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bugs

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Mary’s been expanding our horizons lately with her SOTW choices – deeper tracks from the Beach Boys’ “Party”, “Surf’s Up”, and Brian’s “Imagination” LPs to name a few.  So while she takes another week off for travel, I’m keeping that theme with a song from a never-released Brian Wilson LP - The Paley Sessions.

Background

Brian began working with Andy Paley during the circus period that became his debut solo album in the late 80s.  I believe it was Andy that said they developed tricks to keep Eugene Landy and assistants out of the studio and record the songs in the manner Brian, Andy, and Sire Records envisioned.  In some cases, it worked fine…yet there are tracks that reflect too many cooks in the studio kitchen.

After the aborted follow-up, “Sweet Insanity”, Landy was ordered out of Brian’s life.  As the story goes, Brian called Andy the next day and exclaimed “I can do anything I want now – let’s make some music!” Recorded mostly over a period of two-three years, these (partially) bootleg recordings have become a cult favorite to some (John B, Yours Truly).  The songs reflect a re-born mid-life Brian Wilson, out from the control of Landy. 

In addition to their musical partnership, Brian and Andy became good friends.  Brian felt greatly-reduced pressure and found Andy to be an excellent collaborator.  Patient, and of like-minded music production, Andy helped Brian complete some previously-developed song ideas, and though working 50-50 on new material, insisted it was a Brian Wilson project.  The songs were written with the idea they could be used for a new Beach Boys LP…yet in classic form, conflict arose.  There were reports of Carl’s opinion about the lack of commercial sound to “Soul Searchin’” and Mike Love’s efforts to re-write some of the lyrics (not to mention his refusal to sing his parts during recording sessions).  Brian did not want the songs changed, saying his work with Andy produced “some of the best material I’ve done in a real long time.”  I agree.        

Fast-forward to the 2017 “Playback – The Brian Wilson Anthology” and the newly-released ‘Some Sweet Day’ (from Brian’s work with Andy in the late ‘80s).  In the webisode promoting the Anthology LP, Andy talks about their collaboration.  At first, there was disappointment that their planned LP did not see the light of day.  But Brian assured Andy that the songs were “like a nest of golden eggs…this stuff is gold, and it’s gonna come out someday, and he’s absolutely right.”  Indeed, many have been released.  I’d sure like everyone to hear the rest though.

The SOTW

From the Paley Sessions, “It’s Not Easy Being Me” has yet to be released on any other LP or single.  Heart-felt, somewhat depressing, somewhat unique, and just plain good, it’s representative of the music Brian was so passionate about.  Though finished and recorded in the 1990s, this song reportedly saw its origin in either the mid-70s or mid-80s (I’ve seen reference to both).  Enjoy:   


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curt lambert

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I like this, Bugs. I have only listened to it once before years ago. Very introspective, of course. I doubt Brian will ever revisit or release this song. I think he has moved past this type of song. Not to say he doesn't still face these feelings or demons, but he does seem happier nowadays. His songs on TWGMTR and Pier Pressure that look back or reflect seem to be more about aging and reflecting back on life and love gone by rather than his emotional or mental struggles.
There are some nice progressions and sections and lyrics in this one. Good choice for us to listen to and think about.
Hope the Rock n Roll album gets made and I can't wait for the Christmas shows. I have tickets to 2 here in the LA area.
It is always amazing and affirming when you think of the struggles and mountains in his life that Brian has battled and conquered.

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bugs

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hey Curt - You have a point about chances for release.  But then the deluxe version of No Pier Pressure contained "I'm Feeling Sad".  Perhaps it could show up in another Anthology?  Admittedly, there are others from this period that would likely surface before this track..."Mary Anne" comes to mind. 

The Christmas shows are going to be special!  We're seeing the show in Santa Rosa, the night after your second show. 

Thanks for the comments.



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“Like a dream that's somehow linked to all the stars above." 🌟 🌟 
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curt lambert

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Reply with quote  #4 
Bugs - I thought of "I'm Feeling Sad" right after I sent my response. :) Although, my take on IFS is it's about a normal emotion of missing a loved one and being a little blue, not about living with the demons Brian as sung about in other, or earlier songs. Of course, I could be wrong about what Brian was actually singing about when he wrote IFS. I really like that song on Pier Pressure. Brian is so good about writing about what is in his heart and head. I have always thought his talents as a lyricist are profound.
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John B

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Reply with quote  #5 
Great!  Using a 'Pet Sounds' extended metaphor, if "This Isn't Love" is Wouldn't it Be Nice;" and "Everything I Need" is (a more mature 'Caroline, No'--not what was lost, but what was found), then this song by Bugs would be the "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" of the album.    ('Proud Mary' as Sloop John B), and songs like "My Maryanne" and "Slightly American Music"  well, "I'm Waiting for the Day" and  'God Only Knows'?  and what was 'She's Still a Mystery to Me' and 'Soul Searchin'? okay, never said it's a perfect analogy.

But, of the three (3) absolutely essential Brian-related bootlegs that everyone should own, one way or the other, (Homer Simpson whisper behind hand, Jagamart Music Imports.com), this one is the most essential (even without the sweetening last step, and he never even got to mix 'Proud Mary' etc.).  Still.  about 95% great by my estimate.  One day, I always hope, not for remixes, but for Rhino to release as is.

(next, and especially since they slap on GREAT extra songs like "Daddy's Little Girl", "Sweet Insanity" is about...75% great.   maybe more so, if you can make peace with the Landy lyrics, some past bad to evil.).

and third, a full 50--60% great, "Adult Child."  !  

thanks.

p.s.  people mentioned missing Lee.  Seems to me we're missing significant UK and Aussies, aren't we??    not ...Brexit related casualties, I'm hoping.
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Deb#1

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Reply with quote  #6 
Bootlegs, huh? This one hits home.
Someday, somewhere, somehow, I hope all will be released. Brian’s work is exceptional. The world needs it.
Thanks for sharing, bugs.

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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #7 
Bugsy and John B - gettin' into the b00ts. Agree with Deb, that more of this has to get out.

Thanks Doug!

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