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!
The new edition of Postcard includes three bonus tracks. “California Dreamin’” (coincidentally receiving another cover version this same week courtesy of Wilson Phillips on their new album Dedicated) welcomes back Glen Campbell and David Crosby, and even features John Stamos on bongos! A rewritten “Sloop John B” is a souvenir of Jardine’s children’s book of the same name, and is a duet with son Matt. The last of the three new songs, “Waves of Love,” was recorded backstage at Atlantic City’s Resorts casino. Like “Don’t Fight the Sea,” it posthumously weaves in a vocal by Carl Wilson.
With The Beach Boys’ as-yet-untitled studio album currently mooted for June release, the reissue of A Postcard From California makes a fine appetizer for that main course. On its own merits, it’s one of the finest solo albums to come from the Boys’ camp, and also the most star-studded in welcoming various members of the Beach Boys’ friends and family. The 15-track album is in stores now and can be ordered at the link below!
Al Jardine, A Postcard From California (Robo/Fontana RRAJ0001, 2010/2012)
- A Postcard From California (with Glen Campbell)
- California’ Feelin’ (with Matt Jardine and Adam Jardine)
- Looking Down the Coast
- Don’t Fight the Sea (with Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston)
- Tidepool Interlude (with Alec Baldwin)
- Campfire Scene (with David Crosby and Neil Young)
- California Saga (with Neil Young, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Adam Jardine and Matt Jardine)
- Help Me Rhonda (with Steve Miller, Matt Jardine and Flea)
- San Simeon (with Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley, Matt Jardine and Adam Jardine)
- Drivin’ (with Brian Wilson, David Marks, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell)
- Honkin’ Down the Highway (with Brian Wilson, Matt Jardine and Al Jardine)
- California Dreamin’ (with Glen Campbell, David Crosby and John Stamos)
- And I Always Will
- Waves of Love (with Carl Wilson and Matt Jardine)
- Sloop John B (with Matt Jardine and Drew Jardine)