Brian Wilson

From Academic Kids

See Brian Wilson (politician) for the Labour MP in the UK.

Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942, in Hawthorne, California) is an American pop musician, best known as a founding member of and the main producer, composer, and arranger for The Beach Boys. Although changing fashions in music sometimes rendered Wilson's earlier work unfashionable, his reputation has since been restored and he is now widely acknowledged as one of the most significant popular music composers of the 20th century.

Wilson showed an early talent for music and quickly developed into a highly skilled singer, songwriter, arranger and musician under the tutelege of his father, Murry Wilson. After forming The Beach Boys in the early sixties with his brothers Carl and Dennis, his cousin Mike Love and schoolfriend Al Jardine, Wilson steered the group to huge success around the world, and they scored a string of international hits between 1962 and 1966, including pop classics such as "Surfin' USA", "Fun, Fun, Fun", "I Get Around", "Help Me Rhonda", "California Girls", and "Good Vibrations". Until 1967 their international success and popularity rivalled that of The Beatles, who later cited Wilson's work as a major influence.

Wilson's creativity reached its apex during the mid-1960s with the Pet Sounds album (which, according to Paul McCartney, heavily inspired The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band), and many critics and music polls have named it one of the greatest pop albums ever recorded.

This was immediately followed by their biggest chart success, the million-selling #1 hit single "Good Vibrations", which set new standards for pop-rock production and is still regarded as one of the seminal pop recordings of the era. Wilson then began work on a new album, originally called "Dumb Angel" but soon re-titled SMiLE, on which he collaborated with lyricist Van Dyke Parks. However, the combination of resistance from within the group and Wilson's own growing personal problems led to the cancellation of the project in mid-1967.

Wilson also was the owner of a health food shop in Hollywood that lasted a year from its founding in the summer of 1969, the "Radiant Radish". Following a breakdown Wilson descended into mental illness and drug abuse in the late Sixties and 1970s. He partially recovered to try a career as a solo artist in the 1980s, with limited success. His efforts were both encouraged and hampered by the influence of his psychologist, Dr. Eugene Landy, and partially due to Landy's extreme control over Brian's life, Wilson quit working with the Beach Boys on a regular basis after the release of The Beach Boys in 1985. Landy's illegal use of psychotropic drugs on Wilson and his interference in all of his affairs was finally legally ended by Brian's brother Carl. His final release as part of the group was on the 1996 album Stars and Stripes, a group collaboration with select country music artists singing the lead vocals.

Brian released a solo album, Brian Wilson, in 1988 and a memoir, "Wouldn't It Be Nice", in which he spoke for the first time about his troubled relationship with his abusive father Murry and his "lost years" of mental illness. The book makes for shocking reading, featuring some particularly gruesome details. Understandably, the book was taken out of press some years later. It is widely appreciated that although it was written following interviews with Brian and others, Eugene Landy was largely responsible for the book, in conjunction with the writer Todd Gold.

Brian married Melinda Ledbetter in 1995 and subsequently the couple adopted two girls, Daria and Delanie, and, in 2004, a son, Dylan. He has two daughters, Carnie Wilson and Wendy Wilson, from his first marriage.

After considerable mental recovery, he released a second solo album, Imagination, in 1998 to widespread appreciation. Following this, he learned to cope with his stage fright and started to play live for the first time in decades, to great success, going on to play the whole Pet Sounds album live on his tours of the USA, UK and Europe. He now tours regularly as a solo act with a large backing band that includes the members of The Wondermints and former Beach Boys guitarist Jeff Foskett

A new studio album, Getting In Over My Head, featuring collaborations with Elton John, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, and his deceased brother Carl Wilson. It was released on 22 June, 2004 [1] (http://www.netmusiccountdown.com/news/article.php?id=5548/1). Eric Clapton played on the track "City Blues."

On 28 September 2004, a re-recorded version of his previously shelved SMiLE album was released. The album had reached mythic proportions within Beach Boys fandom, and the 1966/1967 sessions had been heavily bootlegged. The 2004 recording featured his touring band which consists of former Beach Boys guitarist Jeff Foskett and members of The Wondermints on vocals and instruments, and is classed as a Brian Wilson solo album. Notably, the song "Good Vibrations" featured Tony Asher's original lyrics rather than Mike Love's revised lyrics from the 1966 single version of the song. The album was both a critical and a financial success.

Wilson won a Grammy award for best rock instrumental for the "Smile" track "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow (Fire)." He released a two-DVD "Smile" set, consisting of a documentary and a live presentation of the work. He planned a tour for the second half of 2005, as well as a Christmas album for Arista Records, called "What I Really Want for Christmas."

Though no longer a part of the Beach Boys touring band, Brian Wilson remains a member of the Beach Boys Corp.

Canadian rock group Barenaked Ladies paid tribute to the Beach Boy in their hit song "Brian Wilson," which makes reference to his mental illness and Dr. Landy. In a weird twist, Brian Wilson actually covered this song for a live album. John Cale had also paid tribute to Wilson in his song "Mr. Wilson", as did Roland Orzabal in "Brian Wilson Said" from Tears For Fears' 1994 album "Elemental".

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