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614435 Posts in 24791 Topics by 3526 Members - Latest Member: sixtiesdoll August 19, 2017, 11:49:58 AM
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Author Topic: Did Van Dyke Parks contribute to the arrangements on Smile?  (Read 998 times)
TheWonderfulHarpsichord
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« on: August 12, 2017, 06:36:42 PM »

I noticed that he plays on a bunch of songs and was wondering if it was possible that he contributed to the arrangements
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Wirestone
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 07:02:36 PM »

I think the general consensus has been that he didn't, although he certainly may have tossed in ideas, as did many of the players on Brian's sessions. Important to remember that he was very much the junior partner in the venture, and no one who was actually present has ever suggested he did so.

That being said, the connections between Smile and Song Cycle are certainly difficult to shake ...
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theradiantradicchio
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 02:49:13 AM »

I'm pretty sure he did but never got credit for it. You can hear the same Smile pattern on his Song Cycle album.
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Hickory Violet Part IV
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 04:08:09 AM »

We all hear different things I suppose, but I don't hear any of the concise instrumental arrangements that you'd hear on Smile mirrored on Song Cycle. Very little in the way of vocal arrangements also. The use of lots of sections are the same, but on Smile these still tend to mirror traditional song structures, on Song Cycle one section flows into the next with little in the way of repeat. There is some similarities in instrument choice, and obviously the American theme. Other than that they are two very different beasts, to these ears anyway.

Yes, we all hear things differently, (I'm told there are people who still don't hear pitch correction on any of the Joe Thomas albums LOL)

Could anyone chime in with these connections which are difficult to shake?  I'm genuinely interested.
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MikestheGreatest!!
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 12:07:58 PM »

I would imagine that he did.....why not?
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joshferrell
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 04:05:00 PM »

The one guy who used to come on here until he was banned , who shall remain nameless, all i can say is  that he had a beard, was insistent that Van Dyke was involved with more of the instrumentation of smile than we realize. Take that with a grain of salt, but I recall him bringing it up..
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rab2591
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 04:30:23 PM »

It really wouldnt surprise me if VDPs had a bigger role in the instrumentation that we think. I know there has been debate over who suggested the cello staccato or whatnot for Good Vibrations, but apparently it was Van Dyke...and that is a major draw of the song.

Tony Asher recalls during this period (Pet Sounds) that Brian was really receptive to good ideas (and would use them). I mean, I think there is a false outlook on Brian being the sole creator of all of his work. But from the get-go he was directly influenced by other people and was always open to using ideas thought up by people other than himself.

Van Dyke had already done some pretty cool work (Come To The Sunshine, Do What You Wanta), and Iím sure his musical input and ideas were considered and used on this project.

Edit: I too would like to hear specific instances of Song Cycle and Smile correlations.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 04:31:30 PM by rab2591 » Logged

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Wirestone
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 04:50:36 PM »

When I said connections, I was speaking only in the most general sense -- modular song construction, wrecking crew guys on the tracks, general baroque-ness. Not sure about anything else.
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rab2591
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 05:30:37 PM »

When I said connections, I was speaking only in the most general sense -- modular song construction, wrecking crew guys on the tracks, general baroque-ness. Not sure about anything else.

Thanks Wirestone, definitely see what you mean.
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Bill Tobelman's SMiLE site

Summer in Paradise. Sorry, I get as far as "way back when when the master plan was having Fun Fun Fun and America's band", and there's no way in hell I'm listening to the rest of it. Don't insult me telling me I'm missing anything.
Willy Wilson
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2017, 09:33:02 AM »

I'm not sure if it is or not but 'Prelude To Fade' sounds rather Van Dykey. Hey why not.
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Bicyclerider
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2017, 10:01:55 AM »

I would imagine that he did.....why not?

Because he  has said on multiple occasions that he strictly wrote lyrics to Brian's melodies, syllable for syllable, not the music.  That said, is he just being modest and trying to give Brian his due for the music?  He hasn't been shy about claiming credit for the cellos in Good Vibrations, so if he contributed to the music of Smile, why not take ownership of it?
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Amy B.
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 03:24:22 PM »

Van Dyke doesn't strike me as being especially modest. Not that he's arrogant, but he will take credit where it's due and point out where it's due. (Some of his tweets are about the work he did on various projects, and he's always maintained the role he played in the GV arrangement.) On the other hand, how could he not have had some input into Smile when he was in the studio for part of it?
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2017, 04:05:44 PM »

Van Dyke doesn't strike me as being especially modest. Not that he's arrogant, but he will take credit where it's due and point out where it's due. (Some of his tweets are about the work he did on various projects, and he's always maintained the role he played in the GV arrangement.) On the other hand, how could he not have had some input into Smile when he was in the studio for part of it?

Isn't it also possible that VDP and Brian were so stoned at times, that they might not recall exactly if someone contributed a suggestion here or there? Especially 50 years later!
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Amy B.
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2017, 04:11:48 PM »

Van Dyke doesn't strike me as being especially modest. Not that he's arrogant, but he will take credit where it's due and point out where it's due. (Some of his tweets are about the work he did on various projects, and he's always maintained the role he played in the GV arrangement.) On the other hand, how could he not have had some input into Smile when he was in the studio for part of it?

Isn't it also possible that VDP and Brian were so stoned at times, that they might not recall exactly if someone contributed a suggestion here or there? Especially 50 years later!

I'd say so!
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terrei
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2017, 08:12:40 PM »

I have read once, from either BW or VDP, that VDP would occasionally suggest ideas like playing the song in a different key.
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Jukka
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2017, 10:33:14 PM »

Yet most of them are still in C# or related key.
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