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618833 Posts in 24939 Topics by 3548 Members - Latest Member: leafy October 21, 2017, 10:41:44 AM
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Author Topic: What are some great books detailing the recording of Pet Sounds and Smile?  (Read 993 times)
JackBz
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« on: October 02, 2017, 04:33:55 PM »

I mean more about the compositional aspects and recording/production techniques used and how they were revolutionary for their time. I'm not really interested in the more biographical side of things (Mike Love being a jerk and general inner conflict within the band about their new direction, Brian freaking out that a fire broke out in another building while recording the elements/everyone wearing fireman helmets etc etc, that kinda stuff). Though of course I expect these things would intercept in literature about these albums.

I really want to read a book or 2 (not short articles or listicles) about these albums from an artistic standpoint. Cases for what Brian was doing that elevated the work above his contemporaries, unique recording methods he used, how he started a movement of artists/bands being their own producers in the studio etc. These are facts that I commonly read about Brian Wilson but don't really know the specifics.

I know that many books must have been written at least about Pet Sounds given how famous and influential it was, but am hoping real fans on a Beach Boys forum might be able to help me towards the direction of what the best books are on the matter.

« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 12:50:01 AM by JackBz » Logged
Bicyclerider
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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 05:11:28 PM »

The booklet that comes in the Pet sounds Sessions box has lots of details about recording, interviews with wrecking crew musicians and Brian's associates at the time, it's essential if you don't have it.
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JackBz
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2017, 06:15:55 AM »

Thanks, I'm checking this out now and it's very very good stuff! Thanks a lot. Here's a link for anyone interested: http://albumlinernotes.com/Pet_Sounds_Box_Set.html

Is there similar stuff for Smile? I'm also keen for other recommendations on Pet Sounds besides these liner notes if anyone else has any recommendations.

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KDS
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2017, 06:21:50 AM »

Both Pet Sounds and Smile have volumes in the "33 1/3" book series. 

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terrei
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 07:41:26 PM »

There is unfortunately not a lot written about the music itself. Only three that I know of:

* Add Some Music To Your Day : Analyzing and Enjoying the Music of the Beach Boys (1998)
* Inside the Music of Brian Wilson: the Songs, Sounds, and Influences of the Beach Boys' Founding Genius (2007)
* Good Vibrations: Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys in Critical Perspective (2016)

The Pet Sounds 33 1/3 book is more like a generic biography, while the Smile book dissects BW's motivations and cultural stature circa 1966. Neither are musically focused.

Here is David Toop's Nov 2011 Smile essay: pt. 1 pt. 2
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 07:53:32 PM by terrei » Logged
Bicyclerider
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2017, 07:09:53 AM »



Here is David Toop's Nov 2011 Smile essay: pt. 1 pt. 2

A few good points among all the gobbledy-gook in that Smile essay.
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JackBz
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2017, 05:21:46 PM »

There is unfortunately not a lot written about the music itself. Only three that I know of:

* Add Some Music To Your Day : Analyzing and Enjoying the Music of the Beach Boys (1998)
* Inside the Music of Brian Wilson: the Songs, Sounds, and Influences of the Beach Boys' Founding Genius (2007)
* Good Vibrations: Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys in Critical Perspective (2016)

The Pet Sounds 33 1/3 book is more like a generic biography, while the Smile book dissects BW's motivations and cultural stature circa 1966. Neither are musically focused.

Here is David Toop's Nov 2011 Smile essay: pt. 1 pt. 2

Thanks a lot my friend, this is exactly the kind of post I was hoping for. I knew about the 33 1/3 books but yeah, the blurbs seemed very much not about the music specifically. I will check out the books you've recommended for sure, thanks again.
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Beckgtr09
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2017, 06:38:54 PM »

What about the book that Domenic Priore did ?? I always thought that was good book.
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hideyotsuburaya
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, 06:56:25 AM »

here's the (subject) book you want
the author (aforementioned)
together with the principals (one admittedly only on the bookcover photo)
altogether in one 2005 image (I love it)

http://www.sofein.com/mess/2005/images/3men.jpg
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MikestheGreatest!!
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2017, 02:04:02 PM »

My advice seriously is that the less you know about how these recordings were made, the more you will appreciate them.  Reading about it kinda deflated the Brian "genius" myth for me....
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wjcrerar
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2017, 03:41:19 AM »

My advice seriously is that the less you know about how these recordings were made, the more you will appreciate them.  Reading about it kinda deflated the Brian "genius" myth for me....

Really? Which parts? Reading up on it and studying the music didn't have that effect on me, if anything just made me appreciate Brian's talent more
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JK
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2017, 04:42:38 AM »

What about the book that Domenic Priore did?? I always thought that was good book.

One thing in particular puts me off that book, namely the report on p154 about a song called "Ben's Prayer":

https://books.google.nl/books?id=b-fjAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT187&lpg=PT187&dq=%22tide+had+turned+against+the+beach+boys+inc+and%22&source=bl&ots=70aRudIatY&sig=-23rEoS7891JCI5-CjEY3imVY4A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZ5_Xltt7WAhVELhoKHfXpAWIQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=%22tide%20had%20turned%20against%20the%20beach%20boys%20inc%20and%22&f=false

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that. Talk about classless.
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JK
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2017, 04:45:16 AM »

My advice seriously is that the less you know about how these recordings were made, the more you will appreciate them.  Reading about it kinda deflated the Brian "genius" myth for me....

Really? Which parts? Reading up on it and studying the music didn't have that effect on me, if anything just made me appreciate Brian's talent more

Agreed. MtG's "advice" makes no sense at all! 
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Theydon Bois
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2017, 11:22:15 AM »

What about the book that Domenic Priore did?? I always thought that was good book.

One thing in particular puts me off that book, namely the report on p154 about a song called "Ben's Prayer":

https://books.google.nl/books?id=b-fjAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT187&lpg=PT187&dq=%22tide+had+turned+against+the+beach+boys+inc+and%22&source=bl&ots=70aRudIatY&sig=-23rEoS7891JCI5-CjEY3imVY4A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZ5_Xltt7WAhVELhoKHfXpAWIQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=%22tide%20had%20turned%20against%20the%20beach%20boys%20inc%20and%22&f=false

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that. Talk about classless.

But that's a thing that happened.  Why shouldn't a book mention it?
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terrei
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2017, 12:47:01 AM »

Domenic Priore is a mixed bag. He'll often pose the weirdest arguments, like that the 2004 "Vega-Tables" was rearranged to sound like McCartney's "Come and Get It" (or maybe Brian invented piano block chords before McCartney!), or that "Heroes and Villains" took its bass line from Bob B. Soxx's "The Bells of St. Mary". It really takes away the credibility of everything else he writes. I think his Smile book has about 2 or 3 pages of people like Danny Hutton and Van Dyke fawning over how Brian was in the studio, but there's minimal specifics.
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JK
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« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2017, 02:16:56 AM »


One thing in particular puts me off that book, namely the report on p154 about a song called "Ben's Prayer".

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that. Talk about classless.

But that's a thing that happened.  Why shouldn't a book mention it?

But it does more than mention it----for Priore it's the keynote moment of the evening, "prompting the New York City crowd to scream with delight".

Classless.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 04:17:18 AM by JK » Logged

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Theydon Bois
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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2017, 09:46:45 AM »


One thing in particular puts me off that book, namely the report on p154 about a song called "Ben's Prayer".

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that. Talk about classless.

But that's a thing that happened.  Why shouldn't a book mention it?

But it does more than mention it----for Priore it's the keynote moment of the evening, "prompting the New York City crowd to scream with delight".

Classless.

Well, maybe it really was the evening's most memorable moment!  It certainly generated a lot of interest for a silly joke song; enough that it's been mentioned on here a few times.  Even some Mike Love fans were entertained!  Trigger warning:

I'm not saying Taylor Mills doesn't have "talent". But she seems out of place on BWPS.

My reference to Ben Vaughn's "Mike Love" song was a joke. I've actually never heard the song, but I met Ben in '87 and he described the lyrics to me. A friend of mine supposedly has a tape of the Folk City BW tribute where Ben performed that song, but I've never heard it.

It's hysterical... very funny.

I don't think it's an unreasonable event to reference in the context of illustrating the relative public perceptions of Wilson and Love in the mid-'80s.
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JK
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2017, 10:23:33 AM »


One thing in particular puts me off that book, namely the report on p154 about a song called "Ben's Prayer".

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that. Talk about classless.

But that's a thing that happened.  Why shouldn't a book mention it?

But it does more than mention it----for Priore it's the keynote moment of the evening, "prompting the New York City crowd to scream with delight".

Classless.

Well, maybe it really was the evening's most memorable moment!  It certainly generated a lot of interest for a silly joke song; enough that it's been mentioned on here a few times.  Even some Mike Love fans were entertained!  Trigger warning:

I'm not saying Taylor Mills doesn't have "talent". But she seems out of place on BWPS.

My reference to Ben Vaughn's "Mike Love" song was a joke. I've actually never heard the song, but I met Ben in '87 and he described the lyrics to me. A friend of mine supposedly has a tape of the Folk City BW tribute where Ben performed that song, but I've never heard it.

It's hysterical... very funny.

I don't think it's an unreasonable event to reference in the context of illustrating the relative public perceptions of Wilson and Love in the mid-'80s.

Ah! Mr Doe. Okay, I'll just admit I'm out of my depth here and withdraw gracefully. (But I still think DP lays it on a l-i-t-t-l-e too thick.)
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