Wilson Lands At Disney

What’s Brian Wilson up to these days? The former Beach Boy has signed with a new label and will record not one, but two albums.

Brian Wilson defined pop music in the early ‘60s and co-wrote with fellow Beach Boys member Mike Love some of the group’s most memorable hits, including “Good Vibrations,” “Help Me, Rhonda” and “I Get Around.”

Photo: AP Photo
Nissan Live Studio, Los Angeles.

But the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame member was never mired in the ‘60s. His concerts of the last few years have played to sold-out audiences and drawn rave reviews. He’s musical genius personified – an icon to fans and fellow artists alike.

Wilson, who just signed with Disney Records, finds himself in the rather enviable position by music industry standards of having two albums to record.

The first album Wilson plans on attacking for his new label is a collection of tunes written by George and Ira Gershwin. But don’t think this is an album of standards, a la Rod Stewart or Jimmy Thudpucker. Instead, the Gershwin estate has granted Wilson permission to work with unfinished works by the brothers (George wrote the melodies, Ira the lyrics).

“I’ve always loved George Gershwin,” Wilson said. “The earliest music I remember hearing is ‘Rhapsody in Blue.’ Along with Irving Berlin, Gershwin basically invented the popular song, but he did something more. He had a gift for melody that nobody has ever equaled yet his music is timeless and always accessible. This is the most spiritual project I’ve ever worked on.”

What’s next after Gershwin? Disney, as in classic Disney songs getting the “Brian-ize” treatment as Wilson applies his unique vocals and arranging skills to famous Disney movie tunes.

Photo: Adam Bielawski
Jeff Foskett and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas.

“I’ve always tried to make music that entertained people,” Wilson said. “I also wanted my music to last, to be able to speak to any generation. Thankfully, nearly 50 years since the Beach Boys were born, that seems to have come true. Now, a new musical chapter begins for me, and teaming up with Disney means it’s going to be a chapter to remember. I promise.”

Click here for Brian Wilson’s official Web site.