Brian Wilson

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Posted by r2d2 04/07/2009 @ 07:10

Tags : brian wilson, rock and pop, artists, music, entertainment, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Show Me Up, Show You Up - New York Times
This past week (as if the Giants and Dodgers need any other things to fight about, dating back to their days together in New York and their subsequent escape to California) the San Francisco pitcher Brian Wilson and the Los Angeles third baseman Casey...
Giants can't close deal in 9th, lose to San Diego - San Jose Mercury News
But Brian Wilson pushed it right back. The Giants' struggling closer loaded the bases and hit David Eckstein on the elbow to force in the tying run, then card-carrying Giant killer Scott Hairston followed with a walk-off single that sent the San Diego...
Wilson's Implosion Extends Giants Losing Streak - NBC Bay Area
By CRAIG FIERRO NEW YORK - JULY 15: National League All-Star Brian Wilson #38 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch during the 79th MLB All-Star Game against the American League All-Stars at Yankee Stadium on July 15, 2008 in the Bronx borough...
Giants' Sabean exploring trade routes - San Jose Mercury News
Sabean has more patience for closer Brian Wilson, who is "cutting his teeth," and disagreed with a question about Fred Lewis' apparent regression in left field. "Freddie's going to be given every opportunity," Sabean said. "We have confidence in him....
Wilson vows not to forget Casey Blake's mocking gesture - Los Angeles Times
Giants closer Brian Wilson begins his celebratory routine -- where he brings his arm across his chest, index fingers pointed up, as a tribute to his faith and departed father -- after closing a game last month. By Dylan Hernandez San Francisco Giants...
Guzman joins big club in time for loss - San Francisco Chronicle
But in the bottom of the inning, besieged closer Brian Wilson surrendered two runs, one when he drilled David Eckstein with the bases full and the other on a game-ending single by Giants killer Scott Hairston. "I'm not going to be perfect," said Wilson...
PIAA Girls Track & Field Results - USA Today
400: 1, Brittany Wallace, Penn Wood, 55.08; 2, Arielle Fonrose, Archbishop Pendergast, 56.02; 3, Gabrielle Poore, Wilson, 56.22; 4, Shannon Abraham, Norwin, 56.39; 5, Morgan Sheaffer, West Perry, 57.24; 6, Tori Spence, Donegal, 57.45; 7,...
Frederick Defeats Fallston To Win First State Crown - Washington Post
In the fourth, Wilson walked, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a single to center field by Hank Adams. Later in the inning, after another pitching change, Brian Weddle's single scored Andrew Zimnik for a 6-1 lead....
Hey, Tony: Tony Grossi answers your Cleveland Browns questions - The Plain Dealer -
Brian Wilson, Houston Hey, Brian: Never happen. Snee not only is a central figure on the Giants' offensive line, he is the son-in-law of coach Tom Coughlin. Hey, Tony: What happened to Kam Wimbley? I know he hasn't had great support on the other end...
The Power Of Twitter. - Bleacher Report
By now we've all heard about the Brian Wilson hijacking a bus to go to downtown Arizona story. What is twitter? ESPN has one, KNBR has one, shoot, Ashton Kutcher has more than half a million followers. We almost never hear athletes from their thoughts...

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson in 2007

Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942 in Hawthorne, California) is a Grammy Award-winning American musician best known as the leader and chief songwriter of the American rock and roll band, the Beach Boys. Within the band, Wilson played bass, keyboards, provided part-time lead vocals and, more often, backing vocals, harmonizing in falsetto with the group.

Wilson was the primary songwriter in the Beach Boys, also functioning as the band's main producer, composer, and arranger. In 1988, Wilson and his bandmates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which refers to Wilson on its website as "One of the few undisputed geniuses in popular music." In 2008, Rolling Stone Magazine published a list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time, and Wilson was ranked at #52.

He is also an occasional actor and voice actor, having appeared in television shows, films, and other music artist music videos.

At the age of two, Brian Wilson's family moved to 3701 West 119th Street in Hawthorne, California, a town in the greater Los Angeles urban area about five miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. He spent his entire subsequent childhood years in this middle-class family home.

While father Murry was a reasonable provider, he was abusive and hard to please, liable to dispense harsh punishments for minor or perceived misdeeds. But Murry, a minor musician and songwriter, also encouraged his children in this field in numerous ways. At a young age, Brian was given six weeks of lessons on a "toy accordion", and at seven and eight sang solos in church with a choir behind him.

By most accounts, a natural leader by the time he began attending Hawthorne High School, Brian was on the football team as a quarterback, played baseball and was a cross-country runner his senior year." However, the majority of his energy was directed towards music. He sang with various students at school functions and with his family and friends at home. Brian taught his two brothers harmony parts that all three would then practice when they were supposed to be asleep. He also played piano obsessively after school, deconstructing the harmonies of The Four Freshmen by listening to short segments of their songs on a phonograph, then working to recreate the blended sounds note by note on the keyboard.

Wilson's surviving home tapes document his initial musical efforts singing with various buddies and family, including a song that would later be recorded in the studio by the Beach Boys, 'Sloop John B.' as well as 'Bermuda Shorts' and a hymn titled 'Good News'. In his senior year at Hawthorne High, in addition to his classroom music studies he would gather at lunchtime to sing with friends like Keith Lent, Bruce Griffin, and the improbably-named Robin Hood. Brian and Lent worked on a revised version of the tune "Hully Gully" to support the campaign of a female classmate named Carol Hess who was running for senior class president. When performed for a full high school gathering, Brian's revised arangement received a warm round of applause from the student audience.

Enlisting his cousin and often-time singing partner Mike Love, and Wilson's reluctant youngest brother Carl Wilson, Brian's next public performance featured more ambitious arrangements at a fall arts program at his high school. To entice Carl into the group, Wilson named the newly-formed membership 'Carl and the Passions'. The performance featured tunes by Dion and the Belmonts and The Four Freshmen ("It's a Blue World"), the latter of which proved difficult for the ensemble to carry off. However, the event was notable for the impression it made on another musician and classmate of Brian's who was in the audience that night, Al Jardine, later to join the three Wilson brothers and Mike Love in the Beach Boys.

Brian enrolled at El Camino Community College in Los Angeles, majoring in psychology, in September of 1960. However, he continued his music studies at the college as well. At some point in the year 1961 Brian wrote his first all-original melody, loosely based on a Dion and the Belmonts version of "When You Wish Upon a Star". Brian's tune would eventually be known as "Surfer Girl". Brian has commented that he wrote the melody in his car, then later at home finished the bridge and harmonies. Although an early demo of the song was recorded in Feb. 1962 at World-Pacific Studios, it was not re-recorded and released until 1963, when it became a top ten hit.

Brian and his brothers Carl and Dennis Wilson along with Mike Love and Al Jardine first jelled as a music group in the summer of 1961, initially named the Pendeltones. After being prodded by Dennis to write a song about the local watersports craze, Brian and Mike Love together created what would become the first single for the band, "Surfin'". Recorded by Hite and Dorinda Morgan and released on the small Candix label, the song became a top local hit in Los Angeles and reached number seventy-five on the national Billboard sales charts.

However, the Pendeltones were no more. Without the band's knowledge or permission, Candix Records had changed their name to The Beach Boys.

Brian Wilson and his bandmates, following a set by Ike and Tina Turner, performed their first major live show at The Ritchie Valens Memorial Dance on New Year's Eve, 1961. Three days previously, Brian's father had bought him an electric bass and amplifier; Brian had learned to play the instrument in that short period of time, with Al Jardine moving to rhythm guitar.

Looking for a followup single for their radio hit, Brian and Mike wrote "Surfin' Safari," and attempts were made to record a usable take at World Pacific, including overdubs, on February 8, 1962, along with several other tunes including an early version of "Surfer Girl". Only a few days later, discouraged about the band's financial prospects, and objecting to adding some Chubby Checker songs to the Beach Boys live setlist, Al Jardine abruptly left the group.

Murry Wilson had become the Beach Boys manager, and when Candix Records ran into money problems and sold the group's master recordings to another label, Murry terminated the contract. Brian, worried about the Beach Boys' future, asked his father to help his group make more recordings. But Murry and Hite Morgan (who at this point was their music publisher) were turned down by a number of Los Angeles record companies.

As "Surfin'" faded from the charts, Brian, who had forged a songwriting partnership with Gary Usher, created several new tunes, including a car song, "409", that Usher had helped write. Recruiting Carl and Dennis's friend, thirteen-year-old neighbor David Marks, who had been playing electric guitar (and practicing with Carl) for years, Brian and the revamped Beach Boys cut new tracks on April 19th at Western Recorders including an updated "Surfin' Safari" and "409". These tunes convinced Capitol Records to release the demos as a single; they became a double-sided national hit.

After signing with Capitol Records in mid-1962, Brian Wilson wrote or co-wrote (most often with Mike Love) a series of hit singles including the aforementioned "Surfin' Safari", "Surfin' USA", "Shut Down", "Little Deuce Coupe", "Be True to Your School", "In My Room", "Fun, Fun, Fun", "I Get Around", "Dance, Dance, Dance", "Help Me Rhonda", "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations". These songs and their accompanying albums were internationally popular, making the Beach Boys one of the biggest acts of their time.

Recording sessions for the band's first album took place in Capitol's basement studios (in the famous tower building) in August 1962, but early on Brian lobbied for a different place to cut Beach Boy tracks. The large rooms were built to record the big orchestras and ensembles of the 50's, not small rock groups. At Brian's insistence, Capitol agreed to let the Beach Boys pay for their own outside recording sessions, which Capitol would own all the rights to, and in return the band would receive a higher royalty rate on their record sales. Additionally, although it was very rare at the time for rock and roll band members to have a say in the process of making their records, during the taping of their first LP Brian fought for, and won, the right to be totally in charge of the production- though his first acknowledged liner notes production credit did not come until the band's third album Surfer Girl, in 1963.

January of 1963 saw the recording of the first top-ten (cresting at #3 in the United States) Beach Boys single, Surfin' USA, which began the long run of highly successful recording efforts at Hollywood's Western Recorders on Sunset Boulevard. It was during the sessions for this single that Brian made the production decision from that point on to use double-tracking on the group's vocals, resulting in a deeper and more resonant sound.

The tune, adapted from (and eventually partially credited to) Chuck Berry, is widely seen as emblematic of the early 60's American rock cultural experience.

Brian became known for his unique use of vocal harmonies, his trademark style of lyrics and incessant studio perfectionism. Early influences on his work included not only the previously mentioned Four Freshmen and Chuck Berry, but also producer Phil Spector, the latter of whom obsessed him for years. He later considered The Beatles to be his chief rivals, and they in turn would cite his work as a major influence. Wilson also produced records for other artists, but to much lesser success. An exception: he co-wrote several of Jan and Dean's biggest hits during this period.

In 1965, due to his dislike of touring and in an effort to concentrate on songwriting and studio production, Brian Wilson stopped performing live with the Beach Boys; Glen Campbell was called in as a temporary replacement. Wilson then chose Bruce Johnston as a long-term replacement, who remains with the Beach Boys today.

In 1966, he released Pet Sounds, which sold only modestly at the time, but has since become widely critically acclaimed and often cited among the all-time greatest albums. After Pet Sounds, "Good Vibrations" was released as a single, giving the Beach Boys their third U.S. number-one hit, after "I Get Around" and "Help Me, Rhonda", and selling over a million copies. Wilson then began work on a new album, originally called Dumb Angel but soon re-titled Smile, which he described as a "teenage symphony to God." A combination of resistance from within the group and Wilson's own growing personal problems led to the cancellation of the project in May of 1967. The hastily compiled Smiley Smile was then released in its place. For many years, Wilson would refuse to even discuss the project, calling it "inappropriate music". He would ultimately re-record Smile as a solo artist in 2004.

Psychologically overwhelmed by the cancellation of his pet SMiLE project and the birth of his first child in 1968, Wilson began to take on a diminished creative role within the Beach Boys. Until about 1970 he remained the group's principal songwriter, but increasingly production reins were handed to younger brother Carl. Wilson mostly oversaw the albums Smiley Smile, Wild Honey and Friends and while these were not without merit they performed only modestly on the charts. After that, he all but stopped writing songs and was frequently seen partying in the company of songwriter Tandyn Almer and Three Dog Night singer Danny Hutton. It was during this period that he was introduced to cocaine. The 1969 album 20/20 was made mostly without Wilson's participation, although the Wilson/Love-authored "Do It Again" was a major hit, topping the charts in the UK.

Wilson spent the majority of the following three years in his bedroom sleeping, taking drugs, and overeating. Many of his "new" contributions to Beach Boys albums were remnants of SMiLE (e.g., "Cabinessence", "Surf's Up"), and those that were genuinely new reflected his depression and growing detachment from the world ("'Til I Die", the EP "Mount Vernon and Fairway"). Reportedly, Warner Bros. Records was so desperate for material from Wilson that the single "We Got Love" (co-written by Ricky Fataar, Blondie Chaplin, and Love) was scrapped from the Holland album in favor of "Sail On, Sailor", a song mostly written by committee (including Chaplin, Almer and Parks) that happened to draw its initial germ from a Wilson chord sequence.

In 1975, Brian's wife and family enlisted the services of controversial therapist Eugene Landy in a bid to help Brian, and hopefully help revive the group's ailing profile. Brian did not stay under Landy's care for long, but during this short period, the doctor managed to help him into a more productive, social frame of mind. The new album 15 Big Ones, consisting of oldies and some new songs was released in 1975 and Brian began to regularly appear live on stage with the band. A Love-orchestrated publicity campaign announced that "Brian is Back". Brian was also deemed to be well enough to do a solo performance on Saturday Night Live in November 1976. In 1977, the cult favorite Love You was released, consisting entirely of new material written and performed by Wilson. He continues to say it is his favorite Beach Boys album.

By 1982, Wilson was regressing into old habits; he was taking large amounts of cocaine, he weighed over 300 pounds, and he was in danger of losing his life. Eugene Landy was once more called into action, and a more radical program was undertaken to try to restore Brian to health. This involved firing him from the Beach Boys, isolating him from his family on Hawaii, and being put onto a rigorous diet and health regimen. This, coupled with long, extreme counseling sessions, brought Brian back to reality. He was certainly healthier and more conversant than previously, but he was also under a strict level of control by Landy. Brian's recovery continued as he joined the band on stage in Live Aid in 1985, and recorded a new eponymous album with the Beach Boys.

Some years later, during his second marriage, he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type which supposedly caused him to hear voices in his head. By 1989 the rumor was that Brian either had a stroke or had abused too many drugs and was permanently "fried." One biographer reported that the actual problem was that Wilson, who had been prescribed antipsychotic medicine by Landy since 1983, had developed tardive dyskinesia, a neurological condition marked by involuntary, repetitive movements, that develops in about 20% of patients treated with antipsychotic drugs for a long period of time. Wilson's drug regimen has now been reduced to a mild combination of antidepressants, and he has resumed recording and performing.

The effects of Brian Wilson's mental illness on his parenting skills were discussed by Wilson's daughter Wendy during her appearance in an episode of the British reality television program, Supernanny February 2008 episode. Wilson's daughter Carnie and granddaughter Lola also made an appearance on the episode.

Wilson launched a career as a solo artist in 1988 with limited success. It is possible that his efforts in this regard were both encouraged and hampered by Landy's influence. Partly due to the control that Landy exercised on his life, Wilson stopped working with the Beach Boys on a regular basis after the release of The Beach Boys in 1985. He had been signed to a solo record deal with Sire Records by label boss Seymour Stein.

Wilson released a solo album, Brian Wilson, in 1988 and a memoir, Wouldn't It Be Nice - My Own Story, in which he spoke for the first time about his troubled relationship with his abusive father Murry and his "lost years" of mental illness. Although it was written following interviews with Brian and others, Landy was largely responsible for the book, in conjunction with People magazine writer Todd Gold. The book describes Landy in terms that could be called messianic. In a later lawsuit over the book, Wilson testified in court that he hadn't even read the final manuscript. As a result, the book was taken out of press some years later.

A second solo album made for Sire, entitled Sweet Insanity, was never released. Landy's illegal use of psychotropic drugs on Wilson and his influence over Wilson's financial affairs was legally ended by Wilson's brother Carl. In 1995, Wilson married Melinda Ledbetter after a longstanding relationship with Stephanie Marks and subsequently the couple adopted two girls, Daria and Delanie, and, in 2004, a son, Dylan. He has two daughters from his first marriage to Marilyn Rovell: Carnie Wilson and Wendy Wilson, who would go on to musical success of their own in the early 1990s as two-thirds of Wilson Phillips.

Also in 1995, he released two albums, albeit neither containing any new original material, almost simultaneously. The first, the soundtrack to Don Was's documentary I Just Wasn't Made for These Times, consists of re-recorded versions of songs from his Beach Boys and solo catalogue produced by Was, along with a 1976-vintage demo recording. The second, Orange Crate Art, saw Wilson as lead vocalist on an album of songs produced, arranged and (mostly) written by Van Dyke Parks, and was released as a duo album under both men's names.

His final release as part of the group was on the 1996 album Stars and Stripes Vol. 1, a group collaboration with select country music artists singing the lead vocals. After considerable mental recovery, he mended his relationship with his daughters Carnie and Wendy and the three of them released an album in 1997 titled The Wilsons.

Wilson released a second solo album of (mostly) new material, Imagination, in 1998. Following this, he learned to cope with his stage fright and started to play live for the first time in decades, going on to play the whole Pet Sounds album live on his tours of the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe.

A new studio album, Gettin' in Over My Head, was released on June 22, 2004. It featured collaborations with Elton John, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, and Wilson's deceased brother Carl. Eric Clapton played on the track "City Blues." The album was almost entirely composed of re-recordings of unreleased material, and received mixed reviews.

With the improvements in his mental health, Wilson found himself finally able to contemplate returning to the Smile project. Aided admirably by musician and long time fan Darian Sahanahja of The Wondermints, and lyricist Van Dyke Parks, Brian painstakingly worked throughout 2003 to realize the album. In February 2004, 37 years after it was conceived, Wilson debuted the newly completed Smile at the Royal Festival Hall in London and throughout a subsequent UK tour.

The debut performance at the RFH was a defining moment for Brian. The documentary DVD of the event shows Brian preparing for the big day and, right up to show time, expressing doubts over the concept of putting this legendary work before the public. He need not have worried. After an opening set of Beach Boys classics, he climbed back on stage to front the most breathtaking performance of his life. A 10 minute standing ovation left Brian stunned centre stage surrounded by the musicians who had made this moment real. Critical acclaim was unanimous, and the emotional presence of rock luminaries such as Roger Daltrey, Paul Weller, Sir George Martin and Sir Paul McCartney added to the sense that, finally, a weight had been lifted from Brian's shoulders.

Smile was then recorded through April to June and released in September, to wide critical acclaim. The release hit #13 on the Billboard chart. The 2004 recording featured his backup/touring band, including Beach Boys guitarist Jeff Foskett, members of the Wondermints and backup singer Taylor Mills. In this version, "Good Vibrations" features Tony Asher's original lyrics in the verses, instead of Mike Love's lyrics from the released 1966 version.

Wilson won his first Grammy Award in 2004 for the track "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow (Fire)" as Best Rock Instrumental. In 2004 Smile was taken on the road for a thorough tour of Australia, New Zealand and Europe. In December 2005, he also released What I Really Want for Christmas for Arista Records. The release hit #200 on the Billboard chart, though sales were modest. Wilson's remake of the classic "Deck The Halls" became a surprise Top 10 Adult Contemporary hit.

Though no longer a part of The Beach Boys touring band, Brian Wilson remains a member of the Beach Boys corporation, Brother Records Incorporated.

In February 2005, Wilson had a cameo in the TV series Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century as Daffy Duck's spiritual surfing advisor. He also appeared in the 2005 holiday episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, performing "Deck the Halls" for a group of children with xeroderma pigmentosum (hypersensitivity to sunlight) at Walt Disney World Resort. On July 2, 2005, Wilson performed for the Live 8 concert in Berlin, Germany.

In September 2005, Wilson arranged a charity drive to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, wherein people who donated $100 or more would receive a personal phone call from Wilson. According to the website, over $250K was raised. In November 2005, former bandmate Mike Love sued Wilson over "shamelessly misappropriating... Love's songs, likeness, and the Beach Boys trademark, as well as the 'Smile' album itself" in the promotion of Smile. The lawsuit was ultimately thrown out of court on grounds that it was meritless.

On November 1, 2006, Wilson kicked off a small but highly anticipated tour celebrating the 40th anniversary of Pet Sounds. He was joined by Al Jardine.

Wilson released a new album That Lucky Old Sun on September 2, 2008. The piece originally debuted in a series of September 2007 concerts at London's Royal Festival Hall, and in January 2008 at Sydney's State Theatre while headlining the Sydney Festival. Wilson describes the piece as "consisting of five 'rounds', with interspersed spoken word". A series of US and UK concerts led up to its release.

On September 30, 2008, Seattle's Light in the Attic Records released A World of Peace Must Come, a collaboration between Wilson and Stephen Kalinich, originally recorded in 1969, but later lost in Kalinich's closet.

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Smile (Brian Wilson album)

Smile cover

Smile, sometimes typeset with the idiosyncratic partial capitalization SMiLE, is a solo album by Brian Wilson, with lyrics by Van Dyke Parks released on 28 September 2004 on CD and two-disc vinyl. Wilson, Parks and Darian Sahanaja completed the legendary unfinished album project, started in 1966 for Wilson's former band, The Beach Boys. It was released in the fall of 2004 with back-up from members of his touring band, including three members of Wondermints.

Work on the original Beach Boys version of Smile (what Brian Wilson called 'a teenage symphony to God') began in 1966, following the release of their album Pet Sounds, and based on the recording mode of their single "Good Vibrations". But a combination of resistance from the other members of the band, recording difficulties, Brian Wilson's dissatisfaction with the project itself, and his eventual mental breakdown led to the collapse of its sessions. Remnant recordings from the 1966-67 sessions have since surfaced on bootleg recordings and official Beach Boys greatest hits and rarities compilations, and a few recordings were completed by the Beach Boys and released on other albums between 1967 and 1971.

The 2004 Smile album is in three suites. Some of the themes of the first section are early Americana, from Plymouth Rock to the Old West, farmlands, the building of the railroad and new housing. The album, appropriately for a 'teenage symphony to God' begins with 'Our Prayer' which is coupled with 1950s doo-wop song "Gee", including the lyrics 'How I love my girl'. This segues into "Heroes and Villains" which was conceived as the cornerstone of the entire Smile album. The "Heroes and Villains" lyric 'My children were raised, you know they suddenly rise. They started slow long ago, head to toe, healthy, wealthy and wise.' ties in with the childhood/fatherhood theme of the second suite. "Roll Plymouth Rock" partly reprises the 'Heroes and Villains' theme and features lyrics in Hawaiian, a theme that is returned to in the third suite. The easy-going "Barnyard" features band members mimicking farmyard animals. The clanging sound of metal evident on "Cabin Essence" is echoed in 'Workshop' in the third suite.

Some of the themes of the second suite are childhood and fatherhood and it features some music box-style melodies."Surf's Up" has arcane, mysterious lyrics and considerable wordplay.

The third suite mostly seems to represent 'The Elements Suite' that Brian Wilson had talked about. It begins with the partly waltz-like "I'm In Great Shape", which then features an upbeat vocal and gradually grows darker, becoming reminiscent of the kind of score that would be used at moments of growing tension or drama in cartoons, such as those by Disney. Indeed, lyricist Van Dyke Parks has said that Brian Wilson has a 'cartoon consciousness'. "I Wanna Be Around" suggests the literal physical repair of a broken heart, fitting in with the 'Workshop' theme. Like "I'm In Great Shape", "Vega-Tables", epitomizes an interest in health and fitness that Brian Wilson had at the time. The song, like several on the album, has a carefree, humorous quality. "Vega-Tables" also represents the 'Earth' theme of 'The Elements,' which is either all or part of the third suite. "On A Holiday", originally an instrumental, has a reprise of the "Roll Plymouth Rock" lyric and a distinctly jaunty pirate theme with some nursery rhyme-style lyrics, e.g. 'And isn't that a moon for a milky way?' The song segues into "Wind Chimes," the 'Air' part of the 'Elements' with the line 'Whisperin' winds send my wind chimes a-tinklin'. This is followed by the 'Fire' element, the Grammy-award winning "Mrs O'Leary's Cow," which has a helter skelter, ghost train/fun house kind of sound. The song is regarded as something of an expression of Brian Wilson's use of psychedelic drugs at the time and the title refers to the suspected cause of the Great Chicago Fire, a cow that knocked over a lantern. The following song, "In Blue Hawaii" (the 'Water' element), also makes reference to a cow ('Wholly Holy Cow!'). The song acts as a soothing solution to the intense heat of the previous song: 'I could really use a drop to drink, somewhere in a placid pool and sink.' The album ends on "Good Vibrations" (which has been described as a 'pocket symphony'), undoubtedly the best known song on the album. "Good Vibrations" broadly goes through three distinct phases (as Smile does) and makes use of Theremin-like sounds from an Electro-Theremin, which had previously been used mainly in horror films. There is an indication that 'Good Vibrations' is meant to be regarded as separate from or perhaps an encapsulation of the spirit of the rest of 'Smile.' This is strongly suggested by the last line of the penultimate song "In Blue Hawaii," 'Aloha nui means goodbye,' and the reprise of the harmonies from the first song "Our Prayer" before "Good Vibrations" begins. Nevertheless, the tone and the choice of instrumentation in the song seems to bear more similarity to the rest of Smile than to Pet Sounds that some, including several Beach Boys, would have liked to have seen "Good Vibrations" feature on.

The album was supposedly conceived as a musical journey across America from east to west, beginning at Plymouth Rock and ending in Hawaii, as well as traversing some of the great themes of American history and culture, including the impact of white settlement on native Americans, the influence of the Spanish, the Wild West, and the opening up of the country by railroad and motorway. It seems chronological, moving from early America through the Victorian era and ending with the 1960s drug culture (eg. "Mrs O'Leary's Cow") and the Hawaii of "In Blue Hawaii" which, in terms of American statehood (since 1959), was very recent when the album was first conceived.

In interviews to promote Smile, Brian Wilson has concentrated on the happy, humorous qualities of the music, which are evident. However, there is also a clear and beautiful melancholy in Brian Wilson's voice and throughout the album eg. on "Old Master Painter"/"You Are My Sunshine" and "Surf's Up." The lyrics to "You Are My Sunshine" have been altered to past tense, adding a reflective somberness. The intensity of the chorus on "Cabin Essence" and of "Mrs O'Leary's Cow," for just two obvious examples, show that the humor became entwined with dark, powerful, intensity as evidenced by the famous stories surrounding Smile. As Brian Wilson long referred to the innovative Smile as 'inappropriate music,' though, it is understandable that he would wish to concentrate on the unambiguously happy aspects of the project.

On February 20, 2004, 37 years after it was conceived, a complete version of Smile was performed by Wilson along with his backing band, which includes former Beach Boys guitarist Jeff Foskett, members of The Wondermints and percussionist Nelson Bragg, in a live performance at the Royal Festival Hall in London. This performance was made whole by the addition of either lost or newly-composed lyrics that filled the gaps left open by the original 1966-67 Beach Boys sessions. This show was followed by subsequent performances elsewhere in Britain.

Recording of the new version of Smile began in April 2004 with his ten-piece touring band, augmented by a ten-piece string section and an acoustic bassist. The basic tracks were taped at Sunset Sound in just four days, with overdubbing and mixing continuing through April, May, and June.

On September 28, 2004, Brian Wilson released his newly recorded studio version of Smile, to critical praise. Smile is the greatest scoring album of at least the last 7 years based on Metacritic's estimations of various critics reviews. For the new version, Wilson, Wondermints leader Darian Sahanaja, woodwind player/string arranger Paul Mertens, and lyricist Van Dyke Parks based their arrangements on the original, unreleased Beach Boys tapes to give Smile a coherent and fresh, updated sound.

Interestingly, although Brian was reported to have only included "Good Vibrations" in the original Smile track listing at Capitol's insistence, a new version of the song—featuring Wilson's Pet Sounds collaborator Tony Asher's original lyrics, rather than the later Mike Love lyrics—was included as the closing track of the album.

The new Smile album was followed by two U.S. tours, with its featured stop in New York's Carnegie Hall; the two Carnegie Hall shows were amalgamated for broadcast on NPR's Creators At Carnegie series. Wilson and company also took the show to Australia and New Zealand, as well as many countries throughout Europe.

The Showtime cable network released a documentary film about the making of Brian Wilson Presents Smile known as "Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of Smile." in the fall of 2004. And a DVD of a live version of the new Smile (shot in an L.A. studio) was released in May 2005, along with the Showtime/"Beautiful Dreamer" documentary.

In 2005, Smile won graphic artist Mark London and Rhino Records the 2005 ALEX award for Best Vinyl Package.

All songs by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, except where noted.

The first of these tracks appeared on the second-edition CD release of Smile, all of them constitute side four of the vinyl release.

Smile received high critical acclaim from music critics, earning a 97 on Metacritic. It is currently the highest ranked album in their database, along with Led Zeppelin's How the West Was Won and Van Lear Rose by Loretta Lynn. Rolling Stone gave the album five out of five and said, "Smile is beautiful and funny, goofily grand." Robert Christgau, who was skeptical of the album back in the 60's, was also impressed: "I considered the legend of Smile hot air back then, this re-creation proves he had plenty more to make of it." Cokemachineglow writer Scott Reid praised the album for surpassing hype, "Defying most all fan fears, not to mention several laws of logic and nature, SMiLE has arrived as incredible and ground-breaking a record as any of us could have hoped."Pitchfork Media awarded the album 9.0 out of 10 and later named it 5th best album of 2004 and the 25th best album released between 2000 and 2004. John Bush of Allmusic commented that Smile was "a remarkably unified, irresistible piece of pop music", yet decreed that it was "no musical watershed on par with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band or Wilson's masterpiece, Pet Sounds".

The album also received multiple nominations for the 2004 Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical (for Mark Linett). The album won one Grammy, in the category of Best Rock Instrumental Performance (for "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow," the same track which had caused Wilson such mental anguish at the end of the original recording sessions).

One person not pleased with the ultimate release of Smile was former Beach Boy Mike Love, who sued Brian Wilson in 2005 over it, claiming that Wilson's re-recording of songs originally recorded by the Beach Boys caused millions of dollars in damages to a partnership between himself and Wilson. However, Love's lawsuit was thrown out of court in 2007 by a federal judge, who determined that no such partnership existed between Love and Wilson at the time of the re-recordings and that none had existed for decades.

Smile hit #13 in the US during a chart stay of 17 weeks. It reached #7 in the UK, going gold (100,000).

One of the principal sources of original information on Smile, and the basis for much of its legendary status, was Jules Siegel's article "Goodbye Surfing, Hello God!" which appeared in the first issue of Cheetah Magazine in October 1967. Almost equally influential was Domenic Priore's 1987 book Look, Listen, Vibrate, Smile.

In Lewis Shiner's novel Glimpses, the mental time-traveling protagonist meets and befriends Brian Wilson, and encourages Wilson to complete Smile over the objections of his bandmates. Glimpses won the 1994 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

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Brian Wilson (album)

Brian Wilson cover

Brian Wilson is the eponymous first solo album by Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys.

Wilson was signed to a solo recording multi-album contract with Sire Records in early 1987, however, Brian Wilson remains the only Brian Wilson album and related singles released by Sire Records. The initial single released that April, "Let's Go To Heaven In My Car" (Brian Wilson/Gary Usher) b/w "Too Much Sugar", was not commercially successful, but Wilson proceeded to record a full album of new material.

The recording sessions, supervised by veteran producers like Russ Titelman and Lenny Waronker, were said to be contentious. Wilson's collaborators reportedly clashed with his controversial therapist, Dr. Eugene Landy.

After several months, Brian Wilson was complete and ready for release. "Love And Mercy" was its lead single, but despite its commercial quality and contemporary sound, it didn't become a hit.

Brian Wilson was released in July 1988 to favorable reviews but reached only #54 on American charts. Two singles from the album, "Love And Mercy" and "Melt Away," sold poorly. A third, "Night Time," was released for promotional use only. In hindsight, while The Beach Boys' #1 smash, "Kokomo", stole some of Wilson's thunder, he was likely more hurt by his publicly controversial relationship with Landy. Initially, Landy and his girlfriend, Alexandra Morgan, even had their names included on some of the songs on Brian Wilson, but once he was successfully removed from Wilson's life in 1991, the credits were later revised to reflect their lack of involvement in Wilson's songs.

In 2000, the album was reissued on Rhino Records with an extensive selection of bonus tracks.

No music videos were produced for "Brian Wilson". However, Sire Records did release a promotional disc with an interview of Brian Wilson intertwined with various tracks from the album. Additionally, Sire released a limited edition CD with a leather-bound jacket. In his autobiography, Brian Wilson indicated that not releasing a music video to coincide with the release of the album was a mistake.

The following 15 tracks were included in the 2000 remastered re-release of the CD.

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Brian Wilson (baseball)

Brian Patrick Wilson (born March 16, 1982 in Londonderry, New Hampshire) is a closer for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball.

Wilson made his major league debut on April 23, 2006, against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. In his debut, Wilson pitched two innings, surrendering two hits and no runs while striking out three batters.

Wilson competed with Armando Benitez for the closer role in spring training 2007, but Wilson's 7.71 ERA caused the Giants to send Wilson back to the minors. After spending much of the 2007 season in AAA Fresno, Wilson was called up in August. He was immediately used as the Giants' setup man, and was promoted to closer in September when Brad Hennessey began to struggle. Wilson converted six of his seven save opportunities and became the Giants' full-time closer in 2008. On June 6, 2008, Wilson was named to the All-Star team for the first time. Wilson gave up no hits and struck out one in 2/3 innings.

Brian Wilson recorded saves in 24 consecutive save opportunities between May 2, 2008 and August 20, 2008.

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Source : Wikipedia