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Dennis Wilson's "Pacific Ocean Blue" Resurfaces

July 21, 2008 3:05 PM ET

Much has always been made about the complicated psychology and tormented life of Brian Wilson, but he wasn't the only Beach Boy torturned by demons and capable of producing a masterpiece. Drummer Dennis Wilson struggled with alcohol and family problems but managed to produce the recently re-released lost classic Pacific Ocean Blue. "Dennis spent all those years with Brian as his teacher," says Gregg Jacobson, who co-wrote most of the songs on Pacific Ocean Blue. "He had the same gene-pool talent as his brothers. He just sat on his until it finally bubbled over." Click below for more on Pacific Ocean Blue.

Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue Resurfaces

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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