Welcome To AlbumLinerNotes.com
"The #1 Archive of Liner Notes in the World!"

Your Subtitle text
Endless Harmony
Originally released as the soundtrack to a great Beach Boy documentary (to buy the DVD, click here: The Beach Boys - Endless Harmony) in 1998, this CD (Capitol 72434-96391-2-6 - to buy it from Amazon.com, click here: Endless Harmony (Soundtrack)) was re-released in 2000 with the same track lineup and same Liner Notes but with a totally different design (Capitol 72435-24002-2-5 - to buy this version, click here: Endless Harmony ).

Unfortunately, Beach Boy completist (like us) had to have them both even though there is no difference in the music. The only difference in the Liner Notes is the inclusion of the copyright holders of the individual songs. Which we've also included here (because that's what we do).


1. Soulful Old Man Sunshine (writing session excerpt)
(Brian Wilson, Rick Henn) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
Late in the summer of 1969, Brian Wilson and Rick Henn, former leader of the Sunrays, got together for several songwriting sessions at Brian’s home on Bellagio Road in Bel Air. Out of those sessions came the Wilson-Henn composition, Soulful Old Man Sunshine. During those sessions, Henn had his portable tape recorder running and preserved this snippet of newly-written song. That’s Brian singing with Henn on piano.

2. Soulful Old Man Sunshine
Recorded October – November 1969 at Sunset Sound and Brian Wilson’s home studio
Produced by Brian Wilson and Rick Henn
(Brian Wilson, Rick Henn)
(p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
The track for this jazzy shuffle was cut at Sunset Sound with an assortment of Los Angeles studio musicians, most of whom normally played jazz. Henn recalls, “Brian didn’t show up for the sessions, I just went in and arranged it, wrote orchestra parts out for the band.” The vocals were recorded during several sessions at Brian’s home studio. Henn: “Brian and I did the vocal arrangements together, and then when we got in and started laying vocals down, Brian came up with the other ideas. As we were working, the arrangement evolved.” The swing feel of the finished recording is unlike anything else The Beach Boys ever recorded. “The best part is the background vocals,” Henn says. “Nobody sings as well as The Beach Boys.”

3. Radio Concert Promo 1
This radio spot for use in promoting Beach Boys concerts was recorded on March 24, 1966 at Columbia Studios. That’s Dennis, obviously, billing himself as the greatest drummer on earth,” and that’s Brian poking fun at him, telling him he “wouldn’t pay two cents to see you.”

4. Medley: Surfin’ Safari/Fun, Fun, Fun/Shut Down/Little Deuce Coupe/Surfin’ U.S.A. (Live)
Recorded in concert October 22, 1966 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Produced by Brian Wilson
(Brian Wilson, Mike Love/Brian Wilson, Mike Love/Brian Wilson, Roger Christian/Brian Wilson, Roger Christian/Chuck Berry/Brian Wilson)
(p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
Even today, The Beach Boys often perform several of their faster-paced surfin’ and car songs in a medley. This early example of the practice was recorded during the first two shows performed the same day at the University of Michigan. Although he didn’t play, Brian made the trip with the group, and rehearsed them extensively for performing their new single, Good Vibrations. (The performance of Good Vibrations from the day’s second show can be found on Capitol’s five-CD boxed set, Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys.)

5. Surfer Girl (Binaural Version)
Recorded June 12, 1963 at Western Studios
Produced by Brian Wilson
(Brian Wilson)
(p) 1974, 1998 Capitol Records, Inc.
Surfer Girl was the first ballad Brian ever wrote, pre-dating the group’s signing to Capitol Records, although he held it for their fourth single on the label. Inspired by When You Wish Upon A Star from the Pinocchio soundtrack, the song was the first Beach Boys release to carry the credit “Produced by Brian Wilson.” Here, the vocals and the backing track have been separated as much as possible so that you can more fully appreciate the group’s singing, especially Brian’s beautiful falsetto.

6. Help Me, Rhonda (Alternate Single Version)
Recorded February 24, 1965 at Universal/Radio Recorders and March 4 & 21, 1965 at Western Studios
Produced by Brian Wilson
(Brian Wilson, Mike Love)
(p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
Help Me, Rhonda originally was simply an album track on The Beach Boys Today!, but Brian recognized the song had a greater potential. A month after completing that album, he was back in the studio recutting the track with the cream of the Los Angeles studio musicians. A week-and-a-half later, he had The Beach Boys in the studio to add Alan Jardine’s lead vocal and the group backing vocals. But he was far from through. On March 21, he had the group back in the studio to add a set of live instrumental and vocal overdubs as the song was being mixed. Added that day were castanets, 12-string guitar, piano and a distinctive “wah-wah-wah” high harmony part. The resulting mix was labeled “final mono master” on the tape box, but within a few days Brian changed his mind and returned the group to the studio, creating a different set of live overdubs for another try at a final mix. He was satisfied with that mix and when it was released, it became the group’s second #1 single. Heard here for the first time is the unreleased March 21 mix.

7. Kiss Me, Baby (Stereo Mix)
Recorded December 16, 1964 and January 15, 1965 at Western Studios
Produced by Brian Wilson
(Brian Wilson, Mike Love)
(p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
With its dense instrumentation, Kiss Me, Baby represents Brian’s mastering of Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” approach to recordmaking and making it his own. Against a wide array of instrumentation – three guitars, electric bass, piano, drums, percussion, mallets, French horn, English horn, tenor saxophone and baritone saxophone – Brian double-tracked The Beach Boys singing the haunting melody and personal lyrics. This first-time-ever stereo mix required synching three tracks of instrumentation from one tape to two vocal tracks on another tape, producing a five track recording from which a new mix could be made. Hint: listen to this one with headphones.

8. California Girls (Stereo Remix)
Recorded April 6, 1965 at Western Studios and June 4, 1965 at Columbia Studios
Produced by Brian Wilson
(Brian Wilson, Mike Love) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
Brian has been known to call California Girls The Beach Boys greatest record production and says the pseudo-classical opening is his favorite piece of music that he’s written. That opening was written, he says, to fill a need for “some kind of an introduction that would be a total departure from how the song sounds and yet would somehow lead into the melody.” Brian recorded the instrumentation for the song across a three-track tape, but did the vocals on a new eight-track tape machine at Columbia Studios. Using the expanded capability that unit provided, he recorded three tracks of backing vocals and triple-tracked Mike Love’s lead vocal. To create this stereo version, the three tracks of instrumentation were synched with the six vocal tracks, providing a working palette of nine tracks from which to mix. This is another one made for headphone listening!

9. Good Vibrations (Live)
Recorded live December, 1968 at the Astoria in Finsbury Park, London
Produced by The Beach Boys
(Brian Wilson, Mike Love)
(p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
In December 1968, while touring Great Britain, The Beach Boys recorded several shows for possible release at a live album. The album, released a year-and-half later in the United Kingdom as Live In London, used the tapes from one of two shows the group played December 8 at the Finsbury Park Astoria. Prior to the day’s shows, the group engaged in a lengthy rehearsal and soundcheck, which also was recorded. This version of Good Vibrations is from that rehearsal and allows you to hear the touring group’s chops without the audience noise that so strongly saturates the released album. That’s Carl singing the lead vocal, just as on the million-selling hit version. The eerie high-pitched wavering sound, generated in the studio by a theremin, was reproduced in concert with a specially-made Moog ribbon synthesizer, played by Mike Love.

10. Heroes and Villains (Demo)
Recorded November 4, 1966 at Western Studios
Produced by Brian Wilson
(Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks)
(p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
After recording Good Vibrations, Brian started to work on an album called Smile, which he claimed would be as much an improvement over Pet Sounds as that album had been over its predecessor. Smile would be “a teenage symphony to God,” he claimed. Instead, the album never appeared, collapsing under its lofty aspirations. A Western epic titled Heroes and Villains was intended as the first single, but during the year Brian devoted to Smile, his conception of the song changed again and again. More than 30 recording sessions were devoted to the song. Eventually, a version of the song was released as a single in July 1967 and climbed into the Top 20 on the Billboard charts. This demo, however, represents an earlier conception of the song. Over his own piano playing, Brian sings one familiar verse, then launches into the lyrics of I’m In Great Shape, a title known to Beach Boys fanatics but never heard before. “Here’s another section” and begins to sing Barnyard, another known-but-never heard piece. By the way, that’s Brian’s collaborator on Smile, lyricists Van Dyke Parks, assisting with the animal sounds.

11. Heroes and Villains (Live)
Recorded in concert October or November 1972
Produced by The Beach Boys
(Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
By the early 1970s, The Beach Boys had evolved into one of the finest concert acts in rock music, carefully mixing their classic hits with more recent adventurous material. In 1972 and 1973, more than a dozen concerts were recorded for the purpose of assembling a live album. Originally, a single album of material was prepared in January 1973, but it was never released. Instead, a two-record set, The Beach Boys Concert, appeared in November. This version of Heroes and Villains, featuring Alan on lead vocal, was included on the unreleased single album, but replaced by a different performance of the song on a released album.

12. God Only Knows (Live)
Recorded live September 11, 1967 at Wally Heider’s Studio
Produced by The Beach Boys
(Brian Wilson, Tony Asher) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
In August 1967, The Beach Boys (including Brian, but without Bruce Johnston) traveled to Hawaii for two nights of concert performances. The shows were recorded with the intention of producing a concert album, but the taping was beset by technical difficulties and most of the recordings were deemed unusable by the group. Several weeks later, they assembled at Wally Heider’s Studio and taped a live-in-the-studio performance with all six Beach Boys present. Even though some of those performances were outstanding, the project was abandoned soon thereafter. From that in-studio set comes this version of God Only Knows. The backing is sparse, placing the emphasis on Carl’s breathy (and breathtaking) lead vocal. That’s Brian at the beginning of the song, voicing the lines played by the French horn on the record. And that’s Brian and Bruce joining Carl in the round at the end of the song.

13. Radio Concert Promo 2 
Another radio spot for promoting Beach Boys concerts, also recorded March 24, 1966 at Columbia Studios. Bruce Johnston is playing the piano behind Al Jardine.

14. Darlin’ (Live)
Recorded live June 21, 1980 at Knebworth, England with later overdubs
Produced by Bruce Johnston
(Brian Wilson, Mike Love) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
Carl Wilson possessed an amazing voice. He could not only sing gentle lead vocals, as on Good Vibrations and God Only Knows, but he also could get gritty on rockers like Darlin’, the group’s 1967 foray into rhythm-and-blues. At Knebworth 13 years later, Carl turned in a terrific performances on the song. The show was recorded and filmed for possible release as a video album. Afterwards, Bruce and engineer Stephen Desper supervised an extensive reworking of the tapes. Carl’s live lead vocal was kept on Darlin’, but his guitar and the group’s backing vocals were replaced with studio overdubs.

15. Wonderful/Don’t Worry Bill (Live)
Recorded live November 23, 1972 at Carnegie Hall, New York City
Produced by Carl Wilson
(Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks/Ricky Fataar, Blondie Chaplin, Steve Fataar, Brother Fataar) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
In 1972, The Beach Boys added two new members, guitarist Blondie Chaplin and drummer Ricky Fataar, both from a South African group, The Flame, that Carl had taken under his wing. Chaplin and Fataar considerably expanded the group’s instrumental and vocal talent pool. In addition to contributing new compositions to the group, they brought with them a song, Don’t Worry Bill, from The Flame’s only album. In concert, the medley of the song with the Smile era composition Wonderful proved to be a memorable high point. Neither Chaplin nor Fataar were long-term group members.  Chaplin left in late 1973 and Fataar left a year later.

16. Do It Again
Recorded May 26, 1968
Produced by Brian Wilson and Carl Wilson
(Brian Wilson/Mike Love)
(p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
This rough early version of Do It Again was found in a tape labeled Rendezvous, apparently the original working title for the song. The discerning listener will pick up on some interesting lyrical differences, like the verse that ends “Let’s get back together and surf again,” instead of “…and do it again.” The recording is a simple four track one, but it served as the starting point for the finished single. From this version, the group salvaged the bass/drums/organ/guitar rhythm track, then added a new drum track and redid all the vocals and the guitar solo. The finished song harkened back to the group’s earlier sun and surf songs and gave them a Top 20 hit.

17. Break Away (Demo)
Recorded March 31, 1969 at Gold Star Studios and April 10, 1969 at I.D. Sound
Produced by Brian Wilson and Murry Wilson
(Brian Wilson, Reggie Dunbar) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
When you listen to this version of Break Away, you are hearing exactly what The Beach Boys heard when they went into the studio to record their vocals for the song – that is, Brian’s prototype for it: the completed instrumental track, but with Brian doing all the vocals. Brian often would create such fully-produced “demos” to show the group what they needed to sing. In this case, his demo is lacking only the group’s vocals and the circular vocal tag that closes the released version.

18. Sail Plane Song
Recorded June 8, 1968 at Brian’s home studio
Produced by Brian Wilson
(Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
Sail Plane Song is what it says on the tape box; on the tape leader it says Glide Plane Song but by any title, it’s the original version of what would became Loop de Loop. Written in the heyday of the psychedelic Sixties, this is as close as Brian got to the “acid rock” being done by such San Francisco bands as Jefferson Airplane. The Beach Boys themselves are playing the instruments, not studio musicians. Carl is on bass, Alan guitar, Brian piano and Bruce organ, and it’s likely Dennis on drums. And be sure to listen to Brian’s imitation airplane sounds at the end of the song!

19. Loop de Loop (Flip Flop Flyin’ In An Airplane)
Recorded March 5 & 6 1969 at Sunset Sound Studios, with later sessions at Brian Wilson’s home studio, and July 3 & 4, 1998 at The Red Barn, Big Sur, CA
Produced by Alan Jardine
Remixed by Alan Jardine
Engineered by Steve Desper
Mixed using Spatializer 3-D Audio
Additional drums (1998) by Steve Heger
(Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Al Jardine) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
Alan extensively reworked the arrangement of this from Brian’s original. The instrumentation includes drums, tympani, cymbals, a string bass, a tack piano, a regular piano, a Fender Rhodes, several guitars (including one fed through a Leslie speaker), a ukulele, a tambourine, a glockenspiel, horns (including a tuba), woodwinds, a Moog synthesizer, a miniature siren (made by Acme) and two tracks of special effects, including the sounds of a circus audience, a “buzz” plane and a biplane. Interestingly, the biplane sounds were not “canned” sound effects, but were taped especially for this song, in the front yard of a neighbor of Alan’s who had built his own biplane (painted bright red, engineer Steve Desper recalls). Although a final mix was made in 1969, Alan was never satisfied with his vocal on the verses. Especially for this album, Alan went back into the studio and, with Desper manning the console again, recorded a new lead vocal, triple-tracking it to give it the fullness he desired. In all likelihood, that sets a record for the longest time to complete a recording – 29 years!

20. Barbara
Recorded April 1971 at Brian’s Home Studio
Produced by Dennis Wilson
(Dennis Wilson) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
Daryl Dragon, a frequent collaborator of Dennis’ in the early Seventies, remembers Dennis used to play this ode to his second wife quite often. This demo features Dennis and Dragon on separate pianos. Dennis playing the lower octaves, while Dragon (who would go on to fame later as the Captain of The Captain and Tennille) plays the higher notes. Nobody clearly remembers who played the guitar; it may have been Carl, but engineer Stephen Desper recalls that Dennis played guitar, too, so it could be him overdubbed. If the song had been prepared for release, Dragon says, it would have had a heavy orchestral arrangement similar to Dennis’ songs on Carl And The Passions – So Tough. The pianos are playing “ideas for lines of string overdubs,” he says

21. Til I Die (Alternate Mix)
Recorded Summer 1970 at Brian Wilson’s home studio
Produced by Brian Wilson and Carl Wilson
(Brian Wilson) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
Brian Wilson’s tour de force in the early Seventies was undoubtedly ‘Til I Die, released on the Surf’s Up album in 1971. The intensely personal lyrics reflected a deeply fatalistic resignation about life. Brian worked with the song off and on for months, recalls engineer Stephen Desper. This alternate mix was made by Desper for his own enjoyment. “I did that mix for me,” he admits. His mix starts with a solo bass, then adds other instruments as the song builds lyrically and vocally. The vibes are especially prominent. Most interestingly, he loops the track, so that it plays through once instrumentally before the vocals enter. Desper played his mix for The Beach Boys, but “that was not the mix they wanted to put out,” he says. Whether you think it’s better than the released mix or not, you have to agree it certainly is striking.

22. Long Promised Road (Live)
Recorded live November 23, 1972 at Carnegie Hall, New York City
Produced by Carl Wilson
(J. Rieley, Carl Wilson) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
This concert recording of Carl’s 1971 songwriting debut is heard just as it was performed, with no overdubs or corrections. When Carl briefly embarked on a solo career in the early 1980’s, this was the only Beach Boys song he included in his concert sets.

23. All Alone
Recording began in June 1978 at Brother Studios
Produced by Carlos Munoz
(Carlos C. Munoz) (p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
All Alone was recorded by Dennis Wilson for his never-released second album, Bamboo. Whereas all of the material on his first album, Pacific Ocean Blue, had been written and produced by Dennis. All Alone was the creation of keyboard player Carlos Munoz, a member of The Beach Boys touring band during the Seventies. Munoz not only wrote the song (in 1968, according to the copyright), but produced Dennis’ recording of it, too. “Dennis had the greatest respect of Carly,” recalls engineer Tom Murphy. “He thought Carly was so talented.” For the track, Munoz drew upon his fellow musicians in The Beach Boys backing band. Playing on All Alone are band members Bobby Figueroa (drums), Joel Peskin (saxophone) and Sterling Smith (keyboards), supplemented by Smith’s brother Tommy (percussion) and Dave Hessler (guitar & bass), both members with Smith in a band called The Load. Munoz played the piano at center stage, while Dennis added percussion and the sounds of an ARP String Ensemble. Since Dennis’ death, the unfinished recording as taken on an especially foreboding tone: “If I could live my life again…”

24. Brian’s Back
Recorded October – November 1978 at Santa Barbara Sound and W.A.V.E.S. Mobile Studio, Santa Barbara, CA
Produced by Paul Fauerso
(Mike Love)
(p) 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
Mike Love wrote Brian’s Back in response to the “Brian’s Back” promotional campaign of the mid-Seventies. “I never knew that he was gone,” he sang about his sometimes reclusive cousin. The song was recorded for Mike’s first solo album, First Love, but the record was never released. Carl guested on the track, providing his distinctive voice to the catchy chorus. The rest of the vocals were provided by producer Fauerso, frequent Love collaborator Ron Altbach (a former member of the group King Harvest, of Dancing In The Moonlight fame) and ace session vocalist David Sommerville. Offered here is the original version of the song, including the acoustic bridge that was later edited out. The beautiful guitar work was courtesy of Jerry Donahue, formerly with the British folk-rock group, Fairport Convention.

25. Endless Harmony
Recorded January – February 1980 at Rumbo Recorders
Produced by Bruce Johnston
(Bruce Johnston) (p) 1980, 1998 Brother Records, Inc.
Bruce wrote this as “Ten Years’ Harmony” during his sabbatical from The Beach Boys in the mid and late Seventies. Upon his return, he produced the song for the group’s 1980 album, Keepin’ The Summer Alive. Originally written completely in the third person, that perspective was changed for the group’s version. “Carl and I talked about that,” Bruce says, “and he said he’d feel real funny singing about himself. We decided to sing the verses in the [third] person, and when the chorus comes into the song, it would go to Carl singing in the first person.” Bruce handles the lead on the first two verses.

Beach Boys Management: Elliott Lott, Brother Records, Inc.
Executive Producers: Phil Sandhaus, Michael Etchart
A&R Supervisor: Cheryl Pawelski
Project Manager: Elaine O’Grady
Legal and Business Affairs: Ray Tisdale, Adam Varon
A&R Administrator: Michelle Azzopardi
Production: Tammy Kizer, Lisa Reddick
Design: Andy Engel

Photos Courtesy of: Dean Torrance, Michael Ochs Archives, Capitol Records Photo Archives

Special Thanks: Richard Cottrell, Briggs Ferguson, Elliot Lott, Ross Schwartz, Jim Elliott, Johnny Lee, Nick Sahakian, Barrie Smithers and Brad Elliott

Delilah Production Credit:
Executive In Charge of Production: Stephanie Bennett
Compiled by: Alan Boyd
Tape Assembly and Preparation By: Andrew Sandoval
Assisted by Bill Inglot at Penguin Recording and Dave Pearlman at Rotund Rascal

Mastered by: Dan Hirsch for DigiPrep
Production Coordinator: Irene Liberatore

Special Thanks: Rick Henn, Jeff Peters, Steve Desper, Lauri Klobas and Ross Schwartz

Dedicated to the Memory of Dennis and Carl Wilson.



In the fall of 1961 in a suburb of Los Angeles, three brothers, a cousin and a friend formed what would become the foremost vocal harmony group in rock music. There was nothing obviously speical about the teenagers who initially called themselves the Pendeltones – they were, indeed, just West Coast boys.

Brian Wilson and his younger brothers, Dennis and Carl, had been harmonizing at home on popular standards for years. Their cousin, Mike Love, joined in at larger family gatherings. And when another voice was needed to fill out the sound, Brian recruited fellow college student Alan Jardine. But when sometime surfer Dennis suggested to Brian that he should write a song about the new surfing craze, none of them had any idea what it would lead to.

The song, simply titled Surfin’, attracted the attention of a local produce, and the boys found themselves making a record. Carl and Alan already played guitar, Brian picked up the bass, Dennis found himself behind the drums, and Mike was nominated the lead singer. When Surfin’ became a hit in L.A., the group had been renamed The Beach Boys by their first record label were set on a course that would impact popular music for many years to come.

Success came quickly – headlining local gigs, then a contract with Capitol Records, and in the fall of 1962, a Top 20 national hit with Surfin’ Safari. They became masters at harmony-laden blasts of good time rock ‘n’ roll, spinning out hit after hit under the direction of the pop whiz kid Brian Wilson. Surfin’ U.S.A., Shut Down, Little Deuce Coupe, Fun, Fun, Fun the list went on  and on.

After several years, Brian left touring to the rest of the group and focused his attention on building greater sonic masterpieces in the studio. Inspired by the records of legendary “Wall of Sound” producer Phil Spector, album tracks like Kiss Me Baby showcased increasingly complex instrumental tracks and vocal harmonies. Help Me Rhonda and California Girls took those sounds to the top of the charts. And in 1966, Brian delivered The Beach Boys’ masterpiece, Pet Sounds, an emotion-filled album that explored feelings of loneliness, alienation, longing and love, all set against intricate music with heartbreaking vocals. In God Only Knows, one of the album’s cornerstone tracks, Brian reached for and achieved a spirituality previously unknown in rock music. Twenty-nine years later, in a poll of rock world’s most acclaimed musicians, producers and songwriters, the record was named the “Greatest Album Ever Made.”

Brian followed Pet Sounds with a single he called a “Pocket Symphony.” It took him six months to record, producing several distinct sectinos which he spliced together to achieve the effect he desired. And the instruments he used – Jew’s harp, cello, harpsichord, theremin – had never been heard on a rock single before, at least not like he used them. But when he was finished, Good Vibrations and its hints of psychedelica went to #1 on charts all over the world. Thirty-one years later, another poll of rock’s leading participants named it the “Greatest Single of All Time.”

Never willing to rest on his laurels, Brian and The Beach Boys continued to explore the uses and limits of vocal harmony in the latter half of the sixties. Heroes and Villains offered a rock equivalent to a barbershop quartet, Darlin’ saw them place their sound in a rhythm-and-blues context.

As the group moved into the seventies, all of its members began to stretch their creative wings; Brian was not the only songwriting and production talent in the group. Alan’s Loop De Loop was a sonic tour de force, with biplanes buzzing overhead, crowds exclaiming in awe, and circus-like sirens setting the mood. Carl assumed a major role in the production of the group’s recordings and, on the side, crafted songs like the dynamic “never give up” anthem, Long Promised Road. Dennis reached deep into a reservoir of intense emotion for a series of songs that were nothing less than personal cries from the heart; the unreleased Barbara was one of several he wrote about his second wife.

In the mid-seventies, the group’s touring show was being hailed as one of the best in rock music. Rolling Stone magazine named them, “Band of the Year” in 1974, based solely on their live shows. Their dedication to touring guaranteed them an audience for years to come.

By the end of the seventies, The Beach Boys could look back on their successes and legacy and celebrate them with songs like Endless Harmony, written by Bruce Johnston, who had replaced Brian on stage in 1965, and Mike Love’s Brian’s Back, featuring a gorgeous chorus vocal from his cousin, Carl.

In 1983, the group was dealt a devastating blow, when Dennis Wilson, the group’s true child of the sea, drowned in the Pacific Ocean while swimming off his boat in Marina Del Rey. Presidential permission was sought and obtained to allow Dennis to be buried in the ocean he loved so much.

Despite their loss, the group elected to continue, feeling they still had something to give to the public. And in 1987, the scored another #1 hit with the Caribbean-flavored Kokomo.
The group continued to tour and play for their thousands of fans on into the nineties. Then, in February 1998, Carl Wilson succumbed to lung cancer, depriving the group of one of its most distinctive voices. But even such tragedy could not put a halt to the music that is The Beach Boys. In the months that followed Carl’s death, several of the group tackled solo projects, while others lent their vocal talents in support of other artists. And, if they so choose, there are more projects waiting in the wings for the group.

After more than 35 years, the harmonies of The Beach Boys turly seem endless. Albums like this one ensure that they will be heard today and again tomorrow, while celebrations like th companion Endless Harmony video documentary mean that they will be seen for years to come as well.

Surf’s Up! 

Brad Elliott
June 1998

Brad is the author of Surf’s Up! The Beach Boys on Record
published by Popular Culture Ink, P.O. Box 1839, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.

Website Builder