|The Mighty Beach Boys in their 1960's prime|
Among those compilations were two that my sister collected - “Spirit of America” and “Endless Summer.” We will always cherish those songs, along with the playfully illustrated fold-out vinyl sleeves that immersed us in the fantasy of the California lifestyle (despite the “Endless Summer” sleeve art not capturing the likenesses of the band, the ambitious attempt at illustration heightened the magic of the Beach Boys legend, making the cover as mesmerizing as the Beatles “Revolver” cover sleeve).
|The memorable "Endless Summer" album sleeve; |
which ones are Carl and Dennis?
For me, childhood summertime was a lifetime in paradise. My summers were magical and unplanned, without summer camp. Outdoor activity was in full swing with the days of prolonged sunlight, baseball games in schoolyards, playing in the streets with the occasional passing car, swimming pools, Kool-Aid, Italian ice, beach visits, and cooling fans throughout the house (before we graduated - one room at a time - to AC units!).
|The early days with David Marks far right.|
Marks quit after disagreements with manager Murray Wilson.
Al Jardiine replaced him after graduating from dental school.
left to right: Brian, Mike, Dennis, Carl, and David Marks.
Truly, an Endless Summer.
That brings me to Sirius Satellite Radio and “Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Channel.”
Sirius often has temporary channels, and here The Beach Boys Channel takes residence over the airwaves, sharing the band’s massive bandwidth and brilliance. For a fan who listened from high school and well past college, it’s a pleasure to re-experience how their music personally awakened my soul.
|Al Jardine is front right, with the band |
fresh-faced and clean cut.
The Beach Boys are more than just Surf Music. Yes, they wrote about hot rods, beaches, girls, drive-ins, and summertime. But there is a major reveal in their long catalog. They had more depth than evidenced in their already classic surf songs. On the Sirius channel, one gets swept away by the diversity of songs. You can hear Surfing Safari, Barbara Ann, and Good Vibrations - radio favorites always.
|The band with Bruce Johnston on the middle right column.|
When Brian refrained from touring to work on new tracks, Johnson joined the band.
Then you experience the deeper cuts - the songs panned by critics because they weren’t masterpieces of Pet Sounds but are perhaps more meaningful to fans than any surf classics. Until "Pet Sounds", the band could be said to have one sound. With songwriter/genius/leader Brian Wilson backing off from the band and record label obligations following that classic, the remaining band members stepped in to keep the summer alive. Considering so many creatives were at play putting an album together, the Beach Boys were astonishingly adept.
The unrest and psychedelia of the late 60s and 70s, along with the fractioning of the BB lineup, proved a less receptive audience for the newer, looser Beach Boys. Nevertheless, the band released new material every year, with 2 albums released each year between 1967 and 1968, and one a year until 1973’s “Holland.” From 1976 through 1980 they completed one album a year. And they delighted fans and critics alike as they morphed through the decades.
|Carl, Dennis, Mike, Al, and Bruce |
were dedicated to the music.
The gems on 1977's “Beach Boys Love You” resonate on a personal level. We get the Brian Wilson penned “Johnny Carson,” “Roller Skating Child,” “The Night Was So Young,” “Honkin’ Down the Highway,” and other throaty, endearing songs. “Keepin’ the Summer Alive” (1980) delivers tooting horns in “Some of Your Love,” while Mike Love and Brian pay respect to the fairer sex in the empathic “When Girls Get Together.” Al Jardine’s masterful, memorable “Santa Ana Winds” transports me to this titular California phenomenon.
|Around the release of "15 Big Ones" (1976)|
The Beach Boys were now "America's Band."
Dennis Wilson is in heartthrob mode with “All I Want to Do” from 1969's “20/20” and “Got to Know the Woman” from “Sunflower (1970).” Brian croons “This Whole World” and “Cool Cool Water” with Mike Love. Bruce Johnson joins Brian for “Deirdre” and his own composition “Tears in the Morning.” Carl Wilson is not to be missed on “Surf’s Up” (1971) with “Long Promised Road” and on 1979's “L.A. (Light Album)” with “Good Timin’ and “Goin’ South.”
|1985's "The Beach Boys" self-titled album |
showed the band in good form,
but missing deceased brother Dennis Wilson.
The list is endless and immersive, and it is this diversity that makes “Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Channel” possibly the greatest collection of musical intimacy ever broadcast. I have always considered The Beatles as the greatest band on earth. The Beach Boys are a close second. Their music lives deep within my heart, which is why I probably listened to them more than my Beatles collection.
|The Beach Boys reunion for |
"That's Why God Made the Radio" in 2012
included the return of David Marks.
They pulled off a triumph - sadly
minus Carl Wilson who passed away in 1998.
Try listening to the “Good Vibrations: Beach Boys Channel” on Sirius. You may be surprised at what you discover in the less commercial songs while hearing how easy and agreeable the classics remain. This is a station that deserves to be broadcast all year round - the Beach Boys are not just part of the “Endless Summer.” They go beyond summer. “All Summer Long” has become the “Endless Season” of Beach Boys.
Tune in to station 105 on Sirius Satellite Radio. Although you have until August 31st to listen to “Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Channel,” you will hear a lifetime reawakened in your soul.