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Author Topic: Kokomo Is 30 article in Stereogum  (Read 2674 times)
HeyJude
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« Reply #50 on: August 02, 2018, 08:28:52 AM »

And, recording with a very early Beta version of ProTools probably didn't help the thing, shrill sound of the SIP album. I can't imagine it was a "high rez" situation; ProTools probably didn't the capability in 1991/92 to record at 24-bit, 88.1, etc.
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« Reply #51 on: August 02, 2018, 08:42:30 AM »

And, recording with a very early Beta version of ProTools probably didn't help the thing, shrill sound of the SIP album. I can't imagine it was a "high rez" situation; ProTools probably didn't the capability in 1991/92 to record at 24-bit, 88.1, etc.

I'm not intending this to be personal, but this notion of blaming early versions of ProTools is something I went into pretty deep detail about in previous discussions, and it might be worth revisiting some of those before hanging the blame on a DAW/sequencing/recording software.

To sum up - When Matthew Sweet's "Girlfriend" album came out, with songs like the title cut and "Divine Intervention", a lot of musicians including those in my small circle at Berklee were loving the pure, analog, throwback, "Revolver" sonic qualities that Sweet had captured on the album. "Finally!" we were saying, "someone gets it!". Some of us with pretty strong views on the lack of those pure analog sonic qualities on the radio, MTV, and most albums of the time were over the moon when we heard guitar tracks, bass tracks, and drum sounds which sounded closer to "She Said She Said" than Skid Row or Poison.

Then we come to find out later that Sweet recorded "Girlfriend" using an even earlier version of ProTools than was used on Summer In Paradise. Yet the results were lightyears apart, sonically.

So while those early ProTools versions were wonky, and took a ton of time to load and process even the most basic moves during a session...It wasn't to blame for the overall sonic sheen of the music, especially when others were using earlier, more wonky versions and getting great sounds from it. And others after SIP used similar early versions and also got better sounds.

Was it to blame in part? Maybe. But at the same time, it wasn't. Words of wisdom: "You can't turn chicken sh*t into chicken salad".
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« Reply #52 on: August 02, 2018, 08:51:10 AM »

Obviously, ProTools didn't make production or arrangement decisions on the SIP album.

All I said was that ProTools was unlikely to *help* the thing sound better considering Melcher was *already* into that thin, shrill, digital sound. I'm sure a myriad of outboard gear choices and musical decisions were major factors.

Some of the issues with Melcher productions were issues endemic to the sound of that era. In the late 80s, many producers were going for snappy, thin-sounding drums (whether real or programmed).

Perhaps the strangest thing about Melcher's production is that the same guy produced both "Still Cruisin'" and "Somewhere Near Japan", apparently around the same time, and yet the latter sounds much less shrill and has more warmth.

"Summer in Paradise" would have sounded very similar had it been done in the analog realm; that was Melcher's "sound" apparently. But the lack of high-rez sampling and the likely limitation of interfaces/gear to run everything into that Macintosh Quadra in 1991/1992 certainly was not going to *add* warmth to the proceedings.
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« Reply #53 on: August 02, 2018, 10:06:11 AM »



“Make It Big” actually pre-dates “Kokomo”, and it’s very 80s and programmed. *That* track might be better blueprint for what “Kokomo” ended up like.



HeyJude, does "Make It Big" predate "Kokomo" in terms of a pre-1988 MIB demo or something? Troop Beverly Hills came out in 1989, so I'd always assumed it was written post-Kokomo.
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« Reply #54 on: August 02, 2018, 10:13:01 AM »



I’d say the *other* ’86 single Melcher produced, “Rock and Roll to the Rescue”, is much more Kokomo-ish, which makes sense since Melcher wrote the track (by himself if I recall correctly), and while there has been some talk that Brian initially “produced” the session for that song, Melcher took the song over and also produced (similar to “California Dreamin’”).


I think “Rock and Roll to the Rescue” is rather underrated, and probably gets much less respect due to its over-the-top '80s production (which doesn't really bug me). It has a propulsive energy that very few BBs songs had at the time. Almost a bit like the energy of "Little Honda". There's a quite solid song buried in there, and some REALLY good group harmony vocals (all the "hey nows") that sound almost just like the '60s. Plus Carl's small vocal lead part is stellar. I don't mind Brian's lead either, which may be an unpopular opinion. It sounds at least like Brian was enthusiastic about it. In a way, this particular lead vocal of Brian's in unique in its delivery, and to me sounds not quite like any of his others.

It was a brave and rare choice to give Brian the lead on a BBs song during this era. In fact, it's basically the only Brian lead during the '80s (on a BBs song that wasn't a Landy-based solo track shoehorned into being a "BBs" song). I wonder what drove the decision to have Brian sing lead on this one; were they wooing him to rejoin the band on a more full-time basis or something?  Or maybe there was more label interest if Brian was more visibly attached to a BBs song?

But yeah, I also know about the really embarrassing performance of the band miming the song on some big variety show, where Brian looks suuuper out of it. I'm guessing that probably contributed to puting the kebosh to any more BBs singles with Brian lead vocals being pushed at the time. Plus the “Rock and Roll to the Rescue” official music video is the pits.
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HeyJude
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« Reply #55 on: August 02, 2018, 11:56:54 AM »



“Make It Big” actually pre-dates “Kokomo”, and it’s very 80s and programmed. *That* track might be better blueprint for what “Kokomo” ended up like.



HeyJude, does "Make It Big" predate "Kokomo" in terms of a pre-1988 MIB demo or something? Troop Beverly Hills came out in 1989, so I'd always assumed it was written post-Kokomo.

Dunno why I had it in my brain that the movie was from 1987. The song as heard in the movie certainly pre-dates its release on the "Still Cruisin" album. The movie was in theaters in March 1989 and the BB album didn't come out until August. I would assume the BB recording/mix as heard in the film pre-dates that March release date by at least a few months, so I would presume it was recorded in late 1988.

I think the reason I assumed the movie was older is that the mix of the song heard during the opening credits of the film is *vastly* different from the "Still Cruisin'" album version, with parts of the song being an entirely different recording/take.

I don't have speakers at the moment, but this link *should* be the movie mix of the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwreHYgiStA
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« Reply #56 on: August 02, 2018, 12:00:42 PM »



I’d say the *other* ’86 single Melcher produced, “Rock and Roll to the Rescue”, is much more Kokomo-ish, which makes sense since Melcher wrote the track (by himself if I recall correctly), and while there has been some talk that Brian initially “produced” the session for that song, Melcher took the song over and also produced (similar to “California Dreamin’”).


I think “Rock and Roll to the Rescue” is rather underrated, and probably gets much less respect due to its over-the-top '80s production (which doesn't really bug me). It has a propulsive energy that very few BBs songs had at the time. Almost a bit like the energy of "Little Honda". There's a quite solid song buried in there, and some REALLY good group harmony vocals (all the "hey nows") that sound almost just like the '60s. Plus Carl's small vocal lead part is stellar. I don't mind Brian's lead either, which may be an unpopular opinion. It sounds at least like Brian was enthusiastic about it. In a way, this particular lead vocal of Brian's in unique in its delivery, and to me sounds not quite like any of his others.

It was a brave and rare choice to give Brian the lead on a BBs song during this era. In fact, it's basically the only Brian lead during the '80s (on a BBs song that wasn't a Landy-based solo track shoehorned into being a "BBs" song). I wonder what drove the decision to have Brian sing lead on this one; were they wooing him to rejoin the band on a more full-time basis or something?  Or maybe there was more label interest if Brian was more visibly attached to a BBs song?

But yeah, I also know about the really embarrassing performance of the band miming the song on some big variety show, where Brian looks suuuper out of it. I'm guessing that probably contributed to puting the kebosh to any more BBs singles with Brian lead vocals being pushed at the time. Plus the “Rock and Roll to the Rescue” official music video is the pits.

The band performed R&R to the Rescue for a short time in their live shows. They did it at Farm Aid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfwxe0W9h2A

(I could swear there used to be a pristine upload of their entire '86 Farm Aid set uploaded by Farm Aid itself, but I can't find it)

The live version sounds a little more organic, although messier and with Al (as I recall) clearly having a cold or laryngitis or something as he takes on Brian's lead lines.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #57 on: August 02, 2018, 12:45:46 PM »



“Make It Big” actually pre-dates “Kokomo”, and it’s very 80s and programmed. *That* track might be better blueprint for what “Kokomo” ended up like.



HeyJude, does "Make It Big" predate "Kokomo" in terms of a pre-1988 MIB demo or something? Troop Beverly Hills came out in 1989, so I'd always assumed it was written post-Kokomo.

Dunno why I had it in my brain that the movie was from 1987. The song as heard in the movie certainly pre-dates its release on the "Still Cruisin" album. The movie was in theaters in March 1989 and the BB album didn't come out until August. I would assume the BB recording/mix as heard in the film pre-dates that March release date by at least a few months, so I would presume it was recorded in late 1988.

I think the reason I assumed the movie was older is that the mix of the song heard during the opening credits of the film is *vastly* different from the "Still Cruisin'" album version, with parts of the song being an entirely different recording/take.

I don't have speakers at the moment, but this link *should* be the movie mix of the song:

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

The movie mix of the song "Make it Big" is, IMO, awful and embarrassing. But somehow I completely love the Still Cruisin' album version. To me, that's the difference between horrid '80s production, and cheesy-yet-perfectly-fine-in-my-book '80s production.
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« Reply #58 on: August 02, 2018, 12:47:08 PM »



I’d say the *other* ’86 single Melcher produced, “Rock and Roll to the Rescue”, is much more Kokomo-ish, which makes sense since Melcher wrote the track (by himself if I recall correctly), and while there has been some talk that Brian initially “produced” the session for that song, Melcher took the song over and also produced (similar to “California Dreamin’”).


I think “Rock and Roll to the Rescue” is rather underrated, and probably gets much less respect due to its over-the-top '80s production (which doesn't really bug me). It has a propulsive energy that very few BBs songs had at the time. Almost a bit like the energy of "Little Honda". There's a quite solid song buried in there, and some REALLY good group harmony vocals (all the "hey nows") that sound almost just like the '60s. Plus Carl's small vocal lead part is stellar. I don't mind Brian's lead either, which may be an unpopular opinion. It sounds at least like Brian was enthusiastic about it. In a way, this particular lead vocal of Brian's in unique in its delivery, and to me sounds not quite like any of his others.

It was a brave and rare choice to give Brian the lead on a BBs song during this era. In fact, it's basically the only Brian lead during the '80s (on a BBs song that wasn't a Landy-based solo track shoehorned into being a "BBs" song). I wonder what drove the decision to have Brian sing lead on this one; were they wooing him to rejoin the band on a more full-time basis or something?  Or maybe there was more label interest if Brian was more visibly attached to a BBs song?

But yeah, I also know about the really embarrassing performance of the band miming the song on some big variety show, where Brian looks suuuper out of it. I'm guessing that probably contributed to puting the kebosh to any more BBs singles with Brian lead vocals being pushed at the time. Plus the “Rock and Roll to the Rescue” official music video is the pits.

The band performed R&R to the Rescue for a short time in their live shows. They did it at Farm Aid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfwxe0W9h2A

(I could swear there used to be a pristine upload of their entire '86 Farm Aid set uploaded by Farm Aid itself, but I can't find it)

The live version sounds a little more organic, although messier and with Al (as I recall) clearly having a cold or laryngitis or something as he takes on Brian's lead lines.

Did the band ever play it live with Brian in tow on lead?
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #59 on: August 02, 2018, 01:01:58 PM »



I’d say the *other* ’86 single Melcher produced, “Rock and Roll to the Rescue”, is much more Kokomo-ish, which makes sense since Melcher wrote the track (by himself if I recall correctly), and while there has been some talk that Brian initially “produced” the session for that song, Melcher took the song over and also produced (similar to “California Dreamin’”).


I think “Rock and Roll to the Rescue” is rather underrated, and probably gets much less respect due to its over-the-top '80s production (which doesn't really bug me). It has a propulsive energy that very few BBs songs had at the time. Almost a bit like the energy of "Little Honda". There's a quite solid song buried in there, and some REALLY good group harmony vocals (all the "hey nows") that sound almost just like the '60s. Plus Carl's small vocal lead part is stellar. I don't mind Brian's lead either, which may be an unpopular opinion. It sounds at least like Brian was enthusiastic about it. In a way, this particular lead vocal of Brian's in unique in its delivery, and to me sounds not quite like any of his others.

It was a brave and rare choice to give Brian the lead on a BBs song during this era. In fact, it's basically the only Brian lead during the '80s (on a BBs song that wasn't a Landy-based solo track shoehorned into being a "BBs" song). I wonder what drove the decision to have Brian sing lead on this one; were they wooing him to rejoin the band on a more full-time basis or something?  Or maybe there was more label interest if Brian was more visibly attached to a BBs song?

But yeah, I also know about the really embarrassing performance of the band miming the song on some big variety show, where Brian looks suuuper out of it. I'm guessing that probably contributed to puting the kebosh to any more BBs singles with Brian lead vocals being pushed at the time. Plus the “Rock and Roll to the Rescue” official music video is the pits.

The band performed R&R to the Rescue for a short time in their live shows. They did it at Farm Aid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfwxe0W9h2A

(I could swear there used to be a pristine upload of their entire '86 Farm Aid set uploaded by Farm Aid itself, but I can't find it)

The live version sounds a little more organic, although messier and with Al (as I recall) clearly having a cold or laryngitis or something as he takes on Brian's lead lines.

Did the band ever play it live with Brian in tow on lead?
If they did, I've never come across a clip of it. Brian's vocal isn't bad, but the song feels like one that would be more natural for Mike to sing lead on - which he ended up doing live, anyway, so might as well have had him do it on the record, too.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #60 on: August 02, 2018, 01:09:11 PM »



I’d say the *other* ’86 single Melcher produced, “Rock and Roll to the Rescue”, is much more Kokomo-ish, which makes sense since Melcher wrote the track (by himself if I recall correctly), and while there has been some talk that Brian initially “produced” the session for that song, Melcher took the song over and also produced (similar to “California Dreamin’”).


I think “Rock and Roll to the Rescue” is rather underrated, and probably gets much less respect due to its over-the-top '80s production (which doesn't really bug me). It has a propulsive energy that very few BBs songs had at the time. Almost a bit like the energy of "Little Honda". There's a quite solid song buried in there, and some REALLY good group harmony vocals (all the "hey nows") that sound almost just like the '60s. Plus Carl's small vocal lead part is stellar. I don't mind Brian's lead either, which may be an unpopular opinion. It sounds at least like Brian was enthusiastic about it. In a way, this particular lead vocal of Brian's in unique in its delivery, and to me sounds not quite like any of his others.

It was a brave and rare choice to give Brian the lead on a BBs song during this era. In fact, it's basically the only Brian lead during the '80s (on a BBs song that wasn't a Landy-based solo track shoehorned into being a "BBs" song). I wonder what drove the decision to have Brian sing lead on this one; were they wooing him to rejoin the band on a more full-time basis or something?  Or maybe there was more label interest if Brian was more visibly attached to a BBs song?

But yeah, I also know about the really embarrassing performance of the band miming the song on some big variety show, where Brian looks suuuper out of it. I'm guessing that probably contributed to puting the kebosh to any more BBs singles with Brian lead vocals being pushed at the time. Plus the “Rock and Roll to the Rescue” official music video is the pits.

The band performed R&R to the Rescue for a short time in their live shows. They did it at Farm Aid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfwxe0W9h2A

(I could swear there used to be a pristine upload of their entire '86 Farm Aid set uploaded by Farm Aid itself, but I can't find it)

The live version sounds a little more organic, although messier and with Al (as I recall) clearly having a cold or laryngitis or something as he takes on Brian's lead lines.

Did the band ever play it live with Brian in tow on lead?
If they did, I've never come across a clip of it. Brian's vocal isn't bad, but the song feels like one that would be more natural for Mike to sing lead on - which he ended up doing live, anyway, so might as well have had him do it on the record, too.

I agree that it's a more obvious choice for a Mike vocal; that's why I'm glad to see that expectation turned on its head with Brian singing, because it's an interesting glimpse at when they mix things up. Kind of with Mike singing lead on Meant for You; not what people would expect Mike to sing/sound like, but rad all the same.
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HeyJude
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« Reply #61 on: August 02, 2018, 01:15:01 PM »

Most of the lead for R&R to the Rescue is in the (1986) Al and Brian vocal range, which I'm sure explains why Al took over Brian's lines when they did the song live.
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