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Author Topic: Bruce Johnston records "Don't Worry Baby" in '74 for California Music  (Read 4343 times)
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2017, 08:47:56 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.

I disagree. To me that is one perfect "less-is-more" instrumental break.
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2017, 09:20:33 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.

I disagree. To me that is one perfect "less-is-more" instrumental break.

Totally agree. Might be my favorite part of the song, especially live, when they started injecting it with a little more energy.
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« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2017, 09:38:32 AM »

Doesn’t Bruce copy The Tokens’ re-working of the lyrics? I’ve always found it odd they weren’t credited on the California Music single. They got co-writing credit on their own version from 1969.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 09:39:12 AM by “Big Daddy” » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2017, 09:41:50 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.

I disagree. To me that is one perfect "less-is-more" instrumental break.

Totally agree. Might be my favorite part of the song, especially live, when they started injecting it with a little more energy.

I agree, it works live. But for me, it falls flat on the recording. I think if Brian had recorded it just one year later, he would have done that differently.
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« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2017, 09:46:51 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.

I disagree. To me that is one perfect "less-is-more" instrumental break.

Totally agree. Might be my favorite part of the song, especially live, when they started injecting it with a little more energy.

I agree, it works live. But for me, it falls flat on the recording. I think if Brian had recorded it just one year later, he would have done that differently.

I think the 1964 studio recording is perfect as-is.

The *only* thing that bugs me just a tiny bit about that part (on the studio recording) is that a couple of those chords in that bridge are strummed *very* slightly out of sync/late in a spot or two. But it's super minor and just makes it more human.

The fact that that it's apparently very likely (although I think not 100% confirmed?) that it's David Marks playing that part on the recording - Brian giving him a brief, but poignant spotlight some time after he'd already left the band - just makes it that much sweeter and emotionally satisfying to my ears.

But emotions/sentimentality aside - musically, I think that part works perfectly. I've always felt so, even way back when I was more of a casual fan of the band, and not dissecting the songs the way I do now.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 09:50:45 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2017, 11:31:52 AM »

There might just be a more fundamental problem with Bruce's re-recording, and it might be that maybe the song didn't need to be re-recorded (or, rather, one shouldn't have expected to ever make a hit out of a vastly re-worked re-recording of *this* particular song).

If I were beamed back in time and was the guy running the label, I'd tell them to go write more friggin' original songs and stop trying to turn the label into a K-Tel cover versions label.

Whomever wrote the "new" lyrics to this thing, well, I guess I have to give them credit for essentially doing a lyrical version of s***ty "Fanfic" all the way back in the 70s.
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« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2017, 11:38:28 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)


Bruce's writing aptitude after 1971 is as weird and confusing as the guy himself. I equally buy a theory that he has 50 songs stockpiled that he hasn't touched since 1978, or that he never wrote a single complete song from scratch after some time in the mid-late 70s.

I know people give Bruce s**t for not seeming to do much of anyting on stage or in the studio for close to 40 years now, and then people *rightly* point out that he's a good piano player and vocal arranger. But the guy deserves some criticism and questions as to his musical ability, as he has *chosen* to go on auto-pilot mode in concert and has made no attempt to put forth any of his own new material either on stage or via recordings. If he had any passion to do any of those things, he would have had plenty of time over the last 30+ years to put out some little side vanity project like countless members of bands do.

We at least know Al was semi-active in the studio over all those years, and his problem was actually finishing and releasing the stuff. I have little doubt he has several more album's worth of material in the vault.

Bruce *may* be in a similar situation, but it's hard to tell. I have a vague recollection that he talked *years ago* on the BB Britain board about having a bunch of home demos, and even made vague allusions to putting a CD of them out. But even then he seemed not terribly enthusiastic about *anything* to do with any of it, whether it was writing or recording or releasing anything.
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« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2017, 12:09:21 PM »

I'm sure there's enough for an album or two:

Tears On My Paycheck

I Shine myKe's Shoes

Can't Sing Anymore

White Shorts (30 min disco version)

Nothing To Do Up Here

Me and My myKestand

Where Did My Hat Go?

mYke Stole Dierdre From Me

I Butcher The Songs

(No One Wants) My Autograph

When The Clapping's Over
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« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2017, 12:10:51 PM »

I think it's more likely that he's sitting on tons of great material and for some internal reason we are unaware of, he isn't releasing them. At this point, an album of him singing them might sell about 200 copies if he's lucky. However, he knows EVERYBODY and he's a really great writer. He should do an album of people singing his brand new songs, that would tap into multiple fan bases and move some units...and probably be a pretty great record too!!
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« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2017, 12:30:59 PM »

I think it's more likely that he's sitting on tons of great material and for some internal reason we are unaware of, he isn't releasing them. At this point, an album of him singing them might sell about 200 copies if he's lucky. However, he knows EVERYBODY and he's a really great writer. He should do an album of people singing his brand new songs, that would tap into multiple fan bases and move some units...and probably be a pretty great record too!!

I think there's a good chance he has material from over the years. I don't think we can even begin to guess as to the quality of that material.

There's no reason I can think of other than his own choice that he would not work towards some sort of release of his own material. Of course he wouldn't sell well; and this is where it gets back to the question of whether he has any passion at this stage for creating and performing music. He barely contributes to the live shows, often singing one lead vocal (and over the years sometimes none) in a given show, and he hasn't posted any new music online or released *anything*. The guy is so freaking rich that he could easily get an album's worth of his material out there.

If he seems to show zero motivation to get any of it out there, I'm not *quite* prepared to assume has amazing works in the vaults. The scant material he has released in his career (solo and with the BBs) has been sometimes quite good, and often pretty awful. Even he doesn't like his own "Going Public" solo album.
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« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2017, 12:55:38 PM »

Bruce coulda been a contender...
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« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2017, 02:48:30 PM »

The song isn't my cup of tea but I still think it is a decent cover and fits right in the mid 70s! Not very beach boys sounding though which might be a reason not many people are a fan of the song. I think Bruce was an awesome arranger in the 60s before the beach boys and even in the 70s with the beach boys and the song I Write The Song!
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« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2017, 02:54:08 PM »

Bruce coulda been a contender...

Absolutely, until he teamed up with myKe luHv who showed him the easy way to make a buck from someone else's talent and hard work.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2017, 02:56:37 PM »

Agreed, you ready for 2017 BW tour?
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« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2017, 03:02:25 PM »

Agreed, you ready for 2017 BW tour?

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« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2017, 06:07:48 PM »

I think it's more likely that he's sitting on tons of great material and for some internal reason we are unaware of, he isn't releasing them. At this point, an album of him singing them might sell about 200 copies if he's lucky. However, he knows EVERYBODY and he's a really great writer. He should do an album of people singing his brand new songs, that would tap into multiple fan bases and move some units...and probably be a pretty great record too!!

I think there's a good chance he has material from over the years. I don't think we can even begin to guess as to the quality of that material.

If he seems to show zero motivation to get any of it out there, I'm not *quite* prepared to assume has amazing works in the vaults. The scant material he has released in his career (solo and with the BBs) has been sometimes quite good, and often pretty awful. Even he doesn't like his own "Going Public" solo album.
Agree, I too think it's weird to say Bruce is more likely "sitting on tons of great material". There's many instances if musician is working at their new album for years, take by take, & the result is great. But we know it after hearing it. In Bruce's case, we don't.
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« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2017, 07:50:27 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 Like Bruce, don't like this, for many reasons already covered.
The one caveat might be that this whole project seemed like a disaster form the 'get go' They bring Brian in, but he is in no shape to do anything. Then the pressure from BB's to remove him from Equinox and back into the Brother fold, starts. Still no excuse for this tune.
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« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2017, 07:57:55 AM »

I think it's more likely that he's sitting on tons of great material and for some internal reason we are unaware of, he isn't releasing them. At this point, an album of him singing them might sell about 200 copies if he's lucky. However, he knows EVERYBODY and he's a really great writer. He should do an album of people singing his brand new songs, that would tap into multiple fan bases and move some units...and probably be a pretty great record too!!

Something makes me think this may not be the case. I mean, there should be some stuff lying around. Bruce himself has mentioned several 'periods' where he was supposedly working on material. (Nashville, something about songs on The Young and The Restless) Even as recently as last month he said he was working on songs.  But I just get the feeling there isn't a vault of finished material somewhere.

Maybe living with a songwriting Grammy makes him timid about releasing new stuff? I think he should knock off a 'garage style' album of surf instrumentals, with a ballad or two thrown in. He's got the surf cred. Handled properly, it could stand up nicely.

But, he has a great life..maybe he figures, why bother.
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« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2017, 08:05:01 PM »

I think it's more likely that he's sitting on tons of great material and for some internal reason we are unaware of, he isn't releasing them. At this point, an album of him singing them might sell about 200 copies if he's lucky. However, he knows EVERYBODY and he's a really great writer. He should do an album of people singing his brand new songs, that would tap into multiple fan bases and move some units...and probably be a pretty great record too!!

Something makes me think this may not be the case. I mean, there should be some stuff lying around. Bruce himself has mentioned several 'periods' where he was supposedly working on material. (Nashville, something about songs on The Young and The Restless) Even as recently as last month he said he was working on songs.  But I just get the feeling there isn't a vault of finished material somewhere.

Maybe living with a songwriting Grammy makes him timid about releasing new stuff? I think he should knock off a 'garage style' album of surf instrumentals, with a ballad or two thrown in. He's got the surf cred. Handled properly, it could stand up nicely.

But, he has a great life..maybe he figures, why bother.

I seem to recall him saying he was at least half-way through a follow-up to Going Public called "Going Private" for the Japanese market that was very electronic and wouldn't sell any copies. He doesn't sound sound like a man that thinks of his songs as his "babies," other then the beloved Disney Girls.
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« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2017, 08:45:02 PM »

I don't understand Bruce's motivation sometimes... do you think he genuinely thought this was going to be popular/form some sort of fan base for his own style of arranging? I wouldn't be caught dead listening to this and I will defend even some of the sappiest stuff by Bruce (and to a less extent the Boys)
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« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2017, 09:33:15 AM »

I'm sure there's enough for an album or two:

(No One Wants) My Autograph


 LOL LOL
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« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2017, 11:42:13 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.

I disagree. To me that is one perfect "less-is-more" instrumental break.

Totally agree. Might be my favorite part of the song, especially live, when they started injecting it with a little more energy.

I agree, it works live. But for me, it falls flat on the recording. I think if Brian had recorded it just one year later, he would have done that differently.

I think the 1964 studio recording is perfect as-is.

The *only* thing that bugs me just a tiny bit about that part (on the studio recording) is that a couple of those chords in that bridge are strummed *very* slightly out of sync/late in a spot or two. But it's super minor and just makes it more human.

The fact that that it's apparently very likely (although I think not 100% confirmed?) that it's David Marks playing that part on the recording - Brian giving him a brief, but poignant spotlight some time after he'd already left the band - just makes it that much sweeter and emotionally satisfying to my ears.

But emotions/sentimentality aside - musically, I think that part works perfectly. I've always felt so, even way back when I was more of a casual fan of the band, and not dissecting the songs the way I do now.

The fact that the notes are hit just a tiny bit late add a punch to them that wouldn't have been there otherwise. It's the fact that they're slightly off that makes them so memorable and noticeable despite being simple chord stabs.
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« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2017, 12:16:50 PM »

Bruce has always been an "industry insider" kind of music guy.  You run into this a lot in Los Angeles, particularly among older musicians.  I don't mean this as a put down - it just is a certain way of looking at things based in a certain reality, that you are part of a business and what you contribute has to be commercially viable, and that's how you rate your own creativity.  This sounds very much of its (AM radio) time - even Bruce's vocal is mannered in such a way to be palatable for that market; I almost don't recognize him (though it's not him on the third verse).

Same second verse lyrics that have been floating around on other versions (e.g. B.J. Thomas)...was this before or after the B.J. Thomas version?  Who first changed the lyrics?  This wasn't part of the big rewrite session that happened with Brian's involvement around 1970 was it?
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« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2017, 02:46:10 PM »

Same second verse lyrics that have been floating around on other versions (e.g. B.J. Thomas)...was this before or after the B.J. Thomas version?  Who first changed the lyrics?  This wasn't part of the big rewrite session that happened with Brian's involvement around 1970 was it?

I believe The Tokens wrote the new lyrics in 1969. They got credit on the label for it at least. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocey-halakM

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« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2017, 05:49:19 PM »

I like some of Bruce's stuff but he is definitely the group's resident Neil Sedaka. 
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