Brian Wilson Raps!

Brian Wilson’s 68th birthday is today.

Back on the January 28, 2010 episode of JEOPARDY!, there was a whole category devoted to THE SONGS OF BRIAN WILSON:
$200: One of Wilson’s Beach Boys classics asks this girl to “help, help me” to get another girl “out of my heart”
$400: “I’m picking up” these, “she’s giving me excitations”
$600: Title that precedes “If we were older, then we wouldn’t have to wait so long”
$800: Wilson wrote, “I have watched you on the shore, standing by the ocean’s roar, do you love me, do you” this lass
$1000: “There’s a world where I can go and tell my secrets to”, it’s here

Answers below.
***

I’ve been playing my Beach Boys and Brian Wilson albums for the past couple weeks in anticipation of Brian’s 68th birthday, which was this past Sunday. I get to Sweet Insanity, a 1991 album that Brian’s record label, Sire, rejected as uncommercial. Friend of mine provide me with an “unauthorized copy.” I dunno; I like quite a few of the songs, several of which show up on later albums.

Then there’s Smart Girls, a rap song that features bits from Beach Boys songs. Musically, it’s strange and goofy but not awful – at first; but eventually the snippets override the beats and it becomes a real mess. The lyrics indicate that he was once a sexist pig seeking out, and singing about none-too-smart females, but now he values intelligence in women; seems overwrought.

Here’s a clip, and if that doesn’t work, try this one.

Interestingly, the 1970 album that came to known as Sunflower, the first Beach Boys album on the Reprise label after the group left Capitol, was also initially rejected by the new company, with some of the purged pieces showing up on later collections, but others never showing up on any compilation.
***
When Brian was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors a few years back, there was a group named Libera who performed in his honor – here’s the YouTube of Love and Mercy (from Brian’s 1988 solo album).
***
Answers to the JEOPARDY! queries: Continue reading “Brian Wilson Raps!”

Stevie Wonder is 60


Stevie Wonder is 60 years old today. Only 60? Seems that he’s been around forever. I guess that’s what happens when you’re dubbed the “12-year-old genius.” Wish I had the time to indicate all of his significance in my musical life. Among other things, I’ve stated that he and Paul Simon were THE two most important artists in my record collection in the 1970s. Here are just some highlights.

Really don’t remember the earlier singles, such as “Fingertips, Part 2”, except as an oldie. The first song I recall listened to, on the radio, was Uptight (Everything’s Alright) in 1966. I loved it! Later, I got an album from my sister’s godfather, of all people, of Bill Cosby called Silver Throat, where he sings a parody of Uptight called Little Old Man.

My sister owned the 1966 album Down to Earth, containing the title track and A Place In the Sun, the latter a song written by Stevie that everyone at the time seemed compelled to cover. I owned 1970’s Signed Sealed Delivered.

Possibly my favorite Wonder song in the early years was 1967’s “I Was Made to Love Her”

I owned the so-so 1967 Someday At Christmas, though it contains THE great secular Christmas tune, “What Christmas Means to Me.” Continue reading “Stevie Wonder is 60”