The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson is behind some of the most acclaimed classic rock songs of all time. Interestingly, he told Alice Cooper the greatest song ever written was not a rock song. Subsequently, Cooper wanted to know why Wilson liked this song so much and Wilson responded.
What Alice Cooper thinks of The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson
Although his music is very different from The Beach Boys’, Cooper is a Beach Boys fan. During an interview with Rolling Stone, Cooper ranked The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds at No. 10 on his list of favorite albums of all time. He said there were only a few geniuses in the music industry comparable to John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Cooper said Wilson was one of them.
According to Music News, Cooper shared an interesting anecdote about Wilson “It was about 1978 or something like that,” Cooper said. “Iggy [Pop] and I were sitting there waiting — you know it was Brian Wilson one of the great writers of all time — and he sat down at the piano and starts playing ‘mama’s little baby loves shortnin’ shortnin’, mama’s little baby loves shortnin’ bread.’”
Brian Wilson really likes this widely-covered song
For context, the song Wilson was singing is called “Shortnin’ Bread.” “Shortnin’ Bread” is a children’s folk song about food based on a poem by James Whitcomb Riley. Multiple famous artists have covered it, including The Andrews Sisters, Etta James, and The Wiggles. Wilson told Cooper he really liked the song. “He goes, ‘No this is the greatest song ever written,’ dead seriously,” Cooper said.
Cooper revealed how he and Pop reacted to what Wilson said. “We were two little kids, we go, ‘Umm OK,’” he recalled. “‘Why is that the best song?’ ‘I don’t know it’s just the best song ever written.’ That’s like McCartney telling you that … you go, ‘OK — I guess you’re right.’”
How the world reacted to The Beach Boys’ version of the song
The Beach Boys covered “Shortnin’ Bread” on their album L.A. (Light Album). The Beach Boys’ “Shortnin’ Bread” is a lot more musically complex than a lot of renditions of the song. Their version of the song was not released as a single, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. L.A. (Light Album) was a minor hit in the United States. It reached No. 100 on the Billboard 200, staying on the charts for 13 weeks.
The Official Charts Company reports L.A. (Light Album) was an even bigger hit in the United Kingdom. The album reached No. 32 in the U.K., staying on the chart for six weeks. The Beach Boys’ cover of “Shortnin’ Bread” did not become a hit, but the song seemed to be very significant to Wilson.
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