Why is Brian Wilson on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
The genius behind The Beach Boys finds his powers fully intact on his first solo album.
Some stats & info about Brian Wilson
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Album Rock, Pop Music
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 3 out of 5 stars
- When was Brian Wilson released? 1988
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #689 out of 1,000
Brian Wilson on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does Brian Wilson mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
There’s a tiny part of me that listens to Brian Wilson and hears a little non-ironic cheese melt across its ebullient, luscious harmonies and tones. But that tiny part is quickly crowded out, smothered, stomped on earnestly and thoroughly. No. This is good. Really good. This is Brian Wilson the genius behind The Beach Boys Brian Wilson, finding his powers after decades and well documented struggles and showing the world what he can do with his first solo record, released in the strange times of the final days of the Reagan Administration.
I’m positive this would be a highly controversial thing to note for some die-hard Beach Boys fans, but I’ll go on the record and state that the vocals and harmonies on some parts of Brian Wilson are up there with the best stuff produced on Pet Sounds. The short, sweet, and absolutely gorgeous “One for the Boys” is a perfect example.
“Love and Mercy” is a song that I wouldn’t have had much time for as a younger man (that “tiny part” of myself that I note above was likely quite a bit bigger back then), but these days I’m beguiled by the pretty, catchy melody, the masterful pop craftsmanship and, at risk of being a little bit non-ironically cheesy myself, the world can use a little more love and mercy these days on the real.
“Walkin’ the Line” is a great pop/rock track that sounds very much like a 1960s pop/rock legend writing and producing a song in exactly the year 1988. The reason that I stated that last sentence that way is that “Walkin’ the Line” sounds nothing like but absolutely makes me think about George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You,” which is the best example of a 1960s pop/rock legend writing and producing a song in exactly the year 1987.