The Beach Boys are planning to commemorate the group’s 50th anniversary with a new album involving all of the remaining members, although frontman Mike Love says it’s more in the planning stages at this juncture and probably won’t surface until 2012.
“Where we’re at right now is Brian (Wilson)‘s written some songs, I’ve written some songs (and) we’re talking very seriously about getting together and co-writing and doing some new music together,” Love tells Billboard.com. “He’s been doing his own touring, we’ve been doing ours and so we haven’t really been able to lock into that, but it looks like this fall we will. It just makes a lot of sense with a milestone such as 50 years to get together and do something.”
Love says he’s confident he and Wilson, his cousin, are “still creative musically and lyrically…We really are the originators of the group and the sounds that were hits and all that. We still love music and we’re still capable of recording and writing, so there’s every possibility that, God willing, we’ll be able to do some special things together.”
And, Love adds, he has some special achievements in mind, too. “It’s already in the Guinness Book of World Records; between ‘Good Vibrations’ and ‘Kokomo’ it was 22 years between No. 1 records,” Love notes. “Can you imagine if we got a No. 1 record in 2012? Oh, that would be something.”
If Love and company are successful, it will be the first album of new Beach recordings since the country-flavored “Stars and Stripes Vol. 1” in 1996. But Love is confident it won’t sound foreign to most fans.
“It depends on what tempo and what the subject matter is, but I think it’s going to sound a lot like what you might have heard from the Beach Boys,” he says. “The harmonies will be there, and I think there will be a lot of emotion and a lot of people relating to the fact that here’s these guys who have been doing this for half a century. Holy cow! I think it will mean a lot to our older fans, and we’re not going to lose sight of the fact that there’s many millions of people who have come along since we started. I think it should be celebration and…a party as well.”
Love adds that “other things” are being talked about to commemorate the group’s golden anniversary, including a possible live performance — or more — that would also feature continuing Beach Boy Bruce Johnston and former member Al Jardine. “I think that there’s definitely more than a possibility that will happen,” Love says, “but to what degree I don’t know. It’s a little early to say, but I definitely think it would be more than worthwhile. It would be really special to commemorate that milestone with some personal appearances.”
Also on the Beach Boys’ docket, meanwhile, is the release later this year of “The SMiLE Sessions,” a two-disc compendium of the group’s famously aborted, highly experimental album recorded after “Pet Sounds” in 1966-67. Some tracks form the sessions surfaced on subsequent releases, but Love is looking forward to putting out the songs in their original context.
“It was weird,” recalls Love, who has memories of “laying on our backs and singing up at the microphone and other just crazy things. It’s been shelved for so long and fragments have come up, like the song ‘Surf’s Up’ or ‘Heroes and Villains,’ so it’s kind of cool that it’s coming out now in more of it’s original form. I think when you hear some of the tracks you’re going to say, ‘Wow, that’s pretty far-out’ or pretty incredible. The group was intact 100 percent, so there’s really some incredible performances on that album.”