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Larry Franz

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Hello everyone. This week's song is "Fantasy Is Reality / Bells of Madness".

 It was written by Rob Wasserman, Sam Phillips and Brian Wilson and released on Wasserman's album Trios. It's sung by Brian and Carnie Wilson, mainly Carnie.

Rob Wasserman was an American composer and bass player. He had a long career but is best known for three albums: Solo, which features his solo bass playing and was Down Beat Magazine's Record of the Year for 1983; Duets (1988); and Trios (1994). 

Sam Phillips, the song's other co-author, isn't the Sam Phillips who founded Sun Records and launched Elvis Presley's career. She is a singer/songwriter who has released ten albums and is still active.

The brief review on AllMusic.com says "Fantasy Is Reality / Bells of Madness" is the best thing on Trios.

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Larry - This is the first time I've heard Fantasy is Reality/Bells of Madness all the way through.  Very nice.  Carnie's voice is good for this song.  
Brian sure was a busy guy in the '90s.  Reconnecting with Carnie/Wendy, connecting with so many others (Andy Paley, Don Was, The Wondermints).  Such enthusiasm in his voice.

Thanks for sharing.

-Doug

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John B

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Reply with quote  #3 
great song, Larry, thanks!   not to be mean, but Carney sings much better than Nancy Sinatra.  This might be the closest Carney's voice was ever paired to a Pet Sounds setting.  Love it!  One of Carney's very best vocals. 

I don't own this album, maybe I should.  I remember buying 'Duets' which featured great songs such as 'The Moon is Made of Gold' by Rickey Lee Jones, in her prime, near 'The Horses' album, and maybe the best version of 'Stardust' I ever hear, performed by Rob on bass with Aaron Neville singing.  oh, and Lou Reed does an uptempto version of "One for My Baby (and one for the road)."   I played that album on this great car stereo I had at the time.  I was working at Mira Marr Sheraton, drive west on Wilshire until you can't any more.  I served Rickey Lee Jones and her toddler Charlotte near that time, as well as Levon Helm and Sophia Loren, lots of celebrities there, even a Kennedy.  It was a nice place to work.  We had once a year employee parties on the beach, including the night Mike Tyson knocked out Michael Spinks.
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MaryNYS

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi all,

An excellent song.  Carnie sings well!!!  It is just like one of the songs on Pet Sounds.  What talent!!!  It was wonderful that Brian and Carnie sang together.  
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Larry Franz

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John B -- You worked at the Sheraton Miramar in Santa Monica? One of my aunts was a waitress there in the 1950s or early 60s. That's when it was known as the Miramar Hotel. It later became the Miramar Sheraton Hotel, when you must have worked there. Now it's the Fairmont Miramar. There was a plan to demolish it in 2006. There is now a new plan to demolish it and build a new hotel. 

Speaking of Carnie singing in a Pet Sounds setting, she and Wendy released The Wilsons in 1997. According to the liner notes, Brian sang on three tracks. One was "'Til I Die". Another was "Miracle", which he co-wrote. Both are available on YouTube if you search for "Wilsons Til I Die" or "Wilsons Miracle".

But I think the best of the three is "Everything I Need", which happens to have been written by Brian and Tony Asher.

A demo with Brian singing lead.


The song from The Wilsons on which Brian doesn't sing lead. (Clearly, that isn't the Wilson sisters in the picture. Those are other Wilsons who also made an album.)
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John B

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Reply with quote  #6 
That's cool to know, Larry.  Would not surprise me if your aunt said the once a year employee beach party began in the 60's.  I'm glad they did not demolish it.  The bungalow section, near the pool, is where most celebs stayed.  We sometimes had secret service out there.

the 'Everything I Need' version I have, is from the 'Slightly American Music/The Lost Brian Wilson Andy Paley Tapes' bootleg, with both Carol and Hal playing, right?   this is the same version you have here, but either sped up a little for my CD or slowed down a little on your recording.
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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #7 
Never heard this. It's very pretty.

I'd suggest a bit more cowbell up to 3.30, but the chorus is just lovely.

Interesting to see you up here, Larry Franz. 

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Deb#1

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Quote:
It is just like one of the songs on Pet Sounds.

I had that thought, too, Mary.  It has some key Pet Sounds qualities: poignant, raw, sharp, yet disarming and endearing.  The Warmth of the Sun comes to mind as a song with similar qualities.  But Bells of Madness has lost the innocent of TWotS or Pet Sounds.  It’s from a much harsher perspective after a lot of brutal times.  Still, or maybe even more so because of that gravity, the song is an inspiration.  And Carnie’s vocal really tops it off.

I liked “Everything I Need”, too. Thanks, Larry. I’ve heard it before but not often.  Not often enough, really.


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Larry Franz

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bonnie -- Yes, I spend more time in the lower depths. It's good to get above ground every so often. [smile]

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Franz
bonnie -- Yes, I spend more time in the lower depths. It's good to get above ground every so often. [smile]

Larry - You, and Bonnie (and all), are so-welcomed 'up here'!  In fact, we need your spark.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb#1
...Bells of Madness has lost the innocent of TWotS or Pet Sounds.  It’s from a much harsher perspective after a lot of brutal times.  Still, or maybe even more so because of that gravity, the song is an inspiration. …
Deb - Exactly.  Some of the songs Brian wrote/co-wrote in the '90s fit in to a sort of battered mid-life Pet Sounds canvas.  The Paley Sessions are rich for that.

-Doug

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“Like a dream that's somehow linked to all the stars above." 🌟 🌟 
-Brian Wilson, 1976
                        

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