Archive for the ‘The Beach Boys’ Category
Isn’t It Time! Beach Boys Reissues Confirmed For U.S., Two “Greatest Hits” Sets Also Arriving! [UPDATED 9/10]
UPDATE 9/10: It appears that the mono/stereo catalogue remasters for The Beach Boys will now arrive from Capitol/EMI on October 9 in North America, alongside the two greatest hits sets, not the previously announced September 25. As of today’s date, we have not confirmed any change of date for the international releases. Watch this space for any further updates!
BREAKING NEWS 8/8: The Beach Boys have announced plans for the CD and digital release of two new commemorative hits collections by Capitol/EMI on September 24th outside of North America and on October 9th in North America. 12 remastered Beach Boys studio albums will also be released by Capitol/EMI on September 24th outside of North America and on September 25th in North America.
For many years, The Beach Boys have happily embraced the title of “America’s band.” And why not? The group proved the stateside answer to the Beatles, both commercially and artistically, in the band’s heyday of the 1960s, and has rarely stopped since then in spreading the California gospel of “fun, fun, fun” to audiences worldwide. Sure, like any family, The Beach Boys have had more than their share of growing pains and rough patches. But the American spirit is embodied in The Beach Boys’ resilience, tenacity and optimism, so beautifully expressed in the band’s current, headline-making 50th Anniversary reunion tour featuring Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks, and on the band’s new album, That’s Why God Made the Radio. Late last year, Capitol Records promised “commemorative catalog releases” among the Beach Boys’ plans for 2012. Now, it has been confirmed that those releases are on the schedule!
The website of EMI Japan first revealed that exciting plans were underway. A group of twelve remastered titles were released in Japan on July 25, and these are the same reissues due in the U.S. on September 25. Ten of these albums contain both mono and stereo versions, which is particularly exciting news because many of The Beach Boys’ most enduring early classics have never before been available in true stereo. The rundown is as follows, now with pre-order links!
- Surfin’ USA (Capitol ST-1890, 1963)
- Surfer Girl (Capitol ST-1981, 1963)
- Little Deuce Coupe (Capitol ST-1998, 1963)
- Shut Down Vol.2 (Capitol ST-2027, 1964)
- All Summer Long (Capitol ST-2110, 1964)
- The Beach Boys Today! (Capitol T-2269, 1965)
- Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!) (Capitol T-235, 1965)
- Beach Boys’ Party! (Capitol DMAS-2398, 1965)
- Pet Sounds (Capitol T-2458, 1966)
- Smiley Smile (Brother 9001, 1967)
- Sunflower (Brother/Reprise RS 6382, 1970)
- Surf’s Up (Brother/Reprise RS 6453, 1971)
In addition, two newly-curated compilations will also arrive from America’s Band, both of which are due on October 9 in America. Greatest Hits features 20 of the band’s most popular songs, including “California Girls,” “Good Vibrations,” “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “God Only Knows,” “Kokomo,” their latest single “That’s Why God Made The Radio,” and many more. (This collection offers ten fewer tracks than 2003′s smash Sounds of Summer.) More enticing is Greatest Hits: 50 Big Ones. Taking its title cue from 1976′s 15 Big Ones, this 2-CD deluxe set offers two tracks from 2012 hit album That’s Why God Made the Radio including the title song and the new single version of “Isn’t It Time?” This 2-CD box seems to have been compiled based on the band’s recent concert setlists, including favorites such as “All This is That,” “Add Some Music to Your Day,” “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times,” “Cotton Fields,” and “California Saga” that haven’t frequently appeared on Greatest Hits sets. The inclusion of these tracks makes for a fine souvenir of the record-breaking reunion tour. The lift-top package also includes an expanded booklet with liner notes by Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild and seven postcards. (Oddly, “Be True to Your School” is on the single-disc edition, but not the 2-CD version.)
Hit the jump for more details on these upcoming reissues including full track listings for both compilations! Plus: a new Blu-Ray/DVD documentary is also on the way! And please join us for a special survey! Read the rest of this entry »
Frank Zappa, Official Reissues #1-13 (Zappa/UMe)
The iconoclastic musician’s catalogue is back in print thanks to a new agreement with Universal, and his first 13 albums (most of them newly remastered from the original analog masters) are available today. Joe gave us a great breakdown of what’s what on these new masters, which also has convenient links to both these new titles and the forthcoming second wave of remasters next month.
Blur, Blur 21 (Virgin/EMI)
21 refers not only to the legendary British band’s lifespan to date, but the amount of discs in this collection: all seven studio albums expanded with bonus discs (which are available separately, if that’s your thing), plus another four discs of rarities and three mostly live DVDs.
Neil Diamond, Hot August Night: 40th Anniversary Edition (Geffen/UMe)
Hard to believe it’s been 40 years since Neil’s second, terrific live LP was issued! This two-disc edition adds four unreleased tracks, offering just about every minute of that fateful night at LA’s Greek Theatre.
Elvis Presley, I Am An Elvis Fan (RCA/Legacy)
The latest Elvis compilation was fan-sourced, leading to some slightly different track choices than your typical Elvis fare, including a nice handful of live cuts from the latter half of the King’s career.
Charles Mingus, The Complete Columbia & RCA Studio Albums Collection / The Thelonious Monk Quartet, The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection / Weather Report, The Complete Columbia Albums 1971-1975 (Columbia/Legacy)
PopMarket’s latest complete boxes showcase some of the best jazz/fusion players to ever grace the Columbia label, and there are some great surprises in these boxes, including two rare tracks in the Mingus box and the first-ever domestic release of a Japanese live album in the Weather Report set.
20/20, 2o/20/Look Out! ; Clover, Clover/Fourty Niner ; Jimmy Griffin, Summer Holiday: Expanded Edition ; Sanford & Townsend, Smoke from a Distant Fire/Nail Me to the Wall ; Charles Bukowski, Charles Bukowski Reads His Poetry ; Jackie Gleason, Music for Lovers Only (Real Gone)
A diverse selection of releases from the eclectic reissue label: “The Great One,” the future Bread frontman, an American poet, a future Elvis Costello backing band and more!
Various Artists, Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Songbook (Columbia/Sony Music Japan)
A quirky compilation from Japan (on Blu-Spec CD, no less) featuring some intriguing Beach Boys covers from the likes of Todd Rundgren, The Tokens, Andy Williams and others.
2012 has been a big year for The Beach Boys, and the fun, fun, fun shows little sign of abating any time soon. While we still wait for more details on the possible U.S. arrival of a series of reissued original albums, Sony Music Japan is celebrating with a unique tribute to America’s band. Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Songbook is a 25-track compilation drawn mostly, but not exclusively, from the Sony family of labels including Columbia, RCA Victor, Arista, Buddah and Bang, and offers a number of lesser-known tracks from many familiar artists. All of the songs chosen just prove the depth of the Beach Boys’ catalogue.
There have been plenty of Beach Boys tribute compilations over the years, from Risky Business Records’ 1995 Got You Covered! Songs of the Beach Boys (with Glen Campbell, Pat Boone and The Surfaris on its roster) to Sanctuary’s 2002 Brit-centric Guess I’m Dumb: Songs of the Beach Boys (featuring P.P. Arnold, The Ivy League and Tony Rivers & The Castaways). The new Good Vibrations shares tracks with both of those, actually, but also offers some rarely-anthologized tracks from a wide range of artists including The Cowsills, Paul Davis, Melissa Manchester, Nick DeCaro, California Music, Petula Clark and more!
The emphasis, naturally, is on the songs of Brian Wilson; he’s the man responsible for writing each of the songs on Good Vibrations with the exception of two renditions of Bruce Johnston’s “Disney Girls.” The nostalgic song first appeared on The Beach Boys’ 1971 Surf’s Up as “Disney Girls (1957).” It’s heard from both Johnston himself, dating to his 1977 solo album Going Public, and from “Mama” Cass Elliot on her 1972 self-titled LP. Johnston makes a number of appearances on the new compilation. He and Carl Wilson both joined Elliot on her “Disney Girls,” and as one-half of the duo Bruce and Terry (with Terry Melcher), he appears on “Hawaii” and “Help Me, Rhonda.” Johnston and Melcher were also key voices in the Rip Chords, and that group is represented with three of the Beach Boys’ best “car songs,” “409,” “Shut Down” and “Little Deuce Coupe.” Johnston and Melcher also produced California Music’s 1974 “Don’t Worry, Baby” for their Equinox label. Certain songs are heard in multiple versions; “409,” “Shut Down” and “Don’t Worry, Baby” are all also heard in The Tokens’ recordings.
We have more details after the jump, including track listing with discography and a pre-order link!
In Part One of our special two-part series, we recalled the ups and downs of The Beach Boys and the band’s chief musical architect, Brian Wilson. Today, in Part Two, we turn the spotlight over to That’s Why God Made the Radio, the new album in stores today from America’s Band!
Brian Wilson is still a cork on the ocean floating over the raging sea. But is that a whiff of contentment I hear running through The Beach Boys’ “reunion” album, That’s Why God Made the Radio? Despite the ups and downs survived by Wilson and The Beach Boys over the years, the emphasis in the band’s 50th anniversary year is on the ups. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. This all-new collection of songs has been produced by Brian Wilson, recorded by Joe Thomas and executive-produced by Mike Love, for those keeping score of such credits. And Wilson’s stamp is all over the new album, with rock’s ultimate survivor doing what he does best: writing and singing with The Beach Boys. At its peak moments, That’s Why God Made the Radio surpasses all expectations, building on the legacy of a group for whom many felt history had closed the book.
“Old friends have gone, they’ve gone their separate ways,” Brian Wilson matter-of-factly sings in the album closer, “Summer’s Gone.” But it’s a valedictory moment when he confirms that “dreams hold on for those who still have more to say.” The greatest gift of That’s Why God Made the Radio is the knowledge that Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine, along with longtime cohorts Bruce Johnston and David Marks, still have plenty to say. (While longtime Beach Boy Johnston is prominent on vocals, the recently-returned Marks offers strong guitar throughout.) This won’t be a complete surprise to those who have followed Brian Wilson’s solo career.
In the years following 1998’s Imagination, produced with Joe Thomas, Wilson teamed with a group of young musicians who could brilliantly recreate the sound of the mid-1960s Wrecking Crew productions with a modern energy. That vital aggregation had much to do with Wilson’s autobiographical concept album That Lucky Old Sun, which prefigures some of the more personal songs on That’s Why God Made the Radio. For the new album and current tour, many of those same members of The Brian Wilson Band are present: Scott Bennett, Probyn Gregory, Darian Sahanaja, Nick Walusko, Nelson Bragg, Paul Mertens, and especially Jeffrey Foskett, whose prominent falsetto colors many of the group’s harmonies. They have marshaled their forces with Joe Thomas and the Mike Love/Bruce Johnston Beach Boys group including guitarist Scott Totten and drummer John Cowsill. The album’s production bears Thomas’ influence; it isn’t as explicitly pastiche-oriented as Lucky Old Sun, but it’s not merely a slick, glossy update, either. Brian Wilson’s favorite instruments are all accounted for: flute, tack piano, accordion, trombone, saxophone, vibes and harpischord are just a few of the tools in Wilson’s arsenal. The polished production brings all of these “pet sounds” to the fore.
A gentle tropical breeze wafts through many of these songs, but purists shouldn’t forget that sun, surf and sand have been an integral part of the band’s DNA since the very beginning. The acknowledgment of those nostalgic themes doesn’t take anything away from the “coming of age” of Pet Sounds and the avant-garde beauty of SMiLE, nor the stripped-down rock of the early 1970s or even the lo-fi, off-kilter pop of Beach Boys Love You. All of these are colors of “America’s band,” and indeed the new album is filled with allusions to the band’s past and present.
Grab some good vibrations after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »
Tomorrow sees the release of That’s Why God Made the Radio, the long-awaited studio album from Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks: The Beach Boys. As the favorite sons of Hawthorne, California continue their enormously successful 50th Anniversary Tour and with the promise of catalogue projects to come later in 2012, we’re looking at this new album and the legacy of these musical giants in a special two-part series beginning right now!
Where did our long hair go? Like the eponymous girl of 1966’s “Caroline No,” our collective innocence is long gone. And so it might be difficult at first blush to accept five men, their ages hovering around 70, singing of spring vacations and beaches in mind. Yes, The Beach Boys are back and celebrating their 50th anniversary with a world tour and a new album. They have just delivered That’s Why God Made the Radio, their first album since 1996, their first of all-original material since 1992 and their first of all-original material with Brian Wilson since 1985. (Whew!) Somehow, it feels not only inevitable, but altogether right.
Summer 1967 was just around the corner when Brian Wilson collapsed under the weight of ambitions – both his own and that of others – and shelved SMiLE. That album remained a legendary what-if until it was “completed,” first in 2004 by Wilson himself and in 2011 by The Beach Boys. It would have followed a string of records that brought melodic and harmonic sophistication to pop, and then the intensely personal statement of 1966’s Pet Sounds. Though Mike Love is said to have provided the title, the pet sounds were Brian’s, building on the foundation he had laid with songs as early as “Surfer Girl,” the very first he ever wrote. Pet Sounds, though, left behind cars and surfboards (though not girls!) as it lyrically explored the themes that resonated for the young man, and his audience of contemporaries: the angst of adolescence, the promise of adulthood. Brian Wilson’s idol Phil Spector was let down when the record-buying public roundly ignored his magnum opus, “River Deep – Mountain High,” and it was no different for Wilson when Pet Sounds became The Beach Boys’ first album in three years not to go gold. Capitol Records undercut any traction it may have been gaining by rush-releasing a golden-oldies compilation to stores. It seems hard to believe today, but “God Only Knows” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” just sounded too foreign to a public thrilling to “I Get Around” and “Surfin’ USA.”
But Brian Wilson didn’t give up. In those heavy, heady days of ’67, he had an unquenchable thirst to push the limits of what popular music could do. An intensely competitive perfectionist, he intended for SMiLE to outdo not only his past achievements but those of The Beatles. John, Paul, George and Ringo were also redefining the scope of the new “rock,” which had, after all replaced the “rock and roll” once played by both The Beatles and The Beach Boys. SMiLE was pure sonic experimentation, a jagged “teenage symphony to God” that was artful and ramshackle, beautiful and impenetrable. It should have built on the success of “Good Vibrations,” the Beach Boys’ single which had merged the avant-garde and the commercial into a thrilling and completely new whole. But it wasn’t meant to be, and despite some fine albums to follow, the band could never fully step out from the shadow of SMiLE as vibrant, vital hitmakers.
The abandonment of SMiLE was the first sign of fracture in the California group. But destiny had played a cosmic joke on the golden boys of sun and surf; darkness had bubbled under the surface since the very beginning. Just listen to the stark loneliness of “In My Room.” In later years, though, that darkness manifested itself as something more frightening than adolescent melancholy, from an association with a notorious killer to mental health issues. All of those matters have been chronicled innumerable times and won’t be elaborated upon by me. Yet a contingent of fans (the largest contingent, one might add) has “kept the summer alive” as the Beach Boys envisioned it between, say, 1962 and 1966. “Surfin’ USA” and “I Get Around” transport these fans to a simpler, perhaps happier time. Then there’s a smaller, though still vocal, group of younger fans weaned on Pet Sounds and snippets of SMiLE rather than, say, “Little Honda.” These fans have allowed Brian Wilson, the “George Gershwin of pop” (he wouldn’t accept the Mozart tag, ever modest), to reconnect with the muse that produced his most deeply personal, often experimental work in those lysergic days of 1966 and 1967.
There’s much more after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »
On Tuesday, June 5, The Beach Boys release their long-awaited new studio album, That’s Why God Made the Radio. Here at Second Disc HQ, we’re counting down to its release. We’re kicking off our mini-celebration of the California legends with a look at a duo intertwined with The Beach Boys’ history, Jan and Dean!
With The Beach Boys currently touring their acclaimed 50th Anniversary reunion concerts, the time has never been better to revisit the entire surf-and-sun legacy of these California pioneers. And few artists play a bigger role in The Beach Boys’ story than Jan Berry and Dean Torrence. Los Angeles natives, Jan and Dean began scoring hits in 1959, with Berry taking the role of producer, arranger and songwriter. The multi-hyphenate Jan was an inspiration to Brian Wilson, just two years younger, but Brian, in turn, inspired Jan when Berry “caught the wave” of surf music. Berry and Wilson collaborated on roughly a dozen songs including the No. 1 “Surf City” (1963) as well as “Drag City” (No. 10, 1964) and “Dead Man’s Curve” (No. 8, 1964). Jan and Dean recreated The Beach Boys’ magic formula on “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena” (No. 3, 1964) without Brian’s participation. These enduring hits were at the center of Jan and Dean’s 1985 album Silver Summer: 25th Anniversary Album, just reissued by Fuel 2000 Records as Surf’s Up.
Between 1958 and 1966, Jan and Dean charted 26 hit records. As the surf craze receded, Jan and Dean had continued to diversify their sound with increasingly sophisticated productions and even comedy/music hybrid records such as Jan and Dean Meet Batman. On April 12, 1966, everything changed when Jan Berry sustained severe head injuries in a car accident not far from Dead Man’s Curve, the almost 90-degree turn in Beverly Hills about which the duo had eerily implored, “You won’t come back from Dead Man’s Curve!” Despite brain damage and partial paralysis, Berry remarkably persevered. He returned to the studio just one year later, and in 1976, he and Torrence had their first proper live appearance as guests of surf revival group Papa Doo Run Run. The duo returned to touring despite Torrence’s success as a graphic artist; he even designed the famous Beach Boys logo that the group still uses today. A 1978 CBS-TV film, Deadman’s Curve, was produced with the duo’s participation and helped to cement the Jan and Dean legend.
Firmly entrenched on the live “oldies circuit,” the duo even made sporadic returns to the recording studio in the ensuing years. Dean also recorded a number of projects with his old friend, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, and Berry finally recorded a solo album, 1997’s Second Wave. Jan Berry passed away in 2004 at the age of 62; Torrence still performs from time to time with the Surf City All-Stars and oversees reissues of the team’s extensive back catalogue. (In 1996, Sundazed issued the previously unreleased Save for a Rainy Day, the entirely Torrence-produced album recorded under the Jan and Dean name in the wake of Berry’s accident; in 2010, Rhino Handmade finally released Carnival of Sound, Jan Berry’s own post-accident psychedelic opus.)
Hit the jump for details on Silver Summer, including track listing and order link! Read the rest of this entry »
The Beach Boys are finally, officially ready to “Do It Again.” America’s Band kicks off its 50th Anniversary Tour on Tuesday evening in Tucson, Arizona, and a new single, “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” should hit the airwaves imminently, with a promotional video already having been leaked to the public. With the band’s as-yet-untitled new album currently listed on numerous retail sites for a June 5 release but as yet unconfirmed by Capitol Records, news is here about the first music release to tie in with the reunion tour. May 1 is the date for The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Commemorative ‘ZinePak, a CD/magazine hybrid to be available exclusively at Wal-Mart. Tantalizingly, the ‘ZinePak will include the group’s recent re-recording of its 1968 hit “Do It Again,” for the first time on CD as part of the set’s 11-track compilation disc.
‘ZinePak was founded just last year by Kim Kaupe, 26, and Brittany Hodak, 28, of New York. The upstart company has already thrived with the successful release of over one dozen ‘ZinePaks including sets featuring Selena Gomez, Scotty McCreery and Rascal Flatts. The Academy of Country Music Awards’ ‘Zinepak actually debuted at No. 17 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, No. 4 on Top Compilation Albums and No. 19 on Top Independent Albums. The Beach Boys edition, co-produced with Capitol Records, might be the highest –profile project yet for the young company and its first major entrée into the classic rock marketplace. (The collectible CD/magazine concept isn’t unique to ‘Zinepak, however. We spotlighted the WHSmith-exclusive “Bookazine” for Matt Monro last October.)
Hit the jump for more on what to expect from this 50th anniversary tribute set including the complete track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »
How do the Red Hot Chili Peppers celebrate their graduation to legend status per their recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction? They pay tribute to the ones that came before on a new digital EP that includes a handful of B-sides paying tribute to their favorite fellow inductees.
We Salute You, to be released May 1, includes covers of Dion and The Belmonts, The Ramones, The Stooges, Neil Young, The Beach Boys and David Bowie, all of which can certainly be argued as influences for the long-running funk-rock outfit. Half of the covers are studio takes, having appeared on CD singles or other compilations (the band’s take on The Ramones’ “Havana Affair” dates from 2003′s We’re a Happy Family tribute album, for example). The other half are live tracks, one of which is being released for the first time anywhere. (All but one of these tracks have never appeared in digital format before.)
For those fans that haven’t warmed up to new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who joined following
original arguably best-known guitarist John Frusciante’s second departure last year, fear not: almost every one of these tracks features the band’s innovative axeman. (The cover of Neil Young’s “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” dates from the band’s most recent tour last year, while their take on Bowie’s “Suffragette City” was released on a CD single during the One Hot Minute era, when Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction served as guitarist.)
Check out the full track lineup after the jump.
Dennis Wilson did it in 1977. Carl Wilson did it in 1981. So did Mike Love. Brian Wilson waited until 1988. But it wasn’t until 2010 that Al Jardine released his first solo studio album. Entitled A Postcard from California, Jardine had to content himself with a limited release via Amazon’s MOD (Made on Demand) system. Now, with the surviving Beach Boys reuniting for a hotly-anticipated 50th anniversary tour beginning later this month and gearing up for the band’s first studio album since 1996, Jardine has finally gotten a wide release for Postcard via Robo Records and Fontana Distribution. The pressed CD version of Postcard has been expanded by three additional tracks, and arrived in stores this past Tuesday, April 2.
Jardine’s Postcard was signed by many of California rock’s greatest statesmen. Filled with nostalgic lyrics (including some cheeky Ringo Starr-esque references to past hits!) and goodtime rock-and-roll riffs, the album includes both original songs and Beach Boys favorites. Glen Campbell appears on the title song, while three-quarters of CSNY – Neil Young, David Crosby and Stephen Stills – lend their voices to a reworking of Jardine’s “California Saga,” first recorded on The Beach Boys’ 1973 album Holland. Steve Miller and The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea joins Jardine on a new “Help Me, Rhonda” while Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell of America are heard on two Jardine originals, “San Simeon” and “Drivin’.” But where would an Al Jardine solo album be without the participation of his fellow Beach Boys?
Brian Wilson adds harmonies both to “Drivin’” and a revival of “Honkin’ Down the Highway” from 1977’s Beach Boys Love You. Founding Beach Boy David Marks adds a guitar solo to “Drivin’.” But most notably, Brian Wilson joined Al, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston and even the late Carl Wilson on “Don’t Fight the Sea,” the centerpiece track on Postcard. Co-written by Jardine and Terry Jacks (the vocalist of “Seasons in the Sun”), the song marked the first full-fledged Beach Boys reunion prior to the current 50th anniversary activities, and is a worthy addition to the group’s canon. The Brian Wilson/Steve Kalinich “California Feelin’” is covered here, as well, and Kalinich contributes a poem, “Tidepool Interlude,” recited by Alec Baldwin over Scott Slaughter’s musical setting.
Hit the jump for details on the bonus tracks and more, plus the full track listing and an order link! Read the rest of this entry »