That Lucky Old Sun
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That Lucky Old Sun is an autobiographical, intimate, personal & emotional work from a living legend who is widely recognized as one of the world's greatest composers & musicians. Produced by Brian Wilson & recorded in the Capitol Records studios where he first recorded in 1962.
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Top Customer Reviews
His trials and tribulations are well known and this music touches many of them. It IS very autobiographical. But what moves me so much is how he is in a good space, accepting of what has happened and recognizing that today is a brand new day. The perspective afforded him by surviving and getting older.
He seems to be in a relaxed state of being....perhaps releasing "Smile" after decades of it hanging around has gotten a big monkey off his back and allowed him to move on with his life. Whatever it is, I am glad of it as I truly appreciate being able to listen to this CD.
I think it is one of the best works of music I've ever heard.
the genius behind The Beach Boys.
This is the story of a day in the life in L.A...according to Brian and he invites the listener to follow along, adding a narrative through out the album to tell his story.
A completely feel good album from the master of California beach songs.
This could or should be a musical play.
The real amazing thing to remember while listening to this disc,
is that not only does he write and sing all the music himself, but the
man turned 65 while doing it.
I can only wish.
Thanks a bunch Brian... please don't stop
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Conceptually (not sonically) it calls to mind Days of Future Passed and John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. The concept and the mixture of spoken words and music call to mind The Moody Blues' Days of Future Passed.
On Lucky Old Sun, Brian Wilson speaks directly to the listener and shares what is going on in his life just as John Lennon did on songs like Mother. There is a tremendous honesty here. The message is that Brian is back, mentally as well as physically. When he first started touring again he didn't looked very rigid and it was clear he wasn't entirely comfortable. The video in the deluxe package shows Brian smiling, animated, and looking fully engaged. It is miraculous and joyful.
This is a very emotionally powerful work. I was touched by his memories of his brothers:
I had this dream
Singing with my brothers
In harmony, supporting each other
Tail winds, wheels spin, down the pacific coast
Surfin' on the A. M., heard those voice again
and by his description of his own struggles:
At 25 I turned out the light
Cause I couldn't handle the glare in my tired eyes
This is a beautiful release. Very highly recommended. It is worth purchasing the Best Buy version with three bonus tracks including a duet with Carole King on I'm Into Something Good. King co-wrote the Herman's Hermits hit with Gerry Goffin.
The deluxe version contains a DVD with a 19 minute making of feature (I think this is identical to the special broadcast on VH-1 Classic) and two live performances in the studio. The making of film and the live performances are interesting but probably essential for casual fans.
Enter "That Lucky Old Sun".
My expectations were a bit low, I figured on either a continuation of the adult contemporary sound or a thoroughly retro record. What I got instead is what I'd hope it'd be-- Brian Wilson getting older gracefully. Conceived as a thematic suite, "That Lucky Old Sun" is a meditation of sorts on the life of Brian Wilson in Los Angeles. Like his best records from the old days, it's full of swagger (the superb "Going Home") and melody ("Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl"), with subtle arrangements and fantastic vocal harmonies. Ably executed by an ensemble largely drawn from Brian's touring band, the album is quite engaging and entertaining and while it feels more mature than, say, "Surfin USA" or "Wouldn't It Be Nice", it doesn't feel forced.
So is this another Pet Sounds)? Not really. There's some many tracks that just didn't engage me at all ("Mexican Girl"). But is it really, really good? Definitely. And certainly, it's got some of the best songwriting that Wilson's done in a long time.
This album is also available in a deluxe CD with bonus DVD edition-- for the few extra bucks, the DVD is worth checking out, it contains an entertaining, brief documentary and a couple live in the studio pieces.
Bottom line is-- "That Lucky Old Sun" is a fun record. It's not the best of the best of Wilson's catalog, but it's a fine followup to SMiLE, about as high praise as I can offer.
The band is impeccable as always and Brian's music is (not so simply) brilliant (ok , sorry, I'm stating the obvious). The narratives (written by Wilson and Van Dyke Parks) connecting the songs are just perfect and could only have come from the two of them.
To top it off the mastering, engineering and pressing of this first vinyl edition are excellent.
Lucky old me: I'm really in heaven listening to this!
One aspect of this CD that I truly like is the short narratives that run less than a minute each. They add an interlude in the flow of the music, though they are musical also.
The additional DVD provides information on the making of the album along with two live performances. A great one-two punch!
I'm hoping that some of these songs get picked up for "air play" on the radio though stylistically this CD is from another era. "Venice Beach", "Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl," and "Mexican Girl" are my favorites. The short narrative "Cinco de Mayo" is wonderful with the Latin beat. Ah, forget it. The whole CD is a treat.
Recommended without reservation.
All that aside, there is plenty to love about TLOS. The song that jumped out at me first and remains a major highlight is Live Let Live, which brings together Brian and Van Dyke, but in a style much more reminiscent of Sail On Sailor than the Smile material. You can really hear the meshing of writing styles here, the end result being a classic, which I'd not be surprised hearing along with its predecessor in concert.
My take on Brian's voice is somewhere in the middle. I think he's mostly in fine voice, using a lot of subtlety and emotional range but occasionally falls into lapses of roughness that reflect his age and the life he has lived. But overall, he still sings much more like Brian Wilson than he did on 15 Big Ones or Love You. Jeffrey Foskett has refined the art of seamlessly shadowing him on some of the upper parts.
Another thing I got a kick out of is yet another manifestation of Brian's tendency to work and rework a theme obsessively, a la Heroes and Villains (If you've heard some of the bootlegs of the H & V sessions - or even the Good Vibrations Box Set, you know what I'm talking about.) Some of the most enjoyable moments on this recording are his different restatements of the Lucky Old Sun theme.
Finally, it's nice to hear Brian's personal message coming across with more clarity, depth, straightforward honesty and optimism, all signs of a well-loved man - and for good reason. The "full circle" quality to this album - an ode to sunny California, complete with references to surfing, the year 1961 (The Beach Boys' recording career began that year) and his brothers, the late Dennis and Carl Wilson - causes one to suspect that this may be Brian's farewell. If so, he's ending on a high note. I would prefer to be wrong with my suspicion, however; it always does my heart good to hear more from this remarkable and resilient man.