Brian’s Hidden Beauties I: Lonely Sea

This is the first of an irregular series of posts that will look at Brian Wilson’s lesser-known gems, his hidden beauties (booty-yes, bad pun I know) as it were. And we’ll start at the very beginning (like Maria von Trapp) with a song that I regard as the first sign of greatness from Brian Wilson- Lonely Sea from the Surfin’s USA album. Yes, I know Surfin’ Safari and Surfin’ USA are great pop songs, and the latter pushed the group to pop superstardom, but Lonely Sea is the first instance of something way deeper than surfing, cars and disposable beach babes. It is essentially still a simple ballad, but the hints of loneliness and the deep emotional expanse of the ocean versus the shallow edges of just surfing at the shore are quite resonant when one looks at Brians’ career, and the harmonies are tremendous. It also inspired one of the best essays on this website by Greg Panfile so have a look here. It is certainly surprising that the song doesn’t feature on many compilations, and is therefore only known to serious fans. However, it certainly qualifies as one of Brian’s hidden gems and the first entrant in this blog category!


3 Responses to “Brian’s Hidden Beauties I: Lonely Sea”

  1. Mike Gerage says:

    Any idea where I can find the sheet music for guitar either in standard notation or tab for “The Lonely Sea?”

  2. Andrew says:

    Yes, on this very website, go to

    Also check the wonderful essay at

  3. Gary says:

    I can’t believe I’ve never heard this song until tonight! I think ‘floored’ would be a good word to describe my reaction. I cannot stop listening to this track. Its beyond me why this song is a buried treasure.

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