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Author Topic: Brian's "On Christmas Day" Contest  (Read 2593 times)
HeyJude
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« on: December 14, 2022, 08:52:16 AM »

They're running a contest for folks to lay down a new lead on the 2001 track "On Christmas Day" over on Brian's website.

https://www.brianwilson.com/

For folks collecting every weird curio, they have a download available of the backing track with vocals.

And now finally, someone can extract the vocals from "Belles of Paris" or "Bells of Christmas" and lay it over the verses of this track.....
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2022, 09:18:16 AM »

Screw that, I’m entering 😂
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2022, 09:20:09 AM »

Screw that, I’m entering 😂

I dare you to drop in a line from "Bells of Christmas!"

The big question: Is Al Jardine entering?
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2022, 02:46:19 PM »

🤣
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2022, 03:00:14 PM »

It said to follow the directions lower on the page. Did anybody see directions? I just saw download links.
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2022, 11:01:30 PM »

I sure didn’t…I thought it was just me!
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2022, 04:31:24 PM »

Those who have been critical of Brian’s solo singing should try singing this… it “sounds” easy but it’s deceptively simple. It’s not the pitch, it’s the phrasing required. As pitchy as latter day Brian is, if you sing certain lines pitch perfect it sounds weird (“frosty the snowman has melted awayyyy”  being a perfect example).

Which leads to something interesting I realized…Brian’s solo songs are generally MUCH harder to sing than Beach Boys songs. Your Imagination is mostly easy, but the “cause you KNOW it’s just “  part, you have to kind of push the “know” just right…. Again , it’s not the pitch , it’s the *way* you have the kind of force it cause otherwise it sounds flat even if it’s directly on the pitch. I always thought the “shouty” vocal delivery was poor technique, and it was…but he wrote  his parts specifically for the way he sang at that time.

This discussion should be its own thread so I’ll make one a bit later on, but it kind of makes it a bit more clear as to how “involved” Brian is solo. If it sounds like the lead melody would be more suited to his younger self, then Brian’s creative contributions likely are elsewhere. It’s why when people thought Brian wrote the tag on solo Sunshine, I couldn’t agree, as the rest of the song has that chill yet somewhat gruff vibe that would’ve sounded like sh*t had he sang it in the 60s. Would’ve sounded great timbre wise in the 70s but phrasing wise he couldn’t have pulled off. The tag, however, sounds like a pastiche of 60s Brian, if that makes sense
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2022, 05:18:51 AM »

Those who have been critical of Brian’s solo singing should try singing this… it “sounds” easy but it’s deceptively simple. It’s not the pitch, it’s the phrasing required. As pitchy as latter day Brian is, if you sing certain lines pitch perfect it sounds weird (“frosty the snowman has melted awayyyy”  being a perfect example).

Which leads to something interesting I realized…Brian’s solo songs are generally MUCH harder to sing than Beach Boys songs. Your Imagination is mostly easy, but the “cause you KNOW it’s just “  part, you have to kind of push the “know” just right…. Again , it’s not the pitch , it’s the *way* you have the kind of force it cause otherwise it sounds flat even if it’s directly on the pitch. I always thought the “shouty” vocal delivery was poor technique, and it was…but he wrote  his parts specifically for the way he sang at that time.

This discussion should be its own thread so I’ll make one a bit later on, but it kind of makes it a bit more clear as to how “involved” Brian is solo. If it sounds like the lead melody would be more suited to his younger self, then Brian’s creative contributions likely are elsewhere. It’s why when people thought Brian wrote the tag on solo Sunshine, I couldn’t agree, as the rest of the song has that chill yet somewhat gruff vibe that would’ve sounded like sh*t had he sang it in the 60s. Would’ve sounded great timbre wise in the 70s but phrasing wise he couldn’t have pulled off. The tag, however, sounds like a pastiche of 60s Brian, if that makes sense

‘tag, however, sounds like a pastiche of 60s Brian, if that makes sense’

Much like some TWGMTR tracks....
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2022, 07:00:18 AM »

I challenge you to order Mike Love on cameo to sing "Kokomo"'s lyrics to this.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2022, 07:01:23 AM by Rocker » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2022, 04:46:01 AM »

Here's hoping whoever wins thinks outside the box and delivers an amazing vocal no one would expect!
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2022, 11:07:04 PM »

Here's hoping whoever wins thinks outside the box and delivers an amazing vocal no one would expect!
LOL

I entered but definitely didn’t deliver an amazing vocal, so I doubt it get it. LOL Combination of lack of time to prepare, having not heard the song before a few days ago, not being familiar with the software I was using, and trying not to wake the neighbors while recording late at night. I kinda apologized in my email for the poor vocal, because I definitely could’ve done better, but I really wanted to say I submitted something of me singing to Brian Wilson for a contest.  Grin  
« Last Edit: December 23, 2022, 11:10:24 PM by All Summer Long » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2022, 11:07:44 PM »

Here's hoping whoever wins thinks outside the box and delivers an amazing vocal no one would expect!
LOL

I entered but definitely didn’t deliver an amazing vocal, so I doubt it get it. LOL Combination of lack of time to prepare, having not heard the song before a few days ago, not being familiar with the software I was using, and trying not to wake the neighbors while recording late at night. I kinda apologized in my email for the poor vocal, because I definitely could’ve done better, but I really wanted to say I submitted something of me singing to Brian Wilson for a contest.  Grin  

EDIT: Accidentally double-posted (and quoted myself) while trying to edit an emoji. Is there a way to delete a post from a tablet/phone, or can that only be done on a computer? (I’m struggling to find a delete button?)

ANOTHER EDIT: Since it looks like I’m stuck with this embarrassing double-post (sorry about that everyone), I’ll take advantage of it to echo Billy C’s comments about the melody. I know very little of Brian’s solo material, (and as I said I had to sing poorer and a bit different because of the time and I didn’t want to risk belting at that late hour,) but I was surprised at how difficult the higher parts actually were. I’ll have to listen to seltaeb’s version and the other cover posted below. (I’m not going to post mine out of embarrassment about my vocal.)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2022, 09:17:42 PM by All Summer Long » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2022, 05:52:22 AM »

Gave it a whirl! Not expecting much, but, I wanted to send Brian some love anyway!

https://soundcloud.com/smilead/on-christmas-day
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« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2022, 04:07:28 PM »

Gave it a whirl! Not expecting much, but, I wanted to send Brian some love anyway!

https://soundcloud.com/smilead/on-christmas-day

I absolutely loved this - you retained the best elements of the original while making it your own, and adding some great Brian/BB "easter eggs" that I'm sure Brian will appreciate!
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« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2022, 05:09:45 PM »


I absolutely loved this - you retained the best elements of the original while making it your own, and adding some great Brian/BB "easter eggs" that I'm sure Brian will appreciate!

Ayye, cheers! Funny, I did this off memory, and I just realized I mixed in some lyrics from "Bells Of Christmas" hahaha. Might be a deal breaker as far as the contest goes, but hey, if Brian gets to hear the "Shortenin' Bread" tag, it's a win!

I thought this was a great take on it. Solid voice, and cool adaptation for a female range!

https://soundcloud.com/rebeccaschneider/on-christmas-day
« Last Edit: December 24, 2022, 06:02:25 PM by seltaeb1012002 » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2022, 02:15:14 PM »

Here's the version I did...I sent it off in time but I had wanted to redo it as my rhythm was a bit off since I sang it a capella and then added it to the track ; I had a bad ear infection and my ear canal was swollen to the point my ear bud wouldn't fit -_-  Glad I had already done the overdubs earlier in the week. https://soundcloud.com/fear2stop/on-christmas-day-1/s-qRJIHIGZXf4?si=4595540f748d465180b8c9bb80fc06f2&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing

I know I have the art somewhere on my hard drive ... I can never find jack sh*t when I need to LOL
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2022, 05:41:59 PM »

If anyone is curious to listen to my rendition of Brian's song, here it is:

https://www.facebook.com/cjthibeault/posts/pfbid0314nTbccsS8AaCL5mMSAnmargvjRH7zYtm1XpNHsvTufUaGErdV1yB94yjxfV83fbl

I also created a vocal-only mix (I sung lead and all the background vocals):

https://www.facebook.com/cjthibeault/posts/pfbid0SuNHP4tdPNu1SJ8CGFZA5F3xsffHroTLsjGeA4oTjJYXgDu1ZGH5jg6hQjviYVKQl
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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2022, 04:02:34 AM »

Did they ever announce who won?
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« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2022, 05:51:46 AM »

Did they ever announce who won?

I think they announce the 3 winners on January 6.
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« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2022, 08:23:25 AM »


Kudos to Billy, Selt, and Chris for their fantastic vocals!! I really enjoyed listening. Happy New Year!

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« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2022, 10:52:51 AM »

Congrats from me too, to Billy, Chris, Selt and Rebecca too!
I am delighted by all your "takes" (and Billy, what a sweet voice you have!).
Also, I realised how much of "Short'nin' Bread" is in "On Christmas Day". Smiley
I think that the Short'nin' Bread riff should be renamed the "Brian Wilson Beat", like there is the "Bo Diddley Beat". Brian has surely lfted that originally simple riff to sublime heights.
Happy New Year to everybody! 
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« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2022, 06:31:30 AM »

I've been meaning to mention that Billy made some good points about this track. I mean, I still don't really particularly think the song is that great (it's probably one my least favorite of all of Brian's solo XMas tracks), and my first impulse was to question why this was the song they picked to do the contest (even if they weren't going to just be obvious and pick like "Little Saint Nick" or something, I would have thought initially that even something like "Christmasey" or "What I Really Want for Christmas" would work a little better), but Billy is right that the actual lead vocal is weirdly not nearly as simple as a cursory listen might suggest.

The way Brian wrote and sang melodies in this era was pretty interesting, where he was writing to his own voice. He obviously had limits to his vocal range even 20+ years ago, but counterintuitively on a song like this, it does indeed make it surprisingly more challenging for other vocalists to try to re-create.

Listening to this song and other stuff from the early solo Brian era also reminds me that I wish Al had been working with Brian back then, as I think a lot of the stuff would have sounded good with Al leads.

I still do wonder if at least Ron Altbach should have maybe gotten a co-writing credit on this one, assuming he helped with the music on "Bells of Christmas/Belles of Paris" (and assuming Mike was only a lyricist, and Al as well as his name is only on the Xmas version).
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« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2022, 08:34:47 PM »

I've been meaning to mention that Billy made some good points about this track. I mean, I still don't really particularly think the song is that great (it's probably one my least favorite of all of Brian's solo XMas tracks), and my first impulse was to question why this was the song they picked to do the contest (even if they weren't going to just be obvious and pick like "Little Saint Nick" or something, I would have thought initially that even something like "Christmasey" or "What I Really Want for Christmas" would work a little better), but Billy is right that the actual lead vocal is weirdly not nearly as simple as a cursory listen might suggest.

The way Brian wrote and sang melodies in this era was pretty interesting, where he was writing to his own voice. He obviously had limits to his vocal range even 20+ years ago, but counterintuitively on a song like this, it does indeed make it surprisingly more challenging for other vocalists to try to re-create.

Listening to this song and other stuff from the early solo Brian era also reminds me that I wish Al had been working with Brian back then, as I think a lot of the stuff would have sounded good with Al leads.

I still do wonder if at least Ron Altbach should have maybe gotten a co-writing credit on this one, assuming he helped with the music on "Bells of Christmas/Belles of Paris" (and assuming Mike was only a lyricist, and Al as well as his name is only on the Xmas version).

I'd imagine they chose it because they can say "Written & Produced by Brian Wilson" , though you make a good point about Ron Altbach. It also gave them a new angle to promote the sessions video again.
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« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2022, 09:37:13 AM »

Did they ever announce who won?

I think they announce the 3 winners on January 6.

Cool.  I just hope one of the winners sang the song with a death metal vocal.  🤣
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« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2022, 11:26:10 AM »

Mark McGrath would suffice.
Imagine him shouting "Christmas! Christmas!" at random intervals.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2022, 11:30:00 AM by Zenobi » Logged
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