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673325 Posts in 27139 Topics by 3992 Members - Latest Member: Ray Shackleford January 19, 2022, 11:43:55 AM
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Author Topic: Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (2019 Brent Wilson Documentary)  (Read 74840 times)
rab2591
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« Reply #375 on: December 15, 2021, 11:19:57 AM »

Ok, I was being a bit optimistic, I know. However, I specified no EXTERNAL influences. By "external" I mean those who are usually at odds with Brian's creativity, and I made a rather extensive list of them. But specifically included, as "internal", Darian, the rest of Brian's band, Al and Blondie. People who have repeatedly proved that they are NOT at odd with Brian's creativity. So no vacuum.

I don't think that Darian, the band, Al (at least now) and Blondie would dream of ever pestering Brian to be "commercial". I wish I could say the same of wives, producers, a couple ex-bandmates, and most fans. We owe that "At My Piano" gem to the unexpected intervention of an entity where somebody actually has some grasp of music (Decca).

I was, voluntarily, optimistic. But in any case I'll have always that doubt... what if? You mentioned Love You. I waited for something like that for more than 40 years. And I know Brian would never have completed Love You without Carl. But for that, there would be Darian. "At My Piano" would never have been completed, either, without him. Nor SMiLE.

I don't think for a second that Melinda or Joe Thomas are at odds with Brian's creativity. Melinda has been nothing but supportive of Brian's creativity (and simultaneously also supportive of Brian's drive for success). Joe Thomas, while I don't appreciate his production techniques, has been the only other collaborator, besides Paley, who has gotten Brian to write original material consistently in the last few decades. And while I completely understand any negativity regarding the production on Imagination, it has been stated numerous times by a person who actually knows, that NPP was mostly a Brian Wilson production. So while JT had his wrestler hands on the project, Brian was the main guy in the studio calling the shots. Brian was creatively fueled like a Saturn-V before liftoff for NPP. He was on the phone with Kacey Musgraves talking about lyrics, he was coming up with different ideas, leading the band, coming up with harmonies. Guitarfool has done some great breakdowns of some of the songs on NPP - it is clearly Brian going all-out.

As for the "externals" pestering Brian to "go commercial" - Brian has flat-out stated numerous times in recent years that he wants a #1 hit. So Brian himself knows the importance of going commercial. He's not going to get a #1 if all he does is channel his inner Love You, playing on some fart-synths singing about a Lay-Z-Boy recliner chair. He knows this, which is why he worked with young talent on NPP. If Brian didn't want to do these things he would just refuse to show up. He wouldn't be on the phone with a country artist conversing about lyrics. If Brian didn't want to go commercial he wouldn't have spent hours in a recording studio with Nate Ruess trying to get Nate's lead perfect. And after all of Brian's hard work and time in the studio, what happened? His fans sh*t all over the record. Hell, they lambasted the thing when just 15 seconds of it had been released on Facebook.

I think at some point, after Brian leaves this world for the next, a lot of fans are going to regret spending so much time wishing Brian was someone else (and wishing Brian was recording something else), when they could've just appreciated the gifts he was giving them while he was here. I've said it numerous times before, I don't care if people don't like everything the man does, heck I don't like everything the man has done. But I think fans could give Brian a lot more credit for what he actually does in the studio. And honestly, I think Brian has the best support around him that he could have right now. He's got a loving family, a loving band. I just wish Brian's fanbase were as kind to him as he is to them.
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MyDrKnowsItKeepsMeCalm
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« Reply #376 on: December 15, 2021, 12:26:38 PM »

...it has been stated numerous times by a person who actually knows, that NPP was mostly a Brian Wilson production. So while JT had his wrestler hands on the project, Brian was the main guy in the studio calling the shots. Brian was creatively fueled like a Saturn-V before liftoff for NPP. He was on the phone with Kacey Musgraves talking about lyrics, he was coming up with different ideas, leading the band, coming up with harmonies. Guitarfool has done some great breakdowns of some of the songs on NPP - it is clearly Brian going all-out.

As for the "externals" pestering Brian to "go commercial" - Brian has flat-out stated numerous times in recent years that he wants a #1 hit. So Brian himself knows the importance of going commercial. He's not going to get a #1 if all he does is channel his inner Love You, playing on some fart-synths singing about a Lay-Z-Boy recliner chair. He knows this, which is why he worked with young talent on NPP. If Brian didn't want to do these things he would just refuse to show up. He wouldn't be on the phone with a country artist conversing about lyrics. If Brian didn't want to go commercial he wouldn't have spent hours in a recording studio with Nate Ruess trying to get Nate's lead perfect. And after all of Brian's hard work and time in the studio, what happened? His fans sh*t all over the record. Hell, they lambasted the thing when just 15 seconds of it had been released on Facebook.

I was just thinking of No Pier Pressure and Nate Ruess's interviews re working with Brian, so it's perfect that you brought that in here. I understand why NPP isn't everyone's cup of tea, but 1) I love it and think it has stood the test of time, and 2) it is 100% born of the described ideal Brian process (or as close to that as he's ever realistically going to get).

The Nate Ruess descriptions of Brian finetuning his NPP vocal parts on the fly track nicely with the way Brian is (literally) calling the shots re arrangements in this Honeycomb clip.

« Last Edit: December 15, 2021, 12:30:08 PM by MyDrKnowsItKeepsMeCalm » Logged
starry1
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« Reply #377 on: December 15, 2021, 04:41:39 PM »

Ok, I have really nothing to add and maybe I already said too much. Rereading my posts, I realise I was sounding like someone from "that other forum". I'll be content with aknowledging that we (partly) disagree, and I hope no hard feelings. Sure not from me! Smiley
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« Reply #378 on: December 15, 2021, 05:23:38 PM »

not to mention that the album wouldnít have been completed without his brother stepping in to finish the job.

This is a huge myth that I'd like to see phased out eventually. Carl didn't step in to finish the job - he helped mix the record. What he was given to mix was a completed album, on 24 tracks instead of 2. All the compositions, lyrics, track arrangements, vocal arrangements, performances, etc. were produced by Brian. That's 99% or the work. Carl was in charge of whether that piano goes in the left or the right ear, or whether the backing vocals should be louder than the saxes in this section, etc.

In terms of Landy's influence... yes, Landy pushed Brian to write the songs, and a good half of the album may not have been written if Brian wasn't pushed. But the music still all came from Brian completely.
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rab2591
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« Reply #379 on: December 15, 2021, 05:42:56 PM »

Thanks, Sloop! Yeah I think thatís something that Iíve heard so many times that Iím just used to thinking it. But yeah, I totally get that all the songs were completed (also agree that the music was all Brianís).

And Starry, no hard feelings from me either. I think I have a knee-jerk reaction to criticism because Iíve heard so much of it through the years. I respect your opinion, and Iím just glad that there are others who share a love for this band and for Brianís work.
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« Reply #380 on: January 14, 2022, 07:29:15 PM »

My hope is that when LONG PROMISED ROAD goes to DVD/blu-ray, we'll see some other (judiciously edited) snippets that didn't make the final version. Brent Wilson alluded to a lot of material that was cut to get the film down to a manageable length; he didn't suggest that there was material that got dropped because it was either lurid or incendiary (I doubt Jason Fine would ever ask Brian on-camera about what he remembers about Charles Manson, for example--and we aren't looking for material with actual or implied pushback on Mike, since we want to think that there might somehow be one more Beach Boys project that involved everyone).

I think Brent created a tone that ultimately fell into a register that had to be low-key, that wound up emphasizing Brian's melancholy--and while that's certainly valid up to a point, I've got to think that there are some livelier moments that were cut because they were simply too hard to fit into the overall flow...they may have stood out too much in the prevailing context of the film. A few more snippets that cover a wider emotional range would be welcome--and possibly some footage of Brian working on the piano album (which I assume exists in some form or another).
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CAFeelin89
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« Reply #381 on: January 16, 2022, 09:19:41 PM »

I have the blu-ray preordered from Walmart, which is apparently coming out on Tuesday. I haven't seen any official press release for it yet, though.
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« Reply #382 on: January 16, 2022, 09:40:09 PM »

Couple more clips from the doc.

The writing process
https://youtu.be/Lv1p5qymJ3U

Meeting Elton John (and others)
https://youtu.be/LYJYNw24iPI
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