Brian Wilson hated touring and performing in concerts. The Beach Boys were in turmoil in the 1980s. Drugs, sex, lawsuits, nervous breakdowns and infighting were rampant. The world was changing around them and, in many ways, collapsing in on them.
Yet there was the music--and oh what music it is! Arrangements to die for, vocal harmonizations that sound heavenly and songs that no other groups could match. And all of this comes through on this wonderful concert performed and recorded in Knebworth, Herfordshire, England in June 1980. Brian Wilson, who had just turned 38, is there as are the full original lineup of Dennis and Carl Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine. Oh yes, all the classics are there along with well some very well done covers.
It's a special moment and an equally special concert. The Beach Boys were in great form and if they weren't totally enjoying themselves, it's impossible to tell. That makes the two CD set "Live at Knebworth" a joy to listen to. As Paul Lester's informative liner notes state, "while this album is playing you can forget all of (the bad times) and just rejoice in the endless harmonies of a band captured at their late peak."