Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLIX: Ride The Wild Surf

March 17th, 2018

In our 158 “hidden beauties”, we have only covered one of the songs that Brian co-wrote with Jan Berry, and which only appear on Jan And Dean albums. That number moves up to two, with our 159th entry. Surf City is the best known of these collaborations, but possibly the one song that captures the exhilaration and excitement of riding the waves is Ride The Wild Surf, also featured in the movie of the same name.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLVIII: One Kind Of Love

March 11th, 2018

The “new” song for the Love And Mercy movie had already been released on the No Pier Pressure album – although as a late addition as it mentioned in the original publicity for the album. Nominated for a Golden Globe, and retained during Brian’s “Pet Sounds 50” tours, it has got some reasonable publicity – which is deserved for a gentle and meaningful love song focusing on the importance of unconditional love.

A Solo Artist

March 8th, 2018

52 years and one day ago, the first record with a Brian Wilson solo credit came out. With Caroline No as the feature signal, and Summer Means New Love as the flipside, it is surely one of the greatest single releases ever. Of course, the solo credit was an anomaly for a singer who was very much part of the Beach Boys at stage. It took another 30 years before Brian marked his debut as predominantly a solo artist with another single –Let’s Go To Heaven In My Car.

Another 10 years later was another milestone -Brian’s first solo show, filmed for the Imagination DVD. That show was a one-off, but from the following year, Brian was officially on tour, and this year, will mark his 20th successive year on the road. Brian Wilson will always be a Beach Boy, but has now spent more than half his musical career doing predominantly solo music, and a fair portion of that as a touring artist.

2018 On The Road

March 4th, 2018

Brian Wilson’s 2018 tour is being fleshes out a bit more, with 14 dates now confirmed.  However, it isn’t all Pet Sounds 50th anniversary (in it’s 52nd year); three of the dates are designated Greatest Hits Live. Looks like it will be a quieter year, but Brian will still take his music for the 20th year in succession on the road.

23 Songs For Today

February 27th, 2018

1) BRIGHT EYES (Art Garfunkel)
2) NO FAIR AT ALL (Association)
4) RAIN (Beatles)
9) BROTHERS IN ARMS (Dire Straits)
10) BUILD (Housemartins)
12) DON’T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA (Julie Covington)
15) NEVER’S END (Lloyd Cole And The Commotions)
16) HEART OF GOLD (Neil Young)
17) TECHNIQUE (Prefab Sprout)
20) A LOVE SO BEAUTIFUL (Roy Orbison)
22) I WON’T SHARE YOU (Smiths)
23) ONE (U2)

Happy 75, George

February 25th, 2018

Happy 75th birthday to my favorite Beatle, George Harrison. He hasn’t been with us for some time, but he speaks to us clearly in 2018 in this, one of his greatest songs

“Watch out now, take care
Beware of greedy leaders
They take you where you should not go”


My favorite musicians: #1

February 21st, 2018

This being a Brian Wilson blog, it shouldn’t come as the biggest surprise in the world that the Beach Boys are my #1 musical act. And while I rate Brian Wilson as the single greatest musician of recent times, this post also acknowledges the contribution of Dennis, Carl, Al and even Mike -not to mention Bruce, David, Blondie and Ricky -who all helped keep Brian’s music alive on the charts and on the stage, as well adding their own songs and musicanship to the mix.

In making both the most critically acclaimed album ever (Pet Sounds) as well as the most legendary unreleased album (SMiLE) , the Beach Boys moved well past the early surf and turf days to become leaders in making pop and rock meaningful. While the turmoil of 1967 pulled them away from the top of the charts, they continued to make meaningful music as a group, right up until the 2012 reunion album. In addition, there is the extensive solo canon of Brian, the underrated but powerful music of Dennis, and some wonderful solo songs from Carl. Add to this the productions of Brian for outside artists and one has a huge legacy of wonderful music linked to the Beach Boys.

My favorite musicians: #2

February 18th, 2018

You’ve probably heard of the Beatles. You probably like them a lot, unless you are one of the very perverse people who say they are overrated. A group that split up almost fifty years ago, and effectively had seven years of record-making still manages to influence, make headlines (e.g. Quincy Jones) and get their music played over the world.

The strength of the Beatles was having three strong and often complementary songwriters, a great drummer and a lot of personality. The great music didn’t end in 1970 either -all four Beatles had their solo moments and All Things Must Pass,  in particular shows how creative George had become in the later Beatles years. So for fifty-plus years of history and great music, the Beatles are my #2.

My favorite musicians: #3

February 11th, 2018

There may be some contrast from my #4 to my #3, but like Dylan, Burt Bacharach is an American icon who has transcended many eras and changes in musical taste. As someone who has written songs covered by both my #1 and #2 (who you may have guessed by now), Bacharach is best-known as a writer of soaring, emotional melodies. Walk On By, Don’t Make Me Over, The Look Of Love, I Say A Little Prayer For You…that’s not even scratching the surface of a massive oeuvre of perfect pop. The Bacharach legend has a huge supporting cast of co-writers and singers, with special mention of lyricist Hal David and singer Dionne Warwick. But as Bacharach prepares to celebrates his 90th birthday, he stands alone as one of the musical greats of any genre and time period.

My favorite musicians: #4

February 4th, 2018

My number #4 is an early love of mine; someone who was a leading influence on music and culture before I was born, and is as famous in 2018 as ever. Bob Dylan may be more a man of words than a man of melody, but his singing and musicality of many of his songs is often overlooked, in the light of his world-changing lyrics. For me, Blood On The Tracks remains his best work, but there is quality from his early folk days to his recent works as an elder statesman of folk, rock and roll.