Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pet Sounds outtakes (1966)

"Sloop John B (Highlights from Tracking Date)" After all these years, Brian Wilson is the only Wilson left. That was nobody's expectation -- he was more likely going to be the first one to go. Yet, oddly, a lot of these outtakes answer the question about why Brian turned out to be the survivor: Pure life force. My own sense of him has always been of the classic fucked-up rock star royalty, an introverted, passive figure, the kind of guy who rarely talks and then only mumbles or whispers. My bad. He may have been or still be that way with journalists and in front of cameras, but not in the studio, where his performance as producer is nothing less than riveting. He goes all unconscious at the board assembling the beautiful bits that comprise their pop masterpiece, barking orders, calling encouragement, tweaking sound effects, pulling, prodding, messing, discovering. Hearing the pieces all fall together, witnessing via sound a brilliant artist at work, is a wonder to behold.

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