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650709 Posts in 26004 Topics by 3711 Members - Latest Member: JPP4 September 21, 2019, 08:26:45 AM
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Author Topic: 1998/1999 unreleased Al Jardine album  (Read 2482 times)
Jim V.
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« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2019, 08:44:38 PM »

I'll have to A/B this version of "Waves of Love" to the previous version. It sounds pretty similar. It's definitely the "saxophone/soundcheck" version found on the first pressing of the 2012 CD (the one with the buried Carl vocal), with possibly some mix variations.

The other two are cool to hear. "Jenny Clover" is another Al piano ballad in the mold of "And I Always Will." Al's voice sounds great; the song is okay. I have to give it more listens.

"Middle of Nowhere" very much *screams* NINETIES!!!!! This reminds me of what "Summer in Paradise" could have sounded like with better production. But yeah, it's very early-mid 90s. The closest comparison in the BB world I could think of is that it sounds a bit production-wise and style-wise like the 1997 "The Wilsons" album. Nice Matt lead and backing from Al. Very much sounds like an attempt at a "The Jardines" album.

I don't think either of these songs are as good as the best stuff on "Postcards", but they're nice to listen to and more indicators that Al probably has like 50 more tracks buried that we've never heard.

With all due respect, I just cannot see how you think what we are calling the saxophone version of "Waves of Love" the soundcheck recording. The entire thing seems much cleaner and more thought through than the other version. It has Carl's vocal couched in harmonies (improving it greatly) instead of standing alone, it has Al singing in a much more reasonable key, and just overall has a much more "considered" arrangement in my opinion.  It just sounds more 2010s than the other one. The other just kinda rides along with it's "Help Me Rhonda" type organ part and and sounds like something that woulda...for lack of a better phrase....something that woulda been recorded at a soundcheck.

Now perhaps I'm wrong, but I think that despite what I feel many on this board may think, it may have been backwards.

This back and forth seemed strangely familiar, and sure enough we had this same debate back in 2012 regarding the variations of this song. Which is totally fine and all in good fun.

To be clear, I don’t think any version of the song is purely a raw soundcheck performance. Every version has been sweetened/overdubbed, etc.

What I recall hearing back years ago was that “Waves of Love” began as something Al laid down during a soundcheck; this is presumably where Carl was present and added his vocal contribution. From there, varying amounts of additional overdubs were added to the different versions.

What I’m saying is that the “saxophone version”, meaning the version in the lower key and with Carl’s vocals buried in a stack of voices (the version included on the first US copies of the 2012 CD, and a variation of which is now on Dvoskin’s Soundcloud), sounds MUCH closer in *ambience* to what a soundcheck recording would sound like. Meaning, everything is wetter in the mix (more echo/reverb). The basic track elements of this version are the only thing in any version that sound plausibly like they could have been tracked during on on-stage soundcheck sort of setting. Even on this version, clearly more vocals have been overdubbed, with some stacked Al vocals being most obvious.

The second version (the version issued on the download version of the album back in 2012, and an alternate mix of which was also included on the Japanese SHM CD in 2012) sounds essentially *completely* re-recorded in a studio setting, with only Carl’s vocal from the other version flown in (and done so in a rather odd fashion, more on that in a moment). The key is different, and everything is dryer and punchier. The key is higher, so Al’s voice, while still sounding quite good, does sound a bit strained in places. Al’s vocal also sounds newer (meaning he sounds older), also suggesting the first “saxophone” version likely includes a 90s Al lead vocal while this second version includes an Al vocal cut probably in the late 2000s. It also sounds like what they did on this version is to extract Carl’s vocal from the vocal stack of the “first” version, and then isolate it and fit it into the higher key of the “second” version. This is why, to me, Carl’s more isolated vocal on this version has always sounded a bit odd.

Now, further complicating things is that I don’t think even Al or Dvoskin have been consistent on which version is *THE* version of the song they want to establish. When confusion first reigned back in 2012 when both versions were simultaneously released via CD and download respectively, I believe Al mentioned in an interview that it was the saxophone/CD version that was the “error” so to speak. That was the version they didn’t want to release, and it was in fact the second, higher key version issued as a download that was the “finished” version. Supporting that this was the case back in 2012 was that it was that second version that was issued later in 2012 on the Japanese SHM CD, along with an alternate mix of that same version. Also supporting this was that they kept this second version up as the download version of the song, and of course a digital download is something that can much more easily be fixed/replaced if something is in error, as opposed to CD pressings which are out there and obviously much harder to recall or replace.

Everything (other than the screw-up of releasing two vastly different versions happening in the first place) up to this point made sense to me. Regardless of which version one likes more (I like both, truly), that second, higher-key version certainly sounded like a more dense version with more going on, and sounded much more like a modern in-studio recording, and it was clearly attempting to more prominently feature Carl’s vocal contribution. And Al was seeming to establish *that* version as the go-to version. So it made sense that *that* version was the “final” or “finished” version that they were trying to establish.

The new alternate mix on Dvoskin’s Soundcloud is a variation of that “first” version, however. Now, we don’t know for sure which version Dvoskin and Al were very recently shown on Facebook “finishing up”, but I have a suspicion they have now gone back to that first saxophone “soundcheck” sounding version and are working with that one again. Which makes perfect sense only in that everything these guys seem to do with this song tends to make NO sense.

Ironically, I’d wager it’s quite possible whatever version Al and Dvoskin issue in the future is going to be yet *another* mix of one version or the other, which will mean we’ll likely be up to FIVE different mixes of this song.


Hey there HeyJude, I admit when I first read your response, I was once again somewhat like "argh, he just does not get it! How can he not hear what I'm hearing." But after truly reading through it again, I must say that I see what you're saying in here. I understand what you mean vis-à-vis Carl's vocal and how it was couched in harmonies when it was recorded, but then extracted and then possibly pitch shifted, which leaves us with the slightly wonky sounding version on what I'll call the "organ" version (to differentiate from the "sax" version). However, where I think we part is how we hear the tracks in question. The organ version to me sounds like an open air stage with the organ getting a natural room reverb and Al just kinda going for it in a key that doesn't quite work for him. However, one point that you bring up that may hadn't crossed my mind was that both of these versions have probably had significant overdubbed and vocal work. But I still stand by the fact that I think the opposite of you. But that's what makes this board interesting.

I suppose the easiest thing to do would be for one of us to contact Larry Dvoskin on Facebook or Twitter, and perhaps maybe I'll do that some time. He always has kinda seemed up to discuss The Beach Boys and his work with Al. In fact didn't he once say that "Waves of Love" was their Pet Sounds? Though who even knows. If we asked Al, I have a feeling that things would get even more complicated! He'd probably say it's an unreleased cut!
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HeyJude
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« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2019, 07:26:42 AM »

Hey there HeyJude, I admit when I first read your response, I was once again somewhat like "argh, he just does not get it! How can he not hear what I'm hearing." But after truly reading through it again, I must say that I see what you're saying in here. I understand what you mean vis-à-vis Carl's vocal and how it was couched in harmonies when it was recorded, but then extracted and then possibly pitch shifted, which leaves us with the slightly wonky sounding version on what I'll call the "organ" version (to differentiate from the "sax" version). However, where I think we part is how we hear the tracks in question. The organ version to me sounds like an open air stage with the organ getting a natural room reverb and Al just kinda going for it in a key that doesn't quite work for him. However, one point that you bring up that may hadn't crossed my mind was that both of these versions have probably had significant overdubbed and vocal work. But I still stand by the fact that I think the opposite of you. But that's what makes this board interesting.

I suppose the easiest thing to do would be for one of us to contact Larry Dvoskin on Facebook or Twitter, and perhaps maybe I'll do that some time. He always has kinda seemed up to discuss The Beach Boys and his work with Al. In fact didn't he once say that "Waves of Love" was their Pet Sounds? Though who even knows. If we asked Al, I have a feeling that things would get even more complicated! He'd probably say it's an unreleased cut!

I think all of the versions of this track have been sufficiently reworked to where it’s impossible to know anything for sure. The fact that they’ve clearly issued multiple versions (and multiple mixes of each of those versions) only muddies the waters even more. That they issued some of the variations seemingly *accidentally* makes it even *more* confusing! That they then, seven years later, reissued the album for streaming *without* the song at all makes it even further perplexing. Then, a random alternate mix is just floating around on Soundcloud for months with nobody noticing. Then, Dvoskin is posting on Facebook about “finally finishing” a song that has already had three or four variations put out there, and discusses it under an alternate title and speaks as if the song has never been issued before. It’s all pretty screwy.

That being said, beyond all of the things I mentioned before pointing to that “First CD/Saxophone” version as sounding much closer to a soundcheck iteration, I will also say this:

That second “organ” version, the “download” version in the higher key, sounds ZERO like anything the mid-1990s touring band could have recorded on stage. I’m well versed in what the various touring bands sounded like, the style and capabilities of the musicians, and what any “board” recording of that lineup would sound like. There’s nothing on that “organ” version that sounds like it was recorded by the circa 1995 touring band. They may have brought some of those guys back in to the studio at a later date to do some of that guitar and other work. I can’t rule out that *something* on that organ version (besides Carl’s lead) was flown in from the original soundcheck recording. Maybe Meros did some on-stage B3 work or something that was copied and pasted. But because the two versions are in different keys, this seems unlikely. But I’d say that 95+ percent of what is heard on that “organ” version couldn’t have possibly been recorded on-stage during a soundcheck by the touring band in the 90s. The track is way too adorned. The guitar work sounds tight and punchy. Pretty much *everything* on this version sounds dry and quite direct. There’s no way the guitars on that version were done live on stage by Al, Carl, and Ed Carter. I don’t think Carl even gets a guitar credit on the song. Of course, the credits for the song are potentially non-sensical as well, because they seem incomplete and it’s unclear which version they pertain to. But the credits I recall not only mention several of the touring band members, but also Dvoskin on keyboards and Dan Knutson on guitar, and I don’t think either of those guys were on stage. If the song *otherwise* had any ambience like what I know the touring band sounded like at that time, then maybe I’d buy that the “organ” version is a soundcheck recording with a few overdubs. But to me, it very much sounds like a studio re-record with a few elements, mainly Carl’s voice, flown in from the old original soundcheck recording.

Here's what I would guess happened.

At a gig in the 1993-1996 time frame (apparently at the Merv Griffin resort in Altantic City), Al spent some time with the touring band at soundcheck noodling on a new song he had written with Dvoskin, “Waves of Love.” As far as I can tell, given the sort of assembly line, autopilot nature of the touring band in that era, it probably *wasn’t* super common to spend any significant amount of time during soundchecks working out *new* material, especially in the era when they weren’t actively pursuing recording a new album. But maybe they were doing a bit more in the way of rehearsals and soundcheck, and so they tried out this Al tune. Apparently, Mike and Bruce aren’t even on it, meaning either they weren’t even on stage when the track was cut, or any of their contributions were wiped. I’m guessing a lineup of Al, Carl, Matt along with Meros, Kowalski, Carter, and Cannata (not sure where Billy Hinsche plays into this) attempted the song. Al had these attempts recorded, whether for demo/reference purposes or because, maybe, he thought they could really use this as a spring board for a “finished” version?

At some point, and I don’t know if this was very soon after, or some point later in the 90s, or way later, some overdubs were added to this version. Most notably, stacked Al vocals were added at some point (the “dit dit dit” sort of stuff). We can also hear an accordion-type instrument, most prominently on this recent mix that surfaced on Dvoskin’s Soundcloud.

At some stage, *this* version, what I guess we’re calling the “Saxophone” version, must have been the one Al was considering for release on some iteration of his “Postcards” album. They clearly prepped (and possibly did further overdubs on) this version in the 2010-2012 timeframe for potential release as a bonus track on the 2012 “Postcards” reissue/wide release.

At some point, either before, concurrent, or after that first version was noodled with, they seem to have tried a completely different version of the song. The key was changed (higher), and it sounds like they basically attempted to give a higher energy, punchier sound by upping the key, the tempo, and adding slightly crunchy guitars and recording everything pretty dry and up-front. They even added slide guitar. They also of course re-arranged the song itself in terms of the order of the verses and choruses. It seems, though, that they when they did this new version, they still wanted to integrate Carl’s vocal. I’d have to listen to both versions and try to sort of mentally isolate Carl’s voice in the harmony stack of that first version to hear if Carl’s voice is in the same key on both versions. They either altered the pitch on Carl’s voice for this new version, or they essentially pulled Carl’s voice out of the vocal stack heard on that first version and then determined what key a new recording would or could be in so that Carl’s isolated voice could serve now as a lead for that chorus portion of the song. Carl’s voice sounds kind of strange on this version, and I think that’s due both to plucking his voice out of a harmony stack, and then also having someone (Matt?) double Carl’s voice, making it sound simultaneously *more* isolated yet also somewhat indistinct or unclear.

When it came time to do the 2012 reissue/wide release of “Postcards”, I think their intention was to release this second “organ” punchy version. Somehow, while this version was included on digital copies of the album, the first “saxophone” version was put on the CD. How they got this incorrect version on a master, presumably had proofs/test pressings made, and then the thing had presumably thousands of copies replicated, I have no idea. Typical Beach Boys stuff though.

When the song was finally issued in 2012, Al often highlighted Carl’s voice being on the track. I think this is noteworthy as well, as Carl’s voice is  *much* more to the fore and discernable on that second “organ” version of the song. Carl is essentially only a backing vocalist on the first “sax” version. I don’t think the vocal Carl turned in was likely anything other than a quick rattled off thing done to help Al demo a song at a soundcheck. Thus, especially when isolated away from the harmony stack, Carl’s vocal sounds just kind of weird and tentative and wonky. I’ve always wondered if this was one of the many possible reasons nobody wanted to work on this thing in 2012 for the BBs reunion album.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 07:32:01 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2019, 12:13:52 PM »

Wow! How did we not know about these GREAT FINDS! Get these out to the public, they're fantastic! Love Jennifer Clover, has a 60's feel to it, a little like Groovy Kin Of Love.....perfection! And Middle of Nowhere, rocks!!! Great Job Jardines!!!

Has a bit of a "Lady Lynda" feel as well.
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« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2019, 08:42:18 AM »

I was able to snag 320 kbps MP3 files of all three Jardine tunes using SoundCloudMP3.cc. If you are on Dvoskin's SoundCloud page playing the song(s) you need a copy of, click the share button under said song. Copy and paste the share link onto SoundCloudMP3.cc and you will be in business.

Thanks so,much!
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« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2019, 07:52:25 PM »

Wow, this is cool news. I'm going to check the songs in library & download using their fast computer. Thanks to bring this news!
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