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671922 Posts in 27044 Topics by 3973 Members - Latest Member: Tante September 22, 2021, 10:00:20 PM
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Author Topic: Brian's aim with some of his seemingly random early '70s collaborations  (Read 398 times)
Jim V.
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« on: August 31, 2021, 09:03:45 PM »

So, "It's Natural" is awesome and I wish it woulda been finished. I really like "Won't You Tell Me" and "Sweet And Bitter" is growing on me. If the drums and the synth bass were indeed from '71, then by gosh, it sounds kinda proto-Love You, doesn't it? Interesting that David Sandler and Don Goldberg had their songs produced by Brian Wilson and had lead vocals from Mike Love. Kinda crazy and awesome for both guys. And then you have Brian working with Murry again. It makes me wonder...

Was Brian searching for a collaborator for new Beach Boys material? Was he kinda just throwing a bunch of sh*t against the wall and seeing what stuck? I mean, certainly we never saw a Goldberg collaboration even talked about until when, 2013? Sandler we knew of cuz of the Spring album and his co-writing credit on "Sweet Mountain" and "Shyin' Away" which hinted at something more. I just wonder whether he was lending a hand to these aspiring songwriters or perhaps hoping they could supply The Beach Boys with hit singles, which were coming harder to come by. Perhaps it's a bit of both.

I mean, you also saw Brian "co-writing" with Tandyn Almer, Ray Kennedy, and others, but my assumption was that was kinda borne out of being in the same "party scene" for lack of a better term.

And why Brian worked with Murry on "Break Away" and "Won't You Tell Me"? Regardless of what kind of man Murry was, I think it just comes down to Brian's love of his father and the hopeful goodwill that could be generated between them by working together. And in my opinion, both co-writes are pretty great songs.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2021, 12:11:01 AM by Jim V. » Logged
phirnis
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2021, 11:44:58 PM »

I guess in 1969-1971 they all had come to realize that Brian wouldn't be writing the bulk of their material anymore, even though he's clearly all over the Sunflower sessions. They were probably desparate for finding a new direction and perhaps Brian agreed to help them with the transition and/or act as a kind of behind-the-scenes executive producer? I think "Seasons in the Sun" in particular speaks volumes about the band really struggling at the time, as it shows they were even considering going full-on bubblegum; that song was not produced by Brian of course, but I see it as part of this whole process where they were trying out new things.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2021, 06:41:40 AM »

I think the work with Murry had two major components: Obviously they needed hit material, and I guess they figured they'd try a Hail Mary pass and see what Murry would bring to the table. And I also think there may have been family issues there too, as in Brian and Dennis especially perhaps trying to reconnect with their dad through the only means they may have thought it could start to heal and work: The music. There are stories where Dennis and Murry would be doing things together more often before Murry's death, like going fishing, in an attempt to reconnect and maybe reconcile on those basic family levels. So maybe Brian's attempts to do the same - even though he wasn't as invested in that healing as Dennis but who knows - were done through songwriting and collaboration with Murry.

And I go back to that summer of '67 and the interviews from Hawaii with Brian where he says between the lines he's not sure how long the Beach Boys will be doing their thing, and his desire dating back to the early days to write music with and for other artists besides the group. It was the whole foundation of Brother Records, and all of these random collaborations could have been Brian meeting someone and liking their voice or their songs in the moment (and yes, some from those party circles he was running with at this time), and wanting to work with them. I think Brian had that desire going back to Wild Honey to get the Beach Boys what they needed for their releases, and to also explore producing and recording with outside artists at the same time. And sometimes the pendulum would swing more one way than the other.

I think some of it was just Brian still (and as always) wanting to work with other musicians and writers outside the group as he had done going back to the early 60's, more than a search for new Beach Boys material, but that's just my opinion. I think the most obvious example of the group actually looking for outside writers and musicians to boost their own group's output would have been The Flame whose members they actually brought into the group for some radical changes in material and sound, and that was headed by Carl if I'm remembering correctly.

But all this activity from Brian also shatters the mythology that Brian was doing nothing but laying in bed during this time. There was a lot of music happening under the radar.
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"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
FlowsOfFeeling
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2021, 07:21:43 AM »

Don Goldberg's book kinda dives into this topic and is definitely worth checking out in regards to what Brian was up to around 70/71/72. It's a great read!
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