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Smiley Smile Stuff => Polls => Topic started by: mikeyj on August 30, 2008, 11:42:30 PM



Title: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: mikeyj on August 30, 2008, 11:42:30 PM
Let's just keep it to official releases meaning no Anne Wallace version etc..


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Magic Transistor Radio on August 31, 2008, 12:00:06 AM
It is argueable that the SU album version is one of the best tracks the BBs ever put down.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: lance on August 31, 2008, 01:08:18 AM
Definitely the SU version, though all of them are great. The Box Set Demo has a few small moments where I think Brian's a little off. The SU version is total brilliance all the way, especially the tag.

I give points to the whole middle section of BWPS and I like that version of Surf's Up too, but the crisper, smoother(vocal wise) 1971 version can't be beat.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: 8o8o on August 31, 2008, 03:09:33 AM
My vote went to the GV boxset demo.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Chris Brown on August 31, 2008, 12:30:09 PM
My vote went to the GV boxset demo.

Mine too, although it was a tough call between that and the Inside Pop performance.  Something about Brian's voice with just a piano makes it a surreal experience for me. 

I like the "Surf's Up" version, but I've always thought that Brian should be the one to sing that song, nobody else.  I love Carl's voice generally, but it just doesn't work for me on that one, although I do love the tag.

The BWPS version has its good and bad points, but I just can't get past Brian shouting the "glass was raised" section.  He actually sounds pretty good otherwise, but his singing there just ruins it for me. 

My ideal version would have Brian singing througout, the orchestration of the Surf's Up/BWPS versions (especially the strings during Part 2 on BWPS), the harmonies of the BWPS version during the verses and the tag of the Surf's Up version.  Don't know how easy that would be, but I'd kill to hear it.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: John Manning on August 31, 2008, 02:47:03 PM
It is argueable that the SU album version is one of the best tracks the BBs ever put down.

I wouldn't argue with that. It's simply the best piece of music I've come across by anyone.  I think the first time I ever heard it was when David "Kid" Jenson bowed out of his Radio 1 show many years ago. It was the last song he played, as a self-indulgence, and when I heard that track, by my favourite group, I knew that I was into something very, very special. I've heard two or three cover versions, and they don't come close to capturing the special atmosphere of that track.

Carl's voice was the finest instrument that Brian ever worked with; the tag is incredible (BWPS cannot recreate it no matter how be BW Band tries).  The moment the song goes into "Dove nested towers..." there's that sound behind "Dove.." that I call the breath... It's as special as that "Aaaah" moment in Good Vibes, only more so (I hope you know what I mean!).

I don't know where, but Surf's Up takes me there.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Wrightfan on August 31, 2008, 04:02:04 PM
The backing track...I really don't like Carl's vocal on that. Too bad Brian's voice was sh*t at the time.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Alex on August 31, 2008, 07:43:59 PM
Purple Chick's mix


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Chris Brown on August 31, 2008, 08:11:46 PM
The backing track...I really don't like Carl's vocal on that. Too bad Brian's voice was poopy at the time.

That and too bad the technology of the day couldn't synch the demo version with the backing track.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: gsmile on August 31, 2008, 08:29:37 PM
Carl's voice was the finest instrument that Brian ever worked with; the tag is incredible (BWPS cannot recreate it no matter how be BW Band tries).  The moment the song goes into "Dove nested towers..." there's that sound behind "Dove.." that I call the breath... It's as special as that "Aaaah" moment in Good Vibes, only more so (I hope you know what I mean!).

I LOVE that vocal.  Not many people mention that breathy section and I've always been fascinated by it, turning the volume way up just to hear more!  +1 for you Wee Helper!

Geoff


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Aegir on August 31, 2008, 09:09:27 PM
I just wish Carl was alive in 2004, so he could've sang on BWPS.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Wrightfan on August 31, 2008, 09:10:54 PM
Purple Chick's mix

The thread starter said it had to be an official release. No boots.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Micha on September 01, 2008, 03:27:25 AM
I don't like the 1971 version at all, except for the tag which is great. I don't like the added organ and car keys, Carl's voice with not enough grief in it, the too sparse 2nd movement compared to the 1st, the total absence of strings. The totally stripped 1966 demo (GV box set) has way more feeling than that, even if it's not a complete production. Of all the released versions I have a soft spot for the live tribute DVD version. The mixed vocals show some more of the song's potential, and the line "a children's song" there is my favorite SU moment ever.

My favorite unofficial version is a live BB performance with a string orchestra that alledgedly dates back in the 70s, with a lush string arrangement. Unfortunately, I only have a extremely bad quality mp3 of it.

Hey, this afternoon I'm going to pick up TLOS on vinyl, I saw it in a store on Saturday night...


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: shelter on September 01, 2008, 05:33:27 AM
I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version...


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: BiNNS on September 01, 2008, 06:55:45 AM
I'll always prefer the '71 version. Although I do like the first movement on BWPS, I just don't enjoy the strings on movement 2 or Brian's vocals. (I may be in the minority there, i know). 


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: John Manning on September 01, 2008, 07:27:17 AM
I just wish Carl was alive in 2004, so he could've sang on BWPS.

If Carl was alive in 2004 (and even now) I hope there'd have been more NEW material worked instead of rehashing old stuff. That, or have him as a guiding hand to assist Brian putting together a 66/67 SMiLE sessions box. Carl put great finishing touches to Brian's work that stands as fine work in its own right. Surf's Up being a case in point.

And wouldn't it have been great to have Carl and Brian working together, each working to their own strengths, away from the political, oppressive atmosphere that was the Beach Boys?

Ah we can wish!!!


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: John Manning on September 01, 2008, 07:35:44 AM
I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version...

Well said.

Those newbies among us should also bear in mind that, until the box set came out, unless you'd heard the documentary version in the mid 60s, the 1971 version was all the only one there was to listen to.  It hinted at the majesty that SMiLE could have been. Just as Brian's solo version on the Bernstein doc only hinted at the majesty of the fully realised version.

I don't like the added organ and car keys, Carl's voice with not enough grief in it...

The car keys AWS part of the original arrangement - listen to the sessions. And BW's music, to my ears, has never needed an expressive voice to put across the intended emotion, which is actually expressed by the melody and the arrangement, and of course the production.

Carl nailed that vocal. Immaculate.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: chris.metcalfe on September 01, 2008, 08:39:28 AM
I quite like the 7-minute version from 1967 that I found on an old acetate - it's in a box in the garage somewhere.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Wrightfan on September 01, 2008, 08:50:05 AM
I quite like the 7-minute version from 1967 that I found on an old acetate - it's in a box in the garage somewhere.

Woah, 7 minute version? Does it have the backing track as an intro or is there more?


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: John Manning on September 01, 2008, 08:52:39 AM
I quite like the 7-minute version from 1967 that I found on an old acetate - it's in a box in the garage somewhere.

Aha! You are Bruce Johnston and I claim my $5!


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Chris Brown on September 01, 2008, 01:43:55 PM
I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version...

Maybe not a lot better, but I would have loved to hear a fully orchestrated 2nd movement and a Brian lead vocal throughout.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: John on September 01, 2008, 02:01:38 PM
I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version...

The 1971 one version is too much of a patchwork. I can't stand it when it suddenly shifts into the demo for the second section.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: John Manning on September 01, 2008, 02:50:31 PM
Ah but my earlier point stands, I suspect. Until the box set, or maybe the bootlegs, how many of us knew about the segue into the demo/Bernstein version? Until that time, to my mind, it was a complete work, and still stands  as such.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: John on September 01, 2008, 03:01:27 PM
I don't know, the sound quality seems to take a dive in the second movement, and also the sparseness of it is ill-fitting.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: SurfRiderHawaii on September 01, 2008, 04:03:37 PM
I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version...

Maybe not a lot better, but I would have loved to hear a fully orchestrated 2nd movement and a Brian lead vocal throughout.

It is confusing when people talk about movements as there are different understandings as to what is what.

I was so wow'd when I first heard the Smile bootleg mix version; which opens with the 1st movement-instrumental movement/backing track and then goes into the 2nd movement-Brian's double tracked vocal mixed over the instrumental backing track (Brian's vocals are supposedly a demo but sounds too good to be, in my opinion).  Since then, professional engineers have taken those two tracks from the GV box set and produced great mixes.  I took one of those mixes and, using Peak Pro, edited on the 1971 3rd movement-'CITFTM' vocal section that Brian had never gotten around to doing.  The whole track together is stunning!

That is my 'Ultimate Version' and now the only one I play.  I think Brian hit a double on BWPS by eliminating the First Movement-Instrumental backing tracking to start the song.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Chris Brown on September 01, 2008, 08:56:06 PM
I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version...

Maybe not a lot better, but I would have loved to hear a fully orchestrated 2nd movement and a Brian lead vocal throughout.

It is confusing when people talk about movements as there are different understandings as to what is what.

I was so wow'd when I first heard the Smile bootleg mix version; which opens with the 1st movement-instrumental movement/backing track and then goes into the 2nd movement-Brian's double tracked vocal mixed over the instrumental backing track (Brian's vocals are supposedly a demo but sounds too good to be, in my opinion).  Since then, professional engineers have taken those two tracks from the GV box set and produced great mixes.  I took one of those mixes and, using Peak Pro, edited on the 1971 3rd movement-'CITFTM' vocal section that Brian had never gotten around to doing.  The whole track together is stunning!

That is my 'Ultimate Version' and now the only one I play.  I think Brian hit a double on BWPS by eliminating the First Movement-Instrumental backing tracking to start the song.

Not sure I followed all that...so what you're saying is that you essentially created the Anne Wallace version? 

What I meant by more orchestrated 2nd movement was to have the strings that were in the BWPS version, starting with "dove nested towers".  With that addition, the version I think you're describing sounds just about perfect.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: SurfRiderHawaii on September 01, 2008, 11:48:14 PM

Not sure I followed all that...so what you're saying is that you essentially created the Anne Wallace version? 


No, the Anne Wallace version, and the Purple Chick version,  duplicate the BWPS arrangement.  They omit the 1st Movement-Instrumental track (with powerful horn arrangement).    If you have heard the Vigotone or Gema boot versions of Smile/Surf's Up, you know what I'm talking about.  Take that version and tack on the 'CITFOM' tag from the 1971 version.  With the release (on GV boxset) of  the instrumental track, and Brian's double tracked vocal with piano, much higher quality mixes of those boot versions have been made.  I took one of those and edited on the 'CITFOM' tag.  It is not my original idea as I'd read of others doing it.

Sorry to be confusing.  I confuse myself.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: The Heartical Don on September 02, 2008, 01:09:51 AM
Album. Fun thing: my younger brother bought one of these luxurious Warner Bros. 4 LP sets in the 70s, when we were still school kids. Title: 'Superstars Of The Seventies'. Could have been an effort to cash in again on well-known stuff by James Taylor, Carly Simon, The Faces, Doobie Bros. I was just getting into the BBs way back then... and I listened to Surf's Up (which was the closing track on one of the sides) with eager anticipation. Imagine: I was a tad disappointed, because it carried no 'easy' chorus to sing along with, nor the usual 'beach joy mood'.
Things changed. Now it's one of my all-time favourites. I rate it above GV and many other chestnuts.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: matt-zeus on September 02, 2008, 02:07:18 AM
My favourite version (breaking the rules!) is that 1972 radio version with Carl singing over electric piano.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: The Heartical Don on September 02, 2008, 02:17:28 AM
My favourite version (breaking the rules!) is that 1972 radio version with Carl singing over electric piano.

You punk!  :police:


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: John on September 02, 2008, 06:13:42 AM
.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Alex on September 02, 2008, 08:42:03 AM
My favourite version (breaking the rules!) is that 1972 radio version with Carl singing over electric piano.

I've never heard that version before, never even knew it existed.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Chris Brown on September 02, 2008, 02:34:40 PM
My favourite version (breaking the rules!) is that 1972 radio version with Carl singing over electric piano.

I've never heard that version before, never even knew it existed.

I've heard of it, never actually heard it though.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on September 02, 2008, 03:42:08 PM
Album. Fun thing: my younger brother bought one of these luxurious Warner Bros. 4 LP sets in the 70s, when we were still school kids. Title: 'Superstars Of The Seventies'. Could have been an effort to cash in again on well-known stuff by James Taylor, Carly Simon, The Faces, Doobie Bros. I was just getting into the BBs way back then... and I listened to Surf's Up (which was the closing track on one of the sides) with eager anticipation. Imagine: I was a tad disappointed, because it carried no 'easy' chorus to sing along with, nor the usual 'beach joy mood'.
Things changed. Now it's one of my all-time favourites. I rate it above GV and many other chestnuts.

I can't believe you posted this; I was going to post a similar story! My buddies and I were cruising around in the mid 1970's and somebody had the 8 Track of that Superstars Of The Seventies compilation. We wanted some rock and roll, so I suggested playing "Surf's Up", having never heard the song and expecting something like "Surfin' Safari" or "Surfin' USA". Was I/we in for a shock. I remember ejecting the 8 Track and checking the track numbers to make sure I had the right song. I thought it was a piece of crap. Actually we never finished listening to the song, switching tracks, it was that unlistenable. Yes, Heartical Don, things have changed. I think Dylan said that...


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: BJL on September 03, 2008, 11:15:17 AM
"I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version..."

I strongly disagree with that statement.  While the 1971 version is sublime, the subtlety and beauty of the arrangement in the first half implies that the second half would have been something equally special.  Who know's what Brian had in store for the second-half instrumental track, Brian himself probably didn't know at the time (and certainly doesn't know now) but i think that it's not unreasonable to imagine that it would have been as original and subtle and beautiful as anything else on the album...and probably not solo piano.  And the coda--the 1971 version is so incredible its hard to imagine improvement, but we're talking Brian in 1967 here--I would imagine that the finishing vocals would have been even more powerful, with an instrumental track to match.  So, while never will any person outside heaven actually hear the finished 1967 Surf's Up, i wouldn't downplay it as an equal to the 71 version...a healthy Brian, after all, would have given the song everything he had.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: John Manning on September 03, 2008, 03:57:16 PM
"I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version..."

I strongly disagree with that statement.  While the 1971 version is sublime, the subtlety and beauty of the arrangement in the first half implies that the second half would have been something equally special.  Who know's what Brian had in store for the second-half instrumental track, Brian himself probably didn't know at the time (and certainly doesn't know now) but i think that it's not unreasonable to imagine that it would have been as original and subtle and beautiful as anything else on the album...and probably not solo piano.  And the coda--the 1971 version is so incredible its hard to imagine improvement, but we're talking Brian in 1967 here--I would imagine that the finishing vocals would have been even more powerful, with an instrumental track to match.  So, while never will any person outside heaven actually hear the finished 1967 Surf's Up, i wouldn't downplay it as an equal to the 71 version...a healthy Brian, after all, would have given the song everything he had.


But the whole point here is that we're talking released versions, are we not? 


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Dove Nested Towers on September 03, 2008, 11:37:30 PM
The "Inside Pop" piano version is uniquely expressive and "in the moment". The phrasing
is quirky and artistically expressive and heartfelt.

The first section of the GV box set demo version is heart-stoppingly beautiful, perfect and definitive, except for one SLIGHTLY off-key note on the second "domino", and really captures the quintessence of the song.

My recollection is fuzzy as to whether the additional vocal parts in the tag of the '71 album version were originally composed in '66, or at the time of the SU album production. Surely he would have done something at least similar had it been finished in the period of its original composition.

By the way, does anyone know whether the additional lyrics in "Song for Children" and
"Child is Father of the Man" on BWPS were composed by Van Dyke in '66-'67 a la the
restored "Sandwich Isles" lyrics in "Roll Plymouth Rock" aka "Do You Like Worms", or
written and added during the period of the BWPS composition and production?

I would guess the latter.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Chris Brown on September 03, 2008, 11:48:03 PM
I think the lyrics on those two are probably new, with some of the melodies being vintage.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Micha on September 08, 2008, 12:16:53 AM
I don't like the added organ and car keys, Carl's voice with not enough grief in it...

The car keys AWS part of the original arrangement - listen to the sessions. And BW's music, to my ears, has never needed an expressive voice to put across the intended emotion, which is actually expressed by the melody and the arrangement, and of course the production.

Carl nailed that vocal. Immaculate.

You are right, the car keys were in the 1967 recording. I even remember having read years ago about the original session that Brian at one time says about the car key player (hee hee): "Now THAT sounds like jewelry!" Recently I read the Badham book, where it says on page 293 about the 1971 sessions: "Two organ overdubs are made, along with Brian's car keys providing percussion." So I thought they were all 1971. But anyway, the point is the keys are really loud in the 1971 mix, too loud for my liking, no matter if additional car keys were recorded of if they're all from 1967. They're not THAT loud in the track only version on the 1993 GV box set and hardly audible at all in the famous Anne Wallace version.

What you and me have written about Carl's vocal is of course both totally subjective, so I can't argue with that. I think he sang too sweetly. IMHO expressive singing adds to the quality of the arrangement.

Talking about subjectivity, I think the 1967 version of Surf's Up is played too fast... And subsequently, the 1971 version too.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: drbeachboy on May 16, 2014, 07:52:01 AM
Surf's Up 1971 for me. Carl laid down a perfect vocal for that version.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: alf wiedersehen on May 17, 2014, 09:26:10 AM
Since I first heard it, "Surf's Up" (1967) has been my favorite version.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: bluesno1fann on May 19, 2014, 06:37:16 AM
Voted for Other, as in the SMiLE Sessions version. Carl's vocals on the 1971 version is beautiful, but Brian's just does it for me a lot more.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: JK on May 19, 2014, 07:43:55 AM
Demo from the GV box set was my choice. Sorry, Carl doesn't come close to Brian's soaring delivery. There needed someone with the voice of Brian to sing the song rightly.
Thank you for resurrecting this ancient topic. :=)

My vote goes to the 1971 album version. Utterly stunning. That said, I like all the BB versions----they all have their particular charms. But I'm forced to leave the BWPS version out of consideration as to my mind it's an inseparable part of a larger whole.     


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Al Jardine: Pick Up Artist on May 19, 2014, 02:42:28 PM
I'm gonna break the rules and say the soniclovenoize version. TSS, but, y'know, stereo.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Orange Crate Art on May 19, 2014, 06:27:45 PM
I love all the released versions of Surf's Up, but the 1971 version is my favorite. Listen to it on your headphones. Really loud! Absolutely stunning!


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Summer_Days on September 20, 2014, 10:30:30 AM
1971 album version, absolutely. Spectacular Carl vocal in the first movement, and then the Brian-led second movement till the children's song closing harmonies over Brian's sad, arching falsetto. Holy sh*t.


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: KDS on April 15, 2015, 05:24:13 AM
Love the 1971 version, but the Smile Sessions version gives it a run for its money. 


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Mujan, 8@$+@Rc| of a Blue Wizard on October 12, 2015, 11:24:49 PM
Not to sound like a pompous ass but my fave version is the one I made for my last two mixes using talking horns sections for part two and the fade. I think the best version officially released is Brian's solo performance from the Wild Honey Era on TSS


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Rentatris on November 03, 2015, 02:20:49 AM
I've gone for the simplicity of Brian at a piano on the Inside Pop show. Moved me the first time I heard it and everytime since....


Title: Re: Favourite version of Surf's Up?
Post by: Vega-Table Man on November 03, 2015, 03:46:53 AM
Since I first heard it, "Surf's Up" (1967) has been my favorite version.

Same with me. It's haunting and very beautiful.