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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Very Best Of The Beach Boys
Format: Audio CDChange
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91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
So many of their songs are well known, and not just to those who were raised on this music, but to people of all ages. Part of the reason may be that surf music is inextricably linked with the sixties - you won't find any modern equivalent.
Here you get the classic songs they wrote themselves - California girls, Fun fun fun, Good vibrations, Little deuce coupe, Help me Rhonda, God only knows, Darlin', I get around and Wouldn't it be nice to name just a few - together with songs that they covered in their own unique way - Do you wanna dance, Then I kissed her, Sloop John B and Cotton fields.
There have been plenty of compilations of their music down the years and will be many more. Given the number of classic songs they recorded, picking just thirty inevitably means that some great songs get left out. Yet, this compilation is as good as any you are ever likely to find. For absolute perfection, I would have preferred In my room or Bluebirds over the mountain (perhaps the best two songs not included) to Caroline no, but this is a minor quibble.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 7 August 2006
I was aware of the more popular Beach Boys songs, such as the fantastic "I get around" or the sombre "God only knows", though this CD is a real testament to the abilities of the band and the vast range of music that they could produce. It is easy to picture people cruising around on hot summers days with this music playing, whilst it is just as easy to picture people slow-dancing to some of the other songs.

The CD has a distinctly "summery" feel to it. I cannot help but smile to myself when I am listening to this music during the morning commute. What a real, real shame that bands today don't manage to produce music that is as softly brilliant as this. Somehow the music manages to make me feel so much younger and happier just listening to it. Now thats something pretty amazing to say isn't it?

On a technical aspect, since these songs have all been recorded some time ago, they have been superbly remastered and compare excellently to more recent songs that have found their way onto my MP3 player.

All over, a complete winner for me.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2005
This compilation is the perfect start for any budding beach boys enthusiast or the casual listener who wants a few of the group's best tracks on one cd. It starts of with songs that will be mostly remembered today from their catalogue; the perfection of Good Vibrations to the sheer joy behind Wouldn't It Be Nice. The rest of the album is a sort of chart of the band's progress through time. The simplisitc surfing songs give way to the more complex orchestrations and harmonies of the 'hot rod' songs and of general californian life. We then come to a few selections from the pinnacle of their career, Pet Sounds, with any contribution from them being pure genius courtesy of Brian Wilson. Much space is also given to the unpopular but very creative 1967-1969 period. There are just two tracks from the post-1970 period however, one of them being the awful Kokomo. This is hugely disappointing from such a great time for the Beach Boys. The liner notes are also very sparse, with no useful information. Buy Pet Sounds and Sunflower with this, though, and you have the beginnings of a great Beach Boys catalogue for yourself.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The Beach Boys were a ground breaking, iconic group who came to define the California surfing lifestyle. With a unique sound of close harmony vocals mixed with great rocking backing music and a broad dash of boundary pushing experimentalism, they crafted album after album of catchy songs. With themes common to teenagers all over the world (women, cars, having fun) and a few more reflective tracks, there is something to appeal to everyone.

This disc collects 30 of their best tracks into a single disc compilation. It is probably the best way to get a comprehensive overview short of collecting all the original albums. With 30 rock'n'roll classics, full of foot stomping feel good music you can't really go wrong with this purchase.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2012
This is a good way to get all your favorite Beach Boys songs on one cd and fine if played just for the tunes. Unfortunatly the music sounds rather compressed and therefore disappoints if played on good equipment. It is all a little 'thin' and the likes of Good Vibrations and Heroes and Villains sound slightly missing in some of the tone and detail.
It is nevertheless a very cost effective way to get all those songs you love and remember, and hey ,you probably heard most of them on the radio in the first place anyway so why worry about the sound too much.
Play it in the car and you can hardly fail to enjoy the music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The American singing group The Beach Boys was formed in 1961 and some of its members are still performing. Ongoing popularity stems from both their music and their lyrics with close vocal harmonies and sentiments reflecting the youth culture of California and its surfing scene. Song writing was spread across the group, itself largely made up of Wilson family members, with Brian Wilson being particularly talented and creative. Music is based on layered synchronization with innovative instrumentals and complex combinations of multiple recording versions. This could have presented difficulties for live performances but the sheer magic of The Beach Boys shone through. Their capability to sing up front as well to meticulously sing melodious euphonies and backing appealed to the 1960s generation - and it continues to appeal.

There have been numerous album compilations of The Beach Boys though many have suffered in being restricted to a particular recording business. The CD `The Very Best of The Beach Boys' overcomes this with an inspired selection of a massive 30 tracks that is impossible to fault, spanning from the earliest days. Not only is the CD the "very best of" - it must also be the very best priced. The first track `Good Vibrations' immediately evokes memories of the 1960s and it goes on to kindle desires for peace, freedom, love and understanding with a string of favourites that follow, including `California Girls', `I Get Around', `Surfin' Safari', `Surfin' USA', `Sloop John B' and `Then I Kissed Her'. There is much more, making for really great good-time music to listen to, to sing along to, to dance to, or just have as a backdrop to a summer BBQ on the beach. All 30 numbers may be previewed via Amazon's MP3 listing.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2006
This contains a solid collection of some of their best songs - and there was so many of them. No doubt of the genius of Brian Wilson, possibly one of the most creative artists in the studio. The Beach Boys are known for their well crafted songs with layered harmonies, longing melodies and clever lyrics. Brian and company had to change with the competitive landscape of the mid 60's and adapt to the complex times and his compositions reflect that, though most of this collection is from their earlier works. Their songs have a way of bringing you to a special place and seem almost ethereal. If I had to choose an all-star band, I would definitely have Brian Wilson in the studio for the production. He could bring it all together so well, despite his quirky ways. Don't Worry Baby and Caroline No are among their best songs, if not 2 of the finer songs that I've ever heard that really hold up aven after 40 years, with their beautiful arrangements and melancholy, yet somehow, hopeful yearnings. I Can Hear Music, Heroes and Villains, Wouldn't It Be Nice, Wild Honey, California Girls and Darlin' are all classic Beach Boys' songs. One note; 2 songs that I would have liked to see added to this which I sorely miss - The Warmth of the Sun and Surf's Up. These are 2 songs that are just too good to NOT be on the CD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2013
It isn't exactly as if there is a dearth of compilations showing off the best of the harmony-driven, radio-friendly pop songs of this quintessentially American group. So how does the career-spanning, multi-label descriptively-titled The Very Best Of The Beach Boys, from 2001, match up to the competition? It does it pretty well. Amongst the 30 obviously digitally-remastered tracks are a large cross-section of their easily identifiable hits about sun, seas, surf, cars, and girls, including: 'California Girls'; 'God Only Knows'; 'Good Vibrations'; 'I Get Around'; 'Sloop John B', and 'Surfin' U.S.A.'. But this budget-priced, unfussily-presented EMI release isn't without its shortcomings: it doesn't emphasise the introspective aspect of the Californian group's musical personality strongly enough - there isn't any space provided in its CD-filling 78 minutes for 'In My Room', 'The Warmth Of The Sun', or even 'I Just Wasn't Made For These Times'. Whilst 1979's 'Lady Lynda', and 1988's 'Kokomo', provide pretty much incontrovertible evidence that the quality of their work suffered with the passage of time - a truth that is only partially obscured by the decision not to order the tracks chronologically. Fortunately, the compilers have also selected occasionally overlooked tracks of real value, like 'Dance Dance Dance', 'Little Honda', and 'Heroes and Villains', to help create what is, overall, a solid and fairly extensive retrospective, that is suited to the casual fan who isn't desperate to loosen their purse strings by splashing cash on their individual albums.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2005
It's simply brilliant. Even if you don't like the Beach Boys, this song will acquaint you with some of the most recognisable songs ever recorded. It's about as wide a range of their songs as you'd want, the absolute classics like Good Vibrations, California Girls and God Only Knows, as well as unheralded gems like Break Away and Darlin'.
As good as anything thats ever been put onto a CD.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2002
Faultless harmonies, beautiful melodies, effective lyrics, rockers, ballads, weepies.
This album has it all, in spades. And then some.
Some may grumble over track choice, but this disc offers a fairly comprehensive and concise history of the East Coast outfit.
The Beach Boys were never what you could call "An Album Band" like the beatles (Pet Sounds excluded).
But their singles - Good Vibrations, I can Hear Music, Do it Again etc. - rank amongst the most heavenly pop of all time. This disc is a perfect showcase for most of them.
Purchase this, then Pet Sounds, then Surf's Up and it's all you'll ever need.
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