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Author Topic: TRAINWRECKORDS: Summer In Paradise  (Read 2415 times)
CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2020, 07:17:10 PM »

I confess I don't know all the ins and outs of the organization, but I thought it was more along the lines of the voting partners of BRI basically sided with Mike on having the touring license and kind of made him the captain of the brand. Neither Carl nor Brian were deeply invested in piloting the ship.

I think "Summer of Paradise" happened because it was something to do and there was no real resistance to putting out product, but it wasn't that Mike necessarily had complete control. But Landy's Brian was focused on solo work, Carl kind of lost motivation after the band went oldies (and especially after Dennis died). Al may have resisted elements of the situation, especially with live performances / cheerleaders, but he was the only one perhaps positioned to combat Mike. And however one looks at it, Mike has certainly been more of a face of the brand and IS a family member, so he has a bit more pull than Al.

Again, just my basic understanding, and I would not be at all surprised if I am wrong. Smiley

As for Carl, the Brian/Paley material, I've thought about this one a lot.

Here's where I land on it ...

I don't think Carl disliked the material. I don't even think he necessarily resented Brian being back in the big chair. And honestly, I don't believe he saw more value in Stars and Stripes, Vol. 1, or in Summer in Paradise, vs. the Paley material.

I think Carl saw a chance of history repeating itself, and this time he said, "That's enough."

From Brian's 1964 breakdown to the Smile meltdown to the 1968 mental disintegration to the Holland struggle to the Brian's Back circus to the "no really, Brian's really back this time" of KTSA, to the return of Landy ... all Carl ever heard was, "Why didn't the band do this, why didn't the band do that, why did Brian get rushed, why was Brian turned back into a performer, why was Brian forced to produce material, why didn't the family stop this, why didn't Carl do XYZ," etc.

Then there was the faux autobiography, the lawsuits, the press, and all anyone could agree on was that things were completely screwed up.

Carl may have seen renewed interest, a new collection of material, Brian at the center and he may have thought to himself, "What if this goes sideways like it has the last twenty years? What if he loses interest and I have to finish the product? What if Brian crashes even harder? What's Brian's mental state? Is he on the right meds? He's smoking again and he's gaining weight, are people going to compare this to 1980-82?"

I think Carl was in a no-win situation. And the only way to basically control the situation and deflect attention on a possible mess was to shut down the project.

I'm not saying this is 100 percent what happened. But I put myself in the place of the caring brother who has watched his sibling soar close to the sun, crash to earth and try to take flight again like a phoenix, only to burn again and again ... What would I do?

We also can look at release timelines. There was a 5-year span between KTSA and BB85 (granted, Dennis died in between), there were 4 years between BB85 and Still Cruisin' (and that wasn't even a full album of new material). So really there were 7 years between BB85 and SIP. Four years after SIP came Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 (which isn't a perfect album, nor even a particularly inspired project, but it didn't require much investment, it followed a similar project with the Eagles, and had the potential to grow into a new market). Less than 2 years after that, Carl was dead.

Maybe the Paley Sessions material would have blossomed after SAS after the band and Brian and Paley woodshedded the material more. Was, in the 50 Sides book, even takes the blame / falls on the sword for telling Carl and the band that he thought the group could come up with better material.

Carl got sick, Carl died, Brian went full into his solo career and that ended the Paley Sessions hopes for a Beach Boys project.

All I'm saying is that I don't think the decision was simple, I don't think the decision was even really made ... no final decree from Carl that this material would never be recorded. I think they were looking for a chance to try something and take the time to make a good original project, but then time ran out for Carl.

Maybe I'm trying to give Carl way too much freedom. But the dude was a beautiful voice, a true musician and had certainly led the group through rough waters ... I don't think he necessarily thought SIP was better than Paley, I think he was trying to be careful and avoid another exploitation circus and maybe actually buy the time for the band to really make something special. It's just that the special project never had the time to happen.

My two cents, worth much less than that in today's economy.

I end with a caveat: I am always wrong. Smiley So anyone who disagrees, I don't take it personally.







It occurs to me that perhaps Carl was weary of the political and interpersonal ramifications of a full album being written by Brian with yet another outsider, and how this could potentially cause more friction within the band, such as with Mike being jealous again. After all, pretty much every other time an outsider was brought in to work with Brian on a BBs album, Mike threw a hissy fit in some way - Pet sounds, smile, TWGMTR, And we have no reason to think that the Paley sessions would have ended any differently.

And if Carl indeed felt that way and had that fear, I imagine it would be less about the artistic merits of the work and more about keeping the peace.
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« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2020, 08:40:39 PM »

As for Carl, the Brian/Paley material, I've thought about this one a lot.

Here's where I land on it ...

I don't think Carl disliked the material. I don't even think he necessarily resented Brian being back in the big chair. And honestly, I don't believe he saw more value in Stars and Stripes, Vol. 1, or in Summer in Paradise, vs. the Paley material.

I think Carl saw a chance of history repeating itself, and this time he said, "That's enough."

From Brian's 1964 breakdown to the Smile meltdown to the 1968 mental disintegration to the Holland struggle to the Brian's Back circus to the "no really, Brian's really back this time" of KTSA, to the return of Landy ... all Carl ever heard was, "Why didn't the band do this, why didn't the band do that, why did Brian get rushed, why was Brian turned back into a performer, why was Brian forced to produce material, why didn't the family stop this, why didn't Carl do XYZ," etc.

Then there was the faux autobiography, the lawsuits, the press, and all anyone could agree on was that things were completely screwed up.

Carl may have seen renewed interest, a new collection of material, Brian at the center and he may have thought to himself, "What if this goes sideways like it has the last twenty years? What if he loses interest and I have to finish the product? What if Brian crashes even harder? What's Brian's mental state? Is he on the right meds? He's smoking again and he's gaining weight, are people going to compare this to 1980-82?"

I think Carl was in a no-win situation. And the only way to basically control the situation and deflect attention on a possible mess was to shut down the project.

I'm not saying this is 100 percent what happened. But I put myself in the place of the caring brother who has watched his sibling soar close to the sun, crash to earth and try to take flight again like a phoenix, only to burn again and again ... What would I do?

We also can look at release timelines. There was a 5-year span between KTSA and BB85 (granted, Dennis died in between), there were 4 years between BB85 and Still Cruisin' (and that wasn't even a full album of new material). So really there were 7 years between BB85 and SIP. Four years after SIP came Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 (which isn't a perfect album, nor even a particularly inspired project, but it didn't require much investment, it followed a similar project with the Eagles, and had the potential to grow into a new market). Less than 2 years after that, Carl was dead.

Maybe the Paley Sessions material would have blossomed after SAS after the band and Brian and Paley woodshedded the material more. Was, in the 50 Sides book, even takes the blame / falls on the sword for telling Carl and the band that he thought the group could come up with better material.

Carl got sick, Carl died, Brian went full into his solo career and that ended the Paley Sessions hopes for a Beach Boys project.

All I'm saying is that I don't think the decision was simple, I don't think the decision was even really made ... no final decree from Carl that this material would never be recorded. I think they were looking for a chance to try something and take the time to make a good original project, but then time ran out for Carl.

Maybe I'm trying to give Carl way too much freedom. But the dude was a beautiful voice, a true musician and had certainly led the group through rough waters ... I don't think he necessarily thought SIP was better than Paley, I think he was trying to be careful and avoid another exploitation circus and maybe actually buy the time for the band to really make something special. It's just that the special project never had the time to happen.

My two cents, worth much less than that in today's economy.

I end with a caveat: I am always wrong. Smiley So anyone who disagrees, I don't take it personally.


I think that you bring up a lot of good points and are probably basically right.

It's sometimes hard to admit that, as fans, our perspectives on the situation are universes away from the perspectives of the people directly involved.  It's easy for us, in the comforts of our homes and with no emotional involvement in the situation, to listen to the SIP material and the Wilson-Paley tracks, and think, "Who in the hell could possibly think that the former was fine but the latter wasn't?"   But, as you say, maybe it wasn't about the aesthetics at all.  All the Landy drama, conservatorship hearings, etc. still had to have been very fresh in everyone's minds in 1995.  From a fan's perspective, we typically see Brian Wilson as this incredible talent who has created mind-blowing music and, who knows, under the right circumstances and with the right people, might do so again. So the idea of Brian working on something new in the studio is pretty much always good news--great news, in fact.  On the other hand, Carl's perspective, as a brother and bandmate, had to have been different. There certainly had to have been some ambivalence.  

Lately, I've been reading James Murphy's book, "Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963."  What really shines through in the early chapters of that book is how singularly focused teenaged Brian Wilson was on becoming a successful popular musician.  At 15 or 16, he even visited of the manager of the Four Freshmen, asking advice on how to start a group.  So from at least the time Carl was 11 or 12, Brian was focused with great determination on writing songs, performing songs, recording songs... and then he succeeded in a spectacular, unbelievable way.  But at what cost?  Drugs, mental illness, drama, Landy, Dennis' death, Landy again.  If by the mid-'90s, Carl was ambivalent about the whole enterprise, he could certainly have been forgiven for feeling that way.

BTW, the Murphy book has a ton of interesting anecdotes and little factoids, such as an item appearing in the student newspaper of L.A. City College in 1959 about a new addition to the track team, "a cocky redhead" by the name of Mike Love.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 08:51:29 PM by juggler » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2020, 03:16:45 PM »

Never thought about that but great point. Brian, in his worst days, outshines ML every time.

As I'm sure everyone is aware, I'm no Mike Love apologist. But Mike on rare occasions has outshone the others, usually because they barely showed up or turned out something truly awful. For instance, Mike's "Cool Head' is probably the best of the three "solo" tracks on the Hallmark "Songs from Here and Back" CD.

"Summer in Paradise" being followed up with a largely ambivalent if not hesitant band largely ignoring the mid-90s Brian/Paley material (and then doing "Stars and Stripes") is truly one of the more head-scratching moments (which is saying something considering there are many such moments in their history).

I think SIP is truly the worst album, with its one main positive being that it serves *very well* to indicate where the band was at creatively and internally at the time.

But Mike, cultivated by the correct person/team (and that person(s) isn't Terry Melcher or Adrian Baker or Michael Lloyd or an of his other recent producers) can bring some stuff worth working on to the table.

While I remain firm that Mike is the one who kept the reunion from continuing, I don't think a well-cultivated 2013 follow-up album to TWGMTR with more Mike involvement would have been all a bad thing.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 03:26:35 PM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2020, 03:25:06 PM »

One note... this reviewer gives ML credit for writing Kokomo, but it's John Phillips' song.  Phillips' version was 80% there, while Mike added the "Bermuda Bahama come on pretty mama" bit.

I remember back when SIP was new-ish and the internet was in its infancy, several fans mockingly described the album as "Mike Love's Pet Sounds"  or "Mike Love's Smile."  And that was sort of true.  It was a project with a unified theme ("summer") in which one member (Mike) had free rein to do a whole album consistent with his personal vision.

And, yes, it just boggles the mind that Carl, God rest his soul, apparently thought that the Wilson-Paley songs and Don Was weren't up to the group's standards... while the SIP material apparently was (?!).


While the main bulk of the raw material for "Kokomo" was already there, and while I'm firmly of the mind that further ego-stroking Mike regarding the song is a very bad idea, it's undeniable that Mike and Terry Melcher turned the song from a rando demo with zero hit potential into an actual commercial *song* and *recording*, and certainly that chorus refrain is the linchpin for the song being catchy and successful.  Phillips still got writing credit on the song; I don't know if anybody knows the break down on which writers got which amount of points on those royalties. M

I've always said the song should and should have been fondly recalled by band members as a cool curio of a surprise hit from a catchy song that gave the band a nice shot in the arm. Unfortunately, its success coupled with lack of Brian involvement meant Mike would never *stop* talking about the song again.

This "Trainwreckords" YouTube thing is just a fun quick surface-ey overview. The guy doing it clearly is not a huge BB fan. He did enough homework on this and didn't make any huge errors (saying Al was "fired" from the band at the time is not quite accurate, and it's highly unlikely it never sold over a single thousand copies). I'm actually surprised he did a video on this album. He's done several of this "series" of wildly varying eras and styles. Everything from CCR's "Mardi Gras" to Lauryn Hill's "Unplugged 2.0".

I'm actually surprised his SIP episode didn't hone in even *more* on how it's literally the *same single* snare drum sample on almost the entire album.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 03:27:58 PM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2020, 03:32:31 PM »

I confess I don't know all the ins and outs of the organization, but I thought it was more along the lines of the voting partners of BRI basically sided with Mike on having the touring license and kind of made him the captain of the brand. Neither Carl nor Brian were deeply invested in piloting the ship.

I think "Summer of Paradise" happened because it was something to do and there was no real resistance to putting out product, but it wasn't that Mike necessarily had complete control. But Landy's Brian was focused on solo work, Carl kind of lost motivation after the band went oldies (and especially after Dennis died). Al may have resisted elements of the situation, especially with live performances / cheerleaders, but he was the only one perhaps positioned to combat Mike. And however one looks at it, Mike has certainly been more of a face of the brand and IS a family member, so he has a bit more pull than Al.

Again, just my basic understanding, and I would not be at all surprised if I am wrong. Smiley

As for Carl, the Brian/Paley material, I've thought about this one a lot.

Here's where I land on it ...

I don't think Carl disliked the material. I don't even think he necessarily resented Brian being back in the big chair. And honestly, I don't believe he saw more value in Stars and Stripes, Vol. 1, or in Summer in Paradise, vs. the Paley material.

I think Carl saw a chance of history repeating itself, and this time he said, "That's enough."

From Brian's 1964 breakdown to the Smile meltdown to the 1968 mental disintegration to the Holland struggle to the Brian's Back circus to the "no really, Brian's really back this time" of KTSA, to the return of Landy ... all Carl ever heard was, "Why didn't the band do this, why didn't the band do that, why did Brian get rushed, why was Brian turned back into a performer, why was Brian forced to produce material, why didn't the family stop this, why didn't Carl do XYZ," etc.

Then there was the faux autobiography, the lawsuits, the press, and all anyone could agree on was that things were completely screwed up.

Carl may have seen renewed interest, a new collection of material, Brian at the center and he may have thought to himself, "What if this goes sideways like it has the last twenty years? What if he loses interest and I have to finish the product? What if Brian crashes even harder? What's Brian's mental state? Is he on the right meds? He's smoking again and he's gaining weight, are people going to compare this to 1980-82?"

I think Carl was in a no-win situation. And the only way to basically control the situation and deflect attention on a possible mess was to shut down the project.

I'm not saying this is 100 percent what happened. But I put myself in the place of the caring brother who has watched his sibling soar close to the sun, crash to earth and try to take flight again like a phoenix, only to burn again and again ... What would I do?

We also can look at release timelines. There was a 5-year span between KTSA and BB85 (granted, Dennis died in between), there were 4 years between BB85 and Still Cruisin' (and that wasn't even a full album of new material). So really there were 7 years between BB85 and SIP. Four years after SIP came Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 (which isn't a perfect album, nor even a particularly inspired project, but it didn't require much investment, it followed a similar project with the Eagles, and had the potential to grow into a new market). Less than 2 years after that, Carl was dead.

Maybe the Paley Sessions material would have blossomed after SAS after the band and Brian and Paley woodshedded the material more. Was, in the 50 Sides book, even takes the blame / falls on the sword for telling Carl and the band that he thought the group could come up with better material.

Carl got sick, Carl died, Brian went full into his solo career and that ended the Paley Sessions hopes for a Beach Boys project.

All I'm saying is that I don't think the decision was simple, I don't think the decision was even really made ... no final decree from Carl that this material would never be recorded. I think they were looking for a chance to try something and take the time to make a good original project, but then time ran out for Carl.

Maybe I'm trying to give Carl way too much freedom. But the dude was a beautiful voice, a true musician and had certainly led the group through rough waters ... I don't think he necessarily thought SIP was better than Paley, I think he was trying to be careful and avoid another exploitation circus and maybe actually buy the time for the band to really make something special. It's just that the special project never had the time to happen.

My two cents, worth much less than that in today's economy.

I end with a caveat: I am always wrong. Smiley So anyone who disagrees, I don't take it personally.








Great observations.

I also have to wonder if Carl was just kind of disinterested in the BB's and maybe he just didn't feel all that great.
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« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2020, 05:13:29 PM »

I confess I don't know all the ins and outs of the organization, but I thought it was more along the lines of the voting partners of BRI basically sided with Mike on having the touring license and kind of made him the captain of the brand. Neither Carl nor Brian were deeply invested in piloting the ship.

I think "Summer of Paradise" happened because it was something to do and there was no real resistance to putting out product, but it wasn't that Mike necessarily had complete control. But Landy's Brian was focused on solo work, Carl kind of lost motivation after the band went oldies (and especially after Dennis died). Al may have resisted elements of the situation, especially with live performances / cheerleaders, but he was the only one perhaps positioned to combat Mike. And however one looks at it, Mike has certainly been more of a face of the brand and IS a family member, so he has a bit more pull than Al.

Again, just my basic understanding, and I would not be at all surprised if I am wrong. Smiley

As for Carl, the Brian/Paley material, I've thought about this one a lot.

Here's where I land on it ...

I don't think Carl disliked the material. I don't even think he necessarily resented Brian being back in the big chair. And honestly, I don't believe he saw more value in Stars and Stripes, Vol. 1, or in Summer in Paradise, vs. the Paley material.

I think Carl saw a chance of history repeating itself, and this time he said, "That's enough."

From Brian's 1964 breakdown to the Smile meltdown to the 1968 mental disintegration to the Holland struggle to the Brian's Back circus to the "no really, Brian's really back this time" of KTSA, to the return of Landy ... all Carl ever heard was, "Why didn't the band do this, why didn't the band do that, why did Brian get rushed, why was Brian turned back into a performer, why was Brian forced to produce material, why didn't the family stop this, why didn't Carl do XYZ," etc.

Then there was the faux autobiography, the lawsuits, the press, and all anyone could agree on was that things were completely screwed up.

Carl may have seen renewed interest, a new collection of material, Brian at the center and he may have thought to himself, "What if this goes sideways like it has the last twenty years? What if he loses interest and I have to finish the product? What if Brian crashes even harder? What's Brian's mental state? Is he on the right meds? He's smoking again and he's gaining weight, are people going to compare this to 1980-82?"

I think Carl was in a no-win situation. And the only way to basically control the situation and deflect attention on a possible mess was to shut down the project.

I'm not saying this is 100 percent what happened. But I put myself in the place of the caring brother who has watched his sibling soar close to the sun, crash to earth and try to take flight again like a phoenix, only to burn again and again ... What would I do?

We also can look at release timelines. There was a 5-year span between KTSA and BB85 (granted, Dennis died in between), there were 4 years between BB85 and Still Cruisin' (and that wasn't even a full album of new material). So really there were 7 years between BB85 and SIP. Four years after SIP came Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 (which isn't a perfect album, nor even a particularly inspired project, but it didn't require much investment, it followed a similar project with the Eagles, and had the potential to grow into a new market). Less than 2 years after that, Carl was dead.

Maybe the Paley Sessions material would have blossomed after SAS after the band and Brian and Paley woodshedded the material more. Was, in the 50 Sides book, even takes the blame / falls on the sword for telling Carl and the band that he thought the group could come up with better material.

Carl got sick, Carl died, Brian went full into his solo career and that ended the Paley Sessions hopes for a Beach Boys project.

All I'm saying is that I don't think the decision was simple, I don't think the decision was even really made ... no final decree from Carl that this material would never be recorded. I think they were looking for a chance to try something and take the time to make a good original project, but then time ran out for Carl.

Maybe I'm trying to give Carl way too much freedom. But the dude was a beautiful voice, a true musician and had certainly led the group through rough waters ... I don't think he necessarily thought SIP was better than Paley, I think he was trying to be careful and avoid another exploitation circus and maybe actually buy the time for the band to really make something special. It's just that the special project never had the time to happen.

My two cents, worth much less than that in today's economy.

I end with a caveat: I am always wrong. Smiley So anyone who disagrees, I don't take it personally.





Mike had complete control over SIP, watch this at 13:34
https://youtu.be/ljsGG3sbEL0
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« Reply #31 on: March 24, 2020, 10:33:56 PM »

By this time, Carl had another outlet for his own creative impulses, and that was Wilson-Beckley-Lam. I think he pretty much didn't care about new Beach Boys music that much, but was willing to go along with it. Except for the Wilson-Paley material, interestingly enough. I think Carl had decided that music needed to sound "contemporary" to stand a chance of being a hit. While SIP isn't that good, and while Wilson-Beckley-Lam is full of '80-ish production values, I think they both fit what he considered to be "contemporary", whereas the Wilson-Paley stuff didn't. Even though, by the mid-'90s, "contemporary" meant organic and not synthetic (Don Was' production of Bonnie Raitt, for instance), and therefore closer to the Wilson-Paley sound than either SIP or what Wilson-Beckley-Lam was turning out to be, poor Carl didn't yet realize that.
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« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2020, 02:34:39 PM »

By this time, Carl had another outlet for his own creative impulses, and that was Wilson-Beckley-Lam. I think he pretty much didn't care about new Beach Boys music that much, but was willing to go along with it. Except for the Wilson-Paley material, interestingly enough. I think Carl had decided that music needed to sound "contemporary" to stand a chance of being a hit. While SIP isn't that good, and while Wilson-Beckley-Lam is full of '80-ish production values, I think they both fit what he considered to be "contemporary", whereas the Wilson-Paley stuff didn't. Even though, by the mid-'90s, "contemporary" meant organic and not synthetic (Don Was' production of Bonnie Raitt, for instance), and therefore closer to the Wilson-Paley sound than either SIP or what Wilson-Beckley-Lam was turning out to be, poor Carl didn't yet realize that.

I love Carl, but as you allude to, nobody in the band, including Carl, had much of an idea of what was "contemporary" as far as success on the charts/sales (nor critically for that matter).

I've always felt a lot of Carl's personal baggage with Brian colored Carl's view of the Paley era/material, along with Carl's perplexing lean into Adult Contemporary sounds (ironically close to Joe Thomas's sound on "Imagination"). If the band was looking for a *hit single*, then yeah, "You're Still a Mystery" (nor "Soul Searchin'" for that matter) was going to do that. Nothing was going to do that. What nobody in the band (save for kinda Brian, and even then it was more the collaborators/producers he was working with) realized by the 90s is that their best bet for getting good critical notices and staying relevant as far as *new* music was to *MAKE A GOOD ALBUM*, an album fine tuned to their abilities and sensibilities. McCartney was still hitting #2 with his "Flaming Pie" album in 1997, yet none of his singles in the US or UK were doing much of anything.

One has to wonder what Carl made of either of Brian's 1995 albums, the IJWMFTT soundtrack and "Orange Crate Art." Neither were snagging Grammies, but were much more well-received than anything the BBs had done since some time in the 70s. And more notably, it was Brian being *active* and making new music.

Brian had two albums out in 1995, along with probably *two more albums* worth of material he had done with Andy Paley. Sure, all of these Brian projects had a *lot* of his collaborators in those projects. But he was doing stuff, and *releasing* stuff.

Something weird was going on with Carl, and/or Carl's relationship with Brian, where Carl obliged miming to "Summer of Love" in 1995 on "Baywatch", and only months later was not over the moon to dive into some *real* music that Brian and Paley were bringing in.

I'm not even a HUGE fan of all of the Paley material. But an album of the BBs singing and album's worth of those Paley tracks would have been good. It would have been solid, and possibly *very good*, and would have probably received some good reviews and at least decent album sales. Paley himself said the group were *so good* in the studio that he felt they could have cut the finished album in TWO DAYS.
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« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2020, 02:46:05 PM »

I don't think Carl disliked the material. I don't even think he necessarily resented Brian being back in the big chair. And honestly, I don't believe he saw more value in Stars and Stripes, Vol. 1, or in Summer in Paradise, vs. the Paley material.

I would 50% disagree with each of these assertions. While I don't think any of these issues were a huge deal, nor a pressing concern, I do think Carl had mixed feelings about some elements of those Paley tracks (the most specifics we've heard is that Carl had some issues with the production/recording, specifically the Don Was-produced backing track to "Soul Searchin'" that nobody has ever heard).

I don't think Carl disliked the material, but he didn't like it enough to make any reported effort to help make it happen.

I don't know if he saw more value specifically with the S&S album, but he certainly participated and agreed to its release. Same with SIP. He was, at the very least, giving his tacit approval to these projects creatively (and giving literal approval legally).

I think Carl saw a chance of history repeating itself, and this time he said, "That's enough."

From Brian's 1964 breakdown to the Smile meltdown to the 1968 mental disintegration to the Holland struggle to the Brian's Back circus to the "no really, Brian's really back this time" of KTSA, to the return of Landy ... all Carl ever heard was, "Why didn't the band do this, why didn't the band do that, why did Brian get rushed, why was Brian turned back into a performer, why was Brian forced to produce material, why didn't the family stop this, why didn't Carl do XYZ," etc.

Then there was the faux autobiography, the lawsuits, the press, and all anyone could agree on was that things were completely screwed up.

Carl may have seen renewed interest, a new collection of material, Brian at the center and he may have thought to himself, "What if this goes sideways like it has the last twenty years? What if he loses interest and I have to finish the product? What if Brian crashes even harder? What's Brian's mental state? Is he on the right meds? He's smoking again and he's gaining weight, are people going to compare this to 1980-82?"

I think Carl was in a no-win situation. And the only way to basically control the situation and deflect attention on a possible mess was to shut down the project.

I think the issue of fearing Brian tapping out could have been a real issue, but if Carl really felt this way, he would have had to go out of his way to ignore a lot of evidence to the contrary. Unlike the late 70s, the stuff Brian was doing in the mid-90s had *several* additional collaborators/producers/fixers involved. Both Andy Paley and Don Was were there at those group sessions in 1995 for "Soul Searchin'" and "You're Still A Mystery." Was clearly was ready to do a BB album, and was literally on board as either producer or co-producer. There was very little chance of a literal breaking down of those sessions. Brian and Paley had already written and cut around two album's worth of material. Carl had 20+ songs partially or fully finished, *two* producers backing up Brian, and a group that could easily cut vocals in short order. I'm not saying Carl was the only impediment. It was obviously much more complicated. But it's also worth pointing out that by the end of 1995, Brian had cut two full albums.

So, a Brian Wilson capable of singing and arranging *all* the vocals on something like the "Orange Crate Art" album, coupled with a huge bag of songs, a solid facilitator in Andy Paley, a then pretty hot producer in the form of Don Was, and a group with nothing else to do, all suggested that a Beach Boys album with that material had little chance of being a disaster if the band members had put any weight behind it.
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« Reply #34 on: March 25, 2020, 03:27:21 PM »

Since we're on this subject, the library here has a pretty good timeline of the events of the 1994-96 period...
http://smileysmile.net/OLDlibrary/timeline.html

One thing that's pretty interesting about that period, according to the words of Don, Brian and Mike Love at the time, Mike seems to have been fully on board and enthusiastic about working with Brian and Don Was on a Beach Boys project.





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« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2020, 08:26:16 PM »

Without reading the link I will make this point. Mike (and Brian) have often said they would not rule out working together on future projects, especially in interviews. It seems to be just a way to move on to the next question IMO.
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« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2020, 10:19:44 PM »

Since we're on this subject, the library here has a pretty good timeline of the events of the 1994-96 period...
http://smileysmile.net/OLDlibrary/timeline.html

One thing that's pretty interesting about that period, according to the words of Don, Brian and Mike Love at the time, Mike seems to have been fully on board and enthusiastic about working with Brian and Don Was on a Beach Boys project.


I'm going to assume that Mike being enthusiastic or not about a project probably has much to do with whether he is treated in the manner that he deems respectful enough for his standards, and if he is promised a certain amount of input (or not). Frankly, I think there would have to be a certain amount of brown nosing involved. I'm sure that's true with many famous musicians of course, but I think it would particularly be true with Mike who has a chip on his shoulder. There's a whole lot of history here, and Mike certainly seems to have triggers.

No idea if Was might've floated a certain amount of collaboration promises or seemed to show interest - genuine or feigned - for Mike's ideas, but I would imagine any producer or collaborator who was outwardly mainly focused on Brian would perhaps not be considered someone Mike would prefer to work with in that type of situation.

At various times in the history of this band, the band was more of a Brian Wilson solo project with the other members contributing much less in a creative capacity, and at other times it was much more of a more fully involved thing with everyone contributing creatively. Much like what happened with the actual eventual reunion album in 2012, I'm sure the only way to get on the good side of Mike would have been to initially - at least with promises-  placate whatever demands he had, and it seems to me those demands would have been for some level of collaboration that suited him. He wasn't going to go with feeling pushed aside again. Which sadly, of course, could've been at the expense of untold amounts of great music never being recorded.


I don't know where Was' documentary about Brian fits in with this timeline, either.

But Mike obviously had/has lots of baggage of feeling pushed aside, so I'm sure it would be very easy for someone from the outside to rub him the wrong way. On the other hand, someone who maybe realized this going in, and presented themselves in a manner that would've been more to his liking could make him give the green light.

Maybe that's just what Joe did years later.

Even if the presentation was more smoke and mirrors, I would equate a producer having preliminary talk with bandmembers as somewhat of a job interview. Maybe some promises were made that were never meant to be fulfilled.  We can only guess about how a Was BBs album was floated to Mike and Brian, but I tend to think it would've been somewhat as I've described above.
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« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2020, 03:39:52 AM »

Any brown-nosing this time would certainly work in Mikes favor as he has the biggest brown noser of all time Bruce Johnston on his side. If there's ever been a bigger brown noser in the entire world than Bruce I'd like to find them.
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« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2020, 12:54:52 PM »


Great video!! So wildly entertaining. So appropriate to see this stinking pile of crap squashed back into Mike Love's d'bag face indeed. And Stamos getting spanked in this is the proverbial icing on the cake because, as the vid says, he's not a BB. So fitting to see ML's shining moment get completely blasted apart in what appears to be the best review of one of the absolute worst releases in rock history.
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« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2020, 01:26:53 PM »


So, a Brian Wilson capable of singing and arranging *all* the vocals on something like the "Orange Crate Art" album, coupled with a huge bag of songs, a solid facilitator in Andy Paley, a then pretty hot producer in the form of Don Was, and a group with nothing else to do, all suggested that a Beach Boys album with that material had little chance of being a disaster if the band members had put any weight behind it.

Not to be picky about it, but OCA's vocals arrangements were written by Van Dyke himself, at last that was the case with the title song. BTW, Van Dyke is working with Omnivore Records on a reissue of OCA with bonus tracks, but not alternate takes by Brian, AFIK.
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« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2020, 03:15:17 PM »


So, a Brian Wilson capable of singing and arranging *all* the vocals on something like the "Orange Crate Art" album, coupled with a huge bag of songs, a solid facilitator in Andy Paley, a then pretty hot producer in the form of Don Was, and a group with nothing else to do, all suggested that a Beach Boys album with that material had little chance of being a disaster if the band members had put any weight behind it.

Not to be picky about it, but OCA's vocals arrangements were written by Van Dyke himself, at last that was the case with the title song. BTW, Van Dyke is working with Omnivore Records on a reissue of OCA with bonus tracks, but not alternate takes by Brian, AFIK.

That is cool.  I wonder what other bonus tracks there are besides What a Wonderful World.
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« Reply #41 on: March 26, 2020, 03:27:16 PM »


So, a Brian Wilson capable of singing and arranging *all* the vocals on something like the "Orange Crate Art" album, coupled with a huge bag of songs, a solid facilitator in Andy Paley, a then pretty hot producer in the form of Don Was, and a group with nothing else to do, all suggested that a Beach Boys album with that material had little chance of being a disaster if the band members had put any weight behind it.

Not to be picky about it, but OCA's vocals arrangements were written by Van Dyke himself, at last that was the case with the title song. BTW, Van Dyke is working with Omnivore Records on a reissue of OCA with bonus tracks, but not alternate takes by Brian, AFIK.

I went back and forth with this with someone awhile aback, I'm not sure if it was you. I have to disagree, insofar as what I consider to be "vocal arrangements." I don't buy that Van Dyke either sang or notated all of those vocal parts for every song on OCA.

I'd certainly buy that they co-arranged those vocals. I don't think VDP just threw solo vocal demos at Brian and Brian took it from there. But I don't think VDP has the vocal prowess or ability to either record all those multi-part harmonies on a demo or to dictate every part of those harmonies directly to Brian from beginning to end.

I'm not super familiar with VDP's recorded work, so if someone knows of an album where VDP sang all the parts of a 5 or 6-part harmony stack, I'd be interested to hear that. My recollection is that VDP, as I believe he has alluded to himself, is not a virtuoso vocalist. I've listened to some of his solo shows. He can sing in tune, but that's about it. Certainly cool to hear him sing the stuff that he wrote.

I think VDP's lead melody lines on OCA certainly dictate where some of those vocal stacks would go. In some cases, Brian is just stacking stuff above and below a lead melody line. But in other cases, some of those arrangements have a lot of syncopated, sort of jutting interjection bits and whatnot, and some of that stuff I think is much more likely to have been introduced and/or refined by Brian. And in some cases the vocals soar all over the place, and again some if not most or all of that had to have come from Brian.

Unless there is evidence VDP notated on paper every part of every vocal stack on every song (in which case, could Brian even read that, and is that how he has ever worked?), or that he produced demos with all those parts, or strong evidence he stood beside Brian and dictated every part of every vocal stack, I think at the very least that would warrant a co-arranger credit on the vocals for Brian.

Make no mistake, I love OCA (much more than when it came out). I'm not a huge fan of the lyrics (the style is fine; I'm just not a fan of that particular subject matter, that romanticizing of upper-middle class/upper-class pre-60s whimsy), but the songs are great and Brian's vocals are great. It's interesting to hear Brian sing someone else's songs. It's a highly underrated album. And, VDP likely had to crack the whip to get Brian to do it. But once he was there, Brian had to have dictated some of those vocal arrangements.
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« Reply #42 on: March 26, 2020, 05:09:39 PM »

No, Hey Jude, I wasn't the one you discussed this issue. Last year I was very lucky to do a very long interview with Van Dyke (I'm a huge admirer, I felt like talking to Mark Twain) , and I was just checking my transcription, and yes, he told me he did all the vocal arrangements for the album, dictating every part to Brian, line by line. Don't forget Van Dyke was a choirboy, even singing at Carnegie Hall, but that wasn't really necesary for him to do the arrangements: he's a master at that, so to him is the same writing for vocals or strings or horns. But I guess he didn't have to sing every part to Brian, much less make him read sheet music: Van Dyke could have played each part on the piano.  He told me that on the OCA song it took Brian three hours to record a doubled five voices. That recollection matches the memories of one of the engineers for the album on an audio forum (can't find the quote now), who said there were a lot of composites (that is, splicing different takes) and time spent on getting Brian's vocals right.

As for the bonus, I've heard a backing track for Hold Back Time, and he told me there will be different mixes, but he's not sure if there's a version of Our Love is Here To Stay, as it has been reported.

Anyway, the published interview is in Spanish, but I suppose you could get a reasonably decent translation with Chrome. It's very long, covering all his career and his great album with Gaby Moreno, but there's some interesting things about Smile, including his idea for an animated feature (!), the Cabinessence argument with Mike Love and the state of his relationship with Brian.

https://laagenda.buenosaires.gob.ar/post/190392418770/m%C3%BAsica-el-amigo-americano
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« Reply #43 on: March 27, 2020, 05:30:48 PM »

https://youtu.be/27J8Q3XR56E

I have now reviewed every album except That's Why God Made the Radio. Which I will do soon. Here is my Summer In Paradise Review.
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"Over the years, I've been accused of not supporting our new music from this era (67-73) and just wanting to play our hits. That's complete b.s......I was also, as the front man, the one promoting these songs onstage and have the scars to show for it."
Mike Love autobiography (pg 242-243)
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« Reply #44 on: March 27, 2020, 06:32:49 PM »

https://youtu.be/27J8Q3XR56E

I have now reviewed every album except That's Why God Made the Radio. Which I will do soon. Here is my Summer In Paradise Review.
Cool review, i'll check the other reviews, nice job!!!
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