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651354 Posts in 26029 Topics by 3713 Members - Latest Member: ficuswhisperer October 18, 2019, 11:57:56 PM
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Author Topic: Title edit: Carl Wilson late 70s (formerly Trouble in Paradise)  (Read 6806 times)
Lonely Summer
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« Reply #50 on: September 11, 2019, 06:56:10 PM »

I mentioned a few months back on another thread about how impressive it was that 1978 Carl morphed into the trimmed down version with a solo career by 1981.
Thinking now was that possibility dangled in front of him like a carrot? ‘Clean yourself up Carl and we will promote you as a solo artist’.
Given that he was sick of all the sh!t going on in the band at the time, a solo offer would have been a very good incentive to sober up.
I don't think that's how it happened, though. I don't think Carl was thinking of having a huge, long term solo career. It simply came up as an option when the guys didn't want to record new music. Carl and Mike were the only band members who took advantage of this lull in the group's recording career to record their own albums.
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William Bowe
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« Reply #51 on: September 11, 2019, 07:49:46 PM »

I never thought Carl's vocals were too bad on Love You, but I havent listened to it in a while tho. just curious, which songs/parts of songs would you say he sounds "ragged" on?

His lead on The Night Was So Young lacks its usual mellifluousness, and while that goes double for Let Us Go On This Way, that's probably because the song doesn't really suit his voice (I love both songs, BTW). I think though that the worst of his vocals from the period were actually from Adult Child.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 07:51:31 PM by William Bowe » Logged
HeyJude
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« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2019, 06:45:12 AM »

I realise that people are often so up in arms about the 70s BBs... I actually enjoy them quite a bit. They were realistic and reflected their true problems like real people, and were also super creative and weirdly prolific in album and tour the whole time. People can often be so prudish about drugs and public problems (like discussed with Carl) that arise when one goes one step over the line and monacles shatter everywhere. Oh well, somebody who was under a ton of pressure made a mistake, it happens and they recover and then probably make more mistakes. I think the 80s BBs were far, far more problematic and totally monsterishly freaky. 70s BBs were just a bunch of 30-somethings that were actually good at what they did but had a bunch of fantastic missteps. (that is a super large exaggeration, and I am going to get burned because of it, but I'm not wrong) Tons of love to Carl and Brian.

I think what you’re talking about is a case of two very different issues: The actual quality of the material they were releasing and performing (as well as their overall public image) on the one hand, versus their fundamental professionalism and interpersonal relationships as displayed in public.

The band undoubtedly released better (and certainly *more* total) material in the 70s than the 80s, and by the mid-late 80s their public image and “coolness” factor weren’t where they had been in, say, 1975.

But to the degree anyone calls attention to something like the 1978 Australia debacle, it’s not a case of judging Carl or anyone else for their flaws and problems. I think Beach Boys fans on the whole, discounting a small cadre of Mike Love-esque super judgmental, non-empathetic folks, almost *have* to be pretty sympathetic to drug and alcohol issues. But, to point out Carl’s downturn in 1977-1978 is simply to point out that, as a *live show*, on a professionalism level, it was at times a total s**t-show. Carl was *really* bad at those ’78 shows. It’s often discussed disproportionately often because of the irony; that Carl in any other time frame was the most professional, consistent person in the band (along with Al) but then also for a short period had arguably the biggest on-stage meltdown/fiasco/trainwreck in the band’s history, which is saying something considering the bad shape Dennis and Brian were in at times, especially in 1981-1983. I think any reasonable, compassionate person would feel awful for Carl and want to see him get better (which he quickly did), while at the same time it’s appropriate to point out that those shows should have been canceled at the point Carl was *severely* slurring his lead vocals to the point that he sounded like a tape deck running out of batteries, and to the point he indeed at one point apparently keeled over on stage. It was bad PR for the band, and unprofessional to make a paying audience sit through “Elmer Fudd on valium” singing “God Only Knows.”

With Dennis and Brian, it’s a more complicated, less clear-cut situation. They had substance problems over a longer period of time, with more ups and downs, with periods of solid on-stage performances and then runs where they weren’t showing up to gigs or were not doing well on stage. Indeed, for all the discussion over the years of Dennis’s problems, he was at other times in better shape on stage than one or both of his brothers. Dennis is surprisingly pretty put-together for the ’78 Austalia gigs. Even in his late era where he had problems, he actually was often pretty solid in drums when he did show up for gigs. Watch the 1981 Queen Mary gig. Brian goes off the rails vocally at one point, most of the band is clearly struggling or, at best, putting in rather rote performances, but Dennis is actually holding the band together pretty well on drums. Even into 1982 Dennis was still often solid.
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #53 on: September 12, 2019, 01:47:36 PM »

I realise that people are often so up in arms about the 70s BBs... I actually enjoy them quite a bit. They were realistic and reflected their true problems like real people, and were also super creative and weirdly prolific in album and tour the whole time. People can often be so prudish about drugs and public problems (like discussed with Carl) that arise when one goes one step over the line and monacles shatter everywhere. Oh well, somebody who was under a ton of pressure made a mistake, it happens and they recover and then probably make more mistakes. I think the 80s BBs were far, far more problematic and totally monsterishly freaky. 70s BBs were just a bunch of 30-somethings that were actually good at what they did but had a bunch of fantastic missteps. (that is a super large exaggeration, and I am going to get burned because of it, but I'm not wrong) Tons of love to Carl and Brian.

I think what you’re talking about is a case of two very different issues: The actual quality of the material they were releasing and performing (as well as their overall public image) on the one hand, versus their fundamental professionalism and interpersonal relationships as displayed in public.

The band undoubtedly released better (and certainly *more* total) material in the 70s than the 80s, and by the mid-late 80s their public image and “coolness” factor weren’t where they had been in, say, 1975.

But to the degree anyone calls attention to something like the 1978 Australia debacle, it’s not a case of judging Carl or anyone else for their flaws and problems. I think Beach Boys fans on the whole, discounting a small cadre of Mike Love-esque super judgmental, non-empathetic folks, almost *have* to be pretty sympathetic to drug and alcohol issues. But, to point out Carl’s downturn in 1977-1978 is simply to point out that, as a *live show*, on a professionalism level, it was at times a total s**t-show. Carl was *really* bad at those ’78 shows. It’s often discussed disproportionately often because of the irony; that Carl in any other time frame was the most professional, consistent person in the band (along with Al) but then also for a short period had arguably the biggest on-stage meltdown/fiasco/trainwreck in the band’s history, which is saying something considering the bad shape Dennis and Brian were in at times, especially in 1981-1983. I think any reasonable, compassionate person would feel awful for Carl and want to see him get better (which he quickly did), while at the same time it’s appropriate to point out that those shows should have been canceled at the point Carl was *severely* slurring his lead vocals to the point that he sounded like a tape deck running out of batteries, and to the point he indeed at one point apparently keeled over on stage. It was bad PR for the band, and unprofessional to make a paying audience sit through “Elmer Fudd on valium” singing “God Only Knows.”

With Dennis and Brian, it’s a more complicated, less clear-cut situation. They had substance problems over a longer period of time, with more ups and downs, with periods of solid on-stage performances and then runs where they weren’t showing up to gigs or were not doing well on stage. Indeed, for all the discussion over the years of Dennis’s problems, he was at other times in better shape on stage than one or both of his brothers. Dennis is surprisingly pretty put-together for the ’78 Austalia gigs. Even in his late era where he had problems, he actually was often pretty solid in drums when he did show up for gigs. Watch the 1981 Queen Mary gig. Brian goes off the rails vocally at one point, most of the band is clearly struggling or, at best, putting in rather rote performances, but Dennis is actually holding the band together pretty well on drums. Even into 1982 Dennis was still often solid.

Dennis' voice was wrecked by the 80's, but I agree his drumming was still solid. When I see him on the DC 1980 footage, he looks like he is playing those drums as if his life depended upon it. None of the replacements on the drum stool ever rocked like Dennis did.
I've even heard at least one show from 1981 where Brian sang a nice version of God Only Knows. Even Mike sounds impressed on the tape; but then they make the mistake of following it up with Don't Worry, Baby, and, try as he might, Brian just can't sing it in the original key.
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marcella27
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« Reply #54 on: September 12, 2019, 09:51:59 PM »

I realise that people are often so up in arms about the 70s BBs... I actually enjoy them quite a bit. They were realistic and reflected their true problems like real people, and were also super creative and weirdly prolific in album and tour the whole time. People can often be so prudish about drugs and public problems (like discussed with Carl) that arise when one goes one step over the line and monacles shatter everywhere. Oh well, somebody who was under a ton of pressure made a mistake, it happens and they recover and then probably make more mistakes. I think the 80s BBs were far, far more problematic and totally monsterishly freaky. 70s BBs were just a bunch of 30-somethings that were actually good at what they did but had a bunch of fantastic missteps. (that is a super large exaggeration, and I am going to get burned because of it, but I'm not wrong) Tons of love to Carl and Brian.

Just out of curiosity, what is it about the 1980s Beach Boys that you find monstrous and problematic? Are you referring to the music, or their image? I'm genuinely interested in what it is that you find so problematic about them at that time period. Without wanting to make assumptions about what it is that you're referring to, I would argue that 80s pop culture on the whole can be criticized for being a touch superficial (this is the decade known for excess and materialism) so if that's what you were referring to I think the 1980s Beach Boys are kinda a product of tthe times.  But im interested to hear more about what you think.
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