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Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 3:54 pm
by booker
Jake wrote:That's a good point. The song "Good Vibrations" was released, though, and compare the two versions of that song and tell me the 2004 version is anything other than a decent cover version of a perfect, classic song. It's like when all those classic country people who switch to a different record label and then re-record all their hits. The original versions are always better.

Fair enough. There really is no comparison. But I love the new "Heroes and Villains" and have heard all the many original versions.

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:28 pm
by trainwreck2
Jake wrote: It's like when all those classic country people who switch to a different record label and then re-record all their hits. The original versions are always better.

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:02 pm
by D. Phillips
You notice the date of that booking is almost exactly 39 years ago?

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:11 pm
by Greenwood The Sock Monkey
Jake wrote:Whatever. I'd prefer to hear the album back when Wilson had a great voice. And I'd definitely prefer to hear the Wrecking Crew over the Wondermints as a backing band. And I'd prefer to hear the original, 1966 Beach Boys singing backing vocals too.

I'm guessing that the re-recording had as much to do with Wilson not wanting to pay royalties/credit to the other Beach Boys and Capital Records as much as anything. Because if you listen to the bootlegs, the bulk of the material had been finished. They could have easily put it together with some additional overdubs and a few new transitional pieces of music. But this way, it's a "Brian Wilson" release, not a Beach Boys release.

There might be some weight to that theory. From what I understand, Brian licences the right to use the "Beach Boys" name to the other guys who continue to gig (perhaps irreparably tarnishing and diluting the trademark, but that's a different argument). But considering the acrimony the other guys (particularly Mike Love) put Brian through back in the day, I wouldn't be upset if this is Brian trying to reclaim ground that is rightly his. Frankly, the Wondermints deserve a bigger stake in the new release than Mike Love could ever justify for himself.


I too wish that I could buy a fully-assembled, fully-realized SMiLE by the '66 band and wonder in all its glory. But as has been mentioned here, such an LP does not exist. They could have resurrected the best of the old tapes and tied them together with new recordings, but then we'd be sitting here complaining about how some parts feel oddly disjointed. Plus in a way, it would be cheating the fans to present it as a new, complete work when it's a mishmash of old and new recordings. All things considered, I think they made the right choice in putting it out in 2004 the way they did.

In a perfect world, they could have stuck in a second disc of all the unfinished original bits. But I guess this would have led to many headaches (splitting up the publishing, different record companies, taking away from box set sales, etc).

The original "Good Vibrations" is one of my 5 favourite songs, so obviously the new recording has a ridiculously high standard to follow. That said, the new version on SMiLE is definitely the best 'cover' version I've ever heard, bar none. Just ask the people who passed me on the way home from work last night when I had the sunroof open, windows down, and tunes cranked to 11!


Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:48 pm
by Jake
trainwreck2 wrote:EXCEPTION TO THE RULE

What songs are you thinking of? The only one I can think of that he did better later is the American Recordings version of "Delia's Gone." The original Columbia version has goofy background singers and is pretty lame. Other than that, give me the original Sun versions over anything he re-recorded later.

You can find those terrible tapes at truckstops that have "All the Hits!" but when you listen to them, it's some god-awful 1979 version of "I Walk the Line" with synths and electric drums. Blecccchh.

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:28 pm
by trainwreck2
Im thinking more of the American series not necessarily the Mercury sessions and what not...remember most of the bad re-recordings were done in the 80s and there was a lot of shit coming out then...

Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 8:56 am
by Jake
trainwreck2 wrote:Im thinking more of the American series not necessarily the Mercury sessions and what not...

Still, what American Recording songs do you think are better than the original Sun/Columbia versions? There weren't that many, and the only other one I can think of is "Give My Love to Rose," which was completely pointless to include on American IV. The version on Live at Folsom is much better, as is the original studio version. Why re-record it?

Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 10:52 am
by D. Phillips
The whole point of the American Recordings was simply to revisit songe Johnny Cash and/or Rick Rubin liked. It was stripping Johnny down to his essence as a story teller.

Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 10:58 am
by Jake
Back to Smile, here's Christgau's full review for the Stone.

Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:39 pm
by Jake
Review and interview with DeRogatis.

Q. As a composer, how did your ideas about what that music should be change over the years?

A. Well, we had to create a third movement for it. We had the first two movements, and we touched up the music and the lyrics for the first two movements, then Van Dyke and I created a third movement. And it was really a great movement.


Q. Technology has changed considerably since your aborted recording of "Smile" in 1967. Today, with computers and ProTools, you can have 100 tracks on a song, where you had four or eight at best when you started. Did that help with finishing this project?

A. Oh, yeah, we loaded those tracks up! We used about 48 tracks, and we just loaded it with tracks. We used ProTools to get the pitch on the voices perfectly, and you can tell. When you hear it, you'll notice that the pitch is perfect.


Q. Were the vocal parts more difficult now for you to hit at this age?

A. No, because I've been going to a vocal coach, a voice teacher. He strengthened my throat, and I was able to sing much better than I did in 1967. I think my voice is improving.