Saturday, June 20, 2009

Burt Bacharach Day

This blog pays tribute to Burt Bacharach on the 20th of each month. Today, we also salute an equally inspired composer/pianist/vocalist who first made it big in the 1960's, Brian Wilson, who is 67 years young today. Thankfully, Brian, like Burt, is still touring and bringing good music to audiences around the world.

Enjoy Brian's cover of Burt's "My Little Red Book". It's quite wonderful and stylistically midway between the renditions by Elvis Costello and Arthur Lee & Love.

In retrospect, it's too bad Brian didn't record a cover of this with The Beach Boys. It would have sounded great and fit in beautifully in their 1967 album Wild Honey.

I'd enjoy hearing a cover of this featuring a Brian arrangement, Burt on Fender Rhodes, Brian's current band (featuring "C.E.O of falsetto" Jeffrey Foskett, soaring soprano Taylor Mills, multi-instrumentalists Paul Van Mertons and Scott Bennett, as well as all members of the fabulous Wondermints) and. . . Alex Chilton, another inspired, prolific and original songsmith who first hit it big in the 1960's.

It's not a far fetched idea at all. Alex' first band, The Box Tops, opened for The Beach Boys in the late 60's. The Boys returned the favor by covering Alex' biggest hit.

Then again, Alex is one of the few musicians to cover a song from Brian's magnum opus, "Pet Sounds." Really? Here's Alex and Big Star, performing Wouldn't It Be Nice at Shepherd's Bush Empire on August 28, 2008.

Hearing Big Star rock out on that classic Beach Boys number reminds me how much I would love to hear them cover Burt's "I Don't Know What To Do With Myself". Thanks to whoever found these rare demos and concert clips and posted them on YouTube!

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