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Author Topic: 20/20 Strings  (Read 1411 times)
Seagull Merlin
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« on: January 06, 2019, 01:10:46 PM »

Not sure if this has ever been discussed before, but I've been noticing while listening to songs off of 20/20 lately that a few of them have ominous sounding strings (swelling?) a good example of this being the end of bluebirds over the mountain. Be With Me has them as well and so does Time To Get Alone, was this being used as a link between he tracks on the album or was it just strictly because they liked how they sounded?
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c-man
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2019, 01:18:40 PM »

Not sure if this has ever been discussed before, but I've been noticing while listening to songs off of 20/20 lately that a few of them have ominous sounding strings (swelling?) a good example of this being the end of bluebirds over the mountain. Be With Me has them as well and so does Time To Get Alone, was this being used as a link between he tracks on the album or was it just strictly because they liked how they sounded?

Well, the "Time To Get Alone" strings were recorded in '67, along with the rest of the backing track, but the strings for "Bluebirds", "Be With Me", and "Nearest Faraway Place" were added in New York City during the 20/20, sessions, and were arranged and conducted by Van McCoy (later famous for "The Hustle"), based on concepts from the band members themselves. So perhaps Bruce and Dennis picked up on Brian's use of the "swell" in "TTGA" and decided to have McCoy include that in the string arrangements for those other three songs, so that the album would have some kind of textural consistency.
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Seagull Merlin
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 01:24:48 PM »

Thanks for the information C-Man! That would be interesting if they had of done it to tie things together on the album
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2019, 06:25:51 PM »

Not sure if this has ever been discussed before, but I've been noticing while listening to songs off of 20/20 lately that a few of them have ominous sounding strings (swelling?) a good example of this being the end of bluebirds over the mountain. Be With Me has them as well and so does Time To Get Alone, was this being used as a link between he tracks on the album or was it just strictly because they liked how they sounded?

Well, the "Time To Get Alone" strings were recorded in '67, along with the rest of the backing track, but the strings for "Bluebirds", "Be With Me", and "Nearest Faraway Place" were added in New York City during the 20/20, sessions, and were arranged and conducted by Van McCoy (later famous for "The Hustle"), based on concepts from the band members themselves. So perhaps Bruce and Dennis picked up on Brian's use of the "swell" in "TTGA" and decided to have McCoy include that in the string arrangements for those other three songs, so that the album would have some kind of textural consistency.


Interesting.  Being as they were added in New York City, is the presumption that no BBs band members were present, including the writers of these songs, at the time that the strings were recorded and arranged?   i'm picturing a scenario where Dennis gets the version with strings back a week later  and has a "wow" moment when he first hears them, having been recorded without him present. That would seem a bit weird, but maybe that was not atypical for the time?
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c-man
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2019, 07:16:52 PM »

Not sure if this has ever been discussed before, but I've been noticing while listening to songs off of 20/20 lately that a few of them have ominous sounding strings (swelling?) a good example of this being the end of bluebirds over the mountain. Be With Me has them as well and so does Time To Get Alone, was this being used as a link between he tracks on the album or was it just strictly because they liked how they sounded?

Well, the "Time To Get Alone" strings were recorded in '67, along with the rest of the backing track, but the strings for "Bluebirds", "Be With Me", and "Nearest Faraway Place" were added in New York City during the 20/20, sessions, and were arranged and conducted by Van McCoy (later famous for "The Hustle"), based on concepts from the band members themselves. So perhaps Bruce and Dennis picked up on Brian's use of the "swell" in "TTGA" and decided to have McCoy include that in the string arrangements for those other three songs, so that the album would have some kind of textural consistency.


Interesting.  Being as they were added in New York City, is the presumption that no BBs band members were present, including the writers of these songs, at the time that the strings were recorded and arranged?   i'm picturing a scenario where Dennis gets the version with strings back a week later  and has a "wow" moment when he first hears them, having been recorded without him present. That would seem a bit weird, but maybe that was not atypical for the time?

The Beach Boys (except for Brian) WERE all present for the NYC sessions in the fall of '68 - as a matter of fact, that's where they did the vocals for "Bluebirds". It was a four-day stop in the midst of an east coast tour.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2019, 07:29:05 PM »

Not sure if this has ever been discussed before, but I've been noticing while listening to songs off of 20/20 lately that a few of them have ominous sounding strings (swelling?) a good example of this being the end of bluebirds over the mountain. Be With Me has them as well and so does Time To Get Alone, was this being used as a link between he tracks on the album or was it just strictly because they liked how they sounded?

Well, the "Time To Get Alone" strings were recorded in '67, along with the rest of the backing track, but the strings for "Bluebirds", "Be With Me", and "Nearest Faraway Place" were added in New York City during the 20/20, sessions, and were arranged and conducted by Van McCoy (later famous for "The Hustle"), based on concepts from the band members themselves. So perhaps Bruce and Dennis picked up on Brian's use of the "swell" in "TTGA" and decided to have McCoy include that in the string arrangements for those other three songs, so that the album would have some kind of textural consistency.


Interesting.  Being as they were added in New York City, is the presumption that no BBs band members were present, including the writers of these songs, at the time that the strings were recorded and arranged?   i'm picturing a scenario where Dennis gets the version with strings back a week later  and has a "wow" moment when he first hears them, having been recorded without him present. That would seem a bit weird, but maybe that was not atypical for the time?

The Beach Boys (except for Brian) WERE all present for the NYC sessions in the fall of '68 - as a matter of fact, that's where they did the vocals for "Bluebirds". It was a four-day stop in the midst of an east coast tour.

Thanks, c-man! Makes more sense.  Under the mistaken scenario I was thinking about, it would've had Denny sort of "sending away for" strings across the country, as though it was an item in some mail order catalog  LOL
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wjcrerar
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2019, 06:00:52 AM »

Speaking of Brian, do we know which 20/20 sessions (post-CWTL in July) he was actually there for?
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c-man
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2019, 06:25:54 AM »

Speaking of Brian, do we know which 20/20 sessions (post-CWTL in July) he was actually there for?


I really think just "Cotton Fields" and vocals on "Time To Get Alone" and "Never Learn Not To Love".  Capitol paperwork also indicated that vocals weren't added to "I Went To Sleep" until the fall - not sure if I believe that, but it's possible.
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wjcrerar
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2019, 06:31:52 AM »

Speaking of Brian, do we know which 20/20 sessions (post-CWTL in July) he was actually there for?


I really think just "Cotton Fields" and vocals on "Time To Get Alone" and "Never Learn Not To Love".  Capitol paperwork also indicated that vocals weren't added to "I Went To Sleep" until the fall - not sure if I believe that, but it's possible.

Damn, that's depressing Sad  What about We're Together Again in September? I know he's on the backing vocals, just wasn't sure who produced that one since there are a few sessions.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2019, 10:06:12 AM »

Speaking of Brian, do we know which 20/20 sessions (post-CWTL in July) he was actually there for?


I really think just "Cotton Fields" and vocals on "Time To Get Alone" and "Never Learn Not To Love".  Capitol paperwork also indicated that vocals weren't added to "I Went To Sleep" until the fall - not sure if I believe that, but it's possible.

Is it safe to assume that there may have been some uncredited Brian co-producing/vocal arranging on "Never Learn Not To Love", similar to the Denny songs on Friends?
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c-man
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 10:47:20 AM »

Speaking of Brian, do we know which 20/20 sessions (post-CWTL in July) he was actually there for?


I really think just "Cotton Fields" and vocals on "Time To Get Alone" and "Never Learn Not To Love".  Capitol paperwork also indicated that vocals weren't added to "I Went To Sleep" until the fall - not sure if I believe that, but it's possible.

Is it safe to assume that there may have been some uncredited Brian co-producing/vocal arranging on "Never Learn Not To Love", similar to the Denny songs on Friends?

Not co-producing, but perhaps vocal arranging.
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c-man
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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2019, 10:49:42 AM »

Speaking of Brian, do we know which 20/20 sessions (post-CWTL in July) he was actually there for?


I really think just "Cotton Fields" and vocals on "Time To Get Alone" and "Never Learn Not To Love".  Capitol paperwork also indicated that vocals weren't added to "I Went To Sleep" until the fall - not sure if I believe that, but it's possible.

Damn, that's depressing Sad  What about We're Together Again in September? I know he's on the backing vocals, just wasn't sure who produced that one since there are a few sessions.

Apparently Murry.
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wjcrerar
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2019, 11:42:48 AM »

Speaking of Brian, do we know which 20/20 sessions (post-CWTL in July) he was actually there for?


I really think just "Cotton Fields" and vocals on "Time To Get Alone" and "Never Learn Not To Love".  Capitol paperwork also indicated that vocals weren't added to "I Went To Sleep" until the fall - not sure if I believe that, but it's possible.

Damn, that's depressing Sad  What about We're Together Again in September? I know he's on the backing vocals, just wasn't sure who produced that one since there are a few sessions.

Apparently Murry.


God, the Beach Boys are so weird. I never would've guessed that in a million years.
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Custom Machine
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2019, 11:53:22 AM »

Is it known exactly when Brian was institutionalized in 1968 and for how long? Was it between the Friends and 20/20 sessions? For the Friends sessions, is it known if Murry volunteered his services or it Brian specifically asked him to assist. If Murry produced WTA, how involved was he in the 20/20 sessions?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 12:14:50 PM by Custom Machine » Logged
SBonilla
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2019, 02:16:08 PM »

Not sure if this has ever been discussed before, but I've been noticing while listening to songs off of 20/20 lately that a few of them have ominous sounding strings (swelling?) a good example of this being the end of bluebirds over the mountain. Be With Me has them as well and so does Time To Get Alone, was this being used as a link between he tracks on the album or was it just strictly because they liked how they sounded?

Well, the "Time To Get Alone" strings were recorded in '67, along with the rest of the backing track, but the strings for "Bluebirds", "Be With Me", and "Nearest Faraway Place" were added in New York City during the 20/20, sessions, and were arranged and conducted by Van McCoy (later famous for "The Hustle"), based on concepts from the band members themselves. So perhaps Bruce and Dennis picked up on Brian's use of the "swell" in "TTGA" and decided to have McCoy include that in the string arrangements for those other three songs, so that the album would have some kind of textural consistency.

Van McCoy was the bomb, as was another arranger/composer/producer the Beach Boys employed at around this time, Gene Page.
As for string swells and such, they might have asked him to sprinkle a little Jimmie Haskell fairy dust on the arrangements.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 02:21:50 PM by SBonilla » Logged
c-man
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2019, 02:28:38 PM »

Not sure if this has ever been discussed before, but I've been noticing while listening to songs off of 20/20 lately that a few of them have ominous sounding strings (swelling?) a good example of this being the end of bluebirds over the mountain. Be With Me has them as well and so does Time To Get Alone, was this being used as a link between he tracks on the album or was it just strictly because they liked how they sounded?

Well, the "Time To Get Alone" strings were recorded in '67, along with the rest of the backing track, but the strings for "Bluebirds", "Be With Me", and "Nearest Faraway Place" were added in New York City during the 20/20, sessions, and were arranged and conducted by Van McCoy (later famous for "The Hustle"), based on concepts from the band members themselves. So perhaps Bruce and Dennis picked up on Brian's use of the "swell" in "TTGA" and decided to have McCoy include that in the string arrangements for those other three songs, so that the album would have some kind of textural consistency.



Van McCoy was the bomb, as was another arranger/composer/producer the Beach Boys employed at around this time, Gene Page.
As for string swells and such, they might have asked him to sprinkle a little Jimmie Haskell fairy dust on the arrangements.


Is it known when they worked with Gene Page, or on which titles?  I know Roger Neumann helped out with a lot of their horn arrangements in the late '60s...
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c-man
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2019, 02:30:01 PM »

Is it known exactly when Brian was institutionalized in 1968 and for how long? Was it between the Friends and 20/20 sessions? For the Friends sessions, is it known if Murry volunteered his services or it Brian specifically asked him to assist. If Murry produced WTA, how involved was he in the 20/20 sessions?

I believe it was in the summer of '68, but I've never been able to track down the dates or even months. And there doesn't seem to be any indication that Murry was involved with 20/20.
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SBonilla
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2019, 02:49:59 PM »

Not sure if this has ever been discussed before, but I've been noticing while listening to songs off of 20/20 lately that a few of them have ominous sounding strings (swelling?) a good example of this being the end of bluebirds over the mountain. Be With Me has them as well and so does Time To Get Alone, was this being used as a link between he tracks on the album or was it just strictly because they liked how they sounded?

Well, the "Time To Get Alone" strings were recorded in '67, along with the rest of the backing track, but the strings for "Bluebirds", "Be With Me", and "Nearest Faraway Place" were added in New York City during the 20/20, sessions, and were arranged and conducted by Van McCoy (later famous for "The Hustle"), based on concepts from the band members themselves. So perhaps Bruce and Dennis picked up on Brian's use of the "swell" in "TTGA" and decided to have McCoy include that in the string arrangements for those other three songs, so that the album would have some kind of textural consistency.



Van McCoy was the bomb, as was another arranger/composer/producer the Beach Boys employed at around this time, Gene Page.
As for string swells and such, they might have asked him to sprinkle a little Jimmie Haskell fairy dust on the arrangements.


Is it known when they worked with Gene Page, or on which titles?  I know Roger Neumann helped out with a lot of their horn arrangements in the late '60s...
Well, I read this a long time ago, and I can't remember where. I want to say that one of the songs associated with him was Be With Me. Maybe Gene's 'credits' were misattributed. 

« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 02:57:23 PM by SBonilla » Logged
CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2019, 05:26:18 PM »

Is it known exactly when Brian was institutionalized in 1968 and for how long? Was it between the Friends and 20/20 sessions? For the Friends sessions, is it known if Murry volunteered his services or it Brian specifically asked him to assist. If Murry produced WTA, how involved was he in the 20/20 sessions?

I believe it was in the summer of '68, but I've never been able to track down the dates or even months. And there doesn't seem to be any indication that Murry was involved with 20/20.

It's so odd that with all of Murry's involvement around this time, on what now appears to be a significant amount of songs, he never once got an actual credit as Murry Wilson, and the one credit he was afforded (Breakaway) had a pseudonym.

I wonder if that was due to Murry not wanting (?) a credit, the band being embarrassed to put Murry's name on there considering the public falling out they had with him a few years prior (which also begs the question, how publicly known was Murry's firing, etc during this time? I'm Bugged at My Old Man could give people a clue, but I feel like few people had more knowledge than what the lyrics might have made them think was just a funny goof of a song), or some other reason(s).

And I wonder what Mike thought of all this as he silently grumbled about being denied credits himself for years. Really weird.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 05:30:46 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
SmileyBrian67
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2019, 05:43:30 PM »

Who cooked up the idea to wear the white suits they wore during friends and 2020? Sometimes they looked nice and sometimes they looked awful
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2019, 10:17:53 PM »

Who cooked up the idea to wear the white suits they wore during friends and 2020? Sometimes they looked nice and sometimes they looked awful

 Those white suits must have stained ridiculously easily too.  I wonder if they had a standby dry cleaner on the payroll
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