Inside the Music of Brian Wilson
Philip Lambert's infinite need to delve deeper into the musical oeuvre of Brian Wilson - by understanding the technical basis of his sound worlds and exploring the music Wilson heard as a child - creates a different type of biography. Taking the perspective from within Brian Wilson's music, instead of from his personal life, they are interwoven to form a complete portrait.
It tells completely new stories about the birth and evolution of his musical ideas
Includes recordings that may be lost, destroyed, or never officially released.
Do you remember the first time you heard Pet Sounds? It still takes my breath away, forty years later, but I’ll never forget that jaw-dropping moment when Brian Wilson’s masterpiece first entered my consciousness. It seemed just so far removed from anything that seemed possible in a rock album, so deep and sensitive and finely crafted that it surely came from a world beyond this one…
I’ve written this book because I had to know more about the remarkable creative spirit behind Pet Sounds and the Beach Boys. I wanted to know every detail about Brian Wilson’s music before and after his magnum opus. Of course, I knew something about the life he has lived, especially the publicity-grabbing circumstances of his difficult childhood, up-and-down relationships with his brothers and the group that made him famous, battles with substance abuse and depression and legal squabbles. But I was sure that his music alone told a story that was interesting on its own and that was naturally interwoven with his biography. That’s the story I’ve set out to tell in this book.
Tracing a line from Brian Wilson’s very first musical loves (George Gershwin and the Four Freshmen) through to the Smile and Pet Sounds tours of recent years, Philip Lambert’s astonishingly comprehensive book details over 50 years in the musical life of one of America’s foremost pop composers. Lambert acknowledges the familiar biographical contexts behind many of Wilson’s songs, but sheds new light on the birth and evolution of his musical ideas. A huge number of songs are discussed, including the famous ('Help Me Rhonda,' 'Good Vibrations,' 'God Only Knows') and the less well known ('Farmer’s Daughter,' 'Boys Will Be Boys' and more). The end result is a remarkable story of musical growth and ambition, sure to appeal to devoted Beach Boys fans. The book also includes a unique Brian Wilson song chronology, listing every musical endeavour to which Brian is known to have made a musical contribution.