Brian Wilson Reviews

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Playback: The Brian Wilson Anthology

Review An anthology of solo recordings from the original Beach Boy, Brian Wilson, starting with his ‘comeback’ album on Sire, through to the current day & a new track ‘Run James Run’ which is unreleased & recorded specifically for this album. The record also features another unreleased track – ‘Some Sweet Day’ – from the sessions with Andy Paley. And the remainder comes from his various solo releases, the self-titled album on Sire, the ‘Smile’ release on Nonesuch, the duet ‘Soul Searchin’’ with his brother Carl from ‘Gettin’ In Over My Head’ right through to the most recent full length ‘No Pier Pressure’ on Capitol.
Unleash The Love (2-CD)

Review For No Pier Pressure, his 11th solo studio album, Brian Wilson has returned to Capitol Records, his original label home with The Beach Boys. Wilson reunited with longtime collaborator Joe Thomas, and was joined at Hollywood's Ocean Way Studios by talented musicians he personally invited to record with him, including his former Beach Boys bandmates Al Jardine, David Marks and Blondie Chaplin, as well as Kacey Musgraves, fun.'s Nate Ruess, She & Him's Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, Peter Hollens, Capital Cities' Sebu Simonian, and trumpet master Mark Isham.
The album features The Right Time, Runaway Dancer and On The Island
1967 - Sunshine Tomorrow [2 CD]

Review ‘BRIAN WILSON AND FRIENDS’ was recorded live in Las Vegas for Chicago television's prestigious ‘Soundstage’ program, in December 2014. This “Soundstage” special aired on PBS in April 2015 and was offered as a pledge piece for PBS in DVD and Blu-ray configurations. This is the FIRST time an audio CD has been offered and bonus tracks have been added not included in the original PBS airing. The program 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.
Filet Of Soul Redux: The Rejected Master Recordings

Review 1-CD expanded edition of debut self titled album by Brian Wilson
Give More Love

Review Brian Wilson's solo debut finally arrived in 1988 to much fanfare and near unanimous critical hosannas. Unfortunately, its commercial impact was negligible, a disappointing outcome for both Wilson, who takes pride in his string of '60s hits, and his boosters, for the 11-song self-titled record represents the zenith of the pop genius's post-Beach Boys oeuvre. "Love and Mercy" heralds Wilson's return to form; lyrically gracious and musically grand, it's an opener quite nearly on a par with "Wouldn't It Be Nice." From there, Wilson and an assortment of coproducers (Russ Titelman, Jeff Lynne, Andy Paley, and Lenny Waronker) intermix brisk, playful rockers ("Night Time," "Little Children") with sumptuous pop concoctions (the a cappella "One for the Boys," "There's So Many"), wrapping things up with an ambitious suite, "Rio Grande." The reissue is generously fleshed out with interview segments, demos, and late-'80s rarities, including the delightful B-side "He Couldn't Get His Poor Old Body to Move." --Steven Stolder
ON AIR [Deluxe]

Review Reissue of self titled debut album by Brian Wilson.
Jeff Lynne's ELO - Wembley or Bust (2 CD/1 Blu-Ray)

Review The soundtrack to the motion picture Love & Mercy features Brian Wilson's new end-title song ''One Kind Of Love'', performances of classic Beach Boys tracks by Paul Dano, who plays Brian in the film and the score by Atticus Ross.
Ross said it's about these two periods of Brian Wilson's life, and Brian was kind enough to give me all his master tapes. So I had ''Pet Sounds'' and all these amazing recordings and this incredible catalogue, the idea was to keep Brian ever present throughout the score.
Hotel California: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Review One of the most mythic albums in rock-the one that pushed Wilson over the edge and sat unfinished in the vault for decades-returned in 2004 when Brian resurrected it , re-recorded it and earned his most rapturous raves in decades. The CD contains Heroes and Villains; Surf's Up; Mrs. O'Leary's Cow; Roll Plymouth Rock , and the rest of the captivating creations of Wilson and Van Dyke Parks. To watch a revelatory documentary about the history and ultimate triumph of SMiLE and see its complete performance in LA (plus an ocean of bonus features), go for the DVD!
Brian Wilson and Friends (CD/DVD)

Review The Greatest Album That Never Was finally is. The Beach Boys' uncompleted 1967 album Smile has remained the elusive touchstone of Brian Wilson's brilliant, star-crossed career for decades. Artistic Holy Grail and troubling professional Waterloo for Wilson, a tantalizing prism of unfulfilled promise to his loyal cadre of fans, its story has become pop music's Rashomon. Finally completed via spring 2004 recordings with his stellar, longtime touring band (none of the original '60s sessions were used, though they've been recreated here with often stunning authenticity), it's arguably as alien to contemporary pop as it might have seemed in its intended '67 context--even to ears freshly primed by the glories of Pet Sounds.

Collaborator Van Dyke Parks's impressionistic, often mischievous lyrics conjure a collage of arcane 19th-century Americana that's equal parts artful ellipse and aloof nostalgia. But wed to Wilson's innovative composition and recording techniques (echoing beat author William Burroughs's fabled cut 'n' paste methodology and exemplified by the modular "Good Vibrations"), the resulting semisuite confections challenge the boundaries of both song and album form, but with an insouciant charm that's as different from Pet Sounds as that landmark was from "I Get Around." Turns out those hypothetical comparisons to Sgt. Pepper's weren't so far off the mark. --Jerry McCulley

Smiling with Brian
Amazon.com Music Editor Peter Hilgendorf called Brian Wilson to congratulate him on the release of Smile, and to talk about the recording and some of the history behind this highly anticipated release. Listen now.

Catch Up with Brian Wilson and the Legend of Smile:
Here are a few lists to help unravel the stories and sounds of Smile.


The Singles (2CD/1Blu-Ray)

Review 2011 album from the Rock legend, one of popular music's most deeply revered figures and the main creative force behind some of the most cherished recordings in rock history. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to call Brian Wilson one of the most influential composers of the last century. On In The Key Of Disney, Brian Wilson rearranges some of Disney's most beloved recordings and makes them uniquely his own. Includes Wilson-ized versions of 'Bare Necessities', 'You've Got A Friend In Me', 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight?', and 'When You Wish Upon A Star'.

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