That Lucky Old Sun

Brian Wilson


1. That Lucky Old Sun
2. Morning Beat
3. Narrative:Room With A View
4. Good Kind Of Love
5. Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl
6. Narrative: Venice Beach
7. Live Let Live/That Lucky Old Sun (Reprise) Medley
8. Mexican Girl
9. Narrative: Cinco De Mayo
10. California Role/That Lucky Old Sun (Reprise) Medley
11. Narrative: Between Pictures
12. Oxygen To The Brain
13.Can't Wait Too Long
14. Midnight's Another Day
15. That Lucky Old Sun (Reprise)
16. Going Home
17. Southern California

Alternative versions

Best Buy version
Had bonus tracks Good Kind Of Love featuring Carole King, Iím Into Something Good featuring Carole King (was a hit for the Hermanís Hermits back in the 60s and written by Goffin/King) and Just Like Me And You
ITunes download version
Had bonus tracks Oh Mi Amor and Message Man.

Also version with DVD of Lucky Old Sun

Album Trivia

Released on Capitol Records on September 2 2008 (September 1 2008 in Europe and UK).
The Lucky Old Sun was first performed as a piece at the Royal Festival Hall on September. 10, 2007.
Reached #21 in the U.S.A, the best placing by an album consisting of mostly new Brian Wilson material since Pet Sounds.
Reached #37 in the U.K.


Website Comments and Review

I have had the tremendous privilege of being at the live premieres of both SMiLE and That Lucky Old Sun, but on both occasions you could cut the pre-show atmosphere with a knife. In retrospect, I don't know which was more tense - SMiLE had the tremendous weight of the mental demon of almost 40 years , but we knew most of the songs and that they would be great -whereas That Lucky Old Sun was a complete step in the unknown especially as Brian had hardly proved to critics, the wider public and sometimes even his closest fans that he was capable of a coherent new work any time after 1966.

It was about three songs in as the opening lines of Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl cooed the lucky Festival Hall crowd that I knew we were listening to something special. As I blogged straight after the concert, Brian had broken a final barrier in his solo career in coming up with a completely new, coherent and brilliant work. This has been borne out by critical and fan acclaim since then -while the praise may not been unanimous, it may be worth taking a step back and considering what a 65+ year Brian - an artist who in popular imagination is still lying in bed and detached from the real world - has achieved in convincing most critics and fans that he has produced a vital new work.

In many ways, the work could be seen as the third part of a trilogy preceded by Pet Sounds and SMiLE. Like the previous two, it is essentially a selection of songs that can be linked together by common musical or lyrical themes. There is something old (Can't Wait Too Long is revived here, remember I'm Waiting For The Day was written two years before Pet Sounds), something new, something borrowed (Sloop John B, Gee, the title song of Lucky Old Sun) and something blue. And most critically, there is colloborater who is a key part of the album.

Tony Asher was the keyman on Pet Sounds, Van Dyke Parks on SMiLE. And just like Tony Asher passed the baton on Good Vibrations, Parks is on this album, but the person who was immense was Brian's bandmate Scott Bennett. Bennett is the lyricist on eight of the ten "new" songs and also assisted with the production. Of course, the rest of Brian's band is integral to this work as well, and we will probably never be able to thank them enough for their role in Brian's revivial as a valid performing artist in this decade.

That Lucky Old Sun is on the surface a homage to Southern California but it is in many respects a review of a life framed by creating the California Dream and then watching that dream turn to a personal nightmare. Again, there is a sense of completion from Pet Sounds, where a young man searches for love and acceptance, and SMiLE, which explores the entire patchwork of America and the elements that make up life itself. On That Lucky Old Sun, we return to the personal, the wide-eyed excitement of growing up in the Californian Dream, the pain of being isolated from that dream and a sense of redemption in the end in coming home to one's roots (Going Home, Southern California). This is all under the warmth of That Lucky Old Sun which provides a recurring motif for the album, a distant but sustaining force, and possibly a reflection on the hope that infuses most of Brian's music even in the moments of despair.

All of this is done with music and production that recreates and expands the values that we expect from Brian Wilson - gorgeous pop melodies; aching, soaring packages; a bit of good-time rock and roll; judicious use of musical instruments and innovative percussion. It may not create new ground, but if you've found musical paradise, why would you want to go anywhere else?

Let us remind ourselves that this is 2008- a year which has been short of good news and long on political and economic trauma. But one of America's greatest songwriters and the architect of the Californian Dream is not only alive and kicking but in a creative spurt that we never thought would be possible. That lucky old sun is still shining, indeed!

RATING: 10 out of 10

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