No Pier Pressure – Brian Wilson

I love the double entendre implied in the album title by Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. The first meaning I readily see is that Brian Wilson’s album, No Pier Pressure means “No peer pressure” from his cousin Mike Love or Bruce Johnston. The songs on No Pier Pressure were written and designed for continuing The Beach Boys 50 Year Anniversary band. The split between Brian, Al Jardine and David Marks with Mike Love is clearly evident. Just like Brian Wilson I have animosity with Love and Johnston for heading back out on the road as The Beach Boys without Brian, Al and David. I won’t ever go see Mike Love’s Beach Boys. His band and ego hold no fascination for me. Especially after seeing The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour live at Mohegan Sun in 2012.

The second meaning of No Pier Pressure is the pier effortlessly standing tall enduring the pressure of the ocean’s waves every day in California’s Pacific Ocean. Brian Wilson epitomizes the pier with no pressure in terms of his superlative song writing and genius production skills in the face of nature.

I look forward to owning this recording after Lent. No Pier Pressure will drop on April 7th, 2015.

Here is the first track from the album and man is it sweet, “The Right Time”. Check out Don Was on bass in the studio with Brian, Al and David.

Advertisements

Pink Floyd 40th Anniversary, Unite to Darken the Moon

Wow has it been 40 years already since the release of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon? I remember well March 17, 1973 when that recording debuted (US release date according to Capitol Records). The FM radio station I listened to out of New York City, WNEW-FM 102.7 leaned on it strongly. I bought my vinyl LP copy on  the Saturday afternoon it was released here in the States.  On the following day, Sunday the 18th of March 1973 I was fortunate to witness Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon 1973 Tour. They performed at The Palace in Waterbury, Ct. I wrote about that experience in the blog post hyper-linked below.

Pink Floyd In Concert 1973 – The Dark Side of the Moon Tour

Pink Floyd and EMI Music will mark the 40th Anniversary of the original UK release of The Dark Side of The Moon on 24 March 2013, as fans around the globe unite to turn a specially designed moon dark. Centred around a global playback of the album on PinkFloyd.com, each memory, thought and photo tweeted as fans rediscover the album will count towards the creation of a dark side of the moon.

Starting at 00:01am GMT on 24 March 2013, for the entire day fans all over the world will be able to share thoughts and comments via twitter using #DarkSide40 and witness the impact as the volume of messages combine to turn the moon dark.

DSOTM

Storm Thorgerson

When it comes to branding and logo there may not be a more discernible icon than the Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon “Prism”.  (Well perhaps the Rolling Stones Lips might top it…) It was designed by Storm Thorgerson when he was with Hipignosis. I have been a major fan of Storm Thorgerson for decades.

I wish I could afford the deluxe edition of his collectible book, Taken By Storm, The Album Art of Storm Thorgerson by the high-end music book publishing house Genesis Publications.

Keep watching the Pink Floyd Web page, http://darkside40.pinkfloyd.com/ for the variants of the Dark Side of the Moon prism. Each day another square in the diagram gets filled in and I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon 😉

The Beach Boys Smile Sessions Box Set

Image via Wikipedia

My son gave me as my sixtieth birthday present, The Beach Boys Smile Sessions Box Set. I have to tell you it is one amazing package of music and art. Capitol Records and The Beach Boys have done a marvelous job with the graphic art coupled with documenting the music sessions to bring to life for us this fundamental time capsule recording.

I was skeptical of how good Smile was going to be. It didn’t take long to dispel an unrealistic concern. The first song that makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck is “Surf’s Up“. It is a masterpiece that opens my heart and soul to the orchestral beauty of The Beach Boys vocals and harmonies layered over rich sounds. A monumental recording written by the genius team of Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks that I first heard in 1971 the same and only year I saw The Beach Boys live in Central Park.

It’s unfair to just single out “Surf’s Up” on Smile. There are many songs that flow with spiritual intent and divine purpose. The Beach Boys Smile Sessions box set engages the listener’s sensibilities. I love how Smile reawakened the love and purity of The Beach Boys sound.

I continue to explore the five CD set, sipping the music a glass at a time from a fine bottle of wine. The 60 page booklet is my reading companion that happily unearths more about the efforts that went into the making of Smile. 

Al Jardine sums up Smile best, “It’s truly life changing.”

The Beach Boys Announce 50th Anniversary Reunion, New Album and Tour

Four by The Beach Boys

It is so exciting to read about the plans the Beach Boys have to conduct a 50 show reunion tour and more. Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks will all take part and 50 dates are planned, with the tour kickoff at New Orleans Jazz Fest in late April.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-beach-boys-confirm-50-show-reunion-tour-20111216#ixzz1gjsm2MJ6

This anniversary is special to me because I miss the boys,” Brian Wilson said in a statement. “It will be a thrill for me to make a new record and be on stage with them again.

Press Release, Hollywood, California – December 16, 2011– The founding members of The Beach Boys, one of the world’s most legendary bands in popular music history, will reunite for a global 50th Anniversary CELEBRATION in 2012. Beach Boys Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks will come together for a new studio album and commemorative catalog releases with Capitol/EMI and a 50-date international tour to begin in April with a headlining performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (“Jazz Fest”) as well as other exciting events to be announced.

Brian Wilson says, “This anniversary is special to me because I miss the boys and it will be a thrill for me to make a new record and be on stage with them again.”

Mike Love says, “We got together at Capitol Records and re-recorded ‘Do It Again.’  Brian and I wrote that song which went to number 1 in Great Britain, Australia and elsewhere some 44 years ago.  Brian paid me a compliment saying, ‘How can a guy sound that great so many years later?’ Later on, while working out some harmonies on a new song Brian had written, I got a chance to return the compliment.  It was a thrill to be around a piano again with Brian, Alan and Bruce and experience firsthand the brilliance of Cousin Brian’s gift for vocal arrangements. I am very much looking forward to David Marks joining us and thrilling with his surf guitar licks. Music has been the unifying and harmonizing fact of life in our family since childhood. It has been a huge blessing that we have been able to share with the world.  Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Do It Again?  Absolutely!”

Al Jardine says, “The Beach Boys were recently inducted into the California Hall of Fame. From our humble beginnings as brothers, cousins and friends, we have been honored to sing the praises of California, and I’m really excited for our fans to be able to see us again in concert on the world stage, and to celebrate our 50th anniversary together with a new studio album.”

Bruce Johnston says, “I will be looking forward to singing Brian Wilson’s melodies and Mike Love’s lyrics once again in concert with many of the original band members, but imagine what we all could come up with vocally in a recording studio atmosphere under Brian’s musical direction.”

David Marks says, “I’m really looking forward to celebrating this important milestone in The Beach Boys’ history with the other guys, and with Capitol Records – where it all began 50 years ago. It means a lot to me that we can all reunite and pay tribute to the fans who have kept the music alive.”

The Beach Boys have already recorded several songs for their new album, to be released in 2012 by Capitol/EMI, with more tracks to be recorded before its completion. The as-yet-untitled album, the first to feature all of the band’s surviving original members in decades, is being produced by Brian Wilson and executive produced by Mike Love.

The Beach Boys and Capitol/EMI have also teamed up for a 50th Anniversary campaign spotlighting the band’s entire catalog, with several new commemorative releases planned for 2012, including a new hits collection and a career-spanning box set.

Roger Faxon, CEO of EMI Group commented: “It’s no exaggeration to say that The Beach Boys are one of the greatest and most loved bands that the world has ever produced, and true American icons. We are incredibly proud to take this next step with them as our partnership enters its fiftieth year, and I can’t wait to see the band back together doing what they do better than anyone else.”

Colin Finkelstein, COO of EMI Music North America said: “We’re honored to continue Capitol/EMI’s historic partnership with The Beach Boys as they celebrate their fiftieth anniversary.  The Beach Boys bring the best of California’s sun and surf culture to people all over the world with their music, and we’re really looking forward to working with the band on the new album and commemorative catalog releases – a real CELEBRATION of fifty years!”

Quint Davis, producer/director, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival says, “It’s an honor to present the original Beach Boys reunion at Jazz Fest 2012. Hosting the greatest artists of our era has always been the primary mission of Jazz Fest, and certainly The Beach Boys are unsurpassed as an iconic American musical and cultural institution. Every spring Jazz Fest is the number-one destination for good vibrations and fun, fun, fun; on April 27th, when The Beach Boys reunite on our biggest stage, it’s going to feel like a thrilling homecoming for everyone lucky enough to be there. We’re all looking forward to experiencing the magic and the joy.”

Founded in Hawthorne, California in 1961, The Beach Boys were originally consisted of the three teenaged Wilson brothers: Brian, Carl and Dennis, their cousin Mike Love, and school friend Al Jardine. In 1962, neighbor David Marks joined the group for their first wave of hits on Capitol Records, leaving in late 1963, and in 1965, Bruce Johnston joined the band when Brian Wilson retired from touring to focus on writing and producing records for the group. For five decades, America’s first pop band to reach the 50 year milestone has recorded and performed the music that has become the world’s favorite soundtrack to summer.

The Beach Boys signed with Capitol Records in July 1962 and released their first album, Surfin’ Safari, that same year. The album spent 37 weeks on the Billboard chart, launching the young group known for its shimmering vocal harmonies and relaxed California style into international stardom. The Wilson/Love collaboration resulted in many huge international chart hits, and under Brian Wilson’s musical leadership, the band’s initial surf-rock focus was soon broadened to include other themes, making The Beach Boys America’s preeminent band of the 1960s.

In 1966, The Beach Boys were one of the first bands to found its own record label with the launch of Brother Records, Inc. (BRI), with the band’s members as its shareholders and Capitol Records as its distribution partner. BRI continues to manage The Beach Boys’ intellectual property, including the band’s catalog with Capitol/EMI and other label partners, as well as its name, logos, image and likeness.

The Beach Boys continue to hold Billboard / Nielsen SoundScan’s record as the top-selling American band for albums and singles, and they are also the American group with the most Billboard Top 40 chart hits (36). ‘Sounds Of Summer: The Very Best Of The Beach Boys’ is fast approaching triple-Platinum sales status, and ‘The SMiLE Sessions,’ released to worldwide critical acclaim in November, has been heralded as 2011’s #1 Reissue of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and recipients of The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award, The Beach Boys are an American institution that is iconic around the world.

Bob Seger – Ultimate Hits: Rock And Roll Never Forgets

Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
Image via Wikipedia

It drops today. Bob Seger’s ultimate hits package. The recording that Bob Seger didn’t want to do but Capitol Records convinced him otherwise to release. Hard to imagine Capitol Records would repackage Bob Seger greatest hits again, when Greatest Hits Vol, 1 has sold 10 million copies…

Oh well there is some cool stuff on here, mono Ramblin Gamblin Man being my main interest. His best song ever to me. How I discovered Bob Seger in 1968. Still a fan today 43 years later.

 

Ultimate Hits: Rock And Roll Never Forgets also includes the Detroit rocker’s two #1 radio singles from this year, “Downtown Train” and his current #1 Classic Rock hit, “Hey Hey Hey Hey (Going Back To Birmingham).”

We saw Bob Seger live in concert this past April in Atlantic City. He and the Silver Bullet Band rocked the house that night.

Should have my copy tomorrow from Amazon. I’ll let you know what I think when I have given it a quality listen.

You won’t find this recording on Spotify….

DISC ONE:

1. Old Time Rock And Roll
2. Hollywood Nights
3. Night Moves
4. Mainstreet
5. Roll Me Away
6. Turn The Page
7. Her Strut
8. Still The Same
9. You’ll Accomp’ny Me
10. We’ve Got Tonight
11. Like A Rock
12. Fire Lake
13 .Tryin’ To Live My Life Without You

DISC TWO: 

1. Rock And Roll Never Forgets
2. Against The Wind
3. Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man
4. The Fire Down Below
5. Travelin’ Man (Live)
6. Beautiful Loser (Live)
7. Shakedown
8. Shame On The Moon
9. Katmandu
10. Little Drummer Boy
11. Wait For Me
12. Hey Hey Hey Hey (Going Back To Birmingham)
13. Downtown Train

Frank Sinatra – The Best of The Best

I saw this television advertisement this morning for Frank Sinatra’s, Best of the Best on Capitol Records.

How cool is this, 23 songs for $9.99! The best of his Capitol and Reprise catalogues. All on one CD!

It’s the best of the best no-brainer ever.

There is also a 2 CD deluxe edition, featuring the 23 classic songs and a 1957 live Seattle concert. I want both products 😉

Frank Sinatra: Best of The Best