1) ********NEW BEACH BOYS ALERT PART I*******: NEWSFLASH: The new Brian Wilson "That Lucky Old Sun" is simply amazing!!!!! BONUS TRACKS ALERT: There are 3 bonus tracks on the version you get at BestBuy (2 of then with Carol King- a cover & a different, but very similar, version of a highlight song on the album & then another great original) & then there are two different bonus tracks on the version you download on itunes (both new original tracks & no Carol King).
This album is, by far, his best work since 1988's great, but production challenged, "Brian Wilson". On TLOS the production sounds more like what the production was on "SMiLE" (BTW I count "SMiLE" as more of a work from the 60's). It doesn't have a bad track on it, and has 7 full length original songs that I think are absolutely stellar (and 3 that are merely very very good). The narratives by Van Dyke Parks (and he co-wrote one song too- a great one) are short, but great. Just for the record here, I think his voice is still terrific. The band he is with now is the equal of the amalgamations of The BB's and the wrecking crew cast that he worked with in the 60's. Working on "SMiLE" has energized him in a fashion similar to Macca with the Anthology series. If you dig Brian and/or The Beach Boys then run, don't walk, to get this at either BestBuy (which is where I got it, for about $10-11) or download it from itunes like NOWSVILLE!!!
2) ********NEW BEACH BOYS ALERT PART II******* NEWSFLASH: The not quite as new (but still pretty darn new) re-issue of Dennis Wilson's only solo album "Pacific Ocean Blue" also contains a second disc of his never released second solo album "Bambu" (named after the rolling papers
) as well as some other extra unreleased tracks from "Pacific Ocean Blue". You are certainly getting over two albums worth of material here, and really pretty darn close to three.
"Bambu" is similar to "SMiLE" in it's mythic quality amongst certain corners of The Beach Boys world. Both of them followed absolute triumphant albums (Pet Sounds & Pacific Ocean Blue), both were touted by their creators as being better than those earlier triumphs (well maybe at best, but at least close & near to same level), and both went unfinished because of personal decay.
I've had both of the Dennis albums here on downloaded bootleg versions for a couple of years now. (and do still get the "Bambu" bootlegs because there are very different versions of songs there sometimes). Dennis really truly blossomed much in the same way George Harrison did, and after a certain point truly became Brian's equal. on BB albums, and then released a jaw dropping solo work that had to come out because the band was in such disarray. By being Brian's equal I mean during the albums that they were both writing on. I love Dennis but don't know if he quite ever reached the levels that Brian did in the 60's... but if he didn't (and I'm saying I don't quite know on that one) then he was awfully darn close. The BB really, by necessity, evolved into truly being a band writing wise. A lot of folks still consider "Pacific Ocean Blue" both the best solo work by a Beach Boy, and the last great work anyone in the band ever did. I'm saying I think this, just that many do, and...it is that great. That it is worthy of praise on that level, that I can say I agree on/to.
These albums were really from the mid-late 70's, and if you listen to them around the time of the last great gasp for the BB as a band, "Love You" (really close to a Brian solo album) you hear some amazing creative sparks from those two Wilson brothers; firing up at the same time in very different fashions. Too bad they weren't able to join forces back then, because the results would have been incredibly different, but almost White Album like in the breadth of ground, and weirdness that was covered. Sadly personal demons, and having Mike Love around (I can't even imagine what he'd be like if he didn't meditate- argghhh!. What a piece of work he is
), kept this from occurring. Mixing up some of "Pacific Ocean Blue" and "Bambu" with The BB "Love You" would make for one interesting mid-late 70's double album that never was. Blessings!!