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Author Topic: Dennisí contributions to L.A.  (Read 4593 times)
Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #50 on: April 22, 2021, 10:57:41 AM »

Yeah, ultimately this is really splitting the atom; Craig is not wrong when saying that genre defines a lot of the terminology, regardless of the physiological processes at play.  But if we can be hyper-accurate, you know, why not be?
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« Reply #51 on: April 22, 2021, 11:00:22 AM »

For non-musicians, I think it's a case where they hear Brian Wilson singing those high notes in Surf's Up or the high leads in Let Him Run Wild or I Get Around, and the higher notes don't sound any different than when they hear Barry Gibb singing Stayin' Alive or More Than A Woman, or anything from Frankie Valli pre-1965. It's a male voice singing really high notes as a melody, and the term most know is falsetto for that style of singing.

Has anyone ever broken down specific differences similar to those examples, in a non-classical format like pop music or doo-wop?
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« Reply #52 on: April 22, 2021, 12:47:28 PM »

It's interesting as well to see how trying to sing those old Brian parts in concert led to relatively widely varying approaches. Foskett would often bend up into the high notes (think the first two lines of the choruses on "I Get Around"), while Matt Jardine would hit them straight on.

Some singers in the touring band have attempted to sing high parts full-voiced instead of going into a sort of falsetto voice (you can hear Foskett switch between the two on "I Get Around").

You have other cases where singers who don't really seem to be "the high part" sort of singers doing their best. So again using the "I Get Around" example, you have Bobby Figueroa doing the Brian parts. Bobby had/has a nice mid-range voice, but that's a good example of someone hitting the high notes, but because it's probably not in their normal range, they lose a lot of power when they hit those notes.

The late 70s into the early 80s was an interesting time in this regard, because you still had, say, Al singing the high parts on stuff like "Barbara Ann", whereas on other stuff it had either been handed off to Bobby (later mostly Jeff Foskett). Carl slowly ceded the lead on "Don't Worry Baby" after taking it back from Al, eventually sharing it with Foskett. By the 90s, they just let Matt Jardine sing the whole thing.

Over the years a lot of discussion has centered around who, in concert, was/is the best Brian fill-in, and I've always said nobody really sounded particularly like him. Al and Carl could at times in the 60s. But after that, not so much. By default I think Matt Jardine has come the closest (much more so than Foskett or Baker, or others).

And the studio is a whole other ball of wax ID'ing the high part singers, especially by the late 70s and early 80s again where Bruce was back, but Foskett and Adrian Baker were also sometimes in on those sessions. We still don't have definitive indicators on who, for instance, is singing the high part at the end of "California Dreamin'", recorded in 1982. Bruce, Brian, Foskett, and Baker are all possible candidates. Or did we get the AFM sheets on that and make a more firm determination. I digress of course.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 12:48:51 PM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #53 on: April 22, 2021, 01:20:34 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.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 01:21:06 PM by nts and the drum » Logged
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« Reply #54 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?
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« Reply #55 on: April 22, 2021, 03:49:50 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?

I believe HeyJude was referring to the one near the end. His post above might explain it better than I could.
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« Reply #56 on: April 23, 2021, 09:22:18 AM »

"The falsetto? I remember reading it was Carl, although personally I thought it was Bruce."

There are two falsettos on this track.  During the bridge, Carl sings the falsetto after Dennis' line "I dream of you..."  For decades I thought this falsetto was Brian but Alan Boyd confirmed it was Carl.  The second falsetto comes on the tag of the track.   This falsetto is Bruce.  Bruce also provided falsetto on Pacific Ocean Blue (notably on End of the Show).

Just to cycle back here, the falsetto on the tag is actually Carl as well. I know this because I myself thought it was Brian, and I was over at Alan Boyd's house one night and he played me the soloed tag vocals. I was wrong; it was Carl.
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« Reply #57 on: April 23, 2021, 09:27:34 AM »

"The falsetto? I remember reading it was Carl, although personally I thought it was Bruce."

There are two falsettos on this track.  During the bridge, Carl sings the falsetto after Dennis' line "I dream of you..."  For decades I thought this falsetto was Brian but Alan Boyd confirmed it was Carl.  The second falsetto comes on the tag of the track.   This falsetto is Bruce.  Bruce also provided falsetto on Pacific Ocean Blue (notably on End of the Show).

Just to cycle back here, the falsetto on the tag is actually Carl as well. I know this because I myself thought it was Brian, and I was over at Alan Boyd's house one night and he played me the soloed tag vocals. I was wrong; it was Carl.

Thatís right, it was discussed in another thread years back.

Also, hi. Recently joined a couple of weeks ago but have been a lurker here for years.
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« Reply #58 on: April 24, 2021, 10:51:01 AM »


"Just to cycle back here, the falsetto on the tag is actually Carl as well. I know this because I myself thought it was Brian, and I was over at Alan Boyd's house one night and he played me the soloed tag vocals. I was wrong; it was Carl."

I stand corrected.  Fascinating how we all heard it differently.  From the time I first heard it on the flipside of the Here Comes the Night single, it was and remains my favorite track on the album.
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« Reply #59 on: April 25, 2021, 03:15:55 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
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« Reply #60 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.
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« Reply #61 on: April 26, 2021, 09:45:54 AM »

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?

The high part I was talking about was the near the end (though I think that same singer is probably doing the high part earlier in the song), near the "playout" section of whatever on wants to call it, the "on such a winter's daaaaayyyyyy" part, where it's a single voice (though I can't rule out that it's doubled I suppose without hearing the multis).

I was singling out that particular case because it's from a weird time where we don't have many studio recordings (certainly *released*) recordings, from late 1982, and it comes from a transition period in the live (and studio) band where Carl had returned, and Carl and Al were still doing some high parts, and where Brian was coming and going *just* prior to hooking back up with Landy, Bruce had been back for a few years, and also both Adrian Baker *and* Jeff Foskett were in the BB sphere at that time as well.

In some other cases where a particular source of a voicing isn't clear, we can narrow it down more by way of who could have possibly been in the studio. In 1982, the band was only sporadically tripping into the studio for rando sessions, and the touring band was in flux as well, and it was during a period where a Baker or Foskett may or may not have been invited to a studio session. On any given day in 1982, Brian and Dennis may or may not have been with the band.

Combine all of that with a high part in a song that is a relatively non-descript, from an era where BB group vocals started getting processed more on recordings and vocals could sometimes be less distinct and a bit more homogeneous in sound. It's an interesting, though somewhat inconsequential, bit of trivia.
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« Reply #62 on: April 26, 2021, 07:25:27 PM »

Jeff Foskett is definitely on the BBs version of CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'. Can't say Adrian Baker isn't, too, though. Both were in the band at the time.
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« Reply #63 on: April 27, 2021, 05:08:36 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?

The high part I was talking about was the near the end (though I think that same singer is probably doing the high part earlier in the song), near the "playout" section of whatever on wants to call it, the "on such a winter's daaaaayyyyyy" part, where it's a single voice (though I can't rule out that it's doubled I suppose without hearing the multis).

I was singling out that particular case because it's from a weird time where we don't have many studio recordings (certainly *released*) recordings, from late 1982, and it comes from a transition period in the live (and studio) band where Carl had returned, and Carl and Al were still doing some high parts, and where Brian was coming and going *just* prior to hooking back up with Landy, Bruce had been back for a few years, and also both Adrian Baker *and* Jeff Foskett were in the BB sphere at that time as well.

In some other cases where a particular source of a voicing isn't clear, we can narrow it down more by way of who could have possibly been in the studio. In 1982, the band was only sporadically tripping into the studio for rando sessions, and the touring band was in flux as well, and it was during a period where a Baker or Foskett may or may not have been invited to a studio session. On any given day in 1982, Brian and Dennis may or may not have been with the band.

Combine all of that with a high part in a song that is a relatively non-descript, from an era where BB group vocals started getting processed more on recordings and vocals could sometimes be less distinct and a bit more homogeneous in sound. It's an interesting, though somewhat inconsequential, bit of trivia.

YES--I have always wondered who that was.  Does not sound like Baker.  Sorry, but sounds too good to be him.  Sounds like Foskett, or even a 1985 or 86 Brian (like a Getcha Back Brian).  We know Al went back and recorded his lead later--could Brian have gone back and recorded a backing high vocal in 1986?
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« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2021, 06:25:32 AM »

Jeff Foskett is definitely on the BBs version of CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'. Can't say Adrian Baker isn't, too, though. Both were in the band at the time.

Wasn't the 1986 single culled from an earlier 1983 version [link below]?  It was touched up and reworked for the Made In the U.S.A. compilation.  So there's no telling who was singing the high parts and when they were recorded.  


https://youtu.be/0CJG6_gUSwY

Listening to the early version, the high part very well could be Bruce.
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« Reply #65 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.
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« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2021, 10:11:26 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.


I agree that it sounds like Bruce is doing one of those parts. Can't say who the other voice belongs too, though.
BTW, just wanted to point out what an incredible lead by Al it is! Carl is of course awesome as well, but Al shines on here. The guy is such a great singer. Really good that people start to see that for the last decade.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 10:12:19 AM by Rocker » Logged

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« Reply #67 on: April 28, 2021, 10:37:15 AM »

The '86 version of "California Dreamin'" retains a lot from the '82 version. Al's lead is the same (and copied and pasted, replacing Mike's), most if not all of the backing vocals are the same. Carl did actually re-record his lead part (though it's *very very* similar; reportedly Carl was annoyed the early version was released in '83 in part because he didn't like his lead; his eventual '86 lead is a different take, but it's not very different). There were of course some instrumental changes (new drums, 12-string guitars replacing synths, echo/repeat added to the sax, etc.).

But yes, the fact that the '86 version retains so much from the '82 version is precisely why I was saying it was an interesting case of some of the vocal parts being questionable given the large pool of potential vocalists in their orb in 1982.
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« Reply #68 on: April 28, 2021, 09:06:43 PM »

A report at the time it was recorded (which was May of '82) indicated that "the entire Beach Boys vocal ensemble" sang on it. Which could mean a couple of different things, but if it means the guys who were singing in the live band at the time, then it would be Carl, Al, Mike, Bruce, Jeff, and Adrian. Plus, Jeff and Adrian are both credited with "backup" on that Radio Shack cassette release. So, knowing that Brian reportedly ISN'T on it, I'd say the question is answered.
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« Reply #69 on: April 29, 2021, 05:54:31 AM »

A report at the time it was recorded (which was May of '82) indicated that "the entire Beach Boys vocal ensemble" sang on it. Which could mean a couple of different things, but if it means the guys who were singing in the live band at the time, then it would be Carl, Al, Mike, Bruce, Jeff, and Adrian. Plus, Jeff and Adrian are both credited with "backup" on that Radio Shack cassette release. So, knowing that Brian reportedly ISN'T on it, I'd say the question is answered.


I guess Dennis didn't contribute either, correct?
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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #70 on: April 29, 2021, 06:00:58 AM »

A report at the time it was recorded (which was May of '82) indicated that "the entire Beach Boys vocal ensemble" sang on it. Which could mean a couple of different things, but if it means the guys who were singing in the live band at the time, then it would be Carl, Al, Mike, Bruce, Jeff, and Adrian. Plus, Jeff and Adrian are both credited with "backup" on that Radio Shack cassette release. So, knowing that Brian reportedly ISN'T on it, I'd say the question is answered.


I guess Dennis didn't contribute either, correct?

Probably not. I'd say definitely not.
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