In celebration of their 20th year as recording artists, Wilson Phillips releases Dedicated, the album that the groundbreaking female vocal trio was always destined to make. The 11-song set, to be released by Sony Masterworks on April 3, is a long-anticipated tribute to the legendary groups – The Beach Boys and Mamas & The Papas.
The collection is made up entirely of classic songs by Brian Wilson's Beach Boys, father of Wendy and Carnie Wilson; and of John and Michelle Phillips' Mamas & The Papas, parents of Chynna Phillips. As the title indicates, it includes the iconic track Dedicated To The One I Love, the latter group's 1967 hit, along with other Mamas & The Papas landmark singles like California Dreamin’, Monday Monday, Twelve-Thirty and Got A Feeling. From The Beach Boys catalog are equally artful Wilson Phillips interpretations of Wouldn't It Be Nice, God Only Knows, Don't Worry Baby, In My Room and Good Vibrations.
"It really is the perfect time to do this album," says Carnie Wilson. "These songs are beloved classics for all time and they make so many people happy. It's an homage to the music, and we dedicated it to the groups that created it."
The group is now back in the spotlight following its memorable performance of Hold On in the blockbuster film Bridesmaids. Chynna has since shown herself as a skilled dancer and endearing competitor on ABC’s hit show, Dancing with the Stars. Carnie, meanwhile, has hosted Karaoke USA and appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap.
Wilson Phillips has previously recorded songs by their parents. The Beach Boys Dance, Dance, Dance and In My Room, and Mamas & The Papas Monday, Monday, all appeared on their third album California (2004). The Beach Boys' Our Prayer was the closing track on Wilson Phillips' most recent album, Christmas In Harmony (2010).
Dedicated was produced by Carnie's husband Rob Bonfiglio, with reverence for the original recordings, but from a contemporary standpoint. "The basic arrangements and rhythms are really true," says Carnie, "but vocally we've added some new twists and tag endings. Specifically on The Beach Boys songs, which were all male voices, it's really cool that they're coming from women: Chynna's vocal on Don't Worry Baby, and Wendy's on Wouldn't It Be Nice, are really sweet and endearing, and work beautifully. On Good Vibrations, we did all this stuff a cappella! Even the instrumental parts, like emulating the theremin, which I did."
As for the Mamas & The Papas' tunes, Carnie notes that “the haunting Got A Feeling came out particularly great”; another standout, Twelve-thirty, was "made for Wilson Phillips! It's always been a bit under the radar, and I think we'll bring new attention to it."
While Carnie has worked with her father on various projects, she and her bandmates decided, after great debate, to make Dedicated without his input. But they did enlist Owen Elliot, daughter of Mamas & The Papas' late vocalist Cass Elliot, to sing on Dedicated To The One I Love.
"She's been my best friend for 25 years," Carnie explains. “I know this is a Wilson Phillips album, but in honor of Cass, we wanted her to be a part of it. We were literally all bawling hysterically every time we did a take, because she sounds so much like her mother that it came out beyond the beyond! We knew that if we did it, it would have to be really special.”
“Choosing the material was torture because there was so much to pick from,” says Carnie. “But we all have a very strong feeling about the album and the songs. We've been doing In My Room, God Only Knows and California Dreamin’ on stage for a long time now, and the response is always phenomenal."
Wilson Phillip fans have been dreaming for an album like Dedicated since the group topped the charts in 1990 with their debut hit Hold On. Two more chart-toppers, Release Me and You're In Love followed, further establishing the threesome as a harmony vocal group worthy of its parentage.
In addition to the forthcoming release of Dedicated, the lifelong friends will star in Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On, a reality show documenting the group’s adventures in and out of the recording studio. The show debuts on Sunday, April 8th, 2012 on the TV Guide Network. Throughout the year, Wilson Phillips will tour across the U.S. and Canada in support of the new album.
To celebrate the debut of their much-anticipated new album, Wilson Phillips is scheduled to make a special live appearance on leading multimedia retailer QVC Tuesday, March 20 at 7 AM (ET) and 10 PM (ET). During the broadcasts, the trio will not only perform a selection of songs from Dedicated but will also share the inspirations and personal stories behind the CD. Fans will also have the opportunity to pre-order Dedicated, which has been specially packaged for QVC with an eight-track bonus disk.