gfxgfx
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
logo
 
gfx gfx
gfx
644524 Posts in 25767 Topics by 3669 Members - Latest Member: ChristieSc March 18, 2019, 08:54:04 PM
*
gfx*HomeHelpSearchCalendarLoginRegistergfx
gfxgfx
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.       « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 Go Down Print
Author Topic: All I Wanna Do - What were The BBs trying to achieve with it?  (Read 4054 times)
CenturyDeprived
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4684



View Profile
« on: December 24, 2018, 03:51:56 PM »

I feel like this vastly underrated song was really a conscious attempt at The BBs becoming more of a "psych rock" type band of the era, perhaps more so than any other song they've ever released.  While the Sunflower album was certainly an album that encapsulated many different styles, this song just completely was its own animal.

There are certainly trippy moments in the fadeouts of Cabinessence, Never Learn Not to Love (man, I adore the delay sound in the very end of the fadeout that is only present on the single version), Celebrate the News, etc... but I don't think there's another song in their whole catalog that seemingly FULLY embraces an of-the-era-yet-still-way-ahead-of-its-time psychedelicness - throughout the entire song - as much as AIWD.

And it's even more interesting/unusual that Mike sang it/cowrote it, considering he's the guy who is often pegged (sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly) as the guy keeping them back and mired in the old surf mindset. Mike deserved more praise for it then, since it was one of the best things he ever did, but since the praise seemingly didn't come for decades, it seems that AIWD's impact became more of a "what could have been" aspect in hindsight, as Mike (and the band) seemingly did not realize what a masterpiece they had on their hands. Also, Carl and Desper I imagine were probably major unsung heroes for this song.

A few things come to mind:

- While the song has gained a cult following over the years, it's still widely unknown outside of BBs fanatics and shoegaze musicians. I think the song would be far better known and better appreciated if it'd been sung by Brian or Carl, just because those guys are more typically associated with this "side" of the band. It is one of Mike's best vocals though, no doubt. But I guess it's a bit like how a song like All Dressed Up For School (more of what might be thought of as a typical "Mike lead") is perhaps brushed off by Carl fans a bit, because it's him doing something - albeit rad - outside of his typical wheelhouse.

-  What would have happened if this song had been released as a single? I think it could perhaps have been a moderate hit, even though their popularity was in the toilet. Without fail, every person I play the song for is wowed by it.

- Would Mike have been more incentivized to continue in a psychedelic direction (I realize the song is lyrically more about enlightenment/TM, but still the vibe is trippy) if it had been a hit single? I'm picturing what happened with Kokomo, where we got a bunch of Kokomo sequels following its success.

- Did the band EVER give the song a second thought after its release? It seems that Mike only started playing it live a few years back in response to a growing group of hardcore fans reminding him that it was not just one of the band's best songs, but one that he wrote that he should deservedly be getting more praise for. I feel like they just made this brilliant song and then totally forgot about it for decades, complete. The band basically invented proto chillwave/dreampop/shoegeaze... then shrugged and forgot. Unreal.

- How much did Stephen Desper contribute to its sound? I imagine quite a bit. I am soooooooooo crossing my fingers for a vocals-only and a backing vocals w/ track version on a Sunflower reissue.

- I recall reading on this board that Mike actually started the song melodically, and Brian picked up the idea from Mike's initial idea. What's the source of this info?

« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 04:14:49 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
CenturyDeprived
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4684



View Profile
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2018, 02:15:42 PM »

Bumping this topic to see if anyone has any thoughts about this amazing song.

So very glad to have been gifted with the early version from '68 on the new set too.
Logged
RangeRoverA1
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Online Online

Posts: 3992


I drink expired tea. wanna join?


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2018, 05:29:01 PM »

To me it's just song. & straight song at that, which is to say I don't hear "psychedelic" in it, despite the sonic fx. I listened to sitar version, it's better in the way it's less "dirge" like than the Sunflower. But it's not very interesting w/o vocs, way too distinct drums & Eastern vibe isn't anything special. Sitar doesn't even sound very Eastern, it's not quite yet authentic.
Logged

Short notice: the cat you see to the left is the best. Not counting your indoor cat who might have habit sitting at your left side when you post at SmileySmile.

Big change: liking ear muffs since today.

Rookies, join in saving 1957 Dis-a-ney Girls!
rab2591
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4802


"My God. It's full of stars."


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2018, 05:35:30 PM »

Thanks for bumping! Christmas festivities kept me away from lurking/posting much.

I never really thought about it before, but in my mind I can hear Carl singing this with his Sunflower era voice and it would’ve been incredible. That being said, Mike brings such a “different” vibe to The Beach Boys style with this song (on top of the instrumental vibe being way different). I think this is one of the few songs where Mike sings really tenderly and melodiously.

Would this song have been a hit had it been released as a single? This brings me back to the interview with Fred Vail regarding the Sunflower era. He tried to get ‘Add Some Music’ in a station rotation and I think the DJ said “Fred, I can’t play that.” “Why not?” And the DJ gave him some response that either that the station didn’t want them playing The Beach Boys or he just refused all because the band just wasn’t popular anymore. I think the DJ came to this decision without even listening to the single - I could be wrong about that last part. The interview is on YouTube, I can’t listen to it at the moment though.

So had this been a potential killer hit it may not even had been able to get any air time.

One thing that has always bothered me about this song is the rather anti-climactic bridge before the last chorus. Most Beach Boys songs of this caliber have a really powerful vocal or instrumental section during the bridge. The one for AIWD seems to have some harmonies that don’t even fit together (to my ears) and it kinda jars me out of the hypnotizing trance the rest of the song puts me in.

Edit: wanted to add that despite my thoughts on the bridge I think this is one of the coolest Beach Boys songs of that era. And it is a testament to how diverse The Beach Boys could be while still making work that was miles ahead and above everyone else - even if their efforts went widely unheard.

Great topic (and points to consider) and I hope others contribute!
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 05:38:37 PM by rab2591 » Logged

Bill Tobelman's SMiLE site

Gotta keep those a-lovin good vibrations a-happenin.
c-man
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4262


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2018, 09:14:59 PM »

The bridge is one of my favorite parts!
Logged
Wata
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2062


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2018, 09:51:40 PM »

I listened to sitar version, it's better in the way it's less "dirge" like than the Sunflower. But it's not very interesting w/o vocs, way too distinct drums & Eastern vibe isn't anything special. Sitar doesn't even sound very Eastern, it's not quite yet authentic.
This is one of the things I noticed about '68 sets. I've heard of this sitar version long before the actual release of the song, and I expected something that sounds like sitar in Beatles' "Gettin' Better", or even "Carnival of Sound" album by Jan & Dean.

Once I gave it a listen, however, I found the sitar sound in this version was barely noticeable - you would barely identify it as sitar if you hadn't informed beforehand. It sounds like...just an experiment in the making.
Logged
♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇
The Dr. of Wilsonomics
Global Moderator
*****
Online Online

Gender: Male
Posts: 10624


🍦🍦My daughter and I -23 Dec 2018 ☮☮


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2018, 09:52:56 PM »

Crazy enough, I originally thought the banjo at the end of Cabinessence was also a sitar for the longest time
Logged

RIP Alexa Lestage (8 May 1995- 10 June 2018) .

https://www.gofundme.com/help-support-the-jurkowlaniecs

Quote
Lady:”Sir why you are drowning my son!!! “
Guy:“Maa’m, the ad clearly reads...SEA horse rides for a dollar “
Jay
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5497



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2018, 10:55:59 PM »

Crazy enough, I originally thought the banjo at the end of Cabinessence was also a sitar for the longest time
Me too.
Logged

A son of anarchy surrounded by the hierarchy.
♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇
The Dr. of Wilsonomics
Global Moderator
*****
Online Online

Gender: Male
Posts: 10624


🍦🍦My daughter and I -23 Dec 2018 ☮☮


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2018, 12:42:12 AM »

Confession time: Mike’s lead is not only my favorite lead he did, it’s one of my favorite leads in the entire catalog. The production is exquisite, and Brian’s vocals are stellar. Listening to it from my generation, it’s amazing to hear Brian basically invent shoegazing .

Whatever he was trying to achieve, Brian accomplished it and then some.
Logged

RIP Alexa Lestage (8 May 1995- 10 June 2018) .

https://www.gofundme.com/help-support-the-jurkowlaniecs

Quote
Lady:”Sir why you are drowning my son!!! “
Guy:“Maa’m, the ad clearly reads...SEA horse rides for a dollar “
c-man
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4262


View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2018, 02:14:23 AM »

Confession time: Mike’s lead is not only my favorite lead he did, it’s one of my favorite leads in the entire catalog. The production is exquisite, and Brian’s vocals are stellar. Listening to it from my generation, it’s amazing to hear Brian basically invent shoegazing .

Whatever he was trying to achieve, Brian accomplished it and then some.

It's worth pointing out that the Sunflower version was produced by Carl (both the basic track and the mixdown).
Logged
c-man
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4262


View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2018, 02:15:50 AM »

I listened to sitar version, it's better in the way it's less "dirge" like than the Sunflower. But it's not very interesting w/o vocs, way too distinct drums & Eastern vibe isn't anything special. Sitar doesn't even sound very Eastern, it's not quite yet authentic.
This is one of the things I noticed about '68 sets. I've heard of this sitar version long before the actual release of the song, and I expected something that sounds like sitar in Beatles' "Gettin' Better", or even "Carnival of Sound" album by Jan & Dean.

Once I gave it a listen, however, I found the sitar sound in this version was barely noticeable - you would barely identify it as sitar if you hadn't informed beforehand. It sounds like...just an experiment in the making.

Some of us are convinced that it's not an actual sitar, but rather the Coral electric sitar, which is more of a guitar with sympathetic strings.
Logged
JK
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4744


Maybe I put too much faith in atmosphere


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2018, 03:16:04 AM »

Confession time: Mike’s lead is not only my favorite lead he did, it’s one of my favorite leads in the entire catalog. The production is exquisite, and Brian’s vocals are stellar. Listening to it from my generation, it’s amazing to hear Brian basically invent shoegazing .

Whatever he was trying to achieve, Brian accomplished it and then some.

Right on, Billy. This was the song that made me fall in love with their music in 2002.
Logged

Senator Blutarsky
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 90



View Profile
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2018, 05:14:15 AM »

Certainly an anomaly which was unfortunate.

That and Cabinessence are in my top 5 for BB songs.
Logged
rab2591
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4802


"My God. It's full of stars."


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2018, 05:35:23 AM »

The bridge is one of my favorite parts!

Gah, I wish I could love it! At 1:36-1:41 (where the “dit dit” vocals start) there’s just something that doesn’t sound right to my ears. Then again, there’s a part in the chorus of ‘Private Life of Bill and Sue” that I think is sung off-key that no one else hears, so I’m sure it’s my ears not translating the sound correctly.
Logged

Bill Tobelman's SMiLE site

Gotta keep those a-lovin good vibrations a-happenin.
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8008



View Profile WWW
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2018, 06:18:18 AM »

It may be blasphemy, but while I do love the swimmy, echoey, ethereal production/mix on "All I Wanna Do", I'd also love to hear a bone-dry (or, well, dryer anyway) remix of the song to let the song itself (an Mike's lead) also come to the fore unfettered by that big wet production sound on the original mix.
Logged

THE BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE IS ON FACEBOOK!!! http://www.facebook.com/beachboysopinion - Check out the original "BEACH BOYS OPINION PAGE" Blog - http://beachboysopinion.blogspot.com/
Jon Stebbins
Honored Guest
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2618


View Profile
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2018, 07:57:38 AM »

I don't see this song as Psychedelic but more of a Sunshine Pop song with tons of delay and a crunchy keyboard texture. Things on Smile, Smiley Smile, 20/20 and even GV's have more of a classic Psych vibe than All I Wanna Do. It is closer to what the Turtles were doing but with an added production gauze that makes it trippier than the composition really is. Take all that away and Mikes vocal is pretty straight, the song pretty simple. Give Carl credit for pulling together an interesting mix that takes it to an artistic level that is unique in the Beach Boys canon.
Logged
c-man
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4262


View Profile WWW
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2018, 08:42:38 AM »

I didn't get the Sunflower album until 1978. I'd picked up the Warners Good Vibrations: Best Of The Beach Boys compilation LP the year before, so I knew "Add Some Music", but otherwise all the Sunflower songs were knew to me - with one possible exception, that being "All I Wanna Do". I could SWEAR I'd heard that one being played at the local roller skating rink at least a couple of times in the previous three or four years. That may sound absurd, but I know for a fact that one or two of the local AM radio DJs in my small (population 45,000) Nebraska hometown were MAJOR Beach Boys fans. As evidence, I site the fact that "Darlin'", "Add Some Music", "Everyone's In Love With You", "Back Home" and "Just Once In My Life" got some intermittent airplay in the years '76-78 (don't ya just miss the days when jocks could slip in some records they really loved, rather than sticking to a corporate playlist)? AND, one of them scored a telephone interview with Bruce in the summer of '81, spreading it out over 5 installments of his weekday morning show one week. PLUS, when I got the Pet Sounds, 20/20 and Friends albums, also in '78, I recognized the instrumentals "Pet Sounds", "Let's Go Away For Awhile", "Nearest Faraway Place", and "Passing By" as selections used to fill the space immediately before the top of the hour, when the news would start, so as not to rudely interrupt a vocal song before switching to the news (again, those days are long gone, now that everything is programmed down to the last second). SO, I'm convinced that one of these Beach Boys fanatic air jocks must've been moonlighting as DJ at the local skating rink, and slipped "All I Wanna Do" in once and awhile! Isn't that cool?
Logged
Chocolate Shake Man
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2837


View Profile
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2018, 09:04:00 AM »

I listened to sitar version, it's better in the way it's less "dirge" like than the Sunflower. But it's not very interesting w/o vocs, way too distinct drums & Eastern vibe isn't anything special. Sitar doesn't even sound very Eastern, it's not quite yet authentic.
This is one of the things I noticed about '68 sets. I've heard of this sitar version long before the actual release of the song, and I expected something that sounds like sitar in Beatles' "Gettin' Better", or even "Carnival of Sound" album by Jan & Dean.

I don't know about Carnival of Sound, but I don't think there is a sitar on Getting Better. There's definitely a tamboura, which was discussed in this thread:

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,26270.0.html

Logged
c-man
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4262


View Profile WWW
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2018, 09:12:14 AM »

I listened to sitar version, it's better in the way it's less "dirge" like than the Sunflower. But it's not very interesting w/o vocs, way too distinct drums & Eastern vibe isn't anything special. Sitar doesn't even sound very Eastern, it's not quite yet authentic.
This is one of the things I noticed about '68 sets. I've heard of this sitar version long before the actual release of the song, and I expected something that sounds like sitar in Beatles' "Gettin' Better", or even "Carnival of Sound" album by Jan & Dean.

I don't know about Carnival of Sound, but I don't think there is a sitar on Getting Better. There's definitely a tamboura, which was discussed in this thread:

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,26270.0.html



Yes - according to the book which comes with the big Sgt. Pepperdeluxe 50th Anniversary doorstop box set, the only sitar on Pepper is on "Within You Without You". However, the tamboura appears on both "Lucy In The Sky" and "Getting Better", and is quite audible on each.
Logged
CenturyDeprived
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4684



View Profile
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2018, 09:49:24 AM »

I didn't get the Sunflower album until 1978. I'd picked up the Warners Good Vibrations: Best Of The Beach Boys compilation LP the year before, so I knew "Add Some Music", but otherwise all the Sunflower songs were knew to me - with one possible exception, that being "All I Wanna Do". I could SWEAR I'd heard that one being played at the local roller skating rink at least a couple of times in the previous three or four years. That may sound absurd, but I know for a fact that one or two of the local AM radio DJs in my small (population 45,000) Nebraska hometown were MAJOR Beach Boys fans. As evidence, I site the fact that "Darlin'", "Add Some Music", "Everyone's In Love With You", "Back Home" and "Just Once In My Life" got some intermittent airplay in the years '76-78 (don't ya just miss the days when jocks could slip in some records they really loved, rather than sticking to a corporate playlist)? AND, one of them scored a telephone interview with Bruce in the summer of '81, spreading it out over 5 installments of his weekday morning show one week. PLUS, when I got the Pet Sounds, 20/20 and Friends albums, also in '78, I recognized the instrumentals "Pet Sounds", "Let's Go Away For Awhile", "Nearest Faraway Place", and "Passing By" as selections used to fill the space immediately before the top of the hour, when the news would start, so as not to rudely interrupt a vocal song before switching to the news (again, those days are long gone, now that everything is programmed down to the last second). SO, I'm convinced that one of these Beach Boys fanatic air jocks must've been moonlighting as DJ at the local skating rink, and slipped "All I Wanna Do" in once and awhile! Isn't that cool?

That is SUPER cool!
Logged
CenturyDeprived
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4684



View Profile
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2018, 09:54:43 AM »

I don't see this song as Psychedelic but more of a Sunshine Pop song with tons of delay and a crunchy keyboard texture. Things on Smile, Smiley Smile, 20/20 and even GV's have more of a classic Psych vibe than All I Wanna Do. It is closer to what the Turtles were doing but with an added production gauze that makes it trippier than the composition really is. Take all that away and Mikes vocal is pretty straight, the song pretty simple. Give Carl credit for pulling together an interesting mix that takes it to an artistic level that is unique in the Beach Boys canon.

Yes, Jon, I think it's really largely about the sonic trippy textures as well as the mix. I adore the sound of how near the end of the fadeout, the lyrics "my moon and the stars shine nightly" start to get out of sync from the song (I see this as a trippy artistic decision, although I suppose it's possible it was just a goof that sounds cool). I guess it's more just very interesting sonic textures and a mixing/production gauze that is fascinating.

It seems there's a whole generation of musicians who are gradually growing to see this song as a forerunner to modern psychedelic bands like My Bloody Valentine, Tame Impala, Slowdive, etc, and I definitely see a through-line too. It's unbelievavbly modern-sounding in certain ways, and it's particularly peculiar/baffling that The BBs never ever did another song that remotely sounds like it, in my opinion.

It's like they just reached into the future and gifted the world with a forerunner to a modern sound for one brief moment, then went back to 1969 and kept making music that sounded totally different from it.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 09:56:59 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
Don Malcolm
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 785



View Profile
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2018, 09:55:40 AM »

Want to hastily point out that this song is hardly underrated by the voters at SS (as captured some years back)--it ranked second only to "This Whole World" in the best-songs-on-album polling. And the composite rankings culled from all albums puts it in the top 25 all-time. [EDIT: And it ranks even higher in the recent poll efforts, coming in at #7.]

Did Steve Desper go into any detail about this song in his first edition of Recording the Beach Boys? That might shed some light on exactly how the delay was applied, which could have been localized and balanced in the mix rather than something applied as a "total overlay" onto the tracks as a whole. There's got be a whole lotta Leslie in this somewhere...as we know, there was a LOT of sound experimentation and recording tricks going on in this time frame. It would be great if Steve would consider coming back on here and take a bow for the amazing work here, while possibly giving us a few more details about the recording session.

« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 09:57:17 AM by Don Malcolm » Logged
CenturyDeprived
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4684



View Profile
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2018, 09:58:15 AM »

Want to hastily point out that this song is hardly underrated by the voters at SS (as captured some years back)--it ranked second only to "This Whole World" in the best-songs-on-album polling. And the composite rankings culled from all albums puts it in the top 25 all-time. [EDIT: And it ranks even higher in the recent poll efforts, coming in at #7.]


True - I think that among BBs fan(atics), people who are really familiar with the catalog, this song often ranks high up. It's just underrated in terms of being just another one of countless amazing BBs songs that the general public has no idea of whatsoever, and of course the band (until Mike's recent handful of performances) has treated the song like it didn't exist either.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 09:59:09 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
The LEGENDARY OSD
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1681

luHv Estrangement Syndrome. It's a great thing!


View Profile
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2018, 09:59:01 AM »

Crazy enough, I originally thought the banjo at the end of Cabinessence was also a sitar for the longest time
Ha! So did I!  Shocked
Logged

myKe luHv, the most hated, embarrassing clown the world of music has ever witnessed.
c-man
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4262


View Profile WWW
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2018, 10:06:56 AM »

Want to hastily point out that this song is hardly underrated by the voters at SS (as captured some years back)--it ranked second only to "This Whole World" in the best-songs-on-album polling. And the composite rankings culled from all albums puts it in the top 25 all-time. [EDIT: And it ranks even higher in the recent poll efforts, coming in at #7.]

Did Steve Desper go into any detail about this song in his first edition of Recording the Beach Boys? That might shed some light on exactly how the delay was applied, which could have been localized and balanced in the mix rather than something applied as a "total overlay" onto the tracks as a whole. There's got be a whole lotta Leslie in this somewhere...as we know, there was a LOT of sound experimentation and recording tricks going on in this time frame. It would be great if Steve would consider coming back on here and take a bow for the amazing work here, while possibly giving us a few more details about the recording session.



Oh, yeah...he goes into this in a great bit of detail in his book.

FYI, from the AFM contract, the names on the original March 19, 1969 Gold Star tracking date for "All I Wanna Do" are as follows:

Carl Wilson (leader)
Jon Parks (contractor)
Hal Blaine (drums)
Mike Melvoin (keyboard)
Jimmy Bond (bass)
Al Casey (guitar)
Gene Estes (percussion)
Logged
gfx
Pages: [1] 2 3 Go Up Print 
gfx
Jump to:  
gfx
Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Page created in 0.171 seconds with 21 queries.
Helios Multi design by Bloc
gfx
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!