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The Beach Boys: Surf's Up

Adam Sweeting, Uncut, November 2003

AMONG THE NUMEROUS highlights of Brian Wilson's extraordinary comeback concerts last year was his performance of 'Surf's Up' a track once destined for the mysterious Smile album (or Dumb Angel, to give it the original title). Possibly his finest collaboration with lyricist Van Dyke Parks, who also helped him write 'Heroes And Villains' the song seemed to sum up all the pathos and brilliance of Wilson's career, with its sequence of painfully fragile melodies and lyrics which, like Wilson himself, seemed to hover forever out of reach. The fact that Brian, of all people, was still alive and still capable of singing his finest work while various brothers and friends had perished along the way lent the occasion an almost supernatural glow.

Total word count of piece: 1264

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