Currently alive, at 79 years of age.
US singer and songwriter, lead member of the Beach Boys, Bass player, Organist, Pianist
Born- June 20th, 1942- Inglewood, CA
High School- Hawthorne High School, Hawthorne, CA
1961- Brian Wilson forms the Beach Boys, with his two brothers Carl and Dennis and cousin Mike Love.
1964- Because of a nervous breakdown, Brian retires in December from touring with the Beach Boys for
about 10 years.
1965-1966 – with the technically innovative album Pet Sounds, an increasingly reclusive Brian Wilson emulated the Beatles’ imaginative use of recording techniques in a ‘concept album’ Pet Sounds. Later, more pensive hit singles.
1966 – the international success and popularity of the Beach Boys put them among the world’s biggest acts of the time, such as the Beatles, who later cited Wilson’s work as a major influence. Wilson in turn considered the Beatles his other chief rivals, though he and fellow bassist-keyboardist Paul McCartney, born only two days earlier than himself, became friends. McCartney has frequently expressed his opinion that Wilson’s
"God Only Knows" is the greatest song ever written.
1966-1967 – Wilson’s creativity reached its apex with the Pet Sounds album (which, according to Paul McCartney, inspired the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band). Various music polls have named
Pet Sounds one of the greatest pop albums ever recorded, having reached 1st in Mojo´s and New Musician Express all time albums-lists. Pet Sounds marked the first time Brian Wilson was featured as a solo artist when Capitol Records released the track "Caroline, No" not by The Beach Boys but as Brian Wilson.
This was immediately followed by their biggest chart success, the million-selling #1 hit single "Good Vibrations." Wilson then began work on a new album, originally called Dumb Angel but soon re-titled SMiLE, on which he collaborated with lyricist Van Dyke Parks, and on which "Good Vibrations" would have been included. However, the combination of resistance from within the group and Wilson’s own growing personal problems led to the cancellation of the project in May of 1967.
1967 – After production of SMiLE ceased in 1967, Wilson prepared a single release of its central song, "Heroes and Villains". It stalled on the charts, briefly peaking at #12 in America. Psychologically overwhelmed by these failures and by the birth of his first child in 1968, Wilson began to take on a diminished creative role within the Beach Boys. Until about 1970 he remained the group’s principal songwriter, but increasingly production reins were handed to younger brother Carl.
1967-1970 – Wilson mostly oversaw the albums Smiley Smile, Wild Honey and Friends, the first of which consisted mostly of recycled SMiLE material. All three were considered failures at the time. After that, he all but stopped writing songs and was frequently seen partying in the company of songwriter Tandyn Almer and Three Dog Night singer Danny Hutton. It was during this period that he was introduced to hard drugs. Any hope of Wilson assuming his former level of dedication were crushed in 1969, when the single "Break Away" – produced by Brian and co-written by himself and his father Murry – reached a dismal #63 on the American charts.
The contemporaneous Beach Boys album, 20/20, the group’s last record for Capitol, was made mostly without Wilson’s participation.
1970’s-1980’s – In 1975, Brian’s wife and family enlisted the services of controversial therapist Eugene Landy in a bid to help Brian, and as a by-product, help revive the group’s ailing profile. Brian did not stay under his care for long, but during this short period, the doctor managed to help him into a more productive, social frame of mind. New albums were recorded, and for the first time since 1964, Brian started to regularly appear live on stage with the band. Brian was also deemed to be well enough to do a solo performance on Saturday Night Live in November 1976. The situation continued for a few years, but by 1982, his mental state had deteriorated even further; he was taking large amounts of drugs. Landy was once more called into action, and a more radical program was undertaken to try to restore Brian to health. This involved firing him from the Beach Boys, isolating him from his family on Hawaii, and being put onto a rigorous diet and health regimen. This, coupled with long, extreme counselling sessions, brought Brian back to reality. He was certainly healthier and more conversant than previously, but he was also under a strict level of control by his doctor. Brian’s recovery continued as he joined the band onstage in Live Aid in 1985, and recorded a new eponymous album with the Beach Boys.
1985-1989 – Wilson launched a career as a solo artist with limited success. Wilson stopped working with the Beach Boys on a regular basis after the release of The Beach Boys in 1985. Wilson released a solo album, titled Brian Wilson, in 1988 and a memoir, Wouldn’t It Be Nice – My Own Story.
1962-1989 – Some of their albums
1962 Surfin’ Safari
1963 Surfin’ USA
1964 Shut Down Vol.2
1964 All Summer Long
1965 The Beach Boys Today!
1965 Summer Days
1965 The Beach Boys Party!
1966- Produced and performed on the popular, "Pet Sounds" album.
1967 Smiley Smile
1967 Wild Honey
1970 Live in London
1972 Carl and the Passions-So Tough
1977 The Beach Boys Love You
1985 The Beach Boys
1989 Still Cruisin’ (Without Brian Wilson)
(Movies they appeared in, mostly brief appearances)
Beach Blanket Bingo-1965
The Monkey’s Uncle-1965- Himself
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini-1965
1990’s – Landy’s illegal use of psychotropic drugs on Wilson and his influence over Wilson’s financial affairs was legally ended by Wilson’s brother Carl. In 1995, Wilson married Melinda Ledbetter after a longstanding relationship with Stephanie Marks and subsequently the couple adopted two girls, Daria and Delanie, and, in 2004, a son, Dylan. He has two daughters from his first marriage to Marilyn Rovell, Carnie Wilson and Wendy Wilson, who would go on to musical success of their own in the early 1990s as two-thirds of Wilson Phillips.
1995 – he released two albums, albeit neither containing any new original material, almost simultaneously.
The first, the soundtrack to Don Was’s documentary I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times, consists of re-recorded versions of songs from his Beach Boys and solo catalogue produced by Was, along with a 1976-vintage demo recording. The second, Orange Crate Art, saw Wilson as lead vocalist on an album of songs produced, arranged and (mostly) written by Van Dyke Parks, and was released as a duo album under both men’s names.
1996 – His final release as part of the group was on the album Stars and Stripes Vol. 1, a group collaboration with select country music artists singing the lead vocals. After considerable mental recovery, he mended his relationship with his daughters Carnie and Wendy and the three of them released an album in 1997 titled "The Wilsons."
1998 – Wilson released a second solo album of (mostly) new material, Imagination. Following this, he learned to cope with his stage fright and started to play live for the first time in decades, going on to play the whole Pet Sounds album live on his tours of the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe. In 2004 Brian astounded the pop world by performing SMiLE (his legendary unreleased Beach Boys album abandoned in 1967) live, debuting at London’s Royal Festival Hall, February 20th.
2004 – A new studio album, Gettin’ in Over My Head, was released on 22 June. It featured collaborations with Elton John, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, and Wilson’s deceased brother Carl. Eric Clapton played on the track "City Blues." The album was almost entirely composed of re-recordings of unreleased material, and received mixed reviews.
2004- He debuted the new SMiLE at the Royal Festival Hall in London, and recorded it in the studio that April. Both the live and studio versions earned rapturous reviews, and Wilson then launched a full world tour of SMiLE
2006- Wilson kicked off a small, but highly anticipated tour celebrating the 40th anniversary of Pet Sounds.
The concert, at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles, was attended by a sell-out crowd, who accorded Wilson multiple standing ovations. Wilson was backed by a 12-member band, which included one-time Beach Boy
Al Jardine (who himself received a standing ovation) and long-time bandmate and musical director Jeff Foskett. After a long set of oldies, most of which were written by Wilson, the band performed Pet Sounds in its entirety.
2006 – Wilson was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame by legendary Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, performing "God Only Knows" and "Good Vibrations" at the ceremony.
2007 – Wilson debuted a new song cycle In September entitled That Lucky Old Sun (A Narrative) at Royal Festival Hall in London, England. The new piece consists of four ’rounds’, with interspersed spoken words.
Wilson will headline the Sydney Festival in January 2008, performing a free concert as well as two paid appearances featuring performances of Pet Sounds and That Lucky Old Sun.
2007 – the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors committee which recognizes career excellence and cultural influence, at the ceremony to be held on December 1, named Brian as one of the honorees