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Author Topic: Great 1985 footage  (Read 2724 times)
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« on: February 02, 2021, 10:52:31 PM »

https://youtu.be/_OnzmO6NRj4

Such an underrated record
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2021, 01:34:08 AM »

https://youtu.be/_OnzmO6NRj4

Such an underrated record


Nice! I like that record very much and it's great to see this footage. Would love to see more of the vocal sessions.
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2021, 03:52:28 AM »

Some really good music on Beach Boys 85 including the very underrated Where I Belong what I consider to be their best work in the 80s by far. It's a shame there's not more footage of those sessions available to the public
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2021, 05:05:14 AM »

Incredibly underrated. And I feel like The Beach Boys could've done something special in the last few years to get this album out in the public eye more:

In the last few years there has been a resurgence of interest in the 1980s (which I think hit its peak and is now losing traction). We had the wildly popular show Stranger Things that took place in the 1980s, Weezer has an album coming out based on Van Halen's style, Synth-Wave music has been becoming more popular (which very much harkens it styling's (both musically and graphically) from 1980s synth culture. I am probably forgetting a slew of other recent pop-culture hits that got their inspiration from the 80s.

I wish The Beach Boys would've pushed (in back-channels) for at least one song from this album to be put in Stranger Things ('She Believes In Love Again' would've been perfect for a romantic scene), and a complete re-master/re-mix of the album (including an update in the album art - kinda like how the Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary had that green velvet cover instead of the usual artwork). I know it's not that popular of an album to warrant a remix/remaster, but they could've done it quietly without much fanfare, and let the chips fall where they may.

The Beach Boys really could've capitalized on this nostalgic 80s trend.
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2021, 05:26:04 AM »

Steve Levine posted these vids on the Twitter listening party for the '85 album the other day. Shame the part with Gary Moore detailing his gear set up is sans audio, but dig his animated facial expressions while playing that part on "Maybe I Don't Know"!

We've always been led to believe that the group recorded almost all their vocals separately for this album, but this footage and a couple of still photos that Steve posted show that there WAS some old-school "together" singing, as well!
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2021, 07:03:25 AM »

Someone left a comment on my FB page that was pretty funny and accurate: This footage confirms that the infamous Gary Moore "guitar face" was indeed used on "Maybe I Don't Know."

I'm of course curious how much footage Levine has. The Ringo footage is frustratingly brief, as is the actual BB footage. If there's any substantial amount of this stuff, BRI should buy it and use it.

Or better yet, Levine could simply dump all the footage online.
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2021, 07:14:44 AM »

What an amazing find! I never expected to see more of the sessions than that brief clip of Brian recording vocals for I'm So Lonely that the "Brian Wilson Investigates 311" parody was based on. It would be great to see a Goin' Platinum or Pet Stories style longform documentary of these sessions but I'll continue to be realistic and expect nothing considering it was a poor selling album that seems to still have a low curiosity pull among a fanbase that's eagerly awaiting more storied archival releases.

Beach Boys 85 was the last original-era studio album* I ended up buying and listening to about 18 years after I first made the dive past Endless Summer. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I think it helped that in the time between I acquired a taste for/moved past blanket dismissal of dated 80's sounds. I remember the first play through of the LP I couldn't believe the shredding on Maybe I Don't Know. I didn't necessarily think it was beyond Carl's chops but wasn't too surprised when I read the liner to see another name. Great introduction to Gary Moore.

*excluding Stars and Stripes
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2021, 09:18:45 AM »

Steve Levine posted these vids on the Twitter listening party for the '85 album the other day. Shame the part with Gary Moore detailing his gear set up is sans audio, but dig his animated facial expressions while playing that part on "Maybe I Don't Know"!

We've always been led to believe that the group recorded almost all their vocals separately for this album, but this footage and a couple of still photos that Steve posted show that there WAS some old-school "together" singing, as well!

I had heard - and I don't recall from who or where - that the vocals were originally done individually in the early parts of the project but it didn't seem to gel for the sounds they wanted. So in talks between Brian and Steve, they went back to doing some parts together at the same time (as seen in the videos), like in the old days, to try to capture that trademark sound.

Now obviously Steve himself could confirm or destroy that info in one shot if asked, but I had heard that they did shift from piecemeal tracking to group tracking in a specific effort to get more of the magic happening.
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2021, 09:38:16 AM »

Incredibly underrated. And I feel like The Beach Boys could've done something special in the last few years to get this album out in the public eye more:

In the last few years there has been a resurgence of interest in the 1980s (which I think hit its peak and is now losing traction). We had the wildly popular show Stranger Things that took place in the 1980s, Weezer has an album coming out based on Van Halen's style, Synth-Wave music has been becoming more popular (which very much harkens it styling's (both musically and graphically) from 1980s synth culture. I am probably forgetting a slew of other recent pop-culture hits that got their inspiration from the 80s.

I wish The Beach Boys would've pushed (in back-channels) for at least one song from this album to be put in Stranger Things ('She Believes In Love Again' would've been perfect for a romantic scene), and a complete re-master/re-mix of the album (including an update in the album art - kinda like how the Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary had that green velvet cover instead of the usual artwork). I know it's not that popular of an album to warrant a remix/remaster, but they could've done it quietly without much fanfare, and let the chips fall where they may.

The Beach Boys really could've capitalized on this nostalgic 80s trend.

The 80's thing was definitely in style for some time, and I agree it's starting to wane a bit (and Stranger Things, a show which I dearly love, I hope does not lose traction in the lead-up and extreme wait for new episodes to hit)...yet there are still artists like The Weeknd who went almost full 80's on some of his recent tracks. The nostalgia thing has its own ebb and flow, and now I see the generation born after 2000 getting more interested in 90's music and bands. It's pretty amazing and makes me feel old to think some of these listeners weren't alive or were toddlers when I was recording clients in our studio back in '04, '05, etc. and trying to match some of the sounds getting airplay back then.  Time marches on.

The one thing about 80's music that I think affects productions using certain tracks is how there was a definite change in the feels and textures of music in the 80's, and especially synth driven music. I grew up listening to Top-40 during this era, and buying cassettes. My first cassette purchase was Duran Duran, and radio station of choice was Hot Hits 98 in Philly. Looking back and also hearing original airchecks of Hot Hits 98, the early to mid-80's was a golden age of synth-driven music where analog still ruled the keyboard business and digital computer-controlled production and sequencing on gear like Nick Rhodes' Atari controllers and the various automated mixing boards was becoming more affordable, streamlined, and available. You could get a Casio SK-1 sampler for under a hundred bucks!

But something radically changed, and not blaming it per se, but the Yamaha DX-7 with it's brand of synthesis literally took over from where analog sounds had ruled. Instead of those amazing, super-fat synth sounds you'd hear on "Save A Prayer", "Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This", "99 Luft Balloons" and "Jump", you'd start hearing that FM-synthesis sheen everywhere, and *that* I think is one of the main components of what many think of as "80's cheese". Then the teen-queens started to appear, and it was all but dead.

So that's a long roundabout way of saying I think inviting an 80's Beach Boys sound into a TV or film production would lead immediately to "Kokomo", from that later era of clear cassette shells and Kelly Ripa dancing on the USA network's teen dance program with a full can of Aqua Net in her teased hair...and those different musical textures and sounds. It would be up to a song placement specialist who knew the BB 85 music to slip a good track into the proposal for an 80's themed program and make it happen, because 80's and Beach Boys for many equals Kokomo, and that's not the feel I think of when I think better 80's music.

A side note about song placement: One of the coolest related to the BB's happened about 12 years ago when they launched a US version of the UK hit series "Life On Mars". Early 70's music played a huge role in the plot of the show, and on one episode of the US version they used "Long Promised Road", and it sounded beautiful in that context. It pretty much slipped off the radar, but wow was that cool to hear and see on TV back then. So someone involved in the song placement for that series knew what was up.
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2021, 09:55:07 AM »

What is also worth noting is this quote from Steve:

"Brian and I would chat endlessly about this Song & Lyric Concept- …how the band would be very difficult with him when he was creating Pet Sounds…we bonded over these stories…. Producer to Producer….."

Even in previous interviews I got the feeling that Steve and Brian bonded in a way that didn't happen with other band members, perhaps because they both had the experience working as producers and creating multiple hit records (and that's a pretty exclusive club in the music biz), or just as two people who formed a friendship. It would have been nice to see what could have come from a later collaboration if that had happened on a larger scale.

But the fact they were talking about how the band was being "very difficult" with Brian during Pet Sounds (and later, of course, Smile) can be added to the group of various voices who have confirmed that this was the case at least from Brian's perspective and the outside analysis of it, and attempts to rewrite that history only look more foolish. As Steve has also said that he had issues with other Beach Boy members during these sessions, I'm guessing that topic of being "difficult" while cutting records led to the discussions of Pet Sounds, and Brian's own issues working with them back then. It would be nice to hear Steve expand on that topic a bit more without burning any bridges, although in 2021 I don't think that is as much of a concern for a lot of established musicians anymore.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 09:56:03 AM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2021, 10:02:06 AM »

Brian looked great in 1984-1985, too bad Landy didn’t leave the picture as expected....
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2021, 10:17:00 AM »

Gary Moore - Well that boy could certainly play, saw him a few times RIP
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2021, 10:33:13 AM »

Incredibly underrated. And I feel like The Beach Boys could've done something special in the last few years to get this album out in the public eye more:

In the last few years there has been a resurgence of interest in the 1980s (which I think hit its peak and is now losing traction). We had the wildly popular show Stranger Things that took place in the 1980s, Weezer has an album coming out based on Van Halen's style, Synth-Wave music has been becoming more popular (which very much harkens it styling's (both musically and graphically) from 1980s synth culture. I am probably forgetting a slew of other recent pop-culture hits that got their inspiration from the 80s.

I wish The Beach Boys would've pushed (in back-channels) for at least one song from this album to be put in Stranger Things ('She Believes In Love Again' would've been perfect for a romantic scene), and a complete re-master/re-mix of the album (including an update in the album art - kinda like how the Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary had that green velvet cover instead of the usual artwork). I know it's not that popular of an album to warrant a remix/remaster, but they could've done it quietly without much fanfare, and let the chips fall where they may.

The Beach Boys really could've capitalized on this nostalgic 80s trend.

The 80's thing was definitely in style for some time, and I agree it's starting to wane a bit (and Stranger Things, a show which I dearly love, I hope does not lose traction in the lead-up and extreme wait for new episodes to hit)...yet there are still artists like The Weeknd who went almost full 80's on some of his recent tracks. The nostalgia thing has its own ebb and flow, and now I see the generation born after 2000 getting more interested in 90's music and bands. It's pretty amazing and makes me feel old to think some of these listeners weren't alive or were toddlers when I was recording clients in our studio back in '04, '05, etc. and trying to match some of the sounds getting airplay back then.  Time marches on.

The one thing about 80's music that I think affects productions using certain tracks is how there was a definite change in the feels and textures of music in the 80's, and especially synth driven music. I grew up listening to Top-40 during this era, and buying cassettes. My first cassette purchase was Duran Duran, and radio station of choice was Hot Hits 98 in Philly. Looking back and also hearing original airchecks of Hot Hits 98, the early to mid-80's was a golden age of synth-driven music where analog still ruled the keyboard business and digital computer-controlled production and sequencing on gear like Nick Rhodes' Atari controllers and the various automated mixing boards was becoming more affordable, streamlined, and available. You could get a Casio SK-1 sampler for under a hundred bucks!

But something radically changed, and not blaming it per se, but the Yamaha DX-7 with it's brand of synthesis literally took over from where analog sounds had ruled. Instead of those amazing, super-fat synth sounds you'd hear on "Save A Prayer", "Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This", "99 Luft Balloons" and "Jump", you'd start hearing that FM-synthesis sheen everywhere, and *that* I think is one of the main components of what many think of as "80's cheese". Then the teen-queens started to appear, and it was all but dead.

So that's a long roundabout way of saying I think inviting an 80's Beach Boys sound into a TV or film production would lead immediately to "Kokomo", from that later era of clear cassette shells and Kelly Ripa dancing on the USA network's teen dance program with a full can of Aqua Net in her teased hair...and those different musical textures and sounds. It would be up to a song placement specialist who knew the BB 85 music to slip a good track into the proposal for an 80's themed program and make it happen, because 80's and Beach Boys for many equals Kokomo, and that's not the feel I think of when I think better 80's music.

A side note about song placement: One of the coolest related to the BB's happened about 12 years ago when they launched a US version of the UK hit series "Life On Mars". Early 70's music played a huge role in the plot of the show, and on one episode of the US version they used "Long Promised Road", and it sounded beautiful in that context. It pretty much slipped off the radar, but wow was that cool to hear and see on TV back then. So someone involved in the song placement for that series knew what was up.

Thanks for this perspective! While I got a good dose of trickle-down 80s culture when I was a kid, I am definitely a 90s kid. I think my perspective about Kokomo is skewed because I was not around when it came out (I was born almost one month later). While most who lived through that era probably associate the song with Cocktail, I see it more as a 90s song, because it reminds me more of the Baywatch culture than anything (for whatever reason).

So while the 1980s + Beach Boys equals 'Kokomo' to many people, I think the recent 80s nostalgia kick would be a perfect place to change that stereotype: the group did some pretty good 80s sounding music with the 85 album. But you're right, it would take a good song placement specialist to make it happen.

Here's to hoping that there's a scene in Stranger Things Season 4 where Hopper is sitting staring at a wall in the Russian prison with an overdub of 'I'm So Lonely' playing in the background Grin (seriously, it's legitimately been almost 2 years since the last season was released! Those kids will be in college by the time season 5 rolls around - if there is a season 5).
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2021, 10:33:49 AM »

Gary Moore - Well that boy could certainly play, saw him a few times RIP

I've introduced quite a few younger guitarists to Gary by playing then having them try to play "Still Got The Blues", especially the intro guitar lead, because it's a great example of how playing lead guitar on the level Gary played wasn't just about the notes, but *how* he played those notes. He was so lyrical and expressive in his playing, and had a terrific touch plus one of the better vibratos of the past 50 years. Seeing him rip on that live pass in the studio was a real treat. I wish the audio of Gary showing his Marshall JCM 800 and Plexi heads was available too, but it reminded me visually of Nigel Tufnel's "this one goes to eleven" scene.  Grin

So as someone familiar with Gary, I need to ask: Was he regularly playing that Explorer shaped guitar? I was kind of shocked to see him sporting that axe in the video because I know him as playing his famous Les Paul instead, in fact I thought that Les Paul was his signature guitar and sound unless it came after this video was shot.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 10:34:40 AM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2021, 10:43:47 AM »

Brian looked great in 1984-1985, too bad Landy didn’t leave the picture as expected....

He looked a lot like his 70s self, just much much healthier.

This is some amazing footage. I like BB85 for what it is - not a masterpiece and it lacks Brian's creativity in the production department. But Levine's production is actually very good and the singing throughout this album is beautiful.
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2021, 08:11:50 AM »

I had a friend who was a huge Gary Moore fans. The guy was obviously a great guitar player, but I remember watching some concert stuff and the guy was *Busy* with a capital B. It was like two hours of that "Maybe I Don't Know" solo. It was way too much for my taste. But he was good, and did some good stuff, and it's cool to see the BB session footage.

As for Levine and his work with the band, there was definitely some weird interpersonal stuff going on between Levine and various members. It sounds like Levine sometimes caught some s**t from some band members, and Levine and Brian would commiserate about having to "deal" with some of the other guys.

I've often referenced a weird, unedited 1985 Westwood One interview with Brian where he discusses the album, and at one point he goes off on a tangent about Al being curt with Levine and making Levine cry. I know Carl spoke diplomatically about the "tedious" new arena he had entered of not just digital recording, but digital sequencing of much of the instrumentation.

I've grown to like the album quite a bit over the years. Carl's tracks and the tracks from outside writers are the best. The album has a strange production style. Some of the sequenced drums sound surprisingly "real" for 1985, and then at other times like "Crack at Your Love" it immediately devolves into Casio portable keyboard territory. It would be interesting to go back in on a few of the tracks, re-trigger (or re-record) real drums, mix out a bit of the DX-7 sort of bass keyboard stuff, but still retain some of the 80s synth sound.
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« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2021, 10:18:07 PM »

I like the synth sound, it's tastefully done for most of the album. It only lacks the creativity of Brian's use of synthesizers on BW88 and especially Love You (the latter being from a completely different era of synthesizers, I know). There seems to be consensus that Carl's songs are the highlights here. In terms of singing, yes, I agree, but in terms of songwriting I don't agree at all, they're all a bit too easy on the ears for me; nicely done but a little boring. I think Brian's It's Just a Matter of Time and I'm So Lonely both had great potential and those are the ones I find myself coming back to. California Calling is sort of a guilty pleasure but I actually like that one too.
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« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2021, 07:45:56 AM »

I like the synth sound, it's tastefully done for most of the album. It only lacks the creativity of Brian's use of synthesizers on BW88 and especially Love You (the latter being from a completely different era of synthesizers, I know). There seems to be consensus that Carl's songs are the highlights here. In terms of singing, yes, I agree, but in terms of songwriting I don't agree at all, they're all a bit too easy on the ears for me; nicely done but a little boring. I think Brian's It's Just a Matter of Time and I'm So Lonely both had great potential and those are the ones I find myself coming back to. California Calling is sort of a guilty pleasure but I actually like that one too.

Brian's songs are just too simple on this album, and while at times his sort of subdued, almost disinterested vocal tone (something like the bridge of "Crack at Your Love") is interesting and weirdly engaging, overall his performance on the recordings of his own songs don't elevate the simplistic compositions.

"It's Just a Matter of Time" is literally that same doowop chord progression from a million songs. "I'm So Lonely" is not quite as simplistic, but not by much. I enjoy Brian's mournful vocal, and I enjoy that it does feel very "Brian". But this still isn't nearly as engaging as Carl's more mature, melodically and structurally more interesting tracks.

The songs I've found I come back to on the album are Carl's "It's Gettin' Late", "Maybe I Don't Know", and "Where I Belong", and "Passing Friend" and "I Do Love You", both from outside writers.

"Getcha Back" is fine; though kind of a rewrite of "Don't Worry Baby", and with a weirdly sparse, demo-like production sound. "California Calling" is, well, we know what that sound/style is. Bruce's "She Believes In Love Again" sounds like a bland knock-off of a David Foster/Chicago mid-80s track. Not horrible, but sub-par compared to Carl's songs. "Crack at Your Love" probably has Brian's best lead vocal bit on the album on that bridge portion, but an okay if unoriginal song is bogged down by a literally laughable title and the cheesiest production on the album. Also, while Al had and has a great voice, he sounds truly constipated and stilted on the lead on this one for some strange reason.

Beyond the two already-discussed Brian songs, "Male Ego" is another very "Brian" sounding song. I like that about it. The lyrics are dumb meathead lyrics trying, I guess, to masquerade as confessional, something. I don't know. The title and lyrics are kind of embarrassing and dumb, but the music is enjoyable in its "Brian-ness", and is kind of the prototype for what we heard on the BW '88 album.

The album has great group lead and harmony vocals, even on the dumb songs, and even if some of the vocals got a synth assist.
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« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2021, 12:04:16 PM »

I like the synth sound, it's tastefully done for most of the album. It only lacks the creativity of Brian's use of synthesizers on BW88 and especially Love You (the latter being from a completely different era of synthesizers, I know). There seems to be consensus that Carl's songs are the highlights here. In terms of singing, yes, I agree, but in terms of songwriting I don't agree at all, they're all a bit too easy on the ears for me; nicely done but a little boring. I think Brian's It's Just a Matter of Time and I'm So Lonely both had great potential and those are the ones I find myself coming back to. California Calling is sort of a guilty pleasure but I actually like that one too.

Brian's songs are just too simple on this album, and while at times his sort of subdued, almost disinterested vocal tone (something like the bridge of "Crack at Your Love") is interesting and weirdly engaging, overall his performance on the recordings of his own songs don't elevate the simplistic compositions.

"It's Just a Matter of Time" is literally that same doowop chord progression from a million songs. "I'm So Lonely" is not quite as simplistic, but not by much. I enjoy Brian's mournful vocal, and I enjoy that it does feel very "Brian". But this still isn't nearly as engaging as Carl's more mature, melodically and structurally more interesting tracks.

The songs I've found I come back to on the album are Carl's "It's Gettin' Late", "Maybe I Don't Know", and "Where I Belong", and "Passing Friend" and "I Do Love You", both from outside writers.

"Getcha Back" is fine; though kind of a rewrite of "Don't Worry Baby", and with a weirdly sparse, demo-like production sound. "California Calling" is, well, we know what that sound/style is. Bruce's "She Believes In Love Again" sounds like a bland knock-off of a David Foster/Chicago mid-80s track. Not horrible, but sub-par compared to Carl's songs. "Crack at Your Love" probably has Brian's best lead vocal bit on the album on that bridge portion, but an okay if unoriginal song is bogged down by a literally laughable title and the cheesiest production on the album. Also, while Al had and has a great voice, he sounds truly constipated and stilted on the lead on this one for some strange reason.

Beyond the two already-discussed Brian songs, "Male Ego" is another very "Brian" sounding song. I like that about it. The lyrics are dumb meathead lyrics trying, I guess, to masquerade as confessional, something. I don't know. The title and lyrics are kind of embarrassing and dumb, but the music is enjoyable in its "Brian-ness", and is kind of the prototype for what we heard on the BW '88 album.

The album has great group lead and harmony vocals, even on the dumb songs, and even if some of the vocals got a synth assist.

I've often tried to wrap my head around the idea of Mike singing about "Ego" on Male Ego... that *had* to have been some sort of in joke between Brian and Mike as a reference going back to Hang Onto Your Ego... where it's like Mike now finally in his 40s is willing to sing about ego, is willing to admit in a song lyric that he has an ego (unless he's singing about someone else as opposed to himself), as long as the drug references are stripped. I cannot conceive these thoughts between the 2 BBs Ego songs didn't cross Brian or Mike's head at the time, maybe it was them trying to poke fun at the real arguments of the past and make amends, I dunno.

I like Crack at Your Love, but mainly for the comically overused Brian chord change that has been recycled so many times before/after, in songs like Child of Winter, Summer of Love, etc.

It had to have been a bit shocking and sad to fans to hear that the 2 songs Brian wrote for the album are (IMHO) among the weakest on the album. I attribute that to whatever dysfunction Brian was going through during the Landy era.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 12:06:24 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
HeyJude
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« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2021, 01:20:10 PM »

It's interesting that the band didn't reach too far into the archives to put the songs together for the '85 album.

"California Calling" had been tracked back in 1982, and they did one outtake oldie ("At the Hop"), and may have worked on Brian's "Oh Lord."

But it's not like they were remaking a bunch of late 70s outtakes for the album. It was all *relatively* recently penned songs, and then a few from outside writers. So that may explain how they were limited (sort of) to stuff Brian had written relatively recently.

I'm curious how much is left from those sessions that we don't know about. I recall Al worked on "And I Always Will" (confirming that almost nothing on "Postcards" was newly-written even back in 2010), and Carl's "Down by the Pier."
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2021, 06:23:38 PM »

How much do we know about the '82 version of "California Calling"?
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2021, 07:01:58 PM »

The only explanation I can come up  for the relatively dull songs Brian contributed to the album is he was saving better stuff for his solo album. I like this album a lot, and if it had a Melt Away, Meet Me in My Dreams Tonight or There's So Many instead of the Brian songs they used, it would be a 5 star album for me.
It's interesting how the 80's for casual Beach Boys fans always means Kokomo, like it was the only thing they did in that decade. They were visible throug the whole decade, doing July 4th concerts, on various tv shows, and a few new records. They weren't the only band from the 60's to have a surprise hit in the 80's. I will always remember the summer of 1983, watching MTV, and seeing the video for Come Dancing by the Kinks every couple hours. I vividly remember hearing Your Wildest Dreams by the Moody Blues all through the summer of 86 - the video for that certainly helped sales, too. The 80's had a lot of 60's nostalgia going on, so it made sense that some of the old bands were having hit singles with cross generational appeal. The Monkees reunion in 1986 was a huge deal.
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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2021, 07:27:21 PM »

I can’t explain why but for some reason it is an album that just doesn’t make me smile much. I seldom play that twofer. Intellectually I recognize that beach boys 1985 is better crafted than MIU but somehow I can listen to MIU, despite its mediocre songwriting, almost any time but really have to be in a mood to put on that album. It just leaves me flat
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« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2021, 08:21:57 AM »

The only explanation I can come up  for the relatively dull songs Brian contributed to the album is he was saving better stuff for his solo album. I like this album a lot, and if it had a Melt Away, Meet Me in My Dreams Tonight or There's So Many instead of the Brian songs they used, it would be a 5 star album for me.
It's interesting how the 80's for casual Beach Boys fans always means Kokomo, like it was the only thing they did in that decade. They were visible throug the whole decade, doing July 4th concerts, on various tv shows, and a few new records. They weren't the only band from the 60's to have a surprise hit in the 80's. I will always remember the summer of 1983, watching MTV, and seeing the video for Come Dancing by the Kinks every couple hours. I vividly remember hearing Your Wildest Dreams by the Moody Blues all through the summer of 86 - the video for that certainly helped sales, too. The 80's had a lot of 60's nostalgia going on, so it made sense that some of the old bands were having hit singles with cross generational appeal. The Monkees reunion in 1986 was a huge deal.

That's a good point about Brian and saving potentially better songs for his own project...but was a Brian solo album even on the table in 1984 when the BB85 album was being constructed? For me, and I know I could be wrong on the actual songs and their development, it's hard for me not to hear too much of Gene Landy in the material from Brian during this era, and it kind of makes me sick. I reference that photo of Gene Landy and Mike looking over lyrics for what was captioned as "Male Ego", and that put a dark cloud over things for me.

And yes, I can also vouch for the whole 60's revival going on in the mid 80's. I loved it. I was one of the new generation who was watching, listening, and buying all these records. I remember "Daydream Believer" was #1 on the evening request show on MTV for literally a few months. A 20 year old song! Do you remember MTV running a show called "Closet Classics"? They'd play all 60's vintage video clips...I loved that. That's how I first heard Pacific Gas and Electric, a horn band in  the Chicago/BS&T mold that is now all but forgotten. I remember they played Don McLean one afternoon, and a friend and I who were watching later that day found his parents' stash of 8-tracks which included the ubiquitous "American Pie"...which we tried to play and which promptly broke the old tape.

In the early and mid 80's, it was visible on American TV as well, prime time shows like Magnum PI, Simon and Simon...I remember very well episodes where great 60's music like "Try A Little Tenderness" or "California Dreamin" played throughout as key elements to that episode's plot. Miami Vice also featured some 60's classics on occasion, thrown in amongst Phil Collins and Jan Hammer's score. Hell, the Miami Vice finale episode featured a Terry Kath solo record which was also the finale to Electra Glide In Blue! Who was doing that!? Turns out it was there if we knew what to listen for and what to watch. Then there was Tour Of Duty which in the first seasons had Paint It Black as the opening title song, with other classics mixed into the episodes. That was a TV version of Platoon, more or less, a film which also was chock-full of period 60's music attached to some classic scenes. Before that, "The Big Chill" and its 60's heavy soundtrack...does any more need to be said about a 60's revival on the charts? Combine all of that and more, and 60's music was in the air because the people making these shows and movies (and bankrolling certain other projects) were of the 60's generation.

But I also have to add that time and nostalgia was different back then, before social media and instant gratification (and answers) regarding history, music, etc. The music history you saw on MTV was subject to the choices of those curating the history, and those choices could be affected by whatever biases may have existed (a fate suffered by Beach Boys fans as well regarding history/historians and 'facts').  The classic 60's music was more or less 20 years old in the mid-80's when all this was happening.

This year, 9/11 will reach its 20th anniversary, for a dose of perspective. For me that event feels like yesterday, then I realize it was in fact 20 years ago and kids who are the age I was while we were digging this music from the 60's in 1986/87 probably think it feels much, much farther away, if not like "history", than it does to me. 20 years is either an eternity ago or just like yesterday depending on perspective.
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« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2021, 09:35:40 AM »

I've always really liked this album a lot. However it's the only time that I felt that Brian's songs were the weakest ones on a Beach Boys album.
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