By Jim Fusco:
Tonight’s Laptop Session is a song from Brian Wilson’s 1988 solo album, aptly titled, “Brian Wilson”! I saw a YouTube video of him playing this on Letterman in 1988, and hearing the overproduced “80s” sound made me want to give it the Laptop Sessions treatment, as I did with Brian’s song “I’m So Lonely” (from the Beach Boys 1985 album).
No, this isn’t one of Brian’s greatest songs, but I think a lot of people write it off because its production, and not necessarily because of the quality of the song. But again, that’s one of the big reasons why I’m doing the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs series. I don’t think songs should be ignored because of the time-period of which they were produced. Giving a song a fresh sound, done in a solo liver performance on acoustic guitar will allow people to hear the song and not just the recording.
“Night Time” is one of those songs from Brian Wilson’s first solo album that his therapist (who called himself “producer” at the time) Eugene Landy said he had a hand in writing. I’m not sure about that, but from everything I can gather, Brian was still in a pretty fragile mental state. It was only a year earlier that he was passed-over (or declined, depending on who you ask) to work on the Beach Boys #1 hit single, “Kokomo”. I can only imagine “Kokomo” with Brian’s voice in there. It would’ve been great. Of course, I’m glad they ended up giving Carl Wilson a chance to shine on the “That’s where we wanna go…” line. So, I guess it wasn’t all bad that Brian wasn’t a part of “Kokomo”.
Brian Wilson’s first solo album was critically acclaimed. It really has some great songs on it. All of them have an incredibly polished late-80s sound to it. Though, it does sound like a Brian Wilson production. It almost sounds like an updated “Love You” album with better synthesizers. Fans of “Love You” will remember that it was a fairly revolutionary album at the time because of the synthesized keyboards Brian Wilson used throughout. I, for one, could do without them- it would make the album sound less dated today. But then again, it also gives me the opportunity to record a bunch of Beach Boys and Brian Wilson cover songs for you! Therefore, the synthesizer, and all 80s music, seems to be my friend.
I think it’ll be a treat for hardcore Brian Wilson fans out there, too, who probably already like “Night Time” and the entire “Brian Wilson” album. If you haven’t heard “Night Time” before, I really hope you’re in for a treat. Enjoy tonight’s Laptop Sessions Brian Wilson cover song!