Brian Wilson released a breezy new surf-rock song, “Run James Run,” from his upcoming solo career retrospective LP, Playback: The Brian Wilson Anthology. The track – which the Beach Boys mastermind co-wrote with Joe Thomas and recorded in 2017, specifically for the project – opens with a British Invasion guitar jangle before incorporating a bluesy electric strut and layers of wordless vocal harmony.
“Run James Run” is one of two previously unissued tracks on Playback, along with the horn-driven “Some Sweet Day,” which he and frequent collaborator Andy Paley originally recorded for a movie in the early Nineties.
“The idea was that it would be sung by a female in the style of a Sixties girl-group like the Chiffons,” Paley told Rolling Stone of the track. “It ultimately didn’t end up getting recorded with a woman’s voice but still I like the recording with Brian singing lead.”
The remainder of Playback, out September 22nd, features material from Wilson’s solo LPs, including a pair of live recordings from 2000.
Wilson is currently touring as part of a long-running trek launched last year to honor the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys’ landmark LP, Pet Sounds. In a recent Rolling Stone profile, the songwriter said the grind of live show helps him feel young.
“I’m getting older, but I don’t give a goddamn,” he said. “I can still sing my ass off. I’m only 74. Which is a fucked age, but I don’t mind it. When I sing onstage, I ain’t 74. I sound like a 30-year-old! That feels good. I get a little break from being 74.”