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Author Topic: What Else Did The Beatles "Borrow" From Smile?  (Read 11618 times)
Zander
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« Reply #50 on: January 06, 2012, 07:16:55 PM »

I have not read the FAQ book yet, but intend to add it to my library soon! So Penny Lane is a definite, admitted influence on a Beatles recording from Brian, we can take that one to the bank. Now, are there any other references to specific songs that have been mentioned as influences on either band, apart from Penny Lane? Just curious...we could make our own lists based on listening to the tunes but I want to know if band members have cited any specifics other than Penny Lane.
I have a little section in the FAQ book that deals with this subject...very selective, very brief, by no means definitive. But among the songs I bring up are Girl Don't Tell Me, Here There and Everywhere, Penny Lane, Back In The USSR which IMO are the obvious Beachles cross pollination examples.

And whilst we're at it we'll add "Nowhere Man" and "Paperback Writer" to the list...
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« Reply #51 on: January 06, 2012, 07:26:17 PM »

Incorrect and since you cannot even begin to conceive what I am talking about, I am not going to go any further.

Well I'll give you the chance to explain yourself.  Elaborate.  Smiley

The central point of your argument is that
A) Since Pet Sounds contained animal noises before the Pepper, then
B) The Beatles must have "at least been influenced subconsciously"

And my retort is that if I can find a recording with animal noises that pre-dates Pet Sounds, that means Pet Sounds must have "at least been subconsciously influenced" by that...  by your logic.

I think it's pretty simple.  Don't you?  


So, then do you now admit that there is a world of difference between being subconsciously influenced by something and ripping it off, as you suggested in your previous post?

Furthermore, maybe we could say that Wilson was "subconsciously influenced" by an album pre-Pet Sounds that had animal noises at the tag of its song. That being said, you'd only have a strong case if Wilson as writer and producer admitted to listening to that particular album regularly and being influeced by it in the preceding nine months before he himself added animal noises to the tag of his own song, as was exactly the case with Pepper, The Beatles, and producer George Martin. So if one would offer some song pre-May 1966 that had animal noises at the tag and then say, does this mean Brian was influenced by it, I would say, again, that you don't really understand the point that I'm making. In fact, not only do you not grasp my logic, as you put it, but in previous posts, you fail to show any understanding of what it means to be influenced by something, as you conflate it with ripping something off.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 07:27:57 PM by rockandroll » Logged
soniclovenoize
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« Reply #52 on: January 06, 2012, 07:30:37 PM »


So, then do you now admit that there is a world of difference between being subconsciously influenced by something and ripping it off, as you suggested in your previous post?

Furthermore, maybe we could say that Wilson was "subconsciously influenced" by an album pre-Pet Sounds that had animal noises at the tag of its song. That being said, you'd only have a strong case if Wilson as writer and producer admitted to listening to that particular album regularly and being influeced by it in the preceding nine months before he himself added animal noises to the tag of his own song, as was exactly the case with Pepper, The Beatles, and producer George Martin. So if one would offer some song pre-May 1966 that had animal noises at the tag and then say, does this mean Brian was influenced by it, I would say, again, that you don't really understand the point that I'm making. In fact, not only do you not grasp my logic, as you put it, but in previous posts, you fail to show any understanding of what it means to be influenced by something, as you conflate it with ripping something off.

I suppose the concept you don't comprehend is exaggeration?   LOL
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« Reply #53 on: January 06, 2012, 07:33:49 PM »

I have not read the FAQ book yet, but intend to add it to my library soon! So Penny Lane is a definite, admitted influence on a Beatles recording from Brian, we can take that one to the bank. Now, are there any other references to specific songs that have been mentioned as influences on either band, apart from Penny Lane? Just curious...we could make our own lists based on listening to the tunes but I want to know if band members have cited any specifics other than Penny Lane.

But why is this necessary? Artists can be influenced without even knowing it.
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« Reply #54 on: January 06, 2012, 07:35:06 PM »

[I suppose the concept you don't comprehend is exaggeration?   LOL

I don't know what you're talking about.
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« Reply #55 on: January 06, 2012, 10:16:05 PM »

I have not read the FAQ book yet, but intend to add it to my library soon! So Penny Lane is a definite, admitted influence on a Beatles recording from Brian, we can take that one to the bank. Now, are there any other references to specific songs that have been mentioned as influences on either band, apart from Penny Lane? Just curious...we could make our own lists based on listening to the tunes but I want to know if band members have cited any specifics other than Penny Lane.

But why is this necessary? Artists can be influenced without even knowing it.

Nothing on this board is necessary, is it? I'm curious as a musician influenced to do what I do probably as much by the Beatles and Beach Boys as anything or anyone else, and I'm making a living at it. Any look into their creative process and influences, no matter how small, interests me.

I like the minute details, I like finding that one interview where an artist lets something slip that appears nowhere else and sheds more light on the music they create. If it's McCartney saying he was influenced by something specific Brian recorded, I'm all ears and ready to hear the influence for myself.
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« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2012, 08:29:41 AM »

I have not read the FAQ book yet, but intend to add it to my library soon! So Penny Lane is a definite, admitted influence on a Beatles recording from Brian, we can take that one to the bank. Now, are there any other references to specific songs that have been mentioned as influences on either band, apart from Penny Lane? Just curious...we could make our own lists based on listening to the tunes but I want to know if band members have cited any specifics other than Penny Lane.

But why is this necessary? Artists can be influenced without even knowing it.

Nothing on this board is necessary, is it? I'm curious as a musician influenced to do what I do probably as much by the Beatles and Beach Boys as anything or anyone else, and I'm making a living at it. Any look into their creative process and influences, no matter how small, interests me.

I like the minute details, I like finding that one interview where an artist lets something slip that appears nowhere else and sheds more light on the music they create. If it's McCartney saying he was influenced by something specific Brian recorded, I'm all ears and ready to hear the influence for myself.

I don't mean to say that the inquiry itself is unnecessary. I agree, it is interesting to hear if someone says that a certain work was influential on their own work. Nevertheless, what I am saying is that it is not necessary to only deem something as having had influence if you have the artist's word that this is the case. For one reason, and this is not the only one, it suggests that the artist has complete agency over what influences their work when this is not the case at all.
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« Reply #57 on: January 09, 2012, 08:55:30 AM »

That's a good point, and anyone who creates anything will be influenced by their surroundings, everything from another work of art or music to the rhythm of rain hitting a rooftop or something similar. It is curious to find out what those who have reached the apex of popular success with their songwriting would cite as direct influences. I know with things I've worked on going back to the 90's, I can cite nearly every influence I "borrowed" from when doing it if there was a direct influence (minus the success part...). If someone hears it and says "hey, that sounds like McCartney's part on I Will...", it's either true for me or only true for them or both, but it's very interesting to hear all of that.

True story, just yesterday: I heard "She's Leaving Home", randomly, and for the first time ever I heard bits of Brian's "Caroline No" melody and vocal performance in Paul's lead vocal melody. When Brian sings and holds some of those falsetto melody notes, Paul is doing a very similar thing with his sustained falsetto on the chorus "Sheeee, is leaviiiiiing, home...". Because of these comments in this thread, I connected those tunes and to my ears, there are similarities which Paul may not have done prior to hearing Pet Sounds...just my opinion. Subconscious, indirect influence, perhaps.
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« Reply #58 on: January 09, 2012, 11:16:54 AM »


There is also the age-old concept of "variations on a theme" which I think would better describe a lot of what is called modular.

And that is a perfect description of You Know My Name (Look Up The Number).

If you're looking for a modular Beatles song that is seemingly inspired by a modular Beach Boys song, I would suggest "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" which strikes me as similar to "She's Goin' Bald". Particularly, both tracks open with a segment consisting of surreal, almost stream-of-consciousness lyrics followed by a series genre parodies, at least one of which (doo wop) can be heard in both songs.
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« Reply #59 on: January 09, 2012, 04:26:09 PM »

Incorrect and since you cannot even begin to conceive what I am talking about, I am not going to go any further.

Well I'll give you the chance to explain yourself.  Elaborate.  Smiley

The central point of your argument is that
A) Since Pet Sounds contained animal noises before the Pepper, then
B) The Beatles must have "at least been influenced subconsciously"

And my retort is that if I can find a recording with animal noises that pre-dates Pet Sounds, that means Pet Sounds must have "at least been subconsciously influenced" by that...  by your logic.

I think it's pretty simple.  Don't you?  


So, then do you now admit that there is a world of difference between being subconsciously influenced by something and ripping it off, as you suggested in your previous post?

Furthermore, maybe we could say that Wilson was "subconsciously influenced" by an album pre-Pet Sounds that had animal noises at the tag of its song. That being said, you'd only have a strong case if Wilson as writer and producer admitted to listening to that particular album regularly and being influeced by it in the preceding nine months before he himself added animal noises to the tag of his own song, as was exactly the case with Pepper, The Beatles, and producer George Martin. So if one would offer some song pre-May 1966 that had animal noises at the tag and then say, does this mean Brian was influenced by it, I would say, again, that you don't really understand the point that I'm making. In fact, not only do you not grasp my logic, as you put it, but in previous posts, you fail to show any understanding of what it means to be influenced by something, as you conflate it with ripping something off.



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« Reply #60 on: January 09, 2012, 06:25:23 PM »

Geoff Emerick stated in his book "Here, There and Everywhere" (chief engineer for the Beatles from Revolver through Pepper's, left during the White Album, returned for Abbey Road for anyone who cares  Roll Eyes) that Pet Sounds was always being played in the studio, and he specifically states he and Paul McCartney would stay late at night in the studio after everyone else had gone home to perfect Paul's bass lines, bass lines Paul himself stated were influenced by Brian's work on Pet Sounds.  So, in addition to Penny Lane, I think it is fair to say that many of the trademark bass lines on Pepper's were influenced in part by Brian and the Beach Boys
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« Reply #61 on: January 09, 2012, 06:37:37 PM »

If you're looking for a modular Beatles song that is seemingly inspired by a modular Beach Boys song, I would suggest "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" which strikes me as similar to "She's Goin' Bald". Particularly, both tracks open with a segment consisting of surreal, almost stream-of-consciousness lyrics followed by a series genre parodies, at least one of which (doo wop) can be heard in both songs.

That's actually more the case of several song fragments that were linked together.  Take note of the omitted "Oh Yoko" fragment from the Esher Demos.  I think that would be the main difference: Brian saying "Ok I'm going to write variations of the same melodic theme and link them together" and Lennon saying: "OK I have several unfinished songs, might as well link them together to make a finished song." 

Geoff Emerick stated in his book "Here, There and Everywhere" (chief engineer for the Beatles from Revolver through Pepper's, left during the White Album, returned for Abbey Road for anyone who cares  Roll Eyes) that Pet Sounds was always being played in the studio, and he specifically states he and Paul McCartney would stay late at night in the studio after everyone else had gone home to perfect Paul's bass lines, bass lines Paul himself stated were influenced by Brian's work on Pet Sounds.  So, in addition to Penny Lane, I think it is fair to say that many of the trademark bass lines on Pepper's were influenced in part by Brian and the Beach Boys
That's selective reaosning, because McCartney also stated they were dissecting James Jamerson's bass sound. 
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« Reply #62 on: January 09, 2012, 07:02:59 PM »

That's selective reaosning, because McCartney also stated they were dissecting James Jamerson's bass sound. 

Specifically on Pepper? Because it seems to me that the important figures in the story suggest that Pet Sounds was the key influence on Sgt. Pepper.
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« Reply #63 on: January 09, 2012, 07:08:34 PM »

Quote
That's selective reaosning, because McCartney also stated they were dissecting James Jamerson's bass sound.  

I do not disagree with you, because this is indeed true, but how am I being selective? Why can't they BOTH be influences on Pepper's? I was only bringing up The BEACH BOYS influence on Paul because this is a BEACH BOYS forum and a thread talking specifically about the BEACH BOYS.  Not James Jamerson.  
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« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2012, 07:25:19 PM »

Quote
That's selective reaosning, because McCartney also stated they were dissecting James Jamerson's bass sound.  

I do not disagree with you, because this is indeed true, but how am I being selective? Why can't they BOTH be influences on Pepper's? I was only bringing up The BEACH BOYS influence on Paul because this is a BEACH BOYS forum and a thread talking specifically about the BEACH BOYS.  Not James Jamerson.  

They could have both been an influence, but the fact that one would only zero-in on one influence would in a way bend the data to appear that he was the sole-influence, rather than one of several influences. 

That's selective reaosning, because McCartney also stated they were dissecting James Jamerson's bass sound. 

Specifically on Pepper? Because it seems to me that the important figures in the story suggest that Pet Sounds was the key influence on Sgt. Pepper.

Hmmm, specifically, I don't believe McCartney said anyone influenced Pepper's basslines, only that he intentionally worked to make them colorful and Emorick and him worked to get a good sound, take after take, late at night when everyone went, usually devoting a sole track to the bass guitar.  I believe Mecca said BW was a general influence on his bass playing, while identified Jamerson as specifically influencing Rubber Soul's bass tone.  Someone should quote HT&E if I'm mistaken, or that long Mecca interview about it from the 90s. 
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« Reply #65 on: January 09, 2012, 07:35:19 PM »

McCartney has said this:

Quote
The other thing that really made me sit up and take notice was the bass lines on Pet Sounds. If you were in the key of C, you would normally use---the root note would be, like, a C on the bass (demonstrates vocally). You'd always be on the C. I'd done a little bit of work, like on 'Michelle,' where you don't use the obvious bass line. And you just get a completely different effect if you play a G when the band is playing in C. There's a kind of tension created.
 
I don't really understand how it happens musically, because I'm not very technical musically. But something special happens. And I noticed that throughout that Brian would be using notes that weren't the obvious notes to use. As I say, 'the G if you're in C---that kind of thing. And also putting melodies in the bass line. That I think was probably the big influence that set me thinking when we recorded Pepper, it set me off on a period I had then for a couple of years of nearly always writing quite melodic bass lines.

And on Pet Sounds influence in general:

Quote
I played it to John so much that it would be difficult for him to escape the influence. If records had a director within a band, I sort of directed Pepper. And my influence was basically the Pet Sounds album. John was influenced by it, perhaps not as much as me. It was certainly a record we all played it was the record of the time, you know?

And from George Martin:

Quote
I think "Pet Sounds" was one of the most influential albums we'd heard. It was a wonderful album, and we admired everything about it. Everything that the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson did seemed to be thoughtless. You know, "Good Vibrations" was one from the combination of voices. A song like "God Only Knows" was, I think, marvelous stuff, and I know that Paul and the others admired it too. They wanted to be able to write music as good as that or better than that. It was their yardstick. It was a competitive thing. And I learned later that Brian felt that what we were doing was a competitive thing, too. So, it was jolly good.
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« Reply #66 on: January 10, 2012, 05:38:26 AM »

That's selective reaosning, because McCartney also stated they were dissecting James Jamerson's bass sound. 

Someone needs to tell Paulie the truth about that...  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #67 on: January 10, 2012, 05:50:02 PM »

I don't think the Beatles or Brian needed to "borrow" from one another in those days.  I Brian's admiration for the Beatles, and the Beatles' admiration for the Beach Boys and Brian's artistic vision, were a case of gifted artists spurring each other on to greater creativity and originality.

If anything was ever "borrowed", I would say that Brian and his bandmates in 2003 did some borrowing from side two of Abbey Road to come up with the seamless segues that create the "movements" of BWPS.  But that's not a bad thing at all.  It's a very cool thing.
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« Reply #68 on: January 10, 2012, 05:59:49 PM »

I don't think the Beatles or Brian needed to "borrow" from one another in those days.  I Brian's admiration for the Beatles, and the Beatles' admiration for the Beach Boys and Brian's artistic vision, were a case of gifted artists spurring each other on to greater creativity and originality.

Yeah, but outside The Beach Boys, The Beatles were quite open to pilfering from other sources. John did it more than any of them, I think. He stole lyrics on more than one occasion. The beginning of the electric version of Revolution was taken wholesale from the beginning of Pee Wee Crayton's Do Unto Others, etc. To me, his pilfering made him an even more sophisticated artist, as far as I'm concerned. Artist like Lennon, Van Gogh, etc. understand that art is really as much about borrowing as it is about creating - or, that creating and borrowing are not necessarily different things.
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« Reply #69 on: January 10, 2012, 06:08:35 PM »

I don't think the Beatles or Brian needed to "borrow" from one another in those days.  I Brian's admiration for the Beatles, and the Beatles' admiration for the Beach Boys and Brian's artistic vision, were a case of gifted artists spurring each other on to greater creativity and originality.

Yeah, but outside The Beach Boys, The Beatles were quite open to pilfering from other sources. John did it more than any of them, I think. He stole lyrics on more than one occasion. The beginning of the electric version of Revolution was taken wholesale from the beginning of Pee Wee Crayton's Do Unto Others, etc. To me, his pilfering made him an even more sophisticated artist, as far as I'm concerned. Artist like Lennon, Van Gogh, etc. understand that art is really as much about borrowing as it is about creating - or, that creating and borrowing are not necessarily different things.

Really can't disagree with you.  Brian was a borrower from earlier sources as well, and did so with a sophistication perhaps more profound than that of his Liverpudian peers.
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« Reply #70 on: January 11, 2012, 03:36:17 PM »

McCartney has said this:

Quote
The other thing that really made me sit up and take notice was the bass lines on Pet Sounds. If you were in the key of C, you would normally use---the root note would be, like, a C on the bass (demonstrates vocally). You'd always be on the C. I'd done a little bit of work, like on 'Michelle,' where you don't use the obvious bass line. And you just get a completely different effect if you play a G when the band is playing in C. There's a kind of tension created.
 
I don't really understand how it happens musically, because I'm not very technical musically. But something special happens. And I noticed that throughout that Brian would be using notes that weren't the obvious notes to use. As I say, 'the G if you're in C---that kind of thing. And also putting melodies in the bass line. That I think was probably the big influence that set me thinking when we recorded Pepper, it set me off on a period I had then for a couple of years of nearly always writing quite melodic bass lines.

And on Pet Sounds influence in general:

Quote
I played it to John so much that it would be difficult for him to escape the influence. If records had a director within a band, I sort of directed Pepper. And my influence was basically the Pet Sounds album. John was influenced by it, perhaps not as much as me. It was certainly a record we all played it was the record of the time, you know?

And from George Martin:

Quote
I think "Pet Sounds" was one of the most influential albums we'd heard. It was a wonderful album, and we admired everything about it. Everything that the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson did seemed to be thoughtless. You know, "Good Vibrations" was one from the combination of voices. A song like "God Only Knows" was, I think, marvelous stuff, and I know that Paul and the others admired it too. They wanted to be able to write music as good as that or better than that. It was their yardstick. It was a competitive thing. And I learned later that Brian felt that what we were doing was a competitive thing, too. So, it was jolly good.

It's a beautiful thing when someone backs you up with three definitive points, even better when they're three definitive quotes. I knew I had read these somewhere at some point or another.  Grin
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« Reply #71 on: January 11, 2012, 05:34:48 PM »


If you're looking for a modular Beatles song that is seemingly inspired by a modular Beach Boys song

I'm not.
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« Reply #72 on: January 12, 2012, 09:56:39 AM »

To me, his pilfering made him an even more sophisticated artist, as far as I'm concerned. Artist like Lennon, Van Gogh, etc. understand that art is really as much about borrowing as it is about creating - or, that creating and borrowing are not necessarily different things.

Let me say first that I am a fan of Noel Gallagher as a songwriter, and I know bringing up his name can cause some negative reactions, but would this reasoning apply to Noel in the way some folks for years have accused him of nicking and "borrowing" too many obvious ideas from other songwriters to use in his own songs? If not, why not apply it to rebuke criticism of Noel as well? I think I agree with what rockandroll posted above - and that an artist or creator simply can't escape what they've heard or seen in the time leading up to that spark of inspiration which leads to creating a new work.
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« Reply #73 on: January 12, 2012, 11:34:18 AM »

Let me say first that I am a fan of Noel Gallagher as a songwriter, and I know bringing up his name can cause some negative reactions, but would this reasoning apply to Noel in the way some folks for years have accused him of nicking and "borrowing" too many obvious ideas from other songwriters to use in his own songs? If not, why not apply it to rebuke criticism of Noel as well? I think I agree with what rockandroll posted above - and that an artist or creator simply can't escape what they've heard or seen in the time leading up to that spark of inspiration which leads to creating a new work.

Yes, and in fact, I have defended Noel on this very board with that point of view. I think "unoriginality" became a particularly unoriginal line taken by critics who were critiquing Oasis once it became fashionable to hate them.
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« Reply #74 on: January 13, 2012, 05:36:11 AM »

Let me say first that I am a fan of Noel Gallagher as a songwriter, and I know bringing up his name can cause some negative reactions, but would this reasoning apply to Noel in the way some folks for years have accused him of nicking and "borrowing" too many obvious ideas from other songwriters to use in his own songs? If not, why not apply it to rebuke criticism of Noel as well? I think I agree with what rockandroll posted above - and that an artist or creator simply can't escape what they've heard or seen in the time leading up to that spark of inspiration which leads to creating a new work.

Yes, and in fact, I have defended Noel on this very board with that point of view. I think "unoriginality" became a particularly unoriginal line taken by critics who were critiquing Oasis once it became fashionable to hate them.

I hated them long before it became hip. Likewise The Smiths, or rather that caterwauling twat Morrissey.
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