Of the great American songwriters who emerged from the revolutionary 60s, none more than Brian Wilson carried such precocious talent for transcending the era’s pop music tropes with heart-melting melodies, soaring harmonies and idiosyncratic musical settings. “Here Today! The Songs Of Brian Wilson” (CDCHD 1445) was one of Ace’s best-selling releases of 2015. This follow up set reveals again how Brian’s words and music were so strong they made for perfect cover versions.
Compiled by Mick Patrick and packaged with a 28-page booklet crammed with a 9,000-word essay by Kris Needs, the collection comprises songs that span 1963’s ‘The Lonely Sea’ from the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA” LP and ‘Love And Mercy’ from Brian’s eponymous solo album of 1988, performed by artists ranging from wholesome 60s duos Bruce & Terry and Jan & Dean through to latter-day indie bands such as the Pearlfishers, the Fiction Aisle and Epicycle. Lest we forget, Brian’s co-writers on the featured songs include his frequent collaborators Mike Love, Van Dyke Parks and Gary Usher.
Among the many highlights are power pop stalwarts the Rubinoos’ epic chamber chorale rendition of ‘Heroes And Villains’, Lisa Loeb’s subtly impassioned interpretation of ‘In My Room’, self-confessed Beach Boys super-fan Sean Macreavy’s version of ‘Let’s Go Away For A While’ from his “Dumb Angel” album, jazzy song stylist Samantha Sidley’s smoky reading of ‘Busy Doing Nothing’ and a recording of ‘Do It Again’ by Wall Of Voodoo that Brian liked so much he agreed to appear in the promo video.