Album of the Day: Beach Boys (7/13/64)

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The Beach Boys were the quintessential surf band in the early sixties. Their effervescent homages to the Southern California teen, beach and hot rod scenes created legions of fans at the farthest ends of the earth from the beaches of Malibu and Redondo. But by the time All Summer Long was released on July 13, 1964, change was coming to the band. Out was father Murry Wilson, the hard-driving manager, agent and inspiration to his sons. Gone was the lyrical focus wholly on sand, sun and girls, replaced by a broader scope, particularly with Brian Wilson’s poignant, introspective lyrics about teenage angst. And the boys were maturing from being a purely singles band to one capable of matching the Beatles’ ability to deliver consistently creative full-length LP’s where nearly every song mattered (“all killer no filler”). Finally, and most importantly, the burden of touring, writing and producing six albums in just over two years was taking its toll on Brian, who would suffer a series of nervous breakdowns in the ensuing months. With Brian recuperating and concentrating on writing, the Beach Boys’ next three albums – Today!, Summer Days (And Summer Nights) and Pet Sounds – became the band’s high-water mark and placed them solidly atop the heap of American pop music.  All Summer Long features the great hits “I Get Around”, “Wendy”, and “Little Honda.” The album is available for purchase as a CD or individual mp3 files on Amazon, or as iPod tracks on iTunes. The Beach Boys playlist is in Dr. Rock’s Playlist Vault.

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