Brian Wilson fans have Jeff Beck to thank for “Run James Run,” one of two new songs on the recently released Playback: The Brian Wilson Anthology.
The bouncy track with a kicking surf guitar solo pays homage to a “souped-up 32,” and stands in the long tradition of the Beach Boy’s glorious songs about cars. The inspiration came after Beck mentioned to Wilson while they were in the studio together that he owned a number of 1932 Deuce Coupes.
“While Brian and I were driving home from the studio, he stated that in his opinion, ‘What the world needs now is one last great car song!'” recalls Wilson’s collaborator Joe Thomas. “The next day, we started laying the tracks down.”
The song’s title comes from a tune Wilson wrote in the ‘60s, which he hoped would become a James Bond theme. When that didn’t happen, the song because the instrumental “Pet Sounds.” Years later, Wilson revived the title and Thomas and Wilson finished the song.
For his part, Wilson tells Billboard, “I love the lyrics on the car songs. They are just fun and they make people happy. What I like about ‘Run James Run’ is the melody, I thought that the song had an unusually good chord pattern.”
Wilson and Thomas talk more about about the track in a webisode, produced by Rhino Records, exclusively premiering below.