Archive for the ‘Brian’s Hidden Beauties’ Category

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLVII: Rio Grande

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Rio Grande in Big Bend NP.jpg

We continue looking at some tracks highlighted on the recent Brian Wilson compilation -and move onto the longest and last track on the first solo album. Brian wasn’t the first Wilson brother to write an ode to a river – we have Dennis Wilson’s River Song from Pacific Ocean Blue – but it is the longest track on any Brian Wilson album and hearkens back to the modular style of SMiLE with its multiple sections. While some parts may feel a bit like SMiLE-by-numbers, there are sections of genuine beauty and power that reminded us that Brian Wilson had a lot to give musically.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLVI: Let It Shine

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Image result for let it shine brian wilson

We’re looking at some “hidden beauties” highlighted on the new Brian Wilson compilation, and we’re going to back to Brian’s eponymous first solo album from 1988. Let It Shine , a collaboration with Jeff Lynne who was working at a similar time on the classic first Wilbury album. It is a stellar song, combining Lynne’s slickness with a soaring melody that became something of a fan favorite, and was even performed live at some of Brian’s shows after returning to touring.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLV: Gettin’ In Over My Head

Monday, November 6th, 2017

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Gettin’ Over My Head isn’t at the top of Brian Wilson fans and critics favorites, but for this writer, there are some great songs on the record. Not least of all is the title track, an elegant and emotional ballad which also dates from the Paley sessions and was reworked for this album.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLIV: Some Sweet Day

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

Image result for "brian wilson" "some sweet day"

The other “new” track from Playback isn’t that new- Some Sweet Day dates back from the early/mid 90s sessions with Andy Paley, and is well over twenty years ago. Like Run James Run , it has a retro feel to the classic girls group sound, but with it’s great instrumental break, and memorable melody, it is still a great addition to the “official” Brian Wilson canon, and a clear inductee to the Hidden Beauties pantheon.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLIII: Run James Run

Saturday, October 21st, 2017








The one truly new song on Brian’s new solo anthology is Run James Run -and it’s a good one. Longtime fans will be familiar with the title as a working title for the Pet Sounds title track, but otherwise it is all new. Well at least new in the sense of a recent recording and new tune, but the music is brilliantly retro, hearkening back to the best of Brian’s early surf and car songs.

With some of the best guitar work on a recent Brian Wilson/Beach Boys song, lovely harmonies and a driving beat, it’s almost as if the last five decades haven’t happened. Run James Run is certainly up there with Brian’s recent best work. You can read more about it here.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLII: Darlin’

Monday, September 11th, 2017

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With my wedding still fresh in mind, I offer one of the great Beach Boys love songs – one that has become a bit less obscure after featuring in a Big Bang Theory episode. Once again, the result of some musical recycling, this is a development of the Thinkin’ About You Baby melody, which became a distinct, stomping but eternally catchy love song. No wonder it became Sheldon’s ear-worm.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLI: I Do

Friday, September 1st, 2017

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Today is my wedding day. So this song is pretty appropriate for today’s hidden beauty!

 I Do is the final development of the melody that was used on the first Beach Boys album in the song Country Fair. The recycling of the tune was definitely for the better, with a powerful production and a perfect wedding lyric.  Although recorded by the Beach Boys, their version remained unreleased until the CD two-fer release of Surfer Girl/Shut Down 2, which was a pity given that it was far better than a lot of the filler on the latter album. The privilege of originally releasing the song was given to the Castells, but its the Beach Boys own version that is now the definitive version of what should be a wedding classic.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CL: Hawthorne Boulevard

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

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Hawthorne Boulevard is a short Brian Wilson-written instrumental that hearkens back both in the title and musically to the early days of the band -playing in a garage at home and listening to surf instrumentals. Seemingly only used for the 1967 Hawaii concerts which saw the original five playing together again, it has now seen official life on the Sunshine Tomorrow collection. While it by no means Brian’s greatest work,  it is short and sweet, with a lot of energy in the minute of music.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CXLIX: Here Comes The Night

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Image result for here comes the night beach boy

This song may be best known (or notorious) as the disco megamix on LA Light Album, but in it’s better incarnation, it was one of the R&B flavored originals that made Wild Honey such a breath of fresh air. Wild Honey saw the resumption of the Brian Wilson and Mike Love songwriting partnership, and the combination of music and lyrics works well, driven by Brian’s soulful late 60s voice. The disco mix dredged out all the original soul of the track, but as in many cases, the original is the best.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CXLVIII: Honey Get Home

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

1967 Sunshine Tomorrow.jpg

If one needs any further evidence that Brian was still in a rich vein of creativity in post-SMiLE 1967, one just needs to look at the Wild Honey outtakes. Honey Get Home is clearly not fully-formed but has enough interesting moments to warrant further investigation. Remember these outtakes include Can’t Wait Too Long, Cool Cool Water and Time To Get Alone , and there is also the uncredited Lonely Days, which has possible Brian involvement.