Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 129
Fri. June 7, 2013
“Love & Mercy”
I remember it well, it was the summer of 2011, the season I finally rediscovered the music of Brian Wilson. There’s something about the way this eternal Beach Boy crafted his timeless songs to feel like lyrical embraces. It’s a rarity to have an artist, who composes songs that are filled with grins of hope spreading that California sunshine of positive vibrations,
Thanks to songs like 1995’s “Love & Mercy” and the release of Wilson’s Beach Boys opus Smile, Brian Wilson has only recently started to receive the respect and accolades, this genius deserves. While most of his songwriting contemporaries pen songs full of melancholy, Wilson’s songs lift spirits to those souls drowning in the darkness of their own doubts.
In 1994, producer Don Was became friends with Brian Wilson and it was a live performance of “Love & Mercy” at an AIDS benefit that inspired Was to produce a film in honor of his friend— Brian Wilson as Don explained to Billboard Magazine, “I had become friendly with Brian and we started doing a few gigs. We did a pediatric AIDS benefit, and he dug deep into a song “Love & Mercy”; it was just one of the most remarkable performances I ever heard. It made me stop playing bass and wonder what got into him. I thought that if people could see him the way I knew him…it was so different from his public image or a drug burnout or of someone catatonic propped up by a greedy psychologist. That was when I decided to make the movie.”
More than just an aging Beach Boy, Wilson was the real deal, one of American’s greatest living songwriters and Don Was 1995 film I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times reflects this, in a tribute to the creative life of Brian Wilson. Did you know Wilson had liquid inspiration for the creation of “Love & Mercy?” Brian Wilson shared the secret on how he composed “Love & Mercy” when he said, “I had just drunk a half a bottle of Champagne, and I said, ‘Hey, I feel like writing a song,’ So I wrote ‘Love and Mercy half-drunk.” That must have been one incredibly tasting bottle of champagne to inspiring such a lovely song. “Love & Mercy” is like a humble paean to positivity. Wilson’s “Love” is like uncorking the sound of enthusiastic heartfelt communiques in the guise of classic pop songs. Where are the postmodern Wilson-esque songs that reach for the golden age of happiness? And sadly, art with a glowing message are rarities these days; it seems the only happy endings are what some people expect after a full body massage. “Love and Mercy” is a reminder; Brian Wilson pens the soundtracks of affirmation with a more optimistic spin.
“Love & Mercy” is the perfect way to start my Brian Wilson revival. So get ready to experience some of the more brilliantly impressive selections from Wilson and The Beach Boys extensive and illuminating song canon. Start with “Love & Mercy” you might just learn something about the lyrical legend of this true American Artist. Here comes California’s favorite son. My favorite wave—Brian Wilson and his message of “Love and Mercy.”
“Love & Mercy”
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