By Jim Fusco:
As the biggest Beach Boys fan (I mean, a true lover of their music- not just a big collector) under the age of 30, I pride myself on being a complete Beach Boys fan. Some people on Brian Wilson’s message board are JUST Brian Wilson fans- they only consider the golden years of the Beach Boys to be when Brian was writing the songs and calling the shots.
For me, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Yes, of course, I love the early Beach Boys music. I also love Pet Sounds. And, I’m even “okay” with “Love You” and “15 Big Ones”.
But, my favorite Beach Boys albums are the ones where everyone contributes. Nothing gets me excited than to find a new Bruce Johnston song, a Carl Wilson song, or especially a Dennis Wilson song. In fact, my brother Mike considers Dennis Wilson to be the best songwriter of all time. Okay, so maybe he doesn’t have an extensive enough catalog to prove that claim, but just one listen to songs like “Forever”, “Thoughts of You”, and “Cuddle Up” make the claim all the more believable.
I can sit here all night and rant about how much I love Dennis Wilson’s music. When I found out about the “Pacific Ocean Blue” album re-release for June of 2008, I was ecstatic, even though my family is one of the lucky few with both a CD and vinyl original version that we’ve had for many years. I’m always a fan of remastering old songs and I was especially excited about hearing a true release of his unreleased “Bambu” album. Of course, I even had a bootleg- I’ll admit- that I bought for Mike one year at Christmas. I considered it one of my greatest presents for him and he was so excited.
One thing I can say about Denny during his late 1970s period is that I get really sad listening to how much his voice deteriorated. He had a very nice, yet not perfect, voice in the late 60s and very early 70s. I just couldn’t believe that he had let life ruin his voice like that. Although, his scratchy voice really did lend itself to some powerful and emotional renditions of his solo work.
Tonight, I bring you the first of MANY Dennis Wilson solo songs to grace the Laptop Sessions. I’m very proud of this one, not only because it’s one my favorites off of “Pacific Ocean Blue”, but because I’m doing an acoustic guitar version of this otherwise keyboard-based song. It has an interesting new sound and the lyrics really stand out. Plus, isn’t that tune just infectious? This song, as simple as it is, seems to transcend time- it sounds new now, as I’m sure it sounded innovative then.
I hope you enjoy my first Dennis Wilson solo acoustic cover song here on the Laptop Sessions music video blog. My only hope is that this version can start to give Dennis’ songs the attention they’ve always deserved.