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Author Topic: Does anyone know who played bass on Smiley Smile, Wild Honey, and Friends?  (Read 3047 times)
ryan9699
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« on: May 30, 2017, 07:03:01 AM »

Hey guys,

I've been actively listening to these three albums and I've read that Bruce and Brian switched off bass duties during the sessions but I am not exactly sure. Anyone have some insight?

Ryan
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2017, 07:17:52 PM »

I don't know the answer, but you might want to try asking this in the main forum. Get some more eyes on it. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2017, 07:59:46 PM »

Re Wild Honey at least.

The one time I spoke to Bruce, about 9 years ago, I asked him that very question., He confirmed that it was him playing bass...I asked him if it was Carol Kaye (who as we know is known for taken credit for a lot more than she actually did, and who at the time *said*  she had played that bassline), and let's just say he was rather pissed.
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2017, 08:33:24 PM »

Lots of people played bass across those three albums.  Smiley and WH is a little harder to know exactly, but Ron Brown likely played a lot on WH.  Friends has a lot more session musicians than people think, and Lyle Ritz is all over those sessions.
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 04:44:38 AM »

Thanks you guys- will do!
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2017, 07:31:25 AM »

I would assume that those three albums consist of Bruce (especially), Brian, Carl, and Al all playing bass, augmented by session musicians, especially on Friends. Wild Honey has Ron Brown playing bass. Some of the songs on SS and WH have that thumb picked bass sound, which indicates to me that Brian is playing. Friends has some cool basslines, which I know Lyle Ritz may have played, but I would not be surprised if Bruce, Al, or Carl played them. For Friends, I assume BW had more of a role in arranging/producing, rather than playing, where as he may have been more part of the band with SS and WH.
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2017, 10:46:24 AM »

I would assume that those three albums consist of Bruce (especially), Brian, Carl, and Al all playing bass, augmented by session musicians, especially on Friends. Wild Honey has Ron Brown playing bass. Some of the songs on SS and WH have that thumb picked bass sound, which indicates to me that Brian is playing. Friends has some cool basslines, which I know Lyle Ritz may have played, but I would not be surprised if Bruce, Al, or Carl played them. For Friends, I assume BW had more of a role in arranging/producing, rather than playing, where as he may have been more part of the band with SS and WH.

To my knowledge  Bruce isn't on SS.
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2017, 10:47:06 AM »

Why not?
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2017, 10:58:02 AM »

I would assume that those three albums consist of Bruce (especially), Brian, Carl, and Al all playing bass, augmented by session musicians, especially on Friends. Wild Honey has Ron Brown playing bass. Some of the songs on SS and WH have that thumb picked bass sound, which indicates to me that Brian is playing. Friends has some cool basslines, which I know Lyle Ritz may have played, but I would not be surprised if Bruce, Al, or Carl played them. For Friends, I assume BW had more of a role in arranging/producing, rather than playing, where as he may have been more part of the band with SS and WH.

To my knowledge  Bruce isn't on SS.

I always thought I heard Bruce's voice in harmony during the repeating "on and on she goes dum be do now" part during the beginning of With Me Tonight. I could be wrong though. I wish we could do a breakdown of every moment of every song, where we zero in on each voice to describe who it is. There's the vocal credits thread, but it only touches on this type of thing Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2017, 11:21:19 AM »

Bruce is credited as singing, playing organ, and playing bass on Smiley Smile.


It's also worth noting that Carl is credited with playing guitar, bass, and percussion,

Al is credited with playing guitar and bass.

Denny is credited with playing drums (I don't hear any really... And on the songs with drums it's Hal Blaine probably) and organ

Brian is credited with playing with playing bass, piano, and organ.

Everyone sings obviously.

I am 99% sure I can hear Bruce on a lot of SS, WH, and Friends, even though some people doubt his contribution to  those records.
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2017, 11:28:56 AM »

Bruce is credited as singing, playing organ, and playing bass on Smiley Smile.


It's also worth noting that Carl is credited with playing guitar, bass, and percussion,

Al is credited with playing guitar and bass.

Denny is credited with playing drums (I don't hear any really... And on the songs with drums it's Hal Blaine probably) and organ

Brian is credited with playing with playing bass, piano, and organ.

Everyone sings obviously.

I am 99% sure I can hear Bruce on a lot of SS, WH, and Friends, even though some people doubt his contribution to  those records.

That came from Bruce himself, for the same reason he wasn't on Lei'd in Hawaii, because of the, ahem, "atmosphere" during the recording (i.e.) drugs. That said, I always had doubt because I heard him as well. Would nice to get official confirmation!
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2017, 07:40:24 PM »

Bruce is credited as singing, playing organ, and playing bass on Smiley Smile.


It's also worth noting that Carl is credited with playing guitar, bass, and percussion,

Al is credited with playing guitar and bass.

Denny is credited with playing drums (I don't hear any really... And on the songs with drums it's Hal Blaine probably) and organ

Brian is credited with playing with playing bass, piano, and organ.

Everyone sings obviously.

I am 99% sure I can hear Bruce on a lot of SS, WH, and Friends, even though some people doubt his contribution to  those records.

That came from Bruce himself, for the same reason he wasn't on Lei'd in Hawaii, because of the, ahem, "atmosphere" during the recording (i.e.) drugs. That said, I always had doubt because I heard him as well. Would nice to get official confirmation!

I believe most of the bass on Smiley Smile is Carl (except "GV" and "H&V", of course). But that version of "Vegetables" features Brian on bass. I believe Chuck Berghofer is playing the upright bass on the latter half of "She's Goin' Bald".  And I believe Carl is playing bass on a lot of the Wild Honey album: definitely on "Aren't You Glad", "Country Air", and "Let The Wind Blow". Bruce plays bass (and organ) on the song "Wild Honey". Ron Brown plays it on "Darlin"" and "I Was Made To Love Her" (after an earlier attempt by Al on the latter). As for the rest of the WH songs - I can't say for sure, but I suspect it's Brian on "A Thing Or Two" (it just sounds like him, to me), and possibly Ron Brown on "Here Comes The Night". The remaining songs ("I'd Love Just Once To See You" and "How She Boogalooed It") are probably either Brian or Carl....maybe Bruce.
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2017, 08:11:02 AM »

So Brian was present for How She Boogalooed It?
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2017, 08:43:40 AM »

Bruce is credited as singing, playing organ, and playing bass on Smiley Smile.


It's also worth noting that Carl is credited with playing guitar, bass, and percussion,

Al is credited with playing guitar and bass.

Denny is credited with playing drums (I don't hear any really... And on the songs with drums it's Hal Blaine probably) and organ

Brian is credited with playing with playing bass, piano, and organ.

Everyone sings obviously.

I am 99% sure I can hear Bruce on a lot of SS, WH, and Friends, even though some people doubt his contribution to  those records.

That came from Bruce himself, for the same reason he wasn't on Lei'd in Hawaii, because of the, ahem, "atmosphere" during the recording (i.e.) drugs. That said, I always had doubt because I heard him as well. Would nice to get official confirmation!

I believe most of the bass on Smiley Smile is Carl (except "GV" and "H&V", of course). But that version of "Vegetables" features Brian on bass. I believe Chuck Berghofer is playing the upright bass on the latter half of "She's Goin' Bald".  And I believe Carl is playing bass on a lot of the Wild Honey album: definitely on "Aren't You Glad", "Country Air", and "Let The Wind Blow". Bruce plays bass (and organ) on the song "Wild Honey". Ron Brown plays it on "Darlin"" and "I Was Made To Love Her" (after an earlier attempt by Al on the latter). As for the rest of the WH songs - I can't say for sure, but I suspect it's Brian on "A Thing Or Two" (it just sounds like him, to me), and possibly Ron Brown on "Here Comes The Night". The remaining songs ("I'd Love Just Once To See You" and "How She Boogalooed It") are probably either Brian or Carl....maybe Bruce.

Fantastic info. Loving it.

Mind blown that Al would even attempt to play bass on "I Was Made to Love Her." Curious how well he was able to pull it off, and if any of his playing survives on session tapes. Al plays some pretty steady-Freddie bass on some studio tracks, but it's a pretty (relatively) flashy part.

Is there any aural evidence on the session tape that it's Brian playing bass on the SS version of "Vegetables?" It's been eons since I listened to the SOT CD where they have some sort of isolated bass track for the song, and I have this super vague recollection that something led me to believe it was Brian playing the bass by simply listening to it. I suppose maybe I just figured it *could* be Brian since the bass part is pretty simple and it does indeed sound like a thumb sort of playing style rather than a pick.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 09:41:23 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2017, 09:25:08 AM »

If a Beach Boys song has that thumb bass sound, that's a pretty good indicator that Brian is playing. I know Al, Carl, Carol Kaye, Ray Pohlman, Ed Carter, etc.... all played with a pick.
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« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2017, 09:34:25 AM »

Bruce is credited as singing, playing organ, and playing bass on Smiley Smile.


It's also worth noting that Carl is credited with playing guitar, bass, and percussion,

Al is credited with playing guitar and bass.

Denny is credited with playing drums (I don't hear any really... And on the songs with drums it's Hal Blaine probably) and organ

Brian is credited with playing with playing bass, piano, and organ.

Everyone sings obviously.

I am 99% sure I can hear Bruce on a lot of SS, WH, and Friends, even though some people doubt his contribution to  those records.

That came from Bruce himself, for the same reason he wasn't on Lei'd in Hawaii, because of the, ahem, "atmosphere" during the recording (i.e.) drugs. That said, I always had doubt because I heard him as well. Would nice to get official confirmation!

I believe most of the bass on Smiley Smile is Carl (except "GV" and "H&V", of course). But that version of "Vegetables" features Brian on bass. I believe Chuck Berghofer is playing the upright bass on the latter half of "She's Goin' Bald".  And I believe Carl is playing bass on a lot of the Wild Honey album: definitely on "Aren't You Glad", "Country Air", and "Let The Wind Blow". Bruce plays bass (and organ) on the song "Wild Honey". Ron Brown plays it on "Darlin"" and "I Was Made To Love Her" (after an earlier attempt by Al on the latter). As for the rest of the WH songs - I can't say for sure, but I suspect it's Brian on "A Thing Or Two" (it just sounds like him, to me), and possibly Ron Brown on "Here Comes The Night". The remaining songs ("I'd Love Just Once To See You" and "How She Boogalooed It") are probably either Brian or Carl....maybe Bruce.

Awesome. ..thanks for the info
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« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2017, 07:42:49 PM »

So Brian was present for How She Boogalooed It?

No session tape apparently survives, but only 3 Beach Boys are listed on the AFM sheet for that tune: Brian, Carl, and Bruce.
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« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2017, 07:44:18 PM »

Is there any aural evidence on the session tape that it's Brian playing bass on the SS version of "Vegetables?"

Yes - on the SOT CD.
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2017, 05:57:23 AM »

All excellent information- thanks guys!
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2017, 11:51:48 AM »

So we know Bruce contributed to the WH album - what about Smiley?  C-man?
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« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2017, 08:38:32 PM »

So we know Bruce contributed to the WH album - what about Smiley?  C-man?

No, he was absent from the sessions at Bellagio. He's only on "GV" and maybe the tail end of "Vegetables". The vocals for "H&V" were completely redone from the SMiLE to Smiley Smile versions, so he's not on the official '67 version of that, either (but Billy Hinsche is).
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« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2017, 02:41:29 PM »

So what happened?  Had he quit the group or had the group "let him go?" Until they needed him, which they definitely did in Hawaii but he wasn't there?  So from the concert on May 19 Bruce was absent from recording and from the Hawaii concerts until Sept 11!  4 months was like an eternity in the 60s.  What was he doing?
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« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2017, 08:26:14 AM »

So Brian was present for How She Boogalooed It?

No session tape apparently survives, but only 3 Beach Boys are listed on the AFM sheet for that tune: Brian, Carl, and Bruce.
Cool, thanks! In your experience, would someone providing handclaps get listed on the AFM sheet? What I'm getting at is that if Mike was not providing the handclaps, could this be the only BB song that Mike was involved in writing but not in recording?
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« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2017, 09:18:11 AM »

Well as I mentioned in my book, when the may tour ended Bruce stayed in Europe into June, when he gave some U.K. Music interviews. He was back in the U.K. In August to promote heroes as well
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« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2017, 11:15:15 AM »

So what happened?  Had he quit the group or had the group "let him go?" Until they needed him, which they definitely did in Hawaii but he wasn't there?  So from the concert on May 19 Bruce was absent from recording and from the Hawaii concerts until Sept 11!  4 months was like an eternity in the 60s.  What was he doing?

There's a lot of smoke to the proposition that Bruce was basically out of the band, or skating very close to it, during that period.  Recently elsewhere (can't remember which board or thread) a story came up that apparently a nascent version of Three Dog Night (pre-Redwood) was being considered with Johnston has the third member.  It didn't happen, but I would bet it was during this period that it was being considered.  Interesting.
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