Archive for the ‘That Lucky Old Sun Track-by-track’ Category

That Lucky Old Sun Track-by-track VII: Live Let Live/That Lucky Old Sun (Reprise) Medley

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

This is a Brian Wilson and Van Dykes Parks colloboration that appeared on the Arctic Tale soundtrack a few months before the song was premiered live at the first Lucky Old Sun shows. Although the two versions share the same tune, the lyrics are very different -but both hinting at an environmental message that was very much part of the Arctic Tale message. As usual, Park’s wordplay is an effective means to get the message across, while Brian resurrects his late 60s passion for the waltz. The song ends with a brief reprise of the title theme of the album.

That Lucky Old Sun Track-by-track VI: Narrative: Venice Beach

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

The second narrative section of That Lucky Old Sun focuses on the hipster scene at Venice Beach. When this section was performed in concert, the visual background showed a brief glimpse of a photo of Dennis Wilson, which always got a big cheer from the audience.

That Lucky Old Sun Track-by-track V: Forever She’ll Be My Surfer Girl

Friday, October 30th, 2009

When I first heard this song at the premiere of That Lucky Old Sun, this was the point that I realised that the work was going to be one of substance, and one that could be spoken in same breath as SMiLE and Pet Sounds.

¬†Of course, this song invokes Brian’s first song, both in title and in the nostalgia of the theme. It’s one of those songs that hits a powerful nerve in the themes of first love and memories of the past. As with Brian’s best work, it is his ability as tunesmith that makes the song stand out.

That Lucky Old Sun Track-by-track IV: Good Kind Of Love

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

This is the only song on That Lucky Old Sun that was written by Brian Wilson without any collaborators. One of the centrepieces of the album, it is a “pocket symphony” of sorts, with a number of different sections. The lyric seems to hearken back to a sense of ideal love and relationships -maybe something that has always been close to Brian during his life. I remember hearing for the first time at the premiere of the work in London and this was an “instant” song that impacted on first listen and made you want to listen over and over again.

There is alternate version on the Best Buy version of the album where Brian duets the song with Carole King.

That Lucky Old Sun Track-by-track III: Narrative: Room With A View

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009


The first of four narrative sections on the album reunites the two SMiLE protagonists. In this section, there is some nice imagery of the city of Los Angeles at night as a “sparkled city” and one with many stories to tell.

That Lucky Old Sun Track-by-track II: Morning Beat

Monday, October 26th, 2009

The first original song on That Lucky Old Sun, this hearkens back to songs like Do It Again with a mostly up-tempo feel but punctuated with a slow section. Changes-of-pace is a hallmark of Brian Wilson’s brilliance and this song shows Brian has lost none of his old tricks. The song paints a compelling landscape of the energy of Los Angeles and features the immortal “Maumamayama Glory Hallelujah” catchphrase.

That Lucky Old Sun Track-by-track I: That Lucky Old Sun

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

It’s now over two years since Brian’s latest work was premiered, and one year since it was released on CD. So how about a track-by-track review of Brian’s latest triumph -the one that proves he still has it!

The title track is a well-known pop standard, of course, popularised by Frankie Laine and also done by luminaries such as Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra. The album is a homage to Southern California and the extract of the song used to start the album hearkens to the luck that California may be seen to have, with all its natural and human resources, not least of the Beach Boys. Of course, beneath that luck is a darker side, and these are themes that come through on this record.