The Beach Boys / Summer Shadows 1963 - 1973

 

1963 - 1966

 

01 Surfin’ USA / Single A Side March 1963

02 Lonely Sea / Surfin’USA April 1963

03 Surfer Girl / Single A Side July 1963

04 In My Room / Surfer Girl September 1963

05 Little Deuce Coupe / Little Deuce Coupe October 1963

06 Fun Fun Fun / Single A Side February 1964

07 Don’t Worry Baby / Shut Down Vol 2 April 1964

08 The Warmth Of The Sun / Shut Down Vol 2 April 1964

09 I Get Around / Single A Side May 1964

10 All Summer Long / All Summer Long July 1964

11 When I Grow Up (To Be A Man) / Today March 1965

12 Please Let Me Wonder / Today March 1965

13 Help Me Rhonda / Single A Side April 1965

14 California Girls / Single A Side July 1965

15 Girl Don’t Tell Me / Summer Days (And Summer Nights) July 1965

16 Let Him Run Wild / Summer Days (And Summer Nights) July 1965

17 You’re So Good To Me / Summer Days (And Summer Nights) July 1965

18 Barbara Ann / Beach Boys Party November 1965

19 Sloop John B / Single A Side March 1966

20 Wouldn’t It Be Nice / Pet Sounds May 1966

21 You Still Believe In Me / Pet Sounds May 1966

22 That’s Not Me / Pet Sounds May 1966

23 Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder) / Pet Sounds May 1966

24 I’m Waiting For The Day / Pet Sounds May 1966

25 God Only Knows / Pet Sounds May 1966

26 I Know There’s An Answer / Pet Sounds May 1966

27 Here Today / Pet Sounds May 1966

28 I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times / Pet Sounds May 1966

29 Pet Sounds / Pet Sounds May 1966

30 Caroline No / Pet Sounds May 1966

 

1966 - 1973

 

01. Our Prayer / Smile Sessions Recorded October-December 1966

02. Do You Like Worms / Smile Sessions Recorded October-December 1966

03. Good Vibrations / Single A Side October 1966

04. Heroes And Villains / Single A Side July 1967

05. With Me Tonight / Smiley Smile September 1967

06. Wind Chimes / Smiley Smile September 1967

07. Wild Honey / Wild Honey December 1967

08. Darlin’ / Wild Honey December 1967

09. Let The Wind Blow /Wild Honey December 1967

10. Friends / Single A Side May 1968

11. Busy Doin’ Nothin’ / Friends June 1968

12. Do It Again / Single A Side July 1968

13. I Can Hear Music / Single A Side February 1969

14. Cabinessence / 20/20 February 1969

15. Break Away / Single A Side June 1969

16. Tears In The Morning / Sunflower September 1970

17. Forever / Sunflower September 1970

18. Cool Cool Water / Sunflower September 1970

19. Long Promised Road / Surfs Up August 1971

20. Disney Girls (1957) / Surfs Up August 1971

21. Feel Flows / Surfs Up August 1971

22. ‘Til I Die / Surfs Up August 1971

23. Surfs Up / Surfs Up August 1971

24. Marcella / Carl And The Passions May 1972

25. Sail On Sailor / Holland January 1973

 

   When teenage Four Freshmen fan Brian Wilson heard the garage clamour of his brother Carl and Hawthorne, CA neighbour David Marks, an idea took hold: a meld of heavenly harmonies and rock’n’roll energy that would turn his family vocal group into legends. They started small screen, longing for cars, surf and teen romance, but became full on cinemascope thanks to Brian’s uncanny left ear, hymning the melancholy tides that tugged beneath California’s 60’s dream.

   The musical personalities of ethereal Brian, soulful Carl, odious cousin Mike Love, loyal friends Bruce Johnstone and Al Jardine and wounded hunk (and middle Wilson brother) Dennis, informed music of increasing diversity and complexity, with added scholarly input from inspired outsiders Tony Asher and Van Dyke Parks and open minded session stars. After the perfection of his 1966 masterpiece Pet Sounds, Brian’s vision rapidly unravelled amidst bum trips and bad karma. Even though great music would still come, it arrived much less often, having to be gently coaxed out of him as if he was holding on to it until he had no choice but to let it go. That Brian Wilson was a unique one off is indisputable. If it wasn’t for him those square old Beach Boys, with their stupid shirts and their California teeth, would now be a side note in popular music culture.

   Brian had realised early on that he possessed a true gift and that what he was doing with tone, vocals and arrangements were symphonic by definition. Added to the idealism of the times and the certainty of youth, all the elements of his future vision were already in place. What was amazing was that he could hear whole songs and all their constituent parts in his head, only needing the merest whisper of a tune, a chord, a melody to know exactly where instrumentation would fit and where to harmonise and layer in the studio. 

   What you hear in the greatest Beach Boys music is the crystallisation of other worldliness and a yearning, best encapsulated on songs like ‘In My Room’ and ‘Caroline No’. There’s also an innocence, at once very cerebral, vulnerable and emotional encapsulating Brian’s fragile, childlike persona, eyes wide open in wonder but dangerously sensitive to his demons and the emotional carnage inflicted by those around him. It’s all there in his songs, the sound of a man striving to create beauty in a cruel, corrupt brutal world.

 

April 2012