Who: Brian Wilson
What: “No Pier Pressure”
Where: Recorded in Hollywood, California
Why: Way back in 2012 Brian Wilson, reinvigorated by a return to his 60’s bandmates during their 50th Anniversary Celebration Tour, had intended to write and record another Beach Boys album, a follow up to the reunited band’s “That’s Why God Made The Radio”. Before recording could commence fellow bandmate Mike Love announced that he had, in effect, fired both Brian Wilson and Al Jardine from the band and taken the name “Beach Boys” with him to perpetuate his own geriatric incarnation of the band through their seemingly never ending nostalgia tours of the globe. Unswayed, Wilson regrouped with Jardine and countered by recruiting former Beach Boys David Marks and Blondie Chaplin to record what eventually would become the “No Pier Pressure” album (the title being a thinly veiled shot at Love perhaps?).
“Pier’s” co-producer Joe Thomas said “When we started working on this thing, he was calling it his life’s suite. He looked at life as three different movements. One was Pet Sounds, the other was Smile and then, he wanted to go out with a bang and have a look back at life from an adult. Pet Sounds was when he was just a kid. Smile was when he was a little more savvy and in the business awhile. And now, this is a guy looking back at life and where he is now, which is in a much happier and less chaotic state.” Thomas, comparing the record to That’s Why God Made the Radio, stated: “Musically, it has a rougher edge to it. The harmonies are cool, but it’s more akin to the music on Wild Honey and the Carl & the Passions records. This new material is not a reprise to that album at all; it’s taking it further.”
Of the album’s centrepiece, “Last Song”, Don Was has said, “Brian’s really on it. I was knocked out by a couple of songs on that last Beach Boys record – ‘Summer’s Gone’ ranks with his greatest work. I didn’t expect that he’s got a whole other album of stuff on that level. I got really choked up playing bass on that track. There’s something about Brian signing off with it, saying, ‘This is it, this is my last song.’ It’s really intense. If ‘Last Song’ turned out to be his last song, can you imagine? Wow. That’d be some coda.”
When: Released April 7, 2015