Bruce Johnston Says the June 5 Release Reminds Him of 'Sunflower,' Talks Reunion Tour: "I think it's going to be one special tour and that's it"
The Beach Boys' reunion album is nearly mixed and on target for a planned June 5 release, according to the group's Bruce Johnston.
"It's all brand new," Johnston tells Billboard. "There's a lot of what you'd hope to hear from Brian (Wilson) on there. It's not a quilt or a pot luck dinner; it's not like, 'OK, everybody show up with your songs.' It's not one of those kind of albums. There's a lot of Brian in there, and Mike (Love). It's just nice to know there is a Mike Love and a Brian Wilson still around to write together."
Johnston says the album's first single, "That's Why God Made the Radio," was in contention to be the title track but was deemed too long, so alternatives are being considered. Returning member Al Jardine -- who's joining Wilson, Love, Johnston and David Marks for the album and tour, which kicks off April 24 in Tucson -- has revealed that some vocals recorded by the late Carl Wilson will be used on a Jardine-penned song called "Waves of Love," while Johnston says that Brian Wilson composed "a little suite" for the set as well.
The music, he says, "reminds me of our 'Sunflower' album, which is probably one of our least-selling albums, and some of the songs there are stunning. This album has elements, kind of, of everything. And we don't have EMI, Capitol, acting like they did when I joined the band just so paranoid -- 'We gotta have hits! We gotta have hits! Come on, is that a hit?!,' just coming to the sessions and torturing you. It wasn't like that this time. They've listened to the stuff and go, 'Wow, that's pretty nice.'"
Johnston, who composed the fan favorite "Disney Girls," contributed one song, "She Believes in Love Again" that dates back to the mid-80s. "I took it from a recording we made of it in '85 and just stripped it down and softened it up and finally got it right," Johnston says. "I have no idea if it's going in or not. The label picks the songs, not me." The group also recorded a new version of "Do It Again" as a "warm-up" during the sessions, which will be used in a 50th anniversary 'ZinePak due out May 1.
Even as the Beach Boys