Compliation (single artist)
2008's Archival Release of the Year must SURELY be the reissue of Dennis Wilson's 1977 masterwork Pacific Ocean Blue, which couples a mint remastered version of that fantastic album with a generous helping of cuts from his aborted follow-up Bambu. The reviews for this double CD have been uniformly excellent, as a new generation of music lovers are now exposed to Dennis's sensitive, soulful music for the first time. But as great as it is, the POB re-issue only tells half the story. As most of his longtime fans already know, Denny had been cutting his own music within the confines of the Beach Boys since the band's SMiLE sessions were underway back in 1967. While some of this material still has yet to come to light, what has emerged via various Beach Boys albums, a one-off solo single and the *ahem* "underground trader's circuit" shows the portrait of an artist who was already rapidly maturing beyond his years nearly a decade before POB's release.
Kicking off with the gorgeous "Little Bird" from the 1968 Beach Boys album Friends, and winding its way through collaborate efforts with such notables as Steve Kalinich, Charles Manson, Greg Jakobson, Darryl Dragon, Blondie Chaplin, Billy Preston and fellow Beach Boys Carl and Mike, Dennis Wilson Forever stands as the perfect companion release to the magical reissue. This CD (a full 80 minutes) contains every available non-POB/ Bambu song that Dennis both wrote and sang, as well as a handful of tantalizing instrumentals that amply demonstrate he had learned a thing or two from his big brother Brian.
Ideally, a set of these songs needs to be released as the natural follow-up to Pacific Ocean Blue, and it should be at least 2 CDs and heavy with unreleased bonus material. Until that dream emerges though, enjoy my tribute to a musical legend and underground hero. Fans will enjoy having all this material on a single disc, while neophytes will realize why us hardcores will continue to sing the praises of Dennis Wilson Forever.