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Author Topic: Mike Love - Unleash the Love - Due November 17 - w/ 2nd Disc of BB Remakes  (Read 112786 times)
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« Reply #350 on: November 05, 2017, 09:47:05 AM »

After "Kokomo" was #1, I thought maybe the BB's could get a record company to back them on an album of all new material. Instead, Capitol wanted another compilation - a few new tracks mixed in with the old stuff.

Just to correct this because I've written a lot about this exact topic in the last 5 years - Capitol did not want another compilation after Kokomo, they wanted a new album of new Beach Boys material and even had a contract for them where they wanted three new singles. There is an LA Times article which outlines this to a "t" including comments from a Capitol label exec and from the band members as well, including Bruce who said he wanted to make new original music and not become a traveling jukebox type of oldies revue.

Capitol was very, very hot for a follow up from the band if not demanding it as part of a contract, and the band blew it. They simply could not and did not deliver, so what Capitol did was put out a watered-down compilation so they could have an album for fans to buy Kokomo and at least recoup some profits from that since Kokomo was originally not on Capitol and instead on the label which released the Cocktail soundtrack...because when Cocktail came out, the band was not signed to a label.

After Kokomo and the Still Cruisin compromise, the band was without a label again. They blew it with Capitol and despite having *four* songwriters in the band not named Brian, including a Grammy winning writer in Bruce, a Wilson, a Jardine, and a frontman who has people saying he's a genius too, they blew it.

I hate to disagree with an expert, but there was an interview with Carl from this period where he was asked if he had any songs on the new album, and he said no, he had one he'd been working on, but wasn't satisfied with it. He said the record company asked for 3 new songs, and the band gave them 5, so it was a compromise. I'm confident the band could have given Capitol an all new album if it was wanted - even if that meant Mike and Terry doing a SIP-style album a few years early. In fact, if SIP had come out in 1989, it probably would have done a lot better commercially, riding on the success of Kokomo. And the style of production heard on SIP would have fit in a lot better radio-wise than it did in 1992.

http://articles.latimes.com/1989-05-26/entertainment/ca-869_1_fat-boys-brian-wilson-endless-summer

>>>>>
The Beach Boys' New Splash
May 26, 1989|STEVE HOCHMAN


The Beach Boys are riding their biggest wave in two decades. They're coming off their first No. 1 single in 22 years ("Kokomo"), "genius" Brian Wilson is back in the fold, they've re-turned to Capitol Records and are on the road with Chicago for a hot-ticket summer tour.

You'd think these purveyors of good vibrations and endless summer fun, fun, fun would be coasting along quite comfortably. But the mood at a Culver City sound stage during the band's final rehearsal for the Chicago tour was anything but light.

The tension seemed to mirror the band's determination to take advantage of the current resurgence and re-establish itself as a contemporary hit-maker--or be doomed to a life as nostalgia merchants.

Carl Wilson, who had spent much of the night before working on new songs in a recording studio, declined to be interviewed. And Wilson, Bruce Johnston, Mike Love and Al Jardine seemed pretty businesslike as they worked out choreography steps to "Barbara Ann" with the six bikinied surfer girls who are decorating the stage on this tour (which includes shows Saturday at the Pacific Amphitheatre and Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl).

Explained Johnston, who joined the Beach Boys in 1965 after Brian Wilson gave up full-time touring: "I don't want the Beach Boys to be the futile endless road show of 'The King and I' or 'I Love Lucy' reruns. I live, eat and breathe getting on the radio. I just think, 'How can we get back on the radio?' "

Johnston didn't pause before answering himself: "With great songs, that's how!"

An odd question, coming not long after the band's "Kokomo," a song from the "Cocktail" movie score, became the Beach Boys first No. 1 single since 1966's "Good Vibrations."

And that was only one highlight from what was the group's best year in eons. It began with its induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, built through the attention focused on the solo album debut of Brian Wilson--the architect of the Beach Boys' often-imitated sound--and crested with "Kokomo."

The new Capitol release will be the band's first album in four years. Titled "Still Cruisin' " and due this summer, the record will be a combination of movie-related tracks including "Kokomo" and "Wipe Out" (a pairing with the rapping Fat Boys) and several new songs. After that, the contract contains an option for an album of all new material. Johnston calls it "the album of doom."

"Just because you've had a No. 1 doesn't mean you're automatic," Johnston said during a rehearsal break, acknowledging that the Beach Boys could go on forever recreating the endless summer with its stockpile of old hits. But that isn't good enough for him.

"It's records that matter," he said. "There's no point in touring without new records. It's just huge payments to me. We've got to be better than that."

David Berman, president of Capitol Records, was pleased to hear that the Beach Boys are going into their new arrangement with the label with that attitude.

"I think it's a pivotal point in their career," he said. "I hesitate to say with them that it's ever make or break. As a touring entity so continually successful, I wouldn't say that if this record doesn't happen it's the end of them as a recording entity. They're too good and represent too much so that they won't ever be dated. But on the other hand, I'm glad they feel that way because it bodes well for the record."

It's clear to the Beach Boys what Capitol expects from them.

"Three hit singles, to tell you the truth," Jardine said. "That's what they told us."

"That's fair," Berman said. "That's what I would hope for."

But even one hit, coming on the heels of "Kokomo," would pay double dividends for Capitol, which still owns the Beach Boys' '60s catalogue, some of which is now on CD, with the much-anticipated and much-delayed CD release of the hailed "Pet Sounds" 1966 album still to come.

Said Berman: "We do anticipate that a new hit Beach Boys record will help us exploit the catalogue, including but not limited to a 'Pet Sounds' CD."

Much is being made of Brian Wilson's role with the group. He will play only selected dates on this tour, including the Southland shows, with a four-song solo set included. But he will be working throughout the summer in the studio creating new songs for the band, which is essentially the role he has played for the past 25 years.

"We're going back to the original formula," said Dr. Eugene Landy, Brian's controversial therapist, guide and co-writer who hovered around while Brian was being interviewed. "Brian is most valuable to the Beach Boys using his time in the studio."

Still, many are perceiving this as a return to the fold for Brian, given his solo activities and the fact that he was not involved with "Kokomo." That impression was heightened last year when Love said in interviews that "Kokomo's" commercial superiority over Brian's solo album might prove to Brian that he needed the Beach Boys.

And Brian himself spoke of being accepted back into the Beach Boys.

"I'm very happy about it," he said. "And Mike seems to be happy for me being in the Beach Boys."

In any case, Brian's presence is paramount to Capitol. "Brian's involvement on this record is extremely important," Berman said. "But the fact that Mike Love and (producer) Terry Melcher came up with 'Kokomo' on their own without Brian means you've got a tremendous amount of talent there. I'm confident we can have quality material from all the Beach Boys."
<<<<<

Three hit singles according to Al Jardine in May 1989.

Capitol put the option in the new contract for a new album dependent on new material. Still Cruisin was in the works as of May '89 when this article appeared, the president of Capitol wanted new material which was part of the band's deal, including three hit singles which Capitol hoped would boost the profile and sales of the back catalog in the process. The band delivered none of that. They dropped the ball. Capitol eventually dropped them and this new album contract stipulation.

I don't know how much more clear that could be as it's described in the article including direct quotes.

If anything, the GV box set which had as its main calling card 40+ minutes of unreleased Smile audio did more for the band's profile and legacy than anything Mike cooked up, including more touring complete with dancing girls and the SIP debacle. So it kind of worked opposite of how Capitol envisioned it...the archival material bailed them out when the band couldn't follow up a #1 smash hit with...anything.

The most surreal part of that article will always be Bruce saying he doesn't want the band to become..."I don't want the Beach Boys to be the futile endless road show of 'The King and I' or 'I Love Lucy' reruns. I live, eat and breathe getting on the radio. I just think, 'How can we get back on the radio?'"..."With great songs, that's how!"...."It's records that matter," he said. "There's no point in touring without new records. It's just huge payments to me. We've got to be better than that."

...obviously Mike disagreed with Bruce on that. Yet look what happened to Bruce and Mike. They became the endless Beach Boys road show.
No, it's very clear in this article - Still Cruisin' was always going to be a mix of new and old. If that did well, there was an option for an album of all new material. The Beach Boys delivered their part of the deal - 5 new songs. That Capitol failed to promote them is not the band's fault. If Capitol wanted Brian to be more involved in the album, they needed to make that a stipulation in the contract. Everyone knew what the situation was with Brian and Landy.
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« Reply #351 on: November 05, 2017, 10:09:50 AM »

After "Kokomo" was #1, I thought maybe the BB's could get a record company to back them on an album of all new material. Instead, Capitol wanted another compilation - a few new tracks mixed in with the old stuff.

Just to correct this because I've written a lot about this exact topic in the last 5 years - Capitol did not want another compilation after Kokomo, they wanted a new album of new Beach Boys material and even had a contract for them where they wanted three new singles. There is an LA Times article which outlines this to a "t" including comments from a Capitol label exec and from the band members as well, including Bruce who said he wanted to make new original music and not become a traveling jukebox type of oldies revue.

Capitol was very, very hot for a follow up from the band if not demanding it as part of a contract, and the band blew it. They simply could not and did not deliver, so what Capitol did was put out a watered-down compilation so they could have an album for fans to buy Kokomo and at least recoup some profits from that since Kokomo was originally not on Capitol and instead on the label which released the Cocktail soundtrack...because when Cocktail came out, the band was not signed to a label.

After Kokomo and the Still Cruisin compromise, the band was without a label again. They blew it with Capitol and despite having *four* songwriters in the band not named Brian, including a Grammy winning writer in Bruce, a Wilson, a Jardine, and a frontman who has people saying he's a genius too, they blew it.

I hate to disagree with an expert, but there was an interview with Carl from this period where he was asked if he had any songs on the new album, and he said no, he had one he'd been working on, but wasn't satisfied with it. He said the record company asked for 3 new songs, and the band gave them 5, so it was a compromise. I'm confident the band could have given Capitol an all new album if it was wanted - even if that meant Mike and Terry doing a SIP-style album a few years early. In fact, if SIP had come out in 1989, it probably would have done a lot better commercially, riding on the success of Kokomo. And the style of production heard on SIP would have fit in a lot better radio-wise than it did in 1992.

http://articles.latimes.com/1989-05-26/entertainment/ca-869_1_fat-boys-brian-wilson-endless-summer

>>>>>
The Beach Boys' New Splash
May 26, 1989|STEVE HOCHMAN


The Beach Boys are riding their biggest wave in two decades. They're coming off their first No. 1 single in 22 years ("Kokomo"), "genius" Brian Wilson is back in the fold, they've re-turned to Capitol Records and are on the road with Chicago for a hot-ticket summer tour.

You'd think these purveyors of good vibrations and endless summer fun, fun, fun would be coasting along quite comfortably. But the mood at a Culver City sound stage during the band's final rehearsal for the Chicago tour was anything but light.

The tension seemed to mirror the band's determination to take advantage of the current resurgence and re-establish itself as a contemporary hit-maker--or be doomed to a life as nostalgia merchants.

Carl Wilson, who had spent much of the night before working on new songs in a recording studio, declined to be interviewed. And Wilson, Bruce Johnston, Mike Love and Al Jardine seemed pretty businesslike as they worked out choreography steps to "Barbara Ann" with the six bikinied surfer girls who are decorating the stage on this tour (which includes shows Saturday at the Pacific Amphitheatre and Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl).

Explained Johnston, who joined the Beach Boys in 1965 after Brian Wilson gave up full-time touring: "I don't want the Beach Boys to be the futile endless road show of 'The King and I' or 'I Love Lucy' reruns. I live, eat and breathe getting on the radio. I just think, 'How can we get back on the radio?' "

Johnston didn't pause before answering himself: "With great songs, that's how!"

An odd question, coming not long after the band's "Kokomo," a song from the "Cocktail" movie score, became the Beach Boys first No. 1 single since 1966's "Good Vibrations."

And that was only one highlight from what was the group's best year in eons. It began with its induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, built through the attention focused on the solo album debut of Brian Wilson--the architect of the Beach Boys' often-imitated sound--and crested with "Kokomo."

The new Capitol release will be the band's first album in four years. Titled "Still Cruisin' " and due this summer, the record will be a combination of movie-related tracks including "Kokomo" and "Wipe Out" (a pairing with the rapping Fat Boys) and several new songs. After that, the contract contains an option for an album of all new material. Johnston calls it "the album of doom."

"Just because you've had a No. 1 doesn't mean you're automatic," Johnston said during a rehearsal break, acknowledging that the Beach Boys could go on forever recreating the endless summer with its stockpile of old hits. But that isn't good enough for him.

"It's records that matter," he said. "There's no point in touring without new records. It's just huge payments to me. We've got to be better than that."

David Berman, president of Capitol Records, was pleased to hear that the Beach Boys are going into their new arrangement with the label with that attitude.

"I think it's a pivotal point in their career," he said. "I hesitate to say with them that it's ever make or break. As a touring entity so continually successful, I wouldn't say that if this record doesn't happen it's the end of them as a recording entity. They're too good and represent too much so that they won't ever be dated. But on the other hand, I'm glad they feel that way because it bodes well for the record."

It's clear to the Beach Boys what Capitol expects from them.

"Three hit singles, to tell you the truth," Jardine said. "That's what they told us."

"That's fair," Berman said. "That's what I would hope for."

But even one hit, coming on the heels of "Kokomo," would pay double dividends for Capitol, which still owns the Beach Boys' '60s catalogue, some of which is now on CD, with the much-anticipated and much-delayed CD release of the hailed "Pet Sounds" 1966 album still to come.

Said Berman: "We do anticipate that a new hit Beach Boys record will help us exploit the catalogue, including but not limited to a 'Pet Sounds' CD."

Much is being made of Brian Wilson's role with the group. He will play only selected dates on this tour, including the Southland shows, with a four-song solo set included. But he will be working throughout the summer in the studio creating new songs for the band, which is essentially the role he has played for the past 25 years.

"We're going back to the original formula," said Dr. Eugene Landy, Brian's controversial therapist, guide and co-writer who hovered around while Brian was being interviewed. "Brian is most valuable to the Beach Boys using his time in the studio."

Still, many are perceiving this as a return to the fold for Brian, given his solo activities and the fact that he was not involved with "Kokomo." That impression was heightened last year when Love said in interviews that "Kokomo's" commercial superiority over Brian's solo album might prove to Brian that he needed the Beach Boys.

And Brian himself spoke of being accepted back into the Beach Boys.

"I'm very happy about it," he said. "And Mike seems to be happy for me being in the Beach Boys."

In any case, Brian's presence is paramount to Capitol. "Brian's involvement on this record is extremely important," Berman said. "But the fact that Mike Love and (producer) Terry Melcher came up with 'Kokomo' on their own without Brian means you've got a tremendous amount of talent there. I'm confident we can have quality material from all the Beach Boys."
<<<<<

Three hit singles according to Al Jardine in May 1989.

Capitol put the option in the new contract for a new album dependent on new material. Still Cruisin was in the works as of May '89 when this article appeared, the president of Capitol wanted new material which was part of the band's deal, including three hit singles which Capitol hoped would boost the profile and sales of the back catalog in the process. The band delivered none of that. They dropped the ball. Capitol eventually dropped them and this new album contract stipulation.

I don't know how much more clear that could be as it's described in the article including direct quotes.

If anything, the GV box set which had as its main calling card 40+ minutes of unreleased Smile audio did more for the band's profile and legacy than anything Mike cooked up, including more touring complete with dancing girls and the SIP debacle. So it kind of worked opposite of how Capitol envisioned it...the archival material bailed them out when the band couldn't follow up a #1 smash hit with...anything.

The most surreal part of that article will always be Bruce saying he doesn't want the band to become..."I don't want the Beach Boys to be the futile endless road show of 'The King and I' or 'I Love Lucy' reruns. I live, eat and breathe getting on the radio. I just think, 'How can we get back on the radio?'"..."With great songs, that's how!"...."It's records that matter," he said. "There's no point in touring without new records. It's just huge payments to me. We've got to be better than that."

...obviously Mike disagreed with Bruce on that. Yet look what happened to Bruce and Mike. They became the endless Beach Boys road show.


No, it's very clear in this article - Still Cruisin' was always going to be a mix of new and old. If that did well, there was an option for an album of all new material. The Beach Boys delivered their part of the deal - 5 new songs. That Capitol failed to promote them is not the band's fault. If Capitol wanted Brian to be more involved in the album, they needed to make that a stipulation in the contract. Everyone knew what the situation was with Brian and Landy.

No, what is clear is what is said in the direct quotes in the article. Capitol wanted new material after Still Cruisin, as detailed by the president of Capitol. And the band members (except Mike, whose usual quotes and braggadocio are oddly absent from this article) made comments directly addressing the sense of pressure that was on them to produce something substantial for Capitol as part of their new deal.

The Capitol president even says that yes, Brian's involvement was paramount but even without a certain level of involvement from Brian, he thought the band could produce given the talent in the band. Direct quote: >>>In any case, Brian's presence is paramount to Capitol. "Brian's involvement on this record is extremely important," Berman said. "But the fact that Mike Love and (producer) Terry Melcher came up with 'Kokomo' on their own without Brian means you've got a tremendous amount of talent there. I'm confident we can have quality material from all the Beach Boys."<<<

It's ok to get a different reading of the same words published in that article, but in this case I'll say again it was pretty clear what the situation was in terms of what Capitol expected from the band based on recent chart success - Brian or no Brian -  versus what the band ended up giving them in return, which was nothing until SIP, and by then they were without a label again.

Let me shift a bit to the side on this one, and ask what about the timeline surrounding these events, let's say from the time of this article May 1989 up to the release of SIP.

Hopefully someone more in tune with the timeline kind of info can fill in or clarify, but consider what happened in those years.

- Why was Al Jardine sh*t-canned by Mike?

- Why were both Carl and Al all but left out of the SIP recording process?

- Why was Mike yet again back with Adrian Baker making demos and recordings of BB and oldies remakes as well as new (and some pretty sub-par) "fun in the summer" type of songs in this same period? Was this Baker material the kind of thing Mike was bringing to the table and pitching to Capitol as potential Beach Boys releases for this post-"Still Cruisin" original album?

If those events are considered at least relevant to the time period when they happened, perhaps there is some of the reasons why Capitol dropped the band after Still Cruisin. And as I said, fortunately the Real Beach Boys in the form of the archival material was there and available for release and promotion so the label wasn't left holding an empty bag.

I'd also suggest looking more into what Mike's mindset was at the time, to think anyone let alone Capitol would have accepted an original Beach Boys album that had little to no involvement from Carl, Al, and Brian and instead touted himself and John Stamos.
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« Reply #352 on: November 05, 2017, 11:09:12 AM »

Add to that list of questions, any thoughts on why Mike was bailing on his band in this pre-SIP early 90's era to play runs of shows with the "Endless Summer Beach Band"? If their label Capitol was hot on the band, hot on releasing new material, and hot on their archival releases, why would Mike shine on The Beach Boys and instead play Beach Boys and other summer flavored hits for paying audiences with an anonymous backing group instead of his own band?

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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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« Reply #353 on: November 05, 2017, 11:23:48 AM »

Mike was broke yet again, hence the 1994 lawsuit.... Roll Eyes
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And production aside, I’d so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
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« Reply #354 on: November 05, 2017, 11:28:32 PM »

Add to that list of questions, any thoughts on why Mike was bailing on his band in this pre-SIP early 90's era to play runs of shows with the "Endless Summer Beach Band"? If their label Capitol was hot on the band, hot on releasing new material, and hot on their archival releases, why would Mike shine on The Beach Boys and instead play Beach Boys and other summer flavored hits for paying audiences with an anonymous backing group instead of his own band?


It makes no sense to me, either. So am I to believe that after Still Cruisin came out, did what it did, Capitol still wanted a new studio album from the guys? Because my impression has always been that Capitol was not pleased with the sales of SC - #40-something on the charts, the single Still Cruisin' peaked at #90 with an anchor on the Hot 100 (although it was a top ten AC hit), Somewhere Near Japan didn't catch on at all....I figured the label looked at those results and said "well, we've gotten all we're gonna get out of these guys". Now if it is a fact that Capitol didn't drop them after those disappointing results (results, BTW, that I blame squarely on the label itself - I was a fan in 1989, and recall next to no promotion for the album or the singles), then what was it that kept them from putting together a new studio album? Brian's situation with Landy? Mike demanding to have total control of the band and album? Carl, Al and Bruce not caring? By the time they did come out with a new album, it was far too late. Whatever momentum Kokomo's success might have created was long gone.
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« Reply #355 on: November 06, 2017, 12:46:55 AM »

Maybe everyone except Mike thought ‘F*** it! It’s been 30 years, its all turned to sh!t and do I really want to carry on?’

These guys were all turning 50ish and probably having a mid life crises. Add to that being given targets by some punk from a studio as described? Screw that!
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« Reply #356 on: November 06, 2017, 10:05:36 AM »

Some stream of consciousness here:

It's so weird and interesting to see how much Mike and Bruce changed their tune from where they claimed to be in the late 80s and early 90s.

Bruce is going on and on in 1989 about how he doesn't see a point in touring without new music (despite having released exactly one album of new material between 1981 and 1988; and all the while Bruce continued to collect tour checks), yet he went on to tour for *decades* with little to no new material, and certainly few hits. What has he been doing the last 20 years *but* collecting touring paychecks? He doesn't even appear to sing on *Mike's* solo stuff regularly.

Meanwhile, in 1992, Mike was saying he saw himself soon retiring and opening up a TM school, and Elliott Lott at BRI in 1999 was saying Mike had five years left of touring in him. Meanwhile, a quarter century later here we are, and Mike's still touring.

I think what we see with "Still Cruisin'" and "SIP", in part, is the sort of starting of the final realization for these guys that, unless they were willing to truly do "passion projects" to scratch *their own* artistic itch, their "recording artist" days were largely over and *everything*, money, attention, positive reinforcement, success, was *all* in touring.

That they wouldn't spend a huge amount of time and money working on albums that might tank, and spent the majority of their time touring, is *not* surprising at all. What *is* surprising is that guys like Carl showed little interest in working on music outside of the band for the sole purpose of the art.

He did work on "Beckley Lamm Wilson", but that was a case of only putting forth about 1/3 of an album, and even then it took nearly a decade and didn't see release until after he died.

I think the lack of albums, lack of *good* albums, and continued shifting to an emphasis on touring was due in part to having little artistic juice left in the tank. Add to that bad management (nobody talking any of these guys into doing a little club tour and a boutique album, etc.), and a general shift in the industry to tours being more lucrative than albums even when albums *are* successful, and it spells doom for these guys having their s**t together enough to not only make an album, but make a good one and build on that success.

Fans who weren't fans *during* that 80s/90s period and seem kind of "meh" about the dissolution of C50 in 2012 may then better understand some fans' frustration with *throwing away* the success of C50 by looking at what fans had to live through in the 80s and 90s. The *success* of C50 on all fronts, including a strong showing on the charts and decent reviews, was a type of momentum that surpassed even the (squandered) momentum created by "Kokomo."

To Mike's *partial* credit, he's somewhat honest about how much he prefers and prioritizes touring over recording, and therefore prioritizes touring over artistic expression and creation and creativity.

The band at some point decided they, for the most part, didn't want to be artists anymore, and decided to just be a touring machine (and, for many years, didn't even make the *tours" interesting), essentially no more of an artist than a factory pressing music.

Not to get too scattered here, but *part* of the reason the band biffed the album/recording/creative side of things is that they spent too long shooting for "hit singles" and "radio airplay." They got stuck way too long in the old mode of what constitutes success in the recording business. They saw little benefit in getting good reviews even if something didn't sell that well. Even in more recent years, they've been stuck in this mode. Mike seemed to not understand how TWGMTR falling quickly down the charts is *very common* in this current industry climate (and that a #3 showing was pretty amazing for their first album in 20 years). Al spent years waiting for a major label to pick up his solo album instead of just getting it out there (and then ultimately *did* just release it himself).

Seriously, knowing what we know about these guys' talents, I'm astonished and disappointed that there aren't five more Carl solo albums from 1984-1996, a couple Al solo albums, a few Mike, even a Bruce set, and so on.

People seem to sometimes fall back on the "people make Brian record albums" stuff, which I think is largely incorrect (Brian doesn't do stuff he doesn't want to do far more often than some people think), but certainly he has an apparatus behind him that keeps the ball rolling on this stuff. What Carl, Al, and Mike needed in the 80s and 90s was a Melinda (and others) pushing them to create, to mine their vaults, and so on. Carl shouldn't have just been singing backups on Rick Rubin-produced Tom Petty albums. He should have been *making* albums like that. And if they were feeling uninspired to write a ton of new material, they could have easily shopped around for good songs, called up friends for songs (who doesn't think Tom Petty wouldn't have sent Carl a few songs in a heartbeat?).
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« Reply #357 on: November 06, 2017, 11:31:52 AM »

Interesting point about group members not understanding the way albums sell today in relation to TWGMTR. I don’t really understand either but have no reason to disagree.
A fantasy I know but even now I think Brian could probably put together an ‘art’ album, round up ‘The Beach Boys’ to sing it and create a slow burner. No tour or ‘hits’, but essentially a solo album with the groups name to push it to that next level.
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« Reply #358 on: November 06, 2017, 07:56:06 PM »

Capitol was banking on what was at the time a market trend for "legacy" artists who from 1986 to 1989-90 were making comebacks in the form of new albums that sold, new singles that got extensive airplay on MTV and radio, and often included major, large-market tours and TV appearances. I remember it well because a lot of these artists had signature hits in the 60's, but by the mid 80's I think were thought to be past their hitmaking prime and doomed to archival and greatest hits types of activities.

I think the first (maybe biggest in a 1986 context) one I remember was the improbable return and success of The Monkees. They owned MTV in late 86 into 87, and had the #1 video for weeks in the countdown: Daydream Believer which was 20 years old. But they upped the ante with a new recording that was a hit, a cover of "That Was Then This Is Now" which was part of their greatest hits album. And a very successful tour followed. So I'm thinking that may have been the opening shot.

In those years, MTV and radio was playing new songs by George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Roy Orbison, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, The Traveling Wilburys, Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones, feel free to add to the list because there were more. Some of them were thought to be commercially done, others had not charted hits for over a decade, yet they were pumping out some great singles that were getting in heavy rotation (and some still are). TV-video-radio-record stores...they were running the table for that brief period with brand new songs.

But the back catalogs of those legacy artists started to sell more too, thanks to the exposure to a new fan base and also reconnecting with their original fans who now had more money to go see the shows and start replacing vinyl and tape with CD copies of the classic albums.

I think Capitol expected more from the Beach Boys because they had one of those improbable #1 hits with Kokomo. Thanks to a blockbuster fluff movie with Tom Cruise and a video in heavy rotation on MTV with bikini girls and John Stamos, but the BB's scored a #1 chart hit and proved there as an audience beyond the original fans and the "legacy" tag.

If there was a time for them to deliver a home run, that was it, it was what Capitol saw the market trending toward and making other labels who held back catalogs a lot of money, alongside and even on the strength of quality new material that was actually charting and being played regularly on MTV.

Capitol wanted that too, after Kokomo they thought the band could deliver their own version of Roy Orbison's "You Got It" or "Got My Mind Set On You" or "Nick Of Time" (on Capitol BTW) but the band didn't deliver that quality of hit to follow up Kokomo. Capitol probably saw all these 60's and early 70's artists doing it and expected similar from the Beach Boys, especially since the back catalog of 60's classics was always their winning hand.
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« Reply #359 on: November 06, 2017, 08:32:54 PM »

Add to that list of questions, any thoughts on why Mike was bailing on his band in this pre-SIP early 90's era to play runs of shows with the "Endless Summer Beach Band"? If their label Capitol was hot on the band, hot on releasing new material, and hot on their archival releases, why would Mike shine on The Beach Boys and instead play Beach Boys and other summer flavored hits for paying audiences with an anonymous backing group instead of his own band?


It makes no sense to me, either. So am I to believe that after Still Cruisin came out, did what it did, Capitol still wanted a new studio album from the guys? Because my impression has always been that Capitol was not pleased with the sales of SC - #40-something on the charts, the single Still Cruisin' peaked at #90 with an anchor on the Hot 100 (although it was a top ten AC hit), Somewhere Near Japan didn't catch on at all....I figured the label looked at those results and said "well, we've gotten all we're gonna get out of these guys". Now if it is a fact that Capitol didn't drop them after those disappointing results (results, BTW, that I blame squarely on the label itself - I was a fan in 1989, and recall next to no promotion for the album or the singles), then what was it that kept them from putting together a new studio album? Brian's situation with Landy? Mike demanding to have total control of the band and album? Carl, Al and Bruce not caring? By the time they did come out with a new album, it was far too late. Whatever momentum Kokomo's success might have created was long gone.

Still crusin’ lp did well enough it’s a platinum lp
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« Reply #360 on: November 06, 2017, 08:46:55 PM »

Didn't it sell about 750,000? That would be gold not platinum (still good, though)
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« Reply #361 on: November 06, 2017, 11:50:24 PM »

Didn't it sell about 750,000? That would be gold not platinum (still good, though)
Never understood how it managed to sell gold considering it's chart placement, which was not much better than BB85 or BW88. The real failure, though, was with the singles. If one of those singles had taken off the way Kokomo did, then you can be sure Capitol would want to continue the momentum and get more new recordings from the guys. My guess is, the label wasn't impressed with the new songs the band recorded, and decided to just throw the album on the market and be done with it. I remember walking into my local record stores, and not even seeing it (my friend behind the counter had to point it out to me). The cover art did nothing to draw my eyes to the fact that this was a new BB's album, and there wasn't anything sent out as promotional material; contrast that with a year previously, when Sire went all out for Brian's solo debut. The store owner gave me a couple promotional 'flats' for the album and a nice poster of Brian. I used to get stuff like that all the time from the store. Nothing, zero, nada for Still Cruisin'.
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« Reply #362 on: November 07, 2017, 01:26:17 AM »

Didn't it sell about 750,000? That would be gold not platinum (still good, though)

Certified platinum 9/30/03.
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« Reply #363 on: November 07, 2017, 07:14:55 AM »

Didn't it sell about 750,000? That would be gold not platinum (still good, though)

Certified platinum 9/30/03.

Yes, but when we're talking about how Capitol (and the band) measured the album's success back *in 1989*, its 2003 certification wouldn't matter.

I think the only reason the album sold as well as it did is that, until the 1993 GV boxed set and then the 1995 "Greatest Hits Vol. 1" CD, I think "Still Cruisin'" was the only *Beach Boys* album that had "Kokomo" on it. Other than that, you had to either get the single, or buy the "Cocktail" soundtrack.

I'm frankly surprised the band didn't just call the album "Kokomo."

Also surprising is that for an album that did relatively well (even if it was more a slow burn in sales than a hit album on the charts), it has been out of print in physical form for eons and I believe it may still be out of print as a digital download even if it is on streaming services like Spotify.
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« Reply #364 on: November 07, 2017, 08:01:13 AM »

For a time during the period 1992-1995 or so, there was no shortage of either Summer In Paradise or Still Cruisin' available to buy in the racks. And I checked multiple times each week looking for something new or different to hit those Beach Boys racks.

Capitol got what they wanted with Still Cruisin, again keep in mind the article from May 1989 says Still Cruisin was already planned to hit the stores. They were able to harness "Kokomo" away from the label that originally made money off it with the Cocktail soundtrack, and BB fans could buy "Kokomo" and the other BB tracks they'd been hearing in films on a Capitol label release. After that they wanted more new material.
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« Reply #365 on: November 07, 2017, 08:12:00 AM »

My guess is, the label wasn't impressed with the new songs the band recorded

I was hoping this comment would be made in some form!  Smiley

This may be one of the key points which gets missed or passed over when talking about all this. Mike on multiple occasions has blamed Duran Duran and Capitol putting their promotional muscle behind DD rather than the BB...but does "Somewhere Near Japan" sound like a hit single? Does it connect lyrically? It was a song about events surrounding a drug buy, as written by John Phillips. Not quite what you could promote as fun in the sun.

"Still Cruisin'" the song was almost a shameless rip-off of "The Mountains High" by Dick & DeeDee, with Mike's nostalgia lyrics on full display. Who was the audience for this? Baby Boomers or kids watching MTV?

After that, Mike seems to have spun out of control trying to capture another hit like Kokomo for the wrong reasons and using the wrong tools, and also (opinion) show that he could make his own Pet Sounds with an ecology theme with the new Kokomo Sound...since Pet Sounds had a lot of buzz after the reissue.

Question open for discussion, and yes it is purely subjective and based on how you hear the songs:

***Was the original material the band gave Capitol "hit material"?***
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« Reply #366 on: November 07, 2017, 08:21:45 AM »

"The Beach Boys delivered their part of the deal - 5 new songs"    -  Carl told me the record company wanted only 3 !           
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« Reply #367 on: November 07, 2017, 08:28:40 AM »

Just an FYI for anyone not familiar with these recordings.

This is Fairy Tale Girl, the John Phillips track which got adapted and rerecorded as Somewhere Near Japan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7AvvEDsakI

And this - of course - is Somewhere Near Japan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAdeXsyIvE4

A song written about John's daughter and her new husband calling asking for money and to score drugs on their honeymoon.



This is John  Phillips' original Kokomo recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAuqngA9CuM

No need to post the BB's version, everyone knows it.


And this is Dick & DeeDee "The Mountain's High":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU2rjoSXI34

And "Still Cruisin'" with the main hook which bears more than a passing resemblance to Dick & DeeDee:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZyGeH8Mfdw

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« Reply #368 on: November 07, 2017, 09:00:01 AM »

"Still Cruisin'" the song was almost a shameless rip-off of "The Mountains High" by Dick & DeeDee, with Mike's nostalgia lyrics on full display. Who was the audience for this? Baby Boomers or kids watching MTV?

Let's not use this one as a diss on Mike. We've got a lot of material on the man, but songs being "shameless rip-offs" is actually something that The Beach Boys do pretty well ("Surfin' U.S.A." with "Sweet Little Sixteen", "At My Window" with "Raspberries, Strawberries", Brian's recent [at the time] "Little Children" with "Mountain of Love") and if anything "Still Cruisin'" is just another Beach Boys adaption. Plus, we can actually be pretty sure to say that Mr. Paul Simon deserves some credit (not literal legal credit, er.....maybe?) for the lyrics of "Still Cruisin'". I mean, "still crazy after all of these years..." and "still cruisin' after all of these years"? Pretty obvious where Dr. Love got the idea.

And secondly, I'm not sure I know many people who know "The Mountain's High" anyway.
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« Reply #369 on: November 07, 2017, 09:16:24 AM »

"Still Cruisin'" the song was almost a shameless rip-off of "The Mountains High" by Dick & DeeDee, with Mike's nostalgia lyrics on full display. Who was the audience for this? Baby Boomers or kids watching MTV?

Let's not use this one as a diss on Mike. We've got a lot of material on the man, but songs being "shameless rip-offs" is actually something that The Beach Boys do pretty well ("Surfin' U.S.A." with "Sweet Little Sixteen", "At My Window" with "Raspberries, Strawberries", Brian's recent [at the time] "Little Children" with "Mountain of Love") and if anything "Still Cruisin'" is just another Beach Boys adaption. Plus, we can actually be pretty sure to say that Mr. Paul Simon deserves some credit (not literal legal credit, er.....maybe?) for the lyrics of "Still Cruisin'". I mean, "still crazy after all of these years..." and "still cruisin' after all of these years"? Pretty obvious where Dr. Love got the idea.

And secondly, I'm not sure I know many people who know "The Mountain's High" anyway.

Most who grew up with the Beach Boys listening to radio in the 60's knows The Mountain's High. It's the same demographic Mike's nostalgia lyrics in Still Cruisin were targeting, that was who he was singing to.

The way Kokomo became such a hit - aside from Cocktail and Tom Cruise - was in part due to the lyrics being relatable to kids watching MTV and the fans who bought Surfin Safari on 45rpm. Hedonism sells.

Nostalgia is a harder sell because you have to relate the nostalgia to a shared experience with the audience. Still Cruisin sounds geared toward Baby Boomers who were the original BB fans in the 60's. A 17 year old girl watching MTV in 1989 is not going to relate to those lyrics.

And pushing a song about a faded rock star's drug addled daughter and her husband trying to score dope in Guam as a follow-up single...no clue what they were thinking there. Or what Mike was thinking in trying to push the blame for the single laying an egg on Capitol and Duran Duran.
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« Reply #370 on: November 07, 2017, 09:18:06 AM »

Question open for discussion, and yes it is purely subjective and based on how you hear the songs:

***Was the original material the band gave Capitol "hit material"?***

It's tough to know, because even many of those among us who know their BB history back and forward aren't super familiar with what would have or could have been a "hit" in 1989. I lived through that time, and remember what *did* hit, and I'm not sure I can say what would constitute a hit. Obviously, nobody ever knows for sure.

Howie Edelson in a recent Fabcast with Mark Lewisohn went over the tone of the charts in that same timeframe, talking about whether what McCartney was doing could have really been a "hit", as in a hit single.

Sometimes it's easier to figure out what probably *wouldn't* be a hit.

McCartney's "My Brave Face" in my is, in some ways, a bit similar to the BB's "Somewhere Near Japan." Both from 1989, both songs are relatively high marks for the era for their respective artists. Catchy songs, songs that *the fans* tend to hold dear. But were they going to be #1 singles, or even Top 10? I'd say probably not. In both cases, it was a case of the artists doing what they did well, melodic, catchy stuff.

Was anything else on "Still Cruisin'" sounding like a hit *single*? No, I suppose not. SNJ was the only other vaguely commercial think they could have possibly shopped around as a single. "Make It Big" already sounded a little dated in 1989 (which maybe make sense since it was a few years old by that time; and I tend to like the song). "Island Girl" was a novelty song. Catchy, but not hit single material. "Wipe Out" and "Kokomo" were of course already singles. And Brian's "In My Car" wasn't hit single material either. It was too shouty and bombastic. Brian hadn't had any hits with his 1987/88 solo material, and this was essentially more of that.

If you took another 5 songs of similar quality and added them, then "Still Cruisin'" would be a cool little 1989 album that fans would remember relatively fondly.

Now, as the band headed into the 90s, what they should have could have done is drop the idea of scoring a hit *single*, and do what people like Dylan and McCartney were doing, scoring high-charting *albums* and winning Grammys for *albums.*

McCartney's "Flaming Pie" hit #2 in 1997 and was nominated for "Album of the Year." There were zero hit singles on it. By that time, singles were already barely even a thing in the US anymore.

If the Beach Boys had finished an album of the Paley material in 1995, they would have garnered pretty good chart action (maybe not #2, but maybe Top 10 or 20), potentially very good reviews, and they could have started the indie/hipster career resurgence that ultimately Brian capitalized on solo.

Even Brian didn't directly cash in on that; he bypassed the Paley material and went AC with "Imagination", and really capitalized on the indie career resurgence based on touring and then, eventually "Smile."
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« Reply #371 on: November 07, 2017, 09:23:57 AM »

In one of the band's many "Spinal Tap" esque moments, Al Jardine allegedly, *after* recording the song, later was said to have refused to sing "Somewhere Near Japan" once he was made aware of the drug references.

So I'd wager none of these guys, and probably many of the fans, were really truly *listening* to the lyrics of these songs.

I've always found it amusing that the band's loud-and-proud teetotaler, regularly citing the Wilsons' drug abuse, co-wrote a song in "Kokomo" that required the Muppets cover version to *censor* the lyrics!  LOL
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« Reply #372 on: November 07, 2017, 09:29:44 AM »

In one of the band's many "Spinal Tap" esque moments, Al Jardine allegedly, *after* recording the song, later was said to have refused to sing "Somewhere Near Japan" once he was made aware of the drug references.

So I'd wager none of these guys, and probably many of the fans, were really truly *listening* to the lyrics of these songs.

I've always found it amusing that the band's loud-and-proud teetotaler, regularly citing the Wilsons' drug abuse, co-wrote a song in "Kokomo" that required the Muppets cover version to *censor* the lyrics!  LOL

It is more than ironic bordering on hypocritical that Mike, who has both touted how important lyrics are to a song ("Mike's a genius too" - Bruce referring to Mike's lyric writing) AND taken such a fire-and-brimstone approach to drug use bordering on moralizing and lecturing on the evils of drugs, chose to offer a song about addicts trying to score hard drugs in Guam as a Beach Boys single.

If lyrics are so important, and lyrics hinting at drug lingo as presented by Brian, Van Dyke, Tony Asher, etc in the 60's were so objectionable in Mike's eyes to present to the Beach Boys' fan base, then how does a song about a rock star's daughter scoring dope fit into that mindset in 1989?
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« Reply #373 on: November 07, 2017, 10:03:18 AM »

We all remember the end-of-tour reunion dinner that Mike skipped back in 2012. He's making up for it now with his own "Unleash the Love" dinner. Table for one:

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« Reply #374 on: November 07, 2017, 10:07:24 AM »

Corvette Tuesday! Grin
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