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Author Topic: Let's hear it for the Voice of the Tree  (Read 2764 times)
Burnley Vest
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« on: May 01, 2006, 08:47:01 AM »


I was, as always, impressed with the collective effort here at identifying most (nearly all?) of the guest vocals done at BB recording sessions of the 60's and 70's.

I believe that perhaps the most inspired choice was "A Day in the Life of a Tree". Dennis, for one, could have sung it beautifully, but JR actually sounds like a dying tree! Also, “Let’s Put Our Hearts Together” is written as a man/woman duet, so obviously it wouldn’t have made sense for the other Boys to sing there.

But “exceptions proving the rule” notwithstanding, with at least 5 (sometimes as many as 7) great voices to draw on, why would this group ever bring in outside singers?
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2006, 09:06:09 AM »


 Also, “Let’s Put Our Hearts Together” is written as a man/woman duet, so obviously it wouldn’t have made sense for the other Boys to sing there.



Brian said that theonly reason Marylin is singing that is that he couldn't reach those high notes. And it would also make sense if it was sung solo by Brian. Still in a duet-way it has more emotion imho
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Mitchell
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2006, 09:26:09 AM »

I actually like the lyrics more from the perspective of one person.
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Burnley Vest
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2006, 10:02:57 AM »

I actually like the lyrics more from the perspective of one person.
yeah, it's funny now that you mention it, and I haven't heard this one in a while, but I remember thinking it was odd that the few lines were sung solo, rather than in harmony. So this wasn't intended as a duet after all.

Why not give it to one of the other Boys if range was a problem? Straight back to my overall question...
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2006, 10:15:26 AM »

Well, "why" they would do it... I guess to change things up, to add an extra texture, to include family and friends in their work (seems kinda casual in a family way), and maybe sometimes it just sounded good!
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2006, 12:03:24 PM »

Him trying to do all the parts the way he was at the time, would be really disturbing  Brow
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Burnley Vest
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2006, 01:22:51 PM »

Him trying to do all the parts the way he was at the time, would be really disturbing  Brow
You mean Brian on "Tree"? His voice still sounded okay around '71, no? Unfortunately, it did not sound so great around '74 or so...anyway, for what it's worth, sounds like the right choice on that one. Van Dyke Parks sounds great, too.
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2006, 02:36:12 PM »

Van Dyke Parks' vocal on "A Day In The Life Of A Tree" is one thing I haven't heard.
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Third Coast
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2006, 09:07:24 PM »

Van Dyke Parks' vocal on "A Day In The Life Of A Tree" is one thing I haven't heard.
It's on the fadeout..."Trees like me weren't meant to live if all this world can give is pollution..."

Van Dyke would have been effective as lead vocalist on this.  Like Jack R., he would have sounded like a tree.  That's a compliment.
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2006, 09:10:16 PM »

Especially the word "pollution". No one but VDP would pronounce that word that way.
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Burnley Vest
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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2006, 09:26:17 AM »

Who's the last featured singer to come in? I'm guessing AJ (from memory).
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2006, 10:35:33 AM »

We had a big debate about this awhile back, sun burn...it's either Brian or Al, we know that.  AGD and others said Al, Desper said Brian (he also says Al wasn't even in town when that part was recorded.  AGD also claimed that Brian himself said it was Al.  It's always sounded like Brian to me but their voices can sound so alike that who knows?  Either way I love that part of the song.  The whole fade is brilliant.
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Burnley Vest
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2006, 11:22:28 AM »

The whole fade is brilliant.
Oh yeah! The whole thing is kind of reminiscent of the fade on "God Only Knows", right? Doesn't the AJ/BW voice fade in mid-phrase? Yes. I'm listening to it now. Sometimes it sounds like Brian, others like Al. The pipe organ is really spectacular sounding. Who played it? I love this group!
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2006, 12:51:11 PM »

Van Dyke Parks' vocal on "A Day In The Life Of A Tree" is one thing I haven't heard.
It's on the fadeout..."Trees like me weren't meant to live if all this world can give is pollution..."

Van Dyke would have been effective as lead vocalist on this.  Like Jack R., he would have sounded like a tree.  That's a compliment.

Right, yes, (thumps head), of course I knew that...thanks.  Brain cramp- I thought someone was saying there was a VDP lead in the vaults somewhere.  I'd have loved to have heard that.
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Chris Brown
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2006, 05:07:33 PM »

Yea, that fade in at the end is really cool...it comes in at about "I lay me down".  As you said, the whole thing is just another example of Brian's mastery of the fade as a way to end his songs, although I still think the closing coda of God Only Knows was the best one he ever did!

As for the pipe organ, I have no idea but I'd guess Brian.
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2006, 09:13:15 PM »

Brian auditioned each of the guys for the lead. Has anyone asked Alan B. if those have turned up?  Maybe Al's part on the fadeout is from his crack at it.
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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2006, 10:27:57 PM »

""trying to do all the parts the way he was at the time, would be really disturbing "

"You mean Brian on "Tree"? His voice still sounded okay around '71, no? Unfortunately, it did not sound so great around '74 or so...anyway, for what it's worth, sounds like the right choice on that one. Van Dyke Parks sounds great, too."

Actually "Rolling Up To Heaven" shows that Brian's voice (shockingly) still sounded great in 1974. I think the vocals comment was for the "Let's Put Our Hearts Together" recording. I think Desper told me it was Brian with Al. The 1971 live version is Brian as the auidence starts yelling out his name frantically when he starts.
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Aegir
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2006, 12:52:44 AM »

Present-day Brian could sing Day in the Life of a Tree wonderfully.
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Chris Brown
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« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2006, 10:03:56 AM »

Yea he could, his voice today would be fantastic for it!  I'd love to hear that, although I doubt that song is too high on his list of songs to perform. 
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