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Poll
Question: Which do you think is the better song?
All This Is That - 8 (53.3%)
My Sweet Lord - 7 (46.7%)
Total Voters: 15

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Author Topic: BotS #7: All This Is That vs. My Sweet Lord (George)  (Read 977 times)
Watamushi(Polly Poller)
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« on: January 04, 2018, 01:29:29 AM »

Here's another Battle of the Songs:

All This Is That by The Beach Boys


vs. My Sweet Lord by George Harrison

Two great song regarding religion, but I'll take My Sweet Lord any day for it's Phil Spector production, which I dig.

(To be honest, I prefer All Things Must Pass album to half of the Beatles albums. Yet, I don't like the album Let It Be at all... very strange)

Now, which do you think is better? Look forward to seeing how the results come out.
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 02:25:49 AM »

Why people care too much about production? It's everywhere - "[Title] is good song failed by bad production", "I like the production here", this, that. What's the big deal? Isn't vocals, melody, chord structure important?

When I listen to "My Sweet Lord", I pay attention to just 3 things: George's beautiful lead, the melody he sings & slide guitar riff that fits perfectly to the song. Anything else is trifle. Funny thing despite being repetitive, MSL doesn't get boring. George sees to it: he vocalizes, ad-libs, hums, any trick.

"All This Is That" is great & sung beautifully as well but MSL's 3 things are just a little better than entire ATIT.
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 02:41:02 AM »

Why people care too much about production? It's everywhere - "[Title] is good song failed by bad production", "I like the production here", this, that. What's the big deal? Isn't vocals, melody, chord structure important?

When I listen to "My Sweet Lord", I pay attention to just 3 things: George's beautiful lead, the melody he sings & slide guitar riff that fits perfectly to the song. Anything else is trifle. Funny thing despite being repetitive, MSL doesn't get boring. George sees to it: he vocalizes, ad-libs, hums, any trick.

"All This Is That" is great & sung beautifully as well but MSL's 3 things are just a little better than entire ATIT.
I'd say production matters for some reason. Of course, you can't make bad songs get any better (usually) with good production, but good production can even improve great song with perfect vocals, melody and chord structure. I mean, Pet Sounds wouldn't have gotten such reputation if all the songs were only with an acoustic guitar and vocals.   
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 04:53:26 AM »

I heard "MSL" far too often when it was a #1 single but it fits very well on the extraordinary All Things Must Pass.

"ATIT" on the other hand stands out on what is a crazy hotchpotch of an album. So it gets my vote. 
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 05:14:17 AM »

Another tough one, but I'm going with All This is That.  For a religious / spiritual song, I think it really takes you to a special place more so than My Sweet Lord (which is a great song). 

In regards to production, I do think production can be a little overrated at times.   At the end, it's the songs that matter.   For example, I still very much enjoy Imagination, TWGMTR, and NPP even if the production doesn't pop like on Brian's Christmas album, TLOS, or Gershwin. 

Although there are instances where bad production can hamper a song.  ie.  The title track to KTSA.  The live version is 100% better.  Also, take Queen's Another One Bites the Dust.  They made a conscious effort in the studio to make it more of a disco flavored dance song, but the band rock it up a lot more in concert, and it sounds worlds better.
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 06:05:26 AM »

2Wata' & KDS: Hm. Seems like this whole time I got the term "production" incorrectly. Reading Wata's PS example, it's equal to "arrangement (choices)"? Admittedly, I didn't delve into these things. I am interested in music but not engineer, producer, sound mixer, i.e. technical side.

When I read reviews here, Allmusic, various sites, I gathered what's meant by "production" is the console (?) table in the studio with many-many knobs; the producer listens back to backing track, vocals & improves/ edits/ polishes it by moving these knobs, adding volume to this track, echo to that track, move half the instruments to the left channel & the other half plus vocals to the right, clear the sound. In short, adding final touches to master take = production (good/ bad). But here I read it's not that. Information would be helpful.

Anyhoo, in MSL's case my point stands, as slide guitar is played by George, not Spector, vocals by George, melody by George. As I said, 3 things I pay attention to in it.
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 06:12:06 AM »

2Wata' & KDS: Hm. Seems like this whole time I got the term "production" incorrectly. Reading Wata's PS example, it's equal to "arrangement (choices)"? Admittedly, I didn't delve into these things. I am interested in music but not engineer, producer, sound mixer, i.e. technical side.

When I read reviews here, Allmusic, various sites, I gathered what's meant by "production" is the console (?) table in the studio with many-many knobs; the producer listens back to backing track, vocals & improves/ edits/ polishes it by moving these knobs, adding volume to this track, echo to that track, move half the instruments to the left channel & the other half plus vocals to the right, clear the sound. In short, adding final touches to master take = production (good/ bad). But here I read it's not that. Information would be helpful.

Anyhoo, in MSL's case my point stands, as slide guitar is played by George, not Spector, vocals by George, melody by George. As I said, 3 things I pay attention to in it.

Producers are sometimes involved in the creative process.  Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper / Pink Floyd) comes to mind.  But, production, arranging, and writing are often separate, and many times great songs are great songs regardless of production.
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 06:18:12 AM »

Producers are sometimes involved in the creative process.  Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper / Pink Floyd) comes to mind.  But, production, arranging, and writing are often separate, and many times great songs are great songs regardless of production.
Therefore, you mean my definition is right (2nd paragraph)? This is really confusing subject.

Look fwd to Wata's info.
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 06:24:26 AM »

Producers are sometimes involved in the creative process.  Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper / Pink Floyd) comes to mind.  But, production, arranging, and writing are often separate, and many times great songs are great songs regardless of production.
Therefore, you mean my definition is right (2nd paragraph)? This is really confusing subject.

Look fwd to Wata's info.

Mostly, yes, but as with anything, it depends on the situation. 

Take Brian Wilson for example.  Composer, producer, singer.   Other bands had producers within the group - Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple.  While others preferred to have expert knob turners - The Beatles, Iron Maiden, Queen.
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 06:57:26 AM »

I picked All This is That

I like My Sweet Lord. Plus it reminds me of one of my favorite songs as a little kid. So as George sings "My Sweet Lord" I reply "doolang dooLANG DOOLANG" LOL

I'm not into TM but All This is That is transcendent in its spiritual message IMO. And that outro - oh my, so ethereal, so beautiful.
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 08:50:12 AM »

I like My Sweet Lord. Plus it reminds me of one of my favorite songs as a little kid. So as George sings "My Sweet Lord" I reply "doolang dooLANG DOOLANG" LOL

Oh yes. One of the best NYGG records ever made!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsbD3fmOGXM
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 12:08:21 PM »

I heard "MSL" far too often when it was a #1 single but it fits very well on the extraordinary All Things Must Pass.
See, unlike with most other songs that get played on the radio too much (like the Eagles), I haven't grown tired of "MSL." Perhaps that's because I have only recently discovered the Beatles' solo stuff, which I'm oddly fond of given that I only slightly less recently started appreciating the Beatles. I've listened to All Things Must Pass a few times at least now, but C&TP maybe once.

"MSL" is a lovely song with lots of layers and pretty guitar, which is likely to win me over. I vote for the wall of sound.
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 05:12:47 PM »

Producers are sometimes involved in the creative process.  Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper / Pink Floyd) comes to mind.  But, production, arranging, and writing are often separate, and many times great songs are great songs regardless of production.
Therefore, you mean my definition is right (2nd paragraph)? This is really confusing subject.

Look fwd to Wata's info.
My definition is the same as yours, and I have nothing to add to yours and KDS's.
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 07:48:41 PM »

Producers are sometimes involved in the creative process.  Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper / Pink Floyd) comes to mind.  But, production, arranging, and writing are often separate, and many times great songs are great songs regardless of production.
Therefore, you mean my definition is right (2nd paragraph)? This is really confusing subject.

Look fwd to Wata's info.
My definition is the same as yours, and I have nothing to add to yours and KDS's.
One good example - On the Love You album, Carl is credited as the mixdown producer. The original stuff Brian made, which are circulating, sounded as bad as bootleg track "Marilyn Rovell" and "Lazy Lizzie" , and they were certainly improved by Carl through the process of mixdown. So Love You is one example production saved the stuff.
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 09:21:07 PM »

My definition is the same as yours, and I have nothing to add to yours and KDS's.
You said "I mean, Pet Sounds wouldn't have gotten such reputation if all the songs were only with an acoustic guitar and vocals".

Reading the highlighted puzzled me. I asked "Reading Wata's PS example, it's equal to "arrangement (choices)?". Strangely, you ignored this crucial question.

But then you chime in to say that in fact my definition

"I gathered what's meant by "production" is the console (?) table in the studio with many-many knobs; the producer listens back to backing track, vocals & improves/ edits/ polishes it by moving these knobs, adding volume to this track, echo to that track, move half the instruments to the left channel & the other half plus vocals to the right, clear the sound. In short, adding final touches to master take = production (good/ bad)"

is right. Brow Doesn't make sense with your 1st comment being about PS & acoustic guitar which is clearly arrangement dept. I'd like to get distinct answer to distinct question.

Since your definition is the same as mine, you should've read my 1st post in this thread as such when I said production isn't important. If it's bad, i.e. not done right, low volume, muddiness, wrong buttons hit or sth., I'd still like the music (arrangement, vocals, melody, chords). That's the main point.

[Btw, I don't hear AT ALL wall of sound in MSL. 3 things stand out - George's lead, guitar & melody. To me, that's what the beauty of this song is really about. It was the main point as well]
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2018, 09:38:03 PM »

My Sweet Lord gets my vote. I think it's a perfect record. Starts off with just the acoustic guitars, and that sweet melody line played on the electric, and George's voice. Gradually builds, as the drums enter, background vocals, changes key, more background vocals....and the lyrics are simple yet beautiful.
All This is That is a nice tune, but i heard Feel Flows years before ATIT, and so ATIT always felt like an attempt at another Feel Flows.
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2018, 02:51:20 AM »

2 the OP: When do you answer the question in Reply #14? It's still really puzzling. It'd be nice to get the explanation. I'm really curious, you know, when I don't understand sth., I must know it in the end. I'm sure everybody can relate to this & ask people till they get the whole picture, you see.
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2018, 03:48:36 AM »

2 the OP: When do you answer the question in Reply #14? It's still really puzzling. It'd be nice to get the explanation. I'm really curious, you know, when I don't understand sth., I must know it in the end. I'm sure everybody can relate to this & ask people till they get the whole picture, you see.
Sorry to be late. In the post #2, I didn't mean production/arrangement only with acoustic guitar and vocals are bad. I meant that the original material of Pet Sounds doesn't fit such production/arrangement and therefore if Brian used such production/arrangement on PS, PS would have been received less praise than it is.

And yes, I think of arrangement almost equals to production. If there is any difference, it's that production includes not only arrangement, but also mixing, mastering, recording, packaging etc.

Hope this answer would work.
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