The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson shares 8 songs that helped shape him as a musician

The Beach Boys 16/04/2020

77-year-old Brian Wilson co-founded the Beach Boys back in 1962, going on to write more than two dozen Top 40 songs for the iconic band. These are his list of ‘The Music that Made Me’ songs:

1. ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ - George Gershwin, 1924

“‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is the first song I ever heard. When I was a little boy, very young, I heard it and said, ‘Mom, Mom, play it again!’ I loved the part where the violins came in. I just got this overwhelmingly beautiful vibe from the music,”

2. ‘Be My Baby’ - The Ronettes, 1963

“This is the song that inspired me to produce records. When I first heard it, it blew my mind. The drum sound that Phil Spector got, the harmonies, the piano and guitar sounds — I thought it was the greatest record I ever heard,”

3. ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ - The Beatles, 1967

“What a fantastic song. The lyrics are so expressive and different. ‘Could it be anybody?/I just need someone to love’ — oh, I really love that part,”

4. ‘My Obsession’ - The Rolling Stones, 1967

“‘Satisfaction’ is my second-favorite song by the Stones. This one is my favorite. They invited me down to their studio in Hollywood when they were mixing it. I remember sitting there and feeling that energy and that excitement.”

5. ‘Johnny B. Goode’ - Chuck Berry, 1959

“I met Chuck Berry one time on an airplane. I said, ‘Hi, I’m Brian Wilson!’ He goes, ‘Hey,’ and then he turned away. He wouldn’t talk to me. Too bad. But he taught me how to write rock & roll songs.”

6. ‘You Stepped Out of a Dream’ - The Four Freshmen, 1955

“This is where I learned to arrange harmonies, and also where I learned to sing falsetto. Their four-part harmony was totally original — not five or three parts, but four parts. Wow.”

7. ‘Rock Around the Clock’ - Bill Haley and His Comets, 1954

“I remember the first time a friend of mine played this for me on the phone. I just wanted to hear it over and over.”

8. ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ - Bob Dylan, 1965

“‘Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me/I’m not sleepy, and there ain’t no place I’m going to. . . .’ I love those lyrics, really love them. ‘Poetic’ is the word.”

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