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Author Topic: Which BB lyrics sound like they were written by someone else?  (Read 1227 times)
CenturyDeprived
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« on: July 24, 2018, 06:18:15 PM »

Much like with BB voices on songs, where some songs sound as though a different singer actually sang the song (ie. the endless debate of God Only Knows early version), the same could perhaps be said for BB song lyrics sometimes.

Listening to Breakaway, it's quite interesting to ponder that these lyrics were written by Murry. Or at least some of them (?) were written by Murry.

But, on Breakaway, if Murry had not ever gotten credited (even via a pseudonym), I can't imagine that a single listener would have any hunch that Murry wrote those lyrics, unless they drew the obscure connection to Murry lying in bed for a long time after having been fired to the lyric about laying down in bed. Plus, it's not like there are many Murry-penned released lyrics to really get a sense of his lyrical style.

Similarly, lyrics on Please Let Me Wonder are fantastic, and clearly show Mike more than capable of kicking ass when he wanted to. But I'm not sure anyone would naturally suspect that Mike wrote them if Mike's name hadn't been on the credit.   I could easily guess those were Brian-penned lyrics, as they have similarities thematically with In the Back of My Mind (written lyrically by Brian).

Conversely: Van Dyke Parks and Jack Rieley perhaps seem to be the only lyric writers of BB songs where it's really an easily identifiable thing to ID that a song lyric came from their pen. I guess maybe add Gene Landy for songs like "Brian (Thank You)", which sound very distinctively like something he'd write.

Curious if others have other examples to share of this.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 06:20:19 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2018, 03:26:49 PM »

Can't say exactly why, but  I had no idea for years that Darlin', in terms of lyrics and music, was  a Brian product.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2018, 03:38:49 PM »

Can't say exactly why, but  I had no idea for years that Darlin', in terms of lyrics and music, was  a Brian product.

I had to double check, but it does have a Wilson/Love credit actually.
Do you mean that it just doesn't sound like either the music/lyrics sound like they came from either of those guys? (I kinda agree, BTW - it sounds like a conscious attempt to produce something that sounds a little outside the box of what they'd been known for)
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2018, 08:37:38 PM »

"In The Back Of My Mind" also has a Wilson/Love credit...nowadays.
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2018, 09:22:22 PM »

I've heard a theory posited that Brian wrote the lyrics to the version of Please Let Me Wonder that was released, and Mike wrote the lyrics for the unused alternate version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8B6T49bDBM  Don't know if that's actually the case, but PLMW as released seems like something Brian wrote himself.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2018, 11:06:11 PM »

I've heard a theory posited that Brian wrote the lyrics to the version of Please Let Me Wonder that was released, and Mike wrote the lyrics for the unused alternate version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8B6T49bDBM  Don't know if that's actually the case, but PLMW as released seems like something Brian wrote himself.

Interesting. I could potentially buy that theory. Maybe.  They most certainly are lyrics that seem to come from a Brian point of view more than from anyone else.

Regardless of who wrote what, it is *such* a flawless, perfect song in its final form. 
Music, lyrics, production. All are perfect.

I remain perplexed that the original PLMW version has never been released (or even spoken about by anyone connected to the band) in any interview whatsoever. For such a beloved and famous (at least moderately) song in their catalog, it is shocking that an entirely different version of the song has never seen release or been publicly discussed.

Weird. I mean, the Mike-sung alternate lyric original version is certainly inferior to the final version, but it's still very noteworthy as a curiousity if nothing else... plus it's one of the only examples of that Meant For You-style Mike lead.

Release it! (Also, someone should ask the band about it at the Q&A).
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2018, 12:25:32 AM »

Pardon my ignorance as always... if Mike co-wrote Darlin', how come Redwood had already recorded it before Mike stepped in and insisted it was song for the BBs?
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2018, 05:07:15 AM »

Pardon my ignorance as always... if Mike co-wrote Darlin', how come Redwood had already recorded it before Mike stepped in and insisted it was song for the BBs?

A few different things could have happened: 

- Mike could have gotten the "Darlin'" cowriting credit simply because he cowrote "Thinkin' 'Bout You Baby", from which the verse melody to "Darlin'" is derived

- Brian and Mike could have written "Darlin'" together before Brian gave it to Redwood

- Mike could have rewritten some of the "Darlin'" lyrics after it was taken from Redwood and given to The Beach Boys (we'll probably never hear the Redwood version of "Darlin'", unless an acetate or tape of the mix shows up)

The split of the original songwriting percentages on this one is 70% Brian, 30% Mike, which would seem to indicate that Mike wrote 60% of the lyrics and Brian 40% (assuming Brian wrote 100% of the music). Not that it's ironclad proof of anything, since Murry still controlled Sea Of Tunes at the time, and had the final say.
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2018, 06:19:58 AM »

All good points... thanks!  Cool

Pardon my ignorance as always... if Mike co-wrote Darlin', how come Redwood had already recorded it before Mike stepped in and insisted it was song for the BBs?

A few different things could have happened: 

- Mike could have gotten the "Darlin'" cowriting credit simply because he cowrote "Thinkin' 'Bout You Baby", from which the verse melody to "Darlin'" is derived

- Brian and Mike could have written "Darlin'" together before Brian gave it to Redwood

- Mike could have rewritten some of the "Darlin'" lyrics after it was taken from Redwood and given to The Beach Boys (we'll probably never hear the Redwood version of "Darlin'", unless an acetate or tape of the mix shows up)

The split of the original songwriting percentages on this one is 70% Brian, 30% Mike, which would seem to indicate that Mike wrote 60% of the lyrics and Brian 40% (assuming Brian wrote 100% of the music). Not that it's ironclad proof of anything, since Murry still controlled Sea Of Tunes at the time, and had the final say.

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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2018, 06:57:49 AM »

Howie Edelson interviewed Mike for the "Sunshine Tomorrow" set, and some comments are here:

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,25135.msg611449.html#msg611449

Mike apparently said he wrote (or "finished") the lyrics "during the tracking session" for "Darlin'."

Whatever is open to interpretation, Mike seems to be clear at least that he contributed lyrics to the '67 version of the song known as "Darlin'"; his songwriting credit on the '67 song is *not* simply due to having co-written "Thinkin' 'Bout You Baby" several years prior.
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2018, 01:52:04 PM »

I did not know that Mike did/might have co-written Darlin' Regardless, it doesn't sound to be Mike-ish., Brian-sh, Beach Boy-ish.
Still it's on my top ten BB songs (on other thread).
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2018, 02:02:12 PM »

I did not know that Mike did/might have co-written Darlin' Regardless, it doesn't sound to be Mike-ish., Brian-sh, Beach Boy-ish.
Still it's on my top ten BB songs (on other thread).

Interesting. Something else to ponder:

Is the term "outtasight" (or "outta sight" depending on how you want to spell it, not sure either of those are correct, haha!) sound like more of a Brian or a Mike-written term? I know neither of them invented the word, but I mean does it sound like one of those guys would be more likely to use the term in a lyric (or even in their speaking) than the other guy?

I'm pretty sure I've heard Brian (and not Mike) say that term in an interview or two.

The term is in both Darlin' and Do it Again, both of which are credited as Brian/Mike compositions.
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2018, 02:10:35 PM »

What we do know is that Brian wrote Darlin' based on Danny Hutton's use of the word, as in he would call people "darlin" all the time lol.

What we also know is what c-man said, how we may never know what it was originally unless a recording of the song when it was still intended for and being worked on for Redwood should surface.

But I have to consider the possibility that not only was "outta sight" a pretty common slang phrase in 1967 that was in pretty widespread use, similar to "groovy", "boss", "far out", etc to describe the same feelings, but also perhaps it was another phrase Danny Hutton was using regularly. If the song's title inspiration came from slang and phrases Brian heard Danny saying, it wouldn't be far fetched to think perhaps other phrases of Danny's were used in the lyrics at the various stages of the tune.
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2018, 05:54:22 PM »

I did not know that Mike did/might have co-written Darlin' Regardless, it doesn't sound to be Mike-ish., Brian-sh, Beach Boy-ish.
Still it's on my top ten BB songs (on other thread).

Interesting. Something else to ponder:

Is the term "outtasight" (or "outta sight" depending on how you want to spell it, not sure either of those are correct, haha!) sound like more of a Brian or a Mike-written term? I know neither of them invented the word, but I mean does it sound like one of those guys would be more likely to use the term in a lyric (or even in their speaking) than the other guy?

I'm pretty sure I've heard Brian (and not Mike) say that term in an interview or two.

The term is in both Darlin' and Do it Again, both of which are credited as Brian/Mike compositions.


Off the top of my head, I can think of two other Beach Boys songs that use the phrase "outtasight" - one is from a decade later, and was written solely by Brian without Mike ("Johnny Carson"). The other is from the same album as "Darlin'", and was written by Carl, Mike, Al, and Bruce, without Brian ("How She Boogalooed It"). So I'd say the results are inconclusive! Might I add that I really dig that phrase, and try to use it as often as possible!   Cool Guy
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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2018, 06:39:33 PM »

I did not know that Mike did/might have co-written Darlin' Regardless, it doesn't sound to be Mike-ish., Brian-sh, Beach Boy-ish.
Still it's on my top ten BB songs (on other thread).

Interesting. Something else to ponder:

Is the term "outtasight" (or "outta sight" depending on how you want to spell it, not sure either of those are correct, haha!) sound like more of a Brian or a Mike-written term? I know neither of them invented the word, but I mean does it sound like one of those guys would be more likely to use the term in a lyric (or even in their speaking) than the other guy?

I'm pretty sure I've heard Brian (and not Mike) say that term in an interview or two.

The term is in both Darlin' and Do it Again, both of which are credited as Brian/Mike compositions.


Off the top of my head, I can think of two other Beach Boys songs that use the phrase "outtasight" - one is from a decade later, and was written solely by Brian without Mike ("Johnny Carson"). The other is from the same album as "Darlin'", and was written by Carl, Mike, Al, and Bruce, without Brian ("How She Boogalooed It"). So I'd say the results are inconclusive! Might I add that I really dig that phrase, and try to use it as often as possible!   Cool Guy


Outtasight was used on "A Thing Or Two".
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« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2018, 06:44:22 PM »

BW had the hip slang from ďhow to be hipĒ and LA scene hangouts from 1965 onwards...
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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2018, 09:48:52 PM »

I did not know that Mike did/might have co-written Darlin' Regardless, it doesn't sound to be Mike-ish., Brian-sh, Beach Boy-ish.
Still it's on my top ten BB songs (on other thread).

Interesting. Something else to ponder:

Is the term "outtasight" (or "outta sight" depending on how you want to spell it, not sure either of those are correct, haha!) sound like more of a Brian or a Mike-written term? I know neither of them invented the word, but I mean does it sound like one of those guys would be more likely to use the term in a lyric (or even in their speaking) than the other guy?

I'm pretty sure I've heard Brian (and not Mike) say that term in an interview or two.

The term is in both Darlin' and Do it Again, both of which are credited as Brian/Mike compositions.


Off the top of my head, I can think of two other Beach Boys songs that use the phrase "outtasight" - one is from a decade later, and was written solely by Brian without Mike ("Johnny Carson"). The other is from the same album as "Darlin'", and was written by Carl, Mike, Al, and Bruce, without Brian ("How She Boogalooed It"). So I'd say the results are inconclusive! Might I add that I really dig that phrase, and try to use it as often as possible!   Cool Guy


Outtasight was used on "A Thing Or Two".

"A Thing Or Two" has a songwriting percentage breakdown of 60% Brian, 40% Mike - which means, if Brian wrote all of the music like we assume he did, Mike wrote 80% of the lyrics.
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2018, 10:33:24 AM »

According to an interview that  Les Chan and I did with Carl in 1983 for a Beach Boy convention, Carl stated that Brian wrote all the music and lyrics to Breakaway. We asked him why he credited Reggie Dunbar AKA Murry and he said that was Brian's sense of humor. He told us this unsolicited because we had mentioned Breakaway as a favorite Beach Boy song.
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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2018, 05:45:39 PM »

According to an interview that  Les Chan and I did with Carl in 1983 for a Beach Boy convention, Carl stated that Brian wrote all the music and lyrics to Breakaway. We asked him why he credited Reggie Dunbar AKA Murry and he said that was Brian's sense of humor. He told us this unsolicited because we had mentioned Breakaway as a favorite Beach Boy song.

Wow.

If what Carl said is true, and assuming that the Reggie Dunbar thing was a big joke all along (not just the nickname being a joke, but Murry having written anything with the song having been a joke too)... when and what were the circumstances when it became "known" that Reggie Dunbar was supposedly Murry Wilson?

That had to have come from an interview or something, right? In other words, that info must have come from somebody in the band saying it publicly?

And, what's the timeline with the recording of Breakway, the song's release, and Murry selling the catalog? The story just gets weirder and weirder sometimes...
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« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2018, 09:10:42 PM »

Here's what Brian said in a 2015 Q&A on this board, when asked about Murry's contribution to the writing of "Break Away":

"My dad did the lyrics and I did the music. He had the idea for Joey Bishop the talk show host - he used to say let's break away. I did not write the lyrics."
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« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2018, 06:33:10 AM »

I did not know that Mike did/might have co-written Darlin' Regardless, it doesn't sound to be Mike-ish., Brian-sh, Beach Boy-ish.
Still it's on my top ten BB songs (on other thread).

Interesting. Something else to ponder:

Is the term "outtasight" (or "outta sight" depending on how you want to spell it, not sure either of those are correct, haha!) sound like more of a Brian or a Mike-written term? I know neither of them invented the word, but I mean does it sound like one of those guys would be more likely to use the term in a lyric (or even in their speaking) than the other guy?

I'm pretty sure I've heard Brian (and not Mike) say that term in an interview or two.

The term is in both Darlin' and Do it Again, both of which are credited as Brian/Mike compositions.


Off the top of my head, I can think of two other Beach Boys songs that use the phrase "outtasight" - one is from a decade later, and was written solely by Brian without Mike ("Johnny Carson"). The other is from the same album as "Darlin'", and was written by Carl, Mike, Al, and Bruce, without Brian ("How She Boogalooed It"). So I'd say the results are inconclusive! Might I add that I really dig that phrase, and try to use it as often as possible!   Cool Guy


"outtasight" just to repeat was a pretty common phrase by 1967, alongside "far out" and other terms from both the 50's beatnik lingo and how the early-mid 60's psychedelic scene adapted and added to that lexicon. If anyone wants a crash course in more of these phrases, just do a binge-watch session of "77 Sunset Strip" and "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" and listen to the phrases spoken by Edd "Kookie" Byrnes and Maynard G. Krebs, and guaranteed you'll find yourself slipping a few of their phrases into your own conversations... Grin

But interestingly the origins of the phrase go back to the late 19th Century where it appeared in certain Victorian literature.

Anyway, I'm just suggesting to try and pin down whether the term came from Brian, Mike, or anyone specific just isn't possible unless or until we hear what was in the Redwood version, which we can be pretty sure Mike did not write lyrics for. It was a common phrase in 1967.
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« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2018, 06:11:52 PM »

OK - not actually used in a song, but - Brian is heard exclaiming "Outta sight!" at the end of the lead vocal session for "Guess I'm Dumb" (it's also heard faintly on the fade out of the record itself) - so, Brian was using the term as early as early '65!  Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2018, 06:12:54 PM »

OK - not actually used in a song, but - Brian is heard exclaiming "Outta sight!" at the end of the lead vocal session for "Guess I'm Dumb" (it's also heard faintly on the fade out of the record itself) - so, Brian was using the term as early as early '65!  Smiley

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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2018, 03:50:13 PM »

Just heard another one today with the lyrical phrase "outta sight" - as in "clean outta sight" - like after getting cleaned out with an enema - a word that is also used in this song - that's right, "H.E.L.P. Is On The Way".  Among the many other things we, as Beach Boys fans, can be proud of is that our favorite band is quite possibly the ONLY band (and certainly the only mainstream, commercially successful band) that has ever used THAT word in a song - and it gets played on the radio! (granted, on their own satellite radio station, but still)...I've heard it three times already on Channel 4!
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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2018, 05:08:16 PM »

Just heard another one today with the lyrical phrase "outta sight" - as in "clean outta sight" - like after getting cleaned out with an enema - a word that is also used in this song - that's right, "H.E.L.P. Is On The Way".  Among the many other things we, as Beach Boys fans, can be proud of is that our favorite band is quite possibly the ONLY band (and certainly the only mainstream, commercially successful band) that has ever used THAT word in a song - and it gets played on the radio! (granted, on their own satellite radio station, but still)...I've heard it three times already on Channel 4!

Ha, this is amazing. I love trivia like that. I've had a similar thought about the song "Lightning Crashes" by the band Live... the song, which was a huge hit in the '90s, has the lyric "placenta" sung tenderly in a verse, and that HAS to be the only song by a major band (hit song no less) with that word sung.

Although *technically* the song "Batdance" by Prince has the word "enema" spoken at 4:54:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMk8UqL48Xw

(it's a clip from the film Batman (1989) of Jack Nicholson's dialog "this town needs an enema"... so The BBs still hold the enema record if we are talking about sung lyrics that were written for a song  LOL).

But yeah, the Boys had a HUGE thing for the term "outta sight", which I think is both rad and outta sight!
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 05:09:07 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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