Brian Wilson happy to have old friend on new record, tour

Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP, FileBrian Wilson performs on stage during Brian Fest: A Night To Celebrate The Music Of Brian Wilson at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles.

Paul A. Hebert

NEW YORK — While Brian Wilson doesn’t plan to officially reunite with the surviving members of the Beach Boys, having an old friend sing on a new record certainly provided a comfort zone.

Former bandmate Al Jardine, who sang lead vocals on Wilson’s 1965 chart-topping single “Help Me, Rhonda,” appears on a few tracks on his recently released “No Pier Pressure,” and Wilson couldn’t be happier.

“He sang my song ‘Sail on, Sailor’ in 1972, then he sang ‘Sail Away’ for me on this album,” the 72-year-old singer-songwriter said in a recent interview. “He still sounds as good as he ever did.”

Brothers Dennis, Brian and Carl Wilson, along with their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, got together in 1961 to create songs about surfing, fast cars and girls and became a top musical group.

The Beach Boys combined the harmonies of a jazz-vocal group with the energy of a rock ‘n’ roll band. Wilson took it further with unusual musical arrangements, creative studio production and a tapestry of sounds.

“We did it mostly with our voices, with harmonies. We did the harmonies together; we had five voices recorded four times to make 20 voices,” Wilson said, describing the rich vocal arrangements he was able to produce in the studio.

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