Title - 'Pacific Ocean Blue - Legacy Edition' (Legacy)
Artist - Dennis Wilson
This might sound like Beach Boy sacrilege, but I've longed to see 'Pacific Ocean Blue' back on CD than any issue of Brian's mythic Smile (which I caught on the tour from Wilson & co here). Not that Smile is bad, but it's nowhere near 'Pacific Ocean Blue' as far as I'm concerned. This album (re: LP) is now going for ridiculous prices - the 1991 reissue fetching close to $200 and not living in area where broadband exists, downloading this is not an option. So I depend on an ancient tape with other bootleg material. This is the kind of album I dream about and wonder if it's all just a dream ... and then the CD comes along in all its new, remastered glory and everything is right again with the world!
Dennis Wilson was the second genius songwriter in The Beach Boys - to be fair Carl and Love co-wrote/wrote many classics - but Dennis came to fill the void left by Brian from the late 60s onwards. It's unfair to compare Dennis to Brian, but Dennis was coming up with string-soaked odes to valium like Cuddle Up, country-soul like Forever & the Vietnam-outtake Carry Me Home (later covered by Primal Scream on their Dixie-Narco e.p.). Apart from Sunflower (1970), The Beach Boys albums post-Pet Sounds were hit and miss affairs - the highlights often being a Dennis track (if not a slight Brian return).
Most of 'Pacific Ocean Blue was' written with co-Forever-songwriter Gregg Jakobson - though the title track was written with Mike Love and River Song was co-written with Carl & slowly recorded over the 70s (several tracks intended for POB and the unreleased follow-up Bamboo found their way onto Beach Boys records, e.g. Love Surrounds Me, Baby Blue). 'Pacific Ocean Blue' came out in 1977 and is one of the great records of the 1970s, scrub that, of all time.
Dennis offered the ultimate statement - hypnotic piano-driven songs, achingly sincere vocals, a different kind of musical experimentation. It makes perfect sense next to such albums of the era as Exile on Main Street, Manassas, On the Beach, Greetings from LA and No Other. Every song is utterly wonderful - this would happilly be my desert island disc: it's the kind of album that would make the ideal final purchase. Nothing much comes close to it - though perhaps it's just it's hard to find nature that makes me think that!
The songs are gorgeous, my favorite track being Time - which nods at the universal qualities apparent in Dennis' work and has sax/flugelhorn that reminds me of 1980s David Sylvian or late-period Talk Talk for some reason! Indeed, 'Pacific Ocean Blue' is out now on the two-disc Legacy Recordings label and features an incredible 33 tracks with Limited Edition First Run Collector's Packaging.
This collections contains never officially released tracks from Dennis' Bambu album which only existed as bootlegs for decades. Per Dennis Wilson 'Everything that I am or will ever be is in the music. If you want to know me, just listen.' It also features 'Holy Man' - an unfinished track that never received Dennis' vocal part with Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters laying down brand new vocals. This limited edition deluxe packing feature 50 page, full color book with two brand new essays and never-before-seen photos and memorabilia. BUY IT TODAY ... LOVE IT FOREVER!