Wild Honey The Forgotten Masterpiece

Net Sounds: Brian Wilson: Wild Honey The Forgotten Masterpiece
By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 09:19 am:

Whilst I've been introducing a pal to the Beach Boys there have been some interesting comments. He loves Here Comes The Night, Love You Album and Wild Honey. On a relisten the WH album just rocks along with Carl obviously in his element. With the inclusion of Darlin' it has to be one of the most understated of the BB albums. In many respects right up there with Pet Sounds 20/20 and Sunflower as a great album.....plus Love You of course. Hi Mikie!

By Textus (Textus) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 12:10 pm:

I think if you eliminate the cuts I actively hate (only a couple), it is up there with any rock'n'soul-ish thing. "Let the Wind Blow" is the one song in the Brian catalogue that is like it is, kinda 3/4, kinda 6/8, modern in the 67 sense, a throwback in the Love You sense.

By Billy Castillo (Billy_C) on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 10:45 pm:

Yeah, kinda funny.....Brian retreated from the production race after SMiLE....and Dylan and the Beatles copied him by recording back-to-basics albums. Yet another example of Brian beating everyone to the punch.

Which cuts do you actively hate?

By Textus (Textus) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 07:43 am:

"I'd Love Just Once to See You."
Not really a fan of "How She Boogalooed It" or whatever that title is, but kind of like it anyway. It reminds me too much of "Gettin' Hungry," which come to think of it I might have actually liked on this album rather than the other.

By Joe_Blow (Joe_Blow) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 10:09 am:

Oh if I had to choose two albums to get my friend who don't like the Beach Boys into their music, they'd be Sunflower and Wild Honey. Why, well my friends are generally more a fan of rock n roll and such. Also, well really Wild honey and not Sunflower, shies away a bit from the harmonies. So when I do play tracks to friends, a comment i hear is always about the harmonies and how they always add the same sound to their songs. Well Wild Honey stands out. Not that it isn't harmonious, it just has a different edge. I hope I have made some sort of sense.

By Billy Castillo (Billy_C) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 11:54 am:

Makes perfect sense. I noticed though that a lot of non-BB fans really liked Holland,esp Sail On Sailor and Trader.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 01:22 pm:

C'mon Steve, you can do better than that! Hell, I see ya write BOOKS on the Flux threads; the least you could do is give us a better write-up of Wild Honey!

I remember way back when my cousins were kids (5 in one family, ages 10 to 17) heard my All Summer Long album in its entirety and went bonkers. So I gave them a copy of that for Christmas and later a scratched up vinyl copy of Wild Honey after I upgraded mine. To this day when I see them they tell me they would play the Wild Honey album every morning before school, at night while doing homework, and when they had to work around the house. My Aunt said she got so use to hearing it in the house, she would think something was wrong with one of the kids when it wasn't playing. Guess it made 'em all happy. That's what this album does to ya; it makes you happy. It really makes you get up and motate and rotate too!

What's your favorite song on the R & B flavored Wild Honey album? Mine are Darlin’, Wild Honey, Here Comes The Night, Aren’t You Glad, I Was Made To Love Her, Country Air, A Thing Or Two, I’d Love Just Once To See You, Let The Wind Blow, How She Boogalooed It, and Mama Says. I LOVE those songs. Like I said before this is a great record to put on when you're cleaning the house on a Saturday morning or jumpin' up and down on your bed in your underwear playing air guitar with a tennis racket.

I love the SOT Wild Honey disc, especially the acapella sessions for I Was Made To Love Her. The highlight of that is the whole song in stereo. Outrageous! Carl COOKED on that. And after hearing Let The Wind Blow in stereo on Hawthorne, I said to myself, "Mikie, I'd sure like to hear the whole thing in stereo". I wonder if Mark Linett has already mixed a copy for himself. Mark, are you reading this?

Topgazzers, I hear they're laying off 6,000-8,000 heads at Sun Micro this week. Hope you're safe, bud.

By Textus (Textus) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 01:53 pm:

I first heard the thing in the summer of 1974, while renting a second-floor room in a house where all the other tenants were engineering students from Iran who at first were suspicious that I might be an agent of the Shah. The floor was so creaky that you literally had to sit on the bed to listen to records in my room. Mere motion in a chair would cause the old Pioneer PL-12D to skip.

Bought the first of the pale yellow 2fers, out of sorts some because it was summer and I was in summer school at OU -- which is an oasis of sorts culturally, I mean summer in the 70s in Norman -- but I was a) in a relationship with a Tulsa girl that I was just not seeing happening, b) I was hopelessly infatuated with another Tulsa girl who was just plain bad news and c) felt as though no one took my writing etc seriously as a college journalist. (The one exception was a crazy guy, this guy from Norman that tried to kidnap the Moody Blues in 1971 -- Graeme Edge remembered him when I brought it up -- and who crashed the 1969 Apple Xmas party and had a stoned conversation about reality w/John Lennon -- so stoned that he told me the conv was with Harrison and I didn't believe him based on other details until I read an account of it in one of the Beatle bios).

I liked 20/20 better, but whoah I loved four songs in particular on WH -- title cut, HCTN, Aren't You Glad and Wind Blow. I knew the last, of coruse, from the 73 concert album. This was at the height of my singer-songwritery period, so you have to understand that something primal about the instrumental and about that out-of-tune piano just kinda cut through me. One thing I imagined is that the lead on CA is what a lot of us do sometimes, humm-sing out a melody that has words that we don't know. I search in my head at times for those words.

--- -- -- ---- is delightful.
Hmmmmm in the summertime
Right --- in -- -- -- -----.
-- ---- -- -- --- so fine.
Get a load of that...

You get the idea

Seven years later, when I made my first miserable attempt at a smile tape, I wanted this to be Air more than I wanted Wind Chimes. Still do. Even now think it really is Air and who are you to tell me I'm wrong.


By Mikie (Mikie) on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 02:25 pm:

Much better, sir.

By Aumbopdiddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 09:15 pm:

I think this is my 3rd or 4th "Wild Honey" thread here -- an OLDTIMER now fer chrissakes -- anyway WH is often my favorite BB album, never less than top 3 -- I think w/o question the most overlooked by the cognoscenti. Start to finish a groove and filled with terrific songwriting and I dig the (few) throwaways (i.e. "How She Boogalooed It" but definitely NOT "Love Just Once To See You" which I think is the great overlooked Brian Wilson song and track even what with those transporting "doo doo doo's" at the end. Also predates "Busy Doin' Nuthin'" as Brian's mundane as transcendent). "Darlin'", "Wild Honey", "LTWB", "Aren't You Glad" (even greater in it's Live/London incarnation) -- and especially for me "Country Air" -- there is just not another song like it. I think of it when I'm in nature and think of nature when I hear it. And the "sleeeeeeeep" into the rooster's crow? Fugghedaboudit.

Like the man said "music...to cool out by".

By Markrudd (Markrudd) on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 10:16 pm:

Do some of the live versions of Darlin have extra back-up vocals that the studio version doesnt?

Sounds that way to me.

I STILL dont know what the hell that 'flux' word means.

By Textus (Textus) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 05:19 am:

Oh, it's just a code word for ranting about things socio-political, Mark. The first several post 9/11 threads were titled "America in Flames" and around the time that we were trying to tone down the thread names, someone -- maybe even me -- used the phrase "a state of flux" in a post. Bung brilliantly used "State of Flux" as the next thread name and with some exceptions we've used it ever since.

Probably has a little to do with the Flux Fiddlers, of course, Bung being the John-o-phile that he is.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 07:01 am:

Yeah. Sure. Now back to Wild Honey.

Doesn't it make sense that a live version of Darlin' would have nore back-up vocals than the original studio version, Mark? Sure, they probably overdubbed or doubled the background vocals in the studio, but over the years, in addition to the Beach Boys singing, there have been supporting musicians on stage that are doing more than playing instruments. Also, if you listen to various live versions of that over the years, you can see/hear that at various times they have a good-sized horn section on stage to give the song even a fuller and more dynamic backup sound.

One of the best versions I ever saw Darlin' live was with Chicago's horn section backing them up in 1975. Beachago tour. Chicago sang the back-up vocals to that too and it sounded great! Think I have a ideo where they were on TV in that era with either Chicago or somebody else playing horns.

By Textus (Textus) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 07:16 am:

Also, one of the things the live band has always needed to do as the membes aged was to simulate doubling in the studio. Pitch and power both required it for a lot of songs. To me, that is the reason for backgrounds on "RnR Music" that I have always found cumbersome. All of the rock songs on WH require power to their vocals.

By Cal (Tamlinny) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 12:01 pm:

Has anyone listened to the "Sweet sweet. honeybee" backing vocals on the Wild Honey SOT disc? They're so bizarre when you hear them up front like that...Smiley and Wild Honey in the same year...and to think the Beatles get all the credit for 1967...

By Mikie (Mikie) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 12:46 pm:

Yes, the way the background vocals playing out on the song Wild Honey (and the whole (Wild Honey SOT disc) is interesting! The session(s) are disected and you hear just about everything. I also like the bridge "Ooooh through thick and thin" take that they eventually discarded. It showed up on the Capitol Rarities album in 1983, but I think that's out of print now so we get to hear it here. This disc also has the Cool Cool Water sessions (long!!) which are really fun to hear. These guys could really sing good vocals. Brian was still involved and Carl did a heckuva job on Wild Honey. The Darlin' sessions are on here to. A MUST HAVE disc!

By Aumbopdiddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 02:29 pm:

Did you mean the bridge for "I Was Made To Love Her" Mikie? That was definitely on the "Rarities" disk (which I have a age worn cassette of). Or was there another bridge for "Wild Honey"?

By Mikie (Mikie) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 03:04 pm:

Yeah, forgot to mention what song that was from, Aum! The unreleased bridge section was from "I Was Made To Love Her". Pretty nice little acapella thing, huh? I don't know why they didn't go with it; it's on the original Stevie Wonder original which by the way came out the same year, 1967.

By Andrew Bee (Andrew_Bee) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 08:27 pm:

Wild Honey is a favourtie of mine. It a Beach Boys album that flows well. Some of the other Beach Boys albums don't flow as well (like 20/20).

The opening track is a killer. I like playing this really loud in the car, and hope everybody (especially at the lights) can hear it. But not just for that, the theremin line is a ripper. From a high G which slides down an octave lower, then glissandos back to the high G. It's not the most complex riff you'll hear, but Brian has really nailed it. I mean it, the way he's used the theremin, is like he's invented the wheel or something.

I love "Aren't You Glad". The melody of the verse, and everything. Mike does a good job on vocals.

I Was Made To Love Her, is a pleasant up-beat track, which sounds good when you're cruising in the car. Although it's not my favourite favourite track.

Country Air, is like a like a dream. Makes you wanna reach out and touch that clear blue sky, yet so laid back.

I love "A Thing or Two". Such a sweet little melody on the verse. Mike does a good job again on vocals. Notice that quick break in the third verse when he says "A seperation from you girl can really [break] mess you mind".

Darlin's is another Brian masterpiece.

I'd Love Just Once To See You, get's us away from the complexity of Darlin', and reminds that this album is a simple "R and B - Back to Basics - whatever you want to call it" album.

Another great R and B melody on Here Comes the Night. I'd compare this melody to Paul McCartney's "Paperback Writer". Follows similar kinds of melodies, although Brian uses a few more chords, and ends up freakin' you out by the time the choruse comes in.

Let The Wind Blow is strange piece when you really thing about it. The waltz timing is probabley the obvious thing that makes it different from other tunes on the album. Most R and B stuff is in 4/4 or maybe 6/8 , but this track is a 3/4 timer. It's not an R and B tune, it's certainly a Brian Wilson tune.

By Aumbopdiddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 09:45 pm:

Yeah, Mikie -- it was odd they dropped the bridge of that song -- pretty cool cover either way though! And pretty hip to be covering Little Stevie way back when.

"Wild Honey" the song rocks so hard and yet there is that "Brian" thing all through it -- the therimin riff and also the bridge which is kind of jazzy weird yet perfect.

I've said this before to but to me "Wild Honey' (the album) is the pinnacle of the Wilson/Love collaboration -- Mike's lyrics worked real well in this context. It also pretty much was the end of that team as an ongoing concern.

By Jdm (Jdm) on Saturday, October 19, 2002 - 04:58 am:

I love Wild Honey also! It's a shame the Letter wasn't on it, and Lonely Days would make a nice intro to HCTN, but still...

Here's something possibly a little obscure: My dad got me into the Beach Boys when I was about eleven (circa '86) - my dad's about the same age as Brian, but not being a musician, his taste for musical "weirdness" isn't very strong, y'know " The Beatles were great before Revolver, don't mention the Stones or Who"...but he did get me into stuff like Del Shannon, Roy Orbison, stuff like that... and Neil Sedaka. Sedaka has a song I remember hearing on a tape at the time called "Sweet Little You", which has a backing vocal which is similar (I mean VERY similar, IIRC) to those on Wild Honey: "Sweet, Sweet, Sweet Little You"! Am I dreaming or does anyone remember or know this song? Is it as close as I remember? Was Bri inspired by it? (it would be circa '59,'60, right?)

I've always thought it was worth mentioning as a glimpse into the creative process, as it were, but never really had the intro..till now.

By jon harrison (Jon_Harrison) on Sunday, October 20, 2002 - 09:15 am:

I think there's a consensus that Wild Honey is Carl's album. It's his vocal peak. I also love 'Country Air', which paved the way for Friends.

By Aumbopdiddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Sunday, October 20, 2002 - 10:00 am:

It is Carl's album vocally I'd say, and in a sense his coming out party as premier BB vocalist. His peak -- I don't know -- unless that peak lasts a decade or so!

It is also represents the end (or beginning of) Beach Boy albums as Brian Wilson visions. "Friends" certainly falls into that category, but the division of songwriting credits has begun, and by '20/20" it is in full democracy mode.

Think I'll put "Wild Honey" on now!

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Monday, October 21, 2002 - 02:57 am:

Interesting and excellent responses. Pretty much all my view as well. WH deserves a place in the top 3. Always wondered what would have happened if the Boys had continued along the same route. Ditto for Holland of course. I guess the question is how musch of Brian's influenece was vital to both albums. Either for the production/songwriting or just the plundering of the archives. Yet another potential twist on what could have been. I mean, its not as though I'm ungrateful for what there is.....

By Boxer_Monkey (Boxer_Monkey) on Monday, October 21, 2002 - 02:56 pm:

I will never forget Wild Honey.

But no way was it Carl's vocal peak. He hadn't really matured yet as a singer. And the guy just kept getting better and better, at least until the 90s. And he was fucking awesome in the 70s, and I mean "awesome" not in some doofus slang vernacular, but in the original sense of "striking awe" or "makes your jaw drop to the fucking floor." Besides which, he only sings lead on three of Wild Honey's songs, and I'd rather lay my money on "Our Sweet Love" or "All This Is That" or even "Full Sail" than on "Wild Honey," "I Was Made to Love Her" or "Darlin'." (Plus his take on "Darlin'" that's on the Endless Harmony disc blows shit out of the one on Wild Honey! So there!)

Wild Honey is a good album. But to me it's just a warm up for Love You.

By Bungalow Bill (Bungalowbill) on Monday, October 21, 2002 - 07:39 pm:

Up to the song WH the BBs were never ones to sing with R'n'R or R'n'B abandon , never balls to the wall like The Beatles (Twist and Shout , Long Tall Sally ....) . Carl's all-out vocal finally brought them there and he was (is ?) the only BB that could pull it off . Dennis also had that soul but not the vocal chops .

WH killed the 'choirboy ' . Too bad it was a vocalcord shredding range for Carl to use regularly . But then again like Lennon's T'n'S , that's what made it an immortal R'n'R performance . He came close to replicating that authentic Black soul on Stevie's IWMTLH but to my ears fell a bit shy as almost anyone but Stevie would . He pushed a bit too relentlessly and lost some of the nuances ........the major sin of virtually all Pop'n'B divas today . Did a better 'Stevie' on I Do Love You . An admirable performance none-the-less .

By Puptent_Hookah (Puptent_Hookah) on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 04:02 pm:

Plus it does'nt hurt to have an absolute killer bassline,'specially on the middle eight.

By Brian_Chidester (Brian_Chidester) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 08:21 am:

I've never enjoyed WILD HONEY as much on the two-fer CD. But just the vinyl record itself, with nothing before or after, is borderline perfection in its rawness.

I love the track for "Wild Honey" but I think Carl's vocal is not so good, especially when compared with Blondie's version from the '70s live shows. It's way out of Carl's range. The backing track still kills me everytime, though.

"How She Boogalooed It" has that amazing organ break in the middle that is very Garage-R&B, ala the Kingsmen or Them. I put it on a tape with "Like A Summer Rain" (Jan & Dean), then "Sunday Will Never Be The Same" (Psych Surf version by the Californians U.K.), then "How She Boogalooed It" followed by "Seven Days In September" (Ginger & the Snaps, i.e. the Honeys). The context of other late '60s Psych/Pop gives "Boogalooed" a warm feel. My wife told me that the organ breakdown is pretty sensual.

As far as I'm concerned, the rest of the album needs no explanation... I always hear "Boogalooed" being called a throwaway, but I love it and think it fits in perfectly. "I Was Made To Love Her" was called a throwaway by a friend of mine recently, and I think that is ridiculous, as well. The thing flows perfectly, I love WILD HONEY as much as FRIENDS and ALL SUMMER LONG and more than PET SOUNDS or SUNFLOWER.

By Baader_Meinhoff (Baader_Meinhoff) on Monday, November 11, 2002 - 02:36 pm:

If people thought that Brian had written "How She Bogalooed It," people would think that organ break is "genius." Instead, people always think of it as "that Al Jardine song." I like it; I don't care who wrote it.

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 02:35 am:

I have recently championed Wild Honey on this board as masterpiece often overlooked. I love every track and a new BB convert reckons Here Come The Night as "brilliant". He loves garage and R&B so sometimes a different perspective is interesting.

Keep the faith guys and keep pushing the likes of Wild Honey. Its a BB album with the production leash taken off. It works and shows what a grungy band they were, in the context of the '60s.

Love it, love it, love it!

By Brian_Chidester (Brian_Chidester) on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 03:09 am:

How 'bout the SURFIN USA album, Topgazza? Five Surf instrumental tracks, including the killer "Stoked," plus many of the vocal songs have Surf guitar during breaks. Dennis's backbeat has never sounded better than on that album and they WERE a self contained band for that record, also. WILD HONEY is a better R&B/Garage album for the Beach Boys, but SURFIN' USA is a great overlooked record in its own right.

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 05:26 am:

I split the BBs into several distinct periods. Surf, Cars, the rest of the '60s, early '70s rock band and the rest....

The early albums have their charm but the instrumental/talk tracks were very much a US culture thing (IMO). Very much need to be taken in the context of the time and the buying public and yes, I agree have a soul and drive of their own. The trouble was that The Beatles were away and running with the likes Beatles For Sale and Rubber Soul which hit Brian with the motivation for Pet Sounds amongst others. Adult albums? Depends on your point of view

I don't believe the BBs found their true identity and potential until Today and for that all too brief period from 1966 to 1972 (actually it IS 6 years when you look at it) they were evolving to be a "serious" rock group of immense status, Sure they have achieved a top status anyway but it could have been oh so different. They showed almost as many facets as the Beatles but as much through fate and the loss of Brian rather than the combined talents and internal rivalry of The Beatles. I would cite All Summer Long as a replacement for Surfin USA as a killer album but I get your point.

By Cam Mott (Cam) on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 05:45 am:

I'd never considered it this way before but couldn't the heavily produced phase of Brian's production [1965-1966?] be seen as sort of an anomaly? Something he tried for awhile but then went back to a production style he was more comfortable with or something? Maybe I'm full of...[scratching chin]...'Gaz.

By Andreas (Andreas) on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 05:52 am:

The "heavy production phase" of 1965-1966 seems very short on first sight, but it was Brian's most active and creative period. If you count all the finished and unfinished (i.e. with finished or half-finished studio work) songs from 1965-1966, it will add up to maybe 50 or more....

By Textus (Textus) on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 06:03 am:

Do we start it w/the album All Summer Long? I think I would, but maybe mostly because it's my favorite (as opposed to PS, the one that I think is best) BB album. It is the one where Brian first broke out of the three rhythm patterns that comprised every original song on the first five albums. My feeling is that the instrumental started to get more expansive here, but maybe I'm just, uh, dumb.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 07:06 am:

Like I said above, I would very much like to hear the entire Wild Honey album in stereo. No analysis needed to justify it or promote it, just release it in stereo. If Let The Wind Blow from the Hawthorne CD is any indication of how those songs would sound in stereo, the rest of the album would sound fantastic. For years I've listened to the album in mono, and even the CD versions didn't completely clean up the muddled sound. Releasing it in stereo would do it justice.

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 07:48 am:

"Full of 'gaz" Nice one cammy. I feel all.....

Mikie you have me all salivating. A stereo version of Wild Honey...mmm...mm. For a rougher production which WH was supposed to be its an incredibly rich and spunky album and yes, if Let the Wind Blow is an example then give me more.

Brian, it would appear could either do the heavy production or the simpler kind. His motivation for either lies in deep deep rumour.

All Summer Long was the first BB album I bought and it is also an example of BW's growing maturity and experimentation.

By Brian_Chidester (Brian_Chidester) on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 01:52 pm:

ALL SUMMER LONG was a masterpiece, no doubt, but I don't think that takes away from the beauty and local communal nature of 1963's SURFER GIRL or the Survivors' "Pamela Jean" backed with the killer Exotica track, "After The Game" (which pre-dated "Let's Get Away For A While" by at least two years). The early material was NOT cultural mumbo jumbo... it was a reflection of Brian's brother's lifestyle, and was also a reflection of the culture in Southern California, circa 1963.

Brian Wilson may not have surfed, but he played baseball and football and he had both a competetive nature and he liked to bring joy to his friends. He says as much on the back cover of SUMMER DAYS (AND SUMMER NIGHTS!!!). Truth be told, buried beneath the contemporary 1963 lingo are some very heartfelt lyrics and amazing harmonies, all adding to the teenage experience. That's how it has to be percieved... in 1963, you were getting the state of Brian's union via a teenager's point of view and by 1966, it was a developing adult's POV. I think both are important and beautiful; but there is a raw sanctity to the first few records that I apprecite for what they are and try not to compare them with what came later. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Brian grew and stretched out, but that also doesn't mean that everything SHOULD have sounded like 1964-66. I'm glad it didn't and I appreciate 1963 as much as I do 1966 and 1971, for that matter.

By Cam Mott (Cam) on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 07:43 pm:

Texty, to me All Summer Long doesn't fit the "heavy production" profile but it is a good illustration of what I think I'm noticing. ASL shows more musicial sophistication, especially Girls On The Beach for me, but it is done with modest to minimal production. That seems to me to possibly be Brian's real forte, more sophistication with less production, and 1965-66 and the Today, Summer Days and Pet Sounds albums being anomalies of "heavy production" of the 16 or 17 or so albums Brian produced in the Beach Boys career [so far]. We/I cling to the heavy productions as more-is-more but really isn't Brian's predominate style less[production] is more[sophisiticated vocals]?

The Beatles tried "heavy production" for a couple of years and a few albums out of their career and then went back to less production and I don't seem to hear too many complaining that it was a step backward for them. Maybe I don't get out enough or my thinking is off.

Hugs and kisses 'Gaz.

By Brian_Chidester (Brian_Chidester) on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 10:08 pm:

SMILE seems to be the hub between heavy production and minimal production... even at times bordering on tinkering. SMILE is also more percussion-based, which reminds me of the SURFIN' USA album and even where FRIENDS would eventualy go, post-SMILE. I like your theory, Cam. I recently spoke to a friend of Brian's from the early '70s and he felt very strongly that the Bellagio studio material was a natural extension of where Brian wanted to go personally.

By Cam Mott (Cam) on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 04:28 am:

I agree that "heavy production" petered out during SMiLE.

When I think about it David Anderle expressed the anomly view to Paul Williams back in 1968, opining that Brian had been making the music he wanted then got swept up in trying to impress people and eventually going back to his true style. Derek Taylor explained this turnaround as Brian realizing that he had been building "steamships" in his "jet age". Brian told Taylor [for Tiger Beat] at the time that he felt he had lost his talent and was working harder and enjoying it less. I've always read angst into that but maybe he just flat meant "heavy production" was too much work and not enough satisfaction. He seems to have a lot of enthusiasm and energy when he throws himself into the way-less-produced Smiley, is the same seem true on the post Smiley SOTs [I don't have 'em]?

If "heavy production" had still been ringing his bell and only the work load was bumming Brian, it seems like he would have salvaged a lot more of the heavier produced SMiLE tracks [the hard work was already done] but since he didn't I'm thinking he wanted to change the production style.

By Textus (Textus) on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 06:17 am:

I think I've mentioned this passage from Jimmy Webb's autobiography/songwriter's primer before:

He wrote that the more simplified chords of post-WW2 R&B/pop/R&R were an inevitable response to the complexity of the "golden era" of jazz'n'stage sonwriting. A similar response as abstract expressionism was to the tug between American regionalism and social realism art that preceded it. (That's my analogy, not Jimmy Webb's. And admittedly, the difference in authorship is confusing. Reminded No. 433 that my fam has always said that his is a different branch of Oklahoma Webbs, the "Shawnee" branch which I used to think meant the city of Shawnee but might refer to the tribe for all I know.)

I digree (big surprise there, Text...). Anyway, if you see the accelerated pop marketplace of ideas from 1963-1970 as a microcosm of 1930-1960 mainstream pop, then you the heavy production thing encompasses both bands and a lot of other stuff, and then dissipates naturally into roots rock et al.

By Cam Mott (Cam) on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 04:26 am:

Bruce Johnston just posted an interesting opinion on the Brit board about the intro of 8 track leading to problems with Brian's natural style. I wonder if the proximity of BJ and his suggestion of the use of Columbia's 8 track coincides with the beginning of the "heavy production" period? What do I even mean by "heavy production" anyway?

By Brian_Chidester (Brian_Chidester) on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 05:16 pm:

"Heavy Production" = Brian doing Spector, with heavy vocals and tuned percussion (in other words, going past Spector by using Spector as inspiration). That's how I'd describe it. Before TODAY, Brian seemed to be more in tune with a Garage-band feel. Albeit, some exotic elements were there from the start, but TODAY seems to be Brian landing directly ON Spector, with PET SOUNDS being him surpassing Harvey Phil. SMILE is the descent back down.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 08:09 pm:

Brian landed on Spector in late 1963 into '64. "He's A Doll", "I Do", "Pamela Jean", and "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" are good examples of songs that were direct take-off's from the Wall Of Sound. I don't hear a garage feel on those. Brian out-Spectored Spector with those babies. No wonder Brian still hears Spector's voice in his head.....

Topgazza, I drueled all over myself just typing that post above about Wild Honey being released in stereo. Even more than when I was thinking about Winona's oyster last week!

By Brian_Chidester (Brian_Chidester) on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 01:48 pm:


I'm not sure that Brian's version of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" or "He's A Doll" really outdo Spector. At best, they are imitations of Spector and not as good as Spector's sides from that period. Also, if you listen to the SURFIN' USA album, it is half instrumntals and half vocal tracks, of which there is definitely a drum-guitar-bass Rock 'n' Roll feel not inherent on the more piano/percussion stuff that Brian later did. That's just my take, but the Rock 'n' Roll vibe is more apparent on the earlier stuff than the later Brian material.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 03:13 pm:

Yeah, but....

By Puptent_Hookah (Puptent_Hookah) on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 03:33 pm:

I have Brian passing his mentor somewhere around
"Don't Worry Baby" and "We'll Run Away". By the time Of "Today" and "summer days" , Brian really had his own thing going on. Influenced by Spector, but way past him. Brian was using warmer instruments like acoustic guitar,accordion, bass harmonicas,and vibes. They were layered, but the end result was more subtle. Spector is always knocking you on the head with heavy reverb snare,layered saxophones blowing whole notes through the entire song, and heavy bass. Brian was able to use wall of sound techniques, but they would be liberally sprinkled throughout, instead of continuous. It gave his work much more depth and personality. Brian also used a wider array of instruments on any given track, and would introduce them at different points during the song. "She's not the Little Girl..." is a great example of this. As is "Good Vibrations" where he holds back on the cello until the very end,then plays it like a trump card to complete a four bid in setback.

By Brian_Chidester (Brian_Chidester) on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 05:08 pm:

Ever heard Spector's version of "Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah"? If that's not dynamic, I don't know what is, and Brian Wilson didn't touch that level until PET SOUNDS, as far as I'm concerned. Spector showed a lot of reserve there.

The beginning of 1964 saw Spector begin to stretch out and show a lot more reserve. Yes, all of his stuff pre-1964 pretty much sounds the same: I felt that way listening to the Crystals CD compilation and the first half of the Ronettes comp. But, get into 1964 and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and the percussion starts to change and not be so loud. Even fast songs like "Just Once In My Life" and "River Deep, Mountain High" were a lot more than straightforward snare and high hat.

"This Could Be The Night" suffers from a horrible mixdown, but there were actually four part harmony vocals there, with a groovy bell sound. By the time you get to "I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshin," "Black Pearl" and "Instant Karma," it becomes very clear that very few have ever surpassed Spector, but he's such a loony that he can't stay constant.

Yes, Brian became more dynamic, but let's not act like Spector was a hack and Brian passed him with "Don't Worry Baby," which is a very minimal production, with a wonderful vocal arrangement. That song, instrumentally, is no where near to "Be My Baby" in terms of sound dynamics. I like "Don't Worry Baby" more for it's melody and feel, but Brian's production acumen was still taking shape. Spector was at his peak by early '64.

By Susan (Susan) on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 06:03 pm:

Puptent, thanks - that is the closest i've ver seen anyone get to describing the difference between Brian's sound and Phil's. Spector bangs you over the head with is almost every time out, but Brian entices you.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 07:24 pm:

Brian doubled many of the instruments just like Spector did. Brian watched Spector in the booth at Gold Star and learned from him. He even used the same studio with the big echo plates and slanted walls to achieve that same full sound. He even used many of the same musicians (and Engineer Levine) on many tracks. To this day he can't get Spector out of his head, constantly referring to him in interviews. Brian and Phil ran into each other at a Laker game a couple years ago and Brian almost had a cardiac. He's got Spector on the brain. Be My Baby on his juke box constantly in the 70's. EVERY DAY, as Carnie says.

If you told me 'I Do' and 'Pamela Jean' weren't Phil Spector rip-offs I'd say you were fulla bologna.

Hang on, this just in from Spectors' Mind Gangsters:

"Hello Mr. Wilson........."

By Mikie (Mikie) on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 07:26 pm:

Wait a minute. Wasn't this thread about Wild Honey? I'm doin' this and I'm doin' that, and I'm a-walkin' the floor.....

By Brian_Chidester (Brian_Chidester) on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 11:56 pm:

"I'm a-walkin' the floor..."? I 've always thought he said, "And I'm a-walkin' the dog"! So much for what I know.

By the way, Mikie, no one agrees with you more that "He's A Doll" and "Pamela Jean" are Spector knock-offs. But, at the same time, Brian was still not surpassing Spector by "Don't Worry Baby." Spector was more dynamic than most give him credit for.

How easy is it to say that he "knocks you over the head." That's plain dumb. The guy mixed gentleness with a big, echo-y, orchestral sound, and changed the way Pop records were made. If that's not an achievment, I don't know what is. No one is saying that Brian didn't surpass Spector. Don't lose your pants, people. I'm just stating what should be obvious: Spector was brilliant, revolutionary and a genius. Period.

By Susan (Susan) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 05:37 am:

I'll give you revolutionary.......but i still don't like his records. I can't listen to more than two or three at a time. It sounds like a big wash of mud to me.

By Cam Mott (Cam) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 05:59 am:

I had alot of driving to do yesterday so I took the GVBS for listening. I'm no expert on Spector, the Wall of Sound to me is technically brilliant but emotionally cold or not a pleasurable or something to me.

Brian starts their career very simple with a rythmn section plus an organ or sax or something. Over time he adds horns and even strings on a few occasions but for the most part the tracks seem standard stuff until the Summer Days. To me the Spectoresque or Spector-inspired stuff doesn't start until TLGIOK and Pet Sounds and that Spectoresque style doesn't last long. After SMiLE, Brian goes back to his very roots of rythmn section with organ in a home studio for an album and then on to a less cluttered, more sophisticated, less-seems-like-more style for the rest of his career with the BBs, IMO.

Bruce is blaming EMI's lack of support in US [on the Brit board]for Brian's dropping of the layered and redundant style of Spector. Whether that lack was a reality seems dubious but the perception may have lead to the rift with Capitol.

Brian's statements at the time make me think Brian decided that big production was not only passe but wasn't worth the trouble. He tells Taylor the SMiLE tracks are "over-elaborate" and old-fashioned ["steamships"] and too much work for too little satisfaction and so he went for a different mood and approach. That right there seems like the answer to the demise of Brian's Spectoresque production and SMiLE at the same time.

What am I missing or screwing up?

By Mikie (Mikie) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 08:06 am:

Who said he "knocks you over the head"? That IS plain dumb. Who said that? They should be SMACKED for that!

Susan already lost her pants over this Spector/Brian debate. Now she's washing in the mud bath.

By Susan (Susan) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 09:41 am:

And who said a mud bath is all bad?

Mikie, "knocks you over the head" describes my impression of Spector's music, tho Puptent Hookah said it. It's NOT plain dumb, it's an opinion. I agree with it; you don't. And don't be stupid - i dind't lose my pants - they're right here!

By Puptent_Hookah (Puptent_Hookah) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 01:05 pm:

I said it, and I stand by it. Spector made records sound big. Do ya think i'm dumb? Guess i'm dumb! Anyone who jumps to the conclusion that this is a knock on Spector is "just plain dumb" as well. Nuthin' wrong with a knock on the head. I like a good dose of "and then he Kissed me" or "River Deep.." as much as the next guy. But less is more people! Listen to the Guitar solo during the instrumental break on "Don't Worry , Baby". That surpasses wall of sound technique because although it's heavy reverb, the actual playing is not continuous. You now have spatial stops and starts that actually add to the overall result.This is where Brian surpassed Spector. By taking bits and pieces away, and then adding them again,he created more depth. Nobody ever called Spector a hack. These are his production techniques we're talking about here. Brian Wilson took them and used them in a different way.

By Doo_dah (Doo_Dah) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 02:34 pm:

or to use a baseball reference, Brian had a killer change-up to go with a fastball in the mid-90's.

By Brian_Chidester (Brian_Chidester) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 02:36 pm:

The guuitar solo during the break of "Don't Worry Baby"? What guitar solo? It is two plucks-space-two plucks, generally the same notes and chords. Yeah, there's reverb, but the solo is continuous until the final verse, for sure.

I think there is an over-geeralization of Spctor, wherebye Beach Boys fans think the guy had one style and had no sound dynamic at all. Spector began to pull instruments out as early as "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," as the musicians who were recording the instrumental track thought he was nuts for recording the song without use of it's melody, but based more on strange percussion effects and reverb/echo.

I've never once heard a Spector track were there is a simple LEAD instrument. The guy weaves instrumental parts in and out of the front of his tracks brilliantly.

Now, the whole "less is more is better, people"... if that is true, why is PET SOUNDS considered by many to be the ultimate in Pop music experience? It's the most convaluted record Brian Wilson ever made! Not that I don't like the more simpler material, but with Brian, I appreciate his mix of both, and think that SMILE is the figurative hub. Sorry for the name-calling, I just get tired of the over-generalization of Spector's work.

By Puptent_Hookah (Puptent_Hookah) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 05:12 pm:

Yes, as far as guitar solos go during that time period in music, I consider that a solo. And it absolutely, positively, floats my boat! So sue me. I consider it to be achingly beautiful. It's power lies in it's simplicity. I 'll post later about "Pet Sounds" . Gotta go right now. I do like and appreciate Phil Spector's work. Please understand that much.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 07:26 pm:

I understand AND agree with ya 100%, Puptent. You know what's up.

"Spector began to pull instruments out as early as "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah". So THAT'S where Doo Dah got his handle....always wondered about that.

Mr. Chidester, you're welcome to join us on other threads if you'd like.....

By Puptent_Hookah (Puptent_Hookah) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 08:11 pm:

Ok as i'm typing this I don't even know if i'll even post it, cuz i'm not sure i'll make any sense, but here goes.
I think that when BW went into the studio, he really did'nt know what he wanted. He had a rough idea, could certainly hear music in his head, but was totally open to changing it if somebody played something better. The sessions box backs me up here. Now, Phil Spector has always struck me as someone who knew exactly what he wanted all the time. And I don't think he tolerated much input from anyone. I'm only basing this from what iv'e read and researched just from being a fan. If i'm all wet, i'll gladly admit so.Once again, I love his work. The drum sounds alone revolutionized pop.He probably singlehandedly brought orchestration into the pop genre.Having said that, I submit that "Pet Sounds" is a true collaberation between BW,Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Larry Knechtel and the rest. Not to mention Tony Asher's excellent lyrics. You're right Brian C., this is very sophisticated stuff, but check out the arrangements. The infamous acapella break in "sloop". "God Only Knows " is very spatially arranged. the thing breathes on it's own. Very minimal percussion. It's the sleigh bells that actually drive the thing. "You Still Beileve...","I Guess I..." "Caroline, No" , these arrangements are very restrained. You get a french horn, it goes away and it comes back again. Bass Sax on the bridge of "Caroline.." So exquisite and sublime , the first 20 times I heard the song I thought they were background vocals. I'm talkin about the part where Brian sings "O Caroline You..." Right at that "you" part , saxophones harmonize with him and the cauldron begins to bubble over. Greatest two seconds of music ever recorded. I'll finish by saying that Brian Wilson was probably the first dynamic arranger of pop music. And he achieved that title by simply going in to record with an open mind, and knowing what should'nt be played, as well as what should. "Hal, no drums Hal"

By Puptent_Hookah (Puptent_Hookah) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 08:12 pm:

Oh, and Mikie, sorry I morphed the thread!

By Baader_Meinhoff (Baader_Meinhoff) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 09:11 pm:

I think the reason people (on this board anyway) tend to be more responsive to Brian Wilson's music than Phil Spector's is, with Spector's music, there isn't as much of a direct personal connection between the listener and Spector, or between the listener and Spector's stable of artists. Spector's records can be just incredibly euphoric, but I think they lack the transparent melancholy in Brian Wilson's work that makes something like "In My Room" appeal to 4 years olds and 40 year olds. There's something very naked and vulnerable about that music that you can't find in Spector's. There's an honesty there that extends beyond the "little symphonies for the kiddies" that Spector made, which, though of genuinely high quality, were essentially road-tested formula PRODUCT of merit. Which I guess could be said of any pop record, but with Spector's, it just feels more obvious that we're being sold something.

And, true, Spector may have been more dynamic in employing arrangements than some of the above posters here have given him credit for, but he is most readily identified with his trademark style of production for a reason; namely, it was his specialty. I don't think anyone could successfully argue that Spector was as resourceful in his use of dynamics as Brian Wilson; the slide guitar and pizzicato string break which carries into the final crash and fade out of "Let's Go Away for Awhile" ought to be enough proof of that. And show me a Spector piece that exercises the same level of restraint and release as that bit, and I'll show you "Good Vibrations."

By Susan (Susan) on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 09:44 pm:

Brian, i mean this with the utmost sincerety: Please point me to examples of Spector that isn't In Your Face; okay, that isn't in MY face. Show me some Delicate Instrument Weaving. Really - i would love to hear these thangs, if i only knew where to look......i'm beggin' ya...........

By Brian_Chidester (Brian_Chidester) on Sunday, November 17, 2002 - 09:28 am:

"I Love How You Love Me," "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)," "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," Walking In The Rain," "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," "Unchained Melody," "Is This What I Get (For Loving You Baby)," "This Could Be The Night," "I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine," "Black Pearl."

I think the burden of proof shouldn't be on me to prove Spector was dynamic, but on you to prove what "in your face" means with some actual musical examples. It's such a ridiculous statement, it makes me wonder if you've ever listened to a Specor record in your life.

The reason you think that Brian was more warm than Spector is because you like Brian's music more... it connects more with you. I does with me, as well. But, I remeber Andrew Loog Oldham teling me that he thought hearing Spector's music was like being touched by the hand of god. He felt it was very warm and intense, and his records gave you the feeling of beig there in the studio, surrounded by the joy of music. Quite a description.

I know a lot of people who relate much more to Spector's music. There is no definitive answer... we like who we like. I love "Good Vibrations" and think that Brian was dynamic in his reserve, but I would never put Spector down as being "cold." The guy was and is full of conflicting emotion. He's a character defined by his own melancholy and absurdity, and his records grabbed the public at large like no other producer ever has. Having seen Phil react in a public setting a few months ago, I can tell you that the man can sometimes border on frightening.

By Doo_dah (Doo_Dah) on Sunday, November 17, 2002 - 12:52 pm:

Apparently the old dog still has some tricks left
(ala The Ramones in 'End of the Century' - a great rekkid imo)

I read that he's going to produce The Hive's follow up to 'Vidi Veni Viscious'. With that he'd go full circle: raw R&B, teen pop symphonies, punk rock, back to raw R&B. Go figure.

By Doo_dah (Doo_Dah) on Sunday, November 17, 2002 - 01:06 pm:

but back to the Bri vs Spector discourse, I think that the observation of Pet Sound as a kitchen-sink production is obscured by the fact that we now have it in stereo. Co'mon honestly - how many of us after hearing PS in stereo suddenly heard it a brand new way? Ditto for Heroes. Suddenly every sound had its place, and everything wasn't so mushed together.

My problem with the Spectorian approach is that I'm used to hearing those records in a heavily compressed 45 rpm format - to me 'Unchained Melody' sounds like a muddy record. Maybe I'm suffering from PTDS (post traumatic dee-jay stress).

(images of slow dances at the American Legion hall)

By the time Phil worked with George on "All Things Must Past" we heard a fully realized (cleeear) version of the wall o' sound. And I totally dug that.

I think Mikie mentioned that Phil's classic 60's sides are available in stereo somewhere - I'd like to hear that.

By Textus (Textus) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 06:59 am:

Been writing on this over the past week.

Note on page 110 of Sonny B's bio that he got fired by Phil for noting that the lack of pre-orders for "Walking in the Rain" was because rack jobbers told him that a simpler (read Beatlesque) sound was replacing the wall. Spector may have fired Sonny, but he took his advice: Listen to the singles immediately following WitR and they tend to have a different balance to them. You can hear instruments. Roles shift: Carol has said, for instance, that he shifted her from bass to an acoustic guitar for the stanzas on "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin" and then had her double on bass during the bridge. You can hear all this plucked stuff in the bridge of "Just Once in My Life," and of course the JN arrangement on "Unchained" builds like so many choruses of *Bolero.* "Is This What I Get..." was of this period, as well.

The term I used several years ago re Brian was that he did a Trelice of Sound, upon which the voices could cling, hang, cluster, climb, fall and the like. I don't have any reason to believe that Brian listened that much to jazz, but one thing that strikes me is how that whole "two instruments in unison is a third instrument" thing comes as much from "third stream" or "cool" jazz as from Spector. That Phil probably got it from theorists like Gunther Schuller and practitioners like Kenton or Gil Evans or John Lewis that to some extent Brian did the same. Burt B studied under the same composition and orchestration guy as some of the Kenton arrangers, as Dave Brubeck and some others I'm not thinking of (Darius Milhaud taught at Mill or Mills or whatever in the 40s, I think. Maybe 50s. He is the one who told Brubeck that one should never be embarassed to have written something pretty).

I don't think dynamic is the right word. Dynamic implies soft and loud and at least a de facto sequencing of these. In Spector's case, he planned on being the surge that followed the Singing Nun or Lesley Gore or Jimmy Dean or whatever. His "album" was a half hour on AM radio, and "Then He Kissed Me" was to that medium the equiv of the rising chord on "A Day in the Life."

To me, anyway.

Heavy production to me means instrumental elements that weren't particularly necessary for radio airplay, such as the flute on "So Young" or the volume shifts amid the chorus on the Today! version of "HMR."

By Peoplewitheyes (Peoplewitheyes) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 08:19 am:

can anyone recommend a good 'beginners' Spector CD, I've got the xmas CD (somewhere), but have to wait a month to put that on.

i can;t really be getting the Back to Mono box (no money), but is there a single CD comp?

oh, and, thank you!

By Textus (Textus) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 08:38 am:

If you can find it, there was a good 2lp set about 25 years ago that has a little of the pre Philles stuff and I think closes out at "Black Pearl."

Some Brit label also did individual hit albums for the Ronettes and the Crystals.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 09:04 am:

Peoplewitheyes, where do you reside?

By Susan (Susan) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 10:44 am:

I figure you can put Christmas music on once you've taken that last bite of turkey on Thanksgiving Day, myself.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 11:12 am:

Yeah, but you have to have the other discs in the Spector box to REALLY get in the mood.

By Textus (Textus) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 11:19 am:

For Christmas???????

If you don't need the whole thing, though, a single disc ought to suffice. It would have on it:

To Know Him
I Love How You Love Me
Pretty Little Angel Eyes
A Fine, Fine Boy
There's No Other
Da Doo Run Run
He's a Rebel
And Then He Kissed Me
Be My Baby
Walkin in the Rain
(non-Phil) I Can Hear Music
You've Lost...
River Deep
Black Pearl
Instant Karma
I Dig Love
Rock'n'Roll Radio

By Mikie (Mikie) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 11:39 am:

Yeah, not just Christmas, anytime.

I'd add This could Be The Night and the other Righteous Bros. one. And if you wanted to go apeshit you could add the Let It Be album, the Imagine album, Wall's and Bridges......

By Textus (Textus) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 11:50 am:

But I don't. figure the idea is something smaller. And did Phil produce Walls & Bridges? I thought his last was Mind Games.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 12:21 pm:

You may be right. #9 Dream does sound like a Spector produced song though.

By Peoplewitheyes (Peoplewitheyes) on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 - 12:39 am:

Hi Mikie
I reside in England - is there some Spector stuff only issued in the USA (the spector shelves in the record shops around here are pretty barren).

All Things Must Pass is an awsome record, but I wanna hear some early 60s stuff.

I heard Be My Baby oozing out of a little cafe on the pier at OB, San Diego, and that was a treat

By Peoplewitheyes (Peoplewitheyes) on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 - 12:40 am:

Hi Mikie
I reside in England - is there some Spector stuff only issued in the USA? (the spector shelves in the record shops around here are pretty barren).

All Things Must Pass is an awsome record, but I wanna hear some early 60s stuff.

I heard Be My Baby oozing out of a little cafe on the pier at OB, San Diego, and that was a treat

By Textus (Textus) on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 - 06:23 am:

A true Wall of Posts. I like.

Peoplewitheyes, I'd look under artist names -- in particular The Crystals and The Ronettes.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 08:28 am:

I'm just tryin' to keep this thread alive!

By Dolphin Smile (Dolphin_Smile) on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 01:51 pm:

He's just tryin' to keep the thread alive
(thr thr thread ah live)
He's just tryin' to keep the thread alive
(ah keep the thread)
He's just tryin' to keep the thread alive
(thr thr thread ah live)
He's just tryin' to keep the thread alive
(Try to keep the thread)

By Anthony1 (Anthony1) on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 06:22 pm:

Wild Honey- Mike's lyric masterpiece!
Anybody disagree?
ok ok... along with Warmth of the sun...

By Cal (Tamlinny) on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 06:19 pm:

I think Wild Honey is really, really great, lyrically. Say what you will about Mike, I think he had a stellar voice and was a great lyricist. most of his BBs lyrics are better than that long-winded nonsense that passes for "lyrics" so often...

By Andreas (Andreas) on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 11:03 pm:

Very true. Give me Mike's lyrics over Rieley's or Kalinich's all the time.

By Editdave (Editdave) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 03:50 pm:

With regard to earlier posts wanting to hear Wild Honey in stereo, or for that matter having everything originally issued in mono remixed for stereo, I agree and disagree. I say we proceed with caution.

First of all, when you take these tapes and start remixing them for stereo it changes the original dynamic of the recording and does not always serve it well. Two cases in point:

Now that radio stations have opted for the stereo remix of "Wouldn't It Be Nice" we have lost Mike's vocal on the bridge. It's gone. The song sounds different. This isn't the way Brian heard it or planned it or wanted it released.

"Heroes and Villains," as presented in stereo on the Hawthorne CD, has now lost that loud, driving bass organ which was the foundation of the "Heroes and villains/just see what you've done" section. That was an integral part of the original mix. Now the song sounds thin.

Yes, it's great to be able to discern vocal and instrumental parts once buried. Yes, it sonically expands the songs on our home stereo systems but I worry that we are screwing around with the original art.

To me it's like saying "Gee, Picasso's blue period is so bland. Let's throw some color in there!" And as well all know, the mono mixes of many early Beach Boys songs are much better than the stereo releases. Just listen to "Fun, Fun, Fun" and "Don't Back Down" and you'll hear what I mean.

By Bicyclerider (Bicyclerider) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 04:07 pm:

Personally, I don't equate Brian's mixing of Wild Honey or Smiley Smile with a Picasso painting. Brian's mixes were often rushed (as was mentioned in the Pet Sounds booklet by observers at the time - witness the conversations left inadvertently in the mix and removed off the new stereo mix at Brian's request) and in the case of the two albums I mention above, not very good or at least not as good as they could and should have been. How do we know that? The SOT stereo tapes reveal that the sound was not as flat and relatively uninvolving as it appeared on Smiley, but instead there was a fairly open, rich sound that somehow got squashed in the mix.

We can argue that Brian meant it that way, that somehow that adds to the album's meaning in some mystical sense, but I don't buy it. It just wasn't a very good mixing job. So I don't buy that because Brian is a brilliant composer/arranger/producer that we can't say he goofed or didn't do the best job on the mixes. Particularly in the rather unstable, difficult for Brian post Smile period. Wild Honey is much better, but still not his best work, again IMO.

So I think stereo remixes, or even mono remixes (gasp - sacrilege) are not unreasonable to want in this case, although I would not want them to replace the original mixes, which are historic if not the best quality. Just something additional to add to the appreciation of the music.

By Editdave (Editdave) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 07:43 pm:

I get your point and I agree. But, personally, I still like all of the noises and glitches on the original mixes. As a kid I wondered why they were there and found them little buried curiosities. It never occurred to me -- at the time -- that it was just a case of sloppy mixing.

So, to remix or not to remix? I dunno. I think the entire Beach Boys (Capital years, anyway) and Beatles catalogs should be made available for anyone who wants them. All takes, all mixes, all live recordings, the works. Open those vaults and hand 'em over! But that's a topic for another thread.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Tuesday, January 07, 2003 - 09:51 am:

This thread deserves to be kept alive.

By Howard (Howard) on Tuesday, January 07, 2003 - 12:21 pm:

And here's an interesting thought from Mark Linnett at the end of the article about the 5.1 mix of PS (below), when asked what next: “Well, I'd love to see what I could do with Wild Honey and Smiley Smile,” he says. “Those would be a really interesting records to mix in 5.1.”

Absolutely. A stereo mix of WH would be a fine start.

By Lesp (Lesp) on Tuesday, January 07, 2003 - 01:03 pm:

I love Wild Honey for its spirit and melodic strength, and it is one of my top 5 or 6 favorite BB albums. A couple of spots are weak to me, though: Carl's voice on "I Was Made to Love Her" and, yes, "Wild Honey," sounds more strained than soulful to me, and "How She Boogalooed It" is probably my least favorite track (but still listenable). These days (25 years after discovering the album), what strikes me as the most refreshing is "I'd Love Just Once to See You"...how rare to hear a BW song after 1964 or so that's guitar-based, acoustic to boot, with no keyboard. I would love to see him try to compose today on guitar instead of piano, to see if that would inspire something from a slightly different place (i.e., a non-"Shortenin' Bread" riff).

I would love to see a remixed, cleaner release too. Yes, I know purists will complain, but we'll always have the old muddy mono version somewhere.

I assembled a partly stereo Wild Honey by editing together the tracks available on Sea of Tunes Unsurpassed Masters 19, using the stereo "Let the Wind Blow" from Hawthorne, and adding a touch of reverb to the mono tracks to match the sound of "Let the Wind Blow." You can hear everything more clearly, and to me the sound fits in much better with Brian's "typical" top-notch studio sound. (I also added bonus tracks from the sessions like "Lonely Days," early "Time to Get Alone", "The Letter", "Can't Wait Too Long", "Cool Cool Water" etc.) Quite a good disk that would be if they would reissue it remastered with bonus tracks!

btw Steve, I'm also convinced "Country Air" incorporates the Smile "Air" theme too, although not the actual Smile recording.

By Textus (Textus) on Tuesday, January 07, 2003 - 01:16 pm:

The piano is a giveway that it's not, but I can sure hear a five-minute single called "Elements" that blends it, the Tones/CCW theme, something like the vocalese stanzas near the end of "Vege-tables" and ultimately "MO'LC."

By shredder (Shredder) on Wednesday, January 08, 2003 - 06:25 am:

I in particular love the sound of the piano in Aren't You Glad, it sounds like it was quite tweaked. It almost sounds like a toy piano to me! Has a more mid-rangey thicker sound to me.

By Lesp (Lesp) on Thursday, January 09, 2003 - 09:06 pm:

Yeah, how did he get that piano sound? Tape the strings down or something?

"The piano is a giveway that it's not, but I can sure hear a five-minute single called "Elements" that blends it, the Tones/CCW theme, something like the vocalese stanzas near the end of "Vege-tables" and ultimately "MO'LC."

What are you calling the "Tones/CCW" theme?

By Mikie (Mikie) on Thursday, January 09, 2003 - 09:26 pm:

It's called a "Tack" piano. That's what he used on Smiley Smile and Wild Honey.

By Peoplewitheyes (Peoplewitheyes) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 04:20 am:

what is a tack piano? i know mr W used it a lot, and i know the sound of it when i hear it, but what the hell is it?

By Textus (Textus) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 06:01 am:

This is what I was told by a friend who owned a musical instrument store back in the 50s-80s.

A tack piano has thumb tacks pressed into the felt hammers so that the sound of hitting the strings is more metallic, louder, kinda pizza parlor slash bordello-y.

By Peoplewitheyes (Peoplewitheyes) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 06:07 am:

thanks textus! it's a great bar-room kind of sound

By shredder (Shredder) on Friday, January 10, 2003 - 06:59 am:

a tack piano? that's very cool- I first noticed it in the piano of Darlin- the lower registers sound almost as if they were tweaked in post-production with a chorus effect or something. And that's what I thought all along, but when I purchased the Wild Honey album and heard Aren't You Glad, I noticed a very unique sound...

By Markrudd (Markrudd) on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 09:47 pm:

Who said Wild Honey has to be soulful? To me it rocks! I'd love to hear it in proper stereo. All that cool, rockin music blasting out of the speakers spatialized and floating all around me 'till it all comes back and smacks me in the back of the head. Mmmmmmmmm. So good!

Pity though Arn't You Glad wasnt done like the live version. The chorus live really rocked well.Also I prefer Brian's redone Let The Wind Blow from IJWMFTTBIAN.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 10:10 pm:

Live "Aren't You Glad" is a jewel -- the horns are terrific -- the "definitive" version.

By Markrudd (Markrudd) on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 10:36 pm:

I find its often the way with Beach Boys music. There are many live version that are superior to the album versions.

Marcella. Little Girl I Once Knew. Cant be bothered naming them all.Bye.

By Karen (Kk) on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 02:50 pm:

Aum ... Is this live version you are talking about on "Concert/Live in London" or something else? I love that song!

By Mikie (Mikie) on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 03:59 pm:

Yes Karen, pretty sure Aum's talking about "Live In London". That IS a good version of the song.

By Markrudd (Markrudd) on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 08:27 pm:

The punchy vocals in the chorus by(i think) Al and Carl are what make it though.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 08:36 pm:

Yeah -- "Live in London" version! It really swings!

Could do without Mike's "uncomfortable seat" intro rap though.

Should we start a "Beach Boys live 'definitive' versions thread?

By Andreas (Andreas) on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 11:59 pm:

>> Should we start a "Beach Boys live 'definitive' versions thread?

The problem is, very few live versions were released legally; and very few fans have all circulating live concerts...

By Mikie (Mikie) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 08:42 am:

Yep. Wild Honey sure is a great album!

By Wizard_Glick (Wizard_Glick) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 06:39 pm:

I concur

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 09:15 pm:

One of the best!

By Norcalsurfer (Norcalsurfer) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 12:57 am:

Great for coolin' out.

By Karen (Kk) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 04:51 am:

I knew I had posted something about this before but it was on the Smiley thread.

I can't get enough of Aren't You Glad ... love the lyrics ... I play it over and over. Next on the list is Darlin', Country Air, and How She Boogalooed It. (These were tough to choose because all the songs really have something unique about each to like.)

I listened to this album for the first time with headphones while walking last night. I didn't know what I'd been missing!!! It was dark enough that I hope the neighbors didn't see too much, 'cause I'm sure that walk looked more like a dance. Went through the album 3 times, did more than 5 miles, and I didn't want to stop! I'm so excited!!! A whole new experience!

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 12:25 pm:

Aren't You Glad is superb. Hey, I started this thread back in October. "SOB" you all remembered it!

By Mikie (Mikie) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 12:40 pm:

Hey, as long as we're accepting credit here, I'm the guy who kept it alive for ya, Top. Otherwise it woulda been goneski.

And now back to your thread....

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 01:33 pm:

No, I was just surprised it resurfaced. I've moved on since those heady days. Now I'm slagging off Love You

By Greg Polard (Gregpolard) on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 09:55 am:

I'm bored so I'm going to add to this thread. To make a long story short, the second Beach Boys cd I bought (after Pet Sounds of course) was Smiley Smile / Wild Honey. My friend told me that Wild Honey sucked, so I went and listened to it anyways and remember thinking that maybe he was talking about a different album because it's that food. I love it for all of the same reasons that everyone else has given : the simplicity, the rawness, the catchiness...defintely a solid album.

By Greg Polard (Gregpolard) on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 09:55 am:

I didn't want to cancel the whole post but it should read "It's that GOOD" not "It's that FOOD" haha. I'm typing this at a Burger King internet cafe, further adding to this irony.

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 11:07 am:

Good lord. Mark and I agree!

Yeah Mark WH rocks. Full blast in the car is a great way to eat up the miles. It has soul as well in the way that Stevie Wonder used to do on his rockier stuff. But damn it, its a belter of an album and I'd stack it up against anything else.

By Wizard_Glick (Wizard_Glick) on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 02:02 pm:

And calling it food isn't much off base....it's delicious food for the ears!

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 02:35 pm:

..and if BB albums were wine then Wild Honey would be a robust Rioja

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 10:02 am:

"Wild Honey" is totally food!

If "Wild Honey" were a car...well it wouldn't be a Hummer!

Oops! Shut up and play it!

By Lonnie (Lonnie) on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 10:11 am:


By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 10:49 am:

Wine is food. I'll think I'll slip into something more comfortable (Bungs fiancee?) and enjoy a vineyard of BB music.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 12:51 pm:

Aren't you glad how she boogalooed it darlin'?

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 07:46 pm:

I have no opinions on any controversies, but I bet Mikie would like it if we kept this post going.

I think Saddam and George W. should "cool out" and listen to "Wild Honey"!

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 09:34 pm:

Welcome back Mikie!

By Mikie (Mikie) on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 09:31 pm:

Thanks Aum!

You're right, I would like it if you kept this thread going. And Top's thread here has turned out to be one of the besteses. I should go find "Outlaw Blues" or "How Deep Is The Ocean" to find some excerpts from Paul Williams concerning Wild Honey. You've seen that article/interview, haven't you Aum?

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 07:49 pm:

Yeah, I've mentioned it before but hang around this board a few 24's and you're bound to repeat yourself!

As a young fella I got hold of Williams'"Outlaw Blues" via Scholastic Books ("My Weekly Reader" folks I believe) late 60s/early 70s -- there was a big piece on the Doors too which may have been why I bought it. I had been heavy into the BBs as a kid throughout the 60s but by this time I was into Cream, the Doors, Steppenwolf, CCR, etc. and had sorta forgotten about the Boys. But "Outlaw Blues' was where I heard for the first time (via Williams' conversations with David Anderle) about how incredibly important and hip Brian really was -- particularly via "Pet Sounds" and "Smile". And in the first part they diss "Wild Honey" but then come back and say how great and cutting edge it was (pre-"John Wesley Harding"/"Get Back"/Country Rock etc.)

As a youngster I had the single of "Wild Honey" (as well as "Heroes and Villains") but this was my Beach Boys rebirth -- continuing to this day. In fact I think that was the beginning of the Brian "Myth" (for better or worse) that continues here certainly!

And yeah Paul Williams reprinted that article (among many other great BB pieces) in "How Deep is the Ocean?" -- essential stuff. I also still subscribe to the great but erratically produced "Crawdaddy" which he has put out as a fanzine for some time now. Go get it folks!

By Chuck (Cslepage) on Tuesday, April 08, 2003 - 02:28 pm:

Where could I find/download a copy of the Wild Honey version of "Cool Cool Water"?

By Bicyclerider (Bicyclerider) on Tuesday, April 08, 2003 - 03:16 pm:

It's on the Good Vibrations 5 CD box set, available at all respectable record stores.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Tuesday, April 08, 2003 - 03:16 pm:

Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 19 (1967)
The Alternate Wild Honey Album C 9954/55
All tracks are stereo, except * indicated are mono.

Disc 1

1. Cool, Cool Water (track) 1:14 *
2. Cool, Cool Water (instrumental insert) 1:15
3. Cool, Cool Water (1st vocal overdub) 1:16
4. Cool, Cool Water (2nd vocal overdub) 1:19
5. Cool, Cool Water (3rd vocal overdub) 1:18
6. Cool, Cool Water (track) 1:15 *
7. Cool, Cool Water (1st vocal overdub) 1:17
8. Cool, Cool Water (2nd vocal overdub) 1:20
9. Cool, Cool Water (rehearsal) 2:37
10. Cool, Cool Water (track) 1:18
11. Cool, Cool Water (1st vocal overdub) 1:16
12. Cool, Cool Water (2nd vocal overdub) 1:19
13. Cool, Cool Water (3rd vocal overdub) 1:19
14. Cool, Cool Water (1st vocal overdub) 1:21
15. Cool, Cool Water (2nd vocal overdub) 1:23
16. Cool, Cool Water (3rd vocal overdub) 1:14
17. Cool, Cool Water (4th vocal overdub) 1:16
18. Cool, Cool Water (1st vocal overdub) 1:19
19. Cool, Cool Water (2nd vocal overdub) 1:20
20. Cool, Cool Water (3rd vocal overdub) 1:23
21. Cool, Cool Water (stereo mix) 1:14

By Chuck (Cslepage) on Tuesday, April 08, 2003 - 05:08 pm:

Thanks Mike and Bicycle Rider. I'm happily astonished it was right underneath my nose.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 08:01 pm:

David Anderle about Wild Honey:

I really remember Brian sitting at that piano by himself and screaming his soul out. Brian himself stated that all he ever needed was a piano and his voice. That’s essentially what Wild Honey is! Brian said Carl had a lot of fun singing the lead to the song Wild Honey. He was dancing and laughing around the living room.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 09:16 pm:

That's cool!

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 10:10 pm:

Ah, the Cab Board is back. A fine time to revisit Wild Honey -- as great a Beach Boy album as could be!

By Mikie (Mikie) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 11:29 pm:

Yes it is, Aum, and you know ladies and gentlemen of the jury.........

Hey, I gotta pull out Paul Williams' "Outlaw Blues" or "How Deep Is The Ocean" this weekend and post exerpts from it. Good insight into Brian's goings on during the Wild Honey period. Is it OK if I become a plagiarist for a few minutes here?

By Howard (Howard) on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 05:03 am:

London 2002 - Pet Sounds live
London 2004 - SMiLE live
London 2006 - Wild Honey live ?

It makes sense, doesn't it?

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 12:24 pm:

OOOOoooooHHHHHhhhhh! "Wild Honey" live! That would be the you know what!

And Mikie -- you're citing your sources right? If not we know where you can get a job!

By Mikie (Mikie) on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 01:38 pm:

Right from the horses mouth, Aum. He probly won't mind.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Thursday, June 19, 2003 - 08:26 pm:

...."Keeping the Thread Alive"....

By Squirrel (Squirrel) on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 02:28 am:

I was listening to the "disco" version of Here Comes the Night from "LA" - I don't have "Wild Honey" - and I was struck by the resemblance between the "dit-dit-dit-dit" passage and the closing part of CSN's "Judy Blue Eyes".

A couple of questions:
- which came first? (i.e. is this passage also in the original, which pre-dated the first CSN album, or a twiddly bit added on in the longer version of HCtN?)

- on the disco thing generally, was the later version an experiment for a serious venture into the genre, a one-off attempt to show the BBs could do it as well as anyone, or a light-hearted bit of fun? Is there anything else like it in the can but unreleased?

For what it's worth, I really like the track.

By Textus (Textus) on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 05:30 am:

Bruce said at the time that it was in earnest but in a kind of fun way.

Must admit I haven't forced myself to listen to it in many years. I close my eyes and try to hear what you're talking about, and all I hear are the dit-dit-dit passage in "Can't Wait Too Long." It occurs to me that *it* might have inspired the HCtN dit-dit-dit passage, but again the 1979 thing isn't in my mind's ear, you know?

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 08:04 pm:

I can hear the similarity of the "dits" of "SJBE" and the disco "HCTN" (not to be found on original) but it seems more a coincidence than a cop.

This made me dig out the BB's disco foray -- I have not had to listen to it in some time -- in fact it may be like only the third time I've ever played it! It's hard for me to take -- at best a curiosity if somewhat competent. But kind of sad.

BTW -- both "Here Come the Nights" are track 19 on their respective twofers. Pretty spooky!

By Textus (Textus) on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 06:15 am:

This might ought to be on the Book Signing thread, but in terms of coincidence/cop:


Sloop John BE?

Sloop Judy Blue Eyes?

Suite John Bee Eyes?

I cry 96 tears cause I got 96 Eyes.

You are free and I am Crying.

I've Got an Answer. I'm Going to Fly Away.

This is the worst trip I've ever been on.

Around Nassau town we did ride.

Que linda me la traiga Cuba, la reina de la Mar Caribe.

Hoist Up the John B Sails.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 10:00 am:


By Squirrel (Squirrel) on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 10:34 am:

Wasn't John B. Sails in one of David Bowie's bands?

By Textus (Textus) on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 11:01 am:

Yeah, right before directing Eight Men Out

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 08:33 pm:

I wonder how that Wild Honey Tour is coming?

By Howard (Howard) on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 03:08 pm:

As soon as the box office opens, I'm in. Nothin' less than row F at the RFH.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 08:21 pm:

Think of how great "Wild Honey" (the song -- special guest Blondie Chaplin) would sound opening the set! Or even how a "How She Boogalooed It" (special guest Al) would sound in a small club.

Yep -- right up front!

By Textus (Textus) on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 05:17 am:

Oh, I thought we were talking about The Stones doing a Wild Honey tour with Blondie doing the Brian vocals, Mick doing the Mike vocals, and Keith singing "You Are So Beautiful" as an encore.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 09:30 pm:

The Stones doing "Wild Honey" -- hell yeah! Only thing is I can't tell the difference between Keith and Blondie anymore. Or Dennis for that matter.

By Textus (Textus) on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 05:53 am:

Well, I didn't go see the show last year, but I did watch the HBO special. Part of me wonders a) why cameras avoided showing Blondie playing guitar, and b) whether he was supplying signature Keef rhythm at portions in which Keith was more posing than playing. The part on the thrust was the only part that really reminded me of this down 'n' dirty rock band I loved as, well, a kid, a teen, a young adult and an increasingly middle-aged adult.

I'm sure when I saw the band that I was probably just glossing over how the spectacle overran the band even then. (I still have very fond memories of 1975, and they aren't really born out by Love You Live's three sides from 1976.)

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 10:18 pm:

I just think it's a shame you can essentially only see the Stones in stadia -- it would be great to hear them in a small hall. And get Mick to cut the crap.

I saw them in '75 -- not bad! From what I can tell their live peak was probably circa '72 with Mick Taylor.

Hey, it only took 10 months to derail this thread!

By Textus (Textus) on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 05:40 am:

And it's not like it's permanantly railed. For instance, does anyone else think that the Brian-on-piano sound intrinsic to Between the Buttons had anything to do with how Wild Honey was pursued?

By Sopalin (Sopalin) on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 07:24 am:

Unh-huh. Not me, Tex.

By Tmr (Tmr) on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 07:40 pm:

This thread has been here a long time! Is it a record?

By Mikie (Mikie) on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 08:24 pm:

I dunno, but I gotta find my Paul Williams article on Wild Honey to add a little more substance to it. Hang on.....

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 08:52 am:

I'll lend you the rope....

No, seriously, back to Wild Honey. Never figured out why the sudden drive to do a raw, R&B album and then drop the concept like a hot potato (poor sales-a hit in the UK!)perhaps that was the boys trouble , no consistency. It confuses folk.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 09:23 am:

Yeah, seriously. Don't derail it this time, Text. How did Wild Honey do in the UK, anyway?

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 10:04 am:

Top 10, number 6 I think.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 08:11 pm:

Number one in *my* living room.

By Joe_Blow (Joe_Blow) on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 12:59 am:

But the songs didn't just disappear did they?

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 09:04 am:

Nope -- hear 'em right now -- that's the beauty....

By Matt (Matt_Elliott) on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 10:46 am:

When exactly did the Wild Honey sessions start and finish and how do "cant wait too long" and "cool cool water" fit into the sessions? Bits of CWTL sound smiley/wild honeyish yet other bits are smile-esque in sound. If Brian had started stripping his production style after smile (or maybe during), then why make something like CWTL?

Im sure this has been gone over thousands of times, so i apologise.

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 11:51 am:

"Music for Brian to chill out to" was Carls comment. Which is a bit concerning that at that stage BW needed something like that. The album just has a great "buzz" about it and its true reasons for existing or its borrowed bits from other projects have long puzzled me.

By Matt (Matt_Elliott) on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 04:24 pm:

As a boy of around 7/8+, Wild Honey was my favourite song(from "summer dreams"). I couldnt differentiate between the different styles of the songs on that compilation, but that one just seemed the best. It seems a bit strange to me now, as its hardly the most accessible track, i could barely make out any of the words. Roll on a few years, and the first twofer i bought was SS/WH, hoping for more of the same (darlin/wild honey). Didnt disappoint. As an album, as oppose to a collection of songs, it works as well as pet sounds or any other 'proper album'. WH upto holland is one fine string of albums.

Nothing new there, just adding my thoughts on it. Bring on the stereo mix.

This is one fine thread!

By Howard (Howard) on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 01:05 am:

Don't can this thread, Susan ...

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 01:32 am:

Have to strongly agree there Matt. Brians lack of songs, relative, and the growth of Carl and Dennis made the band and that period more rockier without losing the harmonies or clever studio wrok. Although by the time the catalogue was getting thin post Holland they ran out of material and the long Winter began. Still, for what we have is more than enough to be grateful for and play over and over and over (the crow flys).

By Susan (Susan) on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 03:26 am:

Wouldn't dream of it, Howard.

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 03:57 am:

Working from home today and reading an internal change doc, whilst listening to The Rolling Stones Greatest Hits. You know, in a flash of non work related genius I think Beast of Burden would have fitted on Wild Honey. Carl or Dennis on lead. I'll have another cup of tea now nurse.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 11:10 am:

Double the tempo and yeah....

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 09:52 pm:

Yes -- six out of five stars!

By Textus (Textus) on Tuesday, November 04, 2003 - 07:25 am:

I can't believe we let the one-year anniversary go noticed on this thread.

Some thoughts: Wild Honey, like several things Brian related, fuses two or three things. There is a compoent that you might consider filler or you might consider SMiLE salvage - "Mama Said" for sure, in my mind "country Air." There is closest thing to rocking out this side of So Tough: "Darlin," "HCTN," title cut, "Boogalooed It," "Made to Love Her," and the change-up of "Let the Wind Blow." There is the fully produced pop song, "Aren't You Glad," that might qualify in the rocking out but not really to me.

Finally you have "I'd Love Just Once to See you." Not really rocking out. Kind of a fully produced pop song. Nothing about it suggests SMiLE derivation.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Tuesday, November 04, 2003 - 10:27 am:

And on the surface a bit of a career nonsequitur is "Wild Honey", although certainly spiritually part of the whole cloth. But a something in the woodpile, betwixt "Smile/Smiley Smile" and "Friends".

Happy belated anniversary Wild Honey Thread! Sometimes derailed, never stymied!

By Markrudd (Markrudd) on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 03:05 am:

Wild Honey ROCKS. I love it. Have I told you guys that before?

By Mikie (Mikie) on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 10:18 am:

Who, us? No.

By Markrudd (Markrudd) on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 01:58 pm:

I love you Mikie.

By Boxer_Monkey (Boxer_Monkey) on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 02:49 pm:

Who, us? No.

By Mikie (Mikie) on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 05:05 pm:

I love you too, Marky.

By Boxer_Monkey (Boxer_Monkey) on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 07:42 pm:

I love you too, Marky.

By Textus (Textus) on Monday, November 24, 2003 - 06:15 am:

In that new book about Pet Sounds, the author whose name is either Grenata or Granata slagged Wild Honey.

By Copyright Infringing Chuck (Cslepage) on Monday, November 24, 2003 - 07:13 am:

I love Marky, Monkey AND Mikie.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Monday, November 24, 2003 - 09:34 am:

Grenata or Granata -- putz or pits.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 08:27 pm:

I like "Darlin" much better than "Thinkin' 'Bout You Baby".

By Textus (Textus) on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 05:41 am:

Sure. It's better realized. I have often thought it would be interesting to hear a fusion of the two in which the male lead and female lead are in Essence singing about each other

By Textus (Textus) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 07:29 am:

Anyone else interested in what the lyrics to Wild Honey would be if they were translated to German, and then the German was translated back to English?

By Sopalin (Sopalin) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 07:31 am:


By JCW (Tamlinny) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 07:42 am:

Here's the first bit, anyway:

Sweet sweet wild honey bee
eat eat above eat honey
nut/mother am I tellin ' you
up above so reliably,
how I am it here my girl stand
and those is the way I it nut/mother dear
no sympathetic consideration holds now,
it you do to stand around there and at me
the forehead runzeln the girl,
who comes my heart and my love coming down on me my love down will receive, received, since I received a taste wild of the honey,

which you know that them wear the sweet one
honey bee wild of honey them him and me good
Yes sirree, that is stung with all other pin bees took humming completely around their bienenstock, it me from individual handed over singing LED,
me alive well you can do you going lasting my life
eating up their wild honey can
(sweet sweet wild honey bee)
(to eat it to eat to eat up above above honey)
OH- nut/mother is it sweeter
Gettin of ' sweeter sweeter sweeter
drops of savage honey
let me you explain,
how she did not arrive really at my soul,
which is not merry he the way, her forms a Little skirt ' n ' role sings there to be wished is nice anything rather,
while a kiss of the wild honey I my back workin ' straight break,
around me to store to something money,
thus I my life with its sock it to me to spend can do savage honey of the wild honey
it my savages honey am, her my am

By JCW (Tamlinny) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 07:45 am:

Let's see if we can guess which song this is:

I do this and I do that and I die the floor, which I drink few from this and few eat, which and head from the door push you mean I receive thinking that I waste the night, away, whom I would not care me, in order if I with you OH- honey receive immediately could can not, it however this feeling are long, that inward again construct I wash the plates and I rinsed up the tub out like a busy bee, which I form a song, while I train me along none watching out I wish that you were here, me to help dry, when the last mark you backten me a cake, you a way of forming them come alive it are not too late for you to take a drive had (Baah Bababa baah Baba) (Baah Bababa baah Baba) it is not once would see in addition late I dear straight would see you, I the straight once dear that I would love you straight once, you in the Nude to see

By Textus (Textus) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 07:52 am:

"No sympathetic consideration" hmmm boy I can hear that sung.

"Her form's a little skirt 'n' roll" (slightly adapted. That too

By Howard (Howard) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 07:55 am:

"the forehead runzeln the girl"

And I thought this was a family-friendly board ....

By Sopalin (Sopalin) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 08:17 am:

There's a whole web site in this, isn't there? How about some of Van Dyke's lyrics? They may come back making sense ...

By Textus (Textus) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 08:21 am:

Actually, ever since typing that 20/20 sounds like a tv news magazine, I've been hearing Andy Rooney's recitation of "Cabinessence" in my head.

By Howard (Howard) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 08:39 am:

Light up the lamp and fire you matured,
hello within the prescribed period of the cab-substantial,
welcome the time for a change.
Lost and found, you remain further there.
They find a meadow filled with grain there.
I give you a house on the distance.

Who let the iron horse run?
Who let the iron horse run?
Who let the iron horse run?
Who let the iron horse run?
Who let the iron horse run?
Who let the iron horse run?
Who let the iron horse run?
Who let the iron horse run?
Who let the iron horse run?
Who let the iron horse run?

I would like to watch out you windblown verges waves of wheat for your covering.
Peoples sing a song of the property yard.
Nestle in a kiss down there.
The constellation ebb-tide and river there.
And you witness our house on the distance.

Who let the iron horse run?
(the truck, the man drives, does, what you can do),
who let the iron horse run?
(high end piece your load away of the road)
who let the iron horse run?
(from night life it a gasmann)
who let the iron horse run?
(I do not believe that I kept to concerns to make),
who let the iron horse run?
(in and from luck)
who let the iron horse run?
(with a dollar and conditions)
who let the iron horse run?
(Catchin ' on to the truth)
who let the iron horse run?
(in the considerable past, in the last Keuchen)
who let the iron horse run?
(on the country, on the dust, you trust that you must),
who let the iron horse run?
(bolting device as bolting device box)
credit it the great Coolie workin ' seen on the railway?
Did you see the great Coolie workin ' on the railway?
Did you see the great Coolie workin ' on the railway?

Over and over the crow cries open the Cornfield.
Over and over the Thresher and the wheat field float.
Over and over the crow cries open the Cornfield.
Over and over the Thresher and the wheat field float.
Over and over the crow cries open the Cornfield.
Over and over the Thresher and the wheat field float.

By JCW (Tamlinny) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 08:44 am:

bolting device as bolting device box - wow.

By Sopalin (Sopalin) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 08:58 am:

This is doing my brain in.

By Howard (Howard) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 09:02 am:

cab-substantial; time to change the board name?

By Textus (Textus) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 09:04 am:

That will be the name for the German translation board, I'd think.

By Howard (Howard) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 09:18 am:

No, that would be Kabinewesentliches.

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 11:53 am:

(Door opens, topgazza's head appears round the edge of the door)

"Just a reminder that I started this thread on 15 October 2002. I thank you.."

(Head disappears back round door. Door closes and the muffled sound of multiple camera flahes can be heard. A voice is heard "No pictures please. Lord topgazza will be available after his luncheon with the Queen" )

By Textus (Textus) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 11:59 am:

And I actually read it through today before posting.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 08:26 pm:

I don't know if anyone could make this one happen -- but there is Snoop Doggy Dogg "Shizzolator" translation board at:


Definitely works well with Brian related sites!

By JCW (Tamlinny) on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 06:28 am:

What's up with the whole "bee" thing on this album, anyway? There's the title track, then the line "like a busy bee" in I'd Love Just Once...and "let the poor find money, let the bees make honey" in "Let the Wind Blow."

By Psychedelicate (Psychedelicate) on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 12:33 pm:

It's part of the back to the roots thing, like "Let It Bee".

By Dave (Davew) on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 12:37 pm:

And Let's not forget Aunt Bee.

By Andrew Bee (Andrew_Bee) on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 03:09 pm:

Somehow I feel like I should post a message here.

By Ed_Roach (Ed_Roach) on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 07:31 am:

Ah, the irony of mentioning Aunt Bee here...
There is a fellow, who goes under the name Aunt Bee; maybe he spells it differently - someone help me here!!!
It's too early in the morning, and I'm chasing my tail, looking for his book & c.d. which he sent to me. It's not on the shelf with my other Zappa books, and my c.d.'s, well, they need organizing... And he has a great website, but I lost my 'favorites' with the last big crash, so would have to go searching for that, too!
However, it's so timely that this pun appeared, as he did a version of Smile that simply knocked my socks off! Also wrote a great book on The Mothers, I think simply called "The Early Years". He sent it to me just prior to driving cross-country this past summer, to marry then to attend "Busy Doin' Something", Susan's wonderful affair! And I must say, his c.d. was one of the high points of the drive. And not just SMILE; his own compositions, utilizing various members of Beefheart/Mothers/Alice Cooper, just goes to show how inane 'the biz' is now, that someone like him can go ignored!
Again someone help me?!?! I know I've discussed him with other people, in fact, I may have burned a copy of his stuff for Alan Boyd. If there is no response to this later, I'll do some detective work, and start a new thread.

By Ed_Roach (Ed_Roach) on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 09:01 am:

So, I'm off topic again, but the wife is awake, and the book is in hand. If anyone cares, I'll re-thread this; but the man's name is Billy James, and his book is "Necessity is... The Early Years of Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention". (With a forward by Don Preston!)

And, I was right; he records under Ant-Bee! This guy is definitely worth checking out...

Ant-Bee's Web Bizzare: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/antbee/

This is from the last page in the book; I haven't checked it out yet, but it was cool last time I visited it!

By Textus (Textus) on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 05:17 am:

Is this the Billy James who was involved in the early history of The Byrds? I'm not remembering near as many details as I ought, but I keep thinking that name links to Ed Tickner and Jim Dickson back then. Bear in mind, my main source is that Bud Scoppa group bio that I read close to 30 years ago. Columbia publicist or something?

By Ed_Roach (Ed_Roach) on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 07:08 am:

No, I don't think this is the same guy.
Have you checked out his website? I just got a chance to make sure it's still good, but wanted to answer this, and didn't take the time to see what music you can source.

Excerpts from his bio, at the end of his Mother's book:

Billy James, born 11/11/60 and a native of North Carolina, graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1982. He moved to L.A. in '83 to work w/guitarist Steve Vai, and recorded drums for Vai's first solo album, Flex-Able. Through Vai, James met Frank Zappa and began exchanging various ideas on rhythm with him throughout the early '80's.

In 1989 James unveiled his secret musical project, ANT-BEE, and subsequently signed to Vox/Bomp Records in L.A.....

...he co-wrote a book with Michael Bruce about his Alice Cooper days entitled No More Mr. Nice Guy....

In 1998, James co-wrote a book about Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band with original guitarist Bill Harkleroad (Zoot Horn Rollo) entitled Lunar Notes. As well as the completion of An American Band, a book detailing the history of U.S. legends Grand Funk Railroad, 1998 also saw James recording the forth ANT-BEE album, Electric Church Muzik...

I'm only promoting the guy because I think he's brilliant! Strange thing, this internet... he actually wrote me a fan e-mail, telling me how he always loved my photography. He asked for my address, and sent me the book and some c.d.'s. When I heard his version of Do You Dig Worms, I was blown away! Tried to contact him, after Susan's convention, when I was near North Carolina. I had some soundtrack stuff that I would have loved for the guy to do. But, I've never been able to make contact with him again!
One night, shortly after returning to L.A., I was picking 'the wife' up from a writing class she was taking with Pamela Des Barres. Lo & behold, Miss Pamela comes to me with a copy of his Mother's book, asking if I'd ever read this; (she knew my past with the early Mother's - but that's another story!)

Check this guy out; and someone, PLEASE, put me back in touch with him!

By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 07:56 am:

Played WH again last night, full volume through my surround sound system. Made it play artificial surround audio. Stunning.

Even through normal mono/stereo it sounds fresh and hasn't aged at all. Great emotional pick me up.

By Susan (Susan) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 06:16 am:

EDDIE!!!!!!!!!!! *waving wildly* It's still here!!!

By Textus (Textus) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 06:19 am:

I am sooooooo relieved. Now if we can just condense the thing into three coherent suites.

By Ed_Roach (Ed_Roach) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 09:19 am:

SUSAN!!! You doll; I didn't know you were getting to go to London... I'll comment down there later...

By Susan (Susan) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 09:26 am:

I didn't know, either, Eddie, until almost the last moment!

Not to derail the WH thread....

By Textus (Textus) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 09:55 am:

Many have tried. None succeeded.

By Aum Bop Diddit (Aumbopdiddit) on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 12:47 pm:

I just got back from 3 plus weeks in FLA -- first thing I do when I get back? Log on and check out the "Wild Honey" thread!


By Topgazza (Topgazza) on Friday, February 27, 2004 - 04:57 am:

(Door opens,(again) topgazza's head appears round the edge of the door)

"Just a reminder that I started this thread on 15 October 2002. I thank you.."

(topgazzas agent wishes to point out that fan mail is not acceptable at this stage and to keep sending the cash, even that funny looking American stuff)

By Textus (Textus) on Friday, February 27, 2004 - 05:29 am:

Me? I have a hard time telling Andrew Jackson and Elizabeth II apart. Particularly since Jacko went all salmon and teal.

By Leschan70 (Leschan70) on Friday, February 27, 2004 - 09:18 pm:

I use to dream of the 1980's and 1990's Beach Boys opening with Country Air. I think that would have make a great opening tune. WH is one of my favorites too. At least Bruce got his photo with the rest of the band on the back cover.