip-Chords.
He worked, if briefly, with Brian on California Music.

Outside of Manson, are there any other connections to The Beach Boys? What are your hidden Melcher gems outside of his work with The Beach Boys? Are there any unreleased Melcher/Love songs from the 80s and 90s that anyone is aware of? How did the Melcher/Love collab come to be? Why didn't Melcher do anything with The Beach Boys before 1985 outside of his BVs on Pet Sounds? Does anyone know if he was primarily a pianist or guitar player?


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Rebel on July 22, 2019, 07:56:42 PM
Sigh. Please. Don’t ban me. I legitimately enjoy the instrumental Problem Child.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Crack Smokerson on July 22, 2019, 08:12:51 PM
Sigh. Please. Don’t ban me. I legitimately enjoy the instrumental Problem Child.

Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: startBBtoday on July 22, 2019, 08:42:27 PM
Sigh. Please. Don’t ban me. I legitimately enjoy the instrumental Problem Child.

I forgot about Problem Child. Melcher wrote and produced.

I'll go you one further. I kind of like this song with vocals. Carl sounds great on it. The background vocals are fairly terrible, though.

This reminded me of Crocodile Rock, which it appears Melcher surprisingly didn't produce?


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on July 22, 2019, 10:46:17 PM
You forgot to mention that he not only cowrote "Kokomo", but he also produced it - and yes, he did also produce those Still Cruisin' cuts you mentioned.

Terry also had a connection to Dennis Wilson - the two of them were part of a fairly well-known L.A. group called The Golden Penetrators - but alas, that was a competely non-musical group. :)

He also had an unfortunate connection to Manson, by way of his connection to Dennis...


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on July 22, 2019, 11:29:30 PM
You forgot to mention that he not only cowrote "Kokomo", but he also produced it - and yes, he did also produce those Still Cruisin' cuts you mentioned.

Terry also had a connection to Dennis Wilson - the two of them were part of a fairly well-known L.A. group called The Golden Penetrators - but alas, that was a competely non-musical group. :)

He also had an unfortunate connection to Manson, by way of his connection to Dennis...


I wonder if one of the GP gang had made a custom embroidered Golden Penetrators biker jacket.

Not even kidding! If they went to the trouble of making a group name, and they were rich guys who had money to burn for getting custom embroidered clothes, it could've happened. Look at how many custom shirts Brian and Al were having made during the 1970s for themselves.

And with the amount of "tribute" bootleg T-shirts associated with this band that have made it to black market ("Keep it clean with Al Jardine", etc) I'm almost surprised that nobody has tried to make some sort of GP swag. 



Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on July 22, 2019, 11:32:18 PM
Sigh. Please. Don’t ban me. I legitimately enjoy the instrumental Problem Child.

 Don't hang your head in shame. I kind of like it also.

And also, I think that the backing vocals that kick in during the lyric "first they'll be married, with kids after awhile" briefly sound like rad classic Beach Boys, and I briefly get the feels.

The song is certainly a mixed bag, but Carl "I could sing the phone book" Wilson and his magic voice, along with some isolated cool moments like this, make it a surprisingly listenable guilty pleasure…

And I will also add that I actually kinda like Terry's production on some of those late 1980s and even some SIP Beach Boys tracks. Even though in some cases he didn't have much to work with, I still feel like it's occasionally an interesting then-modern update on his jangly production style from the Byrds albums of the 1960s.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: RangeRoverA1 on July 23, 2019, 12:01:42 AM
And with the amount of "tribute" bootleg T-shirts associated with this band that have made it to black market ("Keep it clean with Al Jardine", etc) I'm almost surprised that nobody has tried to make some sort of GP swag.
It ain't catchy rhyme "Keep It Clean With Al Jardine", isn't hip as "Radiant Radish". Logic 101. :police:


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: gxios on July 23, 2019, 02:06:21 AM
Terry also sang lead on "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" for California Music... I also read somewhere that the Golden Penetrators had an old VW Bug painted gold that they caroused in.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: hideyotsuburaya on July 23, 2019, 08:02:54 AM
Terry Melcher sang lead vocal on Bruce & Terry's (previously unreleased 45) recording of HELP ME, RHONDA.  The old story has it that Brian told Terry the Beach Boys were going to re-record it as a single (at that point only the album HMR version was done) and he'd prefer B&T scrap their plans to do the same then, which Terry complied.  You can hear this unreleased recording on a recent CD compilation for B&T, where Terry clearly sings the opening song line as "Well since she put me down I went out to relieve my head"

On SOMEWHERE NEAR JAPAN Terry sings a few lines too.  His voice is unmistakable, the same voice one hears singing along with Mark Lindsay on a number of Paul Revere & Raiders tunes which he of course produced


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: guitarfool2002 on July 23, 2019, 08:24:18 AM
There is a lot that we could discuss with Terry Melcher. He's one of the most under-written-about (is that a word? lol) contributors to the classic 60's LA music scene.

Just a few replies to previous points:

- He didn't only produce Paul Revere & The Raiders, he also shared the infamous Cielo Drive house with his buddy Raider Mark Lindsay for a few years...they leased the house and shared it as roommates. When Terry began dating Candace Bergen, Lindsay moved out, then soon after Terry moved to Malibu and sublet the place to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate. The rest we all know.

But Mark Lindsay helped clarify a few points about that whole thing, and bust a myth too. The myth was that Manson was trying to spook Melcher at the Cielo Drive leased house, but Melcher wasn't there. However Lindsay says the Manson clan left a note at Terry's *new* place in Malibu as well, which would mean they knew that Terry had not only moved, but they knew where he moved. So there's that.

- Beach Boys connections? How about being one of the main channels between Brian Wilson and other LA-based rockers for a time? He got Brian and Van Dyke together at one of his parties which led to them collaborating on what was to be Smile. There were also other events not written about as much, like David Crosby being invited to a private listening party with Brian before Sloop John B came out, and Van Dyke was tagging along (if I recall...). Anyway, point being, the "network" among all these guys especially in 1965-66 was simply unreal in terms of being much tighter and much more close than a lot of us believed, and how the cross-pollination of talent and influence was simply off the charts.

Terry was a pretty big part of all that, and like Van Dyke getting together with Brian at one of Terry's parties then collaborating on Dumb Angel/Smile, a lot of things similar to that were happening regularly which led to some amazing art. A lot of it hasn't been written about because it was like everyday life for these people, like deciding to grab a sandwich for lunch last Thursday.


Unfortunately the same sharing, communal, networking type of scene also found its unfortunate end when that guy Manson got into the network. More on that?


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: hideyotsuburaya on July 23, 2019, 08:46:13 AM
the very last things Terry produced for PR & Raiders were their Christmas album (Past & Present, on which you can hear him sing a lot) and then finally the 45 version of PEACE OF MIND

Then the Mark & Terry relationship was severed (Mark produced himself the next 45's CINDERELLA SUNSHINE & TOO MUCH TALK, with the Goin' To Memphis album being handled by Chips Moman), and the following void for Terry somehow got filled with increased association w/ Dennis, plus interest in Charles Manson both songs and as a possible recording artist (1968)


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on July 23, 2019, 09:50:50 AM

On SOMEWHERE NEAR JAPAN Terry sings a few lines too.  His voice is unmistakable, the same voice one hears singing along with Mark Lindsay on a number of Paul Revere & Raiders tunes which he of course produced

I had no idea about this. Can you point out any specific examples/timecodes of Terry's voice in SNJ?

Side note: I've always found it interesting to try and pick out Terry's voice on the alternate God Only Knows (With A Capella Tag) version. It usually tends to be pretty obvious - at least in the '60s/'70s eras, when a non Beach Boy voice sneaks into the harmony mix.  Pretty sure he's singing the "bop" parts with other BB members near the end of the song, during the A Capella Tag itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCq3npjR9Mg


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: JK on July 23, 2019, 10:42:16 AM
I love Bruce's story from 1997:

"Terry Melcher played tambourine on 'Here Today'. I was playing him the instrumental track from the new box set and he was very rude about the shoddy playing of the tambourine on the track. He asked me 'Who is that?' I said 'It was you!'"

[From Back to the Beach, p. 288]


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Juice Brohnston on July 23, 2019, 12:35:52 PM
There is a lot to like on Terry's two solo albums IMO.
Is it true he didn't like performing live?
Always wanted to see a B&T set list from the shows in Hawaii with The Beach Boys
And one other thing, I swear I once saw a Dean Torrence designed album cover for a Terry Melcher album titled 'Damn Everything But The Circus' -any Intel?


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: jparis51 on July 23, 2019, 06:28:34 PM
I pretty much love all of Terry Melcher's production work, especially the way he produced guitars and in particular 12-strings. Don't ban me but I love Still Cruisin' for the instrumental breaks, first a pretty solo followed by an ML vocal break followed by a second solo cranked up to 11.

He also produced the first two Byrds albums and IMHO they were the best produced of their career, with the best 12-string sound McGuinn would ever get (although Alan Stanton got close on Fifth Dimension). He did a great job with everything else and the Byrds sound is just glued together better than it would ever be again. Yes Younger Than Yesterday had great songs but Usher's production always seemed a little weak to me. Just my opinion.

And of course Melcher and McGuinn reunited for the BBs California Dreamin' and again the 12-string sound was a thing of beauty.

If I had my way there would be a Beach Boys "Melcher Productions" compilation, although SIP would need some careful song selection.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Cabinessenceking on July 24, 2019, 04:41:05 AM
Sigh. Please. Don’t ban me. I legitimately enjoy the instrumental Problem Child.

Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.

Mike Love commercial radar intensifies


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Cabinessenceking on July 24, 2019, 04:43:38 AM
You forgot to mention that he not only cowrote "Kokomo", but he also produced it - and yes, he did also produce those Still Cruisin' cuts you mentioned.

Terry also had a connection to Dennis Wilson - the two of them were part of a fairly well-known L.A. group called The Golden Penetrators - but alas, that was a competely non-musical group. :)

He also had an unfortunate connection to Manson, by way of his connection to Dennis...


He actually brought Manson into prominence and also wrote Problem Child? Tell me, did the devil himself father this man?


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: SBonilla on July 24, 2019, 05:08:20 AM
Bruce and Terry also did work for Bobby Darin (Trinity Music / TMI).

Bruce's first single came out in 1959, on Arwin, the label that Terry's mom and dad owned. Interestingly, Kim Fowley worked for Arwin and brought his high school buddy, Bruce, to the attention of Doris.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: hideyotsuburaya on July 24, 2019, 06:55:31 AM
"I had no idea about this. Can you point out any specific examples/timecodes of Terry's voice in SNJ? "

the two lines in SOMEWHERE NEAR JAPAN that Terry Melcher sings himself are "My engine's all burnt out, my crew has all...."

his voice has this kind of a tenor howling quality to it, not exactly nasal, for lack of a better way to describe.  once you realize it you'll notice it all over PR & Raiders records background vocals, and IMO it worked terrifically together w/ Mark Lindsay

the very first time I played Still Cruisin' when CD came out I said to myself "What is Terry Melcher doing singing verse on a Beach Boys recording?", his voice always jumps out at me.  Then I looked and realized he produced SNJ

In the new movie "CHARLIE SAYS"  Terry Melcher (and Dennis) are portrayed.  They are both there (somewhat briefly) not because they add anything substantial to the story the movie wants to tell (which is the girls of mansons family imprisoned in solitary confinement are still spouting his insane apocalyptic blather even years afterwards, prefaced by "Charlie says.....", and their treatment), but because the association with the famous was a turning point for Manson and can't be written out.  BTW the film is excellent IMO and even contains a surprise ending, something that'd be impossible for anyone who reads up on the horrible Manson story


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 24, 2019, 06:57:21 AM
Melcher's 60s connections with the group and various members are interesting, but I've also always found his 80s/90s work with the band (and mainly a close collaborative relationship with Mike) intriguing.

The question of why they continued to keep Melcher in their orb in the 80s was posed some time back, and a pertinent point raised during that discussion was that Melcher was good at scoring the band placement in movie soundtracks. Getting your song in a movie (specifically *in* a movie, perhaps more so than on any subsequent soundtrack) was and is quite lucrative. Even when the movie is a bomb, if it's a relatively big production (meaning even a mid-budget flick from a relatively major studio; certainly one that can afford the Beach Boys), it can be a nice little financial infusion. If the movie does well, all the better. If a soundtrack release materializes featuring the song, even better. If the soundtrack does well, even better yet. If the band scores any sort of hit with the song (which really only mainly occurred once, with "Kokomo"), that's the ultimate best cast scenario.

But you can see they kept taking on co-written songs and production duties from Melcher who, by mid 80s, was not exactly an A-lister in the pop music industry. But he was getting them placement in film soundtracks, and usually some sort of single and/or soundtrack album came about. Most of these songs were quickly forgotten by the public, and many fans and the band themselves, but made them a nice little extra chunk of change. Stuff like "Happy Endings", "Make It Big", "Problem Child", "Still Cruisin'", and of course "Kokomo." They also worked with Melcher on non-soundtrack material, with him co-writing "Getcha Back" and then "Rock and Roll to the Rescue", producing R&R to the Rescue and the rejiggered version of "California Dreamin'", working with the band producing the tracks for the '86 anniversary TV special, and then more substantial work on some of the "Still Cruisin'" tracks and then eventually "Summer in Paradise."

The Brian Wilson/Gary Usher book covering 1986/87 also ends up touching on Melcher's position within the band, and how Usher and Melcher were to some degree jockeying for position to produce "the next Beach Boys album", which obviously never ended up happening in that iteration.

Melcher obviously had a "creative" relationship with Mike that both pre and post-dated his getting the band soundtrack placements, so Terry and Mike certainly had something beyond that motivating their creative collaboration. I think they seemed to just have relatively similar (or at least compatible) personalities, and I can only imagine Melcher back around that time wasn't exactly an A-list, super in-demand producer. It was mutually beneficial. Melcher scored some songwriting royalties and producer "points" on some BB projects, and Mike got a guy to craft usually at least superficially catchy/melodic material for which Mike could add lyrics.

I recall Howie Edelson mentioning that he once asked David Crosby about the Melcher/Love partnership and what the deal was with that, and Crosby (who I gather wasn't/isn't a huge fan of either guy) seemed to feel it made total sense for those two to be working together.

I've found the main hallmarks of Melcher's work, especially his 80s/90s work with the band, to be characterized by Melcher having a good ear for catchy chord changes and melodies in some cases. I don't think he brought much to the table production-wise. He did a serviceable, fine job on most stuff, though "Summer in Paradise" his quite problematic with its shrill, digital, thin sound. "Somewhere Near Japan" and "California Dreamin'" is about as good as it got production-wise. And while some of the stuff he wrote was textbook bland (read: most of SIP), even the stuff he wrote that was catchy musically ("Lahaina Aloha", "Strange Things Happen", etc.) often ended up being marred by rather predictable, rote lyrics from Mike.

I sense Melcher was good as a wrangler/organizational guy when producing BB stuff, and was the band was probably more amenable to having someone like Melcher run a session than having some big shot come in and start barking orders around. For many reasons, they were not working with the big producers of the era, the Hugh Padgham-types.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 24, 2019, 07:02:42 AM
"I had no idea about this. Can you point out any specific examples/timecodes of Terry's voice in SNJ? "

the two lines in SOMEWHERE NEAR JAPAN that Terry Melcher sings himself are "My engine's all burnt out, my crew has all...."

his voice has this kind of a tenor howling quality to it, not exactly nasal, for lack of a better way to describe.  once you realize it you'll notice it all over PR & Raiders records background vocals, and IMO it worked terrifically together w/ Mark Lindsay

the very first time I played Still Cruisin' when CD came out I said to myself "What is Terry Melcher doing singing verse on a Beach Boys recording?", his voice always jumps out at me.  Then I looked and realized he produced SNJ


I realize I'm just reverting to the most obvious thought that I'm guessing most BB fans have had, but are we absolutely sure those lines aren't predominantly Carl? Believe me, I'm well aware how crazy BB vocal credits can get and how minds can be blown when we discover who is or isn't actually singing on something. I'm not very familiar with Melcher's 80s voice (I've heard his vocal work on the 60s stuff, and I find it pretty bland and workmanlike, and I certainly don't hear anything on the 80s/90s tracks that sound like *that*), and it seems a no-brainer that he would be singing on some of that stuff, especially in cases where he did some amount of pre-production work prior to the "main" BB vocals sessions. But gosh, without going back to listen right at this moment (something I'll do soon), it seems like Carl is in there on those lines.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Steve Latshaw on July 24, 2019, 07:26:27 AM
<<I realize I'm just reverting to the most obvious thought that I'm guessing most BB fans have had, but are we absolutely sure those lines aren't predominantly Carl? Believe me, I'm well aware how crazy BB vocal credits can get and how minds can be blown when we discover who is or isn't actually singing on something. I'm not very familiar with Melcher's 80s voice (I've heard his vocal work on the 60s stuff, and I find it pretty bland and workmanlike, and I certainly don't hear anything on the 80s/90s tracks that sound like *that*), and it seems a no-brainer that he would be singing on some of that stuff, especially in cases where he did some amount of pre-production work prior to the "main" BB vocals sessions. But gosh, without going back to listen right at this moment (something I'll do soon), it seems like Carl is in there on those lines. >>

Melcher had a very distinctive voice.  He's lead vocalist on HEY LITTLE COBRA.  For reference, if you want to do a comparison between his and Carl's voice... listen to the symphonic version of KOKOMO on Bruce's 1998 Symphonic Sounds of the Beach Boys.  Terry is singing Carl's part on the chorus ("Ooh, I wanna take you down to Kokomo...").


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: hideyotsuburaya on July 24, 2019, 07:31:37 AM
on SNJ there's obvious difference between Carl singing "This call is probably mine" and the lines Terry sings.  I really like the way Al comes in later with "And now she's trippin' on some Chinese junk"


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 24, 2019, 08:25:15 AM
I think Melcher has a distinctive enough voice on a number of his tracks. As I've said, I'm not familiar with the changes his voice may have displayed by the 80s. Those lines in "Somewhere Near Japan" don't sound much at all like Melcher's (in my opinion rather dull and monotone) lead vocals from his 60s tracks.

But am I really the only person who thinks it sounds like Carl singing "my engine's all burned out..., etc." on "Somewhere Near Japan"?

Yes, the timbre of those lines is somewhat different from Carl's other lines. But those other lines are higher notes. The "my engine's.." lines are in a lower register, much more in the mid-range.

I'm open to those lines being Melcher, but if they are, it's Melcher doing a pretty good Carl impression. In the 30 years since that song came out, I don't think I've ever heard much of anyone suggest it's Melcher singing those lines. He very well could be, but I'm guessing most fans have assumed all these years it's Carl, which suggests to me that many agree it sounds enough like Carl to allow many to assume it *is* Carl.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Tony S on July 24, 2019, 08:37:10 AM
I've never ever had an inkling that it was anybody other than Carl singing those lines. Always sounded like Carl to me. I just went back and listened again to those lines several times, and while I still believe it is Carl, I think there is at least a small possibility that it is Terry as Jude says, "trying to sound like Carl". To Jude's point I don't know how Terry's voice sounded in the 80's, but there is a hint of familiarity to his 60's sounding voice to a small degree. Again, if it is Terry, I think it was his attempt to sound like Carl, maybe at a time when Carl was unavailable. Though to my ears, it is still very likely Carl Wilson until I hear one of the principles say something different.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: hideyotsuburaya on July 24, 2019, 08:43:13 AM
if one listens to (Brians production of) WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE? by California Music (mid-'70s) where Terry Melcher sings the line "Get back, Loretta" you'll understand the same voice heard on SNJ

HEY LITTLE COBRA was just brought up (because Terry sings on it) and that's a song when it comes on an oldies station I can't resist singing along with, the inane hot rod lyrics are such a joyous challenge (to remember extemporaneously), "The stingrays and jags are so far behind I took my cobra out of gear and let it coast to the line".  Then I burst into laughter, foolish fun


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 24, 2019, 08:45:27 AM
I just gave several tracks additional listens. I listened to the “Symphonic Sounds” version of “Kokomo” for the first time in eons. I will actually say Melcher’s voice there (presumably recorded circa 1997, or some time around the mid 90s) sounds pretty similar to Melcher’s 60s voice. It does indeed have the same, kind of weird (in my opinion) low-voice effect. Hard to describe, but it sounds a bit like when you record a voice and then slow it down.

In any event, that 90s reference indicates Melcher’s voice maintained that same aspect from the 60s.

Going back and listening to both the album and single mixes of “Somewhere Near Japan”, I’d say the lines in question sound much more like 80s Carl than it does any iteration of Melcher. Melcher’s voice is such that I could absolutely buy that it’s him singing those lines on SNJ. But with no other context than what I’m hearing and a comparison to these other extant examples (and my knowledge of Carl’s voice, which I’m obviously *very* familiar with as many are here), I still think it’s quite plausible that it’s Carl singing those lines.

Keep in mind that there are other examples of non-band members singing lead vocals (or lead vocal parts) on BB sessions and then, due to politics (and other reasons), being replaced by a BB voice. “Honkin’ Down the Highway” is one obvious example. Didn’t Bruce mention in an interview that they had to add Carl to “Kokomo” and replace Melcher? As in, the label/studio and/or the band felt (rightly so in my opinion) that it made more sense to have a band member singing.

Again, I’m open to all ideas. I’d find it intensely fascinating to learn it was Melcher all along singing multiple lead lines on SNJ. But I’m curious if there is any info to chew on beyond “it sounds like Terry Melcher to me.” Certainly, Melcher co-writing, producing, and in some cases singing backing vocals makes it immediately very *plausible* that it’s him singing those lead lines. But I also know the band, even by the late 80s when they clearly weren’t “in the game” as much when it came to new recordings, could still make things quite political and it would be weird to have someone else, even a close band associate, singing lead lines that Carl could.

The only other info to chew on is live recordings of SNJ, which are far from conclusive. I will say that listening to live 1990 takes on the song, Carl sounds pretty similar to the studio recording. Either Melcher was doing a good Carl impression, or Carl later did a pretty good Terry Melcher impression.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: hideyotsuburaya on July 24, 2019, 08:49:04 AM
I forgot in my earlier post describing the tre movie "Charlie Says"  that the composer credit for the music heard in the soundtrack is.....Andy Paley


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on July 24, 2019, 08:54:56 AM
I forgot in my earlier post describing the tre movie "Charlie Says"  that the composer credit for the music heard in the soundtrack is.....Andy Paley

I hear Terry's voice in the choruses of "Strange Things Happen". He's credited with vocals on the album, so I'd say that's one that he definitely sang on. Maybe "Hot Fun", too.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 24, 2019, 08:55:05 AM
I've never ever had an inkling that it was anybody other than Carl singing those lines. Always sounded like Carl to me. I just went back and listened again to those lines several times, and while I still believe it is Carl, I think there is at least a small possibility that it is Terry as Jude says, "trying to sound like Carl". To Jude's point I don't know how Terry's voice sounded in the 80's, but there is a hint of familiarity to his 60's sounding voice to a small degree. Again, if it is Terry, I think it was his attempt to sound like Carl, maybe at a time when Carl was unavailable. Though to my ears, it is still very likely Carl Wilson until I hear one of the principles say something different.

Melcher singing lines because other members weren't available (or, in the case of "SIP" later on, seemingly actively didn't want to be there) seems quite plausible. Certainly, it has been established in some cases he sang sort of demo/guide vocals on stuff like "Kokomo."

But Carl sings on "Somewhere Near Japan", so I think it seems even stranger to have Melcher singing some guide vocals, but then bring Carl in to only fill in *some* of those lines.

To be clear, the "my engine's all burned out" lines are not completely solo vocals. There is a harmony running along side it. The only scenario that makes sense in terms of leaving Melcher on those lines is that he sang the lines during some initial sessions, and they later felt it wasn't prominent enough to stick out to fans when released and so they just left it.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 24, 2019, 08:58:11 AM
I hear Terry's voice in the choruses of "Strange Things Happen". He's credited with vocals on the album, so I'd say that's one that he definitely sang on. Maybe "Hot Fun", too.

I think the band, via sleeve credits and some interviews, have indicated Melcher sings some backing vocals on some stuff. There are a ton of non-BBs on backing vocals on tracks here and there. Foskett, Baker, Matt Jardine, and going farther back there's Becher, Toni Tenille, and a bunch of others.

But non-members singing full lead vocal lines is much rarer, and there's also some scattered precedents where the band deleted non-band member lead parts and replaced them with BB lead lines.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: southbay on July 24, 2019, 09:37:54 AM
No way that is Melcher on SNJ.  As mentioned above, he sings Carl's Kokomo lines on the Symphonic Sounds album and, in addition, sings the "ooh I got it bad" line on the Euro version of SIP (which never made sense because Carl is on the re-recorded chorus).  In both cases he is very distinctly different from (and, to these ears at least, very inferior to) Carl Wilson.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: guitarfool2002 on July 24, 2019, 06:50:41 PM
Consider that only two people have ever produced (and co-wrote) a Beach Boys single that hit #1 on the charts: Brian Wilson and Terry Melcher.

That's a credit worth noting.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Rebel on July 24, 2019, 08:11:31 PM
I hear Terry's voice in the choruses of "Strange Things Happen". He's credited with vocals on the album, so I'd say that's one that he definitely sang on. Maybe "Hot Fun", too.

I think the band, via sleeve credits and some interviews, have indicated Melcher sings some backing vocals on some stuff. There are a ton of non-BBs on backing vocals on tracks here and there. Foskett, Baker, Matt Jardine, and going farther back there's Becher, Toni Tenille, and a bunch of others.

But non-members singing full lead vocal lines is much rarer, and there's also some scattered precedents where the band deleted non-band member lead parts and replaced them with BB lead lines.

What does Toni sing on?


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: startBBtoday on July 24, 2019, 09:37:22 PM
Those two lines on SNJ absolutely sound like Carl. It's possible Terry is the second voice on those lines, but I'm having a hard time believing that's not Carl.

I might be going too far down the hypothetical road here, but I wonder how history would have changed if Terry, instead of Bruce, joined the band in 1965. I've personally never felt like Bruce's voice is very Beach Boy-y. It always stands out in a somewhat jarring way to me as part of the blend. Terry might not be as good of a singer, but I feel like his voice would have blended less noticeably.

I know Bruce originally was added to replace Brian's falsetto, but that never really came to fruition. It also seems as though Terry was busier than Bruce in those years, so it's all moot anyway.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on July 25, 2019, 01:46:06 AM
I hear Terry's voice in the choruses of "Strange Things Happen". He's credited with vocals on the album, so I'd say that's one that he definitely sang on. Maybe "Hot Fun", too.

I think the band, via sleeve credits and some interviews, have indicated Melcher sings some backing vocals on some stuff. There are a ton of non-BBs on backing vocals on tracks here and there. Foskett, Baker, Matt Jardine, and going farther back there's Becher, Toni Tenille, and a bunch of others.

But non-members singing full lead vocal lines is much rarer, and there's also some scattered precedents where the band deleted non-band member lead parts and replaced them with BB lead lines.


What does Toni sing on?

"Everyone's In Love With You".  Also, it sounds like her on "Cuddle Up".


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on July 25, 2019, 01:48:35 AM
Those two lines on SNJ absolutely sound like Carl. It's possible Terry is the second voice on those lines, but I'm having a hard time believing that's not Carl.

I might be going too far down the hypothetical road here, but I wonder how history would have changed if Terry, instead of Bruce, joined the band in 1965. I've personally never felt like Bruce's voice is very Beach Boy-y. It always stands out in a somewhat jarring way to me as part of the blend. Terry might not be as good of a singer, but I feel like his voice would have blended less noticeably.

I know Bruce originally was added to replace Brian's falsetto, but that never really came to fruition. It also seems as though Terry was busier than Bruce in those years, so it's all moot anyway.

Bruce was added to replace Brian's falsetto onstage, which DID come to fruition, at least on some songs (Al continued to sing the falsetto line on some songs, Bruce on others).  But Bruce DID sing the falsetto part on the opening cut of his very first album with the Beach Boys.  :)


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 25, 2019, 06:39:07 AM
I listened to "Somewhere Near Japan" yet again last night (single mix and album mix), and it sure sounds to me like *Carl* on all of those lead lines in question. As was mentioned in a previous post, Melcher might be the second quieter harmony vocal on those lines (though I would guess most likely not; that part is a higher part that sounds more like it could be Carl, or possibly Bruce, or, if he's on that track, Foskett maybe?). But that second harmony voice is buried enough and indistinct enough that I would buy it's Melcher.

But the prominent, full-voiced lines in question sound 100% like Carl to me, and unlike extemporaneous examples of Melcher's voice. 

It sounds like pure late 80s Carl Wilson. If that's Melcher doing that, it's the one and only example I've ever heard of Terry Melcher sounding inexplicably identical to Carl Wilson.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on July 25, 2019, 06:49:56 AM
I just had a listen - both to Somewhere Near Japan and the Melcher vox on the Symphonic Sounds version of Kokomo. Count me on the side of those who think Carl did the vocals on SNJ.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 25, 2019, 06:56:36 AM
Discussion of the 1989 tracks also reminds how weirdly minimal and selective the sleeve credits on the "Still Crusin'" album are. It's almost like someone at the last second called around to the guys in the band and snagged the credits they could, but didn't get much, and what they got was still vastly incomplete.

1. STILL CRUISIN’
(Melcher/Love)
Copyright © 1989 by Daywin Music, Inc. administered by Careers Music, Inc./ Clairoudient Music Corporation (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Terry Melcher
Engineered and Mixed by Keith Wechsler
Recorded at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA;
4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
From “Lethal Weapon 2”

2. SOMEWHERE NEAR JAPAN
(Phillips/Melcher/Love/Johnston)
Copyright © 1989 by Phillips-Tucker Music / Daywin Music, Inc. administered by Careers Music, Inc./ Clairoudient Music Corporation / Bruce Johnston Music (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Terry Melcher
Engineered and Mixed by Keith Wechsler
Recorded at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA;
4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA

3. ISLAND GIRL (I’m Gonna Make Her Mine)
(Alan Jardine)
Copyright © by Jardine Music (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Alan Jardine, A Red Barn Production
Engineers: Billy Moss, Don Weiss
Recorded at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA; Vintage Records
Mixed at Capitol Records
With Special Thanks to Leslie Ann Jones and the E-MERGEN-C
Vocals by Carl Wilson, Alan Jardine, Mike Love
Synth programming by James Grunke
Additional Background Vocals: Matt Jardine, Adam Jardine, Jeff Foskett

4. IN MY CAR
(Wilson/Landy/Morgan)
Copyright © 1989 by Beach Bum Music / Beachhead Music, Inc. (BMI/ASCAP) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Brian Wilson and Eugene E. Landy (for “Brains And Genius”)
Mixed by Brian Wilson and Mark Linett
All Keyboards and Synthesizers played by Brian Wilson
Music and Vocal Arrangements by Brian Wilson
Programming and Computers by Michael Bernard
Guitar: Joseph Brasler
Drums: Vinnie Colautia
Recorded and Mixed at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles
Engineered by Mark Linett
Production Coordination by Andrew Dean
Assistant to Brian Wilson: Kevin S. Leslie
Brian Wilson plays Young Chang Pianos

5. KOKOMO
(Phillips/Love/Melcher/McKenzie)
Copyright © 1988 by Walt Disney Music Company / Wonderland Music Company, Inc. / Honest John Music / Clairoudient Music Corporation / Daywin Music, Inc. / Phillips-Tucker Music (ASCAP/BMI) All rights administered by Walt Disney Music Company and Wonderland Music Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Terry Melcher
Engineered and Mixed by Keith Wechsler
Recorded at 4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
Mastered at Precision Lacquer by Stephen Marcussen
From “Cocktail”

6. WIPE OUT*
(The Surfaris)
Copyright © 1963, 1987 by Miraleste Music Co. / Robin Hood Music Co. (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Albert Cabrera and Tony Moran (Little Rascals)
In association with The Beach Boys
Co-Produced by Darren Robinson and Damon Wimbley
(With The Fat Boys)

7. MAKE IT BIG
(Melcher/House/Love)
Copyright © 1989 by Daywin Music, Inc. administered by Careers Music, Inc./ Clairoudient Music Corporation (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Terry Melcher
Engineered and Mixed by Keith Wechsler
Acoustic Guitar: Carl Wilson, Al Jardine
Recorded at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA;
4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
From “Troop Beverly Hills”

And then the only other recording data we get is this at the end:

Additional Background Vocals: Matt Jardine, Adam Jardine, Suzie Renner, Jeff Foskett

Recorded at 4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
Sound Solutions, Santa Monica, CA
Soundworks, New York, NY
The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA
Ryan Recording, Carmel, CA

So, out of the seven non-oldie songs on the album, the only vocal or instrumental credits we got were lead and backing vocal credits on "Island Girl" (though incomplete in not mentioning that Brian is also on backing vocals on that one), musician credits on "In My Car" (but ironically *no* credits for Carl and Al adding lead vocals), and *only* acoustic guitar credits for Carl and Al on "Make It Big" (wtf?), and then tagged on "Additional Background Vocal" credits not pertaining to any specific song.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Jim V. on July 25, 2019, 07:53:23 AM
I think Melcher has a distinctive enough voice on a number of his tracks. As I've said, I'm not familiar with the changes his voice may have displayed by the 80s. Those lines in "Somewhere Near Japan" don't sound much at all like Melcher's (in my opinion rather dull and monotone) lead vocals from his 60s tracks.

But am I really the only person who thinks it sounds like Carl singing "my engine's all burned out..., etc." on "Somewhere Near Japan"?

Yes, the timbre of those lines is somewhat different from Carl's other lines. But those other lines are higher notes. The "my engine's.." lines are in a lower register, much more in the mid-range.

I'm open to those lines being Melcher, but if they are, it's Melcher doing a pretty good Carl impression. In the 30 years since that song came out, I don't think I've ever heard much of anyone suggest it's Melcher singing those lines. He very well could be, but I'm guessing most fans have assumed all these years it's Carl, which suggests to me that many agree it sounds enough like Carl to allow many to assume it *is* Carl.

I very much thought it was Carl on that line, Jude.

Also, I'm in agreement that at best his '60s vocals were workmanlike at best. I remember being kinda disappointed when I finally got The Best of Bruce & Terry and realzied that there were not too many Bruce Johnston lead vocals, instead a bunch of nondescript Melcher leads (and maybe a few nicer ones).

And at the same time, while I can see how "Hey Little Cobra" was a hit, it is hard to see how Melcher's lead vocal was good enough to make it that high on the charts. He just had such a bland voice. Listening to him, really does show you how lucky we are as fans with The Beach Boys. Brian, Mike, Carl, Dennis, Al, Bruce and Blondie all have (or had in Carl and Dennis' case) super distinct yet wonderful voices. And in addition, Ricky Fataar and David Marks both have good voices too, though a bit less distinct than other Beach Boys members. And especially in Dave's case, he was really only a kid in his first go-round with the group, so we've really never been able to hear an adult David Marks on a Beach Boys tune. In fact I'm still unsure whether he is vocally on the That's Why God Made The Radio album. The credits say no, but I've heard those may be wrong.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on July 25, 2019, 08:58:55 AM
Discussion of the 1989 tracks also reminds how weirdly minimal and selective the sleeve credits on the "Still Crusin'" album are. It's almost like someone at the last second called around to the guys in the band and snagged the credits they could, but didn't get much, and what they got was still vastly incomplete.

1. STILL CRUISIN’
(Melcher/Love)
Copyright © 1989 by Daywin Music, Inc. administered by Careers Music, Inc./ Clairoudient Music Corporation (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Terry Melcher
Engineered and Mixed by Keith Wechsler
Recorded at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA;
4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
From “Lethal Weapon 2”

2. SOMEWHERE NEAR JAPAN
(Phillips/Melcher/Love/Johnston)
Copyright © 1989 by Phillips-Tucker Music / Daywin Music, Inc. administered by Careers Music, Inc./ Clairoudient Music Corporation / Bruce Johnston Music (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Terry Melcher
Engineered and Mixed by Keith Wechsler
Recorded at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA;
4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA

3. ISLAND GIRL (I’m Gonna Make Her Mine)
(Alan Jardine)
Copyright © by Jardine Music (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Alan Jardine, A Red Barn Production
Engineers: Billy Moss, Don Weiss
Recorded at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA; Vintage Records
Mixed at Capitol Records
With Special Thanks to Leslie Ann Jones and the E-MERGEN-C
Vocals by Carl Wilson, Alan Jardine, Mike Love
Synth programming by James Grunke
Additional Background Vocals: Matt Jardine, Adam Jardine, Jeff Foskett

4. IN MY CAR
(Wilson/Landy/Morgan)
Copyright © 1989 by Beach Bum Music / Beachhead Music, Inc. (BMI/ASCAP) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Brian Wilson and Eugene E. Landy (for “Brains And Genius”)
Mixed by Brian Wilson and Mark Linett
All Keyboards and Synthesizers played by Brian Wilson
Music and Vocal Arrangements by Brian Wilson
Programming and Computers by Michael Bernard
Guitar: Joseph Brasler
Drums: Vinnie Colautia
Recorded and Mixed at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles
Engineered by Mark Linett
Production Coordination by Andrew Dean
Assistant to Brian Wilson: Kevin S. Leslie
Brian Wilson plays Young Chang Pianos

5. KOKOMO
(Phillips/Love/Melcher/McKenzie)
Copyright © 1988 by Walt Disney Music Company / Wonderland Music Company, Inc. / Honest John Music / Clairoudient Music Corporation / Daywin Music, Inc. / Phillips-Tucker Music (ASCAP/BMI) All rights administered by Walt Disney Music Company and Wonderland Music Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Terry Melcher
Engineered and Mixed by Keith Wechsler
Recorded at 4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
Mastered at Precision Lacquer by Stephen Marcussen
From “Cocktail”

6. WIPE OUT*
(The Surfaris)
Copyright © 1963, 1987 by Miraleste Music Co. / Robin Hood Music Co. (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Albert Cabrera and Tony Moran (Little Rascals)
In association with The Beach Boys
Co-Produced by Darren Robinson and Damon Wimbley
(With The Fat Boys)

7. MAKE IT BIG
(Melcher/House/Love)
Copyright © 1989 by Daywin Music, Inc. administered by Careers Music, Inc./ Clairoudient Music Corporation (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Terry Melcher
Engineered and Mixed by Keith Wechsler
Acoustic Guitar: Carl Wilson, Al Jardine
Recorded at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA;
4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
From “Troop Beverly Hills”

And then the only other recording data we get is this at the end:

Additional Background Vocals: Matt Jardine, Adam Jardine, Suzie Renner, Jeff Foskett

Recorded at 4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
Sound Solutions, Santa Monica, CA
Soundworks, New York, NY
The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA
Ryan Recording, Carmel, CA

So, out of the seven non-oldie songs on the album, the only vocal or instrumental credits we got were lead and backing vocal credits on "Island Girl" (though incomplete in not mentioning that Brian is also on backing vocals on that one), musician credits on "In My Car" (but ironically *no* credits for Carl and Al adding lead vocals), and *only* acoustic guitar credits for Carl and Al on "Make It Big" (wtf?), and then tagged on "Additional Background Vocal" credits not pertaining to any specific song.

Wow, Jude, that's fantastic! As incomplete as the credits on your copy of Still Cruisin' are, they are VASTLY more complete than those on my copies! I bought the CD upon release and the LP a very short time later (days or weeks)...my CD contains only the one thin insert with pleasant graphics and the barest of composition and production credits. The LP contains even less, with a generic white paper inner sleeve. Call yourself fortunate to have what you have!


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 25, 2019, 09:24:50 AM
Wow, Jude, that's fantastic! As incomplete as the credits on your copy of Still Cruisin' are, they are VASTLY more complete than those on my copies! I bought the CD upon release and the LP a very short time later (days or weeks)...my CD contains only the one thin insert with pleasant graphics and the barest of composition and production credits. The LP contains even less, with a generic white paper inner sleeve. Call yourself fortunate to have what you have!

While I do have these credits in my collection somewhere, as I remember scratching my head at stuff like only "acoustic guitar" credits on "Make It Big", I grabbed these from this link:

http://albumlinernotes.com/Still_Cruisin_.html

I have "Still Cruisin'" on CD, but I think I first purchased it on cassette back in 1989. I suspect the original "foldout" liner notes for the cassette are where I remember seeing these credits. I'll have to dig my CD copy out (purchased I would guess at some point in the 90s; it's a stock Capitol US CD release) and see if it has the full liner notes or just the single sheet fold.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on July 25, 2019, 10:14:26 AM
Thanks, Jude. Nice to see this included:

And Special Thanks to the Beach Boys Band for Still Cruisin’ with us after all these years – Ed Carter, Bass/Vocals; Mike Kowalski, Drums; Billy Hinsche, Piano/Vocals; Michael Meros, Keyboards/Organ; Jeff Foskett, Guitar/Vocals; Matthew Jardine, Percussion/Vocals.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on July 25, 2019, 10:25:06 AM
Discussion of the 1989 tracks also reminds how weirdly minimal and selective the sleeve credits on the "Still Crusin'" album are. It's almost like someone at the last second called around to the guys in the band and snagged the credits they could, but didn't get much, and what they got was still vastly incomplete.

1. STILL CRUISIN’
(Melcher/Love)
Copyright © 1989 by Daywin Music, Inc. administered by Careers Music, Inc./ Clairoudient Music Corporation (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Terry Melcher
Engineered and Mixed by Keith Wechsler
Recorded at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA;
4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
From “Lethal Weapon 2”

2. SOMEWHERE NEAR JAPAN
(Phillips/Melcher/Love/Johnston)
Copyright © 1989 by Phillips-Tucker Music / Daywin Music, Inc. administered by Careers Music, Inc./ Clairoudient Music Corporation / Bruce Johnston Music (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Terry Melcher
Engineered and Mixed by Keith Wechsler
Recorded at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA;
4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA

3. ISLAND GIRL (I’m Gonna Make Her Mine)
(Alan Jardine)
Copyright © by Jardine Music (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Alan Jardine, A Red Barn Production
Engineers: Billy Moss, Don Weiss
Recorded at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA; Vintage Records
Mixed at Capitol Records
With Special Thanks to Leslie Ann Jones and the E-MERGEN-C
Vocals by Carl Wilson, Alan Jardine, Mike Love
Synth programming by James Grunke
Additional Background Vocals: Matt Jardine, Adam Jardine, Jeff Foskett

4. IN MY CAR
(Wilson/Landy/Morgan)
Copyright © 1989 by Beach Bum Music / Beachhead Music, Inc. (BMI/ASCAP) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Brian Wilson and Eugene E. Landy (for “Brains And Genius”)
Mixed by Brian Wilson and Mark Linett
All Keyboards and Synthesizers played by Brian Wilson
Music and Vocal Arrangements by Brian Wilson
Programming and Computers by Michael Bernard
Guitar: Joseph Brasler
Drums: Vinnie Colautia
Recorded and Mixed at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles
Engineered by Mark Linett
Production Coordination by Andrew Dean
Assistant to Brian Wilson: Kevin S. Leslie
Brian Wilson plays Young Chang Pianos

5. KOKOMO
(Phillips/Love/Melcher/McKenzie)
Copyright © 1988 by Walt Disney Music Company / Wonderland Music Company, Inc. / Honest John Music / Clairoudient Music Corporation / Daywin Music, Inc. / Phillips-Tucker Music (ASCAP/BMI) All rights administered by Walt Disney Music Company and Wonderland Music Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Terry Melcher
Engineered and Mixed by Keith Wechsler
Recorded at 4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
Mastered at Precision Lacquer by Stephen Marcussen
From “Cocktail”

6. WIPE OUT*
(The Surfaris)
Copyright © 1963, 1987 by Miraleste Music Co. / Robin Hood Music Co. (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Albert Cabrera and Tony Moran (Little Rascals)
In association with The Beach Boys
Co-Produced by Darren Robinson and Damon Wimbley
(With The Fat Boys)

7. MAKE IT BIG
(Melcher/House/Love)
Copyright © 1989 by Daywin Music, Inc. administered by Careers Music, Inc./ Clairoudient Music Corporation (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Terry Melcher
Engineered and Mixed by Keith Wechsler
Acoustic Guitar: Carl Wilson, Al Jardine
Recorded at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA;
4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
From “Troop Beverly Hills”

And then the only other recording data we get is this at the end:

Additional Background Vocals: Matt Jardine, Adam Jardine, Suzie Renner, Jeff Foskett

Recorded at 4th Street Recording, Santa Monica, CA
Sound Solutions, Santa Monica, CA
Soundworks, New York, NY
The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA
Ryan Recording, Carmel, CA

So, out of the seven non-oldie songs on the album, the only vocal or instrumental credits we got were lead and backing vocal credits on "Island Girl" (though incomplete in not mentioning that Brian is also on backing vocals on that one), musician credits on "In My Car" (but ironically *no* credits for Carl and Al adding lead vocals), and *only* acoustic guitar credits for Carl and Al on "Make It Big" (wtf?), and then tagged on "Additional Background Vocal" credits not pertaining to any specific song.

Interesting how much they used 4th Street Recording in Santa Monica, CA around this time.

Did the band ever record there again before or since, or was it just a one-off place they recorded at for songs from the Still Crusin' album?

I say interesting because it's just a few blocks away from the band's previous studio that they owned in Santa Monica (which I believe by that time was long sold off), so it seems they were sticking with an area by the beach that they were familiar with, and perhaps enjoyed the surroundings of.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: guitarfool2002 on July 25, 2019, 11:23:11 AM
Something I don't understand, and I'm bringing it up because I want to understand more perhaps: What do people have against Terry Melcher anyway?

Some of the posts above seem to mention his shortcomings as a vocalist, his pedestrian or "stock" production style, whether or not he sang an insignificant line on a BB's tune...

Yet here is a guy who could have quit producing music entirely after 1967 and to his credit as a producer he'd have two of the best remembered singles of the entire 1960's, two songs as in The Byrds' "Mr Tambourine Man" and "Turn Turn Turn" which to many are as representative to an entire generation and era as "In The Mood" or "White Christmas" was to the WW2 generation and "Johnny B Goode" or "Heartbreak Hotel" are to the 1950's. Two number one singles for The Byrds, with Terry Melcher at the production helm, and he barely gets a mention in the "Echos From The Canyon" doc and the focus here is on his shortcomings?

Then factor in his work with Paul Revere and The Raiders, "Kicks" and "Hungry" were among the band's biggest hits and songs which brought a raw garage-proto-punk sound to The Raiders that still hold up as exciting and well-produced records to this day. Those songs via The Raiders' popularity on TV got into the ears of millions of kids watching those weekend shows and appearances on TV, hearing that psychedelic and raw fuzz guitar break after the chorus of "Hungry" that just oozes 60's LA psychedelia and garage rock.

So he goes to work mostly for his mother Doris Day, producing her TV show (which was relatively successful in its day though it was anachronistic to a degree), working on her music, and doing work for her charities. Then he releases a few solo albums of his own here and there, etc.

Fast forward to the 80's...He joins up with The Beach Boys, who needed *something* to really come back into the public. They were floundering to be kind about it, Brian was locked in with Landy, etc.

Melcher shows up, gets Roger McGuinn on board, and produces California Dreamin for the band, which gets them on MTV and scores a top-10 adult contemporary single. McGuinn's Rickenbacker adds countless cool factor points to the track, it's sublime and perfect.

Fast forward again, the band despite having several songwriters and with Brian still locked into whatever sham deal Landy cooked up regarding songwriting needed material. Melcher reached out to John Phillips, gets a few originals from Papa John, and gets something for the band to do on the upcoming film Cocktail. He produces and co-writes Kokomo, gets it placed in the film and on the official Cocktail soundtrack, and voila...The band is back with a number one hit single and video on heavy rotation on MTV, with the "Cocktail" tie-ins front and center.

The Beach Boys didn't even have a label deal when "Cocktail" came out, never mind a pool of original material to pull from. It literally brought them back and got Capitol interested in them again.

Thanks in large part to Terry Melcher and his production along with his connections both in the film industry and in the music industry.

And note too Brian Wilson's statement to Billboard when Terry passed away, and see the praise and respect one of the greatest music producers of all time had for this man.

So it begs the question, what do people seem to have against Terry Melcher? He has as much, or should have as much "cred" as he earned and as he's due for producing two monster if not era-defining singles for the Byrds, and for his other work leading up to doing the impossible and bringing the Beach Boys back into commercial success, label interest, MTV airplay, and a general rescue from the deep vast ocean of obscurity they were treading water in prior to "Cocktail" becoming a blockbuster.

What gives?





Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on July 25, 2019, 11:41:12 AM
Just to add a bit to GF's post directly above - even prior to Melcher's production of "California Dreamin'" for The Boys, he was partly responsible for getting them back on the airwaves and on MTV a year earlier, with "Getcha Back". Although officially produced by Steve Levine, Terry cowrote the song, and according to Levine, was a kind of unofficial producer. For one thing, he prodded Brian into singing that fantastic falsetto line, when probably nobody else could have.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on July 25, 2019, 11:46:06 AM
Something I don't understand, and I'm bringing it up because I want to understand more perhaps: What do people have against Terry Melcher anyway?

Some of the posts above seem to mention his shortcomings as a vocalist, his pedestrian or "stock" production style, whether or not he sang an insignificant line on a BB's tune...

Yet here is a guy who could have quit producing music entirely after 1967 and to his credit as a producer he'd have two of the best remembered singles of the entire 1960's, two songs as in The Byrds' "Mr Tambourine Man" and "Turn Turn Turn" which to many are as representative to an entire generation and era as "In The Mood" or "White Christmas" was to the WW2 generation and "Johnny B Goode" or "Heartbreak Hotel" are to the 1950's. Two number one singles for The Byrds, with Terry Melcher at the production helm, and he barely gets a mention in the "Echos From The Canyon" doc and the focus here is on his shortcomings?

Then factor in his work with Paul Revere and The Raiders, "Kicks" and "Hungry" were among the band's biggest hits and songs which brought a raw garage-proto-punk sound to The Raiders that still hold up as exciting and well-produced records to this day. Those songs via The Raiders' popularity on TV got into the ears of millions of kids watching those weekend shows and appearances on TV, hearing that psychedelic and raw fuzz guitar break after the chorus of "Hungry" that just oozes 60's LA psychedelia and garage rock.

So he goes to work mostly for his mother Doris Day, producing her TV show (which was relatively successful in its day though it was anachronistic to a degree), working on her music, and doing work for her charities. Then he releases a few solo albums of his own here and there, etc.

Fast forward to the 80's...He joins up with The Beach Boys, who needed *something* to really come back into the public. They were floundering to be kind about it, Brian was locked in with Landy, etc.

Melcher shows up, gets Roger McGuinn on board, and produces California Dreamin for the band, which gets them on MTV and scores a top-10 adult contemporary single. McGuinn's Rickenbacker adds countless cool factor points to the track, it's sublime and perfect.

Fast forward again, the band despite having several songwriters and with Brian still locked into whatever sham deal Landy cooked up regarding songwriting needed material. Melcher reached out to John Phillips, gets a few originals from Papa John, and gets something for the band to do on the upcoming film Cocktail. He produces and co-writes Kokomo, gets it placed in the film and on the official Cocktail soundtrack, and voila...The band is back with a number one hit single and video on heavy rotation on MTV, with the "Cocktail" tie-ins front and center.

The Beach Boys didn't even have a label deal when "Cocktail" came out, never mind a pool of original material to pull from. It literally brought them back and got Capitol interested in them again.

Thanks in large part to Terry Melcher and his production along with his connections both in the film industry and in the music industry.

And note too Brian Wilson's statement to Billboard when Terry passed away, and see the praise and respect one of the greatest music producers of all time had for this man.

So it begs the question, what do people seem to have against Terry Melcher? He has as much, or should have as much "cred" as he earned and as he's due for producing two monster if not era-defining singles for the Byrds, and for his other work leading up to doing the impossible and bringing the Beach Boys back into commercial success, label interest, MTV airplay, and a general rescue from the deep vast ocean of obscurity they were treading water in prior to "Cocktail" becoming a blockbuster.

What gives?



I agree completely with what you're saying. It's a bit of a head-scratcher.

I think a good part of why perhaps BBs fans don't give him enough credit is because that whole late 80s/early 90s era of BBs tunes aren't considered terribly great (even though I'd bet that a good deal of what's actually good about them is largely due to Melcher). But that's more of a nerdy niche thing for music fans to even be terribly aware of Melcher's BBs work. It doesn't really explain why Melcher didn't get more credit in the Echo in the Canyon film, for example.

I do find it odd that some artists and/or producers in the industry get a ton of credit and accolades, while others tend to get left out. A lot of times, I think that's due to people being put off by something personally with the artist/producer in question (Phil Spector... let's face it, if he weren't a creep, there'd be sold out Hollywood Bowl nights with entire orchestras playing his work... and sad to say it, Mike Love is also someone whose legit good work is often not brought up enough IMO at least in part because people don't like to praise someone who brags too much, and/or rightly or wrongly is perceived to be a bully)...

But with Terry, who as GF stated had a major role in some very pivotal productions, I just don't quite know what gives with him not being more well-respected or well-known. Maybe he wasn't good-looking enough, or enough of a standout personality, and he seemed to prefer to let his music do the talking. Phil Spector and Brian Wilson were of course known not just for their music, but for some over-the-top stuff they did, either with flashy wardrobes/wigs, or other various eccentricities.  Terry - who I must confess I don't know all that much about - at least on the surface seemed to prefer to have a more low-key type of existence, and maybe because he didn't have more big hits between the mid 60s and the late 80s, all of that might be part of an answer to GF's question.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on July 25, 2019, 12:25:05 PM
Just wanted to say that the comments regarding the relative "blandness" of Terry's singing voice were only made in the context of comparison to Carl's obviously stellar singing voice, and pertain to which of the two might be singing those lines in "SNJ".  :)


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 25, 2019, 01:03:52 PM
I don’t have anything against Melcher; I’ve regularly pointed out he had a knack for catchy melodies and chord changes, and his input into his collaborations with Mike Love are by leaps and bounds the things that sometimes save those tracks.

I also don’t deny his successes as a producer and writer. I think he had very much a bland, inoffensive, unremarkable lead singing voice. It appears, surely by way of being someone who could write some catchy hooks, he was a solid harmony/background singer who could fill in gaps in that area, similar to those other anonymous-but-completely-competent backing vocalists on stuff like the “Celebration” material and “Looking Back With Love.”

But his work with the Beach Boys as a group mainly pertains to the 1984-1993-ish timeframe (give or take), and I don’t think his track record, artistically or commercially, on that material, is particularly impressive. It’s not a disaster either, at least in the first part of that era. Pre-Summer in Paradise, his production work was usually competent. He wasn’t an A-list producer by that time, and I don’t believe he was getting a ton of production work. In that sense, he was in a slightly similar boat to someone he was supposedly “competing” with to produce the band, Gary Usher.

In Usher and Melcher, the band had two people who clearly wanted to produce them and work with them, but neither Usher nor Melcher had either the industry rep nor the skillset to truly bring the band back into being relevant.

Let’s look at Melcher’s work with the band:

He co-wrote “Getcha Back.” A nice, inoffensive track that got decent traction for the band in 1985. It’s pretty derivative of “Don’t Worry Baby” (listen to them do a medley of the two songs on the ’86 anniversary special to hear how seamlessly the songs weave into each other). But it’s a fine song. The production (whether we’re pinning it on Levine or Melcher or both) was okay, but rather sparse. A nice solid “B” for the band for 1985. It scored them a #26 placement on the singles charts in the US.

Melcher then co-write and produced “Rock and Roll to the Rescue.” A-list material this was not, but I guess I hear what they were going for, that sort of mid-80s retro thing. I guess the underlying song is okay. The lyrics aren’t too hot, and the production was already dated by 1986. Now, let me stop briefly here to point out *I* dig the band’s 80s output more than I think most fans do. I have a soft spot for *most* of it, including cases where I think stuff is truly better than others give it credit for, and also cases where I have a soft spot for something that I know objectively isn’t that great. This song got them a #68 chart placement.

Melcher then also helped the band partially re-record and remix the 1982 recording of “California Dreamin’”, and this is one of Melcher’s better jobs, although the majority of what is on the ’86 record comes from the ’82 sessions. Nevertheless, Melcher punches the song up with some additional backing vocals, some better, punchier drums, and some extra guitar work to remove some of the sort of post-disco sound that had permeated the ’82 version. It reached #57 on the singles charts, but unlike “R&R to the Rescue”, remained a staple of their live shows for years to come (for better and worse).

Both “R&R to the Rescue” and “California Dreamin’” of course also featured on the 1986 “Made in USA” compilation.

Melcher, as described by Gary Usher (and seen in the credits) was a sort or producer/supervisor for the music for the band’s 1986 25th Anniversary TV special. We know how that special turned out. Usher’s description of the recording sessions for the songs used in the “live” performance indicate Melcher’s main role was corralling everybody and trying to get the stuff he needed to get on tape to use for the TV special.

Next up was the 1987 duet with Little Richard, “Happy Endings.” It’s a Bruce-Terry co-write, and is very much in the style of Bruce’s later 70s and 80s electric piano sappy ballads. This is one case where I wouldn’t be surprised if the composition is more Bruce then Terry. Melcher also produced the track. It’s, well, there’s not much to say about it. The Beach Boys add some nice lead and backing vocals. The song is sappy and corny and not particularly good, but not awful. It was released as a single, backed with a random contemporary live version of “California Girls.” This single failed to chart.

Then came 1988 and “Kokomo”, and we all know that story pretty well. Co-written and produced by Melcher, and an undeniably catchy song with pretty solid production for the era, and more than anything an undeniable shot in the arm for the band in getting a #1 single. History tells us in some respects this was a fluke, but a #1 fluke is a #1, and this track was still good, still enjoyable. It wasn’t purely a novelty bit. This song does reinforce a more nuanced nitpick I have about Melcher’s production style, which is that he tended to squish/compress the band’s vocals (both lead and backing), and things often ended up sounding rather thin and shrill. I’ll cut him some slack as some of this was probably due to the production style of the time. But it’s worth noting.

Melcher then, in the 1988-1989 timeframe, worked on several songs with the band that ended up on “Still Cruisin’” This is probably his best work with the band. “Still Cruisin’” is not a particularly original song compositionally, and the production is extra thin-sounding for some reason. But it’s catchy enough, and kind of continues that late 80s retro vibe thing the band tended to lean into. As a single it didn’t do that well, only reaching #93 in the US.

“Somewhere Near Japan” is another Melcher co-write and a Melcher production, and it’s probably his best work with the band both on the songwriting and production sides of things. Unlike the shrill, thin-sounding “Still Cruisin”, “Somewhere Near Japan” sounds more organic and warm (though still retaining some late 80s touches), and the song is good and the band’s vocals excellent. It didn’t chart when released as a single, though by that point I don’t think Capitol was pushing their stuff a great deal (Mike complained about how the band’s singles were pushed to market and radio around this time).

Also prepped for a film and then included on the “Still Cruisin’” album was “Make It Big”, another Melcher co-write and production. This is another solid “B” song and production. Not a bad “album track” for the band.

From there, it kind of goes off the rails with a few exceptions.

Melcher co-wrote and produced “Problem Child”, which, while likely putting some coin in the band’s pocket via film placement, was one of their worst singles ever. The song is annoying, and the production even more so. The single did not chart.

And then we have “Summer in Paradise”, the closest we could get to a “Mike & Terry” album with some guest Beach Boys vocalists. The album features 12 tracks, including 6 originals and 6 covers. Five of the six originals are Love-Melcher co-writes. Melcher turns in generally catchy chord changes/melodies on some of these tracks. They’re overlaid with generally awful Mike lyrics. More problematic is Melcher’s production on the album. This is by leaps and bounds the worst *sounding* Beach Boys album. Everything sounds bad. Melcher using early (literally *beta* testing) early computer-based digital recording methods didn’t help. Everything is shrill and thin-sounding, everything uses the same awful snare drum sample, and the only thing saving the album from complete disaster are some good vocals from Carl and Al, and a couple of songs that are good enough that even Mike’s drippy lyrics can’t derail them completely (mainly the oft-cited “Lahaina Aloha” and “Strange Things Happen”). Neither “Hot Fun in the Summertime” as a single nor the eventual album charted *at all.*

This is not a stellar track record I’m sorry to say. This era is peppered with some good songs, and some *okay* productions/records. But Melcher’s pre-SIP track record was middling at best, and being the main force behind SIP along with Mike tends to blunt Melcher’s standing quite a bit in my opinion.

The Beach Boys-Terry Melcher pairing was not some sort of powerhouse pairing that sustained itself due to building success. Melcher had enough industry clout/connections to get them some film soundtrack placements, and was a generally competent musician and backing singer, and was also a competent producer the band could turn to without having to try to start from scratch getting to know a new producer (e.g. failed attempts like Sean O’Hagan, or even Steve Levine on BB ’85).

This isn’t to say Melcher should bear the brunt of the blame for all this stuff. The band wasn’t exactly churning out A-list material pre or post-Melcher either. But even Steve Levine (and I’d say even Bruce Johnston) had somewhat better production sensibilities overall, and while I don’t think the later Andy Paley material is just 100% unassailable, the material Paley did with Brian (and then with the band) is undeniably better compositionally overall and certainly much more organic and warm on the recording/production side of things.

Having said all of that, I think a better album *could have* happened working with Melcher. If the material had utilized more outside writers (and other writers in the band) rather than being inundated with Melcher-Love tracks, and if Melcher had leaned more into the “Somewhere Near Japan” production ethos rather than, say, “Summer of Love”, a decent, better album could have theoretically materialized.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: southbay on July 25, 2019, 01:06:05 PM
I, for one, have nothing against Terry Melcher and echo the sentiments above. I think he did admirable work with the Boys from 86 onward and agree with others who say the 85 album would likely have been better with his involvement.  As a vocalist he was no Carl Wilson, but that simply places him with the rest of humanity.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 25, 2019, 01:06:12 PM
Thanks, Jude. Nice to see this included:

And Special Thanks to the Beach Boys Band for Still Cruisin’ with us after all these years – Ed Carter, Bass/Vocals; Mike Kowalski, Drums; Billy Hinsche, Piano/Vocals; Michael Meros, Keyboards/Organ; Jeff Foskett, Guitar/Vocals; Matthew Jardine, Percussion/Vocals.

Yeah, that was an interesting and nice touch. It's obviously a snapshot of solely the people in the touring band in 1989.

I've long hoped some sort of career-spanning "Live" boxed set would afford the band, once and for all, an opportunity to list (and thank) every person who has rotated through the touring band over the years.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: guitarfool2002 on July 25, 2019, 02:22:14 PM
I'll repeat again since the point seems to be getting lost.

Only two producers have ever scored a number one hit for the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson and Terry Melcher.

If anyone can dispute the magnitude of that fact, please give it a try. Because I'd like to see how a guy who has three number one singles  has his career reduced to listing his failures versus saying hey, this guy did some great stuff, some timeless stuff...I dont get it.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Steve Latshaw on July 25, 2019, 02:35:03 PM
<<I'll repeat again since the point seems to be getting lost.
Only two producers have ever scored a number one hit for the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson and Terry Melcher.
If anyone can dispute the magnitude of that fact, please give it a try. Because I'd like to see how a guy who has three number one singles  has his career reduced to listing his failures versus saying hey, this guy did some great stuff, some timeless stuff...I dont get it.>>

I couldn't agree more.  Well said.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 25, 2019, 02:50:30 PM
Mike Love co-wrote a huge number of hits, and then did "Summer In Paradise" later in his career. The poor quality and failure of that album didn't and never will negate his huge, admirable accomplishments that preceded that album.  

Similarly, Terry Melcher scored a #1 hit with the Beach Boys. With a good song to boot. He also had success in the 60s with other artists. All admirable accomplishments that nobody is trying to deny or negate. He then also contributed to a myriad of middling and sometimes poor quality work released by the Beach Boys.

The *original post* in this thread touched on Melcher's work with the Beach Boys, with a fair amount of emphasis on his 80s and 90s work with the band (which constitutes *most* if not nearly all of his direct work with the band). *That* is the material I've been discussing, and I stand by the characterization of that material as occasionally being good, often being rather middling to mediocre, and occasionally being of poor quality.

And again, let me reiterate I dig their 80s stuff *more* than many if not most fans. I get a surprising amount of enjoyment listening to "Rock and Roll to the Rescue." It doesn't mean it's a particular good song or record, and I can't deny it's not an indicator of a creative or artistic direction that in retrospect makes a lot of sense.

Nothing I'm saying about the quality of Melcher's work with the band in the 80s and 90s is calling into the question the magnitude of his accomplishments.

Melcher's continued collaboration with the band is *fascinating* for many reasons. It's an interesting story with a number of variables. But if I say Melcher's work was embarrassing on "Summer in Paradise", it doesn't mean I'm trying to deny he scored a #1 hit with "Kokomo."

We've discusssed the impact and possible reasons for the success of "Kokomo" *at length* on this board, and many folks have agreed that it didn't indicate nor lead to Melcher otherwise having a ton of critically or commercially successful work with the Beach Boys.

So when we're talking about Melcher's work with the band (why he was working with them, his potential for success, his track record, etc.) I'm not going to ignore "Problem Child" and most of the "Summer in Paradise" album.

Look at several of the band's career-spanning collections, such as "Good Vibrations" and "Made in California." How much representation of the "Melcher Era" is there? It's usually "Getcha Back", "California Dreamin'" and "Kokomo." Even his better material such as several songs off of "Still Cruisin" usually get ignored (and unfortunately so).

I mean, Bruce was an accomplished guy too outside of the Beach Boys, and did great stuff with them too. He also wasn't a particularly good pick to be the band's producer. He was a good semi-detached, objective person who could get the job done. Much like Melcher. But those guys' "demo reels" of recent productions didn't scream "Whoa, we gotta get that guy! Forget Roy Thomas Baker, or Chris Thomas, or even David Foster. Let's get Bruce Johnston and Terry Melcher!"

To say these things is not to deny Melcher (or Bruce's) accomplishments. That Melcher had a long-standing collaboration and relationship with the band and various members is undeniably impressive. That he was one of few outside producers to work with the band *at all* is impressive. That he also scored a #1 hit with them is impressive. He also co-wrote some of of and nearly wholly produced the worst album they ever made, and that album followed up on nearly a decade of mixed, at best, work with the band. *All* of that is part of the story.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: BeachBoysCovers on July 25, 2019, 02:55:49 PM
The Terry Melcher version of Happy Endings (which was released on the Doris Day My Heart album a few years back) is about a thousand times better than the Beach Boys/Little Richard version.

In the intro Day claims that Terry had actually wrote it for her, but that she insisted he sung it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yuqlWtObJs


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Tony S on July 25, 2019, 03:38:04 PM
Call me nuts,but I always had a soft spot for Happy Endings....I liked the melody, the vocals, and the harmony.....less Little Richard, who sort of ruined the tune in my opinion. And Loved Carl's vocal here too. Thought Melcher did a good job on his later version as well.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: southbay on July 25, 2019, 04:07:36 PM
Mike Love co-wrote a huge number of hits, and then did "Summer In Paradise" later in his career. The poor quality and failure of that album didn't and never will negate his huge, admirable accomplishments that preceded that album. 

Similarly, Terry Melcher scored a #1 hit with the Beach Boys. With a good song to boot. He also had success in the 60s with other artists. All admirable accomplishments that nobody is trying to deny or negate. He then also contributed to a myriad of middling and sometimes poor quality work released by the Beach Boys.

The *original post* in this thread touched on Melcher's work with the Beach Boys, with a fair amount of emphasis on his 80s and 90s work with the band (which constitutes *most* if not nearly all of his direct work with the band). *That* is the material I've been discussing, and I stand by the characterization of that material as occasionally being good, often being rather middling to mediocre, and occasionally being of poor quality.

And again, let me reiterate I dig their 80s stuff *more* than many if not most fans. I get a surprising amount of enjoyment listening to "Rock and Roll to the Rescue." It doesn't mean it's a particular good song or record, and I can't deny it's not an indicator of a creative or artistic direction that in retrospect makes a lot of sense.

Nothing I'm saying about the quality of Melcher's work with the band in the 80s and 90s is calling into the question the magnitude of his accomplishments.

Melcher's continued collaboration with the band is *fascinating* for many reasons. It's an interesting story with a number of variables. But if I say Melcher's work was embarrassing on "Summer in Paradise", it doesn't mean I'm trying to deny he scored a #1 hit with "Kokomo."

We've discusssed the impact and possible reasons for the success of "Kokomo" *at length* on this board, and many folks have agreed that it didn't indicate nor lead to Melcher otherwise having a ton of critically or commercially successful work with the Beach Boys.

So when we're talking about Melcher's work with the band (why he was working with them, his potential for success, his track record, etc.) I'm not going to ignore "Problem Child" and most of the "Summer in Paradise" album.

Look at several of the band's career-spanning collections, such as "Good Vibrations" and "Made in California." How much representation of the "Melcher Era" is there? It's usually "Getcha Back", "California Dreamin'" and "Kokomo." Even his better material such as several songs off of "Still Cruisin" usually get ignored (and unfortunately so).

I mean, Bruce was an accomplished guy too outside of the Beach Boys, and did great stuff with them too. He also wasn't a particularly good pick to be the band's producer. He was a good semi-detached, objective person who could get the job done. Much like Melcher. But those guys' "demo reels" of recent productions didn't scream "Whoa, we gotta get that guy! Forget Roy Thomas Baker, or Chris Thomas, or even David Foster. Let's get Bruce Johnston and Terry Melcher!"

To say these things is not to deny Melcher (or Bruce's) accomplishments. That Melcher had a long-standing collaboration and relationship with the band and various members is undeniably impressive. That he was one of few outside producers to work with the band *at all* is impressive. That he also scored a #1 hit with them is impressive. He also co-wrote some of of and nearly wholly produced the worst album they ever made, and that album followed up on nearly a decade of mixed, at best, work with the band. *All* of that is part of the story.

This seems about right.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: BeachBoysCovers on July 25, 2019, 04:39:03 PM
Since I've just discovered this, and its Melcher related - Make It Big was originally recorded by Doris Day and Terry for her 1985 show Best Friends.

This suggests that Mike's contribution was the middle bit - the "Baby you're a superstar Lookin' like you're goin' far" and "You could be my little movie queen Up there on the silver screen" parts

Elora has kindly uploaded it the audio to Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-x6jAlDOdw&feature=youtu.be

Or if you want to see it in context, with cute videos of dogs and kids playing together, https://youtu.be/dOKuy_N_E6c?t=450


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on July 25, 2019, 06:07:00 PM
Since I've just discovered this, and its Melcher related - Make It Big was originally recorded by Doris Day and Terry for her 1985 show Best Friends.

This suggests that Mike's contribution was the middle bit - the "Baby you're a superstar Lookin' like you're goin' far" and "You could be my little movie queen Up there on the silver screen" parts

Elora has kindly uploaded it the audio to Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-x6jAlDOdw&feature=youtu.be

Or if you want to see it in context, with cute videos of dogs and kids playing together, https://youtu.be/dOKuy_N_E6c?t=450

Wow, thanks for sharing! So fascinating. I'm a big fan of the BBs version of this tune (not the Troop Beverly Hills version, but the Still Cruisin' album version), so very interesting to hear the demo.

Some of Mike's lyrics during the parts he added to the final version, and the way Mike sings "best buddies" annoy me, but I otherwise quite like that section that was added to the final version of the song.

Now I'll never be able to hear the song without images of dogs and cats in my head.  Pooper Scoop Beverly Hills.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on July 25, 2019, 06:09:02 PM
The Terry Melcher version of Happy Endings (which was released on the Doris Day My Heart album a few years back) is about a thousand times better than the Beach Boys/Little Richard version.

In the intro Day claims that Terry had actually wrote it for her, but that she insisted he sung it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yuqlWtObJs

That's also really cool. Thanks for sharing! I like this version better as well. Despite some corny lyrics, it's a well-composed song.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Jim V. on July 25, 2019, 09:23:15 PM
Crazy to hear that version of "Make It Big." Count me as another big fan of that tune. Actually while reading this thread I've been listening to Still Cruisin' and I must say I unabashedly like a lot of it. I will totally admit to digging "Still Cruisin'", "Somewhere Near Japan", "Island Girl", "In My Car" and of course "Kokomo."

May I say that The Beach Boys were kinda awesome at that booming late '80s glossy, somewhat over-rawked sound? Shame they didn't put together more actual albums in this time. I think between what Brian was doing, a few things from Al, a few better things from Melcher and Mike and maybe "Run Don't Walk" from Carl we mighta had somewhat classy, somewhat lame, but ultimately fun late '80s Beach Boys album.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: guitarfool2002 on July 25, 2019, 09:55:33 PM
The Terry Melcher version of Happy Endings (which was released on the Doris Day My Heart album a few years back) is about a thousand times better than the Beach Boys/Little Richard version.

In the intro Day claims that Terry had actually wrote it for her, but that she insisted he sung it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yuqlWtObJs

That's also really cool. Thanks for sharing! I like this version better as well. Despite some corny lyrics, it's a well-composed song.

I'm loving this version, and Terry's voice in particular. It's ironic to have such a synth-laden backing track under such a purely recorded, natural sounding vocal...but that's exactly what this is. And listen to Terry's control especially on the high notes: He's stretching his range, but his control is fantastic. What a smooth sound, and as someone commented on the YT video, it reminds me of Karen Carpenter. Just that natural, smooth, controlled vocal that really sold the lyrics on ballads such as this.

I'll put it as bluntly as I can: Terry knew his sh*t. That's why he could claim three #1 singles to his credit.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 26, 2019, 06:31:25 AM
Call me nuts,but I always had a soft spot for Happy Endings....I liked the melody, the vocals, and the harmony.....less Little Richard, who sort of ruined the tune in my opinion. And Loved Carl's vocal here too. Thought Melcher did a good job on his later version as well.

While objectively the "music critic" part of me has to admit the song isn't A-grade material, I've always dug hearing the Beach Boys trading off vocal parts on this, and I think having it *not* be another Bruce-and-keyboard solo outing helps. Indeed, I'd love to simply hear that BB version with one of the BBs singing Little Richard's lines. But Carl and Al in particular (and Mike as well) sound nice on it. I'm a sucker for hearing the guys trade off lead lines.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 26, 2019, 06:38:23 AM
Since I've just discovered this, and its Melcher related - Make It Big was originally recorded by Doris Day and Terry for her 1985 show Best Friends.

This suggests that Mike's contribution was the middle bit - the "Baby you're a superstar Lookin' like you're goin' far" and "You could be my little movie queen Up there on the silver screen" parts

Elora has kindly uploaded it the audio to Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-x6jAlDOdw&feature=youtu.be

Or if you want to see it in context, with cute videos of dogs and kids playing together, https://youtu.be/dOKuy_N_E6c?t=450

This does provide an interesting insight into what was added to the song a few years later. I'd say the arrangement and overall performance was much improved on the BB version. I'd wager not only did Mike add to the song, but Melcher probably did additional rejiggering at that later date. Not sure what the third writer Bill House added or when.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 26, 2019, 06:44:59 AM
Crazy to hear that version of "Make It Big." Count me as another big fan of that tune. Actually while reading this thread I've been listening to Still Cruisin' and I must say I unabashedly like a lot of it. I will totally admit to digging "Still Cruisin'", "Somewhere Near Japan", "Island Girl", "In My Car" and of course "Kokomo."

May I say that The Beach Boys were kinda awesome at that booming late '80s glossy, somewhat over-rawked sound? Shame they didn't put together more actual albums in this time. I think between what Brian was doing, a few things from Al, a few better things from Melcher and Mike and maybe "Run Don't Walk" from Carl we mighta had somewhat classy, somewhat lame, but ultimately fun late '80s Beach Boys album.

Most of the non-oldies on the album formed a pretty decent 1989 outing for the band, despite the piecemeal nature of how it was put together.

We've gone over a lot of the background (and postmortems offered by the band and fans) of the album in past threads, so I won't retread too much of that. But a fascinating element of the album is that while fans have often felt the three oldies at the end water down the album's impact as a "new" album, Mike said in an interview that he felt the *non-soundtrack* songs were what watered down the original concept of the album as essentially a "repackage" featuring all stuff that had been featured in films in the preceding several years. He singled out Brian's "In My Car" and Al's "Island Girl" as essentially political concessions. Ironically, while he seems to have felt that the "non-soundtrack" originals watered down the album, he also in the same interview lamented Capitol dropping the ball on promoting *his* co-write, "Somewhere Near Japan", which was also *not* a movie soundtrack song.

I've always enjoyed most of "Still Cruisin'", with really only "Wipe Out" out of the non-oldies being a usual "skip." It could have *easily* been fleshed out with 3-5 more "new" songs.

The band did work on other stuff around this time. Supposedly, much if not most of what we hear on Al's eventual 2010 version of "Don't Fight the Sea" comes from 1989 sessions, including Brian's contribution.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 26, 2019, 06:47:00 AM


Wow, thanks for sharing! So fascinating. I'm a big fan of the BBs version of this tune (not the Troop Beverly Hills version, but the Still Cruisin' album version), so very interesting to hear the demo.

Some of Mike's lyrics during the parts he added to the final version, and the way Mike sings "best buddies" annoy me, but I otherwise quite like that section that was added to the final version of the song.

Now I'll never be able to hear the song without images of dogs and cats in my head.  Pooper Scoop Beverly Hills.

While the "Troop Beverly Hills" version of "Make It Big" is kind of choppy (likely due to tightly editing it to fit into the film's opening animated sequence), it's quite interesting as it offers whole sections of the same recording that were edited out of the "Still Cruisin'" version. I wouldn't mind a "clean" full version of that iteration of the track.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: RJM on July 26, 2019, 07:30:23 AM
Since I've just discovered this, and its Melcher related - Make It Big was originally recorded by Doris Day and Terry for her 1985 show Best Friends.

This suggests that Mike's contribution was the middle bit - the "Baby you're a superstar Lookin' like you're goin' far" and "You could be my little movie queen Up there on the silver screen" parts

Elora has kindly uploaded it the audio to Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-x6jAlDOdw&feature=youtu.be

Or if you want to see it in context, with cute videos of dogs and kids playing together, https://youtu.be/dOKuy_N_E6c?t=450

This does provide an interesting insight into what was added to the song a few years later. I'd say the arrangement and overall performance was much improved on the BB version. I'd wager not only did Mike add to the song, but Melcher probably did additional rejiggering at that later date. Not sure what the third writer Bill House added or when.

The chorus heard in the final BB version was the chorus from Bill House’s song.

https://youtu.be/g_KbMVS1VqU


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 26, 2019, 07:48:19 AM
Since I've just discovered this, and its Melcher related - Make It Big was originally recorded by Doris Day and Terry for her 1985 show Best Friends.

This suggests that Mike's contribution was the middle bit - the "Baby you're a superstar Lookin' like you're goin' far" and "You could be my little movie queen Up there on the silver screen" parts

Elora has kindly uploaded it the audio to Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-x6jAlDOdw&feature=youtu.be

Or if you want to see it in context, with cute videos of dogs and kids playing together, https://youtu.be/dOKuy_N_E6c?t=450

This does provide an interesting insight into what was added to the song a few years later. I'd say the arrangement and overall performance was much improved on the BB version. I'd wager not only did Mike add to the song, but Melcher probably did additional rejiggering at that later date. Not sure what the third writer Bill House added or when.

The chorus heard in the final BB version was the chorus from Bill House’s song.

https://youtu.be/g_KbMVS1VqU

Ahh, that's right. I was thinking that I had long ago heard some other older version of the song different from that '85 Melcher version.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 26, 2019, 08:25:28 AM
Crazy to hear that version of "Make It Big." Count me as another big fan of that tune. Actually while reading this thread I've been listening to Still Cruisin' and I must say I unabashedly like a lot of it. I will totally admit to digging "Still Cruisin'", "Somewhere Near Japan", "Island Girl", "In My Car" and of course "Kokomo."

May I say that The Beach Boys were kinda awesome at that booming late '80s glossy, somewhat over-rawked sound? Shame they didn't put together more actual albums in this time. I think between what Brian was doing, a few things from Al, a few better things from Melcher and Mike and maybe "Run Don't Walk" from Carl we mighta had somewhat classy, somewhat lame, but ultimately fun late '80s Beach Boys album.

A few interesting "Stilll Cruisin'" related tidbits from a 1989 Carl interview:



LK: Why only five new songs on Still Cruisin'?

Carl: I wanted more new songs. Capitol only wanted three, we managed to get five.

LK: Why didn't you include songs like "Chasin' The Sky", which also were on film soundtracks?

Carl: No, that's CBS material, and they have the right to it a few more years. A new Caribou compilation album may come out soon.

LK: Why didn't you write any songs for Still Cruisin'?

Carl: I did write one, with Phil Goldstein, but I wasn't satisfied with the way it turned out in the studio.

LK: When will see a new album of Beach Boys songs?

Carl: Well, we've certainly run out compilations, don't you agree? The new LP should have been called 5 Big Ones (laughs). Perhaps next summer.

LK: So why don't you include songs like "Cool, Cool Water" and "Caroline, No", for example, instead of doing cover versions like "Little Old Lady From Pasadena" and "Little GTO"?

Carl: We have done "Cool, Cool Water" from time to time, and we did "Caroline, No" last year. I would like to do that more, but I'm in a minority in the group. Of course, there are times when each one of us is more active. Sometimes it's Al, and he does more of his stuff, now it's Michael. I hope Brian gets more involved. I spent some time with him in the studio when he recorded "In My Car" and it was great. I like the music, but Brian should collaborate with his peers, not Gene (Landy) and wife. These lyrics: "I'm master of my fate when I accelerate," ... what? (Carl laughs and shakes his head). Gene couldn't hit the right note even if his life depended on it! I said to Brian, "Feel free to call me." But Landy doesn't like me because I say the truth.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Jim V. on July 26, 2019, 09:00:21 AM
Crazy to hear that version of "Make It Big." Count me as another big fan of that tune. Actually while reading this thread I've been listening to Still Cruisin' and I must say I unabashedly like a lot of it. I will totally admit to digging "Still Cruisin'", "Somewhere Near Japan", "Island Girl", "In My Car" and of course "Kokomo."

May I say that The Beach Boys were kinda awesome at that booming late '80s glossy, somewhat over-rawked sound? Shame they didn't put together more actual albums in this time. I think between what Brian was doing, a few things from Al, a few better things from Melcher and Mike and maybe "Run Don't Walk" from Carl we mighta had somewhat classy, somewhat lame, but ultimately fun late '80s Beach Boys album.

A few interesting "Stilll Cruisin'" related tidbits from a 1989 Carl interview:



LK: Why only five new songs on Still Cruisin'?

Carl: I wanted more new songs. Capitol only wanted three, we managed to get five.

LK: Why didn't you include songs like "Chasin' The Sky", which also were on film soundtracks?

Carl: No, that's CBS material, and they have the right to it a few more years. A new Caribou compilation album may come out soon.

LK: Why didn't you write any songs for Still Cruisin'?

Carl: I did write one, with Phil Goldstein, but I wasn't satisfied with the way it turned out in the studio.

LK: When will see a new album of Beach Boys songs?

Carl: Well, we've certainly run out compilations, don't you agree? The new LP should have been called 5 Big Ones (laughs). Perhaps next summer.

LK: So why don't you include songs like "Cool, Cool Water" and "Caroline, No", for example, instead of doing cover versions like "Little Old Lady From Pasadena" and "Little GTO"?

Carl: We have done "Cool, Cool Water" from time to time, and we did "Caroline, No" last year. I would like to do that more, but I'm in a minority in the group. Of course, there are times when each one of us is more active. Sometimes it's Al, and he does more of his stuff, now it's Michael. I hope Brian gets more involved. I spent some time with him in the studio when he recorded "In My Car" and it was great. I like the music, but Brian should collaborate with his peers, not Gene (Landy) and wife. These lyrics: "I'm master of my fate when I accelerate," ... what? (Carl laughs and shakes his head). Gene couldn't hit the right note even if his life depended on it! I said to Brian, "Feel free to call me." But Landy doesn't like me because I say the truth.


Interesting little excerpt right there. Coulda sworn I'd read it before somewhere. Perhaps you had posted it before, HJ.

Regardless, I feel like the song called worked on for Still Cruisin' was "Run Don't Walk" (which later appeared on the Beckley-Lamm-Wilson album Like A Brother). I have nothing to back this up, but I coulda swore I read it somewhere.

Also, it still shows Carl in his heart of hearts wanted to keep The Beach Boys moving forward, but that it seemed like he also was honest with himself that they were pretty much were where they were going to be (i.e. meat and potatoes setlists, not much creativity in the studio). And besides Brian's Paley material, the 1995 Beach Boys reunion sessions and his work with Beckley and Lamm, there really wasn't much to sink your teeth into in Beach Boy land. And for The Beach Boys fan at that time, obviously we weren't gonna hear the fruits of these projects for a while.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 26, 2019, 09:40:59 AM
It seems pretty clear in that 1989 Carl interview that he had already somewhat abdicated a role as a leader of the band and was letting Mike run the thing. Carl apparently still worked on keeping the touring band together rehearsal-wise. But he clearly seems to be in a sort of "Well, Mike seems excited by the success of Kokomo and I'll just let him do this thing" frame of mind even by 1989.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: guitarfool2002 on July 26, 2019, 09:56:47 AM
It seems pretty clear in that 1989 Carl interview that he had already somewhat abdicated a role as a leader of the band and was letting Mike run the thing. Carl apparently still worked on keeping the touring band together rehearsal-wise. But he clearly seems to be in a sort of "Well, Mike seems excited by the success of Kokomo and I'll just let him do this thing" frame of mind even by 1989.

There are no indications to suggest otherwise, with the only possible exception being the '93 "box set" mini-tour where they pulled out some really deep cuts...and I'm guessing Mike wasn't the one to helm that situation, considering his troupe of dancing girls would be hard pressed to choreograph steps for "Wonderful".


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Steve Mayo on July 26, 2019, 11:40:17 AM
I had that 1989 interview with carl. I had no scanner after the fire but I faxed it to bgas who with the help of another posted it here back in 2013. for anyone who wants to read it in full here is the link:
http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,15607.0.html

page 6 of the thread.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: JakeH on July 26, 2019, 12:25:11 PM
I'll repeat again since the point seems to be getting lost.

Only two producers have ever scored a number one hit for the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson and Terry Melcher.

If anyone can dispute the magnitude of that fact, please give it a try. Because I'd like to see how a guy who has three number one singles  has his career reduced to listing his failures versus saying hey, this guy did some great stuff, some timeless stuff...I dont get it.

What you've written above reads as if you are equating what Brian Wilson did in '66 (with Mike Love's critical additions, like it or not, in the end stages) with what Melcher and a bunch of other people pieced together for a Tom Cruise movie tie-in in '88.  It sounds as if the idea is to elevate Melcher by stating: only Melcher achieved what Brian Wilson achieved for the Beach Boys.  There is no comparison whatsoever, of course, other than the fact that both reached number one on the charts - a measure not of quality or worth but of transient popularity and money-earning potential. 

I'm not aware of any anti-Melcher sentiment either among the public at-large or within '60s pop-nerd fandom.  If it's true he doesn't get credit/respect for three number one hits, it's because of a number of things: First, it's 50+ years on from the 60s - nobody cares about what was number one, it's what's good that matters in the end.  Of course, those two Byrds hits are indeed good, and that's why they are remembered (not because they were Number One)  But they were performed (sung, at least) by the Byrds - a truly great group with at least four members with legitimate creative (instrumental, songwriting) ability.  This was not an early-60s type youth group/pop group/girl group kind of deal where the producer (like Spector, I guess) can control and shape the music and take the credit.   Now, we know that at least on "Tambourine Man" the Byrds (except McGuinn) didn't play. But this is precisely the issue which undid Melcher - the Byrds themselves didn't want to be that kind of early '60s "puppet" group and they pushed back (against whom? Melcher himself? The label?) and it's because of that, and their subsequent work, that results in the public seeing the Byrds themselves - the musicians - as being responsible for the quality of the output.  So Melcher's involvement is obscured by that fact: the bands, or the performers taking more control in these days, which is one of the things happening in the second-half of the '60s.   I suspect that some of the “blame” for Melcher being marginalized can be laid at the feet of the Byrds themselves. 

The music: Even if not performed by the Byrds in the studio on “Tambourine Man,” it's performed by the Wrecking Crew. And lately they've been getting their credit - "we did this, we did that."  So Melcher, posthumously, has to get in line not only behind McGuinn, Crosby et al. but the Crew also.  There's only so much credit that can be shared (let's not forget Dylan for writing one of the tracks and Seeger/The Holy Bible for the other) If Melcher had done other notable production work subsequent to the early Byrds, maybe he would be more recognized as a producer, but I'm not sure there's much there.  (I can’t comment on Paul Revere & The Raiders, not having heard that much aside from “nuggets” type comps and I think a cover by the Flamin’ Groovies).  In the end, Melcher appears to be someone who was a player in the early '60s mode, and who sort of got left behind when the second-half of the decade came around, during which the balance of power between artists/performers and label/management shifted somewhat (including whatever is defined as "canyon" music).  In the end, you can maybe say that by producing and working with the Byrds to create their early hits, Melcher, ironically, helped to create the very thing that would push him to the margins.

Then there's "Kokomo." Melcher hasn’t been getting credit for this great accomplishment first of all because the record is not respected.  Liked, by some, yes.  Slick and professionally well-crafted; indeed if the thing called "Beach Boys" was going to have a hit in 1988, it would have to sound like “Kokomo.”  The reward for doing this kind of work is financial, not reputational - hopefully Melcher got a nice payday.  But in terms of reputation, in the eyes of the public, the listeners, he gets no recognition.  Mike Love is the individual who gets the credit - because Mike indeed made major contributions that that record, because he outlived everyone else, and because it’s unlikely that people are lining up to be credited for their involvement in that recording.  That is, Mike is the only one who wants the credit. (had Carl lived, it’s hard to imagine him trumpeting his involvement on “Kokomo.” And imagine Ry Cooder: "Hey everybody, did you know I played on 'Kokomo.'") Generalizations here, but the kind of fans/listeners who pay attention to producers, engineers, and session musicians are not the kind of people "Kokomo" was made for.  The majority of the people who like "Kokomo" (and I knew quite a few of them back then), and therefore might be expected to appreciate Terry Melcher, are those who are not interested in who produced the track.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on July 26, 2019, 12:25:46 PM
It seems pretty clear in that 1989 Carl interview that he had already somewhat abdicated a role as a leader of the band and was letting Mike run the thing. Carl apparently still worked on keeping the touring band together rehearsal-wise. But he clearly seems to be in a sort of "Well, Mike seems excited by the success of Kokomo and I'll just let him do this thing" frame of mind even by 1989.

There are no indications to suggest otherwise, with the only possible exception being the '93 "box set" mini-tour where they pulled out some really deep cuts...and I'm guessing Mike wasn't the one to helm that situation, considering his troupe of dancing girls would be hard pressed to choreograph steps for "Wonderful".

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but the rehearsal tapes for the '93 boxed set tour (at Al's studio if I recall correctly) indicate that Mike was not even present.

On the several recordings from that tour I've heard, Mike certainly isn't vociferously advocating for appreciation for the deep cuts. On the Paramount '93 recording, he offers after "Heroes and Villains" something along the lines of "we're still trying to figure out what that one's about", as if it's funny to be obtuse (or pretend to be) about the song nearly 30 years later.

I also recall that on the Paramount '93 recording, he undercuts any potential for a pleasant surprise for the audience by hitting a point early in the "rarities" set where he starts literally naming off the songs they're going to do.

I think in 1993, Mike (and perhaps all of the guys) were still trigger shy about doing a lot of deep cuts/obscure cuts in concert. They're still a bit in "pre-apologize" mode as they were on and off over the years.

Carl letting Mike kind of take over was unfortunate, not even so much due to Mike, but simply due to not having multiple ideas/points of view to guide the band. What's additionally odd and unfortunate is that Carl didn't take much opportunity in all those years to do stuff on his own. He was working on the "Beckley-Lamm-Wilson" stuff for years on and off, but that amounted in the end to 1/3 of an album, and it didn't get released until over a year after his death. Why Carl didn't do much outside of touring in the last 15 years of his life is an interesting and pertinent question.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: guitarfool2002 on July 26, 2019, 12:54:31 PM
Replying to JakeH:

The music business is ultimately a business, and the gold ring everyone chases is scoring a #1 single or #1 album. Debate all day about art versus commerce, or the worthiness of a song, but if you're in the music business making records the ultimate goal was to score a #1 record. As such, the only two producers to reach that goal with The Beach Boys were Brian and Terry. That's as objective of a fact as can be presented because simply no one else did it, and that's what gets recorded in the history books.

Regarding Terry's other productions, I'd suggest listening to Paul Revere's hits which he produced before commenting too much on the success or validity of what Terry did with them or other artists. He scored two top-5 hits for the Raiders, and those were the most successful records that band had until the 1970's when "Indian Reservation" became a hit and it wasn't even a band effort to be blunt about it. They're excellent records, as I described here earlier.

I could go more in depth about The Byrds and all that backstory when Terry produced "Mr Tambourine Man" and "Turn Turn Turn" for them, and when both hit #1, but it's too much for this thread. I'd suggest reading some histories about The Byrds centered on that exact time in their career, histories not written by rabid Byrds fans, and get a sense of how the band was considered as a live act...they were not very good playing live at that time by quite a few firsthand accounts I've read, and of course that later changed. But what Terry did was polish them up in the studio, and get hit records on the charts under their name, which established them as a major act...using two cover songs no less, not originals from the band. That's the *business* side of the music business on full display. It worked: Those records are classics, and established the band moving forward. Terry succeeded in the job he was given to do at Columbia: Make hit records and make money for those involved.


As far as Terry's subsequent efforts, again (and I'm not saying this to be snarky at all) take a look at the history of how things played out. After his death in 1968, Terry and his mother found out that Doris' husband and Terry's stepfather Marty Melcher and his business manager had taken and lost something like 20 million dollars from Doris on money she had earned, and left her in debt. He also made a deal for Doris to star in a TV show...without telling her. So Marty dies, and leaves all this on Terry's and Doris' plate. Not to mention the mess with Manson, happening at roughly the same time.

So Terry did all but leave the regular business of making records and devoted his efforts to his mother, producing her TV show, doing music for her TV show and albums, and eventually running her charities which eventually would be worth millions.

That's why Terry wasn't cutting rock and pop records after a certain point: He worked on his mother's career on many fronts, and got her back after the financial debacle, some tabloid scandals regarding her relationships, and a career that many thought was over.

Not bad, right? I think it's pretty admirable. But that's why there was a gap in his production and music credits - He was working with mom Doris Day and getting things done in the TV and film business, then into the charitable foundation business again for his mom. Then he comes back with the Beach Boys and gets them back on the charts too. Not a bad haul.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on July 26, 2019, 01:41:18 PM


As far as Terry's subsequent efforts, again (and I'm not saying this to be snarky at all) take a look at the history of how things played out. After his death in 1968, Terry and his mother found out that Doris' husband and Terry's stepfather Marty Melcher and his business manager had taken and lost something like 20 million dollars from Doris on money she had earned, and left her in debt. He also made a deal for Doris to star in a TV show...without telling her. So Marty dies, and leaves all this on Terry's and Doris' plate. Not to mention the mess with Manson, happening at roughly the same time.

So Terry did all but leave the regular business of making records and devoted his efforts to his mother, producing her TV show, doing music for her TV show and albums, and eventually running her charities which eventually would be worth millions.

That's why Terry wasn't cutting rock and pop records after a certain point: He worked on his mother's career on many fronts, and got her back after the financial debacle, some tabloid scandals regarding her relationships, and a career that many thought was over.

Not bad, right? I think it's pretty admirable. But that's why there was a gap in his production and music credits - He was working with mom Doris Day and getting things done in the TV and film business, then into the charitable foundation business again for his mom. Then he comes back with the Beach Boys and gets them back on the charts too. Not a bad haul.

I did know about Doris' scumbag husband doing that to her, but I hadn't considered how tough that must've been on Terry as an only child trying to help his mom out, and how that surely impacted his own music producing career. Totally astute assessment. Terry really needs a well-written bio to be undertaken.

One interesting thing that just popped into my head is that Terry produced Getcha Back (which almost seems like a test run for the work he did for the band not all that much later).

However, the BB85 album was somewhat (?) loudly touted as being produced by Steve Levine, which I think they tried to use as a selling point, to a degree. Not like a Produced by Brian Wilson album, but still I can't think of another album in The BBs' career that the band themselves even really mentioned who produced it all that much (Bruce was pretty modest about his productions and played down LA Light and KTSA as I recall).

So with the BB85 album being produced by the then-hot and successful Culture Club producer Steve Levine, the very first sequential song on the album (and the album's first single) is not a Steve Levine-produced song... but a song by a different producer. As though the band knew (correctly, I might add) that regardless of this whole new attempt at a cohesive album by a hot producer, that the best and most commercial track to lead with was a one-off track by a different producer. I wonder if that led to any politics or resentment, or if it was just not biggie for Steve (I don't know anything about the guy).

What were the circumstances of Terry producing Getcha Back anyway? Was it just a one-off test type of thing, or was it always intended to be on the BBs 85 album, but they just wanted to do 1 track with a different producer?


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on July 26, 2019, 01:50:14 PM
Side note: I wonder what a mid-late 1980s Byrds album produced by Terry (with all of the 1965 Byrds lineup) might have sounded like... would The Byrds have sounded a bit like Kokomo/SIP?  Part of me thinks so.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: JakeH on July 26, 2019, 02:06:44 PM
Points generally well-taken...


The music business is ultimately a business, and the gold ring everyone chases is scoring a #1 single or #1 album. Debate all day about art versus commerce, or the worthiness of a song, but if you're in the music business making records the ultimate goal was to score a #1 record. As such, the only two producers to reach that goal with The Beach Boys were Brian and Terry. That's as objective of a fact as can be presented because simply no one else did it, and that's what gets recorded in the history books.


Not so much art versus commerce, but art and commerce, attempting to coexist (which they can)  Everyone wants a hit.  Is there anything else anyone wants to do? In certain cases, yes.  As just one example relevant to the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, Pet Sounds would not exist if only thing that mattered was getting to number one.  Brian might have hoped he could get to number one with that stuff, but that's not why he did it.  Was he wrong to do it?  Did he not understand the business?  Perhaps this points to the fact that Melcher should be rated by producer's standards/goals versus those of the artist, where the artist creates and the producer tries to shape that creation into something that sells.

Overall, verifiable facts and presumed objectivity can only get you so far when assessing art and creativity - which are the things which I believe attract people to the music in the first place, and certainly those which keep them listening to it decades later.


As far as Terry's subsequent efforts, again (and I'm not saying this to be snarky at all) take a look at the history of how things played out. After his death in 1968, Terry and his mother found out that Doris' husband and Terry's stepfather Marty Melcher and his business manager had taken and lost something like 20 million dollars from Doris on money she had earned, and left her in debt. He also made a deal for Doris to star in a TV show...without telling her. So Marty dies, and leaves all this on Terry's and Doris' plate. Not to mention the mess with Manson, happening at roughly the same time.

So Terry did all but leave the regular business of making records and devoted his efforts to his mother, producing her TV show, doing music for her TV show and albums, and eventually running her charities which eventually would be worth millions.

That's why Terry wasn't cutting rock and pop records after a certain point: He worked on his mother's career on many fronts, and got her back after the financial debacle, some tabloid scandals regarding her relationships, and a career that many thought was over.

Not bad, right? I think it's pretty admirable. But that's why there was a gap in his production and music credits - He was working with mom Doris Day and getting things done in the TV and film business, then into the charitable foundation business again for his mom. Then he comes back with the Beach Boys and gets them back on the charts too. Not a bad haul.

I'm well aware of Melcher's backstory - as much as an outsider can reasonaly be - and it's not pretty.  Your take on it as expressed above is more sentimental, frankly, than the way I would characterize it.  I agree, certainly, that he had talent, and could sing.  As a writer, I'm not sure where he stands... While on the subject, I'll add that Melcher might be seen as a rich, privileged, Beverly Hills kid who was lucky enough to get into the business early due to his family connections.  This is inaccurate.  Overall, there are certain similarities between Melcher's situation and, say, that of Brian Wilson.   


I did know about Doris' scumbag husband doing that to her, but I hadn't considered how tough that must've been on Terry as an only child trying to help his mom out, and how that surely impacted his own music producing career. Totally astute assessment. Terry really needs a well-written bio to be undertaken.


Maybe, maybe not. I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for a biography.  Among other things, you can read A.E. Hotchner's Doris Day "authorized" biography that came out in the 1970s. Terry Melcher is given some degree of freedom in those pages to offer what was, at that time, his take on various things about his life.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: RJM on July 26, 2019, 02:30:20 PM
I'll repeat again since the point seems to be getting lost.

Only two producers have ever scored a number one hit for the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson and Terry Melcher.

If anyone can dispute the magnitude of that fact, please give it a try. Because I'd like to see how a guy who has three number one singles  has his career reduced to listing his failures versus saying hey, this guy did some great stuff, some timeless stuff...I dont get it.

What you've written above reads as if you are equating what Brian Wilson did in '66 (with Mike Love's critical additions, like it or not, in the end stages) with what Melcher and a bunch of other people pieced together for a Tom Cruise movie tie-in in '88.  It sounds as if the idea is to elevate Melcher by stating: only Melcher achieved what Brian Wilson achieved for the Beach Boys.  There is no comparison whatsoever, of course, other than the fact that both reached number one on the charts - a measure not of quality or worth but of transient popularity and money-earning potential. 

I'm not aware of any anti-Melcher sentiment either among the public at-large or within '60s pop-nerd fandom.  If it's true he doesn't get credit/respect for three number one hits, it's because of a number of things: First, it's 50+ years on from the 60s - nobody cares about what was number one, it's what's good that matters in the end.  Of course, those two Byrds hits are indeed good, and that's why they are remembered (not because they were Number One)  But they were performed (sung, at least) by the Byrds - a truly great group with at least four members with legitimate creative (instrumental, songwriting) ability.  This was not an early-60s type youth group/pop group/girl group kind of deal where the producer (like Spector, I guess) can control and shape the music and take the credit.   Now, we know that at least on "Tambourine Man" the Byrds (except McGuinn) didn't play. But this is precisely the issue which undid Melcher - the Byrds themselves didn't want to be that kind of early '60s "puppet" group and they pushed back (against whom? Melcher himself? The label?) and it's because of that, and their subsequent work, that results in the public seeing the Byrds themselves - the musicians - as being responsible for the quality of the output.  So Melcher's involvement is obscured by that fact: the bands, or the performers taking more control in these days, which is one of the things happening in the second-half of the '60s.   I suspect that some of the “blame” for Melcher being marginalized can be laid at the feet of the Byrds themselves. 

The music: Even if not performed by the Byrds in the studio on “Tambourine Man,” it's performed by the Wrecking Crew. And lately they've been getting their credit - "we did this, we did that."  So Melcher, posthumously, has to get in line not only behind McGuinn, Crosby et al. but the Crew also.  There's only so much credit that can be shared (let's not forget Dylan for writing one of the tracks and Seeger/The Holy Bible for the other) If Melcher had done other notable production work subsequent to the early Byrds, maybe he would be more recognized as a producer, but I'm not sure there's much there.  (I can’t comment on Paul Revere & The Raiders, not having heard that much aside from “nuggets” type comps and I think a cover by the Flamin’ Groovies).  In the end, Melcher appears to be someone who was a player in the early '60s mode, and who sort of got left behind when the second-half of the decade came around, during which the balance of power between artists/performers and label/management shifted somewhat (including whatever is defined as "canyon" music).  In the end, you can maybe say that by producing and working with the Byrds to create their early hits, Melcher, ironically, helped to create the very thing that would push him to the margins.

Then there's "Kokomo." Melcher hasn’t been getting credit for this great accomplishment first of all because the record is not respected.  Liked, by some, yes.  Slick and professionally well-crafted; indeed if the thing called "Beach Boys" was going to have a hit in 1988, it would have to sound like “Kokomo.”  The reward for doing this kind of work is financial, not reputational - hopefully Melcher got a nice payday.  But in terms of reputation, in the eyes of the public, the listeners, he gets no recognition.  Mike Love is the individual who gets the credit - because Mike indeed made major contributions that that record, because he outlived everyone else, and because it’s unlikely that people are lining up to be credited for their involvement in that recording.  That is, Mike is the only one who wants the credit. (had Carl lived, it’s hard to imagine him trumpeting his involvement on “Kokomo.” And imagine Ry Cooder: "Hey everybody, did you know I played on 'Kokomo.'") Generalizations here, but the kind of fans/listeners who pay attention to producers, engineers, and session musicians are not the kind of people "Kokomo" was made for.  The majority of the people who like "Kokomo" (and I knew quite a few of them back then), and therefore might be expected to appreciate Terry Melcher, are those who are not interested in who produced the track.


Terry returned to producing the Byrds from 1969’s BALLAD OF EASY RIDER to 1971’s BYRDMANIAX which, other than the original quintet, May have been the greatest Byrds lineup.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: super sally on July 26, 2019, 08:26:18 PM
What does Terry Melcher is the only " other person who produced a number one hit for the beach boys " have to do with comparing to Brian Wilson?

The Monkees had three number ones hits! Produced by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart! Jeff Barry! and Chip Douglas!

That means they are all the same! All geniuses!

???


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: tpesky on July 26, 2019, 09:06:20 PM
Boy forgot about that interview . There’s Carl basically saying it’s Mikes group as far back as 89. The Mike /Al problems started right here too , I’m sure that was a big reason . Good interview pushing Carl on the Setlist too. Al was the one who pushed hard for that 93 tour . This puts it in perspective . The shows really became Mike centric not long after . 88 had some great Setlists early.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Gerry on July 27, 2019, 08:18:29 AM
Melcher had a great quote about David Crosby when somebody asked him who was the worst person he ever worked with in the music business: he immediately answered "David Crosby, and I knew Charles Manson"


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: JakeH on July 27, 2019, 08:42:52 AM
Reading back my last comment, I want to clarify a couple of things

Points generally well-taken...


The music business is ultimately a business, and the gold ring everyone chases is scoring a #1 single or #1 album. Debate all day about art versus commerce, or the worthiness of a song, but if you're in the music business making records the ultimate goal was to score a #1 record. As such, the only two producers to reach that goal with The Beach Boys were Brian and Terry. That's as objective of a fact as can be presented because simply no one else did it, and that's what gets recorded in the history books.


Not so much art versus commerce, but art and commerce, attempting to coexist (which they can)  Everyone wants a hit.  Is there anything else anyone wants to do? In certain cases, yes.  As just one example relevant to the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, Pet Sounds would not exist if only thing that mattered was getting to number one.  Brian might have hoped he could get to number one with that stuff, but that's not why he did it.  Was he wrong to do it?  Did he not understand the business?  Perhaps this points to the fact that Melcher should be rated by producer's standards/goals versus those of the artist, where the artist creates and the producer tries to shape that creation into something that sells.


This seems to be the issue - GF evaluating Melcher in a producer/business-oriented context while my reply is in a different context - applying artist's standards to Melcher.  I think the confusion comes up because once Brian Wilson's name is invoked, you're talking about someone who was both, at the same time. It points, once again to the unique and difficult situation Brian found himself in during the mid-sixties.  In 1965, Brian is a producer/hit-maker: The producer part of Brian says to the creator part of Brian, "let's make a hit." (Brian said in his book of 2016 that this is what he was doing at this point - the feeling was that the previous singles weren't good enough and everyone wanted a hit). So there's the Summer Days concept and "California Girls" and "Rhonda."  With Pet Sounds, "Producer Brian" and "Creator Brian" are having a very different conversation.  It's sort of like how George Martin's relationship with the Beatles is generally summarized: "Well boys, tell me what you're thinking, and I'll try to make it work," and the outcome can be something like "Strawberry Fields," where G. Martin his helping Lennon express what he wants to express, in a certain way.  Except with Brian and the Beach Boys, the producer and the artist are the same person. So the producer-artist dialogue is entirely internal - only Brian knows what's going on: Producer Brian decides to subordinate himself to Creator Brian, and help the creative part of Brian express himself. This is a big reason Brian got into trouble at this point; it was no longer obvious to everyone that the goal was a hit.  Bruce, for one, has said that he didn't know if "Good Vibrations" was going to be a smash or a flop.


While on the subject, I'll add that Melcher might be seen as a rich, privileged, Beverly Hills kid who was lucky enough to get into the business early due to his family connections.  This is inaccurate.  Overall, there are certain similarities between Melcher's situation and, say, that of Brian Wilson.   


What I said here reads poorly - I want to clarify that the "rich kid" view of Melcher is one that I disagree with.  There's evidence, in print, that he disagreed with it too. It was true on the surface, but there might be other things besides how big your house is. Melcher didn't have things that many other people (including poor people) take for granted.  The unfavorable view of Melcher and his seeming easily-attained wealth is most typically found in Manson-related material, not rock 'n' roll stuff.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: RJM on July 27, 2019, 03:50:48 PM
I get knocking Melcher for his work with the BB, but the records he made with the Byrds were all seminal classics that defined folk rock and country rock as much as Brian’s work defined his genre.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: MyDrKnowsItKeepsMeCalm on July 27, 2019, 06:03:05 PM
...I think the confusion comes up because once Brian Wilson's name is invoked, you're talking about someone who was both, at the same time. It points, once again to the unique and difficult situation Brian found himself in during the mid-sixties.  In 1965, Brian is a producer/hit-maker: The producer part of Brian says to the creator part of Brian, "let's make a hit." (Brian said in his book of 2016 that this is what he was doing at this point - the feeling was that the previous singles weren't good enough and everyone wanted a hit). So there's the Summer Days concept and "California Girls" and "Rhonda."  With Pet Sounds, "Producer Brian" and "Creator Brian" are having a very different conversation.  It's sort of like how George Martin's relationship with the Beatles is generally summarized: "Well boys, tell me what you're thinking, and I'll try to make it work," and the outcome can be something like "Strawberry Fields," where G. Martin his helping Lennon express what he wants to express, in a certain way.  Except with Brian and the Beach Boys, the producer and the artist are the same person. So the producer-artist dialogue is entirely internal - only Brian knows what's going on: Producer Brian decides to subordinate himself to Creator Brian, and help the creative part of Brian express himself. This is a big reason Brian got into trouble at this point; it was no longer obvious to everyone that the goal was a hit.  Bruce, for one, has said that he didn't know if "Good Vibrations" was going to be a smash or a flop.

Great post.  :)


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Lonely Summer on July 27, 2019, 09:40:33 PM
As a long time fan of Paul Revere and the Raiders, I can give you what the consensus is among fans of that group: their success on records was because of Terry Melcher producing them. Everyone says after Melcher stopped producing them, they went downhill. Some of the Raiders' hits were written by outsiders - Kicks and Hungry were both Mann/Weill songs; Just Like Me was written by some guy from a band in the NW; the other hits during 66-67 were songs lead singer Mark Lindsay wrote with Melcher. Melcher produced their biggest selling albums, Just Like Us, Midnight Ride, Spirit of '67, and Greatest Hits.
Personally, my take on Melcher's work with the band is a bit different. Yes, he did a great job on the records mentioned above, but when three of the Raiders - Michael "Smitty" Smith, Phil "Fang" Volk, and Drake Levin - left the band in 67, the recording side of things was left mostly to Melcher and Lindsay. What they came up, the album Revolution, was an okay pop record, but not nearly as gutsy as the previous albums. Then Melcher and Lindsay concocted the most bizarre album in the Raiders' history, the trippy, psycadelic, underdeveloped Christmas Present and Past. Think of it as the Raiders' Smiley Smile. Songs start, and just as you think they might be going somewhere, they end. Along the way, they try to make some anti-war statements, but it's all pretty clunky and dumb.
That was the last album Melcher produced for the band; Lindsay took over after that, and IMO, got them back on track with the psycadelic pop of Something Happening, Hard 'N' Heavy (with marshmallow), and the country rock of Alias Pink Puzz.
I'm very familiar with Melcher's voice - he sings harmony on a lot of those 66-67 Raider tracks - and I think it's a fine voice for harmony. As a soloist, well, no one's gonna confuse him with Lindsay.
Just my 2 cents worth.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Kid Presentable on July 28, 2019, 05:40:32 AM
Adjacent, but not estranged: right now, I am in love with Lahaina Aloha sped up to 2x.   :lol

Carl still sounds great, the guitar solos rip, and many of the non-starter qualities of Mike's vocals magically disappear!


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: dombanzai on July 28, 2019, 10:11:15 AM
This has been an intriguing thread as I am a big fan of Melcher’s surf/hot rod work (as well as that with The Byrds) and I have to take umbrage with some peoples’ views that he had a mediocre voice. Just listen to stellar Rip Chords and Bruce & Terry tracks like Don’t Be Scared (RC), My Big Gun Board (RC), Hey Little Cobra (RC), Three Window Coupe (RC), Halfway (BT), Summer Means Fun (BT), Girl It’s Alright Now (BT), Custom Machine (BT – a rare track that eclipses a Beach Boys original) and Four Strong Winds (BT) and there’s proof that here is a lead vocalist who not only can hold a tune, but belt out some stunning songs.

He helped turn The Rip Chords from a mediocre doo-wop group into a pop-busting chart-making group, not only due to his production abilities and contacts in the business, but because of his prowess as a gutsy singer, who could belt out some classic tunes.

Obviously Bruce played a part as well, but as seems to be the case with him, he was relegated to a secondary role behind Terry himself and even behind the other Rip Chords, although his stunning falsetto was well used – just see how many lead vocals Bruce took during The Rip Chords and Bruce & Terry careers… just a handful. I always thought they should have been called Terry & Bruce, which would have been a fairer reflection on the that duo’s dynamics.

One final point, why did Bruce & Terry cover Here Comes Summer and sing it from a girl’s perspective (although I believe it was only a demo)? It’s a nice song, but sounds weird when Terry sings the lines “and then he’ll kiss me’, etc…


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Juice Brohnston on July 28, 2019, 12:33:37 PM
This has been an intriguing thread as I am a big fan of Melcher’s surf/hot rod work (as well as that with The Byrds) and I have to take umbrage with some peoples’ views that he had a mediocre voice. Just listen to stellar Rip Chords and Bruce & Terry tracks like Don’t Be Scared (RC), My Big Gun Board (RC), Hey Little Cobra (RC), Three Window Coupe (RC), Halfway (BT), Summer Means Fun (BT), Girl It’s Alright Now (BT), Custom Machine (BT – a rare track that eclipses a Beach Boys original) and Four Strong Winds (BT) and there’s proof that here is a lead vocalist who not only can hold a tune, but belt out some stunning songs.

He helped turn The Rip Chords from a mediocre doo-wop group into a pop-busting chart-making group, not only due to his production abilities and contacts in the business, but because of his prowess as a gutsy singer, who could belt out some classic tunes.

Obviously Bruce played a part as well, but as seems to be the case with him, he was relegated to a secondary role behind Terry himself and even behind the other Rip Chords, although his stunning falsetto was well used – just see how many lead vocals Bruce took during The Rip Chords and Bruce & Terry careers… just a handful. I always thought they should have been called Terry & Bruce, which would have been a fairer reflection on the that duo’s dynamics.

One final point, why did Bruce & Terry cover Here Comes Summer and sing it from a girl’s perspective (although I believe it was only a demo)? It’s a nice song, but sounds weird when Terry sings the lines “and then he’ll kiss me’, etc…

I think there were instances where Bruce was definitely schooling Terry in the studio


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: clack on July 29, 2019, 08:55:16 AM
What does Terry Melcher is the only " other person who produced a number one hit for the beach boys " have to do with comparing to Brian Wilson?

The Monkees had three number ones hits! Produced by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart! Jeff Barry! and Chip Douglas!

That means they are all the same! All geniuses!

???

Hey, the Monkees made great records, and Chip Douglas, in particular, though no Brian Wilson or George Martin, was one of the better producers in the late 60's LA scene. I'd rank him with Curt Boettcher and Lou Adler.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: guitarfool2002 on July 29, 2019, 09:42:16 AM
Agreed 100% on Chip Douglas - One of my favorites and a big musical influence on me as well. Another surprising omission from the "Echo In The Canyon" documentary since Chip played a role in some of the biggest hits coming out of LA from 66-68.

Let me correct the misunderstanding which I think happened. I was *not* trying to or even thinking about putting Terry Melcher on a pedestal next to Brian Wilson, I was merely pointing out how he accomplished what only Brian did in terms of charting a #1 BB's hit. Conversely, as RJM pointed out above, Terry Melcher's productions with The Byrds did in fact plant a seed for what would become the electrified folk-rock sound that dominated the mid-60's. Had those Byrds single not been #1 hits, would other labels and artists have followed suit? Would the term "jangle" have been associated with a Rickenbacker 12-string and would there have been the hits to come afterward? I doubt it. But look what did happen, and consider who had ever paired Dylan and Bible verse with *that* kind of rock sound prior. It was a new sound that sold millions of records.

And as RJM said, and thanks for the reminder, Terry also went on to produce additional records for The Byrds which are considered among the more influential ones in what became country rock. Not as influential as those #1 singles, more of a niche, but still...damn fine and influential albums just the same.

It's not equating Terry with other producers, it's just pointing out that the guy's accomplishments are pretty impressive and he should get credit where it's due for them. It's also trying to either remind or put on the table that Terry was not a fluke or a guy who scored one hit with Kokomo and then released a string of failures, because his resume was firmly in place prior to 1989.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: NateRuvin on July 29, 2019, 11:19:47 AM
I think Terry Melcher's great talent is underappreciated in the BBs/LA music circle. Funnily enough, it's not Melcher's work with The Byrds, production on California Dreamin, Kokomo, etc... that make me feel so strongly this way. What blows me away so much, is the *sound* Bruce & Terry got, arranging and mixing wise, on the B&T and Rip Chords stuff. They came up with a really fat, compressed sound, similar to, and obviously influenced by Jan Berry, that makes the backing track BW was making seem rather limp. I'm not knocking the amazing songs, vocal performances, etc BW was doing 62-64, but when you listen to the backing tracks, stuff like Summer Means Fun (Bruce & Terry), Three Window Coupe (Rip Chords version), Custom Machine (Bruce & Terry version), and Ride The Wild Surf, and Little Old Lady (last two produced and arranged by Jan Berry-not Melcher, just a great example), have a lot 'heavier and more aggressive than the tracks on stuff like Surfin USA, Shut Down, Pom Pom Play Girl, Catch A Wave etc.

Bruce, Terry, and Jan's "fat" sound can be attributed to a Spector/BW like aesthetic, of having an insane amount of instrumentalists. (A typical Jan Berry session could feature Two drummers, Two Basses, Three Guitars, Keys, Horns, Strings, Percussion, etc..) but they (with great engineers like Bones Howe) also used a lot of compression (in an innovative way, in my opinion) to make those tracks 'pop'. I hear a lot more intense compression/limiting on those Rip Chords, Jan & Dean, Bruce & Terry records than, on Brian's at the time. And I'm not talking about the sh*tty compression from going from FLAC to MP3, I'm talking about the artistic use of the studio equipment to get that aggressive sound. Between compression and lots of tape saturation, the records come close to being straight up distorted, but live in a happy medium, where it has the right amount of 'crunch'.

Listen to a mono mix of Summer Means Fun by Bruce & Terry, it just explodes off the speakers, in a really heavy way. You can really feel the drums pounding, whereas in songs like Surfin Safari or Farmer's Daughter,  it sounds like the drummer was being forced to play lightly.

Again, huge BW fan (he's the alltime greatest producer in my eyes), but I think his peers, Johnston, Berry, and of course Terry Melcher who this thread's about, in those early days made records that really rocked more, and arguably paved the way for the heavier rock styles that were to come.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: guitarfool2002 on July 29, 2019, 05:25:56 PM
I think Terry Melcher's great talent is underappreciated in the BBs/LA music circle. Funnily enough, it's not Melcher's work with The Byrds, production on California Dreamin, Kokomo, etc... that make me feel so strongly this way. What blows me away so much, is the *sound* Bruce & Terry got, arranging and mixing wise, on the B&T and Rip Chords stuff. They came up with a really fat, compressed sound, similar to, and obviously influenced by Jan Berry, that makes the backing track BW was making seem rather limp. I'm not knocking the amazing songs, vocal performances, etc BW was doing 62-64, but when you listen to the backing tracks, stuff like Summer Means Fun (Bruce & Terry), Three Window Coupe (Rip Chords version), Custom Machine (Bruce & Terry version), and Ride The Wild Surf, and Little Old Lady (last two produced and arranged by Jan Berry-not Melcher, just a great example), have a lot 'heavier and more aggressive than the tracks on stuff like Surfin USA, Shut Down, Pom Pom Play Girl, Catch A Wave etc.

Bruce, Terry, and Jan's "fat" sound can be attributed to a Spector/BW like aesthetic, of having an insane amount of instrumentalists. (A typical Jan Berry session could feature Two drummers, Two Basses, Three Guitars, Keys, Horns, Strings, Percussion, etc..) but they (with great engineers like Bones Howe) also used a lot of compression (in an innovative way, in my opinion) to make those tracks 'pop'. I hear a lot more intense compression/limiting on those Rip Chords, Jan & Dean, Bruce & Terry records than, on Brian's at the time. And I'm not talking about the sh*tty compression from going from FLAC to MP3, I'm talking about the artistic use of the studio equipment to get that aggressive sound. Between compression and lots of tape saturation, the records come close to being straight up distorted, but live in a happy medium, where it has the right amount of 'crunch'.

Listen to a mono mix of Summer Means Fun by Bruce & Terry, it just explodes off the speakers, in a really heavy way. You can really feel the drums pounding, whereas in songs like Surfin Safari or Farmer's Daughter,  it sounds like the drummer was being forced to play lightly.

Again, huge BW fan (he's the alltime greatest producer in my eyes), but I think his peers, Johnston, Berry, and of course Terry Melcher who this thread's about, in those early days made records that really rocked more, and arguably paved the way for the heavier rock styles that were to come.

Nate, I know you're a big fan of Jan Berry, but I have to agree to disagree on some of your points, with some historical points to consider. Keep in mind that up until the Surfer Girl album, Brian was the de facto producer but still working under Nik Venet's ultimate control over the proceedings. And that included setting up the band as a self-contained unit inside Capitol's own studios, versus the still new Western which Brian preferred to record at (with Chuck Britz at the board) and where he simply got better sounds. He could also experiment more with those sounds with Chuck at Western than at Capitol. Let's face it, for the kind of music he was recording, the tracks at Western did sound better. The studio had a tight, characteristic sound.

As far as the tracks being "limp" compared to Jan Berry, what up until "Surf City" did Jan And Dean release that was of any success or any influence after "Baby Talk"? None of their albums ever hit the top-10, or even top-20 (barely). After Baby Talk they had *one* hit single and after Brian and those folks he was writing with came on board, they jumped on the surf and car themes - set in motion and proven successful by Brian and The Boys - and fared better on the charts for about a year or so, then had nothing crack the charts of any significance.

After the surfing and car themes ran their course, they did "Folk And Roll"...jumping on what...wait for it...Terry Melcher had helped turn into a commercially viable sound and genre after those Byrds singles hit #1. How's the production on "Folk And Roll"? I mean, compared to what Melcher did with The Byrds?

Jan and Dean were not at the forefront of these new styles and sounds. After the Beach Boys made singing about surfing and cars a success, Jan and Dean did it, scoring with a Brian Wilson song and others with Brian's collaborators at the time. When "folk rock" became a success and commercially viable, Jan and Dean did it.

Part of being a good producer is also setting the trends...No, part of being a legendary producer is setting the trends rather than following them. BW's productions when they were still cutting with Nik at Capitol's tower may have been "limp", but they were setting trends, selling records, and creating a whole scene around them and what they were singing about. Jan never reached that level, and sonically his records prior to "Surf City" were just as often limp if not noticeably and almost embarrassingly out of tune vocally.

I just don't hear Jan's records paving the way for much of anything prior to "Surf City". The proof is in the grooves when you listen. And a great way to hear this...just listen to Jan's take on "Turn Turn Turn". It's basically a cheaper and sloppier carbon copy of Melcher's production on The Byrds' smash hit single, with instruments out of time and flat vocals. There is absolutely no punch at all to this track, no sonic glue to hold it together or no sonic imprint despite copying Melcher's sounds almost to a "T". A lot of the album is an attempt to have the duo sing over a McGuinn-like 12-string electric guitar...which had already been done by Melcher, McGuinn, and company and which had torn up the charts.

This is legendary work? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYvSMD7Yoj4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYvSMD7Yoj4)

Again, the differences between leaders and followers.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: super sally on July 29, 2019, 06:01:15 PM
What does Terry Melcher is the only " other person who produced a number one hit for the beach boys " have to do with comparing to Brian Wilson?

The Monkees had three number ones hits! Produced by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart! Jeff Barry! and Chip Douglas!

That means they are all the same! All geniuses!

???

Hey, the Monkees made great records, and Chip Douglas, in particular, though no Brian Wilson or George Martin, was one of the better producers in the late 60's LA scene. I'd rank him with Curt Boettcher and Lou Adler.

Hey, hey-- was not picking on the Monkees.

I was trying to point out the silliness (my opinion) of saying "only two people produced number one hits for the Beach Boys."

Apples to oranges.










Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: guitarfool2002 on July 29, 2019, 06:14:06 PM
How is it silly to point out what is a stone cold fact as part of a discussion about the man who produced a #1 hit for the band? If it's directed at me, I never tried nor would try to elevate anyone to Brian's level of production and art working with the Beach Boys, yet someone replying to what I wrote made it seem like I did. And I did not, nor would I.

So there's that before calling things silly, sally.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: NateRuvin on July 29, 2019, 08:04:02 PM
guitarfool2002,

You're definitely right that Brian recording at Capitol, under the direction of Venet, is largely to blame to for the 'limp' sound of The BBs early work. Again, not dismissing BW or The BBs in any way, by thinking Jan & Dean, Bruce & Terry, Rip Chords, as groups that actually made some great music, not just copy cat stuff. No one would deny that Bruce & Terry and The Rip Chords were set up and manufactured to replicate The BBs sound/lyrical theme, but I think dismissing those groups as *just* being knockoff groups, is like calling all of the British Invasion bands Beatles knockoffs. There's always going to be someone to start the sound, but then others can expand on it. For Hip Hop fans on here I'll compare it to this: Dr. Dre was an architect of the West Coast G-Funk Sound. He's the one who is always given credit for creating the sound and putting it on the map. Dj Quik was already incorporating elements of George Clinton's "P Funk" in his Hip Hop beats before Dre released The Chronic. And Daz Dillinger, Warren G, Chris Taylor produced, co-produced, or ghost produced depending on who you ask, many songs (with and without Dre) that were G-Funk classics. Sure, Warren G 'stole' Dre's sound for his hit "Regulate" in a similar way Bruce & Terry did with "Summer Mean Fun" and The BBs sound. But not many Hip Hop fans dismiss Warren G as just ripping off his step brother, Dr. Dre. It's impossible to quantify the amount of cross pollination of ideas that can take place in a musical scene. Especially when friendships/relationships like Dre and Warren G or BBs & J&D are involved.

Also, when I'm talking about Jan & Dean vs Beach Boys rock songs, I'm talking about the *sound* of the backing tracks. I don't really care that Brian wrote about surfing before Jan. When I talk about the power of Surf City or Little Old Lady, it's not the surf/hot rod jargon that made those records classics-  I'm talking about the fat double drums, multiple basses, and vocal layering Jan did to make those songs explode off the speakers. Similarly, I don't think people still listen to 409 and Surfin USA today because of their lyrical themes, it's the great feeling of 'love', as BW might put it, you get from the songs. The overall emotion. Lots of that comes from the instrumental backing tracks, which Berry, Melcher, and Johnston were really good at crafting. I think Bruce & Terry's version of Custom Machine and Jan & Dean's I Gotta Drive still sound "heavy" and rock in 2019.

As for J&D's R&B Dore/pre-Surf stuff, I can agree that it's pretty insignificant when taken out of history. Baby Talk and Jennie Lee don't exactly blow my mind, but they're starting points. Like Love Me Do compared to She Loves You. Surfin to Don't Worry Baby. When put in a historical context, what Jan was doing was pretty revolutionary. He was cutting hit records in his garage. Songs like Jennie Lee, Baby Talk, and White Tennis Sneakers were constructed by Jan (with Arnie, Dean, and whoever else from The Barons were present, as well as eventually Herb Alpert and Lou Adler) by using various tape machines to record a backing track that would consist of the Vocals, Piano (for accompaniment/driving the harmony) and something to keep time (sometimes a metronome, and sometimes someone banging on whatever could be found to make a percussive sound). Additional instruments (Guitars, Drums, Bass, Sax, etc) was overdubbed by The Wrecking Crew in the studio. This DIY method of recording would become cool and trendy eventually, but for Jan to be doing that in the late 50's is pretty insane. I highly recommend reading Mark A Moore's book The Jan & Dean Record if you want to see how dedicated and creative Jan was. It's interesting to note that Jan was using the group of musicians that would become known as The Wrecking Crew *before* SPECTOR and BW. Especially funny when it retrospect the WC are often called "Spector's musicians" or something like that. The specific dates of when Jan recorded with them first and Phil did are in Mark's book. Using those musicians first doesn't instantly make Jan the better, or best producer, but it's an interesting historical footnote.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: super sally on July 30, 2019, 03:24:16 PM
How is it silly to point out what is a stone cold fact as part of a discussion about the man who produced a #1 hit for the band? If it's directed at me, I never tried nor would try to elevate anyone to Brian's level of production and art working with the Beach Boys, yet someone replying to what I wrote made it seem like I did. And I did not, nor would I.

So there's that before calling things silly, sally.


Apologies if it came across that way. I 'm sorry. It wasn't directed at you. I may have misunderstood the discussion. I just consider the Beach Boys of the 60's a completely different band than the 80's. Just my take.

I have high respect for Terry Melcher's work in the 60's.

I never cared for Kokomo. But I thought Somewhere in Japan was nicely done!









Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: guitarfool2002 on July 31, 2019, 10:13:28 AM
guitarfool2002,

You're definitely right that Brian recording at Capitol, under the direction of Venet, is largely to blame to for the 'limp' sound of The BBs early work. Again, not dismissing BW or The BBs in any way, by thinking Jan & Dean, Bruce & Terry, Rip Chords, as groups that actually made some great music, not just copy cat stuff. No one would deny that Bruce & Terry and The Rip Chords were set up and manufactured to replicate The BBs sound/lyrical theme, but I think dismissing those groups as *just* being knockoff groups, is like calling all of the British Invasion bands Beatles knockoffs. There's always going to be someone to start the sound, but then others can expand on it. For Hip Hop fans on here I'll compare it to this: Dr. Dre was an architect of the West Coast G-Funk Sound. He's the one who is always given credit for creating the sound and putting it on the map. Dj Quik was already incorporating elements of George Clinton's "P Funk" in his Hip Hop beats before Dre released The Chronic. And Daz Dillinger, Warren G, Chris Taylor produced, co-produced, or ghost produced depending on who you ask, many songs (with and without Dre) that were G-Funk classics. Sure, Warren G 'stole' Dre's sound for his hit "Regulate" in a similar way Bruce & Terry did with "Summer Mean Fun" and The BBs sound. But not many Hip Hop fans dismiss Warren G as just ripping off his step brother, Dr. Dre. It's impossible to quantify the amount of cross pollination of ideas that can take place in a musical scene. Especially when friendships/relationships like Dre and Warren G or BBs & J&D are involved.

Also, when I'm talking about Jan & Dean vs Beach Boys rock songs, I'm talking about the *sound* of the backing tracks. I don't really care that Brian wrote about surfing before Jan. When I talk about the power of Surf City or Little Old Lady, it's not the surf/hot rod jargon that made those records classics-  I'm talking about the fat double drums, multiple basses, and vocal layering Jan did to make those songs explode off the speakers. Similarly, I don't think people still listen to 409 and Surfin USA today because of their lyrical themes, it's the great feeling of 'love', as BW might put it, you get from the songs. The overall emotion. Lots of that comes from the instrumental backing tracks, which Berry, Melcher, and Johnston were really good at crafting. I think Bruce & Terry's version of Custom Machine and Jan & Dean's I Gotta Drive still sound "heavy" and rock in 2019.

As for J&D's R&B Dore/pre-Surf stuff, I can agree that it's pretty insignificant when taken out of history. Baby Talk and Jennie Lee don't exactly blow my mind, but they're starting points. Like Love Me Do compared to She Loves You. Surfin to Don't Worry Baby. When put in a historical context, what Jan was doing was pretty revolutionary. He was cutting hit records in his garage. Songs like Jennie Lee, Baby Talk, and White Tennis Sneakers were constructed by Jan (with Arnie, Dean, and whoever else from The Barons were present, as well as eventually Herb Alpert and Lou Adler) by using various tape machines to record a backing track that would consist of the Vocals, Piano (for accompaniment/driving the harmony) and something to keep time (sometimes a metronome, and sometimes someone banging on whatever could be found to make a percussive sound). Additional instruments (Guitars, Drums, Bass, Sax, etc) was overdubbed by The Wrecking Crew in the studio. This DIY method of recording would become cool and trendy eventually, but for Jan to be doing that in the late 50's is pretty insane. I highly recommend reading Mark A Moore's book The Jan & Dean Record if you want to see how dedicated and creative Jan was. It's interesting to note that Jan was using the group of musicians that would become known as The Wrecking Crew *before* SPECTOR and BW. Especially funny when it retrospect the WC are often called "Spector's musicians" or something like that. The specific dates of when Jan recorded with them first and Phil did are in Mark's book. Using those musicians first doesn't instantly make Jan the better, or best producer, but it's an interesting historical footnote.

Nate, on the quotes I put in bold, I wanted to address a few things about the background. Again I know and respect your opinions of Jan Berry as a producer and musician and you obviously have done a lot of research and reading about him. However in a few cases, my issue has been that in some circles Jan Berry gets overcredited or even over-praised for things he did which can be either subjective in how someone feels about his work or objective in how some things are not 100% factual. I'd like to put on the table a few things regarding Jan and recording in his garage which - maybe, I'm not sure - have not been introduced alongside sources that credit Jan with some kind of innovation or revolutionary "new" activity.

One name: Les Paul.

Nate, I'm going to link two YouTube videos from a TV broadcast in 1953 where Les Paul and Mary Ford demonstrate live on TV how Les created his hit records using overdubbing, bouncing, and tape machines linked together. One is a short clip where Les shows how he stacked guitars and played a percussion part on his guitar, and the other is a longer clip where Mary tracks overdubbed vocals on top but the percussion part is for some reason edited out.

These old kinescopes are basically the Rosetta Stone or Dead Sea Scrolls of modern recording techniques. *No one* before Les Paul was doing this, he literally invented all this stuff which is still the foundation of recording studio technology today. And this was 1953 when he's demonstrating it on TV for all to see: Les had been experimenting since the 40's with overdubbing using acetates, which came to fruition on his monster hit "Lover" in 1947, which was done using hundreds of acetate discs and a disc cutter supposedly built by Les using the flywheel from a Cadillac engine. (Side note - I'm a huge Les Paul fan and was fortunate enough to examine original Les Paul acetates which were cut and engraved by Les personally in his garage...I have pictures too lol, grinning like a little kid holding this oversized acetate  ;D  )

Anyway, my point is that Les Paul was recording in his garage, and in his various rooms, and hotel suites, and whatnot the decade before Jan did Baby Talk, and Les Paul's "New Sound" was selling massive amounts for Capitol in the late 40's and early 50's, to the point where Les and Mary got their own TV show as mentioned in the 1953 clip.

Anyone watching that show or others like it in 1953 would see how Les was doing this with tape machines, and anyone with the money and desire to try it was getting tape machines and experimenting with this stuff at home. Some of these even made it onto the charts, and home recording became a trend of sorts once machines became more affordable and available outside professional circuits, and once Les cracked the code and broke the secret, people who could access it began doing it too.

Among them was a young Brian Wilson whose home tapes we have heard, including "Happy Birthday Freshmen" featuring Brian stacking his vocals on the tape machine Murry bought for him.

Just consider that what you accredited Jan Berry with doing on Baby Talk was something Les Paul both invented and demonstrated on TV back in '53, and these "New Sound" records Les and Mary were making and releasing on Capitol were selling millions of copies.

Les ran the table on innovation, creativity, and commercial success...not to mention he invented this stuff and was cutting these records in his garage. I think that's the influence which Jan could have followed, among thousands of others and those select few who actually made hit records from their garage. But it was not new or innovative which could be credited to Jan Berry.

Here's the clips, if you have a few minutes please watch them and you'll see the foundation of modern, multitrack recorded music unfold on live TV:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFKLwJzMoIs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFKLwJzMoIs)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjKX0P4t_ac (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjKX0P4t_ac)



Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: NateRuvin on July 31, 2019, 03:24:50 PM
Those clips are amazing. Thanks for sharing. I was aware of Les Paul's influence in multi-track recording, but it had been a long time since I had seen those videos. And while Jan wasn't the first to record "garage" style, I don't think it should diminish the accomplishment of crafting hit records that people still talk about today, with two tape recorders and a lot of passion.



Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Needleinthehay on July 31, 2019, 04:26:40 PM
I saw someone on here saying he produced Getcha Back...but i thought he just co-wrote it and Levine produced the whole album? Did he actually produce it or did someone just mis-speak on here? Wikipedia says Levine produced the song...could be wrong tho


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: All Summer Long on July 31, 2019, 08:11:28 PM
I saw someone on here saying he produced Getcha Back...but i thought he just co-wrote it and Levine produced the whole album? Did he actually produce it or did someone just mis-speak on here? Wikipedia says Levine produced the song...could be wrong tho

I think they were arguing that he co-produced the song because of the way he helped with the vocals and getting the falsetto part out of Brian, etc.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on July 31, 2019, 09:18:12 PM
I saw someone on here saying he produced Getcha Back...but i thought he just co-wrote it and Levine produced the whole album? Did he actually produce it or did someone just mis-speak on here? Wikipedia says Levine produced the song...could be wrong tho

I think they were arguing that he co-produced the song because of the way he helped with the vocals and getting the falsetto part out of Brian, etc.

That was me, and I guess it was my mistake… I for some reason I had thought that Terry produced that song in addition to cowriting it, but it appears I was wrong. But as you mentioned, it's possible there was some contribution by Terry during the recording of it from a production standpoint. At least that would be my guess.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on August 01, 2019, 07:00:27 AM
I saw someone on here saying he produced Getcha Back...but i thought he just co-wrote it and Levine produced the whole album? Did he actually produce it or did someone just mis-speak on here? Wikipedia says Levine produced the song...could be wrong tho

I think they were arguing that he co-produced the song because of the way he helped with the vocals and getting the falsetto part out of Brian, etc.

That was me, and I guess it was my mistake… I for some reason I had thought that Terry produced that song in addition to cowriting it, but it appears I was wrong. But as you mentioned, it's possible there was some contribution by Terry during the recording of it from a production standpoint. At least that would be my guess.

C-man mentioned back earlier in the thread that Melcher was a sort of unofficial producer or co-producer on that track, and that Levine himself had mentioned Melcher's input on the recording, specifically mentioning cajoling Brian into doing the falsetto part.

I'd be curious to know how much Melcher was present during the recording of that album. I know they did a bunch of sessions in the UK in 1984, and then also some sessions back in LA. Fair to assume they probably did the "Getcha Back" sessions Melcher was present at during the LA sessions? I had forgotten Melcher was also credited with keyboards on "Getcha Back", which appears to be the only song he's on.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on August 01, 2019, 08:50:53 AM
I saw someone on here saying he produced Getcha Back...but i thought he just co-wrote it and Levine produced the whole album? Did he actually produce it or did someone just mis-speak on here? Wikipedia says Levine produced the song...could be wrong tho

I think they were arguing that he co-produced the song because of the way he helped with the vocals and getting the falsetto part out of Brian, etc.

That was me, and I guess it was my mistake… I for some reason I had thought that Terry produced that song in addition to cowriting it, but it appears I was wrong. But as you mentioned, it's possible there was some contribution by Terry during the recording of it from a production standpoint. At least that would be my guess.

C-man mentioned back earlier in the thread that Melcher was a sort of unofficial producer or co-producer on that track, and that Levine himself had mentioned Melcher's input on the recording, specifically mentioning cajoling Brian into doing the falsetto part.

I'd be curious to know how much Melcher was present during the recording of that album. I know they did a bunch of sessions in the UK in 1984, and then also some sessions back in LA. Fair to assume they probably did the "Getcha Back" sessions Melcher was present at during the LA sessions? I had forgotten Melcher was also credited with keyboards on "Getcha Back", which appears to be the only song he's on.

Makes sense. It would seem hard for someone as with as much production experience as Terry to not have any involvement in producing, even if it's someone else's official production.

I'd be curious to know how Terry's production Rock and Roll to the Rescue came about. That was always envisioned as a standalone single, right? And it was intentionally written/produced from the start with the intent of being a "Made in the USA" bonus track to get people to purchase that oldies comp?

Side question: were the BB85 tracks and the Holland tracks the only new studio album songs that the band ever recorded outside the US? Plus maybe I'm remembering, but I also seem to recall someone (maybe Mike's) vocal parts on Don't Fight the Sea being recorded in an overseas hotel room and then flown into a ProTools session in the US.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on August 01, 2019, 09:43:42 AM
I saw someone on here saying he produced Getcha Back...but i thought he just co-wrote it and Levine produced the whole album? Did he actually produce it or did someone just mis-speak on here? Wikipedia says Levine produced the song...could be wrong tho

I think they were arguing that he co-produced the song because of the way he helped with the vocals and getting the falsetto part out of Brian, etc.

That was me, and I guess it was my mistake… I for some reason I had thought that Terry produced that song in addition to cowriting it, but it appears I was wrong. But as you mentioned, it's possible there was some contribution by Terry during the recording of it from a production standpoint. At least that would be my guess.

C-man mentioned back earlier in the thread that Melcher was a sort of unofficial producer or co-producer on that track, and that Levine himself had mentioned Melcher's input on the recording, specifically mentioning cajoling Brian into doing the falsetto part.

I'd be curious to know how much Melcher was present during the recording of that album. I know they did a bunch of sessions in the UK in 1984, and then also some sessions back in LA. Fair to assume they probably did the "Getcha Back" sessions Melcher was present at during the LA sessions? I had forgotten Melcher was also credited with keyboards on "Getcha Back", which appears to be the only song he's on.

Makes sense. It would seem hard for someone as with as much production experience as Terry to not have any involvement in producing, even if it's someone else's official production.

I'd be curious to know how Terry's production Rock and Roll to the Rescue came about. That was always envisioned as a standalone single, right? And it was intentionally written/produced from the start with the intent of being a "Made in the USA" bonus track to get people to purchase that oldies comp?

Side question: were the BB85 tracks and the Holland tracks the only new studio album songs that the band ever recorded outside the US? Plus maybe I'm remembering, but I also seem to recall someone (maybe Mike's) vocal parts on Don't Fight the Sea being recorded in an overseas hotel room and then flown into a ProTools session in the US.

I have a vague recollection that some of the overdubs for the single version of "Isn't It Time" were recorded after the BBs got to Europe on the C50 tour. But I'm not sure.

As for "Rock and Roll the Rescue", I have a vague recollection of some mention that Brian produced the sessions initially, and then Terry Melcher came in.

I can't recall if the track or its sessions are mentioned in the Brian/Gary Usher book covering that 1986 time frame. As I've often mentioned, Usher did mention that he seemed to feel both he and Melcher in 1986 were vying to produce the "next Beach Boys album" that ultimately never happened.

The scant info I can find suggests R&R to the Rescue was recorded in March 1986 (while the Usher sessions with Brian started in June 1986). They shot the music video for the song at the end of May, and the single was released June 9th, with the "Made in USA" album coming a month later on July 7th.

I'd say by the time they were recoding R&R to the Rescue, it was probably pegged for the "Made in USA" album (and also as a single).

It was later in the year that they also pulled "California Dreamin'" from the "Made in USA" album as another single.

I'm not sure when the '86 overdub sessions for "California Dreamin'" took place; perhaps around the same time as the R&R to the Rescue sessions?


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Fall Breaks on August 01, 2019, 01:18:50 PM
IIRC, Al's new vocal for Isn't It Time (single version) was recorded in his hotel room in Norway, but I may be wrong.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on August 01, 2019, 02:21:33 PM
IIRC, Al's new vocal for Isn't It Time (single version) was recorded in his hotel room in Norway, but I may be wrong.

As of now, might that be the last Beach Boys studio recording session for a new song?
For it to be in Norway of all places, odd...

And while this is sort of a different category, didn't Mike have someone do some post-2012 overdub for the otherwise vintage "Going To The Beach"'s "debut" on MIC?


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on August 01, 2019, 02:34:14 PM
IIRC, Al's new vocal for Isn't It Time (single version) was recorded in his hotel room in Norway, but I may be wrong.

As of now, might that be the last Beach Boys studio recording session for a new song?
For it to be in Norway of all places, odd...

And while this is sort of a different category, didn't Mike have someone do some post-2012 overdub for the otherwise vintage "Going To The Beach"'s "debut" on MIC?

Yes, Scott Totten did a guitar overdub on "Goin' to the Beach", for what reason I can't fathom, as the backing track seemed complete enough. I think that took place post-C50, in 2013 probably?

As for "Isn't It Time", it must have been a very late decision to do an alternate single version of the song, and they were already touring Europe by that time.

I think they must have devised the new version/arrangement while on tour in the US, as I believe it was on some mid-US tour dates that they first started doing the alternate version? I'm trying to recall.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: CenturyDeprived on August 01, 2019, 04:10:10 PM
IIRC, Al's new vocal for Isn't It Time (single version) was recorded in his hotel room in Norway, but I may be wrong.

As of now, might that be the last Beach Boys studio recording session for a new song?
For it to be in Norway of all places, odd...

And while this is sort of a different category, didn't Mike have someone do some post-2012 overdub for the otherwise vintage "Going To The Beach"'s "debut" on MIC?

Yes, Scott Totten did a guitar overdub on "Goin' to the Beach", for what reason I can't fathom, as the backing track seemed complete enough. I think that took place post-C50, in 2013 probably?

As for "Isn't It Time", it must have been a very late decision to do an alternate single version of the song, and they were already touring Europe by that time.

I think they must have devised the new version/arrangement while on tour in the US, as I believe it was on some mid-US tour dates that they first started doing the alternate version? I'm trying to recall.

It's also weird to think of the timeline of when Mike was already planning/booking M&B shows... was Al aware of the fact that C50 was dead tour walking and the reunion was basically doomed when he sang those lines in a Norwegian hotel room? It feels like a scene from an eventual scripted C50-themed movie.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Juice Brohnston on August 02, 2019, 07:51:14 AM
IIRC, Al's new vocal for Isn't It Time (single version) was recorded in his hotel room in Norway, but I may be wrong.

As of now, might that be the last Beach Boys studio recording session for a new song?
For it to be in Norway of all places, odd...

And while this is sort of a different category, didn't Mike have someone do some post-2012 overdub for the otherwise vintage "Going To The Beach"'s "debut" on MIC?

Yes, Scott Totten did a guitar overdub on "Goin' to the Beach", for what reason I can't fathom, as the backing track seemed complete enough. I think that took place post-C50, in 2013 probably?

As for "Isn't It Time", it must have been a very late decision to do an alternate single version of the song, and they were already touring Europe by that time.

I think they must have devised the new version/arrangement while on tour in the US, as I believe it was on some mid-US tour dates that they first started doing the alternate version? I'm trying to recall.

It's also weird to think of the timeline of when Mike was already planning/booking M&B shows... was Al aware of the fact that C50 was dead tour walking and the reunion was basically doomed when he sang those lines in a Norwegian hotel room? It feels like a scene from an eventual scripted C50-themed movie.

Also, I think Mary-Ann sent an email just after saying 'No MORE LINES FOR MR. JARDINE!!!'  ;D


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on August 02, 2019, 08:29:56 AM
I saw someone on here saying he produced Getcha Back...but i thought he just co-wrote it and Levine produced the whole album? Did he actually produce it or did someone just mis-speak on here? Wikipedia says Levine produced the song...could be wrong tho

I think they were arguing that he co-produced the song because of the way he helped with the vocals and getting the falsetto part out of Brian, etc.

That was me, and I guess it was my mistake… I for some reason I had thought that Terry produced that song in addition to cowriting it, but it appears I was wrong. But as you mentioned, it's possible there was some contribution by Terry during the recording of it from a production standpoint. At least that would be my guess.

As I mentioned upthread, Steve Levine said Terry was a virtual co-producer on "Getcha Back" by virture of getting that amazing falsetto performance out of Brian, who was initially very reluctant to do it.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on August 02, 2019, 08:31:50 AM
I saw someone on here saying he produced Getcha Back...but i thought he just co-wrote it and Levine produced the whole album? Did he actually produce it or did someone just mis-speak on here? Wikipedia says Levine produced the song...could be wrong tho

I think they were arguing that he co-produced the song because of the way he helped with the vocals and getting the falsetto part out of Brian, etc.

That was me, and I guess it was my mistake… I for some reason I had thought that Terry produced that song in addition to cowriting it, but it appears I was wrong. But as you mentioned, it's possible there was some contribution by Terry during the recording of it from a production standpoint. At least that would be my guess.

C-man mentioned back earlier in the thread that Melcher was a sort of unofficial producer or co-producer on that track, and that Levine himself had mentioned Melcher's input on the recording, specifically mentioning cajoling Brian into doing the falsetto part.

I'd be curious to know how much Melcher was present during the recording of that album. I know they did a bunch of sessions in the UK in 1984, and then also some sessions back in LA. Fair to assume they probably did the "Getcha Back" sessions Melcher was present at during the LA sessions? I had forgotten Melcher was also credited with keyboards on "Getcha Back", which appears to be the only song he's on.

Yes, "Getcha Back" was cut in L.A., as were "She Believes In Love Again" and "I Do Love You". Melcher was only involved with "Getcha Back".


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on August 02, 2019, 08:44:08 AM
Answers to other questions above:

Brian and Terry co-produced the early sessions for "RR to the R", but Terry got pissed when Landy pulled Brian out and sent him to Hawaii for a "stress test". That's why he doesn't have a co-production credit. Session documentation spans a date range of mid-March to early-April of '86.

Mike's vocals on "DFTS" were recorded in a hotel room in Toronto, Canada.

New parts were added to the single mix of "IIT" in hotel conference rooms in a few different cities along the C50 tour, the last of which was abroad - Oslo, Norway. Mike, Bruce, Al, Brian, and Jeff all sang at the Oslo session.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on August 02, 2019, 09:08:35 AM
Getting a bit off-topic here, but there's one more non-U.S. session that comes to mind, although it's for a BW solo album:

Eric Clapton's guitar on "City Blues" was tracked at London's Olympic Studios. Reportedly, Eric was so excited about the session that he personally greeted Brian upon his arrival, opening the door for him. I know some find the guitar on that song to be overbearing or ill-fitting, but I think it fits well, even if it is "non BB-like": I think that's the whole point, and to me, that track is one of the highlights of that much-maligned album. And even though the composition is officially credited to just BW, back in late '81, Brian stated that he wrote the song with Dennis. Knowing that, I can't help but think that Dennis would be proud to know that a musician of Clapton's caliber was utilized on the recording!


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on August 02, 2019, 09:37:03 AM
Getting a bit off-topic here, but there's one more non-U.S. session that comes to mind, although it's for a BW solo album:

Eric Clapton's guitar on "City Blues" was tracked at London's Olympic Studios. Reportedly, Eric was so excited about the session that he personally greeted Brian upon his arrival, opening the door for him. I know some find the guitar on that song to be overbearing or ill-fitting, but I think it fits well, even if it is "non BB-like": I think that's the whole point, and to me, that track is one of the highlights of that much-maligned album. And even though the composition is officially credited to just BW, back in late '81, Brian stated that he wrote the song with Dennis. Knowing that, I can't help but think that Dennis would be proud to know that a musician of Clapton's caliber was utilized on the recording!

I’ve probably said this before, but back when the “Cocaine/Hamburger Tape” started making the rounds however many years ago, I singled out “City Blues” as a good candidate for Brian to revisit. I was pretty surprised he did so however many years later.

My idea was that Brian should hook back up with Jeff Lynne to coproduce. That obviously didn’t happen, but he did get Clapton on it. I think Clapton’s guitar is fine. I don’t think it’s so much overbearing as not terribly interesting.

“City Blues” ended up indeed being of the standouts on the GIOMH album, but the main issue with “City Blues” was the production/mix. WAAAAY too wet and cavernous, like trying to mix a sort of “power pop” harder edged pop song with a sort of horn-fueled R&B thing and then mixed with a vintage “Wall of Sound” sort of production. Most of the songs on that album *sound* not so great in terms of mix and production and arrangement, though mainly in the mix. Almost everything is way too wet, and thus everything kind of sounds indistinct and murky a bit.

I think a dry Jeff Lynne sound on the track would have worked much better. 


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on August 02, 2019, 09:44:09 AM
Answers to other questions above:

Brian and Terry co-produced the early sessions for "RR to the R", but Terry got pissed when Landy pulled Brian out and sent him to Hawaii for a "stress test". That's why he doesn't have a co-production credit. Session documentation spans a date range of mid-March to early-April of '86.

Mike's vocals on "DFTS" were recorded in a hotel room in Toronto, Canada.

New parts were added to the single mix of "IIT" in hotel conference rooms in a few different cities along the C50 tour, the last of which was abroad - Oslo, Norway. Mike, Bruce, Al, Brian, and Jeff all sang at the Oslo session.


Yeah, that jogs my memory on the R&R to the Rescue session. Interesting that Landy didn’t try to beef it and demand a co-producer credit for Brian if Brian did indeed co-produce some of the sessions. 

I can’t recall the exact chronology of when Landy started trying to broker something to have Brian start working with Gary Usher, but considering that the Usher sessions took place a few months after this, I wonder if the R&R to the Rescue session was one of the things that led Landy to try to get Brian’s “solo” career going more actively and not have to deal with having to run stuff through the BB organization and its associates.

Then again, Gary Usher remained under the impression that he had a chance to finagle not only doing work with Brian, but also possibly producing the “next” Beach Boys album.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on August 02, 2019, 09:50:52 AM
IIRC, Al's new vocal for Isn't It Time (single version) was recorded in his hotel room in Norway, but I may be wrong.

As of now, might that be the last Beach Boys studio recording session for a new song?
For it to be in Norway of all places, odd...

And while this is sort of a different category, didn't Mike have someone do some post-2012 overdub for the otherwise vintage "Going To The Beach"'s "debut" on MIC?

Yes, Scott Totten did a guitar overdub on "Goin' to the Beach", for what reason I can't fathom, as the backing track seemed complete enough. I think that took place post-C50, in 2013 probably?

As for "Isn't It Time", it must have been a very late decision to do an alternate single version of the song, and they were already touring Europe by that time.

I think they must have devised the new version/arrangement while on tour in the US, as I believe it was on some mid-US tour dates that they first started doing the alternate version? I'm trying to recall.

It's also weird to think of the timeline of when Mike was already planning/booking M&B shows... was Al aware of the fact that C50 was dead tour walking and the reunion was basically doomed when he sang those lines in a Norwegian hotel room? It feels like a scene from an eventual scripted C50-themed movie.

I don’t think there’s any definitive answer as to what all the guys *thought* as the C50 tour entered its final weeks and months.

I have to imagine that Al had to know that the thing ending in September for good was a strong possibility, and I’d certainly hope that if *fans* were hearing by June (only 1-2 months into the tour) that Mike had supposedly started booking his own shows for after C50, then Al had to have heard that as well.

I think Al probably remained perhaps comically unrealistically hopeful about all the members coming to their senses and continuing on. I think Al also usually pitches various ideas for these types of projects (e.g. on the PBS interview during C50 suggesting they should reconvene *every other year*, which is an idea I don’t think *anybody else* was considering). There’s that interview with Al around the time of the Grammy Museum thing near the end of the tour, where he talks about Mike going back to his own tour, and how he (Al) was trying hard to talk Mike into reconsidering.

So I think Al was perhaps overly hopeful and perhaps a bit naïve to the cynicism that would permeate aspects of the reunion even when it was going so stunningly well critically and commercially.

Did some or all of the members know that trying to launch an eleventh hour “Isn’t It Time” single late in the tour was sort of a lame duck situation in all likelihood? I’d say probably?


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: southbay on August 02, 2019, 10:57:14 AM
I saw someone on here saying he produced Getcha Back...but i thought he just co-wrote it and Levine produced the whole album? Did he actually produce it or did someone just mis-speak on here? Wikipedia says Levine produced the song...could be wrong tho

I think they were arguing that he co-produced the song because of the way he helped with the vocals and getting the falsetto part out of Brian, etc.

That was me, and I guess it was my mistake… I for some reason I had thought that Terry produced that song in addition to cowriting it, but it appears I was wrong. But as you mentioned, it's possible there was some contribution by Terry during the recording of it from a production standpoint. At least that would be my guess.

I read an interview with Mike about 10 years ago.  He was asked to name a song that wasn't a hit that he thought should have been.  He named "Getcha Back". He went to complain about Steve Levine's production of the song, how Mike had wanted a "ballsy" sax on the song to make it sound like Hungry Heart, but that Levine "just didn't get it."


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: guitarfool2002 on August 02, 2019, 09:56:53 PM
FYI - Two vintage hit singles produced by Terry Melcher, "Good Thing" and "Hungry" by Paul Revere & The Raiders are on the "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" soundtrack, with "Good Thing" also being co-written by Terry. Both went top-10 back in '66. So a new and younger audience will perhaps get a chance to hear and appreciate them.

Just tying that in to, like, three other current discussions.  :)


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Custom Machine on August 02, 2019, 11:19:12 PM

FYI - Two vintage hit singles produced by Terry Melcher, "Good Thing" and "Hungry" by Paul Revere & The Raiders are on the "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" soundtrack, with "Good Thing" also being co-written by Terry. Both went top-10 back in '66. So a new and younger audience will perhaps get a chance to hear and appreciate them.

Just tying that in to, like, three other current discussions.  :)


In addition to producing Hungry and Good Thing and co-writing Good Thing, while Mark Lindsay sings lead, Terry Melcher sings all the other vocals on both tracks.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Lonely Summer on August 03, 2019, 09:26:27 PM

FYI - Two vintage hit singles produced by Terry Melcher, "Good Thing" and "Hungry" by Paul Revere & The Raiders are on the "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" soundtrack, with "Good Thing" also being co-written by Terry. Both went top-10 back in '66. So a new and younger audience will perhaps get a chance to hear and appreciate them.

Just tying that in to, like, three other current discussions.  :)


In addition to producing Hungry and Good Thing and co-writing Good Thing, while Mark Lindsay sings lead, Terry Melcher sings all the other vocals on both tracks.
I wouldn't be so sure about that. Phil Volk, for one, would beg to disagree with you. Phil says he helped write Good Thing, and has previously spoken against the accepted line that the Raiders was just Mark and Terry with a bunch of session men.
Mark, on the other hand, would probably back up your statement - he never gives credit to his bandmates for anything.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: OGoldin on August 03, 2019, 10:17:34 PM





As for "Isn't It Time", it must have been a very late decision to do an alternate single version of the song, and they were already touring Europe by that time.

I think they must have devised the new version/arrangement while on tour in the US, as I believe it was on some mid-US tour dates that they first started doing the alternate version? I'm trying to recall.

It's also weird to think of the timeline of when Mike was already planning/booking M&B shows... was Al aware of the fact that C50 was dead tour walking and the reunion was basically doomed when he sang those lines in a Norwegian hotel room? It feels like a scene from an eventual scripted C50-themed movie.

I don’t think there’s any definitive answer as to what all the guys *thought* as the C50 tour entered its final weeks and months.

I have to imagine that Al had to know that the thing ending in September for good was a strong possibility, and I’d certainly hope that if *fans* were hearing by June (only 1-2 months into the tour) that Mike had supposedly started booking his own shows for after C50, then Al had to have heard that as well.

I think Al probably remained perhaps comically unrealistically hopeful about all the members coming to their senses and continuing on. I think Al also usually pitches various ideas for these types of projects (e.g. on the PBS interview during C50 suggesting they should reconvene *every other year*, which is an idea I don’t think *anybody else* was considering). There’s that interview with Al around the time of the Grammy Museum thing near the end of the tour, where he talks about Mike going back to his own tour, and how he (Al) was trying hard to talk Mike into reconsidering.

So I think Al was perhaps overly hopeful and perhaps a bit naïve to the cynicism that would permeate aspects of the reunion even when it was going so stunningly well critically and commercially.



I think that Al knows Mike enough that at some point he realized that the only way of keeping the band together is for Mike to make more money if it is together.  The only way that would work is if the reunion band had a big hit.  My guess is that the remake of "Isn't It Time" was understood as a last chance to have a big hit.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Pacific Ocean Blue on August 05, 2019, 04:19:32 AM
Were Dennis and Terry still friends after the Manson episode?


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on August 05, 2019, 06:46:47 AM
I think that Al knows Mike enough that at some point he realized that the only way of keeping the band together is for Mike to make more money if it is together.  The only way that would work is if the reunion band had a big hit.  My guess is that the remake of "Isn't It Time" was understood as a last chance to have a big hit.

I wouldn't tend to agree that anybody in the camp did (or should have) believed they could get a "hit", as in a "hit single." "Kokomo" was a fluke, and the market and the way the charts are set up (and were set up in 2012) would have made it exponentially harder to get a hit single in 2012 than in 1988.

Based on industry trends, chart tabulation methods, past recent track records, and their own sense of what a good or great song is, I don't think anybody thought "Isn't It Time" was going to be a huge hit. The title track was the best shot at *ANY* singles chart action.

As with most artists of their age and stature, it would be the *albums charts* where they'd see success, and indeed they scored their highest charting album in eons with TWGMTR. That anybody complained that the album dropped quickly off the charts just proved how uninformed they were about how sales and charts work. Most projects are front-loaded like that.

Further, even a #3 album probably didn't net them a ton of money. It's *extremely* hard to get like uber-rich off of releasing music at this stage. The tour would have been a hundred times more lucrative than even a #1 album staying on the charts for multiple weeks.

I think they did "Isn't It Time" simply because that's the tour/album/single cycle they were used to and went ahead and followed.

Now, I'm not saying they had no chance at any additional non-touring success. Somebody should have been pushing multiple TWGMTR cuts to films and film trailers. "Spring Vacation" and "Isn't It Time" should have been in some movie and/or trailer. They could have gotten more mileage and synergy out if it.

"Isn't It Time" was never going to be a hit single, but it could have ended up a bit less inert if the whole project wasn't a lame duck situation by that point.

Frankly, we're lucky that by that point it's likely that contracts had already been signed to do a live C50 album and live Blu-ray. Otherwise we may not have even gotten those.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Lonely Summer on August 05, 2019, 11:43:03 PM
I think that Al knows Mike enough that at some point he realized that the only way of keeping the band together is for Mike to make more money if it is together.  The only way that would work is if the reunion band had a big hit.  My guess is that the remake of "Isn't It Time" was understood as a last chance to have a big hit.

I wouldn't tend to agree that anybody in the camp did (or should have) believed they could get a "hit", as in a "hit single." "Kokomo" was a fluke, and the market and the way the charts are set up (and were set up in 2012) would have made it exponentially harder to get a hit single in 2012 than in 1988.

Based on industry trends, chart tabulation methods, past recent track records, and their own sense of what a good or great song is, I don't think anybody thought "Isn't It Time" was going to be a huge hit. The title track was the best shot at *ANY* singles chart action.

As with most artists of their age and stature, it would be the *albums charts* where they'd see success, and indeed they scored their highest charting album in eons with TWGMTR. That anybody complained that the album dropped quickly off the charts just proved how uninformed they were about how sales and charts work. Most projects are front-loaded like that.

 
Yeah, I know it sounds impressive to say they had a #3 album, but if the charts had been set up that way back in the 80's, with everything being about pre-release sales, I think Still Cruisin' or the 1985 album could have had a high debut like that, too. I seriously doubt TWGMTR outsold either of those albums. And those albums both had something TWGMTR lacked - a hit single. We tend to put down Getcha Back as a minor success, but if the 2012 reunion had produced a top 40 single, we'd all be screaming glory hallelujah!


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on August 06, 2019, 06:52:01 AM
I think that Al knows Mike enough that at some point he realized that the only way of keeping the band together is for Mike to make more money if it is together.  The only way that would work is if the reunion band had a big hit.  My guess is that the remake of "Isn't It Time" was understood as a last chance to have a big hit.

I wouldn't tend to agree that anybody in the camp did (or should have) believed they could get a "hit", as in a "hit single." "Kokomo" was a fluke, and the market and the way the charts are set up (and were set up in 2012) would have made it exponentially harder to get a hit single in 2012 than in 1988.

Based on industry trends, chart tabulation methods, past recent track records, and their own sense of what a good or great song is, I don't think anybody thought "Isn't It Time" was going to be a huge hit. The title track was the best shot at *ANY* singles chart action.

As with most artists of their age and stature, it would be the *albums charts* where they'd see success, and indeed they scored their highest charting album in eons with TWGMTR. That anybody complained that the album dropped quickly off the charts just proved how uninformed they were about how sales and charts work. Most projects are front-loaded like that.

 
Yeah, I know it sounds impressive to say they had a #3 album, but if the charts had been set up that way back in the 80's, with everything being about pre-release sales, I think Still Cruisin' or the 1985 album could have had a high debut like that, too. I seriously doubt TWGMTR outsold either of those albums. And those albums both had something TWGMTR lacked - a hit single. We tend to put down Getcha Back as a minor success, but if the 2012 reunion had produced a top 40 single, we'd all be screaming glory hallelujah!

It's hard to say; if I wanted to make money in 2012, I'd rather have a #3 album than a Top 40 single.

I suppose it's debatable whether Getcha Back's #26 chart placement constituted a hit, but I don't think "Still Cruisin" spawned any hit singles. It included a then-year-old #1 single in "Kokomo", but anything actually pulled from the album as a single tanked. "Still Cruisin" as a single barely hit the Top 100, and "Somewhere Near Japan" didn't even chart.

While a #3 album in 2012 didn't and doesn't mean what it would have back in the 60s or 70s, it was still a surprisingly strong chart showing all things considered, namely: The band had been dormant for 20 years as far as new studio releases, Mike had overextended and diluted the name brand with excessive touring, the TWGMTR album was getting generally solid but not rave reviews, and they released it not prior to, but rather over a month *into* the C50 tour. While the PR on the entire reunion project and tour were great, as good as can be expected, I'm not sure how much marketing muscle Capitol put behind the album. This was pre-UMe of course.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: c-man on August 06, 2019, 07:49:49 AM
The Still Cruisin' album did go Gold, and eventually Platinum, though - presumably due to the inclusions of "Kokomo" and "Wipeout" (the latter of which, we must remember, was a No. 12 single in the States...and, shockingly, a No. 2 single in the U.K.).


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on August 06, 2019, 09:14:27 AM
The Still Cruisin' album did go Gold, and eventually Platinum, though - presumably due to the inclusions of "Kokomo" and "Wipeout" (the latter of which, we must remember, was a No. 12 single in the States...and, shockingly, a No. 2 single in the U.K.).

I'm sure it was mainly "Kokomo" that got it gold status (let's remember it was the first actual Beach Boys-only release that had the track; it hadn't made it onto any hits comps yet; previously it was only available as a single with a non-BB b-side and the actual "Cocktail" soundtrack).

I have to imagine Capitol may have sensed the album only did as well as it did due to "Kokomo" (which, I believe, they had to license back from Elektra and/or Disney or whomever owned the song, in order to put on the album), because no second album or contract extension happened as a result.

Indeed, for a gold album with "Kokomo" on it, it's a bit bizarre the album has now been out of print for so long. I suppose it's possible there are rights hangups with it, but I'd tend to doubt that ("Kokomo" is onl a gazillion BB comps all the time).


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Matt H on August 06, 2019, 09:30:43 AM
The Still Cruisin' album did go Gold, and eventually Platinum, though - presumably due to the inclusions of "Kokomo" and "Wipeout" (the latter of which, we must remember, was a No. 12 single in the States...and, shockingly, a No. 2 single in the U.K.).

I'm sure it was mainly "Kokomo" that got it gold status (let's remember it was the first actual Beach Boys-only release that had the track; it hadn't made it onto any hits comps yet; previously it was only available as a single with a non-BB b-side and the actual "Cocktail" soundtrack).

I have to imagine Capitol may have sensed the album only did as well as it did due to "Kokomo" (which, I believe, they had to license back from Elektra and/or Disney or whomever owned the song, in order to put on the album), because no second album or contract extension happened as a result.

Indeed, for a gold album with "Kokomo" on it, it's a bit bizarre the album has now been out of print for so long. I suppose it's possible there are rights hangups with it, but I'd tend to doubt that ("Kokomo" is onl a gazillion BB comps all the time).

The last time I checked the songs are on iTunes.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on August 06, 2019, 09:57:29 AM
The Still Cruisin' album did go Gold, and eventually Platinum, though - presumably due to the inclusions of "Kokomo" and "Wipeout" (the latter of which, we must remember, was a No. 12 single in the States...and, shockingly, a No. 2 single in the U.K.).

I'm sure it was mainly "Kokomo" that got it gold status (let's remember it was the first actual Beach Boys-only release that had the track; it hadn't made it onto any hits comps yet; previously it was only available as a single with a non-BB b-side and the actual "Cocktail" soundtrack).

I have to imagine Capitol may have sensed the album only did as well as it did due to "Kokomo" (which, I believe, they had to license back from Elektra and/or Disney or whomever owned the song, in order to put on the album), because no second album or contract extension happened as a result.

Indeed, for a gold album with "Kokomo" on it, it's a bit bizarre the album has now been out of print for so long. I suppose it's possible there are rights hangups with it, but I'd tend to doubt that ("Kokomo" is onl a gazillion BB comps all the time).

The last time I checked the songs are on iTunes.

It was up on iTunes in the US well past when it went out of print on CD. But I recall a thread from several years back where it was determined it was not available for digital purchase anymore. It doesn’t appear to be on Amazon. I can only partially check iTunes via the web, but I don’t see it there.

It may be up on streaming services.

But in any event, it has had sporadic and sometimes no distribution in more recent years, and has been out of print on CD for many years now. I think the inclusion of “Kokomo” drove sales of the album for several years, but by 1995 the song was on another single-disc set in the form of “Greatest Hits Vol. 1”, and thus could be obtained as easily there.

Meanwhile, I don't think there has been much lasting strong desire from the masses to get their version of "Wipe Out" (maybe a bit more in the UK where it was nearly a #1 hit?), thus is has languished in relative obscurity.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Lonely Summer on August 07, 2019, 11:19:10 PM
I think that Al knows Mike enough that at some point he realized that the only way of keeping the band together is for Mike to make more money if it is together.  The only way that would work is if the reunion band had a big hit.  My guess is that the remake of "Isn't It Time" was understood as a last chance to have a big hit.

I wouldn't tend to agree that anybody in the camp did (or should have) believed they could get a "hit", as in a "hit single." "Kokomo" was a fluke, and the market and the way the charts are set up (and were set up in 2012) would have made it exponentially harder to get a hit single in 2012 than in 1988.

Based on industry trends, chart tabulation methods, past recent track records, and their own sense of what a good or great song is, I don't think anybody thought "Isn't It Time" was going to be a huge hit. The title track was the best shot at *ANY* singles chart action.

As with most artists of their age and stature, it would be the *albums charts* where they'd see success, and indeed they scored their highest charting album in eons with TWGMTR. That anybody complained that the album dropped quickly off the charts just proved how uninformed they were about how sales and charts work. Most projects are front-loaded like that.

 
Yeah, I know it sounds impressive to say they had a #3 album, but if the charts had been set up that way back in the 80's, with everything being about pre-release sales, I think Still Cruisin' or the 1985 album could have had a high debut like that, too. I seriously doubt TWGMTR outsold either of those albums. And those albums both had something TWGMTR lacked - a hit single. We tend to put down Getcha Back as a minor success, but if the 2012 reunion had produced a top 40 single, we'd all be screaming glory hallelujah!

It's hard to say; if I wanted to make money in 2012, I'd rather have a #3 album than a Top 40 single.

I suppose it's debatable whether Getcha Back's #26 chart placement constituted a hit, but I don't think "Still Cruisin" spawned any hit singles. It included a then-year-old #1 single in "Kokomo", but anything actually pulled from the album as a single tanked. "Still Cruisin" as a single barely hit the Top 100, and "Somewhere Near Japan" didn't even chart.

While a #3 album in 2012 didn't and doesn't mean what it would have back in the 60s or 70s, it was still a surprisingly strong chart showing all things considered, namely: The band had been dormant for 20 years as far as new studio releases, Mike had overextended and diluted the name brand with excessive touring, the TWGMTR album was getting generally solid but not rave reviews, and they released it not prior to, but rather over a month *into* the C50 tour. While the PR on the entire reunion project and tour were great, as good as can be expected, I'm not sure how much marketing muscle Capitol put behind the album. This was pre-UMe of course.
"Getcha Back" was also a top 5 hit on Billboard's AC chart. I don't think it quite made it to #1 - my memory fails me, but I remember being really surprised when I saw how high it charted there. Might have gone to #2. "Still Cruisin" was also a top 10 hit on that chart, as was "California Dreamin". So that was really their base in the 80's.
When did Mike and Bruce, or Brian and Al last perform any songs from TWGMTR? You will still hear them occasionally do Getcha Back, California Dreamin', or Still Cruisin'. It might have helped if the band had done better performances of their new songs in 2012. The tv performances all seemed rather tentative, like they hadn't had enough time to properly rehearse them. By the time Isn't it Time came out as a single, the reunion was all but over.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Matt H on August 08, 2019, 02:21:21 AM
I think that Al knows Mike enough that at some point he realized that the only way of keeping the band together is for Mike to make more money if it is together.  The only way that would work is if the reunion band had a big hit.  My guess is that the remake of "Isn't It Time" was understood as a last chance to have a big hit.

I wouldn't tend to agree that anybody in the camp did (or should have) believed they could get a "hit", as in a "hit single." "Kokomo" was a fluke, and the market and the way the charts are set up (and were set up in 2012) would have made it exponentially harder to get a hit single in 2012 than in 1988.

Based on industry trends, chart tabulation methods, past recent track records, and their own sense of what a good or great song is, I don't think anybody thought "Isn't It Time" was going to be a huge hit. The title track was the best shot at *ANY* singles chart action.

As with most artists of their age and stature, it would be the *albums charts* where they'd see success, and indeed they scored their highest charting album in eons with TWGMTR. That anybody complained that the album dropped quickly off the charts just proved how uninformed they were about how sales and charts work. Most projects are front-loaded like that.

 
Yeah, I know it sounds impressive to say they had a #3 album, but if the charts had been set up that way back in the 80's, with everything being about pre-release sales, I think Still Cruisin' or the 1985 album could have had a high debut like that, too. I seriously doubt TWGMTR outsold either of those albums. And those albums both had something TWGMTR lacked - a hit single. We tend to put down Getcha Back as a minor success, but if the 2012 reunion had produced a top 40 single, we'd all be screaming glory hallelujah!

It's hard to say; if I wanted to make money in 2012, I'd rather have a #3 album than a Top 40 single.

I suppose it's debatable whether Getcha Back's #26 chart placement constituted a hit, but I don't think "Still Cruisin" spawned any hit singles. It included a then-year-old #1 single in "Kokomo", but anything actually pulled from the album as a single tanked. "Still Cruisin" as a single barely hit the Top 100, and "Somewhere Near Japan" didn't even chart.

While a #3 album in 2012 didn't and doesn't mean what it would have back in the 60s or 70s, it was still a surprisingly strong chart showing all things considered, namely: The band had been dormant for 20 years as far as new studio releases, Mike had overextended and diluted the name brand with excessive touring, the TWGMTR album was getting generally solid but not rave reviews, and they released it not prior to, but rather over a month *into* the C50 tour. While the PR on the entire reunion project and tour were great, as good as can be expected, I'm not sure how much marketing muscle Capitol put behind the album. This was pre-UMe of course.
"Getcha Back" was also a top 5 hit on Billboard's AC chart. I don't think it quite made it to #1 - my memory fails me, but I remember being really surprised when I saw how high it charted there. Might have gone to #2. "Still Cruisin" was also a top 10 hit on that chart, as was "California Dreamin". So that was really their base in the 80's.
When did Mike and Bruce, or Brian and Al last perform any songs from TWGMTR? You will still hear them occasionally do Getcha Back, California Dreamin', or Still Cruisin'. It might have helped if the band had done better performances of their new songs in 2012. The tv performances all seemed rather tentative, like they hadn't had enough time to properly rehearse them. By the time Isn't it Time came out as a single, the reunion was all but over.

Brian did some TWGMTR songs on the live with friends CD to promote NPP.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: HeyJude on August 08, 2019, 06:36:16 AM
I think that Al knows Mike enough that at some point he realized that the only way of keeping the band together is for Mike to make more money if it is together.  The only way that would work is if the reunion band had a big hit.  My guess is that the remake of "Isn't It Time" was understood as a last chance to have a big hit.

I wouldn't tend to agree that anybody in the camp did (or should have) believed they could get a "hit", as in a "hit single." "Kokomo" was a fluke, and the market and the way the charts are set up (and were set up in 2012) would have made it exponentially harder to get a hit single in 2012 than in 1988.

Based on industry trends, chart tabulation methods, past recent track records, and their own sense of what a good or great song is, I don't think anybody thought "Isn't It Time" was going to be a huge hit. The title track was the best shot at *ANY* singles chart action.

As with most artists of their age and stature, it would be the *albums charts* where they'd see success, and indeed they scored their highest charting album in eons with TWGMTR. That anybody complained that the album dropped quickly off the charts just proved how uninformed they were about how sales and charts work. Most projects are front-loaded like that.

 
Yeah, I know it sounds impressive to say they had a #3 album, but if the charts had been set up that way back in the 80's, with everything being about pre-release sales, I think Still Cruisin' or the 1985 album could have had a high debut like that, too. I seriously doubt TWGMTR outsold either of those albums. And those albums both had something TWGMTR lacked - a hit single. We tend to put down Getcha Back as a minor success, but if the 2012 reunion had produced a top 40 single, we'd all be screaming glory hallelujah!

It's hard to say; if I wanted to make money in 2012, I'd rather have a #3 album than a Top 40 single.

I suppose it's debatable whether Getcha Back's #26 chart placement constituted a hit, but I don't think "Still Cruisin" spawned any hit singles. It included a then-year-old #1 single in "Kokomo", but anything actually pulled from the album as a single tanked. "Still Cruisin" as a single barely hit the Top 100, and "Somewhere Near Japan" didn't even chart.

While a #3 album in 2012 didn't and doesn't mean what it would have back in the 60s or 70s, it was still a surprisingly strong chart showing all things considered, namely: The band had been dormant for 20 years as far as new studio releases, Mike had overextended and diluted the name brand with excessive touring, the TWGMTR album was getting generally solid but not rave reviews, and they released it not prior to, but rather over a month *into* the C50 tour. While the PR on the entire reunion project and tour were great, as good as can be expected, I'm not sure how much marketing muscle Capitol put behind the album. This was pre-UMe of course.
"Getcha Back" was also a top 5 hit on Billboard's AC chart. I don't think it quite made it to #1 - my memory fails me, but I remember being really surprised when I saw how high it charted there. Might have gone to #2. "Still Cruisin" was also a top 10 hit on that chart, as was "California Dreamin". So that was really their base in the 80's.
When did Mike and Bruce, or Brian and Al last perform any songs from TWGMTR? You will still hear them occasionally do Getcha Back, California Dreamin', or Still Cruisin'. It might have helped if the band had done better performances of their new songs in 2012. The tv performances all seemed rather tentative, like they hadn't had enough time to properly rehearse them. By the time Isn't it Time came out as a single, the reunion was all but over.

I'm sure if audiences in 2019 (or even 2012) were polled, there would be marginally more familiarity with a few of their mid-late 80s singles compared to tracks from TWGMTR. But that's setting the bar pretty low. I think the only reason the BB's association with "California Dreamin'" might still resonate with some fans is that the band, for whatever reason, incessantly kept it in the setlist starting in 1986 or 87, despite it only performing somewhere in between "Getcha Back" and "It's Gettin' Late." They kept "CD" in the setlist longer and more regularly than even "Getcha Back" (and certainly "Still Cruisin'"), so I think fans and the band would agree that those mid-late 80s singles didn't stick with anyone the way previous hits had.

Scoring moderate and occasionally high placement on the AC charts in the 80s and early 90s was certainly a case of "better than nothing", but again, in terms of mass appeal and recognition, I don't think the AC charts really are indicative of how much the band's overall fame and recognition in the industry was sagging by then, and how each new single/album cycle wasn't getting them much of anywhere with audiences. That they refused to push through and make their shows more progressive and less of a sideshow spectacle certainly didn't help foster an audience that would embrace not only deep cuts, but actually *celebrate* the band's recent tracks.

I mean, "Problem Child" hit #38 on the AC charts; "Hot Fun in the Summertime" hit #17 on the AC charts. Nobody remembers those songs or cares about them outside of hardcore fans (and even the hardcore fans tend not to like them).

And even if we're just talking contemporaneous with when those projects came out, I don't think even the band felt the cases of barely clinging to the Top 100 (or not at all) and squeaking into the Top 20 or 40 on the AC charts, was really indicative of huge interest from the public or a huge resurgence.

Mike doing "Getcha Back" in, say, 2013 or 2007 had more to do with simply his affinity for the song than it being a case of "let's pull this song out that people will recognize!" I also think all of the touring bands have a different setlist prompt/ethos in the last 10-15 years compared to the 80s and 90s Carl era. They were clearly more trigger shy about doing much beyond the "meat and potatoes" back then, whether we're talking old deep cuts, or latter-day stuff that was a moderate slight "hit."

The band tended to not weigh the AC charts heavily apparently back in the day. "Good Timin" hit #40 and #12 on the AC charts, yet it was scrubbed from the setlist when Carl left in early 1981, *briefly* returned to the setlist in 1982 when Carl returned, and was never heard from again for the rest of Carl's life. Why Carl never sang his last Top 40 lead vocal (outside of "Kokomo") for the last 16 years of his life, I have no idea. And with "Good Timin'", I'd argue it had a bit of a stronghold in some regions in terms of audience recognition; listen to the Philadelphia crowd actively *cheer* the song when it starts at their 1980 gig.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: Juice Brohnston on September 09, 2019, 11:10:57 AM
Reading Tom O'Neil's book Chaos, on Manson. Terry is certainly a key figure in the book.

O'Neil spent 20 years on this thing, and he is all over the map, connecting many dots, but not coming to any solid conclusions, other than the Bugliosi story doesn't add up.

It certainly does raise a lot of questions about Terry's involvement with Manson. O'Neil contends that Terry was still in contact with Charlie after the murders. That Terry was back living in the house on Cielo after the murders. There is a whole Bugiosi/Altobelli/Melcher triangle that was established to push the Helter Skelter angle.

One personal red flag for me, is that in his interview with O'Neil, and in a Rolling Stone article from the mid 70's Terry claims that he wouldn't be involved with the Manson girls because they were too ugly. He makes the point in both instances that he was with women like Candice Bergen and Michelle Phillips, so why would he need to be with Charlie's girls. That seems like a load of crap to me.

Terry was pretty insistent he hardly knew Manson, and had met him a couple of times. Altobelli claims Terry couldn't stop talking about Manson. Terry did give Dean Moorehouse (and Tex Watson) his Jag and credit card to use for a couple of weeks so Moorehouse could travel for a court date....that seems odd to me as well.

Anyhow, all pretty interesting stuff.


Title: Re: Terry Melcher
Post by: RangeRoverA1 on September 09, 2019, 03:18:18 PM
Terry Melcher is nice figure in BBs Planet. He respects BBs music, is big fan. But, listening to Bruce & Terry et al few yrs back, I didn't find anything special in his singing. Hate to say Bruce is better singer in their duet. It's pity that, going by Lauren Canyon film reviews, Terry didn't get many mentions in it. Re: helping mother Doris in reviving career is interesting tidbit. Thanks, guitarfool. I's sure till now that Terry's bio' father wasn't good guy, then Doris met Melcher & he'd been very good husband & stepfather to Terry, to the point he gave him his last name. But, it ain't the case. Bottom line? She shoulda stayed single. Nice to read that Terry helped her with career. Re: Manson link - well, it made history, like it or not. At this stage, hating the guy doesn't make sense. Manson is household name & murders got cult status. Terry's fright & cutting ties with Charlie is fair, he lived during that time. But, people now hating guy is just beyond my comprehension. Reeks of tribalism. Anyhoo, about Terry, in BBs docu interviews & the other interviews via youtube, he strikes as class act & likeable. Maybe little bit officious but still nice & friendly.