Brain Wilson is one of rock's most deeply revered figures, a legendary writer, producer, arranger and performer of some of the most cherished music in rock history. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to call Brian Wilson one of the most influential pop composers of the last 50 years.
Labor Day weekend, 1961, in Hawthorne, California It was then and there that nineteen-year-old Brian Douglas Wilson and his younger brothers Dennis and Carl assembled in their family's living room with cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine to rehearse a little tune that Brian and Mike had written for a try-out recording session.
As luck would have it, the Wilsons' parents were vacationing and had left the boys $250 for food money. Home alone, and promptly using that cash to rent the best musical equipment they could find, the budding Beach Boys got busy.
Written at Dennis' suggestion, Surfin' sang the praises of the newest southern California teen craze. Though primitive-sounding by today's standards, the song contained the raw matter that would define the Beach Boys' sound: the propulsive rhythms of Chuck Berry-style rock & roll combined with the sophisticated pop vocals of the Four Freshman.
It was a unique fusion that Wilson had been tinkering with in the family garage where, inspired by The Four Freshman and their complex vocal blends, and armed with a multi-track tape recorder, he'd spent hours exploring the intricacies of harmony and melody. By overlapping his own dynamic voice (which peaked in a soaring falsetto) and various instruments, he could create the effect of a full group.
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Wilson's That Lucky Old Sun, his most ambitious new work since returning from the wilderness, [recalling] Pet Sounds and Smile, not least in its playfully baroque arrangements — a playground riot of glockenspiel, timpani, strings and harmonies all played with a smile — and melodic nods to the Beach Boy canon, complementing the autobiographical bent of the lyric-book.
Reviewing the London performance, England's Mojo magazine.
Brian Wilson is an iconic talent with enormous musical influence all over the world and we are very proud to be representing him.
Guy Hands, executive chairman of Capitol's parent company, EMI Music.