Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road

You may have read this wire story about the surviving Beach Boys getting together on the roof of the Capitol Records building to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Pet Sounds album.

I thought I’d list, not so much my favorite Beach Boys songs, but the ones that have affected me the most. Truth is, I could probably pick seven songs from Pet Sounds for the Top Ten, but what fun would THAT be?

1. Sail On Sailor – from my freshman year in college; the first time I really listened to post-Pet Sounds Beach Boys.
2. God Only Knows – damn, this is so beautiful, I could practically cry.
3. Our Prayer – ditto.
4. I Get Around- the first Beach Boys song I ever owned. The instrument-only version from the box set merely enhances my enjoyment.
5. Help Me Rhonda – the BAW BAW BAW BAW version with the “Help me Rhonda, yeah” in harmony, not the other, inferior version.
6. Don’t Talk – “Listen. Listen, listen, listen.”
7. In My Room – beautiful, but sad.
8. ‘Til I Die – beautiful, but REALLY sad. “I’m a cork on the ocean.”
9. Darlin’ – just because.
10. Feel Flows – from my college days, reinforced by Cameron Crowe.
11. Wouldn’t It Be Nice – a specific personal reference.
12. When I Grow Up – I was a sucker for the years going by: “14, 15, 16, 17”.
13. All Summer Long – from American Graffiti. Always thought the instrumental bridge was out of tune.
14. You Still Believe In Me – another Pet Sounds track.
15. Barbara Ann – great sing-a-long song.
16. Caroline, No – the single listed as by Brian Wilson.
17. Don’t Worry, Baby – the other first song in my collection.
18. Be True to Your School – another song with multiple versions; I like the one without the female background singers. A JEOPARDY reference.
19. I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times – sometimes, I could relate to the title.
20. Transcendental Mediation – I loved the irony: a relaxed title with fairly raucous music.
21. Break Away – it was a VERY minor hit in 1969 (#63); I didn’t hear it until the mid-1970s.
22. Good Vibrations – probably would have ranked higher except that it was savagely overplayed.
23. Surf’s Up – I have no idea what most of the lyrics mean, but it has that classic BB vocalese ending.
24. Let’s Go Away for Awhile – instrumental from Pet Sounds.
25. Surfer Girl

And, Friends, if I were to Do It Again, under the Warmth of the Sun, I might have picked a dozen other songs and rearrange the order.

Anyway, happy 64th birthday to Brian Wilson, who, with the release of SMiLE last year and the related tour, seems to be in a very good place.
School budget vote in Albany today. Budget is $500 LESS than the contingency budget, but the contingency budget would be more restrictive. Vote YES., 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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