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677165 Posts in 27329 Topics by 4040 Members - Latest Member: Wayneo September 24, 2022, 06:43:39 PM
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101  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian’s vocal change Redux on: July 27, 2022, 06:35:51 AM
I don't supposed you're at liberty to elaborate? The only outtakes from that period I've heard(that I'm aware of) are the alternate version of Oh Darlin'(which I personally believe to be better than the version they went with), and River Deep, Mountain High. I'm not sure if Stevie or Sweetie would count as being from that period.

I guess it's debatable whether "Stevie" would count as the same era. The KTSA tracks were pretty much all recorded in 1979. "Stevie" as I recall comes from January 1981.

There are some other bits from this era. His vocal on "Night Bloomin' Jasmine" supposedly comes from February 1979, which pretty much falls right between "LA" and "KTSA" sessions.

I don't think we've ever nailed down a definitive date for the Cocaine/Hamburger tape, but while long ago it was assumed to be 1981 or 82 during Brian's pretty rough period, I believe some believe it's earlier than that, perhaps in 1980.

I recall some supposition that home demos for "Rings/Reins", "Walking on Water", and "Sweetie" come from around 1981 (in any event, possibly pre-dating the second Landy period).

I don't think there's any hard rule about how Brian could sound during all of these periods. As is usually the case, he tends to be more likely to sound smoother and more relaxed in the studio or even on "home demos" than he did on stage. On stage he tended to stiffen up, and sometimes deliver forceful leads, and then sometimes also barely get anything out and in some cases literally give up mid-song.

I think his live leads during the 1979-1980 (and to some degree 81 and 82 as well) tended to be much more about where he was at emotionally and psychologically (not taking care of his voice certainly didn't help). But he was very detached in 1979-1980. Listen to his co-lead with Al on "Wouldn't It Be Nice" from the 4th of July 1980 show. At one point Brian's voice literally sounds like a tape deck running out of batteries and slowing to a complete stop. There are some contemporary reviews from 81/82 where Brian and even sometimes the other guys would balk on leads and toss them to someone else. I recall a review of an '82 show without Carl where Brian gave up on "God Only Knows", told Bruce to sing it, Bruce tried and gave up, and I think Foskett ended up singing it. In that case I think it may have been a cold being passed around among band members. But the shows started getting extra sloppy in that sense without Carl. Things kind of tightened up when Carl returned in mid-82 I suppose.
102  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: July 27, 2022, 06:19:24 AM
The idea of having a Brian-less "Brian Wilson Band" touring has been thrown around since, probably Brian first started touring in 1999.

While I suppose it seems a bit more plausible now than it did 20+ years ago given how forgiving and sympathetic ticket buyers currently are for seeing a show without a lot of Brian involvement, and having Al, Matt, and Blondie continue on would certainly bolster that, I'd still wager it's unlikely to happen.

I just don't think the bookings would be there, on the scale of the type of venue Brian has been booking. Him being there on stage *is* still the draw. And while Al and Blondie still seem in solid shape overall, I'm not sure how much they want to be on tour for long periods of time either.

I could see Brian's backing guys sticking together for the occasional club gig, or longer club tours and perhaps some small theaters and fairs that cater to cover bands. They would indeed immediately by leaps and bounds be the premiere tribute band on the market. But the idea of a "Brian Wilson Band" minus Brian touring sheds and theaters for weeks and months at a time, I just don't think that's likely.
103  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 26, 2022, 12:26:42 PM
There's a point at which, if we're applying potential labels or theories to a work that we can be reasonably sure Brian *wasn't* aware of (e.g. if we're using verbiage he wouldn't have even been familiar with), then we're looking at something that, if it's being done, is being done so *unintentionally* and *unknowingly*.

Because we're so often focused on Brian's supposed "intent", then I can't weigh heavily terms and theories of which I strongly suspect (though we can usually never prove) Brian wouldn't have been familiar with.

Applying theories about what we think the project ends up being, or could have been, can be fun. But that's a separate fork of the discussion than what his possible intent was.

Like many of his contemporaries (e.g. Lennon and McCartney), when they did mind-bending, unique things, it was *in* them. They often didn't know they were doing it. Or they were partially aware, and/or had a lot of musical intuition about what they were doing. This isn't to take away from those accomplishments. If anything, I think it adds to the mystique and wonder.

I'm not taking away Brian's agency as a composer/arranger/producer/performer. And I don't think he just barfed stuff out with no planning or awareness. His inability to finish the stuff had far more to do with *making* decisions than like understanding what he was doing, etc.
104  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian’s vocal change Redux on: July 26, 2022, 09:48:33 AM
I forget which interview it was years ago where Al Jardine seemed to feel Brian had at some point sort of “sabotaged” his own voice. I know the “sabotaging his own voice” theory has been debated on and off over the years by fans. We’ll obviously never get much of a definitive answer. But it’s plausible to me that someone who is re-emerging and is a bit skittish or nervous and knows their voice isn’t in the same shape, could then exaggerate that to sound even worse to kind of cover it up, as bizarre as that might sound.

Brian’s voice was all over the place by the mid 70s. Listen to the 15BO and Love You stuff, most of which was tracked in 1976, and then listen to his vocals on “MIU”, mostly cut in 1977. Compare Brian’s vocals on the “Love You” stuff to like “Wontcha Come Out Tonight.”

It’s ironic that in the midst of internal group political turmoil and the creation of, well, not the most substantive material of their career, somebody (or just Brian himself) got some good, smooth lead vocal from Brian out there at the MIU in Iowa.

Look at some of the studio footage of Brian at MIU in 1977 in that “Our Team” documentary, and then look at his stage presence and photos/footage from 1978/79/80. I’m sure there were literal physical things happening to his voice/throat all through that, and also some emotional/personal/mood stuff too.

And yet it still waxed and waned. At a lot of 1980 gigs during his few short lead vocal bits, he started to have that sort of “whine” to his voice that we heard more in the later 80s with Landy. Yet, “Stevie” from around that same time has him sounding closer to his “MIU/Wontcha Come Out Tonight” voice.
105  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian’s vocal change Redux on: July 26, 2022, 07:19:01 AM
The more I think about it, the more confused I am over why 15 Big Ones and Love You are the only two albums where Brian's voice is so overly hoarse. On the Adult Child tracks Brian's voice is a lot smoother for the most part, other than Lazy Lizzie. He sounds really good on MIU, and even on KTSA.

I've heard outtakes from the KTSA era and listening to them it's evident they didn't use Brian's lead vocals because his voice was *really* bad around then. It's not so much that it was hoarse as that he was no longer really doing passable lead vocals regardless of the approach. The vibe I got was they wanted him up front more but wound up using him just for cameos and increased presence in the background vocal stack. Ironically the stuff a little later sounded a bit better, maybe because he was forced to sing a lot while Carl was gone.

It's a good point; Brian did sound a bit better a bit later. For all the justifiable criticism that 1981/82 Carl-less band gets (less because Carl wasn't there, but because they all seemed to sound worse, including a few of the backing band members), Brian's leads on that tour were *sometimes* pretty solid. Even on the most infamous case, the nationally-televised Queen Mary show, Brian sounds pretty solid on "God Only Knows" and "Sloop John B", and even on the non-high/falsetto parts of "Good Vibrations." They unfortunately inexplicably had Brian singing "Don't Worry Baby" on that tour as well. By that point, even Carl and Al would have had trouble singing that song in its original key (and sure enough, later on in the 80s Carl shared the lead with Foskett, and by the 90s they just had Matt Jardine sing the whole thing). Why they gave that song to Brian, I'd love to know.

Brian had good days and bad days during that 1981/82 run. But it was one of the last eras when he sometimes had some good power behind his voice, and if he found the right register, he sounded strangely and differently pretty good. Listen to him belt out "Oh Lord" on the "Hamburger/Cocaine Tape", which is probably from 1980 or maybe 81 or so. That's another tape where the title given to it by fans indicates the condition people assume he was in. Yet, he kind of sounds good on some of that stuff. He even sounds pretty good belting a few lines from "Heroes and Villains."
106  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 25, 2022, 11:42:36 AM
Great stuff, love reading the deep-dives into the minutia of "Smile."

I'll go very deep on any number of topics and I have mentioned in the past not liking too much of the sort of reductive arguments trying to over-simplify things to more easily understand or discuss them. Not that that methodology is never useful when making more broad characterizations. But some folks here have done the deep-dive work on "Smile" and also *listen* to the stuff and understand it beyond raw data, so I think it's very important to acknowledge and respect that.

Not to be reductive, because I'm not drawing *any* conclusions from this, but simply something worth pointing out from someone who has done deep-dives on many eras of the band's career and then watched them talk about it sometimes in the most jaw-droppingly confusing, inaccurate ways: These people, Brian and all of the members and everybody in that "Smile" orb in any way, were and are people. And they had lives. They lived lives, and while they were remarkable and extraordinary in many ways, they were also people who had the same foibles and sometimes inexplicable behavior that we all see in ourselves and/or others.

I sometimes like to paraphrase a tiny bit from a Mark Lewisohn interview. This is a guy who has obviously done a deep dive on the Beatles sessions (yes, I know EMI commissioning you to write a sessions book and opening the vaults for you is not as labor-intensive in many ways as fans and scholars of the BBs having to chase down stuff, but we can safely say Lewisohn knows the nuts and bolts and minutia on the recording side of things quite well). But in writing his biography of the Beatles, he has done the deepest of deep dives on their *lives*. And one of the things he said in an interview in the last several years was very apt to discussing  the BBs. I'm very loosely paraphrasing, but he simply reminded that the story of the Beatles collectively and individually, *including their music*, is their *lives*, and they never thought of their lives as organized by LP releases. I think some fans have to start from there with the Beatles or BBs, organizing the "story" of the band in terms of LP releases/projects, or a strict chronology, even down to individual days during a group of sessions. Now, to be clear, this is VERY IMPORTANT when unraveling what actually happened. I don't feel the need to beat around the bush: While interviews with band members can be useful and important, the actual evidence/data/historical record is far, far more reliable.

But when you're going back to a quote from Brian or any of these guys, even contemporaneous quotes, and certainly more so anything happening after the fact, they might be wrong. I'm not saying these guys weren't sharp and sometimes still can be. But memories can quickly morph, and I could easily see memories of 1966/67 smushing together, even *in* 1967.

Also, they were a *business*; they never stopped recording and touring. It's not insane that they didn't like have a ceremony to close the "Smile" sessions with a dramatic locking of the vault. They kept recording. *Everything else* was pretty fluid, including what they thought was the *very nature* of what they were recording. But they we always recording.

Al Jardine at the end of the band's 2012 reunion honestly truly thought it could continue. This in spite of Mike having already booked dates.

These guys sometimes don't see what's right in front of them, and when it comes to "Smile", it's clear if you had polled all the members once per month from 1966 through to the end of the 60s, you'd get *vastly* different answers about *very seemingly fundamental* questions about "Smile", such as "is it canceled?", "will it come out?", "why didn't it come out already?", and so on.

And this is all not even getting into the possibility of *purposeful* obfuscation of information, or some of Brian's classic go-to methods of dodging "Smile" questions in interviews, etc.
107  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 21, 2022, 12:51:31 PM
From the fan point of view, it’s easy to come to a number of conclusions (or I guess just opinions) about “Smile.”

It’s interesting if we start getting into whether not putting it out was a bad idea. On many levels, on many fronts, the answer is of course an easy yes. It’s amazing music. Even those that don’t like the modular music approach can’t deny the pieces are stunning.

But if we’re looking at how “Smile” would have been received in 1967, that’s a whole other beast. I don’t think anybody can say with any certainty how it would have performed with critics or on the charts. But I think it’s not outrageous to say that it’s unlikely it would have surpassed something like Sgt. Pepper on the charts or with the broad critical consensus. It would have likely been received by the enlightened both in and outside of the industry in a similar if not grander fashion than “Pet Sounds” had been.

Would it have led to more hits for the band in the immediate? I don’t know. I think it’s fair to say quite possibly not. It quickly becomes a case of stacking a lot of “What Ifs” on top of each other. But one scenario is that things, at least in the immediate aftermath of a release of “Smile”, would have played out similarly to how it actually did, in terms of musical releases and chart performance/sales. “Smile” may have been less noticed and met with more confusion than “Pet Sounds.” We obviously would not have then seen a “Smiley Smile”, but something akin to “Wild Honey” could have easily materialized I think.

I don’t think if “Smile” had been released that we would have then seen the setlist there on out filled with a bunch of “Smile” selections. They would not have been playing “Wind Chimes” and “Look” at Anaheim Stadium in 1976.

“Smile” has been discussed so heavily, I’m sure someone else has already floated the theory that things would have still played out much the same had it been released. I’m not even endorsing that theory; it’s a few too many what if’s I think. But it’s interesting to ponder the idea of a universe where the BB story played out pretty much the same in the studio and on the road, only we had a finished “Smile” instead of “Smiley Smile”, and I guess “20/20” and “Surf’s Up” would have been somewhat different?
108  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 21, 2022, 11:17:25 AM
I don’t think it’s crazy to suggest that performing “Smiley Smile” material/arrangements would be easier for the band than “Smile” material/arrangements. It’s important to keep in mind that any live concert scenario would involve performing only a few songs from whatever version had been released.

“Smiley Smile” material (and “Wild Honey” material for that matter) could require less *stripping down* of the arrangements to play well enough on stage. They were going to be doing a few tracks, so in the extreme example, “Getting’ Hungry” would be far, far less demanding on the 1967 tour lineup than performing “Surf’s Up” or the full “Smile” version of “Wind Chimes” or something. Either version of “Vegetables” would have been among the easier tracks to arrange for their live show.

Now, how much this played a role in what happened with “Smile”, I don’t know. I don’t weigh this aspect particularly heavily.

I think all of this becomes much more germane of course when we get to “Wild Honey”, and you can see with those late ’67 shows that they seemed more into trying to do stripped-back versions of “Wild Honey” songs; they required less stripping back than like “Child is Father of the Man” or “Look” or “Surf’s Up”, etc.


They're working with one of the finest composers and arrangers of the time - couldn't they just ask Brian to arrange a version of these tracks which could be played on stage?  Brian played Surf's Up with a piano and a voice...

The question with a lot of bands around this time, including the Beach Boys and the Beatles, was why didn't they just add more ancillary musicians on stage to perform either elements they couldn't, or elements needed to fill the sound out?

It just wasn't happening at that time. Maybe it was a money issue. Maybe it was just not what bands did in 1966/67.

I don't think they'd even need Brian to arrange the stuff for concert. They did that just fine on other material. I mean, I think they actually did a pretty good job of doing "Wild Honey" and "Friends" material in 1967/68 with minimal additional musicians.

Again, I think a lot of factors were at play. Even by 1966/67, there might have been a bit of animosity or resentment towards Brian for not being out on the road. And that could fork out into multiple areas. Resentment because they're doing the schlepping out on the road and he's not. Resentment because Brian isn't the one who has to play bass on those songs; they've got to learn the parts. Resentment that they had to face a possibly stone-faced audience who is confused by the material. Some of these things would have been more legit/real concerns than others. And some of these concerns wouldn't just be directed at Brian.

Keep in mind that the band past the time of even Carl's death were still usually *very hesitant* about doing non-hits in concert. They obviously have specific eras where they felt freer to do so (e.g. early-mid 70s, etc.). But since the 60s, and certainly into the 80s and 90s, they seemed *convinced* that doing a lot of deep cuts or new stuff was *this close* to like making the audience walk out in protest or something. It's fascinating. They still pushed through and did it sometimes of course. I think even in 1967 they were self-conscious about doing new material. You hear more awkward semi-apologetic tones on some of those live shows from the guys rather than a feeling of "holy s**t, you need to hear this amazing new song!"
109  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 21, 2022, 11:07:13 AM
As ever, it is useful to keep in mind that the Beach Boys is not just a band, or group, that makes music.  Before that, they are a family. It so happens that this family makes music and then found commercial success with that music, but they are a family first and foremost.

For the Beach Boys, Smiley Smile is preferable to whatever Smile could or would have been because Smiley is, in their collective mindset, a collective endeavor by the whole band ("Produced by the Beach Boys") with all members engaged in the creation of the album.  The album is recorded in sequestered  family space, Brian Wilson's home, away from the outsiders and various external "bad influences" that are perceived to the cause of Brian's problems.  In this way, Smiley Smile is indeed Smile - but only the Beach Boys' version of Smile, not that of Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks.

During the time period in question, they primary operating goal of the collective Beach Boys is not musical, let alone artistic.  As of mid-1967, the main purpose of the Beach Boys is to stay together as a family/band. Their career is, arguably, in jeopardy during the Smile-era, and once Smile collapses, it becomes more apparent that something must be done, and done quickly, to right the ship, or to revert the Beach Boys back to its prior equilibrium state - that of a unified family organization, rather than an artistic dictatorship whereby all members of the family are at the mercy of the whims of one eccentric family member.

Stability is goal number one, because if they cannot do that, then everything else - chart ranking, singles, musical quality, etc. - is moot.  Because of Brian's actions circa 1966-67, the family foundation of the Beach Boys had been in jeopardy.  If that hadn't been the case - for example, if, hypothetically, Brian had hired Tony Asher to help him write happy, up-tempo songs about boy-girl relationships - there wouldn't have been as much of a problem.  If the family foundation is strong and secure (i.e., nobody in the band is going to leave, or go solo, or do anything that threatens the existence of the band) then yes, it is possible to move on and try to make good music. This was the state of things in, say, 1963, and into the first half of 1964. In those days the Beach Boys, as a whole, single entity, is in good shape (especially if they can put some distance between themselves and Murry, which they did)  Brian Wilson, however, as an individual, is progressively in worse and worse shape, as signified by the nervous breakdown at the end of 1964.

Anybody can fill in the rest... it's basically a tug-of-war between Brian and what he represents (both positive and negative) and the Beach Boys business family and what it represents (both positive and negative). Anyway, this dynamic is a significant (though not the only) reason Smiley Smile sounds the way it does in comparison to the Smile Sessions music. Smiley was a function of business necessity (survival) , not just unfettered artistic license on the part of the band members, as if they could easily choose what they wanted Smiley to sound like.

Smiley is a a reflection of the Beach Boys as of mid-1967: talented, but hopelessly dysfunctional.  I appreciate Smiley too, but to really celebrate the album, you need to push the dysfunction and family problems out of your mind and pretend that the Beach Boys are happily unified and are intending to make a cool, weird, left-field album.


No, The Beach Boys are a band that makes music.  Brian has other cousins who are not in the band.  Al and Bruce are no relation at all.  If the group disbanded those who are family would still be family.

If your primary aim is to keep the group (family and non-family) together then it still is way off target since it started the decline in Brian’s creative involvement in the group and his decline in health and into drug taking and remaining in his room which eventually ended with them expelling him from the group.  

But that isn’t the primary aim of a group.  It is to make music and the best music that they can.  As they very soon started trading off Smile - not The Beach Boys version but the version by Brian and VDP - by promising its release and then putting pieces of it on various albums it’s obvious that they realised its worth eventually.  Brian puts a version of it out to great acclaim and then in 2011 The Smile Sessions are released which presumably was approved by the remaining band.

Smiley Smile was labelled ‘produced by the Beach Boys’ yet they over ruled Brian’s wishes not to include GV.  It is made in Brian Wilson’s home not the Beach Boys family home!

Mike Love was not happy with Tony Asher’s lyrical contribution either.  There was a problem during Pet Sounds.

What it basically amounted to was that Brian had musical acumen which the other band members lacked but they didn’t trust him.  Them forcing Brian to abandon 3 Dog Night who he had signed to Brother and then blaming Brian for not keeping them when they went on to be extremely successful is another case in point of them not trusting Brian’s skill and then blaming him for them not doing so. So basically instead of keeping the band together, they shot themselves in the foot.

According to David Anderle Brian did intend to make a good humour album and THAT is Smiley Smile.

This is a vast, vast oversimplification of the rest of the band's attitude towards Brian (and their attitude towards the "Smile" music), especially if we're lumping *all* of the other members together.

There's no successful reductionist approach to trying to explain the demise of "Smile", and certainly no reductionist approach to trying to explain the demise of Brian, both within the group and outside of the group.

And if we're getting into "expelling Brian from the group", which I have to assume means the late 1982 "firing", then that's a *whole* other ball of a wax full of tons of moving parts.


Of course it’s a simplification though I think it was Van Dyke Parks who said something like ‘all of them disliked it, even the lesser known members of the group’.  VDP may feel a little bitterly toward everyone considering what happened and it may be tainting his recollection but you’d think that it would have to be more than 3 who disliked it enough to want it scrapped especially considering the difficulties that decision would cause them.

I’m not actually trying to explain the ‘demise’ of Smile - the reverse. I’m trying to explain how it may have survived and how it was actually ready and that it was only the decision of the band - or the majority of the band - which prevented its release.

As for ‘explaining the demise’ of Brian.  He is not yet dead, not actually nor musically.  He has written and performed music and produced many albums both within and outside the group.

Of course I’m referring to the firing and we all know it was done to try and give Brian the motivation to quit drugs though I’m not sure that saying he couldn’t ever rejoin the group even if he stopped taking drugs would be a motivation to stop, probably a reason to take more.

I think it's pretty well-established that VDP is an important source of information, and that he also has his own spin on things as far as recollections and impressions, and so on. I don't know how much he understood *all* of the elements of the dynamics within the band. Like, how often did he have a long conversation with Al Jardine about how Al felt about the quality of the music, separate from the commercial/business outlook?

I think when anybody, whether it's VDP or fans/scholars, try to say that "all" of the rest of the band felt one way about the "Smile" material at any given point, that's not telling the full story. Yes, I think generalizing and maybe a bit of hyperbole from someone, including VDP, to drive home the point that the band's lack of hearty support for the material played a role in the album's demise, is fine. But when we're delving deep into the story, the reality is that the various members had simultaneous conflicting feelings about the stuff, and how they acted in response also shifted over time. Dennis and Carl could be very supportive of Brian, and also had times where they stood by and let Brian be torn down a bit (e.g. the Redwood tracks). I think Mike is the only member of the group that, at certain points, had actual skepticism about the *music* itself, in terms of just saying "that is really good, interesting material", again totally separate from misgivings about the commercial nature of the material. And even Mike has been able over the years to acknowledge the quality of the some of the material, including Brian's vocal on "Wonderful."

I'm not here to vociferously defend the other band members. But it's a very hazy, complex situation in terms of how they felt and how they acted. It's easy decades later to just look at the material and say "how could anybody stand in the way?." There are many, many reasons. The power dynamic on multiple levels was shifting. The amount of clout people had shifted. It starts to get murky trying to parse the difference between "not championing" something versus actively standing in the way.

And obviously,  by "demise of Brian", I was referring to his several downward tracks, in the mid-70s and then again in the early 80s. And that 1982 "firing", while obviously tied as *everything* in the band's history is to their previous history, was a pretty different animal from what was going on during the "bedroom" years of the mid-70s-ish. Brian was in some ways in a much darker and dangerous place in 1982, and the status of the touring operation was more of a factor in decisions they made about Brian, both positive and negative. By 1982, they weren't really a studio band anymore. They were a touring act that occasionally did studio work.

They were all at the Surfs Up recording session with VDP and David Anderle.  Anderle said there was ‘no ringleader’ that they all expressed concerns so VDP’s remark is substantiated and likely related to the discussion that took place then in December 1966.

I was not telling the full story simply because it is off the topic we are discussing and was only answering the points made by someone else. I am not trying to apportion blame and as I’ve just said Anderle said there was no ringleader and that they all had concerns.

I know what you meant by ‘demise’ I was just pointing out that ‘rumours of [his] death have been exaggerated’.

I've bought every solo album and have seen Brian in concert a dozen-plus times since 1999; I've picked apart the most inane of minutia about his most obscure 80s and 90s material and so on; I've never tried to minimize his continuing his career.

As far as VDP and "Surf's Up" and whatnot, yes, that is an important snapshot. And it may even be representative enough of the general consensus opinion of the rest of the group at a given moment. I'm just saying, the other guys are human beings and were professional musicians and singers with their own feelings and opinions, and I'm not sure how much VDP was having like heart-to-hearts with them about their musical philosophy. And that may not even be VDP's fault. I think we have a pretty decent insight into how the band had misgivings and concerns. Probably both justified and in some cases maybe not so much. But I'm probably honing in a lot here (and it's perhaps becoming more of a sidebar) on how they *felt* about the music. As in, did they think it was good? I think they all knew things like "Wonderful" and "Surf's Up" were amazing pieces. Even Mike. They had and have more of a keen insight into what's *good* than we sometimes might think (listen to Mike's running commentary on that Brian 1976 piano demo reel). The story in some cases is less about what they thought about the music, and more about how factors *outside* of their musical instincts led them away from their musical instincts. Like ego and money related to songwriting credits. What they thought the label wanted. What they thought fans wanted. Not only how they might *perform* music on stage, but how the audience would *respond* to that music in concert. And so on.
110  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 21, 2022, 10:56:02 AM
Brian Wilson (and the other guys for that matter) could of course be unpredictable and do things with little apparent (immediate) logic. We have Brian taking stabs at "Surf's Up" during the "Wild Honey" sessions.

This guy also cut "Shortenin' Bread" in the studio in 1980 *after* numerous recordings had led to *releasing* the song on their '79 LP.

I could absolutely picture the Beach Boys doing a "Smile session" (either just as "more work on whatever the next album is" or "specifically work for the 'Smile' album") after a press release ostensibly announcing the album's scrapping.

This is mostly a sidebar, but it goes to the idea that all of these guys could have weird short-term memory issues about the music they were recording. I remember a fan running into Al before or after a concert in the 70s, and they asked Al to sign the "Smiley Smile" album. Al grabbed the album and acted as if he was seeing some rare, long-lost item. He asked "where did you get this?" as if the album had never come out or was like the Beatles butcher cover or something. Now, we know Al can be extra weird about inexplicably temporarily forgetting very obvious things. But I think all of the machinations around the band at any given time could kind of blur things very quickly. Look at all the amazing songs they wrote and recorded in the later 60s into the 70s that they just immediately dropped and forgot about, while moving on to record like "Child of Winter" or "Belles of Paris" or whatever.
111  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 21, 2022, 09:56:15 AM
I don’t think it’s crazy to suggest that performing “Smiley Smile” material/arrangements would be easier for the band than “Smile” material/arrangements. It’s important to keep in mind that any live concert scenario would involve performing only a few songs from whatever version had been released.

“Smiley Smile” material (and “Wild Honey” material for that matter) could require less *stripping down* of the arrangements to play well enough on stage. They were going to be doing a few tracks, so in the extreme example, “Getting’ Hungry” would be far, far less demanding on the 1967 tour lineup than performing “Surf’s Up” or the full “Smile” version of “Wind Chimes” or something. Either version of “Vegetables” would have been among the easier tracks to arrange for their live show.

Now, how much this played a role in what happened with “Smile”, I don’t know. I don’t weigh this aspect particularly heavily.

I think all of this becomes much more germane of course when we get to “Wild Honey”, and you can see with those late ’67 shows that they seemed more into trying to do stripped-back versions of “Wild Honey” songs; they required less stripping back than like “Child is Father of the Man” or “Look” or “Surf’s Up”, etc.
112  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 21, 2022, 09:47:41 AM
As ever, it is useful to keep in mind that the Beach Boys is not just a band, or group, that makes music.  Before that, they are a family. It so happens that this family makes music and then found commercial success with that music, but they are a family first and foremost.

For the Beach Boys, Smiley Smile is preferable to whatever Smile could or would have been because Smiley is, in their collective mindset, a collective endeavor by the whole band ("Produced by the Beach Boys") with all members engaged in the creation of the album.  The album is recorded in sequestered  family space, Brian Wilson's home, away from the outsiders and various external "bad influences" that are perceived to the cause of Brian's problems.  In this way, Smiley Smile is indeed Smile - but only the Beach Boys' version of Smile, not that of Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks.

During the time period in question, they primary operating goal of the collective Beach Boys is not musical, let alone artistic.  As of mid-1967, the main purpose of the Beach Boys is to stay together as a family/band. Their career is, arguably, in jeopardy during the Smile-era, and once Smile collapses, it becomes more apparent that something must be done, and done quickly, to right the ship, or to revert the Beach Boys back to its prior equilibrium state - that of a unified family organization, rather than an artistic dictatorship whereby all members of the family are at the mercy of the whims of one eccentric family member.

Stability is goal number one, because if they cannot do that, then everything else - chart ranking, singles, musical quality, etc. - is moot.  Because of Brian's actions circa 1966-67, the family foundation of the Beach Boys had been in jeopardy.  If that hadn't been the case - for example, if, hypothetically, Brian had hired Tony Asher to help him write happy, up-tempo songs about boy-girl relationships - there wouldn't have been as much of a problem.  If the family foundation is strong and secure (i.e., nobody in the band is going to leave, or go solo, or do anything that threatens the existence of the band) then yes, it is possible to move on and try to make good music. This was the state of things in, say, 1963, and into the first half of 1964. In those days the Beach Boys, as a whole, single entity, is in good shape (especially if they can put some distance between themselves and Murry, which they did)  Brian Wilson, however, as an individual, is progressively in worse and worse shape, as signified by the nervous breakdown at the end of 1964.

Anybody can fill in the rest... it's basically a tug-of-war between Brian and what he represents (both positive and negative) and the Beach Boys business family and what it represents (both positive and negative). Anyway, this dynamic is a significant (though not the only) reason Smiley Smile sounds the way it does in comparison to the Smile Sessions music. Smiley was a function of business necessity (survival) , not just unfettered artistic license on the part of the band members, as if they could easily choose what they wanted Smiley to sound like.

Smiley is a a reflection of the Beach Boys as of mid-1967: talented, but hopelessly dysfunctional.  I appreciate Smiley too, but to really celebrate the album, you need to push the dysfunction and family problems out of your mind and pretend that the Beach Boys are happily unified and are intending to make a cool, weird, left-field album.


No, The Beach Boys are a band that makes music.  Brian has other cousins who are not in the band.  Al and Bruce are no relation at all.  If the group disbanded those who are family would still be family.

If your primary aim is to keep the group (family and non-family) together then it still is way off target since it started the decline in Brian’s creative involvement in the group and his decline in health and into drug taking and remaining in his room which eventually ended with them expelling him from the group.  

But that isn’t the primary aim of a group.  It is to make music and the best music that they can.  As they very soon started trading off Smile - not The Beach Boys version but the version by Brian and VDP - by promising its release and then putting pieces of it on various albums it’s obvious that they realised its worth eventually.  Brian puts a version of it out to great acclaim and then in 2011 The Smile Sessions are released which presumably was approved by the remaining band.

Smiley Smile was labelled ‘produced by the Beach Boys’ yet they over ruled Brian’s wishes not to include GV.  It is made in Brian Wilson’s home not the Beach Boys family home!

Mike Love was not happy with Tony Asher’s lyrical contribution either.  There was a problem during Pet Sounds.

What it basically amounted to was that Brian had musical acumen which the other band members lacked but they didn’t trust him.  Them forcing Brian to abandon 3 Dog Night who he had signed to Brother and then blaming Brian for not keeping them when they went on to be extremely successful is another case in point of them not trusting Brian’s skill and then blaming him for them not doing so. So basically instead of keeping the band together, they shot themselves in the foot.

According to David Anderle Brian did intend to make a good humour album and THAT is Smiley Smile.

This is a vast, vast oversimplification of the rest of the band's attitude towards Brian (and their attitude towards the "Smile" music), especially if we're lumping *all* of the other members together.

There's no successful reductionist approach to trying to explain the demise of "Smile", and certainly no reductionist approach to trying to explain the demise of Brian, both within the group and outside of the group.

And if we're getting into "expelling Brian from the group", which I have to assume means the late 1982 "firing", then that's a *whole* other ball of a wax full of tons of moving parts.


Of course it’s a simplification though I think it was Van Dyke Parks who said something like ‘all of them disliked it, even the lesser known members of the group’.  VDP may feel a little bitterly toward everyone considering what happened and it may be tainting his recollection but you’d think that it would have to be more than 3 who disliked it enough to want it scrapped especially considering the difficulties that decision would cause them.

I’m not actually trying to explain the ‘demise’ of Smile - the reverse. I’m trying to explain how it may have survived and how it was actually ready and that it was only the decision of the band - or the majority of the band - which prevented its release.

As for ‘explaining the demise’ of Brian.  He is not yet dead, not actually nor musically.  He has written and performed music and produced many albums both within and outside the group.

Of course I’m referring to the firing and we all know it was done to try and give Brian the motivation to quit drugs though I’m not sure that saying he couldn’t ever rejoin the group even if he stopped taking drugs would be a motivation to stop, probably a reason to take more.

I think it's pretty well-established that VDP is an important source of information, and that he also has his own spin on things as far as recollections and impressions, and so on. I don't know how much he understood *all* of the elements of the dynamics within the band. Like, how often did he have a long conversation with Al Jardine about how Al felt about the quality of the music, separate from the commercial/business outlook?

I think when anybody, whether it's VDP or fans/scholars, try to say that "all" of the rest of the band felt one way about the "Smile" material at any given point, that's not telling the full story. Yes, I think generalizing and maybe a bit of hyperbole from someone, including VDP, to drive home the point that the band's lack of hearty support for the material played a role in the album's demise, is fine. But when we're delving deep into the story, the reality is that the various members had simultaneous conflicting feelings about the stuff, and how they acted in response also shifted over time. Dennis and Carl could be very supportive of Brian, and also had times where they stood by and let Brian be torn down a bit (e.g. the Redwood tracks). I think Mike is the only member of the group that, at certain points, had actual skepticism about the *music* itself, in terms of just saying "that is really good, interesting material", again totally separate from misgivings about the commercial nature of the material. And even Mike has been able over the years to acknowledge the quality of the some of the material, including Brian's vocal on "Wonderful."

I'm not here to vociferously defend the other band members. But it's a very hazy, complex situation in terms of how they felt and how they acted. It's easy decades later to just look at the material and say "how could anybody stand in the way?." There are many, many reasons. The power dynamic on multiple levels was shifting. The amount of clout people had shifted. It starts to get murky trying to parse the difference between "not championing" something versus actively standing in the way.

And obviously,  by "demise of Brian", I was referring to his several downward tracks, in the mid-70s and then again in the early 80s. And that 1982 "firing", while obviously tied as *everything* in the band's history is to their previous history, was a pretty different animal from what was going on during the "bedroom" years of the mid-70s-ish. Brian was in some ways in a much darker and dangerous place in 1982, and the status of the touring operation was more of a factor in decisions they made about Brian, both positive and negative. By 1982, they weren't really a studio band anymore. They were a touring act that occasionally did studio work.
113  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 21, 2022, 09:32:10 AM
One way I would describe how “close” the “Smile” album ever was to being “finished” would be to point to the circa 1995 Paley sessions. The comparison is only apt in this specific way: Andy Paley has gone on record saying the Beach Boys could have cut vocals for *an entire album* of that material in two days.

Similarly, it’s easy to look at the “Smile” assembly presented at the front of the “Smile Sessions” box and say “well, all we need is the following overdubs…..” Even if we ignore that the circa 2003 work on compiling a “finished” album accomplished a lot of the compositional work to getting the track flow to seem “complete”, and we just assume for the sake of argument that the assembly as presented on the 2011 set could have existed in 1967 and just needed X number of overdubs, a very similar problem presents itself as what happened decades later on the Paley material.

Namely, get all of the creators and band members in there to do the work. There are approximately 87 roadblocks to making that happen. Yes, the Paley project had more business/internal politics issues than “Smile” did (arguably, certainly *different* types of those issues). But there’s a TON of BB material, and just projects in general, that are seemingly *so* close to happening, yet are a million miles away.

And that’s not even getting into truly actual *finished* projects that have been shelved.


They had 7 complete tracks which just needed some sweetening and mixing (which Brian did over one night with a couple of technicians for Smiley Smile - though he may want to take more time for Smile especially considering its complexity).  
They planned to record the vocals for Surf’s Up in December 1966 but for some reason this didn’t happen and it seems likely that this was the time when the poop hit the fan.  We know that the vocals were done at some point.  I’ve been trying to find that picture of the master tapes to see if there is one for the Surf’s Up vocals because if it was recorded in 66-67 that means it was worked on outside of the listed schedules and therefore probably in Brian’s home studio post the probably fictional ‘scrapping’ in May.  If that is the case who can say exactly how much was left to be finished.


What I was saying with the Paley analogy is that it's not about the total amount of work so much as the machinations to get everybody to do that work. For Brian to decide what he wanted, for the band to get in there and do it, and for Brian to make a final decision and mix and master. Granted, I don't think it's as simple as a few "Smile" tracks needing "sweetening", but as I've mentioned, even if we stipulate to that idea, it's not as if it was anywhere close to simple to get that work done.

There was a lot of "for some reason, this didn't happen" going on around that time, as has been the case throughout the band's history. The deal is that there *were* reasons. Many, and most of them were not about the actual amount of time it could have theoretically taken for firmly decided-upon overdubs to be added.
114  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 20, 2022, 02:40:49 PM
As ever, it is useful to keep in mind that the Beach Boys is not just a band, or group, that makes music.  Before that, they are a family. It so happens that this family makes music and then found commercial success with that music, but they are a family first and foremost.

For the Beach Boys, Smiley Smile is preferable to whatever Smile could or would have been because Smiley is, in their collective mindset, a collective endeavor by the whole band ("Produced by the Beach Boys") with all members engaged in the creation of the album.  The album is recorded in sequestered  family space, Brian Wilson's home, away from the outsiders and various external "bad influences" that are perceived to the cause of Brian's problems.  In this way, Smiley Smile is indeed Smile - but only the Beach Boys' version of Smile, not that of Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks.

During the time period in question, they primary operating goal of the collective Beach Boys is not musical, let alone artistic.  As of mid-1967, the main purpose of the Beach Boys is to stay together as a family/band. Their career is, arguably, in jeopardy during the Smile-era, and once Smile collapses, it becomes more apparent that something must be done, and done quickly, to right the ship, or to revert the Beach Boys back to its prior equilibrium state - that of a unified family organization, rather than an artistic dictatorship whereby all members of the family are at the mercy of the whims of one eccentric family member.

Stability is goal number one, because if they cannot do that, then everything else - chart ranking, singles, musical quality, etc. - is moot.  Because of Brian's actions circa 1966-67, the family foundation of the Beach Boys had been in jeopardy.  If that hadn't been the case - for example, if, hypothetically, Brian had hired Tony Asher to help him write happy, up-tempo songs about boy-girl relationships - there wouldn't have been as much of a problem.  If the family foundation is strong and secure (i.e., nobody in the band is going to leave, or go solo, or do anything that threatens the existence of the band) then yes, it is possible to move on and try to make good music. This was the state of things in, say, 1963, and into the first half of 1964. In those days the Beach Boys, as a whole, single entity, is in good shape (especially if they can put some distance between themselves and Murry, which they did)  Brian Wilson, however, as an individual, is progressively in worse and worse shape, as signified by the nervous breakdown at the end of 1964.

Anybody can fill in the rest... it's basically a tug-of-war between Brian and what he represents (both positive and negative) and the Beach Boys business family and what it represents (both positive and negative). Anyway, this dynamic is a significant (though not the only) reason Smiley Smile sounds the way it does in comparison to the Smile Sessions music. Smiley was a function of business necessity (survival) , not just unfettered artistic license on the part of the band members, as if they could easily choose what they wanted Smiley to sound like.

Smiley is a a reflection of the Beach Boys as of mid-1967: talented, but hopelessly dysfunctional.  I appreciate Smiley too, but to really celebrate the album, you need to push the dysfunction and family problems out of your mind and pretend that the Beach Boys are happily unified and are intending to make a cool, weird, left-field album.


No, The Beach Boys are a band that makes music.  Brian has other cousins who are not in the band.  Al and Bruce are no relation at all.  If the group disbanded those who are family would still be family.

If your primary aim is to keep the group (family and non-family) together then it still is way off target since it started the decline in Brian’s creative involvement in the group and his decline in health and into drug taking and remaining in his room which eventually ended with them expelling him from the group. 

But that isn’t the primary aim of a group.  It is to make music and the best music that they can.  As they very soon started trading off Smile - not The Beach Boys version but the version by Brian and VDP - by promising its release and then putting pieces of it on various albums it’s obvious that they realised its worth eventually.  Brian puts a version of it out to great acclaim and then in 2011 The Smile Sessions are released which presumably was approved by the remaining band.

Smiley Smile was labelled ‘produced by the Beach Boys’ yet they over ruled Brian’s wishes not to include GV.  It is made in Brian Wilson’s home not the Beach Boys family home!

Mike Love was not happy with Tony Asher’s lyrical contribution either.  There was a problem during Pet Sounds.

What it basically amounted to was that Brian had musical acumen which the other band members lacked but they didn’t trust him.  Them forcing Brian to abandon 3 Dog Night who he had signed to Brother and then blaming Brian for not keeping them when they went on to be extremely successful is another case in point of them not trusting Brian’s skill and then blaming him for them not doing so. So basically instead of keeping the band together, they shot themselves in the foot.

According to David Anderle Brian did intend to make a good humour album and THAT is Smiley Smile.

This is a vast, vast oversimplification of the rest of the band's attitude towards Brian (and their attitude towards the "Smile" music), especially if we're lumping *all* of the other members together.

There's no successful reductionist approach to trying to explain the demise of "Smile", and certainly no reductionist approach to trying to explain the demise of Brian, both within the group and outside of the group.

And if we're getting into "expelling Brian from the group", which I have to assume means the late 1982 "firing", then that's a *whole* other ball of a wax full of tons of moving parts.
115  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Al Jardine - 2022-2023 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2018-2021) on: July 20, 2022, 01:04:59 PM
Updated the top post with some setlist updates and some new live dates.

It looks like Al is doing a third variation of a touring lineup, "Al Jardine's Endless Summer Band" (not to be confused with "Al Jardine's Endless Summer", which is the title he uses for his "Storytellers" gigs), which would appear (though it's not certain) to be basically the "Family & Friends" full-band lineup minus Carnie and Wendy.

Which would basically be more or less a variation of the type of gig Al was doing before re-joining with Brian in 2012 (and occasionally since as well).
116  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Unreleased Songs Masterlist: Material to expect from further archival releases on: July 20, 2022, 12:46:50 PM
"I Really Love You" (recorded in April 1978) is buried at about the five-minute mark of this YouTube video of live home movies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_XwUXMFHH0
117  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Unreleased Songs Masterlist: Material to expect from further archival releases on: July 20, 2022, 10:57:50 AM
I’m hoping it doesn’t do the opposite

By the time the 72/73 boxed set is released, a huge hunk of these "Proposed Brother Bonus Tracks" will have been released.

I don't think any of this will hurt potential future boxes.

The question will become what and how will archival sets be formulated for post-1973 material? Will we continue to get somewhat album-themed/album-centric sets? Or will they do a sort of "Bedroom Tapes" type of set to present the 1974-1977-ish material?

Either way, if more archival sets come our way, I think most of these tracks will see release. With the exception of "Lazy Lizzie" perhaps, for obvious reasons. And perhaps we won't see those exact same sort of stripped-down, "underdub" mixes of "Love You" material; alternates of that sort can be presented in a number of ways.
118  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 20, 2022, 10:53:58 AM
One way I would describe how “close” the “Smile” album ever was to being “finished” would be to point to the circa 1995 Paley sessions. The comparison is only apt in this specific way: Andy Paley has gone on record saying the Beach Boys could have cut vocals for *an entire album* of that material in two days.

Similarly, it’s easy to look at the “Smile” assembly presented at the front of the “Smile Sessions” box and say “well, all we need is the following overdubs…..” Even if we ignore that the circa 2003 work on compiling a “finished” album accomplished a lot of the compositional work to getting the track flow to seem “complete”, and we just assume for the sake of argument that the assembly as presented on the 2011 set could have existed in 1967 and just needed X number of overdubs, a very similar problem presents itself as what happened decades later on the Paley material.

Namely, get all of the creators and band members in there to do the work. There are approximately 87 roadblocks to making that happen. Yes, the Paley project had more business/internal politics issues than “Smile” did (arguably, certainly *different* types of those issues). But there’s a TON of BB material, and just projects in general, that are seemingly *so* close to happening, yet are a million miles away.

And that’s not even getting into truly actual *finished* projects that have been shelved.
119  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 20, 2022, 10:46:48 AM
Everyone has their own filter for this stuff of course, but I think "dark" is one of many apt descriptors for certainly large hunks of "Smiley Smile."

"Fall Breaks..." is not exactly a light, fluffy major key remake. When they laid the "Fall Breaks" elements onto the "Smile" track for the "Smile Sessions" box, it arguably made the song *more* ominous.

I guess creepy or spooky or whatnot are equally apt. There's a fine line between the songs sounding just kind of stoned and starting to sound kind of ominous. Less lyrically than in terms of texture and vibe and music. "Wonderful", "Wind Chimes", even some of the sort of peppy-sounding stuff like "Gettin' Hungry" and "She's Goin' Bald" has this kind of jarring, jutting nature to elements of those tracks.

Also, it's a huge oversimplification to say the rest of the band "hated" Smile. Most of the band members knew they were hearing brilliant stuff (and they sang on it). Most of them were only skeptical about the logistics of it much more than the music itself, beyond the well-documented issues (Mike and the lyrics, etc.).

Looking at the subsequent history of the band, passing on releasing music or even actively shutting down work on tracks doesn't necessarily equate to any particular hate. We're currently in the middle of an archival release program where the band laid down HOURS of amazing music that in some cases they simply wrote, recorded, and then forgot about. Simultaneously brilliant and foolish of course.
120  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Out in the country on: July 20, 2022, 06:32:51 AM
When "Out in the Country" first "surfaced" back around 1998/99/00 (somewhere in that vicinity), a lot of people thought it was Bruce on the lead. This was amplified by the track running too fast, which made it sound even more like Bruce, as well as the nebulous origins of the track (while it was generally assumed to be from the early 70s, it seemed plausible it came from "So Tough" or earlier sessions, which could have included Bruce). Also, when it first surfaced, the sound quality was kinda dicey. Once it was slowed down to the correct speed and surfaced in more acceptable quality, it was more clearly Al.

It does reinforce how much these guys could sound like each other, including the various *non-related* members. Al/Brian mix-ups are perhaps most common in this category, but I've heard just about every permutation of mix-up at one point or another, at least for fleeting moments. Even Brian and Mike could sound like each other on occasion.
121  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Just A Thought on: July 18, 2022, 01:54:47 PM
Not to go too much into a sidebar, but I've never run into many who really think the original lyrics to GV are better than Mike's. They sound quite awkward, actually. I get the reasoning behind using them on Brian's "Smile", but Mike's lyrics are not only arguably his best peak work as a hit-making lyricist, but also pointed a way to how he could have continued that going forward. He did to some degree on "Wild Honey" of course.

Anybody that would deny Mike was a good lyricist through most of the 60s, and often thereafter, just doesn't get it. I say that as someone who has obviously criticized other aspects of Mike's career plenty. But his lyrics through 1967 are key.

It's kind of funny; the way Mike talks about Brian's peak period being the early days through 1967, that's actually an equally if not more apt description of Mike's writing.

That's not to say he didn't write some great stuff well after that.

Anybody that trashes Mike's lyrics to "Good Vibrations" are just about "my team vs. your team" internet bulls**t.

Again, I say that as someone who still feels the last two things he did, "This Too Shall Pass" and that thing with "Locash", are among the worst things ever released that are even tangentially connected to the Beach Boys. Those things being atrocious don't make Mike's 60's lyrics worse.
122  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Sounds of Summer breakdown with Howie Edelson on Surf's Up podcast on: July 18, 2022, 01:46:30 PM
Great stuff. Can't wait to hear more.
123  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys Featured Prominently in New Season of \ on: July 15, 2022, 10:56:40 AM
I don't think any of the music in the show has been pointless. It tends to fit just fine. I just feel like it enhances the show for fans of the show much, much more than it is like going to be a huge exciting moment for fans of a specific song/band who aren't big fans of the show.

I was just speaking to the idea of like grabbing a fan of these band/songs and setting it up as if the show has some epic payoff that those fans would like, when usually it's just an era-accurate, pleasant "needle drop" that serves the scene/show well.

Some of the "needle drops" over the course of the show are just overlaid; they aren't "diegetic" as they say. The characters can't hear the songs. When songs *are* actually playing in the show's "universe", it's usually in the background. Only in a few cases ("Should I Stay or Should I Go" in the first season, "Running Up that Hill" in the fourth season) is it *integral* to the plot, as in the plot actually turning on the use of the song. And even in those cases, while one can glean some thematic tie-ins to those songs, they are more integral to the plot because they are an important/familiar song to a character or characters.

I don't have any problems with the music in the show. Some folks feel it's pandering to the era and sometimes gimmicky. I dunno.

I do think the subplot in Season 4 with the Argyle character is not particularly interesting, and it's a pretty stock, not very creative "stoner" type character, and the guy playing "Pass the Dutchie" on a loop in his car was pretty uninspired. But maybe that was the point. Like, I was almost going to joke that he'd be playing that song and have a copy of "High Times" in his car, and both of those things actually ended up happening.

I also thought the Eddie character and the stuff with Metallica was pretty boilerplate and underdeveloped; young fans unfamiliar with this stuff eat it up of course. While I like the show, I'm fascinated with how thinly-sketched, one-dimensional characters get some epic followings. But they know the formula.

It is kind of funny though, that the use of the Bush song is predicated on having to play a character's favorite song. I actually saw someone comment online that their favorite song would have to be "We Built This City", so I had to imagine "We Built This City" playing during all of these tense, emotional scenes.

In any event, it's pretty fortunate that they worked a BB song into the show, as the timeframe (1983-86 so far) doesn't leave much to work with on the BB front. It's BB '85 and the two '86 singles, and that's about it.

It's also kind of funny that it might not be that much of an exaggeration that the show spends more on the music budget than it does paying the actors, even with oldschool Netflix money being thrown around.
124  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys Featured Prominently in New Season of \ on: July 14, 2022, 11:57:54 AM
Any artist that would get their song on the show would likely only celebrate it. It’s a ton of exposure, and apparently even with the pennies that Spotify pays artists, at least Kate Bush is apparently bringing in some huge bucks.

But I can’t say much of any of the songs featured prominently in the show really reflect the artists a ton or are integral to the plot thematically. There are a few. Even the Kate Bush track could have easily been another song and still worked with the plot. The fact that the character listens to the song is what’s integral to the plot, more than the content of the song itself.

Artists being pleasantly surprised by the success this show’s exposure brings them is really more akin to an artist having a weird surprise hit, rather than the show really deeply delving into the thematic nature of the songs or the artist in question.

But yeah, this is easily the most exposure Al Jardine and Carl Wilson’s voices have seen in eons. The song has never left Mike’s setlist; I’m a bit surprised Al isn’t doing the song with Brian currently. But, especially prior to the BB’s social media picking up on the song’s success and upgrading the video on YouTube, etc., it wouldn’t have surprised me if Al had no idea about the song being in the show.
125  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys Featured Prominently in New Season of on: July 14, 2022, 11:48:23 AM
As The Beach Boys and Metallica are my two favorite bands , and Kate Bush is one of my daughter’s biggest influences, I might actually start watching the show even though I am not a TV person* by any stretch.

*Seriously. I watch stuff on YouTube mainly

The first season is still the best I'd say. As usual, so many people have to either LOOOOVVVE something or hate hardcore on it, and this show is almost annoyingly hugely popular, so it's easy to hate on it. I just enjoy it for what it is (and not in a patronizing "for what it is" way). The show is not like groundbreaking work. And it's definitely built on pastiche in varying ways over the seasons. People who grew up during the show's timeframe (currently 1983-1986) seem to either really love it or hate it for being too pandering. If you're *super* familiar with a ton of 80s genre movies, then the show could easily seem too derivative.

If you're into 80s synthy scores, it's got a nice score through all the seasons.

The show has gotten somewhat more pandering and bloated and fan-servicey as the seasons have gone on.

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