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Author Topic: Bruce Johnston records "Don't Worry Baby" in '74 for California Music  (Read 4331 times)
GoogaMooga
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« on: October 11, 2010, 08:47:36 AM »

I don't really like Bruce's cover of "Don't Worry Baby" from 1974, recorded for California Music, he changes the melody too much. Obviously because he couldn't sing in as high a register as Brian back then. Don't get me wrong, I like Bruce and have got his California Music on two CD's, but this cover just isn't any good, he takes too many liberties with my favorite Beach Boys song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vxwu9eHoLY
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Ziggy Stardust
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2017, 11:38:56 PM »

Sorry for the sudden bump but i just found out about this and it's truly the most god awful cover of Don't Worry Baby i've -ever- heard.
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Tony S
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2017, 12:42:40 AM »

Boy, I thought that was pretty terrible. I will say, at least Bruce could still sing well back then, as opposed to now. He's really just morphed into Mike Love's flunky at this point......well paid though for his flunki ness.
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Ziggy Stardust
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2017, 01:12:08 AM »

With his remake of Pipeline, Here Comes The Night and now this, Bruce definitely earns the title of the worst arranger.
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2017, 03:48:01 AM »

I couldn't listen to much of it, its not just the arrangement, his voice is awful and the phrasing is worse.
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2017, 07:41:23 AM »

Interesting. I've always been a sucker for Bruce's voice and arrangements. They may be sappy, but there's something that just hits a sweet spot for me.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2017, 09:49:10 AM »

With his remake of Pipeline, Here Comes The Night and now this, Bruce definitely earns the title of the worst arranger.

Give a listen to Don't Run Away and try saying Bruce is the "worst arranger" with a straight face. He's certainly had his share of missteps, but he's also done some KILLER and underrated work.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2017, 09:53:26 AM »

Interesting how they rid the song of all the car references on the 2nd verse. This must have been during that period of time when car songs were considered so "uncool", even for Bruce.
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KDS
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2017, 09:54:41 AM »

With his remake of Pipeline, Here Comes The Night and now this, Bruce definitely earns the title of the worst arranger.

Give a listen to Don't Run Away and try saying Bruce is the "worst arranger" with a straight face. He's certainly had his share of missteps, but he's also done some KILLER and underrated work.

I'm a fan of his input on the 20/20, Sunflower, and Surf's Up albums a lot.  

I'll even admit that I think Endless Harmony is one of the few highlights on the KTSA album
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Any opinions posted by me regarding the music of The Beach Boys, and their members, is in no way a show of disrespect towards any member of The Beach Boys, past or present.
Steve Latshaw
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2017, 11:27:55 AM »

I just heard this for the first time and really liked it.  Like the other California Music tracks (Why Do Fools, etc.), Here Comes the Night, Pipeline and Bruce's 1977 solo LP, given the state of top 40 and radio airplay in those days... they fit within the context of the times.  These songs were considered oldies, 8 to 10 years old, not the cherished classics they've become.  This is no worse than Johnny Rivers' Help Me Rhonda update, B.J. Thomas Don't Worry Baby redux or The Bay City Rollers cover of Darlin."  And it's a hell of a lot better than Leif Garrett's Surfin' USA cover.
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MikestheGreatest!!
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2017, 02:45:55 PM »

Well I guess if Bruce did such a lousy job with it, Brian could have helped him out, you know, being in the employ of Equinox and all.  Oh, er, never mind....

Also I think the changing the car lyric reference was an attempt to make the song more contemporary in nature....though it was hardly noticeable in the first place....
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MikestheGreatest!!
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2017, 02:47:46 PM »

I'll even admit that I think Endless Harmony is one of the few highlights on the KTSA album
[/quote]

Me too.
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2017, 04:16:18 PM »

Overall it's a pretty terrible version of the song, but I actually like the vocal melody he used here. It has nothing on the original, but I could see the vocal melody working in an alt-country setting.
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SMiLE Brian
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2017, 04:24:00 PM »

Bruce using his "modern" production and making the song sound even more dated than the 1960s classic.
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RubberSoul13
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2017, 04:59:22 PM »

I may be completely wrong, but I feel like Bruce has this massive collection of songs that are very genuine and sincere that have never been released because there has never been a commercially feasible time, or seemingly so. Virtually everything he has been part of has been a "fad". He always wrote and produced and arranged to fit the norm of the genre he was working in. I really hope we get some of his back-catalog released while he's still living...an autobiography would be pretty incredible too.

As for this cover of Don't Worry Baby? I think it's pretty crappy. I really don't have anything nice to say. It's easily forgettable and it's shameful to even consider that an actual Beach Boy is on the record.
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« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2017, 06:29:03 PM »



I have the single with "DWB" by California Music b/w "WDFFIL", produced by Brian Wilson for Equinox, on RCA NB 10363 stereo 1975. A very small sticker was applied to the DWB side that says "not for sale". I also have the Papa Doo Run Run single of "Disney Girls" produced by Bruce Johnston for Equinox b/w "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", stereo, on RCA NB-10404 with the same sticker. Got them when they were released. I think I play them every 5 years or so. 


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kreen
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« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2017, 09:44:49 PM »

I don't really like Bruce's cover of "Don't Worry Baby" from 1974, recorded for California Music, he changes the melody too much. Obviously because he couldn't sing in as high a register as Brian back then. Don't get me wrong, I like Bruce and have got his California Music on two CD's, but this cover just isn't any good, he takes too many liberties with my favorite Beach Boys song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vxwu9eHoLY

I love Curt Boettcher's California Music CD, but where can one find Bruce Johnston California Music tracks?
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JK
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2017, 03:53:40 AM »

I can live with this version. Like the Stamos-driven "Forever" (which I can also live with), it's a child of its time. 
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KDS
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2017, 05:14:04 AM »

I can live with this version. Like the Stamos-driven "Forever" (which I can also live with), it's a child of its time. 

I actually really like the Stamos power ballad version of Forever.  Also, I think you kinda have to be a fan of power ballads to enjoy it.
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2017, 05:32:57 AM »

I can live with this version. Like the Stamos-driven "Forever" (which I can also live with), it's a child of its time. 

I actually really like the Stamos power ballad version of Forever.  Also, I think you kinda have to be a fan of power ballads to enjoy it.

Not really a fan of power ballads in general but I do like that one. And the multi-faceted Dan Hartman did some nice stuff in that area...
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SamMcK
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2017, 05:40:22 AM »

Man, I don't know what happened to Bruce's creativity post 1971.

The Nearest Faraway Place
Deirdre
Tears In The Morning
Disney Girls

and then... not much of note really. You figure there would have been at least a good couple of outtakes during the 1972-1977 hiatus. (or especially after the success of Manilow's recording of I Write The Songs)
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“Big Daddy”
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« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2017, 06:37:16 AM »

I don't really like Bruce's cover of "Don't Worry Baby" from 1974, recorded for California Music, he changes the melody too much. Obviously because he couldn't sing in as high a register as Brian back then. Don't get me wrong, I like Bruce and have got his California Music on two CD's, but this cover just isn't any good, he takes too many liberties with my favorite Beach Boys song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vxwu9eHoLY

I love Curt Boettcher's California Music CD, but where can one find Bruce Johnston California Music tracks?

There’s a nice (official) CD out of Japan from around 2000 titled California Music & Disney Girls.
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Rick5150
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2017, 06:51:15 AM »

Wow, this was ...unappealing. Bruce kind of gave it a country feeling - a style for which I am not a big fan. It lacks the emotion; the protaganist's dread and the reassurance of a loved one. Regardless of what the lyrics are about (most casual listeners do not realize it is a "car song" because the song is so beautiful), the boys really nailed it, making a perfect song right from that intro. Bruce has a great voice, but this is not one of his better efforts.
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RubberSoul13
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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2017, 07:40:58 AM »

In terms of the original BB recording, I've always felt it was *near* perfect. The middle eight instrumental bars always take away from it for me. It's not a guitar solo. It's chords. It always sounds like something else belongs there. It has no melodic interest for eight measures in a piece that is virtually overflowing with melodic interest.
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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2017, 08:36:12 AM »

The phrasing of the verse melody is so forced and unnatural! The arrangement of the music is definitely of it's time, which is cool, but that awful phrasing is unbearable!
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