Listeners can expect the classics "Rhapsody in Blue," "I Got Rhythm" and "Summertime," plus two "new" songs — "The Like in I Love You" and "Nothing But Love" — with Wilson music blended with never-before-published music by Gershwin. Did Wilson write new lyrics? A spokesperson told Playbill.com, "Brian worked/collaborated with two of his longtime band members on lyrics (Scott Bennett) and the orchestral arrangements (Paul Von Mertens)."
"Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin" will be in stores and online retailers on Aug. 17, with a special vinyl edition set for release Aug. 24.
Wilson said in a statement, "Along with Irving Berlin, Gershwin basically invented the popular song, but he did something more. He had a gift for melody that nobody has ever equaled, yet his music is timeless and always accessible. This is the most spiritual project I've ever worked on."
The disc is produced by Wilson, mixed by multi-Grammy winner Al Schmitt and features Wilson's band. The album, according to the label, "features the trademark stacked vocal harmonies and orchestrations that made Wilson a towering and revered figure in popular music."
An a capella version of the groundbreaking 1924 orchestral piece "Rhapsody in Blue," showcasing Wilson's vocal harmonies, opens and closes the album. "The Like in I Love You" is based on "Will You Remember Me?," a song Gershwin composed in 1924 for the musical Lady, Be Good!, which never made it into the show. "Nothing But Love" is based on "Say My Say," a 1929 song fragment the Gershwin brothers (composer George and lyricist brother Ira) never fully completed.
According to label notes, in 2009, "Warner/Chappell Music and the Gershwin estates made available to Wilson more than 100 piano demos of unfinished or obscure songs and melodies left by George Gershwin at his death in 1937. Wilson narrowed these fragments down to two favorites, then created new music blending both the Wilson and Gershwin styles."
The following is a complete track listing for "Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin":
1. "Rhapsody in Blue"/Intro
2. "The Like in I Love You"
3. "Summertime" (from Porgy and Bess)
4. "I Loves You, Porgy" (from Porgy and Bess)
5. "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin" (from Porgy and Bess)
6. "It Ain't Necessarily So" (from Porgy and Bess)
7. "'S Wonderful" (from the Broadway musical Funny Face)
8. "They Can't Take That Away from Me" (from the film "Shall We Dance")
9. "Our Love is Here to Stay" (from the film "The Goldwyn Follies")
10. "I've Got a Crush on You" (used in Broadway shows Treasure Girl and Strike Up the Band)
11. "I Got Rhythm" (from Broadway show Girl Crazy)
12. "Someone To Watch Over Me" (from Broadway show Oh Kay!)
13. "Nothing But Love"
14. "Rhapsody in Blue"/Reprise
Wilson, a Southern California native, along with his brothers, a cousin and a friend, formed the Beach Boys while still in his teens. With Wilson as chief songwriter and arranger, the band not only enjoyed dozens of hits, including "I Get Around," "Help Me, Rhonda," "California Girls," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," and the No. 1 smash "Good Vibrations."
For more information on Walt Disney Records releases, visit Disney Records.com, become a fan at Facebook.com/disneymusic or follow Twitter.com/disneymusic. For more information on Brian Wilson, visit www.brianwilson.com.