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Author Topic: Carl & The Passions "So Tough" / Pet Sounds  (Read 15377 times)
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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2010, 06:27:25 AM »

It's an album that I really enjoy listening to in the car, for what reason I'm not quite sure.
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The Heartical Don
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« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2010, 06:48:22 AM »

Another reason to own the vinyl original is this two-fer has the best vinyl mastering of Pet Sounds, better than the hastily-pressed Capitol original, made while the master tape was still fairly young.  (And they still had it!)  As we know the post-2000 vinyls all come from digital copies of one sort or another.  There is something to be said for some of these original (or somewhat original in this case) pressings, which (properly cared for) will always sound closest to what the brand-new masters sounded like.   A true vinylphile can tell when a supposedly "audiophile" LP reissue was made from a digital safety, i.e., the recent Rolling Stones vinyl reissues.

My idea. I have the Pet Sounds version that came with CATP, but without CATP, if you catch my drift. It was released as a single LP, with brown in stead of the familiar green, and capitals in stead of Cooper Black. The sound is quite brilliant, pure punchy mono. I am happy that I played it not that often.
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« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2010, 09:58:16 AM »

Carl and the Passions So Tough was the 2nd album of a two album release of Pet Sounds in '72 and consists of eight tracks. Gone is Bruce Johnston and joined are Ricky Fatarr and Blondie Chaplin. Still So Tough managed to hit #50 in the US and #25 in the UK.

You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone" (Brian Wilson/Jack Rieley) 3:27
Features Carl Wilson on lead vocals
"Here She Comes" (Ricky Fataar/Blondie Chaplin) 5:10
Features Ricky Fataar and Blondie Chaplin on lead vocals
"He Come Down" (Brian Wilson/Al Jardine/Mike Love) 4:41
Features Mike Love, Blondie Chaplin, Al Jardine, and Carl Wilson on lead vocals
"Marcella" (Brian Wilson/Tandyn Almer/Jack Rieley) 3:54
Features Carl Wilson and Mike Love on lead vocals
"Hold On Dear Brother" (Ricky Fataar/Blondie Chaplin) 4:43
Features Blondie Chaplin on lead vocals
"Make It Good" (Dennis Wilson/Daryl Dragon) 2:36
Features Dennis Wilson on lead vocals
"All This Is That" (Alan Jardine/Carl Wilson/Mike Love) 4:00
Features Carl Wilson, Alan Jardine and Mike Love on lead vocals
"Cuddle Up" (Dennis Wilson/Daryl Dragon) 5:30
Features Dennis Wilson on lead vocals

Singles
"You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone" b/w "Cuddle Up" (Brother 1091), 15 May 1972
"Marcella" b/w "Hold On Dear Brother" (Brother 1101), 26 June 1972) US #110
Carl and the Passions "So Tough" is now paired on CD with Holland.

Carl and the Passions "So Tough" (Brother/Reprise 2MS 2083) hit #50 in the US during a 20 week chart stay. It reached #25 in the UK.

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« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2010, 12:37:51 PM »

Well, Bruce isn't in the band picture on the LP, but he's definitely on there. He was a member of the band until April 1972, before which all of the recording had been done.
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« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2010, 05:49:13 PM »

Hearing "Here She Comes" and the unreleased "Hard Time", I'm REALLY starting to wish they kept Blondie and Rikki around longer.  Those are, in my eyes, the best and most hit-worthy songs to come out of the 'Beach Flame' period.

I never thought much of Rikki before learning of his participation in the Beach Boys - he was just "that guy that played Stig in the Rutles."  But he definitely seems to have musical merit.
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« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2010, 07:03:26 PM »

Hard Times is a great, great track. Only problem, of course, was that, essentially, it was recorded WAY late in the Blondie/Ricky tenure in 1973, long after Holland had come out, so it was pretty much destined to remain unreleased unless they remained in the band longer. Apparently, two versions exist - the one that circulates is a Beach Boys version with Dennis, Carl, and Al performing keys and guitars, with Blondie on lead vocal and guitar (also possibly bass) and Ricky on drums. There's also a version supposedly dating from sometime in 1974 that was just a Blondie/Ricky performance with the two of them splitting instrumental duties. This hasn't gone around to the best of my knowledge. It would certainly be fun to hear.
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« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2010, 12:08:40 AM »

... and this song (Hard Times) was also covered by Rare Bird on their 1973 album "Somebody's Watching". A slower version than the Beach Boys/ Fataar-Chaplin version.

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« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2010, 12:18:22 AM »

Sorry, I don't mean to offend, but: I always found Blondie and Rikki 'alien' to the spirit of the Beach Boys. They are good musicians in their own right, for sure; but in the BBs I find them sounding somewhat anonymous.
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« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2010, 04:59:52 AM »

Sorry, I don't mean to offend, but: I always found Blondie and Rikki 'alien' to the spirit of the Beach Boys. They are good musicians in their own right, for sure; but in the BBs I find them sounding somewhat anonymous.

I agree.  IMHO "Here She Comes" and "Hold On Dear Brother" don't sound like Beach Boys songs, and they interrupt the flow of CATP with their blandness.  On the other hand, "Leaving This Town" seems to fit on "Holland" because it's a little more interesting melody/chord-wise (although it's somewhat of an Elton John imitation - check out the chord progression and vocal phrasing on the "night is coming round" part).
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« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2010, 05:16:16 AM »

Sorry, I don't mean to offend, but: I always found Blondie and Rikki 'alien' to the spirit of the Beach Boys. They are good musicians in their own right, for sure; but in the BBs I find them sounding somewhat anonymous.

I agree.  IMHO "Here She Comes" and "Hold On Dear Brother" don't sound like Beach Boys songs, and they interrupt the flow of CATP with their blandness.  On the other hand, "Leaving This Town" seems to fit on "Holland" because it's a little more interesting melody/chord-wise (although it's somewhat of an Elton John imitation - check out the chord progression and vocal phrasing on the "night is coming round" part).

Good call. I find these songs a bit 'plodding', compared to the usual vivid Beach Boys style. Even the sad and wistful songs of the BBs 'sparkle' in their own way (see much of Pet Sounds, for instance); and the Fataar/Chaplin songs don't.

But others may see it differently.

The Elton John comparison is well-chosen.
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« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2010, 10:38:57 AM »

They seemed to me be almost a "group within a group".  They would both sing and play quite prominently on the others guys songs but for their own recordings there seemed to be only a bit of Carl singing here and there with the others nowhere in sight.

*Edit*  Mike's bass vocals on the "Leaving This town" fade out
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« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2010, 10:42:57 AM »

I Love Here She Comes - I was just listening today and was thinking how funky it sounds - great drums on that one!
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« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2010, 11:31:07 AM »

I don't mind Hold On Dear Brother at all, the vocals are great 'I want your lo-o-o-ove...'

Aside from their writing ability, I love their vocal contributions anyway.
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« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2010, 01:43:23 PM »

Re Bruce on CATP, it's been established his only appearance is as background vocalist on "Marcella."

Re Blondie and Ricky, I think Carl's idea was to get two really super musicians in the lineup.  And in that regard, they really gave the early '70s band a kick in the ass, though it did wind up marginalizing the other members to varying degrees.  I agree that the originals didn't quite fit.  Ricky did a good job sticking to Dennis' basic style in the studio, and while I'm a big fan of that approach, it might not have been the best thing for those songs.  My biggest problem with a lot of HOLLAND is how dull the rhythm section is.
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« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2010, 02:02:59 PM »

I agree, Adam! And it makes me wonder about the recording process for both CATP and HOLLAND. As far as how developed the songs were when basic tracks were laid down. To my ears, The drums on CATP (especially MARCELLA) sound like they were laid down very early in the process, without much urgency and when Ricky had only a faint idea of what the songs were really all about. Then the other guys come in and pile on all the other insturments, each guy having a better idea of how the songs should sound/feel and giving it a little more, but the dead/plodding/weak drums are still buried under there somewhere and the tracks just don't and won't ever kick! This is a typical problem actually with recording/conceiving songs from the bottom up. However with Hold On Dear Brother and Here She Comes, Blondie and Ricky obviously knew these songs inside and out, therefore the drums kick ass!
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« Reply #40 on: February 18, 2010, 12:28:35 PM »

I agree, and the funny thing is, I'm a big fan of Dennis' "stoopid" studio drumming.  I think there's a difference in approach.  Dennis' pocket is so deep that he can play really simply but it establishes a huge groove that you can layer anything over.  Ricky can do the same thing and it just sounds sterile...I think it may just be the difference between a really good drummer laying down a simple beat and sounding bored and a technically mediocre drummer who's really good on a certain type of feel.  When I want the Dennis sound on my own recordings, I play the drums myself -- I can't find anybody else who can play like that. I think it's hard for someone as good as Ricky Fataar to play a straight 4/4 on a song he doesn't know very well and put that much into it. 

The one exception is "Sail On Sailor".  The groove on that is a monster.
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« Reply #41 on: February 18, 2010, 01:06:48 PM »

That's absolutely right on! All the songs that I know Dennis is playing drums on, just have such feel and groove. And though he usually played simply, (not easy to do, btw) some of his parts are really awesome. I love what he does on Back Home. His fills and build-ups are quite awesome. His intro to In The Still Of The Night is a monster, and check out his pick-ups and transitions on A Casual Look! Pretty cool stuff. Most people would swear it must be Hal Blaine! Him and Ricky playing in unison on It's Ok, with Dennis dropping the beat on the floor tom every other measure while Ricky plays straight, is killer!

I could go on and on!
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« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2010, 02:47:44 AM »

That's absolutely right on! All the songs that I know Dennis is playing drums on, just have such feel and groove. And though he usually played simply, (not easy to do, btw) some of his parts are really awesome. I love what he does on Back Home. His fills and build-ups are quite awesome. His intro to In The Still Of The Night is a monster, and check out his pick-ups and transitions on A Casual Look! Pretty cool stuff. Most people would swear it must be Hal Blaine! Him and Ricky playing in unison on It's Ok, with Dennis dropping the beat on the floor tom every other measure while Ricky plays straight, is killer!

I could go on and on!

I agree. Dennis drummed deceptively simple. I like to compare it to the way Keith Richards plays rhythm guitar. Sounds easy, until you try...
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« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2010, 03:53:35 AM »

Talking about DW's drumming, I know the BB's 1981 Long Beach concert is not among most fans' favorites, but I have to say I've always loved the high-energy drumming on "School Days", which saved an otherwise admittedly luckluster group performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaJJRTbxvOg
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« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2010, 07:30:16 AM »

I always thought Here She Comes sounds like something The Band would have done at that time.

The drums are mixed a bit too prominent for my taste, but they are good drums.

That's caused it was written/produced/probably mixed...by a drummer!  Wink
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« Reply #45 on: February 20, 2010, 08:12:56 AM »

Like Adam, I'm also very intrigued by the keyboard work on "So Tough" (and "Holland" as well)...but until someone listens to the session tapes and tells us, all we can do is guess, right?  We all know AFM contracts aren't definitive, but they can at least give us an idea of who was present at a given session.  Unfortunately, the ones for "Surf's Up" and "Holland" are obviously "forged" (meaning, they were hastily written up at a later date simply so some paperwork could be sumbitted), however the ones for the "So Tough" sessions seem to be more "authentic" (meaning, reliable to historians such as Adam, AGD, Ian, and myself).  So, here are the personel on the AFMs for each of this album's songs:

BEATRICE FROM BALTIMORE (later retitled YOU NEED A MESS OF HELP TO STAND ALONE)
Tandyn Almer
Doug Dillard (banjo player)
Ricky Fataar
Billy Hinsche
Gordon Marron (fiddle player & inventor of the ring modulator)
Brian Wilson
Carl Wilson

HERE SHE COME
Blondie Chaplin
Ricky Fataar
Billy Hinsche
Carl Wilson

HE COME DOWN
Brian Wilson
Blondie Chaplin
Ricky Fataar
Billy Hinsche
Carl Wilson

MARCELLA
Tandyn Almer
Ricky Fataar
Bruce Johnston
Tony Martin, Jr. (steel guitar player)
Brian Wilson
Carl Wilson

HOLD ON DEAR BROTHER
Orville "Red" Rhodes (steel guitar player)
Blondie Chaplin
Ricky Fataar
Carl Wilson

WHAT I FEEL (later retitled MAKE IT GOOD)
Dennis Wilson
Carl Wilson
- plus a later orchestral overdub at Sound City in Sepulveda, led by Darryl Dragon and including Stephens La Fever on electric bass, Frank Capp on tympani, and a host of string players...followed by a later horn overdub session at Sunset Sound

ALL THIS IS THAT
Blondie Chaplin
Ricky Fataar
Carl Wilson

CUDDLE UP
Dennis Wilson
Carl Wilson
- plus a later orchestral overdub at Sound City in Sepulveda, led by Darryl Dragon and including Stephens La Fever on electric bass, Frank Capp on tympani, and a host of string players

NOTE:  according to the contracts, HERE SHE COMES and HE COME DOWN were cut at the same session, as was the case with HOLD ON DEAR BROTHER and ALL THIS IS THAT, but I left Brian Wilson's name off the above credits for HERE SHE COMES and left Red Rhodes' name off the credits for ALL THIS IS THAT, as there is no aural evidence of them on those specific songs.  I also didn't bother naming all the string & horn players, but I certainly COULD if someone really wanted me to...Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: February 20, 2010, 01:07:50 PM »

I always thought Here She Comes sounds like something The Band would have done at that time.

The drums are mixed a bit too prominent for my taste, but they are good drums.

That's caused it was written/produced/probably mixed...by a drummer!  Wink

In my experience...don't let drummers touch the mixing process!  Cheesy
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« Reply #47 on: February 20, 2010, 05:37:39 PM »

Like Adam, I'm also very intrigued by the keyboard work on "So Tough" (and "Holland" as well)...but until someone listens to the session tapes and tells us, all we can do is guess, right?  We all know AFM contracts aren't definitive, but they can at least give us an idea of who was present at a given session.  Unfortunately, the ones for "Surf's Up" and "Holland" are obviously "forged" (meaning, they were hastily written up at a later date simply so some paperwork could be sumbitted), however the ones for the "So Tough" sessions seem to be more "authentic" (meaning, reliable to historians such as Adam, AGD, Ian, and myself).  So, here are the personel on the AFMs for each of this album's songs:

BEATRICE FROM BALTIMORE (later retitled YOU NEED A MESS OF HELP TO STAND ALONE)
Tandyn Almer
Doug Dillard (banjo player)
Ricky Fataar
Billy Hinsche
Gordon Marron (fiddle player & inventor of the ring modulator)
Brian Wilson
Carl Wilson

HERE SHE COME
Blondie Chaplin
Ricky Fataar
Billy Hinsche
Carl Wilson

HE COME DOWN
Brian Wilson
Blondie Chaplin
Ricky Fataar
Billy Hinsche
Carl Wilson

MARCELLA
Tandyn Almer
Ricky Fataar
Bruce Johnston
Tony Martin, Jr. (steel guitar player)
Brian Wilson
Carl Wilson

HOLD ON DEAR BROTHER
Orville "Red" Rhodes (steel guitar player)
Blondie Chaplin
Ricky Fataar
Carl Wilson

WHAT I FEEL (later retitled MAKE IT GOOD)
Dennis Wilson
Carl Wilson
- plus a later orchestral overdub at Sound City in Sepulveda, led by Darryl Dragon and including Stephens La Fever on electric bass, Frank Capp on tympani, and a host of string players...followed by a later horn overdub session at Sunset Sound

ALL THIS IS THAT
Blondie Chaplin
Ricky Fataar
Carl Wilson

CUDDLE UP
Dennis Wilson
Carl Wilson
- plus a later orchestral overdub at Sound City in Sepulveda, led by Darryl Dragon and including Stephens La Fever on electric bass, Frank Capp on tympani, and a host of string players

NOTE:  according to the contracts, HERE SHE COMES and HE COME DOWN were cut at the same session, as was the case with HOLD ON DEAR BROTHER and ALL THIS IS THAT, but I left Brian Wilson's name off the above credits for HERE SHE COMES and left Red Rhodes' name off the credits for ALL THIS IS THAT, as there is no aural evidence of them on those specific songs. 

Thanks for this insightful info. Correct me if I'm wrong but this must be close to the only BB album not to feature Al Jardine in an instrumental role.

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« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2010, 06:51:44 PM »

I don't know how much Al Jardine did instrumentally in the studio after the late '60s.  He's barely on 15 BIG ONES (only "Susie Cincinnati" which is from '69/'70), and he's not on LOVE YOU at all to my knowledge. He plays a lot of bass on M.I.U., but that's the only extensive studio performances by Al that I'm aware of after SURF'S UP.

What else...almost certainly on guitar for "Lady Lynda" and "Santa Ana Winds" but probably nowhere else on LIGHT ALBUM or KTSA.  He's on "California Calling" on BEACH BOYS '85.  On HOLLAND he's probably the lightly phased rhythm guitar that's buried deep in the mix on "California Saga", and I have a feeling it might be him on organ on the unreleased country-ish track whose name I am blanking on right now, and I think there's some banjo on "California Saga," correct?

SURF'S UP is probably the last album besides M.I.U. Al makes a significant instrumental contribution on....he's on "Feet," "Water" and "Lookin' At Tomorrow," and I suppose it's possible (though I have no evidence to that effect) that he's on "Student Demonstration Time" or "Disney Girls."

Earle Mankey told me a story that on one occasion Al brought a song into Brother Studio and played all the instruments on it (Earle didn't sound that impressed, honestly).  He indicated this was an extremely rare event.  That was probably around '77...
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« Reply #49 on: February 20, 2010, 06:53:18 PM »

Re:  LOVE YOU, I suppose Al might be on "Good Time."  Anyone know for sure?
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