Jim Messina & His Jesters – The Dragsters (1964)

BenQ DC S1410“Early in his career — right at the outset, in fact — 18-year-old Jim Messina was a devotee of surf music, enamored of the music of Dick Dale, the Champs et al. The Jesters was among his early professional efforts, a surf band that included, along with Messina, Bill Beckman and Ron House on guitars, Jim Sholstedt on bass, Dave Archuleta on saxophone, and Larry Cundieff on drums. They won a lot of local band competitions in California, where the competition in the field was still fierce in 1965 and 1966, and were good enough to get to record an entire LP for Audio Fidelity. It was re-released on the Thimble label in the mid-1970’s, to capitalize on Messina’s success as one half of Loggins & Messina”

”The original Jesters LP was released sometime in ’64 and was credited to “Jim Messina and his Jesters” (notice the copy of “Dick Dale and HIS Del-tones”) and it was called The Dragsters. This is the LP that was reissued on CD on the semi-legit Euro label Surf in the ’90s. It’s great stuff, 14 songs, 11 of them written by Messina. The covers are: an uptempo version of the Breeze and I, and surf-guitar-led versions of fifties instro hits Honky Tonk and Raunchy. Messina’s guitar work is truly exceptional, sounding like DD’s flashier doppleganger, with a lot of nimble fingerwork full of fast hammer-ons and pull-offs, and not as much double-picking as you may expect. (I only recently started noticing how Dick-Dale-ish Messina’s playing was. Listen to “The Thing” – it’s a total rip-off of DD’s “Surfing Drums” – which of course was a Bo Diddley rip-off itself! – and the licks he’s playing are completely DD.


Live at Lier´s Music, San Bernadino, California, ca. 1963

Messina also uses the pickup position #4 (neck and middle pickups) a LOT, which is also something that DD pioneered in surf music.) I HIGHLY recommend this CD. The highlights for me are “The Jester”, which is as good as any surf song I think, “The Cossack”, “High Voltage” (an apt title!), and “Yang Bu”. If there is one criticism I would have of the material is that it’s a bit light on melody, instead relying on groove, energy and improvisation. But it works most of the time. There’s a really nice jazz and even blues influence throughout, especially evident on “Suspense Run” and “Hollywood Sound” (both very jazzy in rhythm and featuring some tasty surf-blues guitar playing, with the latter obviously influenced by Mel Torme’s “I’m Comin’ Home Baby”). And as Messina mentioned in his interview, almost every song has a bunch of engine revving and tires skidding noises overdubbed. A lot of songs also have the noises of the band shouting along with the music, as if they’re really into it. I suspect these were overdubbed later, along with the car-related noises.” (by Ivan P. – Surf Guitar Magazine 101, June 25, 2004)


Dave Archuleta (saxophone)
Bill Beckman (guitar)
Larry Cundieff (drums)
Ron House (guitar)
Jim Messina (lead guitar)
Jim Sholstedt (bass)

BenQ DC S1410

01. The Breeze And I (Lecuona/Stillman) 1.31
02. Raunchy (Justis) 1.37
03. No Name Dragster (Messina/Frey) 2.02
04. Strange Man (Messina/Frey) 1.40
05. High Voltage (Messina/Frey) 1.58
06. Yang Bu (Messina/Frey) 2.29
07. The Thing (Messina/Frey) 2.04
08. The Jester (Messina/Frey) 2.00
09. Suspense Run (Messina/Frey) 3.05
10. The Cossack (Messina/Frey) 1.55
11. Masatlan Rally (Messina/Frey) 1.54
12. Honkey Tonk (Oliver) 2.33
13. Chihiuaha (unknown) 2.05
14. Tamale Wagon (Messina/Frey) 1.43


Jim Messina And The Jesters ( ’82 reissue with different mix; 10 tracks only)
01. The Jester (Messina/Frey) 2.31
02. Hollywood Sound (previously unreleased) (Messina/Frey) 2.15
03. Masatlan Rally (Messina/Frey) 2.08
04. High Voltage (Messina/Frey) 2.08
05. Yang Bu (Messina/Frey) 2.16
06. Honkey Tonk (Oliver) 3.45
07. Strange Man (Messina/Frey) 1.33
08. The Cossack (Messina/Frey) 2.02
09. Tamale Wagon (Messina/Frey) 1.57
10. The Thing (Messina/Frey) 2.00




Front + back cover from the 1982 edition


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)

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)

Alternate frontcovers

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)


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
13. Don´t Worry Baby (B.Wilson/Christian) 2.57
14. Heroes And Villains (B.Wilson/Parks) 3.45



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.

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)


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)


Alternate front + backcover

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)
Hal Blaine (drums, percussion)
Steve Douglas (saxophone)
Maureen Love (harp)


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



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)

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)
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

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

LabelB1* (coming soon)

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.

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

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


Baronics – Get Bach! (1998)

FrontCover1And now another classic record with compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivalidi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Pachelbel and Ludwig van Beethoven … but in a very funny way …

VIVALDI, PACHELBEL GO POP… “In which Vivaldi meets The Ventures as Quebec based quartet The Baronics give some popular classics the surfing sound of clean, bright Fender guitars. Doubtless pursits of both stripes will disapprove of this disc, however for those prepared to loosen their muscal stays a little there is a lot of good clean fun to be had (not to mention the potential for confounding people’s expectations at parties – put this on and watch the cratched heads and baffled expressions). What particularly impressed me about his record is the fidelity with which the originals are approached: both the notes and the spirit are captured. Pachelbel’s famous Canon comes off particularly well, but then so does The Four Seasons. In fact so enjoyable did I find this fresh take on the work which is in danger of becoming hackneyed… Nigel Kennedy, eat your heart out! This is not the first time that the classics have been treated to a rock ‘n’ roll backbeat and I dare say it won’t be the last. Few, though, tend to be done with anything like the skill and affection evident here.”

Baronics01THE BARONICS performs on vintage Fenders and amplifiers and they’ve been around for the last ten years as a back up band for many singer/songwriters. But their career did really take a turn when they toured as Ralph and The Baronics with 5 videos played regularly on the Canadian TV. When Ralph did retire, The Baronics came back to their roots to perform surf music. But why not start at the very root of music: classical music…

Some of the best classical works revisited expertly by The Baronics – pure surf style. Exquisite arrangements, superb performance… “A splendid time is guaranteed for all!” to quote Sgt. Pepper. The perfect introduction to classical music or the perfect gift for the classical aficionados who thinks he/she already has the world best collection of classical music…

Baronics02And here´s the story of this more or less unknown, but great band:

In 1996, bassist Olivier Martin leaves surf rock band Les Jaguars. Shortly there after, he contacts the guitarist Patrick Kelly and form the Baronics.The name was taken from a group (their former band) that existed ten years earlier in the Montreal music scene. The name wasn’t the only thing they borrowed from the old band, they also incorporated their old look too. They have been developing their repertory and their interest in surf music, while at the same time work on traditional adaptations of classical pieces.This fusion would lead to the very particular style found on the album “Get Bach! ”, in 1997. They make a promotional round in Canada and also play in clubs and various demonstrations. The Baronics record standards, themes and surf rock instrumentals, part of their live act. Exposition, released in February of 1998, contains that assortment of various fun, theme and mood pieces

Recorded at Studio Peter Pan, Montreal, and Studio Digilog, Montreal
in October and November of 1996

Pascal Gingras (drums)
Olivier Martin (bass)
Patrick Kelly (guitar)
Christian Sylvestre (guitar)
Pierre Puesch (saxophone on 03.)
Peter Thompson (vocals on 10.)



Antonio Vivaldi- The Four Seasons:
01. Spring 3.57
02. Summer 2.40
03. Fall 2.46
04. Winter 2.52

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
05. Rondo Alla Turca (Mozart) 3.58

Johann Sebastian Bach:
06. Invention 1 & 13 3.01

 Johann Pachelbel:
07. Kanon 3.25

Ludwig van Beethoven:
08. Moonlight Sonata 5.08

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
09. Serenade No. 13 (Mozart)  4.01

Johann Sebastian Bach:
10. Bourree 4.51



Beach Boys – Beach Boys’ Party! (1965)

BeachBoysParty!FCCapitol, which had already released ten Beach Boys albums in three years, was bugging the group for product that it could release in time for the 1965 Christmas season. To buy time while Brian Wilson began conceiving the Pet Sounds masterpiece, the group issued a set of covers, mostly of the ’50s rock and R&B they had listened to as schoolboys.

Packaged as if it had been recorded at an actual party, it was in fact recorded in the studio, with friends and romantic partners adding sounds and vocals to create an informal atmosphere. With the exception of a bass guitar, all the instruments were acoustic; the acoustic guitar-and-bongo arrangements, in fact, give this a hootenanny campfire feel. In recent years, this album has gone up a few notches in critical esteem, praised for its loose, casual feel and insight into the group’s influences. Realistically, though, its present-day appeal lies mostly with dedicated fans of the group, as fun and engaging as it is.

Others will find the material shopworn in places, and the presentation too corny. It does have the massive hit “Barbara Ann,” which actually features Dean Torrence (of Jan & Dean) on much of the lead vocals; other highlights include “Mountain of Love,” an unexpected version of “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” and three Beatles covers.


Al Jardine (guitar, vocals)
Bruce Johnstone (bass, keyboards, vocals)
Mike Love (vocals)
Carl Wilson (guitar, vocals)
Dennis Wilson (drums)

01. Hully Gully (Goldsmith/Smith) 2.22
02. I Should Have Known Better (Lennon/McCartney) 2.23
03. Tell My Why (Lennon/McCartney) 1.39
04. Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow (Frazier/J.Harris/S.Harris/White/T.Wilson/Wilson Jr.) 2.12
05. Mountain Of Love (Dorman) 2.47
06. You´ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (Lennon/McCartney) 2.47
07. Davoted To You (Bryant) 1.19
08. Alley Oop (Frazier) 2.53
09. There´s No Other (Like My Baby) 3.02
10. Medley: I Get Around/Little Deuce Cup (Christian/Wilson) 3.31
11. The Times They Are A-Changin´ (Dylan) 2.13
12. Barbara Ann (Fassert) 2.53