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Author Topic: The Beach Boys '74-'76  (Read 13519 times)
Cam Mott
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« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2006, 10:24:58 AM »

Jeff,

I imagine we all are going to have different opinions about what is progressive or not. New music was being released, not much by Carl and Dennis.  I'm not hearing in my head your suggestion that some of these songs are in an "oldies-style", I suppose I ought to actually play them.  On the other hand I remember lots of the music of that period taking a nostalgic feel which was progressive, imo, at the time.  Since I don't see this supposed axis, if there was a sea change in the BBs music I would suppose it to be owned by Brian since he was at the helm and having his way over all the Boys, maybe influenced by the nostalgia trend of the time since he was very much in favor of what ES had done for them.

I'm not one to put any importance in reviews, they are basically one man's opinion and seem to have had not enough impact on the acceptance the albums mentioned, with them being not bought at all or bought even once and never listened to again in multiples of 15BOs.  On the other hand, 15BO was certifiably accepted multiple times more than the other abums mentioned [regardless of how many single listens any of them got].  I'm not a big fan of 15BOs but my opinion is no more important than any music critic's and doesn't change anything and I see it as Brian being right and Carl, Dennis, Mike, Al and maybe Bruce being proven wrong in their supposed qualms about 15BO.  Even if there were an axis, which I don't see, it seems to me to have been Brian on one axis and Carl, Dennis, Mike, Al and maybe Bruce  on the other axis with all of them scooting over to support Brian to varying degrees.

I don't know about Carl and Dennis' motives beyond their professed opinion that they felt they knew better than Brian.  In the end they supported Brian, as did the other Boys.
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« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2006, 10:29:04 AM »

I'm not a big fan of 15BOs but my opinion is no more important than any music critic's and doesn't change anything and I see it as Brian being right and Carl, Dennis, Mike, Al and maybe Bruce being proven wrong in their supposed qualms about 15BO.

I think 15 BO's succes came from the "Brian's back" campaign and the big myth and expectations and not from the album itself. If they had released "Love You" instead, it probably would have sold as well as 15 BO
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« Reply #52 on: February 25, 2006, 10:45:55 AM »

I think 15 BO's succes came from the "Brian's back" campaign and the big myth and expectations and not from the album itself.

While the campaign was one reason, I think there were others as well:

1. The momentum from the releases of Endless Summer and Spirit Of America
2. "Rock And Roll Music" caught on as a hit single
3. Yes, indeed, the "Brian Is Back" campaign brought attention
4. The "old guard" from the 1960's who never left the Beach Boys' fandom
5. 15 Big Ones was a listenable album. While it obviously deserves some of the criticism it
    receives, there are at least 7 songs that are respectable -  It's OK, Had To Phone Ya, That
    Same Song, Palisades Park, Susie Cincinnatti, Back Home, and Just Once In My Life
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« Reply #53 on: February 25, 2006, 12:02:53 PM »

As far as the band was concerned on their position on Dennis' material, they were dumb as foda, man. Dennis had the class material, not even Brian was giving them much class material. I blame Carl mostly for that.

Isn't that a myth?

Friends / 2 Dennis tracks in 12
20/20 / 3 in 12
Sunflower / 4 in 12
Surf's Up / 2 in ? (you know the story)
C&tP / 2 in 8
Holland / 2 in 9

Dennis had a great run between '68 and '73. Take those 15 tracks. Throw away Got to know the Woman and Make It Good, and you have a better album than POB.

Now about the "next album" in '74-'76... It doesn't make much sense that Dennis' tracks were suddenly rejected. I don't know what Stebbins means with "not interested". Maybe Dennis was just tired of the group politics when it was time to assemble an album - that worked against every songwriter in the band, even the "oldies axis" - and decided to move his attention to a solo career. I doubt Dennis couldn't get a track or two in 15 Big Ones if he played the game.
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« Reply #54 on: February 25, 2006, 12:04:46 PM »

I think in 1974 when they were SO pressed for material, they should've overdubbed some existing Dennis recordings and made an album out of them. From 1974 onward, Dennis was the best writer they had.
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« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2006, 12:13:52 PM »


Now about the "next album" in '74-'76... It doesn't make much sense that Dennis' tracks were suddenly rejected. I don't know what Stebbins means with "not interested". Maybe Dennis was just tired of the group politics when it was time to assemble an album - that worked against every songwriter in the band, even the "oldies axis" - and decided to move his attention to a solo career. I doubt Dennis couldn't get a track or two in 15 Big Ones if he played the game.

Dennis knew he had good material, and it was being ushered away in favor of much lesser songs by Michael and Al. I think Carl's tracks are some of the most overrated dirge bearing the Beach Boys' name, and as far as I'm concerned, Dennis could write tunes in his sleep better than Carl could when he was awake.

Dennis was by far the best writer the band had in the 70s and early 80s. As great as Pacific Ocean Blue is, imagine how much better it would have been with the Beach Boys on there. Granted, that's wishful thinking in the extreme, but that could've brought the band some MUCH-needed critical respect in 1977 that they were sorely lacking after 15 Big Ones.
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« Reply #56 on: February 25, 2006, 12:34:28 PM »

Yeah, but a Beach Boys album with a majority of Dennis tracks is just unrealistic. As a Beach Boy, Dennis certainly didn't help himself much. Guercio had a hard time working on POB and its follow-up.
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« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2006, 12:38:53 PM »

By follow-up I assume you mean Bamboo. Bamboo was actually started BEFORE Pacific Ocean Blue was. Pacific Ocean Blue most likely was the situation where Dennis suddenly had a recording contract (in 1975, he was advanced $100,000 by James Guercio) and had to put together 12 songs he had recorded. Much of the music on Pacific Ocean Blue can lay claim to have been recorded as early as 1970 to as recently as 1974-75. What's come out on bootlegs calling itself Bamboo is an amalgam of various 1977-78 tracks not particularly connected to an album project. Someone we know very well leaked them.
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« Reply #58 on: February 25, 2006, 01:00:49 PM »

As far as the band was concerned on their position on Dennis' material, they were dumb as foda, man. Dennis had the class material, not even Brian was giving them much class material. I blame Carl mostly for that.

Isn't that a myth?

Friends / 2 Dennis tracks in 12
20/20 / 3 in 12
Sunflower / 4 in 12
Surf's Up / 2 in ? (you know the story)
C&tP / 2 in 8
Holland / 2 in 9

Dennis had a great run between '68 and '73. Take those 15 tracks. Throw away Got to know the Woman and Make It Good, and you have a better album than POB.

Now about the "next album" in '74-'76... It doesn't make much sense that Dennis' tracks were suddenly rejected. I don't know what Stebbins means with "not interested". Maybe Dennis was just tired of the group politics when it was time to assemble an album - that worked against every songwriter in the band, even the "oldies axis" - and decided to move his attention to a solo career. I doubt Dennis couldn't get a track or two in 15 Big Ones if he played the game.

Dancing Bear, great post. I was also going to point out the album by album breakdown of Dennis-contributed tracks, but I was too lazy to dig out the CD's to add 'em up. Thanks for doing it.

Anyway, could the fact that Dennis contributed no tracks to 15 Big Ones be because around the same time the Beach Boys were recording 15 Big Ones, Dennis was recording Pacific Ocean Blue. I don't blame Dennis for not giving away his best material. Although you would've thought at least one track (maybe a reject from POB) would've surfaced on 15BO's.

With The Beach Boys Love You, the band was pretty united in going with Brian's "new" material exclusively. Dennis contributes significantly (some would say to the detriment) on the album.

And then Dennis wants no part of MIU and publicly ridicules the album.

And on L.A. (Light Album), Dennis is welcomed again and contributes three songs.

Other than the gray area with 15 Big Ones, I don't see a conscious attempt by the band to reject Dennis' songs.
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« Reply #59 on: February 25, 2006, 01:05:08 PM »


Anyway, could the fact that Dennis contributed no tracks to 15 Big Ones be because around the same time the Beach Boys were recording 15 Big Ones, Dennis was recording Pacific Ocean Blue. I don't blame Dennis for not giving away his best material. Although you would've thought at least one track (maybe a reject from POB) would've surfaced on 15BO's.

Dennis offered the track Pacific Ocean Blues for 15 Big Ones and had it coldly rejected. He then revamped it for Pacific Ocean Blue.

And on L.A. (Light Album), Dennis is welcomed again and contributes three songs.

Two songs.
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« Reply #60 on: February 25, 2006, 01:14:05 PM »

As an aside, an old friend of mine (if you're reading this board, Ray, post!) went backstage at a show in the late seventies or early eighties and asked Dennis why he didn't release his second album.  He described how Dennis leaned his head back and croaked out "Don't have to!"

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« Reply #61 on: February 25, 2006, 01:15:41 PM »


Anyway, could the fact that Dennis contributed no tracks to 15 Big Ones be because around the same time the Beach Boys were recording 15 Big Ones, Dennis was recording Pacific Ocean Blue. I don't blame Dennis for not giving away his best material. Although you would've thought at least one track (maybe a reject from POB) would've surfaced on 15BO's.

Dennis offered the track Pacific Ocean Blues for 15 Big Ones and had it coldly rejected. He then revamped it for Pacific Ocean Blue.

And on L.A. (Light Album), Dennis is welcomed again and contributes three songs.

Two songs.

Jason, it's interesting that Dennis would've offered what was eventually the title track of his solo album. They should've taken him up on the offer! That would've been a good one for 15 Big Ones. Does that one rejection change the debate significantly?

Also, thanks for correcting me on the number of Dennis tracks on L.A.  See, I told you I should've dug out the CD's and checked...
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Jason
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« Reply #62 on: February 25, 2006, 01:19:19 PM »


Jason, it's interesting that Dennis would've offered what was eventually the title track of his solo album. They should've taken him up on the offer! That would've been a good one for 15 Big Ones. Does that one rejection change the debate significantly?


They rejected a number of Dennis tracks. Dennis had tracks rejected from Surf's Up (possibly, if you believe the "Carl and Dennis had a fight" story), Holland, and 15 Big Ones.
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« Reply #63 on: February 25, 2006, 01:58:09 PM »

Cam, we can agree to disagree.  I find 15BO to be a major retrograde step produced by a man who was not healthy enough to be doing record production, coerced in by a desperate band.  Well, Mike and Al at least, and maybe Carl and Denny at first.  I think that Carl and Denny changed their tune quickly, though.  Either way, it just isn't a great album.  Whatever album that the BB released in 1976 was destined to go Top 10, but it had to be a good one to sustain their momentum.  Instead it was fodder for the critics to use to exile them to the scrap heap.  I think Carl and Dennis saw it coming.  Disagree?  I guess we part company here.  But it would be ignoring history to not see a split between Mike and Al on one side and Carl and Dennis on the other by 1977/8.  Maybe you don't see it in the musical styles, but at least you have to see it personally.
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« Reply #64 on: February 25, 2006, 03:30:01 PM »

What should've happened was:

Let Brian do whatever he wanted to do. After he was finished, rather than just use that material and call it an album, have the others (Carl, Dennis, Mike, Al, whomever) produce/write, and put it with the best of Brian's stuff. In other words, the same formula as the previous albums. Only this time, there would've been a lot more publicity behind it and it would've sold.
Like Andrew Doe said in his book "...maybe Brian could do the trick, and a new Beach Boys album, produced by-or even just featuring-Brian Wilson, released in America's Bicentennial year,surely couldn't fail".

I bolded that for empahasis. I hate to say it, but Brian is what ruined the album. God, I hate saying that, because I honestly look up to the man, but he just wasn't up for it.  They had so much better material in the vaults, stuff that could've just been re-worked, that would've made it so much better.

Here's a better track listing, with songs that actually appeared on the album, and songs that were recorded (and mostly finished) by that time.

1. Rock & Roll Music
2. It's Ok
3. River Song
4.Had To Phone Ya
5. Loop de Loop (I actually think it would've fit on this album, and still be progressive enough)
6. Everyone's in Love With You
7. That Same Song
8. I just Got my Pay- Would've been actually newer than Susie Cincinatti, right? Also would've fit on the album, and be progressive enough too.
9. Back Home
10. Susie Cincinatti
11. Sea Cruise
12.  Palisades Park
13. Good Time -If it appeared on Love You, it could've appeared here instead, why not?
14. When Girls get together- See above, and replace Love you with KTSA
15. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling- God, Brian's voice on this was awesome.

And hell, if Out in the Country was finished (I've never heard it, but have heard OF it) replace Sea Cruise with that.

I've actually made a play list with these tracks, and IMHO it flows much better. It still has a LOT of Brian, but makes use of the vaults,which they did from MIU onwards anyway.
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« Reply #65 on: February 25, 2006, 04:10:23 PM »

The BB's were 1960's America's premier vocal-hit machine and by 74-76 they were over as challenging original stylists and basically though not totally they were heading dangerously close to repetitive vegas act.  Still they could kick out killer vocal power pop at will.  To their ability a testimony is this....No one has duplicated their classic harmonic blend nor their majestic productions on almost all of their recordings.    I feel what with Brian's comeback of late, and Mike and Bruce still kicking out their jukebox hits, It is still possible for a reunion for that one last cash grab. 
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« Reply #66 on: February 25, 2006, 05:47:07 PM »


Jason, it's interesting that Dennis would've offered what was eventually the title track of his solo album. They should've taken him up on the offer! That would've been a good one for 15 Big Ones. Does that one rejection change the debate significantly?


They rejected a number of Dennis tracks. Dennis had tracks rejected from Surf's Up (possibly, if you believe the "Carl and Dennis had a fight" story), Holland, and 15 Big Ones.

I believe the "Carl and Dennis had a fight" story, because it wasn't told by somebody who wanted desperately to defend Mike, Al and Bruce. Quite an unbiased source, in fact.

About Holland, yeah, "Carry Me Home" was rejected, but "Steamboat" and "Only With You" were included. Everybody had tracks rejected in the early seventies, except Carl - I think. It's part of being in a group.

About the POB song, damn I 'd love to listen to a version recorded by the group. Ed told us that Dennis didn't like the song much, and the record company decided that it would be a good title track, a decison that Dennis half-heartedly agreed to.

Jason, are you suggesting that any track Dennis offered the band in '76/76 would be rejected? I understand that you love Dennis' work and his tracks were mostly better performed when worked by Dennis with the band - in case you think so, I whole-heartedly agree. Let's dream about a perfect 1975 album with 12 tracks written by Dennis, produced by Carl and sung by the Beach Boys.

But I just don't see where Dennis was let down by the band. After Holland's moderate success I guess it was hard to try AGAIN another album in that vein, and everybody was kinda tired, including Dennis who probably didn't want to offer 5 or 6 songs to the band to have 3 rejected and 2 recorded. But that's the way it was, everyone including the TM dudes had material rejected, and maybe Dennis chose the Caribou offer for a solo album -  it's a possibility.
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« Reply #67 on: February 25, 2006, 05:55:27 PM »

When was 'Sail Plane Song' written?

That shouldve been put on an album.

Probably couldve been a helluva single too.
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« Reply #68 on: February 25, 2006, 06:10:56 PM »

67, 68,69, maybe? It eventually became Loop de Loop, which I agree should've been on an album.
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« Reply #69 on: February 25, 2006, 06:15:30 PM »

I prefer Sail Plane Song over LdL x 1000000000000

such a great song, I can listen to it over and over and over

wheeeeeeeeeerooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
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« Reply #70 on: February 25, 2006, 06:15:46 PM »

Sail Plane Song was a Friends outtake from '68.
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« Reply #71 on: February 25, 2006, 06:37:21 PM »

When was 'Sail Plane Song' written?

That shouldve been put on an album.

Probably couldve been a helluva single too.


The demo that's featured in Endless Harmony was recorded in the same month Friends was released. Brian did nothing with it after that, then Al took the ball and ran with it. Have you noticed how the song was readapted to fit the Good Vibrations formula? Instead of "I'm picking up Good Vibrations", "Loop de Loop loop fly etc" sung by Mike, a line that didn't exist in Brian's demo.
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« Reply #72 on: February 25, 2006, 06:40:53 PM »

And it freakin' WORKED.
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« Reply #73 on: February 26, 2006, 06:59:06 AM »

      Here's what Jack Rieley had to say in October 1996 about some of the things you're talking about...


-------------------------

...The Beach Boys has been a bitter power
struggle since shortly after the beginning. Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson
and Carl Wilson represented the creative side: the appeal to musical
beauty and romance and funk and get-down and freakz/fanz; Love, Jardine
and Johnston represented unbridled commercialism and power.  Before I
got there, Love, Jardine and Johnston had control. Because Brian or
Dennis often didn't bother to show up for meetings, the vote was general
2-3 against them.

When I arrived and changed the group's direction, it signalled a change
in the power-center as well.  With the backing of Brian, Dennis and
Carl, I fired Johnston, who had stymied the group's creative
cohesiveness. At the same time I encouraged the Wilsons to act as a
unit. Votes shifted to 3-2.

Interestingly, Beach Boys record and live revenues soared in that
period, having suffered heavily in the period that ended with the sales
debacles 20/20 and Sunflower.

Upon my depature, the Wilsons went back to disarray.  Carl was going
through terrible domestic problems. Dennis was having a divorce. Brian
adjusted poorly to life back in Belair after his highly creative,
physically positive (he rode a bicycle daily and lost weight) stay in
The Netherlands.

Love and Jardine saw the hole in their armour and rammed through to
renewed supremacy.  Their musical/ideological vision of the Beach Boys
was totally different from that represented during my period there. 
Love's bitter resentment of Brian's musical genius and his newly re-won
power meant it was back to shuck and jive.  Within a year the Beach Boys
had returned to the state they were in before I came along, but with
revenues built upon those generated during the Surfs Up, So Tough,
Holland, Live In Concert period.

Could this have been prevented?  The Wilsons should have determined my
successor. They did not.

    - Jack

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« Reply #74 on: February 26, 2006, 07:39:02 AM »

Where is this report from, Dan?  Very interesting stuff - thanks for posting.
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