By Jim Fusco
Welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco! It’s been a long time since my last video blog post. Before my new season of cover song videos begins, I decided to post a few leftover cover songs that I recorded a few months ago. I guess I never got around to posting them! Life can get busy…
Now that school is starting up again (my wife is a teacher, so she’s really busy 10 months out of the year)I should have a bit more time to focus on my musical endeavors. I’m excited to bring The Laptop Sessions Acoustic Cover Songs Music Video Blog to new heights this year! I just signed an agreement to promote my existing cover songs and I hope that these efforts will allow me to expand the website even further.
Tonight, I bring you an obscure song from The Beach Boys. Well, it’s not really The Beach Boys- this is a Dennis Wilson solo project put under the Beach Boys’ name. In the early 70s, Dennis Wilson was creating music at a very fast pace. “Sunflower”, one of the Beach Boys’ best albums, shows a large contribution from Dennis. In my opinion, his songwriting was second to only Brian Wilson in the band and after Brian slipped away from participating in the band, Dennis filled the void the best. I think there was a time when the band decided to push Dennis as the front man of the band. But, Dennis’ songs didn’t catch on commercially and eventually, they went back to the Brian Wilson formula once again (before he was ready, but that’s a whole different story). Honestly, I’m not sure if the move away from Dennis as the face of the Beach Boys was due to his songs not receiving critical acclaim, or because of Dennis’ lifestyle. Like Brian, it’s been said that Dennis had a hard time seeing projects through to the end. Even though he was prolific during this period, I have a feeling he would get bored with projects very quickly and either not finish them or simply get them done and move on.
“Lady (Fallin’ In Love)” is an interesting song. Dennis had a great way of taking a simple sounding song and making it lush and beautiful. “Lady” isn’t the hardest song to play or sing, but the string orchestration (most likely done by Daryl Dragon of Captain & Tennille fame) is breathtaking. That’s one of the reasons, though, that I wanted to do a solo acoustic cover version of “Lady”. I wanted to show people what the song would sound like in it’s bare-bones form. I think it’s still a really moving song.
Dennis’ voice on the original recording is so nice- it’s such a shame that he let it deteriorate so much. I can only imagine the songs he could’ve come out with if he didn’t allow his personal demons to overtake him.
“Lady (Fallin’ In Love)” was actually the flip side of a solo Dennis Wilson single, which is fascinating to me. “The Sound of Free” was the A-side. Of course, the single didn’t go anywhere, but up to that point, only Brian had released a solo single in “Caroline, No” four years earlier. I’m glad the Beach Boys and Capitol Records finally got it together to release “Lady” on their Summer Love Songs compilation. This song deserved a new audience.
Enjoy tonight’s Dennis Wilson/Beach Boys cover song music video here on the Laptop Sessions video blog! Stay tuned for more videos very soon with me, Jim Fusco!