Everything But The Brian VIII: Holy Man

January 14th, 2019

Queen are very much in focus now with the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, so here’s a track with a Queen connection, even if a bit indirectly. Apparently Brian May and Roger Taylor were admirers of Dennis Wilson, and were involved in a re-recording of Holy Man, an incomplete track from Pacific Ocean Blue. It was re-recorded with a Taylor Hawkins vocal on the Pacific Ocean Blue 2008 re-issue,but apparently there was another unreleased version featuring the two Queen members.

Holy Man certainly showcases Dennis’s ability to create an atmospheric pop song, and in a perfect world, he would be remembered as a great hitmaker in his own right (and would still be alive and making music). But even with limited opportunity, the well of great Dennis songs has been shown to be very deep, with this another brilliant example.

23 Songs For Today

January 8th, 2019

1) One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later) -Bob Dylan
2) Tangled Up In Blue -Bob Dylan
3) Series Of Dreams -Bob Dylan
4) Black Diamond Bay -Bob Dylan
5) Ballad of a Thin Man -Bob Dylan
6) Candy’s Room -Bruce Springsteen
7) Jackson Cage -Bruce Springsteen
8) Tonight She Comes -The Cars
9) I’m Not The One -The Cars
10) Cathy’s Clown -The Everly Brothers
11) All I Have To Do Is Dream -The Everly Brothers
12) What’s Happening Brother -Marvin Gaye
13) God Is Love -Marvin Gaye
14) Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) -Marvin Gaye
15) You Get What You Give -New Radicals
16) Aftermath -R.E.M.
17) Welcome To The Occupation -R.E.M.
18) It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) -R.E.M.
19) Wendell Gee -R.E.M.
20) Harborcoat -R.E.M.
21) Why Don’t You Write Me -Simon & Garfunkel
22) Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall -Simon & Garfunkel
23) Right Now -Stephen Stills

Three Sad Losses

January 3rd, 2019

It’s only the third day of the year, but the music world has already had three sad losses – Daryl Dragon, Pegi Young and Dean Ford have all passes away in the last few days. Daryl Dragon is best known as part of the Captain And Tennille but was part of the touring Beach Boys band for a while, and co-wrote Cuddle Up. Pegi Young was married to Neil Young for 36 years, while Dean Ford was the lead singer of Marmalade.

Old Year And New Year

January 1st, 2019

Happy new year to all blog readers – a time to reflect on the year past and year ahead! Musically, 2018 was a good year -new albums by Kacey Musgraves, Paul Weller  and The Last Detail  come to mind, but there were many others. We also saw archival releases from the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the late Christmas Beach Boys surprise.

What does 2019 have in store? It feels like Brian Wilson’s touring is coming to an end, but there are a few 2019 dates.  We may see some new studio music from Brian, or at least some recording. It’s the 50th anniversary of 20/20 and Abbey Road – while we’ve already had the 20/20 studio sessions, we would still expect some archival music from both the Beatles and Beach Boys -with the 1969 Beach Boys release likely to relate to recording of Sunflower.

In terms of other music, long awaited new music from Prefab Sprout and A Girl Called Eddy seems to be on the cards -and no doubt there will be some great new unexpected music. So here’s to a great year -musically and otherwise.

23 Songs For Today

December 27th, 2018

1.Donna and Blitzen -Badly Drawn Boy
2. You Were Right -Badly Drawn Boy
3. Happiness Is A Warm Gun -The Beatles
4. Blackbird -The Beatles
5. Hey Bulldog- The Beatles
6. Junk – The Beatles
7. Child of Nature  -The Beatles
8. Munich -Editors
9. Who Do You Want For Your Love? -Icicle Works
10.Oh My Love -John Lennon
11. Places -The Last Detail
12. Photographs -The Last Detail
13. Despite Repeated Warnings -Paul McCartney
14. The Back Seat Of My Car -Paul McCartney
15. Bluebird -Paul McCartney & Wings
16. Mayfly -Paul Weller
17. What Would He Say? -Paul Weller
18. Aspects -Paul Weller
19. Books -Paul Weller
20. May Love Travel With You -Paul Weller
21. A World Without Love -Peter & Gordon
22. I Just Wanna Hold Your Hand (On Christmas Day) -The Yearning
23. Airplane (Fly Me To Mexico) -The Yearning

Christmas 2018

December 24th, 2018

Brian and his band have just completed their Christmas shows- spreading festive cheer in an uncertain season. While Brian didn’t seem to be at his best health-wise, the shows garnered good reviews, with an appreciation of the efforts from all the band. This review encapsulates all of this, and includes a full setlist.

It remains for me therefore to wish all the readers a peaceful Christmas and  best wishes for 2019. Brian Wilson may well need (and have) a quieter year, but with a few shows booked, and some recording sessions booked, he should still be very much around.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLXIX: Our New Home

December 20th, 2018

While there was undoubtedly a lot of turmoil in Brian Wilson’s life around 1968, his music seems to reflect a level of domestic harmony -this can be seen by looking at the song titles. Another example of this has been unearthed on the recent Wake The World collection – Our New Home is another Brian Wilson instrumental idea that shows that he was still productive that year, even if not finishing off things at the same rate as before. However, again this stands alone as a great piece of music – simpler, and more reflective than the Be Here In The Morning Darling, and fitting nicely into the lo-fi ethos of that era.

Brian’s Hidden Beauties CLXVIII: Be Here In The Morning Darling

December 18th, 2018

One of the treasures of the new 1968 compilations  is the Brian Wilson-composed instrumental, Be Here In The Morning Darling. The title may indicate it is a derivation of one of the released tracks from Friends, but it is actually a completely different piece of music -one that stands alone well as an instrumental, and indicates that even in 1968, Brian was still doing “big band” music with interesting percussive effects -the drumming is some of the strongest in the Beach Boys canon. This song alone is a great Christmas present and an immediate inductee in our “hidden beauties.”

Christmas Bounty Sprouting

December 15th, 2018

The Beach Boys Christmas bounty continues – a week after two 1968 studio collections were released, an extensive live set was announced. On Tour:1968  consists of 114 tracks from seven shows from 1968, including live performances in both the USA and UK.

Regular blog readers will know my love for Paddy McAloon and Prefab Sprout, and in particular, I Trawl The Megahertz.  So, in interesting news, this obscure but brilliant record will get a re-release  in February 2019, interesting re-positioned as a Prefab Sprout record, rather than a solo. Even better news is the possibility of a new Prefab Sprout album in September 2019 -the Sprout bounty may not at Christmas, but could herald a musically very good 2019. Santa seems to be very generous this year.

Double 1968 Bounty

December 9th, 2018

Beach Boys fans have been used to Christmas presents for the past few years, with various “copyright  extension” releases coming out in the past few years. There have been rumors of various releases relating to 1968, but in a few days, two separate digital albums were announced and immediately released on 7 December, a Christmas bounty of note.

Wake The World: The Friends Sessions (32 tracks) and I Can Hear Music: The 20/20 Sessions (40 tracks) is a massive outpouring of unreleased 1968 music – a year that saw the band release Friends and record 20/20,  which was released early 1969. It was at a point that Brian was retreating and Dennis was entering his greatest creative period- yet the Friends  collection contains a number of unreleased tracks by Brian, and even his contribution on the 20/20 set is a decent proportion of the total output.  Dennis comes into his own as a contributor on 20/20,  although the dark shadow of Charles Manson and the general madness of the era does lurk a bit in some of Dennis’s work.

The material came out a few days ago, so there isn’t time to digest everything, but a few listens reinforce my view that the 1967-1971 (Smiley Smile to Surf’s Up) was one of the most underrated of eras of any band – far from being burned out from the failure of SMiLE, Brian could have completed three or four albums on his own during that time. And it’s another happy Christmas for Beach Boys fans.