gfxgfx
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
logo
 
gfx gfx
gfx
648528 Posts in 25940 Topics by 3701 Members - Latest Member: Little E. Honda July 15, 2019, 11:11:22 PM
*
gfx*HomeHelpSearchCalendarLoginRegistergfx
gfxgfx
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.       « previous next »
Pages: 1 2 [3] Go Down Print
Author Topic: This week in BB history June 20-30  (Read 2133 times)
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8309



View Profile WWW
« Reply #50 on: July 03, 2019, 08:50:54 AM »


Oddly enough, I've always thought that Carl's vocal on Waves of Love sounded surprisingly good. As in, I literally don't recall hearing *anything* that sounded subpar about its fidelity or performance *whatsoever*. Maybe I missed something though? I need to go back and listen to it (aren't there like 3 released versions of that song? do any of them have differently-mixed Carl vocals?)... but my recollection is that Carl's vox were pretty much on point. Can you give any specific examples of where you think it sounded a bit off? I do recall other people also saying that Carl's vocal was a bit weird or subpar around the time of Waves' release, so I feel like I'm in the minority on my opinion! I do also recall hearing a few moments of the famous Carl vibrato in a way that gave me the feels.

With “Waves of Love”, my first impression upon hearing it (and the first version I heard was the “digital download” version with Carl’s vocal more isolated) was that Carl’s vocal just sounded *off*. Not his actual performance so much, but the way it sounded. Once I heard the (apparently accidentally released) “CD” version, which is the one that sounds looser and more like a live soundcheck, it all made somewhat more sense.

On that “CD” version, Carl’s vocal is mixed in with several other voices, essentially singing harmony. I don’t know if that was all done “live” on that soundcheck, as some stuff even on that looser version is overdubbed. Either way, I don’t think Carl initially really had a “lead” vocal part on the song, he was simply a prominent voice in a multi-part stack singing those choruses.

Cut to the “digital download” version, and a few things are clear: Most everything has been completely re-recorded in a more dry “studio” setting/sound, the song is in a *different key*, and Carl’s voice is now isolated. So they had to have taken Carl’s voice out of that multi-part stack, and made sure it conformed to the key of the new recording of the song. So they either had to alter the key/pitch of Carl’s vocal, or take Carl’s part out of that initial stack and then make the new recording in a key that allowed for use of that vocal.

I think what you hear is essentially an isolated Carl vocal harmony part, possibly if not probably recorded on stage during a live show soundcheck. That would account for the timbre being a bit off for what is being presented as a “lead” vocal, and would also account for the slightly odd fidelity of the recording.

I think Al just had to do a bit of forensic excavating to make Carl more than just one of several harmony vocalists on the song, and that led to the slightly muted/muffled/tentative sound of the recording, and *may* have accounted for part of why others such as Brian weren’t enthusiastic about using the song.

But Carl’s vocal isn’t bad, and the song is quite good. I think it works well on Al’s album.
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/
Rocker
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 8870


"Too dumb for New York City, too ugly for L.A."


View Profile
« Reply #51 on: July 03, 2019, 09:30:45 AM »

I think it was the right decision not to include any old recording of Carl on TWGMTR. Although at the time before the album was released I mentioned that I thought it would be cool to have him on there and maybe a finished "California slide" with Dennis, I have to disagree with myself in hindsight. TWGMTR was/is an artistic statement by the Beach Boys of 2011/2012. Otherwise it wouldn't show who they were and what they were capable of at that time. They included Dennis and Carl in the concerts (at least in those that featured the video screen) and that was a very nice tribute. Recycling old recordings on a new Beach Boys project wouldn't seem right.

But what if it not an entire old song by Carl/Denny, and rather some vocal pieces by them here and there that would've been flown in to a new song? I can see both sides of the argument for sure, and in part I get what you're saying... but I can't see any harm in including a new song with some unused vocal stuff from Carl/Denny.

I think Don't Fight The Sea was a great example of what could have been accomplished. Granted, there may not have been another tune like that sitting around. But something could probably have been put together. Maybe it was just - in part - a matter of not having enough time with an album deadline looming, as HeyJude suggested. But I think it was multiple factors involved.

Separately, if we're talking about Waves, while an older song than 2012, isn't exactly some super old tune from the early 70s with not a remotely similar sound to 2012. Waves is much closer by comparison IMO.

Also, if you're taking the side that TWGMTR was/is an artistic statement by the Beach Boys of 2011/2012, the inclusion of the old song Daybreak (and its old backing vocals from Mike's solo band) would seem to contradict that. It was an old Mike solo track with backing vocals by non-BBs that was shoehorned into the album. Waves was a song that from the ground up was a song (originally probably intended for The BBs, I think?) that - compared to Daybreak - has more legitimacy being on the album IMO since it included Carl.

Sure it's all a matter of opinion, but I don't see Daybreak as being representative of much of an artistic statement by the Beach Boys of 2011/2012. And sure, I guess you could say that about a few other tracks on the album which I think started out originally as being written as Brian solo tracks, but at least (I'm pretty sure) they were all entirely re-recorded for TWGMTR as opposed to Daybreak which literally uses an old track from a Mike solo project.

Daybreak already gets TWGMTR into somewhat piecemeal territory, although I think they did a pretty good job of that not being terribly obvious. It's a meh song, I don't hate it, and I don't think the song's production stands out like a sore thumb necessarily, but its inclusion breaks the "rule" about it being a 2012 BBs "statement", so I don't see how including some vocals as a tribute to Carl/Denny would be such a bad thing. Of course, if that would've been done, the way it would have been handled/executed would have to have been done delicately and with great care/taste. More in an Mark/Alan type of way. Not sure Joe Thomas would've been the right person for that from a technical standpoint. Just threw up a little in my mouth thinking of Joe adding autotune to Carl/Denny.


That's absolutely correct. "Daybreak" sticks out and is obviously an exception that was added because Mike - I assume - otherwise wouldn't do the album. But there's no need to add even further songs and make the album more of a collage than a cohesive piece of work. The Beach Boys in form of Brian as their producer and boss decided that this stuff is what the Beach Boys 2012 should record and release. Therefore it doesn't even matter when the song(s) were written, but it would be different if there was an old recording of Carl or Dennis used because instead of creating something new together, all the other guys could've done was sing around the old recording and hope that it kinda fits.

BTW I like "Daybreak", Mike's feeling for a great hook comes out on this one. And once again, Al's voice takes the song to another level. But I wished they would've recorded it from scratch. David's voice would fit very well in place of Christian Love's imo.


Anyway, that's my opinion and of course everyone is entitled to his/her own. Mine has changed as I mentioned above, so I can understand the idea of using recordings by Carl and Dennis. But I've come to a different point of view.
Logged

a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8309



View Profile WWW
« Reply #52 on: July 03, 2019, 09:43:35 AM »

I’m sure we all have our own standard for what would have or could work on a “new” album in terms of using old tracks.

My personal feeling was that while I didn’t need any vintage Carl tracks on TWGMTR, using something of Carl’s recorded in the later era (meaning the 90s mainly) as a basis for a new recording would have worked okay in the context of TWGMTR. A number of the songs on the album were written at least partially in the 90s, and Mike’s “Daybreak” was recorded in the early 2000s I’m guessing (2004 or earlier I would assume).

Using a 1970 Dennis lead would be a bit more of a novelty and would stick out more. I think that would be a project either for an archival BB package or some sort of solo Dennis comp. Same for older Carl material.

The 60s/early 70s Carl or Dennis voices are very different from their later voices. So a “Sunflower” era Carl vocal on TWGMTR would have sounded supremely weird. A 1995 or so vocal, not so much. But again, it’s all arbitrary.

While, again, I didn’t really feel like I needed Carl representation on TWGMTR, something from his vocally from the 90s would have been fine, especially considering he had been on every album prior.
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/
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8626


"Barba non facit aliam historici"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #53 on: July 03, 2019, 09:56:51 AM »


Off topic I suppose, but the only reason "Now and Then" wasn't finished was George Harrison. Apparently he just didn't wanna do it. Time had nothing to do with it.

Just adding a few more factors to the non-appearance of "Now And Then":

Yes, George was not a fan of the song, and a lot of those details came from Paul. According to Paul, George was a "no" vote out of the three. But they had at least tried recording a backing track to it, and that's as far as it got session-wise.

But also, remember at the time of Anthology they had reported one of the Lennon tracks from cassette was too noisy, and was beset with tape hiss and other distortion/noise which they could not remove using 1994/95 technology as well as they did with the two released tracks, which is why some reports at the time said it wasn't used. That track was "Now And Then".

And also, a point which can be confirmed by hearing Lennon's tapes, Now And Then was the least "finished" of the tunes, which meant the other members would have to write more new parts and entire new sections to fill it out and make a workable song rather than a sketchpad idea of a section here or there. George in particular balked at that, I think, because they'd essentially be writing more of the tune than Lennon had written to give it that song flow, and perhaps I agree on that point because some fans would say the "Lennon" part of the the tune was less than the 1994 contributions from the others. At least the other two struck a balance where the crux of the tunes was still Lennon's demos.


Interesting postscript is that McCartney had been teasing the notion that he wanted to finish Now And Then in several interviews after Harrison's passing, basically do what they did in '94 without George. I don't know what if anything ever came of that, or if it was just talk on an idea that hasn't developed.


My own thoughts re: Carl's tunes: The "Threetles" songs that were released worked because they sounded like Beatles tunes and they sounded like something Lennon would have brought to the band had they been able to get together (or as they envisioned it, *when* they were still together). The Carl Wilson solo material, or even some of the unused BB's tunes don't sound like classic Beach Boys tunes, and that may have hampered the ability to market such a project to regular audiences outside the BB's core fanbase...
Logged

"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
CenturyDeprived
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4821



View Profile
« Reply #54 on: July 03, 2019, 10:23:51 AM »

I’m sure we all have our own standard for what would have or could work on a “new” album in terms of using old tracks.

My personal feeling was that while I didn’t need any vintage Carl tracks on TWGMTR, using something of Carl’s recorded in the later era (meaning the 90s mainly) as a basis for a new recording would have worked okay in the context of TWGMTR. A number of the songs on the album were written at least partially in the 90s, and Mike’s “Daybreak” was recorded in the early 2000s I’m guessing (2004 or earlier I would assume).

Using a 1970 Dennis lead would be a bit more of a novelty and would stick out more. I think that would be a project either for an archival BB package or some sort of solo Dennis comp. Same for older Carl material.

The 60s/early 70s Carl or Dennis voices are very different from their later voices. So a “Sunflower” era Carl vocal on TWGMTR would have sounded supremely weird. A 1995 or so vocal, not so much. But again, it’s all arbitrary.

While, again, I didn’t really feel like I needed Carl representation on TWGMTR, something from his vocally from the 90s would have been fine, especially considering he had been on every album prior.


I agree. Would certainly have been nice to have Carl/Denny on it, although their absence doesn't diminish the good/great parts of the album. It was *always* going to be a very mixed bag type of affair.  The album TWGMTR has some great stuff about it, some bad stuff about it, it's a very uneven piece of art in its current form, and I'm sure it'd also be a mixed bag even if it had a well-done Carl/Denny inclusion or two. Yet it could certainly still have been elevated.

The album does hit some undeniable emotional highs that give me (and many others, I'm sure) the feels, while unfortunately a number of other tracks like Beaches in Mind, IMO, are pretty vapid and soulless, relatively speaking. I know it's the dichotomy of this band having "fun" songs and also having "emotional" or "sensitive" songs, and this album has both I suppose. And the autotune being problematic is a whole other topic, of course. Being rushed certainly couldn't have helped the album either.

I guess I'm just a sucker for when this band - in a sincere fashion - does something in a song, in a well-done manner, where the band members either reflect on the past (From There to Back Again), or even add a reference/homage to an earlier work (I may be in the minority on this, but I absolutely love Carl's You Still Believe in Me vocal part at the end of Brian's Back since his voice was in full bloom, even though I pretty much completely dislike everything else about that song, and most other homages to earlier songs wretchedly fall flat in the band's catalog, see Summer in Paradise the song or Smart Girls)... and I guess I'm also a sucker for when the band did Do it Again in 2011, where the whole "meaning" of the song became more meaningful to me, even if it was all just smoke and mirrors.  

I suppose because there's been *so* much strife within this band, it's nice when the band seemingly puts the bad stuff of the past aside, and does material that has a vibe of "togetherness", reminding listeners that this was/is a family band - which is another reason why it was touching to see the Carl/Denny homages during C50. When Brian bravely sings about his personal demons or his pain on any number of his solo tracks such as Melt Away, or the BBs classic 'Til I Die, it just takes the music to a whole other level. I know many others feel this way. The feeling of brotherly love, or one brother helping/lifting up another brother with Carl's vocals assisting Denny on Denny's solo tune It's Not Too Late (which may have simply been included since Denny couldn't hit those notes anymore) packs an emotional punch in a big way.

So coming from that mindset, personally, I feel that it was a giant missed opportunity to not include even a bit of Carl on TWGMTR for similar reasons... if only to imply that this was/is a family band where all Wilson brothers were a big part of it. Again, we can only speculate as to why this wasn't done. But I think the reason(s) are very likely limited to a small handful of potential reasons discussed earlier in this thread, or maybe a combination of them. That said, I can of course also understand the idea of an artist or band wanting an album to stand on its own, and be an artistic statement of then and there. I get that. However, I really don't see the end product of this album as being from a place where that was a "mandate" by Brian. I just think that there were already too many politics on the table, and it was easier to avoid tough stuff.

One more side note: I feel that David Marks' cover of Denny's Cuddle Up (which should be sought out for anyone who hasn't heard it) would have made a truly remarkable and touching tribute to Denny. If that had been included on TWGMTR, it would have easily stolen the show, or at minimum been regarded in similar esteem to the Life Suite material. It's *that* good a cover. That's the type of Carl/Denny tip of the hat type of stuff that the album suffers for not having. If only...

  
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 10:40:22 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8309



View Profile WWW
« Reply #55 on: July 03, 2019, 11:53:11 AM »

To paraphrase what someone said back in 2012, the TWGMTR album was much better than it had any right being. That’s really just another way of saying “Whoa, I assumed it wouldn’t be very good, but it’s actually pretty good!”

It’s an anachronism in the BB catalog in a number of ways. It sounds nothing like the most recent BB albums (though those were pretty old), it’s the first album where Brian so heavily dominates writing since “Love You”, it’s missing Carl, it has David Marks on it, the production is generally sort of “soft” for lack of a better way to put it, though it avoids the easy listening/AC smoothness of “Imagination”, it was full of political concessions and backroom negotiations, and I could go on and on. All that factored in, it’s a surprisingly enjoyable and *relatively* cohesive listen.

There’s really not an out-and-out *bad* song on it, and it had been awhile since I could say *that* about a BB album. Mike’s “Daybreak” is innocuous, and Al’s backing vocals definitely punch it up. A few of the Brian tunes like “Private Life….” are a bit slight. There’s too much Foskett in a lot of the vocal stacks. The autotune *is* distracting and unfortunate. But top to bottom, most of the songs are solid, the production is solid if lacking much contrast or extra punch (which is why I don’t mind “Beaches in Mind”). Even some of the slight stuff like “Spring Vacation” is undeniably catchy. The ending suite is great. Sure, it sounds a bit like “Rio Grande” in that some of the fragments sounds kind of smushed together in not the most organic way. But all the fragments are good, and it’s not that they don’t fit together still.

If nothing else, the album answers a question I had occasionally had in the preceding couple of decades: What would it sound like if the other BBs sang on a Brian solo album? TWGMTR is the answer to that question. It’s interesting (in a good way) to hear Mike sing on a Brian/Joe Thomas 2000s production.

I don’t know if anything on the album reaches true greatness; the first two tracks come close, and the ending suite is a high mark unquestionably.

I can’t think of a *ton* of stuff featuring Carl that would have worked well on the album. I think a slightly remixed “Soul Searchin’” could have fit. A re-recording of “They’re Only Words” with Carl’s vocals grafted back on maybe. Al’s “Waves of Love” with Carl would have worked. After that, I don’t know what was or is “in the can” as far as Carl lead vocals. Grabbing stuff like the bland “Where We Are” from the early 80s (or whatever the title is), I wouldn’t have advocated for that. But who knows what else is lurking in the vaults from the 80s and 90s. Does “Grace of My Heart” exist? “Down by the Pier?” That song could be great, or it could suck. I have no idea. I always liked Carl’s little vocal intro on the incomplete “Dancing the Night Away”, but I never liked the rest of the song that much (and it was sorta kinda remade as “How Could We Still Be Dancing” anyway), so that one would have required “Now and Then” levels of reformatting.

But interesting stuff to chew on.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 12:10:22 PM by HeyJude » 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/
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8309



View Profile WWW
« Reply #56 on: July 03, 2019, 12:08:12 PM »


Off topic I suppose, but the only reason "Now and Then" wasn't finished was George Harrison. Apparently he just didn't wanna do it. Time had nothing to do with it.

Just adding a few more factors to the non-appearance of "Now And Then":

Yes, George was not a fan of the song, and a lot of those details came from Paul. According to Paul, George was a "no" vote out of the three. But they had at least tried recording a backing track to it, and that's as far as it got session-wise.

But also, remember at the time of Anthology they had reported one of the Lennon tracks from cassette was too noisy, and was beset with tape hiss and other distortion/noise which they could not remove using 1994/95 technology as well as they did with the two released tracks, which is why some reports at the time said it wasn't used. That track was "Now And Then".

And also, a point which can be confirmed by hearing Lennon's tapes, Now And Then was the least "finished" of the tunes, which meant the other members would have to write more new parts and entire new sections to fill it out and make a workable song rather than a sketchpad idea of a section here or there. George in particular balked at that, I think, because they'd essentially be writing more of the tune than Lennon had written to give it that song flow, and perhaps I agree on that point because some fans would say the "Lennon" part of the the tune was less than the 1994 contributions from the others. At least the other two struck a balance where the crux of the tunes was still Lennon's demos.


Interesting postscript is that McCartney had been teasing the notion that he wanted to finish Now And Then in several interviews after Harrison's passing, basically do what they did in '94 without George. I don't know what if anything ever came of that, or if it was just talk on an idea that hasn't developed.


My own thoughts re: Carl's tunes: The "Threetles" songs that were released worked because they sounded like Beatles tunes and they sounded like something Lennon would have brought to the band had they been able to get together (or as they envisioned it, *when* they were still together). The Carl Wilson solo material, or even some of the unused BB's tunes don't sound like classic Beach Boys tunes, and that may have hampered the ability to market such a project to regular audiences outside the BB's core fanbase...


With “Now and Then”, I think they just liked “Real Love” more and Harrison’s blah attitude towards “Now and Then” coupled with his quickly growing tired of the whole project (he only signed on for the whole project due to the HUGE infusion of cash it offered) dictated they move on the quicker option.

As previously mentioned, Jeff Lynne and Marc Mann in late 1994, after the “Free As A Bird” sessions (which, contrary to some reports at the time, was not a “digital” patchwork but was in fact all done in the analog realm, with the “Threetles” essentially re-recording the song and then Lynne literally hitting the “record” button to drop Lennon’s vocal back in only in the spots where they needed it), convened to do extensive work on both “Now and Then” and “Real Love.” There’s a great, detailed article/interview with Marc Mann about this in the old “Good Day Sunshine” magazine. They spent about two weeks, and *most* of that time was spent working on “Now and Then.” They both highlighted *that* song as the more likely candidate. Then, with only a few days left, they went ahead and also tackled “Real Love” (which was also problematic as they only had Lennon’s double-tracked demo with a tambourine/rhythm box prominent throughout).  

In the case of both “Now and Then” and “Real Love”, Lynne and Mann first dumped the stuff to digital and cleaned up the tapes as best as they could, and then did *extensive* editing (which frankly amounted to more than editing and was more in the realm of re-arranging and arguably partially *re-writing*) on the songs. They added full band instrumentation to both songs as fully-formatted “temp tracks” that would be ready for the “Threetles” to work on. (I’d love to hear *those* tracks!).

So Lynne and Mann likely wrote that new “bridge” interlude to “Real Love” that made it onto the record, and presumably did the re-arranging on “Now and Then” such that it would have required the “Threetles” mainly to write new lyrics and lead melodies for the sections.

So a lot of the work on “Now and Then” was already done before Harrison even entered the picture. Still, it certainly would have required more *new* work than simply writing a few new bridge lines for “Free As A Bird.” I can envision that beyond Harrison already not liking “Now and Then”, he probably loathed trying to write new stuff with McCartney. Even writing the few new lines on “Free As A Bird” had apparently involved some tension. And the small amount of chord alterations they made to FAAB also led to some awkwardness; this is even seen briefly in the small amount of studio footage they released.

Harrison had a pretty sardonic/sarcastic attitude through a lot of the project. You can tell McCartney is trying *really hard* to make the sessions, the interviews, and jam sessions during that project gel and have some camaraderie. I think Harrison seemed to almost relish being difficult and borderline at times antagonistic towards Paul. Considering this comes through in the *scant* available footage, I can only imagine it was more so during the project as a whole.

Rumors have abounded since then that McCartney has *already finished* “Now and Then” on his own and has been sitting on it. Normally this sort of thing sounds silly, but I think it is somewhat possible. He played some version of the song to producer David Kahne.

As for Carl, while integrating some of his “solo” stuff into a group project may have been difficult, I think some of his “solo” stuff wasn’t too far off from the likes of “It’s Gettin’ Late”, or “Where I Belong”, or even “Full Sail.” So it was doable. The TWGMTR album already only partially sounded like a “Beach Boys” we were familiar with. It was at times very much a Brian solo affair with the other guys singing, which I’m fine with. There are true “Beach Boys”, non-Brian-solo moments, like the vocal intro to “Pacific Coast Highway.” But a 90s-style Carl solo track with new embellishment wouldn’t have been (theoretically, of course) too out of place on a BB album.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 12:12:06 PM by HeyJude » 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/
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8626


"Barba non facit aliam historici"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #57 on: July 03, 2019, 12:21:06 PM »


Off topic I suppose, but the only reason "Now and Then" wasn't finished was George Harrison. Apparently he just didn't wanna do it. Time had nothing to do with it.

Just adding a few more factors to the non-appearance of "Now And Then":

Yes, George was not a fan of the song, and a lot of those details came from Paul. According to Paul, George was a "no" vote out of the three. But they had at least tried recording a backing track to it, and that's as far as it got session-wise.

But also, remember at the time of Anthology they had reported one of the Lennon tracks from cassette was too noisy, and was beset with tape hiss and other distortion/noise which they could not remove using 1994/95 technology as well as they did with the two released tracks, which is why some reports at the time said it wasn't used. That track was "Now And Then".

And also, a point which can be confirmed by hearing Lennon's tapes, Now And Then was the least "finished" of the tunes, which meant the other members would have to write more new parts and entire new sections to fill it out and make a workable song rather than a sketchpad idea of a section here or there. George in particular balked at that, I think, because they'd essentially be writing more of the tune than Lennon had written to give it that song flow, and perhaps I agree on that point because some fans would say the "Lennon" part of the the tune was less than the 1994 contributions from the others. At least the other two struck a balance where the crux of the tunes was still Lennon's demos.


Interesting postscript is that McCartney had been teasing the notion that he wanted to finish Now And Then in several interviews after Harrison's passing, basically do what they did in '94 without George. I don't know what if anything ever came of that, or if it was just talk on an idea that hasn't developed.


My own thoughts re: Carl's tunes: The "Threetles" songs that were released worked because they sounded like Beatles tunes and they sounded like something Lennon would have brought to the band had they been able to get together (or as they envisioned it, *when* they were still together). The Carl Wilson solo material, or even some of the unused BB's tunes don't sound like classic Beach Boys tunes, and that may have hampered the ability to market such a project to regular audiences outside the BB's core fanbase...


With “Now and Then”, I think they just liked “Real Love” more and Harrison’s blah attitude towards “Now and Then” coupled with his quickly growing tired of the whole project (he only signed on for the whole project due to the HUGE infusion of cash it offered) dictated they move on the quicker option.

As previously mentioned, Jeff Lynne and Marc Mann in late 1994, after the “Free As A Bird” sessions (which, contrary to some reports at the time, was not a “digital” patchwork but was in fact all done in the analog realm, with the “Threetles” essentially re-recording the song and then Lynne literally hitting the “record” button to drop Lennon’s vocal back in only in the spots where they needed it), convened to do extensive work on both “Now and Then” and “Real Love.” There’s a great, detailed article/interview with Marc Mann about this in the old “Good Day Sunshine” magazine. They spent about two weeks, and *most* of that time was spent working on “Now and Then.” They both highlighted *that* song as the more likely candidate. Then, with only a few days left, they went ahead and also tackled “Real Love” (which was also problematic as they only had Lennon’s double-tracked demo with a tambourine/rhythm box prominent throughout).  

In the case of both “Now and Then” and “Real Love”, Lynne and Mann first dumped the stuff to digital and cleaned up the tapes as best as they could, and then did *extensive* editing (which frankly amounted to more than editing and was more in the realm of re-arranging and arguably partially *re-writing*) on the songs. They added full band instrumentation to both songs as fully-formatted “temp tracks” that would be ready for the “Threetles” to work on. (I’d love to hear *those* tracks!).

So Lynne and Mann likely wrote that new “bridge” interlude to “Real Love” that made it onto the record, and presumably did the re-arranging on “Now and Then” such that it would have required the “Threetles” mainly to write new lyrics and lead melodies for the sections.

So a lot of the work on “Now and Then” was already done before Harrison even entered the picture. Still, it certainly would have required more *new* work than simply writing a few new bridge lines for “Free As A Bird.” I can envision that beyond Harrison already not liking “Now and Then”, he probably loathed trying to write new stuff with McCartney. Even writing the few new lines on “Free As A Bird” had apparently involved some tension. And the small amount of chord alterations they made to FAAB also led to some awkwardness; this is even seen briefly in the small amount of studio footage they released.

Harrison had a pretty sardonic/sarcastic attitude through a lot of the project. You can tell McCartney is trying *really hard* to make the sessions, the interviews, and jam sessions during that project gel and have some camaraderie. I think Harrison seemed to almost relish being difficult and borderline at times antagonistic towards Paul. Considering this comes through in the *scant* available footage, I can only imagine it was more so during the project as a whole.

Rumors have abounded since then that McCartney has *already finished* “Now and Then” on his own and has been sitting on it. Normally this sort of thing sounds silly, but I think it is somewhat possible. He played some version of the song to producer David Kahne.

As for Carl, while integrating some of his “solo” stuff into a group project may have been difficult, I think some of his “solo” stuff wasn’t too far off from the likes of “It’s Gettin’ Late”, or “Where I Belong”, or even “Full Sail.” So it was doable. The TWGMTR album already only partially sounded like a “Beach Boys” we were familiar with. It was at times very much a Brian solo affair with the other guys singing, which I’m fine with. There are true “Beach Boys”, non-Brian-solo moments, like the vocal intro to “Pacific Coast Highway.” But a 90s-style Carl solo track with new embellishment wouldn’t have been (theoretically, of course) too out of place on a BB album.


The paragraph of your post in bold...someone's information is off and there's a contradiction. Check out what Jeff Lynne himself says here in this article from '09 teasing a possible McCartney-led release of "Now And Then":

According to ELO star Jeff Lynne, who produced the sessions, they merely worked on Now And Then for one afternoon.

“It was one day – one afternoon, really – messing with it,” he said in 1995. “The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn’t finish.

“It was sort of a bluesy sort of ballad, I suppose, in A minor. It was a very sweet song; I liked it a lot, and I wished we could have finished it.”

McCartney has occasionally talked about wanting to complete Now And Then and perhaps referred to John’s original title for the song, I Don’t Want To Lose You.



Jeff Lynne says something far different than what was said in the GDS piece, the difference between working on the tune for one afternoon versus most of two weeks. Which is it?

Article link: https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/5697/Beatles-back-to-where-they-once-belonged
Logged

"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8309



View Profile WWW
« Reply #58 on: July 03, 2019, 12:45:30 PM »


The paragraph of your post in bold...someone's information is off and there's a contradiction. Check out what Jeff Lynne himself says here in this article from '09 teasing a possible McCartney-led release of "Now And Then":

According to ELO star Jeff Lynne, who produced the sessions, they merely worked on Now And Then for one afternoon.

“It was one day – one afternoon, really – messing with it,” he said in 1995. “The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn’t finish.

“It was sort of a bluesy sort of ballad, I suppose, in A minor. It was a very sweet song; I liked it a lot, and I wished we could have finished it.”

McCartney has occasionally talked about wanting to complete Now And Then and perhaps referred to John’s original title for the song, I Don’t Want To Lose You.



Jeff Lynne says something far different than what was said in the GDS piece, the difference between working on the tune for one afternoon versus most of two weeks. Which is it?

Article link: https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/5697/Beatles-back-to-where-they-once-belonged

Lynne's reference to "one afternoon" working on "Now and Then" refers to the 1995 "Threetles" session at McCartney's studio.

They indeed only spent a short time working on it once they all convened at McCartney's studio around February of 1995.

The pre-production work on both "Now and Then" and "Real Love" I referenced previously was done by Jeff Lynne and Marc Mann back in Los Angeles, without any of the Beatles present.

I can't find the full unedited "Good Day Sunshine" article online, but I found some excerpts from two articles focusing on the songs from GDS:

"[This song] goes by the working titles of both Missing You and Now And Then, based on the fundamental lyrics of the song ('Now and then, I miss you.'). 'You can tell he's written it to Yoko,' notes [Marc] Mann, 'but it sort of fit right in with this whole reunion thing. Almost like sometimes he misses the other guys, and sometimes they miss him.' [...] Around December 1994 [Marc Mann began work on the second Beatle reunion track]. Sworn to secrecy ('I couldn't even tell my wife!'), Mann began working with Lynne on the recordings. 'We had about two weeks, as Jeff was going in January [of 1995] back to England to work with the guys again, so we had to work fast,' he says. The main goal for the work was to assemble a ready-to-record basic track for the group to work to. 'We needed to do enough things to it so that the rest of the group could say, Yes, we can record this,' notes Mann. This meant improving the sonic quality of the original tape, as well as 'steadying' the tempo, to make a consistent beat, as well as, again, emphasizing Lennon's vocal above the piano. 'It's a very natural thing,' says Mann, 'for somebody just sitting at a piano or a guitar and singing into a tape recorder to play in an uneven tempo; there's no drummer or metronome to help keep time. But one of Jeff's production goals was to have a really steady, strong tempo.'

Oddly enough, the first song the two tackled was Now And Then, not Real Love, the song ultimately released. [...] So Lynne assumed, for the moment, that Real Love would be set aside, perhaps not even used, due to its problematic nature. Now And Then was loaded onto the computer (i.e. the contents of the tape were converted to a digital record and stored on the computer's hard disk), and the two went to work. The first matter at hand was noise reduction. Using a couple of software products from Digidesign called ProTools and another called DINR (Digidesign Intelligent Noise Reduction), Lynne and Mann went about 'cleaning up' the recording. The noise reduction comes into play to take out the tape hiss apparent on the recording. ...this was removed from the track using the DINR software. In addition, a 60-cycle hum [created by the alternating current of the wall outlet and recorded on the cheap tape recorder] had to be taken out of the recording. ...In addition to the noise-reduction work mentioned above, the 'signal-to-noise ratio' was enhanced, to boost the amount of signal to make it stronger than the inherent tape noise. And, as mentioned, Lennon's vocal was enhanced through equalization-- all of this without changing the quality of his voice. Marc notes one element that seemed to carry the work through: 'What made this do-able were these beautiful lyrics and wonderful Lennon melody.' Well said. Time correction and editing were easily achieved using the computer software, once again, thanks to the 'non-destructive editing' capability of the system. Remember, this means that Mann and Lynne could try out moving pieces of the song around, for instance, and if what they tried didn't work out, the original recording was still available to make another try. 'One of the great things about this was that we were doing the work there in Jeff's house,' notes Mann. 'We would get up and go into the kitchen to have some tea, to get away from the computer screen and all the numbers and data, and just listen to John singing this beautiful little song in the other room. It always brought a grin to our faces. And the good thing about getting up and away from the work was that we could then listen and hear the work we had done, and note anything that needed a little fixing.' ...More of the moving-things-around had to do with the actual arrangement of the song.

Since Lynne and Mann knew The Beatles would be adding in most of the instruments heard on the final recording, the only parts of the original tape that were truly essential were the parts where John was singing. 'We really didn't need some of the piano instrumental in between vocal phrases,' says Mann. Frequently Lennon had added in an additional bar or two of playing in a certain passage which was more of an improvisational nature. And additional task which Lynne and Mann took upon themselves was to prepare a 'temp track' of musical instruments added onto the Lennon recording, in order to give a rough idea to The Beatles what the song might sound like with additional instruments. Utilizing Opcode's StudioVision sequencing software, they laid down some digital drums, bass, piano and strings, playing along with the edited digital version of John's vocal. The work demo was then played for the group. The final product of all of Lynne and Mann's work was a two-track digital tape, with the adjusted/cleaned-up Lennon recording on one track, and a 'click' track, or metronome track, on the other, to provide a strong audible guide for Ringo to add his drum rhythms to. This was then brought to Paul's studio in Sussex and transferred ot a 24-track reel-to-reel analog tape machine, to which other instruments were added on the remaining tracks (in fact, a second 24-track machine was 'synched-up' with the first to provide 48 tracks for recording). As mentioned, most of the two weeks available for this prep work was spent on Now And Then."

Matt Hurwitz (August 1996 - Studio Magic: Turning Lost Lennon Tapes Into Beatle Treasure article in Good Day Sunshine #80)


Regarding the edits and sequencing of "Real Love," Jeff Lynne was the producer. We made decisions together and presented them to The Beatles. If they liked them, they were kept; if they wanted changes, they were made. "Real Love" was really a "quick afterthought" (i.e. we worked on preparing "Now & Then" for two weeks and then were just doing "Real Love" for the last 2 1/2 days before Jeff went to England; it was just "try a second one"). With "Now & Then," we were creating the method and trying to see what could be done with the material and technology we had.

As for the pitch, as Jeff Lynne says: "The Beatles VSO'd (Variable Speed Operation) all the time for specific effect - they were the original tape manipulators." Also the universe provided us with the cassette as it was. We cleaned it up and arranged it, and it seemed to work really well. We did try changing pitch and it made the song seem less "bright." And as pitch is a relative thing, it didn't really seem to matter if it was at a concert frequency. Most people don't notice and don't care. What you do hear is the character and tone of the vocal and the music around it. And the pitch was not a whole step sharper. It was in between, maybe a quarter tone up.

In short, yes, they liked it the way it was, and as Paul and George had their instruments tuned up a bit, they liked the sound and were very excited about the song. Paul liked how his vocal blended in with the "prepared vocal," and George could hardly contain his enthusiasm for the song. On playback after they recorded a run through, Ringo said "It sounds like The Beatles..."

As for how "Now & Then" sounds, well, think of a White Album cut blended with Abbey Road type orchestra, a bit of added drums for a beat, stronger piano, acoustic guitar in spots, and a mockup sample orchestra. And by the way, one of the things that takes so much time is on this one we kept the Lennon piano between phrases, and clocked the whole thing to a steady beat - each vocal phrase, and each piano phrase, which was slightly manipulated to match a solid tempo - which is one of the things that keeps "Real Love" sounding good too.

As for John Lennon's intentions, that's a whole philosophical area that can be discussed forever. Did he ever intend the world to hear these at all? If he had, would he have recorded them better? With an in-tune piano? I think he would be pleased with "Real Love" as it was released on Anthology 2, and i'm grateful to have been a part of helping make that happen.

Maybe someday "Now & Then" will see the light of day. I hope so, since I'd love to hear it completed as well. and in the light of the passing of Linda McCartney recently, hearing Paul sing the chorus along with John would be very moving:

"Now and then, I miss you......"

Marc Mann

From Good Day Sunshine magazine, #83.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 12:46:08 PM by HeyJude » 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/
guitarfool2002
Global Moderator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8626


"Barba non facit aliam historici"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #59 on: July 03, 2019, 02:37:07 PM »

That explains it, thanks for the info! Lynne was talking about something else, his comments were misleading.
Logged

"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
Jim V.
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2867



View Profile
« Reply #60 on: July 03, 2019, 02:52:22 PM »

To paraphrase what someone said back in 2012, the TWGMTR album was much better than it had any right being. That’s really just another way of saying “Whoa, I assumed it wouldn’t be very good, but it’s actually pretty good!”

It’s an anachronism in the BB catalog in a number of ways. It sounds nothing like the most recent BB albums (though those were pretty old), it’s the first album where Brian so heavily dominates writing since “Love You”, it’s missing Carl, it has David Marks on it, the production is generally sort of “soft” for lack of a better way to put it, though it avoids the easy listening/AC smoothness of “Imagination”, it was full of political concessions and backroom negotiations, and I could go on and on. All that factored in, it’s a surprisingly enjoyable and *relatively* cohesive listen.

There’s really not an out-and-out *bad* song on it, and it had been awhile since I could say *that* about a BB album. Mike’s “Daybreak” is innocuous, and Al’s backing vocals definitely punch it up. A few of the Brian tunes like “Private Life….” are a bit slight. There’s too much Foskett in a lot of the vocal stacks. The autotune *is* distracting and unfortunate. But top to bottom, most of the songs are solid, the production is solid if lacking much contrast or extra punch (which is why I don’t mind “Beaches in Mind”). Even some of the slight stuff like “Spring Vacation” is undeniably catchy. The ending suite is great. Sure, it sounds a bit like “Rio Grande” in that some of the fragments sounds kind of smushed together in not the most organic way. But all the fragments are good, and it’s not that they don’t fit together still.

If nothing else, the album answers a question I had occasionally had in the preceding couple of decades: What would it sound like if the other BBs sang on a Brian solo album? TWGMTR is the answer to that question. It’s interesting (in a good way) to hear Mike sing on a Brian/Joe Thomas 2000s production.

I don’t know if anything on the album reaches true greatness; the first two tracks come close, and the ending suite is a high mark unquestionably.

I can’t think of a *ton* of stuff featuring Carl that would have worked well on the album. I think a slightly remixed “Soul Searchin’” could have fit. A re-recording of “They’re Only Words” with Carl’s vocals grafted back on maybe. Al’s “Waves of Love” with Carl would have worked. After that, I don’t know what was or is “in the can” as far as Carl lead vocals. Grabbing stuff like the bland “Where We Are” from the early 80s (or whatever the title is), I wouldn’t have advocated for that. But who knows what else is lurking in the vaults from the 80s and 90s. Does “Grace of My Heart” exist? “Down by the Pier?” That song could be great, or it could suck. I have no idea. I always liked Carl’s little vocal intro on the incomplete “Dancing the Night Away”, but I never liked the rest of the song that much (and it was sorta kinda remade as “How Could We Still Be Dancing” anyway), so that one would have required “Now and Then” levels of reformatting.

But interesting stuff to chew on.


I notice you brought up "Soul Searchin'" a few times, but of course you have to remember that Brian had already issued a version on 2004's Gettin' In Over My Head? While that version is easily my least favorite of the versions I've heard, I can't imagine a scenario would have went back to that in 2011/2012 to put on a new album.

As far as "Baywatch Nights" (or "Dancin' the Night Away".....whatever the official title is) I honestly was kinda expecting it to be on the 2012 Beach Boys album after the album was announced. It seemed like an obvious way to get Carl on the album in a smooth way and in fact was an unfinished Wilson/Love song from when they last worked together. I thought Carl's vocal was beautiful, the backing track was rockin' and I really do love the "somewhere out in Malibu" group vocal. But, alas it was not to be. Maybe because it was forgotten by Brian and everyone else, or maybe because wasn't part of the Joe Thomas material, or who knows. Perhaps it was looked at and even worked on. Maybe we will find out one day.

Lastly, I know we don't know much about "Down by the Pier" except one thing: according to the "Wilson Project" book Brian was not a big fan of this song of Carl's and therefore that is probably one reason why it's remained stuck in obscurity.
Logged
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8309



View Profile WWW
« Reply #61 on: July 03, 2019, 02:55:26 PM »

That explains it, thanks for the info! Lynne was talking about something else, his comments were misleading.

McCartney and Lynne both spoke briefly about “Now and Then” in interviews around the time the Anthology launched in 1995/96. There wasn’t much detail, and I think that was down to Lynne not doing very many interviews in general, McCartney being asked about a lot of other stuff, and probably everybody not wanting to super emphasize the track that *didn’t* get finished. Plus, I suspect they were trying to be a bit diplomatic about not just saying it was mainly George who put the kibosh, as he was of course still alive at that time.

Years later, for the Jeff Lynne “Mr. Blue Sky” documentary, McCartney was more blunt (though not seeming troubled and really seeming more bemused than anything else) about Harrison not liking the song. He even joked he would get with Jeff and finish the song.

I don’t think Lynne was trying to obfuscate when discussing the song; he was just detailing the work the actual full group had done on the track, while probably knowing that he shouldn’t go into excessive detail at that time. I remember way back then being surprised he and McCartney went into *any* detail about the song, with McCartney going so far as to sing a bit of the song in an interview. It’s worth noting that unlike “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love”, “Now and Then” had *not* circulated among Lennon collectors until right around late 1995 or early 1996 as I recall. So it was extra mysterious.

I don’t think the details about the pre-production were published until later in 1996 as I recall, and it was relatively buried in that Marc Mann interview that was featured in a briefly-relaunched “Good Day Sunshine” magazine that, as I recall, only lasted a few issues over the course of a few years.

There was a lot of weird misinformation around that time, with false reports of a Harrison/McCartney composition called “All for Love”, a weird garbled detail turning into a third reunion song called “Shadow”, and probably some other stuff.
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/
HeyJude
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8309



View Profile WWW
« Reply #62 on: July 03, 2019, 02:57:53 PM »

To paraphrase what someone said back in 2012, the TWGMTR album was much better than it had any right being. That’s really just another way of saying “Whoa, I assumed it wouldn’t be very good, but it’s actually pretty good!”

It’s an anachronism in the BB catalog in a number of ways. It sounds nothing like the most recent BB albums (though those were pretty old), it’s the first album where Brian so heavily dominates writing since “Love You”, it’s missing Carl, it has David Marks on it, the production is generally sort of “soft” for lack of a better way to put it, though it avoids the easy listening/AC smoothness of “Imagination”, it was full of political concessions and backroom negotiations, and I could go on and on. All that factored in, it’s a surprisingly enjoyable and *relatively* cohesive listen.

There’s really not an out-and-out *bad* song on it, and it had been awhile since I could say *that* about a BB album. Mike’s “Daybreak” is innocuous, and Al’s backing vocals definitely punch it up. A few of the Brian tunes like “Private Life….” are a bit slight. There’s too much Foskett in a lot of the vocal stacks. The autotune *is* distracting and unfortunate. But top to bottom, most of the songs are solid, the production is solid if lacking much contrast or extra punch (which is why I don’t mind “Beaches in Mind”). Even some of the slight stuff like “Spring Vacation” is undeniably catchy. The ending suite is great. Sure, it sounds a bit like “Rio Grande” in that some of the fragments sounds kind of smushed together in not the most organic way. But all the fragments are good, and it’s not that they don’t fit together still.

If nothing else, the album answers a question I had occasionally had in the preceding couple of decades: What would it sound like if the other BBs sang on a Brian solo album? TWGMTR is the answer to that question. It’s interesting (in a good way) to hear Mike sing on a Brian/Joe Thomas 2000s production.

I don’t know if anything on the album reaches true greatness; the first two tracks come close, and the ending suite is a high mark unquestionably.

I can’t think of a *ton* of stuff featuring Carl that would have worked well on the album. I think a slightly remixed “Soul Searchin’” could have fit. A re-recording of “They’re Only Words” with Carl’s vocals grafted back on maybe. Al’s “Waves of Love” with Carl would have worked. After that, I don’t know what was or is “in the can” as far as Carl lead vocals. Grabbing stuff like the bland “Where We Are” from the early 80s (or whatever the title is), I wouldn’t have advocated for that. But who knows what else is lurking in the vaults from the 80s and 90s. Does “Grace of My Heart” exist? “Down by the Pier?” That song could be great, or it could suck. I have no idea. I always liked Carl’s little vocal intro on the incomplete “Dancing the Night Away”, but I never liked the rest of the song that much (and it was sorta kinda remade as “How Could We Still Be Dancing” anyway), so that one would have required “Now and Then” levels of reformatting.

But interesting stuff to chew on.


I notice you brought up "Soul Searchin'" a few times, but of course you have to remember that Brian had already issued a version on 2004's Gettin' In Over My Head? While that version is easily my least favorite of the versions I've heard, I can't imagine a scenario would have went back to that in 2011/2012 to put on a new album.


I was only mentioning "Soul Searchin'" because it was/is probably the best and most complete unreleased (at that time) Carl lead vocal related to a "Beach Boys" track that had been recorded in his final years.

Brian had indeed released his not-so-great solo duet version, but I don't think that would have precluded inclusion on a BB album. I just think that stuff wasn't on their radar when doing TWGMTR. Other factors dictated it wasn't included as well I'm sure.
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/
CenturyDeprived
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4821



View Profile
« Reply #63 on: July 03, 2019, 03:34:32 PM »

To paraphrase what someone said back in 2012, the TWGMTR album was much better than it had any right being. That’s really just another way of saying “Whoa, I assumed it wouldn’t be very good, but it’s actually pretty good!”

It’s an anachronism in the BB catalog in a number of ways. It sounds nothing like the most recent BB albums (though those were pretty old), it’s the first album where Brian so heavily dominates writing since “Love You”, it’s missing Carl, it has David Marks on it, the production is generally sort of “soft” for lack of a better way to put it, though it avoids the easy listening/AC smoothness of “Imagination”, it was full of political concessions and backroom negotiations, and I could go on and on. All that factored in, it’s a surprisingly enjoyable and *relatively* cohesive listen.

There’s really not an out-and-out *bad* song on it, and it had been awhile since I could say *that* about a BB album. Mike’s “Daybreak” is innocuous, and Al’s backing vocals definitely punch it up. A few of the Brian tunes like “Private Life….” are a bit slight. There’s too much Foskett in a lot of the vocal stacks. The autotune *is* distracting and unfortunate. But top to bottom, most of the songs are solid, the production is solid if lacking much contrast or extra punch (which is why I don’t mind “Beaches in Mind”). Even some of the slight stuff like “Spring Vacation” is undeniably catchy. The ending suite is great. Sure, it sounds a bit like “Rio Grande” in that some of the fragments sounds kind of smushed together in not the most organic way. But all the fragments are good, and it’s not that they don’t fit together still.

If nothing else, the album answers a question I had occasionally had in the preceding couple of decades: What would it sound like if the other BBs sang on a Brian solo album? TWGMTR is the answer to that question. It’s interesting (in a good way) to hear Mike sing on a Brian/Joe Thomas 2000s production.

I don’t know if anything on the album reaches true greatness; the first two tracks come close, and the ending suite is a high mark unquestionably.

I can’t think of a *ton* of stuff featuring Carl that would have worked well on the album. I think a slightly remixed “Soul Searchin’” could have fit. A re-recording of “They’re Only Words” with Carl’s vocals grafted back on maybe. Al’s “Waves of Love” with Carl would have worked. After that, I don’t know what was or is “in the can” as far as Carl lead vocals. Grabbing stuff like the bland “Where We Are” from the early 80s (or whatever the title is), I wouldn’t have advocated for that. But who knows what else is lurking in the vaults from the 80s and 90s. Does “Grace of My Heart” exist? “Down by the Pier?” That song could be great, or it could suck. I have no idea. I always liked Carl’s little vocal intro on the incomplete “Dancing the Night Away”, but I never liked the rest of the song that much (and it was sorta kinda remade as “How Could We Still Be Dancing” anyway), so that one would have required “Now and Then” levels of reformatting.

But interesting stuff to chew on.


I notice you brought up "Soul Searchin'" a few times, but of course you have to remember that Brian had already issued a version on 2004's Gettin' In Over My Head? While that version is easily my least favorite of the versions I've heard, I can't imagine a scenario would have went back to that in 2011/2012 to put on a new album.


I was only mentioning "Soul Searchin'" because it was/is probably the best and most complete unreleased (at that time) Carl lead vocal related to a "Beach Boys" track that had been recorded in his final years.

Brian had indeed released his not-so-great solo duet version, but I don't think that would have precluded inclusion on a BB album. I just think that stuff wasn't on their radar when doing TWGMTR. Other factors dictated it wasn't included as well I'm sure.

I feel like Soul Searchin' had quite a bit of baggage at the point they were making TWGMTR.

I remember when GIOMH came out, I was thinking that relations with Brian and Mike must've been at a really low point for the decision to be made to purposely wipe perfectly good BBs backing vocals on that song, to be replaced by a wall of Brians. That felt like an extra "f-you" move aimed at The BBs, namely Mike.

It seems there was a concerted effort to try and present that as a Brian + Carl duet song (not a "BBs" song), and I have to think that the idea of going back in 2012 to either re-record new BBs backing vocals, or to reinstate the previously-wiped BBs backing vocals would just be a bit of a prickly subject that understandably was avoided as the song was not touched.
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 1.103 seconds with 21 queries.
Helios Multi design by Bloc
gfx
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!