Archive for the ‘Brian’s Hidden Beauties’ Category

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLXVII: No-Go Showboat

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

For our next “hidden booty”, we’ll go back to the early days of the Beach Boys and a track from the Little Deuce Coupe album.  No Go Showboat  is a dazzling example of the bands brilliant harmonies, and creating an atmospheric track about a pretty car that won’t really go very fast. The Timers released a single with this song, but it never made it anywhere in the charts -however it remains another great example of Brian’s musical development even in the early 60s.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLXVI: Girl Don’t Tell Me

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

With a recent blog focus on the Beatles, it’s time to look at a song which is one of the most Beatles-esque in the Beach Boys canon, Girl Don’t Tell Me. It is a significant track for another reason -while Carl’s first lead vocal was on Pom Pom Play Girl, from this track on-wards, Carl became a regular lead vocalist for the band.

Featuring Brian playing on celeste, this 1965 track features Brian at the top of his composing game at the height of the bands commercial popularity -even if it is stylistically closer to the bands’ greatest rivals than just about every other original Beach Boys song.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLXV: Spring Vacation

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Spring is coming to the southern hemisphere, even although most readers will be thinking of autumn. So it’s time to return to our hidden beauties, and with the recent Sirius XM “reunion”, remind ourselves of the brief unity within the Beach Boys in 2012.

This track has taken a bit of flack for the possibly less than poetic lyrics and the possibly cynical phrase “easy money.” Indeed, this may have been one of the tracks that one could have dreaded, having seen the tracklist.

But never judge a book by the cover, or a song by the title. Spring Vacation is a great pop tune, and an instant singalong, and the lyrical theme of unity in strength is hardly controversial.

Ultimately, pop music isn’t about the the lyrics alone, but the way the combination of melody, rhythm and lyrics makes you feel. And with the simple joys expressed by this song, it’s a singular success.

 

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.