Appreciating all that makes America special

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson, greatamericanthings.netI’m fascinated by the role producers play in creating memorable records. Of course the songwriters lay the foundation with good lyrics and a catchy tune. And the performer brings a personal interpretation that gives the song a special flair. But the producer chooses the instruments, helps develop the arrangement, and adds the flavor that makes the difference between good and great. George Martin did it for the Beatles, but no one created a unique sound better than Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

Brian Wilson,

Brian Wilson,

Brian created the vocal arrangements that we recognize instantly as the Beach Boys style. He knew when to start solo, when to bring in or drop out other voices, whose voice would provide just the sound he wanted. And while he got interested in a variety of instruments as time went on (such as the electro-theremin in “Good Vibrations”), voices were the instrument Brian used most effectively.

Brian’s work influenced others in the pop world during the 1960s. “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “A Day in the Life” by the Beatles were both said to have been influenced by Brian Wilson. Brian had psychological problems as he grew older, and became a recluse, averse to performing. But his legacy is clear — and still sounds amazing, a half-century later.

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