Brian Wilson: Songwriter 1962-1969
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Where is the definitive documentary? Something comparing to the fascinating Keith Badham book, THE BEACH BOYS: THE DEFINITIVE DIARY OF AMERICA'S BAND ON STAGE AND IN THE STUDIO, or Peter Garlin's book, CATCH A WAVE: THE RISE, FALL, REDEMPTION OF THE BEACH BOY'S, BRIAN WILSON.
I'm still waiting for a new documentary, about the making of such under-rated, now - in recent years re-discovered Beach Boy classic albums such as, Friends, Sunflower, Surf's Up, Holland, and Love You. I'm waiting for a definitive documentary about Brian's controversial time with now-defunct pyschotherapist, Dr. Eugene Landy. Where's the documentary, just about the three Wilson brothers?
This new release, BRIAN WILSON: SONGWRITER 1962-1969 treads NO new ground. It continues with the NOW standard Beach Boy/Brian Wilson DVD formula - covering the exact same time period, as all previous DVD's.
Astoundingly ambitious (clocking in at 3 hours), BRIAN WILSON: SONGWRITER 1962-1969 simply polishes up the mythos with excellent technical filmmaking, including Wilson's essential 'Smile' era home demo recording of 'Surf's Up' as the main motif and theme for this release. The film features an almost completely cast of one time Beach Boy insiders and music critics that openly discuss Wilson's musicianship, songwriting, and personality.Read more ›
Running over three hours (and over two DVDs), the makers have dug deep into every archive they could, interviewed as many key figures as they could, gone through every album the band made with Brian Wilson running things along with the results after he handed over creative control to the rest of the band and an exceptional look at American pop culture and overall history that includes rare footage and audio.
All the original Beach Boys songs have been licensed, as well as other music, including songs Wilson made for other artists. We get more information on the conflict between him and his father, plus more about Capitol Records than you might imagine. Once I started to watch, I could not stop and Beatles fans will want to get this set because there is more Beatles here than usual, but it is the biography of Brian Wilson that is front and center, finally giving the American Treasure his due as the genius he was and still is.
Unfortunately the second disc abandons the entire "songwriting" focus and is a retread of familiar "Endless Harmony" and "An American Band" ground. I only recall the songs "Kiss Me Baby" and "God Only Knows" as getting any significant discussion in that area. There is a nice piece on the underrated "In the Back of My Mind," however. "California Girls" is presented to us in a very out-of-sync video which I've seen sync'ed up nicely in previous documentaries. After discussing how great certain "Pet Sounds" tracks are, we listen to them over those silly promo films of the time, which kind of takes away from the seriousness and importance of the music.Read more ›
2. We see some very cool vintage Four Freshmen footage, and the undeniable influence that quartet's equally cool jazz vocal stylings had on Brian and his Boys, explained to us by none other than First Lady of the Wilsonian Bass Guitar, Carol Kaye.
3. Next, back-to-back clips of Chuck Berry serenading "Sweet Little Sixteen" at The TAMI Show and the young B. Boys themselves belting out their just-released "Surfin' USA" in full deck-swabbing gear illustrate, as thousands of words over the years have til now failed to, why CHUCK'S name is the one listed as composer of the latter hit.
4. Similarly, Inside The Music of Brian Wilson author Prof. Philip Lambert takes to the piano to juxtapose Phil Spector's "Be My Baby" with Brian's equally ingenious "answer" song "Don't Worry, Baby" ...as Phil's former Wrecking Crewman (and Brian's drummer of choice) Hal Blaine gets a little Prison Wall of Sound joke in at his ol' boss' everlasting expense.
5. We get to hear lots of fly-on-the-acoustic-tile recording studio chatter, stretching all the way back to the making of that very first Beach Boy record "Surfin'" itself. Not to mention, I'm afraid, a terrifying example of father / manager / producer Murry "I'm a Genius Too" Wilson putting the psychological screws into Brian's brain at the infamous "Help Me, Rhonda" vocal session (which ended at least one person's career).
6.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very long & detailed account from Brian's "composing & creative" abilities during the 1960s as told by OTHER PEOPLE. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Keith Black
This is an in depth look into one of the true geniuses of music history (and I don't use the term liberally either! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Dee Dee Tee
A great and tragic story; if you want to get some real details and insights, this is the DVD to purchase.Published 6 months ago by Scott Davidson
Best Brian Wilson/Beach Boys documentary I've ever seen, and I've seen all of them.Published 8 months ago by T. J. Bell