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Poll
Question: Which version do you prefer?
Surf's Up album version - 34 (43%)
demo from the GV Box Set - 16 (20.3%)
Inside Pop performance - 5 (6.3%)
Surf's Up backing track only - 4 (5.1%)
BWPS album version - 4 (5.1%)
Other (please specify) - 16 (20.3%)
Total Voters: 76

Pages: [1] 2 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Favourite version of Surf's Up?  (Read 7247 times)
mikeyj
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« on: August 30, 2008, 11:42:30 PM »

Let's just keep it to official releases meaning no Anne Wallace version etc..
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Magic Transistor Radio
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2008, 12:00:06 AM »

It is argueable that the SU album version is one of the best tracks the BBs ever put down.
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2008, 01:08:18 AM »

Definitely the SU version, though all of them are great. The Box Set Demo has a few small moments where I think Brian's a little off. The SU version is total brilliance all the way, especially the tag.

I give points to the whole middle section of BWPS and I like that version of Surf's Up too, but the crisper, smoother(vocal wise) 1971 version can't be beat.
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2008, 03:09:33 AM »

My vote went to the GV boxset demo.
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Chris Brown
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2008, 12:30:09 PM »

My vote went to the GV boxset demo.

Mine too, although it was a tough call between that and the Inside Pop performance.  Something about Brian's voice with just a piano makes it a surreal experience for me. 

I like the "Surf's Up" version, but I've always thought that Brian should be the one to sing that song, nobody else.  I love Carl's voice generally, but it just doesn't work for me on that one, although I do love the tag.

The BWPS version has its good and bad points, but I just can't get past Brian shouting the "glass was raised" section.  He actually sounds pretty good otherwise, but his singing there just ruins it for me. 

My ideal version would have Brian singing througout, the orchestration of the Surf's Up/BWPS versions (especially the strings during Part 2 on BWPS), the harmonies of the BWPS version during the verses and the tag of the Surf's Up version.  Don't know how easy that would be, but I'd kill to hear it.
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2008, 02:47:03 PM »

It is argueable that the SU album version is one of the best tracks the BBs ever put down.

I wouldn't argue with that. It's simply the best piece of music I've come across by anyone.  I think the first time I ever heard it was when David "Kid" Jenson bowed out of his Radio 1 show many years ago. It was the last song he played, as a self-indulgence, and when I heard that track, by my favourite group, I knew that I was into something very, very special. I've heard two or three cover versions, and they don't come close to capturing the special atmosphere of that track.

Carl's voice was the finest instrument that Brian ever worked with; the tag is incredible (BWPS cannot recreate it no matter how be BW Band tries).  The moment the song goes into "Dove nested towers..." there's that sound behind "Dove.." that I call the breath... It's as special as that "Aaaah" moment in Good Vibes, only more so (I hope you know what I mean!).

I don't know where, but Surf's Up takes me there.
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2008, 04:02:04 PM »

The backing track...I really don't like Carl's vocal on that. Too bad Brian's voice was sh*t at the time.
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Alex
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2008, 07:43:59 PM »

Purple Chick's mix
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2008, 08:11:46 PM »

The backing track...I really don't like Carl's vocal on that. Too bad Brian's voice was poopy at the time.

That and too bad the technology of the day couldn't synch the demo version with the backing track.
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2008, 08:29:37 PM »

Carl's voice was the finest instrument that Brian ever worked with; the tag is incredible (BWPS cannot recreate it no matter how be BW Band tries).  The moment the song goes into "Dove nested towers..." there's that sound behind "Dove.." that I call the breath... It's as special as that "Aaaah" moment in Good Vibes, only more so (I hope you know what I mean!).

I LOVE that vocal.  Not many people mention that breathy section and I've always been fascinated by it, turning the volume way up just to hear more!  +1 for you Wee Helper!

Geoff
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2008, 09:09:27 PM »

I just wish Carl was alive in 2004, so he could've sang on BWPS.
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2008, 09:10:54 PM »

Purple Chick's mix

The thread starter said it had to be an official release. No boots.
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2008, 03:27:25 AM »

I don't like the 1971 version at all, except for the tag which is great. I don't like the added organ and car keys, Carl's voice with not enough grief in it, the too sparse 2nd movement compared to the 1st, the total absence of strings. The totally stripped 1966 demo (GV box set) has way more feeling than that, even if it's not a complete production. Of all the released versions I have a soft spot for the live tribute DVD version. The mixed vocals show some more of the song's potential, and the line "a children's song" there is my favorite SU moment ever.

My favorite unofficial version is a live BB performance with a string orchestra that alledgedly dates back in the 70s, with a lush string arrangement. Unfortunately, I only have a extremely bad quality mp3 of it.

Hey, this afternoon I'm going to pick up TLOS on vinyl, I saw it in a store on Saturday night...
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2008, 05:33:27 AM »

I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version...
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2008, 06:55:45 AM »

I'll always prefer the '71 version. Although I do like the first movement on BWPS, I just don't enjoy the strings on movement 2 or Brian's vocals. (I may be in the minority there, i know). 
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John Manning
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« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2008, 07:27:17 AM »

I just wish Carl was alive in 2004, so he could've sang on BWPS.

If Carl was alive in 2004 (and even now) I hope there'd have been more NEW material worked instead of rehashing old stuff. That, or have him as a guiding hand to assist Brian putting together a 66/67 SMiLE sessions box. Carl put great finishing touches to Brian's work that stands as fine work in its own right. Surf's Up being a case in point.

And wouldn't it have been great to have Carl and Brian working together, each working to their own strengths, away from the political, oppressive atmosphere that was the Beach Boys?

Ah we can wish!!!
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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2008, 07:35:44 AM »

I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version...

Well said.

Those newbies among us should also bear in mind that, until the box set came out, unless you'd heard the documentary version in the mid 60s, the 1971 version was all the only one there was to listen to.  It hinted at the majesty that SMiLE could have been. Just as Brian's solo version on the Bernstein doc only hinted at the majesty of the fully realised version.

I don't like the added organ and car keys, Carl's voice with not enough grief in it...

The car keys AWS part of the original arrangement - listen to the sessions. And BW's music, to my ears, has never needed an expressive voice to put across the intended emotion, which is actually expressed by the melody and the arrangement, and of course the production.

Carl nailed that vocal. Immaculate.
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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2008, 08:39:28 AM »

I quite like the 7-minute version from 1967 that I found on an old acetate - it's in a box in the garage somewhere.
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2008, 08:50:05 AM »

I quite like the 7-minute version from 1967 that I found on an old acetate - it's in a box in the garage somewhere.

Woah, 7 minute version? Does it have the backing track as an intro or is there more?
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« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2008, 08:52:39 AM »

I quite like the 7-minute version from 1967 that I found on an old acetate - it's in a box in the garage somewhere.

Aha! You are Bruce Johnston and I claim my $5!
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« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2008, 01:43:55 PM »

I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version...

Maybe not a lot better, but I would have loved to hear a fully orchestrated 2nd movement and a Brian lead vocal throughout.
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« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2008, 02:01:38 PM »

I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version...

The 1971 one version is too much of a patchwork. I can't stand it when it suddenly shifts into the demo for the second section.
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« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2008, 02:50:31 PM »

Ah but my earlier point stands, I suspect. Until the box set, or maybe the bootlegs, how many of us knew about the segue into the demo/Bernstein version? Until that time, to my mind, it was a complete work, and still stands  as such.
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« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2008, 03:01:27 PM »

I don't know, the sound quality seems to take a dive in the second movement, and also the sparseness of it is ill-fitting.
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« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2008, 04:03:37 PM »

I don't see how a finished 1967 version could've been much better than the 1971 version...

Maybe not a lot better, but I would have loved to hear a fully orchestrated 2nd movement and a Brian lead vocal throughout.

It is confusing when people talk about movements as there are different understandings as to what is what.

I was so wow'd when I first heard the Smile bootleg mix version; which opens with the 1st movement-instrumental movement/backing track and then goes into the 2nd movement-Brian's double tracked vocal mixed over the instrumental backing track (Brian's vocals are supposedly a demo but sounds too good to be, in my opinion).  Since then, professional engineers have taken those two tracks from the GV box set and produced great mixes.  I took one of those mixes and, using Peak Pro, edited on the 1971 3rd movement-'CITFTM' vocal section that Brian had never gotten around to doing.  The whole track together is stunning!

That is my 'Ultimate Version' and now the only one I play.  I think Brian hit a double on BWPS by eliminating the First Movement-Instrumental backing tracking to start the song.
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