Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLXX: One For The Boys

February 15th, 2019

Whether it was a deliberate tilt at the other Beach Boys or not, One For The Boys is a beautiful track on Brian Wilson’s first eponymous solo album, showcasing acapella harmonies that would make you think that Brian was still working with the other Boys. Clocking in at under two minutes, it is short and very, very sweet.

The Beach Boys “White” Album

February 10th, 2019

This post is a week later than the actually anniversary, but thanks to WordPress’s ability to change time, the posting date reflects the exact 50th anniversary of 20/20

This album can be seen as the Beach Boys’ White Album in that it has a wide variety of styles from the raucous rock of All I Want To Do to the gentle music box instrumental, The Nearest Faraway Place. It also shares a creepy Charles Manson connection in that it is almost certain that Manson had a hand in writing some of Dennis’s contributions to the album, in particular Never Learn Not o Love.

More significantly, this is the first Beach Boys’ album that is not dominated by Brian Wilson compositions. Brian’s lack of contribution is somewhat masked by the conclusion of two SMiLE pieces making their first vinyl release, Cabinessence and Our Prayer. Aside from that, Brian’s contributions are limited to the brilliant trilogy Do It Again, I Went To Sleep and Time To Get Alone, as well as producing the cover version of Cotton Fields. The rest of the band fill the breach, a feature of the 1969-71 period, and even more pronounced on the next album Sunflower, with Carl’s production of I Can Hear Music and Dennis’s Be With Me being most noteworthy. Bruce’s instrumental The Nearest Faraway Place is also particularly atmospheric and invokes a haven of peace in a chaotic era.

All in all, there is a sense of brilliant songs, but with a whole not quite being the sum of the parts, given the varying sources of the material.Regardless 20/20 is another very good album in a terribly underrated era of the band’s music.

A New Old Prefab Sprout Album

February 1st, 2019

Today marks only the tenth time since 1984 that Prefab Sprout have released a new studio album. Except this album is actually a re-release of Paddy McAloon’s acclaimed solo record, I Trawl The Megahertz, one of my favorite records of all time. Since Paddy McAloon has been the only member of the Sprouts in recent years, it is fitting that this great record is released under the better known band name. And this may not be the only Prefab record this year….

 

Everything But The Brian IX: Long Promised Road

January 26th, 2019

Our first real “Carl” entry in this series is one of his signature songs. Carl Wilson made his big composing debut on Surf’s Up Long Promised Road with two of his classic songs. Long Promised Road talks to persevering through life’s roadblocks, and making new starts. With it’s engaging melody and rocking guitar solo, it has elements of both classic Beach Boys and classic rock, and remains both inspirational and very good music.

On The Road 2019

January 20th, 2019

It would seem unlikely that Brian would spend anywhere as much time on the road as he has since 2016- when the 50th Pet Sounds anniversary tour started. But dates are gradually appearing, including some Pet Sounds shows taking place around the 53rd anniversary of the iconic record. Also included is a headline appearance at the BeachLife festival at Redondo Beach in May.

In the meantime, Al Jardine is doing some of his solo shows in January and February -and has promised Little Pad on ukulele!

Everything But The Brian VIII: Holy Man

January 14th, 2019

Queen are very much in focus now with the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, so here’s a track with a Queen connection, even if a bit indirectly. Apparently Brian May and Roger Taylor were admirers of Dennis Wilson, and were involved in a re-recording of Holy Man, an incomplete track from Pacific Ocean Blue. It was re-recorded with a Taylor Hawkins vocal on the Pacific Ocean Blue 2008 re-issue,but apparently there was another unreleased version featuring the two Queen members.

Holy Man certainly showcases Dennis’s ability to create an atmospheric pop song, and in a perfect world, he would be remembered as a great hitmaker in his own right (and would still be alive and making music). But even with limited opportunity, the well of great Dennis songs has been shown to be very deep, with this another brilliant example.

23 Songs For Today

January 8th, 2019

1) One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later) -Bob Dylan
2) Tangled Up In Blue -Bob Dylan
3) Series Of Dreams -Bob Dylan
4) Black Diamond Bay -Bob Dylan
5) Ballad of a Thin Man -Bob Dylan
6) Candy’s Room -Bruce Springsteen
7) Jackson Cage -Bruce Springsteen
8) Tonight She Comes -The Cars
9) I’m Not The One -The Cars
10) Cathy’s Clown -The Everly Brothers
11) All I Have To Do Is Dream -The Everly Brothers
12) What’s Happening Brother -Marvin Gaye
13) God Is Love -Marvin Gaye
14) Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) -Marvin Gaye
15) You Get What You Give -New Radicals
16) Aftermath -R.E.M.
17) Welcome To The Occupation -R.E.M.
18) It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) -R.E.M.
19) Wendell Gee -R.E.M.
20) Harborcoat -R.E.M.
21) Why Don’t You Write Me -Simon & Garfunkel
22) Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall -Simon & Garfunkel
23) Right Now -Stephen Stills

Three Sad Losses

January 3rd, 2019

It’s only the third day of the year, but the music world has already had three sad losses – Daryl Dragon, Pegi Young and Dean Ford have all passes away in the last few days. Daryl Dragon is best known as part of the Captain And Tennille but was part of the touring Beach Boys band for a while, and co-wrote Cuddle Up. Pegi Young was married to Neil Young for 36 years, while Dean Ford was the lead singer of Marmalade.

Old Year And New Year

January 1st, 2019

Happy new year to all blog readers – a time to reflect on the year past and year ahead! Musically, 2018 was a good year -new albums by Kacey Musgraves, Paul Weller  and The Last Detail  come to mind, but there were many others. We also saw archival releases from the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the late Christmas Beach Boys surprise.

What does 2019 have in store? It feels like Brian Wilson’s touring is coming to an end, but there are a few 2019 dates.  We may see some new studio music from Brian, or at least some recording. It’s the 50th anniversary of 20/20 and Abbey Road – while we’ve already had the 20/20 studio sessions, we would still expect some archival music from both the Beatles and Beach Boys -with the 1969 Beach Boys release likely to relate to recording of Sunflower.

In terms of other music, long awaited new music from Prefab Sprout and A Girl Called Eddy seems to be on the cards -and no doubt there will be some great new unexpected music. So here’s to a great year -musically and otherwise.

23 Songs For Today

December 27th, 2018

1.Donna and Blitzen -Badly Drawn Boy
2. You Were Right -Badly Drawn Boy
3. Happiness Is A Warm Gun -The Beatles
4. Blackbird -The Beatles
5. Hey Bulldog- The Beatles
6. Junk – The Beatles
7. Child of Nature  -The Beatles
8. Munich -Editors
9. Who Do You Want For Your Love? -Icicle Works
10.Oh My Love -John Lennon
11. Places -The Last Detail
12. Photographs -The Last Detail
13. Despite Repeated Warnings -Paul McCartney
14. The Back Seat Of My Car -Paul McCartney
15. Bluebird -Paul McCartney & Wings
16. Mayfly -Paul Weller
17. What Would He Say? -Paul Weller
18. Aspects -Paul Weller
19. Books -Paul Weller
20. May Love Travel With You -Paul Weller
21. A World Without Love -Peter & Gordon
22. I Just Wanna Hold Your Hand (On Christmas Day) -The Yearning
23. Airplane (Fly Me To Mexico) -The Yearning