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Author Topic: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread  (Read 12406 times)
Rocky Raccoon
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« Reply #50 on: February 16, 2017, 03:03:41 PM »

I fear GIOMH ruined any chance, for me, to be enthusiastic about the Paley sessions. Sad

I think I'm the only person who likes this album. I much prefer it to anything done with Joe Thomas's involvement. Anyway, I transgress.......
I agree.  I just think the Paley production and vocals were much better than in GiOMH.

I actually disagree.  I think Brian's vocals improved after the Paley sessions and he sounded better once he started singing in a lower register as he has been since Imagination.
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« Reply #51 on: February 16, 2017, 03:15:02 PM »

Not that the Grammys are the best measure of anything (though when a band or artist someone likes wins or gets nominated, then all of a sudden the Grammys are legit that *one* time) [...]
This is good/ funny point. It can apply to R&RHoF discussion as well.
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« Reply #52 on: February 16, 2017, 03:23:32 PM »

Quote
'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

The frustrating thing too is that the template which worked in 2012 with TWGMTR was there in 1994-5, I have a studio photo of Brian and Was with an all-star lineup of rock session players who had a resume a mile long of big hit records.

With Carl's misgivings and moving away from the indie aesthetic, I have to ask again why the decision to try bringing a relatively unknown indie musician like O'Hagan into the producer's/writer's position when they already had Brian and an all-star lineup of musicians who could get it done? It still doesn't fit the narrative at all. And the results were predictable - it didn't pan out.

I think O'Hagan was brought in specifically BECAUSE of the indie cred.


I remember that era well. I was just getting into the band at the time, and I liked the fact that the band was getting some real street cred for the first time in 30 years. Most of that, of course had to do with Brian, who was getting props from Billy Corgan and Thurston Moore (just to name two). Brian was looked at as being cool by the general public, the hipsters, AND people like me.  And then that shitty Imagination record came out and killed it. He has released some great work since then but it's been another "what if" that shouldn't have been
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« Reply #53 on: February 16, 2017, 03:27:17 PM »

Quote
The question, and this is something that even *slightly* more insight to Carl's feelings around this time would help immensely, is how to digest Carl's apprehensiveness about and high standards being applied to the Paley material, versus what he *was* okaying and contributing to around that same time with the band (stale setlist, "Stars and Stripes", the awful "Status Quo" collaboration, and if we want to go back a few years prior, the wonky "Summer in Paradise" project, bland tracks like "Crocodile Rock" and "Problem Child", etc.). Did he really like S&S or SIP more than the Paley material? Or did he apply a very different artistic/critical standard to each? Or was he just looking at commercial viability? Or maybe it was political/interpersonal stuff with Brian at that time. Or did he just have arbitrary opinions that only he could have explained?

That's something I've never understood, or why he started acting like a dick to Brian apparently.
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« Reply #54 on: February 16, 2017, 03:37:19 PM »

Quote
The question, and this is something that even *slightly* more insight to Carl's feelings around this time would help immensely, is how to digest Carl's apprehensiveness about and high standards being applied to the Paley material, versus what he *was* okaying and contributing to around that same time with the band (stale setlist, "Stars and Stripes", the awful "Status Quo" collaboration, and if we want to go back a few years prior, the wonky "Summer in Paradise" project, bland tracks like "Crocodile Rock" and "Problem Child", etc.). Did he really like S&S or SIP more than the Paley material? Or did he apply a very different artistic/critical standard to each? Or was he just looking at commercial viability? Or maybe it was political/interpersonal stuff with Brian at that time. Or did he just have arbitrary opinions that only he could have explained?

That's something I've never understood, or why he started acting like a dick to Brian apparently.
I read somewhere that Carl had decided to take legal action against brian because of "his" book, but he got too sick.
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« Reply #55 on: February 16, 2017, 04:01:25 PM »

I fear GIOMH ruined any chance, for me, to be enthusiastic about the Paley sessions. Sad

I think I'm the only person who likes this album. I much prefer it to anything done with Joe Thomas's involvement. Anyway, I transgress.......
I agree.  I just think the Paley production and vocals were much better than in GiOMH.

I actually disagree.  I think Brian's vocals improved after the Paley sessions and he sounded better once he started singing in a lower register as he has been since Imagination.

Brian's vocals weren't super great during the Paley era, but conversely, the production on many of those songs was rad.

Unfortunately with The BBs, it ironically seems that far too often, there's one element that is often somewhat detrimental to a particular project/era, even though there are other saving graces of that particular project/era. Vocals will be beyond stellar (Carl, for example) on truly subpar material (BB85), or vocals will be lacking (Carl, Brian, etc) on a project that is musically rad (Love You).  It seems the Paley material was continuing that streak.

I wonder how peoples' opinions of GIOMH (the album) would be different if Brian had put Gershwin album-level care into the vocal delivery. Because I think GIOMH is a pretty good album (with some obvious weak spots) that is definitely made worse by the apathy (at least that how I read into it) which you can hear in his vocal delivery.
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« Reply #56 on: February 16, 2017, 04:02:23 PM »

Quote
'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

The frustrating thing too is that the template which worked in 2012 with TWGMTR was there in 1994-5, I have a studio photo of Brian and Was with an all-star lineup of rock session players who had a resume a mile long of big hit records.

With Carl's misgivings and moving away from the indie aesthetic, I have to ask again why the decision to try bringing a relatively unknown indie musician like O'Hagan into the producer's/writer's position when they already had Brian and an all-star lineup of musicians who could get it done? It still doesn't fit the narrative at all. And the results were predictable - it didn't pan out.

I think O'Hagan was brought in specifically BECAUSE of the indie cred.


I remember that era well. I was just getting into the band at the time, and I liked the fact that the band was getting some real street cred for the first time in 30 years. Most of that, of course had to do with Brian, who was getting props from Billy Corgan and Thurston Moore (just to name two). Brian was looked at as being cool by the general public, the hipsters, AND people like me.  And then that shitty Imagination record came out and killed it. He has released some great work since then but it's been another "what if" that shouldn't have been

Totally. Can you imagine if an album like TLOS had come out in 1998 instead of Imagination?
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« Reply #57 on: February 16, 2017, 04:05:44 PM »

Quote
The question, and this is something that even *slightly* more insight to Carl's feelings around this time would help immensely, is how to digest Carl's apprehensiveness about and high standards being applied to the Paley material, versus what he *was* okaying and contributing to around that same time with the band (stale setlist, "Stars and Stripes", the awful "Status Quo" collaboration, and if we want to go back a few years prior, the wonky "Summer in Paradise" project, bland tracks like "Crocodile Rock" and "Problem Child", etc.). Did he really like S&S or SIP more than the Paley material? Or did he apply a very different artistic/critical standard to each? Or was he just looking at commercial viability? Or maybe it was political/interpersonal stuff with Brian at that time. Or did he just have arbitrary opinions that only he could have explained?

That's something I've never understood, or why he started acting like a dick to Brian apparently.

I suppose Carl had legit reason to be resentful due to the book (as did Mike), but I imagine that people like Mike may have egged on that resentment. If you are bugged at somebody for something, and are constantly surrounded and on tour with someone who shares a similar deep resentment about something, I can imagine that could have contributed to the relationship getting somewhat toxic. It's such a shame that the bastard Landy contributed so greatly to permanently straining Brian's relationships with others.
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« Reply #58 on: February 16, 2017, 04:15:21 PM »


I wonder how peoples' opinions of GIOMH (the album) would be different if Brian had put Gershwin album-level care into the vocal delivery. Because I think GIOMH is a pretty good album (with some obvious weak spots) that is definitely made worse by the apathy (at least that how I read into it) which you can hear in his vocal delivery.

No, no, no question whatsoever. I agree 100%. I don't think it's a stellar album by any means, but it's an OK album in terms of songs and instrumental tracks. The vocals, goshdarn, c'mon Brian. The wall-o-Brian isn't my style to begin with, but the wall-o-bad-Brian? He had a perfectly good band in the midst of working out the greatest then-unreleased album of all time, and yet somehow he sings GIOMH (mostly) alone. Badly.
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« Reply #59 on: February 16, 2017, 05:25:36 PM »

Relations weren't THAT strained in 1995.  After all, Carl did serve as the best man at Brian's wedding that year

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaiDoi0W0AAjVDt.jpg

And one from Ocean Way during the "Was" sessions...

http://assets.rollingstone.com/assets/images/gallery/500x595/97d538172f97cc26d5b25edd2b25f9f8677edb3f.jpg

« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 05:30:20 PM by southbay » Logged

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« Reply #60 on: February 16, 2017, 05:36:04 PM »

Relations weren't THAT strained in 1995.  After all, Carl did serve as the best man at Brian's wedding that year

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaiDoi0W0AAjVDt.jpg

And one from Ocean Way during the "Was" sessions...

http://assets.rollingstone.com/assets/images/gallery/500x595/97d538172f97cc26d5b25edd2b25f9f8677edb3f.jpg



Carl has a very Denny-like gaze/look in hat Ocean Way pic.
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« Reply #61 on: February 16, 2017, 07:41:29 PM »

Quote
'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

The frustrating thing too is that the template which worked in 2012 with TWGMTR was there in 1994-5, I have a studio photo of Brian and Was with an all-star lineup of rock session players who had a resume a mile long of big hit records.

With Carl's misgivings and moving away from the indie aesthetic, I have to ask again why the decision to try bringing a relatively unknown indie musician like O'Hagan into the producer's/writer's position when they already had Brian and an all-star lineup of musicians who could get it done? It still doesn't fit the narrative at all. And the results were predictable - it didn't pan out.

I think O'Hagan was brought in specifically BECAUSE of the indie cred.


I remember that era well. I was just getting into the band at the time, and I liked the fact that the band was getting some real street cred for the first time in 30 years. Most of that, of course had to do with Brian, who was getting props from Billy Corgan and Thurston Moore (just to name two). Brian was looked at as being cool by the general public, the hipsters, AND people like me.  And then that shitty Imagination record came out and killed it. He has released some great work since then but it's been another "what if" that shouldn't have been

Totally. Can you imagine if an album like TLOS had come out in 1998 instead of Imagination?

I think I'd have been blissed out for sure.
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« Reply #62 on: February 16, 2017, 10:53:24 PM »

Quote
The question, and this is something that even *slightly* more insight to Carl's feelings around this time would help immensely, is how to digest Carl's apprehensiveness about and high standards being applied to the Paley material, versus what he *was* okaying and contributing to around that same time with the band (stale setlist, "Stars and Stripes", the awful "Status Quo" collaboration, and if we want to go back a few years prior, the wonky "Summer in Paradise" project, bland tracks like "Crocodile Rock" and "Problem Child", etc.). Did he really like S&S or SIP more than the Paley material? Or did he apply a very different artistic/critical standard to each? Or was he just looking at commercial viability? Or maybe it was political/interpersonal stuff with Brian at that time. Or did he just have arbitrary opinions that only he could have explained?

That's something I've never understood, or why he started acting like a dick to Brian apparently.
I read somewhere that Carl had decided to take legal action against brian because of "his" book, but he got too sick.
I thought I had read somewhere that he DID take legal action.
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« Reply #63 on: February 17, 2017, 06:25:03 AM »

I believe Paul is still pretty flexible with his set list, though.

Yes and no, sort of. From night to night he has never been and still isn't flexible. On a given "tour", he rarely changes up the setlist much from night to night. Maybe a song here or there, but that's about it.

Over the course of the last decade, he has slowly, with each tour, switched out enough songs that his 2016 setlist is noticeably different from, say, his 2005 setlist. He has dug into a few deeper Beatles cuts (he has nearly exhausted the Beatles tracks with Paul lead vocals at this stage of course), a few Wings/solo things, etc.

But his setlist still isn't and has never been, since the 1976 and 79 Wings tours, very representative of his entire career. He still largely ignores his solo years other than the few classics like "Band on the Run", "Maybe I'm Amazed", etc., and then whatever new or recent album he has out. He has randomly picked a few things out from his back catalog like "1985" and "Letting Go" and "Temporary Secretary", likely in part spurred by working on those albums in his "Archive Collection" series.

But his slightly more liberal setlist selections of recent years have been mitigated by his increasingly shaky voice. Listen, I've been to over a dozen solo Brian shows; I'm willing to be *very* forgiving on these old lead vocalists not sounding like they used to. Brian's got all of the McCartney's age factors going plus all the other stuff Brian did over the years. But even keeping that all in mind, McCartney's shows of recent years have been pretty painful. Even more distressingly, McCartney studio voice, which tended to hold up much better than his live voice, is now starting to really sound painful as well. Some of the vocals on "New" were hard to listen to, and the recent soundtrack song "In the Blink of an Eye" may be the most painful of all.
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« Reply #64 on: February 17, 2017, 06:31:01 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.
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« Reply #65 on: February 17, 2017, 06:35:16 AM »

I fear GIOMH ruined any chance, for me, to be enthusiastic about the Paley sessions. Sad

I think I'm the only person who likes this album. I much prefer it to anything done with Joe Thomas's involvement. Anyway, I transgress.......
I agree.  I just think the Paley production and vocals were much better than in GiOMH.

I actually disagree.  I think Brian's vocals improved after the Paley sessions and he sounded better once he started singing in a lower register as he has been since Imagination.

There were pros and cons to the "Paley sessions/IJWMFTT soundtrack" voice (and you could add "Orange Crate Art" too) versus the "Imagination" and 1999/2000 tour voice.

I think Brian's *tone* and timbre was much more smoothed out and less grating on "Imagination" and subsequent stuff.

However, I think, especially comparing his live "Roxy" album to something like the Paley sessions, he tended to still sing more in the pocket and in key in the "Paley sessions" era. Gruffer, but more on key.

I'd also argue that there was a little more "ummph", a little more vigor, piss and vinegar, whatever you want to call it, on those Paley tapes. Indeed, compare his original circa 1995 lead on "You're Still a Mystery" versus the re-recorded 1999 lead heard on "Made in California." He sounds smoother on the '99 lead, but he also sounds like he's about to fall asleep. On the '95 lead, he sounds kind of "weirder", but much more energetic.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 06:51:31 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #66 on: February 17, 2017, 06:40:26 AM »

I think O'Hagan was brought in specifically BECAUSE of the indie cred.


I remember that era well. I was just getting into the band at the time, and I liked the fact that the band was getting some real street cred for the first time in 30 years. Most of that, of course had to do with Brian, who was getting props from Billy Corgan and Thurston Moore (just to name two). Brian was looked at as being cool by the general public, the hipsters, AND people like me.  And then that shitty Imagination record came out and killed it. He has released some great work since then but it's been another "what if" that shouldn't have been

The O'Hagan thing always struck me as a pretty random stab at something. Potentially promising, but with a million potential pitfalls. I really don't think it would have worked. It was a huge question mark musically, but could have been interesting. But politically and logistically I just don't think it could have panned out. O'Hagan and Mike didn't seem compatible *at all*, and I sense he wouldn't have been much more compatible with Brian. He may have "gotten* Brian musically (he certainly understood the disappointing nature of the eventual MOR/AC angle on "Imagination"), but I don't think he was tuned in enough to how to functionally work well with Brian, not to mention the other guys.

Very few people have done it successfully. Even stalwarts like Don Was couldn't ultimately make it work. Joe Thomas, on the personality/functional side of things, really is the "type" that's needed to do something like that. It has to be someone who Brian likes in terms of personality, and then also someone who understands how to navigate the political minefield of BRI. As you can see, even someone who did successfully like Thomas in 2012 was eventually drummed out of it because even *he* couldn't hold it together with Mike's proclivities factoring in.
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« Reply #67 on: February 17, 2017, 06:44:40 AM »

I read somewhere that Carl had decided to take legal action against brian because of "his" book, but he got too sick.

I think all of the book lawsuit stuff was over by 1995. It was the fallout/aftermath of that and the resulting ill feelings that may have been a factor between Carl and Brian.

I think, even knowing how Landy had abused Brian, some if not all of the Beach Boys were having trouble grappling with how much they could or should hold Brian responsible for the things that had happened, like the book. And that of course has *always* been a complicated issue. Should Brian shoulder any responsibility for things he did/said, etc, between 1983 and 1992 while with Landy? How much *did* he apologize personally and specifically for things like the book? Should he have had to? Is that even what others like Carl were looking for?

Also worth nothing is that the complicated late era Carl/Brian relationship was not all on Carl's side. Landy had evidently badmouthed Carl (and others in the band/family) for so long that Brian was probably still programmed to have issues with Carl, whether founded or not.
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« Reply #68 on: February 17, 2017, 06:48:29 AM »

Relations weren't THAT strained in 1995.  After all, Carl did serve as the best man at Brian's wedding that year

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaiDoi0W0AAjVDt.jpg

And one from Ocean Way during the "Was" sessions...

http://assets.rollingstone.com/assets/images/gallery/500x595/97d538172f97cc26d5b25edd2b25f9f8677edb3f.jpg



Yes, it's worth noting that while there was strain with Carl and Brian (and between the rest of the band and Brian, and between other band members having nothing to do with Brian for that matter), they were never really ever *fully* estranged for any great length of time.

There's also a report someone posted somewhere of some guy who had collaborated with Carl who was at one point brought along by Carl to a session where Carl was helping Brian with "Proud Mary"; this would have been at some point in the mid 90s-ish.

Brian and Mike were having their weddings, Brian was showing up at BB gigs even if he wasn't playing, they were all in on some sessions at various points.

It just goes to show how complicated the whole thing apparently was. Keep in mind as well that there was a bunch of *other* political stuff going on around this same era having nothing to do with Brian. The Mike/Al thing was coming to a head by 1996/97, and that was causing strains in the Carl/Al relationship most likely.
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« Reply #69 on: February 17, 2017, 06:57:27 AM »

Relations weren't THAT strained in 1995.  After all, Carl did serve as the best man at Brian's wedding that year

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CaiDoi0W0AAjVDt.jpg

And one from Ocean Way during the "Was" sessions...

http://assets.rollingstone.com/assets/images/gallery/500x595/97d538172f97cc26d5b25edd2b25f9f8677edb3f.jpg



Yes, it's worth noting that while there was strain with Carl and Brian (and between the rest of the band and Brian, and between other band members having nothing to do with Brian for that matter), they were never really ever *fully* estranged for any great length of time.

There's also a report someone posted somewhere of some guy who had collaborated with Carl who was at one point brought along by Carl to a session where Carl was helping Brian with "Proud Mary"; this would have been at some point in the mid 90s-ish.

Brian and Mike were having their weddings, Brian was showing up at BB gigs even if he wasn't playing, they were all in on some sessions at various points.

It just goes to show how complicated the whole thing apparently was. Keep in mind as well that there was a bunch of *other* political stuff going on around this same era having nothing to do with Brian. The Mike/Al thing was coming to a head by 1996/97, and that was causing strains in the Carl/Al relationship most likely.

This might come off as trite, but to me this is a good example of reality: while we tend to want to make clear narratives where people fill a defined role, we know from our own lives (hopefully) that this just isn't how life works. Sometimes we hate the people we love, love the people we hate, fight with any- or everyone and then make up, only to hold a grudge or fight again. This band had the added complication of being professionally intertwined, being famous, and being rich.
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« Reply #70 on: February 17, 2017, 07:40:06 AM »

I think that's all true. But I do think we could have some level of additional clarity on some of the "Paley sessions" situation if the right people were interviewed. Explaining the complicated Brian/Carl relationship is not easy. But if someone actually spoke to Carl and specifically heard him say "I don't like that song" or "I don't want to work on that one anymore because I don't think it will be commercial enough", etc., then that would add some level of clarity on the more logistical side of things.

As it stands now, the only clear info we have concerning Carl's attitude towards the sessions is that he attended the sessions and seemed to be professional about it at the time, and then everything else is pretty vague. He didn't like the "Soul Searchin'" backing track. We have no direct quote about this, just hearsay. The fact that they rejiggered the song leads me to believe this was true, but it's still sketchy. We have a vague report of Carl walking out of possibly a "Baywatch Nights" sessions, allegedly for non-musical reasons. But it's still vague. When Bruce, Mike, and Al have been asked about what the deal was with those sessions, I don't think any of them have mentioned Carl walking out of a session. I think Al is the only one of those three that has made any passing reference to Carl not liking the material.
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« Reply #71 on: February 17, 2017, 08:02:48 AM »

But I do think we could have some level of additional clarity on some of the "Paley sessions" situation if the right people were interviewed.

Agreed--and it would be very interesting indeed. Unfortunately, I think the most important/interesting person would be Carl, which is obviously impossible. And also unfortunately, I honestly don't believe the others would be likely to give now an answer that reflects what was honestly felt then: so much time has passed, enough lawsuits and bad press have come and gone, and camps seem to have firmed up. Not that I think they'd intentionally lie, necessarily, but rather that retelling history becomes so much more problematic as we get further along. And crazy as it is, it has been more than 20 years now from what was once new or recent. (Damn, I'm getting old.)

I'd love to hear new and deep interviews from Paley, Was, O'Hagan, and other secondary people as well as serious interviews from the principals. Where they come together (and differ) on their accounts could be telling. Not that it seems economically viable (much less desirable from the band's standpoint), but you could do a fascinating documentary just about this could-have-been moment. There are a handful of other such moments, too, that will sadly never see that kind of attention. Nobody needs another documentary about the guys using food money to rent instruments or about getting friends and family to call in to help "Surfin" win the radio contest...
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« Reply #72 on: February 17, 2017, 08:25:02 AM »

I'd argue that the indie cred was already there in 1995, as someone who was witnessing it firsthand and following all of it. The music, especially from 1966-67, was already getting name-checked and even referenced in the music of artists in their 20's - and their fans were some of the ones seeking it out which *may* have led to the demand which helped deliver certain releases to follow. That buzz was absolutely not surrounding anything the band was officially doing, but may have been driving demand for something like the PS or Smile sessions proposed boxes being hinted at even around '94 in various music press outlets. There was even Todd Rundgren in the mix with references to proposing a Smile CD-Rom for fans to craft their own mixes.

That mid 90s period with Was and the documentary and "Orange Crate Art", and following on the heels of the "Smile" stuff on the GV boxed set, that all was definitely a point where the "indie cred" factor was gaining momentum.

I think a full album of BB vocals on the Paley stuff would have received good critical notices.

But it seems as though Carl may have not shared that same view or optimism concerning doing that type of material, or Brian's ability/condition, etc. The brief stint of doing "deep cuts" in late 1993 on the BB shows largely ended with those dates. A few remnants of that deep cut setlist remained in 1994 (e.g. "All This is That"), but by 1995 it was back to meat-and-potatoes setlists.

The question, and this is something that even *slightly* more insight to Carl's feelings around this time would help immensely, is how to digest Carl's apprehensiveness about and high standards being applied to the Paley material, versus what he *was* okaying and contributing to around that same time with the band (stale setlist, "Stars and Stripes", the awful "Status Quo" collaboration, and if we want to go back a few years prior, the wonky "Summer in Paradise" project, bland tracks like "Crocodile Rock" and "Problem Child", etc.). Did he really like S&S or SIP more than the Paley material? Or did he apply a very different artistic/critical standard to each? Or was he just looking at commercial viability? Or maybe it was political/interpersonal stuff with Brian at that time. Or did he just have arbitrary opinions that only he could have explained?

With all the factors on the table regarding the music, specifically what new music and what they presented on stage which the Beach Boys actually did release and feature in the years around this specific time, I have to think there was an interpersonal factor at work too. There is such a stark contrast between wanting to be commercial in terms of new releases versus what was actually released and presented.

There were some hints of acknowledgement - I'm thinking the very short-lived GV box set series of shows where they featured some very, very deep cuts...but even those were marred by awful keyboard sounds and the like.

But I say again, if you want a full document of what the band was presenting live at this time as the general rule, look for the July 4th 1995 show in Philly as an example. The official releases of new product from this era speak for themselves.

Factor in as well - It was apparently Carl who vetoed doing a live Pet Sounds presentation during this same time, and if Carlin's account is any indication, a factor was Carl's concern that Brian would embarrass himself and/or the band because he wasn't up to the task...or something. Read Carlin's account and weigh it accordingly.

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.
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the captain
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« Reply #73 on: February 17, 2017, 08:34:11 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?"
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« Reply #74 on: February 17, 2017, 08:43:44 AM »

I fear GIOMH ruined any chance, for me, to be enthusiastic about the Paley sessions. Sad

I think I'm the only person who likes this album. I much prefer it to anything done with Joe Thomas's involvement. Anyway, I transgress.......
I agree.  I just think the Paley production and vocals were much better than in GiOMH.

I actually disagree.  I think Brian's vocals improved after the Paley sessions and he sounded better once he started singing in a lower register as he has been since Imagination.

There were pros and cons to the "Paley sessions/IJWMFTT soundtrack" voice (and you could add "Orange Crate Art" too) versus the "Imagination" and 1999/2000 tour voice.

I think Brian's *tone* and timbre was much more smoothed out and less grating on "Imagination" and subsequent stuff.

However, I think, especially comparing his live "Roxy" album to something like the Paley sessions, he tended to still sing more in the pocket and in key in the "Paley sessions" era. Gruffer, but more on key.

I'd also argue that there was a little more "ummph", a little more vigor, piss and vinegar, whatever you want to call it, on those Paley tapes. Indeed, compare his original circa 1995 lead on "You're Still a Mystery" versus the re-recorded 1999 lead heard on "Made in California." He sounds smoother on the '99 lead, but he also sounds like he's about to fall asleep. On the '95 lead, he sounds kind of "weirder", but much more energetic.

I agree completely about the differences in singing you pointed out. I wonder if that was due to a change in medications.
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