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Author Topic: Brian Wilson as auteur, 1988-present  (Read 5951 times)
Wirestone
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« Reply #50 on: May 24, 2012, 02:18:41 PM »

We have no confirmation, of course, that the eight leftovers Joe mentions are the same eight songs in question on TWGMTR ... there may have been other things worked on after the record was finished, or in the intervening years. But it's a fascinating quote nonetheless, and I think it shows how much Brian wanted to make a BB record in the 90s.
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DonnyL
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« Reply #51 on: May 24, 2012, 03:03:30 PM »

For the purposes of my post, it doesn't matter if something sounds similar. It matters if it's documented as a solo Brian Wilson production.

I think this is where our opinions differ. To me, the 'documentation' doesn't exist and can't exist. So all we have is careful listening. At best, we have anecdotal evidence. I'm not sure what documentation you're referring to ... an interview with someone who said it was so? Are there session logs and tapes to study? Does anyone here have access to those?

I will accept the possiblity that Paley is just so good that I think that it's Brian. But that doesn't explain why BW's vocals sound so heartfelt here, and sound like he's sleepwalking through the takes elsewhere.


-- No record company would release the Paley sessions.

I don't believe that to be true. Maybe no record company would pay the amount of money BW's management wanted, rather.

-- Giant records would not release Imagination until Brian redid many of his lead vocals.

Maybe that was because that record was lame and the back tracks sounded A/C and the vocals sounded like a demo. Maybe if the whole thing was rough, they would have.  Maybe they were just the wrong label for BW.

It's all well and good to say the stuff must be released, but over the last 20 years or so, no record company has been willing to do it, because they think the productions (and often, the performances) are not up to snuff.

This 'no record company will release them' is really BS, I'm sorry.  Maybe the heart of the issue is that BW's & the BB management are not willing to go to a smaller label. The irony is they would probably make more money with an 'artistic' album than a 'commercial' one.
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Andy B
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« Reply #52 on: May 24, 2012, 03:31:39 PM »

To be honest Brian Wilsons stock was pretty low in the 90's so i don't think it's too hard to imagine a time back then where your average middle to large record company wouldn't touch him unless he came up with something pretty special that also sounded like it would sell. Easy for us to think looking back (in our ever increasing retro world) that it would have been a great hit - that Soul Searchin' would have been a no. 1 smash in 37 countries. But i guess back then those Paley tapes sounded pretty darn weird. And back in the 90's when corporate rock and pop ruled the world they were totally out of touch. By about 30 years. So i have no trouble in believing that they probably couldn't even give them away (actually they gave Soul Searchin to Solomon Burke who gave the song a great go and probably did it better than Wilson did).

I believe the whole Wilson / Paley songs should be treated as a true 50/50 collaboration both in songwriting and producing. There are quite obviously some Brian moments and also some quite obvious Paley bits, and a whole lot somewhere in the middle. But there is nothing wrong with that. Those songs only exist and are as good as they are because Brian was involved in them. His influence and personality are all over them, whether he actually wrote them or not.
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DonnyL
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« Reply #53 on: May 24, 2012, 03:43:24 PM »

To be honest Brian Wilsons stock was pretty low in the 90's so i don't think it's too hard to imagine a time back then where your average middle to large record company wouldn't touch him unless he came up with something pretty special that also sounded like it would sell. Easy for us to think looking back (in our ever increasing retro world) that it would have been a great hit - that Soul Searchin' would have been a no. 1 smash in 37 countries. But i guess back then those Paley tapes sounded pretty darn weird. And back in the 90's when corporate rock and pop ruled the world they were totally out of touch. By about 30 years. So i have no trouble in believing that they probably couldn't even give them away (actually they gave Soul Searchin to Solomon Burke who gave the song a great go and probably did it better than Wilson did).

I believe the whole Wilson / Paley songs should be treated as a true 50/50 collaboration both in songwriting and producing. There are quite obviously some Brian moments and also some quite obvious Paley bits, and a whole lot somewhere in the middle. But there is nothing wrong with that. Those songs only exist and are as good as they are because Brian was involved in them. His influence and personality are all over them, whether he actually wrote them or not.

good point.  but I can't help but think if someone like Matador or Sub Pop were offered this stuff in the mid-'90s, they would have jumped at the chance.  And the record would now be considered a classic and would still be selling. Wouldn't have been a big hit or anything, but then again, neither was any of the other crap they released in the '90s. I'd bet the Paley stuff would have out-sold all other '90s BB or BW releases combined.

And these days, you can have a hit that sounds like a '60s record. Not so in the '90s.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 03:46:41 PM by DonnyL » Logged

Andy B
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« Reply #54 on: May 24, 2012, 03:52:45 PM »

The frustrating thing is that they continue to sit on a shelf somewhere. I was listening to them earlier and there are easily 12 fantastic songs, that could be presented as an album. You could even take off GIOMH, Saturday Morning and Soul Searchin and still have a good album. And to think that there may be other Wilson / Thomas tracks, a couple of Wilson / Asher tracks as well, and you could have a real decent release and overvew of Brian Wilson in the 90's. Though the chances of such a release are probably pretty remote unfortunately. So back to dream world..........

Oh and i totally forgot about This Could Be The Night. That is quite possibily the best track of the whole lot - just the way it sounds and pounds along. Brian is totally into it. I can listen to that song over and over again, easy. Never loses it's brilliance. And that got released, albeit on a low budget comp that probably 10 people in the world bought.
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Wirestone
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« Reply #55 on: May 24, 2012, 04:05:31 PM »

For the purposes of my post, it doesn't matter if something sounds similar. It matters if it's documented as a solo Brian Wilson production.

I think this is where our opinions differ. To me, the 'documentation' doesn't exist and can't exist. So all we have is careful listening. At best, we have anecdotal evidence. I'm not sure what documentation you're referring to ... an interview with someone who said it was so? Are there session logs and tapes to study? Does anyone here have access to those?

I will accept the possiblity that Paley is just so good that I think that it's Brian. But that doesn't explain why BW's vocals sound so heartfelt here, and sound like he's sleepwalking through the takes elsewhere.

The Everything I Need session was well documented. Hal and Carol gave interviews, Brian talked about it, and a contemporaneous account pf the session appeared in Brian's newsletter at the time. There was no co-producer there. Everyone talked about it as a Brian Wilson production -- and it sounds like one.

The Paley sessions, on the other hand, were always spoken of -- by Brian and Andy -- as being co-productions. The tracks that have emerged from the sessions officially - Sweets for My Sweet, This Could Be The Night and In My Moondreams -- all carry a credit for Andy as co-producer or as sole producer of the material.

As for "heartfelt" vocals, I will once again point out that Brian's leads on the Gershwin and Disney albums are also excellent. As, for that matter, are many of his leads on Orange Crate Art, which he did not write or produce.

-- No record company would release the Paley sessions.

I don't believe that to be true. Maybe no record company would pay the amount of money BW's management wanted, rather.

Andy Paley said so. And if labels were so eager to release that material, we certainly haven't seen much of it.

Anyway, on the broader point about Brian going to a smaller label, or releasing the material on his own, I happen to agree with you. He and his camp have been hung up on major label status, which too often forces them into compromises (although less so, generally speaking, in recent years).

It's worth pointing out, though, that he did release an album through his website, and then a second one through an independent label. Apparently neither of those releases did well enough for the BW camp to pursue that avenue further, although it certainly could prove artistically worthwhile.
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Wirestone
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« Reply #56 on: May 24, 2012, 04:09:46 PM »

The frustrating thing is that they continue to sit on a shelf somewhere. I was listening to them earlier and there are easily 12 fantastic songs, that could be presented as an album.

Probably more than that. They wrote more than has been recorded or booted.

A couple of Wilson / Asher tracks as well.

More than a couple.

Brian also wrote quite a few songs with Stevie Kalinich in 2002-03. Two made it onto GIOMH, but there are several others, apparently.
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DonnyL
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« Reply #57 on: May 24, 2012, 04:23:59 PM »

The tracks that have emerged from the sessions officially - Sweets for My Sweet, This Could Be The Night and In My Moondreams -- all carry a credit for Andy as co-producer or as sole producer of the material.


According to the label credits, the following information is true:

"When Girls Get Together" was produced by Bruce Johnston.

"Never Learn Not to Love" was written by Dennis Wilson.

"My Diane" and "Hey Little Tomboy" were produced by Al Jardine and Ron Altbach.

"Love Surrounds Me" and "Baby Blue" were produced by James William Guercio, Bruce Johnston and The Beach Boys. That would include Mike       Love, right? Mike Love co-produced Dennis' solo material!

Carl Wilson did not sing on "River Song" or "Rainbows".

"Good Vibrations" was produced by The Beach Boys.

(Not saying Andy didn't co-produce the tracks. But I think he was primarily assisting BW for the most part).
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 04:29:46 PM by DonnyL » Logged

Wirestone
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« Reply #58 on: May 24, 2012, 04:36:00 PM »

The comparisons you're making are nonsense. They generally have to do with the problematic situation that arises when all the members of a band produce their own material but a single person (or group of people) has to assemble a record for release.

This is entirely different from the Paley sessions, where Brian and Andy were creating specific songs for specific projects that included separate production credits for each song.

And it's richly ironic that in a thread where we've talked repeatedly about how "produced by Brian Wilson" is a problematic credit, you want to actually scrub off the name of Brian's collaborator on these tunes. In nearly every other case in Brian's solo career, his collaborators have contributed mightily to the final result. Why is it so difficult for you to believe that exactly the same is the case with Andy Paley?
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Sam_BFC
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« Reply #59 on: May 24, 2012, 05:04:49 PM »

Re: the aforementioned version of Everything I Need soundind lifeless and dull...let's remember that it is from a dubious source so may not be the most high quality rendering of the track.

And Re: Surf's Up (Joe Thomas Version) - absolute mind f***  Ahhh!  you're not pulling our legs are you?
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« Reply #60 on: May 24, 2012, 05:05:35 PM »

So you think Sahanaja produced Smile and not Brian?
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DonnyL
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« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2012, 05:32:06 PM »

The comparisons you're making are nonsense. They generally have to do with the problematic situation that arises when all the members of a band produce their own material but a single person (or group of people) has to assemble a record for release.

This is entirely different from the Paley sessions, where Brian and Andy were creating specific songs for specific projects that included separate production credits for each song.

And it's richly ironic that in a thread where we've talked repeatedly about how "produced by Brian Wilson" is a problematic credit, you want to actually scrub off the name of Brian's collaborator on these tunes. In nearly every other case in Brian's solo career, his collaborators have contributed mightily to the final result. Why is it so difficult for you to believe that exactly the same is the case with Andy Paley?

I'll quote myself, since you apparently didn't read it:

"(Not saying Andy didn't co-produce the tracks. But I think he was primarily assisting BW for the most part)."

I would never wish to diminish Andy's importance in those tracks.  He certainly seems to have played many (if not most) instruments and I'm absolutely certain he co-produced the tracks.  But that doesn't diminish my opinion that these are authentic Brian Wilson productions. Note I am not saying it was a solo production by Brian.
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DonnyL
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« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2012, 05:33:03 PM »

So you think Sahanaja produced Smile and not Brian?

I don't know who produced it.  I'm sure Brian was heavily involved.  I'm sure his band and Mark Linnett were involved as well.

I think this was one of those 'recorded' more than 'produced' recordings. The production was ultimately a re-creation of Brian's '60s productions.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 07:32:12 PM by DonnyL » Logged

Wirestone
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« Reply #63 on: May 24, 2012, 05:57:08 PM »

Re: the aforementioned version of Everything I Need soundind lifeless and dull...let's remember that it is from a dubious source so may not be the most high quality rendering of the track.

And Re: Surf's Up (Joe Thomas Version) - absolute mind f*ck  Ahhh!  you're not pulling our legs are you?

Search the archives of this very board. AGD has posted about it.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 06:11:11 PM by Wirestone » Logged
keysarsoze001
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« Reply #64 on: May 25, 2012, 12:38:06 PM »

So you think Sahanaja produced Smile and not Brian?

I don't know who produced it.  I'm sure Brian was heavily involved.  I'm sure his band and Mark Linnett were involved as well.

I think this was one of those 'recorded' more than 'produced' recordings. The production was ultimately a re-creation of Brian's '60s productions.

Based on the footage in the Beautiful Dreamer dvd, it seems to me like they basically set up the concert stage in the studio and then had the band play through everything a bunch of times, then did some vocal overdubs. So strictly speaking, Brian didn't produce these sessions, as really the work was already done beforehand. He sat in the booth and gave notes and had an engineer and so forth, but he wasn't strictly producing in the truest sense of the word, so much as overseeing or stage managing. But considering the fact that the band was recreating the Wrecking Crew material pretty much note for note (with the exception of the new interludes), it was still Brian's arrangements from thirty-some-odd years earlier. He just didn't need to take the time to go over whether or not the shekere sounded enough like jewelry, because he'd already established the sounds he wanted on the original tapes.
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Wirestone
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« Reply #65 on: May 25, 2012, 01:14:41 PM »

So you think Sahanaja produced Smile and not Brian?

I don't know who produced it.  I'm sure Brian was heavily involved.  I'm sure his band and Mark Linnett were involved as well.

I think this was one of those 'recorded' more than 'produced' recordings. The production was ultimately a re-creation of Brian's '60s productions.

Based on the footage in the Beautiful Dreamer dvd, it seems to me like they basically set up the concert stage in the studio and then had the band play through everything a bunch of times, then did some vocal overdubs. So strictly speaking, Brian didn't produce these sessions, as really the work was already done beforehand. He sat in the booth and gave notes and had an engineer and so forth, but he wasn't strictly producing in the truest sense of the word, so much as overseeing or stage managing. But considering the fact that the band was recreating the Wrecking Crew material pretty much note for note (with the exception of the new interludes), it was still Brian's arrangements from thirty-some-odd years earlier. He just didn't need to take the time to go over whether or not the shekere sounded enough like jewelry, because he'd already established the sounds he wanted on the original tapes.

Brian did make a couple of calls on the record that were pretty important. He decided that it should be recorded sectionally, like the 60s sessions, rather than straight through (like the live shows). He also had the band follow the original records more closely in a couple of occasions (the live arrangements were simpler) and contributed keyboards to a track or two.

That being said, the overall point is valid -- and it's what I wrote in my original, lengthy post. I think of BWPS as very similar to the two albums (PSLive and Roxy). That is, Brian has a producer credit, but his role is more in creating the original recordings and arrangements, and serving as inspiration for the band re-creating them.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 01:18:08 PM by Wirestone » Logged
Puggal
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« Reply #66 on: May 25, 2012, 01:35:06 PM »

Thanks for clarifying.
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