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Profiling Jack Rieley Songwriter

Photograph of the blog post author, Annika Hope

Annika Hope


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Jack Rieley Songwriter

Jack Rieley (born November 24, 1942, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA – died April 17, 2015, at the age of 72 in Berlin, Germany) was an American record producer and songwriter. He was the manager of The Beach Boys during the early 1970s. He wrote for them between mid-1970 and late 1973. Jack Rieley produced and co-wrote the 1970s albums, Sunflower, Surf’s Up, and Holland. He also wrote and produced songs for a variety of other artists, including John Lennon and Paul McCartney. 

A former journalist and disc jockey, he was the one that guided the band back to critical acclaim, with the release of “Surf’s Up”, which was the lost track from the lost album, Smile. It was released in August 1971 and changed their careers, making sure they got the attention they deserved. 

New Statesman described him as “a radio DJ turned career mentor.” 

The Beach Boys and the Grateful Dead performed together at Fillmore East in New York City on May 15, 1971. The show featured a mix of songs from both bands, including the Beach Boys’ classics “California Girls,” “Good Vibrations,” and “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” as well as Grateful Dead favorites like “Truckin’,” “Sugar Magnolia,” and “Casey Jones.” It was the first time the two bands had performed together, and the show was a huge success, with both bands receiving standing ovations at the end of the night.

Rieley collaborated with artists such as Kool & the Gang, Ride, and Jaye Muller (aka Count Jaye). In 1975, Rieley released a solo album, Western Justice. 

Western Justice 

Jack Rieley Songwriter

Western Justice, an album released in 1975, was co-written in Amsterdam in partnership with a Dutch singer-writer named Machiel Botman. Its subject matter focused on the consequences for humanity of the First World’s heedless appetite for its natural resources. It deals with the treatment of the old world powers by the newly emerging third world in the context of a global weather crisis. Rieley took the lead vocal on three songs, including the title track.

You can listen to the album here on Spotify.


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