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Author Topic: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Album Discussion Thread  (Read 21890 times)
Matt Bielewicz
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« Reply #100 on: May 25, 2018, 01:25:00 AM »

Jeeeeez... put me in the 'Why oh why...?' camp with this. The superb, meticulously worked out arrangements of the originals are all still present and correct... and a completely unnecessary load of orchestral goop has been superfluously ladled over the top for the new album versions. It's not even isolated vocals with vaguely interesting new string backing... it's the whole original vocal and instrumental arrangement with extra sludge on top. This REALLY bugs me.

I finally listened to Fun Fun Fun and Good Vibrations. FFF had me going 'dull, and unnecessary, but not actually offensive... file under 'pointless and irrelevant' and 'do not buy' but someone might like it'. But Good Vibrations really is messing with the Mona Lisa. The cellos sawing away on the triplets in the chorus was new, bold and incisive in 1966. Adding a load of OTHER orchestral instruments is complete overkill... and also what everyone else always does. Less is more, guys. Sparing is powerful. 'More' is... what every greenhorn orchestral arranger does. This is just aural soup on top.

The bit that REALLY kills it for me, though, is the bit at the end of Good Vibrations' harmonica bridge. What's so great about that bit is that the quiet section is coming to an end... the harmonica's just faded away... and then, here come the Beach Boys, back again with that harmony crescendo to take you back into the closing sections of the track. There's the sound of them breathing in in preparation, and then...

"...aaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!"

You know what I mean. It's a powerful moment, one of the best musical moments in the group's entire career. Just the original Beach Boys, all singing their lungs out in an amazing harmony.

And now... it's got a load of pointless extra strings dumped over it. Sorry guys, but you blew it. File under 'Never Darken My Doors Again'.

I'm not buying this. In case you hadn't guessed.
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Pretty Funky
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« Reply #101 on: May 25, 2018, 02:18:07 AM »

Good Vibrations

https://youtu.be/TvvIKS2oHsc
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« Reply #102 on: May 25, 2018, 03:04:28 AM »




Just what I expected...  Roll Eyes
I think the trailer used a live performance/rehearsal of Good Vibrations. Is there a single and an album version?
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« Reply #103 on: May 25, 2018, 05:30:17 AM »

an awful lot of hate here over a product you don't have to buy
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« Reply #104 on: May 25, 2018, 06:21:06 AM »

Notice on the end of Good Vibrations, it sounds as if they isolated the Theremin Overdub from the original Multi Track and let the tape run until the end. There is a cut off. I love being a music geek!
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« Reply #105 on: May 25, 2018, 06:38:29 AM »

an awful lot of hate here over a product you don't have to buy

This isn't a "should I buy the album or not?" thread (at least, not exclusively). So criticism/commentary on the need for the album's existence, and actual criticism of the end product is absolutely warranted and in fact the whole point of such discussions and the board.
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« Reply #106 on: May 25, 2018, 07:37:25 AM »

This is great so far. Just a different take on the songs. Great for those who love it, and for those who don’t they can choose not to listen. I agree, the negativity gets the best of us, most of the time, when it’s the majority of what we see but you can rise above all that, enjoy the music, and still let the negative Nancy’s get out what they need to.

That chello part in the chorus of GV sounds sick and pretty cool interpretation and arranging of the orchestral parts throughout the song - they must’ve had a fun time doing this. Can feel the energy.

Let’s pickup on those good vibrations. Seriously wonder what Brian and others in the band would think if they read this board as faithful as we do. Let’s not take this gift of music for granted.
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« Reply #107 on: May 25, 2018, 08:02:30 AM »

I've said this elsewhere, but I'm quite curious to hear what they've done to Sloop John B and Don't Worry Baby. Other than that, I'm not too fussed about this release, and like the most of us, are more eager for something Friends related. It's the usual stuff you'd expect from your average BB comp with a bit of glitter sprinkled on top. I imagine by 2030, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will have made an album for everyone in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. One question does remain though:

 WHY THE [insert profanity here] DOES KOKOMO NEED AN ORCHESTRAL BACKING!? Angry

Update: Just listened to Good Vibrations. This one is quite good - it's better than Fun, Fun, Fun but I'm still waiting for their versions of SJB and DWB and still not too keen about the other tracks chosen.
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« Reply #108 on: May 25, 2018, 10:42:46 AM »

Okay, okay, so it is a big and well respected orchestra ; but it is ultimately no more than a " tribute band" .
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« Reply #109 on: May 25, 2018, 02:07:07 PM »

This is great so far. Just a different take on the songs. Great for those who love it, and for those who don’t they can choose not to listen. I agree, the negativity gets the best of us, most of the time, when it’s the majority of what we see but you can rise above all that, enjoy the music, and still let the negative Nancy’s get out what they need to.

That chello part in the chorus of GV sounds sick and pretty cool interpretation and arranging of the orchestral parts throughout the song - they must’ve had a fun time doing this. Can feel the energy.

Let’s pickup on those good vibrations. Seriously wonder what Brian and others in the band would think if they read this board as faithful as we do. Let’s not take this gift of music for granted.

I don't think the criticism of this release has been excessive. And most of the criticisms are warranted. This release isn't some huge blight on the band's legacy or anything. But it's not what needs to be released (and hopefully they're also working on other actual substantive releases).

And, with all due respect, while I appreciate a ten-thumbs-up positive attitude, and I realize we should all take a look at ourselves now and then and make sure we're not being too cynical or negative, just saying "Yay!!!!" to any product that is churned out doesn't really make for a very interesting conversation. And worrying what a band member might think about what we say here is always a bad idea, because then it truly would be sycophantic, all-positive-all-the-time musings. Then what's the point. The perfect place for "I agree 100% Everything's awesome!" posts is on the official Facebook and Instagram pages and whatnot.

On the grand scale of BB releases, this release is somewhere well below new studio albums or new archival releases, and somewhere a bit above the latest new compilation found for sale at Rite Aid.
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« Reply #110 on: May 25, 2018, 04:38:59 PM »

Now having listened to the RPO version of "Good Vibrations"...well...it sounds just like their version of "Fun, Fun, Fun"...like someone playing the record while the orchestra just playis along to it.

If anything, this makes me appreciate the Hollyridge Strings. At least there was some kind of merit to that.

Nobody's a bigger "rah rah" objective supporter of all of the guys than me, but there's a reason I'm skipping this.
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« Reply #111 on: May 25, 2018, 11:23:54 PM »

First ‘webisode’ in a series apparently.

https://www.facebook.com/thebeachboys/videos/10156397501869140/
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« Reply #112 on: May 26, 2018, 03:07:30 AM »

My biggest qualm is that these orchestral overdubs don't add anything to the music. Because a song like GV already is (and is famous for) being a grand production, adding yet more causes the song to be bloated and over-the-top in arrangment and production.

This product is pointless and yet another poorly done cash grab. Maybe I wouldn't be so harsh if it was just the vocals with the orchestra, but by just making it the released song with overdubs it just falls flat in terms of moderation and taste.
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« Reply #113 on: May 26, 2018, 12:11:03 PM »


    The worst part about this album is: this is what Capital and BRI are focusing their resources on instead of more archival things from Boyd/Mark in the vein of Sunshine Tomorrow.
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« Reply #114 on: May 26, 2018, 04:31:40 PM »


    The worst part about this album is: this is what Capital and BRI are focusing their resources on instead of more archival things from Boyd/Mark in the vein of Sunshine Tomorrow.

Sorry, BUT how do you actually know that ? just maybe there is a separate work in progress  !
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« Reply #115 on: May 26, 2018, 05:34:21 PM »


It’s one of two things. Either the people who put this crap out have no clue what their doing... or.. they don’t give a sh*t. Well it’s probably both. There’s no way in hell anybody in The Beach Boys camp or at Capital/EMI think there’s a market for this sort of release. Last years Sunshine Tomorrow reached #145 on the charts with very good reviews. So instead of following that up with the next proper archival release which would be FRIENDS, they lose that momentum and release whatever the F*** this is.

We all know there have been concerts that have been recorded. Made in California hello! How bout releasing them in the entire show, and not just 1 song!


There clearly IS someone at Capitol/UMe who think there's a market for this CD; they're putting it out!

I'm sure it's due to the success (much more so in the UK than the US) of the Orbison CD, which hit #2 on the UK charts, as well as the success of other assembly line Patrick/Reedman projects that has made Capitol and BRI interested enough to sign off on this.

And remember, they're just signing off on this stuff. It's an easy extra paycheck. I would imagine, considering it's mostly EMI-owned masters (a couple of post-1969 tracks on there), BRI probably didn't even have to pony up any money to do the project. It was all Capitol/EMI/UMe.

Someone probably showed the BBs the other recent albums of this ilk, and they thought "sure, let's jump on the bandwagon", and had to do *zero* work on this other than listen to it (maybe) and sign off on it. To them, it's probably akin to another "Sounds of Summer" style repackaging.

Which gets us to why comparing such a set to "Sunshine Tomorrow" probably isn't a worthy comparison. This new 2018 orchestral CD will no doubt be marketed much more like another "Greatest Hits" set, and will probably (unfortunately) outpace "Sunshine Tomorrow" in sales and chart position (at least in the UK anyway).

I'm not saying this set is what *I* wanted, but the reason it's happening is not surprising at all. I don't think this CD will crack the Top 10 or 20 (or maybe even 50) in the US. It will probably chart in the US if given enough promotion, and will chart higher (though probably not #2) in the UK.

My only hope is that BRI is still also looking deeply into archival releases. Starting with 1968 copyright extension material, but also stuff *well beyond* that. An FTD/Dick's Picks sort of thing for the archives would be easy to do and would enhance their legacy among rock journalists that matter even more than orchestra overdubs onto "Fun Fun Fun."

Just want to add/correct that not only did the Roy Orbison album hit #2, two of the Elvis albums hit #1 in the UK (and the third hit #6).

EDIT: I'd love a Beach Boys series similar to FTD. As the Elvis fan I am, FTD is awesome and eye-opening.

Also, I'm worried this may not be forgotten after 2 years because supposedly the Elvis RPO songs are among the first songs chosen (supposedly) when asking devices such as the Amazon Alexa for an Elvis playlist.
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« Reply #116 on: May 26, 2018, 08:09:34 PM »

Sorry, BUT how do you actually know that ? just maybe there is a separate work in progress  !

     I'm not authorized to answer this question.




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« Reply #117 on: May 26, 2018, 10:31:34 PM »


It’s one of two things. Either the people who put this crap out have no clue what their doing... or.. they don’t give a sh*t. Well it’s probably both. There’s no way in hell anybody in The Beach Boys camp or at Capital/EMI think there’s a market for this sort of release. Last years Sunshine Tomorrow reached #145 on the charts with very good reviews. So instead of following that up with the next proper archival release which would be FRIENDS, they lose that momentum and release whatever the F*** this is.

We all know there have been concerts that have been recorded. Made in California hello! How bout releasing them in the entire show, and not just 1 song!


There clearly IS someone at Capitol/UMe who think there's a market for this CD; they're putting it out!

I'm sure it's due to the success (much more so in the UK than the US) of the Orbison CD, which hit #2 on the UK charts, as well as the success of other assembly line Patrick/Reedman projects that has made Capitol and BRI interested enough to sign off on this.

And remember, they're just signing off on this stuff. It's an easy extra paycheck. I would imagine, considering it's mostly EMI-owned masters (a couple of post-1969 tracks on there), BRI probably didn't even have to pony up any money to do the project. It was all Capitol/EMI/UMe.

Someone probably showed the BBs the other recent albums of this ilk, and they thought "sure, let's jump on the bandwagon", and had to do *zero* work on this other than listen to it (maybe) and sign off on it. To them, it's probably akin to another "Sounds of Summer" style repackaging.

Which gets us to why comparing such a set to "Sunshine Tomorrow" probably isn't a worthy comparison. This new 2018 orchestral CD will no doubt be marketed much more like another "Greatest Hits" set, and will probably (unfortunately) outpace "Sunshine Tomorrow" in sales and chart position (at least in the UK anyway).

I'm not saying this set is what *I* wanted, but the reason it's happening is not surprising at all. I don't think this CD will crack the Top 10 or 20 (or maybe even 50) in the US. It will probably chart in the US if given enough promotion, and will chart higher (though probably not #2) in the UK.

My only hope is that BRI is still also looking deeply into archival releases. Starting with 1968 copyright extension material, but also stuff *well beyond* that. An FTD/Dick's Picks sort of thing for the archives would be easy to do and would enhance their legacy among rock journalists that matter even more than orchestra overdubs onto "Fun Fun Fun."

Just want to add/correct that not only did the Roy Orbison album hit #2, two of the Elvis albums hit #1 in the UK (and the third hit #6).

EDIT: I'd love a Beach Boys series similar to FTD. As the Elvis fan I am, FTD is awesome and eye-opening.

Also, I'm worried this may not be forgotten after 2 years because supposedly the Elvis RPO songs are among the first songs chosen (supposedly) when asking devices such as the Amazon Alexa for an Elvis playlist.

Indeed, the Elvis orchestral remakes albums are the most commercially successful. With the Christmas album, that makes a whopping three of these RPO concoctions so far and with no end in sight.

The same problems remain IMO. The cuts where Elvis was already using an orchestra anyway are tolerable. The 50's era rock and roll cuts with the orchestra overdubbed on top are an abomination.

...and yet someone must be buying them. If these same "someones" fork out a small fortune for this Beach Boys edition I would think a second volume would be announced soon after (shudder).

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« Reply #118 on: May 27, 2018, 05:11:30 PM »

My opinion on the Good Vibrations mix: if you don't like negativity, you can skip it.

----

A VERY slight improvement on the FFF production, but I mean to damn it with faint praise. It's still worse than the original, so why bother?

As with FFF I find myself subconsciously trying to mute the orchestra, but for a different reason this time. The overwrought intro robs the song of its abrupt vocal tag opening - a Brian trademark - and the cello hits on the chorus mean the orchestral director probably watched Love & Mercy the day before recording.

The best I can say for it is that the orchestra only intrudes in places, rather than the whole thing, and the ascending notes leading up to the chorus are actually quite stirring.

The mis-timed cymbal at 2:20 sums up this whole project for me. If it existed in the original album mix, it's successfully buried. Here it's front and center.
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« Reply #119 on: May 30, 2018, 02:46:58 AM »

First review in.....A positive.

The Beach Boys With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:
The Beach Boys With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
(UMC/Virgin 6765746)

There are few catalogues more beloved than that of The Beach Boys, and subjecting their iconic songs to symphonic makeovers adding new arrangements from The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – conducted by Steve Sidwell & Sally Herbert under the production of Don Reedman & Nick Patrick – is a bold move, even though it has paid off handsomely for similar projects revitalising the catalogues of Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. 17 tracks are included, spanning the years 1964 to 1988, and they have won the unanimous approval of The Beach Boys themselves, with Brian Wilson ‘proud and humbled’, Mike Love judging the project ‘a phenomenal thing’ and Bruce Johnston complementing ‘the beautiful fairy dust of the orchestra’. As one who came to the project with mixed feelings, I am pleased to report that overall, it seems to have worked well. I particularly enjoyed the treatment given to the collection’s earliest song Fun Fun Fun, whose original surf guitar intro now follows a lush orchestral intro, which then melts into it. 1968 hit Darlin’ is also given extra depth and resonance by an intelligent and sweeping arrangement that envelops the band’s classic harmonies and adds extra sparkle. The already symphonic elegance of God Only Knows and Good Vibrations is probably less well served, especially the latter, whose instant familiarity is held at bay by a superfluous 25 second intro, and whose textured soundscape is a little compromised. I would personally rather hear the tracks as originally recorded but as an alternative it’s fine – and anything that brings new converts to the music of The Beach Boys has to be good

http://www.musicweek.com/talent/read/reissues-may-29-the-beach-boys-barclay-james-harvest-bob-stanley-pete-wiggs-present-paris-in-the-spring/072617
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« Reply #120 on: May 30, 2018, 06:12:21 AM »

First review in.....A positive.

The Beach Boys With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:
The Beach Boys With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
(UMC/Virgin 6765746)

There are few catalogues more beloved than that of The Beach Boys, and subjecting their iconic songs to symphonic makeovers adding new arrangements from The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – conducted by Steve Sidwell & Sally Herbert under the production of Don Reedman & Nick Patrick – is a bold move, even though it has paid off handsomely for similar projects revitalising the catalogues of Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. 17 tracks are included, spanning the years 1964 to 1988, and they have won the unanimous approval of The Beach Boys themselves, with Brian Wilson ‘proud and humbled’, Mike Love judging the project ‘a phenomenal thing’ and Bruce Johnston complementing ‘the beautiful fairy dust of the orchestra’. As one who came to the project with mixed feelings, I am pleased to report that overall, it seems to have worked well. I particularly enjoyed the treatment given to the collection’s earliest song Fun Fun Fun, whose original surf guitar intro now follows a lush orchestral intro, which then melts into it. 1968 hit Darlin’ is also given extra depth and resonance by an intelligent and sweeping arrangement that envelops the band’s classic harmonies and adds extra sparkle. The already symphonic elegance of God Only Knows and Good Vibrations is probably less well served, especially the latter, whose instant familiarity is held at bay by a superfluous 25 second intro, and whose textured soundscape is a little compromised. I would personally rather hear the tracks as originally recorded but as an alternative it’s fine – and anything that brings new converts to the music of The Beach Boys has to be good

http://www.musicweek.com/talent/read/reissues-may-29-the-beach-boys-barclay-james-harvest-bob-stanley-pete-wiggs-present-paris-in-the-spring/072617

I mean, I'm not gonna particularly denigrate the idea of a BB product getting a good review I suppose. But this review is pretty much the opposite of how I feel. The album is far from a "bold move"; it's in fact a pretty cookie-cutter approach from Patrick and Reedman, and it's also Capitol/UMe mining a resource they (mostly) already own for the millionth time.

Something relatively "bold" would be something like Giles Martin's work on the Beatles' "Love", where all sorts of tracks have been mashed together rather inventively, with keen attention paid to matching (via ear or digital manipulation) speed and pitch of multiple songs. Adding an orchestra to "Fun Fun Fun" isn't nearly as bold as having the vocal track to "What You're Doing" playing over the "Drive My Car" backing track, with the "Taxman" solo flown in, and having it *all* actually sound like it goes together.

I suppose I get why someone might feel that songs that already have some orchestration and/or lush arrangements benefit less from the orchestra, but all that then leaves is uptempo "rock" tracks, and those sound goofy with orchestration.

I'm also a bit wary of an "album review" that mainly only highlights to the two full tracks that have already been publicly released. I'm not saying that the reviewer hasn't listened to the full album front-to-back, but I'd love to hear more about the songs we haven't heard much from.
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« Reply #121 on: May 30, 2018, 01:42:40 PM »

Heroes and Villains and Help Me, Rhonda sound awesome! https://www.facebook.com/thebeachboys/videos/10156410623054140/
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« Reply #122 on: May 30, 2018, 02:26:55 PM »

Heroes and Villains and Help Me, Rhonda sound awesome! https://www.facebook.com/thebeachboys/videos/10156410623054140/

Thanks for posting that! I love his last line from Al:

"It's an enlightening project, and we need enlightening because things are getting so dark. This is a nice balance for people, I think."

I think that's an important point. These tracks are meant to build us up, not bring us down. Overall when all the opinions (good or bad) are said and done the people who love this album will find joy in listening to it again and again and that's what matters. I'm glad that Al seems to like it a lot.

Good Vibrations has such a great moment during the "Gotta keep those, a lovin good, vibrations a happenin with ya" middle eight - those strings sound so sad and beautiful! The snippet of Heroes and Villains sounds like a trip, and Help Me Rhonda sounded beautiful. Thanks to the review above I'm really looking forward to hearing Darlin.
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« Reply #123 on: May 31, 2018, 04:21:37 AM »

Heroes and Villains and Help Me, Rhonda sound awesome! https://www.facebook.com/thebeachboys/videos/10156410623054140/

Thanks for posting that! I love his last line from Al:

"It's an enlightening project, and we need enlightening because things are getting so dark. This is a nice balance for people, I think."

I think that's an important point. These tracks are meant to build us up, not bring us down. Overall when all the opinions (good or bad) are said and done the people who love this album will find joy in listening to it again and again and that's what matters. I'm glad that Al seems to like it a lot.

Good Vibrations has such a great moment during the "Gotta keep those, a lovin good, vibrations a happenin with ya" middle eight - those strings sound so sad and beautiful! The snippet of Heroes and Villains sounds like a trip, and Help Me Rhonda sounded beautiful. Thanks to the review above I'm really looking forward to hearing Darlin.


This quote by Al also caught my ears. I agree with what he said although I won't connect it to this project as nothing I've heard of it yet has any substance to my ears and even the content of the interviews are the same stuff that gets said during the promotion of other such projects. That said, we as a society definitely need to focus more on the accomplishments of the Enlightenment. Much of the difficulties we have seem to come because many people just spit out idiotic nonsense without first building themselves an opinion. And an opinion of course isn't the same as a gut feeling, but something that you build yourself by looking at the facts and reflect with reason. So, thanks to Al for mentioning that.
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« Reply #124 on: May 31, 2018, 04:38:23 PM »

Agreed Rab, great quote from Al!
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