Sunday, December 27, 2009

When I Go Anywhere I See Love

There is nothing like a day trip to the Oregon coast to clear one's mind. A spectacular hike at Cape Lookout with temps above freezing and no rain made for a memorable day. Upon return I had a yearning to listen to some Brian Wilson tunes. Today's post was a real toss-up among several of the Beach Boy's lesser-known singles. I settled on This Whole World from 1970. The single did not chart and the LP it came from - Sunflower - was the lowest charting BB album up to that point at 151. By that time Brian was no longer performing but he still provided a number of songs on the group's records. Invariably they were the highlights of the album.

After a two bar introduction with chugging guitar and Carl's solo vocal, the song immediately moves into the main verse:

"Late at night I think about the love of this whole world. Lots of different people everywhere. And when I go anywhere I see love I see love I see love."

Carl's voice never sounded more soulful. And dig the tubular bell chiming amongst the doo-wop background vocals by the rest of the band (something along the lines of aaauuummm bop dibit). Then a new section begins:

"When girls get mad at boys and go
Many times they're just putting on a show
But when they leave you wait alone"

The ultimate Spector-ism - a glockenspiel - plays a counter melody and the band adds their gorgeous "oh-s". The first and second sections are repeated, then at 1:35 the boys go acappella, soaring off into the distance as the track ends before two minutes have passed.

What really casts a glow over me is Brian's incomparable harmonic progressions. I know a thing or two about music theory, and the modulations here are way beyond the grasp of almost any pop group then or now. Brian Wilson has an ear for sounds and harmonies like no other.

1 comment:

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

I've liked this song before but I've never heard it this way before -- it's a new song for me now. Thanks for the terrific tour.