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Author Topic: Brian's role in the live band during the "Brian's Back" era (76-78)  (Read 2325 times)
thr33
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« on: November 16, 2020, 08:34:53 AM »

I have been listening to a lot of shows from this era, it appears the following have been booted (I am not sure if this is appropriate to ask, but if anybody knows if other shows are circulating, please let me know about the venues/dates so I can search):

1976 (7 shows):
7/3/76 Anaheim, 8/11/76 Philadelphia, 9/1/76 Uniondale, 11/22/76 Cincinnati, 11/24/76 New York, 11/25/76 New York, 11/26/76 New York
1977 (9 shows):
1/7/77 Lakeland, 1/12/77 Indianapolis, 1/21/77 Largo, 7/30/77 London, 8/20/77 Louisville, 8/21/77 Edwardsville, 9/1/77 New York, 12/13/77 Seattle, 12/28/77 San Francisco
1978 (10 shows):
2/28/78 Christchurch, 3/3/78 Brisbane, 3/14/78 Perth, 3/15/78 Perth, 3/9/78 Melbourne, 6/22/78 Quebec, 6/25/78 East Rutherford, 8/25/78 Grand Haven, 8/26/78 Pittsburgh, 9/3/78 Lakeland

During the period between Brian's return to the live band and Bruce coming back, it seems Brian had a pretty decent-sized role. While he would retreat into just doing leads on the first verse of Sloop John B and middle eight of Surfer Girl in the following years, he seemed to be a more active participant between 76-78. In addition, Brian increasingly was featured on the bass and seemed to have become reasonably adept (have heard Brian playing on Wouldn't It Be Nice as a particular highlight).

Some questions, curious if anybody has tracked the following:

(1) Which songs did Brian sing lead on during this era, and at what point were his lead duties reduced to Surfer Girl/Sloop John B?
(2) Which songs did Brian play bass vs piano on during this era and at what point did he permanently move off the bass?
(3) How often did Brian use his falsetto during these shows, in terms of both lead parts and harmonies/backing vocals?
(4) What was the perception at the time of Brian's lead vocals and bass playing in terms of the quality and consistency of his performances?

Any other stories or insight on the era would be greatly appreciated. This is definitely one of the more interesting periods for the live band (and the band in general), and I find these shows fun and engaging even if they sound a bit loose and unrefined at times.
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NateRuvin
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2020, 11:01:58 AM »

By the late 70's, when Brian was playing bass for the majority of the show, it shows his bass playing technique never dwindled in those years off the road. He killed "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Heroes and Villians" in that 1978 Melbourne concert film.
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urbanite
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2020, 12:20:06 PM »

I was at the 11/24/1976 show at Madison Square Garden and I remember Brian not doing much, but wore a fancy robe. 
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2020, 05:43:09 PM »

I was at the 11/24/1976 show at Madison Square Garden and I remember Brian not doing much, but wore a fancy robe. 

I was st the 11/22/1976 show in Cincinnati and I would agree. He was involved during"Love Is A Woman" and "Airplane " as I recall but little else. I think he missed his cue for Sloop John B and Carl took the lead.

When I saw them in the summer of 77 Brian played bass for a short set and seemed more involved. Then the next summer Brian played bass the entire show and was very much a part of the band. I remember he sang lead on Wouldn't It Be Nice and did a good job.

I saw them again in  March of 79 and Brian had retreated to the piano and hardly participated at all.
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c-man
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2020, 06:33:54 PM »

Brian did the 7/3 Anaheim show, as well as the Oakland show the day before. I don't think he was at the 9/1/76 Uniondale show, as they toured without him that summer. He did join them for the fall tour of the east coast, and most of the January '77 shows.

At the Oakland and Anaheim shows, he just played piano and sang lead on one song - "Back Home". By that fall's tour, though, he was playing bass on "Surfer Girl" and "Back Home", and singing lead on both of those, plus "Sloop John B." and "Love Is A Woman". Maybe a co-lead with Al on "Wouldn't It Be Nice", too. EDIT: And his part of "Airplane". End edit.  That was pretty much the trend through the rest of '77. At the end of that year, he started playing bass through most of the show, and singing those leads, before switching back to piano exclusively in '79. Interesting to note that by '79, he was leaving the stage for a few songs, including "Surfer Girl" and "Heroes And Villains", both of which he'd performed on the previous three years. By 1980 though, he was signing (the bridge only) on "Surfer Girl". And of course, in '81, he took the whole lead on, as well as "Don't Worry Baby" and Carl's leads on "GOK" and "GV", as well. Falsetto-wise, other than "Surfer Girl", he did it on "Hawaii" when they performed it in '79, and "DWB" in '81.. I think that's about it.  
« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 07:13:18 PM by c-man » Logged
c-man
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2020, 07:18:17 PM »

Oh, and Brian giving up the bass to return to the piano was reportedly Carl's doing...Carl vastly preferred Eddie Carter's bass playing to Brian's. So there you have it.

Brian DID resume playing bass again on a couple of songs for his sporadic appearances with the band in the summer & fall of '83. One of those was "Barbara Ann".
« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 07:19:14 PM by c-man » Logged
Lonely Summer
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2020, 11:58:11 PM »

How regularly was Brian touring with the guys 76-78? I always had the impression that it was sporadic, as was his onstage participation. I think it depended on how he was feeling day to day, or at least tour to tour.
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c-man
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2020, 06:53:31 AM »

How regularly was Brian touring with the guys 76-78? I always had the impression that it was sporadic, as was his onstage participation. I think it depended on how he was feeling day to day, or at least tour to tour.

He toured regularly with them from fall of '76 through spring of '82, but still missed some shows along the way. He was absent from a handful of shows in mid-January '77 while finishing up the Love You album, and (I think) a whole tour in early August of '78 (due to his personal issues at the time), but otherwise was a regular member of the live band those years.

He was present for the opening night of their four-night March 1979 Radio City Music Hall stand, but was then absent from the rest of that run - otherwise, I believe he was at all 1979 shows. He missed their late July-early August 1980 tour due to illness. Other than their May 26, 1981 television shoot for the 4th Annual National Cheerleading Championships in Miami, I think Brian was pretty much there for all shows that year (but not always exactly "there", if you know what I mean). '82 was hit-and-miss, with Brian missing whole tours in June and July, all shows in November and December, and several occasional shows in other months. By '83, he was back under Landy's care, and mostly just played high-profile gigs on the west and east coasts, plus a few others around those dates. Likewise in '84, after which his appearances at non-televised gigs reduced to practically nil.
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thr33
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2020, 09:01:28 AM »

Fantastic, thank you all for the discussion so far! Very enlightening.
he was leaving the stage for a few songs, including "Surfer Girl" and "Heroes And Villains", both of which he'd performed on the previous three years
Thank you for your thorough responses c-man, one follow-up related to this...

I have been watching/listening to some of the Heroes performances (particularly in 78), and for at least in the 2 shows for which there's video (Largo 77 and Perth 78), it seems he wasn't singing (actually he might be off-stage in the Largo video EDIT: apologies, he appears to be playing piano here; in the Perth one he goes to the back of the stage and sits on an amp while playing bass). Are these exceptions, or is this a song Brian would not participate in vocally when it was part of the live rotation? I don't have a good enough ear to pick Brian's voice out from the audio in the other shows.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2020, 09:03:29 AM by thr33 » Logged
HeyJude
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2020, 02:27:53 PM »

If someone is looking for a more generalized cliffs notes version, it goes something like this:

Instrumentally, the only time Brian was playing a truly integral part was from late '77-ish into 1978 when he was actually the main bassist for some if not most or all of the shows. Aside from that, while his piano was usually if not always live and in the mix, it wasn't as make-or-break to the band's live sound.

Vocally, he started out tentative in '76, and then by '77 he was pretty active and arguably aggressive (watch the Largo '77 video). Whether it was because he was coked out or something else, his shows in 1977 and into 1978 were his most active. He was up and playing bass a lot, and he was sometimes almost frantically dancing around stage, shouting lead vocals while playing bass, etc.

Then, by late '78 or early '79, it completely flip-flopped. He was back to being off to the side of the stage on piano, only singing a few lead parts. More specifically, his demeanor was much, much more subdued. This carried through 1980. I think he was in the same shape in 1981, but he was needed to take some Carl leads, hence the odd 1981-82 shows where Brian was often disengaged and low-energy, but also trying to take Carl's place (vocally) in the show.

His active touring years during this time frame were 1976-1982, bracketed by his 1976 and 1982 stints being more sporadic with more missed shows, while he was more regularly (though not *always) present 1977-1981.

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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2020, 03:41:50 PM »

How regularly was Brian touring with the guys 76-78? I always had the impression that it was sporadic, as was his onstage participation. I think it depended on how he was feeling day to day, or at least tour to tour.

He toured regularly with them from fall of '76 through spring of '82, but still missed some shows along the way. He was absent from a handful of shows in mid-January '77 while finishing up the Love You album, and (I think) a whole tour in early August of '78 (due to his personal issues at the time), but otherwise was a regular member of the live band those years.

He was present for the opening night of their four-night March 1979 Radio City Music Hall stand, but was then absent from the rest of that run - otherwise, I believe he was at all 1979 shows. He missed their late July-early August 1980 tour due to illness. Other than their May 26, 1981 television shoot for the 4th Annual National Cheerleading Championships in Miami, I think Brian was pretty much there for all shows that year (but not always exactly "there", if you know what I mean). '82 was hit-and-miss, with Brian missing whole tours in June and July, all shows in November and December, and several occasional shows in other months. By '83, he was back under Landy's care, and mostly just played high-profile gigs on the west and east coasts, plus a few others around those dates. Likewise in '84, after which his appearances at non-televised gigs reduced to practically nil.

Am I misremembering, or was the disco version of "here comes the night" premiered at those radio city music hall shows? I seem to recall hearing it received a very underwhelming response, could I have been why Brian skipped out on the other 3 shows?
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2020, 07:16:11 PM »

Fantastic, thank you all for the discussion so far! Very enlightening.
he was leaving the stage for a few songs, including "Surfer Girl" and "Heroes And Villains", both of which he'd performed on the previous three years
Thank you for your thorough responses c-man, one follow-up related to this...

I have been watching/listening to some of the Heroes performances (particularly in 78), and for at least in the 2 shows for which there's video (Largo 77 and Perth 78), it seems he wasn't singing (actually he might be off-stage in the Largo video EDIT: apologies, he appears to be playing piano here; in the Perth one he goes to the back of the stage and sits on an amp while playing bass). Are these exceptions, or is this a song Brian would not participate in vocally when it was part of the live rotation? I don't have a good enough ear to pick Brian's voice out from the audio in the other shows.

With a few exceptions, Brian wasn't singing AT ALL on stage during those years...only lead on the few songs mentioned above, and no backgrounds. In fact, the C50 reunion tour in 2012 was the first Beach Boys tour since the '60s where Brian was singing harmonies and backgrounds pretty much throughout. His presence onstage in the late '70s/early '80s was limited to piano and/or bass, electric piano on "Rhonda", and two-three leads or partial leads on average, although more in '77 and '81.
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2020, 10:42:58 PM »

Fantastic, thank you all for the discussion so far! Very enlightening.
he was leaving the stage for a few songs, including "Surfer Girl" and "Heroes And Villains", both of which he'd performed on the previous three years
Thank you for your thorough responses c-man, one follow-up related to this...

I have been watching/listening to some of the Heroes performances (particularly in 78), and for at least in the 2 shows for which there's video (Largo 77 and Perth 78), it seems he wasn't singing (actually he might be off-stage in the Largo video EDIT: apologies, he appears to be playing piano here; in the Perth one he goes to the back of the stage and sits on an amp while playing bass). Are these exceptions, or is this a song Brian would not participate in vocally when it was part of the live rotation? I don't have a good enough ear to pick Brian's voice out from the audio in the other shows.

With a few exceptions, Brian wasn't singing AT ALL on stage during those years...only lead on the few songs mentioned above, and no backgrounds. In fact, the C50 reunion tour in 2012 was the first Beach Boys tour since the '60s where Brian was singing harmonies and backgrounds pretty much throughout. His presence onstage in the late '70s/early '80s was limited to piano and/or bass, electric piano on "Rhonda", and two-three leads or partial leads on average, although more in '77 and '81.
On the circulating soundboard recording from Japan 1979, Brian can be heard quite clearly singing background on Darlin'. I think his involvement from night to night probably varied when the mood struck him, or depending on what he was on that night.
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2020, 04:46:24 AM »

I was at the Radio City show back in 1979 when here comes the night was premiered. Went over like the proverbial lead balloon. Dennis  stalked off the stage and at one point dumped ae tray of beer near or on to Mike love. The first indication to me that there were trouble in the band. Dennis looked bombed.
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2020, 06:27:18 AM »

Fantastic, thank you all for the discussion so far! Very enlightening.
he was leaving the stage for a few songs, including "Surfer Girl" and "Heroes And Villains", both of which he'd performed on the previous three years
Thank you for your thorough responses c-man, one follow-up related to this...

I have been watching/listening to some of the Heroes performances (particularly in 78), and for at least in the 2 shows for which there's video (Largo 77 and Perth 78), it seems he wasn't singing (actually he might be off-stage in the Largo video EDIT: apologies, he appears to be playing piano here; in the Perth one he goes to the back of the stage and sits on an amp while playing bass). Are these exceptions, or is this a song Brian would not participate in vocally when it was part of the live rotation? I don't have a good enough ear to pick Brian's voice out from the audio in the other shows.

With a few exceptions, Brian wasn't singing AT ALL on stage during those years...only lead on the few songs mentioned above, and no backgrounds. In fact, the C50 reunion tour in 2012 was the first Beach Boys tour since the '60s where Brian was singing harmonies and backgrounds pretty much throughout. His presence onstage in the late '70s/early '80s was limited to piano and/or bass, electric piano on "Rhonda", and two-three leads or partial leads on average, although more in '77 and '81.
On the circulating soundboard recording from Japan 1979, Brian can be heard quite clearly singing background on Darlin'. I think his involvement from night to night probably varied when the mood struck him, or depending on what he was on that night.

I'd say the nights in which he chose to participate in that manner were very rare.
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2020, 09:34:20 AM »

Oh, and Brian giving up the bass to return to the piano was reportedly Carl's doing...Carl vastly preferred Eddie Carter's bass playing to Brian's. So there you have it.




Yeah, I remember reading that in Peter Ames Carlin's "Catch a Wave". Brian originally wanted to play bass but Carl said no.

When the Boys appeared on the Midnight Special in '79, Brian played bass on "Rock'n'Roll Music" and it sounds fine to me. I always thought that maybe someone else was playing and Brian's bass may have been unplugged, but there is no one to be seen on stage with a bass. It sounded so solid, which somehow was not the impression that Brian made to me. But seems I underestimated Brian.
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2020, 10:49:37 AM »

Oh, and Brian giving up the bass to return to the piano was reportedly Carl's doing...Carl vastly preferred Eddie Carter's bass playing to Brian's. So there you have it.




Yeah, I remember reading that in Peter Ames Carlin's "Catch a Wave". Brian originally wanted to play bass but Carl said no.

When the Boys appeared on the Midnight Special in '79, Brian played bass on "Rock'n'Roll Music" and it sounds fine to me. I always thought that maybe someone else was playing and Brian's bass may have been unplugged, but there is no one to be seen on stage with a bass. It sounded so solid, which somehow was not the impression that Brian made to me. But seems I underestimated Brian.

I have to wonder if Brian being relegated to the piano didn't contribute a little bit to his decline, out of sheer boredom. The video of Brian playing bass for the band in '78 is revelatory because he seems to be having a blast a lot of the time; as is noted, he was an active member of the band with a lot to do and probably executing the bass parts of songs like WIBN was a fun challenge for him.

I do get Carl's point of view, but one wonders if it was good for Brian's state of mind. There are stories of Brian playing the wrong songs on the piano because he was so bored. These get handwaved away as part of his mental illness, but honestly, if I was in that situation I might wind up doing the same thing. I've often wondered how Bruce - who is a monster keyboardist - can stay awake with his limited role as a musical part of the band in later years (compared to his similarly integral role back in the late '60s).
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2020, 02:57:37 PM »

Regarding "Here Comes the Night" at the 1979 Radio City shows,  I always mention that on at least one available audience recording, the audience isn't at least heard booing. Sounds like polite but not effusive applause.
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« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2020, 02:29:42 AM »

Regarding "Here Comes the Night" at the 1979 Radio City shows,  I always mention that on at least one available audience recording, the audience isn't at least heard booing. Sounds like polite but not effusive applause.


IIRC on one recording the people booed when Mike announced the song. Mike then said something like "There's nothing wrong with the Beach Boys showing them how to do it right", which got applause and cheered the audience up. When the song started, the people seemed to enjoy it and where into it. I haven't listened to the recording in a long while though.
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« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2020, 10:31:39 AM »

I may be in the minority here, but personally I think HCTN kicked ass as a live song.  Grin
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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2020, 07:29:33 AM »

This is my take on the remake of HCTN — it gets roasted by anyone that really believed that 'disco sucks'.

Here on the other side of the pond, disco was pretty popular. I was a kid at the time, but I still like it and am also sympathetically disposed to synth-based and electronic music as well as lots of other stuff. And so, perhaps unsurprisingly, I think the HCTN remake gets a rough ride in the States. I like the track, even if I do think the LA album version is too long and totally unbalances the parent album. But I don't go along with the received wisdom that the track is a terrible travesty of the legacy or whatever.  I think the single mix is really great. Dynamics, highs and lows, light and shade, great chords and vocal harmonies. All the stuff we like the Beach Boys for (even if there aren't too many of them on this track). Whatever. It works for me.

The thing I really find odd is that lots of hardcore Beach Boys fans, who love the likes of Holland and Love You, which are covered in really creative synth work, baulk at the remade HCTN. What do you guys think is providing the bass on Honking Down the Highway, or Mona, or Let Us Go On This Way, or Funky Pretty? Or virtually all the instrumentation on The Night Is So Young? Heck, there's even a Moog on Cool Cool Water and the 1971 *SURF'S UP*, for goodness' sake, and I can't imagine many Beach Boys fans think they're a travesty. Admittedly, the 1979 HCTN is stylistically different, but... I think the long, dead hand of 'disco sucks' unfairly maligns the track. Rock-inclined fans who were around and grown up then felt embarrassed that the Beach Boys had 'gone disco' and that embarrassment informs their feelings about the track today, maybe?
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« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2020, 08:08:11 AM »

Matt, there are four Beach Boys singing on the remake of "HCTN" (all but Brian and Dennis) - so in that respect, it has more of the guys on it than most of the other tracks from that album!

As far as what it is about the track that provokes such ire in the ears of many hardcore BBs fans, I'm certain it's the incessant, pulse-like kick drum/bass guitar beat, monotonous hi-hat rhythm, choppy rhythm guitar, and sweeping string arrangement - all of which scream "disco - beware!".

For the record, I definitely do not despise the track, and on any given day, actually enjoy it, overlong as it may be.
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« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2020, 09:37:43 AM »

I'm a big disco fan in general, I love the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, all that good stuff, yet it's been hard for me to get into the disco HCTN.

It is as though I'm the perfect person to be a fan of it because I don't have any sort of aversion to disco at all, But I don't care for it all that much. For a while I disliked it, now I'm a bit neutral on it, I'm starting to come around on it a little bit but I just don't think it's particularly great. There are some elements to it with some of the vocals that are annoying and unintentionally laughable to me, plus it's way too long and sticks out like a sore thumb on the album. That said I can still appreciate some elements of it.

It just really doesn't belong on the album in the extended form that it is there with. I'm not sure that I've ever seeked out the various other edited versions, how many are there?

 I think I thinkmaybe if it had been edited it could have fit in on MIU album, which is really the closest thing the band ever did to a disco album. That fact hardly ever gets discussed, but the drum beats on a number of songs, including "match point" definitely have a distinctly disco sound. It just really doesn't work on the LA light album in 1979 in extended form.
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« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2020, 11:00:54 AM »

The frustrating thing is to look back and realize how many of the Beach Boys' peers and contemporaries from the 60's created memorable if not classic songs during the disco era without falling too far into "formula" disco, which was the extreme pendulum-swing that killed the genre by reducing it to formulaic elements and robotic grooves instead of matching quality songwriting and sounds with a 4-on-the-floor beat.

I'll cite "Miss You" by the Stones, "Shakedown Street" by the Dead, "Silly Love Songs" and to a lesser degree "Goodnight Tonight" by McCartney, "Rise" by Herb Alpert, "Lowdown" by Boz Scaggs, and an early example is "Golden Years" by Bowie which was in regular rotation on Soul Train...and quite a few more. All of those are still being spun today on various broadcast and streaming radio platforms, and a few are on regular rotation with classic rock stations.

Then there's the Bee Gees, who were more or less *the* prime example of disco music that sold like hotcakes and pretty much changed the musical landscape in the 70's, along with becoming a pop culture landmark with the white suits and Travolta and all the trappings. Underneath all the imagery were fantastic songs...absolutely some of the best songwriting of the 70's if you just look at the big hits from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Iconic...and the songwriting was as good as it got.

Even Chicago tried to get into the game again after Terry's passing with "Street Player", but that laid an egg more or less.

And then there is the BB's Here Comes The Night, which is mostly forgotten and for those who remember and know it, scorned.

I guess my point is, all those acts mentioned above did these songs and adapted to what was hot at the time, and did so by writing new original songs that held up as pure songs on their own even without the 4-on-the-floor or sweeping string parts or octave-laden bass lines that were all over the radio in the late 70's. Disco artists created some classic records again with all original songs that became big hits.

So I'm thinking with a recent Grammy-winning songwriter at the helm, and a frontman who constantly reminds audiences of his songwriting prowess, and at least one Wilson and a Jardine who could step up, why didn't they try to craft an original song as their peers had been doing and forget remaking a rather obscure album cut from '67? I don't think the song they chose to remake and disco-fy was the right platform, and I ask again with all the songwriting chops supposedly in the band even without Brian and Dennis, why didn't they just do something new instead of a remake?

I guess the lack of truly original hit songwriting and the reliance on remakes, covers, and trying to recapture the "cruisin and fun in the sun" stuff over the next 15 years or so after their foray into disco music might answer that question.



« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 11:03:38 AM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2020, 11:31:37 AM »

The frustrating thing is to look back and realize how many of the Beach Boys' peers and contemporaries from the 60's created memorable if not classic songs during the disco era without falling too far into "formula" disco, which was the extreme pendulum-swing that killed the genre by reducing it to formulaic elements and robotic grooves instead of matching quality songwriting and sounds with a 4-on-the-floor beat.

I'll cite "Miss You" by the Stones, "Shakedown Street" by the Dead, "Silly Love Songs" and to a lesser degree "Goodnight Tonight" by McCartney, "Rise" by Herb Alpert, "Lowdown" by Boz Scaggs, and an early example is "Golden Years" by Bowie which was in regular rotation on Soul Train...and quite a few more. All of those are still being spun today on various broadcast and streaming radio platforms, and a few are on regular rotation with classic rock stations.

Then there's the Bee Gees, who were more or less *the* prime example of disco music that sold like hotcakes and pretty much changed the musical landscape in the 70's, along with becoming a pop culture landmark with the white suits and Travolta and all the trappings. Underneath all the imagery were fantastic songs...absolutely some of the best songwriting of the 70's if you just look at the big hits from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Iconic...and the songwriting was as good as it got.

Even Chicago tried to get into the game again after Terry's passing with "Street Player", but that laid an egg more or less.

And then there is the BB's Here Comes The Night, which is mostly forgotten and for those who remember and know it, scorned.

I guess my point is, all those acts mentioned above did these songs and adapted to what was hot at the time, and did so by writing new original songs that held up as pure songs on their own even without the 4-on-the-floor or sweeping string parts or octave-laden bass lines that were all over the radio in the late 70's. Disco artists created some classic records again with all original songs that became big hits.

So I'm thinking with a recent Grammy-winning songwriter at the helm, and a frontman who constantly reminds audiences of his songwriting prowess, and at least one Wilson and a Jardine who could step up, why didn't they try to craft an original song as their peers had been doing and forget remaking a rather obscure album cut from '67? I don't think the song they chose to remake and disco-fy was the right platform, and I ask again with all the songwriting chops supposedly in the band even without Brian and Dennis, why didn't they just do something new instead of a remake?

I guess the lack of truly original hit songwriting and the reliance on remakes, covers, and trying to recapture the "cruisin and fun in the sun" stuff over the next 15 years or so after their foray into disco music might answer that question.






I wonder if the idea to use HCTN (instead of The BBs writing something wholly new) was perhaps twofold - I see it as an effort to continue to smoke and mirrors illusion that Brian was more involved with the 1979 album then he really was, and maybe also pushed by Mike as a reminder of the Wilson/Love team which seemed to have once again mostly dissolved after MIU.

I guess they thought telling the world that a Brian Wilson-penned song was their new big hip disco smash was thought to be a good selling point, and the song being obscure meant that few people would even be aware it was a 12-year old remake. I suppose that sounds good on paper. Plus the song itself (the 1967 version at least) is a great one.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 11:34:13 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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