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Author Topic: GIOMH redux  (Read 2728 times)
Pablo.
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« on: December 26, 2017, 05:47:35 PM »

I've been thinking about bringing back this album as a topic for the last couple of months. Since another thread is covering Brian's work on L.A and other 70s stuff., I can't help but keep thinking how little we know about the sessions for this album.

What we know about GIOMH:

-Album released as part of the BWPS deal with Warner (BWPS to Nonesuch, GIOMH to Rhino)

-part of the title song backing track dates from the post-Imagination sessions with Joe Thomas (the same sessions, now I presume, were the songwriting genesis for some of the songs on TWGMTR and maybe NPP. How could we still be dancing definitely dates from that era)

-Most of the backing tracks for Soul Searchin' and Saturday Morning in the city come from the Paley sessions.

-The only new tune (as far as we know) is A friend like you.

-According to a Mark Linnett interview for Ear Candy, there were several more songs which eventually ended as outtakes.

-Desert Drive was recorded before the rest of the main album sessions, that's why Brian's band handle the background vocals.

What we assume (from the aural evidence):

at least at different moments, Brian was uninterested,  according to his vocals on You touched me (intro) or the slurring "Ever afterrrrrr" on Fairy Tale.


I still like the album, mind you, but I can't believe how little we know about it. I mean, everybody assumes that Brian didn't pick up the tracks (at least the ones who made the album), and some people have mentioned that his band built the backing tracks from Brian's piano demos.

Since all the press Brian did that year was directed to BWPS, there's almost no mention of the making of the album in print (even Peter Amis Carlin deals with it in one or two sentences).

I'm not writing this to start a reappraisal/discussion for the album, but to try to gather some hard facts about it.

Anybody got some extra info to share? Thanks

« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 06:28:26 PM by Pablo. » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 06:07:33 PM »

Good topic!

From what I can gather, Desert Drive was recorded in 2002 along with (supposedly) two other songs. I have no idea what those two songs were.  Rest of the album was recorded in 2003 to my knowledge
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2017, 06:24:50 PM »

Yes, that's why DD has Foskett, Darian, Scott et al on backgrounds (I added this to my original post). And they also played it live even before (I think?) 2002. Of course, there's an instrumental take on the Paley tapes.
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2017, 08:48:33 PM »

Why don't we gather information of the origin of the songs:
How Could We Still Be Dancin' -"Dancin' the Night Away", co-written with Andy Paley and recorded with Carl and Mike on Mar. 3, 1995

Soul Searchin' - co-written with Andy, recorded with the BB except Bruce on Nov. 7-8, 1995

You've Touched Me - "Turning Point a.k.a. So Long", co-written with Gary Usher and worked on during Jun 29-Jul 16, 1986.

Gettin' in Over My Head - co-written and worked on with Andy circa 1995, later reworked with Joe Thomas circa 1998.

City Blues- worked on with Dennis circa 1982, during "Cocaine Sessions".

Desert Drive- co-written Andy and worked on Oct 29, 1994

A Friend Like You- new track written with Steven Kalinich

Make a Wish- a "Sweet Insanity" track, which was co-written with Landy and recorded circa 1990.

Rainbow Eyes- same as above

Saturday Morning in the City -co-written wiwh Andy and first worked on during "Brian Wilson" sessions, later reworked on with Andy circa 1995.

Fairy Tale -"Save the Day", a SI track co-written with Landy

Don't Let Her Know She's An Angel -same as above, but demoed early in 80's

The Waltz -"Let's Stick Together,", same as above, but worked on with "Weird" Al Yancovic.
 

This is only AFAIK so correction please.
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2017, 09:09:44 PM »

For what it's worth, I attended a record signing that Brian did for this album. It was at Tower Records in Sherman Oaks, and I have some pics.

Brian walked in wearing Adidas-style sweatpants, super casual, and they definitely did a good deal to promote this record. There was a giant standee cardboard cutout of the album cover by Brian.

But I don't think it's nearly as bad as the rep it has. It almost seems to be treated as the Summer in Paradise of Brian's catalog.  It's not great, but it undoubtedly has some great parts to it.
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2017, 11:17:19 PM »

How can we still be dancing has very minor elements of Dancing the night away, but that's it. It was an almost complete rewrite by Joe Thomas...I'm not 100% but I think Brian's credit stems from the earlier song and the intro.
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 01:00:45 AM »

Not to stray too off topic, but am I the only one who much prefers the original "Sweet Insanity" version of "Make A Wish"?
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2017, 01:21:34 AM »

Not to stray too off topic, but am I the only one who much prefers the original "Sweet Insanity" version of "Make A Wish"?
I love it too, Brian's quirky great stuff.  GIOMH version stinks by comparison because it goes on too long.
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2017, 01:24:30 AM »

Not to stray too off topic, but am I the only one who much prefers the original "Sweet Insanity" version of "Make A Wish"?

Another much preferer here. The backing track and those backing vocals-----sheer heaven!
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2017, 02:27:25 AM »

FWIW, I rememebr reading that "Saturday morning in the city"'s melody first came up during the Smile (1966/67) sessions. Maybe a look into the board history will give more info
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« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2017, 04:27:08 AM »

I think it was originally called Grateful Are We For Little Children and Dennis Wilson and Steven Kalinich were involved, started in 1968 and was also worked on in 1975
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2017, 04:57:41 AM »

I found two topics that broach the subject. Maybe there are more...

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,277.msg28490.html#msg28490

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,9914.msg174091.html#msg174091
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2017, 09:48:49 AM »

Can anyone comment on the version of “Don’t Worry Baby” featuring Wilson Phillips that was apparently an iTunes exclusive bonus track on GIOMH? Never got to hear it.
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« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2017, 09:59:03 AM »

Can anyone comment on the version of “Don’t Worry Baby” featuring Wilson Phillips that was apparently an iTunes exclusive bonus track on GIOMH? Never got to hear it.

There may still be a sample of it here:

http://thedjlist.com/djs/brian-wilson/albums/Gettin'_In_Over_My_Head_(Bonus_Track)/

The song is still listed on Spotify here:

https://open.spotify.com/album/0VqfdPhm0TJVZpgSUnX7m2

But I don't know if that material on Spotify is actually active as I can't try it right now.
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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2017, 10:59:10 AM »

Consider the timing of the album as well. It was when Smile had just been premiered live that winter, and GIOMH came out that June - Followed by the Smile studio release that fall. I think it got swallowed up in the attention surrounding Smile, which was pretty massive and rightly so...but perhaps if GIOMH had been released at another time, a different listening experience would have been had by people buying it amidst the Smile attention and anticipation. Actually, let me clarify, I remember this very very well, and I'm not exaggerating to say for myself that I put GIOMH on the backburner attention-wise because the Smile anticipation was so massive. I don't think I paid much attention to giving GIOMH a full listening session when it came out because I was spinning live audience recordings from the live Smile shows instead, in regular rotation that summer.

I don't think it's hyperbole to suggest Smile was the biggest release of Brian's solo career, and a one-of-a-kind type of deal. This album just kind of appeared and got swept up in what was surrounding Smile. Maybe it's good to have a revisiting session and listen with fresh ears on its own merits.
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2017, 11:13:24 AM »

I remember listening to the "Cocaine/Hamburger" sessions tape years before GIOMH came out, and thinking that "City Blues" had a lot of promise. I recall saying back then that it sounded like something maybe Jeff Lynne could work on with Brian.

That precisely didn't happen, but it was kind of mind-blowing that *that* particular song was plucked from obscurity to put on GIOMH. The Paley, Thomas, and Sweet Insanity stuff made sense, it was all stuff he had been working on over the previous decade, with many of those songs taking form in the studio.

But "City Blues" as far as I know appears nowhere else other the Cocaine tape (it could easily be on some other tape that has never escaped).

Did we ever get any confirmation of whose idea digging up that song was?

In any event, I was somewhat disappointed in the resulting final track on GIOMH. I liked hearing the song fleshed out. Brian's vocal is actually just fine. I don't even mind Clapton's guitar wankery on the track. But the arrangement and mix is too busy and wet and cluttered (which is true of much of the album).
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2017, 11:30:21 AM »

When I first heard this album, I was initially overjoyed. I much preferred the production and sound of this as opposed to Imagination, which I hated immensely (still may be my least favorite BB solo album) As time moved on, the vocals and certain aspects of the production started to grate on me (the violins on "You Touched Me", for instance). Currently, I enjoy the album as an "official bootleg". As an actual album, not so much.
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2017, 12:01:16 PM »

I remember listening to the "Cocaine/Hamburger" sessions tape years before GIOMH came out, and thinking that "City Blues" had a lot of promise. I recall saying back then that it sounded like something maybe Jeff Lynne could work on with Brian.

That precisely didn't happen, but it was kind of mind-blowing that *that* particular song was plucked from obscurity to put on GIOMH. The Paley, Thomas, and Sweet Insanity stuff made sense, it was all stuff he had been working on over the previous decade, with many of those songs taking form in the studio.

But "City Blues" as far as I know appears nowhere else other the Cocaine tape (it could easily be on some other tape that has never escaped).

Did we ever get any confirmation of whose idea digging up that song was?

In any event, I was somewhat disappointed in the resulting final track on GIOMH. I liked hearing the song fleshed out. Brian's vocal is actually just fine. I don't even mind Clapton's guitar wankery on the track. But the arrangement and mix is too busy and wet and cluttered (which is true of much of the album).

Also, why does Denny not have a posthumous co-writing credit on that song? That omission has always struck me as odd.

The only theories that make sense to me are: possibly Denny didn't actually really have a hand in writing it (even if he was there at the bootlegged Cocaine sessions), or perhaps it was decided that a Denny credit would call attention to the origins of the song and would remind people of the really, really bad time involving Brian doing heavy drugs that the song was first conceived during, and a coked-out Brian wasn't exactly the image they wanted associated with the final product.  

It's just sad that there aren't any officially-credited Brian/Denny cowrites, even though Brian apparently was an uncredited contributor on songs like Little Bird (possibly only with production and not songwriting, unless one counts the lifted "Child is Father of the Man" riff as worthy of a cowriting credit). City Blues could have broken that streak.
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2017, 02:06:26 PM »

When I first heard this album, I was initially overjoyed. I much preferred the production and sound of this as opposed to Imagination, which I hated immensely (still may be my least favorite BB solo album) As time moved on, the vocals and certain aspects of the production started to grate on me (the violins on "You Touched Me", for instance). Currently, I enjoy the album as an "official bootleg". As an actual album, not so much.
Same here. I liked it a lot initially, when I wasn't familiar with all those bootlegs, but I began to like it less and less as I listen to the album again and again and started to explore the bootleg recordings.

What still irritates me is Brian's voice - The production is for me a bit rough but better than Imagination as you said, and needless to say the songs are mostly great, it really is a pity to see Brian ruin such stuff with his poor vocals. He sounds great again on later albums, so probably either recording another takes on vocals and featuring the back chorus of Brian's band all over would've helped it to be great as it should be.
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« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2017, 02:15:11 PM »

I liked GIOMH the first time I heard it. But, that diminished on subsequent listens.  I recently revisited the album on a track by track poll on the PSF, and I must say, with or without the near release of BWPS, its a weak album, by far the weakest of Brian's solo career.  But, they cant all be winners.   

I will say that I think Desert Drive and We Should Still Be Dancing are really good. 
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2017, 02:30:24 PM »

I'm not so sure how much Brian's vocals are truly bad across the board on this album.

Certainly, the intro to "You've Touched Me" sounds like a case of making one quick pass at each vocal part in the stack and moving on. There are a few other wonky vocal bits.

But plenty of his vocals are just fine. I think even his stacks on "How Could We Still Be Dancing" are pretty solid overall. Still a bit sloppy, but I love Brian vocal stacks. It's why I love "Orange Crate Art" so much.

I like Steve Kalinich, but his two contributions to the album aren't a high water mark. Pretty drippy, sing-songy lyrics.

Some of the songs have solid performances and productions but are bland songs, while other songs are solid but with wonky production.

There's a solid song buried under "A Friend Like You", but the lyrics and the arrangement and the mixing are way too syrupy.

The version on this album of "Soul Searchin"" is a non-issue now that the MUCH stronger BB version was released on MIC. (Brian removing Carl's bridge vocal, arguably Carl's shining moment of the song, and also adding an epic sax solo also didn't help).

I don't think the album is the trainwreck some paint it as. But it's almost like a bunch of the tracks would have made interesting b-sides/bonus tracks rather than "main album" tracks.
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2017, 03:19:27 PM »

I'm not so sure how much Brian's vocals are truly bad across the board on this album.

Certainly, the intro to "You've Touched Me" sounds like a case of making one quick pass at each vocal part in the stack and moving on. There are a few other wonky vocal bits.

But plenty of his vocals are just fine. I think even his stacks on "How Could We Still Be Dancing" are pretty solid overall. Still a bit sloppy, but I love Brian vocal stacks. It's why I love "Orange Crate Art" so much.

I like Steve Kalinich, but his two contributions to the album aren't a high water mark. Pretty drippy, sing-songy lyrics.

Some of the songs have solid performances and productions but are bland songs, while other songs are solid but with wonky production.

There's a solid song buried under "A Friend Like You", but the lyrics and the arrangement and the mixing are way too syrupy.

The version on this album of "Soul Searchin"" is a non-issue now that the MUCH stronger BB version was released on MIC. (Brian removing Carl's bridge vocal, arguably Carl's shining moment of the song, and also adding an epic sax solo also didn't help).

I don't think the album is the trainwreck some paint it as. But it's almost like a bunch of the tracks would have made interesting b-sides/bonus tracks rather than "main album" tracks.

I agree with many of these assessments. I wonder how much of Brian's vocals being noticeably improved on subsequent albums was perhaps out of the fan reaction online that was pretty harsh on how uninterested he sounded when singing them. Somehow, I feel like fan reaction (when it isn't just an isolated person or two saying it) might positively influence Brian, and even Mike, to up their game.
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« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2017, 07:20:12 PM »

Around June 2004 and the following months, the 12-minute EPK for GIOMH was accessible on Brian's website.  It's a great watch if you can track it down, brings back a lot of great memories (i.e. like Darian asking Brian how to sing the "look so fine" part in HMR)!  Back when most of the media on Brian's site was RealMedia format...
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« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2017, 09:00:08 PM »

How Could We Still Be Dancin' -"Dancin' the Night Away", co-written with Andy Paley and recorded with Carl and Mike on Mar. 3, 1995
nope...
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« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2017, 09:38:00 PM »

How Could We Still Be Dancin' -"Dancin' the Night Away", co-written with Andy Paley and recorded with Carl and Mike on Mar. 3, 1995
nope...
Sorry. I think I've read this somewhere, but I think I'm wrong. Dancin' the Night Away has nothing to Do with How Could We Still Be Dancin', right, or just partly?
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