I am very picky when it comes to music podcasts, sometimes I imagine one is going to be amazing, but then find that it spends more time concentrating on ‘big mates being funny’ than the subject at hand. I don’t mean I need my pods to be po-faced, but I have been burned a lot.
Recently I fell down a Beatles rabbit hole and have been enjoying I Am The Eggpod and Nothing Is Real and then wondered if such a thing existed for the only American band I consider better than the Fab Four, The Beach Boys. Luckily I know how to use a search function and soon I landed upon this brilliant pod – Sail On.
This excellent show deep dives into every part of the band’s career, with super fans on each show giving us the reasons they love the band as well as low downs on the recordings and how Brian Wilson and his brothers came up with this magical music. And I mean deep dives, I am currently on Episode 2 about the great lost album Smile – there are nine episodes in this series on a single great record, what would the track listing be? What was recorded by whom? What was the record company thinking? Being completely obsessive about this band, I thought I knew most of the facts, but here I learn a million new things a show (did you know that Bruce Johnston is on Pink Floyd’s The Wall and that the rest of the band was going to provide backing vocals too until they pulled out and Bruce decided to stay on?) and, as every great pod should do, it sends me back to the majesty of the records. The first thing I listened to was a two parter about Wild Honey, an album that I really thought I was the only fan of, it’s great to hear other like minded souls who love Brian Wilson as I do.
The flip side of this is that there is no gatekeeping, they read out emails from fans from 14 to 70, some have spent their whole lives being fans and others have literally just found a copy of Sounds Of Summer in their parents collection, given it a spin and discovered the universal magic of music, love and mercy. Hearing the many different ways that we all came to worship in the same sonic cathedral is fascinating and adding in clips of Brian and the other Boys helps you to imagine just what it was like to be there when these records came out. Give it a go, it is brilliant.
Just checked them on Youtube and they had this video of Cubby Safari, a song for a Chicago Cubs album. Always something new to learn!
Sail On is available wherever you get your podcasts. GO!