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648528 Posts in 25940 Topics by 3701 Members - Latest Member: Little E. Honda July 15, 2019, 11:19:35 PM
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Author Topic: Mike The Melody Maker  (Read 1709 times)
BananaLouie
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« on: July 07, 2019, 03:47:17 PM »

There’s Love the lyricist and Big Sur, where he wrote the words and music but are there other Beach Boys songs where Mike wrote at least part of the melody or most/all of the music? I recall reading that Mike had written the melody for Let The Wind Blow and Anna Lee The Healer. Anyone know if this is true and of other examples?
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 06:04:13 PM by BananaLouie » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2019, 05:32:17 PM »

Sumahama and Everyone’s in Love with you.
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2019, 08:09:52 PM »

Allegedly All I Wanna Do.
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2019, 08:15:45 PM »

Brian has stated that Mike helped with the music of "Little Honda", so presumably his contribution there was melodic.
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2019, 08:37:51 PM »

Allegedly All I Wanna Do.

According to the credits, Brian wrote the melody, Mike wrote the lyrics. Another lawsuit?
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2019, 03:56:25 AM »

Allegedly All I Wanna Do.

I’ve heard this, too, although Brian may have assisted with the music aspect of the composition. Perhaps Mike was inspired by TM and may very well have composed some of the music for AIWD/Sunflower and Friends...Who Knows?
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2019, 07:11:49 AM »

There’s Love the lyricist and Big Sur, where he wrote the words and music but are there other Beach Boys songs where Mike wrote at least part of the melody or most/all of the music? I recall reading that Mike had written the melody for Let The Wind Blow and Anna Lee The Healer. Anyone know if this is true and of other examples?

I have also read online that Mike wrote the music for "Let the Wind Blow," but to my knowledge he himself has never claimed that, only saying that he wrote the poem upon which the song is based and that Brian set it to music. (I believe Brian has said the same thing.)

By Mike's own account, his main musical contribution to Beach Boys songs was usually hook lines. For example:

* Mike composed the single-note "round round get around, I get around" part (based on "ba-ba-ba, ba-Barbra Ann") which Brian then turned around
* Mike credits himself with writing most of "Surfin' Safari" if I remember correctly, or at least the verse melody (plus lyrics, of course). Mike's account in his book actually understates his authorship a bit, but from what he says it's clear that he composed the majority of the copyrightable elements of the song.

I think it is true that Mike wrote the r&b style verses of "Anna Lee." I am less sure about "All I Wanna Do." It becomes both easier and harder to track Mike's contributions after about 1965 -- easier, because Mike increasingly got solo credits as he worked with Brian less, but harder, because Mike's book doesn't include as much detail about the songwriting and recording process after this point.

But his accounts in his book about his melodic contributions to the early stuff are very credible and detailed. You can hear a lot of Mike's musical frame of mind whenever they get into a kind of R&B vein with the vocal chants. I suspect he made a lot of musical contributions to the Wild Honey album.
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2019, 07:24:09 AM »

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I think it is true that Mike wrote the r&b style verses of "Anna Lee." I am less sure about "All I Wanna Do."
Agree, magie, AIWD isn't the type song Mike could be capable to write. & AL got simplistic melody in verses that fits Mike. Mike's main strength is lyrics, there he made impressive things.
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2019, 07:55:53 AM »

Well the track for All I Wanna Do was on the recent 1968 release-so Brian seems to have recorded that long in advance of Mike writing lyrics-I really doubt that Mike wrote that melody-especially as Brian was still quite involved when the tracking session took place-as compared to 1970
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2019, 08:02:10 AM »

I'm sure Mike has refined a few melodies and bass parts over the years, but is there any evidence of him writing songs from scratch? I don't think he knows how.
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2019, 11:02:33 AM »

BE, of course he knows how. He received sole writing credit for stuff like Everyone's In Love With You, Brian's Back, Unleash The Love, etc...
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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2019, 11:42:09 AM »

BE, of course he knows how. He received sole writing credit for stuff like Everyone's In Love With You, Brian's Back, Unleash The Love, etc...

You think Mike wrote those songs entirely on his own? On which instrument do you think he composed them on? I'm honestly asking. If I'm wrong, so be it. I just always assumed that people like Ron Altbach (and/or whoever else was in his orbit at the time) wrote most of the music for Mike's songs. I figured, he'd have an idea for a song, have some lyrics, but he'd have to enlist someone to actually write the music.
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2019, 12:15:29 PM »

Yeah, those songs all have relatively simple chord changes, they wouldn't require virtuoso-like playing to write.

Here's a video from Mike's FB page of him playing Crescent Moon on guitar. You can see he definitely doesn't have the chops of Carl Wilson or Al Jardine, but could definitely piece together a pop song.   https://www.facebook.com/OfficialMikeLove/videos/1124214947657345/
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2019, 06:36:54 PM »

I’m hoping no one brings up Goin’ To The Beach. I do love the song, as sad as that sounds, and Mike may have had the idea and possibly the melody, but who added chords and backing vocal arrangements and then went uncredited? Brian.
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2019, 07:17:07 PM »

I’m hoping no one brings up Goin’ To The Beach. I do love the song, as sad as that sounds, and Mike may have had the idea and possibly the melody, but who added chords and backing vocal arrangements and then went uncredited? Brian.

Face it, Mike Love is not a songwriter and whatever he's ''credited" with, he's had crutches provided to come up with "his" final product. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Brian didn't add something here and there to flesh out what the lovester couldn't come up with to make it whole. You have to look at Kokomo in which the song was basically already written and all Mike had to do was rewrite the words and easily change the rhythm of the original song and I'm sure he received help doing that alone. Credit can easily be given out as witnessed by WIBN which he did not deserve. Looking at his track record, most of "his" output has not been received well or totally ignored with most efforts being embarrassing at best.
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« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2019, 08:30:38 PM »

I’m hoping no one brings up Goin’ To The Beach. I do love the song, as sad as that sounds, and Mike may have had the idea and possibly the melody, but who added chords and backing vocal arrangements and then went uncredited? Brian.


Yep, and there’s video evidence
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« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2019, 08:38:29 PM »

Mike Love does not possess the skills to write a simple pop song. He has, at BEST, a minimal understanding of musical theory. He has said many times how hard he has to focus just to sing a bass part. Anything that lists Mike Love as the sole author, is not telling the whole truth. Now sure, someone around all of these musical influences could surely hum up a melody and with the supervision of someone else, it could be set to a chord progression and vocal harmonies could be expanded on top of it. A good example (and this is about the only thing they remotely have in common) is Jim Morrison of The Doors. He would write these poetic lyrics, come up with these beautiful melodies in his head and then Ray Manzarek would have to sit there and figure out all the harmonies for him and Robby, so they could create the track.

As for Goin' To The Beach...that would be a big success for Mike Love. For Brian Wilson? Harmonizing that song is like knocking out a crossword puzzle.
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« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2019, 04:33:44 AM »

I’m hoping no one brings up Goin’ To The Beach. I do love the song, as sad as that sounds, and Mike may have had the idea and possibly the melody, but who added chords and backing vocal arrangements and then went uncredited? Brian.


Yep, and there’s video evidence

I think Carl had as much to do with the musical arrangement of "Goin' To The Beach" as Brian...in that video, Mike mentions how he played the song for Carl, who then did a demo on the guitar. After that came the point where Brian added the vocal backgrounds at the piano.
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« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2019, 04:44:44 AM »

A good example (and this is about the only thing they remotely have in common) is Jim Morrison of The Doors. He would write these poetic lyrics, come up with these beautiful melodies in his head and then Ray Manzarek would have to sit there and figure out all the harmonies for him and Robby, so they could create the track.


Another good example would be Stevie Nicks...Lindsey Buckingham came up with arrangements for her F Mac tunes, therefore contributing a lot to how songs like "Landslide" and "Dreams" ended up sounding, but the sole writing credit goes to Nicks. I think it's a case of singers coming up with a melody and maybe adding simple three-note chords behind it, then a guitarist and/or keyboardist fleshing things out arrangement-wise.
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« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2019, 04:57:15 AM »

A good example (and this is about the only thing they remotely have in common) is Jim Morrison of The Doors. He would write these poetic lyrics, come up with these beautiful melodies in his head and then Ray Manzarek would have to sit there and figure out all the harmonies for him and Robby, so they could create the track.


Another good example would be Stevie Nicks...Lindsey Buckingham came up with arrangements for her F Mac tunes, therefore contributing a lot to how songs like "Landslide" and "Dreams" ended up sounding, but the sole writing credit goes to Nicks. I think it's a case of singers coming up with a melody and maybe adding simple three-note chords behind it, then a guitarist and/or keyboardist fleshing things out arrangement-wise.

To say nothing of Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band, particularly Drumbo (John French), who had to transcribe Beefheart's piano basics into something the band could play. Not putting Beefheart down--I love that man!--but the MB did so much for his songs and went entirely uncredited.   
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« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2019, 05:45:02 AM »

BE, of course he knows how. He received sole writing credit for stuff like Everyone's In Love With You, Brian's Back, Unleash The Love, etc...

You think Mike wrote those songs entirely on his own? On which instrument do you think he composed them on? I'm honestly asking. If I'm wrong, so be it. I just always assumed that people like Ron Altbach (and/or whoever else was in his orbit at the time) wrote most of the music for Mike's songs. I figured, he'd have an idea for a song, have some lyrics, but he'd have to enlist someone to actually write the music.

Mike has been playing keyboard/piano since he was a child.
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« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2019, 06:01:02 AM »

I refuse to believe that Mike Love wrote the middle-eight to Let The Wind Blow.
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« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2019, 06:55:39 AM »

Also with his Terry Melcher collaborations, Mike
must have played at least a minor role in shaping the song structures and melodies. However I think Brian deserved a credit on Getcha Back which is reminiscent of Don't Worry Baby. 
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« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2019, 08:53:16 AM »

Also with his Terry Melcher collaborations, Mike
must have played at least a minor role in shaping the song structures and melodies. However I think Brian deserved a credit on Getcha Back which is reminiscent of Don't Worry Baby. 

I think Bruce Springsteen deserves a writing credit too Grin half kidding, but that song sounds exactly like ‘Hungry Heart’ - which is funny because didn’t Mike do a cover of ‘Hungry Heart’?
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« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2019, 10:29:21 AM »

Mike Love does not possess the skills to write a simple pop song. He has, at BEST, a minimal understanding of musical theory. He has said many times how hard he has to focus just to sing a bass part. Anything that lists Mike Love as the sole author, is not telling the whole truth. Now sure, someone around all of these musical influences could surely hum up a melody and with the supervision of someone else, it could be set to a chord progression and vocal harmonies could be expanded on top of it. A good example (and this is about the only thing they remotely have in common) is Jim Morrison of The Doors. He would write these poetic lyrics, come up with these beautiful melodies in his head and then Ray Manzarek would have to sit there and figure out all the harmonies for him and Robby, so they could create the track.

As for Goin' To The Beach...that would be a big success for Mike Love. For Brian Wilson? Harmonizing that song is like knocking out a crossword puzzle.

Just to clarify the point in bold about The Doors: What has been and is still a misconception is how many of the Doors' songs were written by Robby Krieger, specifically those songs that are in perpetual rotation as played on classic rock radio. And by "written" that means words and music. As much as Jim is credited as the band's lyricist, consider how many words to the classic Doors hits were also written by Robby. And it was Robby who often worked out the chords and music if he didn't come in with those elements already formed, to which lyrics were added.

I'm just thinking Manzarek (RIP) is getting the credit more deserved by Robby in the quote above, I know it's off topic but worth pointing out. Robby was the unsung musical guru on a lot of the more popular Doors songs who also brought lyrics to those songs.

In terms of Mike Love credited as a sole author, I agree: He writes lyrics and adds hooks, and often after the musical structure of a song or idea is already in place. Just check comments from those including Brian, Andy Paley, etc going back decades...and also note how Kokomo came together, and consider Mike would often come in at the tail end to add some phrase to make a song "25% better" (for those who get that reference  Grin  ).

I'm still wondering how and why Altbach was left off the official credits for Mike's Christmas song a few years ago when even Mike's own website lists Altbach as a writer.

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