Saturday, January 03, 2009

Album Of The Day #123: THE BEACH BOYS

Title: The Beach Boys
Artist: The Beach Boys
Label: Brother/CBS (now distributed by Capitol)
Year: 1985
Songs: Getcha Back [Mike Love & Terry Melcher]/It's Getting Late [Carl Wilson, Myrna Smith Schilling & Robert White Johnson]/Crack At Your Love [Al Jardine & Brian Wilson]/Maybe I Don't Know [Carl Wilson, Myrna Smith Schilling, Steve Levine & Julian Stewart Lindsay]/She Believes In Love Again [Bruce Johnston]/California Calling [Al Jardine & Brian Wilson]/Passing Friend [George O'Dowd & Roy Hay]/I'm So Lonely [Brian Wilson & Eugene E. Landy]/Where I Belong [Carl Wilson & Robert White Johnson]/I Do Love You [Stevie Wonder]/It's Just A Matter Of Time [Brian Wilson & Eugene E. Landy]
Produced by: Steve Levine
Thoughts: Even though I may personally enjoy some of these songs, the truth is, the album as a whole is terrible. The eighties production just doesn't fit with the Boys' sound. Only Carl's songs have any success at working, but that's because Carl's voice is so amazing, that not even hot-producer-of-the-day Steve Levine could screw it up. "Where I Belong" is so beautiful and probably one of the strongest tracks by the Boys in the eighties.
Mike's "Getcha Back" might be the only non-Carl track of any worth here. The restof the stuff is just filled with embarrassing lyrics, terrible melodies and even awful vocals. Listen to how off-kilter Bruce Johnston sounds on his "She Believes In Love Again". Al sounds terrible too, especially on the Stevie Wonder-penned "I Do Love You" and his own "California Calling". Brian makes a surprisingly large amount of contributions, but none are on the level of even the songs on The Beach Boys Love You. "I'm So Lonely" is just horrid, although the album closing "It's Just A Matter Of Time" is pretty nice.
The best song to come out of these sessions wasn't even released on the original LP, but was held to the initial CD release. (It is also included on the Keepin' The Summer Alive/The Beach Boys two-fer CD in 2000.) It's called "Male Ego", a Brian & Mike composition that was used as the B-Side to the "Gethca Back" 45. It's such an awesome little song that is so Brian in every way possible.
I'd say that the album is definitely for completists only, unless you really like eighties albums. It is also exclusively available on CD paired with the terrible 1980 release, Keepin' The Summer Alive.

No comments: