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Author Topic: Solo Brian Wilson: dipping into archives  (Read 10991 times)
the captain
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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2006, 02:42:30 PM »

I think one thing that's important to remember in this topic is that Brian isn't releasing (with the exception of two tracks on Imagination) old songs that were already released...he's releasing tracks that we know of because we're thieves. (Sorry, but they're boots...) Obviously, as the composer, he has a right to tinker with his songs as long as he wants, and if they're not just right, to shelve them for a year, a decade, or however long. Now, we all have our opinions of which would have been better (although I tend to think that most fans ALWAYS say the older, unreleased one(s) is better, probably mostly to show their "insider" status), but the other versions, in essence, don't count if they aren't released.

To assume a musician is somehow required to write 10-12 completely new songs because an album is coming out is contrary to the history of recorded music. Thelonius Monk rarely released a new song from the moment he got onto Capitol, and the bulk of his better songs were on a half-dozen or more albums. Talk about recycling! At least Brian just uses unreleased songs... But pop musicians, too, as previously noted, also did this commonly. Everyone knows a few of the Beatles tracks on Let it Be were old. Across the Universe, for example, was a couple of years old and had been released in different form. A few of the others (One After 909? Two of Us? I forget the specifics) were early songs that were just finally properly done. Writing songs isn't easy. And writing 10-12 on demand that "show where you are now"is just silly. It doesn't work that way--at least not with the best consistent results. Brian's music isn't generally the spur of the moment, confessional type.  It doesn't matter whether they were released now, in the 80s, or in the 60s. The general emotions in them tend to be vague, and the lyrical references are hardly topical.

Last (but not least), read a book of short stories. Then check the notes on the stories. Do we get mad when we find out Jhumpa Lahiri's stories weren't all newly written, but actually published before in magazines, etc.? Of course not. It's expected. A book of short stories is a compilation of stories. An album is a compilation of songs.

I think the references to Brian being lazy because he uses older ideas or older songs is simply idoitic, and shows no respect for the art or craft of songwriting. He may be lazy (I don't know the man!), but using previously unused songs isn't enough to make him so!

End rant.
 
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PMcC
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« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2006, 04:43:15 PM »

I agree with all of the posts. They all have their merits. We would not have known these songs on GIOMH were older if we haven't scoped out the demos and unreleased versions. I almost treat the unreleased material as a release.(sweet insanity 2nd mix is a fine example. I was just listening to it last night, and I listened as a BW album, although I know 95% of the public has never heard it) When you talk about Brian's creativity, we all speak of the man with love and respect, and he has earned it with his stellar work. I, for one, like to be surprised out of my socks by something brand new from one of my favorite composers. That is why "how can we keep from dancing" knocked me out. I have never heard that before, and it sounded incredible. I would just like him to do all that he wants to do as far as his music is concerned before old age starts creeping in and taking their effects. I know he is doing some of that now, cleaning out the backlog of music in the closet, but if there is anything new he wants to present as an artist, now is the time to do it, while his voice is strong, and the fire is still in the belly.
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JRauch
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« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2006, 07:02:07 AM »

Sorry, but saying "Brian sucks, because he doesnīt release another Today or Pet Sounds or SMiLE" is a little bit like saying "Beethoven sucked, because he only wrote 9 symphonys instead of 15".

I donīt really know how to express it. Itīs just that Brian has done enough good music to be acknowledged as one of the greatest composer of the 20th century.
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Ken.W
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« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2006, 07:11:59 AM »

Totally agree.

If Brian doesn't release anymore songs, I'll still be happy; as he's released so much truly great music already.

.. and the archives will still be there for future dipping into long after we're all gone.
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Roger Ryan
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« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2006, 10:12:21 AM »

Sheriff John Stone - I understand your disappointment; it would have been great if Brian had spent the last ten (or twenty years) creating envelope-pushing experiments that would have defied all expectations. But the reality is that Brian has written and recorded a considerable amount of material (especially compared to, say, contemporary John Fogerty) that probably wouldn't have ended up on a Beach Boys album. We could say that all of the Paley/Wilson material was written with the Beach Boys in mind, but they (the band) didn't want those songs; they wanted to do "Stars & Stripes" instead! Just because we think a particular Brian Wilson song could fit on a Beach Boys album, doesn't mean it would have gone down that way in the 80s, 90s or today. I bet in Brian's mind there are quite a few released solo tracks he wouldn't have considered offering the Beach Boys if they had been a going concern for him, plus some more they would have rejected outright. Off the top of my head, I would say that "Love & Mercy", "Baby, Let You Hair Grow Long", "Rio Grande", "Everything I Want", "This Isn't Love", "Cry", "Happy Days", "City Blues", "A Friend Like You", "The Waltz", "SMiLE" as an album (obviously), "Path Of Life" and maybe even "What I Really Want For Christmas" and "Christmasey" would have never come out if Brian was still working for the Beach Boys. Add to this the magnificent "Orange Crate Art" collaboration and the live presentation of "Pet Sounds" and "SMiLE" and I'm perfectly happy with Brian contribution as a solo artist.

Where I would completely agree with you is in the remakes of previously released songs (apart from "SMiLE" of course). The "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" album was fine, but I would really rather not see anymore reinterpretations of old Beach Boys standards. Now...bring on the rock-n-roll!
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