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534395 Posts in 17969 Topics by 3216 Members - Latest Member: amnesiac August 30, 2015, 12:56:03 PM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Made in California - questions about different mixes on: August 27, 2015, 01:00:06 PM
I finally got around to buying Made in California and I'm thoroughly enjoying it, especially the last two discs! I want to load all of the songs or mixes that I don't have already onto the computer, while avoiding those songs that would be duplicates (something I imagine a lot of people here also did.) In doing this, some questions have come up about different mixes that I was hoping you all could help me answer. I have tried my best with the search function, but the only question I could find an answer to was Breakaway - and even then the poster didn't say if it was a vintage mix or a newly created one. So basically, I want to know what makes some of these mixes different from the mixes I already have, where it's not obvious to my ears, and also as much background as you knowledgeable people might be able to give!

1. What is the difference between the Made in California mix of the 1967 Surfs Up demo and the Smile Sessions mix?
2. Where else has the single version of California Saga been released? I'm trying to figure out if I have the single version already in itunes. Is the single version very different from the album version?
3. Is the Lonely Sea version on this boxset different besides having the longer fade?
4. Other than the session excerpts, are there other differences between the Graduation Day mix on Made in California and the version on the two-fer?
5. From the Smile Sessions, the vegetables and wind chimes stereo mixes were on the LP in the box set, but not the CDs, right? Heroes Parts 1 and 2 were also only the 7 inch vinyl? And Our Prayer wasn't released on the box set in stereo? Are these the only Smile cuts on the box that weren't previously released on CD/digital?
6. What is the deal with Sail Plane Song?
7. Ditto Susie cincinatti - what makes it an unreleased 2012 mix?
8. What makes this Break Away mix different, and is it vintage? I don't have Hawthorne California, so it's new to me.
9. What's different about the It's Ok alternate mix? Is it vintage or a new creation like Rock and Roll music?
10. What are the difference's on Brian's Back from the Endless Harmony Version? I can't hear any, but it's not exactly a song I listen to all the time.

One last, more subjective questions - are there any tracks on this box set that particularly surprised you or that you didn't realize had something new or cool going on in them until you'd had the box for a while?
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennis Credits on POB on: May 19, 2015, 02:50:51 PM
I suspect someone more knowledgeable than me will answer this more specifically, but I do recall that there was a specific story about Dennis playing the Tuba, as well as a general opinion from someone involved in the sessions - I can't remember who, maybe Earle Mankey? - that he could pick up just about any instrument and get some kind of interesting sound out of it, even if he was no expert. And that he played the bass harmonica himself but had to sit down on the floor to get enough air in his lungs! The impression I've gotten is that Dennis was not at all selfish with his production style - that he would gladly throw a part to anyone who happened to be around if he thought they could play something good, whether or not they were a pro or an expert, or he'd just do it himself if that was easier. I take it as being similar in spirit to Brian's openness to the contributions of session musicians, combined with a penchant to be very, very specific and demanding when he knew what he wanted.

Edit: just remembered my source: it was Craig Slowinski's riveting and comprehensive sessionography of Pacific Ocean Blue which I believe is available on the internet with some googling! It will answer all of your questions.
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: My BB's collection... on: April 24, 2015, 09:16:40 AM
My suggestions would be:
first and foremost: The Christmas Album. This was a real production effort from Brian and a very important step forward in his evolution as an artist. Definitely a need-to-own record, in my opinion.
The 1973 In Concert album is absolutely essential. The band transformed those songs into something new. To me, this live album sums up everything that made the Beach Boys great in the 70s.
A compilation of Brian's outside production work in the 60s (there are a couple) - the volume of work the man was doing is astounding!

And I'll add my voice to the That Lucky Old Sun and Gershwin chorus. Also, you really should own Gettin In Over My Head - it gets ragged on to no end here, but it actually has some amazing songs and productions on it, particularly if you haven't heard the Paley sessions that so many of those great songs and productions came from! 
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Playlist Help - Transitioning into and out of Pet Sounds on: April 16, 2015, 12:17:17 PM
Loving it so far, guys.  Keep them coming.  I'm torn on which version of Good Vibrations to use.  I prefer the more complete TSS version with the "hum, we now. hum, we now ohoh" but I'd love to hear why another version might fit better.

I would use the single version - as the only truly completed and released Smile track from the time period, I feel that it is an absolutely essential indicator of the level of perfection, attention to detail, and economy with which the final mixes of the Smile songs would been completed! I love the other versions too, of course! One thing I might do is include the single version and the sessions excerpts from the old Wild Honey two-fer, that way you can see all of the cool ideas that didn't make it in, while still understanding, historically speaking, how Brian was working and what he considered an appropriate final product. (this is the reason I use the Cantina mix of heroes and villains too, although of course that wasn't actually released!)
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Playlist Help - Transitioning into and out of Pet Sounds on: April 16, 2015, 11:46:35 AM
Here's how I would do it:

I Get Around
All Summer Long - I would start my playlist with these songs, as a representative of Brian's high level of creativity in traditional pop/surf songwriting.
When I grow up to be a Man – the harpsichord and introspective lyrics linked with the surf beat make this one of the best "in-between" tracks.
Guess I'm Dumb - another step on the road to Pet Sounds. The link from this to I Guess I Just Wasn't Made for these Times is pretty easy to see, in terms of the complexity of the melody itself. A wickedly difficult song to sing!
Kiss me Baby (use the stereo mix, it’s easier to see the link to Pet Sounds that way, I think)
In the Back of My Mind (instrumental track) – the connection to Pet Sounds is easier to make without the vocal, in my opinion.
California Girls (again, using the Stereo mix is a must, much easier to draw out the complexity of the arrangement.)
Let Him Run Wild (instrumental track) – Listening to just the Instrumental Track of this makes clear that there is a direct line from the sounds and sensibilities of a track like this to the Smile material.
And Your Dreams Come True - looking forward to Our Prayer
The Little Girl I Once Knew - using the mix with the acapella drop out from the Hawthorne sessions might make the link to Sloop John B easier to see, although the single mix is better, in my opinion.
Sloop John B – From Little Girl to Sloop you see the Pet Sounds production sensibility being refined.
Pet Sounds (with Sloop John B removed, of course, and Hang On To Your Ego swapped in for I Know There's an Answer - helping to bridge forward into the Smile sessions with it's slightly druggy lyrics)
Good Vibrations
Heroes and Villains (Cantina Mix) – Good Vibrations and the Cantina mix continue to show the progression of Brian’s sound through single mixes.
Prayer – (because you included And Your Dreams Come True, this isn’t so much out of nowhere as a refinement of something Brian was doing before Pet Sounds.
Heroes and Villains Sections (Stereo Mix from Smile Sessions)
Cabinessence
Wonderful
Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow – these four songs cover all of Smile’s major themes, with the Heroes and Villains sections really illustrating Brian’s iterative working methods.
Surf’s Up (Piano demo) – here we see Brian’s greatest song as it was left when Smile was scrapped in ’67.
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian's 1975 recording of \ on: April 10, 2015, 12:35:58 PM
Good memory!
Quote
"Until two weeks ago, I hadn’t seen him since 1974,” said Wilson, who reconnected with Chaplin to have him sing on Wilson’s next solo album, currently in the works. “It was great to see him again. He came into the studio and sang on one of my new tracks called ‘He Come Down’ -- he sang it great! It will be fun to have him at a few of our concerts.”
http://articles.latimes.com/2013/sep/09/entertainment/la-et-ms-brian-wilson-jeff-beck-blondie-chaplin-tour-album-20130906

One thing Brian has demonstrated with the last couple of projects is that he still sees an album as rightly having a consistency of tone, and that he is not above holding back material for the right future project. The fact that Brian Wilson, all through Getting in Over My Head and That Lucky Old Sun, was just sitting on a bunch of good songs he'd written in the mid-90s, waiting patiently for a Beach Boys reunion, combined with old interviews like this one, indicates to me that he probably has a stock of songs sitting around waiting for either a particular project or simply a more "appropriate" one. Brian himself has said that No Pier Pressure was intended  to be mellow and "not rock n roll" - so maybe the rock n roll songs were set aside, rather than not written.
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / BRIAN WILSON Q & A / Interesting story behind composition of any song which you've never told before? on: January 26, 2015, 10:19:30 AM
Hi Brian, thanks for stopping by! Do you have any songs that you've written that have an interesting story behind their composition which you've never told anyone before, or which people never seem to ask about? What's the song and what's the story?
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: For a band with so much in the vaults, why so much filler? on: August 20, 2014, 09:26:50 AM
I've always loved "Bull Sessions with Big Daddy," and may be nearly alone in thinking it's the perfect ending to Today. Something about the way In the Back of My Mind fades out, the lights come up, and then the band is just sitting around having dinner feels so authentic and interesting to me. And I think it was very much intentional. The way I see it, the idea of the rock/pop album as art was still very nascent, and the Beach Boys' previous albums were not conceptualized as art, but as "product." They were meant to be fun, and cool. I don't really think it's fair to call the joke tracks "filler" when Brian was so productive at this point that he was leaving songs unreleased, and writing and producing tons of records for other bands, many of which were formed just to release a song or two that he had lying around. If Brian had wanted one more song for any of those albums, he could have gone into the studio and recorded one! But he included the joking around tracks because Beach Boys fans were teenagers, and those tracks helped build their image, create loyalty, make their fans feel like the band were just kids like them having a good time, joking around, playing music in their garage. It was about their image. So then in 1965, Brian is suddenly making this really arty, serious album, filled with self doubt, anxiety, questioning. But rather than give the album the kind of beautiful, poignant ending that he would practically invent with Caroline, No, he just made the "talking" track more serious too. Instead of silly voices, stupid jokes, and fake fights, he recorded three minutes of the band sitting around in the studio eating some burgers. Now that his music was more authentic, he made the "what it's like to be in a recording studio with the Beach Boy" track more authentic too.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson album update in Rolling Stone on: June 11, 2014, 10:35:40 AM
I think one thing people may be discounting is that Brian Wilson, who needs neither money nor respect at this point in his career, records music for fun. It's easy for fans to talk about artistic expression and commercial potential, and I'm sure those are real factors. But when Brian goes into the studio, maybe, just maybe, it's because he feels like it. He's been doing it his whole life, and it's fun to make records! And so maybe Brian wants to shake things up by bringing in some other voices, and so he asks his management to find some young people he can sing with - no one too scary or intimidating, not Paul McCartney (and it's not like those super-star collaborations ever go well anyways), just some new voices. You know?
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: an alternate timeline where Mike Love is on top of the world... on: March 29, 2014, 04:12:50 PM
It is very much an open question in my mind what role Mike Love played in the composition of the Beach Boys Today. On stylistic grounds, I'm confident that Mike made a major contribution to Kiss Me Baby, and that he contributed relatively little to In the Back of My Mind. But for some of the other songs I think it's hard to say. But there is no doubt in my mind that the same balance of composing could have been applied to Pet Sounds, because Today has a similar level of lyrical sophistication. But Brian needed Tony Asher as more than a lyricist, he was also a friend, someone to hang out with, talk things through with, bounce ideas off of. It was a time-consuming process, and Mike was in Japan with the Beach Boys. Pet Sounds wasn't the kind of thing you could get done in back rooms and cabs between gigs, so for Mike to work on the project, the band would have had to take a break from touring. So it would have meant changes in the Beach Boys methods and course beyond just switching lyricists.

As for Smile, I think it is no diss on Mike Love to say that Mike's talents and interests were fundamentally incompatible with Smile as Brian and conceived it on a fundamental level. Smile with Mike Love lyrics wouldn't have been Smile, it would have had to be something completely different.



11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: What would you change about the 2012 Remasters program? on: February 23, 2014, 05:24:16 PM
I thought, for a career as long and varied as the Beach Boys, the two-fer reissues were pretty amazing. I mean, for once the record companies were giving people more bang for their buck, and with detailed liner notes and bonus tracks, it was clear that they were well thought out releases. And they amde the catalogue a little more digestible. Released individually the albums are slight, especially early on, if only because they're often only 25 or 30 minutes long. I think that all the albums between Today and Holland deserve individual releases with lots of bonus tracks, reflecting the richness of the material, but for earlier and later albums the two-fers were perfect.
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: More About Brian/ Beck and New Album. on: September 24, 2013, 06:29:28 PM
Not excited about another album ghostwritten and produced by Joe Thomas, which this will probably be

Joe Thomas is not talented enough to have ghostwritten the Brian songs on TWGMTR. I think that is quite plain. Now as for produced.....
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Post Pet Sounds: Brian's vision vs the band's vision on: September 12, 2013, 06:45:22 PM
I want to add three points to this conversation:
1. Adult Child was submitted to and rejected by Warner Brothers. If they had accepted it, it would have come out, and there would have been three late 70s Brian dominated albums, instead of two.
2. Carl and Dennis did not want 15 Big Ones released as it was, and they were outvoted, three to two. My understanding is that this is not a metaphorical situation - there was a literal vote, and they lost. For good reason, Dennis and Carl wanted their own and Brian's excellent material on a more polished album, instead of the rough covers that came out.
3. People seem to seriously underestimate the seriousness of Brian's mental illness in the 60s, in my opinion. Yes, he managed to live a normal life into the early 70s, but during the Smile period he was hearing voices, suffering serious paranoia, and manic up and depressive down periods. These kinds of symptoms, and especially the voices, which Brian still struggles with to this day, to my understanding, can make just day to day life incredibly difficult. Without any kind of proper treatment, it's amazing how together Brian held it for so long, in my opinion.
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: (Wouldn't It Be Nice To) Live Again\ on: August 26, 2013, 04:36:27 PM
Well, is there really any different between one's self and one's life? Or are both just different perspectives or manifestations of the same phenomena?

In other Wouldn't It Be Nice (to Live Again) observations - there are parts that remind me of steamboat, especially that assending and descending bass line (synth bass I think). Probably not concious, but just a cool instance of a similar feel making it into two Dennis songs, I think.
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: WIBNTLA Reviews on: August 26, 2013, 04:30:27 PM
Nothing is exactly clear cut in the BB's history of picking tracks for their post '67 LP's, but I think its been stated here many times, and is fairly well accepted among people with what info is available that Dennis' tracks specifically recorded and submitted for Surf's Up were WIBNTLA and 4th of July. They had not been mixed and mastered, and they each had a little bit of polishing to be done, as with his Holland tracks Dennis probably would have left the clean-up to Carl, or would have done it in collaboration with Carl. These decisions on sequencing probably occurred while this work was being planned. I highly doubt Lady was considered, as it had already seen release as a European Dennis solo side.

Regarding DW's suggested sequence, from what I've been told he wanted WIBNTLA to follow Till I Die and to close the LP. I've also heard he suggested that Surf's Up be the album opener. I think its a good bet Feet or SDT would have been the ones to be left out if Carl and Dennis had reached a consensus. But again this is all very speculative, the route the BB's took to finalizing track inclusion, sequence and getting over the label approval hurdle is always one of those "depends on who you're talking to" kind of things, because a lot of people put in their two-cents, and the pattern of things being in constant flux was definitely the case once Brian wasn't taking responsibility for such choices anymore.

Thanks for the response, that's very helpful! I think Lady was listed as a song left off at the last minute in an older incarnation of the wikipedia article for Surf's Up, and that that is the source of the persistent rumor that it was almost included.
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: WIBNTLA Reviews on: August 25, 2013, 04:58:51 PM
Dennis' whole reason for pulling his tracks off Surfs Up is a simple one, he wanted them heard in a certain context, if that wasn't going to be the case then he he didn't want them on there. He was over it in like two days, never held it against anybody...it was a cold calculated thing. He and Carl disagreed about the sequence of the LP, Carl won out, Dennis said OK but you don't get my tracks. Next. The thing that most grates on me is no one else in the band insisted his tracks stay, according to Reiley, and some others around the activity, they were jealous or envious of Dennis' talent, and were happy to see Dennis' work not on the LP for completely selfish reasons.

I just asked this in the "would Surf's Up have been the greatest" thread, but I want to ask again here since if anyone would know, it would be Jon I imagine: do we know exactly what songs Dennis expected to be on the album before he pulled them? And particularly, what is the evidence, or lack there of, of Lady being included? (It always seemed like a strange fit to me, personally.) I'm assuming Sound of Free wasn't under consideration, despite making it into many board member's alt. Surf's Up playlists - is this accurate?

Three more questions: Do we know anything about Dennis's preferred sequence, other than Wouldn't It Be Nice to Live Again going last? Did Dennis feel that the song Surf's Up shouldn't be included, either because he felt it was wrong to disrespect Brian's wishes, despite Brian's eventual decision to work on the tag? Or because he felt that band should be looking forward, and not backwards? Or did he just want his song last, and Surf's Up elsewhere on the album? And finally, do we have any evidence about whether or not Feet or Student Demonstration Time were replacements for the Dennis songs, or did the group just originally expect a longer album?

Any answers to any of these would be very appreciated if they exist! It can be so hard to sort out fact from well supported rumor from spurious rumor from opinions sometimes.
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: WIBNTLA Reviews on: August 25, 2013, 04:47:00 PM
I think where the Beach Boys really lost their way, beginning, in my opinion, when Sunflower flopped, and continuing for the rest of their career, is that their string of failures get to them to the extent that they forgot an absolute cardinal rule - make the best album you can, and let the public follow. The whole semi-cynical idea of trying to create the illusion of Brian involvement to build publicity, plus all the petty internal power struggles, got in the way of putting out the best album they could. And once you stop working at your best, stop focusing first and foremost on the music, you're cutting off your nose to spite your face, because people can tell when you're not at your best; they smell blood. In my opinion, it's often easier for a lesser band to do well working at their very best than for a great band that's letting crap get in the way of the music, even if the great band's mediocre music is better than the lesser bands best work. People can just feel it. The fact that Carl or Brian or Al or Mike or Bruce didn't stand up and say: this song has to come out because it's frickin fantastic, because we want the best album we can make, is so sad. So sad, but not remotely surprising. 
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Would Surfs Up have been the Greatest? on: August 25, 2013, 04:37:01 PM
Can someone elaborate on the root of the idea that Lady would have turned up on Surf's Up? Is there an interview or tape reel or some other bit of contemporaneous evidence? My recollection is that Sound of Free was never considered for Surf's Up, although it may have been for sunflower??? I can't remember...
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: When was the singing voice of each individual Beach Boy at its best? on: July 31, 2013, 06:09:44 PM
Brian - 1964/65: I consider Don't Worry Baby, Hushabye, Warmth of the Syn, and other 1964 era ballads to be the peak of Brian's voice, with the streak extending into Please Let Me Wonder and Let Him Run Wild. Already by Pet Sounds, I think that Brian's voice has started to subtly change, becoming a little bit less youthful. Obviously it stay's spectacular well into the 70s, but I'm trying to pin point more specific highlights.

Carl - Obviously his voice was incredible his entire life, but I think it was at it's best in the early 90s. Carl's voice aged in an incredible way, becoming more mature and ever so slightly older, without losing any of it's raw beauty or expressiveness. Tragically, Carl was literally not given *any* good material to sing in this period, with the possible exception of his own "I Wish for You."

Mike - 68/70: Meant for You. Big Sur. All I Wanna Do. Weirdly enough, Mike did the least singing of his entire career with the beach boys during the time when his voice was best. And I do think the two facts are related: when he wasn't in "lead singer" mode, he sang more subtly, and thoughtfully.

Dennis - 1968-70: Without a doubt this was the period when Dennis's skill as a singer lined up most clearly with his voice not being a hoarse croak! I love Dennis's late 70s voice, but A Time to Live in Dreams is definitive evidence for me that this period is the winner.

Al - it's hard to make a distinction, since his voice basically hasn't changed for their entire career. I'm trying to judge the voice, and not the material, still, it's hard not to think that Al never again reached his iconic Help Me Ronda peak, so 1965.
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: What was the prospect did the original double-sided '15 Big Ones' album have? on: July 15, 2013, 07:16:45 PM
My understanding is that a) a double album was very much within reach, and b) Dennis and Carl strenuously, strenuously objected to the release of 15 Big Ones as it was, that they were voted down literally in a band meeting 3 to 2, and that this was one of the major reasons that Dennis embarked on a solo career. I don't have solid sources though, it's just what I've gathered from the various things I've read.

As for the album itself, my fantasy tracklist has always been this:

A side:
Good Timin (this should have been the single. If a crappy cover of Rock and Roll music went to number 5, just imagine how well a beautiful, nostalgic ballad would have done.)
River Song
Had to Phone Ya
That Same Song (ideally with a bit more production courtesy Dennis and Carl)
Back Home
Susie Cincinnati
Everyones In Love With You (I've always liked this song)

B Side
It's Okay
Pacific Ocean Blues
California Feeling
Rainbows (also recorded during the 15 Big Ones Sessions)
Angel Come Home (apparently written and at least a basic track recorded in 1975)
Just Once in My Life (this oldies cover can stay Smiley
Holy Man (recorded 1975, obviously lyrics never finished, until recently! I imagine Carl singing this, and it is sublime in my mind)

Of course, in this scenario Pacific Ocean Blue doesn't happen, but Dennis comes out swinging as a major player in a beach boys creative revival, and so I think that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make, particularly since it might well have eased some of the solo career versus band tensions that, in my opinion, were a major contributer to dennis's downfall.

Also, I strongly suspect that had all of these Dennis songs been used by the Beach Boys, Carl would have sung at least half of them, if not more.

Also, I don't think that the above track list represents the best possible album the beach boys could have put out in 1976. I think it represents a realistic example of what Dennis and Carl were trying to accomplish. The first side is significantly weaker than the second side, because Carl and Dennis are throwing a bone to Mike and Brian, a la Surf's Up. I wouldn't include Susie Cincinnati, but I imagine that realistically, Al would have gotten his song on there as part of the process.
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: California Calling on: June 23, 2013, 07:08:15 PM
This song has a kind of loping, al jardine meody that reminds me a little of California Saga ... I think the song would work great with a sort of holland-style country-rock production. I also think it would sound great in a postcard style production - I hope Al rerecords it some time.
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: MiC up for order on Amazon, August release on: June 21, 2013, 12:01:12 PM
@BJL

1. The Brianista: Has several MUCH cheaper options if he only wants to explore the post-Smile stuff.
2. The hipster fan: Has several MUCH cheaper options if he only wants to explore the pre-Pet Sounds stuff.
3. The boomer: already has the hits.
4. The new fan: already has the hits.
5. The straight and narrow fan: already has the hits.
6. The Still Building the Collection Fan: will get the missing albums first.
7. The obsessive but non-completist: already has the hits.

So my point still stands: nobody who will buy MIC has any need for the hits being on it.

Oh, I agree. There’s no one in the world who is going to buy this box set who doesn’t already own a greatest hits collection, and there’s no reason for the hits to be repeated on this box. But the hits are 20 odd songs. My point was just that, for the average Beach Boys fan, this box offers them two discs worth of rarities and live tracks PLUS something else that they don’t have, and because of this, I think that the set will do well commercially, especially if the price comes down a hair or two. In my case, this is a bunch of stereo mixes which I will be very happy to have!

Also, I have no idea if AGD was mocking me or agreeing with me. Frankly, I wouldn’t be too surprised by either. But there’s a reason I usually lurk – this board has a mean streak a mile wide. Fortunately, it also has the best in depth discussion on the Beach Boys the internet can provide Smiley
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: MiC up for order on Amazon, August release on: June 21, 2013, 09:23:40 AM
. . . MIC was compiled with one single target audience in mind: the hardcore fans. Casual fans do not care about rarities and unreleased material, you don't need a song that was cut from an album if you don't even have that album. And nobody spends $100+ on a few CDs by a band that they just casually like. "John Q. Public" will be perfectly content with '50 Big Ones' and a copy of 'Pet Sounds', and if he's feeling really adventurous he might get 'The Smile Sessions' or a random 2fer on top of that, but that will be more than enough.

Capitol knows very well that 95% of everyone who will buy MIC are people who already have everything but still want more. They also know that The Beach Boys have such a big and messy discography that the serious completists have already spend hundreds or even thousands on their collections. . . . .

A lot of people on this board are completely clueless about what Beach Boys fandom actually looks like. Very, very few people are completists. Very, very few people read the Smiley Smile Message Board. You, with 12 different Smile bootlegs and a hard drive full of Sea of Tunes Sessions, are simply not the market for this box, nor are you representative of the set of people who will tell you that the Beach Boys are one of their favorite bands. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be stoked about all the rarities we are getting (I certainly am!). Nor does it mean that you can’t be disappointed or bummed. Bum away! But people who have been building their collections for years seem to have forgotten how incredibly large and massively intimidating the Beach Boys catalogue is, or how powerful strains of thought urged fans for years to write-off certain areas of it.

Some examples of the types of Beach Boys Fans this box is targeting:

1.   The Brianista: These fans haven’t really explored past Smile. Some of these fans can probably still be found lurking on the Blue board Smiley The Brianista definitely owns Pet Sounds, Smile and 2004 Smile, one or two, if not all, of Brian’s solo albums, a couple of greatest hits collections, the Today and Summer Days two-fer, and a variety of other early albums. For these fans, discs 3-6 of the new Box set are going to be full of revelations.

2.   The hipster fan: These young fans got into the Beach Boys via the Fleet Foxes or Animal Collective. They read pitchfork, and own Pet Sounds and Smile. They probably jumped straight from Pet Sounds to Sunflower, Surf’s Up, and Holland. This fan almost certainly owns the new Pacific Ocean Blue reissue, but most of the box will be new – especially disc 1!

3.   The Boomer: This baby boomer went to the 50th reunion tour, and has kept good care of the Beach Boys vinyl from their childhood. They own most of the earlier albums, at least seven greatest hits collections, and Pet Sounds. They may or may not own the Good Vibrations Box Set, but if they do, they probably haven’t listened to discs three and four since 1995. This box will be an eye opener, assuming they ever make it past disc 3! The live tracks will be a particular treat for a fan whose only live albums are the 64’ concert album and maybe the 50th anniversary tour album. 

4.   The new fan: self-explanatory. All they own is a Greatest hits and Pet Sounds, but Pet Sounds is growing increasingly captivating by the day. Where to go next? Made in California, duh! Yea it’s pricey, but not compared to the cost of assembling a full set of albums. Note also that the average greatest hits collection only has a bit over half of the Beach Boys 36 top-40 hits.

5.   The straight and narrow fan: This fan owns just about everything the Beach Boys have ever released, but has never listened to a bootleg. They may or may not be opposed to bootlegs, and they may not be super familiar with the internet. The box will be full of treats for these fans.

6.   The Still Building the Collection Fan: The Beach Boys have released a lot of albums. Even with two per disc, it’s easy to miss a few. I considered myself a huge Beach Boys fan for years before I bought Friends and 20/20, Carl and the Passions, Holland, 15 Big Ones, or Love You, let alone the 80s stuff. There’s just so much material to get through! Such a fan might own 15 different Beach Boys albums, and yet still be missing Surfer Girl and Shut Down vol. 2. Things happen. These fans will get a taste of what they’re missing.

7.   The obsessive but non-completist: I fall squarely into this category. I love the Beach Boys. I have tons of bootlegs. I read the Smiley Smile board and watch Stephen Desper’s amazing study videos. I own every released Beach Boys album on both CD and vinyl. I own the Smile Box, and all of Brian’s solo albums, and saw the 50th anniversary tour 4 times. But I’m just not a completist. Which means that I didn’t feel the compulsion to replace my two-fers with new stereo issues, or to buy Summer Love Songs for one rarity and some remixes. I certainly didn’t buy that ridiculous singles box with four songs on each of 28 CDs or whatever. For me, this box is full of stereo mixes that are entirely new to my collection!

Feel free to be disappointed, but I wouldn’t be so quick to attack Capital’s business plan, or to see this box as an attempt to fleece the Beach Boy’s hardcore fans. I think there is a very good market for this kind of set.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Wouldn't It Be Nice To Live Again on: June 11, 2013, 11:41:11 AM
McCoy scored the strings on Be With Me, that was it. Dennis usually played string suggestions on the piano (or sang) his ideas for string lines to whomever was arranging/scoring the string orchestrations on his productions. Daryl Dragon is very adamant  about this in his interviews, that the string melodies were usually Dennis' own musical ideas, and BTW Jimmie Haskell did some of the string scoring job for Dennis on the Pacific Ocean Blue era material. I think Be With Me falls into the same routine that the subsequent stuff did, Dennis had a feel for what he wanted and did his best to translate that to his arranger, not having the ability to actually score charts for a string section on his own.

There' a great Bruce quote about the 20/20 string arrangements. I can't remember exactly, but the gist was that he and Dennis "talked those arrangements into his [McCoy's] head."
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: More studio news on: May 26, 2013, 02:31:12 PM
Bruce doesn't have it anymore. And Carl is dead. The high part--parts, even--are Jeff's.
The album TWGMTR has Bruce on some falsetto parts. And he usually did the high ending on "Fun, fun, fun" live (probably does the same when touring with Mike solo).

My understanding, based on some of the interviews, and on just listening, is that Bruce does most of the falsetto in the harmony stack on almost the entire record, with Foskett just below in Carl's old spot.
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