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Customer Review

on 2 October 2002
It almost shouldn't be allowed - there is so much glorious music here! Two albums plus bonuses for a modest price: and what albums! what bonuses! In some ways, this stuff represents the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson at their most creative - a kind of productive tension between early surfer-innocence, the glorious experimentation of Pet Sounds and the later classicism of Holland and Surf's Up (and Brian's own welcome renaissance of recent times). In other ways, these tracks feel more restrained and "true" to their spirit than any other material; and whilst this "dabbling" phase has a few misses (and was certainly not too commercially successful at the time) the moments that hit the mark are many and sublime. Maybe the biggest revelation is that they do "simple" and "mature" just as brilliantly as they do "complex" and "exuberant" (compare, contrast - and revel in - "I Went to Sleep" and "Cabinessence"). I personally find most of these tracks the most human of their output, with their native talent, influences from Bacharach and Beatles alike, plus the amazing input of Van Dyke Parks, all held in a fine and inspiring balance. Well-informed track notes, plus a commentary from the great man himself, all help to put things into perspective, and it's lovely to hear that some of Brian's favourite moments are the ones that always struck me so specially, too - for example, Al Jardine's expert vocal pacing on the simpler version of Cotton Fields found here ("came along a nice old man with a, he had a hat on..."). The track notes also cite what I agree to be one of the best bars of music and voice they ever achieved, in the phrase "deep and wide" on the gorgeous waltz "Time to Get Alone." Exquisite! Fantastic value on this disc - whose ultimate joy for me is the chance to hear again, as a "bonus," the magnificent B-Side "Celebrate the News"!
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Product Details

4.2 out of 5 stars
26
£6.49+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime