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Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys: The Songs That Tell Their Story Paperback – June 1, 2012


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Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys: The Songs That Tell Their Story + The Beach Boys FAQ: All That's Left to Know About America's Band (Faq Series) + The Beach Boys in Concert!: The Complete History of America's Band On Tour and Onstage
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770410716
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770410718
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 6.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #738,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A delightful journey through fifty amazing classics, filtered through the eyes of the artists, producers and writers whose imaginations were touched by this brilliant band over the years. Chock full of engaging insight, this is a must have for any true fan!" —Matthew Sweet, musician


"I've been all around this great big world and I've seen and heard it all when it came to 'America's Band.' Or so I thought! Fifty Sides Of The Beach Boys . . . shines new light on hidden and forgotten lore through fifty fresh perspectives and Mark Dillon's deep research and lively prose. Cool pictures too. I loved every page!" —Dennis Diken, musician, The Smithereens/Bell Sound


"Beach Boys' songs have always been about fun, so what better way to chart their colourful history than through their songs. Mark Dillon offers a fascinating and illuminating peek behind some of the greatest American music of the past 50 years as told by those who were there. Delightfully engaging and informative." —John Einarson, author, Randy Bachman: Still Takin' Care of Business and Four Strong Winds: Ian & Sylvia


"This is a book everyone who cares about the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, and their music should have in their music book library." —Peter Reum, Beach Boys historian


"Highly recommended, this book is an essential addition to any Beach Boys fan's library." —Jon Stebbins, author, The Beach Boys FAQ and The Lost Beach Boy


"In the Beach Boys' long history is a lot of history. Using the songs as jumping-off points—an efficient and successful method—Dillon explores much of it. . . . If you need a guide, Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys will more than do the trick." —www.PopMatters.com

About the Author

Mark Dillon is a freelance journalist and writer. He is the former editor of Playback, the business publication of the Canadian film and television industries. His articles have also appeared in American Cinematographer, Globe and Mail, Hollywood Reporter, and Maclean’s. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

More About the Author

Hi, I'm a Toronto-based freelance journalist and author. I'm formerly editor of Playback magazine, the business publication of the Canadian film and TV industries, where I created the Canadian Film and Television Hall of Fame and launched the online Playback Daily. My articles and blogs have also appeared in Maclean's, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the National Post, The Hollywood Reporter, and American Cinematographer.

When I was seven, my cousin slipped a pair of headphones over my ears and blasted Best of the Beach Boys Vol. 2, and I became a lifelong fan of the band. I wanted to write a book about them for about 20 years, and with their 50th anniversary fast approaching, I figured now was the time. The result is Fifty Sides of The Beach Boys, released through the fine folks at ECW Press.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
Very informative and entertaining.
Johnny K. Young
Once I started reading, I had great difficulty putting it down.
Paul '66
This book is a must have for Beach Boys fans.
H. Bogart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This soft cover book is square in shape. There's a 4 page Preface where the author, Mark Dillon, explains his first hearing The Beach Boys (BB), and how he conducted the interviews for the book. There's also a 7 page "Intro" containing a concise overview of the band's beginnings. Also included are End Notes and an Index. Sprinkled throughout the book are a number of b&w photographs of various band members. Some may rate this book a bit higher or lower depending on their knowledge of the band and their music.

Dillon's idea was to interview 50 people-each discussing a BB song that was (is) meaningful and/or made an impression on them in some way. Interviewees include well known people (and songs) like David Marks ("Surfin' USA"), John Sebastian ("Surfer Girl"), Alice Cooper ("In My Room"), Roger McGuinn ("Don't Worry Baby"), Hal Blaine ("Fun, Fun, Fun"), Al Jardine ("Help Me Rhonda"), Dean Torrance ("Barbara Ann"), Lyle Lovett ("God Only Knows"), Al Kooper ("Here Today"), Carnie Wilson ("Our Prayer"), Bruce Johnston ("Disney Girls (1957)"), Mike Love ("Kokomo"), Don Was ("Still I Dream It"), Brian Wilson ("Rhapsody In Blue"), and many others. However, these aren't straight question and answer interviews, rather the author, using these interviews, weaves together quotes, facts, observations and interesting tid-bits of information about each song.

There's a mix of people from different periods of the BB's long career who give eyewitness accounts, as well as others who talk about the continuing influence of the band. Besides the tunes above, also included are "I Get Around", "California Girls", "Sloop John B", "Good Vibrations", "Heroes and Villains", "Surf's Up", "Sail On Sailor", "Love and Mercy", and many other great songs.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Paul '66 on May 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys by Mark Dillon is a thoroughly enjoyable trip through 50 years of Beach Boys history. The author uses 50 of their songs, from Surfin' USA through Brian's Rhapsody in Blue, to illustrate their history and profound cultural impact. We've read the history before, but this is a unique and fresh perspective on the oft-told saga. Through interviews exclusive to this book, the author provides a glimpse into the making of the songs, and the lasting impression on generations of collaborators, friends, musicians, and the band members themselves. Once I started reading, I had great difficulty putting it down. To me, there is a great service done to Beach Boy readers. No mere recitiation of the merits of these particular songs, there is chronology and history here. Chart placings, recording and release dates, and lots of pertinent facts lends to the authority of this book. It is a panoramic look at everything Beach Boy. Just in time for summer, and the band's 50th Anniversary tour, do yourself a favor and cue up your favorite Beach Boys album and dig in!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DR on July 22, 2013
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I found this book to be a very good read. The interviews are great. The song titles and stories behind them were amazing.
Brian Wilson is a very clever individual, a genius at what he was able to accomplish given his turbulent ride defining
the times and putting them into songs. Once you begin reading the book it's hard to put down, especially if you listen to the songs while reading it. I gave this book to two friends as gifts and they called and said how pleased they were to receive it and how much they were enjoying reading it and how interesting it is, all the things that were covered in it. Upon finishing the book in the last 3 chapters listening to the Brian Wilson Presents "Smile " brought it all together. Good stuff.
This book helps you reflect back on the innocent times of growing up to the Beach Boys when and how it started to all come together in the 60's and 70's. They are truly Americas Band, there music will live forever, many bands have covered their music and the colaborations he had with all the musicans is amazing, that is what makes this book so good. I recommend this book to anyone who grew up listening to them at whatever age they started to do so.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a long time Beach Boys fan and there were several interesting pieces of information that I did not know. For instance I never knew that Dennis did the bass part in 'It's Ok' (the "yeeeahhh" part). Lots of other goodies too. The cool thing about the book is that each chapter interviews a different person who has tie to that song. Plus songs range from "Don't Worry Baby" all the way up to Brian's Gershwin album. So if you are a fan pick up this book, you will not be disappointed. As a bonus, the back of the back tells you how to email the distributor in order to receive the digital version free!

Wes
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DANA VANSCOY on February 12, 2013
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Really more for a musician. Some of the information was just over my head because I'm not musically inclined. If you do understand music and are a Beach Boy fan, you'll probably love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Cacopardo on June 8, 2013
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It was great to have something to read about my favorite band that hasn't been rehashed again and again. And the songs reviewed were great choices, along with those who were used in the process. Mark Dillon filled in with a heap of information with the help of many others, but well constructed. Thoroughly enjoyed this book!
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