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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Rock > Biography > Pop > Music Industry > Album > History > California > Beach > Brian Wilson – Songwriter: 1962 - 1969 (2010/Chrome Dreams/MVD/Music Video Distributors DVD Set)

Brian Wilson – Songwriter: 1962 - 1969 (2010/Chrome Dreams/MVD/Music Video Distributors DVD Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Documentary: B+



How much of a genius was Brian Wilson?  You can hear it on Pet Sounds, you can hear it in all his innovative compositions, vocal arrangements, singing and ambition all the way to the long road to finishing Smile decades after it was due.  Another way is to understand the long history of Wilson, The Beach Boys, the record industry and the culture in which they arrived and many documentary programs have tried to do this well.  None of them have succeeded as well as Brian Wilson – Songwriter: 1962 - 1969, an exceptional work from the U.K. company Chrome Dreams, producing the longest series of important music documentaries to date.  This is among the best yet.


Running over three hours (and over two DVDs), the makers have dug deep into every archive they could, interviewed as many key figures as they could, gone through every album the band made with Brian Wilson running things along with the results after he handed over creative control to the rest of the band and an exceptional look at American pop culture and overall history that includes rare footage and audio.


All the original Beach Boys songs have been licensed, as well as other music, including songs Wilson made for other artists.  We get more information on the conflict between him and his father, plus more about Capitol Records than you might imagine.  Once I started to watch, I could not stop and Beatles fans will want to get this set because there is more Beatles here than usual, but it is the biography of Brian Wilson that is front and center, finally giving the American Treasure his due as the genius he was and still is.  Among dozens of great Chrome Dreams music releases that make up a vital music library, this is one of their best to date.


Don’t miss it.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 includes sources as varied as stills, kinescope, analog videotape and several film formats, but is edited well and the elements are integrated in a way that makes it more involving, while the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has some Pro Logic type surrounds and is well recorded.  Extras include text contributor biographies, Pet Sounds Preview – John & Paul Hear The Record and The End Of An Era – The Beach Boys In The 1970s, which is an interview outtake where the band’s longtime manager Fred Valli tells of an ugly story in which he ran into problems launching the band when they moved to Warner Bros. Records.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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