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Author Topic: Did The Association fill the void left by The Beach Boys from 1967-68?  (Read 8245 times)
dombanzai
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« on: November 13, 2015, 02:53:18 PM »

I have been thinking about this question a lot lately. Following the demise of Smile and the decision not to play Monterey and therefore, their fall from grace, could it be argued that The Association stepped into the space vacated by The Beach Boys and thus thrived from 1967-68? The Association were at their most popular between these years and not only released some great singles, which charted very well Windy, Never My Love, Everything That Touches You they also produced some terrific albums in this period Renaissance, Insight Out and Birthday full of exquisite harmonies that still stand the test of time. And of course, The Association famously opened Monterey, maybe taking advantage of The BBs non-appearance.

The two bands' musical output was very different to each other during this time, but the harmonies that appealed so much with The Beach Boys earlier in their career were, I suppose, less dominant throughout Smiley Smile, Wild Honey and Friends, while The Association blossomed as a harmony group during this period, plus of course they used members of The Wrecking Crew on several of their albums, which was a throwback to The Beach Boys not long previously, which made their records really stand out top rate musicians + fabulous writing/singing/arranging = a great end product. So as The Beach Boys' faltered, did the general public maybe switch some of their attention to The Association instead, as they were recording the sort of music that they wanted The Beach Boys to be recording?

And it has to be said at this juncture, that The Association are very much an under-rated group from the 60s and not appreciated half as much as they should be and given the enormous credit they deserve for producing some exquisite music. But then again, I am looking at it from a UK perspective, a place where they are barely remembered really. A great shame.
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Gerry
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2015, 03:20:05 PM »

Have to agree with you regarding the Association. They were a great vocal band and probably better instrumentally than the Beach Boys. Like the BB's they have a number a hidden gems on the albums you mentioned and later ones. They also toured as much or more then any band in the '60's. Once the hits stopped coming and they were deemed "not cool" the original group continued until '72 then called it quits. Various configurations continue to this day.
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2015, 03:45:15 PM »

The gap wasn't really that long.  Smiley smile was out in sept 67 and wild honey in December 67 and friends in May 68. Bbs were still going strong
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sockittome
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2015, 04:30:03 PM »

Following the demise of Smile and the decision not to play Monterey and therefore, their fall from grace, could it be argued that The Association stepped into the space vacated by The Beach Boys and thus thrived from 1967-68?

The Beach Boys never vacated.  The general public pretty much moved on in '67 thanks to the "Summer of Love" and a whole new breed of pop groups.  The late 60s output of the Boys was every bit as good as The Association, and other harmony-rich groups such as The Who, and a long list of others. 
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Kurosawa
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2015, 05:10:22 PM »

Following the demise of Smile and the decision not to play Monterey and therefore, their fall from grace, could it be argued that The Association stepped into the space vacated by The Beach Boys and thus thrived from 1967-68?

The Beach Boys never vacated.  The general public pretty much moved on in '67 thanks to the "Summer of Love" and a whole new breed of pop groups.  The late 60s output of the Boys was every bit as good as The Association, and other harmony-rich groups such as The Who, and a long list of others. 

Quality wise, yes. Success wise, no. The Beach Boys for whatever reason stopped selling records after 1967 and other harmony groups-The Association, The Mamas and the Poppas, CSNY, America, etc took over and had big hits.

The Beach Boys easily could outsing all of those groups, IMO. Brian and Carl alone were better than any of the singers from those other bands, and those bands had some fantastic singers, But Carl and Brian at that time were just absurdly good.
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Lee Marshall
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2015, 06:22:20 PM »

Sort of/kinda.  I am a big Association fan.  After Cherish and Along Comes Mary...they slowly began to gather momentum...but their slick sound became passe.  Too bad.  Next to the Boys...these guys had great albums.  I also very much enjoyed the Turtles progressions...'til they saw the writing on the wall.  I'll never forget them BLOWING Iron Butterfly off the stage in Toronto...Massey Hall,  IB with Inagadadavida.  The Turtles with the whole Battle of the Band lp at their disposal.  It was no contest.  Howard, Mark, Jim, Al and Johnny Barbata on drums ate IB for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The Mamas and Papas were limited.  Too much in the way of extra-curricular daliances.  There was no way they were ever gonna last...no matter how much Ed Sullivan saw them as wholesome.  And they only had 1 creative source who was pretty much a one-trick pony.

The Beach Boys made there own void.  It was "deep and wide" and great lps after Smiley Smile were never going to make up for Smiley Smile.  THAT album could not be retracted and the Beach Boys were done as far as the record buying public was concerned.  In a sense...they pretty quickly took all of the groups they had influenced down the toilet with them.  THAT was over until Jack Reiley reinvented them and sent them out to perform.  The world pretty much missed Wild Honey, Friends, 20/20 and Sunflower.  4 great albums tossed onto the 'who gives a sh*t' pile by Smiley Smile and the reaction it got from the world.  A solid NO THANKS!!!  Bye Bye.  Next!!!

There was a relaunch of sorts when Surf's Up came along.  But when Jack was done...so too were the Beach Boys as a solid and successful recording act.  They just never had enough great material gathered and ready to release at any given time which would make the release of another album noteworthy or valid for the public at large.  It's part of the reason why SO FEW of the songs recorded after Holland ever get performed.

There's Rock 'n' Roll Music and a few other covers.  Good Timin' and...and...and...Brian's solo material in limited doses.  Smiley Smile stuff?  Sure Good Vibrations and Heroes and Villains...but they were pretty much there by 'accident'.  Love You stuff?  Nada.  A great live band(s) which stopped amazing the masses with new music a LONG time ago.
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Sorry I forgot about Kokomo...almost SADLY really...it's now become THE favourite song performed at a Beach Boys [not Brian Wilson] show.   From 1973 on...'cept for Brian D's works/shows...there ain't much there that really makes the grade.  You could almost successfully argue that we here are just fooling ourselves.  But heh!!!  It's worth it I guess.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 07:27:13 PM by Add Some » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2015, 06:54:10 PM »

It's surprising now to listen to cuts by the Association or the Mamas & the Papas and realize how shaky most of their harmonies were. Intonation was often a bit iffy and that makes it even more impressive to listen to the Beach Boys vocals from Pet Sounds and Smile and realize that they were done long before autotune was available. You have to give credit to that one amazing ear of Brian's and his insistence that the guys do it over and over until he was satisfied.
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2015, 08:00:54 PM »

And let's not forget about groups like Spanky and Our Gang and The Lettermen.  But those groups were seriously unhip because everyone's parents were listening to them!
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sockittome
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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2015, 08:03:52 PM »

Oh....and The Seekers (and New Seekers).  My folks loved 'em!
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2015, 11:01:30 PM »

I thought the Mamas and Papas were winding down by '67. What year did they break up?
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2015, 11:05:00 PM »

The Mamas and Papas came back together to record one last lp...with John, Michelle, Denny and Cass...  'People Like Us' was done in 1971 I believe.  Pretty decent album actually.  I had it back then.  I got it again on CD from Amazon about a year ago.
-----------------

I don't think that the Seekers/New Seekers nor Spanky and Our Gang were prolific enough to be compared to these 4 groups...Beach Boys, Association, Turtles, Mama and Papas.  The Lettermen were, as it turned out, a pretty decent cover group with a good and unique vocal sound all their own.  Harpers Bazaar was that too...in terms of having a decent sound.  But then so did the Rip Chords and especially later on [before the accident] Jan and Dean.  I know Spanky replaced Cass when the M's and Ps reformed in the early 80s.  Then Scott MacKenzie replaced Denny...and MacKenzie Phillips filled in for Michelle.  Although Michelle did join them for a song or 2 at their very first reunion show which happened in Vegas.  I was there...by accident.  Just a happy coincidence.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 11:19:17 PM by Add Some » Logged

"Add Some...Music...To Your Day.  I do.  It's the only way to fly.  Well...what was I gonna put here?  An apple a day keeps the doctor away?  Hum me a few bars."   Lee Marshall [2014]

Donald  TRUMP!  ...  Is TOAST.  "What a disaster."  "Overrated?"... ... ..."BIG LEAGUE."  "Lots of people are saying it"  "I will tell you that."   Collusion, Money Laundering, Treason.   B'Bye Dirty Donnie!!!  Adios!!!  Bon Voyage!!!  Toodles!!!  Move yourself...SPANKY!!!  Jail awaits.  It's NO "Witch Hunt". There IS Collusion...and worse.  The Russian Mafia!!  Conspiracies!!  Fraud!!  This racist is goin' down...and soon.  Good Riddance.  And take the kids.
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2015, 11:34:38 PM »

Perhaps a weird, morbid thing to bring up...but why isnt Brian Cole included with the 27 club? Maybe the Association wasnt as immediately innovative as the Experience, Holding Company, Doors and Rolling Stones...but he was there, he was talented, a star, he sold records and his band was part of that scene including Monterey. Seems really petty and stupid to leave him out, and I think it unfairly washes the Association from history to do so.

Also...what is it with tragic Brians in Rock? Brian Wilson, Brian Jones, Brian Cole? Hmmm....
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2015, 11:51:15 PM »

I don't think any of the bands mentioned could touch The Beach Boys when it came to harmony blends, the guys were in a league of their own.
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2015, 02:23:59 AM »

The Association might have meant more in the States at that time but in the UK The Beach Boys continued to reign supreme (as I remember it).
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« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2015, 07:58:59 AM »

The Association might have meant more in the States at that time but in the UK The Beach Boys continued to reign supreme (as I remember it).

The Association had a "great and 'tight' vocal sound" (saw them recently, and back-in-the-day) but they could not hold a candle to the Boys.  No way-no how. The proposition is absurd. 

There was no "void" -

There may not have been the high voltage hits but still very good quality since Holland...

Among my favorites

I'll Bet He's Nice (3 Wilsons on vocals)
Come Go With Me
Good Timin'
Lady Lynda
Full Sail (Brilliant Carl on Lead)
Goin' South
Baby Blue
Oh, Darlin'
Endless Harmony
Gotcha Back
Where I Belong (more Carl)
She Believes in Love Again (great dual leads)
Kokomo
Make it Big
Still Cruisin'
That's Why God Made the Radio
Isn't It Time
Think about the Days

Not bad for keeping some marketplace consistency over 50+ years... Wink 
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« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2015, 11:52:49 AM »

Love the Association. The vocal production of Along Comes Mary (thank you, Tandyn Almer and Curt Boettcher), Cherish (Thank you Terry Kirkman and Curt Boettcher), Never My Love and Everything That Touches You still send shivers whenever they pop up on the radio. I used to listen to "The Association Live" double album constantly. Let me recommend Just the Right Sound, a very well put together compilation, but I also have real soft spot for possibly their most obscure albums during the early 70's Columbia "come back" attempt - particularly the gorgeous Waterbeds in Trinidad! (thank you, Jim Yester) album and even Stop Your Motors. Glad to know there are other fans. Their harmonies were much less dense that the Boys, but could be majestic, when the unison broke into chords. And Cherish has one of the great moments of key modulations in pop history.
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« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2015, 01:45:25 PM »

Perhaps a weird, morbid thing to bring up...but why isnt Brian Cole included with the 27 club? Maybe the Association wasnt as immediately innovative as the Experience, Holding Company, Doors and Rolling Stones...but he was there, he was talented, a star, he sold records and his band was part of that scene including Monterey. Seems really petty and stupid to leave him out, and I think it unfairly washes the Association from history to do so.

Also...what is it with tragic Brians in Rock? Brian Wilson, Brian Jones, Brian Cole? Hmmm....

He was 29
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« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2015, 02:27:38 PM »

Perhaps a weird, morbid thing to bring up...but why isnt Brian Cole included with the 27 club? Maybe the Association wasnt as immediately innovative as the Experience, Holding Company, Doors and Rolling Stones...but he was there, he was talented, a star, he sold records and his band was part of that scene including Monterey. Seems really petty and stupid to leave him out, and I think it unfairly washes the Association from history to do so.

Also...what is it with tragic Brians in Rock? Brian Wilson, Brian Jones, Brian Cole? Hmmm....

He was 29


Oh dang, looked it up and youre right. Thats odd, I couldve sworn he was 27 but obviously i misremembered. At least thats better than him being intentionally left out
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Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
Dumb Angel [the Romestamo Cut]>HERE

& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
The American Metropolitan Circus>HERE
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« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2015, 03:29:13 PM »

This thread seems like a good place to mention that I have posted a look back at Curt Boettcher's work in the late 60s and 70s with a closer look at California Music's Passion Fruit album. Boettcher  was an immensely talented artist and producer with perhaps a little too much of a perfectionistic temperament. My blog is at peternreum@blogspot.com.
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« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2015, 03:42:39 PM »

When it comes to the pop bands of the sixties on an artistic level, The Beach boys reign supreme IMO. In 67-68 alone you have songs like Heroes and Villains, Little Pad, Wind Chimes, Wonderful, Wild Honey, Aren't You Glad,  Darlin', Here Comes The Night, Let The Wind Blow, Friends, Little Bird, Wake The World, Busy Doin' Nothin' and Do It Again. Thats discounting the SMiLE Sessions, Lei'd in Hawai, Can't Wait Too Long, Sail Plane Song, We're Together Again and Old Man River!  Shocked
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« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2015, 03:50:30 PM »

This thread seems like a good place to mention that I have posted a look back at Curt Boettcher's work in the late 60s and 70s with a closer look at California Music's Passion Fruit album. Boettcher  was an immensely talented artist and producer with perhaps a little too much of a perfectionistic temperament. My blog is at peternreum@blogspot.com.

Did it again Peter - that's your email addy.  Smiley

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And, er, Curt had nothing to do with "My World Fell Down"... it's produced by Gary Usher.
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« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2015, 10:54:36 PM »

I don't think so ... The Association were really just too square. Mamas and Papas somewhere between, but I do love them. The Association are a little hard for me to stomach after awhile.
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« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2015, 11:02:02 PM »

Others with better knowledge will correct me... but didn't Bones Howe reveal that the band recorded the vocals a line at a time and also that he did a lot of punch-ins ?
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« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2015, 03:22:14 AM »

Others with better knowledge will correct me... but didn't Bones Howe reveal that the band recorded the vocals a line at a time and also that he did a lot of punch-ins ?

According to this knowledgeable fellow he did:  Cool Guy

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php?topic=8882.170;wap2

I can't find anything else of relevance on the subject...
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« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2015, 08:07:51 AM »

I don't think so ... The Association were really just too square. Mamas and Papas somewhere between, but I do love them. The Association are a little hard for me to stomach after awhile.

Maybe, but how many groups placed both a weed and an acid song in the Top 10?
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