Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Pet Sounds" by Jim Fusilli

A very nice book regarding a great album by the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds." Overall the 33 1/3 series is pretty straight forward except for Carl Wilson's "Let's Talk About Love (Celine Dion) and "Meat is Murder" by Joe Pernice, which is a work of fiction influenced by the Smiths album. The author Jim Fusilli pretty much goes track-to-track analysis but what gives this book a must-read for Beach Boys fans is the emotional attachment he feels for this album - and pretty much all of the early Beach Boy recordings.

The story of Brian Wilson is an extremely sad one. Abused as a child, and basically hanging by his nails to insanity, he produced the ultimate typical image of California sun culture. But behind the sun was the dark cloud that was always lurking on the side-lines - and one can hear the darkness in pretty much all of Wilson's work. I like to think of his work as super White blues!

The big plus is how Fusilli connects to the Beach Boys sound and their aesthetic of California life. He writes very movingly on his own childhood and seeing California as the promised land via the images produced by Brian Wilson and Company. A lot of the book deals with the music directly, but I find it more interesting when Fusilli writes about his emotional connection to the music. "Pet Sounds" is pretty great, but "Smile" was just around the corner...  Also author Haruki Murakami translated this book into Japanese, due to the fact that he's a major Beach Boys fan.

I strongly recommend that you watch the videos down below.  Its fascinating to hear how Brian Wilson construct the songs with the Wrecking Crew as well as with the other Boys...

"God Only Knows" (Tracking Session)  Very beautiful without the vocals.

"I'm Waiting for the Day"  (some images of the Wrecking Crew)

"That's Not Me" (Fascinating behind the scenes in how they recorded this track)

"I Know There's An Answer"  (background of the making of this song)

"Let's Go Away for Awhile"

"Don't Talk"

The making of "Sloop John B."
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