A Postcard from California, the much-admired debut solo album by Beach Boys co-founder Al Jardine, is now available digitally for streaming and download worldwide via UMe, ahead of his 80th birthday tomorrow (3).
The album was released in 2010 on CD, and a new edition came out in 2012 featuring two previously unavailable tracks, “Waves of Love” and “Sloop John B (A Pirate’s Tale).” A Postcard from California hasn’t been available digitally for several years and today marks its debut on streaming services. A limited edition translucent blue vinyl release for Record Store Day in 2018 swiftly sold out.
The new digital release includes a previously unreleased and newly remastered and extended version of “Waves of Love,” featuring Al’s much-missed, former Beach Boys bandmate Carl Wilson, in one of his last recorded studio vocals ever before his death in 1998.
“I can’t believe it’s been twelve years since Postcard came out and I thank everyone involved in the production and creation of this album to help me get my songs out there,” says Jardine. “Brian’s advice to aspiring young songwriters has always been ‘finish your songs’ so I took it to heart and I hope everyone who has listened to A Postcard from California feels my excitement and enthusiasm for this great land and sea of ours and our need to protect it forever.
“Thank you for all your support over the years, it is greatly appreciated,” continues the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, “and I will continue to dedicate Postcard to all the pets we love and who love us back!”
The album was recorded at Jardine’s own Red Barn Studios in Big Sur, California, and lyrically embraced his long-held passionate belief in environmental issues. Songs such as “Don’t Fight The Sea,” “Tidepool Interlude,” and “A California Saga” echoed his lifelong affection for the California coastline and his concern for the ecological health of the planet, issues that resonate even more strongly today.
Many famous friends contributed to the album, including Alec Baldwin, David Crosby, Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley of America, Flea, Glen Campbell, John Stamos, Neil Young, Richie Cannata, Stephen Stills, and Steve Miller. “Don’t Fight The Sea” constituted a reunion of sorts for the Beach Boys, bringing Brian Wilson, Mike Love, and Bruce Johnston together, along with a lead vocal by Carl Wilson, two years before the group reunited for the 50th anniversary album That’s Why God Made The Radio, and its subsequent tour. Jardine’s sons, Adam and Matt Jardine, also contribute vocals to the album, which was co-produced by musicians Stevie Heger and Scott Slaughter.
“‘Don’t Fight the Sea’ started a long time ago with a Canadian friend of mine, Terry Jacks [of ‘Seasons In The Sun’ fame, among others], who was kind enough to allow me to rewrite his song for a solo album that Mike Love and I were planning around an ecology theme. I asked Matt Jardine to help me with the lyrics.
“I always envisioned it to be the quintessential environmental song, a big statement, but I could never get all the guys together to finish it. I started with Carl, Bruce [Johnston] and myself on backgrounds, then years later Brian put on his falsetto, and just recently Mike recorded his baritone signature line. To top it all off, I added Matt and friend Scott Mathews to the track, to give additional vocal support to the core group; all this over a period of thirty-plus years. I guess persistence pays off!”
Wrote Endless Summer Quarterly in their review of the album: “There are great moments of depth, strokes of expression, and ageless vision that could only come from a ‘Jardine musical canvas.’ Although this collection isn’t purely autobiographical; it masterfully captures the transient lifestyle of his biological family as well as the musical consciousness of the Beach Boys.”
Buy or stream Al Jardine’s A Postcard From California.