Initially rising to become the most popular surf rock band in the U.S. during the early 1960s, the band's mastermind and chief songwriter, Brian Wilson, took The Beach Boys' music to ever increasing levels of sophistication and artistry between 1964 and 1966. This resulted in the band becoming one of most popular international acts of the decade and arguably the only American group to effectively challenge the success of The Beatles in terms of mainstream appeal and critical recognition. Following a nervous breakdown, Brian retreated from the spotlight and relinquished his role as musical leader, leaving the other band members to continue on through the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s with Brian as an inconsistent participant. Since the 1980s, there has been much publicized legal-wrangling over royalties, songwriting credits, and use of the band's name. Dennis Wilson drowned in 1983, and Carl died of lung cancer in 1998.
In the 21st century, The group continued as a touring band under the stewardship of original member, Mike Love. until the return of Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, and early member David Marks in 2012. The discography of the group consists of 29 studio albums, 4 live albums, 34 compilation albums, and 82 singles. The band have sold in excess of 100 million records worldwide and are listed at number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time"
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Today's mystery albums are the debut studio album as well as it's follow up by the American rock band, released October 1, 1962 and March 25, 1963, on Capitol Records. It has since been recognized as one of the most influential records in the history of popular music of the 1960s, including songs such as "Surfin' Safari" and "Surfin' USA". .The official production credit went to Nick Venet, though it was Brian Wilson with his father Murry who contributed substantially to the album's production; Brian also wrote or co-wrote nine of its 12 tracks. By the 2nd album production credits went to Brian Wilson a quick lerner indeed. The fuller-sounding vocals were achieved using double tracking, creating thew band's own unique sound. What is also interesting about this particular album is that five of its twelve tracks are surf instrumentals, "Stoked" being Brian Wilson's first of many instrumental songs he'd composed over the years for the band. In addition, "Surf Jam" marks the first time Carl Wilson, aged 16 at the time, received a songwriting credit. While the title track of the album was the center of attention (with its B-side "Shut Down" receiving some notice in the process), there were other highlights to be found. "Farmer's Daughter", the first of many Brian Wilson falsetto lead vocals, was affecting enough that Fleetwood Mac covered it live in 1980, while "Lonely Sea" (an outtake from the the debut albums sessions and the first song Wilson wrote with Gary Usher) is the earliest glimpse we have of Brian Wilson's melancholic side. "Lana" and "Finders Keepers" (with its Four Seasons-esque hook) are also acclaimed tracks from Surfin' USA. The title track, "Surfin' USA", became The Beach Boys' first big hit in the US and took its parent album into gold record status and the Top 10, peaking at #2.
The second mystery album was a huge hit, vital to launching surf music as a national craze, and one of the few truly strong records to be recorded by a self-contained American rock band prior to the British Invasion. The photograph that adorns the front sleeve was taken by artist/photographer/surfer John Severson during January 1960, showing California-based waverider Leslie Williams riding the winter swell at Sunset Beach (Oahu) in Hawaii. Intended for the front cover of Severson's Surfer magazine.
Here today in its HDCD 2001 Japanese remaster... N'Joy
Goldy Rhox 232 (flac 297mb)
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