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Author Topic: The Beach Boys '74-'76  (Read 13283 times)
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« on: February 23, 2006, 06:06:24 AM »

Why didn't they release any new material between "Child of winter" and 15 BO ? Why is there no album? With "Surf's Up" and "Holland" they had quite commercial succes (I think "SU" was in the 20s and "Holland" in the 30s of the album-charts), they were voted Band of the year by RS in '74 and Endless Summer was a No. 1-smash. They had all great publicity to have success with a new album. So why didn't they do it? There was enough material and I can' believe that it's only a matter if Brian's name was on it. "SU" and "Holland" were also produced by the BBs and not Brian. What kind of intern fightings were there in '74 e.g.? There must be a good one, I won't believe that even the Beach Boys would not release an album for such silly reasons....
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2006, 06:24:53 AM »

Ah, but there's the rub -- with Endless Bummer doing so well, touring became extremely lucrative.  Why work on new material that is iffy when you can tour like mad and rake in the bucks?  The success of Endless Bummer killed the artistic drive of the band and it was label pressure to get a new album out at last. 

And yes, there was internal strife as well -- Carl and Dennis wanted to stay progressive, Mike and Al wanted material to please the hits crowd, and there came to be a stalemate.  This was seen by the aborted Caribou sessions in 1975 which only yielded Good Timin and that not for 4 years after. 
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2006, 07:00:03 AM »

Yeah I knew about Al & Mike wanting the "oldies"-stuff (and thus killing the Beach Boys as a real progressive band), but at that point I think the "progressive" ones were dominating the group, weren't they? I mean you have Carl, Dennis, Blondie (or Ricky, dunno, who left earlier) and probably Brian who always said that the oldies-thing is freaky.
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2006, 07:05:51 AM »

Blondie left after December 1973 after a falling out with people in the Love/Jardine axis.  Hazy details but it doesn't sound good.

Ricky stayed on until Nov/Dec 1974.  He left because he was bored.  Too much touring, no recording. 

So basically you had Al and Mike versus Carl and Dennis, with Brian in bed, and you have the constant pressure of suddenly huge audiences who have never heard Holland and don't like that material; they came to hear Endless Bummer live.  That last point shifted the scales to the TM axis decisively, as all of them liked and needed money.
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2006, 07:10:54 AM »

So the only time where a new album had really chances was in '74 when Ricky was still with them and they had a little overhand(as long as Ricky had the same rights as every Beach Boy)? That makes me hate "Endless Summer" ! I guess that's the reason Mike is still doing that stuff, am I right?
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2006, 08:00:06 AM »

However, Brian was all about the oldies. He only felt comfortable producing oldies covers, right? It happened with 15 Big Ones, and it started to happen with Keepin' the Summer Alive, as I recall reading.
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2006, 08:22:32 AM »

I thought the oldies were just for him to "rehearse" so that he could do some new material and felt comfortable in the studio again. Only did he say "That's enough" and didn't do anymore on the album....
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2006, 08:33:18 AM »

That was the idea, but apparently that's all he wanted to do. The thing I've noticed with Brian is how he loves covers and seems more confident to do them, even in the 60s (witness Sloop John B., Do You Wanna Dance, and I'm So Young). I guess it's easier to follow someone's blueprints and improve on them than to start from scratch, too.
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2006, 08:46:19 AM »

That was the idea, but apparently that's all he wanted to do. The thing I've noticed with Brian is how he loves covers and seems more confident to do them, even in the 60s (witness Sloop John B., Do You Wanna Dance, and I'm So Young). I guess it's easier to follow someone's blueprints and improve on them than to start from scratch, too.
Pretty easy to screw up, too. Compare It's Okay and Had To Phone Ya to Blueberry Hill and Rock and Roll Music. Yikes.
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2006, 08:51:13 AM »

There may have been no album in 1974-75, but man there were a lot of recordings. Much of what's come out has been fragmentary, and most has just plain sucked. This same era spawned The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2006, 09:26:41 AM »

However, Brian was all about the oldies. He only felt comfortable producing oldies covers, right? It happened with 15 Big Ones, and it started to happen with Keepin' the Summer Alive, as I recall reading.


Wasn't it therapeutic for him?

I may be wrong, because I can't be arsed to go and check, but doesn't Carlin state in the thread about his new book that 73 was where it all started to go wrong.  I think he refers to this period as BW's lost years, following the death of his father... Okay, I've found it: "I think those "lost years" were really about the death of Murry. And Dennis's life took a turn in mid-73 too, and not for the better. His ex-wife Barbara identifies that as the point where a cloud came over him. You could see it in Brian too: he put on a ton of weight, his personal habits got out of whack. And he didn't regain his balance 'til the next Murry -- E. Landy -- appeared." So, effectively, we have BW and DW trying to deal with personal issues and, presumably, using drink and drugs as an escape (and, maybe in DW's case, retreating into his own music) and we have Al going along with Mike for more summer fun... and the development of the band from 66-to Holland goes out the window...
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2006, 09:30:29 AM »

Oh, there were definite attempts in 1975 to make an album.  Sessions were held in Caribou Studios, in Colorado, to attempt to come up with something.  River Song was worked on there, as were Good Timin and Battle Hymn among others.  Check out AGD's timeline for unreleased albums online for the details.

http://www.btinternet.com/~bellagio/unreleased.html
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2006, 09:38:12 AM »

I doubt an axis every existed, especially along oldies/newies lines; maybe at some point who shared differing opinions about let's not ruin our lives and careers with drugs and public intoxication.  If there had also been demand for their new stuff, they would have released it in addition to ES, wouldn't you think, but......

As it was, weren't all the Boys [as in no axis] complaining during concert about all the demand for them to do the oldies?
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2006, 02:16:58 PM »

Quote
I doubt an axis every existed, especially along oldies/newies lines; maybe at some point who shared differing opinions about let's not ruin our lives and careers with drugs and public intoxication.
 

Cam, go back and re-read the Tim White article with Carl and Dennis from '76. (reprinted in BACK TO THE BEACH). I don't know what picture you get, but I see a picture of two guys who are pissed with the recent direction of the band - both with the abandonment of the progressive direction and with the insistance that Brian be put back in charge.  The latter arguments came later when the chemical abuse by the Wilsons got out of hand. .

Quote
If there had also been demand for their new stuff, they would have released it in addition to ES, wouldn't you think, but......

They didn't have enough quality material during those years, and if certain members did, they more than likely kept the material for themselves (i.e. Dennis) I've never heard of Dennis offering anything else from POB to the BB (other than River Song).

Quote
As it was, weren't all the Boys [as in no axis] complaining during concert about all the demand for them to do the oldies?

Well, there's that  boot of that  LA Light Album tour show where Mike bitches the audience out.....  but listening to Mike's original material from the period and it's obvious that he liked the old formula.
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2006, 06:52:25 PM »

But there was so much stuff in the vault already! Hell, they later put Good Time and When Girls Get together on albums, in pretty much the same state as they were already; why not put them on what became 15 Big Ones, rather than a few years later when they sounded even more dated?!

And hell, the cover of "You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling" and what was finished of "Sherry She Needs Me" was better than ANYTHING that DID get released on it.
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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2006, 02:14:28 AM »

I see everybody down with Brian's idea to do an oldie album and a new album.  I see a couple of guys getting pissy because Brian decided to combine the oldies and new and a couple of other guys giving in to Brian's wishes after they all, I understand, second guessed Brian with remixes.  An album of new quickly followed with everybody on board as far as I know, so I don't see why this era keeps getting held up as showing some sort of oldies/new axis within the group.  Brian apparently was very down with ES and oldies comps and what they were doing for the group and turned it to their advantage; their audience preferred the oldies and continued to ignore their new stuff.  The emphasis of old over new is from the public and not the group in my eyes, the new whithered because people didn't want it and not because the group didn't put it out.
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2006, 04:08:37 AM »

On another point, I wonder why there are no Dennis or Carl songs on 15 Big Ones, while Mike and Alan both contribute (and of course Brian)
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2006, 05:22:18 AM »

Good point, another reason there must not have been an oldie/new axis since the only ones contributing new music to BBs' albums in that period was the supposed "oldie" axis [Brian/Mike/Al] it appears to me.
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2006, 06:39:46 AM »

Except that the "new" music was either old stuff (Al's song) or else was a contrived attempt to re-live the oldies style ("It's OK", "Everyone's In Love With You").  Carl and Dennis both had material available but it was not on the album.  Based upon their panning of their own album in Newsweek that year, I would guess that they had lost control of the band's direction.  Dennis said it was a mistake having Brian put in charge and that the album had no connection with where he was artistically.

There definitely was an axis in 1976.  The only question was how far back it was before it formed.

Other evidence:

-- Carl quit the band over its reliance on oldies in 1981.
-- Dennis made a whole solo album of progressive material that could have been offered to the band.
-- Dennis would not even participate in the MIU sessions, and Carl only provided a few vocals here and there.

It is very optimistic to think that Dennis and Carl fully supported the oldies turn.  It is also fairly romantic to think that Mike Love fully supported the progressive direction in the early 70's, taken in large part only to try to connect with a hip audience.  Once a guaranteed audience was there, Mike never once showed any interest in the progressive music.

Also, you gotta take into account Jack Reiley, who was behind much of the progressive music on Holland and Surf's Up.  He left in 1973, and so took a source of lyrics that the band could not replace.
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2006, 06:53:52 AM »

Except that the "new" music was either old stuff (Al's song) or else was a contrived attempt to re-live the oldies style ("It's OK", "Everyone's In Love With You").  Carl and Dennis both had material available but it was not on the album.  Based upon their panning of their own album in Newsweek that year, I would guess that they had lost control of the band's direction.  Dennis said it was a mistake having Brian put in charge and that the album had no connection with where he was artistically.


Yeah, Dennis had "Rainbows" written for the Beach Boys I believe. Also 10,000 years ago (with Mike, no it waits to be released on "Mike Love, not war"). So there's been stuff. But I wonder why Dennis and Carl didn't let their stuff on the album. I mean with more songs by them, it could have been a real album instead of all the covers. Didn't they want that Brian produced their tracks and maybe "destroy" them? Jeff, you mentioned that Dennis said it was a mistake to give Brian total control (and that's saying something, when Dennis tells this!), so I guess it might've turned into that direction....
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2006, 08:33:09 AM »

Cam, good to see you posting here.  We want you on that wall!
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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2006, 08:39:23 AM »

I don't know if the "Caribou Album" wasn't finished because of band turmoil, I place my bet in unfocused efforts and substance abuse problems.

I think in 1974 and 1975/76 we have a situation where Mike definetly wants an album produced by Brian Wilson. Why would he add a vocal to "Battle Hymn of the Republic" if not to keep Brian motivated to contribute more? Why would he vote to have that mess known as "15 Big Ones" released if not to keep Brian active and maybe in the next one he will be back in better shape?

Well, all you "Love You" lovers, it worked. Brian may have not finished the production of "Love You", but it IS a Brian Wilson album. Would I trade it for a better follow-up to Holland? Hell yeah.

I agree with Cam. Live there could be a struggle between the oldies and newer tracks in the set-list, but in the studio it was a different situation.
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« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2006, 08:48:20 AM »



I think in 1974 and 1975/76 we have a situation where Mike definetly wants an album produced by Brian Wilson. Why would he add a vocal to "Battle Hymn of the Republic" if not to keep Brian motivated to contribute more? Why would he vote to have that mess known as "15 Big Ones" released if not to keep Brian active and maybe in the next one he will be back in better shape?

Well, all you "Love You" lovers, it worked. Brian may have not finished the production of "Love You", but it IS a Brian Wilson album. Would I trade it for a better follow-up to Holland? Hell yeah.


Well, yeah, but from what I've heard Mike didn't stand behind "Love you" and didn't like it. I believe he was quoted as saying that it's just a collection of demos or something. Dunno ho much truth lies in there, though...
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2006, 09:15:42 AM »

Please give me evidence that Carl and Dennis were supportive of the new direction in the studio.  Keep in mind that Carl and Dennis were VERY open about their distaste.  Also keep in mind that Carl and Dennis had never bad-mouthed the band's direction to that degree before.  Keep in mind that after 15BO Dennis started his solo album chock full of material that was already written in time for an album in the time frame we are talking here and that he refused to have anything to do with MIU and disowned that album.  Plus the two near breakups, one in 1977 and one in 1978, one of which ended in Carl getting punched by people from the Love camp.  Granted that drugs were involved there, but this type of split doesn't happen overnight.  Carl and Dennis don't just start criticizing their brother's work to the press.  SOMETHING had to be at work at the core of the band's fiber, and every book on the band I know of that looks at that sees that tension.  Reviewers and interviewers saw it by 1976.  All was not well.  Somewhere I recently read that the band was taking separate cars and entering the stage from separate sides as early as 1971! 
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« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2006, 10:32:56 AM »

Well, yeah, but from what I've heard Mike didn't stand behind "Love you" and didn't like it. I believe he was quoted as saying that it's just a collection of demos or something. Dunno ho much truth lies in there, though...
I have the opposite impression. Isn't Mike usually blamed for the "Brian#s Back" campaign? And now he is blamed for not supporting him enough during this comeback? You can't have it both ways.

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