Get Yer Fan Mixes!
Brian Wilson Fan Mixes - June 2004
By Ronnie

This month we are taking a look at Disc 2 of LiFE OF BRiAN, the musical/spoken word biography project about Brian Wilson. Although this is the 2nd disc of what originally was to be a 4-disc set spanning Brian's musical journey - I have just heard from Jerry that he has expanded the project to include 5 discs! And we will have the SMiLE section of the collection (disc 3) in time for our August SMiLE issue!

DISCLAIMER: The following works that we review are in no way "bootlegs" made for profit or sale. Rather they are simple fan mixes meant to be a tribute to the artistry of Brian Wilson.

Disc 2: Pet Vibrations

While disc 1 of LiFE OF BRiAN showed Brian Wilson's emerging genius, disc 2 covers what many consider the creative peak of Brian Wilson - the PET SOUNDS album and GOOD VIBRATIONS (which was the genesis of SMiLE). Like disc 1, Jerry uses the same formula: mixing relevant spoken word segments with the famous songs of Brian Wilson. Only, the musical versions used are alternate takes and/or sessions for the songs, giving the collection a unique feel of an audio-documentary.

The spoken word interview segments are perfectly chosen and just the right length, time-wise. Words from Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Paul McCartney and many others intro each segment and meld effortlessly into each song like they belong. This is definitely a pro job-no amateurishly abrupt cuts between the words and songs or level changes. I don't even want to know how many versions Jerry produced until the finished version! Just imagine all the recorded interviews out there that he had to sort through. Not to mention which versions of the song to use.

Here are the titles of the segments for disc 2, along with the sources used:

1. Praying For An Album: Sloop John B session/Pet Sounds (stereo)
2. Not Quite Old Enough: Wouldn't It Be Nice (alternate version)
3. A New Level: You Still Believe In Me (my own edit, connecting the master take of the plucked-piano intro with the alternate version of the song)
4. Thinking Far Ahead: Hang On To Your Ego (session & song)
5. It's Gotta Cry: Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder) (string overdub)
6. Something Esoteric: God Only Knows (alternate version)
7. A Lot Of Spiritual Love: I Just Wasn't Made For These Times (alternate version)
8. The Saddest Song: Caroline, No (session & song @ original speed--stereo)
9. Dogvibes: Good Vibrations (my own edit, connecting tracking sessions, the original-lyrics version and the "45" version)
10. An Omen: BBC SMiLE Promo

Disc 2 ends with the ominous spector of SMiLE. But, we'll have to wait for disc 3 to hear that story.

If I were reviewing this as a regular music CD, the rating would be 5 (out of 5). It is a perfect synthesis of music and words that fits like a glove. Jerry has achieved what a lot of visual documentaries about Brian Wilson have not: to honestly portray the musical biography of Brian Wilson, including his influences and motivations.

If you are a big fan of the PET SOUNDS album, this is a must-hear!

E-mail Jerry at

Click here to visit the official Brian Wilson web site