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Forever ( Dennis Wilson Gregg Jacobson Beach Boys Cover ) 02.05.11

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Dennis Wilson‘s legacy can be pooled from one released solo album, one unreleased solo album, a solo single and accompanying b-side, and a sprinkling of songs he composed for The Beach Boys. Even though his composing oeuvre is not large, his impact is sizable, especially with other musicians and songwriters who love finely crafted harmonic pop music.

Dennis languished in the shadow of his older brother, Brian Wilson, but he was a comprehensive learner, and bloomed late as a fine composer in his own right, penning some indelible ballads and a few choice rockers.

For decades I’ve compiled assemblies of his work to give to friends, all of whom rave about what they hear, and marvel at the fact that more people don’t know about Dennis’s contribution to pop. Had he lived longer, and lived healthier, I believe he would have gotten his due.

People have started to recognize his work as a songwriter. Songs like Cuddle Up, Make It Good, Thoughts Of You, Little Bird, Celebrate The News, and A Time To Live In Dreams are all timeless pieces of orchestral pop.

Forever may be his greatest ballad though, and even his brother Brian has acknowledged it as a standard by singing the song live in his recent solo tours this past decade, as a tribute to his dearly departed brother. It was Brian’s incredible melodic contribution in the tag portion of the original recording that I try to mimic at the end of my interpretation. Brian was in his late 20s when he sang it, and he had amazing range. You will forgive me for being in my mid-40s and um, warbling that part as best I can. I love it so much though. That part was such an amazing gift from one composer to another, from one brother to another.

A friend of mine has recently started a choir in Toronto. He is looking to do this song down the line, and I’m excited to be a part of it, because I think it would lend well to a choral treatment.

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