Archive for the ‘Beach Boys’ Category

Pet Sounds 53

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Happy 53rd birthday to the greatest album of all time. I’ve written a bit about the album over the year; you can see some of my posts here, here and here.

Everything But The Brian XII: Thoughts Of You

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

As an outlet for Dennis Wilson’s creativity, Pacific Ocean Blue did not disappoint as the first Beach Boys solo record. Hints of Dennis’s talents were evident on many Beach Boys albums after Friends, let alone the many songs that were left off these records, but this was the first time we were exposed to a full record of his talents.

There are many minor classics on this record, but Thoughts Of You is one of the best, a beautifully tender love song , sung with heartfelt passion by Dennis.

Wilson Movie

Sunday, April 28th, 2019

A new Brian Wilson documentary is due this year -focusing on Brian Wilson’s late-career renaissance, and titled Long Promised Road. The movie is directed by the unrelated Brent Wilson , and the title is from a Beach Boys song which has Carl Wilson as the primary writer and vocalist. No specific release date has been set out, but it should be out at some point this year.

Everything But The Brian XI: Leaving This Town

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

As a Beach Boys fan based in South Africa, the inclusion of two musicians from my own country as fully-fledged Beach Boys for a period in the 70s is a fascinating part of the history of the band. While Durban may be quite close to Los Angeles in spirit, it is geographically just about on the opposite side the world. Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar were not only a key part of the live band for a while, but also contributed musically to the band in their most soulful era.

Leaving This Town  is a centerpiece of the Holland album, and lyrically it could be seen as something of a thirtysomething Pet Sounds, with themes of choice and change, which resonate with many. The harmonies are typically Beach Boys, but the soulfulness and long instrumental break, with the release at the end, make this song distinct.

Holy Man Queen

Saturday, April 20th, 2019

Earlier this year, I posted on the song Holy Man in the Everything But The Brian series, and noted that there was an unreleased version featuring Brian May and Roger Taylor, from a not-so-little-known British band. Well that unreleased version has now been released  thanks to Record Store Day. You can hear the this version featuring the Queen superstars here.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLXXI: In My Room

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

The criteria for inclusion in my Brian’s Hidden Beauties series is any song written or co-written by Brian Wilson that I feel is underrated for some reason. Given that In My Room is a staple of many compilations, it’s inclusion here may seem odd -but since it was only a B-side, I am going to rule that it qualifies as not quite a top-tier Beach Boys hit, and therefore worthy of inclusion. And it gives me an opportunity to write about this song.

The very first Beach Boys music I owned was a copied cassette of a greatest hits collection- and this was one of the songs that really impressed me, and made me realize that the Beach Boys were not just a surf novelty band. For 1963, it was an astonishingly personal song and introspective song, matched possibly only by their soon to be transatlantic rivals from the Liverpool’s There’s A Place.

Given Brian’s retreat from public life in the 70s, this song takes on an additional poignancy, but it remains one of the most perfect of the early Brian Wilson songs, and a song that many people, especially those of us with a more introverted nature, can relate to always.

23 Instrumentals For Today

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

1. The Mist Covered Mountains -Alan Clark, Eddie Gomez and The Acetones
2. Be Here In The Morning Darling -The Beach Boys
3. The British Opera -Bee Gees
4. Othello -Chilly Gonzales
5. Arrival of the Birds -The Cinematic Orchestra
6. Piano Variations On Thoughts Of You -Dennis Wilson
7. Eveningland -Hem
8. River Flow -Ken Bryan
9. Going Home [Theme of the Local Hero] -Mark Knopfler, Alan Clarke, Mike Brecker & Tony Levin
10.  …but we were happy -Paddy McAloon
11. A Country Melody -Roger Nichols
12. Getting That Way- Rory More O’Donoghue & Sarah Joyce
13. Little Chef -Saint Etienne
14. Swim Swan Swim- Saint Etienne
15. Church Pew Furniture Restorer -Saint Etienne
16. Breakneck Hill – Saint Etienne
17. Angel of Woodhatch -Saint Etienne
18. Yearning -Scott Walker
19. Finale -Scott Walker
20. Saturday, Sunday, Monday -Swan Dive
21. Rêverie -Claude Debussy
22. Spellbound Concerto -Rosza
23. Un Bel Di- Giacomo Puccini

Everything But The Brian X: Celebrate The News

Sunday, March 24th, 2019


Just over 50 years ago, Dennis Wilson started becoming a serious creative force in the Beach Boys. It started with two songs on Friends, three on 20/20 (although one with a dubious co-writer..) and continued with the B-side of the last Capitol single of the original recording contract. Celebrate The News  is an ambitious production, featuring harmonies and melodic tricks that would make Dennis’s older brother proud, and showcases Dennis’s first great creative era.

A Tribute To Hal Blaine

Saturday, March 16th, 2019

In tribute to Hal Blaine, here is a song he features strongly on.

The Beach Boys “White” Album

Sunday, 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.