Re: Serious Omission - Where's Dennis Wilson?
Just felt I had to respond to this thread. Did you realise that Brian Wilson actually replaced *all* of the Beach Boys on Pet Sounds & Smile (including Good Vibrations) ... he basically got in a session band. So this was not a comment on Dennis' drumming ability, but rather more to do with Brian's musical/production ambitions (and also worth noting that Brian himself was not a virtuoso player - he played little on those recordings). Brian basically left the 'touring' band in about '65 so whilst Dennis et al. were on the road Brian was at home writing and recording - so logistics were a big factor. Also worth remembering that in the 60s it was common practice for record labels to get session players in to record (studio costs were high and session players had studio experience and could get the job done in one or two takes). For example Roger McGuinn was the only Byrd to play on their first album!
Something else worth remembering is that Dennis was a multi-instrumentalist and a songwriter. I also think that one of the strengths of the Beach Boys is that they weren't snobby about getting musicians in to help - for example Ricky Fataar in later line ups. This didn't mean Dennis wasn't doing anything - he was playing keys, singing and songwriting (listen to "Cuddle Up" ... awesome song!).
I my opinion classification of "great drummer" is so subjective to be meaningless. Dennis was not technically amasing ... however he was extremely talented as an all round musician and brought a level of feel to his performance that would be beyond many technically proficient drummers.