Meant to post this up sooner but what with the football and all that...
As regular readers will know, S. and I are hoping to move house shortly and Sunday being a bit of a sad anniversary for both of us, I thought I'd put some 'up' music on to cheer us up - something uplifting and forward looking to remind us of the good things ahead. What about Pet Sounds? I thought, thinking of the wonderful optimism of the first track:
Wouldn't it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn't have to wait so long
And wouldn't it be nice to live together
In the kind of world where we belong
I'm forty-one years old and cynical as hell but that opening still gets me every time. Brian Wilson's heartbreakingly sincere voice, comforting his girl like a boyscout acting braver than he really is -
You know its gonna make it that much better
When we can say goodnight and stay together
- it's OK, honey. We'll do it someday, someday soon and it'll be real, real good. And maybe we'll have world peace too. Talk about the personal and the political. It could be horrific - schmaltzy, wide eyed and overwrought, that piercing, intense "staaaaay tu - geth - urrrr", but it isn't. Phil Spector said to Sonny Bono when the latter offered encouragement as Phil was tweaking the mix of Da Doo Ron Ron for the millionth time, "nah - it's just not dumb enough yet..." When a beaming Spector finally got what he wanted, Sonny turned to him and, thinking it was what Spector wanted to hear, said, "well, Phil, that sure as hell is dumb!" Spector just looked at him and said slowly, "No, Sonny - that's pure, pure gold." And it was and so is this. Wilson's genius was to turn glossy, meretricious bubblegum pop into something luminous and transcendent. His working title for Smile, the hitherto lost masterpiece he hoped would prove that genius to the world and that virtually finished Wilson off in 1967, was Dumb Angel. How cool is that? How precise!
Wilson's quoted as wanting to make "white spiritual music" - his own college boy, Four Freshman gospel sound.
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