Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys

Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys

by The Beach BoysThe Beach Boys

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Overview

There is no one in music more closely aligned with the carefree feel of summer than the Beach Boys, and this collection brings their good vibrations back to the fore with 30 Top 40 singles. Despite the disc's title, only half of the songs here were actually released in the spring or summer, but who could argue that "Good Vibrations" (October 1966) or, for Pete's sake, "Surfin' U.S.A." (March 1963) don't conjure the Coppertone, salt water, and itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, polka-dot bikinis of a sunny California summer? Heavily anthologized over the years, all of this material is available on numerous Beach Boys retrospectives, so there are no surprises here, although the latter-day numbers stand out as a being a bit more assembly-line than inspired, such as 1985's "Getcha Back," a No. 26 single in its day. The timeless '60s tracks form the bulwark of the repertoire, however, and time has not diminished their appeal one whit, whether it's the youthful exuberance driving 1962's "Surfin' Safari," the cocky attitude energizing 1964's "I Get Around," the tender melancholy informing 1963's ethereal "Surfer Girl" (Brian Wilson's first attempt at songwriting), or the adventurous forays into sound and lyrics that constitute 1967's wondrous "Heroes and Villains." Also, the version of "Be True to Your School" is the great single version, featuring the Honeys providing cheerleader yells. This classic retrospective features four chart-toppers -- "I Get Around," "Help Me, Rhonda," 1988's "Kokomo," and "Good Vibrations" -- and 16 tracks that peaked in the upper reaches of the Top 20. There's no better soundtrack for board waxing or top-down driving -- these tunes capture the spirit of the sunny months, no matter what the season.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush

After gaining control of the Beach Boys' entire catalog (including all the band's post-1969 material), Capitol released two-fers covering their out-of-print '70s records and a Brian Wilson-selected compilation titled Classics, then later, this hits compilation -- the longest single-disc American collection ever seen. With all but five tracks coming from their 1962-1969 peak, and every one a Top 40 hit, Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys is also the best, a worthy digital-age successor to previous classics like Endless Summer and Greatest Hits, Vol. 1. Though the songs don't appear in chronological order, the compilers improved the concept of a hits compilation by bunching the disc into mini-sets -- one of classic adolescence songs ("Be True to Your School," "When I Grow Up [To Be a Man]," "In My Room"), one of surfing songs ("Surfin' Safari," "Surfin' U.S.A.," "Surfer Girl"), one of frat-boy classics ("Dance, Dance, Dance," "Barbara Ann"), and another including selections from their masterpiece Pet Sounds ("God Only Knows," "Sloop John B," "Wouldn't It Be Nice"). Nearly any compilation on an important artist can be argued, but it's the rare one that covers as many bases and leaves out so few classics as Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys.

Rolling Stone - Ernesto Lechner

The overall effect of this thirty-track overview of the Beach Boys' career is similar to that of the Beatles' 1: Both compilations strive to blow you away with the sheer amount of hit singles at hand, and both succeed.

Blender - James Slaughter

[The disc's] track listing [is] heavily weighted toward 1962 through 1967, when the Beach Boys were responsible for quite possibly the greatest run of hit singles in rock history.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/10/2003
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0724358271027
catalogNumber: 82710
Rank: 1959

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