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Author Topic: Questions about the single versions of It's OK and Rock and Roll Music  (Read 2597 times)
Glenn Greenberg
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« on: June 09, 2007, 11:07:46 AM »

Based on the recommendation of another member of this message board (sorry, I forgot who!), I got my hands on GREATEST HITS VOLUME THREE: BEST OF THE BROTHER YEARS, in order to have the single versions of It's OK and Rock and Roll Music.

My questions are:

1) Who produced the single versions?  Brian is credited for having produced the album versions--did he produce the single versions as well?

2) Why were these alternate versions created at all?  Why weren't the album versions used for the singles? 

3) The single versions actually sound a little BETTER than the versions on the album--how come they weren't used on the album?

Thanks to whoever can answer!


Glenn



« Last Edit: June 09, 2007, 11:36:39 AM by Glenn Greenberg » Logged

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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2007, 12:01:22 PM »

1 - Brian produced them all.

2 - The 45 version of "It's OK" was purely a radio play thing. It's not a different mix, just sped up 2% and re-EQd. The 45 version of "R&R Music" is a different mix to the LP track. I guess Brian (or Carl) had second thoughts.
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2007, 01:08:24 PM »

Something that's always kind of confused me is:

If GHV3 has the correct single mix of "Rock n' Roll Music", why is this version never used on other comps, ie Ten Years of Harmony, GV Box, SOS?  For those who were around at the time, what was the most common version to hear on the radio?  Was the synth heavy single mix the one that was played, or did DJs start playing the LP cut, thus making it the more preferable version to place on future comps?  It is quite a cool version, and I really enjoy it, but it probably wouldn't have really fit with the sound of the rest of the album.  You could definitely see how Brian was edging towards the "farting synth" sound of "Love You"

Any answer would be greatly appreciated!

Geoff
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2007, 01:27:00 PM »

Rock And Roll Music had several versions done:

1.) The "hot" mix done by Carl that was previewed on the NATIONAL ALBUM COUNT radio program with our fave Humble Harve Miller (the guy listening to Brian's HEROES AND VILLAINS demo released on Endless Harmony). This version had clashing guitars, more instrumentation and no backing vocals on the first verse.

2.) A version the running time of the above but with stripped down instrumentation. This version has "made the rounds" and seems to have been an intermediate step in the tracks evolution.

3.) The single mix. Release on CD on TEN YEARS OF HARMONY (EURO Version) and GH VOLUME 3 - THE BROTHER YEARS.

4.) The 15 BIG ONES LP mix. It had vocals backing the first verse and a more even sounding mix of instruments.

The reason the single mix is not used on the boxset or the recent GH collections is down to the compiler's preference. They like the sonic clarity of the LP version (on both this and California Saga) over the single mix. Simple as that. Hell, Mr. Doe was told that the single version had self destructed. Clearly that was untrue.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2007, 01:49:38 PM by petsite » Logged
Jeff Mason
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2007, 01:43:57 PM »

To make this more confusing -- there are two separate releases of 10 Years of Harmony on CD.  The US CD uses the album tracks for R&RM, IOK, and California.  The UK CD uses the single versions (as did the original LP for both).  The first US release of these singles tracks was on GH3.
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petsite
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2007, 02:20:43 PM »

Something that's always kind of confused me is:

If GHV3 has the correct single mix of "Rock n' Roll Music", why is this version never used on other comps, ie Ten Years of Harmony, GV Box, SOS?  For those who were around at the time, what was the most common version to hear on the radio?  Was the synth heavy single mix the one that was played, or did DJs start playing the LP cut, thus making it the more preferable version to place on future comps?  It is quite a cool version, and I really enjoy it, but it probably wouldn't have really fit with the sound of the rest of the album.  You could definitely see how Brian was edging towards the "farting synth" sound of "Love You"

Any answer would be greatly appreciated!

Geoff


As an OLD FART that was 17 during 1976, the version played on the radio was the single version of RnR Music. The single was released on May 24th. The LP didn't come out until July 5th.
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Wirestone
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2007, 05:12:05 PM »

The single version of R&R Music is also, to my ears, just better than the album one. I was disappointed that Warmth of the Sun didn't have the sped-up "It's OK."
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Alan Boyd
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2007, 07:00:52 PM »

As Andrew points out, I think some of these alternate mixes and remasters of 70s BB singles were done to optimize the sound specifically for highly compressed mono am radio speakers.... and they DO sound really good in that sonic environment, but almost nobody hears or listens to music that way anymore.  We did locate the single master of IT'S OK, but as it is simply an eq'd dub of the album master (noisy, very bright, and with some distortion) we decided to go to the first generation mixdown master.   As for the speed difference in the single, it's so very slight it's almost imperceptible, not even a half step up.  The main difference is in the eq - that master was designed to cut through and really leap out on a boomy, heavily compressed car radio speaker.     Which it did. 

That may have been the case for R&R MUSIC as well; as I recall from hearing it back in 1976, the am radio compression gave that jagged sawtooth synth bass some "ooomph" and it sounded great in the car.  Another factor in that alternate mix may have been the fact that when the Beach Boys delivered the single master of R&R MUSIC they were still hard at work on the 15 BIG ONES album - the album version was mixed less than a week before the single was released.   Some of the parts present only in the album version may actually have been added after the single was delivered to the label.

As for the story about the original single master of R&R MUSIC self-destructing?  Hmmm.... Maybe that would explain why the documentation indicates that we only have eq'd safety copies.

Totally unsolicited opinion on these two songs.... Mike Love was totally right:  IT'S OK should have been the first single.  That song would have RULED the airwaves that summer, at least where I was growing up in Northern California.  It was kind of a downer hearing it on the radio in September and October when we were all stuck back in school again.  R&R MUSIC probably would have done just as well in the fall...  End of historical rant.

Alan
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2007, 10:04:32 PM »

Damn, it's nice having Alan on the inside to help us!

Anyway, I think I remember that It's Ok was like the last song mastered before the LP was delivered. According to Keith Badman's book, it was mastered on June 26th. Kinda hard to release the single before it is mastered (if you wanted to make R&R Music's date of May 24th). But then again, it could have been finished earlier if the group really thought it would make a good single.  And who wouldn't? But it was a weird time for the group.

BTW, Alan. I was re-reading some past posts and saw Mark's post on the GV single CD from last year. He said you guys auditioned several copies of the Rarities master to find the best sounding one version of the GV outtake. Which got me to thinking. How come there are SO MANY "versions" or copies of so-called masters? Isn't there a master, then eq'd copies, then copies of those for the different pressing plants?

In the words of Glen Campbell, "I Guess I'm Dumb".
« Last Edit: June 09, 2007, 10:05:28 PM by petsite » Logged
Alan Boyd
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2007, 04:13:11 PM »

"Rarities" is unusual in that there are several safety masters on that album in the vaults, EQ'd copies and Dolby SR copies and Dolby A copies.  Perhaps this was label policy in the 80s?  On most of the tracks for that compilation we have found the original tapes within the Capitol archives (the source masters for Rarities were well documented) but that GV was elusive.  It appears to have come from the old "Best Summers of our Lives" radio documentary, but at present we don't have that master tape, just a 16 bit digital safety copy.  So it was a matter of auditioning various "BB Rarities" tapes to find the best-sounding version.
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Glenn Greenberg
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2007, 04:15:43 PM »

Thanks for the info, Mr. Boyd!

Always great to get info from someone on the inside!


Glenn
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2007, 05:39:01 PM »

Quote
On most of the tracks for that compilation we have found the original tapes within the Capitol archives (the source masters for Rarities were well documented) but that GV was elusive.  It appears to have come from the old "Best Summers of our Lives" radio documentary, but at present we don't have that master tape, just a 16 bit digital safety copy.


Thanks again Alan! As I am sure you know, the GV on rarities did come the BSOOL radio special. I interviewed Brad about that LP for my old PetSite webpage. Here's what he said about how the use of BSOOL reels came about (of course PS = PetSite and BE = Brad Elliott):

PS: How did you get the go ahead to include the alternate version of Good Vibrations, especially since Capitol didn't have a copy in their possession and one had to obtained from the Best Summers Of Our Lives radio special?

BE: In preliminary talks with Bobby Colomby (the ex-Blood Sweat & Tears drummer, then working as Capitol's Vice President of A&R Special Projects), I had mentioned the alternate Good Vibrations as an example of the kind of Capitol-era material that we might be able to find. He asked where it had aired and, in the course of answering him, I had mentioned that I had a set of the half-track reels on which the show had been distributed to radio stations. He told me to bring the tape with the alternate Good Vibrations out to L.A. with me, that there was a possibility we could actually use the tape as a source if we couldn't find a master tape for that version. My understanding is that Bobby checked with Capitol's legal staff and was told that Capitol had the right to release that version of the song -- regardless of the source -- because they had paid for the sessions back in 1966.


That's how we retain some of the BB history. Collectors hoarding everything. I know that the version of GV on Rarities was looked for throughout the BB/Capitol vaults. Mark said it sounds like it was dubbed for the special from an acetate. I think that the guys at Audio Stimulation (studios where the show was put together) may still have it. Except they are out of business. Who knows?

As always, "THANKS BEACH BOYD!"


PS - Didn't find the VHS master for Rarities? Ummmm.......someone probably taped the A-TEAM over it!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2007, 05:40:40 PM by petsite » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2007, 10:15:58 PM »

It's funny but I always noticed the speed thing on It's Ok at least on the vinyl Ten Years.
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