'Lost' Brian Wilson Country Album Will Finally Be Released

14 February 2024 | 10:57 am | Mary Varvaris

'Cows In The Pasture' is being revived with “all-star” guest vocalists, with Wilson on board as executive producer and providing vocals on one of the tracks.

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson (Source: Supplied)

In 1970, the Beach Boys frontman and solo artist Brian Wilson was working on a country music album with the band’s manager, Fred Vail.

The album, known as Cows In The Pasture, was never completed, but according to a new Rolling Stone interview, the mysterious lost album might finally see the light of day soon. Wilson was working on the LP while the Beach Boys were creating Sunflower but reportedly got “bored” with the unfinished record.

Vail and producer Sam Parker are now reviving Cows In The Pasture with “all-star” guest vocalists, with Wilson on board as executive producer for the album and providing vocals on one of the tracks.

“We never did any keeper vocals,” Vail told Rolling Stone. “They were mostly just scratch vocals that we never completed. There were no background vocals and no harmonies. It was a lot of instrumentation. And when Brian lost interest, I just moved on. It was kind of like, ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ I didn’t figure anything would ever be done with them.”

Nothing happened with the project until Vail met with fan and producer Sam Parker – the 1970 tapes came into Vail’s possession ten years ago – who suggested that the pair finish the album.

Parker has remained tight-lipped about the guests who will feature on the album, only confirming that T-Bone Burnett is involved. Parker teased, “They’re country music legends, they’re rock & roll legends, contemporary country, and pop stars too.”

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Parker then revealed that he and Wilson are working on a four-part docuseries about the mystery album, with the first episode telling Vail’s story – his voice has changed a lot since the original recordings, with the team planning a Johnny Cash-like approach to the album and accepting ageing.

The second episode will be about Cows In The Pasture, while the third episode “takes place afterwards when Fred left California and came East. Episode four concludes the whole thing with the finishing of the album.”

You can read the rest of the interview here.

In other Brian Wilson news, the singer will star on Glen Campbell Duets – Ghost On The Canvas Sessions, the upcoming tribute album that reimagines Campbell’s original 2011 album Ghost On The Canvas. He’ll be covering the song Strong.