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675290 Posts in 27261 Topics by 4020 Members - Latest Member: woowoomachine July 06, 2022, 09:15:37 PM
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Author Topic: Cabinessence questions  (Read 2536 times)
Don Malcolm
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« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2022, 02:13:26 AM »

Guys, the lead sheet issue is fascinating (and most likely permanently confounding), but I don't think it will lead us to any insights about the nature of the 1968 tweaks to "Cabinessence."

Listening to the SECRET SMILE bootleg again might clarify the situation about the "Truck Driving Man" lyrics, however.

In the "Cabinessence" section of that bootleg, there's a 43-second snippet of a take that is listed as "Chorus Vocal Overdub." It is the second iteration of what's usually called "Who Ran The Iron Horse," which as we all know plays twice in the song's verse/chorus/verse/chorus/two-part tag structure. If you listen carefully to that snippet, it's clear that the "Truck Driving Man" lyrics are in place, although they are already buried in the mix at about the level of what we hear on the 20/20 release version.

That would argue pretty strongly for the idea that the "Truck Driving Man" lyrics (sung by Dennis) were recorded during the 1966 sessions, and was already in place when they came back to the song in 1968 to overdub Carl's lead vocal for the "Home on the Range" section.

This assumes that the "Secret Smile" tapes are from 1966, but since this 43-second snippet is literally surrounded by the instrumental sessions and all the other vocals except for Carl's lead, it seems highly likely that everything we're listening to in these tapes date from the song's original 1966 recording sessions.
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WillJC
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« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2022, 02:37:17 AM »

Guys, the lead sheet issue is fascinating (and most likely permanently confounding), but I don't think it will lead us to any insights about the nature of the 1968 tweaks to "Cabinessence."

Listening to the SECRET SMILE bootleg again might clarify the situation about the "Truck Driving Man" lyrics, however.

In the "Cabinessence" section of that bootleg, there's a 43-second snippet of a take that is listed as "Chorus Vocal Overdub." It is the second iteration of what's usually called "Who Ran The Iron Horse," which as we all know plays twice in the song's verse/chorus/verse/chorus/two-part tag structure. If you listen carefully to that snippet, it's clear that the "Truck Driving Man" lyrics are in place, although they are already buried in the mix at about the level of what we hear on the 20/20 release version.

That would argue pretty strongly for the idea that the "Truck Driving Man" lyrics (sung by Dennis) were recorded during the 1966 sessions, and was already in place when they came back to the song in 1968 to overdub Carl's lead vocal for the "Home on the Range" section.

This assumes that the "Secret Smile" tapes are from 1966, but since this 43-second snippet is literally surrounded by the instrumental sessions and all the other vocals except for Carl's lead, it seems highly likely that everything we're listening to in these tapes date from the song's original 1966 recording sessions.

The track in question is a November 1968 mix outtake.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2022, 02:40:00 AM by WillJC » Logged
c-man
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« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2022, 06:13:54 AM »

Lead sheets for Beach Boys songs are generally not very reliable. Some of those that I've seen for the Little Deuce Coupe album have completely misheard lyrics, by whoever was listening to the records and copying down what they heard. "The Border, the Southland, had seen some strange things"... what? Pretty funny stuff. When Tandyn Almer and Stanley Shapiro urged Brian to dig up some old tunes to rewrite, they were shocked at how many chords were completely wrong.

I don't really know how these things were done, and I'd love to learn more about the process that Brian and the boys had to go through, but seeing as this specific copyright was filed after the recording date, I'm guessing someone was just listening to the record and writing down what they heard. A barely audible Dennis part in the chorus was probably not detected.

Not sure if you've seen The Beatles: Get Back, but toward the end of Episode One (on the day George quits the band, IIRC), they are visited by their publisher, the very Murry-like (in appearance, but seemingly a pretty nice guy) Dick James. The Fabs, Glyn Johns, and he get into a discussion on this very topic. Someone (Glyn, I think) says sheet music chords are very often completely wrong, to which Mr. James replies how the process works:  the records are transcribed by someone in his office (who, he says, is very very good, but could still make a mistake now and then), after which the transcriptions are sent to George Martin for review and possible vetoing.  If any mistakes make it past that point, well it's basically down to human error. Not sure if that's how the process worked with Brian's music, but most probably it did, except maybe the transcriptions never made it to Brian, or maybe he just didn't bother with them?

Yes! Absolutely fascinating stuff. The tricky thing is, some of those copyrights were done before release, or even before recording. I Get Around is a weird one, because even though it was made after the recording, the lyrics differ (presumably they're Brian's before Mike edited them), and Brian's intro is used instead of Mike's ("Well there's a million little girls just waitin around..."), so that one must've been Brian playing piano and singing to someone who transcribed it. And in some cases, there were no recordings to go off of, e.g. I'm Waiting For the Day in 1964. I wish we had a better idea of how those sessions went.

Probably one of two scenarios in this case:
(1) Someone (likely Diane, as she was his girl Friday) created a lead sheet with lyrics while Brian played and sang the song, probably using Brian's handwritten lyrics and chord notes as a jumping off point, or
(2) Brian made a demo tape, sent it (or an acetate made from it) to Sea Of Tunes and Murry had someone there transcribe it.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2022, 07:05:24 AM »

The interesting question is when was that Cabinessence copyright lead sheet created. As mentioned, these sheets in general could have been done prior to the song being recorded which would explain some changes to lyrics, melody, even form, etc. They could have been done after recording but prior to release, or they could have been done sometimes years after a release to establish a copyright separate from the original, or to place it in a "collected body of work" type of copyright filing.

For more info and examples, there was an auction held years ago which featured some actual copyright filings of Beach Boys classics, and some "poor man's copyright" examples of when such a filing would be mailed to yourself via registered mail to establish copyright date versus going through the full submission process. There were lead/lyric sheets included in that, however there were also full scores which some might have thought were original 60's scores but were really band charts from various tours in the later 70's. I have some photos of that stuff buried somewhere if anyone hasn't seen them.

But that Cabinessence lead sheet is absolutely a professional job as I mentioned before, and it would have been done by a pro copyist or even a music copying service.

Just some background, the job of a music copyist was (or could be unless it was under the table) a union gig, and copyists would be paid by the page. Just like C-Man described, a songwriter or publisher or even the Brill Building type of places would hire copyists to write and if necessary transcribe these lead sheets and prep the song for the copyright filings. It's amazing but important to note just how many top-flight musicians and songwriters of the day could not read or write music, and they definitely were usually not on the level of the pro copyists in terms of writing the notes on the page. I've both done some copyist work and hired copyists back when the calligraphy pen and ink wells and rulers and all that stuff were still the best way to go because computer software was still a little dodgy.  It's tedious work and boring as all hell to do that by hand, and now of course the software can do everything including transcribing the parts from audio...

Maybe someone can add to this, but the go-to business for music copying work in the 60's in LA was a service run by a guy named Bob Ross, not the painter of course. And at that time I've heard they were still using the onion skin method for running off multiple copies. I'm not sure if Bob Ross's service did transcriptions and copyright submission type work too, or whether they just did scores and copying parts for sessions, but I'm sure they would be in a network to do these things. And apparently Jimmy Webb made money as a copyist around LA before his career took off as a songwriter.

So with all that said, the date of the Cabinessence lead sheet also brings up the issue of the different sections "Home On The Range" and "Who Ran The Iron Horse" being combined as one continuous piece in that lead sheet. As of early 1967, they were still separate sections and labeled as such on the acetates and various tapes, and then labeled "Cabin Essence" on the Smile cover slick (right?)...so that would suggest the lead sheet was done beyond the demo stage, and the pieces were not together as "Cabinessence" when they were taken to the studio in late '66.

And if they were done after the revisit and finishing up in late '68 which was on 20/20, the lead sheet's full set of lyrics and melody under one title (and one word rather than two as on the cover slick) suggests it may have been transcribed from the finished recording that was released.

So if that's the case, and I'm leaning that way right now, why would a full set of lyrics be left off since they were part of the copyright too and would be on a lead sheet I'd think.

 
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sloopjohnb72
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« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2022, 09:20:50 AM »

Lead sheet was done in December 1968, transcribed from the recording
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