I love that message." Wilson has cited Burt Bacharach as his favorite songwriter.

He noted, "Somebody could go in right after Brian's session and try to record, and they could never get the sound he got. I love peaks in a song – and enhancing them on the control panel.

Most of all, I love the human voice for its own sake." Starting with the 1970 sessions for the Surf's Up album, engineer Stephen Desper remembers the emerging corrosive effects of Wilson's incessant chain smoking and cocaine use: "He could still do falsettos and stuff, but he'd need Carl to help him. So many things have scared me in my life – I've got fears, lots of stuff.

In "He's a Doll", Lambert notices a pattern that shows "Brian was not just enamored with the Spector 'sound' but also with the way Spector creates musical interrelationships through [a] kind of internal repetition".

He was also "recycling ideas with remarkable frequency, but he was also stretching his creative muscles by challenging himself to create diverse contexts for similar resources." After December 1965, Wilson endeavored to "take the things I learned from Phil Spector and use more instruments whenever I could.

Either that or I'd modify the tape speed-wise to make it artificially higher, so it sounded like the old days." I've read monographs on the Beach Boys that describe Wilson as a self-conscious artist, fully aware of musical history. He came across as a typical rock autodidact, deeply insecure about his creative instincts, terrified that the songs he was working on were too arty to sell. I mean, boy, just all the records that have scared me. It's heavy." Alice Cooper reported that Wilson once considered the traditional standard "Shortnin' Bread" to be the greatest song ever written, as he quotes Wilson for an explanation: "I don't know, it's just the best song ever written." He recalled: "Around our house, when I was a child, I heard things from my parents' record collection like Les Paul and Mary Ford, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Rosemary Clooney, and the Four Freshmen. To try to describe exactly what each influence was is hard to explain because it's very subtle, but it can be felt when you listen to my music.

As a result of this ambivalence, he never realized his full potential as a composer. I pressed him to agree that his music resembled [Gabriel] Fauré's—I wanted to prove my point to the Times. I don't think people realize just how much Rosemary Clooney affected my singing. I would sing along with it ["Hey There"], studying her phrasing, and that's how I learned to sing with feeling." John Sebastian of the Lovin' Spoonful noted, "Brian had control of this vocal palette of which we had no idea.

He explains that Wilson's history of torment, substance abuse, and "loopy" material "certify" him as an outsider artist. He was surprised to learn of Brian's arranging ability, recalling Brian's "economic" use of a relatively low number of players: "Because if you've got 40 strings, somebody'll be playing the right notes. By singing along to those records that's how I learned how to sing falsetto.

But when you've only got 4 or 5 or a small number of voices, everything's audible, and there's nothing to distract people's ear from what you're writing." Friend Danny Hutton highlighted Brian's studio proficiency, citing what he believed to be an extraordinary talent at harnessing several different studio spaces while piecing together discrete instrumental patterns and timbres cohesively. I would sing along to songs like 'I'm Always Chasing Rainbows,' 'I'll Remember April' and 'Day by Day'." He added, "The harmonies that we [the Beach Boys] are able to produce give us a uniqueness which is really the only important thing you can put into records – some quality that no one else has got.

I purged all kinds of bullshit and picked up the Freshmen. Total magic." Taking this into mind, Philip Lambert noted, "If Bob Flanigan helped teach Brian how to sing, then Gershwin, Kern, Porter, and the other members of this pantheon helped him learn how to craft a song." Wilson continued: "I learned them bar by bar. Then I'd stop and try to figure it out, back and forth, back and forth, until I figured the whole song out." Brian later reflected: "I was unable to really think as a producer up until the time where I really got familiar with Phil Spector's work.

That was when I started to design the experience to be a record rather than just a song." He explains: "Before Spector, people recorded all the instruments separately.

I doubled up on basses and tripled up on keyboards, which made everything sound bigger and deeper." Modern Folk Quartet's Henry Diltz recalled Wilson at the studio during the sessions: "we could see him in the recording booth, in his robe and slippers, sitting there playing our song over and over, for what seemed like hours".