Gettin' In Over My Head

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Gettin' in Over My Head
Studio album by Brian Wilson
Released June 22, 2004
Recorded 1996, 2002–04
Genre Rock
Length 53:08
Label Brimel/Rhino
Producer Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson chronology
Pet Sounds Live
(2002)Pet Sounds Live2002
Gettin' In Over My Head
Brian Wilson Presents Smile
(2004)Brian Wilson Presents Smile2004
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau 2/5 stars[2]/
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[4]

Gettin' in Over My Head is the fifth studio album by Brian Wilson. It marked his third solo album of new studio material. It was recorded over several years and, making use of many previously written songs never before released, was issued in mid-2004 on Rhino Records. The album reached number 100 in the US during a chart stay of 1 week. It also reached number 53 in the UK.

Featuring celebrity guests, such as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Eric Clapton and the late Carl Wilson, Gettin' in Over My Head received satisfactory reviews upon release but was not commercially successful. Sir Peter Blake created the cover art and assigned 2004 Brian Wilson Presents Smile artist Mark London to art direct the rest of the package.


Most tracks from the album were not new material, but rather a collection of older, unreleased tracks and riffs from the past. The tracks "Make a Wish", "Fairy Tale", "Rainbow Eyes" and "Don't Let Her Know She's an Angel" are re-recorded songs from Wilson's 1990/1991 sessions from the abandoned Sweet Insanity. The lyrics to "Rainbow Eyes" were slightly rewritten to change "sweet insanity" to "sweet conspiracy". The track "Desert Drive" is based around riffs over 40 years old. Furthermore, with the concurrent live performances of the recently completed Smile album, and the announcement of its impending issue on CD, it completely overshadowed Gettin' in Over My Head's release, with all attention going to the former. There was a limited edition set of prints created by artist Sir Peter Blake in 2004.[citation needed]

One songwriter who was reached for a collaboration was XTC's Andy Partridge who explains: "I rang up a lot of people ... and heard quite a few stories that would put off any sane person from getting involved in the Brian Wilson camp ... They said he would call me ... either he changed his mind, or the management changed his mind, or maybe he just forgot, because I've heard stories of people who've gone over to work with him, and he's not acknowledged them being in the room for days. ... he's definitely in the Wilsonverse, I don't think he's in the known universe. ... one of the few people you can actually call genius, I think, so hey, he can be as nutty as he wants."[5]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "How Could We Still Be Dancin?" (featuring Elton John) Brian Wilson, Joe Thomas 4:42
2. "Soul Searchin'" (featuring Carl Wilson) Wilson, Andy Paley 4:07
3. "You've Touched Me" Wilson, Steve Kalinich 3:21
4. "Gettin in Over My Head" Wilson, Paley 4:27
5. "City Blues" (featuring Eric Clapton) Wilson, Scott Bennett 4:20
6. "Desert Drive" Wilson, Paley 3:34
7. "A Friend Like You" (featuring Paul McCartney) Wilson, Kalinich 3:37
8. "Make A Wish" Wilson 3:49
9. "Rainbow Eyes" Wilson 4:06
10. "Saturday Morning In The City" Wilson, Paley 2:53
11. "Fairy Tale" Wilson, David Foster 5:28
12. "Don't Let Her Know She's an Angel" Wilson 4:17
13. "The Waltz" Wilson, Van Dyke Parks 4:09
  • Tracks 8, 9, 12 and 13 originally recorded for the scrapped Sweet Insanity album


Additional Musicians
  • Scott Bennett - Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Vibraphone and Background Vocals
  • Eric Clapton - Lead Guitar on "City Blues"
  • Amy Farris - Viola and Violin
  • Jeffrey Foskett - Guitar and Background Vocals
  • Probyn Gregory - French Horn, Guitar, Keyboards, Trombone and Trumpet
  • Jim Hines - Drums and Percussion
  • Sandra Jensen - Violin
  • Elton John - Piano and Vocals on "How Could We Still Be Dancin"
  • Peter Kent - Violin
  • Greg Leisz - Guitar
  • Bob Lizik - Bass
  • Paul McCartney - Acoustic Guitar and Vocals on "A Friend Like You"
  • Paul Mertens - Clarinet, Flute, Harmonica and Saxophone
  • Andy Paley - Percussion and Background Vocals
  • Michael Rhodes - Bass
  • Carol Robbins - Harp
  • Darian Sahanaja - Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Vibraphone and Background Vocals
  • Rudolph Stein - Cello
  • Todd Sucherman - Drums and Percussion
  • Joe Thomas - Keyboards
  • Nick Walusko - Guitar
  • Carl Wilson - Vocals on "Soul Searchin'"


  1. ^
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan; with Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York, NY: Fireside/Simon & Schuster. p. 880. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  5. ^ Partridge, Andy (February 1, 2008). "" (Audio).