Beach Boys Sail On Sailor with Carl Wilson lead!!

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Joel1963, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    I literally went decades thinking Carl Wilson sang the lead vocal on "Sail On, Sailor".
    Does that make me a bad person?
    S. P. Honeybunch likes this.
  2. As someone who was involved with Smiley Smile, Sunflower, Surf's Up and parts of 20/20 (not to mention countless other tracks recorded during this productive period), which all contain recycled elements from the SMiLE project, I can't believe Mr. Desper feels the need to play down this album's existence. The fact it was possible to assemble a near-complete version along with several discs of outtakes - both officially and for decades previously on countless bootlegs - suggests that it's always been very much something of considerable substance, and that's without factoring in the extensive promotional work done back when it was still active. I'm just (and only just) about willing to let him off the hook because of his contributions to not only the history of The Beach Boys, but for helping advance recording technology via his groundbreaking work as an engineer, which including the patented Spatializer device and predicting the growth in demand for surround with audiophiles. Like so many within that particular inner circle, it's a massive shame he appears to be so jaded by the experience... For one, did he really have to use his latest video as an opportunity to chime in on Brian's well-documented problems of the late '60s and early '70s instead of simply concentrating on the revelatory musical content often being presented?
  3. KirkK

    KirkK Forum Resident

    Yokohama, Japan
    Absolutely not! But if you decide to adamantly defend your mistake as the absolute truth... well, you're still not a bad person, you're just ignoring objective reality (or possibly have undiagnosed mental problems?)

    I had no idea this was something Mr. Desper has done regularly until I waded into this quagmire. And honestly, I feel bad for the guy. I will forever be dumbfounded that I was spending time trying to tell the guy who recorded some of my favorite Beach Boys albums that he isn't as good at identifying their voices as he seems to think, among other things.

    But the fans that are part of this placebo effect on steroids, questioning that Blondie Chaplin is the lead singer on the officially released Holland version of Sail On Sailor, it drives me up the wall and reminds me why I have largely been absent from online Beach Boys fandom for many years. Should've stuck to this board :)
    Louise Boat and Rick Bartlett like this.
  4. JayDeeEss

    JayDeeEss Forum Resident

    Chattanooga, TN
    It's an odd and unfortunate personality quirk that you see a lot with the old hands who want to play authority on the internet. The nasty passive-aggressiveness that he takes with people who (gently, obsequiously) correct him on basic matters of fact and try to give him a graceful out keep me from being too sympathetic for him.
  5. Joel1963

    Joel1963 Senior Member Thread Starter

    As the OP, I feel horrible about this. And, while risking some flaming, I'm proclaiming that I believe Desper-he was there. That's just my opinion.
  6. gd0

    gd0 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies

    Golden Gate
    ****! :realmad:

    I'd been waiting a long time to hear the Surf's Up material.

    I honestly wouldn't know how to address discrepancies; I've been willing to just shrug it off and enjoy the incredibly rich content on the Study Videos.

    I only posted here to alert those who were unaware of SWD's efforts that this is a treasure trove. This is where you can hear how Sunflower was supposed to sound, and in its entirety. Presumably Surf's Up was to get the same treatment. There are also SWD's sonic enhancements on key individual tracks such as Cabinessence. All of these are stunning.

    There is also a string of re-tweaked early hit singles, but with considerably less impressive results, imo.

    It's unfortunate SWD was not consulted for recent hi-res reissues of Sunflower and SU. Once you hear the original intent, the official releases will always seem like ugly stepchildren.

    I'd recommend visiting before it goes away altogether.
    oldsurferdude likes this.
  7. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    Still plenty of time. It's likely to be a digital only release like earlier ones, so it doesn't really need to be announced more than a week or so ahead of time. I think the 1967 set was an outlier happening during the summer, but was also a more mainstream release due to the stereo mix of Wild Honey. previous sets came out in November/December and weren't announced that far ahead of time, so I wouldn't expect to hear anything about a 1968 project for at least another month or so.
    KirkK likes this.
  8. PhoffiFozz

    PhoffiFozz Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, 60173
    Yes, I just want to listen to it and it's gone! :( I wonder if anyone downloaded it. It's not even that I care who sang "Sail On Sailor", I just want to listen to it for all it's content as I listened to all the other study videos!
    oldsurferdude likes this.
  9. rob68

    rob68 now you know my story...i have Nothing To Hide

    Listened to it a few nights ago.

    I'm much more a casual fan than Beach Boys obsessive, but could tell that it definitely was NOT Carl.
  10. Joel1963

    Joel1963 Senior Member Thread Starter

    I can indeed attest that the matrix version of the Surf's Up album as mixed by Steve is quite stunning.:cry:
    oldsurferdude and gd0 like this.
  11. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member

    Frankfurt, Germany
    Unfortunately I didn't get to heat Desper's video before he pulled it. The lead vocal of the released version is to my ears Blondie, and definitely not Carl (who can be heard in the second verse answering the lead vocals).
  12. Javed Jafri

    Javed Jafri Forum Resident

    I do not believe you could download the content and to record it would be against the guidelines set. A shame that it has been removed. Here's hoping for it's return. I was so caught up in the "who sang it" controversy that I only listened to SOS and was planning to go back for the rest.
  13. MaestroDavros

    MaestroDavros Forum Resident

    D.C. Metro Area
    I often see people express regret on how the big figures who were there and decide to post on forums get "chased away" by "trolls". There is some truth to that, but what I observe with a far greater frequency is that the engineers/producers/etc. do it to themselves. They are simply unable to hold a debate, because they are always right and the fans are always wrong. And rather than try to understand why people hold a certain viewpoint they either start talking laws and morality or accuse people of being ignorant because they weren't there. Often because they refuse to ask questions to know experts off the forums to clarify facts, and instead take it out on posters publicly.

    Is it because they're getting on in years? Is it because it's been years since someone told them "no"? Is it because they made dumb decisions in their life that they regret and take that anger out on relatively anonymous individuals who disagree with them? I can't truly say, but I see elements of all 3 in many famous people who post online, not just Mr. Desper.

    I guess there is some truth in the saying "never meet your heroes".

    (I'd like to add that this observation does not apply to every famous individual; there are some absolutely lovely celebrities online, a couple whom I've interacted with both directly or indirectly and they were wonderful.)
    Louise Boat, Silken, dumangl and 6 others like this.
  14. Although I've seen my fair share of this happening (wasn't Ken Scott one such example?), there is one recent example where a highly respected and reputable insider surprised me by participating in a thread that I've been extensively involved with for literally years. I'd previously spoken to this person via e-mail, but it was a real shock to suddenly have them providing truly revelatory information through an open forum, only to just as quickly disappear once their anonymity was compromised - don't expect me to name anyone without their consent, and I'll admit that I very nearly joined them in keeping away for good following this particular incident. I can only hope they'll yet reconsider...
  15. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I love Carl......both brothers were amazing. Brian had the best falsetto in the business at the time...Carl's voice was Angelic...
    Al Smith likes this.
  16. Wata

    Wata Poller

    Actually, and surprisingly, Desper permits us to download these study videos for personal use, and even put a link for a site that instructs how to download videos. It's not as an substitute for purchase, but as an addition to CD's/records we already have. So it's very likely someone still has the video in their computer, but of course, none of them is allowed to share it.
  17. Stephen W. Desper

    Stephen W. Desper Forum Resident

    Florida, USA
    COMMENT to friends:

    There seems to be some mis-information being posted about my book (part two) that I hope to correct with the following details:

    Today I find myself thrust into a speculative scandal, created by a few Beach Boy fans and fuelled by today’s adversarial atmosphere.

    It all started with the release of RECORDING THE BEACH BOYS part two, last week. Since then, all effort from 1998 of collecting my engineering techniques used on this album and other memories from those times has all fallen into the shadows, replaced by a spotlight focused on one bonus track at the end of the book.

    That track in question comes from a cassette I made in late 1971 in Brian’s House Studio. I was chief engineer when I gathered some multi-track tapes (of songs in production at the time) I wished to mix in a cappella. I mixed the vocals directly to a high-end cassette for my own enjoyment. All the songs listed on the cassette were released around 1971, except Sail On, Sailor (SOS), which was released in ‘73.

    In all innocence and without any intention of causing confrontation, I thought the fans would like to hear SOS with Carl singing the lead. Since I had an a cappella mix of SOS on this cassette, from a 1971 mix I did myself, using a vocal track I recorded myself, I decided to put the track into my book and labeled it for what it was, Carl’s lead for SOS.

    I’ve had the cassette since I closed the House Studio of Brian’s in late ’71. I'm looking at this cassette right now. The song list is by my hand, but the handwriting on the holder’s spine and the cassette itself is by an assistant, whose handwriting I recognize (it's rather distinct). He spells A Capella with one “p” and a capital “A.” No big deal except that he moved to Mexico in 1971, died soon thereafter, so that confirms the date of the cassette for me.

    Some years ago I loaned this cassette to Brother Records, Inc. (BRI) who copied a few of the a cappella tracks for release on a Beach Boy Box Set. Nothing was said about SOS when they returned the cassette.

    I digitized the cassette track and it was edited into the book. After one day on the Internet, all hell broke loose. All of a sudden I was defending my ability to identify Blondie from Carl. To prove it was Blondie some inquiring and cleaver fans had taken the a cappello mix to a place I never envisioned. Using a computer they compared the a cappella version with the released version and found that they were in sync – or the same track – proving my track was mislabeled and the singer was mis-identified.

    My understanding from looking at interviews is that Blondie and Rickie and the Beach Boys all say that after returning from Holland, SOS or at least Blondie’s lead, was recorded at Village Recorders around ‘73. The dates they say it was recorded were after I closed the House Studio. The cassette in my hand was in my possession before it is said SOS was recorded. So how could that be?

    I found a reference to Brian's Bedroom tapes on the Internet. The reference says that five fans heard a demo of SOS with Carl in the '70s, but now the tape has disappeared. So can't be substantiated.

    There is evidently no record of the house studio 70’-’71 version of SOS with Carl singing lead, that is, no ruff mixes were made, except for the one I have. It seems the official recording of SOS began in ‘73.

    In an interview Blondie said that Carl tried the lead, but thought Blondie could do better so let him record it. It is written as montage -- as if this happened over a few minutes time. That may be a writer’s license, but back in the real world I know for a fact that in early ‘71 Carl's lead was kept on the song's multi-track for months and was there when I left the BB organization in late '71. That is around the time I made the cassette. And that is why I still contend it is Carl singing.

    I'm not trying to argue with anyone over this. I have no doubt that Blondie is singing on the album release, but I also have no doubt that Carl is singing on my cassette. I’ve heard them both sing SOS live. Both nailed it. Blondie is fabulous in concert. What puzzles me is that the dates don't match yet the tracks do. It would not be possible for me to have this recording if SOS had been recorded at Village Studios in 72-3. I was long-gone by then.

    What we have here is a visit to the Twilight Zone. Another Rock & Roll mystery that until understood, will always be an enigma. Mysteries are fun.

    I intend to listen and enjoy Sail On, Sailor just as I always have. I have memories of both men singing SOS that I can attach to what I hear.

    I have suspended the publication of my book until further notice so I can make it more about recording technique and less about recording timelines. But when the book eventually is made available, I hope each of you will avail yourselves of a perusal. Thanks for reading this.

    Good Listening ~ Stephen W. Desper

    P.S. Contrary to the opinion of some folks, I can tell the difference between each Beach Boy’s vocal signature, between a violin and a viola, a standup bass and a bass guitar. That’s what 20,000 hours of time in the studio with them and mixing 1000’s of concerts of them will do for the ability to recognize voices. At 76 I can still hear 10k and walk my Dalmatian two miles a day. My health is good and I’m currently designing a unique piece of studio gear. I intend to bring it to market soon -- it will blow people’s minds.
  18. Here's a fascinating video that may interest fans of Mr. Desper's engineering work...

    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
    longaway, theMess, KaptKopter and 2 others like this.
  19. ...and another from the same period:

    I'd sure love to know more about these!
  20. LeeDempsey

    LeeDempsey Forum Resident

    North Carolina
    Hi Stephen -

    Are you by chance familiar with this website?:

    Fascinating site; it allows you to photo-date all major brands of compact cassette tapes to their era — and sometimes specific year — of manufacture. It’s been invaluable to me in trying to date the hundreds of cassette tapes that I’ve amassed over the past 40 years. For example, I had a TDK SA90 High Bias cassette of Beach Boys outtakes that I was trying to date, and with the help of this site, I was able to determine that the tape was from 1997 or later, because TDK changed their nomenclature from “High Position” to “High Bias” in 1997.

  21. Joel1963

    Joel1963 Senior Member Thread Starter

    As the OP of this thread, I started it because I believed you were right, and I still do.
    oldsurferdude likes this.
  22. pdenny

    pdenny 18-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    Hawthorne CA
    Get the AP SACD and you can hear it for yourself. Or maybe not.
  23. varispeed

    varispeed what if?

    Los Angeles Ca
    I still like that door knock thing you did a year or two ago. Really cool 3d. I hope you put everything back up as I didn't visit your site until after the block.

    As far as I'm concerned, when it comes to the internet, you almost have to ignore everyone everywhere all the time after you put something out there into the world. Otherwise, people can drive you bonkers.
    oldsurferdude likes this.
  24. MaestroDavros

    MaestroDavros Forum Resident

    D.C. Metro Area
    Mr. Desper,

    Thank you for your post. While I still don't think we'll fully see eye to eye on the "who sang on the cassette" issue, I still greatly admire all you've done over the years in advancing the state of the art in stereo playback, and I've long been intrigued by your upcoming studio gear that you first mentioned on Smiley Smile a few years ago. Hope all goes well and is well, and I'm excited to see what you have in store for the audio community at large come to fruition!
  25. Andreas

    Andreas Senior Member

    Frankfurt, Germany
    So is the video with the cassette demo available for us to hear? The video called "RECORDING THE BEACH BOYS - part two" on then "Stephen W. Desper Study Videos" site appears to be suspended

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