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on June 10, 2003
This is a fun CD containing an excellent selection of classic Beach Boys tunes, albeit with a VERY disappointing mix of mono and stereo versions.
The selections, to my way of thinking, are top notch. Nice to have this group all on the same CD, especially a great new stereo version of the original DANCE, DANCE, DANCE and a well-produced DO YOU WANNA DANCE, even if it is mono. This is about as career-comprehensive as one can come for The Beach Boys on one CD. Capitol did a good job in that respect.
What galls me about this CD, and keeps me from giving it five stars, is the large number of mono tracks which are included. Thirteen of the thirty tracks are mono and Capitol does not provide the consumer with that information on the outside packaging of the CD. You need to buy it to find this out.
Why Capitol, why? Why release yet another Beach Boys compilation, which could have been absolutely superb, which contains excellent new stereo versions of the some of these classics, while including so many mono versions? Why not wait until most or all of these tracks were available in the terrific-sounding stereo versions? To be fair, all tracks are well-produced, digital quality. Nevertheless, I feel deceived.
So that you can make the informed decision that was denied me in purchasing this CD, following are the thirteen mono tracks: GOOD VIBRATIONS, DARLIN', SURFIN' SAFARI, I GET AROUND, FUN FUN FUN, DON'T WORRY BABY, HELP ME RHONDA (the good version, not the one included on "Endless Summer"), BE TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL, WHEN I GROW UP, BARBARA ANN, DO YOU WANNA DANCE, DO IT AGAIN and WILD HONEY. If I had known these tracks were mono, I may not have purchased this CD, but then again I may have just the same. I just don't like to be deceived and intentionally misled. At least now, you will not be.
Despite all, I can not end this on such a negative note because this is "up" music and there is one other good point about this collection. Virtually all of the new stereo mixes are superb. There are new or relatively new stereo mixes for CALIFORNIA GIRLS, SHUT DOWN, DANCE DANCE DANCE, HEROES & VILLAINS, GOD ONLY KNOWS, SLOOP JOHN B and WOULDN'T IT BE NICE. All are the original versions, but in updated, crystal-clear stereo. The remaining songs are older stereo mixes that sound just fine.
All in all, I don't think you would regret purchasing this CD but at least now you know what I did not, and can decide for yourself if the mono versions matter to you or not.
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on April 25, 2007
Too many mono songs? Another redundant collection? Hmmmm. I guess I don't care.

I just wanted to freshen up my hodpodge of vinyl and audio cassettes with a good comprehensive single source on CD. I made a list of MUST HAVE Beach Boys tunes. And . . . I found that this was the ONLY compilation that had every one on my list (except Spirit of America). And on a single disc (convenient) carrying 30 songs. All of their most popular hits and even a couple of great covers (I love "Come Go With Me).

I think the audio quality is fine and some of the remastering work gives a fresh listening experience to familiar tunes. (Heck, I first fell in love with most of these songs listening to them on a transistor radio with a single 3" paper cone speaker). The liner notes are also nicely done . . . some photos, band history, and a little data summary on each tune. Informative and interesting. This is an outstanding anthology of Beach Boys best and can be had at a very reasonable price.
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VINE VOICEon June 13, 2003
Beach Boy fans who've walked past collections from three 60s best-ofs to "Endless Summer" in the 1970s to two sets of re-release two-fers, box and rarity sets as countless as sands on the seashore....finally have their ultimate one-disc greatest hits. "Sounds of Summer" gives the Beach Boys a comprehensive hits collection to rest beside hisorical rock figures from Elvis to the Beatles to Elton John.
Attractively packaged and sequenced, "Sounds of Summer" features a cool, sweet but ultimately vanilla Anthony de Curtis essay. (Beach Boy historians David Leaf and Mark Elliot have written better mini-histories of the band on other compilations.) Ultimately, these three-minute West Coast symphonies and California mimi vacations ("Surfin USA," "Sloop John B," "California Girls," "I Get Around") at least retain some freshness more than 40 years later.
It's the hits, nothing but. Longtime Beach Boy fans could easily name a favorite "Endless Summer" or other LP track missing here. But like "Beatles 1" and "Elvis' 30 Greatest Hits," this Beach Boys set ultimately introduces the band's legendary singles to the youngest music fans, many of whom were just learning to wade when "Kokomo" topped the charts in 1988. Buy "Sounds of Summer" for your children who can't wait for June, then buy "Pet Sounds" for yourself to prepare for their adolescence.
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on June 17, 2003
After years and years of trying to gather the Beach Boys' best known music from all of the different eras of their career, Capitol has finally gotten it right with SOUNDS OF SUMMER.
Until recently, such a career-spanning overview as this was not possible, since the copyrights to the band's music were controlled by several different labels. Capitol finally owns the rights to all of the group's albums, though, and, for those who can't afford the still-definitive boxed set GOOD VIBRATIONS: THIRTY YEARS OF THE BEACH BOYS, this is the place to start.
As with similar sets by other over-anthologized artists (the Beatles, Elvis, Sinatra), diehard fans will quibble with the song selection, but for the casual fan looking to grab one Beach Boys CD for that trip to the beach or to give to a friend (or offspring!) as an introduction to the group's music, SOUNDS OF SUMMER more than fills the bill.
Those who like what they hear on this set, of course, can (and hopefully will) go on to plenty of other CDs (ref: the double play TODAY AND SUMMER DAYS, or PET SOUNDS), but as a Beach Boys starting point, there are few better collections than this one.
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on November 15, 2005
It's hard to say anything bad about an album that contains such classic songs as, "California Girls," "Don't Worry Baby," and just about all of the early tracks on this disc. However, I will. This is yet another attempt to release a "Best Of" Beach Boys album that downgrades them into a "summer fun" band that never did anything deeper. While containing many great tunes, I fear that many casual fans may buy this album and think that it's all of the Beach Boys catalogue they'll ever need. Here are the reasons why that's a bad idea:

A. This album contains three songs from the Pet Sounds album: "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "God Only Knows," and "Sloop John B." Pet Sounds is an absolutely essential album to own, especially if you want to get into the Beach Boys (Rolling Stone also recently named it the second best album of all time). Don't settle for just owning the three most popular songs.

B. While the mammoth follow-up to Pet Sounds, "Smile," was scrapped and never released as a Beach Boys album (Brian Wilson finally finished it and released it himself last year), why didn't they use any of the fantastic songs from those sessions? "Cabinessence," the un-truncated "Heroes and Villains," and especially that album's crowning acheivement, "Surf's Up," are all missing in action. These innovative, brilliantly written songs truly represent the best the Beach Boys ever got (especially with the latter song). While not a "Smile" cut, the omission of their best 70s song, "'Til I Die" (one of Brian's personal favorites), is also confounding.

C. The album contains far too many cuts from the Boys' "past-their-prime-nostalgia-act" period (i.e., anything past about 1975) when Mike Love was desperately clinging to popularity by writing surfy songs as if it was decades earlier. This is apparent on tracks such as the cringeworthy cover of Chuck Berry's "Rock and Roll Music," "Getcha Back," and the horrendous, 1988 mistake, "Kokomo" (is it really even a Beach Boys song without Brian Wilson's involvement?)

If you need a collection of early Beach Boys hits and you can't get your hands on a copy of the wonderfully mastered, now out-of-print "Endless Summer," buy this disc. You won't be disappointed with those lovely, early songs. If you really want do dig deeper into *why* the Beach Boys are regarded as one of history's finest bands, be sure to get a copy of "Pet Sounds" and download some of those key "Smile" tracks.
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on July 9, 2003
I must take issue with the reviewers who assessed demerits for this compilation because some of the songs were in mono. Stereo mixes of Mono songs are like colorized Black and White movies. The mono mixes were the product of Brian Wilson's artistic intent. Brian preferred mono for two reasons. First, he had difficulties evaluating a developing Stereo mix, as he has 9% hearing in one ear. Second, he agrees with Phil Spector that with a mono mix, the artist has greater control over the final sound delivered to the audience. With Stereo, there is no way to determine the final mix because of the various configurations of Stereo speakers.
One of the great music marketing travisties of the 70's was the advent of "Mono Reprocessed For Stereo" records. Even with the superb Stereo remixes Mark Linett has achieved on this record, the ultimate effect preoccupies the listener with the differences in the mixes. Don't get me wrong, the stereo mix of Pet Sounds was a revelation, and I anxiously await the release of the 6-channel mix on DVD-A. But in the face of what are probably the greatest pop compositions the US has ever produced, such concerns are a trivality not warranting a full star demerit. Do yourself a favor. Order this CD and PET SOUNDS together. It may just change your life.
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on June 17, 2008
Sounds of Summer, yes! Year-round summer is what California has always represented to the rest of the USA. The Beach Boys sang the surfer lifestyle into American and world consciousness, and doing so declared California's musical and cultural independence from the East Coast. The Beach Boys also sang the independence of teenagers of the Baby Boom, with cars and purchasing power, from their parents' generation of frugal, anxious conformists shaped by the Great Depression. They sang the primacy of summer and outdoor life over the stuffy classroom and grimy workplace. There's not a word of piety or propriety in any of Brian Wilson's songs; the Beach Boys were prophets of a life style free of shibboleths, in a world of sun-tanned smiles and endless summer. How could anyone not be thrilled by such a prospect?

Musically, the Beach Boys were tight, driving, innovative, the best dance music ever, and they never went noir on us, never wallowed, never whined. You might say they never grew up, they lived in a false paradise of surf boards and bikinis, but I'd say 'more power to 'em'. The Miwok Indians of California used to believe that dancing kept the world in balance, and if the dancing stopped, catastrophes would erupt. The Beach Boys kept the world dancing, at least for a few decades.

This is a great, ample, well-engineered collection of the Beach Boys' greatest songs from their golden times. I doubt we'll ever hear their like.
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on February 6, 2006
I didn't take the time to look through all ninety reviews but I bet I'm one of the few, if not only, younger people that decided to pick up this album and not only listen to it, but review it. I'm 20 years old, was born in 1985 and I absolutely love classic music, especially from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. And I have to say.... this album was one of the best that I've picked up.

I have to admit, I don't know much about the Beach Boys but when I heard "God Only Knows," for the first time, I fell in love with them and had to get an album that would bring their best work to me. So one night, after work, I was wandering the Electronics section at Wal-Mart and picked up this CD randomly. And I was blown away at how good the Beach Boys really are... it seems that 'I Get Around,' 'California Girls,' and 'Little Deuce Coupe' dominate people's minds but they have so many better songs... like 'Don't Worry, Baby,' 'God Only Knows,' 'Good Vibrations,' and 'Wouldn't It Be Nice.' I love all the songs on the album but those are my favorites and I think they're the best I've heard so far. But then again, I should check out 'Pet Sounds' before I say anything else.

This is a pretty crappy review, I know... but subject of it: I highly recommend this album to anyone my age who wants to immerse themselves in the best the 60's had to offer. That and the Beatles, of course.
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Regardless of the travails faced by the Beach Boys, we will always remember them as the clean cut boys they were in the early 60s. Their music is timeless and simultaneously recalls an era when our society was more innocent. This collection, one of the numerous compilations of Beach Boys songs, is also one of the better collections. It may be the best single disk collection. Some of the songs are in mono, but so was radio in those days. I could wish for stereo for those few songs, but I am happy to have them in mono.

Most of the music in this collection is focused on 1962 to 1968, which was the most creative period for the Beach Boys. The list of classic songs is like a classic rock play list. The list of top ten and number one songs is extensive. "I Get Around," "Help Me, Rhonda," "Good Vibrations" and the 1988 release "Kokomo" all hit #1 on a U.S. chart. "California Girls," "Surfin' U.S.A.," "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Surfer Girl," "Be True to Your School," "When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)," "Sloop John B," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Getcha Back," "Rock and Roll Music," "Dance, Dance, Dance," and "Barbara Ann" all reached the top ten on at least one chart. The remaining fourteen songs all had some measure of success as singles, with songs such as "Surfin' Safari," "Little Deuce Coupe," and "In My Room" visiting radio stations frequently yet today.

This collection contains a combination of song versions. "I Get Around," "Surfin' Safari," "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Don't Worry Baby," "Help Me, Rhonda," "Be True to Your School," "When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)," "Barbara Ann," "Do You Wanna Dance," "Do It Again," "Wild Honey," "Darlin'," and "Good Vibrations" are all mono versions. "Don't Worry Baby," "Help Me, Rhonda," "Be True to Your School," and "Barbara Ann" are the single versions. Some of the songs have newer stereo mixes from various years. Those songs and the year of the remix are "California Girls" (2002), "Shut Down" (new stereo mix), "God Only Knows" (1996), "Sloop John B" (1996), "Wouldn't It Be Nice" (2001), "Dance, Dance, Dance" (new stereo mix), and "Heroes and Villains" (2002).

These songs favor the 1960s. The years represented in this collection and the number of songs from that year are 1962 - 1 song, 1963 - 6 songs, 1964 - 5 songs, 1965 - 3 songs, 1966 - 5 songs, 1967 - 3 songs, 1968 - 1 song, 1969 - 1 song, 1976 - 1 song, 1979 - 1 song, 1981 - 1 song, 1985 - 1 song, and 1988 - 1 song.

The Beach Boys have become icons of the 1960s. They were one of the American groups that managed to do well during the British Invasion of the mid-1960s, scoring hit after hit. The Beach Boys' music is omnipresent, from radio to television commercials. Words from their songs have made appearances in novels. The group's music was always upbeat and fun, and is now timeless.

There are a number of ways to buy Beach Boys music. As of the date this review was written, Amazon lists 213 items in popular music for the Beach Boys. This collection is a great representation of the Beach Boys music and one of the best Beach Boys' collections. If you are just getting into Beach Boys music, start here and then decide which albums you would like next. Enjoy!
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on March 28, 2012
Ordered the CD/T-shirt set from Amazon. Not sure of the size, found reviews on other sites that it was an XL, so I took a chance. It is a beautiful, good quality shirt, and...an XL. Oddly enough, the box pictured has CD + T-shirt with no mention of size. The box that came in has "CD + Exclusive X-Large T-shirt" on the box. The CD is awesome! All the favorites take you back to the time when..... My husband and I saw the Beach Boys perform last year, are looking forward to seeing them again this year.
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