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Author Topic: Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (2019 Brent Wilson Documentary)  (Read 13647 times)
NateRuvin
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« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2019, 08:42:36 AM »

My take on the autotune thing is that, in BW's case, manual pitch correction, as opposed to an autotune plugin is being used. This allows the engineer to change individual notes that would otherwise stand out. As an engineer who uses both (automatic) autotune and (manual) pitch correction daily, I can hear the latter being used on BW's material as far back as the live Pet Sounds album, maybe even Imagination. When the notes are adjusted they get this tinny/robotic sound that stands out to the trained ear, and when it's "cranked up to 11" or applied as an automatic plugin, even the untrained ear can recognize how fake it sounds (UTL and C50 cd). The manual pitch correction was used very tastefully throughout BW's career. There aren't many moment from his pre-2012 studio catalog where the sound of the pitch correction takes me out of the music... I of course notice the little spots but it isn't distracting. Then we get to TWGMTR and NPP, where it sounds like, instead of using the pitch correction to just fix the bad notes, it was used to make all the notes "perfect". (Correcting all the notes via pitch correction will still sound more realistic than autotune, which can increase the speed by which you transition from note to note, giving the Cher effect) NPP sounds like the engineers spent hours making each note in key. I'm sure BW approves of this, but it does take out a certain humanity the voice has. This Beautiful Day, The Right Time, and One Kind Of Love are all great performances, yet they sound kind of off due to the pitch correction being used excessively.

Meanwhile, with Mike's crew it seems like someone think it's a good idea to put the automatic autotune plugin at the fastest it can possibly operate, giving every note Mike sings a completely robotic quality. Fortunately, it was slightly more subtle on Reason For The Season. the Scott Totten produced tracks actually sound pitch corrected and not autotuned... The Michael Lloyd produced, Little Saint Nick, is the main offender on RFTS. Definitely using the "cranked to 11" style that we saw on UTL... I actually wouldn't be surprised if this version of Little Saint Nick was recorded during the same sessions as Disc 2 of UTL... Same musicians playing and same overall sound.



Anyway , I couldn't be more excited for the documentary. The concept of feeling like getting to hang out with Brian is so exciting. I was also initially confused by the title, but once I heard that BW recorded his own version, I returned to feeling pure excitement.
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« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2019, 09:11:39 AM »

Has the soundtrack already been confirmed for the doc? I'm curious if they include any of the tracks from unreleased BW recordings(Andy Paley Sessions, "Bedroom Tapes" and TLOS demos, for instance)

Also, I'd love to hear Brian's tackle on Long Promised Road (a song I really love), and I hope they get rid of obvious autotune as much as possible.

I think the only times Brian's vocals have been overly-scrutinized/criticized around the last decade is when Joe Thomas is involved with the music. Whereas TLOS, Gershwin, Disney, 'One Kind Of Love', have been crowning moments in Brian's solo career as far as vocals are concerned. I don't know what this soundtrack holds for us, but I have high hopes the vocals will be on-point.

Btw, this may just be a case of semantics. But I don't think I've ever heard auto-tune on Brian's records. If there is pitch-correction it sounds like it's manually done on a note-by-note basis per the mixer's judgement. Case in point, Mike's vocals on Unleash The Love sound like every note is being corrected (even if they don't need to be), which indicates a plug-in that is constantly on, automatically making pitch correction. (Not bringing up Mike to start a Mike discussion, but his music is literally the best example I can think of as the pitch-correction is beyond blatant).
I think, in hindsight, referring to autotune wasn't a good idea for me - What I meant is that I'd love to see him continue with the production on Run James Run - organic, more rock-oriented production that would surely fit LPD.
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« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2019, 10:41:55 AM »


‘The title of the movie comes from the Beach Boys' 1971 track “Long Promised Road,” which was written by Wilson's youngest brother Carl Wilson, and was re-recorded by Wilson for the new film.’



This is remarkable and amazing.

Firstly, it's the first time (I think?) that Brian is doing a studio cover of one of his brother's BBs songs.  So that's pretty significant in my book.

Carl's solo track "Heaven" was covered by Brian years ago (and a really good cover too), although I cannot recall how/if it ever got proper release? I know it was floating around online for awhile, but it deserved a better and more high profile release than what it got.

Just the fact that Brian is at the point emotionally where he's down to do that is a big step, because I assume that Brian probably avoided dabbling too much into this kind of territory at least in part due to it being too sad or emotionally difficult for him to tackle. Yes, songs like Forever were played at C50, and if memory serves Brian's band (with Al and David?) performed a Carl or Denny song or two on a few rare occasions live. But I imagine doing a studio cover cuts a bit deeper for him.

I tend to think that this is a step forward in the healing process for Brian in terms of confronting difficult emotional stuff in his life. One by one, Brian has dealt with stuff that has long festered, like finishing SMiLE, going public about the sordid details of the Landy era, etc. I'm stoked for Brian and I really can't wait to see the doc (and hear the cover, which hopefully will be an extra reason for more people to be more interested in this doc).
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« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2019, 11:25:01 AM »

Regarding pitch correction and other forms of vocal engineering work, I'd say there has been some level of electronic pitch/vocal stacking help happening since probably the BB '85 album, and then on to the '88 BW album and into the 90s. Varying degrees at varying points, depending on the era, the technology, the ethos of the production at hand, which engineers and producers were working on the project, etc.

Check out this thread from an engineer on "Orange Crate Art":

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/25857-brian-sandbox-wilson-tonite-show.html#post252354

On "Orange Crate Art", in addition to recording multiple takes and comping/punching-in (which is of course *not* a pitch-altering task and has been done for many, many years), they also ran his vocals through a synthesizer (folks on this board suggested a Fairlight or Synclavier was most likely) to correct the pitch on segments. They essentially used a pre-autotune, pre-DAW form of electronic/digital pitch correction all the way back then.

I'm thinking something similar was done to varying degrees on the BW '88 album and possibly the BB '85 album.

I think some form of pitch correction was used on later Brian projects, and prior to TWGMTR was done with skill and restraint and subtlety. I've always guessed some of those long, held notes on something like "Midnight's Another Day" had some digital help to hold those strong, high notes out so smoothly. Stuff like that. 
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« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2019, 11:33:49 AM »

Nate, thanks for the informative post!

Wata, I understand. I think "organic" is where we all want Brian to be. It's gotta be tough to have [fill in the blank] Records still wanting something that will sell to everyone, have all these influences, etc. Brian probably gets tugged in so many directions which is probably why he seems to disinterested in recording sometimes.

CD, couldn't agree more.

Is there a timeframe for when/how this will be released?
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« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2019, 11:38:28 AM »

Somewhat related to HeyJude's most recent post regarding the history of pitch-correction. But I always found the complaints about Brian manipulating his solo voice to be hilarious, because he did it on Pet Sounds of all records for 'Caroline, No' - Brian has always used crazy ways of manipulating instruments and vocals. I mean, if you listen closely to 'Caroline, No' you can definitely tell that something isn't right with his voice. But no one complains about that. Just an observation.
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« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2019, 11:45:52 AM »

Brian has used all sorts of techniques through the years. But I do think there's a difference between altering the speed of a recording (e.g. "Caroline, No", the single mix of "It's OK", etc.), and using a synthesizer or digital plug-in to take a flat or sharp note and "fix" it.

I'm not saying the latter is problematic, and I think many years ago the idea/debate regarding "authenticity" of the vocal was sort of dropped; it isn't really about that anymore. When it truly is done in a sort of spot-checking fashion, it's not obtrusive at all. But the deal where an entire vocal is run though intensive autotune from beginning to end (TWGMTR, C50 live albums, Mike's last two solo albums) is where it becomes grating, not even so much because it's a way to "cheat" at singing or anything; it just *sounds awful.* When a vocal starts sounding robotic, or sounds so synthetic that people debate whether it's being run through an old school vocoder, *that's* when it's problematic.
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« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2019, 11:56:06 AM »

Back to the documentary, while it'll likely never happen, it would be interesting to see the same team of Jason Fine and Brent Wilson do a Mike Love documentary next. I'm not trying to be funny; Jason Fine seemed to be able to strike up a good back and forth with Mike on his 2012 C50 article for Rolling Stone.

I recall Mike mentioning a few years back he wanted to do a documentary on himself and/or was looking into it, so I think a Mike-focused doc is possible, but I would imagine he'd use his own people.

Obviously, first and foremost, I'd like to see a "Beatles Anthology" style multi-part BB documentary covering everything.
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« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2019, 12:07:33 PM »

Somewhat related to HeyJude's most recent post regarding the history of pitch-correction. But I always found the complaints about Brian manipulating his solo voice to be hilarious, because he did it on Pet Sounds of all records for 'Caroline, No' - Brian has always used crazy ways of manipulating instruments and vocals. I mean, if you listen closely to 'Caroline, No' you can definitely tell that something isn't right with his voice. But no one complains about that. Just an observation.

Actually, I'll be the one guy to complain about the PS album version of Caroline, No! Haha.

Once I learned that Brian's voice was altered, and then I heard the original speed version on the PS box set, I immediately felt STRONGLY that the original speed version is by MILES the best version. You lose something in the process of not hearing Brian's voice as he actually sang the song. Brian's emotions and aching longing are compromised to some degree. He doesn't sound quite right, which is especially evident when you A/B the two versions.

Plus the speeding up of the vocals (and the whole song) was a Murry idea I believe. Not that it's impossible for Murry to have had a good idea or two that Brian may have actually agreed with, but my understanding is that it was to make Brian sound "younger" or something. So already it's a hare-brained idea that came from a lame "marketability" viewpoint, much like the viewpoint that latter-day Brian needs to be Autotuned to appeal to the youthful market who is accustomed to hearing Autotune.

Honestly, I love Brian, I support his music, but if some well-meaning fans on an internet forum can nudge him or his producer(s) into not using Autotune, or doing it TOTALLY transparently (it can be done!), then I'm all for that nudge. Just listen to Brian's mid 2000s "What Love Can Do", which is a super great song that unfortunately is slathered in Autotune to a point where it absolutely takes away from the song. Don't do it this time around, Bri! Please!
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« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2019, 12:47:57 PM »

Somewhat related to HeyJude's most recent post regarding the history of pitch-correction. But I always found the complaints about Brian manipulating his solo voice to be hilarious, because he did it on Pet Sounds of all records for 'Caroline, No' - Brian has always used crazy ways of manipulating instruments and vocals. I mean, if you listen closely to 'Caroline, No' you can definitely tell that something isn't right with his voice. But no one complains about that. Just an observation.

Actually, I'll be the one guy to complain about the PS album version of Caroline, No! Haha.

Once I learned that Brian's voice was altered, and then I heard the original speed version on the PS box set, I immediately felt STRONGLY that the original speed version is by MILES the best version. You lose something in the process of not hearing Brian's voice as he actually sang the song. Brian's emotions and aching longing are compromised to some degree. He doesn't sound quite right, which is especially evident when you A/B the two versions.

Plus the speeding up of the vocals (and the whole song) was a Murry idea I believe. Not that it's impossible for Murry to have had a good idea or two that Brian may have actually agreed with, but my understanding is that it was to make Brian sound "younger" or something. So already it's a hare-brained idea that came from a lame "marketability" viewpoint, much like the viewpoint that latter-day Brian needs to be Autotuned to appeal to the youthful market who is accustomed to hearing Autotune.

Honestly, I love Brian, I support his music, but if some well-meaning fans on an internet forum can nudge him or his producer(s) into not using Autotune, or doing it TOTALLY transparently (it can be done!), then I'm all for that nudge. Just listen to Brian's mid 2000s "What Love Can Do", which is a super great song that unfortunately is slathered in Autotune to a point where it absolutely takes away from the song. Don't do it this time around, Bri! Please!


I honestly though I was the only person for felt that way about Caroline, No...
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« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2019, 01:15:43 PM »

Somewhat related to HeyJude's most recent post regarding the history of pitch-correction. But I always found the complaints about Brian manipulating his solo voice to be hilarious, because he did it on Pet Sounds of all records for 'Caroline, No' - Brian has always used crazy ways of manipulating instruments and vocals. I mean, if you listen closely to 'Caroline, No' you can definitely tell that something isn't right with his voice. But no one complains about that. Just an observation.

Actually, I'll be the one guy to complain about the PS album version of Caroline, No! Haha.

Once I learned that Brian's voice was altered, and then I heard the original speed version on the PS box set, I immediately felt STRONGLY that the original speed version is by MILES the best version. You lose something in the process of not hearing Brian's voice as he actually sang the song. Brian's emotions and aching longing are compromised to some degree. He doesn't sound quite right, which is especially evident when you A/B the two versions.

Plus the speeding up of the vocals (and the whole song) was a Murry idea I believe. Not that it's impossible for Murry to have had a good idea or two that Brian may have actually agreed with, but my understanding is that it was to make Brian sound "younger" or something. So already it's a hare-brained idea that came from a lame "marketability" viewpoint, much like the viewpoint that latter-day Brian needs to be Autotuned to appeal to the youthful market who is accustomed to hearing Autotune.

Honestly, I love Brian, I support his music, but if some well-meaning fans on an internet forum can nudge him or his producer(s) into not using Autotune, or doing it TOTALLY transparently (it can be done!), then I'm all for that nudge. Just listen to Brian's mid 2000s "What Love Can Do", which is a super great song that unfortunately is slathered in Autotune to a point where it absolutely takes away from the song. Don't do it this time around, Bri! Please!

Haha, yeah, I've no doubt seen opinions on the sped-up vs regular, and know there are people who prefer one or the other. I've been a part of some of those discussions when they've happened. My point is more that those who gave Brian non-stop criticism about recent "autotune" don't criticize 'Caroline, No' to the level they do to 'Whatever Happened', when the vocal manipulation is almost just as obvious on 'Caroline, No'. It was just an observation about how people will pick and choose what they get pissed off about.

As I said earlier in this thread, I want Brian to go the Johnny Cash American Series route - Brian needs to find something he's passionate about singing/playing, he needs to not worry about studio gimmicks that will only date the work. I legit don't care if he's off in a few spots, Cash was pretty iffy on the latter records of the American Series, but they give the records that much more reality. Reality is what we want. I guess we can hope that his work for Long Promised Road will be exactly that.
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« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2019, 01:41:02 PM »


‘The title of the movie comes from the Beach Boys' 1971 track “Long Promised Road,” which was written by Wilson's youngest brother Carl Wilson, and was re-recorded by Wilson for the new film.’



This is remarkable and amazing.

Firstly, it's the first time (I think?) that Brian is doing a studio cover of one of his brother's BBs songs.  So that's pretty significant in my book.

Carl's solo track "Heaven" was covered by Brian years ago (and a really good cover too), although I cannot recall how/if it ever got proper release? I know it was floating around online for awhile, but it deserved a better and more high profile release than what it got.

Just the fact that Brian is at the point emotionally where he's down to do that is a big step, because I assume that Brian probably avoided dabbling too much into this kind of territory at least in part due to it being too sad or emotionally difficult for him to tackle. Yes, songs like Forever were played at C50, and if memory serves Brian's band (with Al and David?) performed a Carl or Denny song or two on a few rare occasions live. But I imagine doing a studio cover cuts a bit deeper for him.

I tend to think that this is a step forward in the healing process for Brian in terms of confronting difficult emotional stuff in his life. One by one, Brian has dealt with stuff that has long festered, like finishing SMiLE, going public about the sordid details of the Landy era, etc. I'm stoked for Brian and I really can't wait to see the doc (and hear the cover, which hopefully will be an extra reason for more people to be more interested in this doc).



Brian recorded "Heaven" and put it on his website. That's where it came from. I really liked it back then, but I seem to remember that it featured some out of key wall-of-Brian sounds. I'm not sure, though.
Brian played "Forever" early during his touring years. "Little bird" was played right after the Beach Boys tour in 2012 and "Feel flows" has made appearances since Blondie became part of the band. I think that's about it of songs by Dennis or Carl that Brian played liv except of course if they were co-writes with Brian ("Good timin'", "Friends", maybe more).
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« Reply #37 on: March 27, 2019, 02:37:05 PM »

god- naming a brian doc long promised road is worse than the bohemimean rhapsody movie where freddie was singing a song he wrote without a mustache, when in the move he had a mustache
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« Reply #38 on: March 27, 2019, 02:47:28 PM »

Or, those two things are nothing alike in any way, shape, or form.

We now know Brian recorded the song for the documentary. The song and the film's title (remember, BriMel and Jean Sievers are producers, so they presumably would have a say in the film's title) clearly mean something to Brian. This isn't like some third party confused non-fan directing a film with no involvement from anybody related to Brian or the Beach Boys.
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« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2019, 02:55:43 PM »

I remember that during the band rehearsal footage for Beautiful Dreamer there was a moment of downtime, and out of nowhere Brian started playing the bridge of Long Promised Road. Darian and Probyn immediy popped their heads up, gave each other a "Whaaaaaat?" kind of look, and recovered in time to sing the "ba ba, ba ba" backing parts during the second line. So I guess it's something that's been percolating in Brian for a while. Darian has said that Brian loves the song and sings the bridge often, that it makes him feel closer to Carl.
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« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2019, 04:17:17 PM »

Brian’s version of Heaven:

https://youtu.be/dFs9DXqZdas
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« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2019, 09:21:29 PM »

oh brian re-recorded it, well that changes everything- viva la movie!
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« Reply #42 on: March 28, 2019, 01:29:45 AM »

"Fun Fun Fun: The Story of Brian Wilson"

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« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2019, 07:35:13 AM »

Looking forward to seeing this!

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« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2019, 12:23:59 PM »

"Fun Fun Fun: The Story of Brian Wilson"

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If I was smart, I'd find a great way to use "I'll bet he's nice" as movie title
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« Reply #45 on: March 29, 2019, 01:18:05 PM »

"Fun Fun Fun: The Story of Brian Wilson"

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If I was smart, I'd find a great way to use "I'll bet he's nice" as movie title

: D

”I’ll Bet He’s Nice - Portrait of Brian Wilson”.

If it’s about Brian driving around LA ”Honkin’ Down the Highway” would be a sweet title.
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« Reply #46 on: March 30, 2019, 09:00:56 PM »

Read the article in the current ESQ.
Said that , re Long Promised Road, Brian told "the story of when the song was recorded." He recorded a new version of it.
 Also said that the film was about "the brothers", about "how much Brian loves them."

 Oh apparently there is going to be a Mike Love documentary eventually.

Good issue!
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« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2019, 10:16:06 AM »

I'd actually be really excited to see a Mike Love documentary if it was done well... I think Mike would have the best insight of what it's been like touring with The Beach Boys, as he's the only member that never left the group, and consistently toured for the last nearly 60 years. I really hope the documentary wouldn't be a two hour version of the video that plays before his show: all the self adoration... His autobiography was pretty good, although it omitted a lot (court stuff mainly) and came across a little bitter. Although, this may be controversial to say, but I understand his bitterness. He has basically been in his cousin's shadow for half a century. Brian's the genius songwriter/arranger/producer/instrumentalist and Mike is a singer/lyricist. Especially after Derek Taylor's "Genius" marketing strategy, I can start to see why Mike felt jealous, of someone who by all other standards was his peer, his equal. In Mike's mind they wrote Surfin Safari, California Girls, I Get Around etc together , whereas the rest of the world looks at it like Brian is the genius songwriter, and Mike simply supplied the goofy words that went on top. While this might true to varying degrees, Mike is clearly a capable and talented singer/songwriter, who in my opinion, history overlooks.

If a Mike Love documentary could "set the record straight" and tell Mike's side of the story, without coming across as braggadocios or bitter, that would be amazing. I would be very interested to truly hear about Mike's justification for touring solo essentially as The Beach Boys... I've shared my many theories, one of which is probably be correct... There's a lot of things that could be addressed in a Mike documentary, where if he cut the bullsh*t and was just honest and open, could be revelatory.

Of course , the ultimate treat , like others have brought up, would be a Beatles Anthology style documentary with both archival interviews and new interviews with all principal members as well as other notable figures like Marilyn Wilson, Dean Torrence, Stephen Desper, Fred Vail, Wrecking Crew members, past & present touring members, etc etc etc... That would be amazing. Endless Harmony and American Band are good, but they only really scratch the surface. They're overviews, but it's hard to fit so much history into so little time. That's why a multiple part Anthology series could be really cool.


New question: What are some things you'd love to see addressed in the BW doc (or future Mike doc or hypothetical BBs anthology)  ?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 10:19:43 AM by NateRuvin » Logged
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« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2019, 10:56:36 AM »

I think both Brian’s and Mike’s books covered what I want to know. I’m just not interested in any possible ‘tabloid’ tales that any further book/books/documentary might want to tell.
I’m looking forward to the concept of LPR. Just driving around LA. However as far as Mike goes it would have been great if he joined Brian at a few stops. Between the two of them the banter would just flow I think and would make for some great footage.
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« Reply #49 on: March 31, 2019, 02:36:45 PM »

I just want to see chilled, relaxed Brian just shooting the sh*t about things. He seems to have a great rapport with Jason Fine as well so something along the lines of the interviews Brian did with him.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 02:40:39 PM by ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 » Logged

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