The Beach Boys: Alone Together Now

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-3-25-13-pm Members of The Beach Boys at Western Recorders Studio 3, Hollywood, during the recording of Pet Sounds (1965 or 1966). From Left to Right: Bruce Johnston, Carl Wilson, Al Jardine, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love. © Capitol Photo Archives And he was a better lyricist than he’s given credit for — not so much for the words’ poetic meaning as for their sonic qualities. In one of his book’s more revealing passages, Mike explains how he rewrote Brian’s lyrics, “There’s only so much to do in a little town; I get around from town to town” to the more rhythmically charged “I’m getting bugged driving up and down the same old strip … Round, round, get around, I get around.” Again and again he organized the sound (though rarely the meaning) of the words to enhance the music. Occasionally the meaning would add something too — especially on his superb lyrics for “Warmth Of The Sun” — but more often it would detract. The book is filled with Love’s best and worst lyrics, as if he can’t tell the difference. But Love makes a persuasive case that he was cheated out of credit — and money — for many of the lyrics he wrote. His arguments that he was justified in turning the Beach Boys touring band into a money-making nostalgia machine that had no room for the other original members is less convincing. There’s renewed interest in the Beach Boys, thanks in large part to Bill Pohlad’s 2014 movie Love & Mercy. There are some wonderful scenes in the film, especially the depictions of Brian working in the studio with the Wrecking Crew musicians on the sessions that became Pet Sounds. And Nine Inch Nails producer Atticus Ross was so... Sign In to Keep Reading

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