Posted: 03 Sep 2008 06:48 AM CDT
Just thinking that whilst I like TLOS a lot as an album, I would have made a few changes. Don't know if anyone would agree...?
Concept - I'd have gone with a nature/environment/seasons theme
Sequencing- I'd have started with the original Live Let Live from the Arctic Tale soundtrack, plus the ending strings from the new version... then would have put Oxygen, Morning Beat, Good Kind of Love, a shortened/less vocalised FYBM Surfer Girl, Can't Wait too Long, Midnight, Going Home, Southern California. Mexican Girl to be an extended narrated instrumental... then would have needed 2 or 3 other songs in addition.
And, as I already know them, I would go for This Song Wants to Sleep With You and an extended Must be a Miracle, wedged in between Surfer Girl and Wait too Long.
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 06:37 AM CDT
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 06:31 AM CDT
Good review posted at Pitchfork: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/145112-brian-wilson-that-lucky-old-sun
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 06:23 AM CDT
IIRC Wonderful was a limited edition of 3000 or 4000, and most sold out in that first week.
And not even all of these copies ended up in the UK. I bought two copies in a Dutch record store. So unless that store got them from a British store, those didn't even count for the UK charts.
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 06:03 AM CDT
BW has a certain amount of celebrity status in the US, but none in the UK, and I'd be seriously surprised if TLOS charted at all. The only reason Smile and Wonderful got on the charts was due to desperate (though perfectly legal) chart manipulation from Camp Melinda.
I am wondering what planet you are from, and if you visit earth often......LOL...
Being something of a transatlantic person, I am under the impression that Brian's celebrity is bigger in the UK than the US.
And the notion that SMiLE charted in the UK due to manipulation is absurd. SMiLE was a huge mainstream deal over here in the UK, the CD was even featured in supermarkets for a while. Not to mention it was advertised on TV and in print.
as for the Wonderful 7" single, you only need to sell a couple of thousand singles in a week to get into the top 40 in the UK. IIRC Wonderful was a limited edition of 3000 or 4000, and most sold out in that first week. it was ALWAYS going to make the top 40, for a week at least. Independant analysis showed it to be the best selling 7" in the UK for over a decade....no doubt helped by the fact that I bought two copies of all three versions (there were three different coloured discs)...and I am sure I was not alone in doing that!
Brian had a bona fide UK singles chart hit....and he just about repeated it with Good Vibrations in December '04...though I think that only got to #39. I bought five of those, gave four away as Christmas pressies.
my guess is that TLOS will fare better in the UK than the US, but probably won't crack the top 20 in either country. I hope I am wrong, and that it is a major chart success.
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 05:01 AM CDT
Excuse my ignorance, but is this the reason that albums today sound "different" to albums from the 60s/70s?
A mutlitude of reasons. Mastering (and the use or non-use of compression and limiting) is the very last step that influences the sound of a release. Most of the sonic characteristics are already determined at the recording and mixing stage, and it is my opinion that albums that were recorded and mixed in analog have a more realistic and pleasant sound. Digital workstations allow more manipulations, edits, overdubs, and effects but it is tempting to overuse digital processing at the mixing stage.
Donald Fagen's Nightfly is a perfect example of an early all-digital album. It has a distinct sound to it, certainly very different to, say, Aja, but still very dynamic and smooth. Another example is Brothers In Arms. Very clean and detailed, a bit flat and technical sounding, but no signs of overused compression, so these do not have any of that harsh, distorted sound that charcterizes victims of the loudness war.
A counter-example is Memory Almost Full, which was terribly overcompressed at the mixing stage and sounds accordingly. It couldn't be saved in mastering because the harm was already done.
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 04:51 AM CDT
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 04:38 AM CDT
OMG I own like all their albums. I saw them live too back in 2006. Brillant band.
My favorite Stereolab albums: Aluminum Tunes, Chemical Chords (their new album), The Groop Did The Space Age Bachelor Pad, Peng, Switched On, Sound Dust, ABC Music, Cobra and Phases into the milky Night.... I just love all of them really!!
Don, I STRONGLY suggust you getting Switched On and Peng. That is their first two albums. Aluminum Tunes is fabulous as well. Lots of interesting songs on that one.
Tks a lot! I heard praise already about Chemical Chords... prolly that's the first one I'll go check out this week then!
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 04:32 AM CDT
Interesting discussion so far, thanks guys. Albums with superior sound IMHO:
Van Morrison: 'Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart', 'Sense Of Wonder', 'Common One';
Bruce Springsteen: 'Born In The U.S.A.', 'Tunnel Of Love';
Van Dyke Parks: 'Discover America', 'Moonlighting'
Just a couple of examples. No distortion, fine detail, sounding great at any sound level; and most feature quite complex arrangements and pretty large ensembles.
And: all were originally released on LP. Perhaps that's another reason.
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 04:01 AM CDT
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 03:45 AM CDT
Excuse my ignorance, but is this the reason that albums today sound "different" to albums from the 60s/70s?
For me, the best "sound" on record was late 60s-early70s, albums like Neil Young's On the Beach, or Van Morrison's Veedon Fleece. The ambiance, the sound of miked acoustic guitars, the bass notes, the drum fills.
To me, it seems there is a lot more "room" in these old recordings. As much as I love TLOS and Smile 2004, there isn't much "room" or depth, and every instrument seems pushed to the fore.
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 03:41 AM CDT
Probyn's "speech" in the group circle was embarrassing, and i had an "uh-oh, here we go..." feeling about the rest of the DVD, but it got much better.
It was such a joy to see Brian engaging with the production. He's a shy man, and having a camera on him while he's working isn't the best way to catch him unguarded, but there were moments, especially at Scott's place. I got the feeling that there were plenty more moments were he was involved in the work, but these were not shown on the DVD, and the film producer preferred to show Brian's fake smiles.
i hate it when he forces a smile (no pun intended), like on the "live" performances on the disc.
i don't want my musical heroes to smile if they don't want to. I am perfectly happy to have them sit there with whatever expression they feel like having.
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 03:13 AM CDT
But then: Brian has a tendency to 'repeat'. It can be heard on SMiLE blegs with those ongoing repeats of the 'Bicycle Rider' theme, for instance. I always felt that repeating favourite tunes for Brian function as 'sedatives', to make him feel at ease. Anyone else ever thought this?
I think we all do that in some form and that it is not behavior unique to Brian. I also don't think it is necessarily a bad thing either.
But it struck me that the tone is, that there is something odd about Brian because he listens to a song that he REALLY LIKES repetitively. But if that is inherently bad what would listening repetitively to something you DON'T LIKE over and over be? I am not trying to say anything about Aegir at all. I'm sure that I have done something along the same line at some point. I am saying that folks tend to kind of hold Brian's behavior up to a different standard - labeling rather "normal" behavior as "odd". I know I have listened to "Louie, Louie" by the Kingsmen like that. Heck I have listened and marveled to just the short simple guitar solo by George Harrison in "You're Going To Lose That Girl" over and over for at least a half hour. Now I may be weird, but I don't think that was weird. It was very pleasant.
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 03:09 AM CDT
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 02:56 AM CDT
With all due respect to those who are sensitive to the issue, but to me it's almost a moot point because the fact is, albums are mastered that way now: they're hot. They're pushed as high as possible, and compressed to hell to allow for it. That's not the choice for many of us, and for some it's downright deplorable, but it's reality. TLOS isn't that bad in that regard in my opinion, relative to its time and place.
It is not a moot point because it reduces the dynamic range and introduces digital distortion. Albums are not automatically or necessarily mastered like that. The question is, who made the decision to apply the digital compression and limiting? Brian? Scott? Bob Ludwig? And what was their reasoning for doing so?
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 02:56 AM CDT
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 02:34 AM CDT
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 02:29 AM CDT
I have to say I found this unexpectedly enjoyable. It starts off looking a bit staged with lots of corny cliches about Brian having come full circle, but after a while there is footage of Brian in the studio and he looks engaged and in control of things, and although I suspect some will disagree, it doesn't look at all staged. It's a much better indication of how capable Brian is in a studio environment than the BWPS footage was imo. Anyway don't want to get hopes up as opinions will inevitably differ, but personally the overall sense I got from the short movie was that Brian was much more confident and positive in creating this new album.
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 02:21 AM CDT
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 02:03 AM CDT
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 02:00 AM CDT
I think it's really sad too. I'm only 20 but I HATE buying stuff off iTunes etc.. It's just crap. Firstly, the bit-rate is like 128kb/s or something like that, you don't get the artwork and all of that.. the whole thing just sucks. Plus they charge like $1.99 per song which I think is a rip off considering what you miss out on.
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 01:56 AM CDT
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 01:52 AM CDT
Don't get me wrong, I think there is a good chance (or at least some chance) that Mike wrote some/a lot/all of the lyrics to some of those songs. My point being though is I think it's kinda stupid that he waited 30 years to point that out. Someone once mentioned that it was probably because Mike didn't want to say to Brian back in the 60's "hey you screwed me over" due to the fear that if he did he may never work with him again. And I can relate to that, when someone you know is doing something wrong to you, but you don't want to tell them because you think that it could potentially end the friendship.
Anyway, my point is 30 years is a long time and all of the guys in the band (except maybe Al + Bruce) went through a lot of crap (eg: divorce, drugs etc..) so it amazes me how 30 years afterwards Mike can claim that. I mean how do you prove that? Surely I can't just claim that 30 years ago "Person A" stole an apple from me or something, without sufficient proof. I mean I'm probably wrong, but didn't Mike and Brian have to recite the lyrics in the court case? Well how does that prove ANYTHING? Brian at that stage probably couldn't even remember what he did 5 minutes ago. I mean like those stories in The Wilson Project where Gary Usher recounts how Brian would just insert random things (like "I farted") in conversations as if he didn't even realise he was saying it. Brian has mental problems, he was on drugs, he was confused... I mean I bet you he couldn't recite all of Surfer Girl at that stage either, but so what? He still wrote the damn thing.
And I mean the fact that Mike claims he co-wrote "Don't Worry, Baby" and "Surfin' USA" yet didn't sue for those in the lawsuit it also makes me question - Does Mike REALLY remember what he wrote? Add to all of that, the fact that Gary Usher died two years before the lawsuit and Tony Asher claims that he wrote the lyrics to "Wouldn't It Be Nice" all by himself and denies that Mike Love had anything to do with it. And of course, we all know that in the following years Mike went on a lawsuit spree even over the stupidest of things.
You can call me a Mike basher or whatever you want, but I'm just saying I find the whole thing just a little strange. I appreciate Mike's contributions to the band - I love his lead vocals, I love his bass vocals, I love his lyrics and I love some of his songs ("Let The Wind Blow" for example) and I think it's unfair that he is always portrayed as the "Villain"; but surely other people can at least see that there are SOME things that are at least a little suspicious about the lawsuit? I do think Mike is misunderstood and he has no doubt gone through a lot of tough times but that doesn't mean he's incapable of lying or forgetting about something like this.
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 01:16 AM CDT
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 01:12 AM CDT
Was pondering this a minute ago...
It looks more and more like the majority of the albums are becoming increasingly hard to find. It's the mid 90s all over again. Pet Sounds is easy to find, of course, but the other albums are being replaced it seems by more and more compilations. What the hell's the deal with that? You'd think, with the Wilson name in the news this year (Dennis & Brian) with hot (re-)releases, you'd think the band's material would more readily available...yet, not so. I wonder what gives.
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 12:36 AM CDT
Posted: 03 Sep 2008 12:03 AM CDT
Posted: 02 Sep 2008 11:21 PM CDT
Posted: 02 Sep 2008 11:20 PM CDT
Posted: 02 Sep 2008 08:46 PM CDT
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