Brian’s Hidden Beauties CXXI: What I Really Want For Christmas

December 20th, 2014

Twice in the last week, I’ve heard Brian’s latter-day Christmas song On Christmas Day in grocery shops here in South Africa- a huge surprise, given its obscurity. Since I’ve already covered that song in the Hidden Beauty series, it’s now time to cover the title track of Brian’s recent (well, recent enough, since it’s almost ten years) Christmas album.

With Bernie Taupin doing lyrical duties, Brian pens a simple but effective melody that certainly covers what we do indeed want from the season, especially in the weary world of 2014. It may not be a seasonal classic, but it’s certainly a hidden beauty.


The Post With Lots Of Tracklists And Setlists

December 15th, 2014

The setlist is already out for Brian’s Vegas concert last night, and it is a very interesting one as follows

1) Our Prayer
2) Heroes and Villains
3) Sloop John B (Al Jardine lead vocal)
4) Dance, Dance, Dance
5) Then I Kissed Her (Al Jardine lead vocal)
6) She Knows Me Too Well (Brian Eichenberger lead vocal)
7) Good Vibrations
8) This Beautiful Day *
9) Runaway Dancer (Sebu Simonian lead vocal) *
10) Don’t Worry Baby (Sebu Simonian lead vocal)
11) Marcella
12) Wild Honey (Blondie Chaplin lead vocal)
13) Sail On, Sailor (Blondie Chaplin lead vocal)
14) Sail Away (Brian Wilson, Al Jardine)*
15) Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) (instrumental featuring Mark Isham on trumpet)
16) Half Moon Bay *
17) The Right Time (Al Jardine lead vocal) *
18) California Saga: California (Brian Wilson and Al Jardine lead vocal)
19) Wouldn’t It Be Nice
20) Help Me, Rhonda (Al Jardine lead vocal)
21) Saturday Night on Hollywood Boulevard (Nate Ruess lead vocal)*
22) Hold On Dear Brother (Blondie Chaplin and Nate Ruess lead vocals)
23) Darlin’ (Nate Ruess lead vocal)
24) God Only Knows (Nate Ruess lead vocal)
25) Pacific Coast Highway
26) Summer’s Gone
27) California Girls
28) All Summer Long
29) Barbara Ann
30) Surfin’ U.S.A.
31) Fun, Fun, Fun

Aside from the six songs that I starred, which I assume are from the new album, we have the live debut (I think) of Pacific Coast Highway and the revival of Hold On Dear Brother, which I regard as a very underrated song. It certainly looks like it was a very special occasion, and we look forward to the live video.

Moving onto something slightly different,  we have this year’s copyright extension release. Except this year, we are rewarded with two releases, with Keep An Eye On Summer focusing on studio work, while Live In Sacramento 1964 is just that. Tracklists are as follows

The Beach Boys, The Beach Boys 1964: Keep an Eye on Summer

  1. Fun Fun Fun (Session Highlights and Stereo Mix) (7:39)
  2. Fun Fun Fun (A Capella) (2:23)
  3. Fun, Fun, Fun (2013 Stereo Mix) (2:14)
  4. Why Do Fools Fall In Love (Session Highlights and Stereo Mix) (4:59)
  5. Why Do Fools Fall In Love (New Stereo Mix) (2:09)
  6. Don’t Worry Baby (Session Highlights and Instrumental Mix with Backing Vocals) (4:42)
  7. Don’t Worry, Baby (2009 Stereo Mix) (2:50)
  8. In The Parkin’ Lot (Session Highlight and A Capella Mix) (4:38)
  9. Warmth of the Sun (Session Highlights and Instrumental Mix with Backing Vocals) (5:09)
  10. Warmth of the Sun (2012 Stereo Mix) (3:03)
  11. Pom Pom Play Girl (Session Highlights and Instrumental Mix with Backing Vocals) (4:54)
  12. Pom Pom Play Girl (New Stereo Mix) (1:33)
  13. Denny’s Drums (Session Highlight and Alternate Take) (3:23)
  14. Keep An Eye On Summer (Instrumental Mix with Backing Vocals) (2:28)
  15. Endless Sleep (Larry Denton Vocal) (2:32)
  16. I Get Around (Session Highlight and Instrumental Mix with Backing Vocals) (5:34)
  17. I Get Around (A Capella) (2:16)
  18. All Summer Long (Session Highlights and Stereo Mix) (4:46)
  19. All Summer Long (A Capella) (2:19)
  20. All Summer Long (2007 Stereo Mix) (2:09)
  21. Hushabye (Instrumental Mix with Backing Vocals) (2:42)
  22. Girls On The Beach (Alternate Vocal Session Highlights and Master A Capella Mix) (5:27)
  23. Wendy (Vocal Session Highlights and A Capella Mix) (4:40)
  24. Don’t Back Down (Alternate Version Session Highlight and New Stereo Mix) (2:04)
  25. Little Saint Nick (Drive In) (Vocal Session Highlights and New Stereo Mix) (3:21)
  26. Untitled Jam/Let’s Live Before We Die (Session Highlights and Instrumental) (3:24)
  27. Little Honda (Alternate Version Session Highlight and New Stereo Mix) (2:46)
  28. Little Honda (Unreleased Single Mix) (1:52)
  29. She Knows Me Too Well (Vocal Session Highlight and Track with Backing Vocals) (2:43)
  30. She Knows Me Too Well (A Capella) (2:46)
  31. Don’t Hurt My Little Sister (Session Highlight and A Capella Mix) (2:36)
  32. Christmas Eve (Instrumental Mix) (3:09)
  33. Jingle Bells (Instrumental Mix) (2:33)
  34. When I Grow Up (A Capella) (2:11)
  35. Fun Fun Fun (Live) (2:17)
  36. I Get Around (Live) (2:16)
  37. I’m So Young (Alternate Version Session Highlight and New Stereo Mix) (4:02)
  38. All Dressed Up For School (Session Highlights and New Stereo Mix) (3:47)
  39. Dance Dance Dance (Alternate Version New Stereo Mix) (2:05)
  40. Dance Dance Dance (Session Highlights and Instrumental Mix) (4:44)
  41. Dance Dance Dance (A Capella) (2:06)
  42. I Get Around (Live BBC 1964) (2:02)
  43. The Little Old Lady From Pasadena (Live BBC 1964) (3:07)
  44. Graduation Day (Live BBC 1964) (2:14)
  45. Surfin’ USA (Live BBC 1964) (2:24)
  46. Johnny B Goode (Live Single Mix) (1:52)

The Beach Boys, Live in Sacramento 1964

First Show:

  1. Little Honda
  2. Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow
  3. The Little Old Lady from Pasadena
  4. Hushabye
  5. Hawaii
  6. Let’s Go Trippin’
  7. The Wanderer
  8. Surfer Girl
  9. Monster Mash
  10. Be True to Your School
  11. Graduation Day
  12. Surfin’ USA
  13. Don’t Back Down
  14. Don’t Worry Baby
  15. Wendy
  16. I Get Around
  17. Fun, Fun, Fun

Second Show:

  1. Concert Intro
  2. Little Honda
  3. Fun, Fun, Fun
  4. The Little Old Lady from Pasadena
  5. Hushabye
  6. Hawaii
  7. Let’s Go Trippin’
  8. The Wanderer
  9. Wendy
  10. Monster Mash
  11. Surfer Girl
  12. Be True to Your School
  13. Graduation Day
  14. Surfin’ USA
  15. Don’t Back Down
  16. Don’t Worry Baby
  17. I Get Around
  18. Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow (Encore)
  19. Little Honda (Rehearsal)
  20. Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow (Rehearsal)

Remembrance Days

December 8th, 2014

34 years ago today, John Lennon was assassinated.  Four days ago, it would have been Dennis Wilson’s 70th birthday, as well as 35 years since my dad passed. And there are still many milestones in this month to go.

Naturally, for any person who has walked a path of life for some time, there will be times to remember those in their own family, as well as the entertainers who have given them pleasure. For me, December, my own birth month and the time of year when one reflects on another years almost again, is full of such milestones.  John and Dennis both passed in my childhood, before I was aware of the most of the music that they made, and they both passed way, way before they should have. Neither was a saint, but both packed so much into half a normal lifetime.

It’s time to remember…to be thoughtful, a bit sad, but also thankful.

End November Grabbag

November 29th, 2014

ESQ Fall 2014 Edition As we come to the end of November and begin the festive, or should it be reflective, season, a few odds and ends of things on my mind at this stage

  • 1. It’s the 13th anniversary of George Harrison’s passing today.
    2. I received the latest (well, not so latest) Endless Summer Quarterly not too long ago, thanks to a local postal strike. The focus is live shows, and especially the Concert album.
    3. Upcoming in December-two Brian shows, including the first live performances from the new album.

23 Songs For Today

November 21st, 2014

1.Sun King    -The Beatles
2. Golden Slumbers    -The Beatles
3. Good Night   – The Beatles
4. I’m Only Sleeping   – The Beatles
5. Tears Of Rage    -Bob Dylan
6. I Shall Be Released    -Bob Dylan
7. One Too Many Mornings    -Bob Dylan & The Band
8. All You Have to Do Is Dream –    Bob Dylan & The Band
9. Flying on the Ground Is Wrong   – Buffalo Springfield
10. You Ain’t Going Nowhere   – The Byrds
11. Right Between The Eyes   – Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young
12. Dark Star    -Crosby, Stills And Nash
13. Only Love Can Break Your Heart    – Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young
14.  An Ocean    -Deacon Blue
15. Win    -Deacon Blue
16. Novemberlong   – Gramercy Arms
17. Bow Down    -The Housemartins
18. Roy Orbison   – The Magic Numbers
19. E.N.D.    -The Magic Numbers
20. From Hank To Hendrix    -Neil Young
21. Our Special Love    -Peter Hollens & Brian Wilson
22. Ready Or Not-  Sarah Cracknell
23. Fakin’ It    -Simon & Garfunkel

Las Vegas, Baby

November 15th, 2014

Brian Wilson and friends will be hitting Las Vegas on December 12 for a show, and for filming a televised special. This will also see some of the songs from the new album being showcased, with no less than three other Beach Boys amongst the guests, including Blondie and Ricky, although no David Marks. With another show announced for Tulsa on December 4, it looks like Brian is gearing for some late year activity in preparation for a big 2015.

50 Christmases Ago, A Seasonal Classic Was Released

November 9th, 2014

There doesn’t seem to be an officially agreed release date for the Beach Boys’ Christmas Album. I’ve seen October and November 1964, with no specific date. The only date that does seem to be fixed is the release of the concurrent seasonal single The Man With All The Toys on November 9 1964. So today seems as good day as any to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a record that may not have seemed a big step forward for Brian and the Beach Boys musically, but remains a classic of its genre.

With two classic Christmas singles (Little Saint Nick was released a year earlier) , Brian Wilson contributed musically to the Christmas scene. The standards have a somewhat melancholic air, but showcase the vocal talents of the group with Blue Christmas being one of Brian’s best singing performances.

This album certainly wasn’t the end of the Beach Boys contributions to the season, but it is their most cohesive Christmas statement, and a lovely reminder of an age which may not have been as innocent as it seems, but certainly receding in time as many fond memories.

Some Pressure Released, Some Pressure To Look Forward To

November 7th, 2014

We’ve made some Pier Pressure progress in the last few days -there is a cover designed by daughter Daria and a release season, which is Spring 2015. The speculation that the release date has been adjusted to tie-in to the upcoming biopic will no doubt continue as we await more details on the movie.

2015 looks like a big year for Brian Wilson, but we have new Brian Wilson music today. Our Special Love is a collaboration with acapella specialist Peter Hollens, and provides a nice dose of classic Wilson harmonies and romantic sentiment that may tease a bit, but can also be seen as an early Christmas present. The big gifts may be in the new year, but we can be very grateful for this sweet one in 2014.

No Pier Pressure To Release

October 31st, 2014

Brian’s new album seems to have the rather interesting title of No Pier Pressure; there is a Wikipedia entry, and pre-orders on music sites with that title. But what we don’t have is a cover, full tracklist and confirmed release date. Many music sites listed the release as 4 November, but unless Brian is going to do a U2/Beyonce on us, this date in less than a week doesn’t seem plausible. What may be more plausible is that the release is being held back to tie in with the Brian Wilson biopic, Love And Mercy.

Of course, just to add to the confusion/anticipation -it seems possible that Brian has been recording specifically for the movie as well. So while nothing is confirmed, the prospect of new Brian Wilson music , and some good publicity, seems tantalisingly close. Maybe Christmas will come late this year?

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CXX: Anna Lee, The Healer

October 18th, 2014

Photograph of the Baths showing a rectangular area of greenish water surrounded by yellow stone buildings with pillars. In the background is the tower of the abbey.

In these times, we can all do with a bit of healing and therapy -no wonder the spa industry is growing so fast, but even back in 1968 things were certainly getting a little bit crazy.  The Friends album was a haven of peace and simple joys, and typical was this ode to a healer.

Anna Lee, The Healer is a simple production with mostly just a piano and bass line, but with it’s wonderful harmonies and simple message, it’s another winning but understated track from Brian and the Beach Boys.