HomePosts Tagged "Brian Wilson"

Brian Wilson Tag

A Fan's NotesI really wrestled with this. I wasn’t sure I wanted to create a list. After all, you can pretty much hear any record that you want to hear on-demand. Why do you need me to tell you what I like? I suppose my hope is that there’s an album here that you’re not familiar with, or that you haven’t heard yet, and perhaps its inclusion will get you to listen. It’s pretty diverse list, musically. There are jazz, hip-hop, rock, soul, and Americana artists, so hopefully there is something for everyone.

As I say each time I create one of these lists, these are not necessarily the best albums of last year. They are the albums that I liked most, but there are many albums that I never got to hear. If you don’t see your favorite, there is no slight intended. With no further adieu, here are my favorite albums of 2015.

A Fan's NotesYou can never go wrong by giving me the gift of a book. I love to read, and in particular I love to read biographies of great musicians, or other music-related books. There were a number of excellent music books published in 2015. I’ve picked out a few here in the hope that it will serve as something of a gift- giving guide for the music-loving reader in your life.

While you can get these titles online, or at big book chain store, let me suggest that you support your local bookseller. They’re a vanishing breed, and much like the local record store, they very much need our support to keep going.

A Fan's Notes“The next song is a long one,” Brian Wilson said. “It’s about 20 minutes long.” Apparently Brian felt the need to apologize in advance for the length of the upcoming song. And when he had finished playing the emotional version of his masterpiece, “Surf’s Up” (which actually clocks in at just over four minutes), he seemed to apologize again. “It’s a long song,” he said. This kind of humility, combined with the brilliance of his art, goes a long way toward explaining why millions of people love Brian Wilson.

A Fan's NotesI don’t recall ever praying that filmmakers would get it right before I heard the news that a movie was going to be made about Brian Wilson’s life. After all, no musician has ever been as important to me as Brian, and I was concerned that the film would be, at best, another mediocre music biopic, and at worst, embarrassing. After all, it’s easy to make sport of Brian’s problems. Just ask the writers at Saturday Night Live who decided that it would be a good idea for Brian to go surfing at one of the lowest moments of his life.

noconcessions11988’s Brian Wilson is one of my very favorite albums. Around the time of its release, I read in Rolling Stone or Variety or maybe both that a biopic was in the works, with William Hurt as Wilson, who had come out of a foggy epoch of mental illness to record what was his first solo album after all those Beach Boys hits of the 60s, and Richard Dreyfuss as Eugene Landy, the unconventional live-in psychologist who got him into shape for the task. “Good casting,” I thought…and that was the last I heard of the project, which, as we now know, was premature, to say the least.

Fun, fun, fun, the recording was not, as Landy, who in 1992 was exposed as a charlatan and a quack of the kind peculiar to Southern California, pretty much whipped the hapless, overmedicated Wilson into shape for the recording sessions. Love & Mercy, a Brian Wilson biopic at last, goes into this tormented

Four Seasons - The Classic Albums Box

Jersey Boys soundtrack

Audio with a G

 

 

 

 

In conjunction with this interview, one very fortunate reader is going to win a treasure trove of Four Seasons and Four Seasons-related music. The prize package includes:

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons – The Classic Albums Box.This massive set includes 18 CDs of the albums that the group recorded between 1962-1992.

Jersey Boys: Music From the Motion Picture and Broadway Musical. Producer Bob Gaudio pulled together a compilation of original Four Seasons recordings and blended them with recordings by cast members from the musical, and the film for this collection.

Audio With a G: Sounds of a Jersey Boy, The Music of Bob Gaudio. This two-disc compilation includes songs that Gaudio wrote over the years. Aside from the Four Seasons, other artists in the collection include Frank Sinatra, the Walker Brothers, Diana Ross, and the Temptations.

I love the annual showing of It’s A Wonderful Life at this time of the year. It’s become a holiday tradition for me, along with other films like A Christmas Carol (the 1951 version please), and more recently, Polar Express.

What really gets me into the holiday spirit though is coming up tomorrow night. It’s the most magical four or five minutes of television of the year for me. Tomorrow night Darlene Love makes her annual appearance on Late Night with David Letterman to sing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” It is an annual tradition that began in 1986, and it has become one of the most special moments of any Christmas season.

A few months ago we learned that Jeff Beck was in the studio with Brian Wilson, working on Wilson’s new album. It seemed like an odd pairing to say the least. What was the common ground between the pop maestro and the guitar god, and what would a collaboration between the two sound like? Then there was the announcement of a tour featuring the two artists as co-headliners, and while it remained unclear how the pairing would work musically, there was a sense that it was a show that should not to be missed.

Last week the tour rolled into Boston’s Wang Theater. Reports from earlier shows on the tour indicated that the show was working very well indeed, but I still had to see it for myself.

On August 30, 1964, I saw the Beatles at Atlantic City Convention Hall. They played for about 20 minutes, and I barely heard a thing above the screaming of the throng. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The opening acts that night were the Bill Black Combo, Bill had played bass with Elvis Presley in his early trio; the Exciters, who had a big hit with “Tell Him”; and a duo from L.A. called the Righteous Brothers who were still not exactly a household name at that point.

Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield had been recording for a year, and had moderate success with their single “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” but real success was still on the horizon. It would get closer when the duo appeared on the pilot of the new music tv show Shindig! two weeks later, and the following year the duo would have one of the biggest years that any act has ever had.

Yea, as I have traversed the great kingdoms of Aspledon and Orkhomenos, through the valleys of Gyrtone and Pherai, (not to mention Messenia, and its twin valley, Logginese), searching for hydras and gorgons and Taraxippi and shit, for lo, these many years, I have drawn strength from the gods up yonder, high on Pop Olympus, who sent me on my missions back when I was a wee pup, rescuing me from my adolescent slough of despond with yon harmonic voices and chiming instruments and visions of Michelle and Rhonda and Johanna, and other fine-ass sirens and September gurls. Who but the most wretched could decline the entreaties of Wilsonus Maximus, his cousin McCartnese, and their cohorts in god-dom, Lennonus, Violae, Chiltonus, Davieses, and Wallingerite? My missions are sacred; why else would I roam the great kingdoms of Aspledon and Orkhomenos and the valleys of Gyrtone and Pherai, wearing nothing but sandals and a toga (albeit one with a pocket for my iPod)?