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Spectropop - Digest Number 140


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There are 9 messages in this issue of Spectropop.

Topics in this Digest Number 140:

      1. Beach Boys BBC Radio 2 & Smile
           From: "Kingsley Abbott" 
      2. Re: Smile, Bob Keane etc.
           From: Carol Kaye 
      3. Re: Brian Wilson
           From: Tobias Bernsand 
      4. Re: Connie Stevens PS
           From: Andrew Hickey 
      5. From Perry Botkin re: "Little Miss Understood"
           From: Carol Kaye 
      6. Re: Secrets
           From: "Mike Arcidiacono" 
      7. Re: P. Spector Box set.
           From: Frank 
      8. BOX SET OR 45rpm?
           From: "radiopro" 
      9. Re: spector box set
           From: Billy G. Spradlin 


Message: 1
   Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 14:31:33 +0100
   From: "Kingsley Abbott" 
Subject: Beach Boys BBC Radio 2 & Smile

Freya's comments on the BBC Radio 2 recent two part BB's
programmes have been echoed by many people I have spoken
to.  I worked on it, but only so far as to point them in
the right direction to interesting people to talk to,
and to set up some of the interviews.  The whole thing
was hastily constructed, with Christmas getting in the
way as well, and the writer Patrick Humphries had only a
small fraction of his words actually used.  The "sound
collage" effect was the show's producer trying to do
something a bit new with the style of music documentary,
and most seem to agree that it misfired.  Even I
couldn't follow who was speaking at times, and there
were one or two pretty unforgivable errors along the way.
Wrists have been metaphorically slapped!  There was also
a complaint on the BBC Feedback programme about it from
someone who felt that Tim Rice's delivery of the story
lacked something, a point that I'd have to concur with. 

Regarding Smile I have my own feelings about what it
could/should have been.  Recall that some of it,
"Cabinessence" sections for example, were finished
before Pet Sounds was even released, and this suggests
to me that Brian was heading towards what I describe as
'A great american historical landscape' album with Van
Dyke (who was around as Pet Sounds was being prepared).
If you look at the lyrical themes of "Cabinessence" and
"H&V", and put them with later themes visited in 88 by
Brian "Rio Grande" and Van Dyke with Brian on much of
"Orange Crate Art", there was I feel a very great album
potential within reach but that Brian got sidetracked
into the Elemental themes and other areas which confused
him and ultimately tipped the whole shebang off the
rails.  What is commonly available as Smile on the
various (expensive) bootlegs is not, IMO, any sort of
great album.  It certainly has its moments of genius,
but as a cohesive and shaped album worthy of a follow up
to the wonderful wholeness of Pet Sounds, No.  But there
are enough clues and good directions in there to hint
towards what might have been.  I actually put these
exact points to Brian a couple of weeks back when I
spoke to him for my Pet Sounds book, but I don't think
he fully understood what I was on about.  I'd be most
interested to hear other list members feelings about it.
Kingsley Abbott

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 2
   Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 06:52:51 -0800
   From: Carol Kaye 
Subject: Re: Smile, Bob Keane etc.

> Smile would have blown everyone away.

Yes, I agree and said so on the BBC radio
was his best work to date, beating Pet Sounds a lot imo
- I played on most of Pet Sounds and most of Smile too.
Also, and I said this too on the same interview.....
that movie scores are done in pieces (I've played on
100s of movie scores, did some of the finest scores
>from 60s through 80s), so what's the big deal about
Brian doing Smile in pieces?.....for some reason he
quit Smile, probably his personal problems, but I never
saw a change in him at all in the studios all during
those years....he was his normal happy self creating
great music and great recordings.

Plus, in my interview I made it a point to say how
everyone loves to be a "judge of Brian Wilson, his
music, the way he conducted his life when they
literally don't know about those years and about him
(except what they read) -- just judgemental craziness
like talking about him going around his house in his
robe -- Playboy's Hugh Hefner lives in his robe."

> this will definitely be a book all of you will want to
> read if you wanna get an idea about the L.A. indie label
> music biz from the late Fifties and throughout the 60's...

Bryan hi!  Please let me know what Fred Smith's phone no.
is, I'd love to say hello to him, hope he's doing well,
etc. thanks.

You bet that book will be simply great!  I saw Bob at
the Ritchie Valens Memorial Tribute and he's very
excited about his book finally coming out soon...sounds
like you all worked very hard on it and it will blow
people away about how the industry was (and Bob doing so
much too) back then....yes we did know each other back
then, and it was warm and friendly and beautiful, so new,
so much creativity with great talents running around,
stoking up the business more and more.  Bob's story has
so much to give about the recording industry.

> Connie Stevens that I knew of was "Lost In Wonderland,"

I have Connie Stevens (and remember her date!) in my ,
so I must be on that if it's the "only one"....I  was
hired by David Gates on Elec. Bass on some things back
then...just heard from him while back too, he's in San
Diego county, enjoying the good life there.
Interestingly enough, David himself is a fine bassist
besides being a good arranger, etc.

Carol Kaye

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 3
   Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 11:59:48 +0200
   From: Tobias Bernsand 
Subject: Re: Brian Wilson

> Firstly is there anyone here who could make me a copy
> of smile.

Practically everything you need is on the Good Vibrations
box...unless you're one of those Smile uber-geeks like me.
You can probably find the most common bootleg tracks on

> Also what is anyones opinion of the solo Brian Wilson 
> material that came out?

I like those records a lot. BW88 is still a total classic,
though I think Nighttime and Let It Shine should've been
replaced by Let's Do It Again and Heavenly Lovers.
"Imagination", which I thought was horribly bland at
first, has grown a little on me. I've grown to appreciate
Brian's songs, but the arrangements and production are
still too AOR for my taste. And what is the Kenny G sax
solo doing in Happy Days? I miss the Spector influence in
"Imagination", especiially since it was all over BW88 and
the 2nd version of Sweet Insanity.

BTW, while I'm already sending a message to the list...I
got a T3 connection a couple of days ago, and I've
enjoyed Spectropop Radio *a lot*. It's terrific to listen
to while working on a paper! What record is The Ronettes'
"Lovers" taken from? Never heard it many
1963-66 Spector productions were left off his box set?


PS. I play Spector's Xmas record all over the year, not
just in December! What about you guys?

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 4
   Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 00:39:49 -0800 (PST)
   From: Andrew Hickey 
Subject: Re: Connie Stevens PS

> ...regarding "Little Miss Understood."  I'll bet
> dollars to donuts there's a Perry Botkin credit,
> either songwriting or production, in there somewhere.
> Sure hope someone can either confirm or deny.

Don't know the track, but if it's the same song as the
Rod Stewart one, it was written by Mike D'Abo...

Subliminal message:
Buy the new Stealth Munchkin album -

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 5
   Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 09:42:40 -0800
   From: Carol Kaye 
Subject: From Perry Botkin re: "Little Miss Understood"

"Jack Madani" wrote re Connie Stevens

> It just occurred to me, regarding "Little Miss  
> Understood."  I'll bet dollars to donuts there's a
> Perry Botkin credit, either songwriting or
> production, in there somewhere.  Sure hope someone
> can either confirm or deny.   jack

>From Perry Botkin, my good friend:   
"I co-wrote the song with Gil Garfield and wrote the
arrangement.  P. "

Carol Kaye

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 6
   Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 16:59:42 -0800
   From: "Mike Arcidiacono" 
Subject: Re: Secrets

Brad Elliott wrote:

>> BTW, does anyone have any info on the Secrets who
>> had a release on Red Bird 10076?
> I've never heard the single, but it ought to be straight
> teenage rock 'n' roll.  The group is one of the first
> entries on the resume of Max Weinberg, drummer for Bruce
> Springsteen and the Conan O'Brien Show.

I think that is an error. As Red Bird closed in mid 1965 ,
Max would have been about 9 or 10 years old.  It's also
possible its a different Max Weinberg, that's not an
unusual name by any means, especially here on the East


--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 7
   Date: Thu, 29 Mar 01 09:05:58 +0100
   From: Frank 
Subject: Re: P. Spector Box set.

>When I saw the question of: Should I buy the Phil
>Spector's "Back to Mono" set or try to buy the 45's?
>Which is better?
>I was very surprised with all the answers though most
>have said no (which is fine) and then explain what's
>wrong with the CD set from other songs fans wanted to
>favoring vinyl over CDs but not that the CD set is bad.
>I am sorry, but if the set is that bad that you could
>not recommend it to someone who just wants to start a
>quick collection, I wish someone would say so. I have
>both the CD and LP set and every Year I play the
>Christmas CD that comes with the CD set. I have about 5
>copies of the Christmas LP but I prefer the CD because
>it is easier to program in my Stereo as well as my
>My point is this. My favorite car is the 1931 Rolls
>Royce Phantom II but I would not recommend it over
>anything on the road today because of practicality. 

Interesting but practicality doesn't make it better
quality. The fact is that to real fans the box set was a
disapointment. As far as being introduced to the magic of
Spector,to a newcomer I'd recomend any CD compilation of
the Righteous Brothers on Verve and any re-re-re release
of the Xmas LP. While I'll stick to Back To Mono on all
his early stuff nothing will tear me away from these
titles in Stereo. And furthermore the sound on the box
set is definitely low quality and does not make Phil
Spector justice.


--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 8
   Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 10:11:58 -0500
   From: "radiopro" 
Subject: BOX SET OR 45rpm?

Hi Folks:

G. Spector wrote:

> When I saw the question of: Should I buy the Phil
> Spector's "Back to Mono" set or try to buy the 45's?
> Which is better?
> I was very surprised with all the answers though most
> have said no (which is fine) and then explain what's
> wrong with the CD set from other songs fans wanted to
> favoring vinyl over CDs but not that the CD set is bad.

The original recordings were mixed and EQ'd for the
Technology that was available to the "consumer" (radio
and fans) in those days......which was AM radio heard,
for the most part, on small speakers with limited
frequency response and relatively cheap "record players"
of The Day...(the brand name "Sea Breeze" comes to mind).

It was the way we first heard them.  It was our
"template" for what sounded great.

When FM Oldies Radio was born and my personal
reproduction equipment became better, those same
recordings just never sounded quite right to me.  In
particular, the Motown records which had been EQ'd very
"hot" at the "high end" to "cut through" on AM radio,
sounded very "thin" and often irritating. 

That's the "downside".

The "upside" is that, now that I have a great "stereo
system",  it's great hearing instruments on many of
those old recordings that I never clearly heard before. 
The Stereo is often "hokey" (the Beatles come to mind),
but nevertheless, for the most part I'm pretty happy.

Although, I must admit, I occasionally wish I still had
my old Sea Breeze.  So many of those old records,
Spector's in particular, sounded like they were trying
to squeeze through a partially opened door.  Today's
"playback technology" has opened the door wide.  It
feels like some of the Energy has been lost.


--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 9
   Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 21:52:26 -0000
   From: Billy G. Spradlin 
Subject: Re: spector box set

As far as convenience goes, I would go with the CD Box
set. I know many people were unhappy with the packaging,
song selection and remastering but it's the quickest,
easiest way for someone new to Spector's productions to
get "all the hits" in one place for a decent price. I
thought the booklet with the song lyrics and cool
photos was a nice touch.  


--- In spectropop "Jennifer" wrote:

> This may seem like an obvious question, but I was
> wondering how good the "Back to Mono" Spector box set
> was. is it better to buy that or to buy the individual
> cds?
> any help is greatly appreciated

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

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