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679060 Posts in 27468 Topics by 4045 Members - Latest Member: reecemorgan June 09, 2023, 10:32:48 PM
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26  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Al joining Mike and Bruce for Jones Beach show on: June 24, 2014, 04:32:39 AM
We know that Al is keen to be "out there" performing the music that he loves and that he's worked quite a bit with Brian over the last three years, so perhaps he was interested in performing with Mike but not altogether happy with the manner of the approach or that it wasn't likely to be a regular thing and decided that working Brian was a better offer on any number of levels. It's probably fair to assume that he feels more loyalty to Brian and that he's on better terms with Brian than he is with Mike. It's probably all a sensitive area for Al, in that he presumably feels he should be entitled to tour with or as the Beach Boys and that being asked to play a show as a one-off is a bit like receiving an invite to your own party.

It's a typically shabby affair though and it's a huge shame that what could have been something of an olive branch has turned into yet another public disagreement of sorts. Al's announcement isn't unpleasant, but yet again it's something that could have been handled much better than it has been. Just say that you're not now able to play the show (or never were) but that it would have been a nice occasion and that you wish Mike and the rest of the band the best of luck for what you're sure will be a great show. Rise above it, keep things friendly and everyone's happy!
27  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Al joining Mike and Bruce for Jones Beach show on: June 23, 2014, 07:12:56 AM
Plus, there is no guarantee that the last `Beach Boys` gig will feature any original members whatsoever...

That's a hugely unpleasant thought, but definitely not beyond the realms of possibility. In my view they've been playing it fast and loose with the Mike and Bruce show anyway (by using the Beach Boys name rather than in reference to the quality of the shows) and it isn't an unfathomable leap to consider a Four Freshmen type arrangement. The idea of a Beach Boys show with absolutely none of the originals wouldn't ever sit right to me, though. I hope that never happens and I hope they do have a formal last gig at some point. I like the idea that Mike decides to retire at some point and goes on one last tour to celebrate that fact, with Brian, Al and David on board for one last tour. That might be hugely unlikely but it'd be a nice way to finish things off.

28  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: How would BB history be different if Mike had received proper cowriting credits? on: March 24, 2014, 05:42:55 AM
Mike's "Good Night Baby" sort of borrows from earlier parts of the song and isn't much of a lyrical contribution at all in terms of words alone, but (and apologies if this has been covered already) .......... isn't the point that it changes the "story" told in the song and gives a resolution that didn't previously exist in the lyric? So that rather than being solely a story of a couple longing for an as yet unknown future together, it resolves at the end with that future realised in some way. That yearning for a future together has become a reality and they can now "say goodnight and stay together". We know that because Mike sings it at the end. For that reason alone, I think Mike deserves more credit than (say) the proportion of the words that he wrote.

Mike's lyrics in isolation don't mean much and would arguable not deserve any sort of significant credit, but in the context of Tony Asher's lyrics they then add significant meaning (for better or worse) and become quite significant in my opinion. They aren't an equal contribution to the rest of the lyrics but they are significant in some way.
29  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: More About Brian/ Beck and New Album. on: March 20, 2014, 02:44:35 AM
No lost momentum, in my opinion.

Don't be so impatient. You can't make the plant grow faster by digging up the seeds to see if they've sprouted.

 Cool Guy

I'm not impatient, I just think that there was an opportunity for Brian to reach a wider audience with an earlier release. I could well be wrong though, obviously.
30  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: More About Brian/ Beck and New Album. on: March 19, 2014, 07:20:32 AM
I'm still really looking forward to this, but at the moment it does look like quite a big missed opportunity in terms of publicity. Brian has had a reasonably good run of well received albums and then something of a relative hit in TWGMTR. The C50 tour put Brian back in the spotlight and even the unpleasant aftermath kept him in the press. There seemed to be quite a bit of press last summer about Brian touring solo with some of the Beach Boys, doing well-reviewed shows with Jeff Beck, working with all of those people in the studio on an album that had started to get a bit of coverage and was being talked up by various people. Then the whole thing gets put on hold for over a year! I'm far from an expert on these things but it does seem like last year would have been a good time to get a new album out to a wider audience and capitalise on the momentum he'd built up.

Maybe the bio will recapture some of that momentum but it still seems a shame to me. Given that there was talk of quite a bit of material being worked on (the 'three albums' thing), maybe there could have been enough material to finish an album last year whilst still leaving an opportunity for a second one later this year.
31  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Thread for various insignificant questions that don't deserve their own thread! on: March 14, 2014, 05:22:40 AM
Does anyone know why they didn't release Soulful Old Man Sunshine at the time it was recorded? It's one of my favorites. I know Carl didn't like his "shunshine" mess up enough to exclude it from the Good Vibrations box set, but that's 20 years after the fact.

The Beach Boys didn't like the song, period - the reason Carl's 'shunshine' vocal remains in the mix is that he couldn't be bothered to go back and fix it.

The story goes - Brian writes the song with Rick Henn, Rick goes and records the track, then BW presents the track to the group, and the group do the bare minimum of work on it until they can't be arsed. They didn't even decide to mix it - the way we hear it is the culmination of Mark L & Alan B welding a bunch of disparate tapes together.

Actually not quite true -- the way we hear it is a version edited together by Rick Henn and Darryl Dragon -- hand-assembled using razor blades and splicing tape from various analog rough mixdown tapes in Rick's possession.  Back in the day Henn had Stephen Desper make him rough mixes of each day's work to take home.  That's why some sections have vocals panned center, some have vocals panned to the sides, etc. -- they were from mixes on different days.  Henn and Dragon's edit was submitted for consideration for the GOOD VIBRATIONS boxed set back in 1993, but rejected by the group -- some say due to Carl's vocal flub; some say just due to the bad memory of a session forced upon them at Murry's insistence, produced by Murry's protégé.  Stephen recalls the group being less than enthusiastic about it while working on it, and when Rick expressed his frustration that the group was not putting forth their best effort, it gave them the excuse to say "screw you" and walk out of the studio before it was completed.  Over on the Hoffman board Stephen said that as long as the tape remained in the studio there was always a chance that someone might pull it out and work on it, but once it was transferred over to the office tape vault, that was pretty much the kiss of death.

The various parties finally consented to allow it on the ENDLESS HARMONY soundtrack after Carl passed away.  The version on MADE IN CALIFORNIA is the same exact mix as was on ENDLESS HARMONY -- per Alan Boyd, he and Mark pulled the multitracks to consider re-editing / re-mixing it for MIC, but some vocal elements that were on Henn's work tapes were missing from the multitracks, so they left it alone.


Thanks for that. The last part about reviewing the tapes for MIC is interesting and new to me. I'd always wondered if a slightly better mix/edit might be possible, but I guess not. It's up there with my favourite Beach Boys tracks, it's just that the mix/edit can occasionally be a little bit off-putting (for the reasons you've explained above).
32  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Boxsets We Would Like To See Within The Next 5 Years on: March 12, 2014, 03:49:58 AM
I think the one that makes sense is a Brian Wilson solo box set, or at least an expanded multi-disc compilation. There's enough unreleased material to make it work (far more unreleased material than there appears to still be for the Beach boys). There's the Sweet Insanity stuff and Paley sessions material that deserves release, countless demos from over the years (particularly if it covered solo performances of eventual Beach Boys material), presumably plenty of live material, various oddities which are only available as downloads or stand alone solo tracks on compilations (California Feelin, Rodney on the Roq), outtakes from solo album sessions, bonus tracks not included as standard on various album releases. There's plenty there that could make a really complete set. I'd wait until after Brian's next solo album and do it some time around the biopic's release. Something a bit like the recent Nilsson set might be good, discs of each released album with bonus material and then additional discs for rarities/unreleased material.

Can't see it happening, but it should!
33  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Looking back at Brian's Disney album on: March 12, 2014, 02:59:54 AM
Gershwin - Disney - That's Whay God Made the Radio : Three late period classics, a true return to form.

Absolutely agree with this. It's an incredible turnaround from That Lucky Old Sun onwards.

At some point post-GIOMH I may well have thought that Brian had become a disinterested and substandard singer with nothing new to offer (and I like GIOMH), touring with weak performances of Beach Boys hits backed by a good band who inadvertently emphasised Brian's flaws as a singer and performer rather than covered for them. At his age, with his problems and his track record, there wasn't exactly much to hope for from future output. I enjoyed BWPS for what it was but it still wasn't something to fill me with confidence in anything new and the follow up wasn't exactly thrilling. But since 2008 he's completely turned things around in my view. His vocals are very good again and sometimes excellent, studio work has been very well produced and there's been some great new material. His work over the last five years is really something to be proud of. I think Brian hit his stride with TLOS and has rediscovered his true home in the studio (with some apparently good live performances along the way). So I'm really looking forward to what comes next.

After GIOMH I pretty much lost interest for a while. I couldn't see what Brian had left to offer and although I enjoyed TLOS a bit (without listening too much to it) I didn't even listen to the Gershwin or Disney albums when they came out (partly due to low expectations and partly because I was so busy with other things in life). Two things changed for me:

1. The reunion and That's Why God Made the Radio - that made me take notice of Brian again, with good vocals, good performances etc.
2. My son got into Dumbo from 3-4 months old. I'd loved the film when I was young and put it on one day when he was due a nap and he was transfixed - he wasn't and isn't hugely into TV and doesn't sit through anything else for more than 5 minutes but he'll happily watch Dumbo right to the end. After rediscovering Dumbo I wondered if Brian had recorded anything from that on his Disney album, which led me to Baby Mine and then the whole album. His version of Baby Mine is fantastic and its a stunning vocal.

I might change the song choices slightly but by and large they're well-chosen, well produced and very well sung. My main complaint would be that 'A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes' was included only as a bonus track on some releases, which still puzzles me. It's one of the best recording of Brian's solo career - with the fantastic intro reminiscent of a sinister 'Sail on Sailor'.

34  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Why the Mike/Bruce Combo? on: March 06, 2014, 05:18:26 AM
The big thing here is not what happened, but who said and did what.

I think the big thing is not what happened, but what's happening now and into the future. It's not Mike's fault that Brian agreed to a fixed number of additional dates and nothing further and it isn't Mike's fault that Brian then changed his mind (that's only my understanding from what I've ready here - no idea if it's true). Equally, it isn't Brian's fault that Mike booked new dates for his touring band and couldn't or wouldn't then agree to do a further tour with the full line-up. Why does any of that matter now? They've both arguably handled the aftermath of it all very badly, but absolutely none of this would be difficult to fix. Mike could very easily have explained that he'd made other commitments lasting until (say) the end of 2013, but would be able to do a tour in 2014. Brian could have accepted that or chosen not to - either way they'd both have had the option of doing a further Beach Boys tour together. That's still true now. At one stage at least, Brian claimed that he was disappointed not to be able to continue the tour. Mike said it was Brian's choice to end it, but if they both wanted to book a tour they could do that now, next year, 2015 or whenever they want to.

Problem solved? Probably not, because all of the arguments about who ended the reunion are a distraction from what I suspect are more fundamental disagreements. I don't know exactly what they are, but Mike and Brian have the choice to work together or not and are choosing not to. Different perspectives on why they stopped working together in 2012 are largely irrelevant to that. Maybe it's the cost of a bigger band, more principles, bigger set-up. Maybe it's the set list, maybe it's family disagreements, maybe Mike's too jealous of Brian's hair - I haven't got a clue. But a full Beach Boys tour or even an occasional show is still an option for all concerned if they wanted to do it. Whether it'd be a good thing or not, I'm unsure of (although as someone who unavoidably missed seeing a C50 show and has never seen the Beach Boys live, I'd love to have the opportunity to in the future).
35  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: How do fans view Jack Rieley and his influence? on: January 22, 2014, 04:51:05 AM
Three points:

"Tears" isn't on Surf's Up...

Dennis drummed on "SDT"...

Has Jack ever so much as alluded to the existence of "(WIBNT)LA" ?

Not that I give much credence to the idea of Dennis being disgusted with SDT, but is it possible that the track was recorded for 'Riot In Cell Block #9', and later used as the track for Mike's new lyrics? Riot had been performed live through most of 1970 and after the first mention of a SDT session that I can see (on your excellent Bellagio site), but SDT seems to have replaced it around the time of the next session referenced for SDT. It's probably unlikely but is it possible?
36  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike hopes to \ on: January 21, 2014, 03:01:46 AM
I bet Brian's hurt he wasn't involved with SIP.

I think it is possible that Carl quit the 1996 album project (from the Paley sessions) out of hurt because he was once more not involved in the creative process. That would be totally understandable.

There's an interesting comparison between that idea and Mike's issues with TWGMTR. Carl hand been the touring band leader since Brian stopped touring, had been Brian's right-hand man in the studio during the sixties (or at least a key assistant/understudy/whatever you'd call it), became the group's strongest vocalist in place of Brian and was lead producer for a time up until Love You. Things got messy for a while after that and Carl withdrew and went solo for a bit, but returned on condition of more rehearsals etc (I think) and so in some ways I think he returned to a leading role whilst Brian remained absent. In some ways it seemed like he withdrew from being the studio lead again after '85, when the Mike/Melcher team seemed to take over. Many people in Carl's position might have taken the view that they'd held the band together, insisted on high standards for the group and found that those standards slipped when other people took control. In the late 70's Brian had returned, but his productions were sloppy and off-the-wall by Carl's early 70's standards. Carl's often described as a perfectionist and probably found a lot of that hard to take. He might have been conflicted between his love and respect for his brother and his desire for high quality material. We know he worked on the Love You tapes to get them into a better shape for release, but he was then barely on the next album. Given everything Brian had gone through, and everything that the group had gone through with Brian, I can see why Carl would have struggled with the concept of returning to a Brian-led studio project when Brian's recent track record wasn't exactly strong. Brian had been sporadically part of the touring band and that hadn't always been a positive. He'd not provided any great new material for the group in well over a decade and was in many ways a different person from the musical powerhouse of the sixties. It would have taken a fairly huge leap of faith to jump back into a Brian produced album without having some control over the project. Add to that the recent SIP disaster that Carl had had little control over, personal issues over the Brian/Landy debacle, the autobiography, possible Brian/Mike friction, Carl's outside musical interests and possiby even issues around Carl's health and you've got a long list of reasons to pull the plug on those session at that time. It didn't mean that Carl never wanted to do it and it's only with hindsight that we can see it as a missed opportunity given Carl's all-too-early passing.

Compare that scenario with Mike's in 2012 - he'd dominated the groups studio output since Kokomo (the group's last big hit), had single-handedly led the touring band since the late 90's (again, for better or worse), had seen little interest from Brian in the Beach Boys, had provided an income to the other BRI members through his touring act, had had to take legal action against Brian to get credit for his part in composing some of the group's hit material, felt jilted over Pet Sounds, Smile and other examples of collaboration with Brian, had been much maligned in the popular media for various supposed acts of bad taste, unpleasant behaviour, cancelling Smile (generally anything negative that ever happened with the Beach Boys) etc etc. So you can see that from his perspective, he's earned his place alongside Brian as the group's leader. Rightly or wrongly, the Beach Boys of recent history had been Mike's and he probably wasn't happy about suddenly ceding control over the group he'd led for the past 14 years or so. Especially if that control went to an 'outsider' in Joe Thomas (or possibly anyone else). Add to that that Brian's solo output hadn't exactly set the world alight and I think his comments since the reunion are understandable, even if I tend not to agree that Brian/Mike collaborations are for the best at this stage. Mike compromised and later felt that maybe others didn't.

I think there are very obvious comparisons to be made between Mike and Carl, and their respective attitudes to TWGMTR and the Paley sessions stuff. Both had been the band's leader, both had had strained relationships with Brian at various points, both might have had questions over Brian's ability to produce material that they were happy with and felt entitled to their own input into the furtherance of the groups legacy.

All that said, I'm a huge fan of TWGMTR and think it turned out better than a more democratic album would have. I see little evidence to seggest that a Brian/Mike collaboration would be fruitful without other's input and I'm not keen on Mike's solo contribution to the LP. My guess is that things could have been handled better and that Mike could have been more involved to keep him happier, but I don't think the album would have been better for it. In the past, Mike seems to have been happy with relatively small contributions to the writing process (e.g. Wouldn't it Be Nice) , so maybe he could have been more involved, but I suspect Mike's being a bit optimistic about Brian's ability to do what he used to without musical input from other sources. I think it's a shame it all ended as it did, because I'd love to see something more from the group - but it now looks very unlikely.
37  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Rachel and the Revolvers on: January 10, 2014, 06:50:57 AM
It would seem unlikely Brian's memory on such things would actually would improve with the passage of time. I guess it will depend on how much time he spends with Jason Fine and to what degree he truly opens up. Also, given the scope of fifty years of the life of Brian, Fine may not care to ponder about such things as Rachel's identity. But the record is a critical early release in Brian's young career, so he should at least address its existence.  And you can't  (although Badman did) mention Rachel without the requisite question of "Who was she?"

I'd like to believe that this book will give equal time and space to all periods of Brian's life... but I have a feeling it may well be post-1992 heavy.

Maybe Fine will visit here and pick up a few of these arcane chestnuts.

If so he would be a very sensible chap.  Grin

Whilst I think that the book should give equal time and space to all periods of his life, I have to say that post-1992 is almost more of a mystery to me than any other period of his life. It might not be the case for others, but I think I have a better understanding of what Brian was up to, what he liked, who he was with etc from the early days up until the second Landy period, than I do from 1992 onwards. There'd still be about a ten year gap leading up to 1992 that I wouldn't know much about, but I'd love to know more about the last 20 or so years.

I just hope that the book manages to capture what it needs to from Brian and that he opens up about things more than he typically does (preferably a LOT more). I've got doubts about that happening, but you never know.
38  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: this song want's to sleep with you - BW Cd single on: November 08, 2013, 07:08:44 AM
Really interesting stuff here, thanks to all. The interview with Andy Paley linked to above includes this comment about Where Has Love Been - "I got a call about that one and I guess somebody gave the song to J.D. Souther to write lyrics to and then they put it out. We wrote so many songs, it's kind of hard to say when we wrote it.". So it sounds like there wasn't any recording of the song, but it just adds to the sense that Brian and Andy were really creating a lot of music during this period. I would have loved to hear a version of that song completed by Andy and Brian. The Imagination release couldn't be further from the style of Brian and Andy's work together.

Brian seems to have (co)written a huge amount (relatively speaking) between starting these session with Andy Paley and finishing work with Joe Thomas. The number of originals on Imagination might not be that high, but I think it's been said that some of the TWGMTR songs came from the original Joe Thomas era, along with some of the stuff Brian's currently working on. After that, newly written songs appear to become something of a rarity for quite a while afterwards. What was new between Imagination and That Lucky Old Sun?

A Friend Like You?
On Christmas Day?
What I Really Want for Christmas?
Rodney on the Roq?
Walking Down the Path of Life?

Am I missing a load? It seems to me that he wrote at least thirty songs with others in the five years to 1998 (ish), and then very few that we know of in the next ten years. Maybe Brian did/does write a lot more than this and simply keeps them to himself most of the time. Or does he need a burst of enthusiasm and the right collaborator - for example, Andy Paley, Joe Thomas (sometimes at least) or Scott Bennett? The Paley material almost seems like the last great burst of writing Brian has had. It's a huge shame that most of the material hasn't had a proper release yet.

39  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Burton Cummings doesnt like TWGMTR! on: November 08, 2013, 03:40:49 AM
Is it not true that these guys have been using studio trickery for many decades to ge the sound?  Doubling voices a nd going from studio to studio to get a sound?  Sweetening vocals on live albums?  processing the sound of various member's vocals?  Using reverb and various spectorian tricks?    but in the end, you have to look at the final product and the BB sound that you hear.  do you likeitornot?  auto tune is just another Tool to get a sound.   and I like that unique BB sound.  and I still hear it on the new recordings.     

Not sure what your argument is here. So your saying basically that because they've used studio trickery in the past, that I should like all studio trickery.

So because they've used synthesizers in the past, I shouldn't have a problem if they made an electronic dance music track?

Or because they've used electric guitars before, then I should be happy if they did a thrash metal track?

Didn't he pretty much say the opposite of that? Donald says we all have to look at the final product and decide whether we like it or not. The point seems to be that there's nothing inherently wrong with any particular form of studio trickery - the issue is whether you enjoy the music or not regardless of how the sound was achieved (apologies if I've got this wrong). You don't like it and that's fine. He doesn't say anything like what you've concocted in your post.

Donald's post might even be the most relevant post in this thread because Burton Cummings seems to have a problem with the use of auto-tune itself, rather than the sound of the album. Some people might agree with him, others don't. He also says “In my day, there was no such thing as 'auto tuned vocals'. Especially when you were recording 45's and 33's, there wasn't the studio capability to fix things and filter things. What you sang is what you recorded." - which isn't really true. There were plenty of methods used to fix and filter things.

40  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Burton Cummings doesnt like TWGMTR! on: November 07, 2013, 04:50:37 AM
“I was listening to a new Beach Boys album ( “That’s Why God Made The Radio”) and it was so obvious the vocals had been auto tuned,” fumed Cummings. “Obviously I was not impressed. I mean this is the same Beach Boys that recorded Pet Sounds and all those great vocal harmonies yet they felt they had to resort to auto-tuning!

It isn't the same Beach Boys though, is it? Those Pet Sounds vocals were recorded nearly 50 years ago by a group of young men at or relatively near to their vocals peaks. So it's a bit unreasonable to expect that they can still sing at that same level, particularly given that two of them are no longer with us and that Brian (and his voice) have gone through some incredibly difficult times. There's no point pretending that these vocals should sound anything like Pet Sounds.

I consider the album on it's own merits and I think it's excellent. There are a few spots where the vocal processing grates a bit (the opening to "Isn't it Time" in particular), but I don't have a huge problem with the vocal sound overall and I generally think they sound good, all things considered. They could have been better, judging by Brian's other recent contributions (and Al's, I suppose), but I'll take the TWGMTR vocals over the GIOMH vocals any day. I can see why it would irritate those who hate this type of vocal processing, but it doesn't overly bother me (and I've opted to not think or read about it too much, in case I find myself unable to listen to music that I'd otherwise enjoy).
41  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: this song want's to sleep with you - BW Cd single on: November 07, 2013, 02:52:17 AM
Pretty sure that Don had next to nothing to do with This Song Want to Sleep With You -- his credit was more for the other tracks on the single.

I also don't think there is an pirated Paley version -- I'm pretty sure that all circulating versions of this song come from that same European CD single (it was issued a year or two before the Paley sessions were widely booted).

As for the Was sessions, I think there may have been another song or two tried (AGD's site might have more on this), but nothing of any consequence.

This makes me wonder if there's more from those sessions that hasn't leaked. Does anyone know whether there are any other tracks not circulating from the original Paley sessions? Some of the booted stuff seems less common - including "Some Sweet Day", which is one of best tracks from the sessions.
42  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Soul Searchin' on: September 03, 2013, 08:57:25 AM
Dipped into the boxed set yesterday, and the two '95 group tracks were among the first I tracked. After hearing that they were futzed with, I was somewhat relieved that they weren't futzed with quite as much as I thought they may have.

"Soul Searchin'" is relatively unscathed. It actually has some additonal layers of group backing vocals we didn't hear before, and they do sound legit as far as being original, as I can hear Carl in the layers. Carl's bridge is messed with; it has somebody semi-doubling it, like it kind of weaves in and out of the mix. I honestly can't tell if it's a double-tracked Carl, or Brian, or Andy Paley, or someone else. I don't understand why they did this, as a clean and clear single Carl bridge vocal can be heard on the circulating version. In any event, this doubled version is still highly preferable to Brian's wonky bridge vocal on GIOMH.

I've listened to this quite a few times now and I can't tell what's going on during the bridge either. There are parts that sound like a doubled Carl (or even some sort of doubling effect) and parts that sound like a second vocal from somebody that I can't quite identify. It doesn't sound like the Paley vocal that's on one of the circulating vocals and I think that his phrasing was quite different from Carl's in a few parts, so they wouldn't wholly work well together. You're right that it weaves in and out of the mix and I think that's why it's hard to identify. For that reason it could easily be Paley, Brian or Carl - I've got no idea. I think it's probably one of those things that sounds slightly jarring to my ears just because I'm so used to the previously circulating version of Carl's bridge. It still sounds excellent.

I have to wonder if there was something up with Carl's bridge that somebody had an issue with, given that it's been modified here in some way (at least compared to the version we knew) and that it was also replaced by Brian in the previously released version.

43  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Interesting song connections on: September 03, 2013, 08:40:46 AM
Likely not an intentional connection:

My Love Lives On and Southern California. Dennis' humming at the end and the melody "I had this dream singing with my brothers".

Probably unintentional but it's also interesting that the "When you feel down" line from My Love Lives On shares the melody with "God Almighty" from Live Let Live.
44  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: \ on: August 16, 2013, 04:10:36 AM
I always felt it was gracious of Al to 'let' Dennis sing one of the few hit leads he sang on.

Do we know that's how it happened? Maybe Al wasn't happy about it(?)

Don't forget that Dennis was a true leader at that point. Well, together with Carl. He didn't play drums. Instead he sang and played piano. He was quite talkative, too. I think it was quite fair to give him a lead vocal now and then. Al already had quite a few leads, songs like You Still Believe In Me, Heroes and Villains, Wouldn't It Be Nice, Funky Pretty (shared lead), Don't Worry Baby.


I always assumed it was because Al had taken over as lead vocalist on several other hits. Carl and Al probably had the biggest ranges and so fitted in where Brian's voice might have been on the studio tracks. So it probably made a lot of sense to give Al's voice a partial rest and in doing so give something else to Dennis. Dennis' voice still seems underused in both live and studio setting.

I really like this version but I probably prefer the version from Nassau Coliseum in '74, just. It'll be great to have a Dennis live lead in such good quality and it seems like a great performance. It's also interesting to hear that his voice is still pretty much intact at this point.

45  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Billboard ariticle on Mike and song writing w/ Brian issues from last album on: August 14, 2013, 09:25:59 AM
Someone else may have brought this up recently but  I was flicking through Brian's old autobiography a few days ago and I thought that the following passage was interesting -

"I need Brian alone," he protested. "I can only write if I'm alone with him."

"We wrote the song," said Dr. Landy. "If you want to add your thoughts, let's do it now. Here"

"Sorry," he said.

"Brian," said Dr. Landy, "do you want to go write with Mike or do you want to write here?"

"I'd prefer to do it here, Gene," I said.

I know that the book has very little credibility with anyone, but given that Mike's openly expressing a similar problem now, I'd guess that it's likely to have been an issue for Mike for quite some time.

46  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Bit fed up of Mike Love topics? on: August 07, 2013, 08:13:46 AM
Mike's done wrong on many occasions, as has Brian. The difference being that Mike's gets bashed every single time, while Brian gets a pass because well, he's Brian. This is what I don't like that goes on in here. Taking a more objective view of both would cut down on a lot of arguing and create better a dialogue when these issues are discussed.

I totally agree with your final sentence and the whole post to a large extent. The only thing I'd add is that saying Brian gets a pass because "he's Brian" might be a bit simplistic. I give him a bit more leeway with some things because he suffers with mental illness and has done for most or all of his life. I don't think it's unreasonable to give him a pass on some issues because analysing (or sometimes judging) a persons behaviour and intentions is a lot more difficult and complicated where they're suffering with mental illness. That doesn't mean that Brian should always be excused for every 'wrong' or that Mike doesn't have his own issues that could mitigate or contextualise his own 'wrongs', but I think it explains part of the reason why Brian gets more sympathy and leeway in discussions. I suspect it goes too far at times and maybe some people give Brian a pass because they prefer his music/abilities/image to Mike's and he's got that quirky innocence and awkwardness that leaves people expecting and accepting unusual, odd or 'off' behaviour. Mike seems a bit too normal to be excused behaviour we might not agree with.

Mike is the most polarizing and controversial member of the beach boys

Controversial yes, but polarizing I don't know. I doubt there's people here that are as pro-Mike as the anti-Mike people are anti-Mike. I only defend Mike if the basher's view is IMO too one-dimensional. I'm neither pro-Mike nor anti-Mike nor anti-Brian. There's things about both of them that I appreciate and others that I'm not so fond of.

but also people who will barely acknowledge that he's ever done anything wrong.

OK, hands up, who thinks Mike's never done anything wrong? I don't think so.
I'm not suggesting anyone actually thinks that, but that's how I read some posts on the subject. I tried but probably failed to explain that I think it's because they feel the need to solely fight Mike's corner in what they see as a very unbalance debate (emphasising others negative actions and failures whilst not mentioning or admitting that Mike might have played some negative role too). I think that just leads to less balanced posts.

I think I've already said this in another thread but actually the consensus opinions and feelings about the Boys and in particular Mike have moved a long way in the past couple of decades. The Mike threads today are down right civil compared to threads in the past. Balance takes more work when the start is so much imbalance but balance has happened and is still happening and it all is not for nothing. Jmho.
As mostly an observer, I definitely agree things have improved significantly over the years and that there's far more balance than there was. I think the C50 ending stuff has set this back a bit, but it's still better than it used to be. There's much more acknowledgement for Mike's contributions than there used to be and I think he gets a much fairer ride than he used to and the majority of people are (I think) reasonable and objective about Mike now.
47  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Bit fed up of Mike Love topics? on: August 07, 2013, 06:01:37 AM
It seems to me that the debate has become so polarised that some posters can't or won't acknowledge any middle ground where Mike Love is concerned. After years of open and significant Mike-bashing from lots of people here and elsewhere, I think some people have set themselves up (which good intention) to give the opposing argument as an antidote to the perceived one-sidedness of the argument/discussion. But that seems to have further polarised things and pushed the discussion to extremes. There are people who find fault with anything and everything Mike does, but also people who will barely acknowledge that he's ever done anything wrong. There are times when I can barely see how someone has reach their particular conclusion because it seems so unrelated to any of the information we have as fans. Whilst things are so polarised I think the debate could just go round and round indefinitely, because so many posts seem one-sided or unreasonable, which just agitates people into responding.

If people aren't willing to see both sides and accept that Mike is both good and bad to some extent or other, then it might be better to completely abandon the subject (which seems a pretty impossible task given the subject of this board). No-one in the Beach Boys story is simply a hero or a villain, they are all both to some extent - Mike included.
48  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: When was the singing voice of each individual Beach Boy at its best? on: August 07, 2013, 05:29:17 AM
I think Mike's vocals were best between Friends and Holland. His lead vocals in the earlier years work extremely well in their context and he was always a great front man for the live shows, but his studio vocals improved significantly in the late 60's and early 70's. 'Meant For You' and 'Big Sur' demonstrate this particularly well, but 'Aren't You Glad' might be a slightly earlier example (and Pet Sounds has some great Mike vocals too). The change between Holland and 15 Big Ones isn't a good one in my opinion and he suddenly seems very nasal and harsh. I don't know why this is but I do wonder if part of it was down to how much time and effort was put into vocal work and engineering up to Holland, that might not have been so rigorous afterwards. I find Mike hard to listen to at times after Holland, but absolutely love his work up to that point.

Carl is simply outstanding from Pet Sounds through to Holland. His vocals were always excellent, but I do think he peaked up to Holland and didn't quite hit the same magnificent heights afterwards. That said, his vocals after that point are still better than anyone else in the band and he remained one of the best in the business right to the end. There are some strange moments in the late 70's, particularly where his vocal appears to be slowed down slightly, but I still enjoy his voice. He's still sounds wonderful on '85, Kokomo, Somewhere Near Japan, Soul Searchin', I Wish For You etc etc. He even manages to prevent the Stamos/SIP version of Forever from being a complete and utter disaster. Irreplaceable.

Brian was the best singer in the group until Pet Sounds/Smile. After that we hear far less in the way of lead vocals, but I think he peaked in 66/67, with some good moments afterwards. I enjoy his 15BO and Love You Vocals despite the obvious the change in tone. There are some great moments later on after he'd lost the 'gruff' thing. I don't know exactly when it was recorded, but his 'Don't Let Her Know' demo vocal is beautiful and shows the he could still sing well, but some of the studio vocals don't sound quite so pure in the late 80's. He still had great delivery  and I think his vocals on things like 'Spirit of Rock and Roll' or 'Let's go to Heaven in My Car' are excellent, along with some of '88 (where he often sounds quite mechanical). Who knows what changed later, but at some point in the 90's he seemed to develop the slur and lost some of the power in his delivery. The OCA vocals are still strong and powerful, but by the time of Imagination his voice seems weaker, despite those vocals being pretty good. Comparing the 'Don't Let Her Know' demo with his some of his later solo work, he seems unable to sustain notes at the end of lines for any reasonable length. It's very obvious in live settings, but seems covered up somewhat in some of the studio work (although there are example that show he can still do it). It's almost as though he doesn't have the breath to do it like he used to (which is perfectly reasonable now, given his age).

His studio vocals have improved significantly in recent years and I think he's found a great style to fit his range and tone with the Gershwin/Disney albums. The only thing that bothers me slightly now is the slurring, which is often less obvious in the studio. He's definitely back in form with his recent run of work and I think he's reached a level of quality he hadn't shown since OCA. I wonder if he's able to devote more time to his lead vocals now that his band help so much with the backgrounds. I'd all but lost interest in solo Brian with GIOMH because the vocals were so poor (and they weren't the only problem). I wouldn't have bothered listening to any other artist putting out an album that shoddy and I honestly though he should give up as a singer, because almost anyone else could do better. It almost extinguished my interest in him as a solo artist, but I'm glad I didn't give up completely because his run from TLOS has been excellent and I think he's back to being a really good singer. There's always been a beautiful tone to his voice, and his technique seems to have improved enormously in recent years.

I think Al's voice might be at it's best now. The only time I'm not so keen on it is when he covered higher background parts in the late 70's (at least I think it's Al's voice in the blend that bothers me). His leads were always great and I think he sounds as good as ever on Postcards, with an added level of maturity that really suits his style. Given his work on TWGMTR I think these later years might be his peak.

Dennis was great between 20/20 and POB/Love You. After that it get's harder to ignore the obvious decline which seems to mirror his own personal decline, which makes it harder to listen to. He's seems to start to struggle at certain pitches which almost sound whispered. I don't know about vocal recording dates for POB material but 'Rainbows' is probably my favourite Dennis vocals, so I'll pick that as a peak.

Bruce - no idea. I don't personally think he's well suited to lead vocals, but he was incredible in the studio blend when Brian withdrew. A good singer, but I don't particularly enjoy any of his leads.
He sounds very good on TWGMTR, so all credit to him for his background work throughout the ages. His falsetto in the 60's and 70's was excellent.
49  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: I think I can understand why Brian might not wanna write much with Mike... on: August 01, 2013, 02:41:39 PM
Well put, but I have a feeling public perception regarding The Beach Boys is: the fat crazy guy with the beard and the asshole with the baseball cap....

Ha ha! That's far too close to the truth!
50  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: I think I can understand why Brian might not wanna write much with Mike... on: August 01, 2013, 03:45:43 AM
The point he is raising is that how could people possibly say The Beatles were John Lennon when someone like Paul McCartney contributed so much to what The Beatles were. He is drawing that comparison to himself - how can people say The Beach Boys were Brian Wilson when someone like Mike Love contributed so much to what The Beatles were. The difference, of course, is that Lennon and McCartney were far more equal contributors to The Beatles than Brian Wilson and Mike Love were.

Yes, but: as I've pleaded feebly before: Mike is (Love him or hate him) roughly 50 per cent of what The Beach Boys are. The template that was struck 50 years ago has really never wavered. And that template i:s Mike's voice with the counterpoint (or Mike's voice as the counterpoint to) the sensitive and more overtly emotive voice of Brian Wilson, and then when Brian went to bed, Carl stepped in with Al, Bruce and Dennis (who was the band's only real ringer) stepping up when/as needed..... That's The Beach Boys!!!! and Mike makes up basically half of if all by himself. Add to that, numerous writing credits and live frontman status: yes, he is as important to The Beach Boys as McCartney to The Beatles, IF in a different, though no less important way.

I hope you don't mind me jumping in here and prolonging or extending this discussion but I'm quite surprised by the "roughly 50 per cent" comment.  I generally find your posts to be very reasonable and fair, even though I might not agree with some of the conclusions - but this surprised me quite a bit. I think it significantly overplays Mike's contribution to the Beach Boys and I can't see that the 'template' is anything like as simple or as steady as you suggest. The Mike/Brian vocal counterpoint was just one element in the story / image /sound and it only lasted in any meaningful sense for 3-4 years. Mike doesn’t make up anywhere near half of ‘it’ in any way that I can see. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood the point, so apologies if that’s the case but I’m genuinely interested understanding this a bit more.

I’d argue that the two almost unique and irreplaceable features of ‘the Beach Boys’ are the compositional talents of Brian Wilson and the incredible vocal blend of the core members. Beyond that, I’d say that Brian’s production and arranging talents are the next most important elements. The closest thing to a template was Brian Wilson writing, producing and arranging music to sing with Carl, Mike, Dennis, Al etc.

That said, Mike took a key role in lead vocals on the first 8/9 albums, contributed lyrics to a large number of songs and is still the front man of the live shows after 50 years of touring. He’s a hugely important figure in the story of the band. But given the dominance of Brian’s contributions to new music up to the late 60’s (and sometimes beyond), the importance of multi-part harmony involving all of the principle members and the instrumental contributions of most of them, the continual reliance on Brian-centric material in the live shows for over 50 years and I really can’t see how anyone could reasonably say that Mike is roughly 50% of what the Beach Boys are. Add to all of that Carl’s increasing importance through the years (instrumentally in the studio, leading the live band, increasingly as a lead vocalist, leader producer for ten years for a significant number of albums, maybe the most consistently important voice in the blend) and the many contributions of Dennis, Al, Bruce and others and I start to think you’re significantly off with your assessment of Mike’s importance.

When Carl died, the Beach Boys only continued as a touring band drawing largely on older material and thereby demonstrating the importance of Brian Wilson’s talents even in his continuing absence. The only change was for the C50 last year, and that just reinforces Brian’s dominance to what the Beach Boys are.

I don’t want to downplay Mike’s role at all, it’s just that I think you’ve significantly overstated it with the 50% comment. Mike role was crucial to the band in many ways, but there were plenty of others hugely important roles and I find it very hard to accept that any other members contributions come anywhere near to matching Brian’s. Again, if I've got the wrong end of the stick - sorry!

I stand by my 50% comments.....

I'm not talking about who wrote what, who's the genius, who's the asshole, who it's OK to worship, etc etc: I'm talking about public perception and simply what is on recorded proof! Mike is half of what The Beach Boys are. Sorry. Not saying he's a great guy or deserves more acclaim than Brian or anyone else, or that Carl isn't the greatest singer who ever lived. The Beach Boys are Brian and Mike!!!! Post Brian breakdown, the others stepped up to fill his spot in various ways. Mike didn't have to be the lead singer on anything and everything. No matter how advanced Pet Sounds was, when Mike comes in on the bridge (ignoring the 5.1 mix) IT'S THE BEACH BOYS! No doubt about it..... Same thing with so many other songs. Yes, it's not quite as simple as I'm making it out to be ...... yet it also is.

That's fair enough and I think I understand your point if it's just about public perception. I disagree completely though or at least I can't recognise or relate well to that public perception. Thanks for elaborating though, I do find it an interesting view-point.

If we're talking about Wouldn't it Be Nice then it's the Beach Boys from the moment you get to the multi-part "wee-ooo". I think the Beach Boys are far less identified with one or two particular individuals than many other groups, maybe because the brothers/cousins aspect was so important or maybe they just didn't have anyone with the right image and personality. I think they are more identified with both musical and familial harmony as brothers and cousins (however fractious the reality was/is). Mike was visible and prominent in the early years, but I think only Brian comes close to being an identifiable name and none of them really had an identifiable image. I think you might be right about early Mike and Brian having identifiable voices, but I think Brian's early high parts are the really distinctive elements (and actually Bruce's high parts slotted in very well in place of Brian's). Mike played a part in creating and maintaining the public perception but I don't think that that perception relates particularly to Mike more than to any other member.

I think public perception would be much more about the Beach Boys songs, vocal harmony and the surf/summer/car image they fostered rather than Mike and/or Brian. To all of their credit, the music was always the star of the show.
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