Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin

Brian Wilson


1. Rhapsody In Blue (Intro)
2. The Like In I Love You
3. Summertime
4. I Loves You Porgy
5. I Got Plenty o'Nuttin'
6. It Ain't Necessarily So
7. 'S Wonderful
8. They Can't Take That Away From Me
9. Love Is Here To Stay
10. I've Got A Crush On You
11. I've Got Rhythm
12. Someone To Watch Over Me
13. Nothing But Love
14. Rhapsody In Blue (Reprise)

Alternative versions

ITunes download version
Had bonus track Let's Call The Whole Thing Off

Album Trivia

Released on Disney Records on August 17 2010 (September 6 2010 in Europe and UK).
Includes two Gershwin fragments completed by Brian (The Like In I Love You and Nothing But Love.
Tracks 3 and 6 are a medley from the Porgy And Bess musical.
Reached #26 on the USA charts and #1 on Billboard Jazz charts.


Website Comments and Review

It can be argued that much of Brian Wilson’s solo career has been about claiming (or reclaiming) his past legacy as one of America’s greatest musical geniuses. Certainly, the eventual release of SMiLE saw Brian delve 37 years into the past and allow a turbulent past to become a triumphant present. So it is somewhat fitting that Brian now goes back even further to his very first musical inspiration, and another iconic American composer.

The Gershwin project was always intriguing, but had the potential to disappoint. How would Brian’s vocals stand the test? Could Brian breathe life into songs that had been done hundreds of times over? Would incomplete Gershwin fragments be any basis for great new songs?

Of course, we shouldn’t have doubted. Brian Wilson was clearly into this project, and, even if his songwriting skills are downplayed, his talents as an arranger and singer are brought to the fore. Gershwin reimagined as surf music may seem like an odd combination, but trust Brian to bring this off.

Rhapsody In Blue is transformed into a harmonic invocation a la Our Prayer,and this is followed by the first of the Gershwin/Wilson opuses, The Like In I Love You, which already sounds like a standard and enhances both songwriters ouevres. It’s a one/two combination similar to Our Prayer and Heroes And Villains and sets the tone for the rest of the album.

We continue with four songs from Porgy And Bess, including Summertime, and a beautiful I Loves You Porgy, with one of Brian’s best vocals and the emotional connection of the best of Brian’s own ballads. Another six classic songs from Gershwin’s repertoire are then featured, including I Got Rhythm and They Can’t That Away From Me, both done Beach Boys style. I’ve Got A Crush on You, Someone To Watch Over Me and Love Is Here To Stay are also in this section of the album; all classic ballads done tastefully. Love Is Here To Stay is Gershwin’s last completed song and links with the “new” songs here in a poignant way.

The end of the album mirrors the beginning with another “collaboration” Nothing But Love and a reprise of Rhapsody In Blue. With link pieces of music between the tracks, the impression of a carefully planned and executed work is reinforced.

Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin ensures that we have another decade with great Brian Wilson songs as well as a great Brian Wilson album. It’s another step in reclaiming his heritage as an American composing great, and as a musician at the top his game at 68, rather than the 60s start who burned out too early. It’s another redemptive and spiritual work, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. And it’s also another tribute to the skill of a band of musicians without whom Brian would have achieved very little in the past years

RATING: 9 out of 10

Lyrics for this album
Discussion and reviews from users of this site
Return to the Album Archive
Return to the Track Archive