Their live double LP from '73, a #25 album featuring the perfect cross-section of Beach Boys songs-the live versions of which arguably surpass many of the studio versions! This nicely priced 2-CD set includes Surfin' USA; California Girls; Fun, Fun, Fun; Wouldn't It Be Nice; Good Vibrations; Sloop John B; Heroes and Villains; Don't Worry Baby; Darlin'; Caroline, No; Sail On Sailor , and nine more.
Released in the wake of Holland
, one of the Beach Boys' last creative triumphs, this 1973 set captures a band feverishly trying to reconcile its past, present, and future--no mean feat considering Brian Wilson
had long since retreated into seclusion due to overwhelming personal problems and friction with his bandmates. Aside from the Ramones-like energy of their teenybopping early '60s prime, this is arguably the band's performing peak. Supplemented by Holland
sidemen Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar (who would later add the Rutles
to his strange résumé), the band offers up several strong versions of then-recent material ("Sail On Sailor," "Trader," "Darlin'," "Marcella"), a few key Pet Sounds
cuts, and a few surprises (a bluesy "Leaving This Town," the haunting Wild Honey
track "Let the Wind Blow") in this collection's first half, then largely turns matters over to Mike Love for an energetic run-through--and disturbing preview--of their long-running oldies revue. Also included are new liner notes by longtime Wilson biographer Timothy White. --Jerry McCulley