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Music Review: Beach Boys – U.S. Singles Collection – The Capitol Years (1962-1965)

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Everything you ever wanted to hear from the early days of the Beach Boys — doubled or even tripled. A new sixteen-disc set is obviously aimed at aficionados of the guys and their music, and is being offered by Capitol/EMI as both a boxed set and as digital downloads.

The set, titled The Beach Boys: U.S. Singles Collection – The Capitol Years (1962-1965), has been out for a few weeks now and earlier reviewers seem split on its value. It is certainly comprehensive in its approach to the period it covers, not only with all the songs you'd expect but with an added attraction for dedicated fans — different versions of the same songs. Among the variations are mono and/or stereo versions, and studio and/or live performances.

It's a little difficult to get a handle on reviewing something like this. There's not much of a mystery about the music of the early Beach Boys, and the tunes you'd expect are all here but I'm not going to attempt to name them because you know what they are. (For more detailed info, visit the special Beach Boys website set up for this item.)

But you probably wouldn't even be reading this if you weren't at least a casual fan. And if you are a follower of the guys and their music, then you have to determine your level of devotion. Casual fans will obviously not be good candidates for the whole shebang, but since the tracks are also offered as individual digital downloads then the opportunity is there to fill the holes in your collection.

For devoted fans, and especially those who might enjoy some of the more esoteric pleasures to be gained from listening to various versions of songs, this might be right up your alley. And the boxed set does have some nice packaging, with the individual CDs enclosed in reproductions of the original artwork and a hardbound photo book included, all in a nifty beach-themed box, so there is that.

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