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Author Topic: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread  (Read 26119 times)
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« Reply #75 on: February 17, 2017, 09:00:18 AM »

So aside from interpersonal family issues (which I think were in play), whatever other factors...maybe Carl's ideas of what was "commercial" were not as keen as some might assume.

You could really say none of the band had very good instincts in terms of what was commercial from the mid-60s onward. The evidence is in their hits and misses, commercially speaking. How many big hits were there after "Good Vibrations?"

I think it is also almost impossible to define commercial after a certain point due to the way the music biz in general changed. Consider this: That's Why God Made The Radio hit top 5 on the album charts, I think the peak was #3. Let's call it basically the same time frame, if I recall both Weird Al Yankovic and Tom Petty had new albums hit #1 on the same charts. So in a 1960's perspective, a top 5 album or #1 album would be considered a commercial hit, a success.

But...do you hear anything from those Petty, Yankovic, or BB's albums that went top 5 on the radio? Commercial radio didn't touch the songs, I can't name one specific track off the Petty or Yankovic albums (#1 albums) that has survived even a few years after those releases.

I think as someone else said, when overt attempts are made to make a "commercial" song or album, the results are usually not as good overall, in fact it often comes out sounding desperate or contrived depending on the artist. Clapton is an example I use: He went through the 80's cranking out overly processed guitar tones, getting new "looks", trying for a radio hit. It was only the fluke of him grabbing a Martin acoustic and playing on MTV Unplugged that got him back on the charts with a "commercial" smash that crossed genres.

Combine the issue of having a commercial smash hit being akin to buying a winning lottery ticket, as much luck and fluke as by design, with some things just coming together at the right time in a business that has radically changed in the past 20-30 years, and it's hard to define at all.
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“Some people think you have to knock somebody down in order to build yourself up, I don’t look at it that way. To the mentality that likes to disparage other people, I say perhaps you should get a life. It’s just wrong thinking in my opinion and I don’t mind saying that.” - Mike Love

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« Reply #76 on: February 17, 2017, 09:03:02 AM »

I'd agree with all of that.
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« Reply #77 on: February 17, 2017, 09:20:34 AM »

The Carl/Brian dynamic during this period is very interesting, and confounding. I think we tend to think of Carl as some kind of saint who doesn't have the same emotions or jealousies as the rest of us. Considering what Carl did to extricate Brian from Landy both proactively and financially maybe he felt that Brian was ungrateful and this helped to poison their relationship , along with Brian's "autobiography". If you go back to 1969 through 1972 Carl was basically the Beach Boys producer. By completing Our Prayer, Cabinessence, Cool, Cool Water, This Whole World, Surf's Up, Marcella, Sail on Sailor etc. Carl basically helped to further Brian's legend. Move up to 1976 when Brian  returns and Carl has to put his own aspirations and direction for the band on hold after all his hard work. He polishes and finishes Love You making it releasable. Maybe by 1995 Carl had had enough. Maybe he felt that Brian wouldn't finish this project and he would be left holding the bag once again. It's all conjecture, as is so much that happens in the interpersonal world of the Beach Boys.
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« Reply #78 on: February 17, 2017, 09:22:38 AM »

I also have to tie this into the whole nature of trying to make a hit record. If there is the element of winning the lottery or even a fluke where the public just happens to jump onto a certain song, that's a very fortunate moment in time, combined with the right vehicles for promotions and the like. I think what scuppered so much of the Beach Boys output in terms of original material was taking the success of "Kokomo" as a mandate rather than the chance elements combining to make something that the public wanted to buy and enjoyed outside the core fanbase.

I do place blame in that case: Instead of perhaps running on the idea that Kokomo was that winning lottery ticket, people within and surrounding the band took the success as a mandate or "proof" that this was what people wanted to hear from the Beach Boys, and we can do it without Brian Wilson's involvement. So they ran with it. I do think it went to Mike's head in a negative way, just my opinion of course. They spent the next years after Kokomo trying to chase the success of Kokomo while alternately presenting the revues with choreography and all the trappings of a Vegas show featuring the hits and "America's Band". Summer In Paradise was one of the outcomes.

Yet no matter what they did to try jumpstarting it, new and original Beach Boys music surrounding the Kokomo success was a dead battery. They couldn't get any juice from it, despite trying to replicate the formula. It carried over onto the S&S project, instead of doing new things, they tried to put a 90's country radio sheen onto the old hits, and it never really took hold commercially.

Going back to a point from Donny earlier, considering what the band did do and whatever mandate they thought had been set by Kokomo's success, the potential of even a handful of the tracks being made and proposed with the Was-Paley projects was just as realistic to become something successful as the route the band was taking that garnered at best mixed results and moderate attention and at worst, complete trainwrecks that sunk without a trace.

It makes the decisions surrounding all that, and the apparent rejections coming from Carl specifically, even more difficult to rationalize in retrospect.
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« Reply #79 on: February 17, 2017, 09:45:53 AM »

I think we tend to think of Carl as some kind of saint who doesn't have the same emotions or jealousies as the rest of us.

If there were one thing I could somehow convince more people of, it would be along those lines: stop seeing these guys (and anyone else) as the equivalent of cartoon or boy-band characters (the sexy one, the angel, the genius, the asshole, the dentist-elf, the mic-stand adjuster, etc.) and acknowledge the complexities and contradictions in everyone. Everyone knows it on some level, yet so often we see "[Band member] wouldn't have [whatever] because he's [cliche]."
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« Reply #80 on: February 17, 2017, 09:46:53 AM »

I also have to tie this into the whole nature of trying to make a hit record. If there is the element of winning the lottery or even a fluke where the public just happens to jump onto a certain song, that's a very fortunate moment in time, combined with the right vehicles for promotions and the like. I think what scuppered so much of the Beach Boys output in terms of original material was taking the success of "Kokomo" as a mandate rather than the chance elements combining to make something that the public wanted to buy and enjoyed outside the core fanbase.

I do place blame in that case: Instead of perhaps running on the idea that Kokomo was that winning lottery ticket, people within and surrounding the band took the success as a mandate or "proof" that this was what people wanted to hear from the Beach Boys, and we can do it without Brian Wilson's involvement. So they ran with it. I do think it went to Mike's head in a negative way, just my opinion of course. They spent the next years after Kokomo trying to chase the success of Kokomo while alternately presenting the revues with choreography and all the trappings of a Vegas show featuring the hits and "America's Band". Summer In Paradise was one of the outcomes.

Yet no matter what they did to try jumpstarting it, new and original Beach Boys music surrounding the Kokomo success was a dead battery. They couldn't get any juice from it, despite trying to replicate the formula. It carried over onto the S&S project, instead of doing new things, they tried to put a 90's country radio sheen onto the old hits, and it never really took hold commercially.

Going back to a point from Donny earlier, considering what the band did do and whatever mandate they thought had been set by Kokomo's success, the potential of even a handful of the tracks being made and proposed with the Was-Paley projects was just as realistic to become something successful as the route the band was taking that garnered at best mixed results and moderate attention and at worst, complete trainwrecks that sunk without a trace.

It makes the decisions surrounding all that, and the apparent rejections coming from Carl specifically, even more difficult to rationalize in retrospect.

I really have to think that it must have something to do with the songs being so heavily cowritten by an outsider. Maybe not entirely because of that, probably complicated by a bunch of stuff, but I think at least this must be PART of why things went down like they did. Someone should ask Mike today about if he felt negatively about the Paley material in a similar way that he felt negatively about the TWGMTR album, because Mike's the guy who most loudly complained about the Outsider Collaborator Factor in TWGMTR.

Being as it was SUCH a sore spot in 2012, I have a hard time thinking that was a non-issue in 1994/95.

I could certainly be wrong, but I tend to think it must have bugged Mike and then fed into bugging Carl that The non-Brian BBs were somehow being marginalized again from a writing/collaborating standpoint, especially after the huge (albeit fluke) success of Kokomo. And to a degree, I can understand that. It's human nature. It would not be the first time for Carl (or Mike) to feel shut out of the creative process.

Yet if that's what happened, of course it was incredibly short-sighted and regretful, not just because of Carl's untimely passing, but because there was some SOLID material there, even if they perhaps couldn't see it with proper perspective at the time.  (As I also mentioned before, super ironic if that's the case, being as Kokomo was largely cowritten by TWO outsiders, John Phillips and Terry Melcher!)

I'm not sure if Carl was thinking he'd start writing a bunch of songs on a BB album at that time... but to throw another wrinkle into the equation, how does the Beckley/Lamm/Wilson album factor into this? Was that being worked by Carl on prior to/concurrently with the Paley material? Or was that possibly an outlet that a frustrated Carl (frustrated by not having much of any input on the Paley stuff) went off to do instead?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 09:56:47 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #81 on: February 17, 2017, 10:39:22 AM »

I never understood why the other beach boys didn't like these songs

It sounds as though they were ambivalent at worst about them overall, and it was all the other political/marketing/image things that made it easier to not be super enthused about the tracks.

Remember, where our head is at now, and even where it was at in 1995 as far as the band having that Smile/underground/indie cred thing going on, is almost certainly *not* where any of the other band members' heads were at then. I mean, Mike still didn't understand (or care) in 2012 about all the "cred" he had earned from all the hipsters and naysayers who stopped turning up their nose at him and celebrated *everything* about C50 *including* Mike. And that was well after Mike had a better understanding of hardcore fans celebrating their deeper catalog; by that stage Mike was doing deep cuts in his own shows. Anyway, the point is, if Mike didn't care about that in 2012, he certainly wasn't in a "let's go after some indie cred" frame of mind in 1995.

I don't think anyone in the band much cared that some critics dug "Orange Crate Art." Indeed, I recall a fan account (perhaps retold on the Eric's Setlist Archive?) of someone at a BB show circa 1995 yelling out for "Orange Crate Art" and not being greeted with exactly a warm response from stage.
the idea of the band attempting OCA on stage is rather hilarious
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« Reply #82 on: February 17, 2017, 10:40:57 AM »

After the wipeout rap.... Tongue
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« Reply #83 on: February 17, 2017, 10:44:52 AM »

I never understood why the other beach boys didn't like these songs

It sounds as though they were ambivalent at worst about them overall, and it was all the other political/marketing/image things that made it easier to not be super enthused about the tracks.

Remember, where our head is at now, and even where it was at in 1995 as far as the band having that Smile/underground/indie cred thing going on, is almost certainly *not* where any of the other band members' heads were at then. I mean, Mike still didn't understand (or care) in 2012 about all the "cred" he had earned from all the hipsters and naysayers who stopped turning up their nose at him and celebrated *everything* about C50 *including* Mike. And that was well after Mike had a better understanding of hardcore fans celebrating their deeper catalog; by that stage Mike was doing deep cuts in his own shows. Anyway, the point is, if Mike didn't care about that in 2012, he certainly wasn't in a "let's go after some indie cred" frame of mind in 1995.

I don't think anyone in the band much cared that some critics dug "Orange Crate Art." Indeed, I recall a fan account (perhaps retold on the Eric's Setlist Archive?) of someone at a BB show circa 1995 yelling out for "Orange Crate Art" and not being greeted with exactly a warm response from stage.
the idea of the band attempting OCA on stage is rather hilarious

The idea of the Beach Boys being anywhere near the term "art" in the mid 90s, during the cheerleaders/Summer of Love era, is also rather hilarious.
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« Reply #84 on: February 17, 2017, 10:53:07 AM »

The Paley sessions have always fascinated me since I discovered the music a couple years ago.  As mentioned previously, I think there was a sense that the band would eventually get back to the Paley material.  The S&S project was more to get the band used to working together with Brian again.  It had been almost 20 years since Brian was in full control of an album.  That point is proven, imo in all of the songs Brian wrote a couple years later.  Brian is on record saying that they were planned for a Beach Boys album and a number of them did end up on TWGMTR,  so I don't believe that the material was the issue.  Summer in Paradise has been brought up as a reason for Carl being hypocritical, but there are some decent songs hiding under the terrible production.  I don't know if it's true, but I read that Carl wanted to include Run Don't Walk on the album, but someone rejected it.  Who would have been in a position to reject it at that point?  I would have to believe it was either Was or Brian.  Maybe Was decided this was going to be an all Brian album, due to the past few albums having little success with little input from Brian.  Or maybe Brian just didn't like it in the same way he rejected Waves of Love in 2012.  Either way, I'm sure that upset Carl and he might have planned to include other material that ended up on Beckley-Lamm-Wilson.  

As far as it being a hit record, what kind of popularity could they have realistically expected in 1995/1996?  What acts from the 60s were getting radio airplay from their new music?  I suppose you could make the argument that none of the music was any good, but I don't buy that.  Looking at acts that started in the 50s and 60s, the most popular acts generally had a 30 year window at best for getting radio airplay on top 40 stations.    


A few questions I have from that period:

Does Baywatch Nights = Dancin' The Night Away?

Do a complete set of lyrics exist for Dancin' The Night Away?  In a discussion from a number of years ago, it was mentioned that Carl recorded a lead vocal, but maybe this person was just referring to what was put on tape.  However, the fact that their is a Carl vocal suggests to me that all of the lyrics do or did exist.

Does How Could We Still Be Dancing have any relation to Dancin' The Night Away?   I've read it doesn't, but it certainly sounds like they had Dancin' The Night Away in mind when writing it.      

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« Reply #85 on: February 17, 2017, 11:48:41 AM »

By far BW's best solo work, and better than any BB record since Love You ... I'd love to see them released someday.

Honestly, if finished in a hip way in 1995-96 as a BB record, I think it would have started a new chapter in the group's career.

I don't know. I like the material but think that might be reaching--or maybe isn't, but isn't saying much.

- BW's best solo material. Personally I disagree with that: I'd rate it below BWPS, TLOS for sure, and if we're including covers behind Gershwin. Honestly, probably behind NPP, too, though it's all just one man's opinion. I do think it's his most conventional, and at least in the versions we have, maybe the best at neither catering to current fads nor fetishizing BW tropes of old.

- better than any BB album since Love You. Damning with faint praise!

- new chapter for BBs. That may be true, but as what? I'd say as a solid, but solidly, nostalgia act. Don't get me wrong, it would've been a more dignified identity than they had at the time. But maybe it would be more "hey Baby Boomers, this old band still makes albums for you--and don't forget to see them & buy a t-short and greatest hits comp this summer" rather than "hey world, this band makes great records."

Again, I like some of those songs and don't mean to sh*t on them or your opinion. Just my more cynical two cents.

My opinion is if this potential record had been completed and produced by Brian and Andy, it would have been a classic and would be revered today as the "last great" BB album. Or, even better ... may have springboarded a series of subsequent records.

My opinion the biggest issue that prevents the "real" Brian Wilson/Beach Boys sound from coming through since '77 is the search for either the "new Pet Sounds" or the modern "Beach Boys" sound. But I believe the Beach Boys in their natural state (as lead by BW) generally yield albums like Friends or Love You. These are not artistically revolutionary or commercially oriented works.

The Paley session tracks are clearly part of this family of recordings -- homespun and natural, not contrived. BW's vocals are indeed "weird" and unkempt ... but they are filled with an enthusiasm I have not heard in any of his recordings since.

Re: New Chapter -- I think the critics and public would have caught wind of the Beach Boys being a viable recording entity again. True some might have scratched their heads, but time has been kind to these tracks -- they are not dated like everything else the group has put out since 1980. I believe the 2012 album (which I do admit, after a few years of coming to terms with, has it's moments) will sound pretty dated within a few years also. We are still talking about these tracks 20 years later ... they have a timeless quality.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 12:43:38 PM by DonnyL » Logged

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« Reply #86 on: February 17, 2017, 11:58:14 AM »

By far BW's best solo work, and better than any BB record since Love You ... I'd love to see them released someday.

Honestly, if finished in a hip way in 1995-96 as a BB record, I think it would have started a new chapter in the group's career.

I don't know. I like the material but think that might be reaching--or maybe isn't, but isn't saying much.

- BW's best solo material. Personally I disagree with that: I'd rate it below BWPS, TLOS for sure, and if we're including covers behind Gershwin. Honestly, probably behind NPP, too, though it's all just one man's opinion. I do think it's his most conventional, and at least in the versions we have, maybe the best at neither catering to current fads nor fetishizing BW tropes of old.

- better than any BB album since Love You. Damning with faint praise!

- new chapter for BBs. That may be true, but as what? I'd say as a solid, but solidly, nostalgia act. Don't get me wrong, it would've been a more dignified identity than they had at the time. But maybe it would be more "hey Baby Boomers, this old band still makes albums for you--and don't forget to see them & buy a t-short and greatest hits comp this summer" rather than "hey world, this band makes great records."

Again, I like some of those songs and don't mean to sh*t on them or your opinion. Just my more cynical two cents.

My opinion is if this potential record had been completed and produced by Brian and Andy, it would have been a classic and would be revered today as the "last great" BB album. Or, even better ... may have springboarded a series of subsequent records.

My opinion the biggest issue that prevents the "real" Brian Wilson/Beach Boys sound from coming through since '77 is the search for either the "new Pet Sounds" or the modern "Beach Boys" sound. But I believe the Beach Boys in their natural state (as lead by BW) generally yields albums like Friends or Love You. These are not artistically revolutionary or commercially oriented works.

The Paley session tracks are clearly part of this family of recordings -- homespun and natural, not contrived. BW's vocals are indeed "weird" and unkempt ... but they are filled with an enthusiasm I have not heard in any of his recordings since.

Re: New Chapter -- I think the critics and public would have caught wind of the Beach Boys being a viable recording entity again. True some might have scratched their heads, but time has been kind to these tracks -- they are not dated like everything else the group has put out since 1980. I believe the 2012 album (which I do admit, after a few years of coming to terms with, has it's moments) will sound pretty dated within a few years also. We are still talking about these tracks 20 years later ... they have a timeless quality.

Agree with most of this, but wanted to add that in my opinion, the TLOS demos are comparable
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« Reply #87 on: February 17, 2017, 12:16:55 PM »


My opinion the biggest issue that prevents the "real" Brian Wilson/Beach Boys sound from coming through since '77 is the search for either the "new Pet Sounds" or the modern "Beach Boys" sound. But I believe the Beach Boys in their natural state (as lead by BW) generally yields albums like Friends or Love You. These are not artistically revolutionary or commercially oriented works.

The Paley session tracks are clearly part of this family of recordings -- homespun and natural, not contrived. BW's vocals are indeed "weird" and unkempt ... but they are filled with an enthusiasm I have not heard in any of his recordings since.


I agree with this 100%

And it's not just the (non pitch corrected) vocals, its the vocal arrangements. Its the track arrangements. Its the sound. Its the way it all gels together.

Its the sound of a Brian Wilson recording.
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« Reply #88 on: February 17, 2017, 12:23:11 PM »

Regarding "Dancing the night away" and "How Could we Still be Dancing", if you compare the piano intro of the instrumental track version of the former to the vocal intro of the latter, I think I hear a connection there.
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« Reply #89 on: February 17, 2017, 12:30:11 PM »

I definitely read somewhere (wish I could find it online) an account of a conversation between Carl and someone (Sean O’Hagen?) mid-‘90s in which Carl said that he didn’t think the Beach Boys had an “artistic” statement left to make.

My take (unless and until further information comes out) is that this was the primary reason why things didn’t come together, and I think it does come down to Carl.

I find it hard to believe that Carl personally thought Summer in Paradise was “better” than the Paley tracks. However I find it easy to believe that he would consider something like that record “business as usual” in the day to day affairs of the Beach Boys machine.

But he may have been more sensitive to the prospect of a new Brian Wilson-lead Beach Boys album. And having been through the “Brian is Back” scenes a few times over now, Carl was possibly simply not interested in revisiting those eras. Including Brian in the normal ongoings of the Beach Boys machine would be something entirely different.
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« Reply #90 on: February 17, 2017, 12:52:32 PM »

For those who may have missed them the first time around;

Two interviews with Andy Paley, - among other things he talks a bit about his collaboration with Brian...

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/andy-paley-interview/

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/andy-paley-interview-part-ii/

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« Reply #91 on: February 17, 2017, 01:20:11 PM »


My opinion is if this potential record had been completed and produced by Brian and Andy, it would have been a classic and would be revered today as the "last great" BB album.  

Again, I can easily see the post-Kokomo Beach Boys (members excluding Brian) actually, ironically, having a problem with this very scenario happening, if this was gonna be a collaborator-heavy project. Look at how Mike sh*t-talked TWGMTR even though it hit #3 and got lots of good reviews. And it's obvious that was because most of the songs weren't written in a way that would have made Mike feel wanted/needed, nor would it have been a project that would have necessarily benefited his reputation in a way that he could brag about in interviews a Kokomo- type way, regardless of any success it would have brought the band. Because ultimately, he’d probably have felt that the attention/accolades would have gone to Brian, thus making the other members feel like chumps again.

At the post-Kokomo stage of their careers, I don't think that Mike (and Carl maybe too?) really even cared nearly as much about a new BB album being considered a "classic" or the "last great" BB album as much as they might have cared about the circumstances in which the album was made suiting their desires. And I can understand it if that's what happened.

IMO it’s harder to say for Carl, being as this seemed to be a more atypical way for him to have acted (poo-pooing actual quality material)... but at least with regards to Mike (for whom we have other similar actions to compare to), I could see how an album that was gonna be well-regarded (but an album WITHOUT intrinsic songwriting contributions from the other members).
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 01:22:43 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #92 on: February 17, 2017, 02:09:28 PM »

For those who may have missed them the first time around;

Two interviews with Andy Paley, - among other things he talks a bit about his collaboration with Brian...

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/andy-paley-interview/

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/andy-paley-interview-part-ii/



Nice interviews.  Interesting that they weren't really working towards anything in those sessions, they were just doing it for fun.  In that context, it's not that surprising that most of it remains unreleased officially.
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« Reply #93 on: February 17, 2017, 02:23:51 PM »


My opinion is if this potential record had been completed and produced by Brian and Andy, it would have been a classic and would be revered today as the "last great" BB album.  

Again, I can easily see the post-Kokomo Beach Boys (members excluding Brian) actually, ironically, having a problem with this very scenario happening, if this was gonna be a collaborator-heavy project. Look at how Mike sh*t-talked TWGMTR even though it hit #3 and got lots of good reviews. And it's obvious that was because most of the songs weren't written in a way that would have made Mike feel wanted/needed, nor would it have been a project that would have necessarily benefited his reputation in a way that he could brag about in interviews a Kokomo- type way, regardless of any success it would have brought the band. Because ultimately, he’d probably have felt that the attention/accolades would have gone to Brian, thus making the other members feel like chumps again.

At the post-Kokomo stage of their careers, I don't think that Mike (and Carl maybe too?) really even cared nearly as much about a new BB album being considered a "classic" or the "last great" BB album as much as they might have cared about the circumstances in which the album was made suiting their desires. And I can understand it if that's what happened.

IMO it’s harder to say for Carl, being as this seemed to be a more atypical way for him to have acted (poo-pooing actual quality material)... but at least with regards to Mike (for whom we have other similar actions to compare to), I could see how an album that was gonna be well-regarded (but an album WITHOUT intrinsic songwriting contributions from the other members).


Maybe that would have been the case, maybe not ...

I think all members of The Beach Boys understand that the group at their best in the studio revolve around Brian Wilson, and that's just the way it goes. I don't even think Mike could argue that "Kokomo" is an fine achievement in recorded sound ... he tends to focus on the fact that it was such a big hit.

Certainly they all have their individual preferences (doesn't Bruce hate Friends ?!?), but it's always been clear that they needed Brian more than he needed them. Perhaps there have been some resentments as a result, but at the end of the day I think their record of studio albums supports this. I think every member of the Beach Boys, past or present would agree that ideally, a true Beach Boys record is a record produced and arranged by Brian Wilson, featuring Brian Wilson songs.

Let's address the elephant in the room -- Mike Love wants to write lyrics for Beach Boys records. He feels that is his rightful place. I think that's the primary issue that Mike has with the 2012 reunion album. But that is not at all at odds with the paragraph above.

Honestly, these guys are human beings, they're getting up there in years, and yeh I do think they care about their legacy. Doesn't mean they will put their legacy above other factors. I honestly think that Carl's reservations about the Paley project stemmed from these kinds of concerns ... i.e., he'd rather not attempt an "artistic" BB record than attempt one and have it fail/be an embarrassment.
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« Reply #94 on: February 17, 2017, 02:35:18 PM »

I'd also like to point out that my opinions are based on the actual Wilson/Paley productions, not the Don Was sessions. I seriously doubt any Was-produced tracks would have sounded very interesting. The fact that the BB vocals sessions (all of them?) were done with Was kind of points to how the situation was complicated and perhaps could never have come to be in any case.
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« Reply #95 on: February 17, 2017, 03:05:02 PM »


My opinion is if this potential record had been completed and produced by Brian and Andy, it would have been a classic and would be revered today as the "last great" BB album.  

Again, I can easily see the post-Kokomo Beach Boys (members excluding Brian) actually, ironically, having a problem with this very scenario happening, if this was gonna be a collaborator-heavy project. Look at how Mike sh*t-talked TWGMTR even though it hit #3 and got lots of good reviews. And it's obvious that was because most of the songs weren't written in a way that would have made Mike feel wanted/needed, nor would it have been a project that would have necessarily benefited his reputation in a way that he could brag about in interviews a Kokomo- type way, regardless of any success it would have brought the band. Because ultimately, he’d probably have felt that the attention/accolades would have gone to Brian, thus making the other members feel like chumps again.

At the post-Kokomo stage of their careers, I don't think that Mike (and Carl maybe too?) really even cared nearly as much about a new BB album being considered a "classic" or the "last great" BB album as much as they might have cared about the circumstances in which the album was made suiting their desires. And I can understand it if that's what happened.

IMO it’s harder to say for Carl, being as this seemed to be a more atypical way for him to have acted (poo-pooing actual quality material)... but at least with regards to Mike (for whom we have other similar actions to compare to), I could see how an album that was gonna be well-regarded (but an album WITHOUT intrinsic songwriting contributions from the other members).


Maybe that would have been the case, maybe not ...

I think all members of The Beach Boys understand that the group at their best in the studio revolve around Brian Wilson, and that's just the way it goes. I don't even think Mike could argue that "Kokomo" is an fine achievement in recorded sound ... he tends to focus on the fact that it was such a big hit.

Certainly they all have their individual preferences (doesn't Bruce hate Friends ?!?), but it's always been clear that they needed Brian more than he needed them. Perhaps there have been some resentments as a result, but at the end of the day I think their record of studio albums supports this. I think every member of the Beach Boys, past or present would agree that ideally, a true Beach Boys record is a record produced and arranged by Brian Wilson, featuring Brian Wilson songs.

Let's address the elephant in the room -- Mike Love wants to write lyrics for Beach Boys records. He feels that is his rightful place. I think that's the primary issue that Mike has with the 2012 reunion album. But that is not at all at odds with the paragraph above.

Honestly, these guys are human beings, they're getting up there in years, and yeh I do think they care about their legacy. Doesn't mean they will put their legacy above other factors. I honestly think that Carl's reservations about the Paley project stemmed from these kinds of concerns ... i.e., he'd rather not attempt an "artistic" BB record than attempt one and have it fail/be an embarrassment.

Well let's think about how at the time of the Paley sessions (1995-ish), when was the last time that an entire proposed BB album was written by Brian with a non BB collaborator? I think we'd have to go back to Pet Sounds and the then-unreleased SMiLE to find an example. While Brian got back into the driver's seat in 1976/77, even though the band "let" him helm those albums (which I imagine they may have soon regretted), at least for their own egos' sake there wasn't a primary collaborator outside of the band; it was just basically Brian and Brian alone (with a few exceptions).

So I really have to think that's what it was about. It has ALWAYS been a problem for the band, even though Mike likes to talk about being totally ok with outside non-BB collaborators with Brian in the early days; I think he was okay with that ONLY because there were then still lots of other hit songs which he got to write with Brian concurrently. Maybe Carl went along with backing Mike on thinking this must revert back to being a family-run enterprise.

On the other hand, has anyone considered the possibility that the band members simply didn't personally get along with Paley? I have no idea what their interpersonal relationships with him were like (did they ever even meet in the studio together at any point)?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 03:08:45 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #96 on: February 17, 2017, 03:35:30 PM »

For those who may have missed them the first time around;

Two interviews with Andy Paley, - among other things he talks a bit about his collaboration with Brian...

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/andy-paley-interview/

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/andy-paley-interview-part-ii/



Nice shoutout for "Rodney on the ROQ" in the 2nd interview. Very much a forgotten BW classic!
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« Reply #97 on: February 17, 2017, 03:52:05 PM »

The Paley sessions have always fascinated me since I discovered the music a couple years ago.  As mentioned previously, I think there was a sense that the band would eventually get back to the Paley material.  The S&S project was more to get the band used to working together with Brian again.  It had been almost 20 years since Brian was in full control of an album.  That point is proven, imo in all of the songs Brian wrote a couple years later.  Brian is on record saying that they were planned for a Beach Boys album and a number of them did end up on TWGMTR,  so I don't believe that the material was the issue.  Summer in Paradise has been brought up as a reason for Carl being hypocritical, but there are some decent songs hiding under the terrible production.  I don't know if it's true, but I read that Carl wanted to include Run Don't Walk on the album, but someone rejected it.  Who would have been in a position to reject it at that point?  I would have to believe it was either Was or Brian.  Maybe Was decided this was going to be an all Brian album, due to the past few albums having little success with little input from Brian.  Or maybe Brian just didn't like it in the same way he rejected Waves of Love in 2012.  Either way, I'm sure that upset Carl and he might have planned to include other material that ended up on Beckley-Lamm-Wilson.  

As far as it being a hit record, what kind of popularity could they have realistically expected in 1995/1996?  What acts from the 60s were getting radio airplay from their new music?  I suppose you could make the argument that none of the music was any good, but I don't buy that.  Looking at acts that started in the 50s and 60s, the most popular acts generally had a 30 year window at best for getting radio airplay on top 40 stations.    


A few questions I have from that period:

Does Baywatch Nights = Dancin' The Night Away?

Do a complete set of lyrics exist for Dancin' The Night Away?  In a discussion from a number of years ago, it was mentioned that Carl recorded a lead vocal, but maybe this person was just referring to what was put on tape.  However, the fact that their is a Carl vocal suggests to me that all of the lyrics do or did exist.

Does How Could We Still Be Dancing have any relation to Dancin' The Night Away?   I've read it doesn't, but it certainly sounds like they had Dancin' The Night Away in mind when writing it.      



Radio wasn't playing new music from The Legends and hadn't since the late 80's (Kokomo was the last gasp of that). But, we saw Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, McCartney, the Stones all start to get great reviews in the music press again by making music that was more in line with what those guys used to make as opposed to trying to make 80's hits like they all tried to do in the 80's. Despite not having hit singles from those comeback albums, Johnny and Dylan, at least, did start to sell more albums and many songs from that era have gone on to become standards in their respective careers.

The Paley stuff could have been the BB or Brian equivalent of that. But everyone involved still wanted a Kokomo-level hit. But, as Craig points out, Kokomo was the equivalent of the lucky winning lotto ticket.
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« Reply #98 on: February 17, 2017, 05:00:06 PM »

Well let's think about how at the time of the Paley sessions (1995-ish), when was the last time that an entire proposed BB album was written by Brian with a non BB collaborator? I think we'd have to go back to Pet Sounds and the then-unreleased SMiLE to find an example. While Brian got back into the driver's seat in 1976/77, even though the band "let" him helm those albums (which I imagine they may have soon regretted), at least for their own egos' sake there wasn't a primary collaborator outside of the band; it was just basically Brian and Brian alone (with a few exceptions).

So I really have to think that's what it was about. It has ALWAYS been a problem for the band, even though Mike likes to talk about being totally ok with outside non-BB collaborators with Brian in the early days; I think he was okay with that ONLY because there were then still lots of other hit songs which he got to write with Brian concurrently. Maybe Carl went along with backing Mike on thinking this must revert back to being a family-run enterprise.

On the other hand, has anyone considered the possibility that the band members simply didn't personally get along with Paley? I have no idea what their interpersonal relationships with him were like (did they ever even meet in the studio together at any point)?

I really don't think it was about collaborators ... the group has had so many over the years that I can't imagine "collaborators" (in any form) being a problem in a general sense.

My basic point is regardless of how much Mike wanted to sit down with Brian in a room and write songs, it didn't seem to stop any of the other records from being recorded and released (including the 2012 record). You could argue Smile was actually the only possible example ... but more likely the many other factors were more influential than Mike's lack of writing credits ... after all there are no reports of objections from Mike to Smiley Smile. Look at the credits on a record like LA (Light Album). Mike barely contributed anything to the writing. You could say he went a little nuts post-"Kokomo", but I think by the mid-'90s that was over and done with. Clearly, the follow ups were commercial failures and artistic bankruptcies, something I'm certain Mike was well aware of. Then again, we had the inexplicable Baywatch "Summer of Love" thing that same year ... though my guess is that had more to do with the group being contracted to provide a song and when none was forthcoming, they went with something from the most recent "Beach Boys" album.

I'll reiterate that they all may have interpersonal issues and personal preferences, but at the end of the day Brian Wilson is the man who calls the shots on a true Beach Boys record. Everyone knows that. If that weren't the case, they probably wouldn't have the issues in the first place.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 05:02:50 PM by DonnyL » Logged

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« Reply #99 on: February 17, 2017, 05:01:11 PM »


The Paley stuff could have been the BB or Brian equivalent of that. But everyone involved still wanted a Kokomo-level hit. But, as Craig points out, Kokomo was the equivalent of the lucky winning lotto ticket.

This is true but I think Brian ended up not needing it: his run from the touring of after Imagination through at least the BBs reunion, seems to have re-re-re-solidified his place, even with uneven new material. The big loss, I think, is for the BBs. They could have had the kind of critical adoration that they did eventually, briefly, get for TWGMTR, almost 20 years earlier, and could have avoided a full generation just writing their modern selves off as casino-and-carnival clowns. (Not that this was a fair write-off, just that I think it mostly went that way.) Forget homerun, even a double of a Paley sessions album by the band would have gone a long way, in my opinion.
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