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638968 Posts in 25537 Topics by 3626 Members - Latest Member: Julia October 19, 2018, 05:02:48 PM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Album Discussion Thread on: May 25, 2018, 01:25:00 AM
Jeeeeez... put me in the 'Why oh why...?' camp with this. The superb, meticulously worked out arrangements of the originals are all still present and correct... and a completely unnecessary load of orchestral goop has been superfluously ladled over the top for the new album versions. It's not even isolated vocals with vaguely interesting new string backing... it's the whole original vocal and instrumental arrangement with extra sludge on top. This REALLY bugs me.

I finally listened to Fun Fun Fun and Good Vibrations. FFF had me going 'dull, and unnecessary, but not actually offensive... file under 'pointless and irrelevant' and 'do not buy' but someone might like it'. But Good Vibrations really is messing with the Mona Lisa. The cellos sawing away on the triplets in the chorus was new, bold and incisive in 1966. Adding a load of OTHER orchestral instruments is complete overkill... and also what everyone else always does. Less is more, guys. Sparing is powerful. 'More' is... what every greenhorn orchestral arranger does. This is just aural soup on top.

The bit that REALLY kills it for me, though, is the bit at the end of Good Vibrations' harmonica bridge. What's so great about that bit is that the quiet section is coming to an end... the harmonica's just faded away... and then, here come the Beach Boys, back again with that harmony crescendo to take you back into the closing sections of the track. There's the sound of them breathing in in preparation, and then...


You know what I mean. It's a powerful moment, one of the best musical moments in the group's entire career. Just the original Beach Boys, all singing their lungs out in an amazing harmony.

And now... it's got a load of pointless extra strings dumped over it. Sorry guys, but you blew it. File under 'Never Darken My Doors Again'.

I'm not buying this. In case you hadn't guessed.
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 2017 copyright extension release details? on: December 07, 2017, 09:02:24 AM
Who knows? Some of the previous collections ended up in FLAC on Qobuz, too. But I think not all of 'em...!
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 2017 copyright extension release details? on: December 07, 2017, 07:55:52 AM
Listening through now, so will probably have more to say later. The separation on the a capella mixes is great - as you would expect, these mixes from the master tapes mostly presents literally just the vocals with no backing track bleed, which is a revelation on tracks like the H&V a capella - so for example, on the chorus, you get to hear all the voices completely unobscured by the Baldwin drone, which I don't think I've ever done before. Don't get me wrong, I love the Baldwin, but it's fascinating to hear the vocals so clearly, and a gift to the 'roll yer own' mix crowd.

And of course, some of the tracks have been available in a capella mixes on boots before, but usually either not in stereo or with bleed-through from instrumental backing tracks, or in very poor quality, or in some mixture of all of the above! So, for example, the Here Comes The Night vocals were available a capella on some bootleg CD years ago that I just about recall (don't ask me what it was called, though...), but the quality was awful. No longer - the vocals sound unbelievable here!

Good News is the simple and basic track we knew it probably would be, once we knew in the summer what it actually was. I mean, nice and all to have at last... but it is literally Al and a guitar, singing an occasional line from the off-axis to the mic. But we knew that.

The 'worth it all for this' tracks for me so far are the a capellas: H&V, Little Pad, Here Comes The Night, Let The Wind Blow, all of which are as good as you'd know they'd have to be...! Tune L also absolutely rocks, and even has a cool theremin line in it (plus one of the guitar breaks sounds incredibly like THAT riff from Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit from a mere 23 years later!). No vocals though, sadly. I prefer Dennis's 60s and early 70s stuff to what came later, though, so I was bound to like this. As a long-standing huge fan of the slowly, dreamier Heider studio session rearrangements of some of the songs that were presumably for use on the putative Lei'd In Hawaii album, I'm also LOVING having stereo mixes of more of these recordings at last. We've had God Only Knows from these sessions since the Endless Harmony release nearly 20 years ago, and California Girls as well since MiC came out, but the rest were only on boots of terrible sonic quality or really badly mixed (as on SOT). Now at last, here are 'proper' stereo mixes. It's also great to have another studio recording of Heroes and Villains, even if there are no lead vocals (this is, of course the track that the Mike Love 'nuclear bomb' rant was overdubbed on, as heard on various boots, but here the track is presented without this, er, charming vocal, so it's a stereo organ-heavy Heider backing track and group backing vocals, which is interesting... like a properly 'Smiley-ised' studio version of H&V, not the one on the album salvaged from the SMiLE recordings). I also don't recall hearing the Heider version of Surfin' before, which sounds like a *proper* surf garage band, with cool fuzz-tone guitar, trashcan drums and of course the piping 'Do It Again' organ line. If it weren't for the lack of vocals, I think I'd prefer this to the original single!

I wasn't sure what the Aren't You Glad 'single' stereo mix was for (as surely this never was a single, much less a stereo one, back in the day)... but then I noticed that the mix recreates some of the backing track mutes that were on the original 1967 mono mix, which the Sunshine Tomorrow stereo mix this past summer did not. So I don't know, perhaps they took the opportunity presented by this set to have another go at the stereo mix and get it closer to the mono...?

The Can't Wait Too Long mix is basically another, slightly different mix of the same section of the song we heard in the ST set in the summer, with that strange tag (with a completely different rhythm) that we previously heard at the end of the very first 'official' mix of CWTL that came out, on the 1990 SS/WH twofer. Prominent organ, with snare hits and a Fender bass wandering up and down the scale. You know the one I mean. No great revelations here.

Oh yeah, and the 1967 Time To Get Along backing in full quality! Yay!

Other than that, the Smiley and Wild Honey session tracks are interesting for track scholars, as you hear the backing track for part of the song, the backing vocal parts for others, and usually everything all together (minus lead vocals, of course) by the end. This may frustrate those who like to do their own mixes, as you don't quite ever get complete isolated backing vocals for complete tracks nor completely unoverdubbed backing tracks all the way through any of the tracks. But perhaps that was partly the point...! It's still a fascinating listen.

I haven't got through the live set yet. I'm not usually that into live discs where the Beach Boys are concerned. But the Hawaii rehearsals hooked me in to listening to it. So far, what I don't get is how great the Boys sound in some of the pre-show rehearsals compared to some of the really ropey performances they gave during the actual Hawaii concerts...!

And they ran through Whistle In in rehearsal... but then didn't play it at the shows? What WAS going on with this band at the time...? Brian does sound pretty snippy on a couple of the rehearsal tracks I've heard so far, too... worried about a sheet of paper which has gone missing on which he'd written all the Baldwin stop settings for the different songs, and cuttingly asking Carl if the band are just going to keep noodling on their instruments when they're all supposed to be rehearsing. I guess it *was* his first live show in quite a while...!

More on this stuff later...

4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 2017 copyright extension release details? on: December 07, 2017, 06:31:40 AM
OK, folks, live from New Zealand... Sunshine Tomorrow 2 tracklist:

...and Live Sunshine tracklist:
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 2017 copyright extension release details? on: December 04, 2017, 12:22:58 PM
Wow! Well, I know what *I'm* doing on December 8th (assuming I *can* get this set in the UK on that date...!). I'm one of those that cannae get enough Smiley/Honey era studio stuff. I had such a blast listening to the KAEOS set in the run-up to Christmas three years back and am now really looking forward to more of the same this year.

I'm probably seeing complications that aren't there, but does anyone think that this might actually be TWO sets, rather than one 138-track mega-set? One 29-track studio set and the 109-track live doodah separately? (it's hard to tell from the way the ES info is written here).

I have to say, I'm not the hugest fan of Beach Boys live recordings, but I make an exception for this era. So even if it IS two sets, I will still shill. Why yes, I am utterly hooked, thank you for asking...!

If, prior to December 8th, anyone can let slip whether it's one or two sets, that would be super.

Thanks so much to everyone in Beach Boys land and outside it (you know who you are) who continues to make these incredible sets available.

Best wishes,

6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Can't Wait Too Long on Sunshine Tomorrow on: September 07, 2017, 07:51:15 AM
So he 'crushes down' the complexities of something like Wind Chimes from SMiLE, and gets an almost surf/garagey track out of it,

The Smiley Smile Wind Chimes is 100 times more complex than the Smile version. Just listen to that chord progression. The vocal arrangement throughout is stunning, as is the performance. It's everythig that's great about Brian f**king Wilson in microcosm.

Don't be seduced by flashy production. If Smile is the Branderburg Concertos, Smiley Smile is the Art of Fugue. And forget the stereo version. Mono all the way. Stunning album.

I've been away on holiday and missed all of the additions to this thread that happened at the end of August. Just catching up now. wjcrerar's analysis of the structure looks really interesting, but I need to work through and absorb all of his comments and track assembly attempts, and haven't had a chance to do any of that yet. But for now, I just *had* to reply to Hickory Violet's comment above...

As you may have independently realised by now... I wasn't referring to the Smiley version of Wind Chimes when I talked about Brian 'crushing down' the SMiLE version of the song to create a surf/garagey track the surfy track I was talking about was the section of *Can't Wait Too Long* that's been used to make track 15, disc 1 on Sunshine Tomorrow, the version of the latter song on that compilation.

Names (of songs, sections etc) are always a problem with SMiLE-era stuff! But what I was talking about was how the SMiLE version of Wind Chimes mutated into the garagey/Motown-y 1967 version of Can't Wait Too Long, not the Smiley Smile Wind Chimes track.

You'll never hear negative criticism from me of anything on Smiley Smile, whatever the difficulties of how that album came about might have been. Ever since I first heard it over 20 years ago, I've *loved* it in all of its off-the-wall strangeitude. It's a beautiful thing. And the Smiley Wind Chimes is one of the most interesting parts of it. It's the same song as the SMiLE version... but on another level, it's IN NO WAY the same song. A great example of how to do a completely different take on the same fundamental song idea, by modifying chords, arrangement, and feel in the way that only someone operating on a high musical level, like 1967 BW, could achieve.

OK, now I'm off to work out what wjcrerar has been trying to get across here for the last couple of weeks...!
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Can't Wait Too Long on Sunshine Tomorrow on: July 01, 2017, 09:52:52 AM
I see what you meant now, Craig. Thanks for the explanation. Context and all that.

It's so complicated. On one level Brian simplfied his song arrangments for Wild Honey, and this may well have been with the touring band's live performances in mind. So he 'crushes down' the complexities of something like Wind Chimes from SMiLE, and gets an almost surf/garagey track out of it, with something like the feel of The Letter to it. This is the arrangement of Can't Wait Too Long that we hear on Sunshine Tomorrow, presumably from the Wild honey timeframe.

And then a year later, he goes back to really complex layered arrangements for the Friends-era recording, parts of which we hear on the Twofer mix of CWTL.

And even during the 'simplification' period of Wild Honey (if you can fairly call it that), there's still a hell of a lot of studio 'trickery' going on... an absolute continuation of the advanced sectional recording, mixing and splicing techniques he started using in earnest on SMiLE. Three tracks on Wild Honey that I can think of, at least, were built like that (Darlin', A Thing Or Two, and Here Comes The Night), using a small piece of recorded performance with different overdubs multiple times, mixed down into different verses and cut together (like the SMiLE version of Vega-Tables). There may have been more, but those are the obvious ones to me. They're recorded performances that never existed as through-recorded songs, as far as I can tell only as mix assemblies from multitrack fragments.

So it's getting sort of simultaneously less complex musically after SMiLE, then more complex again after Wild Honey. And all the while the technical aspects of the recordings are in some ways just as groundbreaking as SMiLE was. You'd have been completely worn out even if you weren't dealing with inter-band squabbles, a collapse in the public's public standing, incipient (and escalating) serious drug abuse and mental illness, and the ruptured (and then poorly mended) relations with the ever-less interested record company... What a couple of years it must have been. And not in a good way.
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The biggest revelation about Sunshine Tomorrow.. Brian's level of involvement.. on: July 01, 2017, 08:12:41 AM
Yes, fair point, Choc Shake Man! Some of the guys in this thread above probably weren't expressing 'Wow! Amazing! Brian was still in the studio for Wild Honey!!'. Perhaps that's unfair of me.

But clearly I missed some people here pushing the idea that BW was a zoned-out basketcase post-SMiLE and Carl had to do all the work from then on. Or something? I just can't see how that idea could have caught on, if it did.

I have been away from here a lot during the war-torn period of the past couple of years, so I probably did miss it. Like Linus and the brothers Karamasov in Schulz's Peanuts, I guess I just BLEEPED over it...!
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The biggest revelation about Sunshine Tomorrow.. Brian's level of involvement.. on: July 01, 2017, 07:52:40 AM
Right, good point. I've always taken that quote of Carl's to mean 'here's Brian still running the show, but choosing to do it in a way that he found less stressful'. But I guess you could take it to mean 'this was an album where Brian sat out and nodded his head in the corner to what WE were making'. But I don't think the latter interpretation can be seen as correct for Wild Honey. On the MIU or Light Album sessions 10 years later, then possibly... but not in the late 60s. Or not before 1969 in earnest, anyway.
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The biggest revelation about Sunshine Tomorrow.. Brian's level of involvement.. on: July 01, 2017, 07:35:18 AM
No mystery... I just meant the guys on this thread. Sam (OP here), guitarfool, rondemon...

And on the other board, I'm truly amazed to see the likes of Lee Dempsey and Mikie saying they're surprised to hear how in control Brian was too. It's not a sectarian viewpoint - I can't be bothered with all the Brianista/Lovester nonsense, there's nothing that interests me less. I'm just genuinely, genuinely surprised. There's been so many recordings out over the years that have shown that Brian was 'the man' in the studio until after Friends, and the gradual decline in involvement and participation didn't really set in until then.

Reading guitarfool and rab2591's posts above, I must have totally missed whatever was said here about how Carl did all the work after Smiley Smile (if indeed that *is* what was said). Or maybe I did read it and just totally forgot about it, because half an hour's selected listening to Smiley, WH and Friends session tapes would instantly disprove it, surely?

I don't doubt Carl stepped up *more* after SMiLE, and in time became a driving force in the studio... but for SS, WH, and Friends, you can't argue with what you hear on the sessions. It seems impossible to me that you could be uncertain about who is in charge, even if the group is playing much more of a role than they did from 1965 to summer 1967.
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Beach Boys Wild Honey(Sunshine Tomorrow) 2CD Set? on: July 01, 2017, 07:28:17 AM
Jann Wenner was right about one thing -- the BBs weren't much of a live unit in 1967. Listening to the Detroit recordings here, I keep thinking, surely these are just rehearsals -- but no, there's applause at the end.

William; I started seeing the band in 1965, Brooklyn Academy of Music. They were great. Saw them several times 66/67/68.  They were great.  Jann Wenner, in my opinion, at that time was in the "The Beach Boys are irrelevant; they are not The Beatles " San Francisco camp.  I am not sure if this is his quote but it sums up that period :" I would rather "Get Back" with The Beatles than "Do it Again" with The Beach Boys "

I disagree wholeheartedly with Jann Wenner circa late 60's !

Take these comments of mine with a pinch of salt, as I'm not much of a fan of live recordings, as I've often said here. I'm not very taken with the live recordings on ST either, but that's prolly just me. Live tracks have to be truly stellar to get me going... all too often, they just sound to me, at best, like slightly shoddily performed versions of the studio recordings, with mistakes, flubs, out-of-time performances, wonky vocals and irritating interjections by the crowd (er... or the band, shall we say...).

[I did say to take what I say with a pinch of salt... I am quite hard to please when it comes to live recordings].

But here's the thing. You can go and see a band and come away thinking they're great. And then listen to live recordings *from the same concert* and they don't sound half as hot. Actually BEING there live seems to, in my experience, smooth over some of the rough corners in a live performance. When you listen in your house in the cold light of day, the fluffed guitar solo seems to leap out at you more. Or that's what I've always found, anyway. (Brian is far from immune to this effect. When I listened to audience recordings of some of the SMiLE concerts I attended, I couldn't believe I hadn't heard some of the instrumental and vocal flubs on the night... the performances seemed blemishless when I was actually there).

So I actually agree with William and Ray above simultaneously. And I will say this about the Beatles and Jan Wenner: at least the Beach Boys were ANY kind of live outfit in 1967 and beyond (and arguably, had their finest days of live performances still to come). The Beatles never were a live outfit again! (and even if you say 'but what about the Rooftop concert'... it was hardly a gig of unbridled live brilliance... although that's thoroughly unsurprising for a concert given on a windy, wintery London roof in January)
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Can't Wait Too Long on Sunshine Tomorrow on: July 01, 2017, 06:59:26 AM
I don't know Craig, you're pretty au fait with this stuff - don't you think that the main recording making up the bulk of the performance in the Sunshine Tomorrow version is what I describe as 'Section 6' of the twofer mix below, only in a really different-sounding mix?

From your comment above, it sounds as though you'd regard this as a different take of CWTL to any that have previously seen release. And certainly there's none of the chimes and harmony-driven sections that made up most of the 1990 twofer mix in this new version. But I think that all of the musical parts, guitars and vocals in 'Section 6' of the twofer mix (3:44-4:53 or thereabouts on the SS/WH twofer edit of the track) sound like they're performed the same to me on the Sunshine Tomorrow version, just mixed, edited and processed very, very differently. Or am I talking total tommy-rot?
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The biggest revelation about Sunshine Tomorrow.. Brian's level of involvement.. on: July 01, 2017, 04:41:49 AM
I'm a bit thrown and confused by this thread. The way I've pretty much *always* understood it (ever since I knew more than the most basic of facts about this group, anyway) was that the group certainly came back into the mix much more after SMiLE, being used on Smiley instrumentally for the first time properly since That's Not Me on Pet Sounds (yeah, I know there were a few instrumental contributions from Carl and Dennis on SMiLE here and there, but let's face it, it and Pet Sounds are pretty much the Wrecking Crew on the tracks)... *but* that Brian was still absolutely all over the writing, production and recording sessions on Smiley Smile and Wild Honey, and that a significant step back from THAT didn't happen until late 1968, so that 2020 is the first one where his contributions are significantly down.

I got seriously into the Beach Boys in 1995, and by 1998-9, I already had that impression. The release album by album of the SOT bootlegs around 2000 only strengthened that sense. OK, so the sessions were fairly limited for Wild Honey, but who did we hear leading the sessions for that album that we *did* hear on SOT? BDW. And there was no doubt that it was Brian leading the Smiley sessions - we had a lot of those on SOT and his presence and influence is absolutely indisputable.

I can buy that the casual fan has had the idea, perhaps all the way back to the 70s, that Brian 'burned out after SMiLE' and disappeared rapidly, and very recently, anyone who became a fan through the Love and Mercy film might have got that idea, as that film does suggest that. But that can only have been having an influence on new fans' understanding of Brian's post-SMiLE involvement for a couple of years, since the film came out.

What I don't get are all the long-term posters here, deep-level fans many of you, who suddenly seem to be saying 'amazing! Brian was still involved during Wild Honey!!'. Surely, that's not been in dispute by anyone with a more than cursory understanding of the inter-group dynamics and their recording history for, well, *years*?

Did I miss something?

I recall some discussion a few years back about Brian maybe having had a much smaller role in the production and recording of *Sunflower* than had previously been thought, and evidence that his involvement in early 70s recordings was seriously down (for example that he didn't have very much to do with Carl and the Passions, and very much less involvement with the American Spring album than had been thought)... but again, I'd pretty much always understood that he was retreating pretty fast from his former role in the early 70s, so that didn't come as much of a surprise; it was just more detail to support that view. The comments on Sunflower were more surprising, as I'd always thought that sounded like quite a 'Brian' production to me, but learning that Carl, Bruce and Dennis were starting to shoulder a lot of the musical work wasn't too much of a shock (you can partly tell from the album's writing credits). I guess there's more to learn about the sessions for that album.

But the immediate post-Smile stuff up to 2020... I ask again, did you guys in this thread *really* think Brian wasn't very involved in those albums before Sunshine Tomorrow came out? And if so... why? I'm genuinely confused!
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Can't Wait Too Long on Sunshine Tomorrow on: June 30, 2017, 12:00:15 PM
I'm pretty sure on that other board somebody mentioned that the entirety of "Can't Wait Too Long" from 1967 isn't on the set, like this is just a snippet? Is that true, or is it possible that what is here is all that was done in this era for that song, with the rest of the work done mostly in 1968 (with a bit of sweetening done in 1980)?

I thought I'd break this out into its own thread. As anyone who's read my posts here for years will know, I consider Can't Wait Too Long to be one of the great unsolved Brian Wilson mysteries... and sadly, one that will probably remain unsolved and insoluble. So, unsurprisingly, the 'new' version on Sunshine Tomorrow was one of the fist things I leapt for this morning to listen to, to see if it would provide any clues.

Sadly, as someone wrote years ago on the late lamented SMiLE Shop board, "...and the curtain pulls back... to reveal another curtain". No answers, really. But as you do (or as I do) I thought I'd compare this new mix of CWTL to previous versions. Then the OP asked about how the new version compared, so I thought I'd share my comparison, as it sort of answers his question.

Can't Wait Too Long as presented on Sunshine Tomorrow is, I believe (though without any hard evidence) a freshly made edit/mix. But seeing as ALL versions that have ever been released of this song have been edited together from various takes over various periods and no-one knows any longer how the song was supposed to go (if there ever WAS one version, that is... the goshdarn song is like SMiLE in miniature... except we actually know way more now about SMiLE was supposed to go than we do about Can't Wait too Long!)... this is just another variant version. I think the OP was right - it's probably an edit of bits that were done in the Wild Honey timeframe, as it has a much more R&B sound than some of the vibes/chimes-driven sections you hear on the versions on the GV boxset and the SS/WH 1990 twofer (which I'm guessing are more likely to have been Friends-era 1968 recordings).

Anyway, I suspect this new version has also been heavily edited together from the original tapes. There are no lyrics that will be new to you if you know the GV box/twofer versions.

As you may recall the SS/WH twofer version consisted of various sections:

1) A 45-second intro with lovely harmonies (later presented acapella on Hawthorne, California and reused by Brian in TLOS) finishing with the lines "I miss you darling, I miss you so hard". This is NOT included on the Sunshine Tomorrow edit (so I guess it was Friends-era).

2) A 23-second chimes/vibes driven looping sequence, featuring a melody very like the vocal line in the chorus of the SMiLE version of Wind Chimes. This ISN'T on Sunshine Tomorrow either.

3) A minute-long fuzz bass looping section, with occasional wordless Beach Boys vocals, again featuring the line like the vocal line in the chorus of the SMiLE version of Wind Chimes. The bass now plays that melody too. This ISN'T on Sunshine Tomorrow either.

4) A sort of bridge/verse section for 20 seconds or so with someone (Brian, I think) trying to teach the band the vocals, and some partial singing, including 'miss you darling, I miss you so hard' again, and with more vocals on the GV box mix of the song.

5) A minute and a half of a sort of chorus (or maybe a verse... that's how unconventional this song is...), with the Boys singing 'Way Too Long, Been Way Too Long Baby'. Neither section 4 nor 5 are on Sunshine Tomorrow. So I'm guessing everything from the twofer mix I've described so far is from the Friends era.

6) Following a fairly brutal edit, suddenly the sound changes, and we're into another 50-second or so section with a much more R&B sound. Here the boys are still singing 'Way Too Long, Been Way Too Long Baby', but a lead over the top sings 'Baby you know that I can't wait forever... windows of darkness are all I can see through, searching the shadows, hoping to see you'.

I think this IS on Sunshine Tomorrow, but in a very different mix. Where the twofer mix of this section was very dry, the Sunshine version of this section (can't be bothered to keep typing out Sunshine Tomorrow, sorry) has much more echo chamber and sounds (to my ears) more late 60s in sound. I wonder if this part was remixed for ST trying to match a 1967 reference mix or acetate or something. It may even be a different recording, it sounds so changed, but listening closely I think this IS the recording in section 6 of the twofer mix, just mixed very very differently. More on this below.

7) A final instrumental section with no vocals, prominent organ, reverbed (Fender?) bass and dry snare. This final part wasn't on the GV box mix, and it doesn't feature on Sunshine mix/edit either.

OK... so what IS on the Sunshine Tomorrow version? The first 52 seconds or so are an incomplete mono run-through featuring just Brian at a piano. This was on the SOT sets in a much longer excerpt, but it doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know. It contains the bit where Brian complains ('Gaaaahd, this piano... so terrible, I hate it') about his detuned piano (which has always struck me as odd, because in recent years he's explained how he ASKED for the piano to be specially detuned by his tuner. So did he like the detuned sound or not? You'd have to say he did, because the piano sound is ALL OVER the late 60s albums... it's another BW mystery. Unless maybe he didn't mean the sound, and he was just complaining about the piano for some reason. He doesn't actually SAY it's the piano's sound that is so terrible).

The remaining two minutes or so of the Sunshine edit/mix are the R&B-flavoured section 6 described above, with the more (I think) 60s sound described above. There are lots of vocals, but they're all the same lines mentioned above, and I think they may possibly have been flown in at different places to give the instrumental more vocals. In other words, I suspect this may be a modern assembly using the one recorded section of lyrics and backing and shuffling them around looped sections of arrangement to create a new Wild Honey-era sounding Can't Wait Too Long that never actually existed back in the day on the 1967 tapes. That might be hideously unfair to Sunshine Tomorrow's producers, though, as I will freely admit that I have no inside knowledge I'm just guessing. And who cares if it is a contemporary fly-in assembly anyway, because it sounds good and like something the Boys MIGHT have put on tape in 1967. The track just fades out repeating the same vocals, though we do first hear a vocal-less section with a Shadows-style reverbed guitar line (playing, again, that circular Wind Chimes vocal melody from SMiLE). Again, though, I think this guitar was always in this recording and was just obscured by vocals in previous mixes we've heard of it. I think a section with the guitar line mixed prominently has just been edited in here prior to the final fade with vocals to provide some variety.

So in summary, the Sunshine Mix of Can't Wait Too Long is different to what you'll have heard before, but I suspect produced from bits you'll already know.

Oh, and the section heard edited onto CWTL on some bootlegs that incorporates the start section heard on the MiC box as 'I Believe In Miracles' is NOT on Sunshine Tomorrow, either.

Hope that helps... probably not. Just the curtain behind, well, the other curtain...!
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Questions for those with the Sunshine Tomorrow set already... on: June 30, 2017, 11:52:32 AM
Er... I'll weigh in on the questions I can.

Don't know about The Letter and the song by the Liverpool Pub Quartet. Have never been that much of a fan of either Beach Boys version in any of their various mixes. Also, I don't have Rarities... Shocked

Can't Wait Too Long is a new edit/mix. More details on that in a separate thread appearing near you very soon.

And finally, the writer's credit for Lonely Days is given as... (unknown). Sorry!
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Beach Boys Wild Honey(Sunshine Tomorrow) 2CD Set? on: June 30, 2017, 10:52:47 AM
For years, the live versions from Hawaii have made me think the Boys just weren't up to playing it in Summer 1967. But the rehearsal we hear on Sunshine Tomorrow was recorded just before the concerts, and they really cook on it, inexplicably...! Maybe they had too much pre-show, er, tea...?

Wait though...there's a live "Heroes and Villains" from the Concert/Live in London twofer and I personally thought it was pretty great.

Well, it would be dull if we all thought the same... I seriously wondered why they'd bothered putting that version of H&V on the end of the live twofer. I still think it's the worst version of the song (and of course there are lots of those) I've ever heard. It sounds like they're barely holding it together... and that can be a good thing live with some groups and songs... but to me H&V is not one of those songs. Myself, I find it very unforgiving of bad performances. Your mileage may (and probably does) vary...!
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Beach Boys Wild Honey(Sunshine Tomorrow) 2CD Set? on: June 30, 2017, 07:49:21 AM
OK, so I already wrote this elsewhere, but what the heysaboda...

I was at my local record shop at 9.31am this morning, and out 2 minutes later with Sunshine Tomorrow in my hands. It's playing now. LOUD. Sounds absolutely A1!

I've only been through it a couple of times, but standouts in the WH stereo mix so far are Darlin', which for me is the one that sounds most like a cloth has been taken off the speakers. And a couple of tracks that I was a bit 'meh' about the past are really coming alive for me: How She Boogalooed It, which I always thought was OK, but now *rocks*, and A Thing Or Two, which I never really liked before but am starting to appreciate...

On the whole, though, I admit I don't feel the stereo album mixes are the *colossal* leap forward in quality that some seem to be hearing. They just seem like really good solid stereo mixes of the mono to me, and pretty darn faithful to it in terms of ambience and relative instrumental balance (that's *not* a criticism... achieving that close a similarity with the mono all these years later is a pretty tough call). The mixes that do really leap from the speakers for me are, perhaps strangely the session excerpts of some of the WH tracks where the lead vocals have been mixed out. The bass on the title track and Aren't You Glad sessions absolutely COOKS, and the horns on the Darlin' session positively blast from my monitors. I guess mixing out the vocals gave Mark and Alan a chance to spotlight the cooking instrumental backings to these tracks.

As a SMiLE/Smiley nut, the Smiley sessions are a revelation, as it always has been when we've managed to hear more of this stuff at intervals over the years. Good to hear the chimes outro back in the long version of Vegetables, the Wind Chimes alt tag is great to hear in a proper mix at last, and the alt Fall Breaks mix really highlights the complexities of that track. When the wordless vocals came in was a real chill up the spine moment for me. I'm also really digging the more garage-y 'Wild Honey-ized' version of Can't Wait Too Long. Such a shame they never got a finished version of it pulled together.

It's also terrific to hear contemporary mixes of the Wally Heider Hawaii concert rerecords, and to hear, at last, a full set in one place of Brian's 'Smiley-ized' arrangements of what were already BB standards like Sloop John B and You're So Good To Me. There have been lots of bootlegs and partial mixes of this stuff over the years, a couple of proper released mixes dotted about here and there, and I've often wondered what the plan was and what the full set was like. Now it turns out versions of them were actually 'finished' back in the day all along, and it's great to hear them! Good Vibrations was particularly interesting - if you ever wanted to swap out the track on Smiley Smile on the grounds that its production is 'too SMiLE to be on Smiley Smile' (if you follow me), now you know what to put in its place. I remember lots of on-line discussion about doing that kind of thing with some of the 1967 live GV rehearsal tracks (the one that was on Hawthorne years ago, I think)... but those performances were always just TOO ragged for me. But the Heider GV is like a proper 'Smiley-ized' GV for me at last (er... even though GV, er, WAS on Smiley Smile... oh, you know what I mean).

And the Honolulu rehearsal version of H&V shows that the band of Lei'd In Hawaii *could* play a pretty mean version of that challenging track. For years, the live versions from Hawaii have made me think the Boys just weren't up to playing it in Summer 1967. But the rehearsal we hear on Sunshine Tomorrow was recorded just before the concerts, and they really cook on it, inexplicably...! Maybe they had too much pre-show, er, tea...?

Finally, can I get a witness on how frickin' great Honey Get Home is? Short, sweet, BW genius at work... shame it was never finished as such, although I think the 'feel' may have ended up in the bridge of one of the many 1968 recordings of Old Man River (the upbeat one on the old 1990 Friends/2020 twofer)?

Kudos and serious thanks to all the dudes out there that made this set happen. They know who they are. As I've said elsewhere, this record did not NEED to come out... and if they hadn't been pushing for it to happen... well, it wouldn't have!
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Beach Boys Wild Honey(Sunshine Tomorrow) 2CD Set? on: June 29, 2017, 07:48:16 AM
King of Anglia - please, put us out of our misery and reveal all! What is the version of Can't Wait Too Long like? Something we already know, or something previously unheard by most of us? And the 'long' version of Lonely Days? Anything previously unheard in the stereo WH mixes? What about the alternate Fall Breaks? Could a stereo Mama Says be made out of the session pieces? What's with the 'new' version of Surf's Up? And is the accapella Surfer Girl as good as the one I can hear in my imagination...?

I know - you're probably trying to, like, *listen* to the damn thing, and here I am making with all the annoying questions. Sorry... But you guessed it, I can't get my hands on this until tomorrow morning at 9.30 UK time... and that just seems like an intolerable wait right now!  Wink

19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Aren't You Glad (2017 Stereo Mix) up on youtube! on: June 27, 2017, 03:16:25 AM
I agree absolutely, and you're right that we still have the mono whatever happens, so it sort of doesn't matter... but at the same time, it bugs me slightly that there are tiny differences like this between the mono and stereo mixes. I mean, if you're GOING for a different sounding mix in 2017, it doesn't matter, but according to Howie Edelson, they were trying for something that was as close as possible to the mono mix (like Giles Martin and the 2017 Sgt. Pepper mix, right?)

That mixing touch in the original mono, of dropping out most of the instruments just before the verse kicks in, leaving just the horn, bass drum and the organ playing, is a great flourish that leads beautifully into the verse. If the alleged aim was to reproduce the mono mix as closely as possible, why doesn't the stereo mix do that too?

It's a nice touch created by Brian (I would guess) solely at the mixing stage. Clearly, the intro wasn't recorded like that on the tape; as we can hear on the stereo mix, the guitar actually kept playing... but at the mono mixdown, it was dropped out for four beats to lead into the verse with more of a dynamic contrast. It's an example of arrangement or REarrangement at the mixing stage, which is commonplace today... but Brian was really leading the pack with this sort of stuff in the mid-to-late 60s. Wind Chimes on Smiley Smile is another great example, as is the SMiLE version of Vega-Tables. Probably the best-known example is the 'accapella section' in Sloop John B. The backing track instruments actually continued playing through that part on the original tape, and the Boys just carried on singing over that section as they did on the rest of the track... but Brian took the mixing decision to highlight just how great their singing was at that time, and on that section, by dropping out the instrumental backing during mixing to create the accapella section. So the mix shapes and becomes part of the arrangement. It was groundbreaking stuff in its day, absolutely part of that whole 'the studio is an instrument' thing that Brian helped to pioneer.

Now, of course, it sounds like I'm nit-picking and whining. I'm not. I will be at the door of my local record store when it opens on Friday to buy this when it comes out (I have to be, because they're only stocking one copy!). I will be buying extra copies for friends. I am FANTASTICALLY grateful that the powers that be are mining the BB catalogue like this and getting a stereo mix of this album out there. It doesn't have to happen, and if no-one was pushing, it wouldn't.

But my point here remains a valid one. The example of this kind of technical approach to arrangement by mixing on the intro of Aren't You Glad is much more subtle, and much less of a big deal than on the accapella section of Sloop John B. But you wouldn't make a stereo mix of Sloop John B and leave the backing playing through the accapella section when it's such a feature of the song in the original mono mix (and indeed, they *didn't* do that for the 1996 stereo mix). So why treat Aren't You Glad differently? Why make a stereo mix where the idea is to mimic the mono as closely as possible... and then not reproduce the mono as closely as possible, deft little flourishes like this and all?

UNLESS, of course... there's a technical reason. And there might be. Could be that the separate tracks available to create that intro when the mono mix was made are no longer available in 2017. That might mean that dropping out the guitar would have also dropped out, say, the horn. And I seem to recall that Aren't You Glad IS one of the tracks for which the original multitrack is no longer around, or at least not accessible...

It could also be that the instruments are still on separate tracks, but that a 'deconstructed' intro like the one created during the mix for the original mono record just doesn't sound so good in stereo. Sometimes when you do that, it sounds OK in mono and you get away with it, but muting the tracks in stereo sounds too obviously like... you muted the tracks to create that intro. You can sometimes hear that you've muted a track more obviously in stereo. So perhaps they changed it for the stereo mix and left everything playing for that reason...?
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Wild Honey LP Reissue in STEREO - 2017 on: June 27, 2017, 01:25:54 AM
Is it me and my cruddy browser, john, or are there no preview files on that Amazon page? I can't see any...

Not that, you know, I'm going to listen to any 30-second previews, or anything... [cue the sound of Matt's will to resist creaking under the strain]
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Beach Boys Wild Honey(Sunshine Tomorrow) 2CD Set? on: June 23, 2017, 02:49:34 AM
By the way, since I posted that above, I have learned that Fopp in COVENT GARDEN, LONDON is only getting two copies of this in as well. And there will be three in HMV at Bury St Edmunds, which is it for major bricks and mortar retailers in the whole East of England now.

That suggests that other than via on-line retailers, there could be less than a dozen copies of this album on sale in the whole of the East of England (though I think there are still a couple of indie record shops in Norwich that I suppose might have some).

This... is not good. And does NOT augur well for UK sales...!
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Beach Boys Wild Honey(Sunshine Tomorrow) 2CD Set? on: June 23, 2017, 01:51:59 AM
Man, I can't be doing with all this Amazon horse-trading every time a new release comes out that I want, with prices going back and forth like this. And I don't get all the fuss over the date from which you're allowed to put in pre-orders, either... you still can't *have* the album when you pre-order it, which is all I'm interested in at this stage. And when you factor in the shipping c*ck-ups that *always* seem to delay the arrival of a new release from Amazon for somebody or another on here... it all adds up to a big fat 'I won't be buying this from Amazon, thanks very much'.

Having said that, maybe it's because I'm fortunate enough to still have a bricks and mortar retailer in the vicinity which I know will be carrying this set. In other words, I shun Amazon for releases like this... because I can. And I do appreciate that I'm lucky in this regard - not everybody has that freedom these days.

But like Paul McCartney going into Lewis's, buying an album and then savouring the look of it on the bus home... I positively *like* going to a shop to buy an album, and walking out with it in my hands. And that's what I'll be doing next week... on release day. And then, thank goodness, I'll be spared that business of 'There! Is that the postman coming up the drive??? It is, it is... er, it's not, it's a dog in the street. Oh, wait... that IS him!! Here it comes! It's here! Wild Honey in stereo, here I come... oh. It's just a telephone bill and a pizza delivery flyer. So, er... maybe tomorrow, then?'.

Which, when I'm waiting for music I really, really want, I absolutely CANNOT STAND!!!!!

Having said the above, it seems that Fopp in Cambridge, England, my surviving bricks and mortar retailer, are getting the grand total of ONE copy of Sunshine Tomorrow in stock next week. And you can't pre-order, pre-pay, or reserve over the phone. So I'm going to have to be there for opening time, sharp!

I know the Beach Boys are always going to play seventy-eighth fiddle to the Beatles (that's just the way it is, folks), but if the Capitol plan was to get a hip cachet off the back of what the OTHER great band of 1967 were releasing that year, I'd have to say they've failed for this release here, at least in the UK (and surely, the UK has traditionally been one of the best markets for this material?). No-one knows about this release over here outside hardcore fan circles, the surviving record shops are stocking minimal copies, and the media aren't talking about it. So buy plenty of copies, folks, because this is our best shot at getting more of this kind of stuff out there, and it ain't looking great for sales already. To paraphrase a well-known saying around these parts, we'll be lucky to sell 10,000 units in January. Er, I mean July. I hope not, but it feels to me as though similar releases for Friends, 2020, and Sunflower could be hanging by a thread...
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Beach Boys Wild Honey(Sunshine Tomorrow) 2CD Set? on: May 24, 2017, 09:23:33 AM
Uh... wait, hang on. I just happened to play the Live In London/Concert twofer the day before yesterday, for the first time in many years, and that 1967 live rendition of H&V... well, it surely is ACTUALLY live, not a rehearsal. I mean, you can hear an audience throughout the performance but especially in the quieter parts, screaming for Dennis and suchlike (it's really irritating, actually!). So surely that final track on the twofer was one of the ACTUAL live performances, not a live rehearsal before the audience came in? (unless they had an audience for the rehearsals as well. I know that does happen these days sometimes, but I thought not for these particular recordings)

Now, I know you hear audience noise at the start of the track because it's partly crossfaded on that CD from a 1964 performance of Don't Worry Baby, but that's far from the only crowd noise - as I just said, it interrupts all through the H&V performance.

Of course, this highlights one of the great confusions there has been over the last 50 years about the Hawaii recordings. As I understand it (and do weigh in if I'm wrong here), there are three kinds of recordings from that period, all related to the Hawaii concerts but not all of which were recorded during the concerts... or indeed even IN Hawaii:

the band recorded live rehearsals on-stage in Honolulu, with no audience, before the shows (the lovely live recording of Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring, as included at the end of the 1990s SS/WH twofer, was one of these, I believe... surely the definitive recording of the band performing that tune);

they recorded two days' worth of actual concerts (so with the audience screaming away throughout - I believe this is where the live bootlegs of those shows come from, one of which is the only source for the short number Hawthorne Boulevard, and also, I believe, where the live H&V at the end of the Live In London/Concert twofer came from);

They re-recorded some tracks from scratch at Wally Heider's studio once back in LA, presumably because the Hawaii recordings were technically deficient or they were too out of their gourds on-stage in Honolulu to give decent performances, which rendered the live tracks unsuitable for the planned live album. Just to confuse matters still further, it looks as though they kept also tape running throughout the Heider sessions, so there are a lot of rehearsals for the 'studio Hawaii tracks' (which actually aren't from Hawaii, but LA) too so when tracks have appeared from these sessions on boots described as 'rehearsals', it's often been really hard to tell whether they're the live rehearsals on-stage in Hawaii, or the studio rehearsals from back in LA at Heider's. Anyway, this is where the beautiful, if slightly loose 'Smileyized' performances of the time for Help Me Rhonda, California Girls, and God Only Knows come from. The version of God Only Knows from here was on Endless Harmony (a version I love so deeply that it almost almost eclipses the studio original for me), and the versions of California Girls and Help Me Rhonda were on MiC.

As I recall, Surfer Girl from this period is really problematic in this respect, as they played it in the live rehearsals in Hawaii (one of these performances made it onto Disc 5 of the GV boxed set in 1993), they played it live at the Hawaii concerts, and from memory they also rehearsed and recorded it, I think, at Heider's. So when on bootlegs we've seen 'Surfer Girl (Lei'd In Hawaii version)' or 'Surfer Girl (Hawaii rehearsal)', it can be really hard to know exactly what the photon we're dealing with.

Urm. Is that roughly right? To return to topic, if the version of H&V really is a live Hawaii REHEARSAL, then I would expect it to be different from the last track on the Live In London/Concert twofer... which was a 'real' live recording from one of the actual Hawaii concerts. And I wouldn't expect it to be the version with the Mike 'Nuclear Bomb' monologue, as that was from the STUDIO rehearsals at Heider's, back in LA... I *think*.

Anybody wanna step in, here...?
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Beach Boys Wild Honey(Sunshine Tomorrow) 2CD Set? on: May 22, 2017, 03:47:03 AM

... [strains ears listening out for arrival of Hot Tub Time Machine]
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Beach Boys Wild Honey(Sunshine Tomorrow) 2CD Set? on: May 22, 2017, 03:45:56 AM

...[finishes scale matchstick model of Tower Bridge. With full opening mechanism.]
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