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Van Dyke Parks

Van Dyke Parks

42 articles

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Van Dyke Parks: Clang Of The Yankee Reaper (Warner Bros.)

Review by Penny Valentine, Street Life, 15 November 1975

ONE DAY I got this strange note from America. It said: "Thanks for the review of my single. It is the first good review I've ...

Van Dyke Parks: The Greatest Collaborator

Profile and Interview by Nick Hasted, The Independent, July 1999

VAN DYKE PARKS knows people who know. He always has. He has the CV of Woody Allen's Zelig, is in the corner of the picture ...

Audio interviews

Van Dyke Parks (1973)

Interview by John Tobler, Rock's Backpages audio, 9 November 1973

The great man talks about many things, including his Southern roots; Los Angeles and the California experience; acting in TV and movies as kid; his early music experiences in LA; surfing, and the Beach Boys; his first album Song Cycle; Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Lenny Waronker, and the whole Warner Bros. Records scene; Brian Wilson, and what happened to Smile; his Discover America, and the associated lawsuit, and writing songs with Lowell George (who makes an appearance)...

File format: mp3; file size: 152.2mb, interview length: 2h 38' 33" sound quality: ****

Van Dyke Parks (1993)

Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages audio, 16 June 1993

Van Dyke Parks talks of his early days in Los Angeles; the folk scene; the deaths of both his brother and John F. Kennedy; on becoming an arranger and songwriter; the effects of the '60s British Invasion; the counterculture and the death of the hippie dream; being in the studio with Brian Wilson; the legendary Smile project; his own Song Cycle and much more.

File format: mp3, file size: 97.5mb, interview length: 1h 41' 36", sound quality: ****

Van Dyke Parks (2010)

Interview by Holger Petersen, Rock's Backpages audio, 7 August 2010

The amiable producer/arranger/artist looks back on his involvement with Ry Cooder; his friendship with Little Feat's Lowell George; the golden years at Warner Bros.; the march of technology from four to 24-tracks; being a fast worker, and his return to his folk roots with the Mississippi Sheiks Tribute Project.

File format: mp3; file size: 26.1mb, interview length: 28' 27" sound quality: *****

List of articles in the library

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Van Dyke Parks: Pop Music's Pilot Through the Aesthetic Shoals

Profile and Interview by Pete Johnson, Los Angeles Times, 10 December 1967

WHAT FOLLOWS is an exorbitant number of words about and from an insignificant recording artist named Van Dyke Parks. He is insignificant at the moment, ...

Albums from Van Dyke Parks, Nancy Sinatra and Country Joe & the Fish

Review by uncredited writer, KRLA Beat, 13 January 1968

SONG CYCLE (Warner Bros-7 Arts) Van Dyke Parks. 'Vine Street', 'The All Golden', 'Pot Pourri' plus eight other tracks. ...

Van Dyke Parks: Talk of the Rock Rialto

Profile and Interview by Richard Goldstein, The New York Times, 3 March 1968

  VAN DYKE Parks might have grown old in comfortable obscurity. At 25, he had made his mark along Sunset Boulevard (California's Teflon-pan alley) as the ...

Unique Interpreters Of Pop: The United States of America, Leonard Cohen, Van Dyke Parks

Profile and Interview by Jacoba Atlas, KRLA Beat, 9 March 1968

THE REVOLUTION in pop music has produced some extraordinary people. Attracting poets, jazz musicians and classical music enthusiasts, the field has now expanded into a ...

Van Dyke Parks: Song Cycle (Warner WS 1727 stereo)

Review by uncredited writer, Record Mirror, 4 October 1969

PARKS HAS been around the pop scene for quite a time — his name cropped up in connection with the Byrds and later with the ...

The Beach Boys: A California Saga

Special Feature by Tom Nolan, Rolling Stone, 28 October 1971

Part One: Mr. Everything ...

Van Dyke Parks: Discover America

Review by John Mendelsohn, Rolling Stone, 3 August 1972

VAN DYKE PARKS' first album, Song Cycle, released in 1968, was a dizzyingly eclexoteric work that had the critics alternately gushing, "The emergence of a ...

Van Dyke Parks: Discover America

Review by Mark Leviton, Words & Music, September 1972

Van Dyke Parks, surely one of the most inventive musical minds in the business, is definitely not for everybody. His first album Song Cycle came ...

Van Dyke Parks: Discover America

Review by Gene Sculatti, Creem, October 1972

WHATEVER BECAME of Ars Nova, the United States of America. Neon Philharmonic or the Fifty Foot Hose? Less than five years ago, "art-rock" projects like ...

Van Dyke Parks

Interview by John Tobler, Hot Wacks, 9 November 1973

...with contributions from Lowell George and Pete Frame. ...

Van Dyke Parks: Clang Of The Yankee Reaper

Review by Miles, New Musical Express, 3 January 1976

VAN DYKE PARKS is one of those people who are usually regarded as either genius or idiot. ...

Van Dyke Parks: Clang Of The Yankee Reaper (Warners K 5 6161)

Review by David Hancock, Record Mirror, 17 January 1976

THE REAL genius behind the best of the Beach Boys makes a much more commercial statement than he did on the surprising Song Cycle or ...

Van Dyke Parks: The Clang of the Yankee Reaper

Review by Ben Edmonds, Rolling Stone, 29 January 1976

In rootless Southern California, the only cultural traditions are those which you create for yourself. Maybe that's why Van Dyke Parks is much beloved of ...

Van Dyke Parks: The Clang of Van Dyke Parks

Profile by Penny Valentine, Street Life, 7 February 1976

"He deals in streams of consciousness and clicks someone’s brain on to accepting an abstract concept... he can grab those feelings and wrench them out ...

Van Dyke Parks: McCabe's Guitar Shop, Santa Monica CA

Live Review by Richard Cromelin, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 1982


Kool and the Gang: Sweat (Phonogram 838233-1); Van Dyke Parks: Tokyo Rose (Warner Bros 925968-1)

Review by David Toop, The Times, 2 September 1989

Moving forward to the past ...

Van Dyke Parks: A Yen for Japan

Interview by Richard Gehr, The Village Voice, 3 October 1989

Studiously blasé vibes radiate from within the overlit television studio on West 25th Street. Van Dyke Parks, our downwardly mobile country’s greatest unstaged musical-theater composer, ...

Lenny Waronker: A Record Executive's Pride and Joy

Profile and Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 June 1995

Warner Bros. re-releases Lenny Waronker's early masterpieces ...

Van Dyke Parks: California Dreamer

Interview by Erik Himmelsbach, Los Angeles Reader, 17 November 1995

THE KITCHEN door swings open, and a tiny voice wafts into the dining room, warbling with gusto "...are the luckiest people in the world." Suddenly, ...

Brian Wilson And Van Dyke Parks: Orange Crate Art

Interview by Bill Holdship, MOJO, December 1995

BH: Was it hard getting Brian involved in the making of Orange Crate Art? ...

Discover Van Dyke Parks

Interview by Robin Platts, Goldmine, 2 February 1996

AFTER 30 YEARS in the music business, Van Dyke Parks is not a household name. ...

The Beach Boys: An American Family: Heroes and Villains

Report and Interview by Bill Holdship, LA New Times, 4 June 2000

Brian Wilson's back, recording a live album at the Roxy this week and preparing for a summer tour with symphony orchestras throughout the U.S. So ...

Wouldn't It Have Been Nice: An Interview with Van Dyke Parks

Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages, January 2002

VAN DYKE PARKS was the intellectual southerner who penned the baroque, cryptic lyrics for 'Surf's Up', 'Heroes and Villains' and other Brian Wilson masterpieces. He ...

Brian Wilson: Smile? Don't mind if I do…

Retrospective and Interview by Sylvie Simmons, MOJO, March 2004

It was due in January 1967. But the Beach Boys' Smile LP was shelved when its creator Brian Wilson refused to finish it. Now he ...

SMiLE: How We Created Pop's Lost Legend

Retrospective and Interview by Robert Sandall, Daily Telegraph, 23 September 2004

For decades, Beach Boy Brian Wilson's unreleased album SMiLE has been shrouded in myth. Now, at last, the songs can be heard on a CD ...

Ostin-powered: The Mogul of Burbank

Book Excerpt by Barney Hoskyns, 'Hotel California' (4th Estate), 2005

Five adapted excerpts from Barney Hoskyns' 2005 book Hotel California that chart the rise of Warner-Reprise Records during the reign of its revered chief Mo ...

Van Dyke Parks's Song Cycle

Retrospective and Interview by Rob Hughes, Uncut, April 2008

BY THE TIME of his 1968 debut, Van Dyke Parks already had pedigree. Mississippi-born and Louisiana-raised, as a child actor he starred in 1956's The ...

Inara George and Van Dyke Parks: Harmony born of legend

Interview by Adam Sweeting, Daily Telegraph, 20 November 2008

The new album by Lowell George's daughter Inara shimmers with arrangements by Van Dyke Parks — one of her late father's best friends. They talk ...

Van Dyke Parks

Profile and Interview by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 February 2010

Eccentric Van Dyke Parks finally reaches S.F. ...

Picture Sleeve Archive: The legacy of Doug Legacy and his L.A. Legends

Retrospective and Interview by Stephen M H Braitman, Goldmine, 20 April 2010

Doug Legacy & The Legends Of The West: 'Christmas In Prison' b/w 'Christmas On The Range' (Some Pun'kins Records, 1978) ...

Van Dyke Parks (2010) [transcript]

Audio transcript of interview by Holger Petersen, Rock's Backpages transcripts, 7 August 2010

This is a transcript of Holger's audio interview with Van Dyke. Listen to the audio of this interview. ...

Parks Life: An Interview with Van Dyke Parks

Interview by Terry Staunton, Record Collector, May 2011

The next few months will see the release of a series of vinyl singles by celebrated writer, arranger and producer VAN DYKE PARKS, plus the ...

Van Dyke Parks: Return of a Musical Maverick

Profile by Richard Williams, The Guardian, 15 June 2012

AS THE SMALL, white-haired, bespectacled man in a sleeveless cardigan took his seat a few rows from the front of the stalls in London's Royal ...

Van Dyke Parks Keeps On Cyclin'

Retrospective by Michael Simmons, Huffington Post, 29 March 2013

Van Dyke Parks remains in forward motion despite the fickle tastes of the Entertainment-Industrial Complex. An eloquent raconteur and great wit, he's philosophical about the ...

Van Dyke Parks: "I was victimised by Brian Wilson's buffoonery"

Retrospective and Interview by Dorian Lynskey, The Guardian, 9 May 2013

He co-wrote the Beach Boys' Smile and now works with everyone from Rufus Wainwright to Skrillex. But don't dare to call him quirky, says Van ...

Van Dyke Parks: Songs Cycled

Review and Interview by John Lewis, Uncut, June 2013

The pint-sized pope of pop candy­coats his protest songs. ...

Van Dyke Parks: Songs Cycled

Review by Holly Gleason, Paste, 23 July 2013

WITH A NOD to his wonderfully eclectic 1968 debut Song Cycle, legendary arranger/songwriter/producer Van Dyke Parks returns with the postcards from everywhere, Songs Cycled. Whether ...

see also Beach Boys, The

see also Brian Wilson


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