22 August 2013

22nd August - Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue

Artist - Album: Dennis Wilson - Pacific Ocean Blue
Released: 22nd August 1977
Sounds like: Faded seaside glamour

Blistering sunshine and salty sea air will hurriedly corrode once pristine promenades, as any visitors to Britain's ramshackle seaside resorts such as Morecambe, Margate and Rhyl will attest to (blistering sunshine, ha!). The front cover of Pacific Ocean Blue, a closeup of the shabby, haggard face of ex-Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson, seems to display the personification of this run down beauty. Similarly, his voice within is ragged and worn, but it remains as soulful as ever.

The album starts with the phenomenal 'River Song', a symphonic elegy to environmentalism, that concludes with the wish to run away. Delicate songs such as 'Thoughts of You', 'You and I' and 'Time' are gorgeous love songs, but they hold a slightly spent feel which makes them all the more intriguing. Dennis Wilson was arguably the most interesting of the Beach Boys anyway - his rock and roll lifestyle, dalliance with Charles Manson and early death by drowning are well out of keeping with that of his brothers - and the fact that he was the first to go solo should give him a higher status than he has. Arguably this is the best of any of the Beach Boys solo efforts.

We're exceptionally lucky to be able to listen to the album at all, regardless of how wonderul it is, as it was out of print for 14 years. Be thankful then, that this blog isn't just about one of the great "lost" records; it's about one of the great records, full stop.

Analbumaday... rating: 8/10

1. River Song - 3:44
2. What's Wrong - 2:22
3. Moonshine - 2:27
4. Friday Night - 3:09
5. Dreamer - 4:22
6. Thoughts of You - 3:02
7. Time - 3:31
8. You and I - 3:25
9. Pacific Ocean Blues - 2:39
10. Farewell My Friend - 2:26
11. Rainbows - 2:55
12. End of the Show - 2:55

Listen to 'Thoughts of You': www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQtbElnRX0g
Also released on 22nd August:
1994: Portishead - Dummy
Also released on 22nd August:
2005: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl

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