Friday, January 25, 2008

lost & found: Pacific Ocean Blue

"Let It Shine On You"

I've been a major proponent of reissueing Dennis Wilson's out-of-print classic Pacific Ocean Blue since it found it's way into my psyche a few years ago. Lately I've been yearning for more than my digital copy which I found on the royal pink OINK. While OINK was totally illegal, it's celebrated archives were so vast that it made it near essential for music obsessives scouring for obscure tracks and forgotten gems. If it weren't for OINK I never would have found Pacific Ocean Blue.

Dennis' first solo effort, the first by any Beach Boy, is a golden slice of '70s Angelino extravagance. Released in 1977, the record plays well alongside the Beach Boy's Holland and Fleetwood Mac's self-titled. This makes sense as Dennis had a long, tumultuous love affair with Fleetwood songstress Christine McVie. A sailor at heart, Pacific Ocean Blue invokes Wilson's love of the sea in song and in tone. Ironically, Dennis hated Pacific Ocean Blue, claiming it had no substance.

Besides making music, Dennis led a rather bizarre existence.Full of heart and love, Dennis's vulnerability often got the best of him. His innocence is what solidified his relationship to Charles Manson, who frequently stayed at Wilson's home. The two also played music together. Charlies really wanted to be a pop star. In a magazine interview, Dennis once referred to Manson as "The Wizard." After the murders, Wilson rarely spoke on the Manson connection, although he hinted that he knew what provoked the murders and said one day he would publish it in a book. However, addiction took its toll on Wilson, who lived a remarkably self-destructive lifestyle in late '70s Los Angeles (He was said to have crashed Christine McVie's Rolls Royce twelve times!). In a a stroke of tragedy, Denny drowned while drunkenly swimming in Marina Del Ray in 1983. He was quoted earlier that day as saying "I'm lonesome. I'm lonesome all the time."

But we shall Rejoice! Rejoice! because Wilson's masterpiece is finally getting the remastered, re-issued treatment it deserves. Out of print since 1991, copies of the album on record go for up to $300, while CD's are at upwards of $120. Now thanks to Legacy Recordings and Sundazed, who will release a 180-gram vinyl mini-box re-issue, the public will finally be able to bask in the light of the Dreamer.

If you would like to know more about the fascinating life of Dennis Wilson, check out this great documentary, Dennis Wilson Forever on Flasher. It's free.

Pacific Ocean Blue hits stores again on 4/18/2008

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