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GV Box Set, Disc Three

Capitol Compact Disc C2 0777 7 81297 2 1

1. Heroes And Villains (45 Version)
(B. Wilson/V.D. Parks) 
Produced by Brian Wilson
Entered the Billboard singles chart 8/5/67. It peaked at #12

2. Darlin’
(B. Wilson/M. Love)
Entered the Billboard singles chart 12/23/67. It peaked at #12

3. Wild Honey
(B. Wilson/M. Love)
Entered the Billboard singles chart 11/4/67. It peaked at #19

4. Let The Wind Blow
(B. Wilson/M. Love)

Tracks #2-4 are from Wild Honey, which entered the Billboard LP chart 12/30/67. It peaked at #24 and spent 15 weeks on the chart.

5. Can’t Wait Too Long (Previously unreleased)
(Brian Wilson)
Produced by Brian Wilson

6. Cool Cool Water (Previously unreleased)
(Brian Wilson)
Produced by Brian Wilson

7. Meant For You
(B. Wilson/M. Love)

8. Friends
(B. Wilson/C. Wilson/D. Wilson/A. Jardine)
Entered the Billboard singles chart 4/2/68. It peaked at #47.

9. Little Bird
(D. Wilson/S. Kalinich)

10. Busy Doin’ Nothin’
(Brian Wilson)

Tracks #7-10 are from Friends, which entered the Billboard LP chart 7/6/68. It peaked at #126 and spent 10 weeks on the chart.

11. Do It Again
(B. Wilson/M. Love)
Produced by Brian Wilson and Carl Wilson.
Entered the Billboard charts 7/27/68. It peaked at #20.

12. I Can Hear Music
Produced by Carl Wilson
Entered the Billboard singles chart 3/8/69. It peaked at #24

13. I Went To Sleep
(Brian Wilson)
Produced by Brian Wilson

14. Time To Get Alone
(Brian Wilson)
Produced by Carl Wilson

Tracks #11-14 are from 20/20, which entered the Billboard LP chart 3/1/69. It peaked at #68 and spent 11 weeks on the chart.

15. Breakaway
(B. Wilson/R. Dunbar) (aka Murry Wilson)
Entered the Billboard singles chart 7/5/69. It peaked at #63.

16. Cottonfields (The Cotton Song) (45 Version)
(Huddie Ledbetter)
Produced by Alan Jardine
(NOTE: A different version of “Cottonfields” was included on the 20/20 album.)

17. San Miguel
(D. Wilson/G. Jakobson)
Produced by Dennis Wilson
“San Miguel”, recorded circa 1969, had never appeared on a Beach Boys record until it was included on The Beach Boys 10 Years of Harmony, which entered the Billboard LP Chart 12/26/81. That compilation peaked at #156.

18. Games Two Can Play (Previously unreleased)
(Brian Wilson)
Produced by Brian Wilson

19. I Just Got My Pay (Previously unreleased)
(Brian Wilson)
Produced by Brian Wilson

20. This Whole World
(Brian Wilson)

21. Add Some Music
Entered the Billboard singles chart 3/7/70. It peaked at #64.

22. Forever
(D. Wilson/G. Jakobson)

23. Our Sweet Love
(B. Wilson/C. Wilson/A. Jardine)

Tracks #20-23 are from Sunflower, which entered the Billboard LP chart 9/26/70. It peaked at #151 and spent four weeks on the chart.

24. H.E.L.P. Is On The Way (Previously unreleased)
(Brian Wilson)
Produced by Brian Wilson

25. 4th of July (Previously unreleased)
(D. Wilson)
Produced by Brian Wilson

26. Long Promised Road
(C. Wilson/J. Rieley)
Produced by Carl Wilson
Entered the Billboard singles chart 10/30/71. It peaked at #89.

27. Disney Girls
(Bruce Johnston)

28. Surf’s Up
(B. Wilson/V.D. Parks)
Produced by Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys

29. Till I Die
(Brian Wilson)
Produced by Brian Wilson

Tracks #26-29 are from Surf’s Up, which entered the Billboard LP chart 9/11/71. It peaked at #29 and spent 17 weeks on the chart.

All tracks on CD #3 produced by The Beach Boys unless otherwise noted.

(Reissue Note: Best of the Beach Boys, Vol. 2 entered the Billboard LP chart 8/12/67, reached 50 and spent 22 weeks on the chart 8/12/67, reached #50 and spent 22 weeks on the chart. Best of the Beach Boys, Vol. 3 entered the LP chart 9/7/68, reached #153 and spent six weeks on the chart. Close-Up, a double-album budget reissue of Surfin’ U.S.A. and All Summer Long, charted 8/16/69, peaked at #136 and spent six weeks on the chart.

The seven albums the Beach Boys released from 1967-1972 (Smiley Smile through Carl and The Passion) might not have sold much more than a million copies between them, quite a come down from their incredible gold streak of 1963-1966, but regardless of sales, these records contained a lot of beautiful music.

Smiley Smile, probably the strangest Beach Boys album ever, was released in the late summer of ’67.  Almost everyone…many of the group’s fans, the critics, the record industry and maybe even the Beach Boys themselves…was baffled by Smiley Smile.  Brian had dropped his grip on the studio reins, and this LP, pieced together by the band under extremely difficult circumstances was what Carl once called “a bunt instead of a grand slam.” Contrast the unfinished Smile tracks with Smiley Smile’s beautiful but comparatively underproduced “With Me Tonight.”)

The strain of the stillbirth of Smile had taken a terrible toll on Brian, his relationship with the group and the group’s relationship with Capitol.  Meanwhile, the group’s fans were being told by Rolling Stone that the Beach Boys were passé, that Brian’s genius was not much more than a promotional shuck.

Still, the Beach Boys persevered.  Wild Honey, the first step back, was an album Carl described as “music for Brian to cool out by.” “Let the wind blow” (CD #3 / Track #3), a beautiful song that Carl turned into an early ‘70s concert standard, is an example of what he meant - very spare production, an absolutely gorgeous melody and terrific vocals.

“Darlin’” (Billboard #19) was a reworked version of a song Brian and Mike had written in 1964 as “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You Baby” for a singer named Sharon Marie. Perhaps the most elaborate of the album’s tracks, it was originally produced by Brian for the group Redwood, which featured Brian’s best friend Danny Hutton as the leader of a vocal trio. (Redwood eventually changed their name to Three Dog Night and became the most successful American vocal group between 1969 and 1974.)

The title song, “Wild Honey,” was also a top 40 hit, the Beach Boys take on R&B. Much of Wild Honey, the album is “The Beach Boys do Motown,” going back to Brian’s roots, the boogie woogie piano that he had loved so much as a teen.

Unfortunately, from a commercial point of view, the lack of artistic pretension on Wild Honey proved to be no more successful than Smiley Smile’s psychedelic mish-mash, and all it did was further bewilder the rapidly shrinking legions of Beach Boys fans.

Ironically, the kind of music everyone was looking for from the Beach Boys was being made; but, as was Brian’s new habit, he just wasn’t finishing it. In fits and starts, during the latter half of 1967, Brian continued his studio experimentation. “Can’t Wait Too Long” is a classic example of the “variations on a theme” kind of work that he does so brilliantly (e.g. “Good Vibrations” sessions on CD #5 and “Heroes and Villains” on CD #2/Track #20). Until it appeared on 1990’s Smiley Smile/Wild Honey “two-fer,” “Can’t Wait Too Long” had remained unreleased; this alternate mix is included to give you an extended taste of what Brian was up to during this time.

“Cool Cool Water” is also from that same period. Taking Smile’s “I Love To Say Da Da” melody, Brian began turning it into a full song. (Note: Ultimately, when Warner Brothers felt there wasn’t a hit single on the submitted track line-up for Sunflower, the group would take this piece and finish it for that 1970 record.)

In 1968, the Beach Boys released the Friends album; included from that tranquil LP (CD #3/Track #7-10) are “Meant For You,” “Friends,” “Little Bird” (Dennis’ first released composition) and “Busy Doin’ Nothin’,” Brian’s bossa nova “Day In His Life.” Sent out into the middle of the American madness of ’68, its really not surprising that Friends was ignored.

That historical hindsight aside, the lack of sales never altered Brian’s fondness for Friends. Brian: “It seems to fit the way I live better. Its simple, and I can hear it anytime without having to get into a mood. Pet Sounds carries a lot more emotion, at least for me…Pet Sounds is by far my very best album. Still, though, my favorite is Friends.” With tracks like “Diamond Head” and “Passing By,” Friends has justifiably become a Beach Boys cult favorite.

In 1969, the Beach Boys’ Capitol era came to a close with the release of one last single and 20/20, a collection of hits-and-misses, Smile outtakes and several new songs. Given that mixed pedigree, 20/20 turned out to be one of the most interesting of their post-Pet Sounds LPs. From that record, four cuts (in addition to “Our Prayer” and “Cabin Essence” which ended 20/20) are included: “Do It Again” (Billboard #20) and “I Can Hear Music” (Billboard #24) were the hits; “I Went To Sleep” and “Time To Get Alone” are two more “undiscovered” gems from Brian’s piano.

After 20/20, the Beach Boys fulfilled their Capitol contract with “Breakaway,” which featured a dazzling arrangement and production. Despite a good deal of hype and hope, “Breakaway” stiffed, reaching only #63 on Billboard’s “Hot Hundred,” the lowest charting single since 1962’s “Ten Little Indians.” (Historical note: as badly a “Breakaway” did, it would be six years before a new Beach Boys single would chart higher.) As 1969 bled into 1970 the Beach Boys were seeking a new contract. Unsure of what was to come, they even prepared another record for Capitol. In the Beach Boys tape library is a box titled “safety copy of last Capitol album,” and its dated 6/30/1970. From that tape, you’ll hear two cuts. “Cottonfields” is the Al Jardine-produced 45 RPM version of the song. It didn’t dent the American charts, but it was a worldwide hit (e.g. #5 in England), “San Miguel,” maybe Dennis’ best uptempo song, features a terrific vocal from Carl and a great “Spector-ish” production.

Up next on the box (CD #3/Tracks 18-19) are two never-before-released songs, “Games Two Can Play” and “I Just Got My Pay.” Both were recorded for Sunflower but didn’t make the final cut. “Games…” is a real Friends-type song and production, as Joe South’s “Games People Play” (referred to in the lyric) entered the charts in January, 1969, it’s likely that Brian wrote the song shortly after that. “I Just Got My Pay” will be familiar to Beach Boys fanatics both from its earlier incarnation (“All Dressed Up For School,” a “bonus” track on the Little Deuce Coupe/All Summer Long “Two-fer”) and as “Marcella” (CD #4/Track #7).

Sunflower, the Beach Boys’ debut for Warner Brothers, reflected, in all the best ways, the musical democracy that the group had become. Dennis (e.g. Forever) was at his first creative peak, and Brian was coaxed downstairs to do some work in his living room studio. In general, the Beach Boys’ determination to deliver a great record to Warner Brothers is demonstrated by the four tracks on this box. (CD #3 Tracks 20-23) which are indicative of the overall quality of the album. Unfortunately, the Beach Boys’ image in America in 1970 was so out-of-sync with the dominant “hippie” subculture that Sunflower didn’t have a chance. (Note: In England, Sunflower was hailed as a worthy successor to Pet Sounds.) Despite a positive review in Rolling Stone, Sunflower didn’t get any significant airplay, and it stalled in the Billboard LP chart at #151, at that point, an all-time low for the group.

In 1971, under the direction of new manager Jack Rieley, the Beach Boys connected with the hip cognoscenti and critical tastemakers who had banished the band from radio and retail favor. To restore their credibility as a live performing unit, they played an incredible, landmark concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall; then, in April, they jammed with the Grateful Dead at the Fillmore East and returned for the Fillmore’s closing night. To establish their political credentials (few knew that Carl had been a “conscientious objector” in 1967), the group played a “May Day” anti-war demonstration concert in Washington, D.C. and a June benefit for the Berrigan Brothers.

Besides providing career advice, manager Rieley was also writing relevant lyrics for the group such as those on “4th Of July” (CD #3/Track #24), a never-before-released Dennis Wilson lament featuring a moving lead vocal from Carl.

“4th Of July” is preceded by “H.E.L.P. Is On The Way,” written about an L.A. restaurant that specialized in organic food. The lyrics are hilariously unself-conscious (“doughy lumps, stomach pumps, enemas too”) and on the tag, you can hear “The Radiant Radish” mentioned, a reference to the West Hollywood health food store Brian owned and operated circa 1970.

In the summer of 1971, neither of those tracks was on the line-up when the new album, Surf’s Up, was released. The title cut itself is a cobbled together version of the legendary Smile song. It begins with a terrific 1971 Carl Wilson lead vocal on the original 1966 backing track, it then blends into Brian’s ’66 piano/vocal “demo” version (CD #2/Track 28) and ends with a 1971 rendition of the still-unreleased Smile song, “Child Is Father To The Man.”

As was the intention, the inclusion of the song “Surf’s Up” brought a great deal of attention to the release, and combined with the group’s well-received live shows and politically-correct stance, an American reappraisal of the Beach Boys began.

Surf’s Up overall was not as harmonically sweet as Sunflower, although in addition to the title track, there were a number of standout cuts. On this set, you’ll hear Carl’s “Long Promised Road,” Bruce Johnston’s crowd-pleasing “Disney Girls” and the song which ends CD #3, “’Til I Die.”

With a beautiful vocal from Brian, and typically-intricate harmonies, “’Til I Die” is special – Brian’s 1971 “state of his world” address…a heartbreaking addition to his creative cannon. Listen to it and feel the pain of this artist adrift. Listen to it and rejoice that an artist can create such heartfelt beauty.

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