Brian Wilson: Songwriter

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Synchro, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    Those are some great experiences. I would love to have a cup of coffee with Brian Wilson and ask him a few questions about how he organizes music in his head. Obviously, he’s got something going on that most musicians have never contemplated.
     
  2. dlew919

    dlew919 Gretschie

    408
    Jul 18, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    I recommend highly Andrew hickeys ‘the beach boys on CD volumes 1,2 and 3’. They’re available on amazon for about 5 USd each. Excellent books and insights that will be appreciated by your fans. No financial interest.


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  3. pmac11

    pmac11 Synchromatic

    Age:
    54
    784
    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    I about a decade ago i was talking with a friend about the cool syncopation at the beginning of "Good Vibrations", when he steered me to the masterpiece that is Pet Sounds. I was in my 40s and I had never heard it before. To this day "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)" is one of my favourite pieces of music. The structure, the changes, the melody, the ethereal harmonies, the arrangement... Musical genius.

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  4. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    Wilson came up with so many unique compositions that I stand in awe. Most popular songs fit into a handful of chord patterns. Even fairly complex standards are likely to be built on fairly similar harmonic motifs which become recognizable in a hurry. Brian Wilson used familiar and accessible changes in some cases, but even with those, he stitched them together in unusual, even unpredictable manners, changing tone centers almost at will and making for some very unique end products.
     
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  5. pmac11

    pmac11 Synchromatic

    Age:
    54
    784
    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    He was up with Coltrane in that regard.

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  6. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Electromatic

    83
    Jun 2, 2008
    Fort Collins, CO
    You have to give credit to the rest of the guys who had to go out and play those songs. I saw them three times during the "Holland" era where they were trying to get their then new music heard before they decided to become an oldies act. They were amazing.
     
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  7. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    I agree. Coletrane’s harmonic sense coupled with a penchant for very sweet melodic phrases.
     
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  8. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    Thank you, Synchro, for such a well thought out analysis of Brian Wilson's work. Becoming a teenager in Southern California, the Beach Boys music had a great impact on me, and since I was singing tenor in choirs it made me appreciate their vocal harmonies all the more. To this day, the music I appreciate the most involves great harmonies. When I play/sing in a basement band with other pastors, or when I play/sing with the church praise band, I love adding the vocal harmony.
     
  9. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    I completely agree; harmonies are a wonderful part of music. The Four Freshmen have been on my mind lately, for that very same reason.

    Over ten years ago, I had a short-lived collaboration with a couple of other musicians, both of whom had fine voices. One of the songs we worked up was The Pure Prairie League’s “Amie” and when we’d hit the bridge in 3 part harmony it felt great. Fit was an outstanding moment in my musical history.
     
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  10. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Age:
    62
    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    This is true for me, as well. Even as a kid singing along to the radio or stereo, I always sang harmonies.
     
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  11. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    535
    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Well, Wouldn't it Be Nice was played in the air when I walked my wife to the stage on my wedding day at Florence City Hall, Palazzo Vecchio. :)
    Pet Sounds is one of my favorite album ever, and I just think the man is a musical genius.
    I've been lucky enough to attend one of his speech (although he was on heavy medication I guess, as Van Dyke Parks was mostly answering questions for him) at SXSW in Austin on 2005. It's crazy how those people that created from scratch most of the better music ever made, just never realized the artistic value of their work. To me, he's on pair with Beethoven and his legacy.
     
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  12. panhead6zero

    panhead6zero Gretschie

    Age:
    61
    488
    Jan 17, 2015
    The Motor City
    My buddies were into cars in the 70s when I was into Motocross. They naturally were Beach Boys fans. I came to appreciate them much later in life. After seeing them play a benefit outdoor concert in Delaware in the mid 90s, I bought their box set. Great stuff. Surfin' USA was the perfect hula hoop song at a family bbq. I am still in awe when I listen to "Good Vibrations", it is 4 different melodies perfectly connected!
     
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  13. dlew919

    dlew919 Gretschie

    408
    Jul 18, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    ‘Good vibrations’ has very few peers as a piece of music. Bohemian rhapsody maybe. (More accurately March of the black Queen or the prophets song)!Good vibrations genius lies in the fact it’s not a song. Try playing it with one voice and an acoustic guitar. You just can’t. Do it. Yet it’s a remarkable single and a fantastic piece of music.


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  14. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    That’s a great observation. Good Vibrations is a suite, of sorts. It’s several themes strung rogether in a manner which is unique and pleasing.
     
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  15. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I never was much of a Beach Boys fan. Surfing doesn't make much sense when it's 10 below zero and you're hip deep in snow. In the early '60s I was much more a STAX fan.

    I know you fans will hate this, but, the Beach Boys were one of the worst groups that I ever worked. They played our theater in the mid '80s. Couldn't carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it. I realize that it was 20 years after their heyday, but the terrible lack of harmony was really disappointing. I expected much better.
     
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  16. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    They may we’ll have fallen from their former glory, but my interest is chiefly in the genius of Brian Wilson.
     
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  17. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Charles Manson's buddy? He wrote some great tunes, but it's my understanding that he had loads of personal issues.
     
  18. JLD4133

    JLD4133 Country Gent

    May 10, 2011
    Mequon, WI
    Genius, indeed. Thanks so much for your enlightening and entertaining thoughts on Brian Wilson and his music.
     
  19. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    I don’t think that he was ever a fiend of Manson’s. Dennis Wilson allowed Manson and some of his “ family” to stay at his home and ended up moving in order to get rid of them. I believe that he brought them to some recording sessions at Brian Wilson’s home but that wasn’t tolerated for long. The Tate/LaBianca murders may have been, in part, done because of Manson’s anger about having been rejected by the music industry.

    Brian Wilson was incorrectly diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and, for years, over medicated. Eventually, Melinda Leadbetter, Brian’s future wife, was able to convince the family that something was amiss and eventually, Dr. Eugene Landy lost his license to practice in California and was under a restraining order to keep him out of Brian Wilson’s life.

    Recent recordings of Brian Wilson reveal a man who has come a very long way. He no longer speaks in slurred tones and he seems quite normal. He credits many of his problems to drug and alcohol abuse and has even penned lyrics speaking out against drugs.

    I’ve learned as much as I could about Brian Wilson and have come to the conclusion that he is a gentle soul whom only wants to create his music. From an early age, he was pushed hard to come up with more and more music in order to promote the band upon which the family relied for a source of income. That sort of pressure has destroyed many a man over the years and Wilson certainly suffered along the way. I don’t claim to have all the answers and I am certain that he was not flawless in character, but I tend to see him in a positive light.
     
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  20. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Glad to hear he's doing better. The father of the band members sounds like a Joe Jackson type, exploiting the kids' talents for money, as well as similar doctor issues. He's supposed to be taking care of his kids, not the other way around.