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659367 Posts in 26414 Topics by 3755 Members - Latest Member: Joanne Figueroa July 04, 2020, 02:06:46 PM
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Author Topic: Please Let Me Wonder - Production analysis video  (Read 520 times)
aeijtzsche
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« on: June 08, 2020, 03:51:41 PM »

Here it is, another one in the ongoing series.  I break down several production and orchestration elements of the recording of the track for Please Let Me Wonder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMJyhCUCho4
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Mitchell
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2020, 09:00:15 PM »

Another fascinating and insightful video! I'll listen for those saxes more closely now.

A couple random thoughts... The chord changes by the guitars during the chorus, right before the vocal line bit, sound incredibly "summer evening" to me. Don't know how or why, but there are several instances of the Beach Boys' music being evocative like that (not just fun in the sun lyrics). It's lovely to hear them isolated.

Speaking of voices, I have to mention how much I love that backing vocal bit you sampled, the way the ooohs rise and fall together. There's a bit of tension in the chords, like it's slightly unnatural, but it works. (Remember, I know very little music theory, and even less about intended outcomes of certain combinations.)

Finally, you exercised good restraint not to quote Carl's last line in your thanks at the end. Could have gone either way!
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 06:46:37 AM »

Utterly brilliant work. Very grateful. Thanks for doing them!
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2020, 07:19:45 AM »

Thanks for the comments!

A couple people complained that they wanted to hear the entire track played through at the end like I normally have done; I didn't do that this time because between most of the first verse being bass only and then playing through the entire second verse and chorus without comment, it seemed good enough.  But if it wasn't good enough for you, here's this:

https://voca.ro/9MQl4g6UI5q

Let me know if anybody has trouble with playing that.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2020, 07:21:44 AM »

Another fascinating and insightful video! I'll listen for those saxes more closely now.

A couple random thoughts... The chord changes by the guitars during the chorus, right before the vocal line bit, sound incredibly "summer evening" to me. Don't know how or why, but there are several instances of the Beach Boys' music being evocative like that (not just fun in the sun lyrics). It's lovely to hear them isolated.

Speaking of voices, I have to mention how much I love that backing vocal bit you sampled, the way the ooohs rise and fall together. There's a bit of tension in the chords, like it's slightly unnatural, but it works. (Remember, I know very little music theory, and even less about intended outcomes of certain combinations.)

Finally, you exercised good restraint not to quote Carl's last line in your thanks at the end. Could have gone either way!

Hah!  "I Love You."

And yeah, there's definitely a lot of tension in the harmonies here.  Suspensions and rich extended chords abound. 
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2020, 07:28:58 AM »

Thanks aeijtzsche for another great video!
"Please let me wonder" has got to be one of the most impressive jobs the Boys have ever done on a record. When I first heard the acapella backgrounds (or track with background vocals) from the UM iirc, I was so blown away that I can't put it into words! And I was already very familar with the Beach Boys at that point, loved this song, but never realized what was behind the lead.
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2020, 02:47:59 PM »

Thanks for the comments!

A couple people complained that they wanted to hear the entire track played through at the end like I normally have done; I didn't do that this time because between most of the first verse being bass only and then playing through the entire second verse and chorus without comment, it seemed good enough.  But if it wasn't good enough for you, here's this:

https://voca.ro/9MQl4g6UI5q

Let me know if anybody has trouble with playing that.

Thanks for uploading that, I love the juxtaposition of the growly Dano against the acoustic guitars.
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2020, 09:05:33 PM »

Ah, possibly the most sublime of the tracks in the BB's great counter-tradition, from "Lonely Sea" to "Warmth of the Sun" to "Please Let Me Wonder" to "She Knows Me Too Well" to "Let Him Run Wild" to "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times." The one that connects most to the classic sound, but takes it into an ethereal direction. Breaking it apart and putting it back together again this way shows us just where Brian makes his move toward an arranging and orchestration style uniquely his own, diverging from his earlier influences. Listening to the playback of the vocals on PLMW on the UM set is quite possibly the most rapturous listening experience one can ever have--God or some heavenly essence/presence is in the room with them.

The only thing missing in this fabulous analysis is a discussion of the melody--it sure seems that Brian reserved his most intricate, unusual melodies for these "counter-tradition" tracks. And to me, it's this aspect of his musical evolution that puts him on course for PET SOUNDS, where we have an apotheosis of melody, even in the tracks without vocals!

Thanks so much--they can only get (even) better as we get into the heart of the matter!
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