Archive for the ‘Brian’s Hidden Beauties’ Category

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLXIV: When A Man Needs A Woman

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

We complete our trio of hidden beauties marking the golden anniversary of the Friends album with When A Man Needs A Woman. The fifth track of the album is Brian’s ode to the facts of life just at the point he became a father for the first time (Carnie Wilson was born in April 1968.) Like just about the entire Friends album , the song reflects the “transcendental” era of the joys of daily life, with suitable light musical background and harmonies.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLXIII: Diamond Head

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

We continue our focus on the golden anniversary of the Friends album as we look at the penultimate track. Seemingly written by committee and possibly partly made-up in the studio, Diamond Head still has the hallmarks of classic Brian Wilson. He creates an impressive Hawaiian soundscape in this instrumental, showing that his production skills were still intact. The final track of the album jolts us back to reality, but on Diamond Head , the relaxing, contemplative nature of the album is at its fore.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLXII: Be Here In The Morning

Friday, June 8th, 2018

With the Friends album’s 50th anniversary just a few weeks ago, it’s a good time to induct a few more tracks from the album to our pantheon of “hidden beauties.” Be Here In The Morning has one of the highest-pitched vocals on any Beach Boys record -and many fans including myself were surprised to find out that it is not Brian Wilson’s falsetto, but Al Jardine.

As with much of the Friends album, this is a laid-back track extolling the simple joys of life and love, and getting away from the increasing craziness of the world outside.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLXI: Morning Beat

Friday, June 1st, 2018

After a short rendition of the title track, this is the first original song on That Lucky Old Sun, and 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.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLX: Half Moon Bay

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

The romantic instrumental has featured a few times in Brian’s works, but there hasn’t been an example in recent times, until the fifth track of No Pier Pressure in 2015. It’s a pleasant enough track, with the interesting percussion effects one of the highlights, as with earlier examples of this genre. (Summer Means New Love, After The Game). Mark Isham adds the romantic trumpet.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLIX: Ride The Wild Surf

Saturday, 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

Sunday, 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.

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

Image result for brian wilson gettin in over my head

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.