The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

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PFOLGORE
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The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by PFOLGORE » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:34 pm

Glen's diminished role after their break through Album is well documented. I think it is accepted that he did not play at all on BDB and MOL. What has not but mentioned is Michael Bruce's declining role and to a lessor extent the other band members. During the productions of BDB and MOL there were probably more studio musicians working on the albums than actual band members. On BDB they had three hired guitars Steve Hunter, Dick Wagner, Mick Mashbir and Reggie Vinson and Marc Bolan may have also played guitar on the album. The only person who would know who did what is Bob Ezrin. Just because someone records something does not mean it will make to the final product. With all that guitar talent I do not see much of a role for either Glen or Michael in the studio.

I would say that BDB gave the management and Bob Ezrin the full confidence to go solo. Similar to Brian Wilson, who brought in the wreaking crew to record Pet Sounds, while the rest of the Beach Boys went off and toured, Bob Ezrin did something similar on BDBs. Michael and Neil to a lesser extend could see that they were losing influence and participating less on the Albums and this came to a head on the Muscle of Love album. You notice the Alice, managed to stay out of the fray and not take sides. At this point it was too late. Then bands abilities was not in sync with Bob Ezrin's vision of what he wanted to do musically. With BDB musically the Alice Cooper group became Bob Ezrin's band.

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Re: The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by Si » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:24 pm

>and Marc Bolan may have also played guitar on the album

He didn't. As far as I know no one who was actually there has claimed he does. He WAS in the studio for the famous jam, but nothing from that was usable.
I think that if Bolan WAS on the album, far more would be made of it including a credit. I mean, why not use the publicity of that to help sell records?

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Re: The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by pitkin88 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:13 am

Apart from one song, I Love The Dead, neither Hunter or Wagner wrote any songs for Alice Cooper. We also do know pretty much what songs they played on. Billion Dollar Babies was actually started by Glen and RR although RR gets a writing credit but Glen doesnt. Glen plays spoons on Generation Landslide. Put your headphones on and listen. It's really good too.

Hunter and Wagner were pretty much brought in to play solos. Neither of them have claimed any different. Mick was a friend of the band from way back so that made perfect sense due to Glens health and his issues with Ezrin. Michael was as involved as much as before as Im sure was Dennis and Neal. I believe Mr Barlow tried to argue something along the same lines but started with My Stars. If, as you claim, BDBs gave Shep the impetus to take Alice solo it had zero to do with Hunter and Wagner. Neither of them had written anything like a bit at that point.

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Re: The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by pitkin88 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:15 am

Like a hit at that point. ( damn word corrector ).

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Re: The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by padre_sliprat » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:17 am

I'm sure there'll will be those who disagree, but I hear a lot of Allen Schwartzberg on MOL. Also, Working Up A Sweat features finger-style bass guitar. It's incredibly Motown-ish and doesn't sound at all like DD, stylistically or tone-wise. Check the difference of that song's bass guitar against the song MOL, which is definitely Dennis, and you'll hear what I mean.
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Re: The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by pitkin88 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:50 am

You could always ask Dennis on FB. He did have some help in the style for Crazy Little Child which you can read about on the albums section here. Neal responded to the Shwartzberg allegations when I messaged him. If Douglas didn't like Neals drumming why did he go on to produce Platinum God?

For years everyone thought it was Alice in harmonica on Working Up A Sweat when it was in fact Stanley Behrens.

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Re: The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by PFOLGORE » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:25 am

pitkin88 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:50 am
You could always ask Dennis on FB. He did have some help in the style for Crazy Little Child which you can read about on the albums section here. Neal responded to the Shwartzberg allegations when I messaged him. If Douglas didn't like Neals drumming why did he go on to produce Platinum God?

For years everyone thought it was Alice in harmonica on Working Up A Sweat when it was in fact Stanley Behrens.
Neal gave a long response but did not categorically state that her played on all songs on MOL. Read his response carefully and he never gives a direct response. I am not trying to take anything away from him. Just his intro in to BDB makes him one of the greats. I just believe Bob Ezrin pushed the band in directions outside of their element. Crazy Little Child, Blue Turk, Gran Finale to name a few. I you listen to the first three album (PFY, EA, and Love it to Death) you get a pretty good feel for their organic abilities. Love it to Death is my favorite Album, so I am not knocking their talent. I think they became too big to fail and Bob Ezrin had to mitigate risk by taking more control of the the product and bringing in more outside people. Without Bob's intervention I don't think the sound of the band would have evolved enough to stay viable in the late seventies and definitely not the 80s.

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Re: The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by pitkin88 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:44 am

I 'm not sure Neal had to. I took it as he thought it was just nonsense. I don't think Bob worked on Crazy Little Child so he didn't push them there. Do you really believe the band with Alice and no Ezrin would have been done? I really doubt it. They would have found another producer. You could argue Ezrin ruined solo Alice Cooper. The dangerous edge was gone for good. Only WTMN was on the same level as LITD through BDBs. GTH was a bunch of stale leftovers with disco and Showtunes and Lace and Whiskey was an abomination containing the worst stuff he ever recorded. Da Da was a complete flop and Alice said goodbye to " Ezrins Band " for a long time. Id have preferred to take my chances with the original line up plus a new guitarist.

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Re: The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by Railwayman » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:32 am

pitkin88 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:44 am
Id have preferred to take my chances with the original line up plus a new guitarist.
This is an option I have often deliberated over. But who?. With Dick Wagner they might have added not only an excellent guitarist but also another contributor to the songwriting effort. Not sure though if internal relations and some objectives had rendered this impossible. Interesting idea though.

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Re: The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by Maaki » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:25 pm

EDIT: Sorry for the wall of text. TL;DR Musicians came and went in studios and more often than not were not credited at all at the time. It was completely normal and business as usual.

You can look at other bands with less divisive history and thus less divided fan base and see how Ezrin worked. I think he might still work a bit that way judging by who ended playing on Paranormal - or it might be all Alice. Most likely some of both.

Back to more relevant times regarding this discussion, on Get your wings for example Joe Perry has said that Ezrin's part was mostly limited to suggesting outside musicians to use, to make the album sound better. Kiss is just short of science on who actually played what on what on Ezrin produced albums. Sometimes I have thought that nobody knows and there are some recollections here and there, but hell - who knows. These guys weren't credited. They were paid in cash and left. With Kiss it was of course different in the way that they were terrible compared to Alice Cooper as musicians.

But the most important point I have is that, it was the way of the world - Quincy Jones allegedly got so tired of Ringo's inadequate drumming that he had a "cat" come in and record the part while Ringo was out taking a walk. Later on Ringo had wondered to him that it doesn't sound that bad.. :) Not sure if that is true, it might be more of Paul being the worst bass player he ever heard.

However, again as a mindset - at the time it was completely normal for producers to get people play parts, give them some money and use that part or some other or get another guy come in and play that again. There was the rather sad moment between Hunter and Wagner a few years ago, when the guys genuinely thought their solo was the one on the record and feelings were genuinely hurt. I think there is thread about it here somewhere but I'd rather not read it as it really was a sad episode between two great men and as far as I remember they settled it and all was well in the end.

So true or not, it doesn't necessarily mean anything in the grand scheme of things and what happened to the band and how Alice went on to start his solo career. If true, it might just mean that Ezrin did how he did things with Alice Cooper as well as with other bands he produced at the time.

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Re: The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by pitkin88 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:16 pm

Railwayman wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:32 am
pitkin88 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:44 am
Id have preferred to take my chances with the original line up plus a new guitarist.
This is an option I have often deliberated over. But who?. With Dick Wagner they might have added not only an excellent guitarist but also another contributor to the songwriting effort. Not sure though if internal relations and some objectives had rendered this impossible. Interesting idea though.
Mashbir would have been the obvious choice as the band already knew him through the tours and BDBs/MOL album. Michael Bruce did call his guitar solos on MOL " creamy " though.

Wagner would have been an interesting choice though Bruce felt he had zero stage presence.

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Re: The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by Railwayman » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:32 pm

pitkin88 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:16 pm

Wagner would have been an interesting choice though Bruce felt he had zero stage presence.
I remember that from Mike somewhere in the distant past. I suppose if Mashbir was an old mate of sorts the transition might have been less painful when replacing Glen.

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Re: The Beach Boy-i-fication of the the bad.

Post by pitkin88 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:45 pm

Mashbir and Bruce go back as far as 66 with The Wild Flowers.

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