To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the formation of the Beach Boys, Capitol has compiled a two-disc, 57-track set named after the Boys' hometown.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the formation of the Beach Boys, Capitol has compiled a two-disc, 57-track set named after the Boys' hometown. Indeed, the 1961 rehearsal version of first hit "Surfin' " was recorded at Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson's Hawthorne home—and like the bulk of the material here, it was previously unreleased. Much of the featured music involves quaint historical artifacts like a birthday serenade to vocal role models Four Freshmen ("Happy Birthday Four Freshmen"), followed by "Mike on Brian's Harmonies," which finds Mike discussing Brian's harmonies and how they were influenced by the Freshmen. Both tracks pave the way for an a cappella rehearsal of the Freshmen's "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring." Also included are demos ("Surfin' USA"), live versions ("Shut Down"), stereo remixes ("Dance Dance Dance"), alternate takes ("The Little Girl I Once Knew"), and intriguing juxtapositions (a session excerpt of "Barbara Ann" featuring Dean Torrence is followed by the song's master take minus the party overdubs; stereo track sections of "Good Vibrations" segue into a concert rehearsal of the song). Completists will find the program endlessly fascinating, although more general appeal may be limited.—JB