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655371 Posts in 26184 Topics by 3725 Members - Latest Member: suitable_rasberry February 23, 2020, 10:37:14 AM
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Author Topic: Our Special Love - A Second Released Mix? And are there more songs like this?  (Read 858 times)
ForHerCryingSoul
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« on: January 23, 2020, 05:23:28 PM »

Something that I noticed today is this version of Our Special Love from 2014 has missing backing vocals compared to the No Pier Pressure release in 2015. I personally prefer this version of the song due to more clearly hearing Brian's voice: https://youtu.be/Ra-Hz_TBWMY

But I wonder if there are any more demos or beta mixes that exist? Songs that accidentally shipped out unfinished?

In any case, I didn't know that Our Special Love had two released mixes. Carry on...
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rab2591
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 05:26:05 AM »

I forgot about this, but now I remember a different version of 'Our Special Love' coming out earlier than the NPP version. Sadly, due to all the negative responses to this song, Peter Hollins actually made an account here and defended his work, described the process of working with Brian, and said he was so blessed/grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He seems like a really stand-up guy who was yet another target of the overwhelming negativity that NPP received on this forum.

I think the intro/outro of this song is one of the most beautiful parts of the album. The song itself is wonderful in the way it uses strictly vocals to create an entire song.

I'm not aware of any other beta mixes that shipped out accidentally. Somewhat relating to this though, I do remember Brian being a part of a couple indie-type songs during this time (I guess to help promote himself to a younger audience). He sang on a song with Mini Mansions and its pretty catchy. He also sang on a song of Emile Haynie's (you can really hear him at the 4:00 minute mark). Anyways, I know thats not what you were asking about, but in case you hadn't heard that stuff before it may be of interest.
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 06:33:02 AM »

Yes, the track was first released on Hollens's album in a different mix from what was used on Brian's NPP album.

Obviously, nobody should attacked online or elsewhere, and I honestly don't remember how vicious the criticism was of Hollens back then (e.g. fair criticism vs. name-calling, etc.), but the track is pretty weak across the board, and I think both Brian and Hollens can field some criticism for that.

As a composition, it come across as a throwaway. From the super generic bland title to the not-particularly-great lyrics, the song comes across as something fished out of the "toss" bin to use for this collaboration.

And yes, the track and Hollens's style are super processed/autotuned/synthetic sounding. I gather that what may have happened is that Hollens gained some YouTube notoriety for doing his stacked harmony pieces, and this seems on the surface to be very much in the BB/Brian wheelhouse. But 1963 "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring" Hollens work was certainly *not*; while I have no reason to doubt Hollens's ability to understand and perform multi-part harmonies, the tracks seem to be uber-super-duper processed.

So when this all merged into the eventual released track (either mix really), I don't think it was out of line to feel the thing just wasn't really A-material, even factoring in Brian's at times uneven solo albums and the occasional vocal processing/smoothing done on various Brian solo projects. "Our Special Love" compositionally and stylistically just wasn't a high point on NPP. In fact, while I have always had a very mixed review of the NPP album overall, I have always found "Our Special Love" to be its weakest track.

But I wasn't and am not opposed to Brian doing collaborations of various sorts, including working with  material that isn't in his normal wheelhouse. But even something that has already seemingly been forgotten like his backing vocals on "Dirty Computer" are more substantive than "Our Special Love" in my mind.
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rab2591
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 07:06:22 AM »

I went back and checked, I partially misremembered: Hollens did join and comment, but it wasn't to defend himself - he just joined when the track dropped and told his story and how much Brian Wilson meant to him. That being said, comments such as "bland as f***" "awful" "boy band dreck" were used to describe the track.

I think it is technically a really cool track - where there are a lot of elements buried deep that really give the song this subtle foundation. There's some bass note in there that I was floored wasn't played on an actual instrument. That being said, it's far from a favorite track of mine from the album. And I think most people who didn't like it were adult enough to be critical of the song in a respectful manner...others not so much.

I really think the intro is one of the most beautiful parts of the entire album though.
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2020, 08:25:39 AM »

Something that I noticed today is this version of Our Special Love from 2014 has missing backing vocals compared to the No Pier Pressure release in 2015. I personally prefer this version of the song due to more clearly hearing Brian's voice: https://youtu.be/Ra-Hz_TBWMY

But I wonder if there are any more demos or beta mixes that exist? Songs that accidentally shipped out unfinished?

In any case, I didn't know that Our Special Love had two released mixes. Carry on...

The video track sounds like a demo that would be pitched to Boyz II Men, Jr..
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 08:32:11 AM by SBonilla » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2020, 08:55:14 AM »

Is Hollen's account of working with Brian still available somewhere here?
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rab2591
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2020, 09:23:34 AM »

Is Hollen's account of working with Brian still available somewhere here?

No, I misremembered - someone asked about it after he posted but Hollens didn't respond. He does say he was able to work with Brian but he didn't go into how that process took place.

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I grew up in a house where music was constantly playing, and if it wasn't jazz or classical music, it was always Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys.   I look up to him more than anyone else, and he's one of the reasons not only myself, but members of my team got into music.  I hold him in the utmost respect and esteem.   I couldn't honestly say enough amazing things about him.   The Beach Boys were my father's favorite groups, and he recently passed from brain cancer two years ago, and I hope more than anything that he knows somehow, that I was able to work with Brian.  I know from my own experience, that no one is ever good enough to collaborate and work with him, but I just wanted you to know where my heart was and all the effort I tried to put forth into this song with him. 

I could have sworn he talked about the process somewhere. Maybe I'm thinking of Musgraves though.
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2020, 10:05:43 AM »

I'd read that "Our Special Love" was earmarked early on for a Beach Boys follow-up album to TWGMTR. Therefore, whenever I listen to it, I imagine it with Mike singing the deep bass part, and Bruce on the "Now she's gone and you just can't forger her" line, and Jeff on the high falsetto. It helps me enjoy it more, but makes me sad at the same time.
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2020, 10:50:40 AM »

I don't mind that one. When I first heard the NPP version, it seemed a little less processed to me than the first version.
I think I read a story that this song was once intended for Frank Ocean before being significantly reworked.
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2020, 11:04:35 AM »

Thanks for sharing this. Not crazy about many aspects of this tune, but I'm always game to hear a different mix, even if only for curiosity's sake. I am grateful for any new material that Brian releases, but man I long for the days of the Gershwin album's production. They NAILED it on that album, both the production of the instruments as well as the production and quality of Brian's voice.

I'll never understand how it wasn't decided that the sonic results of that album were top shelf Brian, and that production team and style should ideally have been replicated on subsequent releases. Maybe the fact that Gershwin didn't sell made it more enticing to work with a different production team/style that it was thought would have a better potential for sales success, but that was most certainly a regrettable decision, IMHO.

Gershwin should have been a blueprint for modern day Brian sound. It's MILES and MILES better-sounding than anything in his solo career, other than BW88, much of which I quite like too. (TLOS ain't bad sounding either).
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2020, 07:34:43 AM »

I suppose I'm in the minority in that I don't have any problem with this song.  It's not essential listening but an interesting collaboration nonetheless and I dig the harmonies.  In fact I still enjoy much of No Pier Pressure and listen to it quite regularly.  Side-comment but it's interesting to note that on the vinyl version the track-listing is completely out of order from the CD and digital releases.  I'm guessing this was done to get the songs to fit on both sides of the vinyl. 
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2020, 06:14:38 AM »

I'd read that "Our Special Love" was earmarked early on for a Beach Boys follow-up album to TWGMTR. Therefore, whenever I listen to it, I imagine it with Mike singing the deep bass part, and Bruce on the "Now she's gone and you just can't forger her" line, and Jeff on the high falsetto. It helps me enjoy it more, but makes me sad at the same time.


Yes, IIRC Ray Lawlor said so on this board. The intro harmonies where written by Brian with the Beach Boys in mind, while he was already working on ideas for a new Beach Boys album after TWGMTR. Of course now we know that there would never be such an album. I'm not sure but wasn't the working title something with "Angel"? Maybe I mis-remember that. A quick search for Ray's comments should give an answer.
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