Dennis Wilson: Pacific Ocean Blue (Legacy Edition)

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Dennis Wilson: Pacific Ocean Blue (Legacy Edition)

The other Wilson brother finally gets his lush, poignant solo album reissued

After serving as drummer and sometime songwriter for The Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson stepped out from his brother Brian’s shadow and became the first in the group to record a solo album—Pacific Ocean Blue, released to critical and commercial acclaim in 1977.

Amazingly, it’s never been released on CD, which makes this two-disc collection a boon for collectors and the curious alike. Full of lush harmonies, grandiose orchestrations and poignant lyrics, these ambitious songs have lost none of their innocent melancholy over the last three decades. The second disc includes tracks planned for Wilson’s follow-up, tentatively titled Bambu, which was unfinished at the time of his death in 1983. Bambu’s songs—which have existed only as bootlegs until now—sound skeletal compared to Pacific Ocean Blue, but reveal the depth of Wilson’s considerable talent, hinting at what a tremendous second album it could have been, and what a storied career he could’ve had.