Brian Wilson

Born 20 June 1942.
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Brian Wilson chats to Jools Holland

Brian Wilson speaks with Jools Holland on Later.

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Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942) is an American musician best known as the chief songwriter of the Beach Boys. Besides acting as their co-lead vocalist, he also functioned as the band's main producer and arranger. After signing with Capitol Records in mid-1962, Wilson wrote or co-wrote more than two dozen Top 40 hits for the Beach Boys.

In the mid-1960s, Wilson composed and produced Pet Sounds, considered one of the greatest albums of all time. The intended follow-up to Pet Sounds, Smile, was cancelled for various reasons, which included Wilson's deteriorating mental health. As he suffered through multiple nervous breakdowns, Wilson's contributions to the Beach Boys diminished and his erratic behavior led to tensions with the band. After years of treatment and recuperation, he began a solo career in 1988 with Brian Wilson, the same year that he and the Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Since then, he has toured for the first time in decades with a new band and released acclaimed albums, including Brian Wilson Presents Smile, for which Wilson won his first Grammy Award for "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" as Best Rock Instrumental. On December 16, 2011, a 50th anniversary Beach Boys reunion tour was announced and Wilson briefly returned to the group. He remains a member of the Beach Boys corporation, Brother Records Incorporated.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin

    Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin 2010

    Reviewed by Adrian Edwards
    A winning collection of songs and arrangements done with great style.
  2. Review of That Lucky Old Sun

    That Lucky Old Sun 2008

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    To still have a Wilson in any kind of operating form is probably good enough for now.
  3. Review of Smile

    Smile 2004

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    ...anyone fearing that finally finishing 'Smile' would diminish its status can now...
  4. Review of Gettin' In Over My Head

    Gettin' In Over My Head 2004

    Reviewed by Cormac Heron
    Wilson's voice itself is fine, fine, fine. Youthful, sure and wholesomely optimistic,...
  5. Review of Presents Pet Sounds Live In London (DVD)

    Presents Pet Sounds Live In London (DVD) 2003

    Reviewed by Adam Webb
    Grown men turned back to boys again and Brian Wilson's genius was reconfirmed in...