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Author Topic: SMiLE opinions that are hard to shake  (Read 2843 times)
The_Holy_Bee
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« on: December 14, 2020, 04:31:05 AM »

Hi all, been a while! Not sure how many of the old gang are still around - AGD, Cam, Guitarfool, Sonic, John, Matt, FilldePlage, Emily, Chocolate Shake Man, IronHorseApples and many more. I've occasionally lurked in over the past five years but haven't been assiduous in keeping up on the haps here.

Have been reading through a few old threads (2011-2014 vintage) tonight and was struck by how easily some of us would cling to hard-won personal insights as objective truths about the BBs, the proposed ML/BW difficulties, and Smile lore in particular. I don't include, of course, the posters and mods who had actual reference materials or relationships with the principals which meant they had a bit more knowhow on such matters than we "absent friends." But I am now a little ashamed of how forcefully I argued for positions that, in retrospect, were clear conjecture.

I've seen that since those post-TSS release days this board has expanded - wonderfully - to focus less on SMiLE the-album-that-wasn't and become a more general BBs discussion forum. So I hope this thread idea is still an appropriate one Smiley

I'd love to hear from any poster, new or ancient, about a SMiLE-specific stance you once took and now realise was probably based more on the thrill of "I thought of this myself!" than any objective evidence. To start off:

I spent about a year trying to argue that "I'm in Great Shape," as included the handwritten tracklist, was clearly - clearly - a placeholder title meant to include all the sections excised from "Heroes and Villains" between Oct 1966 and Jan 1967. In other words, it was put on the back cover as a fairly nebulous "H&V Part II," perhaps to include such passages as "Great Shape" and "Barnyard." (As opposed to the Jan-Mar "Part II" which IMO Cam Mott fairly convincingly argued for.) This all felt very brilliant to me at the time, but reading back was a total guess on my part, with little musical or documented evidence to back it up.

Anyone had a similar moment of circumspection over a past SMiLE theory? Would love to read about it if so!

« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 05:00:17 AM by The_Holy_Bee » Logged
juggler
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2020, 10:56:50 AM »

I spent about a year trying to argue that "I'm in Great Shape," as included the handwritten tracklist, was clearly - clearly - a placeholder title meant to include all the sections excised from "Heroes and Villains" between Oct 1966 and Jan 1967. In other words, it was put on the back cover as a fairly nebulous "H&V Part II," perhaps to include such passages as "Great Shape" and "Barnyard." (As opposed to the Jan-Mar "Part II" which IMO Cam Mott fairly convincingly argued for.) This all felt very brilliant to me at the time, but reading back was a total guess on my part, with little musical or documented evidence to back it up.

Personally, I like that theory and prefer IIGS paired with Barnyard than with I Wanna Be Around.   With that said, who knows?  Maybe Brian had ideas about fleshing IIGS out into a full-length stand-alone song.  Vega-Tables was pretty fragmentary when it made the tracklist, yet by April it was a full-fledged song

For me, I guess the great areas of remaining Smile mystery are:

1. Surf's Up, Part 2 instrumental track
2. CIFOTM, vintage verse lyrics
3. DYLW, vintage verse melody that Brian briefly sings in one of the TSS tracking sessions
4. The Elements (other than Fire)
5. H&V, vintage 5-minute Chuck Britz mix

Of course, there will be fans that tell me that some or all of that doesn't exist, never existed, etc. etc.  There's a certain mindset that is bothered by loose ends and prefer "doesn't exist, never existed" as a way of wrapping the whole thing up, putting a bow on it and moving on.  And I get that, but I'm not of that mindset.  

« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 10:57:23 AM by juggler » Logged
krabklaw
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2020, 11:17:56 AM »

Just think! 2021 will be the 10th anniversary of the Smile Sessions box set. I'd love to think that Capitol has someone working on a 10th anniversary updated set with previously unheard tapes (nice to dream). I guess my SMILE opinion that is hard to shake but unsupported by real evidence is that the session labeled as 'Love To Say Dada: Second Day' was supposed to be the Air Element. It was one of the very last sessions for Smile and I hypothesize that Brian was making a last ditch effort at finishing The Elements suite. He said that Air was a "piano piece" that was never finished and 'Second Day' has the prominent plucked piano strings. It also has the bird chirping sounds which suggest air to me. All unsubstantiated conjecture on my part of course. Weirdly this piece is also on the box set in the Hereoes & Villains outtakes as 'All Day'.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 11:29:37 AM by krabklaw » Logged

Please visit 'The American(a) Trip Slideshow' where you can watch the videos and listen to fan mixes of all the Smile songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doOws3284PQ&list=PLptIp1kEl6BWNpXyJ_mb20W4ZqJ14-Hgg
guitarfool2002
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2020, 11:28:31 AM »

My Smile opinion that I still hold onto because it's all captured on tape involves the "Psychodelic" chant sessions. They're chanting every "element" except fire, which was already in place as far as a musical concept, IIRC, and how much more evidence is needed to suggest at one time the "elements" was going to include these chants or ones like them when they're all captured on tape, led by Brian giving the participants a theme? Air, water, earth...

Some still say these sessions were just stoned experiments that weren't meaningful of anything, but it's not like they were chanting football scores or a deli menu.

I also wish the general public can someday hear the full run of the Durrie Parks acetates that were sold off to a collector. Why hold this stuff back?
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thr33
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2020, 12:14:37 PM »

My Smile opinion that I still hold onto because it's all captured on tape involves the "Psychodelic" chant sessions. They're chanting every "element" except fire, which was already in place as far as a musical concept, IIRC, and how much more evidence is needed to suggest at one time the "elements" was going to include these chants or ones like them when they're all captured on tape, led by Brian giving the participants a theme? Air, water, earth...

Some still say these sessions were just stoned experiments that weren't meaningful of anything, but it's not like they were chanting football scores or a deli menu.

I also wish the general public can someday hear the full run of the Durrie Parks acetates that were sold off to a collector. Why hold this stuff back?
I am kind of new to the Beach Boys fandom (just really got into this stuff more in late 2018), but the Psychodelic chants do seem important - is it just me or did I read somewhere that one of the chants they experimented with evolved into the water chant that was part of the 1967 (and eventually Sunflower) Cool, Cool Water?
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SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2020, 12:59:25 PM »

Quote
Brian and four friends sit in the darkened studio around an open microphone. Each person makes and repeats a sound which represents the “feeling” of underwater life to him … Brian softly whispers into ears asking for a variation here, a more pronounced rhythm there, soon the effect is created and Brian returns to the booth to mix the sounds with echoes and pitch changes to create a vocal Atlantis.
   “This is an interesting direction. When the guys get back we’ll try something similar.”
- Teen Set

So it's clear that at the very least Brian was testing the water (no pun intended) with some concepts that could later be recorded with the Beach Boys, and probably the 'humour album' on Brother Records, but the Psychodelic Sounds reel itself wasn't directly related to Smile or intended for release. Remember, there weren't sessions plural, it's about 50 minutes from one night of free time in the studio following a real tracking date. Another short reel of sound effects collected over the previous couple of weeks (the "Bob Gordon's Real Trip" and "Taxi Cabber" stuff) was compiled the same night.

No doubt The Elements was on Brian's mind in some shape while he was conducting those chants. But despite the Teen Set comment, I think it's a stretch to link the drone from Wild Honey's Cool Cool Water all the way back to Psych Sounds. That came from a different, musical field of ideas. Some solid examples of Brian taking those themes and putting them in a more professional setting over the following couple of weeks: the talking French horns (trapped in instruments) and Hal Blaine sketch (arguing).

Love to Say Dada Part 2 Second Day is... probably just that, a section of Love to Say Dada. It's a strange prevailing narrative that the Dada sessions mark the end of Smile in any particular way besides being the last large-scale Gold Star tracks, because the status quo didn't fundamentally change afterwards. Brian continued recording in pro studios a couple of weeks later in a style that wasn't any different to what he'd been doing all year. Derek Taylor was given notice that the album had been scrapped by early May (meaning: not using titles given to the label or most of the recordings) and Brian followed that word up fairly quickly, introducing the first wholly new song since 1966, if you don't count short experiments with the progression. The track didn't work out for him, he tried again with You're With Me Tonight and Cool Water, relocated to his house to tie up Heroes and Vegetables, then decided that this could be the way to do a new album and carried on from there. It's a gradual transition that Love to Say Dada sits somewhere in the middle of.

As for Part 2 Second Day's function, I think the Occam's razor answer here is that it was to follow the other Part 2 after the unrecorded transition vamp that the musicians rehearsed. In late '67 Brian played that same piece to connect two sets of verses. And it's a baby song so... first day, second day? Makes narrative and musical sense.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 01:54:13 PM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
guitarfool2002
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2020, 01:26:09 PM »

Quote
Brian and four friends sit in the darkened studio around an open microphone. Each person makes and repeats a sound which represents the “feeling” of underwater life to him … Brian softly whispers into ears asking for a variation here, a more pronounced rhythm there, soon the effect is created and Brian returns to the booth to mix the sounds with echoes and pitch changes to create a vocal Atlantis.
   “This is an interesting direction. When the guys get back we’ll try something similar.”
- Teen Set

So it's clear that at the very least Brian was testing the water (no pun intended) with some concepts that could later be recorded with the Beach Boys, and probably the 'humour album' on Brother Records, but the Psychodelic Sounds reel itself wasn't directly related to Smile or intended for release. Remember, there weren't sessions plural, it's about 50 minutes from one night of free time in the studio following a real tracking date. Another short reel of sound effects collected over the previous couple of weeks (the "Bob Gordon's Real Trip" and "Taxi Cabber" stuff) was compiled the same night.

No doubt The Elements was on Brian's mind in some shape while he was conducting those chants. But despite the Teen Set comment, I think it's a stretch to link the drone from Wild Honey's Cool Cool Water all the way back to Psych Sounds. That came from a different, musical field of ideas. Some solid examples of Brian taking those themes and putting them in a more professional setting over the following couple of weeks: the talking French horns (trapped in instruments) and Hal Blaine sketch (arguing).

So Brian having his pals chant on specific themes of water, air, and earth and say when the guys get back we'll try something similar isn't directly related to Smile, when he was imagining very specifically an elements theme as part of Smile? I'm missing the logic there in suggesting it was unrelated. Again, if they were chanting something random that would be one thing, but when he has themes tied to three out of four elements, it's not so easy to dismiss.

The frustration about Smile discussions can be the open-mindedness when it comes to some pretty wide stretches of logic regarding fan mixes and sequencing and even track listings while something that actually exists on tape can be so easily dismissed. I never understood that. I think the issue is also that Smile was not a fixed plan where they had to record specific composed parts almost on schedule. It was constantly evolving and in a state of flux. It would be like trying to pin down Good Vibrations based on some of those early takes or trying to pin down God Only Knows as having a bridge with a swing feel while the staccato bridge we all know happened randomly on the studio floor after the song was written.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2020, 01:27:50 PM »

The chanting that ended up on Cool Cool Water on the Sunflower album was directly tied to and from the Smile era, and Brian was very much against the Boys using those chants for the re-record.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 01:28:30 PM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

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SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2020, 01:32:55 PM »

The chanting that ended up on Cool Cool Water on the Sunflower album was directly tied to and from the Smile era, and Brian was very much against the Boys using those chants for the re-record.

Not true. That piece of music was recorded in October 1967 at the home studio and Wally Heider's and was always intended for Cool Cool Water. Brian disliking its eventual use wasn't because it came from Smile.

Quote
So Brian having his pals chant on specific themes of water, air, and earth and say when the guys get back we'll try something similar isn't directly related to Smile, when he was imagining very specifically an elements theme as part of Smile? I'm missing the logic there in suggesting it was unrelated. Again, if they were chanting something random that would be one thing, but when he has themes tied to three out of four elements, it's not so easy to dismiss.

When I say 'not directly related', I mean not recorded for Smile. He was thinking about Smile and things that could be done with it. I'm talking about the theory that Brian was gonna pepper fragments of that actual tape throughout the album.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 01:39:34 PM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2020, 01:39:26 PM »

The chanting that ended up on Cool Cool Water on the Sunflower album was directly tied to and from the Smile era, and Brian was very much against the Boys using those chants for the re-record.

Not true. That piece of music was recorded in October 1967 at the home studio and Wally Heider's and was always intended for Cool Cool Water. Brian disliking its use had nothing to do with Smile.

Quote
So Brian having his pals chant on specific themes of water, air, and earth and say when the guys get back we'll try something similar isn't directly related to Smile, when he was imagining very specifically an elements theme as part of Smile? I'm missing the logic there in suggesting it was unrelated. Again, if they were chanting something random that would be one thing, but when he has themes tied to three out of four elements, it's not so easy to dismiss.

When I say 'not directly related', I mean not recorded for Smile. I'm talking about the theory that Brian was gonna pepper fragments of that tape throughout the album.

The type of chanting they were doing on CCW is the same style as on the underwater chants from Fall '66 and a few other tapes have it too - So he did revisit it with the guys, eventually, and then they added it again a few years later on Sunflower against his wishes.

I understand, and also never said he was going to use the exact tape not featuring the Beach Boys. But the ideas based on the elements in those chants was clearly there. Think of it like a demo, and it makes sense in the context. He wanted to capture it and see what parts he might be able to use.
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SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2020, 01:46:44 PM »


I understand, and also never said he was going to use the exact tape not featuring the Beach Boys. But the ideas based on the elements in those chants was clearly there. Think of it like a demo, and it makes sense in the context. He wanted to capture it and see what parts he might be able to use.

That's what I was trying to get across - we're on the same page here!

I don't agree that the Cool Water chant conceptually came from there though. What they were trying that night was by Brian's instruction strictly non-musical, using rhythmic words to evoke a scene. What he later did was some wordless stacked vocalising in harmony over a drone, free tempo, and with a bass part that sounds like it has its origins in the Rock With Me Henry vocal tag. It's kind of the opposite idea.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 01:55:17 PM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2020, 01:59:50 PM »

Used to think I Wanna Be Around/Workshop was part of the elements, but that doesn't really ring true to me. I think Carol Kaye saying it was the rebuilding after the fire is not correct, for a couple reasons.

1. That session was a day after the fire session. Could have been misinterpreted as what happens after the fire. Carol Kaye also says in the sessions, as a joke mind you, that "this is what happens after the fire". I think she was joking and misremembered (I think she honestly has a record of misremembering songs she played on).

2. David Anderle we were aware, or he made us aware of what fire was going to be, and what water was going to be; we had some idea of air. That was where it stopped. None of us had any ideas as to how it was going to tie together, except that it appeared to us to be an opera." Doesn't mention earth at all. I would think that the workshop would represent earth (you know wood and whatnot).

3. It was labeled as "Great Shape" on the tape box. This, to me, seems to imply that Wilson's quip about the barnyard suite is true. "Four songs in four short pieces, combined together, but we never finished that one. We got into something else." Since he excised Barnyard and I'm In Great Shape from Heroes And Villains, it seemed they would be combined into I Wanna Be Around/Workshop to make a barnyard suite, as soniclovenoize postulates. I agree with his theory.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 02:00:38 PM by saborlord123 » Logged
guitarfool2002
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2020, 02:46:40 PM »


I understand, and also never said he was going to use the exact tape not featuring the Beach Boys. But the ideas based on the elements in those chants was clearly there. Think of it like a demo, and it makes sense in the context. He wanted to capture it and see what parts he might be able to use.

That's what I was trying to get across - we're on the same page here!

I don't agree that the Cool Water chant conceptually came from there though. What they were trying that night was by Brian's instruction strictly non-musical, using rhythmic words to evoke a scene. What he later did was some wordless stacked vocalising in harmony over a drone, free tempo, and with a bass part that sounds like it has its origins in the Rock With Me Henry vocal tag. It's kind of the opposite idea.

Yes indeed! Like I said, I never suggested Brian was going to use those exact tapes, but the ideas are clearly laid out there, and there are 3 elements captured on tape.

The second one is a little more obscure with what I'm thinking, but the focus needs to be widened from just session dates and the tape to pull it together. Consider Brian and others chanting on that tape were also studying meditation and getting into their Subud practices. In some cases the studies were directly what became known as TM just minus the Maharishi himself and his giggling. Van Dyke even makes a joke about a "Latihan", which one participant doesn't know but others studying would obviously know since the Latihan, or awakening of the spirit is the foundation (and goal) of these meditation practices. It can take many forms, and exists in other spiritual and meditation practices as well maybe under different terms. Some relate it to what others call an enlightenment.

Consider that the chanting of a mantra, the chanting of "om", the drone-like and rhythmic elements present in Middle Eastern music designed so the participants reach enlightenment or "Latihan" through the music all ties in to what these guys including Brian were studying around LA at this exact time in 1966. I could list archival news reports, interviews, etc but I think the point is clear that they were into this type of study in 1966. And some of those studies included chanting and droning and rhythmic cycling of the type heard on those "psychodelic" reels.

People who did not meditate would not have made some of those sounds as heard on the reels, instead they might do comic fish noises or repeat words rather than the hypnotic sounds we hear coming in and out on those tapes.

It may sound bizarre if not bat-sh*t crazy, but if you expand the focus and look at the context of who was doing those chants in 1966, it's an interesting rabbit hole to dive into. And *that* is the type of chanting I hear on Cool Cool Water, and it didn't come out of a vacuum nor was it an invention of the Beach Boys with no context. That's what I hear playing out on those 1966 chant tapes too.
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2020, 05:09:54 PM »

My 2 "I thought of it"s are:

1. Great Shape and I Wanna Be Around are linked.
Seriously this came to me in the 90s when I was trying to solve the whole Great Shape thing. Maybe it was even before Great Shape track had surfaced. (I remember speaking to Bob Hames on the phone - just to hear about that find, but that is another story.)
It just hit me that the word Around is pretty much "a round" in other words a shape. I was convinced this was some sort of VDP wordplay type reference.
Now, I seriously doubt it, but since then of course the two were actually linked since 2004 at least. I also love the sawing and hammering of workshop being shaping something.

2. Ever since "Air-Dada", which from memory is from the third Dada session  - appeared on Jon & John's SMiLE site back god knows when. I thought Dada is misplaced as Water and is actually Air. I figure that the idea of it being Water only came later - but I doubt there's any historical evidence in my favor on this one - but "Water Chant" certainly could fit as water in its own right.

PS. Still wishing the CBS tapes would somehow surface, as they might add extensively to our knowledge.

I totally get what you guys are saying about not letting go of it because I thought of it.

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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2020, 05:15:32 PM »

Re: the Air reference - I will add that Brian's quote regarding Air being an unfinished piano piece added fuel to my fire - pun absolutely intended!
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2020, 06:07:29 AM »

For the record, the title on the November 29 AFM contract is "Friday Night (I'm in great shape)". The tape box itself simply reads "I WANT TO BE AROUND + FRIDAY NIGHT".
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2020, 06:19:31 AM »


Consider that the chanting of a mantra, the chanting of "om", the drone-like and rhythmic elements present in Middle Eastern music designed so the participants reach enlightenment or "Latihan" through the music all ties in to what these guys including Brian were studying around LA at this exact time in 1966. I could list archival news reports, interviews, etc but I think the point is clear that they were into this type of study in 1966. And some of those studies included chanting and droning and rhythmic cycling of the type heard on those "psychodelic" reels.

People who did not meditate would not have made some of those sounds as heard on the reels, instead they might do comic fish noises or repeat words rather than the hypnotic sounds we hear coming in and out on those tapes.

It may sound bizarre if not bat-sh*t crazy, but if you expand the focus and look at the context of who was doing those chants in 1966, it's an interesting rabbit hole to dive into. And *that* is the type of chanting I hear on Cool Cool Water, and it didn't come out of a vacuum nor was it an invention of the Beach Boys with no context. That's what I hear playing out on those 1966 chant tapes too.

Fair observations, I suppose it's fundamentally there in the description of a chant about water, and the chanting itself was something new to Brian's orbit. I was thinking about it more in a literal execution sense. One could inspire the other in a mirror image sort of way - a chant about water using only language vs a chant about water using only music (discounting "wadoo" intro).

Doing something over one held organ note is quite a departure for Brian, especially in the middle of the Wild Honey sessions. I can't think of another time even within Smile he drifted so far from his usual sensibilities.
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« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2020, 12:05:24 PM »

I spent about a year trying to argue that "I'm in Great Shape," as included the handwritten tracklist, was clearly - clearly - a placeholder title meant to include all the sections excised from "Heroes and Villains" between Oct 1966 and Jan 1967. In other words, it was put on the back cover as a fairly nebulous "H&V Part II," perhaps to include such passages as "Great Shape" and "Barnyard." (As opposed to the Jan-Mar "Part II" which IMO Cam Mott fairly convincingly argued for.) This all felt very brilliant to me at the time, but reading back was a total guess on my part, with little musical or documented evidence to back it up.

Personally, I like that theory and prefer IIGS paired with Barnyard than with I Wanna Be Around.   With that said, who knows?  Maybe Brian had ideas about fleshing IIGS out into a full-length stand-alone song.  Vega-Tables was pretty fragmentary when it made the tracklist, yet by April it was a full-fledged song

For me, I guess the great areas of remaining Smile mystery are:

1. Surf's Up, Part 2 instrumental track
2. CIFOTM, vintage verse lyrics
3. DYLW, vintage verse melody that Brian briefly sings in one of the TSS tracking sessions
4. The Elements (other than Fire)
5. H&V, vintage 5-minute Chuck Britz mix

Of course, there will be fans that tell me that some or all of that doesn't exist, never existed, etc. etc.  There's a certain mindset that is bothered by loose ends and prefer "doesn't exist, never existed" as a way of wrapping the whole thing up, putting a bow on it and moving on.  And I get that, but I'm not of that mindset.  




I've always assumed that IIGS would've been the three sections that mention exercise:  IIGS, Do A Lot and Barnyard.....and of course IWBA  has the previously mentioned AFM entry that includes IIGS....so some combination of those....though in the end Do A Lot went to Vegetables......but lord knows how they would've all gone together.....

I've often wondered if SMiLE wouldn't have been one of those records that had a sticker pasted over the original track listing before it hit the shops.....If you're as old as me you probably have at least one in your collection....the Beatles "Butcher Album" aka Yesterday and Today would've been a fairly SMiLE recent example.......maybe Brian would have chucked some of the songs and maybe OMP was supposed to have parentheses or shouldn't have even been listed!

For the 5 listed above....
1.  I've always loved the album ending w/Brian singing Surf's Up alone at the piano after all the production that proceeded.....he really could make it happen "in the rough" with just his voice and piano.....

2.   Are there vintage lyrics for Child?  I've always assumed that all vintage lyrics got used....

3.  I too wonder what the vintage DYLW melody truly was but just getting these lyrics, which further confirm and illuminate SMiLE's potential political hot button "Native American" slant, was one of the many great gifts of BWPS.

4.  Listening to the wonderful, awesome, add your superlative here  "Sail On" podcast I was introduced to the stimulating idea that The Elements was actually going to be one track!  I had always bought the notion that it was a four part suite but maybe, noting the prominence Fire/Light plays in the album's artworks and lyrics, Mrs. O'leary's Cow would have been the "bed track" for a series of "fly ins" based off of the "psychodelic sounds" reel.....a'la the tape loop fly-ins The Beatles did on "Tomorrow Never Knows".....I don't actually think this is the case, just throwing it out there.....................................................................Ultimately, I no longer feel the need to know which track was which element because EVERY SONG is either about nature/the elements or is told using environmental imagery and metaphor......every single song.....So, when turning someone on to SMiLE for the first time (aka preaching the gospel!) I don't think it makes any less of an impression to use Wind Chimes for Air or  Dada/CCW for Water....I like to make it easy, obvious and intuitive for the first time listener and it blows minds every time!  (For the record I go back and forth for Earth:  Look! has an interpolation of an actual street address (12th Street Rag) and feels like the changes in season to me when it goes from minor to major to minor to section to section (the power of harmony!)....but I prefer Holidays as it could be interpreted as a hip British reference to traveling for vacation or the passings of the calendar year, which of course is based around Earth's trip around the Sun....and Linnet and Boyd already faded it into Wind Chimes for me!)

5.  As a recording engineer I know how subtle details like a little extra saturation, limiting or ambience can effect the overall impact and "hit worthiness" of a record so there very well might have been a Chuck Britz mix that simply jumped out of the speakers like all hit records do.....but I think we have all of the pieces that would have comprised it.  I have given up on the notion of H&V being a radio hit (though Bohemian Rhapsody wasn't gonna be a hit either according to the record label and it sounds quite a bit sounds like H&V to me....albeit 8 "light years" later.....) but I think if a 45 had been released with A Side Heroes and Villains pt.1 (The Crows, 2 verses, Cantina, "My children were often wise", and My Only Sunshine fade out) and B Side Heroes and Villains pt. 2 (H&V dance variations followed by the final 3rd verse farewell and "My children are wise") minds would have been extremely blown.  It might not have been a radio top 10 but sales would have been through the roof and the mystery of the lyrics would have made SMiLE a must have purchase.  What a radical and experimental record.  Talk about a new(old) sound....and what did it all mean, what was the wisdom the children had gained?!?!?  There were so many "easter eggs" you'd discover when SMiLE was released:  what the Crows really had to say, that You Are My Sunshine became You We're My Sunshine, That "Heroes and Villains just look what you've done" started as "Bicylcle Rider just see what you've done"......

Which brings me to the SMiLE idea that I can't let go of...... That SMiLE truly was a linear concept album.  That Brian actually told us on tape exactly why he was making SMiLE and what he intended it to accomplish..... to present the facts about Native America's environmental pollution caused by the growing industry demands and to set up a goal in the listener's mind to get rid of it.......That between Heroes and Villains pt. 1 and it's conclusion in pt. 2 there is an American fable with an environmental message full of anthropomorphization about anthropization from crying crows and whispering winds to  "Fresh clean air around my head" to "a tear rolls down my cheek".
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thr33
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2020, 07:11:28 PM »

Quote
Brian and four friends sit in the darkened studio around an open microphone. Each person makes and repeats a sound which represents the “feeling” of underwater life to him … Brian softly whispers into ears asking for a variation here, a more pronounced rhythm there, soon the effect is created and Brian returns to the booth to mix the sounds with echoes and pitch changes to create a vocal Atlantis.
   “This is an interesting direction. When the guys get back we’ll try something similar.”
- Teen Set

So it's clear that at the very least Brian was testing the water (no pun intended) with some concepts that could later be recorded with the Beach Boys, and probably the 'humour album' on Brother Records, but the Psychodelic Sounds reel itself wasn't directly related to Smile or intended for release. Remember, there weren't sessions plural, it's about 50 minutes from one night of free time in the studio following a real tracking date. Another short reel of sound effects collected over the previous couple of weeks (the "Bob Gordon's Real Trip" and "Taxi Cabber" stuff) was compiled the same night.

No doubt The Elements was on Brian's mind in some shape while he was conducting those chants. But despite the Teen Set comment, I think it's a stretch to link the drone from Wild Honey's Cool Cool Water all the way back to Psych Sounds. That came from a different, musical field of ideas. Some solid examples of Brian taking those themes and putting them in a more professional setting over the following couple of weeks: the talking French horns (trapped in instruments) and Hal Blaine sketch (arguing).

Love to Say Dada Part 2 Second Day is... probably just that, a section of Love to Say Dada. It's a strange prevailing narrative that the Dada sessions mark the end of Smile in any particular way besides being the last large-scale Gold Star tracks, because the status quo didn't fundamentally change afterwards. Brian continued recording in pro studios a couple of weeks later in a style that wasn't any different to what he'd been doing all year. Derek Taylor was given notice that the album had been scrapped by early May (meaning: not using titles given to the label or most of the recordings) and Brian followed that word up fairly quickly, introducing the first wholly new song since 1966, if you don't count short experiments with the progression. The track didn't work out for him, he tried again with You're With Me Tonight and Cool Water, relocated to his house to tie up Heroes and Vegetables, then decided that this could be the way to do a new album and carried on from there. It's a gradual transition that Love to Say Dada sits somewhere in the middle of.

As for Part 2 Second Day's function, I think the Occam's razor answer here is that it was to follow the other Part 2 after the unrecorded transition vamp that the musicians rehearsed. In late '67 Brian played that same piece to connect two sets of verses. And it's a baby song so... first day, second day? Makes narrative and musical sense.
Thanks for the clarification re:psychodelic sounds and the water chant Salty. Sorry for any confusion, I don't remember where I had read the speculation but your explanation makes a lot more sense.
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The_Holy_Bee
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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2020, 12:54:26 AM »

Some great stuff here, thanks all! This in particular was new to me, I think (it's been a while):

Quote
For the record, the title on the November 29 AFM contract is "Friday Night (I'm in great shape)". The tape box itself simply reads "I WANT TO BE AROUND + FRIDAY NIGHT".

For some reason I believed it was the tape box that had the "Great Shape" notation.

My own view is pretty much the same as Saborlord's and soniclovenoise etc:

Quote
It was labeled as "Great Shape" on the tape box. This, to me, seems to imply that Wilson's quip about the barnyard suite is true. "Four songs in four short pieces, combined together, but we never finished that one. We got into something else." Since he excised Barnyard and I'm In Great Shape from Heroes And Villains, it seemed they would be combined into I Wanna Be Around/Workshop to make a barnyard suite, as soniclovenoize postulates. I agree with his theory.

My edit of this impossible-to-be-sure track has those four sections, but in a slightly atypical order: "IWBA/Workshop," "IIGS", "Barnyard". The track's pretty short - 2:20 - but as kinda H&V Pt II, or as a more upbeat/personalised development of the themes described by juggler, I think it works well in my placement.

It follows H&V proper (my stab at the "3 minute musical comedy" of legend) - the jazzy chords of IWBA kick in after a hard cut from the "dum dum dum" vocals after "Three score and five", from ""Heroes and Villains: Early Version Outtake Sections" on Disc 4 of TSS. The piano line underpinning the craziness of "Workshop" - in another hard edit - then leads nicely into bruiteur's lovely mix of the IIGS backing with Brian's demo vocal. After the tape explosion, "Barnyard" takes us out with a fairly slow fade on the refrain.

Again, though, echoing my thoughts in my original post - maybe it doesn't work as well as I think it does! Being "my baby" in terms of the mix, I'm probably unreasonably biased towards the sequencing decisions I made back in 2013...

Quote
Insert Quote
Quote from: guitarfool2002 on Yesterday at 01:39:26 PM

I understand, and also never said he was going to use the exact tape not featuring the Beach Boys. But the ideas based on the elements in those chants was clearly there. Think of it like a demo, and it makes sense in the context. He wanted to capture it and see what parts he might be able to use.

That's what I was trying to get across - we're on the same page here!

I'm very pleased to be in accord on this one too! While we have some evidence that at least one ad hoc period recording, "Taxi Cabber," was a step in the direction of Brian's mooted post-SMiLE "humour album"...

Quote
Safely inside of his hotel room Wilson listens to the cabbie's recorded voice over and over again, clapping his hands and laughing loudly. "Now, THAT is humor. There is so much pretense and defensiveness in recorded comedy today. This man is truly, humbly funny. I want to take this sort of approach to a humorous record, maybe a radio show." - Vosse in Teen Set

... I agree with gf that the connections in the chants to all the Elements but fire suggest a firm link to SMiLE itself. Though, I would agree, later intended to be re-recorded more professionally with the boys themselves.

In my own mix, Fire is the second track on Side Two, kicking off after Good Vibrations. I then use snippets from "Veggies Chant" to lead into the Oct '66 "demo" version of Vega-Tables, an excerpt from "Breathing Chant" to segue into a fairly short edit of "Wind Chimes" (Verses/acapella vocal link/Chorus/Piano fade), then a bit of "Underwater Chant" to take us home into "Surf's Up."

I have no great desire to re-litigate my use of these full tracks to create a kind of "Element Suite" - I'm well aware these choices are likely ahistorical. But yeah, I reckon there could definitely have been a place in a '66 SMiLE for re-recorded chunks of chants like these. They're innovative, unusual, and perhaps most importantly amusing. Listening to some 80-90s fan sequencings of the album, such as Priore's, I was always struck by how dour and melancholy the overall mood of the album was - considering its title was "SMiLE." A bit of silliness like these definitely swings the pendulum back a bit.

EDIT: Re: "Love to Say Dada", the other main topic of conversation here, I don't have much to add. My own feeling is that it probably isn't "Air" and tend to concur with Salty that - despite melodic origins as "All Day," part of the H&V tracking sessions - it holds a special post-SMiLE/pre-Smiley place all its own. But that's just a vibe on my part, no disrespect at all to those who feel otherwise!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2020, 01:03:22 AM by The_Holy_Bee » Logged
juggler
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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2020, 01:34:23 AM »

2.   Are there vintage lyrics for Child?  I've always assumed that all vintage lyrics got used....


As far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out on this.  On the one hand by the time BWPS rolled around, the vintage lyrics, if they ever existed, had been lost.   And, of course, they have yet to turn up on any extant tape or acetate.  For some, that's enough to say they never existed.... end of story... move on.

.... And yet it's not necessarily as simple as that.  Dial back to the 1966 NME piece in which the author states:

'I got a sneak preview of one of the tracks the previous night when Dennis played me a piano version of one track, Child is Father of the Man, a cowboy song, and then gave me the throwaway line of the year – "And this is a prayer I'm working on for it!"'

Why does the author say "Child is Father of the Man, a cowboy song"?   If Denny was just banging out the titular chorus, no one could possibly interpret that as having anything to do with cowboys.  Now, I've seen it hypothesized that the "cowboy song" was one of the other Smile songs (perhaps H&V, Cabin, Sunshine etc.) and maybe Denny segued into that other song and the author was none the wiser.  And that hypothesis is certainly plausible, but is it certainty?  Would you bet your life savings on that?   Is it significantly more likely than the other possibility that the report was more or less accurate?   The author certainly thought he was hearing a rendition of just one song, not two, as he even says that twice in the same sentence! ("one of the tracks" and "one track"), but sure it's possible that Denny's segue was so seamless that the author didn't know the difference.  But, hold on... why is Denny demo-ing CIFOTM at all?  Out of all the possible Smile songs to be offering a reporter a piano-rendition sneak preview of, he picks fragmentary, incomplete, chorus-only CIFOTM?  Does that seem likely?    What if... at that point there was verse melody... and some other verse lyrics that Denny knew which perhaps had never been recorded?  And said verse melody and lyrics were later discarded and/or lost and/or forgotten?

The other thing, and I don't have it in front of me, so this isn't an exact quote, is in the Anderle/Williams interview from '68.  Anderle says something along the lines that he's heard that CIFOTM is coming out on their next album.  And, of course, a snippet of it DID come out on Friends in the form of Little Bird.  But isn't the fact that Anderle mentions it all somewhat interesting?  Sure, it's a nice instrumental track and with a memorable chorus, but why was Denny showcasing it in late '66 and Anderle still talking about a year and a half later if what we have now is all there ever was to it?  My gut feeling is that CIFOTM was once something more than what survived to the present day.
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SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2020, 01:55:14 AM »

I can go either way with Friday Night being intended as something for Great Shape, a brief flirtation with it following Fire as its own track (if it were as simple as 'The Elements: Part 2, Earth', someone would've probably just said that), or a therapy session of sorts for Brian's own benefit and he'd decide what to do with it later. But on musical level, it having anything to do with either H&V outcast section is a hard sell, IWBA starting on Fmaj7. That transition only worked in 2004 by bludgeoning it together with the feedback effect. On the other hand Mrs. O'Leary's Cow is a vamp on an inverted F#augmaj7 to Faugmaj7, so it'd fit there.

Historically, Great Shape was still the Heroes bridge by later in December. That's not to say Brian couldn't go back and forth.

The only thing to know for sure about Child is Father of the Man is that Van Dyke Parks wasn't approached to write lyrics. No doubt the blank sections had melodies, the question is whether or not Brian tried writing words for it himself.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2020, 01:59:18 AM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
The_Holy_Bee
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« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2020, 02:00:08 AM »

Thanks Salty! My musical knowledge is pretty limited, so the juxtaposition of different keys isn't something that'd occur to me outside of "I like the sound of that."

Re: "The only thing to know for sure about Child is Father of the Man is that Van Dyke Parks wasn't approached to write lyrics." I feel like I might have read something along those lines a few years back, but can't recall the source. Do you know where you got this from?
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SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2020, 02:04:23 AM »

Thanks Salty! My musical knowledge is pretty limited, so the juxtaposition of different keys isn't something that'd occur to me outside of "I like the sound of that."

Re: "The only thing to know for sure about Child is Father of the Man is that Van Dyke Parks wasn't approached to write lyrics." I feel like I might have read something along those lines a few years back, but can't recall the source. Do you know where you got this from?

From Van Dyke in Priore's book: "It was an instrumental piece until Brian asked me to put some words on it in November of 2003". All he did back in '66 was tell Brian the quote he'd been using was actually from a Wordsworth poem.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2020, 02:13:24 AM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
juggler
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« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2020, 02:42:41 AM »

Thanks Salty! My musical knowledge is pretty limited, so the juxtaposition of different keys isn't something that'd occur to me outside of "I like the sound of that."

Re: "The only thing to know for sure about Child is Father of the Man is that Van Dyke Parks wasn't approached to write lyrics." I feel like I might have read something along those lines a few years back, but can't recall the source. Do you know where you got this from?

From Van Dyke in Priore's book: "It was an instrumental piece until Brian asked me to put some words on it in November of 2003". All he did back in '66 was tell Brian the quote he'd been using was actually from a Wordsworth poem.

That's possible.  But VDP's memory isn't perfect either.  He once said that Brian's memory is probably hetter than his.   In my opinion, it's not impossible that VDP worked on that song and others a bit in '66 and forgot about it.  And in any case, there were certainly going to be lyrics on Smile that VDP didn't write, GV obviously, and also Painter/Sunshine and probably others.    Just as Tony Asher wasn't credited on 5 of 13 Pet Sounds tracks, it's within the realm of possiblity that a similar share of Smile would have been Parks-less.   For a long time, VDP wasn't credited on Wonderful and Wind Chimes.  The former was almost certainly his work, but what about the latter?  Nothing about Wind Chimes particularly screams VDP to me.  If someone told me that WC was indeed 100% the work of BW, I wouldn't necessarily consider that unbelievable.  Conversely, I don't think VDP has ever been credited on You're Welcome, but the alliterative, wordplay "Well, come," "Welcome to come" stuff seems like his handiwork.

On the subject of "lost Smile lyrics," it's almost certain that there were some.  If the Great Shape lyrics didn't exist on the Humble Harv demo, would we even know about them?  I can't remember if there's any other evidence of their existence. I don't think so.  Jules Siegel transcribed some of Barnyard, but I think the Humble Harv thing is it in terms of Great Shape lyrical evidence.  And, of course, certain Worms and Cabin lyrics were preserved by Frank Holmes and we'd likely have zero knowledge of them if Frank hadn't retained them.  
« Last Edit: December 16, 2020, 02:49:52 AM by juggler » Logged
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