Today (May 18) marks the release on vinyl by Universal Music Catalogue of no fewer than six albums from the 1970s and ‘80s catalogue of the mighty Beach Boys. They’re all available to buy now from uDiscover’s Deluxe Audio Store, on the link below.
The albums in the collection are 1972’s ‘Carl and the Passions – So Tough,’ 1976’s ’15 Big Ones,’ the ‘M.I.U.’ set of 1978, the following year’s ‘L.A. (Light Album),’ 1980’s ‘Keeping The Summer Alive’ and the 1985 entry ‘The Beach Boys.’
The albums cover some fascinating ground in the group’s remarkable history, and each contains some lesser-publicised gems. ‘Carl and the Passions,’ titled after an early band of Carl Wilson’s, saw him coming further to the fore as musical director. Marking the arrival in the group of Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar, it contained the single ‘You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone,’ the poignant Fataar/Chaplin composition ‘Hold On Dear Brother’ and the feelgood ‘Marcella.’
’15 Big Ones’ signalled a dramatic new upswing in the band’s fortunes via an album on which they covered some of their favourite oldies. These included a fine, atmospheric take on the Righteous Brothers’ ‘For Once In My Life’ and their hit single update of early hero Chuck Berry’s ‘Rock and Roll Music.’ The album also boasts such originals as ‘Susie Cincinatti,’ Al Jardine’s nostalgic nod to their early “car songs” era,’ and the single ‘It’s OK.’
Al and Mike Love wrote the catchy ‘Kona Coast’ single for the ‘M.I.U.’ album, on which Carl’s typically tender lead vocal on ‘Sweet Sunday Kinda Love’ is another highlight. The ‘L.A. (Light Album),’ which included the major UK hit ‘Lady Lynda,’ had Carl in fine form again on ‘Full Sail’ and Dennis taking the strong lead on ‘Angel Come Home’ and ‘Love Surrounds Me,’ plus the Brian and Carl single ‘Good Timin.’’
Brian and Mike’s ‘Goin’ On’ was an endearing single from ‘Keeping The Summer Alive,’ which also offers another Chuck Berry remake in ‘School Day’ and closes with Bruce Johnston’s reflective piece about the group themselves, ‘Endless Harmony.’ Another Bruce ballad, ‘She Believes In Love Again,’ is a standout on the self-titled 1985 set, as is the single written by Mike and longtime group collaborator Terry Melcher, ‘Getcha Back.’