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655403 Posts in 26185 Topics by 3725 Members - Latest Member: suitable_rasberry February 24, 2020, 11:47:42 AM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: If Sunflower was a double album... on: February 13, 2020, 11:43:57 PM
Oops, and I should have explained: in this, my own personal custom version of reality, the version of 'Good Night' that closes the single-disc White Album proposed above is not the one on the REAL White Album... but the piano version out-fake that came out on Anthology 3 in the 1990s. I find the White Album version with all its strings and choirs a bit over the top (even Lennon admitted late in life that it was 'possibly over-lush')... but I *love* the simple, stripped-back piano version with Ringo singing along (I often play it to my son to get him to sleep, which is apparently how John originally envisaged it, as a lullaby for Julian). And the Anthology version still closes with a little bit of the original orchestral version of the song, so you still get a 'grand flourish' right at the end to finish the album off...

If you start the piano version of the track with Harrison's '1-2-3-4' count-in, it runs to 2:15. That's how I get the timing I do for Side 2.

OK, er... back to the Beach Boys, then.
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: If Sunflower was a double album... on: February 13, 2020, 11:31:46 PM
I like most of William's tracks above, but as already noted, I just don't think most of the tracks on the proposed 'Goofy' side would ever have made it out (that said, I think 'Susie Cincinnati' is a seriously *great* track, one of the best the band put out in the whole of the 1970s, and I like 'Loop De Loop' too... although as with a lot of Beach Boys stuff, I can't help imagining what a properly produced, fully arranged version of the original Sail Plane Song, created with Brian's full participation, would have been like... but we'll never know that, I guess).

I also can't help thinking the strengths in Dennis's writing at the time (his later mid-70s stuff mostly bores me) and Brian's tracks would be better off spread throughout the album than concentrated on their own sides.

But of course, as usual, all of the above is just how *I* see it...!

Regarding The White Album game... I've had various possible line-ups, but this is the counter-factual, alternate-reality scheme that works best for me these days. Instead of The White Album as we know it plus the Revolution/Hey Jude single, the following stuff is released:

• A cut-down one-disc White Album (details below, each with a side very slightly shorter than what was released on the actual album we got in 1968... so it would definitely fit)

• plus three EPs (details below).

• And a few of the tracks go in the 'deep freeze' at Abbey Road.
One of them, 'Revolution 9', John is talked out of releasing on the album by Paul and George Martin (much to Harrison's disgust). However, the following year, John puts it out under the Plastic Ono Band name backed with one of the experimental recordings he made with Yoko at the time. (This is almost what happened in real life in 1969, except John planned to put out 'What's The New Mary Jane' backed with the at-the-time-still-unreleased 'You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)').

• The remaining 'deep freeze' tracks go unreleased, except on bootlegs and amongst collectors, who all go on endlessly on message boards about how amazing they are, until the Anthology series is released in the 90s — when everyone realises that they are, actually, pretty underwhelming.

So, here's the single-disc White Album:

Back in the USSR
Dear Prudence
Glass Onion
Martha My Dear
Don't Pass Me By
I Will
Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Time: 22:07

Mother Nature's Son
Sexy Sadie
Honey Pie
Savoy Truffle
Good Night

Time: 21:36

Revolution EP

Revolution (Loud Distorted Single Version)
Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
Yer Blues
While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Hey Jude EP

Hey Jude
Rocky Raccoon
I'm So Tired
Cry Baby Cry

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da EP

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Long, Long, Long
Helter Skelter
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill

Revolution 9

Wild Honey Pie
Why Don't We Do It In The Road?
Revolution (Take 2, as heard on the 'real-world' White Album)
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: If Sunflower was a double album... on: February 12, 2020, 11:35:32 PM
Well, let the disagreements begin, because of course everyone likes different things from this period (and of course, that's fine!).

I used to work in an office full of music-lovers and when we were bored on rainy lunchtimes we would play 'The White Album game'. You probably know it: the idea is, the Beatles' producer George Martin has heard all the tracks recorded during the White Album sessions, but thinks that there's too much schlock to put it all out as a double album. He suggests cutting it down to an absolutely killer one-disc album with all the best tracks, no filler, keeping some of the better second-grade tracks for single B-sides, and just slamming some of them in the deep freeze and never letting them be released. Your job is to propose what the one-disc tracklist should be, what should be cut, and what might still make it out as B-sides.

(As many people may know here, up to the point where you decide the one-disc tracklist, that is ACTUALLY what happened as the Beatles prepared to assemble the line-up for what became the White Album. But none of the Beatles could agree on one single one-disc tracklist in accordance with George M's suggestion... and in the end Martin couldn't be bothered to fight for one, either, in the increasingly fractious mood of the era... so pretty much EVERYTHING went on the album... and that's how we got the White Album.)

Anyway, the point is: when we played the game, NOBODY'S line-up was the same. There were some versions of the proposed single-disc White Album that I thought were bizarre in the extreme... and my colleagues, in turn, thought my choices were completely out to lunch. This taught me that people have very varied tastes and the things you think make an album great often don't resonate with others in any way.

Why am I recounting all this? Well, firstly, to introduce the White Album game to anyone who hasn't heard of it before (if you're into music and have some friends to chat to and time to kill, it's a great way to spend a lively hour or two of discussion...) and secondly to explain why nobody should be surprised to read that I don't like some of this Add Some Music line-up. Granted, this is the polar opposite to the White Album game, in that instead of cutting a double album down to a single, we're supposed to blow a single up to a double, but still...

I feel about this like I feel about those SMiLE mixes that incorporate every last scrap and fragment, in a way that would never have happened if Brian had ever finished the album. There are nearly always more tracks recorded during album sessions than will be used, bits the artist maybe initially thinks are going to fit but ultimately don't and are excluded. That's creativity and the creative process at work. Some of those, it seems to me, are fun workouts in the studio that are obviously of lower quality than the rest of the stuff, and will make B-sides at most, or just be canned altogether. Occasionally, if there's something really good in the idea but it happens not to fit THAT album, a  track might get reworked for a future release. But some tracks are just born for lesser things, it seems to me.

In my opinion, Tracks B3 - B5 of the proposed line-up fall into that category. They're fun to hear as examples of what the group was doing in the studio at the time, but they're B-grade material at best and would never have made it onto an album. And if they did, that album would be widely slated as one of those 'sprawling, over-long 70's double albums that should have been edited down to a single disc'.

I say that knowing that somewhere out there, there will be fans whose single favourite Beach Boys track is H.E.L.P Is On The Way...! And that they will disagree with me strongly...!

Perhaps that's why, generally speaking, I don't go for these fantasy releases that include the kitchen sink. A list of everything recorded during album sessions does not usually make a strong album that you actually want to listen to.

Or perhaps that's just me.

OK, so having said all this, I should still play the game. A double-album Sunflower? I'll go for this (and I would just continue to call it Sunflower... Add Some Music, is, to me, a hokey name for an album that was rightfully replaced):

Slip On Through
This Whole World
Add Some Music
It's About Time

Lady/Fallin' In Love
Susie Cincinatti
San Miguel
All I Wanna Do
Til I Die

Soulful Old Man Sunshine
Loop De Loop
Our Sweet Love
Big Sur
Celebrate The News

Tears In The Morning
Break Away
I'm Going Your Way
Cool Cool Water (short 1967 version from 1993 boxed set)

No 'Gotta Know The Woman'... one of Dennis's weaker tracks, for me. No 'At My Window' either. Both of those make great B-sides but aren't album strength in my book. But that's probably just me...

Oh, and, obviously, I don't have the dislike for Bruce's 'Tears...' that some fans do it seems.
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Who Produced Susie Cincinatti? on: January 07, 2020, 01:58:03 AM
This track has always had a rough ride from fans, it seems to me: like it's a completely disposable throwaway (perhaps because Dennis dissed it so vocally in that Tim White interview?). I think it's better than that, and really rocks. I rate it as one of Al's finest tracks meself, and one of the best things the Boys did in the 70s. And yeah, I think the single b-side mix is better, too! Not so keen on the recent remix on MiC with Dennis's questionable interjections myself, but I know others like it.

It's quite musically cool, too - if my cloth ears hear correctly, there's the clichιd step-up key change you often get towards the end of a rock track, but it comes after a descending guitar phrase suggests the track's going somewhere completely different first. That appealed to my sense of the musically unexpected the first time I heard it (a bit like how God Only Knows goes through all those changes in the bridge, and then unexpectedly resolves for the 'God only knows what I'd be without you' line before the final verse)... and it's unusual for a track mostly done by Al, isn't it?

I really love the bass in the coda/fadeout, too... it seems really thunderous. Perhaps that's Stephen Desper's doing on the original B-side mix?
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Question for c-man/other historians of this board re: Tommy Tedesco on: January 07, 2020, 01:36:45 AM
Right, Donny - that's pretty much exactly what I was already thinking. Not that Tommy Tedesco was questioning the whole composition, but more questioning how the part he was being asked to play could fit musically with what everyone else was playing.

I get the feeling it might have been a guitar line or part that seemed harmonically at odds with the rest of the track, as if it were playing in the wrong key or something... but when the strings went over the top of it later, it brought everything together and made everything make sense musically.

That's true of the repeating surf guitar motif in 'Don't Talk...' off Pet Sounds, which is why I always thought of that in this context - it seems extremely at odds with the tonal centre when it gets to the part where Brian sings "and let me feel your HEEEAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRTTTTTT... beat". There, though, it's not strings over the top that make the line work, at least not in the first verse, as they haven't started playing yet at that point. It's Brian's vocal.

But some of the chordal strumming in the basic track for 'In The Back Of My Mind' seems a little odd in that respect too. It's not as off-sounding as the line in 'Don't Talk...', but it does sound to me like the chords are really odd inversions of their usual forms or something like that (particularly in the bridge). Of course, when the overdubbed strings go over that, emphasising the underlying chords, that makes everything sound OK. And you're right, that's particularly the case in that very novel final chord flourish to the track. That sounds pretty strange in the basic track, and it's still extremely unconventional and tonally innovative even with the strings over it... but they do make it work. That could certainly have been the part that Tommy Tedesco was questioning.
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Question for c-man/other historians of this board re: Tommy Tedesco on: January 06, 2020, 10:25:20 PM
Right, exactly GF! Also, in my experience, when you do a lot of stuff repeatedly in similar or the same locations with similar but changing sets of people, it is harder to remember the different occasions distinctly. I worked in the same office for most of a decade with a slowly changing cast of people over that time... but I don't remember each day clearly. They all blend to some extent. The business trips I made during that time are easier to remember, as they were in distinct locations with different people. That's why I raised the point about the accuracy of Steve Douglas's quote. Perhaps it's wholly accurate... but as I understand it, Steve probably played on a bunch of Brian Wilson-led sessions that also featured Tommy Tedesco over the years, in a small number of different studios. If I had been in that situation, I might well have confused the studio or even the musician concerned, especially if I was recounting the anecdote a few years later.

As another example of this, regarding this specific quote about Brian being queried about his arrangement and whether it 'worked' musically, until yesterday my recollection of it had become slightly warped over the years since 1998, when I first read about it... I thought it was Barney Kessel that had questioned Brian, and it was a direct quote from him that recounted that story. But looking back at the 1998 Pet Sounds book on my shelf where I first read about this story, it's clear that it was actually Tommy Tedesco, and it actually came up in a quote not from him at all, but from Steve Douglas. Clearly my copy of the booklet hasn't changed since 1998... it's just that my memory of what I read then got confused over the years until yesterday.

I also agree with what you say about what we can hear on the surviving audio of the sessions versus all the stuff that must definitely have happened at the sessions, but which was never captured on tape and which is effectively lost to us. Regarding this, I'd go so far as to say that sometimes having the audio for just parts of these classic sessions can potentially be misleading rather than enlightening, as we perhaps too readily assume that what is discussed in them must have been the 'final' decisions on songs and arrangements BECAUSE we can hear them making that decision. Sometimes, it's clear that this IS the case, for example in the tracking session for 'God Only Knows': we have all the takes and the changes that are suggested to the feel of the bridge by the session musicians DURING the recording session (can't remember who it is now — is it Don Randi that says "Brian, why don't we do it SHORT?", giving rise to the staccato feel on the bridge) ARE taken up by Brian on the spot and become part of the finished record that was released and that we know so well.

But consider Prayer from SMiLE. For years, bootleg tapes circulated that included session chatter of Brian saying Prayer was going to be a little intro to the album. As a result, for years everyone said that was the one thing they knew for sure about the order of SMiLE: Prayer would come first, because you could hear Brian saying that on the session.

But for all we know, one second after tape stopped rolling on that session, or later that night, or the following week, Brian might have said out loud or thought: Ah, screw it, this isn't working out after all. Let's ditch this Prayer thing and open with 'You're Welcome'. (I'm not for a moment suggesting he DID... I'm just saying he might have). But the existence of the session recording shines a light on that one small part of the process that we can still hear today, so everyone assumes decisions taken on that portion of the session must be definitive. Perhaps that was no longer the plan by even the next day after the session.

Or consider that other potentially misleading event supposedly caught on tape during the SMiLE sessions: for years in the 90s it was said that Brian was on tape discussing the arrangement of 'I Wanna Be Around' with Carol Kaye during the session for that track (which, of course, took place in late November 1966, the day after the 'Elements Part I: Fire' session), and that during that discussion, it was said that the track could be regarded as 'rebuilding after the fire'. Cue hundreds of fan mixes of SMiLE (including my own...!) that HAD to have 'I Wanna Be Around' after 'Fire', because, supposedly, Brian said so on the sessions. People even said that the hammering and sawing overdubs on the complete 'IWBA/Friday Night' track were evidence OF that rebuilding. And yet it seems that all of those interpretations were erroneous: when most of us finally got to hear the tape of the session with the release of The SMiLE Sessions, it turned out that it was Carol Kaye who says 'this is what happens after the Fire, man' as a joke... and she's actually talking about the quick 'Jazz' track that the Wrecking Crew jammed live in the studio before the session proper started, not IWBA after all. Brian said nothing at all in response to that comment of Carol's... so the whole idea of IWBA as a definitive, Brian Wilson-sanctioned statement of 'rebuilding after the fire' was based on a complete misunderstanding of what was supposedly audible on the session.

Sometimes what's survived on tape didn't actually ultimately lead anywhere, but because we can still hear it today, we possibly assign a weight to it that it didn't ultimately have at the time, or in the long run. We hear Brian say that the track needs to be slower "for vocal reasons" on the H&V Prelude To Fade session... but no vocals were ever recorded, or if they were, none have survived for us to hear today. Who knows, perhaps he later decided he didn't want vocals on that part after all, and it was great left as an instrumental. As I recall, this, or something like it, was Domenic Priore's standpoint for years; his explanation of why some of SMiLE's tracks (like 'Do You Like Worms') didn't have surviving vocals was that Brian had decided he liked them better as instrumentals. But perhaps Brian just never got around to recording the vocals on Prelude to Fade. Or perhaps he went off that whole section and THAT's why the vocals weren't recorded, because he decided it wasn't going to be included at all. We just don't know.

Another example: from surviving tape, we hear Brian recording a Part 2 session to H&V on February 20th 1967 and working out some beautiful Scott Joplin-like piano progressions and vocal harmonies (with the Beach Boys harmonising faintly in the background, off-mic, and Brian saying the backing vocals need to sound like 'When You Wish Upon A Star')... and yet no finished recording of that section seems to have survived, and no surviving mixes of H&V using that section, finished or otherwise, ever made it into any version of H&V that was completed. We can only assume that Brian decided to junk it, or later changed his mind about the importance of this section that we can hear him expending no small amount of effort to get right on the session as it was happening. It was clearly important as it was being done... but perhaps three hours after the tape stopped rolling, or 20 minutes, or the following week, he decided not to use it, and so it was scrapped.

And then there are little bits and pieces like the strange melody line Brian is heard singing during the 'Do You Like Worms' session... which could have been a throwaway line just to set the tempo for the musicians during the session, but has possibly been assigned undue importance because we can still hear it as session audio today. That was held at one point to be a recording of paramount importance when it was released: it was said to be 'the missing Worms lead vocal melody', and because it was different to the one featured in BWPS, it was also evidence that the 2004 recordings were a abomination, a 21st-century fanmix, etc etc. An awful lot of importance was placed on that throwaway melody sung during the sessions. All we know for sure is that if there were vocal sessions using a melody like that, they haven't survived. Similarly for the possible vocal line Brian (or someone...!) can be heard singing during the Holidays sessions as the musicians practise fairly chaotically in the background. Maybe whoever it was singing that was just randomly singing along, absent-mindedly scatting something that fitted harmonically as the musicians practised, but because we can still hear that today, some award it possibly undue significance as 'THE lost Holidays vocal melody'...

With this pile of audio recordings, but no sense of what the over-arching plan was (if there ever was one...!), none of it necessarily makes any kind of sense.

This reminds me of something that happened to me one day long ago. There are pictures of me in Frankfurt, Germany taken by three different sets of friends of mine, and I'm wearing different clothes in each one. If my friends looked at those pictures and checked their diaries, they might say "Well, I met Matt on such-and-such day in December 1991 in Frankfurt... look, here are my pictures from that day and my diary entry, it must be true." They might argue and say "no, your diary must be wrong, because mine says that *I* met him on that same day, and look, here are MY pictures, and he's wearing something else. Your diary must be wrong or your memory must be at fault. In this one case, I'm the only person whose memories can make sense of that discrepancy, and once I've died or got dementia at some point in the future, or plain forgotten what I did that day, nobody would be able to make sense of that situation. As it is, I happen to remember that I had a really random, crazy day that day. I was living in a village about 40 minutes' train ride outside Frankfurt, and had arranged to meet a friend in town super-early before she headed off on holiday from the main train station. So we met for coffee there, but I leaned against a greasy hand rail in the station while I was there and got black marks all over my clothes. Once she'd left, I went back to the house I was staying in the mid-morning and got changed. Then another friend phoned up out of the blue and suggested meeting up, and Frankfurt was a convenient mid-point for us to meet; we decided to meet for ice cream on the spur of the moment and so I went back into the city on the train in my second outfit of the day and ended up doing some Christmas shopping with my friend Richard. I was supposed to be going out clubbing in the city in the evening with yet another set of friends, but by now I was weighed down with Christmas presents, so I went home AGAIN to drop all that stuff off so I didn't have to cart it around on my night out... and while I was back home, because I could, I changed into a more nightclub-friendly shirt. So in fact, the apparent historical discrepancy of Matt in Frankfurt with three different sets of people and three outfits DOES have a sensible explanation... but I'm the only one that knows how it makes sense. If I had forgotten that day by now, it would seem completely inexplicable to everyone else. Of course, in reality nobody cares where I was that day in December 1991, but I often think of that day when fans of SMiLE are trying to make sense of how its various pieces could have worked together. Without knowing what the plan for the album was at the time (like my movements in and out of Frankfurt on that day), the surviving documentary evidence doesn't always seem to make sense.

And yet, at different times, there must have been an explanation for everything that was has survived on tape... it all made sense to Brian on the day of recording, and he knew at those different times how it was supposed to fit together according to his plan at the time... but he kept changing his mind and his plan, and then, with the passage of time and decades of serious drug abuse, he's forgotten how it was supposed to make sense and fit together. There was a plan, or several different iterations of a plan that was evolving, that would have made sense of it all... but all that's been forgotten and as a result, what's left, the recordings, are pieces that often don't fit together or even seem to contradict one another. I now think they almost certainly wouldn't all have been used in one giant work. Some of them are re-recordings of earlier ideas that were supposed to fit into a newly revised plan. And then maybe THAT plan was itself revised, and the recordings ought to have been redone as well to fit the new plan, but maybe that never happened, so we do have recordings that don't seem to work with each other... and sometimes, we make mistaken assumptions about how they might have worked or fit together.

Now, of course, I'm guilty of derailing my own thread, because interesting as all this discussion might be (you may well disagree, of course, and long since have fallen asleep...!), it doesn't help with identifying the track Steve Douglas was talking about, which was my original question! So, er... back to that. What I'd be interested in knowing is how many tracks might fit the description Steve gave, and what they are. For the sake of a reminder, what we know about the track is that it:

• was recorded in Western 3
• featured strings
• had Tommy Tedesco playing guitar
• also featured Steve Douglas (otherwise today we wouldn't have his quote about it!).
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Question for c-man/other historians of this board re: Tommy Tedesco on: January 06, 2020, 03:18:56 AM
Whoops. Don't know why I wrote 'Carole'. What a div. Subconsiciously thinking of Carole King, perhaps? Or perhaps... I'm just a div. Apologies to Carol, not that I expect her to be reading this, but in case she is...!

Anyway, one trip to c-man's excellent Today sessionography later:

OK, so the other track that fits musically to me is 'In The Back Of My Mind'... on which some of the guitar lines certainly sound very harmonically unconventional to me (not dischordant, but harmonically unusual, is perhaps the best way I can put it)... but they're sort of... given a tonal centre that makes them work when the string overdub is added. Tommy Tedesco DIDN'T apparently play guitar on this, but he did play auto-harp, which could be close enough. And some of the strummed chords which sound like they're from the auto-harp do sound a bit weird on their own on the basic track recording... but work after the strings are added.

Plus, Steve Douglas was also on this session, playing sax, and it was recorded at Western Studio 3 according to c-man's excellent notes!

...of course, that doesn't mean it WAS this track Steve Douglas was referring to. It fits all the known criteria, but that doesn't mean that there aren't others that also fit, and if so, maybe it was one of those. We may never know for sure. Again, I defer to others who know the session history better, and who may wish to pitch in here...?

EDITED TO ADD: I'm not assuming, by the way, that even the correct track is identified that there will be surviving audio evidence of the occasion recalled by Steve Douglas in existence. I've definitely listened to all the easily available BB Wrecking Crew sessions and don't recall hearing anything like that on the early takes of anything... I'm pretty sure I would have remembered that. It's surely far more likely that if Steve Douglas's memory was correct, the query from Tommy Tedesco would have happened during the part of the sessions when Brian was working out the individual musical parts of the arrangement with the musicians in the studio... and that part of a session was hardly ever captured on tape, sadly, or at least not on tapes that have survived. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, of course... just that we can't easily hear a surviving recording of it happening. And maybe one never existed, anyway...!
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Question for c-man/other historians of this board re: Tommy Tedesco on: January 06, 2020, 02:36:53 AM
...well, bang goes THAT long-held theory of mine...!

Tommy Tedesco doesn't play guitar on 'Don't Talk', sadly. It was apparently recorded at Western, but unless Steve Douglas got his recollection of the player wrong (and seeing as the Steve quote is all we have to go on here, we're going to have to assume he was right, otherwise the whole anecdote is of no value in finding the exact session...)

According to the PS Box Sessionography I have, the only Pet Sounds track Tommy Tedesco played guitar on at all was the title track, the instrumental 'Pet Sounds'. And there are no overdubbed strings on that at all... so it can't have been a Pet Sounds session, I would say.

So the hunt continues... one other track springs immediately to mind, which musically fits the description to my mind (and ears)... but I don't know who played on that either, so maybe that's just more rubbish from me.

>scurries off to find Today sessionography<
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Question for c-man/other historians of this board re: Tommy Tedesco on: January 06, 2020, 02:24:49 AM
Great, thanks guys... already that's narrowing it down. I had totally forgotten that the quote was not from Tommy himself at all, but Steve Douglas. But now I've got it, as quoted precisely by juggler above. It's at the top of page 52 of the CD-sized booklet that accompanied the 1998 Pet Sounds session box.

I did indeed come to this matter via the discussion about Carole Kaye, and that included her views on the 'two keys' scene in Love And Mercy... but I never thought that the occasion when Tommy Tedesco questioned Brian about the arrangement was to do with the intro to "Wouldn't It Be Nice". And now I'm sure it wasn't (see further discussion below). Not that guitarfool's analysis of the opening phrase of the album above isn't fascinating... it is! But I never thought that was the bit relating to Tommy Tedesco's question/Steve Douglas's recollection.

So to summarise what we DO know (assuming, of course, that Steve Douglas hadn't himself got things scrambled in his memory when he gave that quote — it's surprisingly easy to do even at a few years' remove, as I know from personal memories that have got distorted over the years...!)

Steve Douglas was on the session; it was Tommy Tedesco who brought up the objection. so the session must have featured them both, which, as the ninth Doctor Who liked to say, "narrows it down". Moreover, Steve Douglas explicitly remembers the session being in Western 3, which is excellent information to anyone who has a comprehensive listing of the sessions held for the Beach Boys over the years complete with personnel and location... I had forgotten that the quote about this memory explicitly mentioned the exact studio!

The final extra bit of info is not excerpted by juggler above, so here's the complete quote, as the last part, it seems to me, is very significant:

"The late Steve Douglas once offered an example which explained why the musicians were so impressed by Brian. 'We had a pretty large rhythm section over at Western 3, and Brian was trying to get the guitar to play a certain thing. I remember Tommy Tedesco saying, "Hey man, it won't work; it just won't work." And Brian said, "Play it." And it sounded like it didn't make sense until he overdubbed the strings and it all fell together. It was just amazing. He heard that in his head. That's what has always blown me out about him — that he could hear these complex orchestrations.'"

So the track had strings (again, as Christopher Eccleston would say: "narrows it down"). And once overdubbed, the strings made the troublesome guitar passage work. So the bit in question features an odd-sounding, maybe even unmusical sounding or dischordant guitar, which the strings, when overdubbed, resolved or somehow made the guitar sound right again.

Clearly, that shows that the musical passage in question can't be the intro to 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' as there are NO strings there, nor does the guitar (or detuned Tibetan half-Javanese mandolin or whatever it is... very much an excellent discussion, but one for another thread) sound odd without the string layer on top of it... as there IS no string layer in that part of the song.

So what was it? It seems to me that there can't, surely, have been ALL that many Brian Wilson-led sessions in Western 3 featuring strings in overdub, Tommy Tedesco AND Steve Douglas... AND an oddly unmusical-sounding guitar line which is made to sound right once the strings are overdubbed... but maybe I'm wrong about that.

Ah, what's to be lost? I'm gonna nail my colours to the mast. The track I always thought it could be, just from the music alone, was 'Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)', which, to my ears, features EXACTLY one such guitar line that the strings 'make sense of'. But I have never checked to see who played on that track... so I could be completely wrong there. It could be that Tommy Tedesco wasn't even on that!

>scurries to available Pet Sounds sessionography...<
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Question for c-man/other historians of this board re: Tommy Tedesco on: January 05, 2020, 10:37:20 PM
I saw a comment of c-man's in the Carole Kaye/Mrs Maisel thread regarding the scene in Love And Mercy where the Carole Kaye character questions the musicality of a passage in one of Brian's arrangements... and it prompted me to think about this question.

c-man said:

"Well, this did apparently happen once with Tommy Tedesco, where he didn't understand how a certain progression of Brian's would work...until he heard it with the vocals, then it made sense to him."

I remember reading about this years ago — I think it's in the Pet Sounds boxed set booklet that focuses on all the contributions of the studio musicians, although after all these years since I first read that (over 21 and counting...!), maybe it wasn't in there but somewhere else...!

Back when I read it, I thought that was fascinating, and wondered which song they might have been working on. But I assumed there was no way we could narrow it down and identify it after all these years. After all, most of the people who would have been there were advanced in years by then (and by now have mostly died).

But now I wonder... after all, some of the people here, c-man included, have identified all sorts of stuff in recent years that no-one could ever have dreamt could have been untangled back in the day, by careful listening to session tapes etc etc

I'm guessing someone here knows exactly which sessions Tommy Tedesco played on for Brian in the 60s - or maybe even has a database of such things that could produce a session list pretty quickly? From such a list of sessions, we could speculate about which song it was, and maybe take an educated guess? After all, some BW compositions have more off-the-wall, musically innovative progressions and musical development than others...?

Ever since I first read that story in (I think) around 1998, I have always had my own thoughts on which session it might have been, but based on absolutely nothing, just guesswork based on which of BW's composititions might have seemed musically 'wrong' as a backing track... until the vocals were added. I won't say which though, as it was an utterly uninformed thought and I could be way off! So I'm as up for narrowing down the story as anyone, but don't have the detailed session knowledge to be able to do it...!

I originally assumed it was a Pet Sounds track, as (I think) that was the context in which I read the anecdote... but I guess it doesn't have to have been. I don't know how much earlier than Pet Sounds Tommy T started working with Brian, though... I guess it could even have been later than Pet Sounds, too. I recall that Tommy Tedesco is definitely on several SMiLE sessions. I don't know about after that, though. I know Brian/the band used a very few session musicians on Smiley Smile and Wild Honey, and a few more from Friends onwards... but I don't even know if Tommy was amongst that later more restricted group.

Somehow I always asssumed that the anecdote referred to what you might call 'the peak session musician years'... but that needn't be the case, of course.

Anyone up for the challenge...?
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Johnny Carson, track from Love You on: December 17, 2019, 09:33:23 AM
The ropey vocals on (most of) 15BO and this album are, I think, the real stumbling block for a lot of fans, or even non-fans who are potentially well-disposed to the Beach Boys. I couldn't hear past those the first time I listened to Love You, and I still can't bear a lot of 15BO for that same reason ('Just Once In My Life'... AWESOME cover, instrumentally speaking, but the vocals... my ears!!! the pain!!!!).

We all have our 'what were they THINKING?' moments with the Beach Boys' catalogue. 15BO and Love You started off that way for me. So here you have a band who, for better or worse, made their name on their beautiful harmonies and vocal arrangements. They've been out of the limelight for a few years, and really need to come back strong. What do they do? Put out two albums that sound as though the vocals are done by (to mangle a splendid description I read on this board or one of its forerunners MANY years ago) a bunch of bears having their sacks simultaneously slammed in a car door. They really should have put in more time and care on the vocals. I'm a huge fan of synths and electronic music and Love You should have been a no-brainer for me based on the instrumentation Brian was using... but the terrible singing meant that I didn't get as far as appreciating the instrumentation before I was turned off.

Having said that, eventually Love You won me over. And the first crack in my resistance was — yes — the track 'Johnny Carson'. That cycling outro tag ("Who's the man that we admire...?" etc etc) is what did it — it's a really standard doo-wop progression, but on Johnny Carson the goshdarned thing is just SO catchy. Eventually, I couldn't resist. And then my resistance to the other tracks tumbled in turn, and I started to notice the cool things about the album's backing tracks ('Solar System' was the first one I noticed... although I still had trouble getting past the hokey lyrics and Brian's hit-and-miss, husky 'just snorted a vacuum cleaner dust bag's worth of coke' vocal).

In another universe, Carl was with it enough to insist that Brian did his vocals with more care on both of these albums — and I wish I was in that universe. I couldn't really care less about the lack of guitar on Love You - I think the instrumental tracks are interesting enough as is, even to the point of being quite bold and experimental. But the vocals *really* needed more work. No BB albums suffer more from a 'will this do?' attitude. I still think that now.
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Murry Wilson And Snow on: December 17, 2019, 04:49:31 AM
It doesn't work for me. I don't hear more epic at all... I just hear more... *fussy*.

Sometimes a simple approach is the best. More complex music (crazy time signature shifts, more key changes etc) doesn't necessarily improve the overall quality.

When he's been firing on all cylinders, Brian's great skill (to me, anyway) has been to pack what is oftentimes great and musically pleasing complexity into an overall package that sounds simple. For examples, consider I Get Around, the original SMiLE version of Wonderful, and Sunflower's This Whole World.

To me, by contrast, this version of Breakaway is trying FAR too hard.

I get this a lot. Apart from the cantina section itself, I STILL don't get what people see in the cantina version of H&V. To me the later single version is simultaneously more interesting, more radically produced and edited, and way better performed. But for over 20 years, I've been reading people saying that the Cantina one must be the Holy Grail, more epic, more interesting, bigger, better etc... because it was recorded during the SMiLE Sessions... as if the August single must already be the burnt-out work of a has-been.

Anyways... you know what they say about opinions...!

And of course, all of the above is just MY opinion. And everyone else who prefers this version of Breakaway, I'm sincerely glad you like it.
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Now live over at Sound On Sound magazine... a tech interview with Mark Linett on: June 20, 2019, 11:25:59 PM
Well, Mark has beaten me to it. I'm not sure what that letter is either - the rest of the SOS video team are really good at arriving at a filming venue and just instantly going off filming, capturing anything that looks interesting so that they can use it as visual cutaways throughout an interview for when it comes to editing it all together later. I can confirm that the letter was definitely in Mark's studio (as you can see, because it's addressed to him at the top), but I'm not sure in which corner of the studio it was when it was filmed - I didn't even notice the guys filming that! Basically, though, all the footage in that video that doesn't have a beech tabletop in view at the back of it comes from Mark's place. And I can also vouch for the beech tabletop location - because it's my own kitchen table. It was a good neutral background to put the record sleeves on that we wanted to cut away to throughout the video! For my sins, all the sleeves come from my own collection. How on earth did I end up with so much Beach Boys... stuff?

There was a section filmed about Mark's vintage Scully and ATR three and four-track tape machines in the original rough cut, but the SOS format is pretty strict that the finished films have to be as close to 30 minutes as possible, so it (like lots of other stuff) was evenutally cut at video edit revision three, unfortunately. As I have just said at the blue and white forum, I could have happily rambled on asking questions of Mark all day long, but the rest of the team, not unreasonably, were discreetly looking at their watches and thinking about how on Earth they were going to shoehorn this long interview about ancient tapes into something even approximating 30 minutes...!

I've also said this at the other place, but the impression I get is that the BB copyright sets are far from an automatic release every year, despite the supposed requirement to protect copyright on the original recordings. As much as we might hope or assume that they'll just come out like clockwork every year (wasn't someone posting on here about a year ago pondering on what 'goodies' we might get in 2030 on the 'inevitable' Keeping The Summer Alive 1980 copyright set? Good luck waiting for that one...!), I get the sense that a case has to be made for them every single year, and that they might not be around forever if industry expectations change or if the sets stop selling so well. But looking back at the sheer mass of stuff that the Boys recorded in 1969-70, I would have thought there's enough potential in the next release, at least, for us to see something decent released. I sincerely hope that's what the forthcoming announcement is about...!
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Now live over at Sound On Sound magazine... a tech interview with Mark Linett on: June 20, 2019, 09:11:39 AM
Thanks to Mark Linett - the man is a true star...


...and it's a happy (but complete and total) coincidence that it was ready to go live on Brian's birthday...!
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 1969-70 Copyright Extension Release Prediction Thread on: December 31, 2018, 07:03:25 AM
I notice that everyone here is assuming (in a pretty taking-it-for-granted kind of way) that there will BE such a release every year. Don't forget, this archive stuff costs money to research, find, assemble, mix, and release, and if it doesn't make money, or doesn't make ENOUGH money as judged by the counters of beans... it won't happen. Mark Linett and Alan Boyd were making slightly alarming noises about that here as regards the 68 set recently, which I'm guessing might mean that the last couple of sets haven't exactly been burning up the Billboard 100. Just because we've been fortunate enough to get them every year so far... doesn't necessarily mean we'll be lucky enough to get them in future. Of course, I don't want that to happen any more than anyone here... but like local record shops, I suspect it's a case of 'use it or lose it'...

I know there are those in the BB fan community that aren't 'supporting' these sets because they'd prefer physical releases, and don't like downloads. For the record (as if I haven't made it clear enough in the past), I'm no fan of downloads either — not at all. Pretty much the only downloads I've ever bought are these annual BB sets, plus the odd thing I literally cannot get in any other format. But the economics of manufacturing physical release media for these sets are going to stack up even worse than they do for downloads, which in turn makes the bean counters even less well disposed to sanction their release. So holding out on buying these sets on the grounds that you'd prefer (or are just plain waiting for) an eventual hardware release seems unwise to me. Such a release may never come. And if even the sales of the download-only sets aren't that impressive over the coming months and years, even they may stop being released. So frankly, if it's a choice between hearing this stuff as a download or not hearing it at all ever, I sure know what my preference is...
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 1968 Copyright Extension prediction thread on: December 07, 2018, 08:16:02 AM
"I'm Confessin'/You're As Cool As Can Be 1": I'm intrigued to see what this is. It's a Brian thing right?

Having not heard it yet, I'm guessing "I'm Confessin'" is an old song. Frank Ifield recorded a version of it in the early '60s.

I didn't know the Ifield song, but having looked it up on Youtube and had a listen, I don't think the song on the 1968 BB set is a cover of Frank's tune. Unless Brian decided he was gonna REALLY f**k with the chords in his version! Also, the credits on Spotify mark it to 'Brian Wilson'. So I think it was an original. And the interesting chords certainly sound like something Brian would come up with during this period. When I first listened yesterday, and as with my first listen to 'Summer Means New Love' years back, I kept going 'OK, I know where THIS progression is going'... and getting it totally wrong. Listening to it was a lovely series of surprises!    Cheesy

The puzzle remains why the Beach Boys never returned to this stuff later, even if they never got 'I'm Confessing' finished in time for Friends. They were scraping the barrel for Brian compositions a few years later... why didn't they take another look at primo material like this?

One valid reason is that styles change as the years go by... and I can see why, say the 60s lounge of 'Be Here In The Morning Darling' would have seemed a bit passι on a BB release in, say, 1972... but if the Beach Boys did worry about this kind of thing, it didn't stop them putting out 'Suzie Cincinnati' multiple times throughout the course of the 70s... a decade not known for being particularly static in terms of prevailing musical styles in the pop idiom. Or using 'Good Time' unaltered six or seven years after it was recorded. Or releasing 'When Girls Get Together' about a DECADE after it was recorded!!

As usual, it's hard to disagree with Jack Rieley's assessment: "To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it..." Amazing, world-beating songwriters and vocalists... lousy releasers of records.
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Gong - Discussion on: December 07, 2018, 07:21:22 AM
Drug-addled blather in an echo chamber, circa Spring 1968.
18  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.
19  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...!
20  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...

21  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:
22  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,

23  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...!
24  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.
25  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...!
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