Wednesday 23rd July
I grew up with the Beach Boys, their bright and breezy California sound was as familiar as our own Mersey Beat. I especially loved Good Vibrations, which my music teacher dismissed as un-listenable and lacking in any discernable melody. Durghhhhh!!!!
Then as the seventies arrived it seemed that Music had left the Beach Boys behind, they were little more than a novelty band. Their creative genius Brian Wilson had practically left the band and wasn’t even on their recordings anymore. He was still writing and producing and in 1971 they came up with Surf’s Up. This was so fresh and original, with socially conscious lyrics such as “Don’t Go Near The Water” and “Student Demonstration Time” that you had to check that it was actually by those light-hearted Beach Boys. Carl and Dennis also contributed their own songs and it was a great success, even making Rolling Stones Greatest Albums of all time list at number 154. They followed this by their masterpiece “Holland”, where despite the band falling apart and into cocaine addiction they came up with a near flawless record. It still had those unmistakeable Beach Boys harmonies but the songs were just so grown-up and despite that infectious. From the first notes of Sail On Sailor to the ecstatic closing Funky Pretty they didn’t put a foot wrong. If you think you know the Beach Boys from Barbara Ann to God Only Knows then try Holland to discover what they truly could have been.
Sadly since then they have limped on becoming the best Beach Boys tribute band on the planet.