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Author Topic: Murry Wilson And Snow  (Read 4341 times)
Terry Trolley
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« on: December 10, 2019, 04:17:41 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeQcjyIQWbs&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3iUAtFLqJV9tP1aGNwDNqJPGqvk3dTJZ2QPPxtyf7B83Og3fYtFbQS6DI
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2019, 04:38:44 PM »

What is this? Like, Snow, as in the dude who did "Informer" in the early 90s?
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2019, 04:40:09 PM »

Here's the detail of the release:
http://omnivorerecordings.com/shop/break-away-ep/

Quote
In 1969, Rick Henn brought a vocal group of interest to Murry Wilson. Purportedly from somewhere in the Midwest (Nebraska? Oklahoma?), not much is known about this four member singing group called Snow.

Omnivore Recordings is proud to announce the digital only release of The Break Away EP. Four previously unissued tracks recently discovered in The Beach Boys archives. Murry Wilson and Rick Henn co-produced the EP which includes the title track, penned by Brian Wilson and Murry (under the pseudonym Reggie Dunbar). The song also became a mid-chart hit for The Beach Boys in 1969. Also included on the EP are “We’re Together Again” another Brian Wilson/Beach Boys outtake and two other tracks, “Wilderness” and “Bless Me”. Unfortunately, not much is known about these last two tunes.

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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2019, 04:41:13 PM »

Ahh...ok. I was thinking of this guy    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSffz_bl6zo
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2019, 07:08:22 PM »


This is truly fascinating. Sounds like a cross between The Beach Boys and The Association. I quite love it.

Now, adding to the endless parade of "what if's" with this band, one has to wonder what would've happened had this new Murry band been a hit and if Murry was back "on top"… How that would have changed the Wilson family dynamic, would he have still passed away a short four years later?

It blows my mind how much stuff has been sitting untouched for five decades in a vault.
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2019, 06:10:46 AM »

Quote
"Now THOSE guys could syncopate!"

LOL

I love what I'm hearing here, can't wait for more! Thanks for sharing!
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2019, 07:36:03 AM »

Nice to see these recordings coming out. I brought up the subject 6(!) years ago!  LOL

Follow this link to an earlier thread to read Rick Henn's recollections about Snow:

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,15348.0.html
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2019, 09:12:58 AM »

After hearing that, the fact that Murry co-wrote this song makes a lot more sense to me now than it ever did before. In this arrangement I hear a lot of the old-fashioned type of popular music influence that I would expect
from Murry. This is like finding a missing puzzle piece 50 years later, and it's fascinating. I really want to hear the rest. Rick Henn was a most talented fellow and I wonder how deep his involvement was.
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2019, 10:04:35 AM »

After hearing that, the fact that Murry co-wrote this song makes a lot more sense to me now than it ever did before. In this arrangement I hear a lot of the old-fashioned type of popular music influence that I would expect
from Murry. This is like finding a missing puzzle piece 50 years later, and it's fascinating. I really want to hear the rest. Rick Henn was a most talented fellow and I wonder how deep his involvement was.

Also, hearing this big elaborate Outro/ending part of the Snow version of "breakaway", it feels like a great deal of care was put into this being a very epic sounding ending to the song.

And based on that, it almost makes more sense that Al felt that Brian's version that was recorded for the Beach Boys felt a bit muted by comparison. Of course, who knows if Al ever heard this version, but it almost makes more sense from a conceptual standpoint that this version was the baseline version from which the Beach boys would make their own version from. As much as I like the Beach Boys version of the song, this version does seem to have more of an epic ending by comparison.
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2019, 11:19:07 AM »

What is this? Like, Snow, as in the dude who did "Informer" in the early 90s?

Fun fact:  I was suuuuuuuuper into that song, Informer, and the rest of Snow’s debut; I memorized the whole thing and performed it in my high school battle of the bands.

Good times!

Also, love Murry’s jams here.
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2019, 01:55:50 PM »

After hearing that, the fact that Murry co-wrote this song makes a lot more sense to me now than it ever did before. In this arrangement I hear a lot of the old-fashioned type of popular music influence that I would expect
from Murry. This is like finding a missing puzzle piece 50 years later, and it's fascinating. I really want to hear the rest. Rick Henn was a most talented fellow and I wonder how deep his involvement was.

Also, hearing this big elaborate Outro/ending part of the Snow version of "breakaway", it feels like a great deal of care was put into this being a very epic sounding ending to the song.

And based on that, it almost makes more sense that Al felt that Brian's version that was recorded for the Beach Boys felt a bit muted by comparison. Of course, who knows if Al ever heard this version, but it almost makes more sense from a conceptual standpoint that this version was the baseline version from which the Beach boys would make their own version from. As much as I like the Beach Boys version of the song, this version does seem to have more of an epic ending by comparison.

A bit of a tangent, but I think Al has more of an ear, both purposefully and maybe even semi-subconsciously, for weird unreleased stuff. When the Brian ’74 version of “California Feeling” was finally released on “Made in California” in 2013, it was only then that it was quite obvious that when Al cut his version for his solo record in 2010 (likely recorded several years before that), he had been referencing that ’74 version rather than the “LA (Light Album)” version from ’78.

Al hasn’t often gone into deep specifics on things he didn’t like about a given song; it’s telling that he specifically mentioned in an interview that he remembered the ending of “Break Away” being a letdown in his mind. 
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2019, 02:32:26 PM »

After hearing that, the fact that Murry co-wrote this song makes a lot more sense to me now than it ever did before. In this arrangement I hear a lot of the old-fashioned type of popular music influence that I would expect
from Murry. This is like finding a missing puzzle piece 50 years later, and it's fascinating. I really want to hear the rest. Rick Henn was a most talented fellow and I wonder how deep his involvement was.

Also, hearing this big elaborate Outro/ending part of the Snow version of "breakaway", it feels like a great deal of care was put into this being a very epic sounding ending to the song.

And based on that, it almost makes more sense that Al felt that Brian's version that was recorded for the Beach Boys felt a bit muted by comparison. Of course, who knows if Al ever heard this version, but it almost makes more sense from a conceptual standpoint that this version was the baseline version from which the Beach boys would make their own version from. As much as I like the Beach Boys version of the song, this version does seem to have more of an epic ending by comparison.

A bit of a tangent, but I think Al has more of an ear, both purposefully and maybe even semi-subconsciously, for weird unreleased stuff. When the Brian ’74 version of “California Feeling” was finally released on “Made in California” in 2013, it was only then that it was quite obvious that when Al cut his version for his solo record in 2010 (likely recorded several years before that), he had been referencing that ’74 version rather than the “LA (Light Album)” version from ’78.

Al hasn’t often gone into deep specifics on things he didn’t like about a given song; it’s telling that he specifically mentioned in an interview that he remembered the ending of “Break Away” being a letdown in his mind.  


Right. And after long ago hearing about Al’s gripe about Breakaway’s ending, I’ve always tried to ascertain just what exactly he was getting at. Personally, I quite like the end tag of The BBs’ version of that song, but it’s hard to know what was bugging him, specifically. The tag doesn’t IMO sound “underproduced” to my ears, but then again if Al had something in his mind that he was comparing it to (perhaps some earlier Brian productions), maybe it sounds a tad less “worked-on” or something. I dunno.

Further clouding the issue of trying to understand what was bugging Al is that there have been like 32 versions of that song released on various rarities compilations, plus bootlegs, etc, and the various versions sort of blend together in my mind (the tags are pretty similar, as I recall, but some versions definitely have more vocal elements/layers than others). I’d have to think that Al is talking about the final, released single version, but who knows.

I guess Al’s feelings might have been due to the fact that this song, in particular, was meant to be a big attempt at a Brian “comeback” at the time, so it must’ve felt like it was EXTRA important for this song to be the VERY best it could be.

All I know is, upon hearing the clip of Snow’s version on that Youtube link, the end of the song is clearly an epic production, it sounds like they really zeroed in on that end outro part as being a very important element of the song (and for whatever reason - maybe because the outro is a unique-to-the-Snow-version-arrangement - whoever decided on what section of the song to show in that clip - probably someone at Omnivore Records - also chose the end outro). Well, that tactic worked, because my interest in this version of the song has skyrocketed!

My guess is either that the Snow version was recorded 1st, and then Brian tried to make another uniquely “epic” sounding outro to The BBs’ version (which Al maybe felt, by comparison, was a letdown)… or The BBs’ version was recorded 1st, Al (and maybe others) felt the end wasn’t as cool as it could’ve been, and the Snow version was an attempt to "right the ship" for the outro, to make it as "epic" as it should have been the 1st time around.  Maybe we'll get some tracking dates with this set which can help figure out the timeline.

Either that, or it’s just a coincidence that the end of The BBs’ version was a sticking point for Al, and that the Snow version appears to have a uniquely epic outro.
 
Side note: I sure as hell hope there's a vocals-only stem version of Breakaway released on this set. Someone awhile back did a boot of that, and while I recall it being of dodgy audio quality, it was breathtaking, particularly a long extended trippy outro of the backing vocals during the tag. The compiler of that boot might've extended those backing vocals during the tag, possibly there was extra reverb added, and it felt like they went on for days (possibly it was a copy/paste job), but that was just fine with me. It was heavenly.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 02:40:11 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2019, 03:08:06 PM »


Right. And after long ago hearing about Al’s gripe about Breakaway’s ending, I’ve always tried to ascertain just what exactly he was getting at. Personally, I quite like the end tag of The BBs’ version of that song, but it’s hard to know what was bugging him, specifically. The tag doesn’t IMO sound “underproduced” to my ears, but then again if Al had something in his mind that he was comparing it to (perhaps some earlier Brian productions), maybe it sounds a tad less “worked-on” or something. I dunno.


The single mix does a pretty bizarre thing with the coda where it drops out to nothing but the percussion and Mike and Al's vocals (horns very low), then drops Al out and brings in the "break away" chorus, then brings in the high harmonies, then finally brings the lead back. It's always sounded sloppy to me and completely kills the momentum of the song. Letting all the parts run simultaneously from the start would've been much more effective - I guess they were trying to be subtle but more is more in this case. Alternate mix on Hawthorne does a better job but leaves those crucial "ahhhhhs" buried for some reason.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 03:12:00 PM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2019, 03:18:44 PM »


Right. And after long ago hearing about Al’s gripe about Breakaway’s ending, I’ve always tried to ascertain just what exactly he was getting at. Personally, I quite like the end tag of The BBs’ version of that song, but it’s hard to know what was bugging him, specifically. The tag doesn’t IMO sound “underproduced” to my ears, but then again if Al had something in his mind that he was comparing it to (perhaps some earlier Brian productions), maybe it sounds a tad less “worked-on” or something. I dunno.


The single mix does a pretty bizarre thing with the coda where it drops out to nothing but the percussion and Mike and Al's vocals (horns very low), then drops Al out and brings in the "break away" chorus, then brings in the high harmonies, then finally brings the lead back. It's always sounded sloppy to me and completely kills the momentum of the song. Letting all the parts run simultaneously from the start would've been much more effective - I guess they were trying to be subtle but more is more in this case. Alternate mix on Hawthorne does a better job but leaves those crucial "ahhhhhs" buried for some reason.

I wonder if Brian just ran out of steam a bit, and didn't want to work on making things as perfect as he had in years past.
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2019, 03:26:30 PM »


Right. And after long ago hearing about Al’s gripe about Breakaway’s ending, I’ve always tried to ascertain just what exactly he was getting at. Personally, I quite like the end tag of The BBs’ version of that song, but it’s hard to know what was bugging him, specifically. The tag doesn’t IMO sound “underproduced” to my ears, but then again if Al had something in his mind that he was comparing it to (perhaps some earlier Brian productions), maybe it sounds a tad less “worked-on” or something. I dunno.


The single mix does a pretty bizarre thing with the coda where it drops out to nothing but the percussion and Mike and Al's vocals (horns very low), then drops Al out and brings in the "break away" chorus, then brings in the high harmonies, then finally brings the lead back. It's always sounded sloppy to me and completely kills the momentum of the song. Letting all the parts run simultaneously from the start would've been much more effective - I guess they were trying to be subtle but more is more in this case. Alternate mix on Hawthorne does a better job but leaves those crucial "ahhhhhs" buried for some reason.

I wonder if Brian just ran out of steam a bit, and didn't want to work on making things as perfect as he had in years past.

It kinda sounds like he did have something perfect, then faffed around with it in the mixing until the arrangement lost its power.
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« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2019, 04:43:38 PM »

I just remembered a Sunshine Pop album I downloaded many years ago from someone's blog (remember those?) by Snow on  the Epic label. It was apparently released in 1968. They have a Spanky & Our Gang type sound to my ears; typical stuff for their time. On the cover are pictured four guys and a gal. I don't have all the tracks but what I still have sounds like it very well could be the same group even though it's produced in a much more rock style. Listen and see what you think.

Snow- Bab's Song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MDdb_pddL4&list=PLGkeRiGAYgaueSCzSBkhyqBjYRJWCxPnF&index=4
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2019, 01:23:27 PM »

The Snow recording of “Break Away” has debuted on therecoup.com: https://therecoup.com/2019/12/16/exclusive-first-listen-murry-wilson-snow-break-away/?fbclid=IwAR1Z220zC4t9AcPZuseCsUnapNkzqQiTrukhPYQ0QYYhFmGiOHoHQngWL-w
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2019, 03:36:59 PM »


Rick Henn was no Al Capps. That's all I can say.
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SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2019, 03:58:25 PM »


The horn break in this is absolutely hilarious
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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2019, 05:00:22 PM »

Is it bad that I now prefer this arrangement to the Beach Boys tune? The Beach Boys tune now sounds half-baked to me compared to this lush arrangement.
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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2019, 05:37:37 PM »

Is it bad that I now prefer this arrangement to the Beach Boys tune? The Beach Boys tune now sounds half-baked to me compared to this lush arrangement.

Yes, very bad.
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« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2019, 06:56:30 PM »


How has nobody realized how funny it is that a Sunray brought Snow to Murry? Nothing will melt snow faster than a sunray.
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« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2019, 06:59:11 PM »


It's a little hokey, but of its time and not too out of place putting it in the context of the late 1960s. Sounds like an intro to a detective show from this era.

Does anyone else hear a flanging type sound in the outro, around 2:45 until the end? Sounds to my ears very much like a similar effect on the outro of Deep Purple from Adult/Child.
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« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2019, 07:04:15 PM »

I listened. My sideburns grew 2 inches longer into mutton chops, my hair grew long and straight and now hangs past my shoulders, my regular shirt turned into a leather fringe vest and my pants into Levis bellbottoms with patches on them, and a pukka shell necklace appeared around my neck. Not to mention the bottle of Hai Karate that I found in the pocket of the Levis.

Man, that track is something. If I were spinning it on vinyl I may have though the record was skipping during the outro/fade.
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« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2019, 04:49:31 AM »

It doesn't work for me. I don't hear more epic at all... I just hear more... *fussy*.

Sometimes a simple approach is the best. More complex music (crazy time signature shifts, more key changes etc) doesn't necessarily improve the overall quality.

When he's been firing on all cylinders, Brian's great skill (to me, anyway) has been to pack what is oftentimes great and musically pleasing complexity into an overall package that sounds simple. For examples, consider I Get Around, the original SMiLE version of Wonderful, and Sunflower's This Whole World.

To me, by contrast, this version of Breakaway is trying FAR too hard.

I get this a lot. Apart from the cantina section itself, I STILL don't get what people see in the cantina version of H&V. To me the later single version is simultaneously more interesting, more radically produced and edited, and way better performed. But for over 20 years, I've been reading people saying that the Cantina one must be the Holy Grail, more epic, more interesting, bigger, better etc... because it was recorded during the SMiLE Sessions... as if the August single must already be the burnt-out work of a has-been.

Anyways... you know what they say about opinions...!

And of course, all of the above is just MY opinion. And everyone else who prefers this version of Breakaway, I'm sincerely glad you like it.
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