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669369 Posts in 26930 Topics by 3918 Members - Latest Member: another June 15, 2021, 11:50:21 PM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: June 09, 2021, 07:23:06 AM
The Surf's Up 1971 remake track with 1966 Brian vocals is a weird thing. It's intriguing, but not a great listening experience. I wonder just how much of it was flown-in. Perhaps the muted trumpets were also flown-in. I think I would have preferred hearing the 1971 backing track as it was left, but it's still nice to be able to hear it in some form.

What do you mean by "flown-in"? It's presented exactly as recorded; no extra instruments were added.
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Funky Pretty: the So Tough / Holland era sessions on: June 06, 2021, 08:28:49 AM
Patty Cake was never recorded, and I'm not convinced Brian ever even wrote it. I think the song may just be a very often-repeated myth. The earliest source I could find was David Leaf's book, and he made it sound like Brian talked about writing a song about Patty Cake in a 1973 interview. Listening to the interview, he says no such thing. As much as I want it to be true, I think it's just another Beach Boys Myth.
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Bruce's claim that \ on: June 05, 2021, 08:05:19 PM
Considering 'Til I Die is one of my all time favorites, it's hard to find too many songs from afterward that I'd consider better, but I've always preferred A Day In The Life Of A Tree (which was written and recorded after TID). I think I can also throw Let's Put Our Hearts Together, The Night Was So Young, and Still I Dream Of It on that list.

But those are just songs I'd consider better - obviously there are dozens and dozens of great songs he has written since!
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: June 02, 2021, 10:50:03 AM
I'd like to say thanks too - staggering! Something in there to delight all listeners.

Looking forward to the whole, but in terms of individual tracks too, I'm most excited about Back Home Live '76; the new Dennis material; Big Sur; Back Home demo; When Girls Get Together and Awake. Not to mention the new album mixes.

Thanks for ensuring it was released guys.

There are no new album mixes
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: June 02, 2021, 08:43:02 AM
I'd really wanted the raspberries/strawberries recording origins of at my window

and the Coca-Cola recording origins of cool cool water

with 5 discs there certainly was enough space and perfect setting needless to say

another wasted opportunity
There wasn't an early recording of At My Window called Raspberries, Strawberries as some articles claim. Just an early title they were using for the same recording that came out on Sunflower
6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Beach Boys 2020 Tour Thread on: May 28, 2021, 02:27:00 PM
I don't think you'll hear a single one of those (aside from the occasional "Disney Girls").

I saw the "Wild Honey" tour in 2017. The setlist included ONE song from the album...and it WASN'T "Wild Honey"!

"Feel Flows", when out of context, sounds like generic hippie/surfer lingo. I suspect there will be absolutely no mention of the tour name or its relevance whatsoever, and 95% of the audience at these shows won't care.
They're adding Feel Flows to the setlist. And they've been doing Forever at almost every show
7  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Feel Flows box set on: May 16, 2021, 01:25:59 PM
I am unironically looking forward to the live Disney Girls from 1982
8  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Pet Squares #3 The Surfer Girl album just released on youTube on: May 11, 2021, 11:00:40 AM
There seems to be two techniques in question here. Chuck implied Murry would just want to pin the levels so they're in the red to create - in Murry's mind I guess - excitement or power in the track, or whatever. That's pretty common for people who are not as skilled in mixing tracks. More volume in the monitors during the mix equals "better". People sometimes think louder is better, call it psychology or whatever. But if it makes clients happy in the moment, they will come back and play you more money lol. I was at a mixdown session at the former Sony studios in NYC where they literally had the volume so loud during the playback it hurt, not just my ears either. Rock track, party atmosphere, with some people who are or would become pretty well-known in the biz...but it was ridiculously loud for no reason I could see (or hear). But that's what the people there were grooving on.

The thing Murry described in the interview is more nuanced, and it's a technique which an outboard compressor (or limiting amplifier for those who want technical accuracy) does electronically, and automatically. When a vocalist starts trailing off on a note, or runs out of breath sustaining a note, both the volume decreases and the pitch will drop too. A compressor will automatically boost the volume at that trail-off point when necessary, and it levels everything out. The old-school engineers would sometimes prefer to manually "ride" the fader pots on lead vocals instead of using the compressor, and I've read that Sinatra's crew at Putnam's studios - specifically Jimmy Bowen who I *think* was mixing those Reprise sessions - would mix all of that manually, riding the vocals the whole time while going with the ebb and flow of the music. Engineers who were even then used to patching in a compressor/limiter device to do that would watch these live mixes go down and be kind of amazed at how musical the fader-riding process was, because it was even then considered old-school in some circles.

And in terms of pitch trailing off as the singer runs out of breath, that was one of the killer apps of Antares' Autotune, where if it was set just right the Autotune would kick in at that trail-off point and correct the wavering pitch as the singer started to lose breath at the end of a note or phrase. That's how that tool is used transparently, unless the singer was really drifting off, no one would notice the pitch-up at the end of those phrases but it would make a pretty significant difference in the mix to have a solid sustained vocal note remaining in-tune the entire time. And that is completely separate from the deliberate overuse of the tool, aka Kanye and T-Pain and 99% of all pop and R&B music in the past two decades.

So according to Chuck, Murry was talking s**t and they just tricked him to appease him in the booth after which they'd do the real mixing of the track. Yet Murry himself - seeming to yet again take more credit than he was due in the process - describes a valid fader-boosting technique that would enhance vocal tracks, but which most engineers would be doing in general anyway with or without outboard compressors, and without Murry's orders.

I guess the answer lies somewhere in between. And I'd *still* like to know both if and when they rigged up a fake console for Murry to twiddle knobs and do all his "surges" while the actual mixing was being done without his input or barking of orders. 


Yep, it seems Murry at least believed he was telling the truth here, and was unaware that Chuck wasn't actually letting him "surge" the vocals.
9  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Pet Squares #3 The Surfer Girl album just released on youTube on: May 11, 2021, 08:05:38 AM
Now would be a good time to bring up one of my favorite Chuck Britz quotes...

"I know Murry said things like 'surge, surge, surge' to me all the time. And I just turned up the monitor to make him think I was surging. His idea was to pin those needles right up on the board and I kept saying, 'Murry, you can't do that, you're not going to get anything worthwhile.' I finally just started lowering everything way down on the machines so he could look up and see those needles pegging and then I just turned the monitor up to full bore and he'd think I was surging like crazy."
10  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennis Visiting and House Shopping in Hawaii - July 1967 on: May 07, 2021, 09:16:19 AM
"Also, how did Carl get the sole production credit for TTGA if Brian was involved all the way?"

because the song literally was stolen from Brian
I have given you help on where to find the recording sessions on recent releases. I quoted Brian talking about how excited he was about this song for the beach boys in 1968, and told you where you can listen to him talk about it. If you reject real live evidence in order to support a narrative, there's no point in continuing this conversation.
11  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennis Visiting and House Shopping in Hawaii - July 1967 on: May 06, 2021, 02:50:14 PM
if TTGA was truly finished it could've, and should've been left (the tapes that is) for Redwood, instead of Mike absconding with same.  Listening to it (on the 3 dog night CD) I get the distinct impression it wasn't quite done (there're parts that don't transition perfectly).  Hence the possible reason for the TTGA session that fateful day, and Mike not wanting Brian to work on it there anymore.  It is certainly true the song waited past the wild honey, past the friends (and technically past the stock-o-tracks) albums to find release eventually on 20/20.  It is also true the entire basic track was re-recorded when finally released on 20/20
Almost all of this is untrue. If you seek out some recent releases, you can hear Time to Get Alone in its various stages - the Carl/Brian duet version from the Wild Honey sessions on Sunshine Tomorrow, Brian's Friends era demo on Wake the World, and an a cappella mix on I Can Hear Music. Brian's even on tape on the last of those saying "you know, come to think of it, this might be a hit record." The unused remake track that you seem to be confused about is on I Can Hear Music as well.

And, whether or not the Redwood vocals sound good to you, their version is a completed mono master. If they stuck with the song at the time, that exact mix would've been released.
12  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennis Visiting and House Shopping in Hawaii - July 1967 on: May 06, 2021, 11:38:33 AM
as I understand it the redwood incident, where Mike (and Carl) confronted Brian in a hostile and demeaning way (being that the redwood members were just outside the door) was a Time To Get Alone recording session, and the song was nearly finished for them (as opposed to Darlin' which had the instrumental track done but needed more vocals).  And yet Mike & Carl took and walked away with the tapes for both songs then.  Why both?  They could've just taken the Darlin' tape(s) and leave TTGA tape behind for possible redwood release on Brother, at least for the time being.  Greedy?  Yes!  After all the Beach Boys didn't get around to doing anything with TTGA for at least another year (and in the end they re-recorded everything, duplicating the redwood instrumentation already done).  Quite insulting.

In 1967 Brian blundered when he couldn't complete SMiLE and backing out of Monterey Pop appearance at the last moment.  However it should be emphasized embarking on Redwood was not a blunder, far from it when one considers the enormous record success 3 Dog Night would enjoy starting just 2 yrs more time.  And the Brother Records label could've had a big piece of that pie thanks to Brians desire, vision, and music producing talent also in 1967.  Boy did his bandmates get things profoundly backwards

The song wasn't "nearly finished" by Redwood, it was finished. And Brian and Carl worked on it right after it was returned to the Beach Boys, during the Wild Honey sessions.
13  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennis Visiting and House Shopping in Hawaii - July 1967 on: May 04, 2021, 03:30:14 PM
So why would Brian change the sound for the purpose of live shows when they weren't going to play those songs live? I'm just not hearing that idea in the arrangements or the songwriting in any of Wild Honey.
14  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: G.Usher Jnr - talks unreleased B.W on: May 04, 2021, 09:40:58 AM
No, that is not the version of So Long that Brian and Gary recorded. Sounds like Brian revisited the song later, perhaps during the Sweet Insanity period.
15  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennis Visiting and House Shopping in Hawaii - July 1967 on: May 04, 2021, 09:34:27 AM
It should be worth noting that the only songs the boys played live for more than one day on their next tour were Wild Honey and Darlin' - both tracks having pretty layered productions with lots of percussion overdubs, electro-theremin on the former, and horns on the latter.
16  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brother Re-Issues: Proposed Bonus Tracks on: May 01, 2021, 12:53:12 PM
The "Til I Die piano demo and some of the This Whole World material from the Feel Flows box set samples sound like they may have been sourced from these CDs, maybe a quiet deal was struck to obtain them from Klay and get some of it released.
This is not what happened. These are completely new mixes done in 2019-2020.
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennisí contributions to L.A. on: April 28, 2021, 09:00:44 AM
What nobody seems to be mentioning here is that that part is a 2-part harmony, and given the Beach Boys' typical working methods, both were probably recorded together - as Adrian remembers singing on it, I bet it's Bruce and Adrian (Bruce singing the higher of the two). At least that's how it sounds to me.
18  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennisí contributions to L.A. on: April 25, 2021, 03:23:39 PM
Perhaps interesting to note that in barbershop harmony, the roles are called Bass, Baritone, Lead, and Tenor -- and that's true regardless of the genders of the participants.

The "high voice wail" part that is sung by Brian and is featured on a lot of BV on Beach Boys records in the 60's is falsetto, but on lead vocals in the early years of the Beach Boys Brian was (in most cases) mainly attempting to replicate Bob Flanagan's part in the Four Freshmen, which was a jazzy barbershop tenor or even high tenor, not falsetto.

See, that's where I disagree.  I think Brian was a sort of leggiero tenor type voice that mixed a lot of head voice into the timbre pretty low in his range and never needed to open his vocal folds to produce falsetto.

In his 'classic' 60s period, Brian would switch between normal (chest) voice and falsetto (head) voice all the time, whether doing backing or lead vocals.  But at this time his 'normal' vocal range was so high that it could overlap with his falsetto range.  By which I mean, some notes he could choose to since either chest voice or falsetto, depending on the dynamic of the song,  A good example is  Don't Worry Baby.  By way of demonstration here's the opening sections, where I've highlighted in yellow where (I believe) he switches to falsetto.  But for sure there's very little difference in the timbre of his head and chest voice, which is unusual.

Well it's been building up inside of me
For oh I don't know how long
I don't know why
But I keep thinking
Something's bound to go wrong
But she looks in my eyes
And makes me realize
when she says

Don't worry, baby
Everything will turn out alright

I agree that Brian sings those lines in head voice, which is different to his chest voice, but I think it's misleading to suggest head voice and falsetto are in any way equivalent. They are two very different methods of singing, but both allow a singer to reach higher notes than possible in a full chest voice. Without a doubt, he is using his head voice there.
19  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennisí contributions to L.A. on: April 22, 2021, 03:48:14 PM
I can tell you that the falsetto on California Dreaminí isnít Bruce. Thatís all though. Iím listening to it right now and I have no idea.
Once again, it's really important to specify which exact vocal one is talking about when trying to determine its singer - "the falsetto" will never accurately describe one part of a beach boys song, and definitely doesn't narrow it down on California Dreamin'. There are many many backing parts, lots of which are high. Which part are you looking for? Could you transcribe it?
20  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennisí contributions to L.A. on: April 22, 2021, 10:55:00 AM
Perhaps interesting to note that in barbershop harmony, the roles are called Bass, Baritone, Lead, and Tenor -- and that's true regardless of the genders of the participants.

The "high voice wail" part that is sung by Brian and is featured on a lot of BV on Beach Boys records in the 60's is falsetto, but on lead vocals in the early years of the Beach Boys Brian was (in most cases) mainly attempting to replicate Bob Flanagan's part in the Four Freshmen, which was a jazzy barbershop tenor or even high tenor, not falsetto.

See, that's where I disagree.  I think Brian was a sort of leggiero tenor type voice that mixed a lot of head voice into the timbre pretty low in his range and never needed to open his vocal folds to produce falsetto.
I agree. Can't think of any moments outside of 2 or 3 very specific vocals in the 70s (and on Wind Chimes like Salty noted) that Brian actually uses a "falsetto." And I also think that generally using that term creates a lot of misconception, and many people will point to Brian Wilson as an example when describing the voice type, when that technique was really not something that he used.
21  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennisí contributions to L.A. on: April 22, 2021, 08:20:59 AM
Couldn't Al actually sing a lot lower than Mike, if there was a contest?

The nomenclature is an interesting discussion, in any case.  There's words that describe more what role the singer plays than the range, and then there's words that describe the actual range, then there's words that describe the quality of the voice.

I know a lot of men in choirs who sing one part, but when they do solo literature, it's not that part -- they sing in choir because it makes sense for that choir.  When I was in choirs, I sang "alto" in one, but anything from Soprano, Canto, Alto, Tenor, discantus, quintus, contratenor, and a number of other descriptions.  None of that changed my range, though!

Mike was the bass singer in the sense that he usually took the lowest part.
The lowest I've heard Al sing is a D2 on an alternate version of Don't Go Near the Water, and it's a rather weak D2 compared to those that Mike has hit (I'm thinkin the intro to Hot Fun in the Summertime). I've never heard either go lower than that.
22  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennisí contributions to L.A. on: April 21, 2021, 09:36:21 PM
I apologize I called it a falsetto.  I was not referring to the high background on the bridge.  What I was trying to convey is that I always thought Dennis was the lead and only lead vocal on this song where he sang the first and second verse in a high vocal and did the bridge in his normal  vocal for that era.  I al2ays thought that it was cool and rare to hear Dennis singing the high part.  I went back and listened again and I still hear Dennis as the lead.  You have to admit that the high vocal on the first and second voice is not a high part that you usually hear?
That is Carl, who is the lead vocalist on most of the song outside of that Dennis bridge. It sounds a bit raspier than the typical Carl vocal, sure, but nothing like Dennis to my ears.
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennisí contributions to L.A. on: April 21, 2021, 09:58:38 AM
A large part of the problem is that "falsetto" has two different meanings in the music world - range, and voice type. So one can be singing falsetto without singing falsetto, if that makes any sense. But when Brian Wilson is listed on the wikipedia page for the voice type, it's clear that most people completely misunderstand the term and what it really means, physically.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennisí contributions to L.A. on: April 21, 2021, 08:49:59 AM
Head voice or mixed voice and falsetto are distinguishable vocal techniques above the break. The signature high sound of the Beach Boys, especially in Brian's case, is head voice. Falsetto was hardly ever within Brian's musical vernacular. He just didn't develop his voice in that way. Al, Bruce, and occasionally Dennis did in the odd specific circumstances.

Brian reminds me a little bit of some prominent countertenors who sang high as kids, and then never stopped singing high even after their voices broke.  Cenčić comes to mind.  They immediately figured out how to sing with more or less complete chord closure as high as they needed to go.  I actually would posit that Brian never sang without complete chord closure until the 70s.  Carl was similar, but his voice was even lighter than Brian's.

It's an interesting topic, but I agree that the Beach Boys signature sound is distinguished by the fact that their high singer never needed to rely on falsetto (unlike Bee Gees, 4 Seasons, etc)
Well said. "Falsetto" is a confusing term, and it's mostly wrong when used in reference to the beach boys' vocals. I think it's counterproductive to refer to any part in a song with many high parts, and no discernible falsetto as "the falsetto."

And, as Alan Boyd, Craig, and some others have said, the high vocal in the background of the bridge here is most certainly Carl.
25  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennisí contributions to L.A. on: April 20, 2021, 06:12:11 PM
It's important to be specific, as it's not really clear what "falsetto" anyone's talking about here - the backing vocals are done by Bruce, Carl and Dennis, with Bruce and Carl doing the highest parts, and Dennis mainly singing the mid-range shouty parts. If you're referring to the lead vocal, that's Carl on the verses and choruses, with Dennis singing the "late at night" bridge. Clear as day, if a little raspier than usual.
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