Brian Wilson’s No Pier Pressure was almost a Beach Boys album: ‘I changed my mind’

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At one point, Brian Wilson says, he envisioned his forthcoming solo album No Pier Pressure as a Beach Boys project — the follow up to 2012’s celebrated That’s Why God Made the Radio. Several of his former Beach Boys bandmates (including Al Jardine, David Marks and Blondie Chaplin) even contributed along the way.

But a larger reunion never materialized in the wake of a controversial ending to the reunion tour that followed That’s Why God, where Brian Wilson said he wanted to continue and Mike Love — owner of the Beach Boys trademark — decided to move forward separately with already-booked dates.

By the time No Pier Pressure got underway, the idea another reunion album was off the table. “I changed my mind,” Brian Wilson tells Smashing Interviews. “I thought so, but then I decided to make it a solo album.”

Instead, Brian Wilson expanded the album’s musical palette to include a series of contemporary guest stars, as well. Asked whether he considered inviting Mike Love to participate, Wilson answers firmly. “No. No. We just mostly used Al,” he says. “David didn’t sing on my album. Al did.”

Later, in talking about his favorite songs on No Pier Pressure, Wilson offered specific praise for Chaplin, who voiced 1973’s “Sail On, Sailor,” one of the very best post-1960s Beach Boys songs. “I like ‘On the Island’ by Zooey Deschanel and ‘Sail Away,’ sung by Blondie Chaplin. Those two are my favorites,” Wilson says. “My wife and I both chose Kacey Musgraves for the song ‘Guess You Had to Be There.'”

For all of his excitement surrounding the album, which is due April 7, 2015 via Capitol Records, it brings with a sense of finality when it comes to the Beach Boys.

Asked about the possibility of another reunion, Brian Wilson simply says: “I don’t know at this time.” He says he doubts the others will attend the forthcoming Brian Fest, an event meant to celebration his music. And Wilson confirms that he won’t be challenging the legal ruling that gave Mike Love control of his old band, either. “No. Mike has the name,” he says. “He goes under the name of the Beach Boys.”

In fact, Brian Wilson openly admits that he might be winding things down. Thoughts of retirement loom. “I don’t really know,” Wilson says. “Maybe this year. I’m not sure.”

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