Thursday, June 20, 2013

Burt Bacharach - Brian Wilson Day

Today, on the occasion of his 71st birthday, we pay tribute to composer/pianist/arranger Brian Wilson. Since this blog also designates the 20th of every month as Burt Bacharach Day, here's a tune Brian and Burt wrote together.

Too bad a "Beach Boys Sings Burt Bacharach" project didn't happen. This "Walk On By" cover shows great but unrealized potential. Bear in mind that such a move towards pure pop would not have been feasible in 1967-1968, since the band had, practically overnight, transitioned from the hottest thing in show business to, with the commercial dominance of guitar-driven psychedelic rock, such dreaded designations as "old hat", "last year's Trend Du Jour" or even worse, "Box Office Poison".

Invariably, either Mike Love, Capitol Records, Murray Wilson or all of the above would have shot such an idea down in short order. It was most fortuitous that The Beatles actually were not only allowed to grow creatively and supported by their millions of fans, but encouraged to do so - as Brian (and to a lesser degree his songwriting brothers Carl and Dennis) most assuredly were not. At least Brian survived, and with his stellar recording Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE and accompanying tour in 2003-2004, enjoyed some measure of vindication.

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