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677165 Posts in 27329 Topics by 4040 Members - Latest Member: Wayneo September 24, 2022, 07:05:22 PM
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76  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: And a place to live, Guess I'm gonna stay....Residences of The Beach Boys on: August 04, 2022, 06:34:26 AM
Obviously, it's all relative and I understand what "modest" can look like for a wealthy rock star. I suspect Bruce hasn't needed the hugest mansion considering he's out on the road for most of the year.

But even "modest for a rock star" is very, very expensive in the areas where Bruce has had property in Southern California. And, if a house has a "piano room" including a piano, modest then *truly* becomes quite relative. I mean, it isn't Bruce living in a regular two-story housing tract in like L.A. proper. He's not living in a "bachelor pad" apartment or something.

I suspect Bruce has the housing that would seem to go along with someone who hasn't written or produced a hit in a half century but has some nice royalties and a steady tour paycheck coming in, along with whatever he may have inherited and invested in over the years, being the conservative guy that he is proud to say he is.

Truly, it is fascinating that both Mike and Bruce don't seem to have any interest in taking the sunset years of their lives and relaxing on a more extended basis and having more time to enjoy their large houses and gold plated toilets or whatever it is they've got going on. They seem happy to schlepp across the country (and around the world) and just take a few weeks here and there at home. They seem happy spending more time on airplanes and in hotel rooms than in those mansions and non-mansion mansions. I don't know that it's admirable per se, but it's interesting and fascinating.
77  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 03, 2022, 12:41:53 PM
Jon Stebbins' FAQ book had a section on these issues regarding Brian touring, and I think he handled the topic very well.
78  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: And a place to live, Guess I'm gonna stay....Residences of The Beach Boys on: August 03, 2022, 11:18:33 AM
On the old Beach Boys Britain board, I recall Bruce would obnoxiously go on and on about living down the street from Oprah.

Tell me about "Sunflower" Bruce. Because I have to be honest that I don't care particularly about your mansion or your kids marrying into other even richer families.  LOL
79  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 03, 2022, 10:57:56 AM
I’ll take the best half dozen tracks off of “A Postcard from California” (and not the covers) over a lot of Brian’s solo stuff. It doesn’t make Al nearly as talented. But it means he was/is capable of putting out good stuff.

I think this gets kind of weird comparing the entirety (I guess?) of the other members’ solo careers (or ability to write/create solo) to like Brian’s peak years. Post-1970-something, I become way less comfortable saying Brian’s ability (or willingness, etc.) to create great music really greatly trumps the others. It really becomes a question of what we’re talking about. Is “Don’t Fight the Sea” better than “Little Children?” Is “Moonshine” better than “Mona?” Is “I’m Begging You Please” better than “Pitter Patter?”

People like Carl and Al especially really got a lot through exposure/osmosis. But that shouldn’t be understated. Some folks stand next to geniuses and take little or nothing away. Carl and Al (and Dennis, though he also operated as well on his own sort of motor), sometimes without seemingly even fully knowing it, got a lot out of working along side Brian. They could have done a lot more on the writing and producing side. And if nothing else, they (or their agents/managers) should have been using their voices more, getting them record deals and setting them up with writers or co-writers and producers. Carl did this a bit; but he stayed a bit too insular with mostly just on co-writer (presumably writing lyrics).

One of the most jaw-droppingly strange things to happen in Carl’s career was to see someone like Tom Petty afford Carl such great reverence, and have Carl sing on a few of his tracks, while Carl was then going out on the road singing backround vocals on “Long Tall Texan” and “Summer in Paradise.” I think Carl’s talent was sometimes untapped. His issue appeared to be motivation to do his own stuff, and also perhaps a questionable taste/judgement as far as his style, as the “Beckley-Lamm-Wilson” stuff is very mid-90s/synthetic/AC type of stuff. I dig a few of those songs, and I would have loved to hear the Beach Boys overdub and re-work a couple of them.

I think there’s just so much stuff to consume from these guys’ careers, that I’ve had plenty of times where I’m fine taking a detour and not focusing so much on just Brian, and appreciate the other stuff the guys did. Yes, some of it is just product that we only consume because it’s BB-related. But frankly that pertains to actual BB and Brian product sometimes too. Cut to purchasing the “Curious George 2” soundtrack….
80  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 03, 2022, 08:46:40 AM
If they were all geniuses they would all have been able to produce successful albums.  

I’ll have more to say on this all soon, but I’d like to point out that there’s not a lot of correlation between these guys’ talent and their ability to generate and release solo albums. Dennis’s lack of additional album, well, I think we can see how that didn’t happen, and it wasn’t for lack of talent to make the material. With the other guys, I think Carl clearly just set aside doing material (group or solo) much and did the touring thing. Arguably lazy perhaps, but I have little doubt that there are quality Carl songs we haven’t heard yet. It was a similar deal with Al; he did the touring thing. Couple that with his infamous ability to over-workshop stuff for years if not decades, and I think the same thing applies. He surely has multiple album’s worth of some good material.

The reason we never got more solo albums from these guys has much more to do with lack of name recognition (and thus ability to get record deals), lethargy or laziness (or whatever one wants to call it) regarding touring and making money that way instead of schlepping in the studio, and lack of logistical/organizational skills to make things happen.

I’m not saying they all had dozens of A+ solo albums just waiting to be released. But their vocal/writing/producing talents were easily sufficient that all of these guys could have easily made a half dozen solo albums over the last 30-40 years if not for other factors including those listed above.


I think the point was more about producing successful Beach Boys records, not solo efforts, after Brian backed out of his role as producer/arranger/writer/performer in the 60's that made all the hits. Truth be told, nothing ever came close to what they did when Brian was the main guy at the helm, and the most success they did have after the 60's was Kokomo which was Terry Melcher producing. Carl did some great work for the band, but nothing ever had the same magic as when Brian was making the records, and it definitely didn't sell anywhere near what it had under Brian's direction.

True, I was looking more at overall productivity than looking at successful solo albums. I have a lower bar I suppose when it comes to rating solo albums in some cases, and in most cases if they can get the album released and it has some good moments, I rate that as a relative success. Carl's albums for instance are kind of bland, but I rate them as successful in that it kept him busy, he sounded good, some of the songs were solid, and it showed a path he could have continued to follow and evolve. Same with Al's solo album. Even some of Mike's stuff. Certainly Dennis. Brian has of course been far more productive than the rest.

But, then we also have to say, depending on how we define success, that very, very few of any their solo albums, including Brian's, have been hugely successful critically or commercially. Some have done well with critics, and some in retrospect have seen greater appreciation. A few have had decent chart showings. And of course nobody ever generated a hit single. The closest they probably came to that was Celebration's "Almost Summer."

I think, especially as time goes by, and especially as we get into delving into the archives of 70s material, that it doesn't do anybody a lot of favors to downplay the talents of the other members. I think it's totally possible to subscribe to Dennis's assertion that "Brian is the Beach Boys", and also, without just blowing smoke and stroking egos in an unwarranted fashion, look at what we can maybe call some "genius aspects" to the other members as well. I don't think anybody, short of sometimes Mike and sort of Bruce, think anybody in the group's orb has ever been as talented as Brian. But they brought some genius moments to the table. Howie Edelson has recently spoken a lot about Mike's bass part on "San Miguel", and I think he has a number of moments like that. I think all of the guys do.

I think all of the guys, especially Dennis, Carl, and Al; their biggest flaw was how much they didn't tap into their talent and genius, and or didn't follow through on it. Al has had an amazing voice for decades, and he did almost NOTHING with it after being s**tcanned from the touring band in 1998. He should have had five albums out by 2012. Carl should have been asking Tom Petty to co-write stuff and convince Rick Rubin to produce him. Dennis obviously needed to get relatively clean and he could have produced a lot more.
81  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 03, 2022, 07:21:13 AM
If they were all geniuses they would all have been able to produce successful albums. 

I’ll have more to say on this all soon, but I’d like to point out that there’s not a lot of correlation between these guys’ talent and their ability to generate and release solo albums. Dennis’s lack of additional album, well, I think we can see how that didn’t happen, and it wasn’t for lack of talent to make the material. With the other guys, I think Carl clearly just set aside doing material (group or solo) much and did the touring thing. Arguably lazy perhaps, but I have little doubt that there are quality Carl songs we haven’t heard yet. It was a similar deal with Al; he did the touring thing. Couple that with his infamous ability to over-workshop stuff for years if not decades, and I think the same thing applies. He surely has multiple album’s worth of some good material.

The reason we never got more solo albums from these guys has much more to do with lack of name recognition (and thus ability to get record deals), lethargy or laziness (or whatever one wants to call it) regarding touring and making money that way instead of schlepping in the studio, and lack of logistical/organizational skills to make things happen.

I’m not saying they all had dozens of A+ solo albums just waiting to be released. But their vocal/writing/producing talents were easily sufficient that all of these guys could have easily made a half dozen solo albums over the last 30-40 years if not for other factors including those listed above.
82  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 02, 2022, 01:10:00 PM
BB fandom could easily warrant its own entire book on the subject. Not that it *should*, but it *could* easily fill a book.

Fandoms are usually not very willing or able to be honest about their own foibles, so it's a very difficult subject to talk about constructively.

It's one of the reasons discussion about an extremely innocuous reissue of a hits package a month or two ago led to unfathomable vitriol from a small cabal of "fans."
83  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 02, 2022, 12:01:30 PM
I’m not signaling the demise of Brian, but in any scenario where the rest of the band goes out as a “Brian Wilson Band” sort of thing, one has to remember that not only would there be a question of the type of bookings they could get (which in turn would dictate that it would be difficult to pay for that many musicians), but it’s not clear that all of the members would want to keep doing that. Obviously, some of them already do side gigs with tribute bands and whatnot. But at least a few of them don’t, and I’m not sure they’d want to keep it going without Brian. And obviously, either position/opinion on that is totally justifiable.

I tend to doubt the show *currently* makes a ton of money considering how many musicians are on stage. If they had to book smaller venues, I don’t think they could afford it. What you’d end up with is a scaled-back band along the lines of the band behind Al and his gigs.
84  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 60th Anniversary Tour on: August 02, 2022, 11:07:19 AM
The McParland/Gary Usher book has a good break down of the 25th Anniversary TV special. That was what Variety/TV Specials were like back then. It’s got some (unintentionally) funny bits. Some of the music bits are okay. It was probably a little less cringy back in 1987 when it aired as compared to now. But I watched it when it aired. It was cheesy back then too. It wasn’t even like A-list status for many of the guests back then. 

It’s been sounding like some sort of tribute show may be in the offing for the 60th. I think as usual the hardcore fans would rather just see the *actual* band perform. How good or awful tribute shows are comes down to who they book. It can go wrong on many fronts.
85  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 01, 2022, 11:46:04 AM
Updated the top post with the rest of the setlists for the Chicago tour.
86  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Al Jardine - 2022-2023 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2018-2021) on: August 01, 2022, 11:39:44 AM
Just to make sure everybody is confused, Al has booked a show for December 9th in Cincinnati. It's an "Endless Summer Band" show, which is usually "Family & Friends" minus Carnie and Wendy. But this time, it will apparently include Matt and Carnie, but not Wendy. I guess at that point either band name makes equal sense. I dunno. Anyway, I've added it to the top post schedule.
87  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Wilson/Paley Sessions on: August 01, 2022, 11:13:11 AM
The point was not that Thomas is a great producer, nor a cultivator of all of the best work of Brian's. The point was that Joe Thomas got s**t done. I'm not a fan of his production style (though it eased off on the later 2010s stuff compared to the late 90s). But like him or not, he's one of the main starters behind making the 50th anniversary happen in 2012.

But the point was not that Andy Paley didn't have connections in the industry. The point was that Andy was not able to navigate both the Brian and Beach Boys political machine to get his project done. Neither was Don Was. Despite both of them working on some very good material.

Joe Thomas was able to navigate the Brian world, and then eventually also the even more nefarious BB world. Was it by ingratiating himself in ways that led to not the best musical outcomes? Probably. Certainly initially by molding "Imagination" into something that, while it has some good songs and good Brian vocals, is not the musical direction most folks wanted.  

Also, Joe Thomas had $$$$, and access to $$$$. I think by leaps and bounds Thomas's best achievement in the BB world was making the reunion project happen. As someone said back then, the Beach Boys finally had a guy with the organizational skills and the *MONEY* to secure guarantees, and he was the guy clapping his hands and saying "ok, now here's what we're going to do." That worked. For about a year. But that's more than most anybody else could have mustered. He secured a reunion album deal based on the songs he had written with Brian, secured a tour with the money and organizational skills to put together that "50 Big Ones" production company with Brian and Mike, and he also got a live album and two live DVDs/Blu-rays out. All in a year (obviously some of the ancillary stuff didn't make it out until 2013).

So yeah, the point was not to argue the musical merits of these respective collaborators. The point was that the guy LITERALLY got projects out the door, as in he got them released. That was Joe Thomas. I'm not saying there weren't many, many factors. I think in another time and place Don Was certainly could have made something happen.

But I think by 2011 Thomas was pretty aware of what it took to make a BB reunion happen. Specifically, it needed his bag of songs he had started with Brian in the late 90s (a number of which *are* on par with the best Paley material I believe), the ability to secure up front cash advances for the needed parties, and the organizational skill to balance all of the projects. He also clearly learned some lessons from his first run with Brian in the late 90s where he was always by Brian's side in interviews and on camera. How many photos of Joe Thomas from the C50 reunion period even exist? I think I may have seen one? And I think I've seen one 2013 photo of Thomas during the Brian/Al/David tour.
88  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Al Jardine - 2022-2023 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2018-2021) on: August 01, 2022, 06:55:52 AM
Normally they wouldn't have been able to continue on with the gig without the three "names." I'm guessing because this was a "Fair" gig, where the show is free with admission, they don't have to warranty anything about who is on stage. Had this been a show that required paying for a ticket specifically for the concert, I would imagine the show would have been canceled.

I've seen the YouTube videos; this did up essentially being one of those "California Surf Inc." shows (plus Debbie Shair I guess). Matt is great on vocals and those guys are all good musicians. The harmonies sounded good for what the were; I think Ed Carter and Bobby Figueora are awesome, but they of course can't provide the same harmony stack that Carnie, Wendy, and Al can.

It's still a bit surprising they went ahead with the gig with not even one of the three big names on the billing. Filling the show with stuff like a guitar solo in the middle of "In My Room" is interesting and all, and on clearly very little notice they sound very good, but that's a tough spot for the band and the audience.

But I don't think it's a big deal; this was a unique case where they even had the ability to try to keep the booking.

The In My Room guitar solo was unplanned. People were getting up to slow dance so rather than kill the momentum, the band called an audible.

Yes, and it sounded nice. I just suspect it would not be so loosey-goosey with Al, Carnie, and Wendy on stage. Stuff like that isn't bad, it just adds to the vibe that this was all happening because the main performers weren't there.
89  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson - 2022 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2021) on: August 01, 2022, 06:53:04 AM
Updated the top post yesterday to reflect the apparent cancellation of dates. I guess we may/will find out more at some point here. I'll go back through and add setlists to the rest of the Chicago shortly, hopefully.
90  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 60th Anniversary Tour on: August 01, 2022, 06:48:10 AM
The Beach Boys as a touring band seem to be charging along on the 60th anniversary tour, sounding just as great as ever. In my opinion, Mike surprisingly sounds the best he has since C50 or '17 as of late. 2020 and 21 were kinda shaky with Mike's vocals, but this year he once again sounds very strong and on pitch again. Ike is the best 'BW part' singer the band has ever had since BW himself--- with Cowsill and Totten being the best guitarist and drummer since Carl and Dennis left us. Totten and Cowsill both recreate Carl and Dennis' signature parts perfectly, but also have their spirit and energy that was severely lacking with other instrumentalists in the past. In my humble opinion, Christian sounds so much like Carl at some moments it's freaky. He has his own tone, and for most of the show he just sounds like Christian, but there are always moments, whether they be whole songs, or simply syllables, where he channels Carl so well, I'd swear Carl is singing through him. It's kinda a crazy spiritual type of thing to me it's wild. Timmy B is so rock solid on those keys, I don't think I've ever heard him screw up, and while I do miss Meros, he fills his spot as well as anyone could. Randy's playing adds so much--- the sax, harmonica, flute, percussion etc he adds are all elements that were crucial on those respective songs, and his sax solos are outta sight!!!! Keith's bass playing is really solid and you can see he's having a blast onstage, his enthusiasm is contagious.

Love seeing America's Band, The Beach Boys, celebrating 60 years on a great tour, spanning multiple countries, being led by Mike&Bruce in such great form, with such an excellent group of musicians- honestly, one of the best lineups of the band EVER in my opinion. My favorite lineup since the last time the core 6 were together (Knebworth era) and then 5 surviving members w C50.

All things considered, at the end of the day, this is the perfect way to celebrate the 60th to me. The band still gets to travel the world, playing the best music ever made, with the guy who sang & co-wrote the majority of the material, and the 'new guy' who's been around since 65.  It allows Brian to do his own thing, and as we learn now, cancel all future shows, but still receive income from the BBs' shows. The production is now more elaborate and worthy of the legendary band  w/ the video screens, lighting effects, and Totten's precise MusicalDirecting. As far as the world of TheBeachBoys on tour, they're 'still crusin' alright, and sounding just as great as ever.

I don't doubt the authenticity and sincerity of people who enjoy Mike's tour, but this does read like when a company asks employees to write a positive review on GlassDoor, or a business asks customers to write reviews on Yelp. 

Honestly, where all the members are at right now is kind of just the default. Some people dig it, some don't. I don't view it as a triumphant 60th anniversary situation. But I also recognize there's not much else anybody could be doing. Brian's struggling. About the only room to maneuver is to just have Al join Mike's band (or I guess Mike and Bruce join Al and Brian's guys, minus Brian?). And that would honestly kind of feel sort of flaccid compared to a legit reunion. So I dunno.

I think Totten continues to run a tight, oiled machine.

I think all of the guys are having a more challenged time on stage than they did ten years ago.

The ideal situation given the high quality of the 50th in 2012 would have been for *that* lineup to do a few more years of touring, and then for everybody to call it a day in like 2015 or so, and then they could all go back to doing solo gigs and private/corporate gigs if they wanted to stay active. But that obviously didn't and can't happen.
91  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Al Jardine - 2022-2023 Tour Thread (Plus Archived 2018-2021) on: August 01, 2022, 06:36:16 AM
Normally they wouldn't have been able to continue on with the gig without the three "names." I'm guessing because this was a "Fair" gig, where the show is free with admission, they don't have to warranty anything about who is on stage. Had this been a show that required paying for a ticket specifically for the concert, I would imagine the show would have been canceled.

I've seen the YouTube videos; this did up essentially being one of those "California Surf Inc." shows (plus Debbie Shair I guess). Matt is great on vocals and those guys are all good musicians. The harmonies sounded good for what the were; I think Ed Carter and Bobby Figueora are awesome, but they of course can't provide the same harmony stack that Carnie, Wendy, and Al can.

It's still a bit surprising they went ahead with the gig with not even one of the three big names on the billing. Filling the show with stuff like a guitar solo in the middle of "In My Room" is interesting and all, and on clearly very little notice they sound very good, but that's a tough spot for the band and the audience.

But I don't think it's a big deal; this was a unique case where they even had the ability to try to keep the booking.
92  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: I recreate Help Me, Rhonda on: July 29, 2022, 12:33:14 PM
I also have to say, this is a GREAT way to extend the life of these songs. Not that "Rhonda" is not a well-known song, one of their most of course.

But I gotta say, having that BB SiriusXM station on at various points, it can get a little tiring hearing something like "Rhonda" twice per hour. Not that the great stuff ever isn't great. But you all know what I mean.

But actually SEEING all of these parts performed, it really engages the senses and provides another way into enjoying it. As someone who has dabbled as a musician, this engages me on that level, and just as a fan/scholar of the music.

Selfishly I immediately have about 100 BB/Brian songs I want to see this done with.

A million thumbs up to Joshilyn!
93  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: I recreate Help Me, Rhonda on: July 29, 2022, 12:29:51 PM
Impeccable.

Definitely will share this around.
94  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Wilson/Paley Sessions on: July 29, 2022, 12:13:21 PM
I think the best tracks from the sessions could have been molded into a very good 1995 Beach Boys album.

Brian has done well by having partners that can help facilitate him creating, and also help get projects out the door. Many such as Gary Usher, Don Was, and Andy Paley were able to the former, but not the latter. That's why, despite some drawbacks, Joe Thomas has been an important figure at a few points in Brian's career, because he was able to do both, and do it both with Brian solo and with the Beach Boys.
95  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Wilson/Paley Sessions on: July 29, 2022, 10:39:55 AM
The material should of course be released. No, it's not as great as "Smile." I don't know who called the Paley stuff "the greatest album that never was", but while a lot of the stuff is good, I wouldn't use such hyperbole.

It was never a fully sequenced album as far as I know, just an extended series of sessions that yielded far more than an album's worth of material.

I'd love to see all the tracks released. But really, a good hunk of the best stuff has been released, and much of the rest circulated in pretty solid sound quality. There are some tracks that only exist in pretty crummy-sounding versions, and I can only imagine there's stuff we haven't heard at all.

But between the tracks on Brian's current website, the "Playback" comp, and the "Long Promised Road" soundtrack, you've got a good hunk of the tracks right there in more or less "original" condition. Some other stuff has been futzed with to some degree, such as a bit of stuff on the "Gettin' in Over My Head" album and "You're Still a Mystery" from the "Made in California" set.

Now that they've dumped a good hunk of the sessions out there already, I can't see why they shouldn't release everything they've got. I don't think it needs to be presented as an "album", just put it all on a couple discs' worth. There would be some questions as to what can or should be used. They probably can't use BB vocals on a Brian release (though clearances could be pursued), and I'm not sure if they'd want to include the Paley guide vocals.
96  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 28, 2022, 01:04:54 PM
but it’s a rare case I think even if it took 35+ years, the “Smile” ball of wax was finally rolled out in pretty much ideal fashion.

Honestly Brian's entire career since 2000 has been rolled out in pretty much ideal fashion, in my opinion. Truly the amount of great music that man put into the world between ages 58 and 78 or so is just astonishing and miraculous. And then to have things like Love & Mercy being one of the greatest movies ever made about the creative process, the memoir actually being super good, all these incredible box sets. It's really unbelievable.

I think large hunks of the story since his 1998 reemergence as a solo artist have unfolded ideally.

I think it has still gone sideways from time to time; I don’t think all of the decisions were ideal, and certainly some outcomes were not always ideal. But really, compared to the batting average for the Beach Boys over the years, Brian’s solo years since 1998 haven’t been worse.

I think setting the stage for Brian as a prestige presentation, especially with the PS and Smile tours, was a good move. I think some of the studio albums kind of went wonky. I didn’t hate GIOMH as much as some fans, but it was a pretty wonky album overall. And releasing that ahead of “Smile” was supremely bizarre.

But I do think GIOMH was the right general idea, of taking old unreleased stuff and re-working it (especially if there’s no intention to release the old recordings). I suppose that is actually a strange similarity between GIOMH and Smile; they both re-work old material.

While I think Brian doing “Smile” when he did in 03/04 very much helped to set the stage for where the BBs in pop/music culture are today (to where we can start moving to appreciating the early 70s stuff, for instance), one can’t help but wonder if Brian had been able to put his “Smile” out under the current Capitol/UMe and gave it a really strong social media push, it would probably do even better than it did back in 2004 on Nonesuch, hitting whatever it was, #13 I think. But that’s a weird “what if” that doesn’t make a lot of sense. And hey, a Top 5 album now would probably move less units than a #13 album did back in 2004.

I’ve been surprised as well that they never put out a deluxe reissue of Brian’s “Smile”, with all the backing tracks and whatnot.
97  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 28, 2022, 12:36:29 PM
I also think that having Brian’s piece released allowed the later BB “Smile Sessions” release to be further contextualized. I’m not even talking about Brian’s piece being used as a roadmap to piecing stuff together. Rather, Brian’s piece was all of the things so well-put by Wirestone, and that then seemed to change the feeling and vibe of the idea of putting the BB sessions out, for fans/scholars and participants alike.

I’d also argue the BB sessions *not* being released (apart from the bits from the GV box, etc.) made it much more plausible and workable and cathartic for Brian to do his own thing with it. I can’t say it’s literally the only album done in this fashion (meaning taking an ancient, unfinished and unreleased album, and re-recording it as a finished piece), but it’s a rare case I think even if it took 35+ years, the “Smile” ball of wax was finally rolled out in pretty much ideal fashion.

Longtime fans will remember that weird period of time *after* Brian premiered it but before the studio album came out; that was an interesting period of dissecting the best available audience recordings.
98  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 28, 2022, 12:05:52 PM
Brian’s 2003/2004 “Smile” is just an entirely other beast. And really the best case scenario for how to handle an attempt to sort-of “finish” it.

The idea of Brian or Brian with the Beach Boys overdubbing onto the old tapes wouldn’t have worked once the band hit like the mid-70s, let alone the 80s or 90s or 2003. So re-recording it to put together a “finished” piece is the best approach, so at least everything sounds consistent unto itself. I mean, would it have been interesting to have Mike, Al, and Bruce add vocals as well? Sure, of course. But that was just never going to happen given the politics of that era (the Mike-Al stuff alone would have made it difficult), and while nothing beats group BB vocals, it obviously was of great import to “finish” the piece as a Brian piece.

I never approached Brian’s “Smile” as if this was “how it would have sounded” back then. It’s just a re-interpretation, with varying degrees of attempts to attack it as if it were 1967. To me, the whole project was worth it just to hear “Wonderful” and “Look” linked.

As with most things, my “go to” for the material is all over the place. I go to the original stuff for much of it. I absolutely see the 1971 “Surf’s Up” as the definitive version (it needs the bass notes near the end of the second movement). Brian’s “Smile” is a way to digest the whole thing. I think the singing and playing is impeccable from his band. I think having Mike and Al especially in that vocal mix would have helped, but I recognize that was a non-starter back then.

I hope (but doubt) Darian Sahanaja got a few producer points on that project even without a producer credit for the amount of help he offered on that thing.  
99  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: SMiLE was ready in 1967 - discuss on: July 27, 2022, 12:09:03 PM
Pertinent to this thread - Alan Boyd about missing SMiLE stuff: https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/missing-66-67-smile-tapes.56327/

Probably many of you will have seen this before.

Things are in a little better shape now since that post in 2005.  I did a teeeeeeny tiny bit of work on that stuff when I worked with him, but Alan has been able to go through the Smile material much more thoroughly with the 2011 boxed set getting funded.  Still a lot of missing stuff, though, sadly.

One of the items mentioned in that post from Alan from 2005 that has since been more or less cleared as a possibility is that infamous tape vault photo, with the apparent "safety copies" of albums along with a tape labeled "Brian - Dumb Angel." Through a bunch of sleuthing and deduction later on, it was determined that those tapes belonged to some sort of superfan/peripheral associate/friend of the band. Nobody ever got to the bottom of exactly why or how those tapes were there (though lots of likely/plausible theories), so I don't think it's 100%  cleared as picturing possible since-lost tapes. But it's very unlikely. I'm guessing it was either a prop tape or, depending on when the photo was taken, a dub of some old boot.

100  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian’s vocal change Redux on: July 27, 2022, 08:41:38 AM
The demo tape with Rings, Walking on Water, Sweetie and Angel is from October 1986, but was assumed to be earlier because Brian also talked about Sweetie in 1981. There is a Beach Boys studio version recorded at Rumbo in March that year with the Mike, Al and Brian vocal trade off he described.

Brian had a crack at a vocal on Smokey Places during the KTSA sessions, which is supposed to not be bad for the time.

Ah, I see it circled back around. It was originally assumed (as far as I can remember anyway) those demos were from the Landy era, mid-80s, then there were implications it pre-dated Landy Mark II. Stuff like "Walking on Water" always sounded more like '85 or '86 based on Brian having some pep in his voice that you don't hear on the pre-Landy early 80s stuff so much.

The post-KTSA, pre-Landy Brian stuff I've always found fascinating. Those 1980 backing tracks ("My Solution", etc.). I've always wanted to hear more (I suspect the "Sweetie" session from Rumbo that I recall discussing many years ago is probably among the least interesting given the song's structure, but I'd still love to hear it of course). I still fear this is the type of stuff that will slip through the cracks on archival releases, because it really isn't like front-and-center stuff to present to the public. It needs the context of an archival package.
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