Little Deuce Coupe / All Summer Long Extra tracks, Import, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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Two #4-charting albums, 28 tracks! Bonus cuts include alternate takes of Little Honda and Don't Back Down.
Released just one month after the Surfer Girl album, Little Deuce Coupe was, incredibly, the band's fourth album in less than a year. Brian Wilson and the band responded by turning in arguably their most consistent effort to date--and a concept album, to boot. Deuce Coupe expanded the band's subject matter to encompass 1963 America's burgeoning love affair with hot rods, surrounding previously released cuts such as the title track, "409," and others with strong new material (much of it cowritten by Wilson and a DJ, Roger Christian). A highpoint: the a cappella James Dean tribute "A Young Man Is Gone" (a reworking of Bobby Troup's beautiful "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring"), a prime example of Wilson's arranging genius and the band's vocal prowess. All Summer Long was notable not only for racheting up the band's standards and essentially bidding farewell to the surf songs that inspired both their name and reputation, but also for going toe-to-toe with one of rock's most explosive phenomena--Beatlemania--and coming away victorious, with the single "I Get Around" soaring to No. 1 in the spring of 1964. Essentially another loose concept record (revolving around the innocent hedonistic pursuits of an idyllic SoCal summer) that takes its cue from the effervescent title track, it also documents Brian's restless creativity pushing the band toward its performing peak. Bonus takes include the superior single take of band staple "Be True to Your School," alternate takes of "Little Honda" and "Don't Back Down," and the slightly salacious outtake "All Dressed Up for School." Both albums have also been sonically burnished via 24-bit digital remastering. --Jerry McCulley
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Top Customer Reviews
In 1963-64 these Beach Boys cuts were by far the finest pop music America had to offer. Attempting to critique the merits of these teenage odes to Southern California culture as one would a 2005 CD is pointless. Brian Wilson didn't write these tunes for the critics, and The Beach Boys weren't singing for them.
They were singing for other kids about the things that really mattered in 1963-64: Hotrods, Surfing, School, Drive-ins...and Girls on the Beach!
The fact that radio is still playing these songs 40 years later is proof of their timelessness. Truth is - you can't have summer without them. These songs ARE summer.
You don't need to know all the minutia of which "take" is best, which songs to skip over, and which ones are true art. Just play them all. You don't need a reason to love The Beach Boys.
Most early-60's albums were a hit or two and then a bunch of hastily recorded garbage, or "filler." However, due to Brian Wilson's dedication to quality, there are only a few of these present here: "Carl's Big Chance" (a boring instrumental), "Do You Remember" (a lame ode to early rock & roll stars), and "Our Favorite Recording Sessions (the group goofing off while recording)." Everything else is good to great. ASL is especially inspired, being Brian's answer to the challenge of The Beatles. Although issued less than a year after LDC, the production is much more lush and complex, and the songs are much more creatively written.
I agree with Kevin of Belleville that this music should've been re-issued in Brian Wilson's original mono mixes (or in remixed modern stereo), since the original stereo mixes have been out on the cd market since 1990. To keep on upgrading and reissuing the same old lame 1960's 3-track stereo remixes (done by some unknown hack at Capitol Records) is the aural equivalent of keeping on futilely applying more lipstick to a pig. Yes, the pig looks better, but it's still always going to be a pig. The chief crime of the original stereo mixes is that they often significantly boosted the volume of the vocals at the expense of the volume and power of the instrument track ("Little Deuce Coupe", "The Little Saint Nick" & "Fun, Fun, Fun"), and giving Brian the undeserved rap of producing "wafer-thin" backing tracks. They tended to also add echo and be shorter than Brian's mixes (for example, the great ending of "Fun, Fun, Fun" gets lopped off). However, for the average listener who isn't a BB's nut like I am, the music is so special, so well-done, that it transcends even primitive stereo mixes. (Also, although not listed as such, "I Get Around" and "All Summer Long" are in mono. For some reason, they were never remixed into stereo. And some of the other best songs on this two-fer can be found in their superior mono mixes on the G.V. box set and the Greatest Hits cds.)
All Summer Long is highly recommended and Brian's first peak. These 7 songs listed here are ESSENTIAL listening.
We'll Run Away
Girls On The Beach
Don't Back Down
All Dressed Up For School