Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue appreciation*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by smilin ed, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. Louise Boat

    Louise Boat Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Here's an epic sessionography/making of/ album/song history essay by Craig Slowinski / Beach Boys Archives

    68 pages covering POB, the reissue & it's Bambu Caribou sessions tracks, track by track with added biographical/background detail & amazing quotes from Dennis and people involved with the recordings & making the reissue happen.

    Intro extract and link (pdf file - should work with any pdf reader/browser plugin not just adobe reader)
    http://beachboysarchives.com/page11

    Extract for the Bambu (The Caribou Sessions) section (pdf link goes to the relevant section of the same file)
    http://beachboysarchives.com/page12

    quoting from elsewhere (yay for the ability to search your own comments on facebook)
    "Amazing article, brings loads of different sources together. Goes further than what I've already read. Incredibly positive (mostly - the part on his life & decline afterwards/post pob touches on some darker nasty stuff and is incredibly sad, esp quotes from Christine McVie, Marilyn Wilson & James Guercio) about the music and what it was like working with Dennis, amazing track by track session details , unravelling (or trying to) who did what, alt versions and the history of tracks that had parallel Beach Boy versions."

    quotes on him & the importance of getting the album out again.
    "Carole Bloom (Dennis' first wife): "I think that this album is so important to his children and his grandchildren, and that his legacy now will become something more because of all the efforts of
    everybody involved in this album, to bring his music out".

    Marilyn Wilson-Rutherford (Brian's first wife): "I think that it's fantastic. I'm amazed at what I'm hearing. I just love it, there's so many different sides of Dennis that none of us really knew. He
    deserves it, y'know? He deserves it, because he shoulda been a huge icon, really. He shoulda been. Maybe he will be"."
     
    rob68, Maggie, Al Smith and 3 others like this.
  2. sunspot

    sunspot Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I'm listening to this incredible album right now, the Sundazed 3LP set. Absolutely beautiful record.
     
  3. Dark Horse 77

    Dark Horse 77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    If you haven't already:

    Keep going on Dennis music. There's a lot to be discovered and enjoyed. I'm really hoping more the rumored projects from a few years back get released soon.
     
  4. SteveCooks

    SteveCooks Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lyon
    You made me realise I haven't listened to this blue vinyl I own for so many years...
    I usually use the Legacy edition with its perfect sound for the car but there is also something special with this Sundazed edition.

    A very good way to enter the 2016 year !
     
    Lonesurf and sunspot like this.
  5. rob68

    rob68 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan USA
    Jason Penick and Louise Boat like this.
  6. Louise Boat

    Louise Boat Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    (cutting & pasting eta: site says pdf may not work/load properly/look blurry on some readers etc. - which is fiddly as **** on a chrome book touch pad)

    "Sound Business
    DENNIS WILSON Plans Total Creative Complex In Hawaii; Another Solo LP
    By JIM McCULLAUGH

    LOS ANGELES -Declaring himself "at war" with the manufacturers of tape recorders and tape, Beach Boy Dennis Wilson is attempting to assemble a recording and production complex in Hawaii which he hopes might not only offer the ultimate recording equipment environment one day but act as a creative and consciousness raising center as well. "I want to build a creative cornplex in Hawaii," enthuses the 33- year musician, "with perhaps as many as five studios, including facilities for sound stages, editing rooms for films, and a disk mastering lab. I want to take the absolute industry to Hawaii. The works."' In addition to the creative aspect, Wilson envisions a place "where the tape recorder and tape companies as well as other equipment makers could have a research and development center. I think the machinery today is built to break down and we're
    all getting ripped off. The quality of music could be so much greater. I want to attack this thing on an intelligent level and build a creative center for the equipment people to develop all under one complex." Wilson won't say yet exactly where his project, tentatively called Bamboo, will be. Only that, "it's in Hawaii and it's close.- Maybe six months to a year away. "As far as I am concerned," he adds, "all the equipment people are to blame. None of them are up to par in my estimation. They just haven't put the money into the research and development they should. Take a satellite that goes to Mars, for example. There's no way that's going to break down. It's built to last.
    In our industry they build equipment like car tires. Made to burn out. I'm really very upset at these people and at war with them.
    Why can't they make a tape recorder that is capable of 60- inches per second, for example? It can be done. Imagine the fidelity ?"

    Wilson concedes that Bamboo may not wind up the ultimate complex he envisions because it's such a futuristic notion. At the very least it
    will be a recording and production center. "But I've talked to equipment people," he adds, "and it's viable from their side. I'm surprised no one
    has tried to do something like this before. Of course, there aren't that many people who create their own albums on every level."
    The new complex, indicates Wilson, won't affect the status of Brother Studios in suburban Santa Monica, the Beach Boys' "home made" studio built 21/2- years ago by Carl and Dennis and run by Dennis, except for perhaps a name change. In fact, another room is being added to Brother
    in an expansion move. "The reason Brother was built," reflects Wilson, "was why pay a studio to record when you can pay yourself to record
    and at least survive?" And the reason for Wilson's sensitivity to recording equipment is that he spends most of his time in the studio.
    "My ears," he says, "are very sensitive to noise. In fact, I am always trying to make improvements with equipment we have here at Brother."

    His first solo album entitled "Pacific Ocean Blue" on Caribou Records has just been released, the first time any Beach Boy has done a solo effort, and he's already halfway through tracking a second LP at Brother. "Pacific Ocean Blue" took nine months- of studio time in Brother and Wilson "wrote it, produced it, engineered it, sang on it, and played on it" in one man band fashion. Admittedly he's "terrified" with the project.
    "The album has no specific philosophy," he observes, "It's about spontaneity and sounds. I don't think there's a record that's been done before with the types of dynamics it has. Not just in the lyrics and melodies but in the tones. The sound dynamics are very special. It's experimental.
    "I'm not particularly a great writer or singer but I have love and I think that comes through. The reason I make records is because I enjoy it.
    That's all there is to it. I love to record and work in the studio. I don't have any specific philosophy when it comes to producing or recording.
    I just do it. "But you do something," he continues, "and then you let it go and put it out and you worry about it. Will people like it? Will it sell?
    Is it going to be an embarrassment? All the normal insecurities people go through: I want to give back to people what they have been giving
    to me. Quality." The Beach Boys, who have 33 group albums to their credit, will also be going into the studio shortly to record, adds Wilson.
    "Actually," he says, "one Beach Boy album is done but I want to work on it some more." - "Brother is open to outside clients even though
    I'm always bumping people out because I do so much recording," laughs Wilson, "but I love to have people record here."
    "I think we have a good team here," he concludes, "The right blend of musical and engineering talent, people I feel good about.
    Brother is healthy and surviving."
    Artists who have used the Santa Monica studio this year include Helen Reddy produced by Kim Fowley and Earle Mankey, Seals & Croft,
    Paul Parrish, Chuck Crane, Barbara Keith, Eric Carmen, Melodic Raye and Marvin Goodwin. Elton John recorded material for his
    "Blue Moves" album last year there.

    Studio Track By JIM McCULLAUGH
    Dennis Wilson's first solo effort is hardly shipped but he's already tracking a second solo effort at his own Brother Studios, Santa Monica."
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  7. Louise Boat

    Louise Boat Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Found this in an online newspaper archive the other year.

    [​IMG]
     
    Neonbeam likes this.
  8. Bill

    Bill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern Shore
    Thanks so much for posting these. So much optimism and hope in those days. Six years later, he was gone. The Hawaii project ran out of time.
     
  9. rob68

    rob68 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan USA
    September 3, 1977 - Billboard - Top Album Picks - Pop


    DENNIS WILSON - Pacific Ocean Blue, Caribou (CBS)
    PZ34354. The first solo effort by any of the Beach Boys may
    prove, indeed, that the sum of the parts are greater than the
    whole. A bold, experimental venture that moves from good
    time, infectious rock 'n' roll to more somber, serious passages
    encompassing such themes as naturalness, love, the elements.
    Wilson handled most phases of the production himself, and
    the blend of guitar, keyboards, drums, horns and reeds
    are quite complex in their tones, melodies and rhythms. And
    Wilson's alternately high and laid back vocals are harmonically
    pleasing.

    Best cuts: River Song, What's Wrong, Dreamer, You And I,
    Farewell My Friend, Rainbows.

    Dealers: Wilson is part of one of the world's biggest
    selling groups and the album jacket is striking.
     
    Louise Boat likes this.
  10. Louise Boat

    Louise Boat Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Full page Pacific Ocean Blue advert from page 5 of the August 13, 1977 Billboard
    grabbed & edited from screenshots,

    Thanks to rob68 for the pm/tip off & that sites Billboard scans.

    " "Pacific Ocean Blue"-the first solo album by Dennis Wilson. Next Week.
    On Caribou Records and Tapes. "

    (it's just hit me - the optimism that this was going to be only his first album...)

    Thumb nail image
    [​IMG]
    Full size page
    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e94/jend80/full page dennis wilson pacific oceon blue out next week advert billboard 13 aug 77_zpslwev2vuq.jpg~original
     
    Clarkophile and rob68 like this.
  11. bibijeebies

    bibijeebies Forum Resident

    Location:
    Amstelveen (NL)
    (it's just hit me - the optimism that this was going to be only his first album...)...and then look at that picture. How on earth are you going to sell an album with this advert?
     
    Louise Boat likes this.
  12. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Location:
    Berlin
    Well... maybe Dennis was just anticipating the hipster look of 2015:)
     
  13. bibijeebies

    bibijeebies Forum Resident

    Location:
    Amstelveen (NL)
    He looks troublesome...I like the album by the way !
     
  14. Dark Horse 77

    Dark Horse 77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    That is a sad article to read. Dennis had way more to do then he ended up finishing. Imagine if he's finished Bambu (which I feel would've been more commercially successful than POB), had his own successful studio in Hawaii, kept his boat, etc. If he'd been able to keep his alcoholism in check he'd have had three great solo albums out by 1980 or so.
     
    Louise Boat likes this.
  15. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Location:
    Berlin
    I love the album, it does sound like nothing else. Strange that he was able to transcend his music but sadly not his life...
     
    Louise Boat likes this.
  16. smilin ed

    smilin ed Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Durham
    Thanks to everybody. Keep spreading the word. What a great album.
     
    Louise Boat likes this.
  17. Louise Boat

    Louise Boat Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I know... that and the actual cover - it's like '**** off, I don't want you to buy my album' ;) :(

    Saw somewhere (might've been the Caribou ranch auction web catalogue) that the title written in the sand about to washed away image that's in the reissue art, was the original idea for the front cover....

    No idea if that's true but it would've been perfect.

    eta: a version of this image (not with that text)[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
    Neonbeam, bigal00769 and bibijeebies like this.
  18. Louise Boat

    Louise Boat Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Another advert that looks like it's trying to put/scare people off buying it :-(
    http://www.superseventies.com/oaaa/oaaa_wilsondennis.jpg

    eta: the (fake edit) lovely blurb
    "A first.
    Dennis Wilson becomes the first of the Beach Boys to record and release a solo album.
    Laced with the imagery of the surf and the ocean, "Pacific Ocean Blue" sings in a uniquely beautiful Dennis Wilson style.
    On Caribou Records and Tapes. "
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  19. Louise Boat

    Louise Boat Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    bump for two/three things that I'm not sure deserve their own threads.

    There's a (so far) one person fan campaign to get Dennis in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame as a solo artist
    "If Dennis were inducted, more people would be educated about Pacific Ocean Blue, and a new generation would hear how brilliant it is. Shouldn't this be the Rock Hall's end game not just for Dennis, but many others? Educating people and giving their music a new audience?"
    Induct Dennis Wilson »
    Induct Dennis Wilson (@InductDennis) | Twitter »

    and Carli Muñoz has added his memories of knowing Dennis to a new edition of Scott Wilson's Son Of A Beach Boy My Dad Dennis Wilson (haven't seen this edition yet, so don't know how much he's added) Carli on the book & contributing - Son of a Beach Boy | Facebook ». Book may also be getting picked up by a professional publisher (fb post).

    + his co-writer is working on another book about meetings with Dennis/being fans
    "Scott and I keep getting stories sent and cannot keep changing our book,so we have decided to write a brand new one based on people's meetings with his father (Bruce Johnston is already writing something hopefully!) But we are interested to hear from literally any one who ever met Dennis and even why Hanni, Amanda, Karliheinz etc have set up fan pages based on Dennis! Any personal photographs will also be totally appreciated or art work, poems etc...we will credit any one who can help! Hugs K xx"
    Facebook post with contact details for contributing.
     
    Al Smith, GetHappy!! and rediffusion like this.
  20. Louise Boat

    Louise Boat Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Bumping to say a) Craig Slowinski / Beach Boys Archives sessionography/essay I linked above is meant to have been updated with new research/corrected information re some of the songs etc.

    b)Dennis friend / photographer /filmer of the River Song promo video etc.. Ed Roach has a facebook page sharing photos & stories
    Dennis Wilson 1944-1983 » (really nice to fans, & generous with his memories. He's shared a lot of interesting/useful things about
    Dennis and the band on fan forums, used to post here for a bit & was a regular / eta: & I think still posts occasionally, on smileysmile)
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  21. Louise Boat

    Louise Boat Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    & c) They've posted requesting more stories/memories

    Really need more fan stories about... - Son of a Beach Boy | Facebook »
    "Really need more fan stories about meeting Dennis or the Beach Boys, as well as any photographs, drawings, poems or anything of interest. We already have stories of the formation of fan clubs, campaigns to get PACIFIC OCEAN BLUE into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame etc....but need more!!! Thanks to anyone who is willing to share their stuff, much appreciated, Scott, Karen and Mitch xxx"
     
  22. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Member Of The Midnight Society

    Location:
    Greater St. Louis
    Great album and talent. Gone way too soon.
     
    oldsurferdude and Louise Boat like this.
  23. jwoverho

    jwoverho Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mobile, AL USA
    It's bittersweet to read these articles about Dennis. He was so optimistic and ambitious during this period. It also reminds me just how vital the Wilson brothers were in their prime. All three brought their own special talents to the group.
     
    Louise Boat likes this.
  24. Louise Boat

    Louise Boat Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Just remembered - the Beach Boys album cover design website Back Through The Opera Glass was recently republished as free pdfs, the third one has an interview/feature on Dean Torrance's work as Kittyhawk Graphics including quotes on the photo sessions for POB.
    THE BEACH BOYS: The Album Sleeves »

    FB Post with download links - current link for part 3
    THE BEACH BOYS Part 3.pdf (57.63MB) - SendSpace.com »

    Record Collector did an really good oral history of the making of/reaction/album being rediscovered & reissued in 2008, had quotes from Brian, Al and Mike being positive about Dennis' music (Al is incredibly positive about it - iirc says something about it being better than the band), + archive quotes from Dennis. Fake edit: It's by Ken Sharp & from ISSUE 351 July 2008 (Madonna cover - out of print according to RC site)
    Some of the quotes turn up in Craig Slowinski's essay but a lot don't, and apart from a tiny extract it doesn't seem to be online, except for subscribers only.
    The Making Of Dennis Wilson’s PacificOcean Blue - Record Collector Magazine »

    eta: but their full review of the deluxe reissue is online
    Pacific Ocean Blue: Legacy Edition - Record Collector Magazine »
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  25. Louise Boat

    Louise Boat Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Pacific Ocean Blue: Legacy Edition - Record Collector Magazine »
    Record Collector issue 351 July 2008 (eta: bit in square brackets is me).
    DENNIS WILSON - PACIFIC OCEAN BLUE: LEGACY EDITION

    The Sound Of Free
    The release that Beach Boys fans have been waiting for is finally here. After years of legal confusion over exactly who owned the rights to this wonderful record, Pacific Ocean Blue has been given the treatment it has long deserved. In the past decade, helped by the reissue of the band’s underrated 70s catalogue and by the undeniable appeal of the story of the misunderstood heartthrob, there has been an upsurge of interest in Dennis Wilson. With this release his sole album is remastered beautifully and packaged with a plethora of unreleased tracks, many of which have not even been bootlegged.
    The album itself is still an astonishing listen, by far the best solo album released by a Beach Boy and the most consistent of any band-related release of the 70s. It’s ambitious and tender, in places swaggering with confidence and in others heartbroken and fragile. The opener River Song (originally recorded by the Beach Boys) is a thing of widescreen wonder and, to modern ears, sounds like exactly the kind of music that Dennis’ band mates should have been making at the time. Elsewhere, the record flits between strutting rock (Dreamer, Friday Night) and devastating ballads (Thoughts Of You, Time) with ease. Wilson’s arranging and production skills give the material a freer, more soulful feel than anything The Beach Boys recorded. Anyone who has worn out their vinyl or bootleg CDR will be astonished by the quality of sound; any curious, casual fan of the band will be richly rewarded.
    The album proper is followed by a handful of songs recorded for POB but which didn’t make the final cut, including a beautiful version of The Beach Boys’ Only With You, the dreamy Tug Of Love and the instrumental track of the infamous Holy Man.
    These bonus songs would have been reward enough for the patience of Dennis’ fans. However, a second disc adds an extra album’s worth of unreleased material. Some of these songs have appeared on various bootlegs under the title “Bamboo”, but the difference in sound quality between the versions unearthed by the team behind this edition and the ones that have been trading among collectors is incredible. Songs that have appeared as muddy, low-fi recordings, such as He’s A Bum and Constant Companion, are an absolute revelation.
    The Bambu (it’s now apparent that Dennis preferred this spelling, after the rolling papers) project was doomed to incompletion. Dennis’ substance abuse was starting to interfere with his previously prolific work-rate and, on many of the tracks here, it shows. His voice is often raspy and slurred, the lyrics veering between greeting card romanticism and unwelcome glimpses into the thought processes of a dirty old man. However, there are plenty of moments that confirm that he was still capable of absolute greatness and beauty. It’s Not Too Late features beautiful vocal interplay with younger brother Carl, a real treat for any Beach Boys fan, as well as a vocal flourish at the end of the song that is unmistakeably Brian Wilson. Many other songs show a talent adept at a wide range of styles with which The Beach Boys would have struggled to be convincing.
    The disc concludes with a version of Holy Man sung by Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, a brave move considering the unforgiving nature of The Beach Boys’ hardcore fan base. Luckily, he just about gets away with it with an uncanny Dennis impression that, while essentially glorified karaoke, does give fans an insight into what may have been had Dennis completed the song. It could perhaps have been issued as a standalone track, but this is only a minor quibble. This edition of Pacific Ocean Blue is the most significant Beach Boys-related release since 1993’s Good Vibrations box set. Legacy have done a superb job of sourcing and remastering these recordings, making available a real treasure trove of material that will delight any lover of great music.
    5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 star [eta: my note - actually a graphic of 5 stars, they didn't get massivily over excited while rating it :D]
    Legacy Recordings | tbc
    Reviewed by Jamie Atkins
     

Share This Page