Hold On Brothers (Godfather Records GR713)
Carnegie Hall, New York, NY – November 23rd, 1972
(69:18): Carl & The Passions “So Tough / Pet Sounds” 1972 Radio Promo, Darlin’, Only With You, Heroes And Villains, Long Promised Road, Don’t Worry Baby, Student Demonstration Time, I Get Around, Marcella, California Saga – California, Help Me Rhonda, “Wonderbill” (Wonderful / Don’t Worry, Bill), God Only Knows. Good Vibrations From London TV Special – June 3rd, 1972: Do It Again, Wild Honey, Help Me Rhonda
By 1972 The Beach Boys were in, what the liner notes call, their “wilderness years” following the aborted SMiLE album. With Brian Wilson’s involvement with the band minimized, Mike Love and Carl Wilson assumed much greater control of the artistic direction of the band. So much so that their latest album was called Carl And The Passions “So Tough,” a reference to one of Carl’s early bands.
When they toured for the new album, they recorded several concerts for potential future use on a live album including both of the shows at Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey on November 19th were recorded as well as the two shows at Carnegie Hall, New York on the 23rd.
Hold On Brothers on Godfather presents two excellent documents from this strange year. The first, and longest, is a multitrack soundboard recording from the November 23rd Carnegie Hall show in New York. It was released several years ago on Carnegie Hall 1972 (Hang Ten 001) in the same excellent sound quality.
The release begins with a radio advertisement for the new album So Tough. It was their first album for Reprise Records, but was issued as part of a 2LP set with 1966’s Pet Sounds which they licensed from Columbia (such was their lack of faith in the new material).
The concert is an excellent record of the almost schizophrenic play of styles The Beach Boy were experimenting with at the time. They start off with the Motown inspired “Darlin’,” the mellow ballad “Only With You” and the classic “Heroes And Villains.” In the process, Love warns the audience to not shout out requests because the setlist has been established “for ten years.”
Other standouts include the blues rearrangement of “Help Me Rhonda,” the strange pairing of “Wonderful” and “Don’t Worry, Bill” (dubbed “Wonderbill” by Love), and as-yet-unreleased “California Saga / California” (it would be included on the 1973 LP Holland). “Marcella” from the new album is simply stunning and it’s a wonder why it was never a big. Carnegie Hall ends with a nice version of “God Only Knows.”
For a bonus, Godfather include the ten minute appearance on the BBC that June. This tape surfaced in 2010 and is a significant upgrade over what has been in circulation. The taper recorded an FM broadcast of this television show on a reel to reel. It is raw but very enjoyable. The highlight includes “Do It Again” and the blues arrangement of “Help Me Rhonda” (sounding even more wild than the Carnegie Hall performance later in the year).
Overall the sound quality is excellent and Hold On Brothers is a great (and rare) silver Beach Boys release.