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Surfer Girl/Shut Down, Vol. 2
Extra Tracks, Import, Reissued, Remastered
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Their 1963 chart-topper (#7) and their car-crazy release from 1964 on 27-track extravaganza! a single version of Fun, Fun, Fun, a German version of in My Room and I Do are the bonus tracks.
Surfer Girl may have been the band's third album release, but it was the first to bear the imprimatur of founder and creative mainstay Brian Wilson as producer, and the difference is palpable from the confident opening tracks onward. That one-two combo, "Surfer Girl" and "Catch a Wave," also effectively serves as the blueprint for much of the Beach Boys' subsequent sound. On the former, Wilson's falsetto soars over a tender, yet musically sophisticated, ballad, while the latter features Mike Love's trademark twang urgently proselytizing SoCal surf, both over band harmonies that seemed to grow tighter and more adventurous with every cut. That artistic axis is revisited yet again on "Little Deuce Coupe" and "In My Room," the latter ballad showcasing Wilson's full artistic arsenal and giving an early glimpse into his introspective soul. The curiously titled "Shut Down, Part II" (a de facto sequel to an earlier hit EP) sought to further the band beyond its ironic sea-and-sun fetish (none but Dennis Wilson ever surfed) into the burgeoning hot-rod subculture as well. The results were understandably uneven, but the high points remain nothing short of spectacular, including the Love-propelled "Fun, Fun, Fun," Wilson's knowing nod to Phil Spector, "Don't Worry Baby," and the underrated "The Warmth of the Sun." Bonus cuts include the single mix of "Fun, Fun, Fun," a German-language version of "In My Room," and the previously unreleased, largely experimental "I Do" by Wilson and Love. Brian offers up a brief commentary on both albums in the notes, while David Leaf (author of the pioneering bio The Beach Boys and the California Myth) documents the music track-by-track. --Jerry McCulley
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So, if you're a fan - long term or casual - chances are you'll get more than you bargained for with all of these releases.
The first album on this CD is `Surfer Girl', which is a five star album. Half the album is familiar radio hits and the rest of the songs are just as good.
The second album on this CD is `Shut Down Volume 2', which is a little weaker, but still a good album. It is a solid four-star album, but the horrible "Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson" cut is a bad omen of the Beach Boys love for giving us unless and irritating `behind the scenes' tracks that subtract from our enjoyment of the album (that tendency came into full bloom with all the junk they added to their 5 disk anthology box a few years ago).
There are also three bonus tracks: the single version of "Fun, Fun, Fun", a cool German language version of "In my room" and a nice song called "I Do"...and a little bit of additional nonsense at the very end.
If you are wondering where `Shut Down Volume ONE' is, `Shut Down' was a compilation LP from 1963. That LP included the songs "Shut Down" and "409" by the Beach boys (both songs originally from the Beach Boys `Little Deuce Coupe' album), plus cuts from The Cheers, The Super Stocks, The Piltdown Men, Robert Mitchum (yes, the actor), Jimmy Dolan, and The Eligibles. That album is NOT included in this CD (just to be clear) and good luck trying to find a decent copy of it.
Overall (and despite that horrible `..Vs.." track) this CD deserves Five Stars.