Toward the end of the 1960s, Wilson made forays into more experimental song structures and production methods. Things shifted in 1967 and the mastermind handed the reins over to Carl Wilson, his younger brother, though Brian continued to occasionally collaborate throughout the early to mid-'70s. Throughout his time in the band, Wilson rarely toured.
Sadly, Wilson suffered a long run of troubles after that, with drugs and mental illness leading to a stint of reclusiveness. In 1988, he emerged from isolation with a solo album, but failed to find an audience despite the Beach Boys enjoying a simultaneously resurgence with “Kokomo.”
Wilson took a chance on Sweet Insanity as his second solo set. However, his label refused to release it. Undaunted, Wilson found his way back to a musical comrade from decades past, Van Dyke Parks. Together, they crafted Orange Crate Art in 1995. That year, Wilson also put together the soundtrack for I Just Wasn't Made for These Times, a documentary about him.
Three years later, Wilson tried to mine his past once again with Imagination as he invoked some of the lush production techniques employed by the Beach Boys at the height of their success. Fans failed to flock his way.
Embarking on some of his first tours ever after the turn of the millenium, Wilson fronted a band in support of his solo albums. The shows resulted in Live at the Roxy Theatre in 2000 and Pet Sounds Live in 2002.
The ground gained by those projects was lost, yet again, with Wilson's 2004 studio effort, Gettin' in Over My Head. He was already once step ahead of himself anyway, pulling together new recordings and a live production of the Beach Boys classic SMiLE record.
On February 20, 2004 London's Royal Festival Hall hosted the SMiLE debut. Finally, Wilson earned the glowing praise and audiences he'd been chasing for three decades. He even took the show on the road and won a Grammy.
Although late 2005 saw the release of What I Really Want for Christmas, the next big notch on Wilson's belt came when London's Southbank Centre commissioned a piece to open their 2007 season. Wilson offered up That Lucky Old Sun, a conceptual project that featured Parks and members of Wilson's SMiLE band. It made its live debut in September at the Royal Festival Hall with the album following in short order.
Having found a fit with American vocal standards on That Lucky Old Sun, Wilson dug further into the genre for 2010's Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin. The set included two previously unfinished George Gershwin piano compositions that Wilson completed at the request of Gershwin's estate.
Wilson took the formula even further in 2011 with In the Key of Disney, his reimagining of 11 classic Disney tunes.