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677338 Posts in 27333 Topics by 4045 Members - Latest Member: iggy October 07, 2022, 03:18:20 AM
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10526  Smiley Smile Stuff / Ask The Honored Guests / Re: The Alan Boyd Thread on: January 23, 2009, 11:22:39 PM
My mind was just blown by logging in for the first time in ages and finding long posts I did about topics I totally put out of my mind, the posts dated three years ago to the week starting next week.

Has it been that long?

All I wanted to know was whether anyone had an explanation for the sudden drop in quality on Good Vibrations, heard most prominently in the organ part.

10527  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread on: February 28, 2006, 10:09:24 AM
I appreciate what you're saying and agree, sure, but part of me also says that the negative impact of sticking any mic between an amp like a Fender Bassman or a Vibroverb (amps which are still used and remain virtually unchanged, electronics-wise, almost 50 years later) and a metal music stand would be the same in 1965 as it would be in 2006. If you hit certain notes though that amp, you'd still get some unwanted reflections and all of that hitting the mic and affecting the sound, besides the possible rattle from the music stand.

But as I said, and you hinted at, you can't argue with the results. Then, it seemed to be more of a human process, both from the musician and the engineering staff. That one Sloop track just kills me, where Brian says something about the flutes, and the solution is how and where the musician(s) were standing in relation to the microphone rather than an electronics fix. Likewise, those accordians resonating on Wouldn't It Be Nice - that's purely organic, and you couldn't duplicate enough of the actual process working in harmony in that exact room under those exact conditions to capture the same effect.

So having those three guitarists sitting in a row like that - it goes to my concept of using guitars like a horn section, where the "first chair" of that guitar section would set the pace and the volume for his players, and they'd all blend in. And they were better able to blend in on their own to acheive that level of ensemble playing, leaving the engineer with not much more to do than put up a mic in the best place to capture that ensemble sound, like a horn section.  It's probably a hangover of the big-band scene all those folks came from, and just a different mindset of recording multiple guitar parts as a section rather than as pieces.

I'd be curious in todays modern recording - if you had two flute players playing a unison line, and something wasn't right, would the immediate instinct of the engineer be to reach for some type of electronic/digital soultion with the equipment, or try to reposition either the microphone or the musicians?

There may be part of the answer, I don't know.

10528  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread on: February 28, 2006, 09:39:02 AM

I think that's our mystery mic.  What do you think?

Good work! That sure looks like the same one, especially looking at the stand/mount. The session photo is a little blurry as you enlarge it, but I'd say that's the same mic. I wonder if that was placed there to capture some room sound, or whether that was meant for the empty chair/position to Ray's left? What's odd to me is how they have the guitar amps pointed directly at the metal music stands, and assuming they're mic'ed up directly in front...considering how many people cover metal music stands with towels or some type of material when recording vocals, for example, to avoid reflections it seems a little strange to have the speakers projecting right at those metal stands. But the results speak for themselves.

Now let's try to buy one of those RCA BK-5B's, shall we? Wink
10529  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Why Were 7"'s at 45rpms? on: February 27, 2006, 11:25:52 PM
I thought this question was originally about the history, or the reasons why 45rpm was the chosen speed...but it turns out it's more related to Hey Jude, and similar long songs from that era. Oh well.

First, the 45rpm format was specifically designed and introduced by RCA for the targeted market of popular music listeners whose songs rarely went over 3 minutes (which was near the max length for 78rpm sides), and never went over 5 without a pause in the music. So RCA puts out the new record format, and a new player to play that format, which allowed the listener to stack the records in certain orders and "program" the order of songs - something the long-play record format at 331/3rpm couldn't do. And the 45rpm became, really, the first and only record format designed with the popular music consumer in mind, above the other considerations from the motion picture and mechanical worlds that influenced the design of the 331/3, 16, and 78 rpm discs.

I have a few of those early 45rpm "albums", from folks like Stan Kenton, where it's just a box holding three 45 records...but that gave me, as the listener, the ability to play them in any order on my RCA player that I chose. Oh the joy.

And the 45rpm was chosen by formula - apparently the diameter of the center label relating to the diameter of the record was how they found the best speed for the best sound quality.

But getting back to Hey Jude - I posted before on the history of the cutting process involved with that record, and how it was a technical feat to squeeze that much music and that many grooves onto a standard 45. But they *had* to do it that way, as 45 was the jukebox standard, and the standard for singles in general, and Hey Jude was a single, not an album cut. So they had to bend technology to allow the song to go out in that format, and part of the technical feat is that the degradation of sound quality wasn't near what it *should* have been based on the process they had to go through - more an art than a process actually in cutting records - to get that sucker to fit.

What's cool about some old radio broadcasts is you can hear how they were cueing up 45rpm records that were just fried from being cued up and played so often, and they're all poppin' and scratchin' and no one at that time probably even noticed on their AM radios.
10530  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread on: February 27, 2006, 08:20:06 PM
Craig, does that thingy to Ray's left kind of low next to the chair look like a mic to you?

And more importantly, what was with the all the bad 80's hair on the covers of some of my Wolf Marshall transcription magazines?

It does look like a mic to me - I think I've seen that model before, but damned if I know what it's called. I think it may be an Altec of some kind - I'm sure Stephen would know if you point him this way!

It's curious that there seems to be an empty guitar chair, stand, and chair-doubling-as-amp-stand right where that mic would be. Whose seat was that I wonder?

And about Wolf Marshall and the 80's - I thought he was pure metal for the longest time, from his books and magazine appearances. That was what sold as an image I guess, so I'm sure it was no accident. So it was quite a surprise to find out the "rest of the story" about him, and how he was more of a jazz player who had studied with the greats like Roberts (and Kessel, too, I believe) and who used his amazing ear for music to make a very comfortable living!

You have to check out some of his writings on getting the classic tones on guitar - he's the source of how I knew Lennon used flatwounds on his acoustic to get all those unique acoustic tones on his White Album era tracks like "Across The Universe"...not that I'd borrow that same technique or anything... Wink
10531  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread on: February 27, 2006, 06:50:03 PM
Ho-Rob.  Shame I wasn't around to have Ray take me under his wing.  Thanks for that info Craig.  I know Mitch Holder but didn't know the Ho-Rob connection.

You're very welcome, I'm more than happy to be able to share and discuss information like this with other people who are interested in this type of discussion.

I have a few more tidbits of info on Howard Roberts and his students, but I'll have to get more of it together. I still think these students may hold more info than you'd find perhaps anywhere else.

Case in point: Guitar players should recognize the name "Wolf Marshall". He's the king of guitar transcriptions and book/video guitar instruction, from its absolute peak in the 80's until the present day. He was one of Howard Roberts' students and friends as well, and is one of the foremost experts on guitar history and playing techniques of famous players and famous recordings...

Well, anyway...Wolf Marshall has Howard Roberts' famous black guitar, the over-customized guitar Ho-Rob played most often in the studio, and the one heard on hundreds of recordings. I have a photo of him with the guitar - and I'm sure, like Mitch Holder, he might have a story or two to tell and perhaps a photo or two to share. Wink One thing he can do is tell exactly how to nail Ho-Rob's ultimate, unreal  jazz tone from his "...Dirty Guitar Player" album.

(PS I also saw the whereabouts of Al Casey's guitar, or what someone claimed was Casey's guitar which he used on some famous dates...but that's for another thread.)
10532  Smiley Smile Stuff / Ask The Honored Guests / Re: The Stephen Desper Thread on: February 27, 2006, 06:38:18 PM
  Because, as Steve pointed out, Rieley has his "perspective", which in my opinion has been colored by a bias against the Mike-Alan-Bruce axis. 

That axis was *really* helpful to Al in the long run, wasn't it? Wink
10533  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: My "Smile Sessions - The Essentials" compilation on: February 27, 2006, 11:07:04 AM
Andreas - I wanted to thank you for posting this tracklist. For some time I've been thinking of doing a similar project, compiling a decent overview of Smile that I could play for someone who has not heard the Smile sessions of 66-67 without being overwhelmed by multiple "Hitsville!"-style takes, and you've done a great job.

10534  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread on: February 27, 2006, 09:58:32 AM
"Howard Roberts, Tommy Tedesco, pianist unknown, Ray Pohlman, Lyle Ritz taken by trombonist Tommy Sheppard and thansk to Mitch Holder."

Take note of the "thanks to Mitch Holder" credit. Check out who Mitch Holder is - he's the "Tommy Tedesco" or "Howard Roberts" of the 70's, 80's, and 90's and beyond. One of LA's first-call session guitarists who we've all heard on TV and movie soundtracks. He even has a Gibson guitar which he used primarily for session work called the Gibson ES-357, which other musicians have called the "ES-Mitch"!

Plus, for years he was the younger one of the guitarists who played on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" with Doc and the band - Bob Bain, another session cat from the 50's and 60's, was the other primary guitarist.

So how does all of this tie into the photo?

Mitch Holder studied with and was a close friend of Howard Roberts, shown in the photo. Howard began taking Mitch, his student, to session dates in the 60's. And through those sessions, Mitch began working the "second tier" of Hollywood session work at places like Gold Star in the 60's: While Roberts was cutting the big records and working the name dates, Mitch would be cutting the soundalikes and demos with folks like Stan Ross in the smaller rooms, and working his way up the ladder, learning the job.

By the time Roberts and Tedesco cut back on their record dates, it was their students like Mitch Holder, Michael Deasy, and guys like Larry Carlton who started taking the dates, having been introduced to the scene by their "teachers".

So a great source of research information and historical photos would be those students of the original players...guys like Mitch Holder who had access to the players and the photos like the one shown above of his teacher, Howard Roberts, at work.
10535  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: RARE Beatles footage (1968 - NOT let it be sessions) on: February 27, 2006, 09:37:28 AM
The real "Hey Bulldog" promo footage was indeed screened on an episode of ABC's newsmagazine "20/20", and I remember watching it and taping it after learning it would be on. They built it up on the show as a big deal - and it was a really cool thing to see, even though the footage itself was what they used for the "Lady Madonna" promo. Great video quality - I really, really enjoy watching any clip like that. Lennon and McCartney doing the vocals around a single microphone is a priceless shot.

The Beatles cartoons, besides being on various local stations, were being screened every weekend on MTV in the mid 1980's. The best part was the music, clearly. I remember "And Your Bird Can Sing" being featured and always sounding great. One thing those cartoons did is forever taint the great song "I Call Your Name" for me - in this specific cartoon episode, Ringo has a pet frog named "Bartholomew", and after he loses this frog, they play "I Call Your Name" as he's looking for it. So every time Lennon sings "I call your name..." in the song, the cartoon Ringo shouts out "BARTHOLOMEW!" in response.  Smiley

And someone mentioned this aspect of the cartoons as well...and whether this ever happened or whether it is just a speculation or urban legend is something I've never checked out...but the cartoon Beatles plugged their guitar cords directly into the wall sockets whenever they played a song. Someone, somewhere mentioned actual kids trying to plug guitars into their electrical wall sockets after seeing The Beatles do it on those cartoons, but I think it was more a joke than a real incident!
10536  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Frightening foto! on: February 22, 2006, 09:24:53 PM
10537  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Howard Stern 1998 interview on: February 22, 2006, 09:11:43 PM
And it was Howard Stern who played the Mike Love Hall Of Fame speech/debacle literally hundreds of times through the years - he'd start off every show at 6am by playing a reel of various highlights and favorite clips before starting the show live, and Mike Love's HOF speech was always on there. I'll bet more people heard it there than anywhere else. If I'm remembering correctly, he's also had Carnie Wilson on the show before, with a good interview.

Gary "Baba Booey" Dell'Abate, Stern's producer and whipping boy, was once mocked by Stern for having a collection of Beatles bootlegs and outtakes, so I'll bet he's hip to the same stuff as folks on this board including Smile. This was in the late 80's if I recall.

I used to be a big Stern fan but I lost interest.
10538  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Gary Lewis & The Playboys on: February 22, 2006, 07:58:44 AM
I was just listening to an old Greatest Hits (or Golden Hits...) vinyl from Gary Lewis a few days ago. I'm a fan, and I've always thought he was pretty cool, no matter who was the brains behind the productions. How many great productions don't have a brain behind the operation, after all? George Martin and Brian Wilson come to mind...

But I can listen to Gary Lewis songs any time and they sound great, especially on the radio. His voice fit those songs in just the right way - listen to how his vocal quality fits perfectly with the very first lines of "This Diamond Ring". Remember that one Hal Blaine is on drums for some of those hits, you can hear it...

So what happened to Gary Lewis? I think he was indeed doing the summer tour circuit, and he just made an appearance on his father Jerry's Labor Day Telethon for MS this past September, performing a few songs live. I'm still bummed out that I missed the performance - I just heard that he was on the telecast. What's sad is the story of what happened to him after his initial run of hits in the 60's. He went to Vietnam, and came back with a drug addiction, for which his father publically blamed the government. It's a darker part of the story that you don't hear told as often, but I do remember posting it a few years ago in a SmileShop thread and you can probably find the story told better elsewhere online.

10539  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Beatles people: Ticket to Ride info on: February 21, 2006, 12:01:04 AM
Ticket To Ride is one of the saddest songs the Beatles ever did.

Pure brilliance.

It's actually one track I don't care about the sessions all that much, for some reason it's maybe the only track I'll hear as perfection, without caring as much how they arrived there.

The main thing I would love to hear, pure fantasy speculation, would be a home tape of Lennon singing the song as the sad ballad it really is without the pop gloss.
10540  Smiley Smile Stuff / 1960's Beach Boys Albums / Re: Smiley Smile sequence on: February 20, 2006, 11:53:01 PM
Not to sound cheeky here, but I doubt the Boys could have tuned the steel guitar the proper way without asking someone, let alone have played such a smooth and as you said "nuanced" slide part that remained perfectly in tune. That's the real bear on that instrument - intonation.

Lennon burned it up on "For You Blue"!


 Wink Yes he burned it up, and it's a bitchin' lap steel part, but he's out of tune - by even the most relaxed standards of playing a lap steel guitar with good intonation. Some of the outtakes are even worse...
But did it matter in that context? Of course not, it's a cool part that fits the tune like a glove.

10541  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brians most interesting chord changes. on: February 20, 2006, 11:34:54 PM
Notice that I mentioned several times in my posts that Brian Wilson cannot be credited with the harmonic structures being analyzed in this thread. If you want to know where Carl and Dennis got their ideas for pedal bass and all of that, look first and foremost to Brian - period. All those years of watching and hearing him play those same structures, and then being asked to sing them in harmony, was easily their biggest influence.

But if you want to know where Brian got those thick voicings, like starting a minor 7th stacked harmony with the 5th in the bass, it's jazz pure and simple. Jazz of the variety Duke Ellington was writing for his bands in the 20's, jazz of the variety Fletcher Henderson was writing for horn sections in the 30's, and jazz of the variety popular music used to accept as standard practice for the hits of the day, at least until the later 50's when audiences turned away from it, leaving the sophistication to more"adult" styles of music. In Brian's day, the Four Freshmen were "popular music", and it would be like us today turning on the radio and hearing Weezer doing "Beverly Hills". It was Brian's popular music. Imagine a song like "Mona Lisa", with Nelson Riddle's arrangement, being considered a jukebox hit of its time - compared to nearly anything heard as a hit today, Mona Lisa sounds like it came from Mars...and debate on your own whether that's a good or bad thing. But listeners of popular music were accustomed to hearing more advanced harmonies and arrangements in music back in that day, and back in that day was also when Brian was coming of age and learning how to play and write music on his own. That can't be stressed enough - that was his popular music, and the context of having his jazzy sophistication next to Carl and Mike's heavier rhythm and blues, well...

There lies Brian Wilson's main innovation, I believe. He bridged the gap between jazz and popular, and then jazz and rock-and-roll, for younger audiences who were missing one or the other. Having a band of white kids from California singing like the Four Freshmen or the Modernaires on top of driving Chuck Berry rock rhythms and surf guitar sounds was original. People who liked the power and drive of rock were hearing jazz. Vice versa, people who dug the jazzy elements were hearing rock. But that's all been said before.

People who have experience listening to and playing/writing jazz won't hear as much innovation in what Brian was *doing* with his harmonies, but rather how he was *using* those harmonies in the contexts of his songs, and more importantly, perhaps, how he managed to "sell" those sounds to the new "pop" audiences and not have them reject something outside of standard triad-based harmony. Up until, say, 1966, perhaps Bacharach and Brian were the innovators in that way, and others began to feel that similar influence and do their own versions of it - to great effect. But most of it can be traced back to big-band jazz arranging techniques, from a strictly technical perspective.

It remains innovative today in 2006 to hear even a trace of a jazz harmony voicing, or even the use of a tension like a 9 or a 13 on top of a standard chord/triad, in what we have been calling "popular" music since the 50's. The Beatles, God Bless 'Em, ended She Loves You with a simple substitution of a 6th on a major chord, and musicians still love to point that last chord out as an example of sub-genius. Well, it sounds cool and ends the tune nicely, but it's nothing more than a substitution! So hearing something with a pedal bass, or an upper-structure triad in a song written by someone named Wilson can have that same effect, because as modern listeners, those sounds may not be as common or as familiar as the more blues-based rock sounds we've grown up with. Someone who may have only listened to rock music for years, upon hearing something like Pet Sounds or Bacharach for the first time, would naturally think it was several levels above what they are familiar with and confortable with hearing from pop music. The chords are thick, the changes unexpected, the vocals doing things beyond singing 3rds and 6ths in two-part harmony on the choruses. If all of that sounds new, the instinct might be to credit the artist who is introducing those sounds to their ears as the innovator. In some ways, that is true in the context of what they're hearing, but the technical nuts-and-bolts of writing jazz harmony and using jazz harmony in popular music can be traced further back.

It's just a shame that several times on this board's previous incarnation, my and others' attempts at getting some jazz music appreciation started were met by some pretty dumb and pretty ignorant attempts to dismiss the topic. Anyone digging Brian's, and Carl's, and Dennis' harmonic structures could take away so much from a few listens to jazz...and hopefully put some of those concepts and structures to use in the next wave of original pop music.
10542  Smiley Smile Stuff / 1960's Beach Boys Albums / Re: Smiley Smile sequence on: February 18, 2006, 09:59:35 AM
I could teach a baby to be a second engineer, but Brian insisted on Winston Wong[/i].

 Grin :D Smiley

A brilliantly witty response - Cheers! Your sense of humor on these boards is second to none, I mean that seriously.

(This post puts me at 19, I think your count is close to 40.)
10543  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brians most interesting chord changes. on: February 18, 2006, 09:46:11 AM
I just wish I hadn't wasted four years of high school not attending a Music Theory class.

I've been teaching myself through learning songs and making my own with my growing knowledge.

Don't look back at what you missed! What I'm saying is feel free to ask any questions, or set up a separate thread for a specific theory discussion and I'll discuss what I can, along with, I'm sure, other musicians here who would enjoy discussing these things as well (as shown in this thread alone).
10544  Smiley Smile Stuff / 1960's Beach Boys Albums / Re: Smiley Smile sequence on: February 18, 2006, 09:42:33 AM
And why bother to plant seeds of doubt with Brian's memory on this topic of Little Pad?

Just considering all the angles.  The steel on Little Pad seems basic enough for one of the Boys to handle, plus no Al on the AFMs.  I tend to believe that Al was there, as to me the Steel seems nuanced enough to be a pro.  But you kind of have to remain eternally sceptical of all possibilities in the "session credits" line of "work."

Too many angles?  Smiley

Not to sound cheeky here, but I doubt the Boys could have tuned the steel guitar the proper way without asking someone, let alone have played such a smooth and as you said "nuanced" slide part that remained perfectly in tune. That's the real bear on that instrument - intonation.

On a related note, the octave-slide "Theremin" line on the song Wild Honey sounds simple enough that I could teach any non-musician how to play it on Mike's "Ribbon Controller" in 30 minutes. Yet, they called in Paul Tanner, the pro,  to do that part. Probably for similar reasons as they called Vescovo to play that steel on Little Pad. Wink
10545  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brians most interesting chord changes. on: February 18, 2006, 09:35:15 AM
In my years of studying music theory, I've found that the books alone don't work as well as having someone demonstrating and explaining the concepts in person, and being available to ask questions if you need further clarification.

And it helps a great deal to have specific examples to listen to as you're learning, so you can hear what the various concepts sound like with real music, and put it all together for a better understanding.

A book and CD package would be great to save up some money to buy: "Berklee Press", for one example of many, has such a book/CD devoted to teaching theory.

I'm biased - I had some wonderful teachers in high school and college who taught me not only traditional theory, but also how the modern, popular composers took those concepts and adapted them into popular styles. In other words, the very same thing as I described Brian's writing descending chromatic lines on a tune as innocent as Surfer Girl.

If you play a specific instrument, make sure to memorize all of the scales, key signatures, triads, and arpeggios on that instrument. Start with that knowledge of keys, scales, and triads, and it all flows from there.

If you have any theory-related questions, start up a thread on this board somewhere and ask those questions! We'll try to answer them, I'm sure. I teach music and would be willing to answer them as best as I can, and other members love to discuss these things as well. It's up to you. 
10546  Smiley Smile Stuff / 1960's Beach Boys Albums / Re: Smiley Smile sequence on: February 18, 2006, 09:25:47 AM
That was an interview from the earlier part of the 90's, where I can verify without any doubt that Brian DID credit Al Vescovo with playing lap steel on "Little Pad". The whole interview was posted once on this board a few years ago, so it probably still exists in full somewhere. Brian says a few lines about various Smiley tracks, nothing shocking - but interesting since he rarely talked about Smiley Smile's tracks. And why bother to plant seeds of doubt with Brian's memory on this topic of Little Pad? I don't understand that - give Brian at least some credit that he'd remember if Al Vescovo played steel guitar on Little Pad! Roll Eyes.

I had the full interview but I lost it - all I have are a few random quotes.

Here's another quote from that interview that many folks seem to forget when discussing the origins and history of Fall Breaks:

BW:That was sort of a song about a cold winter scene. We tried to paint a picture of winter and then spring, but we called it fall. The idea was that it went to spring, late summer and then broke in the winter, We used the "Woody Woodpecker" theme because it was descriptive to us of spring and summer.

10547  Smiley Smile Stuff / Ask The Honored Guests / Re: The Stephen Desper Thread on: February 17, 2006, 09:47:44 PM
I cringed when I read Mike Love's complaint against Al Jardine -- part of it made reference to using women on a Beach Boys-related show.  As if Toni Tenille had never been with the band...

And Mike didn't seem to have a problem having women dressed in bikinis and cheerleader outfits dancing around him on stage at Beach Boys shows in the 90's. As long as the women didn't *sing* at his BB's shows, he was fine with having them on stage.
10548  Smiley Smile Stuff / Ask The Honored Guests / Re: The Mark Linett Thread on: February 17, 2006, 09:43:16 PM

The two things aren't connected being difft labels and all, but there aren't any plans for the christmas album to be mixed in surround anytime soon.

And if it was, it would probably have to be released during a very specific time of year...


If it says "Beach Boys" on the cover, those in the label's marketing department would immediately say "Summer!" and once again earn their pay for that week. Grin
10549  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brians most interesting chord changes. on: February 17, 2006, 09:38:43 PM
Surfer Girl is Brian at younger best, combining the innocence of the song and subject matter with a sophisticated chord change. The verse starts off as a standard I-vi-IV-V progression, D-Bminor-G-A. Then he takes it into Brian Wilson land, going to Dmajor7 rather than the standard D major, then dropping one note to form D7, then resolving that to G major and dropping again to G minor before starting the cycle again with D.

The brilliant part of that progression is the inner chromatic voice leading heard in one line, which would be a descending line starting on the note C# (the major 7th of D), dropping to C (the flat 7th of D), then to B (the major 3rd on G), to Bb (the minor 3rd on G), finally resolving to the note A (the 5th of D). It's the stuff that all the best close jazz voicings and harmonizations are built around, and of course I'm not crediting Brian Wilson with inventing that progression, but he deserves credit for using it as a 19 or 20 year old guy writing about a surfer girl.

The younger Brian's reharmonization of the vocal break in "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" nearly brings a tear to my eye. Exhilarating three bars or so of music, that transforms an already classic tune which Frankie Lymon owned into something only Brian might think of doing.

Time for one more:
Brian was a somewhat of a genius in writing non-standard chord progressions for the choruses and main hooks of his tunes. Check out the choruses to both "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations":

The chorus chords of California Girls and Good Vibrations both move in whole steps, essentially changing keys, or creating "keys of the moment" with every change. California Girls moves down in whole steps, starting with a C to Dmin7 progression (I-ii in C major), then dropping to Bb to Cmin7 (I to ii in Bb major), then going to Ab major to Bb minor (I to ii yet again), finally resolving up a whole step to the original key of C. So that is Brian's borrowing some techniques and progressions from modal harmony and making it his own in a brilliant pop song.

Good Vibrations does the same thing, but with a twist. After the initial, and somewhat standard progression in the verse, he starts the heavier chorus section on Gb, then he moves up a whole step to Ab for the next phrases, then ends the chorus up yet another whole step to Bb, which coincidentally is the V chord which resolves perfectly to the first chord of the verse: Ebminor.   

Brian was great at creating harmonic cycles,  or forming progressions with groups of chords that relate more to an interval-based cycle than a central chord or key. It's again a bit of an old jazz composition trademark that Brian can't claim as his own, but the way he shaped and used those ideas in his music was brilliant and original. "The Little Girl I Once Knew" has a similar cycle in its chorus, as does "Cool Cool Water/Love To Say DaDa/In Blue Hawaii", as do several other BW classics.

Honorable mentions to discuss later: the opening chords of Catch A Wave; the opening chords of When I Grow Up; the chorus chords of I Get Around; the entire song Let Him Run Wild; the brilliant chorus of Time To Get Alone; the strumming/wordless vocal section of Little Pad; etc, etc, etc.
10550  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Odd "Heroes And Villains" sections?? on: February 17, 2006, 11:16:57 AM
Something else to consider about Brian changing his mind. (It's been awhile since I've had any SOT 17 discussions, so I'm a little slow... Wink)

That Wind Chimes take 5 you're talking about - Brian absolutely changed his mind, and actually changed the entire construction of the track, if my ears and memory is correct. On that same SOT 17 disc, listen to track 8 labeled 'Wind Chimes (1st vocal overdub)'.

Instead of having the musicians in the studio playing those multiple piano parts live with the other musicians as he did on "take 5", listen around 1:42 for what sounds like an obvious tape edit. Then we hear what i believe is Brian himself stacking and overdubbing the various piano parts himself, on different pianos, both regular and tack, reverbed and dry. I'm sure this section is the one famously described by Vosse in both the Teen Set article describing the session itself where Brian did this, and in his Fusion interview.

So the backing track itself changed from a full, beginning-to-end live performance in the studio to a more modular piece with the different sections edited together. Not uncommon.

I'm still wondering if the version Vosse described in the Fusion article is something we've heard, or something that's been lost. What was the verdict on that from last year when he showed up for a few weeks answering questions? My memory is fading... 
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