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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great followup to "1962-69" DVD with lots of insightful interviews. A MUST for all Wilson fans!,
This review is from: Wilson, Brian - Songwriter: 1969-1982 (DVD)The UK-based Chrome Dreams DVD label (distributed in the US by MVD) has really grown in quality over the year. Their earlier productions had just a few music journalists and no real music of the artist on them. They were just "OK" but beginning with the predecessor to this DVD "Brian Wilson - Songwriter 1962-69" things really improved and I raved about it to every Wilson or Beach Boy fan. This one picks up where that volume ended and spends much of its time on the post Pet Sounds period, especially the Warner Reprise years. The commentators include Bruce Johnson and Mark Volman plus a bunch of Wilson biographers as well as their early years Manager and their recording engineer. All are entertaining to listen to. My favorite (but this is subjective) is music professor Philip Lambert who sits at a piano and demonstrates his comments on Wilson's composition elements. There is a lot of vintage footage though you do have to realize that some is silent because of copyright issues. But there is plenty of music that Chrome Dreams got from non-US sources and is included here as well as some that they give credit to.
If you haven't seen the earlier one, you'll want to start there but if you have seen it, you'll want to know about this one. It ends with the failed "IMU" release on Columbia when Wilson heads off on his own solo career. My guess is that there will be a third volume forthcoming about the solo years and into the recent "Smile" project. I'll sure be looking for that.
The running time is nearly 2 1/4 hours, so there's LOTS here!
I'll defer to my fellow reviewer, Johnny Rebel, for more details but I wanted to also add info re: the "Bonus features" on this DVD. In addition to lengthy "text" bios of all the interviewees (in print a bit too small for most eyes) there are three segments (each about six minutes) of additional interviews. First is the aforementioned Lambert dissecting " Do It Again", then three others telling stories of Wilson "out of the studio" doing pranks and finally, the BB manager Fred Vail on the never-completed 1970 Wilson-solo country album "Cows Come Home To Pasture" (Vail still has the tapes but says he has no time to release them!)
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brian in the 70s,
This review is from: Wilson, Brian - Songwriter: 1969-1982 (DVD)Firstly it is worth pointing out that this film is the sequel to the excellent Brian Wilson - Songwriter: 1962-1969, which if you haven't seen I would highly recommend, examining Brian's output throughout the `Surf Band' period, the recording of Pet Sounds and the abortive Smile sessions.
This film picks up the story where the first part left off, following Brian's breakdown and the recording of `20/20'. Over the course of the next two hours, the documentary covers in some depth the recording of each Beach Boys album throughout the 70s.
A wide range of excellent contributors are on hand to explain events, including Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, their manager Fred Vail and friends of Brian and fellow L.A. scenesters Danny Hutton of Three Dog Night and Mark Volman of The Turtles. Behind-the-scenes studio perspectives come from a number of different producers, engineers and session musicians who worked on the albums. We also hear from a host of Brian Wilson biographers, journalists and Beach Boys aficionados, as well as the poet Stephen Kalinich who collaborated with Brian on the 1969 album `A World of Peace Must Come'. Musical analysis comes courtesy of City University of New York's music professor and general Beach Boys boffin Phillip Lambert.
If you have seen the first instalment of this film, then you will not be disappointed by the quality and depth of the insight on offer here. What this sequal brings is a fascinating and at times poignant look at a musical genius wrestling with his mental demons as his involvement with his band declines, leaving the rest of the Beach Boys to try and fill the void left by their erstwhile talisman. The common perception is that Brian spent the majority of the 70s either in bed, in a drug induced haze, or both. And while that may not be far from the truth, we learn throughout the film that even as his interest in the band waned, his influence on their sound was often still surprisingly clear.
In amongst all the doom and gloom, it should not be forgotten that Brian made some amazing records made during this period, both in and out of the Beach Boys, each of them reviewed in great detail here. For any fans of Brian this film will prove a delight, and an utterly indespensible document of a rewarding chapter of an unparalleled career.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting Brian Wilson documentary,
This review is from: Wilson, Brian - Songwriter: 1969-1982 (DVD)At last we see the continuation of the Brian Wilson documentary from 1969-1982. Now we hope to get a third DVD that continues from 1982 through 2012. Brian's career is absolutely fantastic. So much joy and positive music he contributed. Recommended.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do It Again,
This review is from: Wilson, Brian - Songwriter: 1969-1982 (DVD)As I write this, there are six reviews of this DVD and each of them give the disc 5-stars. I hate to be the odd man out, but I'd probably give it 3.5. Since you can't do half stars on Amazon, I bumped it up to 4 because I love Brian. An issue I have with the documentary is that it is more about Brian and his mental state than it is about him being a songwriter, which is in the title of the feature. Only about 44-minutes in does Philip Lambert start to analyze "This Whole World" musically. He also does good pieces on "Do It Again" and "Blueberry Hill" which were left out and put in the bonus section. Bruce Johnston is only in it a couple times, unlike part 1. Peter Ames Carlin and Domenic Priore do the majority of the commenting. (Peter's book, "Catch a Wave," should not be missed).
One reason I was disappointed in the first installment, was that while the title said 1962-1969, the four post-SMiLE 60s albums were barely touched upon. When I saw this DVD was coming out, I thought that finally, we'll get that analysis. But here it's only slightly better with "Do It Again" and "Cabin Essence" being looked at. "Wild Honey" isn't even mentioned. We see the covers for "Smiley Smile" and "Friends," but no talk of their contents aside from a couple brief descriptions. So viewers of this DVD get nothing at all about "Let the Wind Blow," "Darlin," "Time to Get Alone," "I Went to Sleep," "I'd Love Just Once to See You," "Busy Doin' Nothin'," etc.
The DVD gets big marks for its coverage of the "15 Big Ones/Love You" era. It's nice to see some of those tunes being discussed. I wish they would have used some of the demo of "I'll Bet He's Nice" which shows the other boys reacting very favorably at the end, while in this documentary we are told they pretty much hated every single thing Brian brought to them at the time. A lot of time is spent on "A Day in the Life of a Tree" and "Til I Die," which was nice to see. I'll never look at "Tree" the same way again, in a good way. I don't like the unfair and inaccurate political attacks in the last 5-minutes, suggesting the Beach Boys sucked in the 80s not because Mike, Bruce, and Al went the oldies route, but because Reagan was President. Stupid. But these days, you have to throw divisive junk in there I suppose. Eh?
I think disc 1 of the first documentary focused the most on the "songwriter" word in the title. The other disc there and this follow-up are just very good documentaries on Brian Wilson. There is a bit I would have changed. Maybe use more interviews with Brian from the time, maybe less generic stock footage of nonsense. Maybe a mention of "Winter Symphony" or "Soulful Old Man Sunshine." (Of course mention all the songs I listed above that they didn't mention). And be nicer to Al, who I don't think was as anti-Brian as some of these guys suggest. At 2 hr 15 min, a lot was still left out, but like the first documentary, it's not something a Brian Wilson fan should be without. Great insight and analysis by most of the commentators here. You will also not get such a critical look, and honest telling, of the 70s "Brian is back" campaign from any "official" documentary.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars even better than the first installment,
This review is from: Wilson, Brian - Songwriter: 1969-1982 (DVD)Not always easy to watch, especially if you are old enough to remember these events...but accurate, interesting and complete. Don't miss this one.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this dvd is just incredible,
This review is from: Wilson, Brian - Songwriter: 1969-1982 (DVD)I personally like this better than the first installment, 62-69, which retreads alot of the same info, but is still really good. The title of the DVD is a little misleading though. It actually covers the period of Wilson's so-called "decline", the period which he recorded Smile. So that means this DVD is actually covering from 1967 on. But do not let a minor title inaccuracy deter you from watching this, cos, u need 2 if you're a Brian Wilson fan.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brian Wilson - Songwriter 1969-1982,
This review is from: Wilson, Brian - Songwriter: 1969-1982 (DVD)Anybody that has followed a little bit about the history of Rock & Roll - not my specialty, I warn you --, knows that Brian Wilson was and is the brain behind the success of the Beach Boys. However, as the saying goes, nobody understands the torment of genius, and Wilson's at times tormented life is an example of that. "Brian Wilson - Songwriter 1969-1982" is another fascinating and very informative documentary produced by Sexy Intellectual about this intriguing musician.
Perhaps the best way to start this review is by citing Bob Dylan's words, which are written on the front cover of the DVD, when he presumably said, "Jesus, that ear, he should donate it to the Smithsonian." Big words, big compliment coming from one of the greatest songwriters that the US ever had. This said, the film opens just when the Beach Boys enter the music market in 1961. It then moves to 1965, when Wilson concentrates in studio work, instead of touring, and how the release of the now seminal "Pet Sounds" confused the label and isolated Wilson. From then on, some issues of his life are discussed, including, for example, his problems with mental stability, depression, and drugs; recording sessions at his home studio; pressure from record labels for hits; his work with poet Stephen Kalinich and America Spring; Beach Boys work without Brian; his fading out of scene after his father's death; his "return" in the 70s; and the effect of Dr. Eugene Landy in his life.
There are segments of concerts and videos featuring some of his compositions, such as Do it Again, I Can hear Music, Our Prayer, Cabinessence, Breakaway, Add some Music to your Day, This whole World, `Til I die, Surf's up, and many more. The making of these songs and other issues of Wilson's life are discussed by musicians Hal Blaine, Danny Hutton. Mark Volman, David Sandler, and others, as well as by engineer Stephen Desper, manager Fred Vail, and Beach Boy Bruce Johnston.
Regarded as the "band of the establishment," as opposed the counterculture, the Beach Boys certainly left a mark in history, and Brian Wilson was its main ingredient. He is still making rounds and is as popular as ever. Good for him, as his road has been long. "Brian Wilson - Songwriter 1969-1982" is an important document of the times. The DVD includes extended interviews, biographies, and much more. (UK, 2012, color and B&W, 134 min plus additional material)
Reviewed on January 29, 2013 by Eric Gonzalez for Sexy Intellectual
5.0 out of 5 stars DEFINITIVE FOR BRIAN SUPERFANS,
This review is from: Wilson, Brian - Songwriter: 1969-1982 (DVD)Did you buy and see Part 1, yet? If yes, you won't be disappointed with this one. How about Carlin's great bio, 'Catch a Wave'? You haven't bought these yet? Why not? What's wrong with you? Okay, you'll have to buy the book for the Brian greets Warner Bros. Reprise Company Execs, politely, but with green face-gag. and true, you don't get Brian (or Van Dyke or Melinda) here to comment. But have you actually seen and heard Stephen Desper and Earle Mankey and Turtle Mark Volhman talk about those days (and songs) before? It's all in here.
Speaking of Superfans, Mr. Carlin, Mr. now greatest Brian biographer, like Stephen Colbert would say, I've got a bone to pick with you. Holland is one of your favorite Beach Boys' albums? uh, okay. (personally I laughed when Ken Nolan said 'Peace, Love, and Beads cliches were still hard to accept from the Beach Boys.') But, calling "MIU" their worst album, okay, arguably, your opinion and all that's fine. But adding 'by far' to that judgment? It's got "My Diane" on it for Chrisakes! What song of "LA Light album" is as good as "My Diane"? or say on 'The Beach Boys'--the one with Boy George and Stevie Wonder and I think it was Michael McDonald? or say 'Still Cruisin' (no don't say THOSE songs, that's cheating)? on "Carl and the Passions/So Tough"? or even 'Keepin the Summer Alive'? Plus, I'd much rather hear Carl sing 'Sweet Sunday (kind of love)' than I would 'Full Sail.' I could go cut by cut with Light Album, and I know that one had 'Good Timin' and 'Angel Come Home' and 'Sumahama' didn't suq. But what is more 'manipulative' and 'cynical' in the entire Boys' catalogue than 'Here Comes the Night (Disco Version)'? Compare to say 'Matchpoint of our Love' or 'Woncha Come out Tonight' or even 'She's Got Rhythm'. Yes, give me 'Belles of Paris' and 'Pitter Patter' over 'Love Surrounds Me' or 'Goin South.' Did I mention 'My Diane'? What do 'Love You' fans always say about directness and how could anyone else but Brian write THAT song?!' MIU wins.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brian Wilson is.....,
This review is from: Wilson, Brian - Songwriter: 1969-1982 (DVD).....one of music's tragic figures. He fell victim to the very myth he created. When he wouldn't conform to the demands of Capitol records, they sold him out. I still to this day weep for him.
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Wilson, Brian - Songwriter: 1969-1982 by Brian Wilson (DVD - 2012)