Beach Boys – Surfin´Safari (1962)

FrontCover1Surfin’ Safari is the debut album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released on October 1, 1962 on Capitol Records. The official production credit went to Nick Venet, though it was Brian Wilson with his father Murry who contributed substantially to the album’s production; Brian also wrote or co-wrote nine of its 12 tracks. The album peaked at No. 32 in its 37-week run on the US charts.

The album was preceded by two singles: “Surfin'” and “Surfin’ Safari”, which charted at Nos. 75 and 14, respectively. The success of “Surfin’ Safari” helped secure a full album for the group while an additional single, “Ten Little Indians”, was issued, charting at No. 49.

The group is mainly comprised of people from Hawthorne, California, named Wilson … there’s Brian, Dennis, Carl, and their Dad, Murry Wilson, a long-time songwriter who acts as manager for the outfit. Then there’s the boys’ talented cousin, Mike Love … who sings both the lead tenor and deep bass parts in their unusual vocal arrangements. … [and] young David Marks, a neighbor of the Wilsons who plays a driving rhythm guitar. Brian, the oldest of the Wilson boys, is the group’s leader and vocal arranger. Carl is the very accomplished lead guitarist, while brother Dennis sings and plays the drums. None of them, incidentally, had any formal training, but they all grew up in an atmosphere where music was a regular part of their lives. (excerpt taken from the album’s original liner notes)

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In the autumn of 1961, cousins Brian Wilson and Mike Love composed a song on surfing, titled “Surfin'” at the behest of Brian’s younger sibling, Dennis Wilson. They quickly formed a band, bringing in the youngest Wilson brother Carl on lead guitar and Brian’s high school friend Al Jardine on rhythm guitar. Brian took up bass, Dennis the drums and Mike would be the frontman, while they all would harmonize vocals arranged by Brian. Released that December, produced by Hite Morgan, and backed by “Luau”, “Surfin'” made No. 75 in the US Top 100 in early 1962.

Father Murry Wilson became the band’s manager. He submitted a professionally recorded demo tape to Capitol Records that spring. The Beach Boys were signed and “Surfin’ Safari” b/w “409” (from the April 1962 demo tape) was released as a single that June. Al Jardine left the band after the recording of the song “Surfin'” but before the demo session and album session, replaced by Wilson-family friend David Marks— Jardine would rejoin to form a six-member band in the fall of 1963, appearing on the third studio album. With both “Surfin’ Safari” and “409” becoming hits (the former reaching US No. 14), Capitol Records approved a full album. Brian Wilson, who regularly collaborated with Mike Love and Gary Usher, contributed the songs that made up the bulk of the LP.

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The second single, “Ten Little Indians”, was less successful, reaching only No. 49, with Brian feeling that “Chug-A-Lug” would have made a better follow-up. Though Mike and Brian are the most prominent singers, Dennis makes his first vocal appearance on “Little Girl (You’re My Miss America)” (shown as “Little Miss America” on the album cover). (by wikipedia

The Beach Boys’ debut album, recorded in an era in which little was expected of rock groups in the way of strong LP-length statements, is mostly thin and awkward in both the songwriting and production departments. The title track, their first true smash, is great, as is its flip side (“409”), which was not only a hit in its own right, but was the first vocal hot rod classic. “Surfin’,” their debut single (and small national hit), is also good, and one of the few Beach Boys tracks that could be said to have a garage-like quality. Unfortunately, most of the other cuts (most of which are group originals) are substandard ditties, as Brian Wilson had a way to go before honing his compositional genius. It does, however, afford a glimpse of the group as they sounded when they were a true band in the studio, before most of their parts were played by session musicians. Two of the better cuts, “The Shift” and the instrumental “Moon Dawg,” have a grittier-than-usual surf rock base that would flower on 1963 hits like “Surfin’ U.S.A.”  (by Richie Unterberger )

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Personnel:
Mike Love (vocals)
David Marks (guitar, vocals)
Brian Wilson (bass vocals, organ; snare drum on 07.)
Carl Wilson (guitar, vocals, drums on 11.)
Dennis Wilson (drums, background vocals)
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Al Jardine (bass, background vocals on 07.) 
Nick Venet (guitar, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Surfin’ Safari (B.Wilson/Love) 2.08
02. County Fair (B.Wilson/Usher) 2.17
03. Ten Little Indians (Wilson/Usher) 1.29
04. Chug-A-Lug (Wilson/Usher/Love) 2.02
05. Little Girl (You’re My Miss America) (Alpert/Catalano) 2.07
06. 409 (Wilson/Usher) 2.02
07. Surfin’ (Wilson/Love) 2.13
08. Heads You Win–Tails I Lose (Wilson/Usher/Love) 2:17
09. Summertime Blues (Cochran/Capehart) 2.11
10. Cuckoo Clock (Wilson/Usher) 2.12
11. Moon Dawg (Weaver) 2.03
12. The Shift (Wilson/Love) 1.55LabelB1*
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Various Artists – Jingle Bell Rock (1987)

FrontCover1And here´s a nice sampler withRok N Roll and Soul songs about Christmas, publish  by Time Life. And this sampler was a part of the “The Rock N Roll Era”.

Time-Life’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Era: Jingle Bell Rock collects 25 classic tracks of the holiday genre including “Run, Rudolph, Run” (Chuck Berry), “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (the Jackson 5), “Jingle Bell Rock” (Bobby Helms), “Sleigh Ride” (the Ventures) and “Step into Christmas” (Elton John). Many of these artists will appeal to a broad range of ages, making it perfect for family gatherings. (by Al Campbell)

in 1987, I guess I was bitten by the same CD buying bug that many were: I bought into the Time-Life “Rock ‘n’ Roll Era” series of CDs. Thankfully I found that the musical selection on these were fine for my purposes, although the sound often suffered a bit. It did enable me to amass a good collection of “oldies” that I otherwise never would have bought. One surprising favorite came my way during the holidays–the compilation Jingle Bell Rock. A couple of the Motown tracks need to be skipped (the Temptations’ “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” is narcoleptic at best), but for the most part it is a very enjoyable and crowd-pleasing collection of holiday favorites.

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On here are tracks by Jan and Dean (“Frosty the Snowman”, rescued from obscurity), The Ventures (“Sleigh Ride”), Jack Scott (“There’s Trouble Brewin’”), The O’Jays (“Christmas Ain’t Christmas Without The One You Love”) and Dodie Stevens (“Merry, Merry Christmas Baby”). The usual suspects are here also (“JIngle Bell Rock”, “Run, Rudolph Run” and “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”) and Elton John’s “Step into Christmas” finishes out the disc with the most recent song in the collection. (by rudyscorner.com)

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Tracklist:
01. Bobby Helms: Jingle Bell Rock (Boothe/Beal) 2.08
02. Chuck Berry: Run, Rudolph, Run (Berry) 2.43
03. Otis Redding: Merry Christmas Baby (Moore/Baxter) 2.29
04. Smokey Robinson And The Miracles: Go Tell It On The Mountain (Traditional) 3.40
05. The Supremes: My Favorite Things (Hammerstein/Rodgers) 2.45
06. The Drifters: White Christmas (Berlin) 2.35
07. The Beach Boys: The Man With All The Toys (Wilson) 1.30
08. Booker T. And The MG’s: Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 2.27
09. The Temptations: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Marks) 2.55
10. Carla Thomas: Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas (Thomas/Cropper) 2.38
11. The Jackson 5: Someday At Christmas (Wells/Mills) 2.38
12. Jan And Dean: Frosty The Snow Man (Rollins/Nelson) 2.04
13. King Curtis: The Christmas Song (Tormé/Wells) 2.55
14. Brenda Lee: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree (Marks) 2.03
15. Smokey Robinson And The Miracles: Medley: Deck The Halls / Bring A Torch (Traditional) 3.55
16. Marvin & Johnny: It’s Christmas (Josea/Phillips) 2.14
17. The Temptations: My Christmas Tree (Webb) 3.05
18. The Ventures: Sleigh Ride (Anderson) 2.20
19. The O’Jays: Christmas Ain’t Christmas Without The One You Love (Gamble/Huff) 2.12
20. The Jackson 5: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Connor) 2.59
21. Jack Scott: There’s Trouble Brewin’ (Veronica) 2.22
22. Dodie Stevens: Merry, Merry Christmas Baby (Lopez/Sylvia) 2.11
23. Aretha Franklin: Winter Wonderland (Smith/Bernard) 2.09
24. Donny Hathaway: This Christmas (Hathaway/McKinnor) 3.26
25. Elton John: Step Into Christmas (John/Taupin) 4.22

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Beach Boys – Live In London (1969)

originalfrontcover1Live in London is a live album by American rock band the Beach Boys released by EMI in the UK in May 1970. When released in the US on November 15, 1976, the album was renamed Beach Boys ’69 via Capitol Records.

1968 was a very difficult year for The Beach Boys at home, where their reputation had soured considerably, yet their European success was still strong as evidenced by these confident performances recorded while the group were making their 20/20 album. After the surprise success of the Endless Summer and Spirit of America hits packages in 1974 and 1975, the Beach Boys enjoyed a resurgence of popularity at home, especially on the concert circuit. It was during this time that Capitol decided to strike while the iron was hot and issue a renamed edition of the album for the first time in the US. The reissue had art by rock artist Jim Evans, and a new title, Beach Boys ’69. Besides the fact that the live performance was actually recorded in December 1968, the LP’s appearance added confusion to the marketplace as the group had recently issued a new, live double album—The Beach Boys in Concert—on their own Brother Records label, as part of a distribution deal with their new label, Reprise. Despite this, the record became a small chart success in the US, following the Top 10 placing of 15 Big Ones, reaching #75 in the Fall of 1976 during a US chart stay of 10 weeks. The UK edition failed to chart.

It is believed that The Beach Boys owed Capitol one more album (this may have been it, instead of the Fading Rock Group Revival/Reverberation project), and so, this release ended their relationship with the record label, and with EMI in the UK. (by wikipedia)

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Though their studio output is the stuff of legend, the Beach Boys’ live performances aren’t as familiar to the casual fan. Live in London (also released as Beach Boys ’69) represented the second live set from the band, after 1964’s teen-scream Beach Boys Concert. By the turn of the 1960s into the ’70s, the group was finally rising to the task of translating its lush, layered sound into a live arena. Classics like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “Darlin'” carry all of their original beauty, bolstered by the energy of the live setting and by swinging horn accompaniment. More unexpected cuts, such as the celebratory “Wake the World” and a bluesy take of “Bluebirds Over the Mountains,” fit in perfectly with staples like the tempo-shifting, musically precise version of “Good Vibrations,” just one crowd-pleaser among many on Live in London. (by Rovi Staff)

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Personnel:
Al Jardine (vocals, guitar)
Bruce Johnston (vocals, keyboards, bass)
Mike Love (vocals, tambourine)
Carl Wilson (vocals, guitar)
Brian Wilson (vocals, bass, keyboards)
Dennis Wilson (vocals, drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Darlin’ (B. Wilson/Love) 2.14
02. Wouldn’t It Be Nice (B. Wilson/Asher) 1.45
03. Sloop John B (Tradotional) 2.20
04. California Girls (B.Wilson) 1.48
05. Do It Again (B. Wilson/Love) 2.15
06. Wake The World (Jardine/B. Wilson)1.48
07. Aren’t You Glad (B. Wilson/Love) 2.26
08. Bluebirds Over The Mountain (Hickey) 2.31
09. Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring (Troup) 1.47
10. Good Vibrations (B. Wilson/Love) 3.34
11. God Only Knows (B. Wilson/Asher) 2.27
12. Barbara Ann (Fassert)  1.57
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13. Don´t Worry Baby (B.Wilson/Christian) 2.57
14. Heroes And Villains (B.Wilson/Parks) 3.45

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Various Artists – American Graffiti (OST) (1973)

FrontCover1Hey, boys and girls…let´s have a üarty tonigh and this is an excellent soundtrack for such a night !

American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed and co-written by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Bo Hopkins, and Wolfman Jack. Suzanne Somers and Joe Spano have cameos. Set in Modesto, California in 1962, the film is a study of the cruising and rock and roll cultures popular among the post–World War II baby boom generation. The film is told in a series of vignettes, telling the story of a group of teenagers and their adventures over a single evening.

The genesis of American Graffiti was in Lucas’ own teenage years in early 1960s Modesto. He was unsuccessful in pitching the concept to financiers and distributors but found favor at Universal Pictures after United Artists, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Bros., and Paramount Pictures turned him down. Filming was initially set to take place in San Rafael, California, but the production crew was denied permission to shoot beyond a second day.

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American Graffiti premiered on August 2, 1973 at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland and was released on August 11, 1973 in the United States. The film received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Produced on a $777,000 budget, it has become one of the most profitable films of all time. Since its initial release, American Graffiti has garnered an estimated return of well over $200 million in box office gross and home video sales, not including merchandising. In 1995, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

A sequel, More American Graffiti, was released in 1979.

AmericanGraffiti05.jpgIn early September 1962 in Modesto, California at the tail end of summer vacation, recent high school graduates and longtime friends, Curt Henderson and Steve Bolander, meet John Milner and Terry “The Toad” Fields at the local Mel’s Drive-In parking lot. Despite receiving a $2,000 scholarship from the local Moose lodge, Curt is undecided if he wants to leave the next morning with Steve to go to the northeastern United States to begin college. Steve lets Toad borrow his 1958 Chevrolet Impala for the evening and while he’s away at college until Christmas. Steve’s girlfriend, Laurie, who also is Curt’s sister, is unsure of Steve’s leaving, to which he suggests—to Laurie’s surprise—they see other people while he is away to “strengthen” their relationship. She is not happy with his proposal.

Curt, Steve, and Laurie go to the local back to school sock hop, while Toad and John begin cruising. En route to the dance, at a stoplight, Curt sees a beautiful blonde girl in a white 1956 Ford Thunderbird. She says, “I love you” before disappearing around the corner. After leaving the hop, Curt is desperate to find the mysterious blonde, but is coerced by a group of greasers (“The Pharaohs”) to participate in an initiation rite that involves hooking a chain to a police car and ripping out its back axle. Curt is told rumors that “The Blonde” is either a trophy wife or prostitute, which he refuses to believe.

Following a series of arguments, Steve and Laurie split, and John inadvertently picks up Carol, an annoying teenybopper who seems fond of him. Toad, who is normally socially inept with girls, successfully picks up a flirtatious, and somewhat rebellious, girl named Debbie. Meanwhile, Curt learns that the DJ Wolfman Jack broadcasts from just outside Modesto. Inside the radio station, Curt encounters a bearded man he assumes to be the manager. Curt hands the man a message for “The Blonde” to call or meet him. As he walks away, Curt hears the voice of The Wolfman, and, having just seen The Wolfman broadcasting, he realizes he had been speaking with The Wolfman himself.

AmericanGraffiti02The other story lines intertwine until Toad and Steve end up on “Paradise Road” to watch John race his yellow deuce coupe against the handsome, but arrogant, Bob Falfa. Earlier, Bob had picked up Laurie, who is now sitting shotgun in his black ’55 Chevy. Within seconds of the finish, Bob loses control of his car after blowing a front tire, plunges into a ditch and rolls his car. Steve and John run to the wreck, and a dazed Bob and Laurie stagger out of the car before it explodes. Distraught, Laurie grips Steve tightly and tells him not to leave her. He assures her that he has decided not to leave Modesto after all. The next morning Curt is awakened by the sound of a phone ringing in a telephone booth, which turns out to be “The Blonde”. She tells him she might see him cruising tonight, but Curt replies that is not possible, because he will be leaving. At the airfield he says goodbye to his parents, his sister, and friends. As the plane takes off, Curt, gazing out of the window, sees the white Ford Thunderbird belonging to the mysterious blonde.

Prior to the end credits, an on-screen epilogue reveals that John was killed by a drunk driver in December 1964, Toad was reported missing in action near An Lộc in December 1965, Steve is an insurance agent in Modesto, California, and Curt is a writer living in Canada (implying that he may be there as a draft dodger).

Lucas’s choice of background music was crucial to the mood of each scene, but he was realistic about the complexities of copyright clearances and suggested a number of alternative tracks. Universal wanted Lucas and producer Gary Kurtz to hire an orchestra for sound-alikes. The studio eventually proposed a flat deal that offered every music publisher the same amount of money. This was acceptable to most of the companies representing Lucas’s first choices, but not to RCA—with the consequence that Elvis Presley is conspicuous by his absence from the soundtrack. Clearing the music licensing rights had cost approximately $90,000, and as a result there was no money left for a traditional film score. “I used the absence of music, and sound effects, to create the drama,” Lucas later explained.

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A soundtrack album for the film, 41 Original Hits from the Soundtrack of American Graffiti, was issued by MCA Records. The album contains all the songs used in the film (with the exception of “Gee” by the Crows, which was subsequently included on a second soundtrack album), presented in the order in which they appeared in the film. (by wikipedia)

Okay ..let´s start the party !

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Tracklist:

LP 1:
01. Bill Haley And The Comets: Rock Around The Clock (DeKnight/Freedman) 2-08
02. The Crests: Sixteen Candles (Dixon/Khent) 2.48
03. Del Shannon: Runaway (Shannon/Crook) 2.16
04. Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers: Why Do Fools Fall In Love (Lymon/Levy) 2.17
05. Buddy Holly: That’ll Be The Day (Allison/Petty/Holly) 2:15
06. Buster Brown. Fanny Mae (Lewis/Levy/Glasco) 2.55
07. Flash Cadillac & The Continental Kids: At The Hop (Singer/Medora/White) 2.25
08. Flash Cadillac & The Continental Kids: She’s So Fine (Moe/Phillips) 2.20
09. The Diamonds: The Stroll  (Otis/Lee) 2.26
10. The Tempos:See You In September (Edwards/Wayne) 2.07
11. The Beach Boys: Surfin’ Safari (Wilson/Love) 2.04
12. The Fleetwoods: He’s The Great Imposter (DeShannon/Sheeley) 2.10
13. Chuck Berry: Almost Grown (Berry) 2.19
14. The Platters: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Kern/Harbach) 2.36
15. The Platters: Little Darlin’ (Williams) 2.07
16. Joey Dee & The Starlighters: Peppermint Twist (Henry/Glover) 2.01
17. The Regents: Barbara Ann (Fassert) 2.11
18. The Monotones: Book Of Love (Davis/Patrick/Malone) 2.17
19. Buddy Holly: Maybe Baby (Petty /Holly) 2.00
20. Lee Dorsey: Ya Ya (Lewis/Levy) 2.24
21. The Platters: The Great Pretender (Ram) 2.37

LP 2:
01. Fats Domino: Ain’t That A Shame (Domino/Bartholomew) 2.24
02. Chuck Berry: Johnny B. Goode (Berry) 2.38
03. The Flamingos: I Only Have Eyes For You (Warren/Dubin) 3.20
04. The Silhouettes: Get A Job (The Silhouettes) 2.45
05. The Five Satins: To The Aisle (Wiener/Smith) 2.42
06. Bobby Freeman: Do You Wanna Dance Freeman) 2.32
07. Buddy Knox: Party Doll (Bowen/Knox) 2.11
08. The Del-Vikings: Come Go With Me (Quick) 2.39
09. Johnny Burnette: You’re Sixteen – You’re Beautiful (And You’re Mine) (B.Sherman/D.Sherman) 1.55
10. The Clovers: Love Potion No.9 (Leiber/Stoller) 1.50
11. The Skyliners: Since I Don’t Have You (Rock/Skyliners) 2.35
12. The Clovers: Chantilly Lace (The Big Bopper) (Richardson) 2.19
13. Mark Dinning: Teen Angel (Surry) 2.39
14. Sonny Till & The Orioles: Crying In The Chapel (Glenn) 3.01
15. The Heartbeats: A Thousand Miles Away (Sheppard/Miller) 2.24
16. The Cleftones: Heart And Soul (Carmichael/Loesser) 1.50
17. Booker T. & The M.G.’s: Green Onions ( (Jones/Cropper/Jackson/Steinberg) 2.26
18. The Platters: Only You (And You Alone) (Ram/Rand) 2.38
19. The Spaniels: Goodnight, Well It’s Time To Go (Hudson/Carter) 2.42
20. The Beach Boys: All Summer Long (Wilson) 2.06

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Beach Boys – Surfer Girl (1963)

FrontCover1Surfer Girl is the third studio album by American rock band the Beach Boys and their second longplayer in 1963. Surfer Girl reached number 7 in the US during a chart stay of 56 weeks. In the UK, the album was released in spring 1967 and reached number 13. This was the first album by the Beach Boys for which Brian Wilson was given full production credit, a position Wilson would maintain for the next few years.

For the first time producing an album himself, Brian Wilson co-wrote with Mike Love, Gary Usher and Roger Christian some of his most cherished songs. The title track, a number 7 US hit, was the first song Brian had ever composed, written at the age of 19 using “When You Wish Upon a Star” as his inspiration. As a ballad, it was a risky move for a single, but its obvious quality overcame any potential commercial risks. Its flip-side, “Little Deuce Coupe”, proved to be The Beach Boys’ most successful B-side, reaching US number 15 and becoming a hot rod staple. It also continued the band’s current trend of putting a surf-related song on the A-side of singles, and car songs on the B-side. “Catch a Wave” featured Mike Love’s sister, Maureen, on harp, while “The Surfer Moon” was the first Beach Boys song to have a string arrangement. “In My Room” was perhaps Brian Wilson’s first personal song, a reflection on having a place to go to feel a sense of security and safety from the stress of one’s life. Despite some slight material (“South Bay Surfer”, “Boogie Woodie”), it was clear that Surfer Girl was a significant step forward for The Beach Boys – and the first of many.

“South Bay Surfer” is co-credited to Al Jardine, who had rejoined The Beach Boys in the summer of 1963 in a limited capacity and does not appear on the album cover.

The instrumental track for “The Surfer Moon” (Brian’s first known use of strings) was recorded (as “The Summer Moon”) in early May for an extra-BB act he was recording, Bob & Vikki; this version was never released, although an acetate exists. Bob was Bob Norberg, Brian’s room mate in 1962.

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The recording date, July 16th, given on the sleeve for album tracks not previously released as a single, is not so much questionable as almost certainly impossible. Although there is documentary proof (a tape box label) that “Surfers Rule”, “South Bay Surfer” and “Boogie Woodie” were indeed recorded on that date at Western Sound Studios, it is noticeable that whilst Mike Love’s lead vocals for “Hawaii” and “Catch a Wave” are hampered by a heavy cold, his other leads on album cuts are fine. Therefore it is certain other dates/sessions were also used. Further, Alan Jardine is known to have played or sung on four tracks – bass on “Boogie Woodie”, “Surfer’s Rule” & “Catch a Wave” and vocals on “In My Room” – but not the others, while Hal Blaine contributed to “Our Car Club” (originally recorded for The Honeys as “Rabbit’s Foot”) and “Hawaii”. Thus, it is likely there were at least four sessions for the album tracks, but as the AFM (musicians union) documentation is missing, confirmation cannot be supplied.

The front cover of Surfer Girl features (from left to right) Dennis Wilson, David Marks, Carl Wilson, Mike Love and Brian Wilson holding a surfboard from the same 1962 photo shoot that produced the cover of their album debut Surfin’ Safari. The picture was taken by Capitol photographer Kenneth Veeder at Paradise Cove, north of Malibu.

Surfer Girl hit number seven in the US (where it went gold) and, later (in 1967) number thirteen in the UK. (by wikipedia)

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Capitol pushed the Beach Boys for too much material in too short a time for the group to maintain as much quality control as would have been desirable. Consequently, most of their pre-1965 albums contain a high degree of filler, and thus stack up poorly next to those of such contemporaries as the Beatles, who were able to maintain high standards on almost all of their tracks. Surfer Girl does have some great tunes, including the title song, the hot rod ditty “Little Deuce Coupe,” and “Catch a Wave” (which could have been a substantial hit single on its own merits). Most significant of all is the gorgeous ballad “In My Room,” which anticipated future Beach Boys releases both in its sophisticated production (strings, organ, dense harmonies) and its personal, solipsistic lyrics. The rest is surprisingly mediocre filler, especially as at this point they were restricting their lyrical themes to beach culture almost exclusively; “Your Summer Dream,” with its unusual harmonies, is about the most interesting of the obscure tracks. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Al Jardine (bass, background vocals)
Mike Love (vocals)
David Marks (guitar)
Brian Wilson (vocals, keyboards, bass)
Carl Wilson (guitar, bass, vocals)
Dennis Wilson (drums, vocals)
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Hal Blaine (drums, percussion)
Steve Douglas (saxophone)
Maureen Love (harp)

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Tracklist:
01. Surfer Girl  (B.Wilson) 2.26
02. Catch A Wave (B. Wilson/Love) 2.07
03. The Surfer Moon (B. Wilson) 2.11
04. South Bay Surfer (The Old Folks At Home) (Foster/B. Wilson/C,Wilson/Jardine) 1.45
05. The Rocking Surfer (Traditional) 2.00
06. Little Deuce Coupe  (B. Wilson/Christian) 1.38
07. In My Room (B. Wilson/Usher) 2.11
08. Hawaii (B. Wilson/Love) 1.59
09. Surfer’s Rule (B. Wilson/Love) 1.54
10. Our Car Club (B. Wilson/Love)  2.22
11. Your Summer Dream (B. Wilson/Norberg) 2.27
12. Boogie Woodie (Traditional) 1.56

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Beach Boys – Christmas Album (1964)

FrontCover1The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album is the seventh studio album by the Beach Boys, released in November 1964. Containing five original songs and seven standards, the album proved to be a long-running success during subsequent Christmas seasons, initially reaching number six in the US Billboard 200 chart in its year of release and eventually going gold.

While leader Brian Wilson produced and arranged the “rock” songs, he left it to Dick Reynolds (an arranger for the Four Freshmen, a group Wilson idolized) to arrange the forty-one piece orchestral backings on the traditional songs to which the Beach Boys would apply their vocals.[5] One single was released from the album, the original song “The Man with All the Toys” backed with the group’s rendition of “Blue Christmas”. “Little Saint Nick”, a single which had already been released the previous year, was included on the album.

The album was devised as a response to Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records (1963), an album Brian had attended recording sessions for. He played piano on the song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” but was dismissed by Spector due to his substandard piano playing. Original album cover photo by George Jerman for Capitol Photo Studio.

BeachBoys01With the exception of “Little Saint Nick”, sessions for the album spanned from June 18–30, 1964, one month after the All Summer Long album was completed. “Christmas Day” is the first Beach Boys song to feature a lead vocal from Al Jardine.

The album was released in mono and stereo; the stereo mix, prepared by engineer Chuck Britz, would be the last true stereo mix for a Beach Boys album until 1968’s Friends.

In addition to orchestral renditions of “Jingle Bells” and the original Wilson composition “Christmas Eve” which never received vocal overdubs, outtakes of the All Summer Long track “Little Honda” and Today! single “Don’t Hurt My Little Sister” were recorded in between June sessions.

In a retrospective review, Allmusic’s Jason Ankeny stated: “Brian Wilson’s pop genius is well suited to classic Yuletide fare, and the group delivers lush performances of standards ranging from ‘Frosty the Snowman’ to ‘White Christmas’ as well as more contemporary material like ‘The Man With All the Toys’ and ‘Blue Christmas.'”

BeachBoys02While interviewing Wilson for a promotional radio special in 1964, Jack Wagner remarked that Wilson’s decision to sing solo on a version of “Blue Christmas” could be “the start of a whole new career,” to which Wilson responded “I don’t know. It could and it couldn’t. I really don’t know.” Referring to the standards which he believed “proved that the Beach Boys’ vocal power was bigger and more agile than the surf and hot rod records [and] staking a claim for wider musical terrain,” author Luis Sanchez reflected: “The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album music shows a quality of aesthetic selectivity that none of the group’s records that came before it do, aspiring not just to assimilate one of pop’s stock ideas, but also enabling Brian to make one of his biggest artistic advances.”

On April 6, 1982, the album was certified gold by the RIAA, selling more than 500,000 units.(by wikipedia)

Single1Personnel:
Al Jardine (vocals, guitar; handclaps)
Mike Love (vocals, handclaps)
Brian Wilson (vocals, bass, organ, handclaps)
Carl Wilson (vocals, guitar, handclaps)
Dennis Wilson (drums, background vocals, handclaps)
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Robert Barene (violin)
Arnold Belnick (violin)
Harry Bluestone (violin)
George “Red” Callender (tuba)
Frankie Capp (drums )
Gene Cipriano (woodwind)
Eugene DiNovi (piano)
David Duke (french horn)
Jesse Ehrlich (cello)
Virgil Evans (trumpet)
Jimmy Getzoff (violin)
Billy Green (woodwind)
Urbie Green (trombone)
Clifford Hils (bass)
Bones Howe (percussion)
Robert Jung (woodwind)
Armand Kaproff (cello)
Raymond Kelley (cello)
Bernard Kundell (violin)
William Kurasch (violin)
Henry Laubach (trumpet)
Alfred Lustgarten (violin)
Arthur Maebe (french horn)
Lew McCreary (trombone)
Oliver Mitchell (trumpet)
Richard Nash (trombone)
Richard Perissi (french horn)
Al Porcino (trumpet)
Dorothy Ramsen (harp)
Lou Raderman (violin)
Karl Rossner (cello)
Henry Roth (violin)
Joseph Saxon (cello)
Wilbur Schwartz (woodwind)
Frederick Seykora (cello)
Paul Shure (violin)
Marshall Sosson (violin)
Darrel Terwilliger (violin)
Al Viola (guitar)

Orchestra Conducted by Benjamin Barrett

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Little Saint Nick  (B.Wilson/Love) 1.59
02. The Man With All The Toys (B.Wilson/Love) 1.32
03. Santa’s Beard (B.Wilson) 1.59
04. Merry Christmas, Baby (B.Wilson) 2.22
05. Christmas Day (B.Wilson/Jardine) 1.35
06. Frosty The Snowman (Nelson/Rollins) 1.54
07. We Three Kings Of Orient Are (Hopkins) 4.03
08. Blue Christmas (Hayes/Johnson) 3.09
09. Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 2.20
10. White Christmas (Berlin) 2.29
11. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Gannon/Kent/Ram) 2.44
12. Auld Lang Syne (Traditional) 1.19

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Beach Boys – Live In Japan (1966)

FrontCover1As we go down another Japanese memory lane, let’s spare a thought for the Earthquake/Tsunami/nuclear fallout victims in Japan, as well as those in China and New Zealand. And for those who can, in your own countries, donate to a charity that is sending aid to Japan and/or any of the afflicted places.

Steven Gaines’ Heroes And Villains: The True Story Of The Beach Boys gives only a cursory mention of the Beach Boys’ 1965/66 tour:

After two dates and ten days of knowing each other – with Mike (Love) bragging he had $70,000 in the bank – he asked Suzanne (Belcher) to marry him. They flew to Las Vegas on October 15, 1965, where they were quietly married. Then Mike had to rush home for a Beach Boys appearance on The Andy Williams Show. Mike took his new bride with him and the rest of the Beach Boys on a long Asian tour, which included Japan, Hong Kong and Honolulu.

BeachBoys01With the other Beach Boys gone, Brian started work on a new album, which would turn out to be the watershed of his career.

Of the Pet Sounds recording, Steven Gaines continues:

[When] the other members of the group returned to LA, they found that most of the tracks were complete – and they didn’t like it. They objected to Brian’s preconceived notion of what the vocals should sound like. Mike Love reportedly considered this Brian’s ‘ego’ music… ‘It took some getting used to,’ Alan Jardine admitted. ‘When we left the country, we were just a surfing group. This was a whole new thing.’

The vocals tracks were arduous to lay down, and Brain made them work harder than ever to perfect them. Mike hated Brian’s role as taskmaster. ‘Who’s gonna hear this?’ he asked. “The ears of a dog? But Brian had those kind of ears, so I said, ‘Okay, we’ll do it another time.’ Every voice in its resonance and tonality and timbre had to be right. Then the next day he might throw it out and have us do it again.”… [Brian] would sometimes let the group do the vocals the way they wanted, then, after they left the studio, he would wipe the vocals off completely and finish the track himself, since he could sing all the parts.

Live in Japan, January 1966. Some list this as Shibuya, January 7, 1966.
Good to very good soundboard.
This show has also been listed as a probable FM broadcast.

AlternateFrontCoverPersonnel:
Al Jardine (bass, background vocals)
Bruce Johnston (guitar, background vocals)
Mike Love (vocals)
Carl Wilson (guitar, background vocals)
Dennis Wilson (drums, background vocals)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Fun, Fun, Fun (B.Wilson/Love) 0.52
02. Little Honda (B.Wilson/Love) 1.52
03. Medley: Little Deuce Coupe/Shut Down/Surfin’ USA (B.Wilson/Christian/Love/Berry) 4.14
04. Surfer Girl (B.Wilson) 2.26
05. Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow (White/Frazier/Harris/Wilson Jr.) 2.07
06. Hawaii (B.Wilson/Love) 1.40
07. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (Lennon/McCartney) (2.17
08. Monster Mash (Pickett/Capizzi) 2.12
09. Help Me, Rhonda (B.Wilson/Love) 1.14
10. California Girls (B.Wilson/Love) 2.47
11. Barbara Ann (Fassert) 2.04
12. I Get Around (B.Wilson/Love) 1.57
13. Johnny B. Goode (Berry) 2.29
14. The Beach Boys Interview In Japan 1966 4.31

AlternateBackCoverAlternate backcover

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