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659576 Posts in 26428 Topics by 3756 Members - Latest Member: My Smile Solution July 12, 2020, 06:36:04 PM
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Author Topic: Why are BB albums so short?  (Read 4043 times)
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« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2020, 01:46:39 PM »

Easy answer that hasn't been said yet. In the early era, they were pushed to put out 2-3 full length albums each year. This resulted in shorter albums that also included an amount of filler material just to push it up to an acceptable level. As the years went on and this industry practice went away, when subsequent albums were short, it was often the end result of dysfunctional band politics.
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« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2020, 04:55:44 PM »

Also the fact that this was before digital editing.  I imagine if Brian had access to todayís technology SMiLE wouldíve happened as planned.
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« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2020, 07:08:30 PM »

I think it was in his famous Crawdaddy interview that David Anderle said that Brian had recorded enough instrumental tracks for Smile for 2 or 3 albums.  And, by gosh, it was true.  And maybe that was a huge part of the problem, editing the whole thing down to his customary ~30 minutes.

Well, to be fair, pet sounds was over 30 minutes. I believe it was 36 or 37, I am not entirely sure at this moment.
But Smile would have definitely been longer than 30 minutes. Also, itís always been unclear, but Iím pretty sure that it was supposed to be multiple albums.
A sound effects album, a humor album, a self care album.
Thatís why there was things like ď Psychedelic soundsĒ and the tracks with Jasper Dailey.
Nowadays, for some unknown reason, probably the whole mythology of the whole thing, that entire block from August 1966 til May 1967 is thought of as the Smile era, when it probably would have developed into several different projects.
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« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2020, 10:36:01 PM »

Also the fact that this was before digital editing.  I imagine if Brian had access to todayís technology SMiLE wouldíve happened as planned.



I actually think digital editing would have made it worse for Brian, in a way.



I think it was in his famous Crawdaddy interview that David Anderle said that Brian had recorded enough instrumental tracks for Smile for 2 or 3 albums.  And, by gosh, it was true.  And maybe that was a huge part of the problem, editing the whole thing down to his customary ~30 minutes.

Well, to be fair, pet sounds was over 30 minutes. I believe it was 36 or 37, I am not entirely sure at this moment.
But Smile would have definitely been longer than 30 minutes. Also, itís always been unclear, but Iím pretty sure that it was supposed to be multiple albums.
A sound effects album, a humor album, a self care album.
Thatís why there was things like ď Psychedelic soundsĒ and the tracks with Jasper Dailey.
Nowadays, for some unknown reason, probably the whole mythology of the whole thing, that entire block from August 1966 til May 1967 is thought of as the Smile era, when it probably would have developed into several different projects.


I don't think development was ever going to be possible -- Brian was too capricious, too manic, too indecisive to ever have any of his ambitious concepts turn into anything concrete.  Smile was all of those things and none of them.  People want to play around with alternate histories, but to make them plausible you have to remove Brian Wilson from the picture, and then of course, you are left with nothing.
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« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2020, 12:08:02 AM »

You may be right..it made have made him more obsessive in regards to edits and experimentation. I myself have been guilty of that over the years ...itís an easy trap to fall into. Bryan Ferry had the same issue , working on an album for years until scrapping it and releasing Mamouna instead, and that was with older digital technology . So yeah for Brian it may have made things worse. Good point
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« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2020, 06:46:10 AM »

For 33 1/3 12" LP's, even pressing plants  today state "Timing for optimal sound quality is 12-14 minutes per side but can contain up to 18-22 minutes with some sound and volume drop off." Plus, having to (contractually) release three albums a year will cut down on quantity of tracks per LP too.
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« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2020, 07:34:33 AM »

2. Regarding the early LPs - 12 tracks were their standard, and BB tracks were quite short On average (ďLittle Deuce CoupeĒ is 1.5 minutes!). There is no incentive for a record company to include more tracks than they need to in order to move units (quite the opposite).

Right. They settled on a standard 12 track album for business reasons. Even if Brian had produced hundreds of songs per year, Capitol still would have packaged them 11-12 at a time. They infamously did this with the Beatles catalogue after coming late to the party. Read this article from March 1967 (the very first article, continuing on pg 10) just to get an idea of the record company perspective. They talk about publishing rate issues, not being able to get away with going lower than 10 tracks, and call 30 minutes a "full" album.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=CykEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q&f=false

By the way, they are talking about lowering the number of tracks even further in this article. The next two studio albums released by the Beach Boys only had 11 songs (SS, WH). All previous studio albums had 12 songs (except PS).
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« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2020, 09:14:28 AM »

Also the fact that this was before digital editing.  I imagine if Brian had access to todayís technology SMiLE wouldíve happened as planned.



I actually think digital editing would have made it worse for Brian, in a way.



I think it was in his famous Crawdaddy interview that David Anderle said that Brian had recorded enough instrumental tracks for Smile for 2 or 3 albums.  And, by gosh, it was true.  And maybe that was a huge part of the problem, editing the whole thing down to his customary ~30 minutes.

Well, to be fair, pet sounds was over 30 minutes. I believe it was 36 or 37, I am not entirely sure at this moment.
But Smile would have definitely been longer than 30 minutes. Also, itís always been unclear, but Iím pretty sure that it was supposed to be multiple albums.
A sound effects album, a humor album, a self care album.
Thatís why there was things like ď Psychedelic soundsĒ and the tracks with Jasper Dailey.
Nowadays, for some unknown reason, probably the whole mythology of the whole thing, that entire block from August 1966 til May 1967 is thought of as the Smile era, when it probably would have developed into several different projects.


I don't think development was ever going to be possible -- Brian was too capricious, too manic, too indecisive to ever have any of his ambitious concepts turn into anything concrete.  Smile was all of those things and none of them.  People want to play around with alternate histories, but to make them plausible you have to remove Brian Wilson from the picture, and then of course, you are left with nothing.

On point one - I disagree to some extent. When Brian himself went back to work on Smile with Darian, who had all the fragments we speculated on for years loaded into a DAW where he could randomly link sections together in about 1-2 seconds, the thought was imagine if we had this kind of technology available back in the day. It wasn't about obsessiveness or being indecisive, but rather about having the tools to audition things instantly. Previously it was a case of having to dub down a test acetate, or a test reel, then take that home and try to figure out if the day's work in the studio produced something usable...and then, do test edits to see if the flow was there to combine them in a smooth transitional and musical way. It was a process that took literally hours rather than under a minute. And in terms of how Brian was writing and arranging various Smile tracks, such instant testing may have been the missing piece of technology needed to speed a completion, minus the other issues including those with the band.


Point two: Good Vibrations seems to dispute this by the sheer fact it not only got done, but it hit #1 on the charts around the world. If being capricious, manic, and indecisive was an issue, all of that added up to one of the biggest achievements of the band's career and one which Brian still points to as his greatest achievement as a producer, or at least his proudest moment when he knew he captured lightning in a bottle.

We can look back on all the recording and changing and rejiggering of the many Good Vibrations sessions and say it took a long time and a lot of effort, etc...but that's how Brian worked. It was taking what became standard practice for major artists and how they recorded (and the process in general) years into the future versus trying to capture a hit record in a 3-4 hour studio session. Brian knew what he wanted, and instead of being satisfied with an earlier version for time's sake or even for budget reasons, he kept going until he had what he wanted and knew it was right.

And it was right, and he was right, as were his methods. Good Vibrations stands as the achievement and success it is. But the caveat is to not forget how limited the available technology really was - and how we don't know how many hours Brian spent away from the studio listening to the various sections, trying to place one fragment against the other, etc. We just don't know.

Then factor in trying to do this on a more grand scale with even two songs like Vegetables or Heroes, with associated tracks on a full album, and add in deadlines and all the other trappings of being on a schedule. For those playing around with alternate histories, just remember to get all of the facts on the table first and not selectively cherrypick details to suit agendas or theories. Available technology was a big factor, and Brian himself suggested that during and after he completed Smile in 2004. I wouldn't say it was as much indecisiveness or being "manic" as it was the guy ran out of time to do what he truly wanted to do, as one factor out of several. The Good Vibrations methodology which worked well on a single was not available due in part to limitations in technology and time to spread out over multiple tracks on an album.
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« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2020, 10:54:28 AM »

My point was that better technology and/or more time would not have resulted in us currently having a Beach Boys Humour Album, A Beach Boys Chant Album, A Beach Boys sound effects Album, A Beach Boys Health Food album, and a Beach Boys pop music album.  As amazing as that would be.
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« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2020, 11:15:32 AM »


And it was right, and he was right, as were his methods. Good Vibrations stands as the achievement and success it is. But the caveat is to not forget how limited the available technology really was - and how we don't know how many hours Brian spent away from the studio listening to the various sections, trying to place one fragment against the other, etc. We just don't know.


The difference with Good Vibrations is that the song was structured when it was written, recorded as a whole, and then progressively replaced piece by piece. Bridges and choruses were swapped one by one and the track evolved on the fly - it wasn't a case of Brian having to go back to a stack of tapes later and try to assemble something usable from a dozen different versions. He wasn't trying to reinvent the wheel or alter the actual form of the song in a significant way beyond a brief wobble in mid June.

A song like Heroes and Villains grew so confusing because the modular style was part of the creative process from the outset. Cabin Essence, Do You Like Worms, Child is Father of the Man - all recorded in sections for practicality but sequenced before heading into the studio and edited without complication. Heroes stands alone as a very weird, unique challenge he gave himself, one that was only finally resolved in June '67 when he sat down and essentially wrote a new template for the song from scratch. Vegetables seemed more similar to Good Vibrations: started simple and complete, grew in the recording, only this time Brian didn't bother to put it together in the end.

I've always thought the technology problem is a major red herring when it comes to (most of) Smile. Heroes aside, editing was used a practical arranging/recording tool (ŗ la Smiley & Wild Honey accomplished using the same methods) rather than a means to shuffle song structure.
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« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2020, 12:02:34 PM »


And it was right, and he was right, as were his methods. Good Vibrations stands as the achievement and success it is. But the caveat is to not forget how limited the available technology really was - and how we don't know how many hours Brian spent away from the studio listening to the various sections, trying to place one fragment against the other, etc. We just don't know.


The difference with Good Vibrations is that the song was structured when it was written, recorded as a whole, and then progressively replaced piece by piece. Bridges and choruses were swapped one by one and the track evolved on the fly - it wasn't a case of Brian having to go back to a stack of tapes later and try to assemble something usable from a dozen different versions. He wasn't trying to reinvent the wheel or alter the actual form of the song in a significant way beyond a brief wobble in mid June.

A song like Heroes and Villains grew so confusing because the modular style was part of the creative process from the outset. Cabin Essence, Do You Like Worms, Child is Father of the Man - all recorded in sections for practicality but sequenced before heading into the studio and edited without complication. Heroes stands alone as a very weird, unique challenge he gave himself, one that was only finally resolved in June '67 when he sat down and essentially wrote a new template for the song from scratch. Vegetables seemed more similar to Good Vibrations: started simple and complete, grew in the recording, only this time Brian didn't bother to put it together in the end.

I've always thought the technology problem is a major red herring when it comes to (most of) Smile. Heroes aside, editing was used a practical arranging/recording tool (ŗ la Smiley & Wild Honey accomplished using the same methods) rather than a means to shuffle song structure.

I think that's a good point.  Other than H&V there is really no question of how a song was going to be laid out.  Something like Cabinessence or DYLW, as you say, was set in stone structurally.  If Brian didn't edit the sections together at the song at the time, it wasn't because of technology, it was because he lost interest, IMO.
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« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2020, 12:49:54 PM »

My point was that better technology and/or more time would not have resulted in us currently having a Beach Boys Humour Album, A Beach Boys Chant Album, A Beach Boys sound effects Album, A Beach Boys Health Food album, and a Beach Boys pop music album.  As amazing as that would be.

There are no indications that any such "Beach Boys" albums were ever planned beyond Brian mentioning the ideas in random interviews - and there was a possibility that hardly anyone entertains that such albums if they were to be started may not have even been the Beach Boys at all. Brother was being designed to do music, film, and other media and was not at all going to be limited to releasing Beach Boys music, that was the whole design of the Brother concept.

I think the tendency is to proscribe heavier meanings to plans and designs for the Beach Boys and things Brian had in his mind at various times in late '66 and early '67 that were never there beyond catching Brian in an interview saying he wanted to do a humor album, or a whole album about health. Maybe that week he did! Just like the plans for Brother Records went far beyond Beach Boys records, and that's what gets lost in the discussions a lot of the time.

It would be like finding an interview with Steve Jobs from the early 80's - The true innovators and mad geniuses as some would call them have a mindful of ideas for the future. It's not like they were saying "I'll do this, and that, and this..." in a 1983 interview and were planning to have all of them done by December 31, 1983. It's the same with these random Brian interviews from "The Smile Era", he wasn't saying all of this stuff was going to come out in 1967 or whatever, it was just a snapshot of things he had in mind.

The technology issues have nothing to do with such hypotheticals that weren't even going to be Beach Boys projects for all we know, especially if they were primarily spoken word with sound effects or whatever, going on the Smile era models just for discussion rather than hard evidence, and the technology issue pinpoints directly to the songs being worked on for the Smile album especially with editing capabilities in 67 versus the digital era.
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« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2020, 01:05:31 PM »

David Anderle's on record saying Brother was created for things like the humour album and songs for Jasper Dailey - basically any of Brian's other weird creative outlets - so yeah, not looking at some hypothetical extra Beach Boys albums here.
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« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2020, 01:12:32 PM »


And it was right, and he was right, as were his methods. Good Vibrations stands as the achievement and success it is. But the caveat is to not forget how limited the available technology really was - and how we don't know how many hours Brian spent away from the studio listening to the various sections, trying to place one fragment against the other, etc. We just don't know.


The difference with Good Vibrations is that the song was structured when it was written, recorded as a whole, and then progressively replaced piece by piece. Bridges and choruses were swapped one by one and the track evolved on the fly - it wasn't a case of Brian having to go back to a stack of tapes later and try to assemble something usable from a dozen different versions. He wasn't trying to reinvent the wheel or alter the actual form of the song in a significant way beyond a brief wobble in mid June.

A song like Heroes and Villains grew so confusing because the modular style was part of the creative process from the outset. Cabin Essence, Do You Like Worms, Child is Father of the Man - all recorded in sections for practicality but sequenced before heading into the studio and edited without complication. Heroes stands alone as a very weird, unique challenge he gave himself, one that was only finally resolved in June '67 when he sat down and essentially wrote a new template for the song from scratch. Vegetables seemed more similar to Good Vibrations: started simple and complete, grew in the recording, only this time Brian didn't bother to put it together in the end.

I've always thought the technology problem is a major red herring when it comes to (most of) Smile. Heroes aside, editing was used a practical arranging/recording tool (ŗ la Smiley & Wild Honey accomplished using the same methods) rather than a means to shuffle song structure.

I think that's a good point.  Other than H&V there is really no question of how a song was going to be laid out.  Something like Cabinessence or DYLW, as you say, was set in stone structurally.  If Brian didn't edit the sections together at the song at the time, it wasn't because of technology, it was because he lost interest, IMO.

I agree that most of Smile was not in the "modular" style that some have tried to describe it. A lot of the songs were stand-alone songs with a definite form. But the technology related to specific parts of the project that ended up bogging it down for too long was in fact an issue, and stretching the availability of facilities to record and work on it as a technology issue, that was a factor too. Remember how a recent comment from Mr. Desper told us how Wally Heider would open up a room for Brian to work on mixing and editing even before his facilities were fully open for clients to record? That says Brian needed both the time and the facilities to work, and if it were readily available, he wouldn't have been in an ad hoc room set up for him by Wally, even after "Smile" was a main priority.

I disagree about Good Vibrations - Yes it was a specific song form as we came to know it, but look at all of the unused sections that we've known now for decades. Are all of them able to be "fit" into a specific section of the song? Absolutely not. And look at the ones that were not used. It's just like Heroes, only with a lesser number of sections. Eventually Brian had to go in and organize all of them, and what we don't know is how many times he did a "test edit" of sections at home or away from a studio session that got logged, and in what order he put those sections.

It's like comparing the "Humble Harv" Miller demo performance of Heroes to what eventually came out. The skeleton of the basic song foundation is there, with some added sections. Now go back to "take 1" of Good Vibrations...the basic foundation was there too, but in no way did the parts after the stock verse-chorus sections give a glimpse of what was to be added. That early version is a stomping R&B style tune that turns into a jam, basically. Nowhere to be found are some of the most beautiful later sections of the song, and nowhere are the variations of those main sections that were compelling on their own but which never made it to the final edit. In other words, all that stuff Brian recorded from Take 1 through to the final edit and mix.

I see GV and Heroes as a parallel projects and designs, the only difference is that "Heroes" went beyond being a standalone single and began to morph into what was going to be a modular collage built around a theme and several related motifs that ostensibly shows up throughout at least one side of a projected album.  

In no way do I see Good Vibrations having been constructed as a traditional song from the beginning, because we have audio proof that some of the most key elements in the final version were recorded and edited together at later dates rather than included in the full song form all along. And in that way, it's just like Heroes in that the KHJ demo has the foundation and some variants to follow, but in no way was that going to be the final edit.

I do think elements of the Smile project would have been hampered by technology, I'll stand by that all day because it's basically what Brian didn't have available that would have cut potentially hundreds of hours and a lot of hassle booking studio time *IF* hypothetically he had the editing tools available when he revisited the project with Darian and they could audition sequences instantly and edit on the fly...and hear the results immediately, as well as undo them if it didn't work.

An aside - This trend of analog purism in recording is often presented untruthfully. Even those artists who fans think are pure analog will readily admit that the be-all-and-end-all killer app of the digital world is the ability to edit fast and precise, and the ability to save and recall with one click. I seriously do not know anyone who would prefer to revert back to the days of editing and mixing from the 60's unless the schtick is being purely old-school. It saves so much time and is a better tool overall than the razor blade and tape...if you're working in the business and not doing it as retro schtick.

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« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2020, 01:41:50 PM »

Good Vibrations' evolution is pretty self-explanatory and uniform in a way that Heroes very much isn't. The only constant there, really, was verses 1 & 2 -> [blank]. GV received a few musical revisions and additions but the fundamental template of the song wasn't in flux.

The first session got Brian some satisfactory verses. The second session established the modulating choruses and 'reverse' chorus reprise but ultimately wasn't used. The third session was a partial track replacing everything but the verses, from which Brian settled on a bridge arrangement and established the coda vamp before the fade chorus. The fourth session again re-recorded the choruses, and now added a second bridge, which is the key major structural change in all of this. Fifth session wiped over the previous attempt's efforts, and in the process Brian landed on the final coda vamp and fadeout arrangement. Sixth session saw yet more re-recorded choruses (the final ones) and a re-write of the 'second bridge' section - that's the whole thing right there. Only really one stray section with unique musical material abandoned after all of those revisions (the alternate bridge recorded May 24 and 27).

The June 16 and 18 sessions are a strange diversion after all this that saw Brian completely restructuring the song and then scrapping it, but it's clear that these were self-contained efforts not to be integrated with any older versions. The structure for both is Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus/Fade - 'chorus' here being the musical material of the first bridge and 'fade' being the musical material of the second bridge.

Finally, Brian returned to the previously-assembled track and re-recorded the second bridge with a slow organ arrangement. Incredible amount of trial and error, but it's very easy to follow step by step and understand Brian's thinking at different stages. He was mostly trying different arrangements rather than entirely new pieces of music. Heroes is... well, people are still debating that now and probably still will be until the heat death of the universe.
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« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2020, 02:21:43 PM »

Count me as one who does not believe the "technology" of the era had anything to do with Smile not being finished.

Main reasons I feel this way:

1. In order to blame the limitations of multi-track recording of 1966-67, we have to accept that somehow the scope of Smile was that the entire album would flow together as one piece (is there any hard evidence to that affect? I honesty don't know), OR we have to accept that Brian was so indecisive and/or it would take so long to audition each piece within a song that he just couldn't do it. I think at best, it was potentially one factor, but not a primary factor. While we do have fragments that move around from song to song, the overall impression that I get as a listener is that the fragments are increasingly scattered, as in they do not add up to a whole or tell a story -- which to me, suggests more Brian losing the plot as opposed to having too many technical limitations to complete it. After all -- why would a section of "Do You Like Worms" be interchangeable with "Heroes and Villains"? To me, it seems that there is artistic confusion happening -- lack of clarity and purpose.

2. I hold the (unpopular) opinion that Smiley Smile *is* Smile. That is, this is the closest we have to a finished Smile-type album in 1966-67. The idea that technology was a hindrance in including relatively straightforward, nearly completed songs like "Surf's Up" and "Cabinessence" while something like "Vegetables" incorporated pieces of actual Smile tracks and was included, tells me that this has more to do with some kind of particular aversion to particular songs or recordings. I personally believe Brian became fearful of some of the Smile music. Some of the music does legit sound scary IMO, and if you believe in music containing metaphysical power (I do), then this is valid IMO.

3. I don't personally believe the BW Presents Smile or Smile Sessions sequence is as Smile would have been released if released in 1966-67. To me, is is mostly the same sequence that most fans would have expected, and seems like a revisionist kind of approach. Thus the idea that somehow, at last, Brian was able to fully realize the vision from 1966-67 is mostly PR IMO. I think the ghosts that guided Smile turned it into Smiley Smile. and 20/20, and Surf's Up, and Sunflower, etc. ... and the entire mythology.
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« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2020, 02:44:57 PM »

Good Vibrations' evolution is pretty self-explanatory and uniform in a way that Heroes very much isn't. The only constant there, really, was verses 1 & 2 -> [blank]. GV received a few musical revisions and additions but the fundamental template of the song wasn't in flux.

The first session got Brian some satisfactory verses. The second session established the modulating choruses and 'reverse' chorus reprise but ultimately wasn't used. The third session was a partial track replacing everything but the verses, from which Brian settled on a bridge arrangement and established the coda vamp before the fade chorus. The fourth session again re-recorded the choruses, and now added a second bridge, which is the key major structural change in all of this. Fifth session wiped over the previous attempt's efforts, and in the process Brian landed on the final coda vamp and fadeout arrangement. Sixth session saw yet more re-recorded choruses (the final ones) and a re-write of the 'second bridge' section - that's the whole thing right there. Only really one stray section with unique musical material abandoned after all of those revisions (the alternate bridge recorded May 24 and 27).

The June 16 and 18 sessions are a strange diversion after all this that saw Brian completely restructuring the song and then scrapping it, but it's clear that these were self-contained efforts not to be integrated with any older versions. The structure for both is Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus/Fade - 'chorus' here being the musical material of the first bridge and 'fade' being the musical material of the second bridge.

Finally, Brian returned to the previously-assembled track and re-recorded the second bridge with a slow organ arrangement. Incredible amount of trial and error, but it's very easy to follow step by step and understand Brian's thinking at different stages. He was mostly trying different arrangements rather than entirely new pieces of music. Heroes is... well, people are still debating that now and probably still will be until the heat death of the universe.

Heroes has 2 full mixes from 1967 - One was to be a single but scrapped, the other was the single that was released in July. Both of them match exactly to what Brian played for Humble Harv in 1966 when they were "still working". It was the other sections that came later where the variations happened. I'd say Good Vibrations followed the same path. After verse-chorus times two, it was those sections that were added and removed later in the process where the song developed.

The problem is all of those sections of Heroes that came later...Those are what is being debated and what always will be debated. I think you can reasonably suggest there were two separate plans on the table. One was the single, which again we have an unused "Cantina" mix and the July released mix. All of that other stuff? Debate what and where those would go. But I think the sheer volume of fragments and sections suggest that was going for something other than the single mix all along.

And that's not to say the single mixes didn't have their share of parts that came and went, but it was all of those sections recorded under the Heroes catch-all umbrella which I think bogged down the project related to the album versus getting something compact enough and recorded the same way as Good Vibrations to follow it up. Clearly Brian wanted a single that used the same methods as the #1 smash hit the band was sitting on as 1966 turned into 1967. And no accident similar work went into Vegetables when *that* was even being suggested as a single.

If there is doubt Brian wanted to repeat the same winning method he used to create Good Vibrations...I don't know what other evidence can be offered other than the way in which he recorded both songs that were named as singles after GV.

And Heroes, after the first minute or so, really didn't change from the first time Brian played it for Harv Miller in 66.
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« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2020, 02:56:44 PM »

Count me as one who does not believe the "technology" of the era had anything to do with Smile not being finished.

Main reasons I feel this way:

1. In order to blame the limitations of multi-track recording of 1966-67, we have to accept that somehow the scope of Smile was that the entire album would flow together as one piece (is there any hard evidence to that affect? I honesty don't know), OR we have to accept that Brian was so indecisive and/or it would take so long to audition each piece within a song that he just couldn't do it. I think at best, it was potentially one factor, but not a primary factor. While we do have fragments that move around from song to song, the overall impression that I get as a listener is that the fragments are increasingly scattered, as in they do not add up to a whole or tell a story -- which to me, suggests more Brian losing the plot as opposed to having too many technical limitations to complete it. After all -- why would a section of "Do You Like Worms" be interchangeable with "Heroes and Villains"? To me, it seems that there is artistic confusion happening -- lack of clarity and purpose.

2. I hold the (unpopular) opinion that Smiley Smile *is* Smile. That is, this is the closest we have to a finished Smile-type album in 1966-67. The idea that technology was a hindrance in including relatively straightforward, nearly completed songs like "Surf's Up" and "Cabinessence" while something like "Vegetables" incorporated pieces of actual Smile tracks and was included, tells me that this has more to do with some kind of particular aversion to particular songs or recordings. I personally believe Brian became fearful of some of the Smile music. Some of the music does legit sound scary IMO, and if you believe in music containing metaphysical power (I do), then this is valid IMO.

3. I don't personally believe the BW Presents Smile or Smile Sessions sequence is as Smile would have been released if released in 1966-67. To me, is is mostly the same sequence that most fans would have expected, and seems like a revisionist kind of approach. Thus the idea that somehow, at last, Brian was able to fully realize the vision from 1966-67 is mostly PR IMO. I think the ghosts that guided Smile turned it into Smiley Smile. and 20/20, and Surf's Up, and Sunflower, etc. ... and the entire mythology.

Would you consider Mark Linett's opinion a definitive one on the topic, or at least one which could be weighed heavily considering he was the one who did more work on those tapes than probably anyone except Brian himself in terms of the technology?

Not saying technology and lack thereof was *the* reason, that's obviously not the case at all. But to dismiss it entirely in terms of the ability to do certain things in 1966 and 67 when there was no technology to do it seems a bit extreme.

For consideration, here's one of quite a few interviews Mark gave regarding the Smile Sessions box where he touches on those issues, this from 2011:

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/472565/beach-boys-engineer-mark-linett-talks-smile-release

Excerpt:

How much of this project was completed before it was abandoned?

We are still working on the sessions so we haven't begun assembling what would normally be considered an album, which in this case will only be a representation of where the project got before it was put aside by Brian and the group. All of the tracks were recorded. A lot of the vocals seem to not have been completed.

Brian spent a tremendous amount of time on "Heroes & Villains". [There's] even a slightly longer version of the one that was released as a single, which includes several extra sections doesn't even have to begin to encompass every variation of that song. And I should point out that the most interesting thing about "Smile" is that it took Brian's original concept, which he first used with "Good Vibrations,"-he would record the song in sections in different variations and then sort of like a jigsaw puzzle, assemble the final backing track before going on to vocals.

So Brian spent most of his time on "Good Vibrations" and "Heroes & Villains"?

"Good Vibrations," if memory serves, was recorded twice as a complete songs. After the first two sessions, he started to record pieces. They would do a verse, a chorus, a bridge at various sessions and in different ways. "Good Vibrations" was extremely complicated, I can't remember exactly how many sessions were actually used to create the final backing tracks but it was quite a few - I think there were in excess of 20 backing track sessions that were considered for that song.

I am always astounded that if you listen, as I have, to the entire recorded output on that song; and then look at what was assembled as the final backing tracks and some of the experiments that didn't get used-it was an amazing accomplishment. I am just amazed that not only was he able to put that together, but of course it was so influential and successful at the same time. And originally, the song was much more of you would describe a Wilson Pickett kind of R&B number in the chorus and that ultimately didn't get used. When he got to "Smile," "Heroes & Villains" took that a step further and recorded enormous amount of different pastiches of themes both vocally and instrumentally.

What will the changes in studio technology bring to "Smile" today?

[Brian] was doing this with very primitive technology that we now do on a daily basis with digital recordings, reusing sections and moving them around. Its interesting to surmise if he had the current technology what might have happened. It would have been so much easier to do these experiments.

The advantage that we have now is digital editing that we didn't even have in 1996 when we were editing for the "Pet Sounds" boxset; it was still on tape with razor blades. So it goes a lot faster but there is still about 20 times as much material [on "Smile"]. But that almost makes it 20 times as interesting to present that much material.


"Smile" is one of the most bootlegged albums of all time. What will be new for the listener?

For most of them, the whole thing will be new. The Beach Boys have an enormous amount of material from their whole career and [since] we have been actively doing an archive project for about 10 years, there are things that we have discovered that the bootleggers missed.

And the other important thing is bootleggers tend to present every single take... We are obviously going to use the best versions and there are things that we can do that was just technologically impossible when those bootlegs were made in the 1980's.

For example, we can put Brian's vocal back into "Surf's Up," which was a group track in the 1970s [on the "Surf's Up" album]. Brian recorded a basic track with a full band for part one. And he also recorded a sort of a demo version, its just him double-tracked and a piano track. What the band did was they used the part one backing track and tried to fly Brian's vocal into that, but the technology at the time really made that impossible. So what happened was that Carl sang the [lead] vocal and overdubs were added [forthe Surf's Up album version]. And for the second half, they used Brian's piano vocal piece and added very few additions.

With the technology we have today, its much much easier to take Brian's vocal for part one and put it onto the backing track. I have done it and its quite nice. Now we have the ability to shift time things very easily so those synchronizations can be accomplished.


Will there be one complete version of the album in the way it was presented 2004 and will that album serve as the guide line for the "Smile" Sessions track listing?

We have gaps, we have missing vocals. We aren't missing any music which is heartening. All the songs were recorded. Most of it is there. I can't be sure that we won't still come up with something because we do know that there were other things recorded, but the tapes are no longer in the group's possession. And unfortunately they may have been destroyed years ago.

We have some rough mixes from 1966, which will probably become part of the quote album. There seems to be less of that than you might expect. That also leads to believe, it really wasn't close to being finished when it was put aside to go to the next project.

If you take Brian's 2004 version as a blueprint, [it will have] all of that music, all of the significant parts and even the little segue ways. For the most part, that project was heavily researched by myself and others to make sure Brian had available all the parts that had been recorded back in 1966 and 1967. Some lyric additions were made in 2004 that hadn't been completed before the project was abandoned. That's some of the questions that we have to do deal with. How will we are going to present those few pieces. But there really aren't too many. The biggest one is the song that became Blue Hawaii, which started out as a thing called "Loved to Say Dada," which is sort of the water section of the piece. That had background but no lead vocal.

What will you do. Will you add vocals?

Don't know yet. The general consensus appears to be not to do any recording just because this is a historic piece, but its a little premature because we are still trying to get 30 hours worth of sessions down to some kind of playable length. Even at that, it will be at least 3 CD to represent the sessions.



This line from Mark: "Brian was doing this with very primitive technology that we now do on a daily basis with digital recordings, reusing sections and moving them around. Its interesting to surmise if he had the current technology what might have happened. It would have been so much easier to do these experiments."

...is a line I've seen repeated in various forms from others including from those actual participants in the project. It isn't so much saying technology was the main factor, but it was a factor enough for those who worked with the same material in the modern digital era to cite, and also marvel sometimes at how Brian worked using a modern digital recording and sequencing mindset and workflow in an era of razor blade and tape. And not only worked with that mindset, but also created something like Good Vibrations. I heartily believe the notion of stretching that across a full album without the technology we take for granted today was a factor in the project becoming too overwhelming to see through to completion as Brian envisioned it during the process.
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« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2020, 03:11:46 PM »


This line from Mark: "Brian was doing this with very primitive technology that we now do on a daily basis with digital recordings, reusing sections and moving them around. Its interesting to surmise if he had the current technology what might have happened. It would have been so much easier to do these experiments."

...is a line I've seen repeated in various forms from others including from those actual participants in the project. It isn't so much saying technology was the main factor, but it was a factor enough for those who worked with the same material in the modern digital era to cite, and also marvel sometimes at how Brian worked using a modern digital recording and sequencing mindset and workflow in an era of razor blade and tape. And not only worked with that mindset, but also created something like Good Vibrations. I heartily believe the notion of stretching that across a full album without the technology we take for granted today was a factor in the project becoming too overwhelming to see through to completion as Brian envisioned it during the process.

I think this type of thinking is what I am referring to - it's completely logical, and gets one to thinking "what if ..."

I would just say that if we look at Smiley Smile and Wild Honey, the modular techniques continue. And they have their origins in Pet Sounds (inserting older mixes for certain sections, etc.), and came to full fruition on "Good Vibrations" ... which was fully completed. This is where my previous points come in. While it might have been a factor in *slowing things down* ... I don't think it would have prevented Smile from being finished, and I don't believe that if Brian had full access to Pro Tools, that Smile would have been finished in 1966-'67. I don't think Brian was interested in putting "Surf's Up" into the world in 1967. Nor "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow", etc. ... He said, "I donít have to do a big scary fire like that ... I can do a candle and itís still fire. That would have been a really bad vibration to let out on the world, that Chicago fire. The next one is going to be a candle.Ē The candle was presumably "Fall Breaks". I just don't see this having anything to do with technical limitations.

Definiteness of artistic purpose. It was there for Pet Sounds, "Good Vibrations", ... Smiley Smile. It was notably lacking, or became increasingly foggy, in Smile. To me, this is just in line with basic principles of what you might call Universal Law.
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« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2020, 03:39:38 PM »

My humble opinion is that at the time, technology was not seen as a limit. At the time, itís just there was so much recorded, and so much material that Brian basically shut down whenever he thought about having to piece it all together into a 12 track 30 minute LP.
Also, as mentioned by several other people, there was tracks that he just did not want the world to hear at that time.
Not only that, but it was also the time limit that was bothering him a lot. Obviously, as several people have pointed out, they had to put out 2 to 3 albums every single year.
PS was released in May 66... and a year later they still had no new album to release.
At that time, there was ways that it could technically get finished, itís just that none of those ways were any good.
Looking back, itís obvious that with the technology we have today, making this album would have been way easier, and much more manageable. but you can say that with literally any album from back then, it wouldíve been much easier to make today. I mean, thatís just an obvious statement. Technology has advanced so much in 50 years.
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« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2020, 03:48:57 PM »

My humble opinion is that at the time, technology was not seen as a limit. At the time, itís just there was so much recorded, and so much material that Brian basically shut down whenever he thought about having to piece it all together into a 12 track 30 minute LP.
Also, as mentioned by several other people, there was tracks that he just did not want the world to hear at that time.
Not only that, but it was also the time limit that was bothering him a lot. Obviously, as several people have pointed out, they had to put out 2 to 3 albums every single year.
PS was released in May 66... and a year later they still had no new album to release.
At that time, there was ways that it could technically get finished, itís just that none of those ways were any good.
Looking back, itís obvious that with the technology we have today, making this album would have been way easier, and much more manageable. but you can say that with literally any album from back then, it wouldíve been much easier to make today. I mean, thatís just an obvious statement. Technology has advanced so much in 50 years.


Worth pointing out that on average, albums have take progressively longer to complete as more and more options have become available. According to what is usually referred to as the Paradox of Choice, more choices do not necessarily mean more efficiency, less time, or better results. Often the opposite.
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« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2020, 04:42:52 PM »


This line from Mark: "Brian was doing this with very primitive technology that we now do on a daily basis with digital recordings, reusing sections and moving them around. Its interesting to surmise if he had the current technology what might have happened. It would have been so much easier to do these experiments."

...is a line I've seen repeated in various forms from others including from those actual participants in the project. It isn't so much saying technology was the main factor, but it was a factor enough for those who worked with the same material in the modern digital era to cite, and also marvel sometimes at how Brian worked using a modern digital recording and sequencing mindset and workflow in an era of razor blade and tape. And not only worked with that mindset, but also created something like Good Vibrations. I heartily believe the notion of stretching that across a full album without the technology we take for granted today was a factor in the project becoming too overwhelming to see through to completion as Brian envisioned it during the process.

I think this type of thinking is what I am referring to - it's completely logical, and gets one to thinking "what if ..."

I would just say that if we look at Smiley Smile and Wild Honey, the modular techniques continue. And they have their origins in Pet Sounds (inserting older mixes for certain sections, etc.), and came to full fruition on "Good Vibrations" ... which was fully completed. This is where my previous points come in. While it might have been a factor in *slowing things down* ... I don't think it would have prevented Smile from being finished, and I don't believe that if Brian had full access to Pro Tools, that Smile would have been finished in 1966-'67. I don't think Brian was interested in putting "Surf's Up" into the world in 1967. Nor "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow", etc. ... He said, "I donít have to do a big scary fire like that ... I can do a candle and itís still fire. That would have been a really bad vibration to let out on the world, that Chicago fire. The next one is going to be a candle.Ē The candle was presumably "Fall Breaks". I just don't see this having anything to do with technical limitations.

Definiteness of artistic purpose. It was there for Pet Sounds, "Good Vibrations", ... Smiley Smile. It was notably lacking, or became increasingly foggy, in Smile. To me, this is just in line with basic principles of what you might call Universal Law.

Just a quick reply before the other more general comments, to the comment in bold:

Brian did put Surf's Up into the world in April 1967 when CBS showed him playing it during the Inside Pop broadcast. It blew minds in '67, and it still blows minds for people watching it on YouTube. If anything Brian putting it out there stoked the fire for people wanting to hear more of this new music - It was simply unlike any other popular music surrounding it at that time, and that includes the big names of Brian's peers. It's a tour de force both in song construction and the solo performance of it as broadcast. Brian was close with Surf's Up, but he couldn't get it in time as planned. Worth noting Mark's comments about when the Beach Boys revisited the song for the Surf's Up LP, how they tried to fly in the vocal from Brian but technology prevented them from doing what is now a relatively standard  digital edit and time stretch. So even several years later the lack of technology, according to Mark, was a factor in that case of the vocal.
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« Reply #47 on: May 18, 2020, 04:56:09 PM »

I understand the comments and reactions about technology - However one of the main points to consider is that Brian was literally breaking new ground in the areas of recording and producing hit pop records when Good Vibrations got made and released. You can't compare Good Vibrations to anything because no one producing pop music was making records like that.

For proof of this, try to name one pop artist or producer actively working and charting hits in 1966 who did anything like Brian did in constructing Good Vibrations using that many studios and that many different reels of tape. I say specifically pop artists or producers because comparing Brian's methods which actually sold records and got on the radio to some experimental tape artist working in an audio lab in Sweden in 1960 is bogus. I mean Brian's peers in pop, rock, country, easy listening, whatever genre who were actually selling records.

And the answer is no one was doing what Brian did to make Good Vibrations. So if you take that concept, that working method as a template, then consider where Brian wanted to take that method in order to create a much larger scale work on that same level as he did with a 3:35 pop single, it may suggest that what he envisioned with the editing and sequencing techniques simply did not exist in a practical enough form in 1966 and 1967 to accomplish what he really had in mind.

And of course it is but one factor in a literal shitstorm that enveloped the project, from lawsuits to getting sh*t from band members to his own hang-ups to anything else that we can rattle off the list...but limited technology was possibly a factor. And ultimately it's hard to dispute that the way Brian did Good Vibrations (and Smiley, and parts of WH) in segments was like the ProTools workflow and application decades before ProTools and digital sequencing and editing of live (not computer or MIDI based) audio was even a thing.

When you jump from Pet Sounds which was still mostly a live band recorded playing through a full take as the foundation into using multiple studios and interchangeable sections and precision editing within months...that's moving beyond where most if not all of the industry was in 1966 and beyond where the right tools to do that kind of job efficiently existed.

Brian was a trailblazer and innovator (as much as some may want to downplay that for whatever reason), and the great "what if?" is indeed what if he had the tools that are on a basic laptop today to create his music back then when his innovation was running at light speed.
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« Reply #48 on: May 18, 2020, 05:56:40 PM »

A lot of interesting comments here


Not saying technology and lack thereof was *the* reason, that's obviously not the case at all. But to dismiss it entirely in terms of the ability to do certain things in 1966 and 67 when there was no technology to do it seems a bit extreme.


Agree with this; that technological limitations are/were relevant.  It made a difficult situation harder for Brian, or at best not any easier for Brian.

But even if the technology had been there, there would have been problems; unlikely he would have finished it. 


People want to play around with alternate histories, but to make them plausible you have to remove Brian Wilson from the picture, and then of course, you are left with nothing.

This comment really is quite spot-on; it supports the idea that technology, in the end, wouldn't have made the difference.  No matter what alternate scenario we envision, there's always the critical constant factor, which is the Brian Wilson of 1966-67; who he is at that time.  I myself have thought about ways in which Smile could be completed at the time - including, certainly as a solo project - and each time it ends up being inherently contradictory, because the Brian Wilson who finishes is no longer be Brian Wilson, but some other person you wish he could be. Which is to say, the guy who finishes Smile c. 1966-67 isn't the person who could conceive and construct the music in the first place.   

To be blunt about it, imagine better technology. So then you have a guy who is severly abused, and at the same time obligated to put food in the mouths of his abusers. He's living a total lie, but doesn't know it.   He's paranoid, hearing voices, and drinking chocolate milk out of a baby bottle. Does improved technological capacity push him over the finish line? Doubtful, but it might have gotten him closer.

(It was all hopelessly paradoxical for Brian, because to become the kind of artist who can complete Smile, Brian had to first complete Smile.)



2. I hold the (unpopular) opinion that Smiley Smile *is* Smile. That is, this is the closest we have to a finished Smile-type album in 1966-67.


This is my opinion also, though perhaps for different reasons. If you keep in mind the context of what had recently happened. You have Beach Boys Party at the end of 1965, after which point Brian basically takes the ball and runs with it - it's his music now, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.  Smile crashes, because Brian crashes.  This was not their failure, it was his failure, because it was his music, not theirs. He coudn't finish Smile, but the collective Beach Boys could, and they did: Smiley Smile.  They are reverting to the group we had last heard from on the Party album.  Smiley Smile is basically the Smile concept and sound and feel, but awkwardly married to the Beach Boys Party concept. That is, Smiley Smile is a strange mash-up of Smile's advanced conceptual and musical sophistication (and stoner vibes) with the half-assed, minimalist buffoonery of Beach Boys Party.  This is the true group version of Smile.  The Beach Boys finished Smile . Only the solo artist Brian Wilson failed to finish. 
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« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2020, 06:02:15 PM »


This line from Mark: "Brian was doing this with very primitive technology that we now do on a daily basis with digital recordings, reusing sections and moving them around. Its interesting to surmise if he had the current technology what might have happened. It would have been so much easier to do these experiments."

...is a line I've seen repeated in various forms from others including from those actual participants in the project. It isn't so much saying technology was the main factor, but it was a factor enough for those who worked with the same material in the modern digital era to cite, and also marvel sometimes at how Brian worked using a modern digital recording and sequencing mindset and workflow in an era of razor blade and tape. And not only worked with that mindset, but also created something like Good Vibrations. I heartily believe the notion of stretching that across a full album without the technology we take for granted today was a factor in the project becoming too overwhelming to see through to completion as Brian envisioned it during the process.

I think this type of thinking is what I am referring to - it's completely logical, and gets one to thinking "what if ..."

I would just say that if we look at Smiley Smile and Wild Honey, the modular techniques continue. And they have their origins in Pet Sounds (inserting older mixes for certain sections, etc.), and came to full fruition on "Good Vibrations" ... which was fully completed. This is where my previous points come in. While it might have been a factor in *slowing things down* ... I don't think it would have prevented Smile from being finished, and I don't believe that if Brian had full access to Pro Tools, that Smile would have been finished in 1966-'67. I don't think Brian was interested in putting "Surf's Up" into the world in 1967. Nor "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow", etc. ... He said, "I donít have to do a big scary fire like that ... I can do a candle and itís still fire. That would have been a really bad vibration to let out on the world, that Chicago fire. The next one is going to be a candle.Ē The candle was presumably "Fall Breaks". I just don't see this having anything to do with technical limitations.

Definiteness of artistic purpose. It was there for Pet Sounds, "Good Vibrations", ... Smiley Smile. It was notably lacking, or became increasingly foggy, in Smile. To me, this is just in line with basic principles of what you might call Universal Law.

Just a quick reply before the other more general comments, to the comment in bold:

Brian did put Surf's Up into the world in April 1967 when CBS showed him playing it during the Inside Pop broadcast. It blew minds in '67, and it still blows minds for people watching it on YouTube. If anything Brian putting it out there stoked the fire for people wanting to hear more of this new music - It was simply unlike any other popular music surrounding it at that time, and that includes the big names of Brian's peers. It's a tour de force both in song construction and the solo performance of it as broadcast. Brian was close with Surf's Up, but he couldn't get it in time as planned. Worth noting Mark's comments about when the Beach Boys revisited the song for the Surf's Up LP, how they tried to fly in the vocal from Brian but technology prevented them from doing what is now a relatively standard  digital edit and time stretch. So even several years later the lack of technology, according to Mark, was a factor in that case of the vocal.

While I did use "Surf's Up" as an example, the basic point is that there were particular tracks that Brian was uncomfortable releasing ... "Surf's Up" in particular is documented as being one (the 1971 Rolling Stone article details this to some degree), however "Mrs. O'Learly's Cow" would be a better example. I would put things like "Cabinessence" in there with these as well. Main point is that these songs were not really based on crazy modular arrangements like "Good Vibrations" - they seemed to have been more or less arranged, it was just a matter of conceptualizing the finished track and wrapping things up. In these cases, I don't believe technology was a limiting factor at all in these examples. Additionally, I would not consider the TV appearance to be on par with releasing the song on record.

I understand the comments and reactions about technology - However one of the main points to consider is that Brian was literally breaking new ground in the areas of recording and producing hit pop records when Good Vibrations got made and released. You can't compare Good Vibrations to anything because no one producing pop music was making records like that.

For proof of this, try to name one pop artist or producer actively working and charting hits in 1966 who did anything like Brian did in constructing Good Vibrations using that many studios and that many different reels of tape. I say specifically pop artists or producers because comparing Brian's methods which actually sold records and got on the radio to some experimental tape artist working in an audio lab in Sweden in 1960 is bogus. I mean Brian's peers in pop, rock, country, easy listening, whatever genre who were actually selling records.

And the answer is no one was doing what Brian did to make Good Vibrations. So if you take that concept, that working method as a template, then consider where Brian wanted to take that method in order to create a much larger scale work on that same level as he did with a 3:35 pop single, it may suggest that what he envisioned with the editing and sequencing techniques simply did not exist in a practical enough form in 1966 and 1967 to accomplish what he really had in mind.

And of course it is but one factor in a literal shitstorm that enveloped the project, from lawsuits to getting sh*t from band members to his own hang-ups to anything else that we can rattle off the list...but limited technology was possibly a factor. And ultimately it's hard to dispute that the way Brian did Good Vibrations (and Smiley, and parts of WH) in segments was like the ProTools workflow and application decades before ProTools and digital sequencing and editing of live (not computer or MIDI based) audio was even a thing.

When you jump from Pet Sounds which was still mostly a live band recorded playing through a full take as the foundation into using multiple studios and interchangeable sections and precision editing within months...that's moving beyond where most if not all of the industry was in 1966 and beyond where the right tools to do that kind of job efficiently existed.

Brian was a trailblazer and innovator (as much as some may want to downplay that for whatever reason), and the great "what if?" is indeed what if he had the tools that are on a basic laptop today to create his music back then when his innovation was running at light speed.

Not to get too granular, but the technology did exist at the time. And I don't think it's too terribly inconvenient, just takes a bit more care on the part of an engineer and a bit more time. Cross-fading tracks into other tracks could easily be accomplished on 8-track, 4-track, or even 2-track since Brian was working in mono ... when you hear records from the '60s or '70s that have crossfades, they just made a standard stereo mix then dubbed it onto a 4-track, cross-fading the finished 2-track masters back and forth between the tracks. They would then mix the crossfade intros/outros to a separate 2-track tape, and splice that in with the original mixes. Obviously, we are familiar with tape splices so that wasn't a big deal in the many other examples in which the group utilized modular recording. In any case, "playing around with it" and testing things out quickly would indeed have been the limiting factor, and I think we're all in agreement that this might have been a factor. But my argument is I believe it would be a minor one if a true reason at all.

What I challenge I guess is that the Smile Sessions Smile record is what Smile would have ended up like had it been released (1/3 of it would have been cut, for example), and if it were, it is not particularly challenging in terms of doing that all-analog if it were needed ... the only part I can think of that would have been a problem in analog is that section from the *Smiley* version of Wind Chimes, which was speed corrected digitally. So I guess I kind of think of this idea as a bit of revisionism -- the idea that the technology of the time made it so Brian just couldn't get it together, and it would have been a different story if Pro Tools had been around. But you know my biases -- I don't like digital recording at all, and don't think it lends toward greater creativity personally.

IMO this is like making the argument - if only Brian had unlimited time, and had a studio in his home, he would have been able to finish Smile Ö :D
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 06:13:02 PM by DonnyL » Logged

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