The Next Masterpiece…

July 31st, 2014

If we weren’t excited enough already about the new Brian Wilson album, have a look at this. It’s speculative of course -but it’s an interesting perspective, especially on the latest/last? Beach Boys album.

And in other news, Brian has announced a new tour date in California in October with Al Jardine.

And finally, my Brian Wilson website may be getting a makeover. Watch this space.

Brian’s Autumn?

July 24th, 2014

Alongside the new album news in my last post, we have news of the Brian Wilson biopic. The good news is that will be premiered in September at the Toronto International Film Festival. The not so good news is that the film is still looking for a distributor. Of course, the hope is that the combination of a new album and film will bring Brian back to the public consciousness.  So I’m looking forward to this Northern Hemisphere fall that will hopefully see Brian Wilson rise.

Hear You In The Fall

July 20th, 2014

Rolling Stone and Billboard  have both featured articles on the album Brian Wilson has been working on ever since the end of the Beach Boys tour, and now appears to be scheduled for release in the northern hemisphere autumn. The original plan for another Beach Boys album seems to have morphed first into work with Jeff Beck, and now something featuring some alternative females stars. The tracks and descriptions in both articles sound intriguing, and I imagine there will also be some intriguing work left on the shelf for the bootleggers or “special editions” in years to come. Whatever the overall quality of the album is, there is one thing that I have no doubt – there are more great Brian Wilson songs to be heard.

We’ve Been Having Fun All Summer Long

July 13th, 2014

It’s already time for our next 50 year celebration of a Beach Boys studio album. 1964 was a pivotal year in terms of the Beatles coming to America, and this was Brian’s first studio album response after the British Invasion. While there is some step up in terms of song quality and studio time, Brian’s response was to create  the archetypal “fun in the sun” Beach Boys album, in which the surf and car themes of the previous albums are extended into a general summertime theme, with a generous dose of romance.

I Get Around was the monster hit and rock classic, but most people should also recognise Wendy, Little Honda and the title track, used for the movie American Graffiti. Much of the rest is worthwhile, although there is some filler in the studio blooper reel Our Favorite Recording Sessions.

The album ends on the motivational pep-talk Don’t Back Down, ostensibly a surf song, but also possibly pre-empting the changing times ahead. There is something of an end-of-the-innocence-era here, with Brian’s breakdown on tour occuring a few months later, and Brian soon taking a leap into more complex production and emotional lyrics. As a reminder of a more innocent era, and for some great music, this album remains in the upper tier of the group’s records and a very spritely and hip 50 year old.

Ireland, England, Scotland…

July 6th, 2014

Brian’s brief British Isles tour encompassed Ireland and England, but not Scotland, but Scotland was on  Brian’s mind whether his geographic mistake was quirkiness or misunderstanding. However, the tour seems to have garnered a positive reaction, with Matt Jardine now playing a prominent role alongside his father. It looks like we may be seeing a lot less of Brian on tour, but he is still out there, and who would imagined twenty years ago that Brian would have done so many solo dates.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CXVII: Busy Doing Nothin’

June 30th, 2014

Covering Games Two Can Play here a month ago made me reflect on another treasure of the late 60s period, and another one of the rare songs with words and music by Brian alone. Busy Doing Nothin’ was a centerpiece of the Friends album, and contrasted a seemingly domesticated and happy writer, with a sense of restlessness.

Of course, there is a lot more than nothing happening here musically -this is one of Brian’s bigger late 60s productions, with understated orchestration adding to a really enjoyable song. And indeed, directions were given to Brian’s house in Bel-Air, though you would need to know where to start.

Not The Beach Boys In The Isles

June 25th, 2014

This doesn’t look lik.e a big touring year for Brian, but there are two upcoming dates in the British Isles  which will include Al and Matt Jardine. Al has also indicated he will do some of his own shows this year, which seems to increase the chances that the 2012 reunion was a special last-time for a band that could legitimately call themselves the Beach Boys.

Birthday Goodbye

June 20th, 2014

Lyricist Gerry Goffin, writer of some of the biggest hit songs of the 1960s As we celebrate the 72nd birthday of the man that I rate America’s greatest songwriter of the modern era, we mourn the passing of one of the other greats, Gerry Goffin. You would need to be pretty much on another planet not be touched by at least a few of Goffin’s songs – a nice reminder, if you need one, can be seen here, written by Bob Stanley from Saint Etienne.  And there is no better tribute to the greatness of Brian Wilson than the fact that he is working on more great songs, with the suggestion now of a release in the northern hemisphere autumn for his new album.

Brian Versus Some Fans

June 14th, 2014

The Soccer World Cup has started, and after suggesting things were quiet in Beach Boys land in recent posts, the temperature amongst some Brian Wilson fans has increased to Amazon jungle proportions. With news drifting out that Brian’s new album would feature collaborations with people like  Lana Del Rey and Zooey Deschanel, some fans were clearly not happy , resulting in Brian Wilson putting out a statement asking fans not to judge the music before they heard it.

The good thing in this, I suppose, is that this story is seen worthy of the Guardian. I do also think the majority of fans are happy that Brian seems well on his way to a new album, is prepared not to stay within past formulae and will be thankful for at least one more great Brian Wilson song. We can challenge the artist and his decisions, but it helps to first take the advice from this artists greatest work first….listen…listen…listen.

Brian’s Still Here

June 8th, 2014

It’s very much winter here in the southern hemisphere, but for many Beach Boys and Brian Wilson fans, summer is here -the magical time epitomized in so many Beach Boys songs. Things are relatively quiet on the new front, but an interesting Irish Times article on Brian Wilson provides an interesting perspective on where Brian has been and where he is now. The release of the biopic later this year remains an enthralling prospect as well, alongside the possibility of the new album.