Beach Boys – Summer Love Songs

January 01, 1970



I feel like Kramer in that episode of Seinfeld, moaning to
Jerry that somebody stole his idea for a men’s cologne that smelled just like
the beach. Back in the stoneage days of DIY taping for the car stereo, I made
an 8-track (ask your dad) compilation of the best Beach Boys ballads, a
wonderful creation that all but guaranteed some back-seat action at the
drive-in (ask your mom). Now that Capitol has almost run out of good ways to
recycle Brian Wilson’s classic material, they’ve finally gotten around to using
“my idea.”


And it sounds great. This rousing compilation reflects all
three parts of the fabulously successful Beach Boys equation: one part rocking,
Chuck Berry-style backing track plus one part Four Freshman vocal harmonies
plus one part Doo Wop soul (the secret ingredient) equals an atomic reaction
that all but leveled the pop charts in the ’60s. Summer Love Songs allows the casual Beach Boys fan to discover
goosebump-raising, relatively unknown ballads like “Please Let Me
Wonder,” “Your Summer Dream,” “Keep An Eye On Summer”
and the fabulous “Girls On The Beach,” rubbing shoulders with well-known
stuff like “Surfer Girl,” “Help Me Rhonda” and a fab pair
from Pet Sounds: “Wouldn’t It Be
Nice” and “God Only Knows.”


You also get a healthy slice of Doo Wop covers that lit the
fire under Wilson as a Hawthorne, Calif.
teenager. “Why Do Fools Fall In Love,” originally cut by Frankie Lymon
& the Teenagers in 1956, has been restored to Wilson’s original vision,
with a 25-second piano intro; “Hushabye,” recorded by the Mystics in
1959, introduces the simple original to harmonies worthy of the Sistine Chapel;
and “I’m So Young,” originally tracked by the Ronettes, finds Wilson
& Co., appropriately enough, at their most Spectorian. The cool thing is,
if this one sells (why wouldn’t it?), there’s enough left in the can for a
superb volume two. I’ve already done the A&R.


Standout Tracks: “Please Let Me Wonder,” “Girls On The Beach” JUD COST






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