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Author Topic: Van Dyke Parks announces Orange Crate Art reissue with bonus tracks!  (Read 3228 times)
Rocky Raccoon
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« on: April 30, 2020, 10:03:17 AM »

The Rolling Stone article features a first listen to a previously unreleased version of “What a Wonderful World”. The other two unreleased tracks are versions of “Rhapsody in Blue” and “Love is Here to Stay” which will be interesting to compare to the versions on Brian’s Gershwin album. The second disc of the CD release will feature a full instrumental version of the album.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/brian-wilson-van-dyke-parks-what-a-wonderful-world-orange-crate-art-reissue-992164/
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2020, 10:46:16 AM »

And the released version of What a Wonderful World is an alternate version from the commonly-heard unofficial version. No orchestra!
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2020, 10:51:04 AM »

Really a wonderful album. Love to listen to it. And I think Brian's vocals are some of his best in later years solo. Very soulful!


Coincidentally, I knew the man who could pronounce “Orange” the way it was meant to sound. - Van Dyke Parks
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2020, 11:33:00 AM »

Great news, I've always loved OCA. One of the, of not THE most underrated Beach Boys-related releases.
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2020, 02:54:32 PM »

BW sounds amazing on it!
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2020, 03:28:11 PM »

Sounds like the same vocals from the murky circulating version. As mentioned, the orchestra is missing and instead we get those 90s electric keyboards Parks used on the OCA album.

Kind of perplexing the second disc is all instrumentals rather than vocals-only. Both would be great, but Brian's vocal tracks are more worth isolating than those backing tracks.

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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2020, 03:39:02 PM »

Sounds like the same vocals from the murky circulating version. As mentioned, the orchestra is missing and instead we get those 90s electric keyboards Parks used on the OCA album.

Kind of perplexing the second disc is all instrumentals rather than vocals-only. Both would be great, but Brian's vocal tracks are more worth isolating than those backing tracks.



That's a good point. I wonder if it might be due to a touch of insecurity about those vocals being heard naked. Call me crazy but I feel like I might've hurt a touchup of modern day tuning on that Wonderful World version.

In any event, hopefully somebody can do some sort of vocal extraction to get those vocals by themselves.
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2020, 06:26:00 PM »

If I have any money at all, after being put on stand-by due to covid-`9, I will definitely buy this. My favorite BW solo album ever - well, it's not really solo, not really a BW album...but other than that  Razz
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2020, 06:38:23 PM »

Nice! Looking forward to this.

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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2020, 07:11:00 PM »

Trailer

https://youtu.be/bkbueZ74Aow
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2020, 09:38:06 PM »

Kinda interesting that VDP seems to feel that the original release sold poorly and appears to blame that in part on the departure from Warners to DreamWorks of Mo Ostin & Lenny Waronker.  Without a doubt Ostin & Waronker were decades-long fans of Brian and Van Dyke, but the way I remember it, OCA actually received a decent amount of promotion from Warners.  There were quite a few magazine features at the time (including Tower Records' in-house rag).  Brian was a receiving a fair amount of notice that year due to the Don Was documentary and soundtrack which led to a few joint reviews of the two CDs.  My memory is that Brian himself was all-over the map at the time, praising OCA as better than Smile in some pieces while expressing ambivalence about the project in other interviews.
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2020, 11:50:55 PM »

I remember that hype well as it was literally during the very beginnings of my fandom. Hell, I heard it before Pet Sounds (because I heard the title track as a demo on the IJWMFTT documentary...and I prefer the demo)
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2020, 02:42:11 AM »

It'll be interesting to read Brian's new liner notes. I remember when "That lucky old sun" came out, I played both albums (TLOS and OCA, since both albums feature Brian and Van Dyke but in different roles) to compare the approaches of each songwriter's vision of California. Van Dyke's classy and elegant way and Brian's pop-y rock and roll version. Beautiful stuff, each completely different yet similar in Brian's vocal arrangements. Speaking of vocal arrangements, I seem to remember that AGD said, Brian did all the arrangements while Brian once mentioned he just did what Van Dyke told him to do. IIRC there is no credit in the booklet for the vocal arrangements. That's why I'm interested in hearing Van Dyke's and Brian's new statements about the album. As mentioned before, imo OCA features some of Brian's best and most soulful vocals in later years.
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2020, 04:36:51 AM »

It'll be interesting to read Brian's new liner notes. I remember when "That lucky old sun" came out, I played both albums (TLOS and OCA, since both albums feature Brian and Van Dyke but in different roles) to compare the approaches of each songwriter's vision of California. Van Dyke's classy and elegant way and Brian's pop-y rock and roll version. Beautiful stuff, each completely different yet similar in Brian's vocal arrangements. Speaking of vocal arrangements, I seem to remember that AGD said, Brian did all the arrangements while Brian once mentioned he just did what Van Dyke told him to do. IIRC there is no credit in the booklet for the vocal arrangements. That's why I'm interested in hearing Van Dyke's and Brian's new statements about the album. As mentioned before, imo OCA features some of Brian's best and most soulful vocals in later years.

I would often play OCA followed by TLOS together too. So sweetly, warmly, nostalgically Californian, both of them. Listening to 'Southern California' has reduced me to tears before, listening to 'What a Wonderful World' just now has done the same. The common uncommon element in both: Brian Wilson, his voice, agape in wonder at the beauty of the world, life itself. And so we listeners are agape in wonder at his own beautiful wonder.
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2020, 08:30:50 AM »

I believe Brian said that Van Dyke would teach him the _songs_ phrase by phrase -- that is, the melodies. I don't believe he ever said that Van Dyke taught him the _harmonies._

And given that the harmonies on that record sound astonishingly like Brian's work, and that Van Dyke literally never used them on anything else he did ... I think it's pretty clear that Brian did it. Timothy White certainly believed as much.

Unfortunately, I don't think that either can ever say that because of issues with official credits and the like. I suspect there was an agreement not to discuss it openly, because Brian already towers over the project so much. Also, there are a handful of songs where Van Dyke brought in session singers to pad the sound (they're pretty obvious and their work doesn't sound at all like BW's stuff), which means the credit wouldn't solely go to Brian anyway.
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2020, 11:01:17 AM »

It'll be interesting to read Brian's new liner notes. I remember when "That lucky old sun" came out, I played both albums (TLOS and OCA, since both albums feature Brian and Van Dyke but in different roles) to compare the approaches of each songwriter's vision of California. Van Dyke's classy and elegant way and Brian's pop-y rock and roll version. Beautiful stuff, each completely different yet similar in Brian's vocal arrangements. Speaking of vocal arrangements, I seem to remember that AGD said, Brian did all the arrangements while Brian once mentioned he just did what Van Dyke told him to do. IIRC there is no credit in the booklet for the vocal arrangements. That's why I'm interested in hearing Van Dyke's and Brian's new statements about the album. As mentioned before, imo OCA features some of Brian's best and most soulful vocals in later years.

You know I never thought about it until now (a “duh” moment) that Lucky Old Sun was Brian’s take on Orange Crate Art.  Makes me wonder if a composite album of the best tracks on each could make a coherent album that would be more of a collaboration than OCA was.  Maybe Brian realized he missed an opportunity with OCA by limiting his role to vocals and made up for it with Lucky Old Sun.
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2020, 11:38:22 AM »

Kinda interesting that VDP seems to feel that the original release sold poorly and appears to blame that in part on the departure from Warners to DreamWorks of Mo Ostin & Lenny Waronker.  Without a doubt Ostin & Waronker were decades-long fans of Brian and Van Dyke, but the way I remember it, OCA actually received a decent amount of promotion from Warners.  There were quite a few magazine features at the time (including Tower Records' in-house rag).  Brian was a receiving a fair amount of notice that year due to the Don Was documentary and soundtrack which led to a few joint reviews of the two CDs.  My memory is that Brian himself was all-over the map at the time, praising OCA as better than Smile in some pieces while expressing ambivalence about the project in other interviews.

I remember a good amount of buzz/promotion for OCA, considering I normally wasn't paying a ton of attention to such things. So if I noticed it, it had to be somewhat prevalent.

My local TV station actually did a piece on Brian during the local news discussing both OCA and the IJWMFTT soundtrack. They did it as a tie-in to the Beatles Anthology which was airing at the time (it was an ABC station, no surprise). I recall Brian discussing the Beatles, I think he played a little bit of "With a Little Help" or something, and the also mentioned his TWO new album projects at the time.
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2020, 11:43:17 AM »

I believe Brian said that Van Dyke would teach him the _songs_ phrase by phrase -- that is, the melodies. I don't believe he ever said that Van Dyke taught him the _harmonies._

And given that the harmonies on that record sound astonishingly like Brian's work, and that Van Dyke literally never used them on anything else he did ... I think it's pretty clear that Brian did it. Timothy White certainly believed as much.

Unfortunately, I don't think that either can ever say that because of issues with official credits and the like. I suspect there was an agreement not to discuss it openly, because Brian already towers over the project so much. Also, there are a handful of songs where Van Dyke brought in session singers to pad the sound (they're pretty obvious and their work doesn't sound at all like BW's stuff), which means the credit wouldn't solely go to Brian anyway.

Well put, thank you. I've gone around with a few fans over the years who insist VDP arranged every part of every harmony on that record. Those weird interjections and other hallmarks of Brian's vocal arranging style are clear. No way VDP, what, *sang* every one of the vocal parts to "San Francisco" to Brian as he added each part? No way.

And yes, it's not difficult to imagine that some additional music business and intepersonal politics were at play bringing Brian and VDP together on that project, so credits easily could have been a sensitive thing.

I've seen a few people say they'd rather hear the backing tracks than vocals-only, citing Brian's shaky voice. Yes, Brian's voice was "gruffer" in the mid 90's on those albums, but he also sang *in tune* much better than he did in subsequent years. His vocal *tone* is much smoother by the end of the 90s and into the 2000s, but compare something like the the vocal intro to "You've Touched Me" to most of the vocal stacks on OCA. No contest. He's way more in tune/key on OCA. (And yes, an engineer from the OCA project mentioned that did involve some finagling, both by comping many vocal takes, and through some use of synthisizers, etc.)
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2020, 12:28:09 PM »

I thought I commented already on this, but heard Its a Wonderful World last night. Brian’s vocals were great, but that arrangement? Not so much. Would’ve liked to hear the orchestral version in pristine sound. The keyboard made the song drag quite a bit and imho didn’t fit at all
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2020, 01:52:11 PM »

I thought I commented already on this, but heard Its a Wonderful World last night. Brian’s vocals were great, but that arrangement? Not so much. Would’ve liked to hear the orchestral version in pristine sound. The keyboard made the song drag quite a bit and imho didn’t fit at all

Yeah, it's great to hear Brian's vocals in pristine quality, but I'm not into VDP's keyboard bit. Too many jazzy chords, and it feels a lot like circa 1980 Bruce Johnston. I much prefer the straight-forward (chords-wise) backing track on the orchestral version.

Those really fake/cheap-sounding 80s/90s keyboards are all over OCA, and it's one of the reasons that, while I love VDP's arrangements on those backing tracks, and while they're played very well, I don't think those backing tracks are exactly "timeless" sounding. Some elements of the backing have a bit of easy listening sort of vibe, like those instrumental elevator music jazzy Christmas CD compilations they sell at Target.

I had seen people write in the past that the circulating orchestral version wasn't an OCA outtake, but instead was recorded separately for Brian's wedding.

I'm wondering if *both* stories are sort of true. Did Brian track the OCA version with VDP, and then use the vocals from that version later for the orchestra version? If Brian worked up that version separate from VDP, and/or it was a project even *with* VDP that post-dated the OCA sessions, that would also help to explain why it isn't on the new OCA reissue.

I was also hoping that we might get a different Brian vocal version of "Hold Back Time." There was a rumor years ago that the version on OCA "accidentally" used a scratch/guide vocal. Brian's lead on that song especially is indeed a bit more wonky than the other tracks. But I have no idea if any of that is true. Maybe it just came out sounding like that, and someone tried to explain it away by assuming it must be some sort of scratch vocal.
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2020, 02:04:53 PM »

It's up for pre-order on Amazon US:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087CSYLGK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Has a weird placeholder image, but it's the new 2-CD set.
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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2020, 02:29:40 PM »

I’m looking forward to Brian and Van Dyke’s liner notes, particularly Van Dyke’s, ever the wordsmith. Non-native Californians have a different, interesting view of the place than natives, even Brian, to whom the state owes so much to for painting a warm, desirable picture of through his music to us elsewhere in the country/world. Van Dyke does so as well much the same way through hid words on OCA.

Anyway, I’m wondering about the other two outtakes from the album. Anybody know anything about them?
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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2020, 07:05:54 PM »

Some fans have complained that Brian's vocals were "shouty" on this album. I don't know what they're talking about. I think his vocal are amazing on  this album - I'm not talking just lead vocals, but those harmonies. And those harmony stacks scream out to be BRIAN WILSON.
As far as the instrumental backings, a lot of that was budget related. Van Dyke commented at the time about having to use synths because there wasn't the budget for an orchestra on the entire album. He did hire an orchestra to do the opening and closing of Movies is Magic; then, since they were there, he had them play Lullabye, too.
It's my favorite non-BB's BW album.
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« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2020, 08:16:21 PM »

I agree with you . I do think it kinda goes off the rails after San Francisco but that was more due to the songwriting imho. First half though was great
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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2020, 08:46:55 PM »

I agree with you . I do think it kinda goes off the rails after San Francisco but that was more due to the songwriting imho. First half though was great
Hold Back Time is slightly ruined by out of sync vocals; My Jeanine is the only song I don't absolutely love. I don't skip it when I play the album, but it's the only song I don't go back for.
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