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Spectropop V#0009

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 11/7/97

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             Volume #0009                              11/08/97
    Subject:     "songs" vs. "records" and what if _smile_ had been released
    Sent:        11/7/97 3:49 AM
    Received:    11/7/97 8:29 AM
    From:        dave prokopy,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    > A good way to gauge whether a particular platter is thought of as a 
    > "song" or as a "record," IMHO, is to see how often it gets covered by 
    > other artists.  Early Beatles tunes are fairly often covered, 
    > particularly by country artists, but not so many songs from Sgt. Pepper 
    > or after get remade.
    well, it depends on the era.  lots of early beatles songs got covered IN 
    the mid-sixties, by other not-so-talented artists who didn't have as much 
    strong original material and/or were trying to cash in on the beatles' 
    fame. but by the latter part of the decade, when it really WAS required 
    that any "hip" band write their own material, covers in GENERAL died 
    down, and the only people left doing covers were more traditional pop 
    as for country artists covering early beatles songs, i think this is more 
    just a result of the fact that the earlier, more straight-forward beatles 
    songs simply lend themselves to country artists these days.  i just can't 
    imagine garth brooks trying "being for the benefit of mr. kite"!
    > And as for Brian Wilson tunes, well fugettaboutit.  Almost nobody  
    > bothers to cover them.
    again, i think the reason for this is that probably the most popular 
    beach boys songs are seen as incredibly dated these days.  unfortunately, 
    people still just associate the beach boys with surf and cars and summer. 
     it seems to me that, _stars and strips_ notwithstanding, the people who 
    cover beach boys songs most these days are "alternative" artists, and 
    they tend to appreciate the non-hits a lot more than your average 
    at any rate, i think i kinda disagree with the whole assessment that the 
    mid-sixties meant the death of "songs" vs. "records."  i think there WAS 
    a point, maybe 1966-1967, when experimentation and weirdness kind of 
    overtook songwriting, but i think by the LATE sixties, people started to 
    focus again on composing actual catchy pop songs again.  again, the 
    beatles are a good reference point.  _sgt. pepper_ and _magical mystery 
    tour_ are certainly more "records" than they are "compositions," but by 
    the time of the "white album" ("revolution 9" being the exception) and 
    especially _abbey road_, they had evolved into very mature songwriters, 
    who were experienced enough in the studio (having BEEN through all that 
    experimentation) to know how to use it to their upmost advantage.
    but there was definitely a big second wind in "pop" songwriting in the 
    late sixties and early seventies.  some of the great "bubblegum pop" 
    classics came out during this period.
    > I'm not sure which it would be, but one thing I'm confident of is that 
    > nothing even remotely close to "Wild Honey" would have been released, and 
    > in some ways I'm glad that "Smile" wasn't released, because "Wild Honey" 
    > was showed the band to have such remarkable versatility; besides, I like 
    > it a good deal more than any configuration of "Smile" I've heard.
    couldn't disagree more.  i think the world needed a _smile_ album a LOT 
    more than they'll ever need a _wild honey_.  any decent R&B group could 
    have done _wild honey_, and done it better.  _smile_, on the other hand, 
    was a truly original piece of art.
    -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     9 Disk Spector set
    Sent:        11/7/97 1:42 PM
    Received:    11/8/97 3:17 AM
    From:        Paul Urbahns, purbaXXX@XXXXXXorg
    To:          Spectropop  List,
    LePage wrote:
    There was a 9 disc box set released in UK in the 80's. I never bought it
    because the only "track" I didn't have was Lover by the Ronettes. Were
    the tracks on that compilation in stereo, does anyone know?
    Paul URbahns comments:
    I think I have almost all the nine disks in singles. The Ronettes first 
    album is stereo but the second Greatest Hits is mono from what I 
    remember. There are a few stereo cuts but mostyly all mono.
    Is there any USA CD Mail order place that sells these Marginal label CD's.
    -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     Re: Return To Brill Days
    Sent:        11/7/97 6:24 AM
    Received:    11/8/97 3:17 AM
    From:        Darian Sahanaja ,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    >Brent Kubasta wrote:
    >>>Cookies "I Never Dreamed"...
    >>I *love* this record.
    >Anyone else? I Never Dreamed could be among the best girl group records
    I must agree here. Absolutely fantastic record! Then again Dimension 
    churned out quite a few of the best girl group records ever. Most notably 
    "Baby, Baby I Still Love You" by the Cinderellas  and "Keep Your Hands 
    Off My Baby" by Little Eva. But The Cookies stuff is song for song the 
    most consistent. From early tracks like "Softly In The Night" to later 
    evolved songs like the aformentioned "I Never Dreamed" and even including 
    the solo Cookie 45's by Earl-Jean and Darlene McCrea, this legacy is most 
    satisfying indeed. And all of course under the magical guidance of Carole 
    King and Gerry Goffin (after all, Dimension was really "their" label). 
    I'd be curious to know what Spectropop subscribers deem as being the best 
    girl group records ever. And to Jamie. . .what kind of Dimension Records 
    archive are you making? I myself am trying to make a a Bob Crewe-produced 
    girls discography. By the way, I'd like to thank David Bash for turning 
    me on to this very-hard-resist digest. Good going boys. . .keep up the 
    good work.
    -Darian "thinking of rock star moves but still a record geek at heart" 
    -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     Re: Smile
    Sent:        11/8/97 5:07 AM
    Received:    11/8/97 10:25 AM
    From:        Chuck Limmer, CLimXXX@XXXXXXm
    To:          Spectropop  List,
    In a message dated 97-11-06, David Bash asked:
    << What if Smile had actually been released in 1967, as planned?  How do 
    you  think that would have impacted the Beach Boys career?  >>
    Hindsight's always perfect, and we've got 30 years' worth to work with in 
    this instance.  I doubt very much that the release of _Smile_ at its 
    intended time would've made much difference in the Beach Boys' subsequent 
    career.  After all, _Pet Sounds_ *did* come out--and look where the BBs 
    wound up.
    The thing is, Brian was trying to take the band down a path that, in the 
    mid-'60s, neither the group members nor their fans were entirely ready 
    for.  Despite its brilliance, _Pet Sounds_ was a commercial 
    disappointment--their third-lowest-charting LP to that point--and it's 
    hard to believe that the record-buying public would have executed an 
    abrupt about-face only a matter of months later.
    What might the BBs have gone on to record after _Smile_?  Depends on your 
    interpretation of cause and effect.  If you believe that _Smile_'s 
    non-release *caused* Brian's loss of control over the band's artistic 
    direction, then I guess you can make the case that putting that album out 
    would have fixed everything.  It's more reasonable, I think, to see the  
    _Smile_ fiasco as a predictable outcome of Brian's well-documented 
    emotional and/or psychological problems (complicated by substance abuse). 
    At some point, Brian was inevitably going to be unable to run the whole 
    show any longer.
    The Who without Pete Townshend.  The Kinks without Ray Davies.  The 
    Stones without Jagger/Richards.  The Beatles without Lennon/McCartney.  
    The wonderment of the Beach Boys is not that the music they've made since 
    Brian's creative withdrawal, coincident with the collapse of _Smile_, has 
    so often been disappointingly mediocre (with both brilliant and 
    embarrassing extremes).  It's that they continued at all.
    Chuck Limmer n.p. "I'll See Your Light," Everly Brothers, _Heartaches and 
    -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     Re: What If Smile Had Been Released?
    Sent:        11/7/97 5:47 AM
    Received:    11/7/97 8:29 AM
    From:        James K Cribb, jkcrXXX@XXXXXXcom
    To:          Spectropop  List,
    OK, I'll jump in on this one David.  (But first thanks to Jamie, et al 
    for having me here. These first few editions have been very educational.)
    If Smile had been released, one scenario I've imagined is that it doesn't 
    matter what the critical reaction is.  I don't think the public would 
    allow the band to change. The Beatles evolved to Sgt Pepper over several 
    albums, none of which took the artist/sonic/directional leap that Brian 
    took with Pet Sounds and then Smile.
    And remember the Beatles unilaterally became a studio band.  The Beach 
    Boys continued to tour and had to become an oldies band because they 
    could not recreate the new material effectively live.  And the band (or 
    at least Mike -- how many of you have heard his vitriolic voice-over 
    version of Heroes and Villians?) really resented Brian's new direction, 
    so they purposefully fostered the continuation of the surf/car sound.
    The mere existence of Smile, finished, unfinished, warmly received or 
    snubbed, would have resulted in a similar situation. Brian had fought so 
    many battles by that time (mostly against Murray), he had to be fragile. 
    If anything, it was the success of Good Vibrations, that did him in.  In 
    that he achieved the "perfect" three-minute pop symphony and it was 
    critically acclaimed and it went number one.
    He had to not only top Pet Sounds as an album, he had to make an album 
    worthy of "Good Vibrations."  And he had to fight his own personal 
    demons, Capitol Records (pending lawsuit) and his own band/family.  It 
    was the making of Smile that did the damage.  Its release would've had 
    little impact, as the damage was done during the making.
    Yes, eventually we would've had Wild Honey.  It seems a fairly consistent 
    trend that after a great deal of experimentation, artists frequently get 
    back in touch with their roots.  
    Only in the Beatles case the much revered Mr Spector ruined it (yes, I am 
    baiting you).
    -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     Signs and Wonders
    Sent:        11/7/97 6:59 AM
    Received:    11/7/97 8:29 AM
    From:        David Marsteller,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Hmm, I'm wondering if the pop music world is ready for some more changes:
    1) Brill era vets Mann & Weil turn up as cowriters on the Hanson album,  
    while Carole King cowrites a song for Wilson. Both albums are on Mercury, 
     with some of the same folks behind them. Coincidence? 
    2) I saw a recent article (wish I remembered where) on the rise of  
    'knock-off' copies of hits. Since labels either cut-out singles quickly,  
    or don't release them at all, entepreneurs are recording sound-alike  
    versions of tracks like "Barbie Girl" as replacements. Could it be the  
    era of the song is returning?
    /**   "Reach out and grab a fistful of now"                            **/
    /**                                             Thornetta Davis        **/
    /**      David Marsteller                       **/
    -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     Smile, Flowerpot Men, and Honeys
    Sent:        11/7/97 10:13 AM
    Received:    11/8/97 3:17 AM
    From:        David Marsteller,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    David Bash was asking us to speculate on what would have happened if  
    Smile was completed as planned. Uh, well, first Capitol would've probably 
     had a fit. They hadn't figured out how to sell Pet Sounds, and at least  
    that consisted of pop songs, more sophisticated pop songs, but still pop. 
     It's hard to tell from the unfinished work, but Smile looks like it 
    would  have departed from song structure a great deal.  The fans (the old 
    fans) wouldn't have known what to make of it. The Beach  Boys never quite 
    had the cachet that The Beatles did, where they coul do  whatever they 
    wanted and it would be cool. It might have found a home a couple years 
    later with the same ones who  bought Pink Floyd, but those folks probably 
    would've looked down their  noses at anything from this band. Not hip 
    enough.  Yes, the press may have heralded it, but rock journalism (and FM 
    rock radio)  was in its infancy, and probably wouldn't have influenced 
    sales much. Bummer, huh?
    I have the other Flowerpot Men CD, also called  Let's Go To San 
    Francisco, on the C5 label. My disc only has 14 songs. If I have:
    1) Let's Go To San Francisco (Part 1)
    2) Let's Go To San Francisco (Part 2)
    3) A Walk In The Sky
    4) Am I Losing You
    5) You Can Never Be Wrong
    6) A Man Without A Woman
    7) In A Moment Of Madness
    8) Young Birds Fly
    9) Journey's End
    10) Mythological Sunday
    11) Blow Away
    12) Piccolo Man
    13) Let's Go Back To San Francisco
    14) Silicon City
    would it be worth the effort to get the Repertoire disc for the bonus 
    And as far as Ginger's singing in The Honeys, gee I'll have to go back  
    and listen. Most of my impression was formed from hearing the Spring  
    album, which was Ginger-free, right? I think the Rovell sisters are  
    annoyingly nasal sounding, and that pretty much turned me off to their 
    whole  output.
    np: Twist & Shout! 12 Atlantic Tracks Produced By Phil Spector
    /**   "Reach out and grab a fistful of now"                            **/
    /**                                             Thornetta Davis        **/
    /**      David Marsteller                       **/
    -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     The Toons
    Sent:        11/7/97 5:26 AM
    Received:    11/7/97 8:29 AM
    From:        Kevin & Collette Mangold,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    I know this probably isn't the best place to ask this, but after posting 
    the question on  the Audities list (and getting only one response - 
    thanks Jack!!!), but I don't know  where else to turn.
    Does anyone have any information on the Toons?  I know that they did 2 
    albums for Rhino  that are out-of-print, disbanded and have apparently 
    vanished off of the face of the  Earth.
    The ... ahem ... kind people at Rhino were absolutely no help; saying 
    that the Toons are  part of the past and they're more interested in the 
    'now'... (isn't that heavy???).
    I'm trying to get some broadcast-quality (read: cd or virgin vinyl) of 
    'Looking At  Girls' as well as information on the band's demise and 
    possible whereabouts of the  members - all of this for a radio special.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     Three Dog Night
    Sent:        11/7/97 1:50 AM
    Received:    11/8/97 10:25 AM
    From:        Big L, bXXX@XXXXXXt
    To:          Spectropop  List,
    .... and, you forgot:
    Try A Little Tenderness - Otis Redding
    Big L                 Check out my "Radio Legends" homepage at:
    "I love radio - I just hate what they're doing with it these days"
    -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------
    Subject:     Tell That Girl to Shut Up ??? 
    Sent:        11/8/97 1:56 PM
    Received:    11/8/97 6:39 PM
    From:        NazXXX@XXXXXXm
    To:          Spectropop  List,
    A question for you listers.
    Can you think of examples of hit records released post 1966 that still 
    had the classic girl group sound.
    I can think of at least three but it's open to argument if they qualify 
    as either classic or "girl group"
    1. Just for Tonight/ The Chiffons--1966
    2. Condition Red/The Goodies--1969
    3. Love ( Can Make You Happy)/Mercy--1969
    There's got to be some others but I can't think of any right now. 
    Elements of the sound did reemerge in the post-punk/new wave era and 
    could be heard in groups ranging from Bananarama to Blondie to Holly and 
    the Italians and more.
    Could Phil Spector score a hit today ?
    -----------[ archived by Spectropop ]-----------

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