Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tandyn Almer (1942--2013)

Almer -- who died at his D.C. home on January 8 (as reported in yesterday's Washington Post) -- is probably most famous for writing The Association's "Along Comes Mary," but he also co-wrote (with Brian Wilson, of course) these two, among the best things the Beach Boys did, not just in the 70s but, frankly, ever. And frankly he deserves to be immortal for both of them.

"Marcella" (from Carl and the Passions, 1970)

"Sail on Sailor" (from Holland, 1973)

Incidentally, I'd always assumed that the Association played the instruments on their records, but at least in the case of "Mary," apparently not.

Here's the actual instrumental track in mono (from a recent deluxe reissue of the band's first album).

According to the liner notes, the players are:

Mike Deasy, Lee Mallory, Ben Benay - guitars
Jerry Scheff - bass
Jim Troxel - drums, percussion ?
Toxey French - drums, percussion ?
Butch Parker - keyboards ?
Mike Henderson - keyboards ?
Terry Kirkman - possibly recorder

A great production, obviously, but for those of you keeping score, the only member of the Association on that list is Terry Kirkman.


buzzbabyjesus said...

No argument here. Those are a couple of the Beach Boys finest, from what do you call it? Late middle period? Post "SMiLE" retreat? Pre-"Kokomo"?

steve simels said...

Middle to late middle sounds right to me. Holland was pretty much the end of them as a creative force.

Anonymous said...

To hear the backing track to 'Along Comes Mary' is pretty amazing.

I love hearing backing tracks! More, more, more!

I agree about the B. Boys, these tracks were the last great ones. 'Sail on Sailor' was my theme song for many weeks on the show back in the early days. What else do you know Tandyn Almer?

Allan Rosenberg

Alzo said...

Wait, what? I thought the Association were a bunch of session cats... and THEY bring in ringers?!

Bill Sammon said...

Thanks for posting that backing track, Steve. It's great to hear exactly what was going on behind those great vocals. The Association has long been a guilty favorite of mine.

steve simels said...

I was puzzled by that too.

steve simels said...

The session guys thing, I mean.

FD13NYC said...

Doesn't really matter who was playing, the vocals were impeccable. Listen to Everything That Touches You, outstanding, one of my faves.

Shriner said...

And who doesn't love "Never My Love?" It should be a mixtape standard at this point!

Anonymous said...

Guilty favorite? Please grow up.

You like it or don't (the guilty part? "My cool friends will think I'm square!).

When the vocals start overlapping in "Every Thing That Touches You" I get goose bumps every time.

Anonymous said...

they played their instruments just fine on the song at the Monterey Pop Festival, along with highlarious intro.

Dave said...

The Association all played instruments when I saw them live in the mid-60s. But it wasn't uncommon for "real" bands to use session musicians (e.g., Beach Boys, Byrds) on records.

JT said...

I love the two clams on the Association track. They left them in cuz it was a great take!