Here Today!: The Songs of Brian Wilson

Here Today!: The Songs of Brian Wilson


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Brian Wilson famously abandoned the road for the studio in 1965, but in the years prior to that transition he was already something of a studio rat, spending a fair amount of time writing for (and sometimes producing) artists outside of the Beach Boys. He worked with Jan Berry, produced and composed for the female surf rock trio the Honeys (he would marry Marilyn Rovell), and tried to land songs with Phil Spector, but it wouldn't be until late 1964 that the covers came quickly, not coincidentally coinciding with his progression as a composer. Most of the songs on Ace's 2015 compilation, Here Today! The Songs of Brian Wilson -- a 25-track collection of covers -- date from that purple patch from the mid-'60s, and include many songs cherry-picked from the excellent Today! and Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) records -- recovered roughly at the same time, plus a selection of tunes he gave away during that era and a suite of songs from Pet Sounds that were covered between 1967 and 1991. Despite the opening ringer of "Do You Have Any Regrets" -- a song from the abandoned 1991 Sweet Insanity album covered by Darain Sahanaja, the lead singer of the Wondermints, a group which proved instrumental in the 21st century revival of Smile -- and "Surf City," everything here dates from between 1964 and 1966, which is appropriate, as those three years were Brian Wilson's golden age. Here Today! isn't so much a primary text for that era as a useful, often delightful, supplement, adding color and texture to a well-known story. Often, this shading arrives through alternate versions of songs the Beach Boys first cut -- Bobby Vee does "Here Today," Tony Rivers & the Castaways do "The Girl from New York City," Basil Swift & the Seegrams tackle "Farmer's Daughter" -- and if these versions don't reimagine the originals, they are nevertheless a testament to the studio craft of Los Angeles in the mid-'60s. As much as Wilson's writing is indelible -- he wrote few better songs than "Guess I'm Dumb," here in a relatively rare, slightly speedier version by Johnny Wells, not Glen Campbell -- it's the overall feel of Here Today! that truly impresses: this was music made when working in the studio with a large cast of supporting musicians was the norm, and it's all the more glorious for that.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/10/2015
Label: Imports
UPC: 0029667072328
catalogNumber: 5020335
Rank: 41450

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gorgoni   Conductor
Gary Usher   Conductor
Norm Bergen   Conductor
Johnny Keeting   Conductor

Technical Credits

Leon Russell   Arranger
Brian Wilson   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Mike Love   Composer
Terry Melcher   Producer
Gene Page   Producer
Tokens   Producer
Phil Spector   Composer,Producer
John Burgess   Producer
Jan Berry   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Mike Berry   Producer
Ted Daryll   Producer
Nick DeCaro   Producer
Jim Economides   Producer
Gorgoni   Arranger
Tommy LiPuma   Producer
Mitch Margo   Composer
Phil Margo   Composer
Bob Norberg   Composer
Joe Reisman   Producer
Jay Siegel   Composer
Dallas Smith   Producer
Russ Titelman   Composer
Gary Usher   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Nick Venet   Director,Producer
Hank Medress   Composer
Billy Page   Producer
Bazza   Producer
Mick Patrick   Liner Notes,Illustrations
Harvey Williams   Liner Notes,Illustrations
Kingsley Abbott   Liner Notes
Tony Asher   Composer
Roger Christian   Composer
Don Altfield   Composer
Walter Masky   Producer
Billy Jackson   Arranger,Producer
Dean Brodrick   Arranger,Producer
Martin Roberts   Illustrations
Louis Phillipe   Arranger,Producer
Roy Straigis   Arranger,Producer
Peter Raymond   Producer
Norm Bergen   Arranger
Johnny Keeting   Arranger
D.A. Hutton   Arranger,Director

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