I think a Brian Wilson Greatest Hits album would have to be more than your run-of-the-mill greatest hits compilation. It would have to be educational about the crazy ride that is Brian's solo career. Here’s my idea: Interviews with Brian, Melinda, Scott Bennett, Darian Sahanaja, etc would be sporadically placed throughout the album. On top of that, each and every song would be remastered and remixed (not only to give incentive for current diehard fans to buy this comp, but it would make the music sound even better). It would be an audiophile's greatest wish. The album would be released the same time his book came out (to give readers a greater appreciation for who they are reading about).
BRIAN WILSON: AMERICAN SONGWRITER
1. Intro. Brian playing a "feel", a short but catchy piano riff that plays off the 'Love and Mercy' chord progression. Overdubbed atop the "feel" Brian talks about his writing process, what gets him inspired. Brian dedicates the next song to Melinda Wilson.
2. Love and Mercy. A completely redone 2016 version of 'Love and Mercy'...done in a somewhat Pet Sounds form. For the bridge use a choir to really bring about those beautiful harmonies.
3. Interlude. Brian talks about his time spent with the Beach Boys. In the background is a recording of Brian playing a piano demo of 'Surfer Girl' (or a very similar riff).
4. Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl (2016 remaster)
5. Interlude. Melinda Wilson talks about Brian being able to create beautiful music even in the darkest moments of his life, and how that shapes and crafts his songs into something most people can relate to.
6. Melt Away (2016 remaster). Included is the missing coda vocal from the vinyl release.
7. Interlude. Brian talks about his love of pop songs, and the influence that many pop bands from the 60s still have on his music today.
8. Good Kind Of Love (2016 remaster)
9. Guess You Had To Be There (2016 mono mix)
10. She Says That She Needs Me (2016 remaster)
11. Interlude. Scott Bennett talks about Brian's love of Southern California and the powerful influence it has had on Brian's music his whole life.
12. Southern California (2016 remaster)
13. Interlude. Al Jardine talks about Brian’s brilliance with arrangements. Bass harmonicas, synthesizers, flutes, etc, and how Brian makes it all work. Blondie talks about what a thrill it is to work with Brian again.
14. Sail Away (2015 album version)
15. Interlude. Brian Wilson talks about the influence Gershwin had on his songwriting, and how instrumental that music was to his recording career. Deep in the background, a new a cappella version of Rhapsody in Blue is played.
16. Nothing But Love (2016 remaster).
17. Interlude. Darian Sahanaja talks about the influence that Disney music had on Brian’s more experimental Beach Boys music. In the background is a recording of Brian playing ‘On A Holiday” on piano.
18. Stay Awake (2011 album version)
19. Interlude. Scott Bennett talks about his writing/recording process with Brian. In the background plays the backing vocals for 'This Beautiful Day'
20. One Kind Of Love (2015 album version)
21. Interlude. Al Jardine talks about Brian’s use of sleighbells in pop music, and how Phil Spector’s Christmas album helped inspire Brian even more.
22. On Christmas Day (2016 remaster).
23. Interlude. Brian talks about his life, aspirations, accomplishments. Behind him you can hear waves crashing on a shoreline, with a new unknown harmony/a cappella arrangement, sung by Brian, playing deep in the background.
24. Midnight’s Another Day (2016 remaster). A new orchestral arrangement (mixed in crisp surround sound) is recorded for this version.
25. Interlude. Tony Asher talks about the Pet Sounds era, and how Brian has completely revolutionized music because of that album.
26. Unknown Title. Tony Asher makes an incredible reappearance as Brian’s lyrical collaborator for one last time for a new song. A song drenched not only in sonic beauty but lyrical wonderment. This would be a crowning achievement on an already incredible career.27. Outro. Brian says goodbye to his fans, and that he hopes to continue writing and recording well into the future. In the background plays that same ‘Love and Mercy’ piano riff that was played on the first track of the album.