Brian Wilson will reportedly complete at least two unfinished works by composer George Gershwin for an upcoming release, the Los Angeles Times reports. Wilson received authorization from the Gershwin estate to work on the unfinished songs, which are more than seven decades old. Wilson told the LAT he was “thrilled to death” by the prospect of completing Gershwin’s work, adding “I’m proud to be able to do it. Hopefully I’ll be able to do them justice.”
While the pieces that Wilson will be working on will likely remain instrumentals, the Beach Boy didn’t rule out the possibility of transforming Gershwin’s music into one of his trademark pop songs or something even bigger in scope. Wilson also plans to release an album’s worth of Gershwin music next year, the LAT writes. Gershwin died at the age of 38 in 1937, leaving behind dozens of unfinished works ranging from mere bars to nearly completed songs.
Five years ago, Wilson salvaged another decades-old, unfinished masterpiece when he finally completed his supposed Pet Sounds follow-up Smile. “Smile is Rhapsody in Blue circa 2004,” Brad Rosenberger, senior vice president of catalog development and marketing for Warner/Chappell, said in comparing Wilson’s album to one of Gershwin’s most memorable works. “It’s very experimental, very rich and very melodic and really pushed popular music.” The Los Angeles Times also reports that a tribute album comprised of Gershwin’s unfinished works and produced by Phil Ramone is also in the works, with a 2010 release date eyed.