Interpretations of six “Pet Sounds” compositions are among the highlights of this celebration of Brian Wilson’s songwriting genius. Pressed on 180g white vinyl with fully illustrated inner bag.
“Here Today! The Songs Of Brian Wilson” was Ace Records’ top-selling release of 2015. To celebrate, we’re releasing this gorgeously packaged vinyl edition featuring a dozen of the best tracks from the CD.
The record industry mindset of the early 60s was to maximise output from any successful group, and Brian Wilson often worked with co-writers in order to meet the demand for Beach Boys product. His earliest writing partners were Gary Usher and Mike Love, both of whom provided a streetwise confidence that to some extent eluded him. The songs he wrote with Usher, Love and others such as Roger Christian and Jan Berry extolled the hedonistic joys of Californian teenage life with such verve that it was taken up all over the world. He wrote mainly for the Beach Boys but also for others and for the teen film industry, providing summer lifestyle numbers for a seemingly insatiable market, but once he stopped performing live with the Beach Boys in late 1964, his songwriting moved into deeper, richer, more adult themes.
The album opens with Darian Sahanaja of the Wondermints’ recording of ‘Do You Have Any Regrets?’, a rare composition from Wilson’s unissued “Sweet Insanity” album of the early 90s. While Wilson’s version was a rather frantic latin-styled piece, Sahanaja’s is a homage to the 1965-era Beach Boys. “I thought the song itself – melody, chords and lyrics – was classic mid-60s Brian,” says Sahanaja. “I imagined what it might have sounded like if it were on “Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)”. So that’s what I went for, really just a fun exercise. My friends Bob Hanes and Lee Dempsey had pressed up a parody 45 called ‘Landy You Need Me’, and when they heard my track they immediately wanted to issue it as a follow-up.” Sahanaja went on to become one of the chief architects in the rejuvenation ofWilson’s career, taking particular responsibility for assisting him in reconstructing the “Smile” recordings.
Other highlights include recordings of songs from “Pet Sounds” by Kirsty MacColl, Carmen McRae, Nick DeCaro, Betty Everett, Bobby Vee and Louis Philippe, which prove Wilson’s compositions easily lend themselves to interpretation by artists from all genres of music. Those who own a copy of MacColl’s harmony-drenched ‘You Still Believe In Me’ single might have noticed “God Bless Brian” etched into the run-off groove – a sentiment echoed by all lovers of great music.
Kingsley Abbott, Mick Patrick & Harvey Williams