Classics...Selected by Brian Wilson

The hook for this latest Beach Boys classics collection is simple: the tracks were hand-picked by reticent writer/producer/singer Brian Wilson, who also provides track-by-track commentary in the liner

The hook for this latest Beach Boys classics collection is simple: the tracks were hand-picked by reticent writer/producer/singer Brian Wilson, who also provides track-by-track commentary in the liner notes of this 20-track collection. The disc begins with "Surfer Girl," the first song Wilson ever wrote, according to his notes, and includes such other Beach Boys hits as "California Girls" (Wilson's favorite), "I Get Around" (the group's first No. 1), and "Caroline No" ("It represents the sweetest I can sing," Wilson writes). Tops among the lesser-knowns are "The Warmth of the Sun," written the night of President Kennedy's assassination, and "Time to Get Alone," which was originally written for Redwood (which later became Three Dog Night). The album ends with the set's sole "new" song, "California Feelin'," which Wilson wrote for the Beach Boys in the 1970s but was never recorded until a few months ago when Wilson tracked it with his new band.—JB