Brian Wilson – Songwriter: 1962 - 1969 (2010/Chrome Dreams/MVD/Music Video Distributors
C+ Sound: B- Extras: C+ Documentary: B+
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.
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.
original Beach Boys songs have been licensed, as well as other music, including
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.
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