Beach Boys - Sounds Of Summer: Very Best Of Beach Boys
Sounds Of Summer: Very Best Of Beach Boys
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Notes / Reviews

Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys is a 2003 compilation of music by The Beach Boys released through Capitol Records. This collection is the most expansive compilation ever issued of their music, with 30 tracks clocking in at over 76 minutes and grabbing nearly every US Top 40 hit of their career, except for 1965's #20 hit "The Little Girl I Once Knew" and the 1976 top-30 hit "It's OK".

Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys was released in a market already containing the three volumes of hits issued during 1999 and 2000, but that did little to deter shoppers, who were responsible for shooting the CD into the US charts at a remarkable #16 (their highest peak since 1976's 15 Big Ones) and a lengthy 104-week stay. Currently certified double platinum, Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys was re-issued with a DVD component in 2004 with the regular edition remaining available.

In 2007, the album was succeeded by The Warmth of the Sun, which is composed of fan favorites and hits that were left off Sounds of Summer.

DVD: Sights of Summer

#"Surfin' USA"

#"I Get Around"

#"Surfer Girl"

#"Dance, Dance, Dance"

#"Little Deuce Coupe"

#"Sloop John B"

#"Pet Sounds promo film"

#"God Only Knows"

#"Good Vibrations"

#"Do It Again"

*1-4 Live on The T.A.M.I. Show, 1964

*5 Live from the Lost Concert, 1964

*6 Promotional Video, 1966

*7 Promo film, 1966

*8 Live montage, 1967 & 1968

*9-10 Live on The Ed Sullivan Show, 1968


* Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys CD booklet notes, Anthony DeCurtis, c.2003


Category:2003 compilation albums

Category:The Beach Boys compilation albums

Category:Greatest hits albums

Category:Albums produced by Nick Venet

Category:Albums produced by Steve Levine

Category:Albums produced by Terry Melcher

Category:Albums produced by James William Guercio

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This text has been derived from Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

Artist/Band Information

The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, The Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962. The band's early music gained popularity across the United States for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a Southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance. By the mid 1960s, Brian Wilson's growing creative ambition and songwriting ability would dominate the group's musical direction. The primarily Wilson-composed Pet Sounds album and "Good Vibrations" single (both released in 1966) featured a complex, intricate and multi-layered sound that was a far cry from the simple surf rock of The Beach Boys' early years.

However, Wilson would soon lose control of the band due to mental health and substance abuse issues. Subsequently, although it released a number of popular albums (in various musical styles, with different line-ups) in ensuing years, the group never managed to reclaim its mid-'60s peak when The Beach Boys briefly challenged The Beatles both in terms of commercial and critical appeal. Since the 1980s, there has been much legal-wrangling among the group members over royalties, songwriting credits, and use of the band's name. While The Beach Boys released their last studio album in 1996, a number of versions of the band, each fronted by a surviving member of the original quintet (Dennis and Carl Wilson died in 1983 and 1998, respectively), continue to tour.

The Beach Boys have often been called "America's Band", Kevin M. Cherry. National Review. Published July 8, 2002. Retrieved July 12, 2008. and Allmusic has stated that "the band's unerring ability... made them America's first, best rock band.". John Bush. Allmusic. Retrieved July 12, 2008. The group has had 36 United States Top 40 hits (the most by an American rock band) and 56 Hot 100 hits, including four number-one singles. Rolling Stone magazine listed The Beach Boys at number 12 on their 2004 list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". The core quintet of the three Wilsons, Love and Jardine was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.


Formative years

At age 16, Brian Wilson shared a bedroom with his brothers, Dennis and Carl, in their family home in Hawthorne. He watched his father, Murry Wilson, play piano and listened intently to the harmonies of vocal groups like The Four Freshmen. One night he taught his brothers a song called "Ivory Tower" and how to sing the background harmonies. "We practiced night after night, singing softly, hoping we wouldn't wake our Dad."Wilson, p. 34 For his 16th birthday, Brian was given a reel-to-reel tape recorder. He learned how to overdub, using his vocals and those of Carl and their mother. He would play piano and later added Carl playing the Rickenbacker guitar he got as a Christmas present.Wilson, p. 35

Soon Brian was avidly listening to Johnny Otis on his KFOX radio show, a favorite station of Carl's. Inspired by the simple structure and vocals of the rhythm and blues songs he heard, he changed his piano-playing style and started writing songs. His enthusiasm interfered with his music studies at school. He failed to complete a twelfth-grade piano sonata, but did submit an original composition, called "Surfin'".Wilson, p. 37-39

Family gatherings brought the Wilsons in contact with cousin Mike Love. Brian taught Love's sister Maureen and a friend harmonies. Later, Brian, Mike Love and two friends performed at Hawthorne High School, drawing tremendous applause for their version of doo-wop group The Olympics' "Hully Gully".Wilson, p. 41 Brian also knew Al Jardine, a high school classmate, who had already played guitar in a folk group called The Islanders. One day, on the spur of the moment, they asked a couple of football players in the school training room to learn harmony parts, but it wasn't a success—the bass singer was flat.Wilson, p. 43

Brian suggested to Jardine that they team up with his cousin and brother Carl. It was at these sessions, held in Brian's bedroom, that "the Beach Boys sound" began to form. Brian says: "Everyone contributed something. Carl kept us hip to the latest tunes, Al taught us his repertoire of folk songs, and Dennis, though he didn't play anything, added a combustible spark just by his presence." Love encouraged Brian to write songs and gave the fledgling band its name: The Pendletones, derived from the Pendleton woolen shirts popular at the time. In their earliest performances, the band wore the heavy wool jacket-like shirts, which were favored by surfers in the South Bay. Although surfing motifs were very prominent in their early songs, Dennis was the only band-member who surfed. He suggested that his brothers compose some songs celebrating his hobby and the lifestyle which had developed around it in Southern California.Wilson, p. 46

Jardine and a singer friend, Gary Winfrey, went to Brian's to see if he could help out with a version of a folk song they wanted to record—"Sloop John B". In Brian's absence, the two spoke with Murry, a music industry veteran of modest success. In September 1961, Murry arranged for The Pendletones to meet publishers Hite and Dorinda Morgan at Stereo Masters in Hollywood.Wilson, p. 45 The group performed a slower ballad, "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring", but failed to impress the Morgans. After an awkward pause, Dennis mentioned they had an original song, "Surfin'". Brian was taken aback—he had not finished writing the song—but Hite Morgan was interested and asked them to call back when the song was complete.

With help from Love, Brian finished the song and the group rented guitars, drums, amplifiers and microphones. They practiced for three days while the Wilsons' parents were on a short vacation. When they auditioned again a few days later, Hite Morgan declared: "That's a smash!"Wilson, p. 48 In October, The Pendletones recorded twelve takes of "Surfin'" in the Morgans' cramped offices. A small number of singles were pressed. When the boys eagerly unpacked the first box of singles, on the Candix Records label, they were shocked to see their band name changed to "Beach Boys". Murry Wilson, now intimately involved with the band's fortunes, called the Morgans. Apparently a young promotion worker, Russ Regan, made the change to more obviously tie the group in with other surf bands of the time. The limited budget meant the labels could not be reprinted.Wilson, p. 51

Early career

Released November 1961, "Surfin'" was soon aired on KFWB and KDAY, two of Los Angeles' most influential radio stations. It was a hit on the West Coast, and peaked at number 75 on the national pop charts. Murry Wilson told the boys he did not like "Surfin'". However, according to Brian, "he smelled money to be made and jumped on the promotional bandwagon, calling every radio station..."Wilson, p. 52 By now the de-facto manager of The Beach Boys, Murry got the group's first paying gig on New Year's Eve, 1961, at the Ritchie Valens Memorial Dance in Long Beach, headlined by Ike & Tina Turner. Brian recalls how he wondered what they were doing there; "five clean-cut, unworldly white boys from a conservative white suburb, in an auditorium full of black kids". Brian describes the night as an "education"—he knew afterwards that success was all about "R&B, rock and roll, and money". The boys went home with $50 apiece.Wilson, p. 53

685-459 EdSullivanBeachBoysSmallWEB (1).jpgthumbrightThe Beach Boys performing on The Ed Sullivan Show .

In February 1962, Jardine left the band to continue his college studies. David Marks, a thirteen-year-old neighbor and friend of Carl and Dennis who had been playing electric guitar for years with Carl, replaced him. (Jardine, at Brian's request, rejoined the band in July 1963). In 1962, The Beach Boys began wearing blue/gray-striped button-down shirts tucked into white pants as their touring "uniforms", the band's signature look through to 1966.Wilson, p. 44.

Though Murry effectively seized managerial control of the band without consultation, Brian acknowledges that he "deserves credit for getting us off the ground... he hounded us mercilessly... also worked hard himself". He was the first to stress the importance of having a follow-up hit.Wilson, p. 54 The band duly recorded four more originals, on June 13 at Western Studios, Los Angeles, including "Surfer Girl", "409" and "Surfin' Safari". The session ended on a bitter note, however: Murry Wilson unsuccessfully suggested and then demanded that The Beach Boys record some of his own songs, saying "My songs are better than yours."Wilson, p. 55

On July 16, on the strength of the June demo session, The Beach Boys were signed to Capitol Records. By November, their first album was ready—Surfin' Safari. Their song output continued along the same commercial line, focusing on California youth lifestyle. The early Beach Boys’ hits helped raise both the profile of the state of California and of surfing. The group also celebrated the Golden State’s obsession with hot-rod racing ("Shut Down", "409" and "Little Deuce Coupe") and the pursuit of happiness by carefree teens in less complicated times ("Be True to Your School", "Fun, Fun, Fun" and "I Get Around").

Apart from Murry Wilson and the close vocal harmonies of Brian's favorite groups, early inspiration came from the driving rock-and-roll sound of Chuck Berry and Phil Spector's Wall of Sound production. Musically, their early songs are often based on those of others; for instance, "Surfer Girl" shares its rhythmic melody with "When You Wish Upon a Star", while "Surfin' USA" is a slight variation of Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen". The Beach Boys' early hits made them major pop stars in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries, with sixteen hit singles in 1962–1965. However, with the British Invasion in 1964, some British groups, in particular The Beatles, eclipsed their success.

Brian Wilson's innovations and personal difficulties

By 1964, the stress of road travel, composing, producing and maintaining a high level of creativity became too much to bear for Brian Wilson. In December that year, while on a flight to Houston, Brian suffered from an anxiety attack and left the tour. Shortly afterward, he announced his withdrawal from touring to concentrate entirely on songwriting and record production. This wasn't the first time Brian had stopped touring. In 1963, when Jardine returned, Brian left the road; but when Marks quit, Brian had to return in his place. For the rest of 1964 and into 1965, Glen Campbell served as Wilson's replacement in concert, until his own career success required him to leave the group. Bruce Johnston was asked to locate a replacement for Campbell; having failed to find one, Johnston himself subsequently became a full-time member of the band, first replacing Wilson on the road and later contributing his own talents in the studio beginning with the sessions for "California Girls".

Jan and Dean, close friends with the band and their opening act 1963 and 1964, encouraged Brian to use session musicians in the studio. This, along with Brian's withdrawal from touring, permitted him to expand his role as a producer. Wilson also wrote "Surf City" for the Jan & Dean opening act. Their recording hit number one on the US charts in the summer of 1963, a development that pleased Brian but angered Murry, who felt his son had "given away" what should have been the Beach Boys' first chart-topper. A year later, The Beach Boys would notch their first number-one single with "I Get Around."

Soon, traces of Brian Wilson's increasing studio productivity and innovation were noticeable: "Drive-In", an album track from All Summer Long (1964) features bars of silence between two verses while "Denny's Drums", the last track on Shut Down, Vol. II (1964), is a two-minute drum solo. As Wilson's musical efforts became more ambitious, the group relied more on nimble session players, on tracks such as "I Get Around" and "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)". "Help Me, Rhonda" became the band's second number-one single in the spring of 1965.

1965 led to greater experimentation behind the soundboard with Wilson. The album Today! featured less focus on guitars, more emphasis on keyboards and percussion, as well as volume experiments and increased lyrical maturity. Side A of the album was devoted to sunnier pop tunes, with darker ballads on the reverse side. This pattern was also evident on some of the band's singles; songs such as "Kiss Me, Baby" released on the B-side to "Help Me, Rhonda" and "Let Him Run Wild" on the B-side to "California Girls", each featured Brian Wilson on lead vocals, and foreshadowed the youthful angst that would later pervade Wilson's upcoming efforts.

In November 1965, the group followed up their number-three summer smash "California Girls" with another top 20 single, "The Little Girl I Once Knew". It is considered to be the band's most experimental statement thus far, using silence as a pre-chorus, clashing keyboards, moody brass, and vocal tics. Perhaps too extreme an arrangement to go much higher than its modest number 20 peak, it was only the band's second single not to reach the top 10 since their 1962 breakthrough. In December they would score an unexpected number two hit (number three in the UK) with the single "Barbara Ann", which Capitol released as a single without input from any of The Beach Boys. A cover of a 1961 song by The Regents, it became one of The Beach Boys most recognized hits over the years.

Pet Sounds and "Good Vibrations"

In December 1965, The Beatles released Rubber Soul, an album which enthralled Brian Wilson. Until then, each Beach Boys album (like most pop albums) contained a few "filler tracks" like cover songs or even stitched-together comedy bits. Wilson found Rubber Soul filled with all-original songs and, more importantly, all good ones, none of them filler. Inspired, he rushed to his wife and proclaimed, "Marilyn, I'm gonna make the greatest album! The greatest rock album ever made!"

Beach-boys-pet sounds 333.jpgleftthumbFront cover of The Beach Boys iconic masterpiece and perhaps their "best album" Pet Sounds.

The result was Pet Sounds (1966), where Wilson's growing mastery of studio recording and his increasingly sophisticated songs and complex arrangements would reach a creative peak. The album's meticulously layered harmonies and inventive instrumentation (performed by the cream of Los Angeles session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew) set a new standard for pop music. It remains one of the most evocative releases of the decade, with distinctive strains of lushness, melancholy, and nostalgia for youth. The tracks "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "God Only Knows", showcased Wilson's growing mastery as a composer, arranger, and producer. As did "Caroline, No", which was issued as a Brian Wilson solo single, the only time he was credited as a solo artist during the early Capitol years. The album also included two sophisticated instrumental tracks, the quiet and wistful "Let's Go Away for Awhile" and the brittle brassy surf of the title track, "Pet Sounds". Despite the critical praise it received, Pet Sounds was indifferently promoted by Capitol, and failed to become the major hit Wilson had hoped it would be. Its failure to gain wider recognition hurt him deeply.Carlin, Peter Ames (2006). Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, & Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, n. 27 supra. Although it only reached number 10 in the US, it was a much better seller in the UK.

Because of his withdrawal from touring, Wilson was able to complete almost all the backing tracks for the album while The Beach Boys were on tour in Japan. They returned to find a substantially complete album, requiring only their vocals to finish it off. There was some resistance from within the band to this new direction. Lead singer Mike Love is reported to have been strongly opposed to it, calling it "Brian's ego music", and warning the composer not to "fuck with the formula". Other group members also fretted that the band would lose its core audience if they changed their successful musical blueprint. Another likely factor in Love's antipathy to Pet Sounds was that Wilson worked extensively on it with outside lyricist Tony Asher rather than with Love himself, who had co-written the lyrics for, and sung lead on, many of their early hits.

Seeking to expand on the advances made on Pet Sounds, Wilson began an even more ambitious project, originally dubbed Dumb Angel. Its first fruit was "Good Vibrations", which Brian described as a "pocket symphony". The song became the Beach Boys' biggest hit to date and a US and UK number-one single in 1966—many critics consider it to be one of the best rock singles of all time. It was one of the most complex pop productions ever undertaken, and was reputed to have been the most expensive American single ever recorded at that time. Costing a reported $16,000, more than most pop albums, sessions for the song stretched over several months in at least three major studios.

In contrast to his work on Pet Sounds, Wilson adopted a modular approach to "Good Vibrations"—he broke the song into sections and taped multiple versions of each at different studios to take advantage of the different sound and ambience of each facility. He then assembled his favorite sections into a master backing track and added vocals. The song's innovative instrumentation included drums, organ, piano, tack piano, two basses, guitars, electro-theremin, harmonica, and cello. The group members recall the "Good Vibrations" vocal sessions as among the most demanding of their career.


While putting the finishing touches on Pet Sounds, and just beginning work on "Good Vibrations", Brian Wilson met musician and songwriter Van Dyke Parks. In late 1966, Brian and Parks began an intense collaboration that resulted in a suite of challenging new songs for the Beach Boys' next album, which was eventually named Smile.The unusual capitalization of the title, "SMiLE", is an accident of Capitol Records' mid-1960s graphic design. Brian himself wrote it as "Smile" on his own message board. Using the same techniques as on "Good Vibrations", recording began in August 1966 and carried on into early 1967. Although the structure of the album and the exact running order of the songs have been the subjects of endless speculation, it is known that Wilson and Parks intended Smile to be a continuous suite of songs that were linked both thematically and musically, with the main songs being linked together by small vocal pieces and instrumental segments that elaborated upon the musical themes of the major songs.

The Beach Boys 1966 7963.jpgrightthumbThe Beach Boys (circa 1966-67)

But some of the other Beach Boys, especially Love, found the new music too difficult and too far removed from their established style. Another serious concern was that the new music was simply not feasible for live performance by the current Beach Boys lineup. Love was bitterly opposed to Smile and was particularly critical of Parks' lyrics; he has also since stated that he was deeply concerned about Wilson's escalating drug intake. The problems came to a head during the recording of "Cabinessence", when Love demanded that Parks explain the meaning of the closing refrain of the song, "Over and over the crow cries uncover the cornfield." After a heated argument, Parks walked out of the session, and shortly thereafter his partnership with Wilson came to an abrupt end.

Many factors combined to put intense pressure on Brian Wilson as Smile neared completion: his own mental instability, the pressure to create against fierce internal opposition to his new music, the relatively unenthusiastic public response to Pet Sounds, Carl Wilson's draft resistance, and a major dispute with Capitol Records. Further, Wilson's reliance on both prescription and illegal drugs, amphetamines in particular, only exacerbated his underlying mental health problems. In May 1967, Smile was shelved, and over the next thirty years, the legends surrounding Smile grew until it became the most famous unreleased album in the history of popular music.Priore, Dominic (1997), Look Listen Vibrate Smile, Last Gasp pub., collects much of the "Smile" legend in historical articles and reviews.

However, some of the tracks were salvaged and re-recorded at Brian's new home studio, albeit in drastically scaled-down versions. These were released, along with the single version of "Good Vibrations" and a re-recorded "Heroes and Villains", on the 1967 LP Smiley Smile. The album proved to be a critical and commercial disaster for the group, peaking at only number 41 in the US. By this time The Beach Boys' management (Nick Grillo and David Anderle) had created the band's own record label, Brother. One of the first labels to be owned by a rock group, the purpose of Brother Records was for releases by Beach Boys side projects, and an invitation for new talent. The Beach Boys became one of the first rock bands to create their own label. The output of the label, however, was limited to Smiley Smile and two resulting singles from the album; the failure of "Gettin' Hungry" made the band shelve the Brother label until 1970. Compounding these setbacks, the group's public image took another hit following their withdrawal from the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

Despite the cancellation of Smile, interest in the work remained high and versions of several major tracks—including "Our Prayer", "Cabinessence", "Cool, Cool Water", and "Surf's Up"—continued to trickle out. Many were assembled by Carl Wilson over the next few years and included on later albums. The band was still expecting to complete and release Smile as late as 1972, before it became clear that Brian had been the only one who could have made sense out of the endless fragments that were recorded. The full Smile project did not surface until the 2000s, when Wilson reunited with Parks to complete its writing. Subsequently, Wilson released the re-recorded Smile in 2004 as a solo album.

Mid-career changes

The 1967 album Wild Honey, regarded by some as another classic, features songs written by Wilson and Love, including the hit "Darlin'" and a rendition of Stevie Wonder's "I Was Made to Love Her". The album fared better than its predecessor in the charts, reaching number 24 in the US. The following album Friends (1968) was partly influenced by the group's (especially Love's) adoption of the practice of Transcendental Meditation. The title song "Friends" was their least successful single since 1962, charting at number 47. This was followed by the single "Do It Again", a return to the formula of their early years. Moderately successful in the US at number 20, the single went to top of the UK single charts in 1968 for one week. The album, however, bombed; Friends could only peak at number 126 in the US.

As Brian's mental and physical health deteriorated in the late 1960s and early 1970s, his song output diminished; he eventually became withdrawn and detached from the band. To fill his creative void, the other members began writing and producing songs. Carl Wilson gradually took over leadership of the band, developing into an accomplished producer. To complete their contract with Capitol, they produced one more album. 20/20 (1969) was primarily a collection of leftovers (including remnants from Smile), old songs by outside writers, and several new songs by Dennis Wilson. Another flop, it still fared better than Friends, reaching number 68 on the Billboard charts.

In 1969, The Beach Boys reactivated their Brother Records label and signed with Reprise Records. With the new contract, the band appeared rejuvenated, releasing the album Sunflower to critical acclaim. Sunflower is recognized as a complete group effort, with all band members contributing significant material, such as "Add Some Music to Your Day", Brian's "This Whole World", Dennis's "Forever" and Bruce Johnston's "Tears in the Morning". However, the band experienced their worst chart performance ever, peaking at number 151, although the single "Cottonfields"—which appeared on European releases of Sunflower—hit the top five in the UK.

Images (62).jpgleftthumbRicky Fataar, Blondie Chaplin, Al Jardine, Carl Wilson and Mike Love jamming.

After Sunflower, the band hired Jack Rieley as their manager. Rieley chose a different direction for the group, emphasizing, among other things, political and social awareness. The result was Surf's Up (1971), featuring Brian's Smile centerpiece, "Surf's Up". The song was virtually the same arrangement as Brian's 1966 version, with Carl adding vocals and overdubs. Carl's "Long Promised Road" and "Feel Flows" are also standouts on the record. Brian contributed one of his best songs, "'Til I Die", which almost did not make the album sequencing. Johnston produced the classic "Disney Girls (1957)", a throwback to the easier, simpler times they remembered. Johnston ended his first stint with the band shortly after the record's release, reportedly because of friction with Rieley. The album was moderately successful, reaching the US top 30, a marked improvement over their recent releases. While the record charted, The Beach Boys added to their re-found fame by performing a near-sellout set at Carnegie Hall, and followed that with a famous appearance with the Grateful Dead at Fillmore East on April 27, 1971.

The addition of Ricky Fataar and Blondie Chaplin in February 1972, led to a dramatic departure in sound for the band. The album Carl and the Passions – "So Tough" was an uncharacteristic mix that included several songs drawn from Fataar and Chaplin's previous group, Flame, which are nearly unrecognizable as Beach Boys songs. Although it has its supporters, the album is widely considered to be one of the group's most unfocused and inconsistent. It did not make an impact on the charts.

The Beach Boys came up with an ambitious plan in developing their next project. The band, their families, assorted associates and technicians moved to the Netherlands for the summer of 1972, renting a farmhouse to convert into a makeshift studio. By the end of their sessions the band felt they had come up with one of their best efforts yet. Reprise, however, felt that the album was weak, and after some wrangling between the camps, the band asked Brian to come up with commercial material. This resulted in the song "Sail On, Sailor", a collaboration between Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, became one of the most emblematic Beach Boys songs. Reprise approved and the resulting album Holland was released early 1973, peaking at number 37 on the Billboard album chart. Brian's storytale Mount Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale), which was directly influenced by Randy Newman's Sail Away LP, was included as a "bonus" extended play (EP). Holland proved that the band could still produce contemporary songs with wide (if not mass) appeal.

Despite record-label indifference, the band's concert audience started to grow. The Beach Boys in Concert, a double album documenting the 1972 and 1973 US tours, was another top 30 hit and became the band's first gold record for Reprise.

Endless Summer

In the summer of 1974, Capitol, in consultation with Love, released a double album compilation of The Beach Boys' pre-Pet Sounds hits. Endless Summer, helped by a sunny, colorful graphic cover, caught the mood of the nation and surged to the top of the Billboard album charts, a first for the band. It was the group's first multi-million selling record since "Good Vibrations", and remained on the album chart for three years.,, retrieved on January 15, 2007 The following year Capitol released another compilation, Spirit of America, which also sold well. With these compilations, The Beach Boys became relevant again, propelling themselves from being the opening act for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to headliners selling out basketball arenas. Rolling Stone magazine named The Beach Boys the "Band of the Year" for 1974, solely for the their juggernaut touring schedule and material written over a decade earlier.

Manager Jack Rieley, who remained in the Netherlands after Hollands release, was relieved of his managerial duties in late 1973. Blondie Chaplin also left the band in late 1973 after an argument with Steve Love, the band's business manager (and Mike's brother). Ricky Fataar stayed until fall 1974, when he was offered a chance to join a new group led by Eagles' Joe Walsh. Chaplin's replacement, James William Guercio, started offering the group career advice that turned out to be so smart and sensible that eventually he became the band's new manager. Under Guercio, The Beach Boys staged a highly successful 1975 joint concert tour with Chicago, with each group performing some of the other's songs, including their previous year's collaboration on Chicago's hit "Wishing You Were Here". Beach Boy vocals were also heard on Elton John's 1974 hit "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me".

Nostalgia had settled into The Beach Boys' hype; the group had not officially released any albums of new material since 1973's Holland. While their concerts continuously sold out, the stage act slowly changed from contemporary presentation/oldies encores to an entire show composed of mostly pre-1967 music. Performances of Smiley Smile to Holland material was phased out and replaced by their hits of 1961–66, which frustrated serious fans of the band for many years.

Brian Wilson's return

15 Big Ones (1976) marked the return of Brian Wilson as a major force in the group in that it was the first album he produced since Pet Sounds. This album included several new songs composed by Brian, and several of his arrangements of favorite old songs by other artists, including "Rock and Roll Music" (which made number five), "Blueberry Hill", and "In the Still of the Night". Brian and Love's "It's OK" was yet another return to their earlier "summertime fun" style, and was a moderate hit. The album was publicized by an NBC TV special, telecast in August 1976, simply titled "The Beach Boys", which was produced by Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels and featured appearances by SNL cast members John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.

For the remainder of 1976 to early 1977, Brian Wilson spent his time making sporadic public appearances and producing the band's next LP The Beach Boys Love You, a quirky collection of 14 songs mostly written by Brian alone, including more "fun" songs ("Honkin' Down the Highway"), a mature love song ("The Night Was So Young")—a mix ranging from infectious to touching to downright silly. Despite its flaws, Love You is one of the more popular offerings in The Beach Boys' later oeuvre. Many sources cited the album as a return to the group's roots.

After Love You, Brian's contributions began to decline over the next several albums until he again virtually withdrew from the group. His appearances with the band in concert diminished. His performances became erratic, his recordings uninspired. Despite the much-publicized "Brian's Back" campaign in the late '70s, most critics believed the group was past its prime, and that Brian Wilson would be the latest in a long line of celebrity drug casualties. The Beach Boys' last release on Reprise, M.I.U. Album (1978), was recorded at Maharishi International University in Iowa at the insistence of Love. Dennis and Carl made limited contributions to the project; the album was mostly produced by Jardine and Ron Altbach, with Brian appearing as "Executive Producer". Regardless, despite a handful of interesting tracks, M.I.U. was largely a contractual obligation to finish out their association with Reprise, who likewise did not promote the album.

At the same time of the M.I.U. Album release, The Beach Boys signed with CBS Records. They received a substantial advance and reportedly agreed to a guaranteed minimum of one million dollars per album. However, CBS was not satisfied with preliminary reviews of their first product—L.A. Light Album. The band realized at this point that Brian either could not or would not write and produce the required material. As a stop-gap measure, Bruce Johnston returned to the group as both a member and a producer. The Brian and Carl song "Good Timin'" became a US top 40 single. The album featured outstanding performances by both Dennis (cuts intended for his second solo effort Bambu) and Carl ("Full Sail"). The group also enjoyed moderate success (if not indifferently received) with a disco reworking of the song "Here Comes the Night", originally on the Wild Honey album.

In 1980, the band recorded and released Keepin' the Summer Alive. Again, Johnston was in the producer's role as well as performing on the album. Brian contributed some inspired production ideas occasionally as seen in the television special the band made for the album's release. Even though Dennis Wilson was credited (his drumming is heard on the group's cover version of Chuck Berry's "School Days"), this was the first Beach Boys album not to feature him (due to his ongoing personal problems). He was not in the Going Platinum television special and was asked not to participate in the recording. Carl Wilson had discovered a young talented drummer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist by the name of Scott Mathews and though Mathews was signed to Capitol, Carl asked him to join the band. Mathews jumped at the chance to record with his long-time heroes but ultimately chose not to join the band because of his blossoming career as a producer and songwriter, and a dislike for touring.


The Beach Boys concierto.jpgthumbThe current touring line-up of The Beach Boys, plus guest original member David Marks, in 2008

From 1980 through 1982, The Beach Boys and The Grass Roots performed Independence Day concerts at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., attracting large crowds."July 4: Day of Music, Parades, Fireworks", The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., July 3, 1982, p. D1.Phil McCombs, "Watt Outlaws Rock Music on Mall for July 4", The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., April 6, 1983, p. A1; Phil McCombs and Richard Harrington, "Watt Sets Off Uproar with Music Ban", The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., April 7, 1983, pp. A1, A17. However, in April 1983, James G. Watt, President Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Interior, banned Independence Day concerts on the Mall by such groups. Watt said that "rock bands" that had performed on the Mall on Independence Day in 1981 and 1982 had encouraged drug use and alcoholism and had attracted "the wrong element", who would mug people and families attending any similar events in the future. During the ensuing uproar, The Beach Boys stated that the Soviet Union, which had invited them to perform in Leningrad in 1978, "obviously .... did not feel that the group attracted the wrong element". Vice President George H. W. Bush said of The Beach Boys, "They're my friends and I like their music". Watt apologized to the band after learning that President Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan were fans of The Beach Boys. in . Retrieved February 18, 2010. White House staff presented Watt with a plaster foot with a hole in it, symbolizing his having shot himself in the foot with his decision.,in . Retrieved February 18, 2010. In 1984, The Beach Boys gave an Independence Day concert on the Mall to an audience of 750,000 people.Richard Harrington, "Back to the Beach Boys: Rock Returns to Mall For the Fourth of July; Beach Boys to Perform On the Mall July 4", The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., June 6, 1984, p. B1. on website of by Capitol Records. Retrieved January 29, 2010.

Meanwhile, Dennis Wilson's personal problems continued to escalate, and on December 28, 1983, he drowned while diving from a friend's boat, trying to recover items he had previously thrown overboard in fits of rage. Despite his death, The Beach Boys continued as a successful touring act. On July 4, 1985, the Beach Boys played to an afternoon crowd of one million in Philadelphia and the same evening they performed for over 750,000 people on the Mall in Washington (the day's historic achievement was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records). They also appeared nine days later at the Live Aid concert. That year, they released the eponymous album The Beach Boys and enjoyed a resurgence of interest later in the 1980s, assisted by tributes such as David Lee Roth's hit version of "California Girls". In 1987, they played with the rap group The Fat Boys, performing the song "Wipe Out" and filming a video for it.

In 1988, they scored their first number-one hit single in 22 years with "Kokomo", which was written for the movie Cocktail, becoming their biggest-selling hit ever. It was written by John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, Mike Love, and Terry Melcher. Riding on "Kokomo"'s steam, The Beach Boys quickly put out the album Still Cruisin', which went gold in the US and gave them their best chart showing since 1976. In 1990, the band, with the help of studio musicians, recorded the Melcher-produced title track of the comedy Problem Child. Actor John Stamos later appeared behind the drums in the "Problem Child" music video and later appeared singing lead vocals on "Forever" (written by Dennis Wilson) on their 1992 album Summer in Paradise.

Members of the band appeared on television shows such as Full House, Home Improvement, and Baywatch in the late 1980s and 1990s, as well as touring regularly. In 1995, Brian Wilson appeared in the critically acclaimed documentary I Just Wasn't Made for These Times, which saw him performing for the first time with his now-adult daughters, Wendy and Carnie of the group Wilson Phillips. The documentary also included glowing tributes to his talents from a host of major music stars of the '60s, '70s and '80s. In 1996, The Beach Boys guested with Status Quo on a re-recording of "Fun, Fun, Fun", which was a British Top 30 hit.

For the Summer Tour of 1997, Carl chose to travel and perform with the band, despite his medical burdens. After years of heavy smoking, Carl Wilson succumbed to lung and brain cancer on February 6, 1998 after a long battle with the disease. Mike Love and Bruce Johnston continue to tour as the Beach Boys; Brian Wilson and Al Jardine have developed new bands. David Marks has had a steady solo career. Each of their tours remain reliable draws. (Wilson and Jardine are both still legally members of the Beach Boys organization).

On June 13, 2006, the major surviving Beach Boys (Brian Wilson, Love, Jardine, Johnston and Marks) gathered for a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Pet Sounds and the double-platinum certification of their greatest hits compilation, Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys, in a ceremony atop the Capitol Records building in Hollywood. Plaques were awarded for their efforts to all major members, with Brian Wilson accepting on behalf of his late brothers. On August 21, 2010 the Beach Boys opened for Bryan Adams at Empire Field in Vancouver, BC for the 100th year of the PNE.

Possible 50th anniversary reunion

In June 2010, the Las Vegas Sun reported that Brian Wilson would join The Beach Boys for their 50th anniversary. However, Love subsequently stated, "At this time there are no plans for my cousin Brian to rejoin the tour...We have had some discussions of writing and possibly recording together, but nothing has been planned...I..felt the need to clarify that there are no current 'reunion' tour plans."

That July, Rolling Stone magazine reported that Jardine stated "we’re definitely doing at least one show" in 2011 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the formation of the band. The reunion would feature all the surviving sixties-era Beach Boys— Jardine himself, Wilson, Love, Johnston and possibly Marks. Jardine added that the tension between various former band-mates has been resolved. Regarding the various now-resolved lawsuits between them, he noted that "Once we finished our business, all the negativity was gone." Rolling Stone reported that Wilson's manager, Jean Sievers, is "unfamiliar with reunion plans", although the magazine stated "a source close to Love says there have been discussions for a reunion concert, but nothing is set." There was also no confirmation of a location for the concerts.

Al Jardine joined the Beach Boys for the first time since 1999 at a tribute for Ronald Reagan on February 5, 2011. Brian Wilson was invited to join as well, though he didn't attend, as he was recording his Disney album.http

Court battles

Many legal difficulties developed from Brian Wilson's psychological problems. In the early 1980s, the band hired controversial therapist Eugene Landy in an attempt to help Wilson. Landy did achieve some significant improvements in Wilson's overall condition; from his own admissions about his massive drug intake, it was highly likely that Wilson would have died if Landy had not intervened. Landy successfully treated Wilson's drug dependence, and by 1988 Wilson had recovered sufficiently to record his first solo album, Brian Wilson. But Landy became increasingly possessive of his star patient. After accusations that Landy was using his control over Wilson for his own benefit, the band successfully entreated the courts to separate Landy from Wilson.

In addition to the challenges over the use of the band's name and over the best way to care for Wilson, there have been three significant legal cases involving The Beach Boys in recent years. The first was Wilson's suit to reclaim the rights to his songs and the group's publishing company, Sea of Tunes, which he had signed away to his father in 1969. He successfully argued that he had not been mentally fit to make an informed decision. While Wilson failed to regain his copyrights, he was awarded $25 million for unpaid royalties.

The second lawsuit stemmed from Wilson's reclamation of his publishing rights. Soon after Wilson won his Sea of Tunes case in 1989, Love discovered Murry Wilson did not properly credit him as co-writer on dozens of popular Beach Boys songs. With Love and Brian Wilson unable to determine exactly what Mike was properly owed, Love sued Wilson in 1992 to gain credit for his co-authorship of a number of important Beach Boys songs, winning $13 million in 1994 for lost royalties. In interviews, Love revealed that on some songs he wrote most of the lyrics, on others only a line or two. Even though Love sued Wilson, both parties said in interviews that there was no malice between them; they simply couldn't come up with an agreeable settlement by themselves.

However in November 2005, Love filed yet another lawsuit against Wilson and his management. Love alleged that Wilson’s representatives and the UK publication The Mail on Sunday gave the false impression to readers that their joint promotional giveaway of nearly three million copies of the Good Vibrations CD was authorized by Love and The Beach Boys. This free CD, Love alleged, includes five of Love and Wilson’s co-authored hit Beach Boys songs, and was done to promote Wilson's solo CD, Smile. Love also claimed that Smile and Good Vibrations were marketed using The Beach Boys’ names and images without permission. The complaint sought several million dollars in damages, and also a million dollars to cover costs of advertising to correct the perceived "damage to the band's reputation". Love stated at the time: "Once again the people around Brian... have used him for their own financial gain without regard to his rights, or my rights, or even the rights of the estates of his deceased brothers, Carl and Dennis, and their children... Unfortunately, history repeats itself. Because of Brian’s mental issues he has always been vulnerable to manipulation. I simply want to stop the infringers and stop the deception!",, retrieved on January 15, 2007

There has been speculation that Love's lawsuit was an attempt to pressure Wilson into agreeing to let him continue to use the profitable Beach Boys name for his and Johnston's touring efforts. Wilson's lawyers suggested in legal filings that Love was seeking to assert as personal claims the rights of the corporate holder of The Beach Boys trademark, Brother Records International, in which Love and Wilson are both shareholders.Love v. Mail on Sunday and Brian Wilson, U.S. District Court, Cent. Dist. CA, civil no. 2:05-7798, 2007 WL 4928035 (Westlaw citation, available by subscription). Wilson’s website listed the following statement in response: "The lawsuit against Brian is meritless. While he will vigorously defend himself he is deeply saddened that his cousin Mike Love has sunk to these depths for his own financial gain."

Love's 2005 lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice in May 2007 as to all the defendants, including Wilson. In a series of rulings, the court rejected all of Love's claims, including the claim that Smile was a Beach Boys project as to which Love deserved compensation from Wilson directly.Love v. Mail On Sunday and Brian Wilson, et als., U.S. District Court, Cent. Dist. CA, civil no. 2:05-7798, docket entries 193 (opinion) and 197 (modified judgment May 29, 2007). In paragraph 1 of his original complaint, Love stated that "This action arises out of an international advertising and marketing scheme organized and orchestrated by Brian Wilson and his agents to promote the release of The Beach Boys’ long-awaited Smile album, at the expense of fellow Beach Boy Mike Love and The Beach Boys corporate entity, Brother Records, Inc. (“BRI”)." The court subsequently ruled that Love had to pay the legal fees of all the defendants as well.Id., 2008 WL 4678714 (9th Cir. Court of Appeals, reply brief of Brian Wilson) at pp. 27–28, summarizing District Court orders (Westlaw citation).


Reagans with the Beach Boys.jpgthumbleftThe Beach Boys with President Ronald and First Lady Nancy Reagan, 1983

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