Ten classic Brian Wilson/Beach Boys covers – Tune Up
March 18th 2016
Brian Wilson, Beach Boys co-founder and resident musical genius, is soon to arrive in Australia once again. This time it’s for Bluesfest and festival sideshows, including two nights at the Sydney Opera House. At all appearances he will be celebrating 50 years since the Beach Boys’ massively influential Pet Sounds album was release and performing it for what he says are the final times.
Tune Up presenter (and therefore cover version obsessive) Stuart Coupe has selected ten great interpretations of Beach Boys/Brian Wilson songs by contemporary artists in prep for these shows. Some are easy to find online, some you’ll have to do your own digging for…
‘CAROLINE NO’ – Rush and Gambell
Sydney’s Art Rush along with Andrew G created the best Australian covers album of 2015. A highlight was this reworking of a Pet Sounds classic.
‘PET SOUNDS’ – Architecture In Helsinki
Another Australian cover of the signature instrumental, beautifully done.
‘GOD ONLY KNOWS’ – The Flaming Lips
The FL’s do amazing covers and this is no exception. I wish they’d do a whole album of Beach Boys songs. Also superbly covered by Daniel Johnston.
‘I KNOW THERE’S AN ANSWER’ – Sonic Youth
It sounds like… Sonic Youth playing The Beach Boys. You have a problem here?
‘IN MY ROOM’ – the Langley Schools Project
A school choir singing one of Brian Wilson’s most lost and poignant songs. The notion a bunch of kids singing the song is kinda perfect.
‘I JUST WASN’T MADE FOR THESE TIMES’ – Gaz Coombes
Understated. Plaintive. Simple. Heartfelt.
‘YOU STILL BELIEVE IN ME’ – Vic Chesnutt
The late and very great songwriter and singer cuts to the mesmerisingly childlike simplicity of this song. Find it on Mojo’s Pet Sounds Revisited.
‘WOULDN’T IT BE NICE’ – the Oldham Brothers
Will Oldham along with Ned and Paul capture the purity, longing and pathos of this great song. With just a little added weirdness. Also done well be Saint Etienne.
‘I’M WAITING FOR THE DAY’ – Jeffrey Lewis (w/ Wooden Wand and Janet Simpson of Delicate Cutters)
New York wunderkind and his cohorts cleverly weird this one out – Lewis sings the songs whilst the other recite biographical information about Brian Wilson. It’s New York and arty. It shouldn’t work but it does.
‘HERE TODAY’ – Jodie Marie
She initially sings it fairly straight before infusing it with a sense of stomping soul. Added bonus is a gal’s voice singing a song made famous by a bloke. That almost always works.
WHO: Brian Wilson performing ‘Pet Sounds’ & his greatest hits
WHERE: Sydney Opera House
WHEN: Tuesday 29th March & Thursday 31st March, 8pm
HOW MUCH: $99 – $199, tickets here.
Host of Tune Up on Tuesdays, 12-1pm.Read more from Stuart Coupe