Posts Tagged ‘Beach Boys’

Soundstage: Brian Wilson and Friends

Brian Wilson and Friends

Salvo brings the 2015 Soundstage television program starring Brian Wilson, taped in Las Vegas, to a CD/DVD package.  The concert united Wilson with Al Jardine, Blondie Chaplin, Billy Hinsche and various special guests to celebrate his legendary songbook and his new album No Pier Pressure.  The CD features 19 tracks, and the DVD has 25 plus two bonus tracks and additional interview footage.

‘Brian Wilson and Friends’ was recorded live in Las Vegas for Chicago television’s prestigious ‘Soundstage’ programme. The programme features Brian Wilson’s phenomenal touring band (including long-time Beach Boys sidemen Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar) along with special guests Mark Isham, Kacey Musgraves, Nate Ruess (front man of Fun) and She & Him.

The tremendous set list on the DVD and CD includes the Beach Boys classics’ ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘Don’t Worry Baby’, ‘Wild Honey’, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ and many more.

Brian Wilson tours the UK to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his album ‘Pet Sounds’ in May.

Brian Wilson has a new album ‘No Pier Pressure” available on April 7th, 2015, Brian kicks back in the studio in the lyric video for “The Right Time,” a song that will appear on his new upcoming album “No Pier Pressure. The song features contributions from two of Wilson’s fellow Beach Boys, Al Jardine (who sings lead) and David Marks.
In the video, Wilson adds the vocal harmonies that made him famous to the song’s chorus and encourages the musicians, giving bassist Don Was a A-OK hand gesture and smiling at a story Al Jardine tells. Lushly orchestrated and relaxed sounding, right down to the “bah-bah-bah” bridge, the song finds Jardine questioning the right time to start a relationship with a woman. The song is available as an instant download on pre-orders of No Pier Pressure.

The LP contains another song that features Jardine and Marks, “What Ever Happened.” It also contains appearances by a number of notable guests, including She and Him’s Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward (who recently covered the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows”), fun. frontman Nate Ruess, Kacey Musgraves and early Seventies Beach Boys guitarist Blondie Chaplin. When Wilson wrote the album, he was thinking he would be recording it with all of the Beach Boys, as a follow-up to their That’s Why God Made the Radio comeback LP in 2012. But when the reunion fell apart, he assembled a new group of musicians to record what would become     “No Pier Pressure”. The record will come out on April 7th.


Carl Wilson is one of the most-loved and much-missed vocalists and musicians of his generation, whose glorious voice and authoritative guitar graced scores of great recordings. In celebration of the late Beach Boys singer,

His premature death at just 51, in 1998, robbed us of many more years more of his fine work.

Born in the Californian town that the Beach Boys made famous, Hawthorne, Carl was four and a half years younger than his brother Brian, and two years the junior of his other sibling, Dennis. He was close to six years younger than the other mainstay of the group’s sound and personnel, his cousin Mike Love, so Carl had his work cut out to be taken seriously, at least as a vocalist.

He was, however, established in the role of lead guitarist for the group from their very first album, 1962’s ‘Surfin’ Safari.’ His Fender solo, halfway through the hit single title track and in between Love’s verses, sets the template for the customisation of Chuck Berry’s lead lines that was Carl’s first hallmark as a guitarist. His bold introductory line on ‘Surfin’ USA’ was another memorable motif, and occasional instrumentals also put him centre stage, such as the affectionately- titled rock ‘n’ roll shuffle ‘Carl’s Big Chance’ on 1964’s ‘All Summer Long.’

Carl’s early vocal leads on Beach Boys songs were often in the Berry-influenced rock ‘n’ roll idiom that partly defined their early sound, and he was in the spotlight on early album versions of ‘Summertime Blues,’ ‘Louie Louie’ and others. But gradually, his pristine voice started to imprint itself on some of the group’s most memorable sides.

As Brian’s songwriting became more sophisticated, Carl’s voice grew with it, developing a distinctive, supple soulfulness that makes a song like ‘Girl Don’t Tell Me,’ from 1965’s ‘Summer Days (And Summer Nights!)’ such a pleasure. By now, he was also expanding as a guitar player, using the 12-string Rickenbacker that he and other figureheads such as Roger McGuinn and George Harrison helped to popularise.

Then, in the mid-1960s period, came the two most indelible of all Carl’s vocal performances. To this day, many casual listeners probably don’t realise that it’s the often unsung Carl who gives life to his brother Brian’s incredible melodies and lyrics on either of them: ‘God Only Knows,’ the 1966 masterpiece from the ‘Pet Sounds’ album was followed by another work of genius before the end of the year, ‘Good Vibrations,’ on which Carl does the lion’s share of the vocal work, augmented by Brian and Mike.

Carl also showed himself a fine interpreter of the complex lyrics of Van Dyke Parks, as on the mesmeric ‘Wonderful’ from ‘Smiley Smile.’ As the group’s work became more influenced by the experimentation of the later 1960s, there was still room to rock out, with a soulful lead on their cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Was Made To Love Her,’ and to helm chart hits like ‘Darlin’’ and another cover, ‘I Can Hear Music.’

Wilson’s voice helped ease the Beach Boys into the 1970s on ‘Surf’s Up,’ on whose title track Carl plays a major role. The group’s next album, ‘Carl and the Passions – So Tough,’ was even named after an early group of his. As Brian’s involvement lessened, Carl’s musicianship grew ever more important, and his lead vocals on some of their less successful albums of the late 1970s remain very charming, notably ‘Sweet Sunday Kinda Love’ from the ‘M.I.U. Album.’

Carl was the main featured vocalist on 1979’s return to acclaim, the ‘L.A. (Light Album),’ singing and co-writing the fine ‘Good Timin’’ with Brian and steering the lovely ‘Full Sail,’ among others. As the 1980s dawned, the group’s momentum ebbed, even if they were, as Carl sang, trying to keep the summer alive; but 1985’s self-titled album provided the ballad ‘She Believes In Love Again,’ which he co-sang with its writer, Bruce Johnston.

Carl made two solo albums, a self-titled 1981 set and ‘Youngblood’ in 1983. while both are now sadly deleted, here also is a great live performance of ‘Heaven,’ one of the highlights of that solo debut:

A talent such as Carl Wilson’s comes along all too rarely and should be remembered every day, but especially on his birthday.

God only knows how, but the hoarse voiced photojock really pulls it off, slowing down the song to a funereal pace, intoning over bare piano, with only a trace of strings and some George Harrisony slide. OK, arguably Brian Wilson’s meisterwork, it’s a song hard to destroy, but this lily he has gilded to the wall, and may surprise his many detractors, of which I am usually one.

When Bryan Adams decided the Beach Boys’ 1966 song “God Only Knows”, he thought he’d approach it like one of Tony Bennett and Bill Evans’ classic voice-and-piano duets. “There was no way I would ever want to duplicate a Beach Boys song,” says the Canadian rocker, who included the song on his forthcoming album “Tracks of My Years”.

“I wanted to have the vocal featured up front, with no echo and no reverb. I wanted people to hear the nuances of the voice, without any color on it. There’s nothing more beautiful than piano and voice together — other than maybe voice and guitar.