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639706 Posts in 25565 Topics by 3633 Members - Latest Member: godette502 November 18, 2018, 02:06:12 AM
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Author Topic: Rock N Roll to the Rescue  (Read 2124 times)
Matt H
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« on: September 13, 2018, 03:00:26 PM »

I would love to know the backstory on this song.  It is surprising to me that a Mike and Terry Melcher song would feature a lead vocal by Brian in 1986.  Maybe it was a condition of Landy's to have Brian involved (speculation on my part).  I also find it interesting that apparently on the tape box it says that Brian was a co-producer, but he didn't get a producers credit.  I would have thought that Landy would be getting credit for Brian for anything he did.  Does anyone know the backstory on this song, and how Brian came to be the lead singer?

BTW, I think that Carl sings the hell out of his parts.  I love hearing him grit it out.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2018, 03:12:24 PM »

I would love to know the backstory on this song.  It is surprising to me that a Mike and Terry Melcher song would feature a lead vocal by Brian in 1986.  Maybe it was a condition of Landy's to have Brian involved (speculation on my part).  I also find it interesting that apparently on the tape box it says that Brian was a co-producer, but he didn't get a producers credit.  I would have thought that Landy would be getting credit for Brian for anything he did.  Does anyone know the backstory on this song, and how Brian came to be the lead singer?

BTW, I think that Carl sings the hell out of his parts.  I love hearing him grit it out.

I think this song is quite underrated. I want to know its backstory too.

I was surprised that Robin Leach mentioned it by doing a "Rock N Roll to the Rescue" pun in his narration as late as 1990 with Mike's appearance on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (surely the last-known mention of this song anywhere in the BBs universe, I'd think).
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2018, 04:29:00 PM »

The story I've read (from someone who allegedly asked Melcher) is that Brian and Terry started out coproducing the track, then Landy pulled Brian out mid-production to have a stress test in Hawaii. Melcher was pissed, and removed his name at that point.
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2018, 04:54:07 PM »

The story I've read (from someone who allegedly asked Melcher) is that Brian and Terry started out coproducing the track, then Landy pulled Brian out mid-production to have a stress test in Hawaii. Melcher was pissed, and removed his name at that point.

I heard Brian relate that exact set of events in a radio interview maybe 20 years ago
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2018, 07:16:51 PM »

The story I've read (from someone who allegedly asked Melcher) is that Brian and Terry started out coproducing the track, then Landy pulled Brian out mid-production to have a stress test in Hawaii. Melcher was pissed, and removed his name at that point.

I heard Brian relate that exact set of events in a radio interview maybe 20 years ago


Well...maybe THAT'S where I heard it, too! 
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2018, 09:08:40 PM »

The story I've read (from someone who allegedly asked Melcher) is that Brian and Terry started out coproducing the track, then Landy pulled Brian out mid-production to have a stress test in Hawaii. Melcher was pissed, and removed his name at that point.

Fascinating. Was that Brian and Terry's only collab (or attempt at one)? I guess Brian and Terry may (?) have collaborated in some way for Getcha Back, though maybe not in a co-production sense.

Side note: when I hear the term "stress test", I think of Scientology, although I'll assume this was not that.
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c-man
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2018, 05:10:20 AM »


Side note: when I hear the term "stress test", I think of Scientology, although I'll assume this was not that.

I think it more likely involved a tread mill - not sure why that couldn't have been accomplished in Southern California, though...
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Tony S
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2018, 05:31:33 AM »

Landy probably wanted a free trip to Hawaii.
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2018, 06:58:38 AM »

BTW, I think that Carl sings the hell out of his parts.  I love hearing him grit it out.

Its probably my favorite late-Brian lead. He is getting a super rocking sound. But all the guys put on great vocals on this one imo
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2018, 09:59:36 AM »

The song resulted in another a long line of slightly weird, awkward TV appearances where Brian and the band mimed the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxJfuml6ir8

And then they did it live at Farm Aid, with Al singing Brian's lines:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfwxe0W9h2A
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2018, 05:59:22 PM »

The song resulted in another a long line of slightly weird, awkward TV appearances where Brian and the band mimed the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxJfuml6ir8

And then they did it live at Farm Aid, with Al singing Brian's lines:

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

Al and Mike share Brian's vocals in that Farm Aid live performance. Rough start and Al is uncharacteristically hoarse, but the song comes off alright once they get into it.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2018, 07:20:45 PM »

If the song had become a Kokomo level hit, I wonder if Howard Stern would play the song on air, and add his "Hey now!" audio clip repeatedly on top of all of the "hey nows" on the second verse.
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Matt H
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« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2018, 06:08:38 AM »

Thanks for the information!
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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2018, 12:28:45 PM »

I thought the song was alright, but Brian's voice was in rough shape and detracted from the track.  Al or Carl would have been the better choice.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2018, 12:45:08 PM »

I thought the song was alright, but Brian's voice was in rough shape and detracted from the track.  Al or Carl would have been the better choice.

It's all opinion of course, but I respectfully disagree. While Brian was certainly trying out a new type of voice (I'm not sure he's ever sung a full lead that sounds quite like this), I don't think he sounds bad at all. It's almost his '80s voice doing a cross between a "You're So Good to Me" or "Wouldn't it Be Nice" type of lead, with a little more of a layed-back (and only very slightly wacky) vibe.

Most importantly to me, he sounds like he's having fun, and seems legit engaged and excited to be singing this lead.

Maybe it's just because his voice is in so much better shape than material released in subsequent decades to this song, but I think it's Brian giving it his '80s all, and surprisingly succeeding in a general sense. Not to mention the backing harmonies are TOP notch... the "hey nows" sound as Beach Boys as it gets (recalling their 60s harmonies), perhaps for the 2nd or 3rd to last time ever (the only BBs songs released after Rock N Roll to the Rescue that have that very specific GROUP vocal blend that sounds exactly like it came out of the '60s would be Make it Big and Island Girl (intro).
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 12:46:41 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
Tony S
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« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2018, 03:42:39 PM »

I also think Brian's vocal on rock and roll to the rescue its pretty good. Certainly very different from any other vocals we heard from him during this time or since.
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SMiLE Brian
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« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2018, 03:53:25 PM »

BW sounds good on it! Grin
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2018, 10:02:33 PM »

I like the song, but I would've chosen Al to be the lead singer on this song. Mike would be the natural choice, and that's why I choose Al - just because he sounds great on it, and he needs more lead vocals.  Afro
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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2018, 05:49:47 AM »

Well I was driving when I first heard it and it was one of those times I had to just pull over to take in a song. I was stunned, I love nearly everything about it and I would have put it on both the 1993 and 2013 box sets following Kokomo. The autobiographical nature would have capped those playlists perfectly and erased some of Kokomo's aftertaste.

I love the way the whoo-ooh vocals, surf guitar (Carl?), handclaps, piano and sax each rotate in during the first verse. Love the energy of the acoustic rhythm guitar. But most of all I love Brian's vocal, he's engaged and I've laughed out loud when he sings "it happened I was lookin' through my mama's things" and later when he practically spits out "I lose my in-hi-BI-tions when I move across the stage." And I love Al doing the second verse but it seems like the song was written for Brian to sing.

Also completely agree with CenturyDeprived about both Brian and the group vocal sound. And Brian playing the keyboard with his fist 1:11 in on the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxJfuml6ir8 video makes me laugh too, I guess I'm just easily amused.

I did say I love nearly everything, I'm a fan of Terry Melcher's production but I hate the programmed drums on this. I wish Mark Linett would remix it substituting John Cowsill on real drums. Also the beginning is weirdly abrupt, I have to keep the volume low to start and then raise it when I feel like blasting this on my stereo. Which happens a few times each year.

This is my first post by the way, so hello and I'm sorry for lurking for years and never jumping in before. I'll do better going forward, I've got other unpopular opinions to share! Smiley I'm an old guy and hardcore BB fan since I bought the first release of Surfin' USA.


    
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adamghost
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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2018, 01:44:39 PM »

Coming out of my cave to say: one more vote for loving Brian's vocal.
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« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2018, 05:54:21 PM »

Yes, I dig the track -- dig the video too.  Shoulda been a hit.  One more thing -- I always felt a poignancy in Brian singing "I said it rescued me and it'll rescue you".  Sort  of a Higher Power tip of the cap to Brian being up and at 'em and not where he was.  Well for me anyway.
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« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2018, 06:11:07 PM »

Eh, the song is definitely not essential listening, but I kind of dig it's scrappy little stomp beat.  Carl's vocal contributions are quite nice. 
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« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2018, 12:02:11 PM »

Brian's vocal is fun, but Al's vocal is like Brian's 1960s vocals.
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mustomax
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« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2018, 08:58:29 AM »

The intro is so great! and Carl...
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