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Author Topic: Alternate Reality: Al, Mike, and Brian as The Beach Boys  (Read 4644 times)
MatchPoint
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« on: August 26, 2017, 01:16:22 PM »

I have a strange soft spot for MIU. I know it's not great but I still end up listening to it a lot as a curiosity. Songs and production aside, what's so distinctive about it is the lineup. Carl and Dennis had minimal to no involvement and we got a Beach Boys album where the unlikely team of Al, Mike, and Brian do all the heavy-lifting.

In an alternate reality where this era made Carl and Dennis quit the band for good, what do you think would have happened with the other three guys at the helm in 1978 onward...?
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017, 02:41:09 PM »

I actually like about half of the album. The thing is that even in this reality, Brian would probably have been fired due to drugs anyway. But without Dennis and Carl there is no LA Light. I imagine songs from Celebration would have been on the album(s). BB 85 would have been different. And Al would have been fired closer to 1990. Still Cruisin and Summer in Paradise would have been similar.
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"Over the years, I've been accused of not supporting our new music from this era (67-73) and just wanting to play our hits. That's complete b.s......I was also, as the front man, the one promoting these songs onstage and have the scars to show for it."
Mike Love autobiography (pg 242-243)
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2017, 11:08:46 AM »

MIU seems to me a deliberate attempt by Al and Mike, with Brian's help, to go back to their classic sound and rewrite some old songs (Kona Coast = Hawaii), write some new songs in the style of the old (Woncha Come Out Tonight, Sweet Sunday, Pitter Patter) and throw in a couple of oldies also done "Beach Boys style."  There's also an attempt to update their sound to the disco era, some schmaltzy stuff courtesy of Altbach, and out of left field the gorgeous "My Diane."  I think the production and arrangements are quite good despite half the songs being substandard.

If Brian Mike and Alan had continued I think the next album would have been more of the same.
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lostbeachboy
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2017, 05:38:01 PM »

She's Got Rhythm, Come Go With Me, Peggy Sue, My Diane and Matchpoint Of Our Love are the standout tracks for me.
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JL
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2017, 05:52:25 PM »

She's Got Rhythm, Come Go With Me, Peggy Sue, My Diane and Matchpoint Of Our Love are the standout tracks for me.

I personally don't think the album is good, but I like a couple of tracks. My Diane is beautiful, I heard a version without some of the overdubs and that might be my favorite though. Matchpoint has some silly lyrics, but the melody is pretty and I think Brian sounds great on it, almost like his younger self before his voice got all gravelly.
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2017, 12:51:59 AM »

I think that there would've been Carl's appearance on BW88 or Sweet Insanity album that way.

If you want to get the opposite: Carl, Dennis and Brian as the Beach Boys, listen to Adult/Child. The mixture of that and LA album is probably what you would've gotten that way.
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Jay
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2017, 01:04:51 AM »

I think the 1978 Australian tour proved that a Brian, Carl, and Dennis Beach Boys was a fiasco waiting to happen. It would have been interesting, though.
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2017, 05:04:36 AM »

I think any subsequent projects without Dennis or Carl would have lived or died by Brian's level of involvement. Simple as that.
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petsoundsnola
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2017, 09:48:02 AM »

I think any subsequent projects without Dennis or Carl would have lived or died by Brian's level of involvement. Simple as that.

Much like today.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 09:49:24 AM by petsoundsnola » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2017, 10:01:10 AM »

I have a strange soft spot for MIU. I know it's not great but I still end up listening to it a lot as a curiosity. Songs and production aside, what's so distinctive about it is the lineup. Carl and Dennis had minimal to no involvement and we got a Beach Boys album where the unlikely team of Al, Mike, and Brian do all the heavy-lifting.

In an alternate reality where this era made Carl and Dennis quit the band for good, what do you think would have happened with the other three guys at the helm in 1978 onward...?

I think losing Carl's voice would've been a big blow.  Carl's voice really makes the BB85 a better listen than it really has any right to be.  Plus, imagine the chorus of Kokomo without Carl.  Who sings it?  Shouty 88 BW?  (Or in this reality is Landy still keeping him away). 
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2018, 05:11:46 AM »

Quote
In an alternate reality where this era made Carl and Dennis quit the band for good, what do you think would have happened with the other three guys at the helm in 1978 onward...?
Thinking about it today, the answer is Al, Mike & Brian will each start solo career.
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2018, 06:26:43 AM »

If it had been simply Brian, Mike, and Al as the band starting in 1978, the whole thing would have imploded faster.

If we're literally talking about Carl and Dennis quitting during/after "MIU", then the first thing that probably would have happened is the BBs would have either lost their CBS contract immediately upon not being able to deliver what would become the "LA (Light Album)", since they were only able to cobble that together with plenty of input from Carl and Dennis. Or, the album would have been cobbled from either more questionable scraps and seen an even worse fate.

Maybe they would have still called Bruce in in 1978, but it would have been even schlockier work on Bruce's part had he had no Carl or Dennis material to work with.

I get the sense Carl was part of what spurred KTSA to happen, so who knows, assuming they could have held onto the CBS contract, that KTSA would have even happened.

Brian would have gone off the deep end by the early 80s just as quickly if not more quickly.

We would have probably seen the BBs shed everybody but Mike and Bruce, just in like 1983 or something instead of 1998. So the would have been a Lou Christie-style lounge act in the mid 80s.

Maybe Carl and Al would have been more motivated to try to kickstart their own careers had they left (or been forced out) in the early-mid 80s.

And then we probably would have seen everybody go broke and do a reunion tour, only it would have happened in like 1987 or something.
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2018, 07:04:22 AM »

I think any subsequent projects without Dennis or Carl would have lived or died by Brian's level of involvement. Simple as that.

Much like today.
Yes, and with Mike's infatuation of being the only original Beach Boy in the Beach Boys (like today), he would have certainly taken great pleasure firing Brian and Al somewhere along the way. Had Dennis and Carl survived, I would have loved to witness something along the lines of a Wilson Brothers Band (with BW) with Al being part of that group with the lovester and Bruce taking the BB name and deservedly sinking like a stone.
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2018, 12:58:17 PM »

Do we know what songs Carl and Dennis are on with the exception of the songs where they sing lead?
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2018, 05:50:20 PM »

I think any subsequent projects without Dennis or Carl would have lived or died by Brian's level of involvement. Simple as that.

Much like today.
Yes, and with Mike's infatuation of being the only original Beach Boy in the Beach Boys (like today), he would have certainly taken great pleasure firing Brian and Al somewhere along the way. Had Dennis and Carl survived, I would have loved to witness something along the lines of a Wilson Brothers Band (with BW) with Al being part of that group with the lovester and Bruce taking the BB name and deservedly sinking like a stone.

Well, there's that!
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2018, 08:21:18 PM »

Glad to see that there are others who also enjoy MIU.  It has always been one of my favorite albums from the 70's.  Some of my favorites are Kona Coast, Come Go With Me, Sweet Sunday Kind of Love (nice vocal by Carl), Pitter Patter, Peggy Sue and Winds of Change.  Being a big fan of Al Jardine I really enjoy the number of lead vocals that he contributes to the album, in addition to his writing and producing talents.  If history would have changed for the band, this album could have been the transition for Al into a solo career some years earlier. 
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2018, 01:03:50 AM »

Being a big fan of Al Jardine I really enjoy the number of lead vocals that he contributes to the album, in addition to his writing and producing talents.  If history would have changed for the band, this album could have been the transition for Al into a solo career some years earlier. 
Big Al fan here. Well said. Thumbs Up
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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2018, 05:17:22 PM »

I think the entire period of late '70s Beach Boys revolved around Brian and what they could get out of him.

15 Big Ones was getting Brian to produce a record again, but he stopped at half oldies.

Love You was the real comeback, but it was bizarre and uncommercial.

Adult Child was more of the same, which Reprise (and the group?) wouldn't have any more of apparently.

MIU was an attempt to clean up the Big Ones/Love You sound, with a result that had most of the idiosyncratic appeal removed, which caused it to do even worse on the charts.

The promise of the CBS contract was a new BW record. When it became apparent that he was not up to it (or the results would sound like Adult Child), they took a more fragmented democratic approach at standard late '70s yacht rock.

Keepin the Summer Alive began as a "getting Brian back to the studio" record, then fell into something resembling a cross between the last two records.
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« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2018, 03:38:19 AM »

I think that after Adult/Child got rejected Brian gave up on being the creative leader/main songwriter/producer of the group. He looks very involved in some of the video footage from the MIU sessions (most notably Mike Come Back to LA, that's classic Brian!) but the album they eventually put together really speaks for itself. It's pretty obvious he was in passive aggressive mode for most of the sessions. The super weird 'executive producer' credit on the back of the sleeve shows how desperate the other guys were for his active involvement. That said, I still prefer MIU over KTSA which has some OK songs but sounds absolutely soulless.
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