I - II - III - IV - V

NOTE:  After I had purchased every single Beach Boys CD I could lay my hot little hands on, I began to search out alternative sources, many of which were rumored to equal or even surpass official releases.  I found out that this is not the case.  Bootleg and pirated recordings are almost, without exception, the dross left over from the polished, finished products.  But for someone who not only loves the music, but the personalities and history of the Beach Boys, these can be fun, enlightening listening.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive list - only a brief sampling of what I've acquired over the years.  Most of these CDs have circulated for years with different track lineups and covers.

Smile (1967)
Capitol ST-2580 [LP];
Not Released

Original LP track listing:

Do You Like Worms
Wind Chimes
Heroes And Villians
Surf's Up
Good Vibrations
Cabin Essence

I'm In Great Shape
Child Is Father Of The Man
The Elements
The Old Master Painter

REVIEW: No, you didn't read my stars wrong, I've only given Smile (the infamous 'lost' Beach Boys album) three out of five.  Before the flames begin, I will explain.  Listening to Smile, either on the 30 minutes of out-takes on the Good Vibrations box set, or on the numerous bootleg copies floating around is like trying to enjoy a jigsaw puzzle with half of the pieces missing.  Brian became discouraged with Smile long before it had achieved cohesion, and therefore what we get is a few complete songs (an ethereal "Surf's Up," a divine "Our Prayer," or a baffling "Cabinessence"), or, more often, brief snippets of orchestral or vocal excercises which were to be fitted in to the final songs somewhere.  Many fans have attempted, with various degrees of success to rebuild Smile but I take off a star for Brian failing to finish what he began.  Plus, several of the tracks don't connect with me on an emotional level.  Brian was attempting something esoteric and brilliant, and he tried to drag an unwilling band with him.  For any Beach Boys fan this album should be marked as essential listening.  Tracks such as "Our Prayer", "Cabinessence," "Surf's Up," "Heroes and Villains" and "Wonderful" are dense, sophisticated mini-cantatas, light years beyond what usually passes as pop/rock music. And Brian Wilson's peculiar sense of humor on tracks like "Mama Says" (part of "Vega-tables"), "George Fell Into His French Horn" and "Do You Like Worms" give deeper glimpses into one of rock music's greatest impressarios than any half-baked biography.  Smile was the pivotal point in the history of America's Band, and everyone needs to make their own judgement.

NOTE: Since I wrote this original review, Brian Wilson has of course, "finished" SMiLE and released an excellent DVD chonicling the journey, as well as completed a rapturous series of concerts and released an acclaimed studio recording with his band.  I, along with many other fans, feel that an archival release of the original studio sessions would be a fascinating exercise in comparison, but at the present time, Brian Wilson is unwilling to allow this to happen.  Numerous bootlegs of these sessions continue to circulate, however, and fans can find many different permeations of the original Beach Boys tracks for their perusal.

Time To Get Alone
Silver Shadow 9316-2 [CD];
Released 1993

1. Help Me Rhonda [B. Wilson] 38:58
2. Mountain of Love [B. Wilson-M. Love] 9:03
3. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away [J. Lennon-P. McCartney] 3:20
4. Ticket To Ride [J. Jennon-P. McCartney] 2:29
5. Student Demonstration Time [Leiber-Stoller] 3:57

6. Laugh At Me [B. Wilson-M. Love] 3:28
7. One Kiss Led To Another [B. Wilson-M. Love] 3:52

8. California Girls [B. Wilson] 2:34
9. I Get Around [B. Wilson] 2:54
10. Little Deuce Coupe [B.Wilson-R.Christian] 2:35

1. I'm So Young [B.Wilson] 2:43
2. Help Me Ronda [B.Wilson] 3:21
3. Good To My Baby-instrumental [B.Wilson-M.Love] 2:28
4. Good To My Baby [B.Wilson-M.Love] 2:30
5. In The Back Of My Mind-instrumental [B.Wilson] 2:19
6. Little Girl I Once Knew [B.Wilson] 3:26
7. Holy Holy [B.Wilson] 2:51
8. Time To Get Alone [B.Wilson] 2:51
9. Wouldn't It Be Nice [B.Wilson-T.Asher] 2:30
10. You Still Believe In Me [B.Wilson-T.Asher] 2:25
11. Hang On To Your Ego [B.Wilson-T.Asher] 3:16
12. Don't Talk - 1 [B.Wilson] 3:09
13. Don't Talk - 2 [B.Wilson] 3:09
14. I'm Waiting For The Day [B.Wilson] 3:05
15. I Just Wasn't Made For These Times [B.Wilson-T.Asher] 3:15
16. Wouldn't It Be Nice-Reprise [B.Wilson-T.Asher] 2:14
17. Outtro [Beach Boys] 2:08
18. Good Vibrations [B.Wilson-M.Love] 14:59
19. Heroes And Villains [B.Wilson-Parks] 7:03

REVIEW: Before the Sea Of Tunes label began their landmark series of releases, this two-cd release on the Silver Shadow label was the best-sounding album of early  Beach Boys studio outtakes on the market.  Covering the period between "Help Me Ronda" (single version) and "Heroes and Villains," the bulk of material is from 1966's Party! album and the Pet Sounds sessions.  It begins with the much-talked about 40-minute long "Ronda" sessions in which Brian and Murray have a tempestuous run-in, with Brian in charge of the sessions, and then slowly, his father Murry, who has been invited to sit in with Audree Wilson, slowly begins to take over the session, belittling Brian in front of the other band members, goading him, taunting him, and when Brian, obviously trying to reign in his anger breaks loose, it's the clearest representation of their stormy relationship ever captured, and it's electrifying, and far more illuminating than any other biographical portrait given.  Murry is a deadly calm steamroller, crushing Brian under an unending stream of dreary platitudes and goading taunts, and Brian is trying to squirm out from under the crushing patriarchial weight.  Then the CD breezes into the light-hearted rehearsals for the Party! album, with Brian trying to urge the less-than-serious band to get to work. There are early versions of "Student Demonstration Time," an unreleased song, "One Kiss Led to Another," and lots of studio chatter.  Disc two is a mish mash of various tracks, also in stellar sound, with takes of "Good To My Baby," several tracks from Pet Sounds, and finishes with crystal-clear session takes of "Good Vibrations" and a lengthy seven-plus-minute run on the "Heroes and Villians" track.

Summer Sounds (and Pet Sessions!!)
Invasion Unlimited IU 9410-1 [CD];
Released 1994
1. Help Me Rhonda (vocals only)
2. A "Real" Big Session with the "Very" Bull Daddy (see above)
3. Help Me Rhonda (stereo mix)
4. In the Back of My Mind (stereo backing track)
5. Please Let Me Wonder (rough mix)
6. Good to My Baby (stereo backing track)
7. Good to My Baby (stereo mix)
8. Do You Wanna Dance (vocal session)
9. I'm So Young (stereo mix)
10. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away (unreleased)
11. Be My Baby (unreleased)
12. The Little Girl I Once Knew (stereo backing track)
13. Wouldn't It Be Nice (early backing track, a breakdown)
14. Wouldn't It Be Nice (different vocal)
15. I Just Wasn't Made for These Times (early stereo backing tracks,two takes)
16. I Just Wasn't Made for These Times (different vocal)
17. I'm Waiting for the Day (backing track)
18. I'm Waiting for the Day (different vocal)
19. You Still Believe in Me (early stereo backing tracks, three takes)
20. You Still Believe in Me (different vocal, stereo mix)
21. Don't Talk (Put Your Head on my Shoulder) (backing track)
22. Holy Holy (unreleased)
23. Time to Get Alone (Redwood)

REVIEW:  This Invasion Unlimited CD plows much of the same ground as the Time To Get Alone CD, above, covering the same time period of Today through Pet Sounds, with many of the same tracks duplicated.  The album begins with a vocal rehearsal of "Help Me Rhonda" which shows just what fantastic vocalists the Beach Boys were, with Al, Dennis, Mike, Carl and Brian ripping through a fierce, uninterrupted take of about half the song.  Then comes an abridged 12 minute excerpt of the full "Murry" tape found below, and a stereo mix of "Help Me Rhonda" follows.  Next comes several Today sessions, with backing tracks, stereo mixes, and rough mixes of "In The Back Of My Mind", "Please Let Me Wonder," "Do You Wanna Dance" (with an astounding capture of Beach Boys harmony singing that's as thrilling as anything I've ever heard on the tag), and "I'm So Young."  Next comes a couple of outtakes from the Beach Boys Party! sessions and the backing track from "The Little Girl That I Once Knew" and several takes from Pet Sounds, with "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "I'm Waiting For The Day" "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" and "You Still Believe In Me" receiving the lion's share of time.  The album closes out with two anomalies, which is fairly typical of bootlegs, with Dennis' late 70s epic "Holy Holy" jarringly out of place, and the Redwood's (later known as Three Dog Night) take on "Time To Get Alone" closing out the program.

Landlocked (The Last "Capitol" Album and More)
Invasion Unlimited 9416-1 [CD];
Released 1994

1. Awake
2. Loop De Loop
3. Susie Cincinnati
4. San Miguel
5. Games Two Can Play
6. I Just Got My Pay
7. Good Time

The Monterey Saga:
8. Looking Down The Coast
9. Big Sur
10. Santa Ana Winds

11. 'Till I Die (original long version)
12. Fourth of July
13. Sound of the Free
14. Tears In The Morning (original Bruce Johnston version)
15. Lady
16. When Girls Get Together
17. My Solution
18. H.E.L.P. Is On The Way
19. Take A Load Off Your Feet
20. Over The Waves
21. We Got Love (Studio Version)
22. Winter Symphony
23. Tears In The Morning

REVIEW:  This first Landlocked CD purports to contain tracks from a "last" Capitol Records album which they were putting together, as well as tracks which eventually showed up on Holland, Surf's Up, and the Good Vibrations box set.  The compilers, like many bootleggers, attempt to create some order from the chaos of the tapes they've acquired, but their half-hearted scholarship is apparent by the lack of documentation, and generally muddy sound found on every track.  That said, there are some items of interest here for Beach Boys fans, including the superior original version of Al Jardine's long-gesting composition "Loop De Loop," and an original mix of "The Monterey Saga" which contains what is, in my opinion, a superior verison of the song "Big Sur" which is taken in 4/4 time, and has beautiful layered harmonies which were stripped off of the final versions released on Holland.  Most of the other songs appeared on the Good Vibrations box set, but here is where you'll also find the still-unreleased studio versoin of "We Got Love" - a Holland outtake which has only been officially released on the live document The Beach Boys In Concert.  Overall, this series of songs show the Beach Boys struggling to write compositions which match the brilliance of Brian Wilson's talents, and failing miserably; but there is incredible humor to be found here, with "I Just Got My Pay," "Good Time" "Susie  Cincinnati," and Dennis Wilson's compositions all having a strange, wacky charm all their own.

Polyphone PH 1303 [CD];
Released 1990
1. Loop De Loop (B.Wilson/A.Jardine)
2. Susie Cincinnati (A.Jardine)
3. San Miguel (D. Wilson/G. Jakobson)
4. H.E.L.P. Is On The Way (B.Wilson)
5. Take A Load Off Your Feet (A.Jardine/G. Winfrey)
6. Over The Waves (Ivanovici)
7. I Just Got My Pay (B.Wilson/M.Love)
8. Sound Of Free (D.Wilson/M.Love)
9. Child Of Winter (B. Wilson/S.Kalinich)
10. It's About Time (D.Wilson/A.Jardine/B.Burchman)
11. Tears In The Morning (B.Johnston)
12. Good Time (B.Wilson/A.Jardine)
13. Big Sur (M.Love)
14. Lady (D.Wilson)
15. When Girls Get Together (B.Wilson)
16. Lookin' At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song)(A.Jardine/G.Winfrey)
17. 'Till I Die (B.Wilson)
18. Life Is For The Living (B.Wilson)
19. Hey Little Tomboy (B.Wilson)
20. Deep Purple (Parrish/Rose)
21. It's Over Now (B.Wilson)
22. Everybody Wants To Live (B.Wilson)
23. Mony Mony (Tommy James/Denny Cordell/Bobby Bloom/Bobbie Gentry)
24. Ruby Baby (Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller)

REVIEW: This earlier incarnation of the so-called Landlocked sessions duplicates much of the Invasion Unlimited release, but has the good graces to also include several tracks taken from the other lost Brian Wilson album, Adult Child.  The tracks from Landlocked include early/alternate versions of several songs which would later appear on Surf's Up, although many of these tracks wouldn't see the official light of day until the Good Vibrations box set (have I mentioned just how great the box set is?)  More of a scattershot set than the Invasion Unlimited set, this set boasts better sound, and the inclusion of such dubious rarities as "Mony Mony" and "Ruby Baby", plus the compilers felt the need to hear early versions of the detestible "Hey Little Tomboy" and the laughable "H.E.L.P. Is On The Way."   The producers also throw in a couple of tracks from various sessions which were not apparently connected to any particular album project, such as "Over The Waves" "Child of Winter" and Dennis Wilson's solo single release, "Lady."   One of the tracks, the so-called "It's About Time" take, doesn't even sound like the Beach Boys, as someone counts off what turns into an extended tom-tom/drum solo, later morphing into an organ-driven line which may or may not be a tracking session to "It's About Time" (I doubt it)  The Adult Child tracks are truly embarrassing, with Carl and Brian singing a surreal lyric in "Life Is For the Living" over a brassy big band track, "Hey Little Tomboy" is an alternate version with more harmonies backing it, but still as creepy as ever, "Deep Purple" sounds like Brian is doing late-night karioke on this classic song, and Carl throatily sings "Everybody Wants To Live."  It was releases like this one that eventually turned me off of collecting bootlegs, since much of the material has been released in official places, with better sound, and little new or different can be found here that's truly different or unique.  And the variable sound, lack of documentation, and scattershot nature of the tracks is more frustrating than enlightening.

Lei'd In Hawaii Rehearsal
Vigotone Vigo-133 [CD];
Released 1994

Rehearsal August 25th, 1967 &
1. God Only Knows 2:48
2. California Girls 2:29
3. Surfer Girl 2:49
4. You're So Good To Me 2:36
5. The Letter 1:57
6. Help Me, Rhonda 2:33
7. Heroes and Villians 3:00
8. Their Hearts Were Full of Spring 2:31

Studio Outtakes
09. Sherry She Needs Me (Backing track recorded 1965, vocals added 1976) 2:43
10. We're Together Again (alt. mix) (Recorded 9/11/68) 2:10
11. We're Together Again (backing track) (Recorded 9/11/68) 2:30
12. We're Together Again (instrumental) (Recorded 9/11/68) 2:10
13. We're Together Again (alt. mix #2) (Recorded 9/11/68) 1:58

Hollywood Bowl Nov 1st, 1963
14. Intro 1:09
15. Little Deuce Coupe 2:24
16. In My Room 2:24
17. Be True To Your School 2:13
18. Surfer Girl2:56
19. KFWB Theme 0:27
20. Closing Credits1:17

Sydney February 13th, 1978
21. God Only Knows 3:17
22. Good Vibrations 7:01

REVIEW: The reason this concert is interesting to fans is the presence of Brian Wilson, who made a then-rare appearance at the event. This was shortly after the release of Smiley Smile, and the Beach Boys were feeling the first crushing turn of fortune that was just beginning to appear.  The rehearsal and the one performance track available show the group as being extraordinarily quiet, even laconic in their deliverance (the exception being a down-tempo, but still passionate "You're So Good To Me"), a far cry from the youthful exuberance of their first recorded concert. The arrangements are sparse, already showing the dramatic production change that Brian had evolved into with Smiley Smile and Wild Honey.   And the group seems to be on drugs (not a far-fetched assumption).  But the complex harmonies, cemented by Brian's falsetto, are still tight, and quite wonderful. A facinating aural document of a troubled era.  The only tapes available for this once-planned concert movie are in the form of a rehearsal bootleg, and a single performance outtake of "Heroes and Villains" which appeared as a bonus track on the Concert/Live In London two-fer.  The most interesting part of this CD for fans is the recording of "Heroes and Villians" which contains an overdubbed spoken dialoge by Mike Love detailing the disasterous reception the single and album had received in the public and the popular press.  To listeners, it appears that he's mocking Brian's song, and his talents, but Mike has since claimed that this overdub was all in jest, with his parculiar sense of humor biting a bit too close to the truth.  This concert was filmed and recorded, but the tapes (discovered shortly before the 1990 reissue campaign) have never been released in their entirety.  Other notable inclusions on the CD are several sessions of "Sherry, She Needs Me" which would lay unreleased until Brian reworked the song for inclusion on his solo album Imagination as "She Says That She Needs Me".  The Hollywood Bowl concert is a typical, low-fi radio transmission, and the CD unfortunately closes with an obviously drunk/stoned Carl Wilson trying to sing terrible takes of "God Only Knows" and "Good Vibrations."

It's About Time
Capricorn Records CR-2004 [CD];
Released 1994
01. Heroes And Villians
02. Do It Again
03. Darling
04. Aren’t You Glad
05. Cottonfields
06. Vegetables
07. Okie From Muskogee
08. Cool Cool Water
09. Help Me Rhonda
10. Student Demonstration Time
11. Caroline No
12. You Still Believe In Me
13. Sloop John B
14. Wouldn’t It Be Nice
15. God Only Knows
16. Good Vibrations
17. California Girls
18. Surfer Girl
19. I Get Around
20. It’s About Time

REVIEW:  This excellent concert, a soundboard capture taped May 1, 1971 at Syracuse University reveals a loose, laid-back Beach Boys (minus Dennis, who was filming Two Lane Blacktop with James Taylor, and Brian, who was probably lying in bed) having a good time, and playing some old favorites with some rarities thrown in as well.  It begins with a ripping version of "Heroes and Villains" (with Al apologizing for his cold before he begins singing), and then plows through "Do It Again," "Darling," "Aren't You Glad," and "Cottonfields."  Mike drones on about how Paul McCartney helped out with "Vegetables," rails on Capitol Records for ripping the band out of 'a half-a-million dollars' and laments the closing of the Filmore East.  The sound is generally good, with strong mono sound, with noticable, but not distracting tape hiss; but the performance is a high point, with the boys singing enthusiatically, with clean, tight harmonies, and the song selection (including the afore-mentioned "Vegetables," "Okie From Muskogee," "Cool Cool Water," "Student Demonstration Time" and several songs from Pet Sounds) eclectic enough to keep it interesting.   The set closes with a powerhouse take on Dennis' "It's About Time".

Merry Christmas From The Beach Boys
Frontline FLCD-14 [CD];
Release Date Unknown
1. Christmas Time is Here Again
2. Child of Winter
3. Winter Symphony
4. Michael Row the Boat Ashore
5. Seasons in the Sun
6. Holy Evening
7. Christmas Day
8. Go Get That Girl
9. Santa's Got an Airplane (H.E.L.P. With New Lyrics)
10. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Beach Boys)
11. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Beach Boys' Families)
12. Christmas Carole Medley
13. Kona Christmas Aka Mele Kakiki Mako (Outtake from Merry Christmas...)
14. Bells of Christmas (Outtake from Merry Christmas...)
15. Jingle Bell Rock (Mike Love and Dean Torrence)
16. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Mike Love)
17. Do You Hear What I Hear (Mike Love and Mary McGregor)
18. Mystery Bonus Track (Not the Beach Boys But Surf Related)
19. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Basic Tracks) (Beach Boys Version)
20. Holy Evening (Finished Mix)

REVIEW: The Beach Boys left Warner Brothers by trying to take the easy way out. Out of new ideas, they tried to sell a Christmas album (recorded at Maharishi University) to the powers-that-be. Warner Brothers was unimpressed. By scrapping most of the numbers, and rewriting others: ("Christmas Time is Here Again" morphed back into Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue"), the band was barely able to release the remains as the M.I.U Album. By this time, Mike Love was firmly in creative control of the Beach Boys, possibly due to Carl being discouraged by his failure to do what Mike had done with Endless Summer, namely, create a #1 record. However, it would still be fifteen years before they would have another chart topping hit.  Although there are a couple of good melodies, it's easy to see why Warner Brothers rejected this final offering from the Beach Boys, forcing the group to give them M.I.U. Album (which was going to be given to CBS). Filled with uninspired arrangements, and crippled by hopelessly inept lyrics, it pales next to their classic first holiday album. As usual, Brian's compositions outshine the rest: a rocking "Child of Winter," a shifting "Winter Symphony" and Dennis's gorgeous "Holy Evening" are the only competent pieces. Other tracks include: "Michael Row the Boat Ashore," "Seasons In The Sun," "Christmas Day," "Go Get That Girl," "Santa's Got An Airplane" (H.E.L.P. with rewritten lyrics), a rock and roll version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" as well as a more traditional version featuring the Beach Boys children. Plus, a medley of traditional carols: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Come All ye Faithful/Hark the Herald Angels Sing/We Wish You a Merry Christmas."  Much of this material later surfaced on the Ultimate Christmas CD.

Denny Remembered Vol. 1: "Dennis Carl Wilson"
Surf 002 [CD];
Release Date Unknown

1. News report
2. Holy Evening
3. Companion
4. It's Not Too Late
5. Carry Me Home
6. 10.000 Years
7. River Song (early version)
8. Wild Situation (take one)
9. New Orleans
10. Love Surrounds Me
11. Organ duets
12. Barbara
13. Quad instrumentals
14. Nixon joke - live 1973
15. You Are So Beautiful - live 1976
16. Good Timin' - live (lead vocal: Dennis)
17. Lady
18. Moon Light
19. News report

REVIEW:  The first disc of an extensive, loving two-disc tribute, Denny Remembered shows why Dennis Wilson continues to have legions of fans almost exclusive of The Beach Boys camp.  His talents, which bloomed relatively late in the Beach Boys careers, and his life, which flamed out in a swirl of drugs, sex, and booze, almost defines the prototypical rock and roll star mythos.  Volume One begins with actual news reports announcing Dennis Wilson's death from drowning in Marina Del Rey, California, leading into the hauntingly beautiful "Holy Evening" and then turning 180 degrees with the caribbean-influenced reggae of "Companion" which is easily one of Dennis's most accomplished, and still officially unreleased songs.  Dennis's pathos, which he would convey in several late-period songs, is found in the next two songs, with the lush, romantic "It's Not Too Late" featuring Carl Wilson's vocal contribution, and "Carry Me Home" (a Carl and the Passions: So Tough outtake with and eerie passage where Dennis prays "please God, I don't wanna die..." and "my eyes growing tired, I guess I won't grow old..."), and carried into the subdued groove of "10,000 Years."  There is also early takes of tracks off of Pacific Ocean Blue, the memorable raunch of "Wild Situation," various instrumentals of incomplete recordings ("Organ Duets," "Quad Instrumentals"), and live takes of "You Are So Beautiful," "Good Timin'," and the electric honky-tonk of "Moonlight."  Also featured is a tasteless joke poking fun at then-president Richard Nixon and Henry Kissenger, which is a perfect example of Dennis's crude sense of humor coming into play.  Pure Dennis Wilson.

Denny Remembered Vol. 2: "39 Forever"
Surf 004 [CD];
Release Date Unknown

1. News report
2. School Girl
3. Wild Situation (background vocals only)
4. Baby Blue Eyes
5. San Miguel (new version, backing track)
6. Angel Come Home - live on the Midnite Special
7. All Of My Love
8. Interview Sweden November, 1964
9. San Miguel (alternate mix)
10. Sound Of Free
11. Piano duet
12. Love Surrounds Me (take 2)
13. Instrumental track
14. Pacific Ocean Blue
15. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away - live
16. My Diane
17. Baseball
18. Interview / Falling In Love - live 1971
19. Forever - live 1971
20. Celebrate The News
21. You Are So Beautiful - live 1977
22. If I Could Live My Life Again
23. Interview
24. News report

REVIEW:  Volume Two of this series is also bookended with anonymous news reports, the first being the coroner's report that the official cause of death was drowning, with "toxilogical" tests ongoing.  The album then gets going with the leering roar of "School Girl," another finished song which remains unreleased.  Next comes a fantastic vocal take on the unfinished "Wild Situation" then gives us early versions of "Baby Blue (Eyes)," (featuring Carl Wilson on vocals) an early version of "San Miguel" with a thumping, honky-tonk track, a live television performance of "Angel Come Home" with the Beach Boys (from the Midnite Special program), a thick, droning capture of the unreleased "All Of My Love" and a short, humorous interview from Swedish Radio involving 'beatle hair'.  The compilers include songs which have since seen the official light of day: "San Miguel," and "Sound of Free", plus there are alternate takes of "Celebrate the News," "My Diane," "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away," plus rarities like "Baseball," "If I Could Live My Life Again," and several instrumental tracks ("Piano Duet," "the anonymous "Instrumental Track), and the set closes with a second interview segment and final news report announcing Dennis's demise.

Brian Wilson: "Sweet Insanity" Outtakes
Invasion Unlimited IU 9418-1 [CD];
Released 1994
1. Somene To Love
2. Water Builds Up
3. Don't Let Her Know She's An Angel
4. Do You Have Any Regrets
5. Let's Stick Together
6. The Spirit Of Rock 'N' Roll
7. Brian
8. Make A Wish
9. Concert Tonight
10. Rainbow Eyes
11. Save The Day (The Power Of Love)
12. Smart Girls

REVIEW:  The story of Brian's second, unreleased solo album is a tale of high hopes and grinding frustrations which led to two seperate versions of the album being produced, and rejected by the powers-that-be at Warner Brothers records.  This CD, by Invasion Unlimited, is a poor-sounding document of the first album submitted to Warners, and subsequently sent back for extensive rework.  Of the twelve songs present, nine of them were re-mixed/re-recorded, three were dropped, and "Concert Tonight" was severely cut down from it's full-length version, (found here) to the brief introductory blurb found on the second album.  The album generally suffers from disturbing choices, such as the spoken interruptions found on "Someone To Love" and a plethora of percussive effects (bells, chimes, a prominent drum track), or the odd "Hoo!  Hoo-hoo-hoo!" vocals found on "Water Builds Up."  "Don't Let Her Know She's An Angel" is saddled with lyrics which are clunky and amateurish, (and which were re-written for the second version, and then reworked again for 2004's Gettin' In Over My Head); "Do You Have Any Regrets" was retitled "I Do" but the awkward sentiments remain intact, and the track is extraordinarily cluttered and busy with percussive effects which bely the depressing topic of a troubled relationship.  In fact, the entire album is saddled with psycho-analytical word-play which is undoubtedly the result of Brian's total immersion in the care of Dr. Eugene Landy, who controlled every aspect of Brian's life.  "Let's Stick Together" is a lurching waltz also revamped into 2004's Gettin' In Over My Head, but "The Spirit Of Rock 'N' Roll" easily the best number on the album, is a song which should've been released by Brian on one of his solo albums, but strangely has remained out of reach.  The song "Brian" - an autobiographical hash-job morphed into "Thank You" on the second incarnation, but remains an water-mark of Landy's influence.  "Make A Wish" shows up here in its original form before being officially released on Gettin' In Over My Head.  "Concert Tonight" is terrible, an atonal hard-rock mess, but "Rainbow Eyes" is beautiful, and became the third track to be lifted for includion on Gettin' In Over My Head.  The lethargic, but melodic "Save The Day (The Power Of Love) also was adapted for GIOMH, renamed as "Fairy Tale".  The less said about "Smart Girls" with it's ill-formed humor and misjudged use of rap, the better.

Brian Wilson: Sweet Insanity
Vigotone VIGO-112 [CD];
Released 1994

1. Intro
2. Someone To Love
3. Water Builds Up
4. Don't Let Her Know She's An Angel
5. Do You Have Any Regrets
6. Brian
7. Hotter
8. The Spirit Of Rock 'N' Roll
9. Rainbow Eyes
10. Love Ya
11. Make a Wish
12. Smart Girls
13. Country Feeling
14. Daddy's Little Girl
15. He Couldn't Get His Poor Body To Move
16. Being With The One You Love

REVIEW:  The fact that Brian pirated nearly half of Sweet Insanity for his 2004 album Gettin' In Over My Head revealed two things: first that Brian was suffering from writer's block, and secondly, that there are several songs on Sweet Insanity that were (and are) worth rescuing.  The second incarnation of Sweet Insanity, stripped of much of the psycho-babble that hamstrung the first version, is tighter, cleaner, and more concerned with producing a pure pop sound than the earlier incarnation.  In short, all the changes are for the good, and unlike the first version, the 2.0 edition of Sweet Insanity is generally available in excellent sound.  The "Intro" is a much-condensed "Concert Tonight" which loses nothing from it's visit to the chopping block, and serves as a nice introduction to the rapturous "Someone To Love," which in turn leads into the cheery and somewhat loopy "Water Builds Up" with its percolating whistle noises.  "Don't Let Her Know" benefits from better lyrics, and now sounds more like a straightforward power-ballad.  "I Do" still suffers from a schizophrenic lyric battling the cheery melody, but if you can ignore the depressing message of the song, it's a fun song.  "Thank You" benefits greatly from the remix, with a gentler arrangement cushioning the blatantly-obvious autobiographical lyric.  A new song, the straight-up jumper "Hotter" is sheer dumb-headed in its sexist lyric, but has a chest-thumping sensibility which is hard to take seriously anyway.  Unfortunately, the best song on the album "Spirit Of Rock and Roll" is crushed by the inclusion of none other than Bob Dylan, who gamely whines his way through parts of the verse and chorus, sounding completely out of his depth.  "Rainbow Eyes" remains beguiling, while a second new song, "Love Ya" is a happy slice of 1950s rock, simple, but enjoyable.  "Make A Wish" is helped by a simpler, cleaner track than the previous version, and is a great song.  The album again closes with the ill-chosen "Smart Girls."  Although it has it's troubles, the second version of Sweet Insanity should have been released, there's too much good here to be buried.

Brian Wilson & Andy Paley: Sessions
Released 1996
1. Proud Mary
2. I'm Getting In Over My Head
3. You're Still A Mystery
4. Chain Reaction of Love
5. Soul Searchin'
6. It's Not Easy Being Me
7. Desert Drive
8. Saturday Morning In The City
9. This Song Wants To Sleep With You Tonight
10. Market Place
11. I'm Broke
12. Must Be A Miracle
13. In My Moondreams
14. My Mary Anne
15. Slightly American Music
16. Saturday Morning In The City (l988 Demo)*
17. Soulful Old Man Sunshine*
18. Out In The Country*

REVIEW:  First off, there are two versions of this disc flying around, and this one is the "second" version, which contains three tracks of "Proud Mary" (shudder).  This is also very clearly a CD-R (which is a dye-based recording, rather than the higher-quality aluminum imprints) and the whole package is very cheaply-made, with hand-cut paper inserts that look like they were printed on a ten-year-old bubble jet.  The sound quality is middling to good, but nothing is high-fidelity here.  Ok, let's talk music. The recordings on this disc remind me mostly of The Beach Boys Love You album, with their sometimes laughably childish lyrics, and blunt instrumentation.  The best songs include the previously released "This Song Wants To Sleep With You," the funny and child-like glee of "Saturday Morning In The City," (sounds like it belongs on a kid's television show) "Gettin' In Over My Head," the quaint doo-wop of "Soul Searchin'," and "She's Still A Mystery"  (these last two songs featuring the Beach Boys).  There are also painfully awful numbers:  "I'm Broke," "It Isn't Easy Being Me," and "Marketplace" reek of self-conscious lyrics (if you think "Happy Days" is bad, you ain't heard nothin')  forced singing, and simple, repetitive music.  Would these songs have been more marketable than what eventually surfaced on Imagination?  BIG no.  Are they more interesting?  Some of them, yes.  Bottom line: I wouldn't recommend you search out and buy this CD.  The quality of the pressing and packaging that are finding their way onto the streets is very shoddy.

Still I Dream Of You: Rare Works of Brian Wilson
M&M Enterprises, MMCD409 [CD Only];
Released 1993

1. Kenny & the Cadets--Barbie
2. Kenny & the Cadets--What is a Young Girl made of
3. Rachel & the Revolvers--The Revo-Lution
4. Rachel & the Revolvers--Number One
5. Bob & Sheri--The Surfer Moon
6. Bob & Sheri--Humpty Dumpty
7. The Timers--No Go Showboat
8. Sharon Marie--Run-Around Lover

9. The Survivors--Pamela Jean
10. The Castells--I Do
11. Paul Petersen--She Rides With me
12. The Nodaens--Beach Girl
13. The Honeys--He's a Doll
14. Gary Usher--Sacramento
15. Gary Usher--That's just the way I feel
16. Sharon Marie--Thinkin' 'Bout you baby
17. Sharon Marie--The Story of my life
18. Hale & the Hushabyes--Yes Sir, Thats my baby
19. Basil Swift and the Seegrams--Farmers Daughter
20. Annette--The Monkeys Uncle
21. Glen Campbell--Guess I'm Dumb
22. The Blossoms--Things are Changing
23. Bob & Bobby--Twelve-O-Four
24. Bob & Bobby--Baby What you want me to do
25. The Laughing Gravy--Vegetables
26. Ron Wilson--I'll keep on Loving You
27. Ron Wilson--As Tears go by
28. Dino, Desi & Billy--Lady Love
29. Kenny & the Cadets--Barbie (take 3)
30. Dante & His Friends--Miss America
31. Joey & the Continentals--She Rides With me
32. The Beach Boys--Surfin' Safari (ARIOLA Version)
33. The Beach Boys--Karen

REVIEW:  In 1993, Still I Dream Of You: Rare Works of Brian Wilson, a Japanese import, was the only compilation to address the burning need of compiling the dozens of extant, non-Beach Boys recordings that Brian wrote and/or produced for other artists.  Since then, there have been two fine collections released - The Brian Wilson Productions from Japan, and Pet Projects, out of England.  But neither of these two discs comes close to reproducing the awesome track lineup that this CD did.  It contains an amazingly fat, full color booklet (in Japanese), 32 (!) tracks, and very good sound to make this an essential collection. Unfortunately, M&M went out of business and now the only way to get this disc is through the hugely expensive "Journals" bootleg set, which can run up to $250 (Yeeeouch!).  But where else are you gonna get high-quality recordings of the fabulous "Guess I'm Dumb," "Pamela Jean," "Run-Around Lover," "She Rides With Me," "I Do," "Thinkin' 'bout You Baby," "Monkey's Uncle,"  and the rare ARIOLA mix of "Surfin' Safari?"  Plus there are over a dozen other ultra-rare tracks, from Rachel and the Revolvers, Bob & Sheri, The Timers, The Nodaens, The Honeys, Gary Usher, Sharon Marie, Hale & the Hushabyes, Basil Swift & the Seegrams, The Blossoms, Bob & Bobby, The Laughing Gravy, Ron Wilson and Dino, Desi & Billy. Capitol Records should have put a package like this together years ago, but I doubt they couldn've matched the love and completeness evidenced in this one disc.  Bravo to the defunct M&M label, and good luck in finding this one.

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