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672450 Posts in 27078 Topics by 3981 Members - Latest Member: Toxic34 October 25, 2021, 12:31:28 AM
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Author Topic: Won't you tell me why Won't You Tell Me was left unreleased?  (Read 1559 times)
Rebel
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« on: October 02, 2021, 07:38:33 PM »

I've always loved this song, even in boot form. I can't stop listening to it now it much better quality. How could this have gone unreleased? Does it have something to do with Rick Henn? Same with Soulful Old Man - he was involved in this song too. I recall him saying that the Beach Boys were goofing off during that track. Did him working with their dad have something to do with both of these great songs being left in the can?
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Tom
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2021, 05:05:29 AM »

I suspect it was a bit too smooth and sweet for their direction at that time. For Surf's Up they were focusing on mature or socially conscious material (mostly), then they went rootsy for the next two albums.

Also, despite some experimenting, it seems like they ultimately decided against releasing songs that had been written for them by others (Sweet and Bitter etc)
« Last Edit: October 03, 2021, 05:07:22 AM by Tom » Logged
bossaroo
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2021, 07:42:34 PM »

so much good stuff was left unreleased. yet they put out things like Feet and Demonstration Time

I can see how Won't You Tell Me was probably considered too schmaltzy for the image they were going for, and Soulful Old Man was too swingin'... but they're both spectacular songs in my opinion. Rick Henn wrote the latter with Brian, but WYTM was Brian and his dad. some still dispute that Brian was co-writer but Brian himself says he wrote it and the chord progression is certainly Brian-level sophistication
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beatlesyoshi
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2021, 08:02:21 PM »

so much good stuff was left unreleased. yet they put out things like Feet and Demonstration Time

I can see how Won't You Tell Me was probably considered too schmaltzy for the image they were going for, and Soulful Old Man was too swingin'... but they're both spectacular songs in my opinion. Rick Henn wrote the latter with Brian, but WYTM was Brian and his dad. some still dispute that Brian was co-writer but Brian himself says he wrote it and the chord progression is certainly Brian-level sophistication
the organ demo on feel flows is another piece of evidence Brian co-wrote it
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Wrightfan
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 06:13:29 AM »

I was going to create a similar thread lol.

Just a lovely song. I think Tom is right but it would've made the charts imo.
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Awesoman
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2021, 06:57:00 AM »

It's a pretty song but it's quite schmaltzy and dated sounding for the time.  And Brian's wonky lead vocal is all over the place.  The song would have probably been more at home featured in one of the band's earlier albums from the early 60's.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2021, 08:51:26 AM »

It's a pretty song but it's quite schmaltzy and dated sounding for the time.  And Brian's wonky lead vocal is all over the place.  The song would have probably been more at home featured in one of the band's earlier albums from the early 60's.

I have wondered if the vocal was even properly considered  to be a "final" lead vocal, or if basically what we have on the recording is just the state it was in when Brian stopped working on it? It's a really odd vocal because in parts it's really amazing and pulls at the heartstrings but in other parts it sounds a bit off in a way that I can't quite describe. But I guess this is probably also part of Brian's mental state at the time where his self-confidence was getting erratic.

In any case I just adore this song and it's one of my very favorite part of the entire box. It's got those patented Brian Wilson chord changes, And it really makes no sense why a song like this was left off while tracks like "our sweet love" were released around this time. I love "our sweet love", but I suppose it could be considered not all that different in terms of feel/vibe/topic to this song. Maybe this song is just a hair more schmaltzy...

Somehow it does feel like a song that would've been recorded by Carpenters.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 08:52:47 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
maggie
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2021, 10:14:44 AM »

On the demo it really sounds like Brian is humoring Murry by working on the track with him. I don't think there was ever much chance of it coming out as a Beach Boys track during that period.
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Cabinessenceking
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2021, 03:42:37 PM »

It certainly didn't have the feel of the rest of Surf's Up, so what to do with it? It was best left in the can to be savoured for a later and safer date  Wink
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Shane
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2021, 12:49:11 AM »

For those who haven't heard it, here's Rick Henn's demo vocal, which is a lot more proper than the rough Brian/Carl runthrough.  Unfortunately only half the track is here, but you can get the idea:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0PE-ARIJ70

This Sundazed single comes with an extensive writeup where Henn explains that Murry came up with the melody line and he did everything else.  This conflicts with Brian's claim that he wrote the song.   
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bossaroo
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2021, 10:14:53 AM »

odd then that Murry is the only name credited as writer on the Sundazed single. kind of conflicts with Rick's claim
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 10:22:47 AM by bossaroo » Logged
maggie
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2021, 07:29:25 AM »

For those who haven't heard it, here's Rick Henn's demo vocal, which is a lot more proper than the rough Brian/Carl runthrough.  Unfortunately only half the track is here, but you can get the idea:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0PE-ARIJ70

This Sundazed single comes with an extensive writeup where Henn explains that Murry came up with the melody line and he did everything else.  This conflicts with Brian's claim that he wrote the song.   

I believe that what Brian actually said was something more noncommittal than that, along the lines of "it sounds like something I could have written."

The demo run through clearly sounds like Brian has been handed a sheet of lyrics and is composing a melody for it. Maybe Henn wrote the lyrics, and Murry and Brian collaborated on the chords and melody.
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bossaroo
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2021, 09:54:12 AM »

Quote
As Brian says, I dont think I wrote Wont You Tell Me with my dad. I think I wrote that by myself.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/beach-boys-feel-flows-box-set-guide-1176987/
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SMiLE-addict
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2021, 07:08:32 PM »

For those who haven't heard it, here's Rick Henn's demo vocal, which is a lot more proper than the rough Brian/Carl runthrough.  Unfortunately only half the track is here, but you can get the idea:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0PE-ARIJ70

This Sundazed single comes with an extensive writeup where Henn explains that Murry came up with the melody line and he did everything else.  This conflicts with Brian's claim that he wrote the song.   
Thanks for the link, I'd never heard this one before.

Yeah, it sound like something from their earlier days. Or even something in the 80's maybe.
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