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Author Topic: "A Friend Like You" 2022 Remix on Brian's Website  (Read 2505 times)
Awesoman
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« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2022, 06:31:38 AM »

I wonder if there are any plans to release this mix for purchase.  Seems like a lot of trouble remixing this thing just for that rather trivial video it was attached to. 
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« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2022, 11:37:30 AM »

I'm not sure how much cutting down the songs would help the GIOMH album. I think the main issues are that it's kind of "underwritten" and "overproduced." I remember hearing the "Cocaine" tape years prior and thinking "City Blues" would make a good track. My jaw hit the floor when they did it for the GIOMH album. But it's a mess. It's muddy and cluttered, Clapton's guitar wankery does it no favors. It's hard to tell how much the issue is the arrangement versus the mixing. I guess it's kind of both? A number of the songs on the album have this issue. And that's looking at the *good* compositions. Then separately, yes, some of the songs just aren't too hot.

But I remember liking it more than the majority of fans back in 2004!

It was a terrible combination of being overproduced and underproduced, if that makes sense. Like, it was cluttered and busy but the mix…eh…not even sure I can call it that. I knew this dude back in college , Audio IV class. I had 2 hours of studio time before class but had to wait for him to take his stuff down so I could set up. He talked about everything he’d done and how many tracks , and how he was proud of dubbing in harps , banjos, all this stuff. 40+ tracks worth of stuff. Consider this was 2001 in Pro Tools. Anyway , about a week later when we as a class we’re listening to each others’ projects, it was his turn. He never bothered to mix the f*cker! Literally just compressed the hell out of it and threw a limiter and called it a day*. When I heard GIOMH for the first time , I had the same reaction as I did to Johnny’s project.


* The wav looked hilarious, by the way… it looked like some wrapped a hoagie in a gym mat. Or as I called it, “the world’s smoothest rectangle “
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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2022, 12:54:19 PM »

Billy, GREAT post. Really.
You are both competent and no-nonsense. It's rare. You, Guitarfool and pretty few others. I'd wish.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2022, 12:59:39 PM by Zenobi » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2022, 01:12:53 PM »

I'm not sure how much cutting down the songs would help the GIOMH album. I think the main issues are that it's kind of "underwritten" and "overproduced." I remember hearing the "Cocaine" tape years prior and thinking "City Blues" would make a good track. My jaw hit the floor when they did it for the GIOMH album. But it's a mess. It's muddy and cluttered, Clapton's guitar wankery does it no favors. It's hard to tell how much the issue is the arrangement versus the mixing. I guess it's kind of both? A number of the songs on the album have this issue. And that's looking at the *good* compositions. Then separately, yes, some of the songs just aren't too hot.

But I remember liking it more than the majority of fans back in 2004!

It was a terrible combination of being overproduced and underproduced, if that makes sense. Like, it was cluttered and busy but the mix…eh…not even sure I can call it that. I knew this dude back in college , Audio IV class. I had 2 hours of studio time before class but had to wait for him to take his stuff down so I could set up. He talked about everything he’d done and how many tracks , and how he was proud of dubbing in harps , banjos, all this stuff. 40+ tracks worth of stuff. Consider this was 2001 in Pro Tools. Anyway , about a week later when we as a class we’re listening to each others’ projects, it was his turn. He never bothered to mix the f*cker! Literally just compressed the hell out of it and threw a limiter and called it a day*. When I heard GIOMH for the first time , I had the same reaction as I did to Johnny’s project.


* The wav looked hilarious, by the way… it looked like some wrapped a hoagie in a gym mat. Or as I called it, “the world’s smoothest rectangle “

As I’m sure many fans will recall, the *perception* anyway back in 2004 was that “Gettin’ In Over My Head” was being kind of just pushed out quickly to market to get it out of the way before “Smile” was released. As the story went, they had basically added the GIOMH album as a rider to the “Smile” deal, to basically get two albums out of making a deal for “Smile.”

I love me some Brian vocal stacks, even messy ones. But some of them on GIOMH test any fan’s tolerance. That intro to “You’ve Touched Me” is pretty rough. (Conversely, I dig the Brian vocal stacks on “How Could We Still Be Dancing”, while the rest of the song is kind of meh). But some of the lazy *sounding* vocals on the GIOMH album didn’t assuage any concerns that the album had seemed to be “rushed.”

The “word on the street” back then was that while nobody had pushed Brian too hard in the studio on those vocals, Darian had “cracked the whip” as someone put it back then, getting very good (for that era anyway) vocals out of Brian for “Smile.”

How much all of these perceptions are actually accurate is debatable. I mean, some of the GIOMH tracks were older. It’s not like they went in and recorded 13 songs from scratch over a weekend or something.

One of the things with the sound of the GIOMH album is that Brian of course clearly likes big, lush, wet arrangements and mixes, with a lot of instrumentation usually. I think this has led to some stuff getting over-cluttered/muddy. On GIOMH, this was exacerbated by also just shoveling even more on top of some of the arrangements/recordings.

A stripped-down remix of the album I think would be more enjoyable. Like, I dig the new “A Friend Like You” remix, and I don’t think the ethos of either Brian or Mark or anybody is to do like a Johnny Cash-Rick Rubin sort of thing, but man, I’d love to hear “A Friend Like You” without *all* of those woodwinds and extra instrumentation. Stop it with the bass sax. I love Paul Mertens, but I never needed bass sax on “This Whole World” live either.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2022, 01:18:00 PM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2022, 02:32:13 PM »

I like the Elton John collab.  Nice honest rock 'n ' roll, like Desert Drive.
Clapton, a wreck just like it was to be expected (the guy will always miss a Jack Bruce and a Ginger Baker).
Macca, no way. Simply a bad song, imho.That goes beyond arrangement or mixing. Just a bad song.
But the worst offender in GIOMH is the title track. In the WilsonPaley sessions it is sublime, with even slightly Arabian Nights overtones.

P.S.
I confess I love Paul Mertens' bass sax, particularly at the end of Fun, Fun, Fun live.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2022, 10:05:22 PM by Zenobi » Logged
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« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2022, 04:41:18 PM »

Perhaps irrationally, my definitive City Blues is the Richie Sambora version from one of those Brian tribute shows. I youtube it everyonce in a while, and every time I'm like... yea, I like it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y26yxO-fQbk

Also Solomon Burke's version of Soul Searchin' hits the spot. Have that on a few summer mixes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07lD2qTpayA

I think some of Brian's solo material, and this album and imagination in particular, are full of songs that are not quite brilliant enough to withstand the treatment they got, but are actually beneath the surface songs way beyond what the average songwriter is capable of, and are just dying to be covered. I'm totally off-topic by now, but Cry is one that I'd just love to hear reach it's full potential.
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« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2022, 11:54:42 AM »

The Richie Sambora cover at that tribute show was funny, because I don't think there's much of any chance he just happened upon that song. I would imagine he or somebody noticed "oh hey, Clapton played a bunch of guitar on one recent Brian track, so that's probably in my wheelhouse."

Those tribute shows are almost always awful, and the second one can sniff out that the performer had never heard of the song prior to learning it for the show, it's even less interesting. Unless they really happen to stumble across a *great* random case of a performer really nailing the song. Which rarely happens.

I give maybe the Nate Ruess take on "Hold on Dear Brother" a pass, both because it wasn't really a "tribute" show, and hearing Brian's band nail that song was worth it. And even if Ruess found the song just for the show, it's at least an inspired choice. (Though one wonders if someone else threw the song at him for consideration).

Having Richie Sambora solo on a tribute show was already a B-list move.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2022, 12:00:41 PM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: August 12, 2022, 12:32:05 PM »

Paul Simon's Surfer Girl
Red Hot Chilli Pepper's I Get Around
Backstreet Boys When I Grow Up (wildcard choice)

are tribute performances that I have enjoyed.
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« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2022, 08:56:48 AM »

I give maybe the Nate Ruess take on "Hold on Dear Brother" a pass, both because it wasn't really a "tribute" show, and hearing Brian's band nail that song was worth it. And even if Ruess found the song just for the show, it's at least an inspired choice. (Though one wonders if someone else threw the song at him for consideration).

I think it’s more likely than not that Nate was very, very familiar with “Hold On Dear Brother” and the Carl and the Passions album. I was a pretty big fan of Nate’s band The Format (which was his group before he achieved more mainstream notoriety with his band fun.) and they wore their influences pretty heavily on their sleeves as far as I remember, definitely name checking Paul and Linda McCartney’s RAM and Nilsson. I’m nearly positive that they cited Brian as a major influence. So yeah, very likely hit knew that material very well.
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