ALBUMS REVIEWS III: 1970-1980
I - II - III - IV

NOTE: The 1970's were a period of sharp contrasts for the Beach Boys, starting out on a high with "Sunflower," and ending with the flame-out of "Keepin' The Summer Alive."  Scattershot in their successes, the band watched their earnest efforts to stay relevant fail miserably, and by 1980, their concerts leaned exclusively upon their early hits from the 60's, leaving their 70's material to be unjustly forgotten.  These reviews are solely my own opinion.

Sunflower 
Brother-Reprise RS 6382/Stateside SSL 8251 [US/UK LP] Epic ZK 46950 [CD]; Released August, 1970
(out of five)

1. Slip on Through [Wilson] 2:19
2. This Whole World [Wilson] 1:58
3. Add Some Music to Your Day [Knott, Love, Wilson] 3:36
4. Got to Know the Woman [Wilson] 2:43
5. Deirdre [Johnston, Wilson] 3:29
6. It's About Time [Burchman, Jardine, Wilson ...] 2:58
7. Tears in the Morning [Johnston] 4:11
8. All I Wanna Do [Love, Wilson] 2:36
9. Forever [Jakobson, Wilson] 2:42
10. Our Sweet Love [Jardine, Wilson, Wilson] 2:41
11. At My Window [Jardine, Wilson] 2:32
12. Cool, Cool Water [Love, Wilson] 5:04

REVIEW: "Sunflower" is one of the Beach Boys best albums,  right up there with "Today," "Summer Days (and Summer Nights!)," and "All Summer Long." Starting off with the sidewinding, sinewy groove of Dennis Wilson's "Slip On Through," the album  leaps out of the starting gate.  The band sounds completely fresh and contemporary, throwing off their old personas and adopting a comfortable new one.  Next is Brian's fabulous "This Whole World," which sounds effortless and fine in it's doo-wop hooks and harmonies.  "Add Some Music" is a bit of a clunker, with chugging backup vocals bringing it down a notch from the previous two songs, but still containing considerable charm.  The album comes roaring back to life with a hot bar-room brawler "Got To Know The Woman," before sweeping me away with the sweet, ebullient high of Bruce Johnston's "Dierdre." Dennis returns again in high form with the insistent drive of "It's About Time," before slowing down in Bruce's maudlin, but melodic "Tears In The Morning."  The next song, "All I Wanna Do" is my personal favorite. Slow and hypnotic, with a psychedelic wink, it contains one of Mike Love's most understated, and best, lead vocals, with excellent help on the bridge from Carl.  Dennis's immortal "Forever" is next, which is his best, most realized love song.  "Our Sweet Love" is a wonderful, winning love song, unfortunately followed by the album's far and away clunker, Alan and Brian's sugary and simplistic "At My Window".  I take off half a star for that mistake.  But "Sunflower" finishes on a high with Brian's percolating "Cool, Cool Water."  An unforgettable album, and many fans favorite.



Surf's Up
Brother-Reprise RS 6453/Stateside SLS 10313 [US/UK LP] Epic ZK 46951 [CD]; 
Released August, 1971


1. Don't Go Near the Water [Jardine, Love] 2:42
2. Long Promised Road [Rieley, Wilson] 3:34
3. Take a Load off Your Feet [Jardine, Wilson, Winfrey] 2:31
4. Disney Girls (1957) [Johnston] 4:11
5. Student Demonstration Time [Leiber, Love, Stoller] 4:01
6. Feel Flows [Rieley, Wilson] 4:49
7. Lookin' at Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) [Jardine, Winfrey] 1:57
8. A Day in the Life of a Tree [Rieley, Wilson] 3:10
9. 'Til I Die [Wilson] 2:44
10. Surf's Up [Parks, Wilson] 4:12

REVIEW: A noticeably weaker album than "Sunflower," "Surf's Up" was an orchestrated attempt by their new manager, Jack Rieley, to make the Beach Boys "contemporary." The opening track, a gurgling "Don't Go Near The Water" is a self-conscious shot at ecology, and a wandering, weak song overall.  "Long Promised Road" by Carl, is much stronger, with a slow building-up to the rocking chorus, but still feels subdued and wordy (lyrics courtesy of Mr. Rieley). "Take A Load Off Your Feet" is laughably bad, and is certainly the first (and only) rock song promoting foot care.  Bruce Johnston's "Disney Girls (1957)" is a worthy classic, lilting and warm, with lovely harmonies. Mike Love's rewritten "Riot In Cell Block # 9" (Now titled "Student DemonstrationTime") is awful: blunt and preachy, with about as much subtlety as "Be True To Your School" except stripped of any sincerity or charm. Carl Wilson's next offering, "Feel Flows" is free and hypnotic, with winding in-and-out vocals, despite incoherent, blathering lyrics (again by Mr.Rieley).  Al Jardine steps into the spotlight with an original composition "Looking At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song)" which is a simple, lovely number much unlike his later over-reaching attempts.  "A Day In The Life Of A Tree" by Brian and Jack Rieley is a 'You've-Gotta-Hear-It-To-Believe-It' kind of song.  Taken from the tree's point of view and sung by Mr.Rieley (shudder), it details the tree's view of pollution. It has a decent melody, but is otherwise failing in all areas.  Closing the album are it's two best numbers: "Till I Die" (which sounds unlike any other Beach Boys song),  is a lush, melancholy, utterly spell-binding song by Brian.  Following it is the title track of the album, a left-over from "Smile" with some sections re-recorded by the band (including a tacked on section of another "Smile" fragment, "Child Is Father Of The Man"). "Surf's Up" has an extremely sophisticated melody, coupled with nearly impenetrable, visually-rich lyrics by Van Dyke Parks.  An odd, haunting closer to a strained album.



Carl and the Passions "So Tough" 
Brother-Reprise 2MS 2083 [LP] Epic ZK 46953 [CD]; Released May, 1972


1. You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone [Rieley, Wilson] 3:26
2. Here She Comes [Chaplin, Fataar] 4:38
3. He Come Down [Jardine, Love, Wilson] 2:56
4. Marcella [Rieley, Wilson] 3:48
5. Hold on Dear Brother [Chaplin, Fataar] 3:24
6. Make It Good [Dragon, Wilson] 2:36
7. All This Is That [Jardine, Love, Wilson] 4:00
8. Cuddle Up [Dragon, Wilson] 5:29
 

REVIEW:  Why,WHY did the Beach Boys sling out this marginal piece of product after slaving over Surf's Up (which sold fairly well)?  This is the kind of question (and album) that drives Beach Boys fans to distraction.  It begins with the stomping "You Need A Mess Of Help to Stand Alone" a sloppy, though memorable cut which pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album. "Here She Comes" (by newly-recruited South-African team Ricky Faatar and Blondie Chaplin), is jazzy but dull, but "He Comes Down" by Mike Love and Al Jardine is good 'ol gospel revivalism (on the chorus anyway, the verse is terrible Mike Love TM lyrics).  The next song, "Marcella" is much better, with a hook-filled, fade-down chorus, but still exhibits the same underproduced feel of the rest of the album.  "Hold On Dear Brother" is a lumbering, so-so number, and Dennis's  contributions (after being shut-out of Surf's Up) are both awful, showing none of the spark or vitality he exibited on Sunflower.  "Make It Good" is a pointless, rambling song, sung by Dennis as if he was fighting off the effects of chloroform, and orchestrated to little effect by Daryl Dragon.   "All This Is That" is the second-best song (after Marcella), with tight harmonies,and good production (actually it's very similar to  "Feel Flows" from Surf's Up, with the same confounding lyrics).  The closing track, "Cuddle Up" is a wonderful benediction, with soaring harmonies, but a strained vocal by Dennis.  An album that could have been a further stepping stone if more time and care had been taken, ends up being a stumbling block.  Nice cover, though.



Holland
Brother-Reprise MS 2118 [LP+EP] Epic ZK 46952 [CD]; Released January, 1973


   1. "Sail On, Sailor" (Brian Wilson/Tandyn Almer/Ray Kennedy/Jack Rieley/Van Dyke Parks) - 3:19
2. "Steamboat" (Dennis Wilson/Jack Rieley) - 4:33
3. "California Saga: Big Sur" (Mike Love) - 2:56
4. "California Saga: The Beaks Of Eagles" (Robinson Jeffers/Al Jardine/Lynda Jardine) - 3:49
5. "California Saga: California" (Al Jardine) - 3:21
 6. "The Trader" (Carl Wilson/Jack Rieley) - 5:04
7. "Leaving This Town" (Ricky Fataar/Blondie Chaplin/Carl Wilson/Mike Love) - 5:49
8. "Only With You" (Dennis Wilson/Mike Love) 2:59
9. "Funky Pretty" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love/Jack Rieley) - 4:09

Mount Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale)
1. "Mount Vernon And Fairway (Theme)" (Brian Wilson) - 1:34
2. "I'm The Pied Piper (Instrumental)" (Brian Wilson/Carl Wilson) - 2:20
3. "Better Get Back In Bed" (Brian Wilson) - 1:39
4. "Magic Transistor Radio" (Brian Wilson) - 1:43
5. "I'm The Pied Piper" (Brian Wilson/Carl Wilson) - 2:09
6. "Radio King Dom" (Brian Wilson/Jack Rieley) - 2:38

 

REVIEW: I want to give the Beach Boys points for effort (after all, they nearly bankrupted themselves making this album), but they sound tired, the songs are middling, the production is scattershot, and Brian Wilson is fried.   Holland begins with "Sail On Sailor," which comes close to greatness in it's composition, but is undercut by wheezing  production that robs it of potential. It's followed by "Steamboat" by Dennis Wilson, which is a lumbering, sleepwalking excuse for a song.  (Dennis, where art thou?) Follow it with the pretentious, bloated trilogy: "California Saga" by Mike Love and Al Jardine (both of whom are quickly wearing out their welcome as far as songwriting goes), and you have what is beginning to look like the most over-rated Beach Boys product of their career.  (There is a bootleg copy of the "California Saga" floating around which has a superior, harmony-rich version of "Big Sur" on it.  I suggest you search it out, instead.)  As for the rest, "The Trader" by Carl is good, but goes on forever; "Leaving This Town," is a slow, good number; "Only With You" is slow and not good; and "Funky Pretty" is far less funky than it should be.  "Mt. Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale) is a strange curiosity but ultimately a very sad number, documenting Brian's (then) current state of mind.  Many fans pair Holland with Sunflower and Surf's Up, as a kind of '70s trilogy, but that's really not fair.  Those albums had much better material on them, and when compared with either, this one falls far short. To read a more in-depth account of the creation of Holland click here.



The Beach Boys In Concert 
Brother-Repirse 2MS 6468 [LP], Epic ZK 46954 [CD]; Released November 19, 1973


1. "Sail On, Sailor" (Brian Wilson/Tandyn Almer/Ray Kennedy/Jack Rieley/Van Dyke Parks) - 3:21
2. "Sloop John B" (Trad. Arr. Brian Wilson) - 3:12
3. "The Trader" (Carl Wilson/Jack Rieley) - 4:46
4. "You Still Believe In Me" (Brian Wilson/Tony Asher) - 2:58
5. "California Girls" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 2:57
6. "Darlin' " (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 2:21
7. "Marcella" (Brian Wilson/Tandyn Almer/Jack Rieley) - 3:55
8. "Caroline, No" (Brian Wilson/Tony Asher) - 3:04
9. "Leaving This Town" (Carl Wilson/Ricky Fataar/Blondie Chaplin/Mike Love) - 6:59
10. "Heroes And Villains" (Brian Wilson/Van Dyke Parks) - 3:51
11. "Funky Petty" (Brian Wilson/Jack Rieley/Mike Love) - 4:04
12. "Let The Wind Blow" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 4:22
13. "Help Me, Rhonda" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 4:59
14. "Surfer Girl" (Brian Wilson) - 2:35
15. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" (Brian Wilson/Tony Asher/Mike Love) - 2:45
16. "We Got Love" (Ricky Fataar/Blondie Chaplin/Mike Love) - 5:25
17. "Don't Worry Baby" (Brian Wilson/Roger Christian) - 3:11
18. "Surfin' USA" (Chuck Berry/Brian Wilson) - 2:49
19. "Good Vibrations" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 4:49
  20. "Fun, Fun, Fun" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 3:16

REVIEW: The Beach Boys had been giving live concerts for nearly twelve years by this time, and their experience shows on this professional, exciting document. Varied, energized and tight, the band cuts loose on the opening "Sail On Sailor" from their recently-acclaimed "Holland,"  and intersperses new material with older favorites throughout.  Comparing this with their first (1964) concert album, you first notice how restrained the audience is... none of the screaming females here, which is a little disconcerting. They could be performing at a rotary luncheon. Oddly, this album was the first album for the Beach Boys to go gold, (although this number is deceiving due to it being a double album, and therefore counted twice), and it was also submitted, and rejected as a single disc, by their record label, Reprise, before being recut to its current length.  Also of interest to fans is the album debut of a song which was recorded, but then cut from Holland, "We Got Love."  I have heard many fans lately call for a current "live" album from the Beach Boys, but to my mind this album and Beach Boys ' 69 serve as far better reminders of what a great live rock band the Beach Boys were.



15 Big Ones
Brother-Reprise MS 2251 [LP], Epic ZK 46955 [CD]; Released July, 1976


1. "Rock And Roll Music" (Chuck Berry) - 2:29
2. "It's OK" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 2:12
3. "Had To Phone Ya" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love/Diane Rovell) - 1:43
4. "Chapel Of Love" (Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich/Phil Spector) - 2:34
5. "Everyone's In Love With You" (Mike Love) - 2:42
6. "Talk To Me" (J. Seneca) - 2:14
7. "That Same Song" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 2:16
8. "TM Song" (Brian Wilson) - 1:34
9. "Palisades Park" (C. Barris) - 2:27
10. "Susie Cincinnati" (Al Jardine) - 2:57
11. "A Casual Look" (E. Wells) - 2:45
12. "Blueberry Hill" (A. Lewis/L. Stock/V. Rose) - 3:01
13. "Back Home" (Brian Wilson/Bob Norberg) - 2:49
14. "In The Still Of The Night" (F. Parris) - 3:03
15. "Just Once In My Life" (Gerry Goffin/Carole King/Phil Spector) - 3:47

REVIEW: By this time, Mike Love was in charge of the band (thanks to the astounding success of "Endless Summer"), and boy, does it show.  The Beach Boys hauled Brian back into the studio, plastered a "Brian Is Back!" ad campaign over the airwaves, and released this terrible album in time to coincide with the country's Centennial celebrations.  Thanks, Mike.  The album starts out grimly with a desensitizing cover of Chuck Berry's "Rock and Roll Music," obligingly shouted/whined out by Mr. Love.  Followed by two Brian Wilson songs: "It's OK" and "Had To Phone Ya" are both charming, but certainly not prime Beach Boys material.  "Chapel Of Love" makes one ache for the original version, "Everyone's In Love With You" is syrupy pablum, and "Talk To Me/Tallahassee Lassie" struggles for breath. Brian's next original, "That Same Song" is the most decent number on here, an understated ramble with occasional harmony punctuations.  Unfortunately, it doesn't signal a trend.  "TM Song" is an embarrassment, and "Palasades Park" is another pale imitation.  "Susie Cincinnati" is Al Jardine's second-best song (after "Lookin' At Tomorrow"), but that's not saying much;it's a fairly straight-forward rock and roll number, and never really catches fire.  "A Casual Look," and "Blueberry Hill" are both unmemorable, "Back Home" is recycled Brian from 1962,  Dennis vocally destroys "In The Still Of The Night," and Brian recalls his Wall-of-Sound glory days in a rasping, triumphant "Just Once In My Life."  For fanatics (like me) only.



Beach Boys ' 69 (The Beach Boys Live In London)
Capitol ST 11584 [LP] CDP 7 93697 2 [CD]; Released November, 1976


1. "Darlin' " (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 2:41
2. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" (Brian Wilson/Tony Asher/Mike Love) - 1:53
3. "Sloop John B" (Trad. Arr. Brian Wilson) - 2:30
4. "California Girls" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 2:19
5. "Do It Again" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 2:47
6. "Wake The World" (Brian Wilson/Al Jardine) - 2:26
7. "Aren't You Glad" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 3:09
8. "Bluebirds Over The Mountain" (Ersel Hickey) - 2:53
9. "Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring" (Bobby Troup) - 2:49
10. "Good Vibrations" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 4:36
11. "God Only Knows" (Brian Wilson/Tony Asher) - 3:27
12. "Barbara Ann" (Fred Fassert) - 2:32

REVIEW: Actually, this is probably the December 8, 1968 Finsbury show, not the London Palladium show as listed, but why quibble?  The Beach Boys sound very fine, with Bruce Johnston stepping into Brian's vocal parts, and a bright brass section nicely filling out the sound.  The boys sound enthusiastic and relaxed, with Mike showing what a good, amusing frontman he could be.  (No, really!)  In my mind, this concert album is the equal of the 1973 In Concert and perhaps even surpasses it (probably due to the fact that I enjoy their Wild Honey/20/20 material more than their Holland-era songs).  But that's matter of taste.  The Beach Boys were in London at a time when their popularity there was high, and the good feelings they had for their audience and for the new material shine through. I'm especially pleased by their inclusion of "Wake The World" which, with the addition of an extra chorus works even better live than on record, and a delightful acapella version of "Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring."  Unfortunately, it's a short album with only twelve songs, and even in 1968 they were choosing to end their set with (shudder) "Barbara Ann."



The Beach Boys Love You
Brother-Reprise MS 2258 [LP], Epic ZK 46956 [CD]; Released April, 1977


 
1. "Let Us Go on This Way" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 1:58
2. "Roller Skating Child" - 2:17
3. "Mona" - 2:06
4. "Johnny Carson" - 2:47
5. "Good Time" (Brian Wilson/Al Jardine) - 2:50
6. "Honkin' Down the Highway" - 2:48
7. "Ding Dang" (Brian Wilson/Roger McGuinn) - 0:56
8. "Solar System" - 2:47
9. "The Night Was So Young" - 2:15
10. "I'll Bet He's Nice" - 2:36
11. "Let's Put Our Hearts Together" - 2:14
12. "I Wanna Pick You Up" - 2:39
13. "Airplane" - 3:06
14. "Love Is a Woman" - 2:57

REVIEW: Originally titled "Brian Loves You," this album is virtually Brian Wilson's first solo album, with the Beach Boys guesting.  And what an album it is!  Alternately vilified or lauded by equally-divided fans, there apparently is no middle ground.  I'm one of the 'love it' fans, although it took me a couple of years to come around.  This is the infamous 'farting' synthesizers album; the album that sings praises to Johnny Carson; the album where Brian lets it 'all hang out.'  It's a trip.  Beginning with the gorgeous "Let Us Go On This Way" with full-throated harmonies and sledgehammer production, it's a bold way to begin a Beach Boys album. "Roller Skating Child" follows, which is a fun, upbeat track, with a little wink added.  "Mona" is old-fashioned rock and roll swinger with sing-along catchiness.  "Johnny Carson" is pure camp, but also very memorable and catchy.  The next track, "Good Time" was taken out of the archives and dusted off, as Brian's old falsetto springs out of the speakers.  Incredibly bouncy and 'up,' it's my favorite track on the album.  "Honkin' Down The Highway" is also bouncy, (side note: this is the most rock-oriented album from the Beach Boys since "Sunflower," and the entire album has an optimistic energy about it that's lacking from previous releases.) "Ding Dang" is a fantastic tear up, "Solar System" has childlike wonder (and is a nice way to learn the names of all the planets),and "The Night Was So Young" is sheer perfection in it's loveliness. "I'll Bet He's Nice" is sweet, sung from a jilted-lover's point of view with heartbreaking earnestness, with a perfect middle-eight by Carl. The next number is my first sticking point: a rather lame "Let's Put Our Hearts Together" (even the title is lame) which is notable in that Brian sings a duet with his wife, Marilyn.  The rest of the album seems to sag, with "I Wanna Pick You Up," "Airplane," and "Love Is A Woman" only half-good numbers.  This album should be investigated by each and every fan.  Then we should all get together and fight about it. (Oh, wait... that's what we do now.)



The M.I.U. Album
Reprise MSK 2268 [LP], ZK 46957 [CD]; Released Spetember, 1978


1. "She's Got Rhythm" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love/Ron Altbach) - 2:27
2. "Come Go with Me" (C. E. Quick) - 2:06
3. "Hey Little Tomboy" (Brian Wilson) - 2:25
4. "Kona Coast" (Al Jardine/Mike Love) - 2:33
5. "Peggy Sue" (Buddy Holly/J. Allison/N. Petty) - 2:15
6. "Wontcha Come Out Tonight" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 2:30
7. "Sweet Sunday Kinda Love" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 2:42
8. "Belles of Paris" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love/Ron Altbach) - 2:27
9. "Pitter Patter" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love/Al Jardine) - 3:14
10. "My Diane" (Brian Wilson) - 2:37
11. "Match Point of Our Love" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 3:29
12. "Winds of Change" (Ron Altbach/Ed Tuleja) - 3:14

REVIEW: Mike Love tears back the reigns of power from Brian Wilson and lets Al Jardine produce a slick, uninspired pile of goo.  Starting off with the half-hearted "She's Got Rhythm," the Beach Boys quickly digress to a middling cover of "Come Go With Me," before completely sinking into the mire with the vile, lecherous "Hey Little Tomboy"  (every time I hear it, I get a mental picture of Mike Love leering at some 14-year old girl.) "Kona Coast" is a half-baked "Hawaii," followed by another limp cover: "Peggy Sue" (when are the Beach Boys going to learn?).  A better song,"Wont'cha Come Out Tonight" is next, but the next two songs, "Sweet Sunday Kind Of Love" and "Belles of Paris" are sugary enough to cause cavities (despite fine harmonies on the latter).  "Pitter Patter" is better than half-good, and my favorite track, "My Diane" (with a gruff, fantastic reading by Dennis), is heart-rending.  Spiraling downward from there, we have the laughable tennis-romance epic "Matchpoint Of Our Love" and the mellow, forgettable "Winds Of Change."   By this time, the Beach Boys had sold their souls.



L. A. (Light Album)
Caribou JZ 35752 [LP], 902 107 2 [CD]; Released March, 1979


1. "Good Timin' " (Brian Wilson/Carl Wilson) - 2:12
2. "Lady Lynda" (Alan Jardine/Ron Altbach) - 3:58
3. "Full Sail" (Carl Wilson/Geoffrey Cushing-Murray) - 2:56
4. "Angel Come Home" (Carl Wilson/Geoffrey Cushing-Murray) - 3:39
5. "Love Surrounds Me" (Dennis Wilson/Geoffrey Cushing-Murray) - 3:41
6. "Sumahama" (Mike Love) - 4:30
7. "Here Comes the Night" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 10:51
8. "Baby Blue" (Dennis Wilson/Gregg Jacobson/Karen Lamm) - 3:25
9. "Goin' South" (Carl Wilson/Geoffrey Cushing-Murray) - 3:16
10. "Shortenin' Bread" (Adapted by Brian Wilson) - 2:49

REVIEW: My favorite album of the late seventies from the Beach Boys.  Apparently they learned something from the dismal failure of M.I.U. Album and at Brian's suggestion, they brought back Bruce Johnston (who had left during Jack Rieley's term.)  Bruce Johnston brings a slick producer's touch to the sound, and the songs are better (by far) than those found on M.I.U. Starting off with the heavenly "Good Timin'" (a rare collaboration of Brian and Carl,) the album is worth the price of admission just for this track.  Al Jardine again tries to shoot for the stars with his contribution,"Lady Lynda," but gets stuck in orbit.  Carl follows with a slow but lovely "Full Sail" before hitting his stride with the swaggering "Angel Come Home."  Dennis chimes in with a song swiped from his drug-delayed second solo album: "Love Surrounds Me" is a gruff, dark piece of work which shows off Dennis's deteriorating voice.  "Sumahama" lifted from Mike's unreleased album First Love is full of Mike spouting off Japanese in a song that probably should have stayed in the can with the rest of his album.  Then comes the clincher; a ten-minute-plus disco re-recording of Wild Honey's "Here Comes The Night."  In 1979 the fans hated it, booing the band off the stage when it was performed.  I enjoy it.  It has incredible harmonies, and you can dance to it.  Following it, Dennis presents his final song for the Beach Boys; the transcendent, tranquil "Baby Blue."   The album then lurches to a close with the vapid "Goin' South" and a hard rock take on the children's classic (now R-rated bump and grind) "Shortenin' Bread."



Keepin' The Summer Alive
Caribou JZ 36293 [LP], ZK 36283 [CD]; Released March, 1980


1. "Keepin' the Summer Alive" (Carl Wilson/Randy Bachman) - 3:43
2. "Oh Darlin' " (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 3:52
3. "Some of Your Love" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 2:36
4. "Livin' with a Heartache" (Carl Wilson/Randy Bachman) - 4:06
5. "School Day ("Ring! Ring! Goes The Bell") (Chuck Berry) - 2:52
6. "Goin' On" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 3:00
7. "Sunshine" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 2:52
8. "When Girls Get Together (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) - 3:31
9. "Santa Ana Winds" (Brian Wilson/Al Jardine) - 3:14
10. "Endless Harmony" (Bruce Johnston) - 3:10

REVIEW: Released a full year after "L.A. (Light Album)" had stiffed, the Beach Boys coasted to the end of the decade, again calling on Bruce Johnston to provide the varnish.  "Keepin the Summer Alive" begins promisingly with the stinging title track but sinks quickly into the turgid "Oh, Darlin."  Picking up with the playful "Some of Your Love" (with some incompetent lyrics by Mike Love), it then slumps into the lurching country-western (?) of "Livin' With A Heartache."   The band then conspires to completely embarass themselves with the poorly-concieved cover of "School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes The Bell) and succeed admirably.  Then the album perks up with the comfortable and calculated "Goin' On,"  which rings out with their patented Beach Boy harmonic tag. The rest  is almost not worth mentioning;  there's the tweaky and annoying faux-reggae of "Sunshine," the lumbering, recycled "When Girls Get Together," the completely awful ode to  "Santa Ana Winds" (a recycled "California Saga" reject from "Holland"), and then the album has the grace to put us to sleep with Bruce Johnston's own sappy Beach Boys' autobiography, "Endless Harmony." Zzzzzzz...


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