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The Beach Boys’ New Digital “Copyright Collections” Offer 1964 Rarities, Two Complete Concerts

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With another year rapidly drawing to a close, many fans were wondering if 2014 would bring another round of “copyright extension collections,” i.e. releases designed to circumvent recent European Union copyright law.  The answer, of course, is “yes.”  To greatly simplify, E.U. law now holds that a recording is protected for 75 years under copyright in the E.U. (the period previously was 50 years) but only if that recording has been released.  As a result of this change in law, the past couple of years have seen collections issuing rarities from Bob Dylan, The Beatles, the Motown family of artists and The Beach Boys, simply to keep these recordings in copyright.  Last year, Capitol issued The Big Beat 1963 with a number of Brian Wilson/Beach Boys titles.  Following suit, the label has today released two more Beach Boys titles.  1964: Keep an Eye on Summer has 46 session highlight and rarities – many of which have never even been bootlegged – while Live in Sacramento 1964 has the two full shows from which the original Beach Boys Concert LP was culled.

Beach Boys - Keep an EyeMark Linett and Alan Boyd have produced these two new (and alas, digital-only) releases, and Linett has remastered all tracks.  Capitol/Brother Records has happily provided detailed liner notes, including comprehensive track-by-track annotations, at The Beach Boys’ official website.  Boyd writes, in part, that “This new collection, made possible by the fact that the Beach Boys, starting in 1964, made a point of holding onto their work reels (and greatly enhanced by the recent recovery of some long lost tapes from the Shut Down Vol. 2 album sessions) shows the Beach Boys at their zenith, offering glimpses of the camaraderie, optimism and high spirits behind the creation of these timeless records, and highlighting the incredible vocal arrangements, compositional skills, and rapidly evolving production techniques that placed the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson at the forefront of pop music in 1964 and for all time.”

Linett adds, “On this set we’ve presented highlights from many of the group’s sessions during 1964, mostly previously unreleased (even on those ‘unofficial’ discs often found at record shows). As someone who has been listening to, archiving and mixing the group’s recordings for nearly thirty years, it was exciting for me to hear these newly discovered sessions for the first time. They fully demonstrate that the Beach Boys were great musicians as well as singers and that, contrary to popular opinion, they played on most of their records, with the occasional addition of members of the ‘wrecking crew.’”

After the jump, we have more details and the complete track listings for both titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 3, 2014 at 13:54

Every Dog Must Have Its Day: Iconoclassic Remasters and Expands Three Dog Night’s Debut LP

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Three Dog Night - TDNOne may be the loneliest number, but it was also the luckiest number for Three Dog Night.  The band – led by vocalists Danny Hutton, Cory Wells and Chuck Negron – took Harry Nilsson’s song “One” to the U.S. Top 5, beginning an impressive run that encompassed 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, 18 Top 20s, 11 Top 10s, three No. 1s, seven million-selling 45s and 12 Gold LPs.   Yet today, Three Dog Night is often overlooked by the rock cognoscenti, largely because its members didn’t write their own material. Never mind that Three Dog Night helped popularize the music of Harry Nilsson, Laura Nyro, Randy Newman, Elton John, Paul Williams and many other top-tier names.  Iconoclassic Records, known for its fine reissues of titles by Nyro and The Guess Who, among others, is revisiting Three Dog Night’s eponymous debut tomorrow, June 24, in a newly remastered and expanded edition.

Irish-born Danny Hutton and New Yorkers Wells and Negron came together in the fertile mid-sixties L.A. rock scene, with each man already having a wealth of experience behind him.  Hutton had scored a minor U.S. hit in 1965 with his own composition “Roses and Rainbows” for Hanna-Barbera Records, the music arm of the animation studio.  The tune landed him a spot on a Sonny and Cher tour.  On the road with the “I Got You Babe” duo, Hutton’s path crossed with Cory Wells, leader of Cory Wells and The Enemys.  Back in LA from the road, Hutton hooked up with Wells, whose group was serving as the house band at the Sunset Strip’s Whisky A-Go Go.  When Hutton and Wells decided to try their hand at a group, Hutton remembered Negron.  Hutton had recently employed Negron as a background singer at Hanna-Barbera; Negron had recorded on his own for Columbia Records earlier in the decade.  The vocal chemistry between the three men was clear; Three Dog Night with its three equally-strong lead singers would soon be born.

Hutton’s pal Brian Wilson took a keen interest in the vocal trio which he christened Redwood.  But behind-the-scenes tensions in The Beach Boys scuttled the act as a potential signing for Brother Records.  Still, Wilson produced two songs for Redwood in 1967 – “Time to Get Alone” and “Darlin’,” both of which would be recorded by The Beach Boys.  Redwood’s “Darlin’” has never been officially released, but “Time to Get Alone” made its debut on the 2-CD anthology Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story in 1993 and is reprised on Iconoclassic’s reissue of Three Dog Night.

After the jump: the story of Three Dog Night, plus: what bonus material will you find on the upcoming reissue?

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Written by Joe Marchese

June 23, 2014 at 09:43

Posted in Brian Wilson, News, Reissues

The Beatles and The Beach Boys Beat The Boots On “The Big Beat 1963” and “Bootleg Recordings”

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Beatles - Bootleg Recordings1963 was a landmark year for the favorite sons of Hawthorne, California.  During those twelve months, The Beach Boys released three Top 10 studio albums (Surfin’ USA, Surfer Girl and Little Deuce Coupe) and launched three Top 10 singles (“Surfin’ USA,” “Surfer Girl,” and “Be True to Your School”).  Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, the outgoing David Marks and returning Al Jardine were perfecting their harmony-laden brand of surf rock and setting the stage for the next step in the band’s evolution.  Within one year, The Beach Boys’ music had grown leaps and bounds in sophistication with the likes of “All Summer Long,” “I Get Around” and “Fun, Fun, Fun.”  And greater stylistic changes would come with the fast and furious speed of any of the cars about which the band had so ardently sung.

Across the pond, 1963 was an even more key year for a certain quartet from Liverpool.  On March 22, The Beatles’ Please Please Me arrived on the Parlophone label.  On November 22, With the Beatles followed.  Both records topped the U.K. Albums chart, and songs like “Please Please Me,” “From Me to You,” “She Loves You,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” dominated the U.K. Singles charts during the year.   By the time Capitol Records’ Meet the Beatles arrived in the U.S. on January 20, 1964, John, Paul, George and Ringo were names known the world over, and “Beatlemania” was the word on everybody’s lips.

Now, however, the crucial music of 1963 is being revisited in two unusual digital-only compilations from Capitol Records.  Following in the footsteps of such projects as Bob Dylan’s The 50th Anniversary Collection or the multiple volumes of Motown Unreleased 1962, Capitol is issuing The Big Beat 1963 for Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, and Bootleg Recordings 1963 for The Beatles.  The impetus for these iTunes-exclusive releases is a simple one: to protect these recordings from entering the public domain in Europe.  Recent changes to copyright law in the E.U. have extended the copyright term of a recording from 50 to 70 years, but only if that recording has been released.  In other words, if a recording is not officially released within 50 years of its creation, it will fall into the public domain when the next (51st) calendar year begins.  If it is released, the term extends another 20 years.

Many would like to see the vintage recordings included in these sets released as physical titles with the usual bells and whistles, and indeed, these are intended as stopgap releases only.  It’s likely that these types of releases will become more common with each passing year; whether Capitol (and other labels) will reissue the material in a more deluxe manner down the road is still a matter of speculation.  After the jump, we’ll take a look at the recordings on both The Big Beat and Bootleg Recordings 1963!

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Written by Joe Marchese

December 17, 2013 at 11:35

Review: The Paley Brothers, “The Complete Recordings”

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Paley Brothers - CompleteIf The Brill Building had survived as the fulcrum of pop songwriting activity through the 1970s, chances are that Andy and Jonathan Paley would have been found in a cubicle there, turning out one infectious pop nugget after another like “Come Out and Play” and “Here Comes My Baby.”  As it turned out, the category-defying Paley Brothers were men out of time.  Singers as well as songwriters, they were signed to the Sire Records roster between the Ramones and Talking Heads, and managed to bridge the gap between Shaun Cassidy and, say, The Patti Smith Group.  After one EP, one LP, and some one-offs, however, The Paley Brothers disappeared.  Andy and Jonathan stayed in the music biz, with Andy notably working with Brian Wilson and overseeing film and television soundtracks from Dick Tracy to Spongebob Squarepants while Jonathan produced bands including the Dogmatics and Shrapnel.  Real Gone Music has just compiled the definitive anthology of the brief but blazing career of Andy and Jonathan as The Paley Brothers – The Complete Recordings.  This 26-track, non-chronologically arranged compendium, with 11 never-before-heard songs including one produced by Phil Spector, is one of the most deliciously upbeat releases of the year.  The Paley Brothers used the music of their own heroes as a jumping-off point, but created memorable songs that have earned their own place in the canon.  And now those songs can come out from the underground.

Jimmy Iovine (Bruce Springsteen, American Idol) helmed the Sire debut of the Paleys, a four-track EP recorded in a small New Jersey studio in 1976.  All four tracks from that EP are reprised on The Complete Recordings, and they’re treats one and all.  The Paleys let the stylistic hallmarks of their forebears come through loud and clear, but their two-part harmony and rawer sound kept them from descending into mere pastiche.  And so “Come Out and Play,” with Roy Bittan of the E Street Band on piano, plays like a marriage of Brian Wilson, Neil Sedaka and The Vogues.  “Rendezvous,” on which Bittan also appeared, is a Beach Boys twist on the Spector sound – and the Paleys would return to that well many times, each with creative and affectionate results.  (The legendary Beach Boy leader’s influence on the Paley Brothers’ ouevre is particularly apparent in the vocal phrasing.)  “Hide and Seek,” with its wailing saxophone, touches on Spector while also evoking The Rascals of “A Girl Like You.”  Its bubblegum lyrics (“Tried to remember baby way back when/I was eleven, you were ten/You and me, we were so carefree/Each and every day, all we’d do is play hide and seek!”) are rendered with what must have been a refreshing lack of irony.  Thanks to a rambunctious guitar, “Ecstasy” is the hardest-rocking of the quartet of songs, but its effortless melody and bright, teenager-in-love lyrics keep it light.  (“Come Out and Play” was written by both Paleys; Andy composed “Hide and Seek” and “Rendezvous” solo, and “Ecstasy” was the work of Billy Connors.)

Earle Mankey (Sparks, The Runaways, The Three O’Clock) was selected to produce The Paley Brothers’ 1978 full-length Sire debut.  Jonathan and Eric Rose played guitar, Andy handled keyboards and harmonica, Jan Uvena played drums, and Jim Haslip and Leigh Foxx shared bass duties.  Adding a layer of verisimilitude, the album was recorded at The Beach Boys’ Brother Studios.  Every track from The Paley Brothers is represented on The Complete Recordings, but fans and collectors alike should know that they’re included in never-before-released alternate takes or mixes – not in the original album versions.  Mankey didn’t dissuade the brothers from their well-crafted homages, but brought out the originality in their compositions, too.  The relatively stripped-down instrumentation married to sunny, hook-filled melodies and youthful lyrics lent The Paleys a distinct sound in the mid- to late-seventies rock landscape.

There’s more after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 4, 2013 at 13:30

Review: The Beach Boys, “Made in California”

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Beach Boys Made in California BoxIf everybody had an ocean…

Rarely have five simple words in pop music held such promise.  The message at the time was an invitation squarely aimed at teens: “If everybody had an ocean, across the USA/Then everybody’d be surfin’ like Califor-ni-a…”  But ultimately, the promise and California dream embodied by Hawthorne, CA’s native sons came to mean so much more than mere surfin’.  The sound of The Beach Boys – Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Al Jardine, David Marks, Bruce Johnston, Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar – has crossed generational and genre lines for over five decades.  The group’s ocean of possibility has led to works of great beauty, joy, melancholy and triumph – in other words, the human experience.  It’s not bad for a group who began in primitive fashion, marrying doo-wop vocalizations to a basic melody as they exhorted, “Surfin’ is the only life, the only way for me, now, surf, surf, with me!”  The story of that band – from “Surfin’” to 2012’s Top 5 LP That’s Why God Made the Radio and beyond – is told on the new 6-CD box set Made in California (Capitol/UMe B0018509-02).  “Box set” isn’t quite accurate, though – try “book set,” as Made in California is cleverly designed in the style of a high school yearbook, complete with inscriptions from Brian, Mike, Al, Bruce and David, advertisements from merchants of days gone by, articles including a high school essay written by Brian, and numerous photographs.  In fact, the band’s (near-) entire story is told in their own words – including quotes from the late Dennis and Carl.  (Emphasis on “near” as the yearbook skips from the early 1980s to the 2012 reunion!)

We’re goin’ to the beach right after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 27, 2013 at 11:27

If Everybody Had An Ocean: The Beach Boys’ 6-CD Box Set “Made in California” Premieres 60 Previously Unreleased Tracks

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Beach Boys Made in California Box

On my way to sunny California, on my way to spend another sunny day…

The sounds of summer will be in perfect harmony on August 27 when Capitol Records releases the

Beach Boys’ long-awaited, retrospective box set Made in CaliforniaWord first came last summer of the 50th anniversary box, as the reunited group of Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks were winding down a phenomenally successful world tour.  Since then, the Love/Johnston faction of the band has resumed touring, while Wilson, Jardine and Marks have announced a number of live dates to come this summer.  A 2-CD chronicle of the 2012 tour has just been released, and last week, Brian Wilson announced his return as a solo artist to Capitol Records for an as-yet-unscheduled album to feature Jardine, Marks, and guests including Jeff Beck.

Though a late 2012 arrival was originally planned, the band intends to prove that good things do come to those who wait with this latest celebratory project.  Made in California details the Hawthorne, California band’s history from 1961 to the present day over 6 CDs, with more than 7-1/2 hours of music and 60 previously unreleased tracks (17 of them live)Designed in the style of a high school yearbook, Made in California tells the Beach Boys’ story through all of their hits plus never-before-released songs, alternate takes, demos, rare mixes, and live performances.

Take the plunge and hit the jump for all of the details including the complete track listing!  The water’s fine! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 11, 2013 at 11:52

Review: The Beach Boys Remasters, Part One: “50 Big Ones: Greatest Hits”

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We’re continuing our series of in-depth features dedicated to America’s band, The Beach Boys, and the various projects that have kept the group occupied throughout 2012!  Today, as the Boys launch a new series of album reissues and compilation titles, we explore Greatest Hits, 50 Big Ones and more!

It was the headline heard the world (wide web) over: Mike Love Fires Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys.  Of course, it wasn’t true.  No matter, though: suddenly, good, good, good vibrations were nowhere to be seen even as the reunited Beach Boys completed a triumphant 75-date, worldwide fiftieth anniversary tour.  It’s in this climate that Capitol Records and EMI have just this week launched a Beach Boys reissue campaign, the band’s first major catalogue overhaul in over a decade.

Truth be known, it always seemed the unlikeliest of possibilities that Brian Wilson and Al Jardine would resume touring with the slimmed-down, Mike Love-led iteration of The Beach Boys.  Love and Bruce Johnston (who joined the group in 1965) had been touring for thirteen years under the group name, the license having been granted to the frontman by the Beach Boys’ Brother Records organization.  Love had already made his reservations known in a Rolling Stone interview about the grand scale of the reunion tour, in which two of his touring bandmates, John Cowsill and Scott Totten, were joined by a phalanx of Brian Wilson’s own, versatile band members.  It seemed inevitable that Love would return to his smaller version of the group to continue his nearly non-stop touring, with the lingering possibility that the reunited, full line-up would tour or record in the future, perhaps as early as 2013.  In the meantime, nothing would preclude Brian Wilson from his own solo activities, either.  Alas, nothing is ever simple in the world of the Beach Boys.

Mike Love issued a press release in late September that apparently closed the door on future activities with Wilson, Jardine and David Marks.  This rather inelegantly-worded statement apparently blindsided both Wilson and Jardine, who issued comments either directly or through press representatives expressing disappointment at Love’s decision.  Wilson had, by most accounts, already been contemplating another Beach Boys album, and told CNN, “I’m disappointed and can’t understand why Love doesn’t want to tour with Al, David and me.  We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys.”

A simple “We look forward to the possibility of touring with Al, David and Cousin Brian in the future” from Love might have been sufficient to deflect the unwanted media attention, which was almost universally negative towards Love.   Instead, the singer was forced into spin control mode, which culminated in a rather more eloquent statement he gave the Los Angeles Times.  His October 5 editorial affirmed that “I did not fire Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys.  I cannot fire Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys.  I am not his employer.  I do not have such authority.  And even if I did, I would never fire Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys.”  He continued to stress his love for Wilson and his admiration for Jardine, but emphasized, “The plan was always to go back to our respective lives post the 50th anniversary run.”  This is true, no doubt – but has damage had already been done in the public eye?  Once again, the men with the angelic voices have been revealed as simply human.

Will Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks do it again?  Or will the Beach Boys return to their pre-fiftieth status quo, with the perception of heroes (Wilson) and villains (Love), however limiting those tags are?  Whether or not the creative visionary and the brash lead singer ever set foot on a stage or in a studio together again, one thing remains: the music.  That, of course, brings us to Capitol’s series of twelve remastered original albums recorded between 1963 and 1971, and two newly-assembled greatest hits packages.

We’ll explore them all, right after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 9, 2012 at 10:06

7Ts Wakes Up in Love This Morning with David Cassidy Reissues; Beach Boys Among Guests

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David Cassidy sure is getting a lot of love on both sides of the Atlantic.

Almost simultaneously, reissue campaigns for the singer, actor and former teen idol were launched in the U.S. by Real Gone Music and in the U.K. by Cherry Red’s 7Ts imprint.  The former label has already reissued 1974’s Cassidy Live!, 1976’s Gettin’ It in the Street, and 1985’s Romance.  7Ts began its own campaign with a two-fer of Cherish and Rock Me Baby (both from 1972) and is continuing chronologically with four more studio albums on two CDs.  The Bell Records release Dreams Are Nuthin’ More Than Wishes (1973) has been paired with RCA debut The Higher They Climb, The Harder They Fall (1975), while Home is Where the Heart Is and Gettin’ It in the Street (both from 1976, on RCA) are combined on the second two-fer.  Perhaps surprisingly for those unfamiliar with Cassidy’s catalogue, all four albums are distinct experiences well worth revisiting, and there are plenty of songs and guest appearances from other notable musicians, including Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Bruce Johnston and Ricky Fataar of the Beach Boys.

Dreams Are Nuthin’ More Than Wishes was produced by Harry Nilsson collaborator Rick Jarrard, who may have suggested that Cassidy record Nilsson’s “The Puppy Song,” originally written by Nilsson for Mary Hopkin’s Post Card album.  (His own rendition can be heard on the Harry LP.)  The choice paid off when “The Puppy Song” was one side of a double A-side single with Terry Dempsey’s “Daydreamer,” and the single went to No. 1 in the U.K.  Nilsson’s lyric also gave the album its title, and the LP reached the same lofty position as the single.  Yet neither the album nor single dented the U.S. charts.  No matter, though; Partridge-mania may have been subsiding, but Cassidy was determined to make the kind of music that wouldn’t render him a flash in the pan.

Dreams includes some off-the-beaten path covers.  In addition to the vaudevillian-styled “Puppy Song,” Cassidy included a refreshingly straight reading of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific anthem “Bali Ha’i,” a retro take on John Sebastian’s “Daydream” (not to be confused with “Daydreamer,” of course) and a funky R&B makeover for the Little Willie John/Peggy Lee-popularized “Fever.”  Of the less familiar material, “Daydreamer” was a strong, sweet ballad (with a slight melodic resemblance to Barry Manilow’s “Can’t Smile Without You”).  Partridge Family stalwart songwriter Tony Romeo provided the likeable “Summer Days” (previously recorded by the Partridges) and “Sing Me,” and Cassidy himself penned a couple of tracks (the wistful “Can’t Go Home Again” and the soulful “Preyin’ on My Mind”) with an up-and-coming singer/songwriter who had accompanied him in concert, by the name of Kim Carnes!

1974 was a quiet year on the studio front for Cassidy, with just one single of two non-LP sides released in the U.K. (“If I Didn’t Care” b/w “Frozen Noses”) and the Cassidy Live LP, now available on Real Gone.  The year was also a tragic one when a teenaged fan of Cassidy’s died in a crush of fans at a London concert.  He retreated from the spotlight, returning in 1975 with a new RCA contract and an album co-produced with the Beach Boys’ Bruce Johnston.

The Higher They Climb, The Harder They Fall showed an increasing maturity in Cassidy’s vocals and material.  He was surrounded by the Hollywood musical elite on both background vocals and in the band, including Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell of America, Carl Wilson and Ricky Fataar from the Beach Boys, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman (a.k.a. Flo and Eddie), Ned Doheny, Lee Sklar, Jim Gordon, Neil Diamond associates Tom Hensley and King Errisson, and Danny Kortchmar, to name a few.  The centerpiece was Johnston’s own “I Write the Songs,” recorded before Barry Manilow’s version, and still the only “I Write the Songs” to have made the U.K. charts.  (It reached No. 11.)  Cassidy’s version offers a window into what a Beach Boys version might have sounded like, with Carl Wilson in particular offering some stunning vocals that give the song a very different character than Manilow’s well-known recording.  Again, the tracks were a blend of covers (The Beach Boys’ “Darlin’”, Gene Vincent’s “Be-Bop-a-Lula,” a personalized revision of Harry Nilsson’s “This Could Be the Night”) and originals (Cassidy’s own, sprawling multi-part statement “When I’m a Rock N Roll Star,” sleek “Fix of Your Love” and gentle “Love in Bloom,” penned with Buffalo Springfield’s Richie Furay).

All these songs added up to a loose concept album about stardom and the transition from teen idol to adult performer.  Cassidy’s ever-confident vocals were enhanced by Johnston’s lush production and killer backing from L.A.’s crème de la crème.  Ned Doheny’s “Get It Up for Love” may have been banned by the BBC for its rather on-the-nose lyrics, but the song still managed No. 1 for South Africa, and is irresistible in Cassidy’s urgent recording.  There are some self-indulgent moments, for sure, such as the spoken-word interlude “Massacre at Park Bench.”  But if you’ve ever wondered what David Cassidy would sound like in Laurel Canyon circa 1975, here’s your answer.

Hit the jump for details on Home is Where the Heart Is/Gettin’ It in the Street, plus full track listings and order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 8, 2012 at 10:14

Isn’t It Time! Beach Boys Reissues Confirmed For U.S., Two “Greatest Hits” Sets Also Arriving! [UPDATED 9/10]

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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!

  1. Surfin’ USA (Capitol ST-1890, 1963)
  2. Surfer Girl (Capitol ST-1981, 1963)
  3. Little Deuce Coupe (Capitol ST-1998, 1963)
  4. Shut Down Vol.2 (Capitol ST-2027, 1964)
  5. All Summer Long (Capitol ST-2110, 1964)
  6. The Beach Boys Today! (Capitol T-2269, 1965)
  7. Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!) (Capitol T-235, 1965)
  8. Beach Boys’ Party! (Capitol DMAS-2398, 1965)
  9. Pet Sounds (Capitol T-2458, 1966)
  10. Smiley Smile (Brother 9001, 1967)
  11. Sunflower (Brother/Reprise RS 6382, 1970)
  12. 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 »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 10, 2012 at 17:12

I Don’t Know Where, But It Sends Me There: “Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Songbook” Arrives

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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!

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Written by Joe Marchese

July 23, 2012 at 09:55