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662027 Posts in 26535 Topics by 3795 Members - Latest Member: SeaOfTunes September 23, 2020, 02:52:37 AM
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Author Topic: Carl on Stars and Stripes  (Read 3575 times)
HeyJude
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« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2020, 12:37:36 PM »

I wouldn't call it "awful music". It's bland, typical Nashville production sound. But it's not awful.

One of the problems imo is the involvement of the Beach Boys themselves and Brian being the producer. He wrote those songs and arranged them the wa he wanted them bak in the day. So of course that's how he re-recorded them. Brian is no Country producer. To make such a project work though, the songs need to be taken into a different direction and interpreted by actually Country artists. Willie Nelson can make anything sound like a Willie Nelson song, so that worked out well. Same goes for Tammy Wynette. These two are giants and completely in that league the project should have focused on. But a lot of the other singers grew up with the Beach Boys and probably would never dare to change the songs, especially with Brian Wilson is producing.


BTW, was "Sail on sailor" only done at the rehearsal or is there a studio recording of it as well? And will we ever get Tammy Wynette's "In my room" with the Beach Boys' full backing vocals? A version with just Brian's vocals was of course released after Tammy died.

Nobody in 1996 wanted an album of mostly b-list country singers covering Beach Boys songs. Mainstream country-pop music even in the 1990s was already pretty homogenized and bland; I don't think Joe Thomas or Brian Wilson made it any worse. "Stars and Stripes" didn't fail among country fans because it didn't sound "country enough." I think Thomas molded that sound to sound more than sufficiently 90s contemporary country.

I think BB fans didn't need country covers, and country fans didn't need Beach Boys covers.

Willie Nelson nor Tammy Wynette was going to save this project. The only rising tide in fandom/music circles at that time was the nerd/indie/hipster crowd getting more into Pet Sounds and Smile and all of that. Contemporary bands of that era covering *that* material would have seen more attention.

"Stars and Stripes" was another one of the band's awful, over-calculated, day-late-and-a-dollar-short ideas like the disco "Here Comes the Night."





I don't necessarily disagree with you as I've made clear by going on everyone's nerves over the years each time the topic of Stars&Stripes came up. I just wouldn't call it awful. Bland? Yes. Tasteless? Yes. But for what it is, it is done well. Problem is that it is a terribly executed project. But the musicians are top, the Beach Boys' vocals beautiful.
I can't call this album Country, though. But then I hardly anything since the 80s counts as Country imo. Just because something is recorded in Nashville doesn't mean it's Country Music. Unfortunately Nashville doesn't understand that. Tom Petty once said about all these "modern" Country acts that they are basically "bad Rock bands with fiddles". That kinda sums it up.

But even this way, the tracks with Willie and Tammy show that there was more potential, even if you don't go the route I am fantasizing about.

I guess in my mind "Terribly Executed" plus "Bland" plus "Tasteless" equals awful, or something pretty close.

You can tell in that film documentary, by god they're *trying* to make the thing into something substantive, at least in terms of how they talk it up. The only thing that made sense in doing that project was the *possibly* valid theory that it was easier to squeeze a "reunion" out of the band by having them back other artists on cover versions, which would alleviate at least some of the potential hangups/arguments that could happen in trying to write and record new music.

I don't think BB music melds particularly well with any sub-genre of country music. There are exceptions of course; one can make certain things work.

But I think, certainly both back in 1996 and even more so now in 2020 when we see the amount of output the band had, *any* covers album would be pretty low on many if not most fans' wish lists. A country album even less so. There's no scenario where, in my mind, it would have been good. Maybe there are some BB fans who are also super into country music and would like to hear it done better. I think every aspect of "Stars and Stripes" was a misstep. If they were inclined to back a covers album, they should have picked different musical styles and different artists. If they were inclined to do country, they should have waited to get better artists. If they were stuck with that list of artists, they should have made it sound better, and/or turned the album into duets. And even in those hypothetical improved scenarios, the whole thing sounds horrendous.

Some of this boils down to the fact that, certainly by some point by the end of the 70s if not sooner, the only way the band would have likely ever produced a truly good product was to have some outside entity making it happen, both on the organizational/financial side as well as creative. They needed to have someone who could get a project done, and do it in good taste. Others like Paley and Was had some good taste, but couldn't make the projects happen.

Ironically, while "Stars and Stripes" was extremely weak, the most productive and relatively high quality we got out of the band after 1970-something or was probably Joe Thomas making C50 in 2012 happen. He found the money, and he organized the thing top to bottom and got it done, and it came out on the other end with a pretty solid album, and an excellent tour. Even in that *best case scenario*, band bulls**t led to it falling apart after mere months.
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mrski
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« Reply #51 on: September 01, 2020, 12:57:27 PM »

Here's another country BBoys cover : 'Warmth Of The Sun' - Nickle Creek.

Loved their first Sugar Hill Records CD (produced by Alison Krauss), but for me, they kind of lost their way after that...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7_BKMGX-VU


My S&S CD has a hype sticker which reads, "THE BEACH BOYS with their Favorite Top Country Stars"

 So that's Lorrie Morgan, James House, Jr. Brown, Doug Supernaw, Sawyer Brown, Toby Keith, Ricky Van Shelton, T. Graham Brown, Wille Nelson, Collin Raye, Kathy Troccali, Timothy B. Schmit... (plus Tammy Wynette, Rodney Crowell...)


Contrast that with the artists on the 'Common Thread' Eagles tribute CD : Travis Tritt, Little Texas, Clint Black, John Anderson, Alan Jackson, Suzy Bogguss, Vince Gill, Diamond Rio, Trisha Yearwood, Billy Dean, Tanya Tucker, Brookes & Dunn, Lorrie Morgan...

Or the (1st) Tribute To Bob Wills CD by Asleep At The Wheel... Chet Atkins, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, George Strait, Garth Brookes, Lyle Lovatt, Dolly Parton, Johnny Rodriguez, Suzy Bogguss, Huey Lewis, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Brookes & Dunn, Riders In The Sky...

If I remember correctly, country music was enjoying a surge in popularity at the time, and that is probably the only reason The BBoys became associated with it... The majority of established country stars of the day were influenced by Hank, Lefty, George Jones, George Strait, (maybe Gram Parsons), Buck Owens et al... I am sure many would have admired the work The BBoys did, but as for The BBoys being a major influence on them? Obviously not so. And hence many of the 'real'  Top Country Stars were not actually waiting in line to contribute to such an album. Maybe it would have been a better project overall had The BBoys covered some country songs themselves as well, probably would have been more interesting...



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southbay
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« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2020, 01:18:35 PM »

"Sloop John B." on Stars & Stripes is just one of the few times, as I remember, that you can actually hear a steel guitar prominently on the album.

It's strange that they didn't have Yoakam on the album. It seems like in the 90s he was on every tribute-album I saw. I remember him doing a very cool "Mystery train" on an Elvis tribute in '94.


I wonder, are there actually some interesting or worthwhile Beach Boys covers by Country artists?



BTW I just saw that there was a music video made for James House's "Little Deuce Coupe", part of the scenes were on the Nashville Sounds doc. And it is as cringeworthy as you would expect. Almost like a bad parody. Think "Hot fun in the summertime" without Stamos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNbpPH416Bg





If we'll talk more about the album and all that stuff, I thought I'd compile a couple of links to music videos, performances etc. that have to do with the project. See this as a bonus section to the Nashville Sounds DVD.
Unfortunately I couldn't find Al's accoustic "California Saga" on youtube, which was allegedly a demo for Merle Haggard.



James House & The Beach Boys - Little Deuce Coupe (music video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNbpPH416Bg



The Beach Boys & James House - Little Deuce Coupe (live performance on Prime Time Country)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0vg3p4U3jE



The Beach Boys & James House - Little Deuce Coupe (live on Letterman)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe577Ff6Lqc



The Beach Boys & Sawyer Brown - I Get Around (live performance)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GefVO9vN1oY



The Beach Boys & Toby Keith - Be True to Your School (live on Prime Time Country)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUpNlXW-TQs



The Beach Boys with Kathy Troccoli (live on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n79x5h-bWQ



The Beach Boys with Shelby Lynn, James House, Willie Nelson and Neil Young (Farm Aid 1996)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8E-rArXfC68



The Beach Boys - California Girls (live on Prime Time Country)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V791W96hMD8



The Beach Boys - Barbara Ann (live on Prime Time Country)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0CW7fosjy4



Tammy Wynette & Brian Wilson - In My Room (from Tammy Wynette tribute album "Remembered")

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6B0hGjSgzA



Bonus tracks:


The Beach Boys & Collin Raye - Winter Wonderland (1996 ?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa3NmE_XZgQ



Brian Wilson & Willie Nelson - The Warmth of the Sun (Live at Farm Aid 1998)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XJZ5_sun-s



Al & Matt Jardine - Papa loved Mama (from Garth Brooks tribute album "New friend in low places" - from ca. 1999)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twAqwWh_CdQ


Al Jardine & Timothy B Schmidt - On the Kingston Trio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1517Ggi3nY



Hope I didn't forget anything.

The shame of that whole thing is, if you just listen to some of those backing vocals, you can imagine what  they could have produced on their own during that time.  For instance, that Collin Raye "Winter Wonderland"--the Beach Boys' backing vocals are amazing.  Just stunning. Unfortunately that's all we got out of that period, backing vocals we have to put through a  strainer to enjoy.
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Pretty Funky
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« Reply #53 on: September 01, 2020, 02:59:15 PM »

How have I missed that Willie Nelson/ Brian Wilson WOTS clip for 6 years? Wow! 9/10.
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« Reply #54 on: September 07, 2020, 02:44:17 AM »

It seems to me that Brian actually doubles with Matt on a couple of the falsetto parts on the album. "I get around" and "Little Deuce Coupe". Is that true? Maybe someone with better ears than myself knows more?



EDIT:

I mentioned the idea of Ray Price doing "Keep an eye on summer" on Stars&Stripes (it would sound perfect, if you take his "You're the best thing that ever happened to me" as a model). Anyway, I realized that both "Keep an eye on summer" and "Let him run wild" were recorded and released by Brian and Joe Thomas on "Imagination" and I wondered if that might've come from a plan to record those two songs for the second volume of Stars&Stripes (not necessarily with Ray Price in mind, although the strings on KAEOS make this sound like a perfect fit even in this version). Does anyone have more insight into this? Was Brian maybe looking forward to record these two songs for Vol 2 and when it didn't happen just went ahead and did them for his solo album?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 06:59:26 AM by Rocker » Logged

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« Reply #55 on: September 07, 2020, 07:59:20 AM »

Rocker, you could be right on both notes. I think Brian doubles Matt on some high parts in "You're Still A Mystery", recorded the previous year.
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« Reply #56 on: September 07, 2020, 09:52:49 AM »

Rocker, you could be right on both notes. I think Brian doubles Matt on some high parts in "You're Still A Mystery", recorded the previous year.


Yeah, it does sound like Brian, doesn't it?
And yes to "You're still a mystery". IIRC it may be Brian alone on the falsetto on the bootlegged version, but I haven't listened to that in years.
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #57 on: September 07, 2020, 10:25:01 AM »

Rocker, you could be right on both notes. I think Brian doubles Matt on some high parts in "You're Still A Mystery", recorded the previous year.
Always believed that was Carl and Matt
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« Reply #58 on: September 07, 2020, 11:14:03 AM »

Rocker, you could be right on both notes. I think Brian doubles Matt on some high parts in "You're Still A Mystery", recorded the previous year.
Always believed that was Carl and Matt

Based on track sheet notation, there's reason to believe it's Carl and Matt in places, and Brian and Matt in places, or all three in places...
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« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2020, 12:51:41 PM »

BTW posted in May of this year, I just saw this article on rollingstone.com



Flashback: Hear Tammy Wynette’s Last Recorded Song ‘In My Room’
Country vocalist sang the Beach Boys classic for an unreleased second volume of the band’s ‘Stars & Stripes’ project


https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-country/tammy-wynette-final-song-in-my-room-994303/




I find it interesting that it isn't mentioned very often that the Nashville Sounds documentary actually featured the Beach Boys' vocals while the version on TammyWynette Remembered is just Brian.
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #60 on: September 08, 2020, 02:36:17 PM »

Let's just pause for a moment and think about how the distance in time between Stars & Stripes and now is the same as Pet Sounds to "Problem Child".
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« Reply #61 on: September 08, 2020, 02:49:17 PM »

Let's just pause for a moment and think about how the distance in time between Stars & Stripes and now is the same as Pet Sounds to "Problem Child".

You just blew my mind, Sir
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« Reply #62 on: September 16, 2020, 12:30:20 PM »

Ok, here's something else. I found this on youtube and it claims to be an alternate version of "The warmth of the sun". Now Willie's vocal is the same. The background voices also seem to be the same. But the mix sounds different. Is this legit or was it done by changing the adjustments of the sound on the DVD? You can hear some individual voices easier than on the released one. But I don't remember any outtakes and/or bootlegs of these sessions to ever come out.


The Beach Boys and Willie Nelson - Warmth Of The Sun (Alternate Version) Stars and Stripes Vol 1 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCSLr6yFY5g




Another thing I already asked but would like to know more about: Does a studio recording of Rodney Crowell's "Sail on Sailor" exist? It seems kinda odd to me to invite him for the concert and sing before actually recording the song in the studio. Not impossible but unlikely, I'd guess.
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #63 on: September 16, 2020, 01:07:25 PM »

Ok, here's something else. I found this on youtube and it claims to be an alternate version of "The warmth of the sun". Now Willie's vocal is the same. The background voices also seem to be the same. But the mix sounds different. Is this legit or was it done by changing the adjustments of the sound on the DVD? You can hear some individual voices easier than on the released one. But I don't remember any outtakes and/or bootlegs of these sessions to ever come out.


The Beach Boys and Willie Nelson - Warmth Of The Sun (Alternate Version) Stars and Stripes Vol 1 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCSLr6yFY5g




Another thing I already asked but would like to know more about: Does a studio recording of Rodney Crowell's "Sail on Sailor" exist? It seems kinda odd to me to invite him for the concert and sing before actually recording the song in the studio. Not impossible but unlikely, I'd guess.

I can hear Brian a lot more on this version.  I do not know the answer to the Rodney Crowell question, but would love to have a copy of that if it exists.
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