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Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Beach Boy Vocal Session

It's often overlooked just how spectacular The Beach Boys were as a vocal group. This clip should prove that these guys were second to none as you hear them pull off some complex harmonies with nary a hitch on the song "Let Me Wonder." They're soloed at 1:46 where you can really hear what they can do. By the way, the audio stops at 3:46 even though the clip goes to 7:22.

1. Remember that they're all singing at the same time. There's no layering going on here like we'd do today.

2. Check out the sound of the tape rewind at the beginning of the clip, something hated back in the day, especially if you were wearing headphones. The next generation of tape machines alleviated the problem by lifting the tape away from the heads during rewind so you didn't get that noise.


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6 comments:

spinetingler said...

Murry! He's a genius, too.

airmanchairman said...

This is a brilliant blog about brilliant musicians and the inner workings of their creativity. I previously stumbled upon the making of the "All Along The Watchtower" (Jimi Hendrix/Ed Kramer) sessions and have stayed ever since. The Beach Boys' harmonies are timeless, exquisite and divine...

Bobby, one of my favourite backing vocal tracks of all time is the one sung by the choir or backing group on "The Only Living Boy in New York" from Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

Pretty please, analyse that... I'd love to know more about the who, where and how.

airmanchairman said...

This is a brilliant blog about brilliant musicians and the inner workings of their creativity. I previously stumbled upon the making of the "All Along The Watchtower" (Jimi Hendrix/Ed Kramer) sessions and have stayed ever since. The Beach Boys' harmonies are timeless, exquisite and divine...

Bobby, one of my favourite backing vocal tracks of all time is the one sung by the choir or backing group on "The Only Living Boy in New York" from Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

Pretty please, analyse that... I'd love to know more about the who, where and how.

auramac said...

Just how is/was Brian's level of involvement in composing the actual harmonies? Is it note for note, or is there a basic formula they all learned to initiate the process?

Bobby Owsinski said...

Can't say about his formula, expect for good theoretical harmonic voice leading. Supposedly he arranged all the harmonies with contributions from Carl.

Doug Wack said...

Amazing! The beach boys are great, first time I've heard just vocals, it's awesome!

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