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Endless Harmony [Australian Import] [Import]

The Beach Boys Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 15.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Beach Boys' SMiLE Sessions deluxe box set


Their classic songs epitomize the spirit of the California lifestyle and The Beach Boys have become an American icon to a worldwide audience. The Beach Boys’ first hit “Surfin’” (1961) launched a string of chart-topping songs that spans nearly forty years and includes eternal anthems of American youth: “Surfin’ USA”, “Surfer Girl”, ... Read more in Amazon's The Beach Boys Store

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Endless Harmony [Australian Import] + Endless Harmony [DVD] [2005]
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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 Sep 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: EMI Music UK
  • ASIN: B000009OH5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,779 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Soulful Old Man Sunshine (Writing Session Excerpt)
2. Soulful Old Man Sunshine
3. Radio Concert Promo 1
4. Medley: Surfin' Safari/Fun, Fun, Fun/Shut Down/Little Deuce Coupe/Surfin' U.S.A. (Live-1966)
5. Surfer Girl (Biaural Mix)
6. Help Me, Rhonda (Alternate Single Version)
7. Kiss Me, Baby (Stereo Mix)
8. California Girls (Stereo Remix)
9. Good Vibrations (Live-1968 Rehearsal)
10. Heroes And Villians (Demo)
11. Heroes And Villians (Live)
12. God Only Knows (Live-1967 Rehearsal)
13. Radio Concert Promo 2
14. Darlin' (Live-1980)
15. Wonderful/Don't Worry, Bill (Live-1972)
16. Do It Again (Early Version)
17. Break Away (Demo)
18. Sail Plane Song
19. Loop De Loop (Flip Flop Flyin' In An Aeroplane)
20. Barbara
See all 25 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Those familiar with the Beach Boys' decades of familial squabbles and personal discord will find the title Endless Harmony almost too ironic. But this soundtrack from the band-sanctioned VH-1 television special wisely focuses on the band's undeniable vocal prowess and the vaunted composing/arranging/producing skills of its chief architect, Brian Wilson. It also manages a fresh take on one of the most over-exposed catalogues in pop, largely by raiding the vaults for some unexpected gems: 21 of the 23 music tracks (two brief radio promos are also included) here are previously unreleased, and several Brian Wilson demos give insight in to his creative process. Worshippers of that grail of unreleased albums, Smile, will be excited to find that the piano demo of "Heroes and Villains" also includes snippets of "I'm in Great Shape" and "Barnyard", long-lost pieces of that legendary album/puzzle. Wilson's demo for "Breakaway" illustrates how he would arrange songs by recording each band member's vocal part himself--Wilson quite literally is the Beach Boys here. Also notable is "Surf's Up" engineer Steve Desper's radical (for 1970) remix of Wilson's fatalistic classic "Til I Die", early versions of "Do It Again", and "Help Me, Rhonda", and gorgeous (if heretical) stereo mixes of "California Girls" and "Kiss Me, Baby". The other band members' creative instincts are succinctly documented, but as always, it is the sound and vision of Brian Wilson that overshadows them. "Genius" might just be too weak an adjective. --Jerry McCulley

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Compilation of Rarities 16 Dec 2003
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Don't be confused by the 'Soundtrack' tag, although this CD is indeed the soundtrack to a 'rockumentary' about the Beach Boys made a few years ago (and available on DVD in the States). The material dates from 1963 through to 1980, and includes alternate takes, new stereo mixes, and previously unreleased material taken from the seemingly bottomless Beach Boys/Brian Wilson archive. Highlights (for me) include an astonishing version of 'Til I Die' featuring an instrumental opening (totally gorgeous) followed by a rough-sounding vocal mix - engineer Steve Desper apparently did the mix entirely for his own pleasure and not surprisingly the Boys opted for the version released on the 'Surf's Up' album. Other previously unreleased tracks include 'Soulful Old Man Sunshine', 'Loop de Loop' (Al Jardine adding a new lead vocal 29 years after it was first recorded!!) and Dennis Wilson's beautiful 'Barbara', recorded in 1971. Live highlights include 'Darlin' (Knebworth 1980) and a 1972 live rendition of 'Wonderful', pretty much as recorded for 'Smile' and not akin to the drugged-out 'Smiley Smile' version. All in all a treat for fans and highly recommended!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In That Soulful Old Man Sunshine 28 July 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is a must for Beach Boys purists and will pleasantly surprise fans of the hits! Yes, the hits are included (with alternate takes of "Help Me Rhonda", "California Girls", and the "Surfer Medley". Highlights include the alternative take of Brian's melancholy "Till I Die", Carl's "Long Promised Road", Dennis' hauntingly prophetic "All Alone", the big-band jazz of "Soulful Old Man Sunshine", and Al's "Loop De Loop".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Like many of the albums after Pet Sounds, this is a mixture of both style and quality - perhaps the most diverse BB album of all, though that's a tough contest. To appreciate it, you probably have to be a fairly devoted Beach Boys fan, though not necessarily a fanatic (anorak, but not beard and sandals!)

The standout tracks for me are:
-The beautiful long alternate take of "Till I Die"
-"Sail Plane Song" and "Loop de loop", totally different versions of the same basic song
-"Endless Harmony" (the title track) and "Brian's back". Apart from their own merits as songs, these two are an imaginative summary of much of the group's first two decades. (Admittedly Brian's first comeback, described here, occurred under considerable pressure, but against the odds he is definitely back now.)

Among the other gems, I was particularly pleased with the first appearance of a third version of "Help me Rhonda".

Several of the tracks are rough cuts, but good rough cuts. For example, most of us are used to (though NEVER blasé about) the perfection of "God only knows", but here you have a version live in the studio, "unplugged", with three voices and no vocal overdubs. Recorded the year after the original version, it doesn't try to reach the same heights, but it is still a touching performance which gives new perspective on one of the great songs of the 60s.

It amazes me how this group (or anyone) can have so much good unreleased material. By contrast, most of the Beatles "Anthology" tracks are definitely out-takes.

There is lots of good stuff elsewhere in the album, but it is worth the price just for the tracks I have mentioned.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading! 28 Jun 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I had the original 1998 version of this album. That's the one with the orange cover with the Beach Boys standing behind a fence. It was re-released in 2000 with some different mixes. This version is the one with the cover as shown here (the Beach Boys in a car). The contents of the disc included here, however, are exactly the same as the original. The easiest way to tell is that "Surfer Girl" on the re-release is almost a capella. This one isn't. The backing track is still loud and clear. The cover and booklet all say 2000 and the disc itself says 1998. I'm disappointed as it's the 2000 version I wanted.

5 stars for the original, probably 5 stars for the re-release but 1 star for including the wrong contents in this package.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible sounding stuff WITHOUT a Bootleg price! 25 Jan 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Sure, while it is true that BB collectors have heard aLOT of this stuff over the years, this is a MAJOR breath of fresh air, when most BB fans still have "Stars and Stripes" fresah in their mind. A compilation that spans just about the 30+ years of "America's Band", it delves so deep into the vaults that you need scuba equipment for the lack of oxygen! But the dive is WORTH IT! Ranging from remixes of already well-known tracks, to long-"lost" tracks, this only adds to the already widely known fact that Brian Wilson WAS the BB's in the 60's and early 70's, but then handed off the creative torch to Deenis and Carl. One needs only to listen to the demo of "Breakaway" or the demo version of what would become "Loop de Loop" to realize that Brians range of different styles is unreal. From complex harmonies, to simple, surreal sounds of Brian and a piano, bass, and simple percussion, it's obvious that although he hit some stumbles along the way, Brian can NEVER do wrong.
Highlights: STEREO remixes of "Kiss Me Baby" and "California Girls", and the unreleased remix of "'Til I Die"--itself a deeply unmoving "autobiography" of Brian circa 1970-71. Simply beautiful.
A solid vault compilation. HIGHLY recommended.
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VH-1 "Soundtrack" to the Beach Boys doc scores well! 2 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
From what is expected to be the most profound vault of unreleased material, the remaining Beach Boys released some real gems. Look for the astounding "Old Man Sunshine", which should have been released at the time for another worldwide number one. Check out "Loop De Loop", which harkens back to the "Amusement Parks", "Palisades Park", and "County Fair" motif used earlier. The version of "Break Away" is what's called a guide vocal -- Brian had the instrumental track complete, and added his own lead/backing to demo the song to the band. Amazing. "God Only Knows" and "Do It Again" are rehearsals for their current tour (from which LIVE IN LONDON was recorded) of the time. Compare them with the live versions, phrase and breath for phrase and breath. The CD is wonderful for collectors, and even has some gems to be appreciated by the casual fan ("Help Me Rhonda" remix, for example). Steve Desper's editing on "Til I Die" is sloppy, but profound. Dennis always had a sad-sounding song to offer on each BB album from 1972 until his death, so the inclusion of "Barbara" is great. Sadly, an alternate version of Bruce's "Endless Harmony" wasn't used, so this is the only real duplicate amongst all the other unreleased material. For Bruce's song, and "Old Man Sunshine" alone, it's worth the purchase.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended if you're a Brian/Carl fan 20 Aug 2004
By Benjamin Lukoff - Published on
Format:Audio CD
If you're a fan of Brian Wilson and his brother Carl, you should pick up this CD if only for "Soulful Old Man Sunshine," a previously unreleased 1969 track that's unlike anything else in the Beach Boys' catalog. Beyond that, there are wonderful new stereo mixes of "Kiss Me Baby" and "California Girls" that make you wish everything from before "20/20" could get the same treatment, plus Brian's demo of "Break Away." This, the greatest thing Murray Wilson ever did besides fathering the Wilson brothers, makes you wonder why Brian let Carl and Al take the lead vocals on the released track instead of doing it himself. (It also demonstrates that every other Beach Boy save Carl was superfluous when Brian was in full control of his faculties).

However, if you're new to the Beach Boys, a fan of their car and surfing songs only, or just getting into their post-"Today!" period, I'd avoid this for now.

PS: Lowlights include the last two songs, Mike's "Brian's Back" and Bruce's "Endless Harmony."
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brothers, Cousins, & Friends 28 April 2000
By W. Langan - Published on
Format:Audio CD
This rreally isn't a soundtrack to the Endless Harmony video- more of a companion piece. It starts out with Brian Wilson's winsome, jazzy "Soulful Old Man Sunshine". It features a "Heroes & Villains" demo from Brian, along with a live version (with Al Jardine and Carl Wilson taking Brian's place on lead). Dennis Wilson only gets 2 songs- the poignant "Barbara" and the prophetic "All Alone" (the Beach Boys themselves admit fault for not encouraging him more- Dennis also was perhaps the funniest of the Beach Boys as heard in the radio promo). Interesting but melancholy describes the remix of Brian's "Till I Die". Carl gets a grabbag of songs (he had the strongest voice) with "Wonderful", "Darlin'", "God Only Knows", and one of his best songs "Long Promised Road". Al shines brightly on the catchy novelty "Loop De Loop". Also, onetime members Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar are featured on the medley "Wonderful/Don't Worry Bill" (the latter being their own song: a funky jazz jam-Wonderbill indeed, Mike Love!). But to be fair to Mike, "Brian's Back" is cute, made special by Carl's harmonies. Bruce Johnston closes the set with his jazzy "Endless Harmony". Don't forget the remixes of "Surfer Girl", "Kiss Me Baby" (one of Today's strongest songs), "Help Me Rhonda", and "Do It Again" (along with the surf medley).
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be warned, the boor below me doesn't "get" it! 7 April 2000
By Christopher G. Huttman - Published on
Format:Audio CD
The reviewer below me feels that he hasn't gotten enough and has been ripped off. Well, if you're looking for the Beach Boys Greatest Hits Volume 1 and 2, um, buy those albums instead. Anyone that looks over the tracks before he purchases would have known that this isnt' it. But in a way, to the more serious fan of the group (and you're invited, casual fans, all it takes is one listen to Pet Sounds) it is! Instead of feeling empty, you'll be wanting more, more, more. The influence of the Beach Boys is shown here, whether it is the 'unfortunate' influence on the throwaway pop of the day (check out the concert medley, something very few bands pull off today but countless teenyboppers attempt) or the trancey shadow that "Til I Die" casts over the 1990's more advanced rockers. (The first song on Spritualized's 'Ladies and Gentlemen" album is great, but it can't hold a candle to this gem). While so many releases and reviews are dedicated to endlessly reaffirming Brian's genius (and this collection once again does its job in this department), Endless Harmony also dispells the myth that the Beach Boys were compromised of 1 genius and 4/5 also rans. Al's lead vocal on 'Help Me Rhonda' was about as honest as pop music could get in 1965, his 30 year Loop production shows that he learned something in all those years of studio work, and that he isn't such a slouch after all. Before it all went wrong, Mike and Bruce's campy songs (Endless Harmony and Brian's Back) at the very least show that at the start the descent into parody wasn't such a bad idea, at the best they offer a knowing wink to historians of the band. Dennis comes into his own (though sadly, on only two songs and only one of his own) on this collection, it should whet the appetite for the Brother re-releases on which he plays a much larger part. Carl's vocals and contributions make new "soul" artists like Eric Benet sound like English skiffle players. In summary, a brilliant collection, and very frustrating too-why not 10 discs instead of only 1?
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