A year ago next week songwriter/musician/producer, Jonathan Wilson, released his sophomore LP, Gentle Spirit – a record I was hipped to shortly thereafter, digging my heels in deep.  I’ve since been exploring related Wilson ephemera, most recently his re-working of “La Isla Bonita“, culled from a 2007 Madonna tribute compilation. And while it’s by no means a favorite Madge tune, I bring it up here as Wilson’s re-imagining is both interesting and inventive. Ditching the vaguely ‘latin feel’ and arrangement of the original, Wilson takes things down Crazyhorse lane opening up with a prelude that sounds like an excerpt from ‘The Other One, before transitioning (via ‘War Pigs‘, no less) into the meat of the song – which itself sounds a bit like a twisted homage to “Cortez The Killer“. Or… something like that.

California coast and canyon incarnate, this guy.

MP3: Jonathan Wilson :: La Isla Bonita (Madonna)

21 Responses to “Jonathan Wilson :: La Isla Bonita (Madonna)”

  1. That is awesome.

  2. Fuck yes. Just drive Topanga this morning listening to Gentle Spirit. Kismet?

  3. Mads goes to Zuma Beach… & Jonathan’s cool. Cheers!

  4. This has been on my JW playlist for such a long time. First time I heard it, I was astonished that he was doing a Madonna. Everything he touches seems to be magical and his own.

  5. Genius

  6. Golden touch, this guy. Great track!

  7. He released a cd before Gentle Spirit called Frankie Ray. Its hard to find a copy.

  8. hence, the descriptor, “sophomore LP”.

  9. Haha “hence the descriptor!” Was Frankie Ray released anywhere? Available as an import? I’ve heard “Your Ears are Burning,” is it from that album?

  10. LOVE love LOVE his sound!! The first song I heard of his was Desert Raven on a Relix CD sampler. Thanks for sharing!

  11. whoa. now, i gotta check out his entire catalogue.

  12. a nice one . . . he’s referenced at the end of that big coffee table book that came out a few years ago on Laurel Canyon as the “next gen” of that sound, along his running mates, dawes; then, lo and behold, they both seem to come out of nowhere, (i.e., the canyons of LA).

  13. D. Cook,
    You’re talking about ‘canyon of dreams,’ right? That books is pretty great. Fetishizes the canyons for sure. Laurel still feels the same.
    – A

  14. Love it!

  15. This song is sweet – now go listen to BOC – Then Came the Last Days of May.

    P Greens Fleetwood Mac > Sabbath > Blue Oyster Cult.

  16. Frankie Ray was pulled from Itunes last year. JW will probably remix based on the reception of Gentle Spirit. If you look hard enough, you can find at least two more albums worth of material out there. JW is a beast!!!

  17. If your interested in more of Jonathan’s work. check out Muscadine 1997 album on Sire Records.


    Jonathan shared vocals with Benji Hughes thru out the record. I saw them play when they lived here in Charlotte, North Carolina. Great live band. Benji Hughes still lives here in Charlotte and has released a record as well.


  18. […] more and more artists who seem to find their true voice a little further down the weathered track (Jonathan Wilson and Hiss Golden Messenger are two others who come to mind). However the hell you end up discovering […]

  19. […] became familiar with Jonathan Wilson via a post on Aquarium Drunkard where he covered Madge’s La Isla Bonita. It was simply amazing and had me […]

  20. […] those not familiar with Jonathan Wilson, he is a fantastic talent and producer. Check out the this link to hear him do an unreal cover of Madonna’s La Isla Bonita, complete with War Pigs riff. There […]

  21. […] those not familiar with Jonathan Wilson, he is a fantastic talent and producer. Check out the this link to hear him do an unreal cover of Madonna’s La Isla Bonita, complete with War Pigs riff. There […]

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