"I was living up the street from Carl Wilson and his wife Annie," Ricci Martin told me in July of this year. "I was over his house, playing his piano. And Carl said, 'God, I really like that! Did you write that?' And I said, 'Yeah, I wrote that!' And he said, 'How would you like to record that?' And I said, 'Of course, absolutely!'" The song Ricci was playing was "Stop, Look Around," a shimmering slice of Southern California pop that would open his 1977 Epic Records album Beached. Carl Wilson championed Ricci's solo debut. Not only did he co-produce Beached with longtime Beach Boys band member Billy Hinsche, but Carl also played and sang on the LP and co-wrote one track, "Everybody Knows My Name." Tomorrow, Beached arrives for the very first time on CD in the U.S. as the latest release from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music. The original album has been freshly remastered by Vic Anesini for its most sparkling sound ever, and it's been expanded with four rare singles as bonus tracks!
Recording at The Beach Boys' Brother Studios in Santa Monica, California, Beached boasts a truly illustrious line-up. Dennis Wilson, making a rare appearance outside of The Beach Boys, shared drumming duties with Ricky Fataar, a member of The Beach Boys' most adventurous 1970s line-up. From Chicago, Ricci invited Peter Cetera along with the entire horn section of Lee Loughnane, James Pankow and Walter Parazaider. America's Gerry Beckley and Wings' Jimmy McCulloch dropped into the sessions, too, along with SMiLE lyricist and multi-instrumentalist Van Dyke Parks. Other musicians, such as Bobby Figueroa, Carli Muñoz and Ed Carter, will be familiar to Beach Boys aficionados, not to mention fans of Dennis Wilson's cult classics Pacific Ocean Blue and Bambu - with which Beached shared a great many players, and the unmistakable sonics and good vibrations of Brother Studios.
Ricci, the sixth child of Dean Martin and his wife Jeanne, had a history with The Beach Boys. His older brother, Dean-Paul, played in Dino, Desi and Billy alongside Billy Hinsche. And it was Ricci who took the now-famous photograph adorning The Beach Boys' beloved album Sunflower. Ricci credits Carl - who would later become his brother-in-law when he married Ricci's sister Gina - for enlisting the all-star lineup on Beached. Ricci remembered Carl calling his friends and family: "'I'm recording Ricci Martin. Would you like to come down to Brother Records and jam?' Who the hell is going to say no to that?" He added, "They were with Carl, they were in this cosmically beautiful place, and the music was really good." Indeed, it was - and Ricci wrote the entirety of Beached himself (co-writing the one track with Carl), taking in the sounds of pop, rock and soul filtered through his own California sound.
After a multi-year gestation period, Beached arrived in stores in August 1977, the same month as Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue. Ricci celebrated its release by opening for The Beach Boys during their summer '77 tour, including the massive Central Park show of September 1, 1977. Beached can now be celebrated as a companion piece to the beautiful and critically-lauded POB, a too-often-overlooked part of Beach Boys lore, and a classic entry in the musical legacy of the Martin family. Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music's expanded edition arrives in stores tomorrow with the mono and stereo single mixes (with pronounced variations from the album versions) of "Stop, Look Around" and "Moonbeams," plus my new liner notes featuring many more memories from Ricci Martin himself.
You can order Ricci Martin's Beached below!
- Stop, Look Around (2:38)
- Moonbeams (3:31)
- Belle of the Ball (3:44)
- Everybody Knows My Name (2:17)
- Streets of Love (3:10)
- Spark of Me (4:23)
- My Old Radio (2:22)
- Precious Love (3:30)
- I Don't Like It (3:00)
- I Had a Dream (3:40)
- Here I Go Again (1:27)
- Stop, Look Around (Stereo Single Mix) (Epic single 8-50263) (2:33)
- Moonbeams (Stereo Single Edit) (Epic single 8-50441) (3:05)
- Stop, Look Around (Mono Promo Single Mix) (Epic single 8-50263) (2:33)
- Moonbeams (Mono Promo Single Edit) (Epic single 8-50441) (3:05)