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678359 Posts in 27404 Topics by 4045 Members - Latest Member: reecemorgan January 30, 2023, 03:45:54 PM
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9851  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Shortening Bread...?! on: May 24, 2007, 08:05:26 PM
This doesn't address the original question, but it's interesting that Brian also cut another version of "Shortenin' Bread" in 1980, after they had released it on "LA (Light Album)." As far as I know, this version only circulates as a backing track. I don't know if any more work was done on that version, or what Brian possibly could have been planning to do with another version of the song.
9852  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Alright, lets talk about Warmth of the Sun! on: May 24, 2007, 02:50:47 AM
It's a good compilation for the newbie - first play them Sounds Of Summer, then hand them The Warmth Of The Sun saying "OK, now for the stuff you probably won't know".

Certainly true, but I'd say the same thing to varying degrees about "Greatest Hits" Volumes 2 and 3, and some other compilations. But I certainly can't fault the programming of the compilation too much; there are at least 3 or 4 songs on the "Warmth of the Sun" that I would put in my Top 10 BB songs.

Interestingly, the liner notes state that "California Dreamin'" is the original 1986 mix, which certainly isn't the case. The song as a whole sounds like the same mix, but it has to be an alternate done either back then or recently to incorporate more of the thunder sound effects. The actual original 1986 mix starts cold with the guitar, and then incorporates a bit of the sound effects. The version on "Warmth of the Sun" stars with sound effects and then the opening guitar quickly fades up.

I might be motivated to write a more detailed review about the stereo remixes, but my general impression and feelings are mixed. Some do have too much reverb in my opinion. In general, I still like the idea of stereo remixes. Some have criticized previous stereo remixes for having too much reverb, and while I don't feel that way regarding the "Pet Sounds" stereo remix, some of these new stereo remixes do exhibit this to a degree, in my opinion of course. One of the reasons I like stereo remixes is that they can have more clarity in general than sometimes muddy mono mixes when a big production is crammed into mono. But if the stereo remix uses a lot of reverb, that tends to muddy it up a bit in a different way. But perhaps I'll get more into that in a more detailed review. I'd still say I'm generally happy to have these stereo remixes.

As for the CD's tracklisting, there are a few interesting tidbits on the "Warmth of the Sun" blog, indicating that Al didn't want to talk about "It's OK". I'd be interested to know why that is. Does he just not like the song? Is it something about that era of the BB's that Al doesn't like to talk about? In the actual podcast episode covering the song, and there is nothing from Al, so we can't even hear what his specific comment was about, well, not commenting on the song. Did he just say "I can't think of anything on that song", or was it like "I'd rather not get into that particular song", or something else? Brian certainly links the song with a period that he doesn't remember so fondly today, or at least didn't remember fondly at the time he gave that interview.
9853  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Alright, lets talk about Warmth of the Sun! on: May 23, 2007, 01:52:17 PM
I got my copy from Best Buy, and just got around to downloading the "Best Buy exclusive" bonus track, the live take of "409" from Chicago in 1965. It's about what you would expect; probably the least interesting bonus track they could have come up with. I have to say it is a bit of a novelty to have a live take of "409" with Brian on it, and it's worth noting that the bits from the Chicago shows on the SOT CD's (which I think consisted of overdub sessions) did not include this track. Certainly this was a nice enough free bonus.

I hadn't done the downloading a free bonus track thing before, so I was surprised that the whole process was pretty easy and quick. I thought it might download the track on its own and stick it somewhere on a playlist on one of playback programs or something, but it just let me download the WMA track wherever I wanted. The ease with which I downloaded the track was tempered by the fact that it's not exactly CD quality (160 kbps), and was my first experience with the dreaded DRM. I don't do ITunes, so I hadn't dealt with this before. I thought EMI recently announced they were going to start doing higher bitrate non-DRM files. But I guess that only applies to ITunes, and to services where you pay for the track. I guess the free downloads are lower bitrate, with DRM still present. Plus, I don't think EMI has anywhere near totally switched over to the non-DRM files even on ITunes. Oh well. I was hoping I would be able to put the track on a CD just to catalog it. I'm sure there are ways to get around it and encode it for a CD, but since I don't deal with downloads much, I haven' t a clue how to do that. So, in retrospect, I'm glad they didn't choose to make this free exclusive download some sort of huge, lost classic like a "Smile" track or a cool Dennis outtake. I would be totally ticked if I was stuck with some great masterpiece that I could only listen to in 160 kbps on my computer.

Now I'll have to listen to the actual "Warmth" CD! I think that might be a bit more fun!
9854  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Sequencing of The Warmth Of The Sun on: May 19, 2007, 01:24:20 AM
What's kind of distressing, or perhaps discouraging is a better way to put it, about this new CD is that the remaining BB's seem to have put a good deal of thought and effort into selecting and sequencing the tracks as well as promoting the thing. Both the Amazon video and the ITunes podcast, at least the first podcast, seems to just be a big sales pitch for the album. (Also, what's up with the Amazon video including a comment from Al about "Hang On To Your Ego?" What has that got to do with this album? Did they slip up and use an outtake from this "Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary" interview?) It's good to see the BB's involved and interested in some way, and good to see Capitol soliciting their input. But I wish the remaining BB's would put this same effort and enthusiasm into putting something new out in terms of archival releases, etc.

It seems a bit like, in selecting the tracks, they are taking the CD a bit too seriously, sequencing the tracks as if they were working out the order for another "Pet Sounds" or something. Maybe it's just me being too much into the historical data side of things, but just about any track order other than more or less chronological is going to sound a bit disjointed to me. Capitol has got my number though, because I probably wouldn't be buying the CD if not for the stereo remixes.

I highly doubt this CD will be as successful as "Sounds of Summer", just as "Greatest Hits Vol. 2" on CD probably sold less than "Greatest Hits Vol. 1."

I'm very much looking forward to the stereo remixes, though. I fear they may have too much echo/reverb on them based on clips I've heard, but I'll wait to rate them until I hear the entire CD.
9855  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / "Warmth of the Sun" CD Includes Previously Unreleased Download at Best Buy on: May 16, 2007, 01:41:24 AM
Apparently, as with last years "Pet Sounds" reissue, Best Buy will once again be offering an exclusive download with their copies of the "Warmth of the Sun" CD. However, this time it will be a previously unreleased track. Could it be a "Smile" outtake? A Dennis track like "Wouldn't It Be Nice To Live Again"? Um, no. It will be............a live version of "409" from Chicago, 1965.

I'm not sure what to think about this. On the one hand, I don't like doing the download thing, not even for a freebie like this (I've actually never accessed one of these types of download deals before, but I've read accounts of some people having trouble getting the thing to work), and I don't like the idea of online exclusives or retailer exclusives, so I'm glad that they didn't release anything terribly substantial as a download-only, exclusive to one retailer. On the other hand, this is about the least substantial unreleased track they possibly could have come up with.

Anyway, you can order it (or, right now, pre-order it) from the Best Buy website, which is also offering free shipping for the CD. Here is a link from the Best Buy website with info about their "exclusive":;jsessionid=NLTNKIDS0PSW3KC4D3GFAFQ?type=category&id=pcmcat120600050004
9856  Smiley Smile Stuff / Polls / Re: POLL: Wouldn't It Be Nice: Carl or Al? on: May 10, 2007, 08:01:54 PM
The strangest live version of "Wouldn't It Be Nice" that I've heard is from an Arizona show in 1988. It's actually kind of a mess, as it sounds like nobody can decide who is supposed to be singing the lead. At various points, Carl, Al, Mike, and Jeff Foskett all kind of trip over each other singing the lead parts, sometimes in unison, sometimes unintentionally so. Even Mike starts doubling (or tripling) the lead prior to his bridge.
9857  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Lost Beach Boy L.A. launch party info and new site! on: May 10, 2007, 07:55:58 PM
Hey everybody! We've just launched a brand new Lost Beach Boy website. This is where you can purchase tickets for the L.A. book launch party coming up on May 29th. The list of guest performers continues to grow and I expect some interesting additions to come. Here's the link

Jon, I noticed on the new website that it mentions that ordering from the US Amazon site will have the book shipping now to the US. But according to the US Amazon site, it is a pre-order right now not released until May 29th. Will it still ship now? I was going to order from another website that was a bit cheaper, but if the US Amazon site is shipping now, I'll order from them.
9858  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: News on: November 13, 2006, 09:03:08 PM
Regarding the local newspaper interview comments, I'm not sure if a reference to the record company being desperate would be applicable in the case of this potential beachboyscentral website. Obviously there isn't much concrete info to go by, but I thought that part of the idea behind the website was for the group/Brother to circumvent trying to sell record labels on issuing relatively obscure material that won't sell terribly well by simply issuing the material themselves. Isn't Alan Boyd's work in the vaults related to Brother as opposed to Capitol, etc.? Perhaps Capitol has been pressing the group on unreleased material and that is what the interview references, but I can't see how such a comment applies to Alan Boyd working in the Brother vaults and trying to get the band's own website up and running to sell its own music on its own.

It is troubling that the project that has been discussed the most is the "Warmth of the Sun" CD, which is just a "Best of What We Left Off Of Sounds of Summer" disc, although I won't be surprised if a remix or two or something semi-"new" is added to that so we need to buy it. Then there will be the CD/DVD deluxe version issued the following summer, etc.

I'm also a bit perplexed by both the question and answer regarding the proposition of releasing previously unreleased material considering the amount of unreleased material that has been issued in the last 16 years:

-Bonus Tracks on Two-Fers
-Bonus Tracks on GV Boxed Set
-Pet Sounds Sessions Boxed Set
-Endless Harmony Soundtrack
-Hawthorne, CA set
-Knebworth 1980 CD
-Songs From Here & Back
9859  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Christian Love joins Mike & Bruce's Endless Sounds of Summer Travelling Juke on: October 25, 2006, 10:07:16 PM
What was so daring about Brian Wilson playing Smile live? Someone explain THAT one to me.

Don't bother preaching to me, I don't care what anyone thinks anyway.

EDIT - If Brian performs Love You live, then and only then will I rethink my post. Until then, no dice.

Okay, even though you "don't care what anyone thinks anyway", I'll bite one more time for the fun of it and ask you this: What is "daring" (keeping in mind that you introduced the word "daring" to describe the Mike/Bruce show) about the Mike/Bruce setlist/show, and how is it more "daring" than anything Brian Wilson has done live? John Stamos singing "Good Timin'" or Mike singing "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" is more "daring" than attempting the entire "Smile" album in concert?

Of course, I'll understand completely if you don't want to talk anymore about this considering that you "don't care what anyone thinks anyway" and probably wouldn't care to waste time discussing this. Of course, if you don't care what anyone thinks, I'm sort of perplexed as to why you're here at all. I do care what you and other fans think insofar as discussion on this board is concerned. I'm not sure what other purpose one would have for posting here.

Apologies to those who are smart enough to not be baited by "Smile-what's the big deal?" type of comments. I'm just making one more attempt at discussion in case such a thing is really possible in this particular case. As much as I do care what others think when it comes to generating discussion here, there is no explanation for someone actually being serious in questioning what is more daring about performing "Smile" live versus Scott Totten and Chris Farmer covering Beach Boys songs that would make me want to invest anymore time in discussing this.
9860  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Christian Love joins Mike & Bruce's Endless Sounds of Summer Travelling Juke on: October 25, 2006, 08:46:21 PM
Christian Love has joined the band, but why would Chris Farmer (musical director) need a replacement for either Totten or Kirsch? Both men do their jobs very well.

And if you heard Mike and Bruce's UK setlists in late 2004, you wouldn't be calling them the Endless Sounds of Summer Travelling Jukebox. I personally would call them The Mike and Bruce More Daring Than Brian Wilson Has Been Live In Years Band.

Yeah really. I mean, what was Brian's setlist like in 2004 and 2005? Just that tired old "Smile" album that we had heard for year after year, that every two-bit cover band can easily pull off live, right?  Huh

C'mon,  let's keep everything in perspective. The Mike/Bruce setlists certainly have been more adventurous and interesting in the last few years as compared to the late 90's for instance. (My humble opinion based on nothing but my own gut feeling is that part of the motivation behind Mike/Bruce spicing up the setlist has been the early attempts by Al to do so with his own band, attempts which by 2000 were no longer possible, and Brian's continued setlist diversity). But Brian's setlists have been quite interesting as well, even aside from the "Smile" sets. Sure, we get "Love and Mercy" every time, and we usually get stuff like "Surfer Girl", "Please Let Me Wonder", a few "Pet Sounds" tracks, and a handfull of other workhorses that you would hear at a Mike or Al show as well. But Brian in 2004 and 2005 has worked in songs like "Marcella", "When I Grow Up", "Good Timin'", and the list goes on and on. Sure, his 2005 setlist didn't vary a great deal from the 2004 setlist, but that hardly leaves room to crown the Mike/Bruce band as all of a sudden having a more "daring" setlist than Brian. And as for the handfull of 2006 Brian shows, you see the same problem that has occured with Al in recent years. That is, it is hard to work up a dymanic setlist that differs a great deal from the setlists of the recent past when you're not regularly touring and are only throwing together the band for a gig here or there once in awhile.

But wow, I have to give credit for being bold enough to suggest that the Mike/Bruce setlists are more "daring" than doing "Smile" live. I don't agree with this, and I haven't a clue how one could arrive at this conclusion other than the possibility that Brian is somehow expected to work up a new long-lost never-before-heard live album performance on every one of his tours.
9861  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: McCartney's woe on: October 20, 2006, 05:01:05 AM
At the R&R Hall of Fame in 1999, Paul was pretty tipsy. I don't know if "extremely drunk" is really the right way to put it, though. His speech was rather rambling and not particularly coherent, but that had as much to do with his general lack of ability to give particularly good speeches over the years. "Extremely drunk" to me seems more along the lines of ranting and raving, seriously slurred speech, on the verge of passing out, etc. Paul wasn't near that.

As for Brian complaining about Paul, I'll say that it takes quite a bit of audacity for somebody like Brian to complain about somebody else given that people around Brian have been accepting and understanding and often have been apologists for the odd behavior that Brian has exhibited for around 40 years now. Some people at that same Queen's Jubliee thing found Brian rather odd as well, prompting even Ozzy Osbourne to indicate that he found Brian odd. When Ozzy Osbourne finds you odd, that's something to either be very troubled by or very proud of. Probably both. Has anybody other than Brian been able to freak out both Iggy Pop and Ozzy Osbourne? The coolest thing about Brian is that he totally shuts down the eccentricities of others. I recall vaguely reading some story about Brian meeting with Elvis Costello, and somebody who witnessed the meeting said that Elvis Costello was doing his little bit of eccentric behavior and it was just overwhelmed by Brian's personality. Elvis seemed a bit thrown off that he wasn't the most eccentric person in the room.
9862  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New Al Jardine track ... on: October 19, 2006, 01:39:49 AM
Not sure if this has appeared anywhere on this board yet ... but a new 'live' version of "California Girls", featuring Alan on lead vocals, has just been issued on an updated version of the "Surf City All Stars" CD. My copy arrived today and it's a great quality version ... also worth noting for David handling the vocals on "Little Deuce Coupe" ...

Where did you order the CD? Is it something being sold on the Surf City All Stars website? I just checked their website, and the CD's and DVD's they have listed don't mention this "updated" version of the CD. I'd be interested in ordering it, but I'd want to make sure I'm getting the version with Al on it. Is this the only thing out of all of the Surf City All Stars stuff that features Al?
9863  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Just got tix: Brian & Al ! ! ! wow on: September 15, 2006, 06:54:51 PM
You know what sucks, when we see these posts "Oh, I haven't seen Brian in L.A. in a couple months, why won't he do another show here?Huh" Try living in North Carolina! You never get even CLOSE to his venues. 

I know what you mean. I should point out that I've never seen Brian in L.A. though. It isn't that close to me really. I can't just whip down to the LA and come back all in the same day. (Well, I could, but that wouldn't make the show very fun). While I have no desire to start comparing notes on what areas of the country are the biggest "concert markets", population concentrations, etc., I think it really makes sense to play the Bay Area if he's going to do anything beyond NY and LA and maybe a few other east coast/midwest shows. The Bay Area has some of the best and most famous concert venues, and of course has a pretty strong history when it comes to concerts.

By the way, a quick perusal of the rough mileage shows me that from the Bay Area (and I'm being generous and using the south bay) to Los Angeles is about 342 miles, while from North Carolina (I chose Raleigh by default) to Glenside, PA is 446 miles. So, you're probably about 100 miles farther away from the Keswick Theatre BW show than I am from the UCLA BW show, and roughly two hours longer of a drive. From San Francisco proper or more generally the northern areas of what is considered the "Bay Area" to L.A. is around 400 miles, so the differences is even less. Any of these trips are well outside of what I would consider a local show for either of us. Of course, I readily admit that you have to do this or more on every BW tour, while I have had to go short distances for his full-blown tours where he did hit the Bay Area.

In any event, I'm not complaining that I never get to see Brian on tour. I'm just pointing out that if he's only going to do a hand full of concert dates, I think the SF Bay Area makes sense after LA and NY and other large markets. Plus, it makes sense logistically, especially since it would be relatively near where Al lives as well.
9864  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Just got tix: Brian & Al ! ! ! wow on: September 15, 2006, 02:32:20 PM
It sure would be nice if they added a few west coast dates (in the SF Bay Area please!) as they indicate they might. While I've caught Brian on every one of his full-blown tours (99, 00, 01, 04, 05), I've never been able to catch him during these instances where he just did a short run of 1-4 shows in the US like he's done a few times. In fact, apart from a few shows at the Roxy in L.A. and this upcoming show at UCLA, I don't think he's ever done any other shows on the west coast unless it was part of a full-blown tour. The short runs or one-off shows have usually been on the east coast or in the midwest.

I was never able to make the UCLA show anyway, though apparently even if I could make it, it's sold out. Plus, even if I could make it and could get a ticket, it still doesn't seem 100% confirmed that Al will be at that show, although the latest sort-of press release or whatever that thing was seemed to confirm it. Oh well. People in L.A., and the other cities, please get some camcorders and audio recorders into those shows!

I don't know how great the prospects are for a Bay Area show, but even if one is added, I don't know if I can rely on the official BW website to find out about it. They never listed the 2004 Smile show at Davies Hall in San Francisco on their tour schedule! I was there, I bought tickets. It did happen! Smiley
9865  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 'An American Band' - a couple of questions on: September 13, 2006, 03:13:57 AM
I haven't seen 'An American band' and I want to get it, but would like to know is it good viewing?
I've trawled ebay but want to find out which of the version is the proper unedited version, is it the one which is on the DVD with 'I just wasn't made for these times'?
Also does anyone know if there is a region 2 (UK) version of it, because my DVD player is a bit crap and won't play any others!

If you want "An American Band" on DVD, the only version I know of is the DVD that features both "An American Band" and "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times." This DVD uses the full-length version of "An American Band." There were a few different versions previously available on VHS, and I think the "Anniversary" version was the shorter. But if you get the "double feature" DVD, you should have the full length version. I don't know if there is a Region 2 version of that DVD, though.

As for the question of whether "An American Band" is good viewing, that is debatable. If you're a big Beach Boys fan, though, the documentary is worth it simply for the musical audio and video bits that aren't available elsewhere. Most of the musical footage is all chopped up with all sorts of tricky audio and video editing going on (for instance, while most of the live 1983 footage shown near the end is from the 7/4 Atlantic City show, the close-up footage of a raspy Dennis talking and trying to sing is actually from a show later, I believe in August of 1983 in Costa Mesa. Many writings and articles I've read have referred to this footage of Dennis as having taken place at that Atlantic City show.) The documentary aspect of the whole thing is rather shaky. You never hear one mention of David Marks, Blondie Chaplin, Ricky Fataar, Bruce Johnston's 1972-78 departure from the band, and a billion other important things. Brian's circa 1976 comeback is sort of lumped in with his second circa 1983 comeback. And forget about coverage of individual albums other than "Pet Sounds" and "Smile."

Also, hunks of footage are lifted from the 1976 "It's OK" TV special, but sometimes a bit out of context, or really without any context at all. (I think that bit with Carl trying to buy a car is from that special, but maybe somebody else can answer this: did that bit originally air or is it an outtake? I don't recall seeing that either on my murky VHS copy or the official European DVD release.)  All of the BB's except Brian apparently participated in the documentary to some degree, resulting in rather embarrassing (either in their scripted nature or just pure cheesiness) narration bits from Al, Bruce, Mike, and Carl. Without "new" Brian interview footage, they rely mostly on 1976 "bed interview" footage from the "It's OK" special.
9866  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: American band, Smile piano 'Worms' on: September 12, 2006, 02:57:15 PM
Again, it seems fruitless for the film crew to record their own music when they had infinite resources before them, although the odd mix of “Here Today” shows that they weren’t afraid to meddle with history.

I believe Alan mentioned that, at least after the film's debut, the producers of "An American Band" were not allowed to use any of the Beach Boys masters, so by necessity the soundtrack is made up of outtakes, unreleased mixes and live material. Obviously there were no "SMiLE" masters at this point (apart from the tracks finished for subsequent albums) so I don't know how that would explain the appearance of the "Hawaiian" piano melody.

This is what I've heard as well regarding the AAB documentary. The theory I've heard is that they went out of their way to make the mixes sound different to the final masters to demonstrate that they weren't using the original masters/mixes. If the rule was simply that they couldn't use the final masters/mixes, then they presumably could have done remixes of the songs, but still made them conventional mixes that sounded nearly identical to the original mixes. But they apparently wanted to demonstrate that they were using new/different mixes (or, in a few cases, later-era live recordings) to avoid any suggestion that they were using the original mixes/masters.

Apparently, a short theatrical run of the documentary (which also included at least one additional scene using the studio recording of "Friends" as a back drop that was cut from the video version) utlilized the original mixes/masters.

One other comment: You can't really use the fact that a given piece hasn't been bootlegged as evidence of that piece not being a legitimate Brian/BB recording. The SOT stuff is certainly not anywhere near the entirety of what is in the vaults, even concerning only material from the era that the SOT stuff covers. And what has been booted beyond the SOT stuff is certainly relatively little compared to what exists in the vaults. Heck, the material currently in the vault is apparently not even 100% representative of everything that was recorded, considering there are apparently tapes here and there that are missing!

And I'll say one thing regarding the AAB documentary. It certainly seems to be a strange black hole for audio and video material, as apparently some of the video stuff used in the documentary has turned up missing as well (hence the use of an inferior video dub of the Central Park 1971 footage in "Endless Harmony"; compare this footage in EH to AAB and you'll see show much cleaner it looks on AAB; Alan Boyd might be able to explain this better).
9867  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson at Adelphi Theatre London 12 November 2006 on: September 12, 2006, 01:47:04 AM

Not exactly. My comments involve two main points. First, I am shocked, blown away actually, that Brian AND Melinda would pick up the telephone to call the guys about a Beach Boys' reunion. I thought Brian's team was fully entrenched in making sure Brian had a solo career. I didn't think "they" would want Brian anywhere near Mike Love for musical and non-musical reasons. And I can't believe this phone call (if it in fact happened) wasn't made public by people other than Al, specifically Mike and Bruce. My comments directed at Al had to do with the nonchalant way he mentioned THE PHONE CALL. It was almost like (and I'm paraphrasing), "Yeah, Brian called about a Beach Boys' reunion. Who knows what'll happen?" I just have a hard time with that ho-hum description, but, hey, maybe that's how he/they really feel about it. It's just that when I look at where Mike, Bruce, and Al's careers are at this point - or where they aren't- I would think they would jump out of their shoes at the opportunity to work with Brian. Which leads to my second point.

To me (and maybe I'm in the minority) news of a Beach Boys' reunion is the biggest news about the group since Carl's death. I don't care about anniversaries, awards, solo albums, children's books, and TV movies. I want new Beach Boys' music from the surviving members. And, regardless of what the surviving members say or don't say, that's what I believe they want too. So I am again shocked and blown away that, if Brian and Marilyn made that phone call, that nothing was worked out. If NOTHING was worked out, and we'll know in due time, I would love to know why. What were the stumbling blocks this time?  The cost of airplane tickets? They couldn't re-schedule a concert? Unsettled lawsuits? Set list issues? I'd love to know.

Regarding your first point, what do you think *actually* happened then? Do you really think Al just fabricated the story about the phone call? If the Brian show had never taken place or been scheduled, then there might have been reason to wonder what Al was talking about. But I think it's pretty clear that Al spoke to Brian and/or Melinda, because Al may have been aware of this concert well before it was made public apparently, and he was definitely made aware of it before Brian himself even officially confirmed for it. How else would Al have had that information? I don't think that Brian and Melinda neccessarily made this phone call specifically for the sole purpose of talking about a reunion. There was probably other business to discuss, and this show and a potential dry run for a reunion was mentioned. They have been talking to each other for other reasons than this show apparently. They apparently had some discussions about putting together the tracklisting for that forthcoming "The Warmth of the Sun" CD among other things.

I agree that Al's sort of nonchalant about the prospect of a reunion, but I don't think this means Al made up the story about the phone call or anything of that sort. Further, I'm not sure this short ESQ interview is neccessarily a full and final statement on how Al feels about this show, let alone the concept of a reunion. If anything, I would think it might be the feeling or indication he got from Brian and Melinda (perhaps not a great amount of enthusiasm or willingness to committ to a reunion from them?) that might make Al a bit nonchalant or not particularly hopeful about a reunion. It sure seems like Al is trying to downplay the prospect of a reunion in this interview, and I don't think he's doing it because he's not interested in it. I seems more like he recognizes that such a reunion is a "maybe" at best.
9868  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Thoughts on the new Pet Sounds re-masters... on: September 10, 2006, 11:00:58 PM
And speaking of the Beatles, How can it be that Sgt. Pepper hasn't got the Box Set treatment? 

I may be off base on this, but I recall hearing that The Beatles had a clause inserted in their EMI contract when re-negotiated that their records would only be released in their original form. Hence no mono/stereo 2fers, no bonus tracks. I think they got around the 5.1 problem because it uses the original multitrack.

Plus, given how they raped the Pepper sessions on Anthology 2 to concoct 'new' mixes, I'd say that's a good idea.

I'm not sure I've ever heard of those specific terms as part of an agreement with EMI. What I have heard and what has been widely reported is that one of the parts of the settlement the Beatles and EMI made in the late 80's was that the Beatles (via Apple) were given the right to sign off on *any* release of Beatles music, whether it was reissuing an old album, compiling hits, or issuing previously unreleased material. EMI retains ownership of all of the Beatles albums and session recordings made under contract to EMI. But unlike the Beach Boys, where Capitol/EMI can to this day still issue any permutation/compilation of previously issued material without approval from the Beach Boys, the Beatles have to sign off on any release. This is why EMI/Capitol no longer attempts to issue things like the compilations they did in the 70's and early 80's like "Rock and Roll Music", "Love Songs", "Reel Music", etc. Apple even vetoed the CD issue of the "red" and "blue" albums; they were only released after Apple signed off on it in 1993.

If Apple agreed to it, EMI could do mono/stereo two-fers, bonus tracks, etc. EMI/Capitol's "Capitol Albums" boxed sets include both mono and stereo mixes of the albums. Neil Aspinall recently commented that they are currently remastering the Beatles catalog and are still considering whether to issue mono/stereo mixes on one CD or release them seperately, etc. So there is no indication that there is any ban specifically on mono/stereo mixes on one CD, or bonus tracks, etc. There simply seems to be a general rule that Apple signs off on anything EMI does with their music.

I predict one of three things happening with the Beatles catalog on CD:

1. Remastered mono/stereo two-fers, no bonus tracks
2. Remastered albums, with seperate mono and stereo releases
3. Remastered albums, no offering of both mono and stereo (whether this means stereo for everything, or mono for the first four, etc., I don't know.)

Apple recognizes the interest in mono/stereo two-fers as demonstrated by the "Capitol Albums" boxed sets. It's just a question of whether they will try to milk the fans by making them buy all the albums twice seperately. Remember, a two-fer of the White Album would require four CD's, and I really don't picture them keeping the standard, stock version that everybody can buy of the album as a 4-CD set. I also don't see Apple wanting to spur so much confusion by issuing mono and stereo versions seperately and have them all appear on the shelves at the same time. So what we may see is single CD's with only one mix (basically remastered versions of what's out there now), and then some sort of boxed set for alternate album mixes.

I don't see any bonus tracks being included, because there wouldn't be much room left on the two-fers anyway, and they do seem to want to keep the outtakes seperate from the albums (according to older comments from Paul McCartney, for instance).
9869  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson at Adelphi Theatre London 12 November 2006 on: September 10, 2006, 10:54:44 PM
AJ: We were on a conference call together. The invitation was extended to us from Brian and Melinda Wilson to support Brian and to try out the idea of a reunion. Just to see how it would feel. And see if there's any possibility of that and hope from there. I suspect that is where the rumor came from. This is the idea that was proposed to us.

Al never fails to disappoint me. I can always count on him to say something - usually nonchalantly - in his interviews that are totally off the wall. I'm not saying this particular scenerio didn't happen, but I find it hard to believe that Melinda AND Brian would call the Beach Boys for ANY possible reunion, extend the olive branch if you will, even for one night, and that they wouldn't jump on it. ESPECIALLY AL! Or at the very least, say, "Hey, Brian, sorry we can't make it THAT particular evening, but let's talk about another date" I'm sorry but I can't let this go. Do you realize what Al said? I'll quote it again, "The invitation was extended to us from Brian and Melinda Wilson to support Brian AND TO TRY OUT THE IDEA OF A REUNION." Unbelievable...

I'm not sure I'm understanding you here. Are you saying that these comments from Al suggest to you that Al wasn't interested in this "reunion?" The way I interpreted Al's comments was simply that at some point he was on the phone with Brian and Melinda and Brian and Melinda brought up this show and brought up the idea of having Al (and perhaps the others) be a part of this Brian show in some way, to "try out the idea of a reunion."

There is no indication from these comments that this whole thing involved anything other than Brian/Melinda and Al (and perhaps others that might have been on this "conference call") discussing this show. It doesn't mean Brian then proceeded to fax over a contract for Al to sign committing to the show, or vice versa. Indeed, according to ESQ at the time that the interview with Al was printed, Brian had not himself even committed to the event for sure. I also don't see any indication in this interview that Al was opposed to the idea of joining Brian on stage. In all the interviews I've seen with Al, it seems like he *would* jump at the chance to perform with Brian again. So who knows what happened after that discussion, or how serious or set in stone the details were of that original discussion. Maybe Brian or Melinda later decided it should be a solo Brian event. Maybe Al could make it but the others couldn't. Any number of things could have come up that prevented this reunion or semi-reunion from happening. Schedules may have changed. Attitudes may have changed. Who knows? The only thing I don't see in this interview is any evidence that Al wasn't interested in the idea of joining in on this show in some fashion.

I will agree that it would have been nice to get more details about this, but fans always feel this way when somebody they are fans of discusses something. It always is a bigger deal to us than to them. In this same ESQ interview, there are more words devoted by Al to a Kingston Trio documentary than to the prospect of some sort of Beach Boys reunion.

Personally, it would actually make more sense to not have all of the other BB's show up. Just having Al there, perhaps to join in on a few songs or something, would lift the burden of the thing being billed as any sort of "Beach Boys reunion". It wouldn't be much different from Bruce joining Brian on the 1998 "Imagination" show. Frankly, I might be more interested in the prospect of Al and Brian working on each other's solo projects than a "Beach Boys" reunion without Carl.
9870  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Midnight Ramble DVD's on: September 10, 2006, 01:34:25 AM
If this is concerning the "Midnight Special" series, then it's true that they're selling it on DVD now. Unfortunately, they are only being sold through internet/mail order/TV advertising. Not in stores. Also, you have to buy into the whole series, you can't just pick and choose specific titles (not that it would be possible even if you were allowed to pick and choose, because as far as I know even the website for the DVD's, last time I checked, didn't have specific track listings for each DVD in the series. They simply have a partial list of artists and some song titles.)

And of course, they aren't releasing full episodes. They're doing various compilations. I think the different compilations have loose themes. In any event, you'd probably have to buy into a huge series of DVD's just to get one or perhaps a few BB songs. I guess you can cancel at certain points, I dunno. I'd even be iffy about buying one DVD in a store if it only had one BB song, so this series isn't for me. I suppose if one is a huge fan of tons of bands that appeared on the show, and, more importantly, if those bands are featured on these DVD's, then some people might be into this series.
9871  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson at Adelphi Theatre London 12 November 2006 on: September 10, 2006, 01:28:26 AM
I haven't a clue if any of the other BB's will show up for this show, but it seems pretty clear that something was discussed about this at some point. When Al talked about this in some news story awhile back, some people thought he was just pulling the story out of thin air. But it seems as if, according to Al, that Brian and Melinda did discuss it with Al and perhaps others. Here's one question asked of Al from the latest issue of ESQ where he talks about this. At that time (which was a number of months ago, I'm not sure how many), Brian had apparently not officially confirmed for this event. Please note that the "editor's note" is also from ESQ, not me:

ESQ: There is a lot of hype surrounding a "Beach Boys" reunion. What can you tell me?

AJ: An investigative reporter called me to ask me for verification that the Beach Boys were reuniting this summer for a tour. I said, "No, we're not. That was not in the plans for this summer at any rate. But there is a possibility of our coming together in London this November when Brian is inducted into the UK Hall of Fame." (Editor's note: Brian has not confirmed for this event as of yet.) We were on a conference call together. The invitation was extended to us from Brian and Melinda Wilson to support Brian and to try out the idea of a reunion. Just to see how it would feel. And see if there's any possibility of that and hope from there. I suspect that is where the rumor came from. This is the idea that was proposed to us. Who know what will happen in 2007?
9872  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Video of July 4th, 1985 Philly Show? on: September 06, 2006, 05:12:13 AM
you still looking for this???

Yes! I've sent a personal message! Please feel free to PM back or e-mail.
9873  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Thoughts on the new Pet Sounds re-masters... on: August 30, 2006, 05:46:40 AM
I've watched most of the DVD video. Has anybody else noticed the sort of slightly strange video quality on a couple of the clips, specifically the "Good Vibrations" promo film and the "God Only Knows" photo collage flown in from the "Endless Harmony" DVD? It's a rather subtle effect, but I can't think of any other way to describe it other than sort of "video noise." It isn't film grain or pixellation or anything like that. It's just a sort of dotty video pattern that can be seen on the screen. It almost seems like some sort of signal interference or something, as if some appliance was messing with the picture on the screen (I re-watched this several times, and I'm sure that interference isn't actually the problem).

It isn't as noticeable on smaller screens, but on a large screen it's somewhat noticeable. Since the GV promo film is already from a sort of not quite pristine film print, the effect isn't as pronounced on it. But on the "God Only Knows" photo collage video clip, it is somewhat noticeable. I thought maybe something was wrong with my disc, but the other clips are just fine. It seems to be an artifact introduced in mastering the video on the DVD. It's sort of strange though that it would affect two clips from totally different sources. It's not a big deal, since the "GOK" clip is on the EH DVD, and the GV promo film is already sort of from a middling quality print to begin with (or was just shot to look that way). This weird video effect seems to also appear very, very briefly during the "Making of Pet Sounds" documentary as well. Again, I'd think there was something wrong with my copy, but a manufacturing defect or something usually wouldn't present itself in this way. The DVD would be all pixelly or stutter or have problems playing if it was a manufacturing defect, or the video quality issue would be seen throughout. I dunno, it's a bit strange but not too problematic. It's a bit off-putting considering the paucity of "new" material on the thing that enticed me to the buy the thing in the first place, though.

In any event, it's worth noting that the "Making of Pet Sounds" is indeed a somewhat drastic re-edit. It mixes in some "Endless Harmony" interview footage, as well as some presumably newly or relatively recently-shot interview footage with Al Jardine. It makes you wish they would just scrap the Brian-centric "Pet Stories" and get the surviving BB's to do all-new interviews and put together a long, in-depth documentary.

I didn't watch all of the "Pet Stories" documentary, and I haven't watched the original version in awhile, so I'm not sure of the differences there. The new re-edit seems shorter.

The "Good Vibrations" clip suffers from the above-mentioned, sometimes barely-noticeable video quality problems. I'll have to pull out my VHS tape from when they aired it on AMC a few years ago. I kind of recall it looking a bit better. Probably the same film print used, but the video mastering issues on this DVD might make my old VHS copy from AMC slightly better.

The "Rhythm of Life" thing is short, but interesting, and the video quality is just fine.

Most everything else is re-hashed.
9874  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Thoughts on the new Pet Sounds re-masters... on: August 29, 2006, 10:38:04 PM
Regarding the DVD: How much is different on the documentaries compared to what we already had before?

I just bought the set but haven't watched the DVD yet. But as far as I can tell based on what I already know and what is listed on this set, the only thing completely "new to DVD" is the promo film for "Good Vibrations" and the "Rhythm of Life" documentary segment. The packaging states that both the "Making of Pet Sounds" footage from the 1997 boxed set promotion as well as the "Pet Stories" documentary flown in from the "Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds Live" DVD are "new edits." What I don't know is how the edits are different. They could just be shorter, or longer, or just different here and there. I also don't know if the "new edit" of the "Making of Pet Sounds" is the same "new edit" included on the 2003 DVD-Audio (since that version was also edited compared to the original 1997 EPK footage, apparently).

I've given the CD in the package a listen. I like having the mono mix for historical purposes, but because the mono mix is so muddy and cluttered to begin with, I've usually listened to the stereo mix since it was done ten years ago. I'm not quite a super audiophile, so I don't know quite how to size up this new mono remaster. It sounds better than the 1990 CD. The thing is, I don't know if I've ever met an audiophile BB fan who loves the mono mix who still doesn't hold up the DCC Steve Hoffman mono remaster as the best available representation of the mono mix. Sure enough, over on Steve Hoffman's board, the consensus among those audiophiles seems to be that the DCC CD is still tops for the mono mix. I have to say I probably prefer the DCC CD as well. But as I said, I rarely listen to the mono mix much anymore, so I'm usually listening to the stereo remix (preferably the version from the PS Sessions box, as I like Brian's bridge vocal on WIBN, but any mastering of the stereo remix is just fine).

What is strange is that among all of the mastering, mixing, and remastering credits on this new release, I can't find any direct reference to a new mono master being used, let alone remastered. It lists the CD stereo mix as being done in 1996. It lists the one mono bonus track as having been mixed in 1987. Then there is a general "remastered by Joe Gastwirt" credit from 2000. The rest of the credits pertain to the surround/DVD elements. What I don't understand is that, if a new mono master was used, thus neccesitating a remastering of this CD for at least the mono mix portion, shouldn't there be some new remastering credit on this CD? Did Joe Gastwirt remaster this 2006 CD as well? I dunno. No big deal to me, the super-audiophile types really like to know who mastered what, when, where, and how. I'm interested as well, but only to a point in this instance, since I'm happy with decent-sounding mono remasters and a great-sounding stereo remix.

The whole project is just another rehash. I just picked it up today because I figured I'd probably be picking it up sooner or later, so I might as well pick it up while it's available at such a cheap price. I had assumed, having not looked at any Best Buy ads, that they might not even have this new thing in stock. But they had plenty of copies, and the set is in their weekly circular. It's almost like the 2003 DVD-A has been forgotten by almost everybody. Funnily, the 2003 DVD-A was on a rack right next to the "new music release" rack full of copies of the new set at the Best Buy I went to today.
9875  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Thoughts on the new Pet Sounds re-masters... on: August 29, 2006, 12:15:18 PM
All I can say at this point is the set is worth it just for the cover; I love the feel of that thing! It's comforting, like having a pet which is what I assume the designers were going for.

The liner notes are a conglomeration of everything Brian, David Leaf and Mark Linett have written about the album over the last 16 years, so nothing new there. I look forward to hearing the new improved mono mastering and seeing how the "Making Of Pet Sounds" and "Pet Stories" differs from the previously released versions.

The live tracks are "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "God Only Knows" and "Sloop John B." I would have to think they are the Beach Boys versions- possible from the '73 live album?

Man, I despise both "digital download" bonuses as well as bonuses exclusive to one retailer, and this particular setup accomplishes both at the same time! I sure hope these are simply downloadable versions of tracks from the '73 "In Concert" album and/or the "Live in London" album. If I buy this thing, I'll probably be buying it at Best Buy, but I still don't like doing the download thing. If they just gave a password to go to a website where I can download the mp3 or whatever, that wouldn't be too bad. But it's probably some sort of strange encrypted file that only plays on certain software or is otherwise somehow more complicated than simply clicking on a file link and downloading it.

If this is just a cross-promotion to get people to go on the web to learn more about the group, and/or if this is just cross-promotion for the live album catalog, then I think this is a fine idea. But if this is something that people can't buy on CD and can only get via download, and/or if it's something that only people who shop at Best Buy can get, then that's pretty messed up. And I'm not even getting into the question of why they would design this huge, expansive, "deluxe" CD/DVD set and yet not include some material that they are only going to offer via download.
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