Tony Asher : biography
Tony Asher (born May 2, 1939) is a British-American lyricist who co-wrote eight songs on The Beach Boys 1966 album Pet Sounds in conjunction with Brian Wilson, including "God Only Knows" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice". Asher, who formally helped translate Wilson's ideas into words, had a significant influence on the album.
In Asher's own words, "The general tenor of the lyrics was often [Brian's], however the actual choice of words was usually mine. I was really just his interpreter."
Looking for a clean break from the by-then-famous "Beach Boys sound" (associated with surfing and cars) and not wanting to collaborate with any of the songwriters with whom he had previously worked, Wilson called Asher—an advertising copywriter whom he barely knew—in early January 1966 and within ten days they had started to write what would eventually become Pet Sounds, the Beach Boys' most influential album. Pet Sounds is ranked at #2 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Asher's original draft lyrics for "Good Vibrations", replaced by Wilson and Mike Love on the hit single version, were eventually re-recorded for the version released on Brian Wilson Presents Smile.
After Pet Sounds, Asher collaborated with Roger Nichols . He also wrote several songs with composer-arranger John Bahler recorded by The Partridge Family and used on their television show. As a copywriter and Creative Director at several advertising agencies (including Carson/Roberts/Inc.), Asher wrote and produced dozens of jingles for Mattel Toys, Gallo Wines, Max Factor Cosmetics, Glendale Federal Savings, and others.
After leaving the advertising agency business, Asher teamed with John Bahler to form Producer's Music Service, a successful jingle and scoring production company in Hollywood. Asher eventually went to work for Bass/Yager and Associates, a Los Angeles graphic design firm headed by designer Saul Bass. Asher spent twelve years at the firm, the last eight as President.
In addition to the Beach Boys, Asher's songs have been recorded by Roger Nichols, Captain & Tennille, Joss Stone, Glen Campbell, Jars of Clay, Jack Jones, Claudine Longet, Andy Williams, Neil Diamond, David Bowie, Mandy Moore, Olivia Newton-John, Athlete, Jonatha Brooke, Helen Reddy, Natalie Maines, Rivers Cuomo, Judie Tzuke, and others. "God Only Knows" was used as the theme for the hit HBO series Big Love and has also been included in many feature films as has "Wouldn't It Be Nice?". Asher and Wilson re-united to write an original song that was featured in the film The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.
Asher has one son, Evan, (who is married to the former Amber Mills) and lives with his wife Sheryl in the San Fernando Valley.
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