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Author Topic: The Wilson/Paley Sessions  (Read 18492 times)
rab2591
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« Reply #100 on: August 26, 2022, 10:42:48 AM »

Also, since we're quoting Paul:

Egypt Station hit #1 and stayed on the charts for 8 weeks (compare that with TWGMTR hitting #3 and staying on the charts for 8 weeks), his response to Egypt Station's placement:

"'Oh, oh, wait a minute, hey guys.' I announce to everyone, 'We're number one.'

So that party that evening, that was special, because we had a real great reason to celebrate. Ö We danced the night away, baby."


So Paul McCartney found reason to celebrate his chart achievement (clearly if charting the first week isn't an achievement for these legacy artists, surely he knows there's no reason to celebrate?), yet, like you, I figure he knows what he's talking about.

I can't find the interview, but there's one where Paul McCartney relates how he was told his compilation "Pure McCartney" had made it to like number 10 in the charts. He goes, that's great, how many copies did we sell? His people tell him, like, "2,000". He goes, man, we used to sell that in an hour, not in a week.

Paul knew chart placement doesn't mean anything these days.

Which is why he was celebrating a #1 placement of his solo album? Read your own posts, because they make no logical sense.
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« Reply #101 on: August 26, 2022, 01:46:48 PM »

This is the moment when I start HOPING this is only normal Internet trolling.
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« Reply #102 on: August 26, 2022, 08:23:24 PM »

I have never questioned the quality of the music contained on TWGMTR. I've said before, and I'll say it again, it was the best album we were going to get under the circumstances (no Dennis, and especially no Carl). Did it have a strong chart debut? Yes, I think we all recognize that. What it didn't have was staying power. Off the charts in two months, and both touring bands basically acting like it never existed.
I would have thought, at least on Brian's side, that there would be a certain amount of pride in making that album happen; that even in 2016, he and Al might want to play a couple of the songs in their shows. "Here's a song from an album we did a few years ago, you might have heard it". It just seems like the album is forgotten now, but all except us fans.
In contrast, when Come Go With Me was a hit in 1981, the group put the song in their setlists, and there it stayed for most of the 80's. Ditto with Getcha Back, California Dreaming, Kokomo, and Still Cruisin'.
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« Reply #103 on: August 26, 2022, 08:25:23 PM »

Why didn't "Unleash The Love" go top-5 if it were a case of the calculations behind the album charts and the diehard fans coming out the first week to binge on buying the album? Obviously more than the diehard fan base bought TWGMTR, otherwise it would have hit the charts around 78 or something instead of number 3.



Mike Love solo doesn't have the same diehard fanbase as the Beach Boys with Brian Wilson.

The latest album by the Who opened at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart. McCartney III similarly opened at number 2. Rough and Rowdy Ways, by Bob Dylan, opened at number 2. Blue & Lonesome, an album of blues covers by the Rolling Stones, made it to number 4.

So all we're saying is that, when one hears "the album was in the top 5", it needs an asterisk where people are reminded that it doesn't mean the album resonated with the record-buying public, had commercial success or had songs that got into the public consciousness. It just means that the fanbase bought it, which in this day and age is enough to get a top-5 showing for one week if you're an old, established Sixties band.
 
Finally someone gets what I was trying to say! Thank you.
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« Reply #104 on: August 27, 2022, 05:02:53 AM »

I have never questioned the quality of the music contained on TWGMTR. I've said before, and I'll say it again, it was the best album we were going to get under the circumstances (no Dennis, and especially no Carl). Did it have a strong chart debut? Yes, I think we all recognize that. What it didn't have was staying power. Off the charts in two months, and both touring bands basically acting like it never existed.
I would have thought, at least on Brian's side, that there would be a certain amount of pride in making that album happen; that even in 2016, he and Al might want to play a couple of the songs in their shows. "Here's a song from an album we did a few years ago, you might have heard it". It just seems like the album is forgotten now, but all except us fans.
In contrast, when Come Go With Me was a hit in 1981, the group put the song in their setlists, and there it stayed for most of the 80's. Ditto with Getcha Back, California Dreaming, Kokomo, and Still Cruisin'.

I don't think anyone is arguing these points. Our point is that remarking about TWGMTR's chart position in 2012 shouldn't elicit a cringe or shouldn't require a footnote explaining why chart positions supposedly mean absolutely nothing these days.

Here's the thing: The Beach Boys are a 50 year old band. You and Kreen are stating that their chart position is not an achievement (or that's it's not actually a top-5 album) because they can't compete with the chart-staying power that Drake, Adele, Taylor Swift, etc had in 2012. But why would they have that staying power? They are a 50 year old band who no longer has their finger on the pulse of the culture.

The fact that they still have a fan-base, that they were still getting together to make music, that they actually created some quality music that landed on a radio during that year, and all of that led to them getting a #3 chart placement. THAT is an achievement. Is it the exact same thing as Drake staying on the charts for 40 weeks in 2012? Not at all, and no one here is arguing that. We're just saying that 50 years after their creation, selling 200,000 albums (which rivals the sales of CATPs and nearly Holland (which are getting the boxset treatment soon) and getting a top-3 placement is still an achievement and nothing for fans to cringe at or footnote.

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« Last Edit: August 27, 2022, 09:55:46 AM by rab2591 » Logged

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« Reply #105 on: August 27, 2022, 05:20:38 AM »

Staying 40 weeks on the charts?
If Drake, or anybody, lands an album at #3 for one week in 2062, now THAT would be an achievement.

To paraphrase Joey Adams' motto: with such fans, who needs enemies? (Not talking of Rab, of course.)
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« Reply #106 on: August 27, 2022, 08:14:09 PM »

I have never questioned the quality of the music contained on TWGMTR. I've said before, and I'll say it again, it was the best album we were going to get under the circumstances (no Dennis, and especially no Carl). Did it have a strong chart debut? Yes, I think we all recognize that. What it didn't have was staying power. Off the charts in two months, and both touring bands basically acting like it never existed.
I would have thought, at least on Brian's side, that there would be a certain amount of pride in making that album happen; that even in 2016, he and Al might want to play a couple of the songs in their shows. "Here's a song from an album we did a few years ago, you might have heard it". It just seems like the album is forgotten now, but all except us fans.
In contrast, when Come Go With Me was a hit in 1981, the group put the song in their setlists, and there it stayed for most of the 80's. Ditto with Getcha Back, California Dreaming, Kokomo, and Still Cruisin'.

I don't think anyone is arguing these points. Our point is that remarking about TWGMTR's chart position in 2012 shouldn't elicit a cringe or shouldn't require a footnote explaining why chart positions supposedly mean absolutely nothing these days.

Here's the thing: The Beach Boys are a 50 year old band. You and Kreen are stating that their chart position is not an achievement (or that's it's not actually a top-5 album) because they can't compete with the chart-staying power that Drake, Adele, Taylor Swift, etc had in 2012. But why would they have that staying power? They are a 50 year old band who no longer has their finger on the pulse of the culture.

The fact that they still have a fan-base, that they were still getting together to make music, that they actually created some quality music that landed on a radio during that year, and all of that led to them getting a #3 chart placement. THAT is an achievement. Is it the exact same thing as Drake staying on the charts for 40 weeks in 2012? Not at all, and no one here is arguing that. We're just saying that 50 years after their creation, selling 200,000 albums (which rivals the sales of CATPs and nearly Holland (which are getting the boxset treatment soon) and getting a top-3 placement is still an achievement and nothing for fans to cringe at or footnote.

edit. words
Yes, it's very cool that the Beach Boys could have a top 5 album in 2012, and their music is still selling today. Amy greatest hits collections from now on must include at least 1 or 2 songs from TWGMTR - one of their highest charting albums ever. Higher than Still Cruisin; higher than BB85; higher than Holland or Surf's Up; higher than Pet Sounds.
I remember cruising the boulevard that summer of 2012 like it was yesterday, top down, radio blaring Spring Vacation, Summer's Gone, Isn't it Time. I guess that's why God made the radio!
The Boys really missed out this time around, though. Could have had a #1 album if they had layed down some tracks for the 60th. Maybe they'll package a new album with the Sail on Sailor box set, ala Carl and the Passions - So Tough/Pet Sounds.
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« Reply #107 on: August 28, 2022, 05:22:21 PM »

Well, other than some odd vocals from Brian, I think that the Wilson Paley sessions are wonderful and the fact that they were never made into a proper Beach Boys album is yet another episode of the groupís tragi-comedy history of poor career decisions.

Weirdly, I appear to be off-topic, judging by the recent endless discussion about TWGMTR that one would have thought would have been moved to its own thread ...

But then, Iím the madman who thinks the GIOMH version of Gettin in Over My Head is the definitive version of that song and is a latterday BW masterpiece ...
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« Reply #108 on: August 28, 2022, 09:44:39 PM »

Well, other than some odd vocals from Brian, I think that the Wilson Paley sessions are wonderful and the fact that they were never made into a proper Beach Boys album is yet another episode of the groupís tragi-comedy history of poor career decisions.

Weirdly, I appear to be off-topic, judging by the recent endless discussion about TWGMTR that one would have thought would have been moved to its own thread ...

But then, Iím the madman who thinks the GIOMH version of Gettin in Over My Head is the definitive version of that song and is a latterday BW masterpiece ...
The mistake was offering the Wilson/Paley songs to a group that wasn't interested. It should have been material for one of Brian's albums. All the writers were raving about the material in their articles about IJWMFTT and OCA, so why didn't it get released?
The Beach Boys in the 90's wanted Kokomo clones and boring country retreads. Mike was running the ship, Bruce as always went along with his leader; Al was on the outs with the leader, and Carl just didn't care anymore.
Mike's vision was the mainstream - even though the mainstream had changed considerably since Kokomo. Brian's fans wanted to see him embrace the alternative scene; record music the way he did it in the 60's, no synths, all natural instruments played by the Wrecking Crew. Not the A/C direction Joe Thomas pushed him in. Brian's music is supposed to be edgy, weird, not sunny, surf and sand stuff.
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« Reply #109 on: August 28, 2022, 11:04:05 PM »

Well, other than some odd vocals from Brian, I think that the Wilson Paley sessions are wonderful and the fact that they were never made into a proper Beach Boys album is yet another episode of the groupís tragi-comedy history of poor career decisions.

Weirdly, I appear to be off-topic, judging by the recent endless discussion about TWGMTR that one would have thought would have been moved to its own thread ...

But then, Iím the madman who thinks the GIOMH version of Gettin in Over My Head is the definitive version of that song and is a latterday BW masterpiece ...

Thanks for returning to the original topic of the thread, and for actually liking the WP sessions.  After having to suffer thru pages of nitpicking trying to argue that having a #3  album was a terrible, terrible thing and the Beach Boys should be ashamed of that, yours was a breath of fresh air.
GIOMH (the song) is a great song anyway, but I love much more the original version in the sessions, which I consider one of the best things Brian ever did. The official album version is "earthy", while the WP one is airy and spacey. Just my opinion. Smiley
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« Reply #110 on: August 29, 2022, 10:26:25 AM »

Well, other than some odd vocals from Brian, I think that the Wilson Paley sessions are wonderful and the fact that they were never made into a proper Beach Boys album is yet another episode of the groupís tragi-comedy history of poor career decisions.

Weirdly, I appear to be off-topic, judging by the recent endless discussion about TWGMTR that one would have thought would have been moved to its own thread ...

But then, Iím the madman who thinks the GIOMH version of Gettin in Over My Head is the definitive version of that song and is a latterday BW masterpiece ...
The mistake was offering the Wilson/Paley songs to a group that wasn't interested. It should have been material for one of Brian's albums. All the writers were raving about the material in their articles about IJWMFTT and OCA, so why didn't it get released?
The Beach Boys in the 90's wanted Kokomo clones and boring country retreads. Mike was running the ship, Bruce as always went along with his leader; Al was on the outs with the leader, and Carl just didn't care anymore.
Mike's vision was the mainstream - even though the mainstream had changed considerably since Kokomo. Brian's fans wanted to see him embrace the alternative scene; record music the way he did it in the 60's, no synths, all natural instruments played by the Wrecking Crew. Not the A/C direction Joe Thomas pushed him in. Brian's music is supposed to be edgy, weird, not sunny, surf and sand stuff.

While I think the Paley material could have formed a great Beach Boys album, and it was a bummer that the band's reception towards the material was one of anywhere from rejection to ambivalence to perhaps mild enthusiasm, I don't think the BBs sort of passively rejecting the material was the only reason it never came out.

I don't think Brian or Andy ever made the material (nor didn't release it) based on it only being potential BB material.

The question of why this didn't come out as a Beach Boys album is somewhat answerable. We don't have all the details, but clearly politics and lack of enthusiasm for the material, and another project being worked on instead, all played a large part.

The question then becomes, why didn't this make it out as a Brian solo album? And again, that takes us back to Joe Thomas and his ability (again, even if part of that ability was ingratiating himself upon Brian and Melinda) to get *his* "version" of a Brian album out.

There were a bunch of rumors/vague reports back then, including Melinda liking Joe's adult contemporary and AOR vibe, and that's indeed what we got. Joe even worked on several of Brian and Andy's songs during those sessions "Where Has Love Been?" and "Gettin' In Over My Head." Also, while I've still never been able to discern much solidly, and Andy's name isn't on the song, it sure seems like bits of "How Could We Still Be Dancin'" were migrated over from "Dancing the Night Away."

Like most people on the outskirts of Beach Boys-dom, both Paley and Joe Thomas were at various points "in" or "out" as far as working with Brian. Through I'm sure a healthy mixture of luck, happenstance, and political and music biz skills, Joe ended up co-producing and co-writing more material with Brian that made it out through a variety of channels.

Meanwhile, Andy's stuff got piecemealed out across many years in both original, partially re-recorded, and fully re-recorded form, on both ostensibly "new" albums as well as "archival" packages.

I suspect we've probably heard and have in pretty good to excellent sound quality most of the best of Brian and Andy's songs. But I'd still love to see a nice deluxe set of everything, including demos and other stuff we haven't heard. (And throw on the Don Was stuff as well).

The weird sound quality on some of the tracks, including the stuff on the "Long Promised Road" soundtrack, seemed to open up some questions as to whether all extant multi-track tapes survive from those sessions. But we know some if not most or all do; as they were re-jiggering both "Soul Searchin'" and "You're Still a Mystery" a number of years after their initial recordings.
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« Reply #111 on: August 31, 2022, 07:20:04 PM »

It struck me over the past few days, after seeing some of the "highlights" and musical performances from the VMA Awards (supposedly a showcase of the best, hottest, biggest selling, most trendy music of our present time...) how absurd it is to worry about whether a ten year old Beach Boys album should have an asterisk next to it for chart position, or how reaching #3 on that Billboard chart is upsetting to some. Considering the supposed "talent" on display, and the songs heard on that awards show...holy sh*t that's what should be causing grief and debate instead of asterisks and chart positions. And that's the kind of music and the artists we're being programmed to hear and, what else, respect? Sad commentary on modern pop music.
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« Reply #112 on: September 01, 2022, 01:32:11 AM »

But surely the VMA Awardees will still be trending like heck in 2072. Just look at them: it's obvious that their allure is one who will stand the passing of just half a century. Surely.
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« Reply #113 on: September 01, 2022, 08:32:12 AM »

It struck me over the past few days, after seeing some of the "highlights" and musical performances from the VMA Awards (supposedly a showcase of the best, hottest, biggest selling, most trendy music of our present time...) how absurd it is to worry about whether a ten year old Beach Boys album should have an asterisk next to it for chart position, or how reaching #3 on that Billboard chart is upsetting to some. Considering the supposed "talent" on display, and the songs heard on that awards show...holy sh*t that's what should be causing grief and debate instead of asterisks and chart positions. And that's the kind of music and the artists we're being programmed to hear and, what else, respect? Sad commentary on modern pop music.

Music is a dumpster fire these days. And it's not just the themes - sex and drugs have always been themes in rock-n-roll since the 60s? But in the modern era there is no talent to be had to write, produce, record these "songs"...most of which you can't even understand the "lyrics", and every pop backing track nowadays sounds like a copy/paste from late-90s Brittney Spears songs...and those pop tunes are probably the best that music has to offer, don't even get me started on "rap" these days.

So yeah, completely agree, if The Beach Boys showed up on the charts we should be grateful that they cast a ray of light onto the music world, even if but for a short period of time.
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« Reply #114 on: September 01, 2022, 11:31:47 AM »

I think the ones who started EVALUATING music based on position in the "lists" are guilty of all this. This includes a whole section of the Beach Boys "fandom" (to be clear, as it seems it's necessary: I am not talking of HeyJude and the like).
This has brought to the current situation, where position on lists are directly manufactured by the Powers That Be,  with no remaining link to anything resembling "music".
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« Reply #115 on: September 01, 2022, 12:08:28 PM »

I think part of this is simply the different ways fans and scholars look at and discuss this stuff. That will sometimes invariably lead to cross-talk where some folks are kind of missing each other.

Some folks just like to talk about what they like. They donít want to get bogged down in the politics and the ďnegativeĒ stuff, or industry stuff. Some folks donít even really want to get into the basic biographical details.

Thatís all fine (obviously), but Iíd argue that if the idea is take a scholarly approach on any level to the band and its history, you canít just ignore all of that stuff.

I donít think anybody (anybody here anyway) is taking facts/stats/lists/sales, etc. and then letting it shape their subjective/qualitative/personal opinion of the music.

The point in getting into the charts, at least for me, is not to start ranking whatís better or worse. Iím mainly interesting in how sales and chart success impact the *story* of the band. And it absolutely does! To varying degrees at varying points. But the reason itís important to contextualize something like the ďperformanceĒ or ďsuccessĒ of the 2012 reunion album is that it is both a cause and a result of all sorts of machinations involving the bandís story and history. *Especially* when it comes to a hot-button, divisive topic like the 2012 50th reunion.

So if one wants to understand why such-and-such material (e.g. the Paley stuff) didnít get released (or worked on more by the band, etc.), then an understanding of the industry (including sales and charts) and the bandís history is very important.

The question of the chart success of TWGMTR is somewhat different. The ďsuccessĒ of that album is really just one part of the 50th reunion story. I believe, if one has to very briefly sum it up, that the album was *relatively successful* in that it performed adequately, was generally well-received, and served its purpose in the context of the reunion. 
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« Reply #116 on: September 01, 2022, 03:12:46 PM »

Yet again: I was NOT talking of you, or other people with similar views. Whatever has your answer in common with what I actually said?
However, just for the chronicle: no, personally I am not interested in the more scholarly approach to the Beach Boys (which, by the way, imho has always spawned very good things but also a wealth of, to be extremely charitable, "dubious" stuff), and yes, I am interested in their music, and that goes WAY, WAY beyond just saying which albums or songs one likes.

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« Reply #117 on: September 01, 2022, 03:51:03 PM »

However, I had some skirmishes with Rab, one of my favourite posters ever, before we cleared some small misunderstandings.
You are another great contributor and nothing I ever said was aimed against you. Smiley
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« Reply #118 on: September 01, 2022, 04:10:35 PM »

But, again about the WP sessions. I know why they were not released. It's too obvious!

"DON'T ****  WITH THE FORMULA, BRIAN!" This is not commercial, and will never climb the lists!

And no need to guess who said that. IT WAS A COLLECTIVE, as always.

Simplistic? Maybe, but often truth is simplistic.

Brian, Andy and maybe Don Was vs The Rest of the World. Simple as that.

But the sacrifice was worth the while, as the extremely commercial "Stars and Stripes Vol. 1" climbed to an impressive #101 and the even more commercial MOR "Imagination" climbed to a whopping #80. Long live the Formula!

And after all, the Beach Boys, with SIP, had just climbed to # ..., oh, never mind, so they were absolutely right in being wary of all that uncommercial out-of-formula Brian music.

As PhilSpectre said, tragi-comical.

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« Reply #119 on: September 01, 2022, 05:04:05 PM »

I am a huge Brian fan but at the end of the day we have to say that he must take some of the blame. If he is unwilling to ever again take total control of the recording process, as has basically been the case since the late 70s than he will be at the mercy of the people he cedes control to. If Brian had really wanted a Wilson-Paley album to be released in the 1990s than he had to actually produce the record but it seems like he ultimately, despite being free of Landy, no longer wanted that responsibility.
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« Reply #120 on: September 01, 2022, 05:25:00 PM »

We all know, or so I hope, Brian's problems. We all know, or so I hope, that he needs a mess of help to finish a project. He never made a secret of this, either.
But methinks that in several crucial periods of Brian's career he got some scattered help and a whole mess of UNhelp.
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« Reply #121 on: September 02, 2022, 06:33:10 AM »

Yet again: I was NOT talking of you, or other people with similar views. Whatever has your answer in common with what I actually said?
However, just for the chronicle: no, personally I am not interested in the more scholarly approach to the Beach Boys (which, by the way, imho has always spawned very good things but also a wealth of, to be extremely charitable, "dubious" stuff), and yes, I am interested in their music, and that goes WAY, WAY beyond just saying which albums or songs one likes.


No worries, I wasn't assuming you were talking about me. I don't only respond and discuss if I think I'm specifically being referenced. I was just commenting on some of the points in general regarding "fandom", because having been a fan and immersed in and/or observed every corner of "fandom", I feel I have a pretty good idea of how things have gone over the years, and certainly here on this board. What I was saying is that, as best as I can tell in terms of what you were positing ("....EVALUATING music based on position in the "lists" are guilty of all this. This includes a whole section of the Beach Boys "fandom"...."), is that I *don't* see that as a huge problem in "fandom". Perhaps we all just have different definitions of what a "fan" is.

I was trying to point out that, certainly in discussions here and other places where hardcore fans congregate, discussion of things like album charts have more to do with contextualizing the band's history than it does fans "evaluating" the quality of the music itself.

This band's "fandom" certainly has plenty of issues; and I've discussed some of those over the years. But I've never seen a lot of this "evaluating music based on positions in lists" phenomenon. I mean, I guess there are very casual fans who just like the really mainstream stuff who, perhaps need actual validation from charts and lists, and/or use the charts or lists to decide what they like. But I don't particularly consider that a case of being the real "fandom" for the band. That's certainly the case if we're talking about the "powers that be" (to the extent I can discern who or what that's supposed to be). 

But my main point was that, as best as I can tell, the discussion of charts in this thread have involved trying to understand how that all fits into the band's history and to try to appropriately contextualize such things.

If ever there was a place that concentrated a lot on "scholarly" Beach Boys discussion, it's this board. It's got many other facets as well, but that one is a big one. So yeah, you're going to run into a wall quite a bit if you want to talk *around* that aspect of things when discussing most any topic concerning the band. I'm not saying people can't discuss this stuff in any way they want to; but I guess one of the main points I'm trying to get to is that there are plenty of historians/scholars who *also* have plenty of personal preferences and feelings about the music, and are able to discuss *both* separately, and even sometimes at the same time.
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« Reply #122 on: September 02, 2022, 06:46:09 AM »

But, again about the WP sessions. I know why they were not released. It's too obvious!

"DON'T ****  WITH THE FORMULA, BRIAN!" This is not commercial, and will never climb the lists!

And no need to guess who said that. IT WAS A COLLECTIVE, as always.

Simplistic? Maybe, but often truth is simplistic.

Brian, Andy and maybe Don Was vs The Rest of the World. Simple as that.

But the sacrifice was worth the while, as the extremely commercial "Stars and Stripes Vol. 1" climbed to an impressive #101 and the even more commercial MOR "Imagination" climbed to a whopping #80. Long live the Formula!

And after all, the Beach Boys, with SIP, had just climbed to # ..., oh, never mind, so they were absolutely right in being wary of all that uncommercial out-of-formula Brian music.

As PhilSpectre said, tragi-comical.



I agree that the Paley material is good, and better than anything the others had been working on in recent prior years and contemporaneously.

But I do think trying to explain the lack of an album materializing by saying it was just another "Don't f**k with the formula, Brian" situation is far, far too reductive. It isn't *always* much more complicated; but sometimes it is, and a knowledge of the *very complicated and nuanced" band politics around this time indicate a lot more was going on than simply a few fellow band members thinking the material was not commercial.

Have you read Cindy Lee Berryhill's account of the Beach Boys group session with Paley and Brian? That alone indicates a lot of more nuanced, weird, deep stuff was going on than simply someone thinking the material wasn't commercial. A lot of weird passive-aggressive stuff was going. And that was only on the more micro level when it came to actually literally working on the material. The larger political issues surrounding the organization were also at play. I've probably already gone on about a lot of that already in this thread.

I'm reminded of some anonymous person who was in the studio during the reunion album recording sessions in 2011/2012, and I'm loosely paraphrasing, but they said something like "everything is an argument with these guys", and seemed to feel everything they do is *constantly* weighed down by many, many deep layers of politics and inter-personal bulls**t. And I think this was true back in the mid-90s as well. It had long ago gone way beyond simply a "don't f**k with the formula" situation.
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« Reply #123 on: September 02, 2022, 08:10:03 AM »

I am a huge Brian fan but at the end of the day we have to say that he must take some of the blame. If he is unwilling to ever again take total control of the recording process, as has basically been the case since the late 70s than he will be at the mercy of the people he cedes control to. If Brian had really wanted a Wilson-Paley album to be released in the 1990s than he had to actually produce the record but it seems like he ultimately, despite being free of Landy, no longer wanted that responsibility.

I think this is way too broad of a brushstroke to paint this situation, specific to the years 1994-1996 when the material we're discussing was on the table as material for the band, not just Brian, to record and release. HeyJude already made some comments about the interpersonal and business situations at that time, which is what I was going to say too, but there could be several chapters of a book written about what was going on in that specific time period.

First and probably most prominent, you're going on the assumption that Brian had either the power to, or the full ability to, make such a judgement call and say I'm going to produce this album. And it leaves out the fact that Brian wanted at least a chunk of the material he was writing with Andy to go to The Beach Boys. That's very clear. However, the Beach Boys blew him off when he wanted to play them some new tracks for consideration and didn't show when he invited them to a listening session. There were a lot of personal issues going on specific to this time period too, as mentioned, and the band in some cases was skeptical of Brian coming back to "produce" an album, let alone function as a band member again which is what he said he wanted to do. Some members treated him almost like a child, overcompensating to try to make him feel comfortable, some didn't think he could cut it live and rejected various ideas to get him on stage, others were still burned by various aspects of the Landy years (including slander lawsuits, suspicious writing credits, demands from Landy to be a 'partner' in the process, etc.), and there just seemed to be a feeling of skepticism around Brian's return.

In some cases their actions were understandable, Landy overall was like a festering wound they couldn't get rid of. Once he was gone, it wasn't as simple as the "old Brian" coming back and being able to helm the production of a full album, and the fact they tried to connect Brian with Sean O'Hagan (which Bruce and Carl were trying to do) says there wasn't the same confidence in his abilities anyway.

Meanwhile they had tracks which Don Was had said Carl was excited about, and then all of a sudden Carl changed his mind and vetoed everything. In a related situation, Virgin's Richard Branson came calling with a record deal, each "faction" of the band wanted something out of it including Brian who wanted co-production credit and a solo album release, and the Virgin deal fell through.

So when Brian did step up to say he'd produce what he wanted to produce, he was basically told no. The next time he would actually produce for the band, it was one of the bargaining chips used to get Willie Nelson on board with the country project, and the track Brian did with Willie was not only the one he was fully involved with, but also one of the true highlights of that whole album. Why that wasn't pushed hard as a single over James House and Kathy Troccoli is still a mystery too.

I guess I'm trying to understand where the blame falling on Brian theory comes in because when he did step up and actually offer material, offer to produce and co-produce, and basically say in many ways he wanted to be a Beach Boy again after getting rid of the Landy b.s., it got shot down by other members and pieces of the machine. By the time Stars and Stripes became the focus, all of what had happened with the Paley/Was material was a dead issue and everyone had moved on.

The time to release this stuff, or at least do something with it, was when the Beach Boys started working on the Paley tracks and I have to give the opinion that I think that was what Brian wanted more than putting together a solo record at that specific time. By the time a solo album possibility was on the table, and Brian pitched it to Virgin Records as part of the Beach Boys deal, the players and the game had been changing and the window of opportunity had closed. 

And also important to note is that the Beach Boys could not beg, borrow, or steal a record label deal at this time and had no label deal on the books at all with anything resembling a big player in the business. After Summer In Paradise was rejected, Capitol ended their deal and was done with them as a vehicle for new original, focusing on reissues. When Brian came back into the fold, there was interest again, and Brian even said he wanted to help them score a new deal to release new music. Without Brian they were without a deal or interest. It's not like he didn't try.

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« Reply #124 on: September 02, 2022, 08:45:42 AM »

You make great points. Mainly I was just noting that as much people bemoan Joe Thomas -he is there because Brian chooses to not be totally in control of the recording process for a variety of reasons.
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