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662098 Posts in 26541 Topics by 3796 Members - Latest Member: Join The Human Race September 25, 2020, 06:40:57 PM
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Author Topic: Surf's Up - 1971 work on track questions  (Read 763 times)
onkster
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« on: September 03, 2020, 09:26:17 AM »

I can't recall the original source of the quotes I read--maybe it was Jack Rieley?--but I remember mention that a lot of parts from the 1966 version were replaced or rerecorded when the band worked on finishing it in 1971. The words "because they were so rotten" really stood out.

Gee, I don't recall any of the original '66 tracks sounding "rotten"--did that mean instrumental tracks or vocals? The only thing I can imagine is maybe loss of fidelity due to bouncing (kind of like what happened on the original single mix of H&V).

Anybody have any stories or details on this?
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Steve Mayo
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2020, 09:58:45 AM »

Jack spoke of this in the 1974 bbc special “the beach boys story”. he said they re-recorded surfs up in 1971 but didn’t use the new recording because It was not as good as the 1966 one. They did add some new parts to the 1966 tapes.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2020, 10:00:12 AM by Steve Mayo » Logged
SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2020, 10:34:45 AM »

I think what you're remembering is that email Q&A, where Rieley claimed they had "lots of musicians" over to redo parts that had been played badly in the 60s. That isn't true (only instruments added were an organ in the first half, and a Moog bass and shaker in the second half), but as Steve said, Jack might have been recalling the Sunset Sound session where they attempted to remake the whole 1st Movement track synced to Brian's piano in order to keep his vocal. I think it still exists but is yet to surface. Jack mentioned it in the '74 radio special and Alan Boyd briefly talked about it a post-TSS interview.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2020, 10:38:23 AM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
Tom
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2020, 02:05:19 PM »

That would be an interesting listen considering the tempo would be more scattered than usual. Presumably it wasn't working and that's why they canned it.

I recall the Desper video said they did subtle overdubs to the 'second movement' - not the brief BVs and moog, but some piano and vocal 'tidying up' by Carl to fix dropouts in the apparently damaged tape. I hear no evidence of this on the recording tbh, and I suspect it would be audible if so. Someone feel free to tell me if I'm misremembering Desper's claim
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Sam_BFC
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2020, 02:37:13 PM »

Perhaps that attempted remake would have been (will be  Cry) part of the Feel Flows set
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"..be cautious, don't get your hopes up, look over your shoulder because heartbreak and darkness are always ready to pounce"

petsoundsnola
SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2020, 02:52:53 PM »

That would be an interesting listen considering the tempo would be more scattered than usual. Presumably it wasn't working and that's why they canned it.

I recall the Desper video said they did subtle overdubs to the 'second movement' - not the brief BVs and moog, but some piano and vocal 'tidying up' by Carl to fix dropouts in the apparently damaged tape. I hear no evidence of this on the recording tbh, and I suspect it would be audible if so. Someone feel free to tell me if I'm misremembering Desper's claim

Mark Linett chimed when it came up once and said there's nothing like that on the tapes.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2020, 02:53:44 PM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
juggler
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2020, 11:04:44 PM »

After all these years, I still hope that  some day, somehow, some way... the original Surf's Up Part 2 instrumental track surfaces.

Quote
c-man:
Here's something I copied from one of these message boards some time back:

Here's a post from Alan Boyd in response to a question about if
they ever found a tape of Surf's Up Pt. 2 in the vaults...


*******

I wish I could offer something a bit more concrete here...

I've heard about the existence of a tape of a full arrangement on that
second section of SURF'S UP. It's been described to me, third-hand.
Supposedly it's pretty weird, lots of strange horn and string parts.
But I haven't heard it.

We don't have it in the Beach Boys' tape library. And it's not among
Brian's tapes either.

There is an enormous amount of SMILE material that's missing. I
recently saw a photograph on Ed Roach's site of a tape shelf at Brother
Studio, late 1970s. Right there, along with safety 1/4" masters of all
the group's albums, is a tape labeled "BRIAN - DUMB ANGEL." Probably a
1/4" or 1/2". I nearly had a stroke when I saw that, and I immediately
called anyone and everyone who ever had access to tapes at Brother, and
asked what they knew about it. No one knew. What was on that reel?
Where is it now? It certainly wasn't listed in the 1985 inventory of
the group's tapes.

What WAS listed in that inventory are the many empty tape boxes from
the SMILE era, on titles like "Heroes and
Villains," "Cabinessence," "Surf's Up," "Vegetables," etc... they were
empty in 1985, they're empty today. I'm certain, however, that excerpts
from at least one of them (overdubs onto the last verse
of "Vegetables") showed up on one of the SOT discs. They're almost all
1/4" mixdowns. Other SMILE tracks were assembled onto some of the 1/2"
STACK-O-TRACKS assembly reels, and those SMILE songs are
also....missing.

Did Brian actually destroy some tapes back in the day? I think he just
might have...

Are there one-of-a-kind tapes that have been stolen and are now in the
hands of collectors? Yes...

Were there tapes that Brian somehow left behind at a studio after
working on them that have since found their way into the hands of
collectors? Probably...

Are there acetates of missing material in the hands of collectors
and/or people who were around at the time? Absolutely...

Are there people reading THIS now who may know where some of this
material now resides? Wouldn't surprise me in the least...

Would anyone "in the know" feel at all inclined to help us find some of
these missing tapes? I sure hope so....

(BRI is willing to pay for material, no questions asked, just in case
you're reading this and you happen to be holding onto a dub of the
second movement of SURF'S UP, hint hint, or anything else you know we
DON'T have, so please get in touch with me through Jon Hunt, OK?)

*sigh*

Your Friendly Neighborhood Vault Rat

Alan

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,4165.35/wap2.html
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SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2020, 02:42:42 AM »

For a lot of reasons, it's unlikely that such a thing was ever recorded.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2020, 02:55:13 AM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
juggler
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2020, 08:31:55 AM »

For a lot of reasons, it's unlikely that such a thing was ever recorded.

Disagree.  To just dismiss it and say it never existed is the easy way out.  I do think it's more likely than not that it DID exist and was lost/stolen/damaged at some point.  For what other Smile song on the Dec '66 track list, is there NOT an instrumental track?  The Elements remains a vague wildcard, but for everything else we can point to one or more matching instrumental tracks. Surf's Up was one of the centerpieces of the album that, remember, Brian was still promising in March/April 1967.  That he would just blow off the 2nd half of the song and not do an instrumental track defies logic.

We don't know the identity of Alan's 3rd hand source who described the section as "pretty weird, lots of strange horn and string parts," but that description is consistent with the session logs in terms of the roster of musicians present.

Remember, the original multitracks for Surf's Up were taken from the tape library to Carl's home in June 1971 and reviewed by Carl and Jack Rieley without an engineer present, according to Keith Badman's book.  Under those circumstances, would it shock anyone if a tape got lost/misplaced/damaged/discarded?   It doesn't take a huge leap of imagination to guess that Part 1 didn't suffer the same fate *because* they used it in the '71 reassembly.  
« Last Edit: September 04, 2020, 08:32:56 AM by juggler » Logged
SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2020, 09:07:15 AM »

For a lot of reasons, it's unlikely that such a thing was ever recorded.

Disagree.  To just dismiss it and say it never existed is the easy way out.  I do think it's more likely than not that it DID exist and was lost/stolen/damaged at some point.  For what other Smile song on the Dec '66 track list, is there NOT an instrumental track?  The Elements remains a vague wildcard, but for everything else we can point to one or more matching instrumental tracks. Surf's Up was one of the centerpieces of the album that, remember, Brian was still promising in March/April 1967.  That he would just blow off the 2nd half of the song and not do an instrumental track defies logic.

We don't know the identity of Alan's 3rd hand source who described the section as "pretty weird, lots of strange horn and string parts," but that description is consistent with the session logs in terms of the roster of musicians present.

Remember, the original multitracks for Surf's Up were taken from the tape library to Carl's home in June 1971 and reviewed by Carl and Jack Rieley without an engineer present, according to Keith Badman's book.  Under those circumstances, would it shock anyone if a tape got lost/misplaced/damaged/discarded?   It doesn't take a huge leap of imagination to guess that Part 1 didn't suffer the same fate *because* they used it in the '71 reassembly.  

It's not just guesswork, there's a paper trail to consider here.

The 1st Movement track was probably off the table by the time Brian taped his solo piano/vocal version on December 15. It's been called a 'demo' officially on TSS etc. because that's a convenient way to categorise it, but it's pretty clearly an actual overdubbed studio master, meaning it wiped out anything that came before (if you look at the Inside Pop reel notes there's material about him punching in certain vocal parts and overseeing the mix). That's just the way Brian was working at the time. I think it's very unlikely that he'd have planned a 2nd Movement track to follow the first once that decision had been made, and that 'version two' even made some small musical revisions to the first half of the song.

The first of the two sessions on Jan 23 1967 was for 'Surf's Up', the second was only marked 'Part One'. You'd assume both would be Surf's Up, but neither of those titles are really suggestive of a '2nd Movement' track. Maybe a remake of the first half only, maybe an entire new backing track, maybe overdubs onto the second recording, but however you look at it it's more plausibly a clean slate than an attempt to complete the hanging November '66 version. And January is otherwise the month Brian worked on a bizarre Wonderful remake, a number of Heroes restructure experiments that never went anywhere and some songs for Jasper Dailey.

Would Carl really misplace such an important recording he supposedly played on? They were desperate for anything with Brian's hand at the time. Besides the results of that day not being around for review by '71, the second session is a total anomaly in that two of the musicians were paid for a string arrangement and a load of others were sent home without being used. That didn't happen at a 60s Brian session before or after. Nothing here is very indicative of something that went well. And remember, in a 3 hour session the tape sometimes only rolled for 20-30 minutes - it's very possible that something was rehearsed, rejected and never recorded. Or even that the session was cancelled without the proper paperwork being filled in.

I wouldn't discount the idea completely after December 19 Heroes found an explanation in those Durrie Parks acetates, but the odds are stacked against it.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2020, 10:29:22 AM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
juggler
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« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2020, 09:22:54 AM »

Would Carl really misplace such an important recording he supposedly played on?

God bless Carl, but his lifestyle in 1971 was more "rock star" than "tape archivist."
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