Ladies and gentlemen- I give you a brand-new recording!!
This is a cover of the Beach Boys’ classic song “She Knows Me Too Well” off of the “Today!” album from 1965.
I got some new equipment, so I wanted to try to match the original recording the best I could (with a little more flair on the drums, no disrespect to Dennis Wilson). I used my new Shure SM57 mic, Epiphone Les Paul Special II with P-90 pickups, and my Samson 7-piece drum mic set. I rounded-it out with my Fender Stratocaster, Fender Jazz Bass, electric piano, and ten vocal tracks, recorded with my Shure SM27 condenser mic.
I really hope you enjoy all the hard work I put into this and hope you’ll share it with all of your friends, too!
Last week, my wife and I were on vacation in Las Vegas. We were SO excited to learn that we were there on opening night of “Surf: The Musical”! We got tickets and honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. We went over to Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino…
Well, we were pleasantly surprised! The show featured 30 Beach Boys songs and even had a couple of obscure ones, like Dennis Wilson’s “Be Still” (from the 1969 album “20/20”) and (slightly less obscure) “Getcha Back” (from the 1985 album “The Beach Boys”).
One of the coolest moments was after a car crash, the chorus sang “Our Prayer” (from Smile)- it was the perfect song choice. Actually, I was surprised at how well the lyrics to all the songs fit in so well with the story. They had to change a few lyrics (mostly gender-related), but it was done well.
Of course, the show was “Vegas-fied” with a lot of dancing, skimpier outfits than anyone would’ve worn in 1965, and there were a lot of special effects and lighting tricks. The background was a set of three large LCD screens. That was a great touch because the background changed with each scene- it allowed them to have different “locations” without having a ton of set props. There was even a really cool Ferris Wheel effect that drew applause from the audience.
The singing was done pretty well- normally I can’t stand hearing people over-dramatize my favorite songs. But, these stayed fairly true to the originals.
Overall, we had a ton of fun and I would really recommend it to any Beach Boys fan. I hope it does well!
Let’s pretend for a moment that it’s still Friday night, shall we?
Day 13 is here and I’ve got my last Christmas cover song for you! It’s a tune I’ve been singing to my 4-month old son since he was born. For some reason, I got it in my head that he would like it, so I started singing it to him. Now, it seems like he recognizes it and likes to hear it. So, I may sing it year-round!
“Santa’s Beard” by the Beach Boys is one of those songs you’ve probably heard in passing here and there over the years. It’s a cute tune and I really like the vocals, as always. This ended up being one of the hardest songs to record because of the awesome walking bass line in it. What a project! It really took me a long time to get that down, but now that I did, it’s pretty spot-on to the original, if I do say so myself.
Enjoy “Santa’s Beard” and remember to download all of the rest of the Christmas songs. I’ll be back shortly with the last song in Jim Fusco’s 14 Days of Rock’n’Roll Christmas 2015!
Here’s one plenty of people should know: the classic and beautiful “Warmth of the Sun” by the Beach Boys, written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love. The story goes that both Brian and Mike were together the night that President John F. Kennedy passed away. It must’ve been quite a night in America- I can only imagine it. But, in songwriters’ darkest hours come some great material. Most of the great songs you hear are a result of heartache- it’s usually due to losing a loved one. But, Brian Wilson and Mike Love of the Beach Boys were creative in their songwriting and made their feellings for the passing of their President known in song. Sure, they tailored it into a love-lost song (“The love of my life, she left me one day…”), but you can tell the sentiment in the song, especially considering the night they wrote it.
“The Warmth of the Sun” is a beautiful song in all ways- the chord changes are just great. Brian Wilson always had a knack at creating chord progressions that were familiar, but had a great twist. The bass line always moves in the opposite direction of where you expect it to go. In addition to great music (and the instrumental track, which I’m pretty sure was played by the Beach Boys band members themselves), this song has AMAZING harmonies. Brian Wilson’s voice simply soars in this song. With the addition of the dead-on background vocals, you’ve got a pretty perfect song. I’m just glad I found a way to put a solo acoustic performance together and record it with just an acoustic guitar for a cover song music video.
This video is fulfilling a request I received in my first week of doing the Laptop Sessions. I waited until now because I knew I had to get this one right. I had to practice the chords (not too easy, and this is my own interpretation- I didn’t even use a book), plus get the intricate tune correct. There’s so many subtleties to this tune and NO ONE was writing pop music like this in 1963. Talk about ahead of their time.
Please visit my website at http://jimfusco.com for more great music–original songs! One of the main ideas behind doing all of these cover songs for the Laptop Sessions is that if you like the style of music that I do live performances of, you’ll also love my original music, too! I really think that’s true- my original songs aren’t just throwbacks or anything like that. They’re unique songs that put a modern twist on my favorite influences, including The Beach Boys, the Byrds, the Beatles, and the Moody Blues. I hope you enjoy tonight’s Beach Boys cover song and I hope you’ll stay tuned for more. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @jimfuscomusic so you always know the latest on my songwriting endeavors, too!