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Woodstock

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Reply with quote  #1 
There hasn't been a best of BW compilation, aside from the 10,000 best of the BBs released over the years. I figure there's two ways to go about making a comp, and its whether or not you include beach boys work too.

Brian Wilson solo:
1: This Beautiful Day
2: The Right Time (live in Vegas)
3: Goin' Home
4: Meet Me In My Dreams Tonight
5: Melt Away
6: On The Island
7: Sail Away
8: I'm Broke
9: Morning Beat
10: Midnights Another Day
11: Wanderlust
12: I'm Feeling Sad
13: Whatever Happened
14: Surfs Up (live from 2015 tour)
15: Love and Mercy
16: The Last Song (Lana Del Ray vocal)

Sequencing is weird but I love it...though obviously I don't have the last track

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Cretanwelsh

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Reply with quote  #2 

How about a 'Best of solo BW' live album?Would be a real eye-opener for many.
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ray lawlor

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Reply with quote  #3 
Ok, I will have a go.

Nothing But Love
Tell Me Why
Good Kind of Love
I'm Into Something Good
Sail Away
Live Let Live
Getting In Over My Head ( Paley sessions)
Proud Mary ( Scott Bennett sessions)
Love Is Here To Stay
What Love Can Do
Christmassy
Melt Away
Love and Mercy
Whatever Happened
What I Really Want For Christmas
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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #4 
For MOST artists a greatest hits/best of compilation is a great idea.  Gives you a taste of what they can do...and often without sinking into the minutia of their 'filler'.  Legend/Bob Marely [and the Wailers] is, as far as I know, the runaway best selling 'best of' lp ever.

Thing is a best of album from Brian MIGHT work in order to attract new fans and encourage them to delve deeper into the body of work BUT...who in the so-called '"free world" hasn't heard of the Beach Boys...and therefore Brian?

I can't narrow down his offerings to a single disc.  I'd miss way too many songs.  Virtually every album is a best of release.  Imagine chopping anything out of BWPS!!!  The context?  Lost.  The achievement?  Missed.

No...the only greatest hits/best of 'comp' I'll accept in terms of representing Brian D. Wilson would have to be called 'The Complete Works'.
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wild honey

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Reply with quote  #5 
One for the boys
Midnights another day
Southern California
Melt away
Orange crate art
Lay down burden
Desert drive
Your imagination
Good kind of love
Love and mercy
This beautiful day
Half moon bay
Our special love
Rio grande
The last song
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guitarfool2002

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Reply with quote  #6 
Lee - In some ways I see the music biz again reverting back to the way it was with AM radio and the 45 single being one of main formats for consumers to hear and buy their music. It's not - obviously - AM radio and 45's delivering it, but as 2015 comes to a close I see a lot of people buying singles through individual digital downloads rather than full albums, I see people checking out new music via the "jukebox" in the form of YouTube, social media, and Pandora type of music services, and instead of 45 carrying cases and putting coins into the Rock-Ola, it's on ipods, phones, and other digital forms. Fast-forward to the 1980's and 90's even, and instead of cassette mix tapes being passed around to friends, and romantic interests, and whoever else you'd deem worthy of 90 minutes of your favorite music, you share a digital playlist, or have a "channel" to send those people a link to do the same thing.

So there are definitely album listeners, those who will put on and listen to the full album as a whole, but there are more 'singles" listeners than I would have expected in 2015 who go one song at a time, just like the old 45's.

All that said, I think Brian's solo catalog is more than worthy to be revisited and heard with fresh ears. Just this past month, via this forum, look at how many people may have gone back to Brian's (terrific) Christmas album from over a decade ago and revisited perhaps some great holiday music which they may not have heard for some time if the album is not in yearly rotation around the holiday season already.

A few weeks ago, I posted a photo of all of Brian's solo album covers in another thread here - What surprised me was to see all of those covers back-to-back, and to realize how prolific of a solo recording artist Brian has been over the last 20+ years. He's been cranking out album after album, and the variety of genres and styles he's done on those albums has been more than impressive - Everything from jazz to pop to whatever else in between comes from Brian's well of influences. More than enough for his fans who might be looking for certain sounds when they hear a new Brian album. What ties them all together, too, is that no matter what style he's tackling, you still get the hallmarks of what his fans come to expect and what he is so good at presenting: Voices and harmonies. And those trademark BW left-turns in the way he uses chord progressions that are unexpected and surprising, going back to when those 60's studio cats would say 'this won't work, Brian, this chord doesn't fit', and Brian would answer "trust me."

If the marketplace were to get a collection of the standout tracks from Brian's solo catalog, I think it would benefit that catalog by presenting the songs themselves out of context, separate from an album, and being judged on their own merit as a single song. The only caveat I'd say, and which I'd agree with, is the Smile material. I agree, excerpting Smile tracks would be very difficult to do, because on the Smile album it was all about context and the flow of the movements...if you remove that, it might not work, although that music does stand so tall already you couldn't diminish it...but context with Smile is key, I agree.

I like the idea of a one or two disc "collection" of Brian's music, some good tracklists have been posted above. I'm thinking of how well-received McCartney's "Wingspan" retrospective was at the time. One disc of the more known tracks and singles, one of the deeper cuts. It worked.

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skootz

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Reply with quote  #7 
and a bonus track (available at Target only--in theory) SMART GIRLS...no, I'm NOT kidding...
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Woodstock

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Reply with quote  #8 
Guitarfool and Lee...
I agree with both of you on different things. How could a person fully enjoy a piece of Smile 2004 without knowing the context of the album, or even what album its from, and in that you lose an extremely important part of BWs career with or without the beach boys.

But the point of a best of is to show highlights from a career in music and show potentional new fans what an artist is like, and like gfool said, brian has had a long solo career with a lot of different styles. In my compilation I missed Rio grande, your imagination, Christmas songs, anything from Gershwin, and plenty of great love stuff I know exists, not to mention rarities like the scott Bennet sessions Ray lawlor mentioned. It's when you have real trouble not omitting great music that you know a best of is worth making.

Best case scenario is a BW box set. 6-7 discs from 1962 - 2016. Hits, rarities, alternate takes, unreleased demos, and live music, all of it from BB and solo career. And of course the complete bedroom tapes!!!
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Debbie KL

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Reply with quote  #9 
Oooo...Woodstock, you have my attention.  That box set sounds ideal.  I desperately want to hear some of the unreleased original recordings.  I've heard people speak of the power of the original "Cry" and "Lay Down Burden," just as examples, as they were supposedly very different.  There have been other interim projects that sound fascinating as well, even if they took a different form later.

I'm in... 
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curt lambert

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Reply with quote  #10 

I agree that a Best of Brian Wilson would be best suited as a multi disc project, but at least a one disc, and is way overdue. I'll try a 15 song disc just to join the fun. Not in track order:

Love And Mercy
Melt Away
Rio Grande
Getting In Over My Head
Your Imagination
Lay Down Burden
What Love Can Do
Morning Beat
Midnight's Another Day
Going Home
Southern California
Nothing But Love
This Beautiful Day
Whatever Happened
Tell Me Why
One Kind Of Love

Bonus Cuts:
2 cuts from BWPS and 2 cuts from BW Pet Sounds Live

A Brian Wilson Live album is also a must.


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kds

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Reply with quote  #11 
Curt,

I couldn't agree more about a BW live album.  A live album from the 2015 NPP Tour would be a great way to put an exclamation point at the end of a wonderful year.  
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guitarfool2002

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Reply with quote  #12 
I'm still advocating for the single disc "Greatest...Best Of..." type release, or if it's a 2-disc format, then make it one which follows the Wingspan release format. I remember specifically how that Wingspan set made a lot of listeners revisit, rethink, or even be introduced to music which was not necessarily in the mainstream of popularity or even discussed that much outside the usual Beatles/McCartney circles.

I say this because of the new context which the songs are placed on sets like this. It was like the success of the Beatles "1" single disc. That disc sold very well for what it was, and considering how many sets like the Red and the Blue, the Compleat Beatles, etc had already been in listener's collections from decades past. When they repackaged "1", it was just enough for both the old and the brand new fans to want to buy it. I know kids under 18 bought it - music 40+ years old, and in just enough of a tight package to not be too much to wade into, or not be a cheap knock-off.

I like the idea of a box set for Brian's solo work, don;t get me wrong, but if the idea is to get people who may not have given some of the best songs a deep enough listen, or those who listened heard the songs when they bought the album then filed them away, a one-disc "greatest" would be like the Wingspan set: Here is a lot of good music, a lot of great songs and performances and sounds, which you may have missed or slowly forgotten about over the past 20 years. Take a new listen, go song-by-song." For new listeners wanting to check out Brian's solo music, it is the ultimate mix tape. Here's the best...no investment in listening to full albums or wading through 5 discs full of music if you want to hear some of the highlights.

I think it's the best way both to revisit and introduce Brian's solo material to listeners old and new. In the bubble of the really devoted and long-time fans, we have the full albums. But I don't see how there would be any drawback to package some of the highlights and best individual tracks into a single disc compilation, or a double-disc option with rarities too, and offer the not-quite-as-diehard listeners out there a chance to get their feet wet before diving into the deep end with a massive box set.

I also think people interested would sooner invest between 10-15 dollars in a disc rather than upwards of 75-100 possibly in a box set for material they may not be familiar with. As much as the core fanbase wants the full sets, if that were the only option you'd be losing a lot of potential buyers and new fans.

Regarding possible bonus tracks on a single disc or double disc or whatever else:

Hands-down for me is including the track of Brian singing "What A Wonderful World". One of the best songs of all time sung by one of the best musical artists of all time. Done deal.

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HAL2591

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Reply with quote  #13 

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.

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Brian's The Greatest

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Reply with quote  #14 
Just reading that blew my mind, Rab! Whew, if only...
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AGD

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Reply with quote  #15 
By its very nature and construction, BWPS discourages the cherry-picking of individual tracks: in this instance, the whole is very definitely greater than the sum of the parts. Thus, it would be disc 2 of Last Wilson Standing: 1987-2015. Disc 1 would of course be a 20-25 track selection of the rest of the albums (excluding Pet Sounds Live) frosted with a few rarities.
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