We’re extremely proud to bring you an exclusive first listen to a surprising release from The Beach Boys archives. In the vast, complicated, and dysfunctional story of Brian Wilson, only one recording could prove more shocking than their Charles Manson cover. In 1969, the band’s contract with Capitol Records came to an end, and their final release for the label was a single, “Break Away.” Though not a hit, it was notable for a mysterious collaborator, “Reggie Dunbar,” who was in fact Brian’s father, Murry. Considering the band and Brian’s contentious relationship with their father, it certainly seems odd that the would collaborate together. But the story of “Break Away” just recently had a new chapter added to it thanks to a brand new release from Omnivore Recordings credited to Murry Wilson & Snow.
At some point in 1969, Murry’s friend and protégé Rick Henn (frontman of the Murry-formed band The Sunrays) introduced Wilson to an unknown midwestern vocal group Snow. Wilson and Henn produced a handful of tracks which went into the vault and were seemingly forgotten about. On Friday, these four songs will finally see their release a half century after their recording. During these sessions the group recorded “Break Away,” and we are happy to be sharing it with you today.
What’s the take-away from this version of “Break Away?” It sounds like Henn and both Brian and Murry had an appreciation for the burgeoning sunshine pop scene. It’s impossible to deny the influence of The Association and Curt Boettcher in the gorgeous harmonies. Is it better than the Beach Boys’ version? We’ll let you make that call.
Purchase Murry Wilson & Snow The Break Away EP: Omnivore Recordings