Brian Wilson

Jun 20, 1942

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From Wikipedia:

Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer who co-founded the Beach Boys. Often called a genius for his novel approaches to pop composition, extraordinary musical aptitude, and mastery of recording techniques, he is widely acknowledged as one of the most innovative and significant songwriters of the 20th century. His best-known work is distinguished for its high production values, complex harmonies and orchestrations, layered vocals, and introspective or ingenuous themes. Wilson is also known for his formerly high-ranged singing and for his lifelong struggles with mental illness.

Raised in Hawthorne, California, Wilson’s formative influences included George Gershwin, the Four Freshmen, Phil Spector, and Burt Bacharach. In 1961, he began his professional career as a member of the Beach Boys, serving as the band’s songwriter, producer, co-lead vocalist, bassist, keyboardist, and de facto leader. After signing with Capitol Records in 1962, he became the first pop artist credited for writing, arranging, producing, and performing his own material. He also produced other acts, most notably the Honeys and American Spring. By the mid-1960s he had written or co-written more than two dozen U.S. Top 40 hits, including the number-ones “Surf City” (1963), “I Get Around” (1964), “Help Me, Rhonda” (1965), and “Good Vibrations” (1966). He is considered among the first music producer auteurs and the first rock producers to apply the studio as an instrument.

In 1964, Wilson had a nervous breakdown and resigned from regular concert touring, which led to more refined work, such as the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and his first credited solo release, “Caroline, No” (both 1966), as well as the unfinished album Smile. As he declined professionally and psychologically in the late 1960s, his contributions to the band diminished, and legends grew around his lifestyle of seclusion, overeating, and drug abuse. His first comeback, divisive among fans, yielded the would-be solo effort The Beach Boys Love You (1977). In the 1980s he formed a controversial creative and business partnership with his psychologist, Eugene Landy, and relaunched his solo career with the album Brian Wilson (1988). Wilson disassociated from Landy in 1991 and went on to tour regularly as a solo artist from 1999 to 2022.

Heralding popular music’s recognition as an art form, Wilson’s accomplishments as a producer helped initiate an era of unprecedented creative autonomy for label-signed acts. The youth zeitgeist of the 1960s is commonly associated with his early songs, and he is regarded as an important figure to many music genres and movements, including the California sound, art pop, psychedelia, chamber pop, progressive music, punk, outsider, and sunshine pop. Since the 1980s, his influence has extended to styles such as post-punk, indie rock, emo, dream pop, Shibuya-kei, and chillwave. Wilson’s accolades include numerous industry awards, inductions into multiple music halls of fame, and entries on several “greatest of all time” critics’ rankings. His life was dramatized in the 2014 biopic Love & Mercy. […]

Paul McCartney and his wife Linda visited Wilson in April 1974, but Wilson refused to let them inside his home.

2000: Songwriters Hall of Fame, inducted by Paul McCartney,[765] who referred to him as “one of the great American geniuses”.[766]

Over the next year, Wilson continued sporadic recording sessions for his fourth solo album, Gettin’ In over My Head.[393] Released in June 2004, the record featured guest appearances from Van Dyke Parks, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, and Elton John.

Wilson’s cover of Paul McCartney’s “Wanderlust” was released on the tribute album The Art of McCartney in November.[436]

He praised Paul McCartney’s bass playing, calling it “technically fantastic, but his harmonies and the psychological thing he brings to the music comes through. Psychologically he is really strong […] The other thing that I could never get was how versatile he was. […] we would spend ages trying to work out where he got all those different types of songs from.”[512]

Paul McCartney and Brian had a mutual admiration for each other. Paul would come over to our house many times by himself, or with Linda and the kids. Paul came to the Vega-Tables session. Brian had some fresh vegetables out, for the mood. He sprinkled salt all over the console table near the mixing board and started dipping celery into the salt and chomping on it. Paul followed his lead and picked up the celery and did the same thing. It was priceless to see this.

Marilyn Wilson – first wife of Brian Wilson – From the liner notes of “The Smile Sessions (deluxe box”, Capitol Records, 2011
Photo of Paul with Brian Wilson, Madison Square Garden, December 1989
Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson backstage at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 17, 2009 in Palm Desert, California.
Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson backstage at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 17, 2009 in Palm Desert, California.
From Instagram

Last updated on March 6, 2023

Songs written or co-written by Brian Wilson

God Only Knows

Unreleased song


Unreleased song

Albums, EPs & singles by Brian Wilson

Gettin' In Over My Head

By Brian Wilson • Official album

Albums, EPs & singles which Brian Wilson contributed to


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