Tag Archives: The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys – Surf’s Up (1971) [APO Remaster 2016] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88,2}

The Beach Boys – Surf’s Up (1971) [Analogue Productions 2016] {2.0 & 4.0}
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 & DST 4.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 33:43 minutes | Scans included | 2,41 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 648 MB
Genre: Rock

The Beach Boys’ post-1966 catalog is littered with LPs that barely scraped the charts upon release but matured into solid fan favorites despite – and occasionally, because of – their many and varied eccentricities. Surf’s Up could well be the definitive example, beginning with the cloying “Don’t Go Near the Water” and ending a bare half-hour later with the baroque majesty of the title track (originally written in 1966). The album is a virtual laundry list of each uncommon intricacy that made the Beach Boys’ forgotten decade such a bittersweet thrill – the fluffy yet endearing pop (od)ditties of Brian Wilson, quasi-mystical white-boy soul from brother Carl, and the downright laughable songwriting on tracks charting Mike Love’s devotion to Buddhism and Al Jardine’s social/environmental concerns. Those songs are enjoyable enough, but the last three tracks are what make Surf’s Up such a masterpiece. The first, “A Day in the Life of a Tree,” is simultaneously one of Brian’s most deeply touching and bizarre compositions; he is the narrator and object of the song (though not the vocalist; co-writer Jack Rieley lends a hand), lamenting his long life amid the pollution and grime of a city park while the somber tones of a pipe organ build atmosphere. The second, “‘Til I Die,” isn’t the love song the title suggests; it’s a haunting, fatalistic piece of pop surrealism that appeared to signal Brian’s retirement from active life. The album closer, “Surf’s Up,” is a masterpiece of baroque psychedelia, probably the most compelling track from the SMiLE period. Carl gives a soulful performance despite the surreal wordplay, and Brian’s coda is one of the most stirring moments in his catalog. Wrapped up in a mess of contradictions, Surf’s Up defined the Beach Boys’ tumultuous career better than any other album.

Continue reading The Beach Boys – Surf’s Up (1971) [APO Remaster 2016] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88,2}

The Beach Boys – Sunflower (1970) [APO Remaster 2016] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88,2}

The Beach Boys – Sunflower (1970) [Analogue Productions 2016] {2.0 & 4.0}
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 & DST 4.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 37:01 minutes | Scans included | 2,63 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 697 MB
Genre: Rock

After Reprise rejected what was to be their debut album for the label, the Beach Boys re-entered the studio to begin work on what would become a largely different set of songs. The results signaled a creative rebirth for the band, a return to the beautiful harmonies and orchestral productions of their classic mid-’60s material. Though the songwriting didn’t quite reach the high quality of “California Girls” or “God Only Knows,” Sunflower showed the Beach Boys truly working as a band, and doing so better than they ever had in the past (or would in the future). Many of the songs were co-compositions, and the undeniable songwriting and performance talents of Dennis Wilson and Bruce Johnston were finally allowed to flourish: Dennis contributed “Slip On Through,” “Forever,” and “Got to Know the Woman,” while Bruce wrote “Deirdre” and “Tears in the Morning.” After a succession of spare, unadorned lead vocals on rock-oriented albums like Wild Honey and 20/20, Sunflower returned the Beach Boys to gorgeous vocal harmonies on the tracks “Add Some Music to Your Day,” “Cool, Cool Water,” and “This Whole World.” And the arrangements, tight and inventive, showed Brian Wilson once again back near the top of his game (though the production is credited to the entire band). Sunflower is also a remarkably cohesive album, something not seen from the Beach Boys since Pet Sounds. As with that album, Sunflower earned critical raves in Britain but was virtually ignored in America.

Continue reading The Beach Boys – Sunflower (1970) [APO Remaster 2016] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88,2}

The Beach Boys – Smiley Smile (1967) [APO Remaster 2016] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88,2}

The Beach Boys – Smiley Smile (1967) [Analogue Productions 2016]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 Stereo & Mono 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 27:40/27:48 minutes | Scans included | 2,23 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | MONO | 27:48 mins | Full Scans included | 468 MB
Mastered for this SACD by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio | Genre: Rock

After the much-discussed, uncompleted Smile project – which was supposed to take the innovations of Pet Sounds to even grander heights – collapsed, the Beach Boys released Smiley Smile in its place. (To clarify much confusion: Smiley Smile is an entirely different piece of work than Smile would have been, although some material that ended up on Smiley Smile would have most likely been used on Smile. Also, much of Smiley Smile was in fact recorded after the Smile sessions had ceased.) For fans expecting something along the lines of Sgt. Pepper (and there were many of them), Smiley Smile was a major disappointment, replacing psychedelic experimentation with spare, eccentric miniatures. Heard now, outside of such unrealistic expectations, it’s a rather nifty, if rather slight, effort that’s plenty weird – in fact, often downright goofy – despite Brian Wilson’s retreat from both avant pop and active leadership of the group. “Wind Chimes,” “Wonderful,” “Vegetables,” and much of the rest is low-key psychedelic quirkiness, with abundant fine harmonies and unusual arrangements. The standouts, nonetheless, were two recent hit singles in which Brian Wilson’s ambitions were still intact: the inscrutable mini-opera “Heroes and Villains,” and the number one hit “Good Vibrations,” one of the few occasions where the group managed to be recklessly experimental and massively commercial at the same time.

Continue reading The Beach Boys – Smiley Smile (1967) [APO Remaster 2016] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88,2}

The Beach Boys – Holland (1973) [APO Remaster 2016] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88,2}

The Beach Boys – Holland (1973) [Analogue Productions 2016]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 54:01 minutes | Scans included | 2,19 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 982 MB
Mastered for this SACD by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio | Genre: Rock

The surprisingly weak result of a concerted effort by both band and label to push the Beach Boys back into the Top 40 (they succeeded, barely), Holland continued the muddy sound of Carl and the Passions – So Tough. The highlights here – Carl’s “The Trader,” Brian’s “Sail on, Sailor” and “Funky Pretty” – are marginally better than their immediate predecessors, though “Leavin’ This Town” (from recent addition Blondie Chaplin) is rather tiresome. Also, Al Jardine and Mike Love’s three-part “California Saga” shows the effects of their environmentalist spirituality left to bake in the sun a few minutes too long (though the conclusion, “California,” is a solid return to the harmony-laden sun-and-surf ’60s). “Only with You” is yet another tender ballad given an excellent reading by Carl.

Continue reading The Beach Boys – Holland (1973) [APO Remaster 2016] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88,2}

The Beach Boys – Wild Honey (1967/2015) [HDTracks 24-192]

The Beach Boys – Wild Honey (1967/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 24:23 minutes | 777 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Front cover | © Capitol Records

Released in late 1967, Wild Honey marks the first time the Beach Boys had incorporated elements of soul and R&B into their classic California sound. As the follow-up to the ill-fated and poorly received (at the time) Smiley Smile, there was a lot of pressure on the band to rebound with a hit and Wild Honey did the trick very nicely, earning rave reviews and going on to become one of the most respected and acclaimed Beach Boys albums.

Continue reading The Beach Boys – Wild Honey (1967/2015) [HDTracks 24-192]

The Beach Boys – Friends (1968/2015) [HDTracks 24-192]

The Beach Boys – Friends (1968/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 25:47 minutes | 1,08 GB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Front cover | Label: Capitol Records

Friends is The Beach Boys’ 14th studio album originally released in 1968. Many of the album’s songs were inspired by Transcendental Meditation and the group’s recent interactions with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It was initially met with a mild critical reception and peaked at number 126 on the US Billboard charts for what was then group’s worst chart performance to date. In the UK, the album peaked at number 13.

Continue reading The Beach Boys – Friends (1968/2015) [HDTracks 24-192]

The Beach Boys – All Summer Long (1964/2015) [HDTracks 24-192]

The Beach Boys – All Summer Long (1964/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 25:41 minutes | 1,07 GB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Front cover | © Capitol Records

All Summer Long closed the first chapter of the Beach Boys musical story in 1964: the last of the innocent, carefree odes to surfing and hot rods, it yielded the group’s first American number one hit, I Get Around. The title track, while never released as a single, has become an eternal favourite and was ranked number six in a Rolling Stone readers poll of the 10 greatest summer songs.

Continue reading The Beach Boys – All Summer Long (1964/2015) [HDTracks 24-192]

The Beach Boys – 20/20 (1969/2015) [HDTracks 24-192]

The Beach Boys – 20/20 (1969/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 30:13 minutes | 1,24 GB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Front cover | © Capitol Records

This 1969 release fared much better in the UK than it did in the US, spawning the number one British hit Do It Again and a top 10 cover of Phil Spector’s I Can Hear Music, while the album itself peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart. Recorded largely without Brian Wilson, who was hospitalized at the time, 20/20 allows his brothers Dennis and Carl to come to the forefront as songwriters, vocalists and producers.

Continue reading The Beach Boys – 20/20 (1969/2015) [HDTracks 24-192]

The Beach Boys – Today! (1965/2015) {Stereo} [HDTracks 24-192]

The Beach Boys – Today! (1965/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 29:39 minutes | 1,26 GB | Genre: Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | @ Capitol Records

Newly remastered for vinyl and in hi-res by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, The Beach Boys Today! is presented here in stereo.

The album is the eighth by the band, and featured hits such as “Do You Wanna Dance?”, “When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)”, and “Dance, Dance, Dance”. The album peaked at #4 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and the production hints at the more mature depth that would appear on albums such as Pet Sounds.

Continue reading The Beach Boys – Today! (1965/2015) {Stereo} [HDTracks 24-192]

The Beach Boys – The Beach Boys’ Party! Uncovered And Unplugged (2015) [HDTracks 24-88.2]

The Beach Boys – The Beach Boys’ Party! Uncovered And Unplugged (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 33:45 minutes | 2,79 GB | Genre: Pop, Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Front cover | @ Capitol Records

Beach Boys’ Party! Uncovered and Unplugged is an upcoming compilation and remix album to be released by Capitol Records on November 20, 2015. It is an 81-track expansion of Beach Boys’ Party!

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 release of the Beach Boys’ top 10 album Party!, group members have overseen this remixed, remastered and expanded edition, Beach Boys’ Party! Uncovered And Unplugged, which removes the overdubbed party sounds from the 12-track original album’s mix and adds 69 more songs and dialogue tracks culled from all of the band’s Party! recording sessions.

“Mike was saying, why not a party album and we can act like we are (at a party) and just be ourselves on tape, you know? And that’s what happened. It was a very spontaneous album.” –Brian Wilson

Continue reading The Beach Boys – The Beach Boys’ Party! Uncovered And Unplugged (2015) [HDTracks 24-88.2]