Glen Campbell & Brian Wilson – “Strong”

Glen Campbell & Brian Wilson – “Strong”

The late country-pop icon Glen Campbell had a long history with Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson. As a member of the famous early-’60s session-musician nucleus known retroactively as the Wrecking Crew, Campbell played on a ton of Beach Boys records, including Pet Sounds. When Wilson suffered a nervous breakdown and stopped touring with his group, Campbell filled in for him on tour, and he also played on Pet Sounds. Now, a new version of a song that Campbell wrote and recorded late in life has been retrofitted as a duet with Brian Wilson.

Glen Campbell died of Alzheimer’s in 2017, before making a series of records that reckoned with his mortality. The forthcoming album Duets – Ghost On The Canvas Sessions features different luminaries singing on remixed versions of tracks from 2011’s Ghost On The Canvas, Campbell’s farewell album. We’ve already posted the tracks that feature Eric Church, Eric Clapton, and Hope Sandoval, and now we get to hear the version of “Strong” with Brian Wilson.

Campbell co-wrote “Strong” with producer Julian Raymond, and it’s a moving picture of someone who’s trying to maintain composure for his family when he’s staring down his own ending. Wilson has added his own lead vocals, as well as some of those pillowy choirboy harmonies that he so famously arranged. It’s awfully heavy to hear these two weathered voices — one gone now, another presumably near the end — singing this song together, even if they didn’t sing it together in real life. Listen below.

Duets – Ghost On The Canvas Sessions is out 4/19 on Big Machine.

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