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Author Topic: In Concert Album. How and Why?  (Read 2583 times)
Pretty Funky
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« on: May 26, 2022, 03:28:20 PM »

The So Tough/ Holland Boxset Thread has some interesting comments about the possible content of any ĎIn Concertí set, but it got me thinking about how and why did this live album even come about?
Reasons it shouldnít have even been considered. The group was past its peak, last few albums had not sold well, no Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson injured, Ricky and Blondie new unknownísÖ.did I mention no Brian Wilson? Yet the group and management decided to spend a lot of money funding the recording at various shows, winter at that, in the days when doing so was probably extremely costly and involved quite a team.
Did someone just say ĎThis band sounds great and we have to record it regardless of any returní?

I and many others are glad they did, itís my go-to live album of choice. But what is the story behind it. Liner notes below donít really give a clue.

http://albumlinernotes.com/In_Concert.html

« Last Edit: May 26, 2022, 03:29:28 PM by Pretty Funky » Logged
phirnis
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2022, 02:21:13 AM »

I've always felt like In Concert was their first step towards Endless Summer, with the 2nd LP featuring many earlier songs as the set's big finale. Both Concert and In Concert are fantastic live albums as far as I'm concerned. I wish they'd done one more before Dennis died.
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c-man
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2022, 06:25:53 AM »

Replying to some specific points you make here:

"The group was past its peak, last few albums had not sold well," - sure, compared to the sales of their early- to mid-'60s output, but much MUCH better than the sales of their late-'60s output and Sunflower. And, the Beach Boys as a live act were experiencing a renaissance at the time - filling or nearly filling smaller halls, and playing bigger outdoor venues compared to the half-filled or less shows of 1968-1970. Jack Reiley's management, the expansion of the live set from a 45-minute "jukebox" approach to a 90-minute or more presentation that included more of the recent album material, and positive reviews in the rock press made the Beach Boys a vital live act once again. Plus, by late '73, nostalgia was starting to become a factor, hence the slow addition of more and more "oldies" into the set - to rapturous applause.

"Yet the group and management decided to spend a lot of money funding the recording at various shows, winter at that, in the days when doing so was probably extremely costly and involved quite a team." - it was quite possibly the record label, not the group or their management, that came with the idea for a live album (anyone know for sure?)...regardless, it would have been the label who paid for the recordings of the winter '72 shows (by renting the Record Plant mobile recording truck for a couple of shows in the NYC area, which was probably rather economical). For the summer '73 shows, which constitute the bulk of the recordings used on the final live double album, the group used their own Brother Studios recording equipment, likely transported by truck along with their other gear - and therefore not all that expensive to move (in similar fashion, they took the home studio gear on the road with them in the late '60s to use as sound reinforcement at live gigs).

"Did someone just say ĎThis band sounds great and we have to record it regardless of any returní?" - to this point, I would say (a) by late '73 the prospects of a new studio album from the band at any point in the near future were not great, so a live album was actually a pretty good "stop gap" idea to keep them in the consciousness of the record-buying public, (b) the returns were comparatively GOOD: the double-live set charted at Number 25 on Billboard and went gold the following year (shortly after Endless Summer did - making it the first gold record for the group on their current label, Warner Bros./Reprise) - compared to highs of Number 29 for Surf's Up, Number 50 for Carl And The Passions, and Number 36 for Holland, and (c) it helped get the group voted "Band Of The Year" by Rolling Stone in 1974 (this honor was based primarily on their live performances, not just the sales of Endless Summer).

All in all, a relative success, and their biggest commercial success of the decade (not counting reissues of '60s recordings) until 15 Big Ones.
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2022, 10:47:17 AM »

I've always felt like In Concert was their first step towards Endless Summer, with the 2nd LP featuring many earlier songs as the set's big finale. Both Concert and In Concert are fantastic live albums as far as I'm concerned. I wish they'd done one more before Dennis died.

Well, technically, they did do one more with Dennis - they just didnít put it out until 2002 or so. I agree that itís too bad they didnít release Knebworth earlier - itís a great show and the last release that really relies on the core band.
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Pretty Funky
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2022, 08:52:53 PM »

Thanks C-Man for the reply. The time period was 5-6 years before I became a fan (1978) but also when I was too young even to attend concerts.
It was a good call no doubt and I wouldnít mind knowing who deserves the credit most. You allude to Jack Reiley, who comes across as one of those guys who could sell the group very well. The right guy at the right time. No wonder Brian was so upset when learning of his death in the recent documentary (regardless of him hearing it before or not).

More will be revealed if hopefully there is another box release in the next few years.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2022, 08:53:59 PM by Pretty Funky » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2022, 08:14:27 AM »

"Did someone just say ĎThis band sounds great and we have to record it regardless of any returní?" - to this point, I would say (a) by late '73 the prospects of a new studio album from the band at any point in the near future were not great, so a live album was actually a pretty good "stop gap" idea to keep them in the consciousness of the record-buying public

Yeah, this was my main thought on the thread. Conceivably, as early as late '72 (when they started the project) the group (if not the label) may have had an inkling that a potential follow-up to the yet-to-be-released Holland was a ways away.

"Yet the group and management decided to spend a lot of money funding the recording at various shows, winter at that, in the days when doing so was probably extremely costly and involved quite a team." - it was quite possibly the record label, not the group or their management, that came with the idea for a live album (anyone know for sure?)...regardless, it would have been the label who paid for the recordings of the winter '72 shows (by renting the Record Plant mobile recording truck for a couple of shows in the NYC area, which was probably rather economical). For the summer '73 shows, which constitute the bulk of the recordings used on the final live double album, the group used their own Brother Studios recording equipment, likely transported by truck along with their other gear - and therefore not all that expensive to move (in similar fashion, they took the home studio gear on the road with them in the late '60s to use as sound reinforcement at live gigs).

Thanks for the interesting info regarding the equipment, c-man. To the extent that the recording process may have been considered costly, this is the same band that had just decided to record Holland in Holland (bringing their own studio with them, no less). They weren't the most fiscally responsible band of all-time, and therefore probably wouldn't have blinked an eye.
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2022, 08:22:56 AM »

I've always felt like In Concert was their first step towards Endless Summer, with the 2nd LP featuring many earlier songs as the set's big finale. Both Concert and In Concert are fantastic live albums as far as I'm concerned. I wish they'd done one more before Dennis died.

Well, technically, they did do one more with Dennis - they just didnít put it out until 2002 or so. I agree that itís too bad they didnít release Knebworth earlier - itís a great show and the last release that really relies on the core band.

Releasing Knebworth in the early '80s would have been a useful and worthy stop-gap release. It also would have preserved an autotune-free document of the show.
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2022, 12:55:25 PM »

I've always felt like In Concert was their first step towards Endless Summer, with the 2nd LP featuring many earlier songs as the set's big finale. Both Concert and In Concert are fantastic live albums as far as I'm concerned. I wish they'd done one more before Dennis died.

Well, technically, they did do one more with Dennis - they just didnít put it out until 2002 or so. I agree that itís too bad they didnít release Knebworth earlier - itís a great show and the last release that really relies on the core band.

Releasing Knebworth in the early '80s would have been a useful and worthy stop-gap release. It also would have preserved an autotune-free document of the show.

It would definitely be nice to have the show without autotune.
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Pretty Funky
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2022, 01:23:06 PM »

I have it (somewhere) and played it regularly before the official release. Sounds fine without autotuneÖand the sky does not fall down.
Itís the same story as the 50th Celebration CD where apparently, they couldnít find good enough recordings despite having over 70 performances of most of the songs.
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2022, 06:47:04 PM »

Of course the double release was in place of a single lp concert recorded in late 1972, which apparently was rejected for not including many older songs. so the 73 release was more of a crowd pleaser with many oldies albeit done in 1970s style. I recall that Brian was not that hot on the first attempt at the concert LP or so he said in the 73 Record World interview
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2022, 03:21:56 AM »

Here's what Brian said in that interview:

Quote
I heard it and I said, "Don't release that, don't". And they said, "We're gonna!" [...] I just didn't think it was that good. But they really like it.

Brian was asked in the same interview whether he's working together with Carl in the studio, to which he replied that no, Carl wants to work alone - after which Diane interferes, saying that Brian does work together with Carl in the studio. Interesting stuff.
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2022, 07:19:58 AM »

It's a worthy live album and it's quite possible that this particular period showcased the Beach Boys at their absolute best as a live band.  The inclusion of Ricky and Blondie was definitely their secret weapon that added some grit and edge to their performances, even including the oldies.
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2022, 08:36:49 AM »

Highlight of the album is Marcella. And Alan's solo.
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2022, 08:31:16 AM »

Whatever the reason for this album, I'm glad it exists. It's truly fantastic. It's got everything a die-hard fan would want: some hits, some deep cuts, newer stuff, and an otherwise unreleased (sorta) song. For me, there are three problems with it:

1) No Dennis-composed or Dennis-sung songs.

2) No "God Only Knows." But from what I understand, the band didn't do that song during those tours because instead, after the show was over, LSO's version of GOK was piped in over the PA.

3) There's some noticeable flutter and wow on some of the tracks -- definitely noticeable on "You Still Believe in Me" and "Funky Pretty." I hope that gets fixed at some point.
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2022, 01:22:01 PM »

Personally I prefer live in London LP but I am of the less is more school-I prefer a more stripped down sound for the BBs just as I do for Elvis
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2022, 11:57:53 AM »

Personally I prefer live in London LP but I am of the less is more school-I prefer a more stripped down sound for the BBs


You know, there's that orchestra on "Live in London"...  Wink
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2022, 02:44:02 AM »

Whatever the reason for this album, I'm glad it exists. It's truly fantastic. It's got everything a die-hard fan would want: some hits, some deep cuts, newer stuff, and an otherwise unreleased (sorta) song. For me, there are three problems with it:

1) No Dennis-composed or Dennis-sung songs.

2) No "God Only Knows." But from what I understand, the band didn't do that song during those tours because instead, after the show was over, LSO's version of GOK was piped in over the PA.

3) There's some noticeable flutter and wow on some of the tracks -- definitely noticeable on "You Still Believe in Me" and "Funky Pretty." I hope that gets fixed at some point.

They played God Only Knows at the Carnegie Hall 1972 show, if I'm not mistaken.
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2022, 04:49:22 AM »

Perhaps we'll get an expanded version of the In Concert album that covers more ground.  Let's get that live version of "God Only Knows" along with "River Song" (with Blondie on vocals) and whatever else they performed during this time.  Didn't they also perform "Don't Talk" around this time with Carl on vocals? 
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2022, 05:35:52 AM »

I heard a live version of Don't Talk, I think on You Tube....it was ok, but it didn't go over too well from the sound of it. It was a little boring for them at that time.....I remember when the song ended, Carl announced "That's It"! I know they did I'm Waiting For the Day a couple of times, with Billy Hinsche on lead vocals. I have that recording somewhere.
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2022, 06:10:54 AM »

I heard a live version of Don't Talk, I think on You Tube....it was ok, but it didn't go over too well from the sound of it. It was a little boring for them at that time.....I remember when the song ended, Carl announced "That's It"! I know they did I'm Waiting For the Day a couple of times, with Billy Hinsche on lead vocals. I have that recording somewhere.

They did those two songs in '74, and maybe early '75.
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