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Author Topic: Feel Flows box set  (Read 675327 times)
Pablo.
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« Reply #4250 on: November 17, 2021, 02:09:29 PM »

Mojo reissue of the year:

THE BEACH BOYS
Feel Flows:
The Sunflower &
Surf’s Up Sessions
1969-1971 (CAPITOL/UMC)


A treasure chest from the
post-Smile shipwreck of
Hawthorne’s finest thrilled
us in 2021. AL JARDINE
and BRUCE JOHNSTON
receive MOJO’s laurels
from BILL DeMAIN.
EVEN HARDCORE Beach Boys fans
well-versed in the bounty to be found in
the years of Brian Wilson’s evanescence
were enthralled by the five discs of Feel
Flows. But as a gratified Bruce Johnston
and Al Jardine remind MOJO today, the period
was anything but plain sailing for the band.
“We were just out of sync with the times,” says
Jardine. “To put it in surfing terms, sometimes you
catch the perfect wave and take it as far as you can
go. Other times, you know you’re going to get wiped
out. So you go under and start all over again.”
In late 1969, waves had submerged The Beach
Boys’ boardwalk empire. No hits, no record deal,
and with Brian sidelined, no creative leader. Yet
they emerged from the fathoms not just with
trinkets and curios, but awe-inspiring treasures
worthy of Pet Sounds and Smile.
“When the famous surfer
blond bushy-tailed guys fell out
of favour, we grew up,” says
Bruce Johnston. “And that
period from ’69-71 was the
highlight of my whole Beach
Boy life.”
Part of growing up was
balancing fun, fun, fun with
work, work, work.
“Every day, we were like
journeyman carpenters,” says
Jardine. “We’d go in the studio
and record. It didn’t matter if it
was something esoteric and
weird. We regenerated,
reinvented. The performance
band was still in bondage to
doing the hits, but in the studio,
we were creating music for a
future. We just didn’t know the
future would take quite this
long to happen (laughs).”
With Brian “reclusing in his
room”, as Johnston puts it, Carl
Wilson stepped up as unofficial
leader. “No one can fill Brian’s
shoes. But Carl was able to
manage some good traffic at
that point. And Feel Flows is up
there with The Trader as one of his shining moments
as a writer.”
Meanwhile, Jardine raves about Dennis Wilson’s
contributions, notably Forever and Sound Of Free.
“Unfortunately, he had to compete with his brothers
for track selection. But his songs were just, wow,
right there, the way they hit you. He should’ve had
more success than he did.”

That’s not to take anything away from their own
songs. Jardine’s eco-conscious meditation Don’t Go
Near The Water was prescient. “I thought maybe
I should write about something more than just
staying on top of the water riding the waves and
instead look at what’s underneath.”
Meanwhile, Johnston’s dewy memory lane waltz
Disney Girls revealed him as a keen acolyte of Brian’s
orchestral pop. Of its inspiration, Johnston says,
“Remember Marilyn on The Munsters? The nice,
normal one. I was Mr Marilyn (laughs). I never did any
drugs. I saw them undo Brian and some of my
friends and thought, Oh my God. As a teenager
in the Eisenhower ’50s I was the same kind of
square guy, holding my girlfriend’s hand in the
backseat of her parents’ car while Old Cape Cod
by Patti Page played.”
Those songs and more are
currently shoring up the setlists
of two separate road bands.
But how is touring against a
lingering Covid backdrop?
Johnston and Jardine’s
responses reveal not only
political leanings but ongoing
friction. “A lot of warm bodies in
those seats, dying to get out of
the house,” says Johnston, who
with Mike Love – and Love’s son
Christian – leads The Beach
Boys. “We probably lost about
four or five concerts. And I’m
still living.”
Jardine, who’s out with Brian
Wilson and Blondie Chaplin, says,
“It’s crappy. The demographic
of our band and bands like the
Stones are down about 50 per
cent, because they don’t want
to come out and get exposed. It
would be better in this day and
age if we could all be together on
the same stage at the same time.”
And with The Beach Boys’ 60th
anniversary coming in 2022,
could that reunion perhaps
happen? Jardine: “Brian’s people
want it. I want it. I’m sure Bruce
does. So it’s really up to Mike,
if he wants to join the party or not.” Johnston says,
“I asked Mike about it and he said, ‘Maybe we’ll do
a concert or two together. Who knows?’”
“I think he’ll come around at some point,”
Jardine says. “We should do at least a dozen big
shows in the major capitals. I mean, why can’t we
put the fans ahead of us for a change and give them
what they want?”

BRIAN SPEAKS!
Or rather, e-mails MOJO
about his most celebrated
songs on Feel Flows.
’Til I Die: “It’s what I was feeling
in my soul and my heart at that
time. And my love for life at the
same time.”
Surf’s Up: “Really complex
lyrics and the melody was such
a beautiful feeling for me
when I finished it.”
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mrski
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« Reply #4251 on: November 22, 2021, 11:43:51 AM »

Can anyone give me a hint on how to post a picture...?! Hope this does it...!!!

Anyone notice anything wrong here?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2021, 12:10:28 PM by mrski » Logged
Rob Dean
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« Reply #4252 on: November 22, 2021, 12:15:50 PM »

You are certainly not alone, a good number of people (me included) have found the inners of the booklet to be upside down - Quality Control HuhHuh?
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Emdeeh
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« Reply #4253 on: November 22, 2021, 02:42:18 PM »

Is it the entire book inners that are upside down or just some pages?
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mrski
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« Reply #4254 on: November 24, 2021, 12:49:21 PM »

Is it the entire book inners that are upside down or just some pages?


The entire book inners are upside down, CDs are the right way up...  Undecided
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phirnis
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« Reply #4255 on: January 19, 2022, 04:40:47 AM »

Brian made an awful lot of music during those sessions for someone "reclusing in his room". But I get it, hewasn't the leader he had been before, that's certainly true. Anyway, this was a nice read.
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« Reply #4256 on: February 11, 2022, 03:15:49 PM »

Yeah that chestnut was put to rest a while ago. Brian was not totally in control but he was still a part of the team up to 1972 and everyone still wanted his input. The flame still burned but I think he was a bit lost without that control and leadership
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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #4257 on: June 23, 2022, 07:22:02 AM »

Unless we're talking about a certain 7 minute plus song.  Shocked (no tongue in cheek emoji I can see, so I've chosen a random one)

Jack and Carl decided Surf's Up needed to be on the album and to be the closer, and wanted to give the impression that Brian was more involved with the album than he was.  It appears this was felt to be what was needed to enhance the commerciality of the project.  I don't think Jack had a problem with Dennis' songs (he wrote the lyrics to 4th of July) and from everything he's said since he would much rather have jettisoned Al's songs or Mike's SDT than Dennis' songs, if he had a choice.  Dennis wanted more of a say and Carl and Jack had their own ideas of the track order.  Really it was kind of petty for Dennis to pull his songs, but there was definitely a power struggle between Carl and Dennis, and Carl won.

COMMENT to Bicyclerider:  From where I was sitting as all this swirled around me . . . As I recall:  (1) the song, Surf's Up's inclusion in the album was a directive issued by  Warners' Mo Ostin., not Jack nor Carl. (2) It was Dennis who insisted that other band member's songs be included in SU since SF was dominated by Dennis' efforts. There is only so much room on an LP and Dennis wished other band members fill the vinyl with their creations for this second album produced by The Beach Boys, not Brian. There was no power struggle between anyone. There was discussion, yes, but a power struggle? No. The understood and agreed upon pecking order was:  Record Company, Carl, everyone else. ~SWD

« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 10:34:08 AM by Stephen W. Desper » Logged
Bicyclerider
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« Reply #4258 on: July 11, 2022, 10:35:05 AM »

Interesting you mention Mo Ostin.  Van Dyke Parks, who worked for WB at the time, was quoted as saying something along the lines of "If they include Surf's Up the next album will be a hit" in the 2 part Rolling Stone article that came out at the time (and fueled many a fan's interest in the Smile tapes, me among them).  So it seems likely Van Dyke was in Mo's ear about the song and that's how he came to request/demand the song be included.

So as far as you remember Stephen there's no truth to the story that Dennis wanted "Wouldn't It Be Nice to Live Again" to follow Til I Die as the final track on the album?
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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #4259 on: July 12, 2022, 06:07:58 PM »

Interesting you mention Mo Ostin.  Van Dyke Parks, who worked for WB at the time, was quoted as saying something along the lines of "If they include Surf's Up the next album will be a hit" in the 2 part Rolling Stone article that came out at the time (and fueled many a fan's interest in the Smile tapes, me among them).  So it seems likely Van Dyke was in Mo's ear about the song and that's how he came to request/demand the song be included.

So as far as you remember Stephen there's no truth to the story that Dennis wanted Wouldn't It Be Nice to Live Again to follow Til I Die as the final track on the album?
COMMENT to Bicyclerider:  VDP may have been a nudging Mo; can only speculate. I will tell you that it did not take Mo's suggestion for SU to be part of SU, but nevertheless, his endorsement, encouragement, and wishes cannot be overlooked. It is, after all, the title of the album. Reality Check -- at this time, the BB organization was broke. That includes everyone's benefits or salary and living expenses, so things continued via anticipated royalty payments being fronted by Warners. So even a hint from THE MAN MO carried much weight.  
As to your second question:  'live again was not finished or even close to being finished when the lineup question arose, if it ever did.  Such decisions were left to Carl. Dennis was, at this time, spending most of his time on his boat. If anyone was pressing Carl about song lineups, it would have been Jack R. But then, Jack and Carl were not be best of buddies.
I watched over time as Carl would be approach by many of the players with suggestions about the album lineup. He would respectfully listen, nod his head as if understanding, make a note ----- and then do whatever he damn well wanted to do.
And so you know . . .  when you say, "album lineup" it is not just a list of songs, written on a napkin or computer file, there is more to it. First a list is suggested. But to really understand (hear) how each song will play into the next you must listen, not in your head, but in reality. That means the list has to be assembled (edited together) into an actual playable collection of songs. Usually previewed by listening for a few days to a cassette containing the assembled playlist. I assembled several of these for Carl for SU, each list was quite different, as he evaluated the feel of the overall album as well as how each song segues into the next.
I should point out that on an LP there is only room for X number of songs. Usually about 10 or 12 songs . . . divided by six song writers' royalties, means that income for each group member will come from two songs. This is not all their income, but a substantial boost to the general income of each band member. So not only is the musical quality considered, but other factors must be included in this process -- including income from royalties. In other words, Carl had to make song decisions that were not only affecting how the album "played," but how the income from that album "played" income-distribution wise, as well.
As I have pointed out before, the producer of SF & SU was not Brian Wilson, it was a group effort PRODUCED BY THE BEACH BOYS, with equal production rights (read income) going to Brian, Carl, Dennis, Alan & Michael; Bruce was salaried but retained writer's royalties.
A track list with PRODUCED BY BRIAN WILSON would not take into consideration anyone's income. Everyone's income remained the same no matter the play order. The majority of writer's royalties went to Brian. But with individual writers and director/producers, calculating income has changed. Enter stage center -- Beach Boy Politics. Follow the money.
Using this viewpoint, Sunflower was Dennis heavy. Dennis felt he had rescued the group from financial disaster by having songs ready for inclusion onto an album before the other group producers were ready. But the fact remains, the record company was demanding a product, now! At that point you give over what you have ready and hope it is accepted. ...You know the history.
Dennis and I had many dinners together and spoke about many things. Among his feelings Dennis expressed how he felt it time for him to step aside and let the other producers have their vinyl real estate. This is good politics. Dennis was being fair. Fate had handed him a good hand, so now the karma must be returned. Dennis was big on karma. And besides that, he wanted to be apart, and to write. Internally Dennis was yielding to the inner call of harmony and song writing. No longer was that calling satisfied by drumming or even singing. It had to be more creative, coming, not from another author, but from his conception. Something from nothing. Notes evoking emotion from blank paper. So off he went, not with drumsticks, but with pen in hand.
 
I hope this lends a little perspective to the history.
~Stephen W. Desper
« Last Edit: July 13, 2022, 05:52:33 AM by Stephen W. Desper » Logged
Mitchell
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« Reply #4260 on: July 16, 2022, 09:04:57 PM »

Thank you (as always) for sharing your perspective and insights. I think what you said about Dennis captures what we got to hear on Feel Flows.
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« Reply #4261 on: July 20, 2022, 09:54:24 AM »

Good to see you, Stephen! I just had to think about you, 'cause "my" soccer team just lost against Kaiserslautern on the Betzenberg. If I remember correctly you mentioned that you was stationed around there.

I've nothing to add on-topic wise. Probably I mentioned it before, but this era of work ("Sunflower"/"Surf's Up" a.s.o.) feels so exciting and creative. To experience it in real time must've been something. And it's great to learn new things about the band's inner workings.
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- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #4262 on: July 21, 2022, 07:26:55 AM »

Good to see you, Stephen! I just had to think about you, 'cause "my" soccer team just lost against Kaiserslautern on the Betzenberg. If I remember correctly you mentioned that you was stationed around there.

I've nothing to add on-topic wise. Probably I mentioned it before, but this era of work ("Sunflower"/"Surf's Up" a.s.o.) feels so exciting and creative. To experience it in real time must've been something. And it's great to learn new things about the band's inner workings.

COMMENT to Rocker:  Indeed, Kaiserslautern was my military home for three years. The US Army operates a large film studio complex in that historical town where I was stationed. Thank you for stirring the many fond memories of those times ... traveling around Europe making movies at Uncle Sam's expense.
The band's inner working is a complex, multi-layered, series of interactions that will be over-analyzed and scrutinized by generations yet unborn, and long after the band's existence. Fascinating, for sure.
  ~swd
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« Reply #4263 on: October 18, 2022, 11:31:23 AM »

After seeing how the Feel Flows CD boxes came down in price ($50!) since their release I’m considering waiting a bit with the Sail on Sailor box as well.
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