4 Fabulous Beach Boys Deep Cuts Showcasing Brian Wilson’s Vocals

Sending out Happy Birthday wishes to legendary Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson, who turned 82 today (June 20). During The Beach Boys’ heyday, Wilson was the group’s main composer, their producer, and the mastermind behind their complex vocal and sonic arrangements.

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He also was an outstanding singer with a strong tenor voice and a soaring falsetto. Many music fans are familiar with Wilson’s vocals on The Beach Boys’ classic hits, but Brian’s singing also was showcased on a variety of lesser-known deep cuts by the band.

[RELATED: The Beach Boys Hope To Continue Working With Brian Wilson After Musician Placed Under Conservatorship]

In honor of Wilson’s birthday, here’s a look at four cool Beach Boys songs you may not have heard that feature great vocal performances by Brian:

“We’ll Run Away” (1964)

“We’ll Run Away” was a song co-written by Wilson and lyricist Gary Usher that appeared on The Beach Boys’ sixth album, All Summer Long.

The pretty doo-wop-influenced ballad features Brian showing off his wide vocal range, including his falsetto. The song is about a young couple who are planning to elope, while their parents are discouraging them from getting married so young. The tune is thematically similar to The Beach Boys’ 1966 hit “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”

“She Knows Me Too Well” (1965)

“She Knows Me Too Well” was co-written by Wilson and bandmate Mike Love, and was released on the group’s eighth studio album, The Beach Boys Today!

The song featured another doo-wop-inspired vocal performance from Brian, with his voice starting in his mid-range before moving into a Frankie Valli-like falsetto.

“She Knows Me Too Well” is sung from the perspective of a guy who is acknowledging that his girlfriend is aware of his insecurities and jealous nature.

The tune initially was released as the B-side of the 1964 Beach Boys hit “When I Grow Up (To Be a Man).” In his 2016 memoir, I Am Brian Wilson, Wilson admitted that “She Knows Me Too Well” was one of the first songs he wrote under the influence of marijuana.

“You Still Believe in Me” (1966)

“You Still Believe in Me” was featured on The Beach Boys’ 1966 sonic masterpiece, Pet Sounds. It was co-written by Wilson and Tony Asher, who penned the lyrics to most of the songs on the album.

The song features a repeating melodic line sung by Brian, which eventually becomes a choir of layered vocals sung by him and the other Beach Boys members.

“You Still Believe in Me” is about a man who is going through some relationship struggles with his partner, who apparently is able to forgive him after he’s repeatedly been unfaithful.

In a 1990 interview included in the liner notes of a Pet Sounds reissue, Paul McCartney shared his admiration for “You Still Believe in Me.”

“I love that melody. That kills me, that melody,” McCartney enthused. “The way that’s arranged, where it goes away very quietly. … That’s one of my favorite tracks.”

“’Til I Die” (1971)

“’Til I Die” was a song that was written solely by Wilson, and was released on The Beach Boys’ 1971 album Surf’s Up. The melodic, introspective tune finds Brian contemplating his mortality.

Wilson was going through some psychological upheaval when he wrote the tune, and had been considering suicide.

Discussing composing the tune in a 2004 Beach Boys biography, Wilson explained, “I wanted the music to reflect the loneliness of floating on a raft in the middle of the Pacific. I wanted each note to sound as if it was disappearing into the hugeness of the universe.”

Wilson was joined on vocals by his brother Carl and Mike Love.

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