Artist: NEIL COWLEY TRIO
Single Track: ‘Let’s Go Away For A While’
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Beach Boy’s iconic album, Pet Sounds
Recorded: April 2012 for Mojo Magazine, available May 16th 2016
Fifty years ago today, The Beach Boys released their iconic recording, Pet Sounds. Universally hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time it was a vast departure from the bands’ then commercial sound and often cited as one of the first ever true ‘concept albums’.
In 2012, Mojo Magazine selected a cast of contemporary artists to celebrate one the most phenomenal albums of all time and the sheer genius displayed on the original.
Neil Cowley Trio was given free rein to express themselves on the collection. They chose to re-imagine the romantic instrumental, ‘Let’s Go Away For A While’.
Where Brian Wilson employed twelve violins, a piano, four saxes, oboes, vibes, two basses, percussion and “a guitar with a coke bottle on the strings for a semi-steel guitar effect”, the trio reworked the track using their trademark progressive piano-bass-drums approach.
‘We’ve only recorded three covers in the life of this band (the others being The Beatles ‘Revolution No.9’ ( also for Mojo) and ‘Pinball Number Count’ from Sesame Street) and it’s always a quandary” says Cowley, “do we affect our sound or just do what we do live? We inevitably stick to the true sound that we make. On this one our compromise was to stick a fat 1960’s reverb on Evan’s drums. The rest is just how we felt playing chords from 1966 on a spring day in 2012! It felt right by the third time we played it – it has our usual elements, the poignant melancholy and the army over the hill at the end. It’s us in a nutshell.”
‘We’d just done a London gig at the Queen Elizabeth Hall (as you can see in the redness around my eyes in the video!) Didn’t Brian Wilson spend 10 years in bed? I’m trying for 11.’