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658652 Posts in 26378 Topics by 3745 Members - Latest Member: oncetoseeyou June 05, 2020, 04:44:18 AM
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Author Topic: Marcella  (Read 4127 times)
SonicVolcano
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« on: April 05, 2020, 02:51:48 AM »

Marcella is one of my favourite tracks, but I think its rather slow pace doesn't do the song justice. I made this years ago and, to me, it sounds much better now (maybe a tad too fast):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enSFCmt1mog

What do you think? I also think it could have used a heavier guitar tone (like they did in the live versions). A very underrated track overall and one which could have been a big hit, IMHO.

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kennyhasbeenfound
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2020, 07:19:18 AM »

I like your quick version, and have listened to it many times.  I DO wish that the album version was more like the live version- maybe if they had done it live for a while first, then recorded it?  I'm assuming it was the other way around.  Most people who have been around me when I play the live version really like it and are surprised.
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marcella27
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2020, 10:00:12 AM »

I think the original album track is perfect, though I do love the live versions as well.  With all due respect, I think your sped-up version is a bit too poppy and takes a bit of the moody edge away from the song. 

This is THE song that led me down the path of becoming a deep, deep fan.  I still remember hearing it for the first time...and replaying it as soon as it was over.  And replaying it again!  The vocals in the end tag are among my very favorite BB musical moments ever. 
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c-man
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2020, 10:22:51 AM »

I was waiting to see what marcella27 thought about the BBs' two versions of "Marcella"!  And I agree - the original studio version as released on album and single is perfect, IMO. Any heavier or faster, and it would have lacked that special BBs quality, and become yet another track from that album that people knock for not sounding enough like the BBs. As it is, it and "All This Is That" are really the only two tracks that feel like the BBs to most listeners (nothing wrong with the other tracks on that album - taken individually, they range from quite good to masterful - but they all lack that BBs "sound").

As for the harder rocking "live" version - they sound much more like the Rolling Stones than the BBs there. Nothing especially wrong with that, in a live concert setting. And Brian obviously prefers that arrangement these days, since that's the one he peforms in concert with his band (and on the 2012 BBs tour).
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RubberSoul13
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2020, 12:40:06 PM »

I prefer the original groove of the recording BUT, I prefer the heavier guitar of the live track. I owned the live album before finding "So Tough", so that may have something to do with it...but I wish they could have just let Carl rip out a heavier guitar line, or Blondie. But, I feel that way about several Beach Boys tracks.  LOL
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2020, 02:30:46 PM »

Serious question, I wonder if a ton of weed in the studio might have influenced the slightly slower pace of the studio version  Cool Guy
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2020, 04:41:36 PM »

Serious question, I wonder if a ton of weed in the studio might have influenced the slightly slower pace of the studio version  Cool Guy

Yes.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2020, 04:46:21 PM »

Speaking of studio version song tempo… Does anybody know, did the band ever use click tracks in the pre-digital age?

I wonder how much thought and planning went into determining tempo, or if it was a very spur of the moment type of thing that just happened.
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Jay
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2020, 05:18:33 PM »

When did the group do it during the 2012 tour? I don't remember it.
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Pretty Funky
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2020, 05:49:51 PM »

It’s on the live album from 2012 and was a staple from memory.

https://youtu.be/8w6vMyJXi9o
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c-man
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2020, 05:54:34 PM »

Speaking of studio version song tempo… Does anybody know, did the band ever use click tracks in the pre-digital age?

I wonder how much thought and planning went into determining tempo, or if it was a very spur of the moment type of thing that just happened.

They used metronomes, a Rhythm King (early drum machine), and eventually click tracks (at Brother Studio).
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2020, 08:56:55 PM »

Speaking of studio version song tempo… Does anybody know, did the band ever use click tracks in the pre-digital age?

I wonder how much thought and planning went into determining tempo, or if it was a very spur of the moment type of thing that just happened.

They used metronomes, a Rhythm King (early drum machine), and eventually click tracks (at Brother Studio).


Interesting. Would the metronome be used just at the start of the session to get into the right groove of a tempo?
Or would the drummer be listening to the rhythm of a metronome fed into headphones to play along with for the whole song?
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c-man
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2020, 09:32:51 PM »

Speaking of studio version song tempo… Does anybody know, did the band ever use click tracks in the pre-digital age?

I wonder how much thought and planning went into determining tempo, or if it was a very spur of the moment type of thing that just happened.

They used metronomes, a Rhythm King (early drum machine), and eventually click tracks (at Brother Studio).


Interesting. Would the metronome be used just at the start of the session to get into the right groove of a tempo?
Or would the drummer be listening to the rhythm of a metronome fed into headphones to play along with for the whole song?

Well, all of the examples I can think of (or at least know about) were when tracks were laid down without a drummer. For instance, you can hear the metronome on "Cuddle Up". The Rhythm King was used on, among other songs, "'Til I Die", and on that one the snare drum was added later. Dennis spoke about laying down piano with a click track and adding drums later.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2020, 10:52:55 PM »

Speaking of studio version song tempo… Does anybody know, did the band ever use click tracks in the pre-digital age?

I wonder how much thought and planning went into determining tempo, or if it was a very spur of the moment type of thing that just happened.

They used metronomes, a Rhythm King (early drum machine), and eventually click tracks (at Brother Studio).


Interesting. Would the metronome be used just at the start of the session to get into the right groove of a tempo?
Or would the drummer be listening to the rhythm of a metronome fed into headphones to play along with for the whole song?

Well, all of the examples I can think of (or at least know about) were when tracks were laid down without a drummer. For instance, you can hear the metronome on "Cuddle Up". The Rhythm King was used on, among other songs, "'Til I Die", and on that one the snare drum was added later. Dennis spoke about laying down piano with a click track and adding drums later.

Thanks, c-man!
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phirnis
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2020, 11:41:24 PM »

Love the original track. Only the drums sound a little dull to me but that's a minor quibble. Nice to hear Brian's voice during the tag/fade-out.
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SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2020, 01:32:28 AM »

Love the original track. Only the drums sound a little dull to me but that's a minor quibble. Nice to hear Brian's voice during the tag/fade-out.

I think Brian's in the chorus blend, but he doesn't sing on the tag.
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c-man
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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2020, 10:06:28 AM »

For awhile there, I thought Jack Reiley was singing the high "Marcella, heyyyyy" part in the tag, but I just now re-read Alan Boyd's comment from some time back: "By the way, did anyone note that Jack Reiley sings on MARCELLA? 'Heyyyyy Marcella' starting at 2:58?". I must've misread that back then, meaning I read the sung part backwards...listening to it now through headphones, I hear a mid-range part coming in at exactly 2:58, which sings, "Heyyyyy Marcella" instead of "Marcella, heyyyyy".

So, who do you think is singing that high falsetto part in the tag: Marilyn? (not sure she sang on this one, but it would be ironic if she did!). Bruce? (He's confirmed that he sings on it, and I hear him up high in the choruses, but I'm not sure about that tag part). Blondie? (I don't think he's on it at all - the track was cut while he was reportedly back in South Africa, he's not listed on the AFM sheet, and the track was resumably ready to go before they left the U.S.A. for those February T.V. show appearances in Holland).

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SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2020, 10:46:37 AM »

I'm hearing:

Mike - "one arm over" etc., mid right
Al - harmony over "one arm over", mid right
Mike - syncopated response, mid left
Al - "doobie doobie doo", mid left
Carl - "Marcella heyyyyy", left
Jack - "heyyyyyy Marcella", left

IIRC someone posted notes from the console tape way back with a mention of a Carl & Jack track. Alan also mentioned it recently when they loaded up the multi!

I don't think Blondie's anywhere on it either, used to hear it as him on the main "one arm over my shoulder" bit in the bridge/chorus (whatever it is) until I listened closer and realised it's actually Al, with I think Carl on the faint lower harmony, and Carl, Dennis and Mike on all the syncopated answer parts.

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c-man
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« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2020, 12:38:40 PM »

I'm hearing:

Mike - "one arm over" etc., mid right
Al - harmony over "one arm over", mid right
Mike - syncopated response, mid left
Al - "doobie doobie doo", mid left
Carl - "Marcella heyyyyy", left
Jack - "heyyyyyy Marcella", left

IIRC someone posted notes from the console tape way back with a mention of a Carl & Jack track. Alan also mentioned it recently when they loaded up the multi!

I don't think Blondie's anywhere on it either, used to hear it as him on the main "one arm over my shoulder" bit in the bridge/chorus (whatever it is) until I listened closer and realised it's actually Al, with I think Carl on the faint lower harmony, and Carl, Dennis and Mike on all the syncopated answer parts.



Yes, there's a track marked "Carl and Jack". So Carl sings that falsetto tag? There's also one marked "Mike Du Be Du Be Du Be", but I wholeheartedly agree that Al sings the "doobie doobie doo" line in the tag, so maybe Mike's singing another part on the same track.

There are two vocal parts in the choruses that sound like Dennis - maybe one is Dennis, and the other Carl? And which part do you hear as Brian?
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SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2020, 01:32:19 PM »

I'm hearing:

Mike - "one arm over" etc., mid right
Al - harmony over "one arm over", mid right
Mike - syncopated response, mid left
Al - "doobie doobie doo", mid left
Carl - "Marcella heyyyyy", left
Jack - "heyyyyyy Marcella", left

IIRC someone posted notes from the console tape way back with a mention of a Carl & Jack track. Alan also mentioned it recently when they loaded up the multi!

I don't think Blondie's anywhere on it either, used to hear it as him on the main "one arm over my shoulder" bit in the bridge/chorus (whatever it is) until I listened closer and realised it's actually Al, with I think Carl on the faint lower harmony, and Carl, Dennis and Mike on all the syncopated answer parts.



Yes, there's a track marked "Carl and Jack". So Carl sings that falsetto tag? There's also one marked "Mike Du Be Du Be Du Be", but I wholeheartedly agree that Al sings the "doobie doobie doo" line in the tag, so maybe Mike's singing another part on the same track.

There are two vocal parts in the choruses that sound like Dennis - maybe one is Dennis, and the other Carl? And which part do you hear as Brian?

Yep, sounds like Carl. What does the full tracksheet say, if you don't mind sharing? That track's so dense it's hard to figure out exactly how many layers there are at times, especially with the way Steve Moffit tended to bury things in the mix.

I thought Brian could maybe be in the blend for the the "hey-ey Marcella" refrain, but listening back it might be Al playing tricks on me. The kinda strained thin-sounding harmony on the left's the one I'm talking about. Top to bottom I'm hearing it as Bruce, Al or Brian, Carl (the 'lead'), Mike - possibly that lineup for the verse backing vocals too if they were on the same track? Brian in his book said Al's the one who sang the "hey Marcella" part, and I mean... it's obviously not just one person, but that probably stacks it in favour of Al on the harmony rather than Brian.

In the left channel of the "one arm" choruses you've got Carl and Dennis trading off on the response lines over Mike doing that droning chant. I can't decide if the two-part harmony lead on the right is Al and Carl in unison over Dennis on the quiet low part or just Al over Carl - what do you think? I need an a capella mix for this song yesterday.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 01:36:39 PM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2020, 01:50:21 PM »

Wait, had another listen to that "one arm" lead and I'm confident the top part is Al alone, but I have no idea who the lower harmony is. It honestly doesn't really sound like a Beach Boy or Jack Rieley. I'm lost!

(edited because after listening to the live version where Carl sings that part I think it's probably him in the studio too)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 03:24:58 PM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
Jim V.
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« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2020, 04:53:52 PM »

I'm not being sarcastic, but honestly I thought maybe that "Marcella, hey" part was Ricky.

Now hear me out. It sounds a bit like the guy who sang part of "Here She Comes" and "Barnyard Blues" but maybe I'm wrong.
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« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2020, 07:36:12 PM »

I’ve always heard the Marcella Hey part as Brian....it seemingly becomes more clear once the part is somewhat isolated. Sounds exactly like his vocals from the era too. Could be wrong but that’s how I’ve always heard it
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SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2020, 01:50:44 AM »

I hear where both the Ricky and Brian perspectives are coming from, but it's not Ricky's accent and the tone's a little darker than Brian, even if the raspyness on the 'hey' is quite reminiscent of his singing on He Come Down. The console tape notating a 'Carl and Jack' track plus Alan Boyd who's heard the parts isolated on the multitrack clinch it for me. You can more easily tell it's Rieley with some phase cancelling.
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c-man
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« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2020, 09:18:00 AM »

I hear where both the Ricky and Brian perspectives are coming from, but it's not Ricky's accent and the tone's a little darker than Brian, even if the raspyness on the 'hey' is quite reminiscent of his singing on He Come Down. The console tape notating a 'Carl and Jack' track plus Alan Boyd who's heard the parts isolated on the multitrack clinch it for me. You can more easily tell it's Rieley with some phase cancelling.

Wait - are we talking about the "Marcella, hey" part, which is sung falsetto and which you (Salty) say is Carl, or the "Hey, Marcella" part which is lower (in both range and volume) and which Alan confirms is Jack?
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