on 29 May 2007
The Beach Boys, probably more then any other act ever, have come out with many greatest hits albums starting with the Best of in 1966, continuing with the 1974 number one "Endless Summer" and finishing (though there will probably be more of them in the next few years) with this beautiful compilation.
For a major Beach Boys fan like myself, I was quite sceptical at getting this new compilation album (especially since I had aquired the Plantinum Collection of "Sounds of Summer"), but when I read reviews of there being new mixes into stereo and the inclusion of such rare songs such as "Feel Flows", "All This Is That", "Cool, Cool Water" and "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", I decided why not? and when I put into my CD Player, I was immediatly blown away by the amazement of sounds coming out of the speakers giving the songs a new life and a new listening experience to songs I had been listening to for the past ten years.
For the casual fan just getting into the Beach Boys, I would suggest getting "Sounds of Summer" then getting this album. Once you have heard the hits and fallen in love with the band, you will immediatly love the charming album tracks that very few Compilations include. It has the wonderful summery songs that the Boys are famous for (All Summer Long, Catch A Wave, Hawaii, 409, Wendy) and they also have the brilliant genius of Brian Wilson (Please Let Me Wonder, Kiss Me Baby, Let Him Run Wild, The Little Girl I Once Knew) and also the later day songs that are considered absolute classics (Friends, Breakway, Sail On Sailor, All This Is That, Feel Flows). These songs and more will make your summer a better one and allow you to feel as if you were in California, the rain very far away, girls in bikinis everywhere. That is for the casual fan.
For the hardcore fan who have already heard these songs a million times, you are in for a treat. Not only are most of the songs in a new clean, crisp Stereo mix, the producers have also included the single edited versions that have never been heard before (these include Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Cool, Cool Water, Breakaway and California Dreamin'). These versions have never before appeared on CD and have probably never been heard since they originally came out many years ago. That alone is worth the price.
Another advantage of buying this album is that one never hears these songs put together very often on one album. The ability to just press play and for the next hour or so listen to the 28 wonderful tracks is truly a gem and an amazing way to spend your days out in the sun listening to the band that not only made it possible to dream of California, but basically changed the way we all look at music: The Beach Boys.
There are many Beach Boys compilations out there but few match this for balance and warmth.
It is a well thought out and nicely packaged collection which acts as a fabulous intro for new fans. However, it is also a wonderful collection for the established fan base, offering a balanced, joyful and coherent listening experience.
Another excellent compiliation of Beach Boys' music, many tracks remastered in decent stereo, not a strain on the intellect but easy listening happy music, young peoples' music from the USA in the 60's. Does not include many hits, but has rarer tracks you may not have heard before. Thoroughly recommended, also see my other reviews for other decent Beach Boys CD's.