I don't think this topic should be so controversial and divisive. I don't think it's any secret that Mike was the "hook" man in the Beach Boys. It's been noted in various interviews by various people associated with the group. To me, it seems that's basically what Carl was referring to.
I don't think anyone is trying to make a claim that Mike deserves a co-arranger credit. I think there's a difference between contributing arrangement ideas and being the arranger. Many people can contribute to an arrangement, but the arranger himself has the final say with whether or not to use the suggestions.
And as I laid out above in one of those posts relating to WIBN, there is a difference too between contributing songwriting ideas and being the songwriter, yet that went to court and the decision went against that very notion.
I don't know all the details of the court case, but an argument could be made that the "good night/sleep tight" tag is a hook in "Wouldn't It Be Nice", even though the part seems minor from a lyrical standpoint. Not sure where I stand on that issue, other than I don't think it deserved a full 1/3 writing credit ... but probably more than contributing a line or two.
BUT ... writing is not arranging, and most BB records don't have an "Arranger" credit per se anyway. Arranging (and often producing) is not associated with royalties most of the time either.
I can speak to that having worked ever so briefly as an arranger. The old-school way usually meant the arranger, if a member of the Musicians' Union, would get whatever the scale was per page, or depending on the project, per song. Same with the copyists who would extract the parts from the arranger's score. Per page, in that case, unless it was as happened in LA where they'd take the scores to Bob Ross and extract the parts onto onion skin and print them out or whatever method was used before Xerox. It would also depend on who the arranger was and what else he or she may have done for the song, and as per the deal worked out for the project. Look at Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Gordon Jenkins, "Hank" Mancini (as my arranger mentor called him, lol...). They get prominent credit for what they did on the projects which they worked. Whether royalties were involved, we'd need to go case by case because guys like Jenkins would both write the song and arrange it, and the arranger often conducted the studio session as well.
Producers - again, a case by case basis - but even into the modern era, they could either agree to a payment for services rendered up front, or negotiate for "points" on the records they worked. The points system could be akin to winning the lottery if that record or album hit big, because in those cases the points could equal six or seven figures in compensation - recurring - for that producer. But it was a gamble. If the record stiffed sales-wise, they would be better off taking the up front payment. But if the record hits, they get a portion of whatever that record or song earns as long as the agreement is valid.
Keep in mind as well that in the late 60's turmoil with Capitol, it wasn't just the breakage clause that the audit revealed Capitol had been stiffing the band with. Brian Wilson as producer was *not* paid his rightful share of producer royalties by Capitol, and even in the late 60's that was I think up into the 7-figure range which he was owed and eventually won from Capitol.
It's yet again a situation of going case by case because often it would change from project to project. But consider the examples of arrangers Nelson Riddle, Billy May, etc and how they were all but joined at the hip with Sinatra, Nat Cole, etc and were credited as such because that was the sound that helped sell the records and define that music.
So it was a credited role, both arranger and producer regarding payment systems, at least in the old school ways of the 60's and such. heck, even on late 70's Steely Dan albums they give an arranging credit for the musician who prepared the charts for the players.
That’s all fine and good …
But we know that Brian and the Beach Boys challenged traditional roles and broke boundaries. Brian was the primary writer, producer, arranger, singer, and often musician on these sessions. So these roles as pre-defined by industry standards were naturally blurred.
I think Dennis said it best, “Brian is the Beach Boys … we’re his messengers”. There is no other way to put it.
However … you need a mess of help to stand alone, and Brian certainly had help from the fellows, the wrecking crew, Marilyn, and probably everyone in his orbit.
I think what Craig/C-Man is after is trying to document these types of contributions, and using the Smiley board as a source to gather that info and brainstorm.
In the case of credits on Beach Boys releases, some say “Produced and Arranged by BW”, the Christmas Album has the Dick Reynolds credit for those orchestral arrangements … but most just say “Produced by Brian Wilson” or “Produced by The Beach Boys”. Which leads me to believe that Brian and the group were well-aware that “arranger” did not serve a function in their recordings because when you are the creator from start to finish, “arranger” as a defined role is not really applicable.
Additionally, we are discussing vocal arrangements specifically. Which was never anything that was credited as such on the original BB records. It is well-documented that Brian Wilson arranged the Beach Boys vocals. And in the case of a vocal arrangement in which Mike may have come up with a bass part, or a hook, or a style of bom-bom vs wow-wow vs. nah-nah-nah … Carl’s point seems to be that this was something that had an influence on the vibe of the song. In the case of a song that Mike did not co-author … I would say this falls firmly into the category of “having a hand” in the vocal arrangement. This does not make Mike the arranger, co-arranger or suggest that he is the vocal arranger or even co-vocal arranger. It simply means that he may have made some contributions to the vocal arrangement that Brian - the PRODUCER/ARRANGER - liked and decided to incorporate. It’s also worth pointing out that Carl does not seem to be referring specifically to Mike’s parts only.
Let’s face it, this would not be a problem if the topic were not Mike Love. Certainly there are plenty of reasons why responses may come as they do. But if the topic were Hal Blaine and his contributions to the arrangements via drum parts, I don’t think the responses would be so charged.
The fact remains that this type of discussion simply does not work on this board anymore, and that’s a shame.
Notice I also said in multiple replies that these kinds of things should be looked at on a case by case basis, which is exactly how all of this went down and still goes down in the process of making a record, from conception to final approved mix. And specifically on who did what and breaking traditional roles. Heck, did Chet Atkins actually "produce" Elvis' first LP on RCA, or did Elvis basically run the session? Chet says he sat back and watched, in awe, and even called his wife to watch what Elvis was doing, and maybe added some rhythm guitar or whatever. Yet Chet is "producer", officially. That's the business.
I'll bring up one that I learned recently after years of listening to, reading about, and researching The Beatles.
Who is generally credited as arranger when The Beatles' records used instruments outside guitar-bass-drums-keyboards? 99% of the time it was George Martin who translated the Beatles ideas and added some of his own onto sheet music that the musicians brought in could read. The string quartets on Yesterday and Eleanor Rigby, the brass on Got To Get You... and Pepper, etc., the strings and wind instruments on Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, I Am The Walrus, etc.
It was George Martin credited as producer but also did the bulk of the actual arranging, as in creating the parts for the outside players to play. That's common knowledge up to the White Album at least, when George would go on holiday and enlist Chris Thomas to fill that role. No dispute there.
Then factor in The Beatles themselves. It was surprising to learn how much of a key role George Harrison (happy birthday George, btw) played in arranging and translating the arrangements on his songs like Within You Without You. George Martin was not as well versed in Indian music,. meters, and rhythms as Harrison, nor did he know the ins and outs of the phrasing that characterized that music as well as Harrison. So Harrison worked hand-in-hand with both the Indian musicians they assembled as well as George Martin who scored it for the traditional Western string players also on that session. Martin's use of glissando and portamento on that chart influenced a lot of other arrangers at that time to write strings the same way, or on request from other artists who wanted that sound. It was, in fact, a "new" sound for traditional strings to play that way.
So George Harrison was the arranger and producer, right? As was McCartney who worked closely with Martin actually singing the brass and wind parts for Penny Lane, and onward and upward on everything from Here Comes The Sun to Martha My Dear. The Beatles themselves did not have the musical knowledge to do the full job, yet had ideas on what they wanted. So George Martin as producer also was their arranger, vocally too as on Because.
Common knowledge, yet it's exactly what I said earlier - Case by case basis, song by song or session by session basis. Who played what roles versus who got the credit on the albums and liners.
The reason why this is an issue, I do agree, is because it is Mike Love. Do you see the Beatles or their estates trying to seek credit for decades old recordings and releases as Mike has and had done? Do you see surviving Beatles or their families giving regular interviews where they mention credits as often as Mike does even though he won the case to get them? No. Is Olivia or Dhani Harrison saying George didn't get proper credit and looking for his name to be amended on this or that release? No. Any court cases over credits and partnerships where credit was sought when it was not justified? No. Has McCartney claimed he produced one of the many Beatles repackages and releases or do those releases still read "produced by George Martin" as they did all along? But I read in articles and interviews that Mike produced "Endless Summer", and I still don't know how that works logically. I see equal 1/3 credit given for "good night baby" in a fadeout of a record and still don't know how that works logically. Has Ringo ever tried to seek co-writer credit for Hard Day's Night, Tomorrow Never Knows, or any of the other phrases he uttered that got turned into songs? Of course not, even though his "a hard day's night" as a phrase was more crucial to that record and film than Mike saying "good night baby" in a fadeout.
So yes, as I said earlier too, the precedent is there from what Mike has done and tried to do regarding credits before.
Endless Summer, WIBN, how about the 30 or so songs that got taken out of his lawsuit after his initial claims and filings for co-authorship? For the roughly 30 he was awarded credit for, what about the other 30 or so that he claimed and never made it through to the final judgement?
That's just me. But yeah, if credit discussions come back to Mike, it is a factor because of the precedent set over the past decades and the rancor it caused on various fronts. Or even the head-scratching it causes when fans read that he produced Endless Summer, which was a collection of hits from 62-66 that Mike did not produce.
You brought up production and producer royalties, I answered it Donny - That's exactly how the biz works and how some producers are able to live comfortable for years off of those "points" and the royalties they negotiated before starting the project that became a smash hit. Capitol tried to put the screws to Brian in the 60's by not paying up on those, but they eventually did because Brian obviously produced the records and was due those payments and points.
I'd say if there were not overt attempts in the past to overshoot on seeking and applying credit, as unfortunately surrounds this band and perhaps always will, it says more about the band and the dynamics of the members and their behavior than it shows anything negative about this board's ability to have a discussion on this and related topics.
if you think it's isolated to this board and people here, see what the reaction is or would be to an article in a well-circulated music magazine that challenges the nature of the writing, arranging, and producing of the Beach Boys' classic hits, that 62-66 era specifically. Hypothetically If there was something published suggesting Mike in that era was "co-arranger", "co-producer", or similar credits on those records, you'd see reactions that would go beyond anything on this board. The people know, especially musicians, what went into those records. But I've said that already.