Brian’s Hidden Beauties CXXII: Midnight’s Another Day

January 19th, 2015

As we await a new Brian Wilson album shortly, it’s worth reminding us ourselves that Brian has already written some rather amazing songs in the last ten years. Up there with the best is the centerpiece to the That Lucky Old Sun album. Here are the comments that I wrote shortly after the song was first released

If anyone still doubted Brian Wilson could write a great new song in the 2000s, Midnight Another Day was evidence that Brian’s skill in creating music that digs into the deepest ineffable emotional states was still very much intact. This is certainly a song that can be mentioned in the same breaths as Warmth Of The Sun, ‘Til I Die and Caroline No as Brian again faces up to his darkest demons and the sustaining forces that led him back to the light.

The song was previewed on Brian’s website weeks before its live premiere at the Royal Festival Hall concerts in September 2007.  The live version left the audiences breathless and sometimes tearful as Brian reclaimed his premier songwriting territory.

It’s now time to induce this song into our canon of Hidden Beauties – a treasure for fans of Brian, but sadly not widely known to the music-listening public.

Getting The Year Going

January 11th, 2015

To whet the appetite further for the new Brian Wilson album, there is some positive pre-release publicity from Rolling Stone, which is always a positive sign. We also have a confirmed release date for the Love And Mercy movie as June 5, making the second quarter of this year the probable time for the most Brian Wilson excitement. I’ve also been listening to the Keep An Eye On Summer: The Beach Boys Sessions 1964 which has a few unexpected surprises…more later.

Welcome 2015

January 3rd, 2015

Welcome to 2015- which should be a big year for Brian Wilson with a new album and biopic expected this year. It’s also the 2oth anniversary year of the Webpage For Brian Wilson and I am hoping to revamp the site a bit this year. So this is a short post to start the year, but expect a lot more….

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.