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Author Topic: Paley Sessions Discussion Thread  (Read 11329 times)
♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮
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« Reply #250 on: March 06, 2017, 09:41:48 PM »

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I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.

That has always been my own personal theory. He certainly wasn't looking well.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #251 on: March 06, 2017, 10:29:30 PM »

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I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.

That has always been my own personal theory. He certainly wasn't looking well.

I also feel his lead on Soul Searchin' - even if not intended to be a final, released product - also sounds "off". Like he vocally aged twenty years in just the few years between, say Lahaina Aloha and Soul Searchin'. Something about his voice here sounds sorta raspy and weak (yet I still love the vocal - it doesn't sound like he phoned it in or anything like that). I wonder if this was due to illness.

When was his Waves of Love vocal recorded? I feel that one, even if from only a soundcheck (?) sounds more like Carl's old voice by comparison to my ears.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 11:16:19 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #252 on: March 07, 2017, 12:34:18 AM »

When i think about the beach boys i cant help but think of that Jack Riely quote about "they blew it, they continue to blow it..." etc. It seems like this whole thread is about missed opportunities and what could've been if it wasn't for _______. And I totally agree. I mean, after endless summer they had such a huge opportunity but they put out 15BO. And after Kokomo they put out Still Cruisin. They couldve made the Paley sessions instead of the country album, etc etc etc.
It's just funny that so much of the talk is about missed opportunities when we are talking about one of the most successful/famous american bands of all time. So many missed opportunities yet they've had something like 50  top 40 hits. I guess it begs the questions...Is it even possible for a band to fire on all cylinders and be that successful for so long? I cant think of any bands that have really made use of all of their opportunities for 50 years. The Beatles really seemed to knock it out of the park every time (even they had their screwups. "bigger than jesus" etc) but they were really only in the public eye for 7 years and the last year or two was pretty rough. Imagine if they were still together today. I cant imagine they wouldn't have had some screwups/missed opportunities/albums bomb/members leaving for a while, etc. 
What I'm saying is: instead of thinking of all the things they couldve done better (and there are so many) maybe they were lucky to have been as successful as they were when you realize how difficult is to have even 1 hit, to stay together as a band for more than a few years, to deal with the changing music landscapes and stay relevant...
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« Reply #253 on: March 07, 2017, 06:10:30 AM »

Personally, I don't give a damn what some critics have to say. I enjoyed BW88, enjoyed "Kokomo", enjoyed the new songs on Still Cruisin'. I enjoyed seeing the band in the spotlight. By 1995, though, everything had changed. There weren't any 60's acts having hit singles in 1995/96, except maybe Eric Clapton. Even the Beatles reunion singles struggled to get airplay. I'm not even sure a new BB's album with Wilson/Paley material would have been a hit. Look at the sales for the 2 albums Brian had out that year - IJWMFTT and OCA. Sure, the reviews were mostly positive, but good reviews don't buy sales. No question it would have done better than SIP, but musically, anything they did in the 90's was going to be out of step with the then current trends in rock music. I would have bought it and loved it, I have no doubt about that.

Oh, I agree from a fan perspective that there's a ton of stuff *I* like as a hardcore fan. Same goes for BW '88. Hell, pretty much everything the band released in the 80s and 90s (and probably post-1966/67 for the most part) I like a lot more across the board than critics did. Other than "Wipe Out", there's nothing else on "Still Cruisin'" that I would typically skip over. I'd love to remix (and perhaps partially re-record) a bunch of stuff on "Still Cruisin'" and a few tracks on SIP that could sound a thousand times better. "Strange Things Happen" and "Lahaina Aloha" and "Make It Big" with either stripped-down mixes and/or remixed with re-recorded *real* thick drums would sound quite good.

But if we're putting our "objective" hats on and trying to tackle what would have achieved for the and some sort of "hit" or measurable "success" on the level of a "Kokomo", then I think it's no surprise that "Still Cruisin'" and "SIP" failed both because maybe "Kokomo" was a fluke in the first place, and those albums objectively were pretty wonky overall across the board in terms of composition and especially theme and production. Some stuff was just bad, and the stuff that wasn't bad and was catchy was often a played out, cliché, self-parodying thing or something bogged down in horrible production.

And again, the idea with the Paley stuff is not that they would have achieved a hit single. But they could have achieved a respectable album chart placement and, more important, more notices and buzz from the industry and critics. It can invariably turn into some sort of political, class, "elitist" sort of issue, but Mojo and Rolling Stone and all of that would have eaten up a Paley album with stuff like "You're Still a Mystery", while "Summer in Paradise" and its ilk (e.g. surf/tropical stuff penned by Love/Melcher and with Melcher producing) would have been ignored if not derided. A "Paley" album would not have hit #1, and I don't think critics would have all been united in giving the album an A+ (that would have depended on whether some of the weird stuff like "Saturday Morning in the City" had been included).

As for how a circa '96 BB album would have done compared to Brian's two '95 albums, it would have easily done much better. Look at how TWGMTR did in 2012 compared to Brian solo albums released in the immediate years before and after. The BB name always sells better. Comparing the two '95 Brian albums to a Paley/BB album is also difficult because Brian's two albums consisted of a *very short* album of remakes, and an album of stuff all penned by another guy ("OCA").
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« Reply #254 on: March 07, 2017, 06:21:10 AM »

I think it's unfair to pin the loss of the album solely on Mike's shoulders. I think there were just too many issues - including non-musical - that got in the way. I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.

Mike is on record with Peter Ames Carlin as being rather "meh, I guess we'll do it", so I don't think fault should lie solely with him. It's a bit like the "Smile" thing; he didn't bit the kibosh on it and you can't fault him, but his ambivalence or antipathy didn't help. He *could have* done more to help the Paley sessions along if he had wanted to. As I mentioned in a previous post, he wasn't doing what he loves to recount that he did with "Pet Sounds", which is taking the Paley stuff and joining himself to Brian at the hip and pounding down doors at record labels trying to get the stuff off the ground and released. He tried to "write" with Brian and could only come up with "Baywatch Nights" apparently, and then showed up to a few (or one?) vocal sessions for YSAM and SS and based on a first-hand account was somewhat antagonistic.

Clearly there were bunch of other factors, including Carl's attitude, BRI politics, other projects sidetracking the thing, maybe even the BB touring schedule, and so on. Not anywhere near solely Mike's fault, and not even really predominantly Mike's fault.

Regarding Carl's health, that's a difficult one to tackle. I'm not particularly apt to assume that prior to diagnosis Carl was already aware of being ill *and* that his being aware would have drastically impacted his behavior/attitude. It's obviously a very murky, subjective issue that we don't have enough info on. But if Carl walked out of a 1995 session, well before "Stars and Stripes" and before he did a full additional year of touring *before* a diagnosis, I'm more predisposed to pinning that on some other typical issue regarding inner-group politics, or family stuff, etc.

We know so very little about Carl's personality off-stage, especially in the later era. We've heard some accounts (and also seen signs in interviews) that by the early-mid 90s, certainly while Landy was still in the picture, Carl was *VERY* stressed out about Brian's situation. I think the evidence points to Carl's relationship with Brian being strained even after Landy was out of picture, for whatever reason or reasons, whether it was Landy talking s**t about Carl to Brian, or Carl feeling hurt by the fake autobiography, or whatever.

But there are also other undocumented (for fans anyway) times Carl was working with Brian during this timeframe. There's still that story of a Carl collaborator in the 90s tagging along to a session Carl was helping Brian with for "Proud Mary."

I also don't weigh the "Carl walked out of the session for non-musical reasons" story very heavily because A) The story has virtually *no* details outside of that one line, and B) He *later* did additional session(s) for the Paley material.
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« Reply #255 on: March 07, 2017, 06:42:09 AM »

Quote
I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.

That has always been my own personal theory. He certainly wasn't looking well.

I also feel his lead on Soul Searchin' - even if not intended to be a final, released product - also sounds "off". Like he vocally aged twenty years in just the few years between, say Lahaina Aloha and Soul Searchin'. Something about his voice here sounds sorta raspy and weak (yet I still love the vocal - it doesn't sound like he phoned it in or anything like that). I wonder if this was due to illness.

When was his Waves of Love vocal recorded? I feel that one, even if from only a soundcheck (?) sounds more like Carl's old voice by comparison to my ears.

Interesting thought CD.

However, how do you think he sounds on "Dancin' the Night Away"/"Baywatch Nights"? Personally I think he sounds great. Super commercial great singing.
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« Reply #256 on: March 07, 2017, 07:22:25 AM »

For every reason given there are a handful of excuses and defenses given - That's just the nature of this band.

In terms of commercial viability and potential for that elusive "hit" whether real or imaginary in the minds of certain band members, just compare what is known and has been heard from the Paley/Was material versus what the Beach Boys actually presented to the public and the fans as whatever music they were promoting.

What comes to mind from this time is the Baywatch appearance: a newly-made video for "Summer Of Love" and focus on "Summer In Paradise" tying it into the plot of the episode. If putting "new material" on display and promoting it was the idea: Were those better choices to present as "new" Beach Boys product than the better songs from the Was sessions which could have been worked on and developed further? Or would it even have been better to just have them play an old favorite with the current lineup (minus Stamos and actually giving Brian something to do) ?

What they did feature on TV speaks volumes.
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« Reply #257 on: March 07, 2017, 11:21:33 AM »

Quote
I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.

That has always been my own personal theory. He certainly wasn't looking well.

I also feel his lead on Soul Searchin' - even if not intended to be a final, released product - also sounds "off". Like he vocally aged twenty years in just the few years between, say Lahaina Aloha and Soul Searchin'. Something about his voice here sounds sorta raspy and weak (yet I still love the vocal - it doesn't sound like he phoned it in or anything like that). I wonder if this was due to illness.

When was his Waves of Love vocal recorded? I feel that one, even if from only a soundcheck (?) sounds more like Carl's old voice by comparison to my ears.

Interesting thought CD.

However, how do you think he sounds on "Dancin' the Night Away"/"Baywatch Nights"? Personally I think he sounds great. Super commercial great singing.

I'm just giving a listen to Dancin' the Night Away right now (hadn't heard it in awhile)... and while there is precious little amount vocals on that song for an opinion, I tend to think Carl sounds pretty good on it. For whatever reason, his somewhat changed (to my ears) voice seems to be localized to Soul Searchin'. But Soul Searchin' was a more demanding type of vocal for Carl by comparison; a whole song with lead, and pushing on the bridge a bit perhaps towards the edges of his then-range (I kinda doubt that Carl could have sang stuff like Darlin' at that point).

It's weird, because we have lots of examples of both Brian and Denny having degraded vocals, but with Carl, there's pretty much just Love You (and sorta kinda 15 Big Ones), and, IMO, Soul Searchin' (slightly degraded, but in a different way - maybe just due to the natural aging process, hard to know).

Side note: Mike sounds killer during his brief vocals on Dancin' the Night Away. No matter how frustrating it often is to like him as a dude, he surely brings it as a singer when he wants to. There's some real Carl/Mike BB vocal magic during that part. It pains me that Carl is gone and that Mike can't bring himself to work with the other living Boys anymore. Mike's voice when utilized tastefully can really elevate material, no doubt.
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« Reply #258 on: March 07, 2017, 12:28:21 PM »

I don’t think Carl’s voice on “Soul Searchin’” sounds particularly uniquely different. That is, I do think his voice into the 90s did sound different, but I hear it across the board for the most part.

I’m not sure what the deal was with Carl’s voice or if it was anything other than just how his voice naturally aged. His voice didn’t even sound *worse* per se, but it definitely took on a very different tone in his later years, especially the 90s. It didn’t take any drastic turn the way Brian or Dennis did. But he did get a bit more raspy, and he kind of sounded “stuffy” for lack of a better way to put it, as if his sinuses were kind of blocked a bit or something. Hard to describe. But the tone I hear on “Soul Searchin’” is pretty similar to what I heard on a lot of live recordings from the 90s. Like everyone in the band, his touring voice surely had some ups and downs based on environmental and schedule factors. I’ve heard a few pretty raspy Carl recordings from the 90s (there’s one of the more common soundboard recordings from 1993 I believe where he sounds pretty raspy/froggy on “I Can Hear Music”); probably simple cases of over-touring or having a cold or something.

Interesting that “Waves of Love” was brought up, because his voice does sound super weird on that one (particularly the version in the higher key where they’ve isolated his voice instead of mixing it with other voices more), perhaps because it’s more processed and, on the version in the higher key, it almost sounds like they’ve tried altering the pitch without altering the speed, which can sound kinda weird too.

Let me reiterate that I don’t think he sounded bad in his late years, just relatively different. I was blown away by how good he sounded in the few extant bits of 1997 recordings I’ve heard. Sounds just as good as 1996, 95, etc.
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« Reply #259 on: March 07, 2017, 12:54:44 PM »

And yet (IMHO) his vocals on BB85 were arguably the best of his career.
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« Reply #260 on: March 07, 2017, 01:09:09 PM »

And yet (IMHO) his vocals on BB85 were arguably the best of his career.

True statement, and such a bizarre contradiction with the material.

Also gotta give a shout-out to Carl's vocals on Goin' On, especially on the last section of the song. They are SO good there, he sounds like he's almost channeling Freddie Mercury.
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« Reply #261 on: March 07, 2017, 02:49:24 PM »

I'll go as far as saying Carl's vocals (and Al's too for that matter) on SIP were the best of his career, and the only reason to listen to that album. As an aside, while his vocals were indeed different in the 90's, I have always preferred Carl's live vocals from 93-onward.  Also, if anybody here ever got the chance to hear Carl warming up backstage before a concert you know that Carl could even sing the scales like nobody's business
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« Reply #262 on: March 07, 2017, 08:36:54 PM »

Carl singing those vocal warmup exercises -- OMG!!
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« Reply #263 on: March 07, 2017, 10:40:45 PM »

Quote
I have to wonder if Carl was already aware of his health issues in 95/early 96. It just seems so out of character for him to walk out of a session.

That has always been my own personal theory. He certainly wasn't looking well.
I began to worry about him when I saw them on Regis and Kathie Lee fall of 96. Carl had gained a lot of weight since I had last seen him, yeah, he did not look well. It still boggles my mind that with all the abuse Brian put his body through, that he has outlived his baby brother by many, many years.
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