Brian Wilson (at the piano) (b.1942)
There are certain Beach Boys’ songs whose structure shakes me. Brian Wilson who wrote, arranged and produced, – was extremely inventive in the 1960s. The songs never quite do what you think they are going to, and Wilson’s harmonies are deliciously unconventional. Favourite songs (all from 1966), are Good Vibrations, Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder), Hang On to Your Ego and the rapturous, canonic God Only Knows.
With what happened to the 1960s’ Smile album, it strikes me that Wilson is a fantastic ‘ideas’ man. It’s important to be able to step back to grow musical forms that stand up to sustain interest.
Musicians recording a Beach Boys track. In the foreground: Carol Kaye in foreground on bass guitar