Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Beach Boys - Adult/Child





The Beach Boys – Adult/Child

(soniclovenoize reconstruction)


Side A:
1.  Life is For The Living
2.  Hey Little Tomboy
3.  Deep Purple
4.  H.E.L.P. Is On The Way
5.  It’s Over Now
6.  Everybody Wants To Live

Side B:
7.  Shortenin’ Bread
8.  Lines
9.  On Broadway
10.  Games Two Can Play
11.  It’s Trying To Say
12.  Still I Dream of It


This was a follower-request reconstruction for some time, so I thought I’d finally buckle down and do it for you guys!  This is a reconstruction of the unreleased Beach Boys 1977 album Adult/Child.  Initially recorded as a solo project by Brian Wilson, almost all of it was scrapped and the MIU Album was released instead in 1978.  Here, the tracks which were officially released have been compiled from their best sources, and the tracks not officially released have all been personally remixed to match as closely as possible the fidelity of the officially released ones.  All tracks have been volume adjusted correctly and appropriate banding time has been either added or taken away, depending on the song.

Following a rush of confidence after completing Love You nearly by himself, Brian Wilson continued work on a follow-up entitled Adult/Child, another set of songs unabashedly autobiographical about his state of mind (and physical health) at the time in 1976-1977.  The title was allegedly culled from Brian’s psychologist Eugene Landry, in which we can only presume that the “Adult/Child” is Brian Wilson himself.   Many of the arrangements emulated the 1976 album 15 Big Ones, which had a decidedly Sinatra-esque ‘big band’ sound.  As well as the new compositions, Brian also dusted off a few outtakes from earlier in the decade, including “HELP is On The Way” (which was promised but ultimately forsaken on Landlocked, a reconstruction I just recently tackled) and “Games Two Can Play”.  Unfortunately the album was canned by Reprise Records as not being commercially viable, although the long-running rumor was that half of the Beach Boys camp conveniently disliked the big band sound of Adult/Child anyways.  The album was essentially replaced by the MIU Album, headed up by Mike Love, and the sole Adult/Child survivor was “Hey Little Tomboy”, which featured a new set of overdubs. 

My reconstruction is rather straight forward as, while the songs on Adult/Child aren’t necessarily A+ material in quality, it is an extremely well-sequenced album as a whole and we are lucky to know what Brian’s intended track sequence was to be.  The biggest problem was within the realm of volume adjustments, as each song implied a different dynamic range.  Even worse, each song seemed to already have their own unique volume as they all came from vividly different sources.   Once we set certain album-peaks which featured the loudest points in the album (“Shortenin’ Bread” for instance) this could be fixed.  The second challenge was in remixing roughly half of the album since seven of the tracks were never officially released and exist only on bootlegs.  I found that the commonly bootlegged version—from a sometimes droppy cassette—seemed to lack bottom end and some highs but the mids were intact (unlike the Landlocked tapes).  When reEQ’d, they seem to fit wonderfully alongside the officially-released tracks. 

One note must be made that no speed corrections were made to my Adult/Child reconstruction.  The reason for this is that we do not have a reference point for some of the tracks, and they seemed to sound fine by my ears (aside from the fact that I am not too fond of digital speed correction)!  It also becomes tricky knowing Brian tinkered with tape speeds as a tool in the recording studio; was a slowed tape intentional or not?  Also, cassette dropouts were not fixed, as I did not feel they detracted from the listening experience and, if I may be so bold, adds an analog aura that seems to be lacking in today’s modern music production.  There is nothing like tape errors to remind a listener that we are all human and perfection shouldn't necessarily by our ultimate goal. 

Side A begins with my own reEQd version of “Life Is For The Living”.  In contrast to other reconstructions of Adult/Child, I did not sample an earlier part of the track to replace this tape error as I felt it desecrated the intentional a capella introduction, and is left as is.  Next is followed by the atrocious “Hey Little Tomboy” which is taken from the MIU Album.  While many prefer the unreleased early mix found on the Adult/Child bootlegs, I felt a more completed mix belonged here; also, the spoken word bridge section made my ears bleed in embarrassment.  This is followed by “HELP Is On The Way”, the exact same version as found on my Landlocked reconstruction, an edit of the officially released mix from the Good Vibrations boxset.  The brand new (and allegedly speed-corrected) “It’s Over Now” from the Made In California boxset follows, along with my own remix of “Everybody Wants To Live” to close the first side of the album. 

Side B begins with a perplexing track that Brian was allegedly obsessed with at the time, “Shortenin Bread”.  This is a remixed version of the bootleg, not the version found on the LA Album.  “Lines” and “On Broadway” follow, both remixed from a bootleg for improved soundquality.  Next we have a not-too-shabby “Games Two Can Play” taken from the Good Vibrations boxset, as well as a decent uptempo rocker “It’s Trying To Say”, personally remixed from a bootleg.  The album closes with “Still I Dream of It”, taken from the Good Vibrations boxset.

My final touch was new, original cover art.  I had noticed that there really isn’t any logical bootleg cover art for Adult/Child, so I deemed this a top priority to rectify for my reconstruction.  Using the MIU Album cover as a base—since this reconstruction essentially replaces the MIU Album anyways—we have a cover more suitable than a random 1950’s postcard illustration or a SMiLE-era ‘firehat’ picture of Brian Wilson.  Although I recognize that Adult/Child probably references a psychological state, I chose to go with a literal direction with the artwork, using a silhouette of an adult and a child hand-in-hand; who is to say that the title doesn’t have a double-meaning?  If anything, this cover represents the superficial meaning of the album with Landy’s prognosis relegated more sympathetically to a subtext.  With all the honesty already present in the lyrics, maybe we are doing Brian a favor and cutting him a little slack. Didn't he deserve it by 1977?  




Sources used:
Adult/Child (bootleg, 1997 Peg-Boy/Vigotone Records)
Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of the Beach Boys (1993 CD box set)
Made in California (2013 CD box set)
MIU Album (original 1991 CD pressing)


flac --> wav --> editing in SONAR, Audacity & Goldwave --> flac encoding via TLH lv8
*md5, artwork and tracknotes included

21 comments:

  1. Nice. Any chance of you tackling The Paley Tapes AKA Landylocked?

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  2. A few things:
    The "early version" of "Tomboy" isn't a rough mix or anything, it's the finished version that was to appear on Adult/Child. The later revised MIU mix came to exist after Adult/Child and is fairly different. Using the Adult/Child version probably would have been best. Also, if someone uses your A/C mix for their discography, it kind of presents an unnecessary redundancy in using the same version two albums in a row.

    The Made In California mix of "It's Over Now" is an alternate from '78. I believe (but am not certain) the Good Vibrations box set mix was the mix intended for the Adult/Child album, but at the wrong speed. A speed corrected version of that mix, if it is indeed the original mix, would have probably been better or at least more consistent with the other Adult/Child tracks here sourced from the Good Vibes box.

    Finally, I know you edited it for the Landlocked upload, but the Good Vibes box set edit and mix of "H.E.L.P" is also the Adult/Child version, meaning the edit was likely not supposed to appear on the Adult/Child album. "Games Two Can Play" is also the Adult/Child mix of the song, not the Landlocked mix. The edit may have made sense on the Landlocked reconstruction, but here, it may have not been necessary.

    Sorry if all this came off as an attack :\ the tracks you've fixed up sound really good, I just think these few things, particularly the "Tomboy" issue, are worth bringing up. Thanks!

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  3. Thank you very much. I probably know the least about this phase of the Beach Boys. Much appreciated.

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  4. Hey guys, thanks for the positive comments, that's really cool. Smiley

    I understand what you guys are saying about Tomboy, because that's the overwhelming opinion on the track I found while researching this. So I'm not surprised at all. But unfortunately, I stand by my decision to to choose the MIU version over the orignal A/C version, because I simply like the MIU version better, and to me, the more polished overdubs suited the song better and improved it. I also thought the It's Over Now from MiC sounded cleaner than the GV version, hence my choice.

    But with that said--and I don't usually do this at all is I usually go by an "It is what it is" ethos on my blog--here is something you guys might enjoy, two "bonus tracks" for this reconstruction:
    - Hey Little Tomboy (original A/C mix, soniclovenoize remaster)
    - It's Over Now (original GV version, tape speed corrected)

    So if you prefer these two versions, simply replace them with the ones I chose on my reconstruction. They are of the same volume and have the same amount of track-silence/leader time afterwards, so they should fit seamlessly in with the rest of the tracks.

    http://www51.zippyshare.com/v/83387241/file.html
    Both flac and mp3 are included. Mp3s are tagged as tracks 13 and 14, so if you are going to swap them for the other versions, be sure to change the track number.

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    Replies
    1. I know this post is older, but the link has expired, is it possible to reup these tracks? it'd be very much appreciated if possible!

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    2. I'd love for these tracks to be re-uploaded too??

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    3. Thank's a bunch for the original post! But as others said above it would be lovely to have these other files as well :)

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  5. dude, I love your blog, your concept, your work, your drive but enough...enough of the beach boys!!! There is that 70-80s punk rock song about killing the beegees, all of them, can you do a reconstruction and make that happen with the beach boys!!!

    sorry, more a me problem, than a you problem, your doing great and thank your for your effort, but I would like to see that reconstruction, it's all right with me if you let dennis live, I know he's already dead, but as long as he promises, no more harmonies we wont tell


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    Replies
    1. Haha Sorry, it was a specific request for these. This is not suppsoed to be a Beach Boys-exclusive site! ;)

      btw next we have Nirvana, The Velvet Underground, The Doors and Van Morrison.

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    2. Don't listen to a BB hater. I listened to your mix and it's great. I bet a bunch of people who haven't commented feel the same way. Thanks for the good work!
      Fun is in, it's no sin!

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  6. Hahaha, maybe not a specific Beach Boys site, but more of them would be welcome. Thanks again for this recent run.

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  7. Another outstanding collection. Some of this I had not heard. Your mix really works together well.
    Next stop.... 'Holland Revisited'...please!

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  8. Is there any way you can upload an album of the demos from these/the Love You sessions (Brian on piano solo) as a collection in FLAC? I would die for a good compilation of those sessions, because they are so much more pure than the studio recordings.

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  9. You did a great job on this one. It sounds great and the flow is perfect. Much better than the bootlegs i've heard. Thanks

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  10. This article is efficient. Thank you for sharing it with us. I am visiting this blog on a daily basis and I am finding so much helpful article each time. Keep working on this and thank you once again. xnxx

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  11. Is it possible to post this as a full album on souundcloud? Thanks

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  12. I downloaded it...This CD sounds great ! Thanks so much for uploading this....I really enjoyed it.

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  13. I downloaded it...This CD sounds great ! Thanks so much for uploading this....I really enjoyed it.

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  14. This here is for you Beach Boys fans, but mostly to you SLN: http://www.demonoid.pw/files/details/3403776/28713084/

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  15. Hi, do you happen to have unedited lossless rips of that Adult Child bootleg? This is a great mix of it but I'm interested in the original source files for my own purposes and can't seem to get my hands on them. Thanks!

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  16. What about "Merry Christmas from The Beach Boys" and "California Feeling"?

    ReplyDelete