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672450 Posts in 27078 Topics by 3981 Members - Latest Member: Toxic34 October 24, 2021, 11:49:51 PM
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Author Topic: New Brian music this Friday ?  (Read 7864 times)
rab2591
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« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2021, 02:06:41 PM »

The year is 1814 and, hypothetically, Beethoven is still performing, and puts on a note-for-note piano concert of his 7th symphony. Fans complain that he isn’t doing anything original. Meanwhile, hundreds of years later, most of us would think it would be an honor to hear such a performance from the composer himself…but this is 20/20 hindsight.

I think many people get so caught up in the current moment, so caught up in dreaming of what “could be” instead of being thankful for what actually is…I think most of us come around to the latter point of view when there is no longer a possibility of what “could be”. As in, one day Brian will pass on from this world, and we will absolutely be thankful for the music he left for us, even a handful of piano covers that he took the time to record.

From a technical standpoint, perhaps these covers won’t be as good as some random YouTuber’s covers. Maybe recording a bunch of hits isn’t the most creatively original idea. But perhaps there is more to these songs than being technically perfect, or being 100% original: When I listen to ‘In My Room’ I don’t just think “what a cool original song about a kid in his room” - I instead think about a young Brian himself trying to articulate his thoughts about his safe haven. Or when I listen to ‘Til I Die’ I’m not just thinking about a literal cork on the ocean, I’m thinking of a mentally ravaged Brian being so consumed with depression that he wrote such a tragically beautiful song.

My point being, there is a person behind all of this music. And that person has a crazy incredible story that is all wrapped up in the music he has put out…including an album of piano covers. So when I listen to this piano version of GOK I’m picturing Brian playing the keys on that piano, putting effort into recording one of the last albums he may ever release. And the feeling you get when you think that way is nothing you could feel listening to a random YouTube cover.

I mostly agree with you, but the Beethoven comparison falls flat because the 7th symphony is already instrumental. This is a reimagining away from the "plonk plonk plonk" in the right hand/melodic, moving bass in the left with Brian's vocals as the cherry on top. Not to say that that doesn't have value at all, but again, if you'd asked me "what would be your ideal Brian Wilson 2021 remake of old songs?", it'd be "just Brian, at the piano, doing his classic thing and singing his songs".

Yeah, the Beethoven comparison isn’t perfect, but it was somewhat less of a comparison of music styles and more of a commentary on how we would all be grateful to hear something from someone no longer with us…even if it were a simple piano piece.

But yeah, I totally agree - I’ve been hoping that Brian would do a Johnny Cash American Recordings style album. But hey, even if he ain’t singing on this, it’s still a stripped down recording which I have dreamed of for a long time. Can’t wait!!
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« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2021, 03:44:15 PM »

Listening to God Only Knows. It's achingly lovely. I can't wait to hear the rest of the album. IMO it really has Brian's 'feel' to it, and I love that.


Was very pleasantly surprised listening to God Only Knows. Actually, it was incredibly moving.... if the rest of the album turns out as good and this turned out to be Brian's final album, I must say it would make for an incredibly poignant swan song

FWIW. I don’t think it’s been mentioned, but Rolling Stone have just updated their 500 Greatist Songs list from 2004.
GOKs moves from 25 to 11. 👏
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« Reply #27 on: September 17, 2021, 07:36:59 PM »

Maybe this release will inspire Al to finally do a second solo album - guitar instrumental versions of Help Me, Rhonda, Lady Lynda, Santa Ana Winds, and Lookin' At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song). And the complete California Saga.

It might even inspire Mike to brush up on his saxophone skills, and give us an album featuring his great sax solos on Shut Down, California Dreamin', Kokomo, and Hot Fun in the Summertime.
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« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2021, 08:51:42 PM »

Conceptually, this does sound kind of … uneventful?

However I listened to that “God Ohly Knows” clip, and it was very nice and moody, good feelings in it. So I’m in the yes it’s BW camp. Not particularly excited about it but would be nice to listen to while sitting at a coffee shop or bookstore maybe.

That said, the issue here is- no matter how it’s disguised, the letdown is it’s another release of one of The Beach Boys playing Beach Boys hits. I don’t think this is what people had in mind when wishing for a “Brian at the piano” album.

So I’m not down on it, but it’s a bit of a shrug for me. At worst, it’s strikes a little like the symphony record in that it could be perceived as a contrived angle to release a new record.
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« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2021, 09:58:07 PM »

Hoping for a sequel with the same concept but other people's songs - instrumental covers.

A new original as a bonus track wouldn't go astray!

Love (almost) anything Brian does, and clearly it's him. Woo-hoo!! - this plus whatever surprises any copyright extension ("Feel Flows 2") or live shows December package holds - it just gets to be more fun being a Beach Boys fan.
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« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2021, 12:43:15 AM »

Interesting tidbit. Right now the cd is #12 on amazon best sellers list. Even better for brian’s camp is the cd is #1 on the classical chart with the vinyl lp at #2.
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« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2021, 04:18:06 AM »

Just want to thank Shady for not putting the words “Don’t get excited” in the title of the thread LOL goodness, four pages of negativity about this project at the place where positivity and rational thought go to die.

A nice tidbit I picked up there though, Darian told AGD that the entirety of GOK is Brian. While I figured that Brian was doing the rhythm/backing piano, I wondered if Darian was accompanying him on another piano playing the melody. Nice to hear that it’s all Brian (obviously overdubbing the melody)! Hopefully that puts an end to the iT cAnT bE bRiAn He CaNt Do AnYtHiNg!!!! talk. Edit: also want to add that I’d love it if Darian did accompany Brian on any of these tracks, but it’s cool to know that Brian did it all, at least for GOK.

Great news about the Amazon placement!! I hope Brian is very happy about that.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 06:13:30 AM by rab2591 » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2021, 04:30:40 AM »

I'm very, very excited too...but, I'm biased because any time Brian and Darian work together on music, it's something special. I loved God Only Knows so far, the piano texture allows those rich chord voicings and changes, and that beautiful melody, to breathe and be heard on their own merits without anything else on top. It gets to the heart of the music and how it was constructed, and played by the composer.

Just wanted to point out a precedent and a parallel between Brian Wilson and George Gershwin. It was a project called "Gershwin Plays Gershwin: The Piano Rolls". I bought the album when it came out, and it's a fascinating listen. You get to hear one of the key pieces of musical inspiration in Brian's life, "Rhapsody In Blue", as imagined and played/arranged by its composer Gershwin in the form of a piano roll. So it's a solo piano, more or less, with "overdubs" as the old piano roll technology allowed the player to stack part after part onto the roll via the punch-out holes which the player piano would read mechanically. This was Gershwin's interpretation of his tune minus the orchestration, and Rhapsody on that set is worth the price of the album alone. Absolutely beautiful, and you get to hear that music "played" by its composer.

The Gershwin Piano Rolls album was very well received, and you had fans and musicologists excited across the board to hear what are now classic songs as played and imagined by their composer, and done so on primitive media from the teens and 20's that allowed the paper rolls to be "played" and imported onto modern equipment and a state of the art grand piano which was then recorded. I think the biggest draw was being able to hear how Gershwin himself played and heard his own songs on the piano, minus the familiar arrangements and orchestrations that most listeners would recognize.

For those who don't know about the Gershwin project, here's more info: http://albumlinernotes.com/The_Piano_Rolls.html

So in this case of Brian's piano recordings, it's conceptually even better than the Gershwin project: It's not a piano roll fed into a player piano, it's his own hands playing his compositions.

Just some perspective and precedent to consider.  

Great post, Guitarfool. Listening to the Piano Rolls Rhapsody in Blue now. I’ve heard so many different versions of that song - really cool to hear how he envisioned the song himself!

One of my favorite parts of any Brian Wilson/Beach Boys documentary is when he sits down at a piano and plays - sometimes he sings along to the song, other times he just lets the piano do all the work. These were always wonderful little glimpses into Brian’s domain. And now we have a full album of him at the piano. 48 minutes of Brian playing piano for us, what a great gift to us fans!

I’m sure it has been mentioned, and probably everyone knows by now, but the date for release is November 19. Hopefully we’ll get a couple more singles out of this before it drops!
« Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 04:31:44 AM by rab2591 » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2021, 06:31:38 AM »

Brian is back! Grin       At #11 on Amazon!
« Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 06:34:59 AM by SMiLE Brian » Logged

And production aside, I’d so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
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« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2021, 07:39:15 AM »

God must’ve smiled the day Brian Wilson was born!
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« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2021, 08:41:58 AM »

One of my favorite parts of any Brian Wilson/Beach Boys documentary is when he sits down at a piano and plays - sometimes he sings along to the song, other times he just lets the piano do all the work. These were always wonderful little glimpses into Brian’s domain. And now we have a full album of him at the piano. 48 minutes of Brian playing piano for us, what a great gift to us fans!

I’m sure it has been mentioned, and probably everyone knows by now, but the date for release is November 19. Hopefully we’ll get a couple more singles out of this before it drops!

Yes to all this! Smiley

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« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2021, 10:01:25 AM »

I'm very, very excited too...but, I'm biased because any time Brian and Darian work together on music, it's something special. I loved God Only Knows so far, the piano texture allows those rich chord voicings and changes, and that beautiful melody, to breathe and be heard on their own merits without anything else on top. It gets to the heart of the music and how it was constructed, and played by the composer.

Just wanted to point out a precedent and a parallel between Brian Wilson and George Gershwin. It was a project called "Gershwin Plays Gershwin: The Piano Rolls". I bought the album when it came out, and it's a fascinating listen. You get to hear one of the key pieces of musical inspiration in Brian's life, "Rhapsody In Blue", as imagined and played/arranged by its composer Gershwin in the form of a piano roll. So it's a solo piano, more or less, with "overdubs" as the old piano roll technology allowed the player to stack part after part onto the roll via the punch-out holes which the player piano would read mechanically. This was Gershwin's interpretation of his tune minus the orchestration, and Rhapsody on that set is worth the price of the album alone. Absolutely beautiful, and you get to hear that music "played" by its composer.

The Gershwin Piano Rolls album was very well received, and you had fans and musicologists excited across the board to hear what are now classic songs as played and imagined by their composer, and done so on primitive media from the teens and 20's that allowed the paper rolls to be "played" and imported onto modern equipment and a state of the art grand piano which was then recorded. I think the biggest draw was being able to hear how Gershwin himself played and heard his own songs on the piano, minus the familiar arrangements and orchestrations that most listeners would recognize.

For those who don't know about the Gershwin project, here's more info: http://albumlinernotes.com/The_Piano_Rolls.html

So in this case of Brian's piano recordings, it's conceptually even better than the Gershwin project: It's not a piano roll fed into a player piano, it's his own hands playing his compositions.

Just some perspective and precedent to consider.  

Great post, Guitarfool. Listening to the Piano Rolls Rhapsody in Blue now. I’ve heard so many different versions of that song - really cool to hear how he envisioned the song himself!

One of my favorite parts of any Brian Wilson/Beach Boys documentary is when he sits down at a piano and plays - sometimes he sings along to the song, other times he just lets the piano do all the work. These were always wonderful little glimpses into Brian’s domain. And now we have a full album of him at the piano. 48 minutes of Brian playing piano for us, what a great gift to us fans!

I’m sure it has been mentioned, and probably everyone knows by now, but the date for release is November 19. Hopefully we’ll get a couple more singles out of this before it drops!

It is really cool, right? I actually bought the Gershwin Piano Rolls album specifically for his solo take on Rhapsody, and I love that version, as great as the fully orchestrated version is. I ended up enjoying the whole album, but that Rhapsody version is really special to hear.

I'm hoping people here get the same vibes with this upcoming Brian piano album too, where you hear the composer playing his music, just him and the piano. I think it's a great concept and have been waiting for something like this for a long time. Kudos to everyone involved.

FYI checking some of the online sales sites, it looks like the release dates are not the same, and I saw a date of December for the vinyl. Hopefully more info to come because I saw at least three different release dates so far.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 10:01:57 AM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2021, 10:08:24 AM »

Just want to thank Shady for not putting the words “Don’t get excited” in the title of the thread LOL goodness, four pages of negativity about this project at the place where positivity and rational thought go to die.

A nice tidbit I picked up there though, Darian told AGD that the entirety of GOK is Brian. While I figured that Brian was doing the rhythm/backing piano, I wondered if Darian was accompanying him on another piano playing the melody. Nice to hear that it’s all Brian (obviously overdubbing the melody)! Hopefully that puts an end to the iT cAnT bE bRiAn He CaNt Do AnYtHiNg!!!! talk. Edit: also want to add that I’d love it if Darian did accompany Brian on any of these tracks, but it’s cool to know that Brian did it all, at least for GOK.

Great news about the Amazon placement!! I hope Brian is very happy about that.


Yeah, by all means, DON'T GET EXCITED!  LOL  What a farce.

It is amazing how the discussions seem to turn to conspiracy theories about Brian's involvement no matter what the man seems to do. And I wonder if the same voices who were critical of fans posting wish-lists of what they'd like to see on the Feel Flows set before it was released and calling them "entitled" because they were talking about such things and wanting the set are the same ones blasting this Brian album because it isn't what they want. Hypocrisy, much? All I can say is, yet again, what a farce. If people want that kind of conversation, have at it. I'm glad it's not here.  Smiley

It's Brian playing piano on this project. That's about all there is to say on that topic. If you dig it, great. If you don't, don't buy it. 

I'll second the notion that the cover alone makes the vinyl worth buying, I'd frame that vintage shot!
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« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2021, 01:03:53 PM »

I don't read the EH board unless someone here mentions useful information there, but I'm not ashamed to admit that this album has indeed GOT ME EXCITED.  I may be an outlier in the BB fan universe, but I'm actually more excited about this project than I was about Feel Flows.  I love and appreciate so much of the work from that period, but I didn't get goosebumps from listening to Feel Flows like I did hearing the new GOK piano rendition.  It's so hauntingly beautiful that I can barely believe that it exists.  If any of the other tracks are even close to that, "At My Piano" is going te be a very special treat.  And it's extremely poignant for Brian, after everything he's been through, to be releasing something like this at age 79.
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« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2021, 02:04:51 PM »

I’m extremely excited for this album. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of instrumental piano music (helps that I began playing earlier this year…yup…for the small handful of people here who follow my band, I no longer record my parts using software but rather live play them) so this is ideal for me. Hell besides feel flows , the 68 copyright extension, and MIC this might be the most excited I’ve ever been about a BB/BW project
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« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2021, 05:07:33 PM »

To use the most appropriate terminology in reacting to this news: I'm STOKED!  3D

GF gave us a great historical parallel with the Gershwin piano rolls, and we can hope that this is only the first of such projects. Hopefully strong sales will encourage everyone involved to take the idea even further.

Of course, it would REALLY be something if someone managed to turn up some tapes of Brian on his sojourn to San Diego back in '78, where he was purportedly playing in a cocktail bar for drinks...what a wild "bonus disk" that would be!!  Smokin

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« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2021, 05:14:03 PM »

I like Rab's analogy, perfect or not, both in its spirit and structure. A symphony is a complex blending of instruments but a piano solo or rendition (even if with other instruments) is quite different. Of course the lack of vocals (if seen as another instrument or a narrative or poem) is absent, but I enjoy instrumentals, especially pianos (since that is what I play). I am looking forward excitedly, like Billy C, to the album but also to other music that Brian may offer to us in the future.
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« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2021, 06:22:01 AM »

It's interesting on the one released track, "God Only Knows", to hear an instrumental solo piano version that so specifically attempts to translate so many of the *vocal* parts so literally.

I have to say, though, that I can't speak for all or any other fans and what they have "wanted" or "asked for" especially in recent years. But what *I* had been saying I'd like to see, and what I feel like some other fans were also asking for, was a "Brian solo at the piano" album of *new* (or, at least "unreleased") songs, with piano *and* vocal. I've often used the example of "Message Man." It's not a perfect example as it's not strictly one voice and one instrument, and it's also not like my *favorite* song. But that was kind of the template in my mind of Brian doing some songs that sound "very Brian" both in concept and execution.

I don't know that I recall *ever* seeing many fans asking for a solo piano instrumental album of Brian's classics. I'm not downing the concept. But my response to this album concept has been much more along the lines of "Oh, wow, uh, okay, let's see what that ends up sounding like" as opposed to "This is what fans have been asking for!"
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« Reply #43 on: September 20, 2021, 06:38:48 AM »

It's interesting on the one released track, "God Only Knows", to hear an instrumental solo piano version that so specifically attempts to translate so many of the *vocal* parts so literally.

I have to say, though, that I can't speak for all or any other fans and what they have "wanted" or "asked for" especially in recent years. But what *I* had been saying I'd like to see, and what I feel like some other fans were also asking for, was a "Brian solo at the piano" album of *new* (or, at least "unreleased") songs, with piano *and* vocal. I've often used the example of "Message Man." It's not a perfect example as it's not strictly one voice and one instrument, and it's also not like my *favorite* song. But that was kind of the template in my mind of Brian doing some songs that sound "very Brian" both in concept and execution.

I don't know that I recall *ever* seeing many fans asking for a solo piano instrumental album of Brian's classics. I'm not downing the concept. But my response to this album concept has been much more along the lines of "Oh, wow, uh, okay, let's see what that ends up sounding like" as opposed to "This is what fans have been asking for!"

Same here. It's growing on me, but my immediate reaction wasn't, like, "Finally!" It was more, "Uh, really? With Brian? They're doing that?" The thing floated that we've seen people wanting was Brian playing and singing in a simple setting, like that Love and Mercy at home, or the Fender video. But this could end up being nice. 'Solo piano instrumentalist' just isn't a thought you ever connect to Brian Wilson.
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« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2021, 11:22:26 AM »

My guess is that this wasn't a projected album as such but probably grew out of Brian just spending some time during the pandemia. Maybe he showed his kids how to play some of his songs and it went from there.
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« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2021, 12:39:32 PM »

Considering his “fans” are so freakin toxic I’m glad they don’t really take any seeming interest in our ideas. I mean, half the “fans” think that Brian is forced at gunpoint by Melinda to tour and record music. Other fans complain that Brian’s music is over produced, his vocals are bad, his vocals are too autotuned. I hope they have completely tuned us out regarding listening to any feedback or ideas. However, I will always wish that they do a radio concept album with a DJ, radio ads, and full of covers of classic rock songs. Pleasure Island.

I’m glad they decided to do their own thing. And considering this could have been an album of nothing but hits, but they decided to throw on some fairytale music and a SMiLE medley, this is such an amazing gift to us.
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« Reply #46 on: September 20, 2021, 01:02:37 PM »

Considering his “fans” are so freakin toxic I’m glad they don’t really take any seeming interest in our ideas. I mean, half the “fans” think that Brian is forced at gunpoint by Melinda to tour and record music. Other fans complain that Brian’s music is over produced, his vocals are bad, his vocals are too autotuned. I hope they have completely tuned us out regarding listening to any feedback or ideas. However, I will always wish that they do a radio concept album with a DJ, radio ads, and full of covers of classic rock songs. Pleasure Island.

I’m glad they decided to do their own thing. And considering this could have been an album of nothing but hits, but they decided to throw on some fairytale music and a SMiLE medley, this is such an amazing gift to us.

Honestly that’s one of the reasons I’m not as active anymore. Negativity finally wore me down
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« Reply #47 on: September 20, 2021, 01:13:03 PM »

My guess is that this wasn't a projected album as such but probably grew out of Brian just spending some time during the pandemia. Maybe he showed his kids how to play some of his songs and it went from there.

That, and the fact Decca must have seen an opportunity and made an approach as I doubt this is something Brian or Darian shopped around. It’s a bit of a no-brainer when you think about it. Artists sitting around offered a chance to do something a bit different and make a few dollars without having to leave the house. What’s not to like?
I think I said it over a year ago, but I see the industry having a bit of a ‘bump’ creativity wise of new material. I guess this is Brian’s. Not new as such, but a new concept for him.
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« Reply #48 on: September 20, 2021, 01:50:46 PM »

I think it's a great idea. Chill and lowkey. Relaxing. I dig it.
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« Reply #49 on: September 20, 2021, 02:01:55 PM »

Let's say this is Brian's McCartney III.

Actually, that would be an interesting compare and contrast exercise.
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