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

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The Beach Boys are an American rock and roll band that was formed in 1961 by Brian Wilson and his two brothers Carl and Dennis. It also included his cousin Mike Love and a close friend Al Jardine. During this time they gained popularity for their close vocal harmonies and lyrics that reflected the Southern California youth culture; especially relating to surfing, girls, and cars.

The Beach Boys: U.S. Singles Collection: The Capitol Years (1962-1965) is a collection of all of the U.S. Singles that the Beach Boys released between 1962-1965 on the Capital record label. It contains 15 CD "singles" that reflect the content of the corresponding released 45s along with bonus recordings as well as one bonus CD single.

The Beach Boys: U.S. Singles Collection box set contains 16 CDs replicated with a reproduction sleeve. Scattered across the 16 CDs are 32 bonus tracks consisting of alternate mixes of many of the songs.

This set does not include their first single "Surfin" which was released on an independent label but rather begins with "Surfin Safari" which was backed with "409." For those who grew up in the 60s or listened to the classic rock stations in the 70s or 80s, these are some of the stalwart classics of the American music scene before the advent of the electronic revolution that saw the rise of the Fuzz box and the Wah Wah Pedal.

While I have supplied the full list of tracks include on each disk below, it is clear that these songs were the songs that defined American music culture at the time. Loosely competing with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys gave the U.S. something to call their own against the British invasion. While the Boys were not giving as much respect until the release of later albums such as Pet Sounds, these early tracks show a defining talent that has matured over time.

The quality of the music contained on The Beach Boys: U.S. Singles Collection is very good. The set also comes packaged in a board-wrapped, telescoping box featuring a retro chrome appliance sticker, and a variety of textures including gloss & rubber coatings, inlaid wood veneer and a foil stamp. 48 -page case-bound photo book with 8 vellum pages is wrapped in mock sand.

What did I think of The Beach Boys: U.S. Singles Collection? I though that it was a good collection and an interesting idea, but I am not sure how it will play in Peoria. I know that creating the collection as a series of 16 CDs is suppose to take you back to the days when people played singles and had to man-handle the turn table regularly to keep the music flowing, but in this day of MP3s and iPods, people want things continuous and without the interruption.

The other thing is the price, I don't know if a lot of people will want to shell out over $100 USD for a collection of what turns out to be 32 unique songs (around 66 total tracks) and all but one less than three minutes long. Sure for the dedicated Beach Boys collector, this will sell, but for the average person, it may be a bit steep. That said, the quality of the content is great and the packaging is there. So if this is the kind of collection that interests you, I would say it is worth it. If you are a consummate Beach Boys collector, you can now reclaim the singles with The Beach Boys: U.S. Singles Collection: The Capitol Years (1962-1965).

Disc/Song listing for The Beach Boys: U.S. Singles Collection: The Capitol Years (1962-1965)

Disc 1
1. Surfin' Safari 2:08
2. 409 2:01
3. 409 (Live in Chicago) 2:29

Disc 2
1. Ten Little Indians 1:29
2. County Fair (1990 Digital Remaster) 2:15
3. Punchline 1:53

Disc 3
1. Surfin' U.S.A. 2:29
2. Shut Down 1:50
3. Surfin' U.S.A. (1990 Digital Remaster) 2:28
4. Shut Down (1990 Digital Remaster) 1:49

Disc 4
1. Surfer Girl 2:24
2. Little Deuce Coupe 1:49
3. Surfer Girl (1990 Digital Remaster) 2:28
4. Little Deuce Coupe (1990 Digital Remaster) 1:38

Disc 5
1. Be True To Your School (Single Version) 2:09
2. In My Room 2:12
3. Be True To Your School 2:08
4. In My Room (1990 Digital Remaster) 2:12

Disc 6
1. Little Saint Nick (Single Version) (1991 Digital Remaster) 2:01
2. The Lord's Prayer 2:32
3. Little Saint Nick 2:01
4. The Lord's Prayer (Stereo Remix) (2001 Digital Remaster) 2:32

Disc 7
1. Fun, Fun, Fun (Single Version) 2:18
2. Why Do Fools Fall In Love 2:07
3. Fun, Fun, Fun (1990 Digital Remaster) 2:04
4. Why Do Fools Fall In Love 2:12

Disc 8
1. I Get Around 2:14
2. Don't Worry Baby 2:49

3. I Get Around (Instrumental) 2:18
4. Don't Worry Baby (2001 Digital Remaster) 2:50

Disc 9
1. When I Grow Up (To Be A Man) 2:02
2. She Knows Me Too Well 2:28
3. When I Grow Up (To Be A Man) 2:04
4. She Knows Me Too Well 2:30

Disc 10
1. Wendy 2:21
2. Don't Back Down 1:51
3. Little Honda 1:51
4. Hushabye 2:41
5. Wendy (2007 Digital Remaster) 2:19
6. Don't Back Down (1990 Digital Remaster) 1:44
7. Little Honda (1990 Digital Remaster) 1:53
8. Hushabye 2:42

Disc 11
1. Dance, Dance, Dance 2:00
2. The Warmth Of The Sun 2:50
3. Dance, Dance, Dance (2001 Digital Remaster) 2:02
4. The Warmth Of The Sun (1990 Digital Remaster) 2:53

Disc 12
1. The Man With All The Toys 1:30
2. Blue Christmas 3:11
3. The Man With All The Toys 1:32
4. Blue Christmas 3:10

Disc 13
1. Do You Wanna Dance? 2:19
2. Please Let Me Wonder 2:46
3. Do You Wanna Dance? (Instrumental) 2:50
4. Please Let Me Wonder (2007 Digital Remaster) 2:47

Disc 14
1. Help Me, Rhonda 2:46
2. Kiss Me, Baby 2:36
3. Help Me, Rhonda (Instrumental) (2001 Digital Remaster) 2:53
4. Kiss Me, Baby 2:43

Disc 15
1. California Girls (U.S. Remaster) (2001 Digital Remaster) 2:37
2. Let Him Run Wild 2:20
3. California Girls 2:44
4. Let Him Run Wild (2007 Digital Remaster) 2:20

Disc 16
1. All Dressed Up For School 2:17
2. I'm So Young 2:23
3. Help Me, Rhonda (Alternate Single Version) 2:52
4. Graduation Day (Studio Version) 3:14

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • EdSullivan

    That’s ridiculous. They could have put them all on 2 CDs, or 1 if you don’t need the alternate versions. Worth about 30 bucks, tops.

  • Marc

    Good effort – love the Beach Boys – but do wonder as to the validity of this release.