Brian Wilson is back in the studio. Capitol Music Group announced in a release today that the legendary songwriter is at work on his 11th solo record at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles and will go out on a short tour with his former bandmates Al Jardine and David Marks.
The record is the first original solo material from Wilson since 2008's That Lucky Old Sun. (His two most recent albums, 2011's In the Key of Disney and Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin, were both stocked with covers of others' material.) Last year, the Beach Boys released That's Why God Made the Radio, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.
For the album, Wilson has brought in guitarist Jeff Beck, who he said he has wanted to work with since 2005. "Jeff’s incredible guitar playing is exactly what I want for my new album,” said Wilson in a statement. In addition to Beck, former beach Boys Al Jardine and David Marks, session players like Don Was and members of Wilson's touring band, including Paul Mertens, Jeffrey Foskett and more are working with Wilson. More details are expected soon.
Capitol Music Group CEO Steve Barnett expressed excitement at the prospect of new Wilson material, writing in a statement that "Brian Wilson is simply one of the most important figures in the history of popular music, and he continues to have a far-reaching and influential impact on our culture. His contributions to the legacy of Capitol Records are immeasurable, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that he is once again part of the Capitol family and that he is already employing his enormous musical powers to create new music. What a pleasure for me to say, 'Welcome back, Brian'."
Notable, though not surprising, is the absence of any mention of Mike Love, a founding member of the group (and cousin to Brian Wilson). Around the release of Wilson's long-anticipated solo record SMiLE in 2004, Love sued Wilson for misrepresentation after a promotional campaign for the record. The suit was dismissed entirely. As well, following the group's 50th anniversary tour in 2012, Love made it clear that Wilson, Jardine and Marks wouldn't, ironically, be performing as The Beach Boys. At the time, Wilson said that he was "disappointed and can't understand why he doesn't want to tour with Al, David and me. We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys."