Time To Get Alone?

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David Kennedy:
So with the Redwood version being the original track, is the Hawthorne version the one from 1967 that Desper is talking about or is there another version out there besides Hawthorne and 20/20?

CarlTheVoice:
TTGA is my all time favourite song, not just from the Beach Boys, so I'm very interested to see where this post ends up! I have 3 versions of this and love the 20/20 and Hawthorne ones for different reasons. The harmony at the end of the Hawthorne version is heavenly and I'm trying very hard to pick out Carl's part in it - I need to know if it's him or Bruce! Or anyone else for that matter!

Matt Bielewicz:
I'm guessing (and it's no more than that...) that both the main Beach Boys versions (20/20 and the Hawthorne one) used multitracks in different stages of development for their creation.

Imagine you record some drums, guitar, piano and a bass on a multitrack tape. All the instruments are on their own tracks, maybe a stereo pair for the drums. Now imagine you make a multitrack clone of that tape, so that all of the instruments are still on their own channel on the new tape. Then you go and overdub a whole bunch of different stuff strings, various vocal overdubs, harpsichord, trumpets etc on further open tracks on each tape... but you put *different* overdubs on to each multitrack tape. When each tape is finally mixed down, you could end up with songs that sound totally different but the drums in each one would still be the same basic performance.

I suspect something like this happened with Time To Get Alone, although it's probably even more complicated than that. Again, I don't know for sure that this is what happened (and it's ages since I listened to TTGA with anything like forensic ears, so my recollection of what belongs with which version is probably hopelessly confused), but you can imagine it might have been something like the following...

The Redwood multitrack tape is recorded in Summer 1967, with drums and bass and strings and trumpets and Redwood's vocals.

In Autumn 67, The Beach Boys take the Redwood multitrack tape, erase the Redwood vocals and record some of their own (changing some, but not all of the lyrics in the process). Maybe they add some more instruments. As per the extended liner notes released at the time of the original Hawthorne CD, we know that they made a reduction mix to make way for more instruments on the multitrack, and nearly finished this version in 1967 for Wild Honey, but they didn't quite.

Later, during the sessions for 20/20, they make another copy or reduction mix of the multitrack as it stood when they stopped working before, redo some of the vocals again (changing some more of the lyrics in the process), add new string parts, edit out the bridge with the trombone, trumpets and the whistling, and re-edit the arrangement near the end of the song to remove the 'dead stop' featured near the end of the Redwood version. Finally, they mix it, and it goes out on 20/20.

Way, WAY later, during the production of the Hawthorne set, the earlier Beach Boys multitracks are found and all the parts that differ from the 20/20 version are noted, like the different lyrics and the whistling bridge. Some of these are restored to the song, and a new mix is done from scratch, comprising parts that were never all on one multitrack at one time during the 60s, and could never have been made then.

So you end up with three different versions of the song, all of which have SOME parts and performances in common (like the drums, some of the keyboards and some of the strings), but also have a lot of significant differences: different vocals, extra percussion maybe, perhaps a different bass performance... and so on.

A bit like using the SMiLE Heroes and Villains backing track, but nixing the SMiLE-era vocals in favour of performances recorded in the emptied-out pool at Brian's house to create the H&V 45 version. Same original backing track, but with different vocals.

Like I say, I don't know if that's *exactly* what happened with Time To Get Alone, but it's one explanation for the various suspiciously similar sounding versions we have now. It's also consistent with Mr Desper's recollections; the band 'tracked over' the original multitrack, adding their own performances to some that were used in the Redwood version. And it's also consistent with the idea that the Beach Boys 'stole' the Redwood track (but it doesn't mention that they added more stuff to it of their own before releasing their version...)

If this *is* true, it also means that everyone who has posted on this subject so far is right to some extent. In the interests of board harmony, this is therefore clearly the best possible theory. ;)

MattB

PS I know there's yet *another* Time To Get Alone mix - the recent stereo one. But if I remember rightly, wasn't that just a new stereo mix designed to sound as close as possible to the 20/20 version (ie. same lyrics, same song structure - so no whistling or trumpets)? If so, that is similar to the 20/20 version in terms of its constituent parts, and simpler to understand.

Been Too Long:
The Desper recorded version is completely different. It can be heard on SOT's Vol. 20, Disc 2, track 11. I no longer have access to this but from memory it's about only a minute long and falls apart in the second verse, track only, no vocals. It is a completely different arrangement in a different key. There is a thread on this board, somewhere, that talks about this in more detail. This is from the Friends era, produced by Carl, may have been done for contractual reasons. That being said, the Hawthorne, Redwood, and 20/20 versions ARE all the same track.

Jeff:
Quote from: Matt Bielewicz on July 26, 2011, 02:18:52 AM

I'm guessing (and it's no more than that...) that both the main Beach Boys versions (20/20 and the Hawthorne one) used multitracks in different stages of development for their creation.

Imagine you record some drums, guitar, piano and a bass on a multitrack tape. All the instruments are on their own tracks, maybe a stereo pair for the drums. Now imagine you make a multitrack clone of that tape, so that all of the instruments are still on their own channel on the new tape. Then you go and overdub a whole bunch of different stuff strings, various vocal overdubs, harpsichord, trumpets etc on further open tracks on each tape... but you put *different* overdubs on to each multitrack tape. When each tape is finally mixed down, you could end up with songs that sound totally different but the drums in each one would still be the same basic performance.

I suspect something like this happened with Time To Get Alone, although it's probably even more complicated than that. Again, I don't know for sure that this is what happened (and it's ages since I listened to TTGA with anything like forensic ears, so my recollection of what belongs with which version is probably hopelessly confused), but you can imagine it might have been something like the following...

The Redwood multitrack tape is recorded in Summer 1967, with drums and bass and strings and trumpets and Redwood's vocals.

In Autumn 67, The Beach Boys take the Redwood multitrack tape, erase the Redwood vocals and record some of their own (changing some, but not all of the lyrics in the process). Maybe they add some more instruments. As per the extended liner notes released at the time of the original Hawthorne CD, we know that they made a reduction mix to make way for more instruments on the multitrack, and nearly finished this version in 1967 for Wild Honey, but they didn't quite.

Later, during the sessions for 20/20, they make another copy or reduction mix of the multitrack as it stood when they stopped working before, redo some of the vocals again (changing some more of the lyrics in the process), add new string parts, edit out the bridge with the trombone, trumpets and the whistling, and re-edit the arrangement near the end of the song to remove the 'dead stop' featured near the end of the Redwood version. Finally, they mix it, and it goes out on 20/20.

Way, WAY later, during the production of the Hawthorne set, the earlier Beach Boys multitracks are found and all the parts that differ from the 20/20 version are noted, like the different lyrics and the whistling bridge. Some of these are restored to the song, and a new mix is done from scratch, comprising parts that were never all on one multitrack at one time during the 60s, and could never have been made then.

So you end up with three different versions of the song, all of which have SOME parts and performances in common (like the drums, some of the keyboards and some of the strings), but also have a lot of significant differences: different vocals, extra percussion maybe, perhaps a different bass performance... and so on.

A bit like using the SMiLE Heroes and Villains backing track, but nixing the SMiLE-era vocals in favour of performances recorded in the emptied-out pool at Brian's house to create the H&V 45 version. Same original backing track, but with different vocals.

Like I say, I don't know if that's *exactly* what happened with Time To Get Alone, but it's one explanation for the various suspiciously similar sounding versions we have now. It's also consistent with Mr Desper's recollections; the band 'tracked over' the original multitrack, adding their own performances to some that were used in the Redwood version. And it's also consistent with the idea that the Beach Boys 'stole' the Redwood track (but it doesn't mention that they added more stuff to it of their own before releasing their version...)

If this *is* true, it also means that everyone who has posted on this subject so far is right to some extent. In the interests of board harmony, this is therefore clearly the best possible theory. ;)

MattB

PS I know there's yet *another* Time To Get Alone mix - the recent stereo one. But if I remember rightly, wasn't that just a new stereo mix designed to sound as close as possible to the 20/20 version (ie. same lyrics, same song structure - so no whistling or trumpets)? If so, that is similar to the 20/20 version in terms of its constituent parts, and simpler to understand.


The Hawthorne liner notes say that the "basic track" was recorded  on 10/14/67 & 10/15/67, the lead vocals in 11/67, and the backing vocals in 10/68.

It sounds like the October '67 work was intended at the time for Redwood.

Does anyone have an opinion as to whether the 11/67 "lead vocals" were intended to be guide vocals for Redwood, or was that actually an attempt to record the song for the Beach Boys?

How about the tag that shows up on Hawthorne?  When was that recorded?

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