One of the most influential groups of the 60s music era, The Beach Boys were formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. They began their career as the most popular surf band in the nation, until they finally emerged by 1966 as America’s preeminent pop group, the only act able to challenge (for a brief time, anyway) the overarching success of the Beatles with both mainstream listeners and the critical community. From their 1961 debut with the regional hit ”Surfin’,” the three Wilson brothers – Brian, Dennis, and Carl – plus cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine constructed the most intricate, gorgeous harmonies ever heard from a pop band.
In The Many Faces of The Beach Boys, we will explore their origins along with a review of their incredible catalog (performed by some of the band’s original members), plus the music scene that emerged influenced by them in the mid-60s.
LP1 features the first two 7″ singles the band released between 1961 and 1962: ”Surfin” / ”Luau” and ”Surfin’ Safari” / ”409”, the latter appearing here as performed by The Surfin’ Six, one of the band’s names they used during these early recordings at World Pacific Studio in California. Other BB tracks included are ”Surfer Girl” (a #7 hit later in 1963), ”Judy” and ”Wipe Out”.
Producers Hite and Dorinda Morgan helped the young Wilson brothers to record their first few tracks at their home studio in late 1961 and early 1962. As a way to pay back the Morgans for their help, they agreed to add vocals to a couple of existing tracks they had unfinished: ”Barbie” and ”What Is a Young Girl Made Of”. These recordings were released in April of 1962 as Kenny & The Cadets on Randy Records and they are also included here.
Bruce Johnston joined The Beach Boys for live performances in 1965, filling in for Brian Wilson, who had quit touring in order to spend more time in the studio. Then, he became a contributing member of the band written many of the band’s songs including ”Tears In The Morning” (in 1970) and ”Disney Girls 1957” (in 1971). Johnston made his recording debut back in 1959 with the double-A single ”Take This Pearl” / ”I Saw Her First” under the name Bruce & Jerry which we include here in The Many Faces.
The influence of The Beach Boys -even in today’s pop music scene- is well documented. Due to this, we decided to close LP1 with the version that Eternal Trip recorded of the ’80s Beach Boys hit ”Kokomo” (their last #1 hit in the US) whose original version appeared in the soundtrack of the Tom Cruise movie ”Cocktail” in 1988.
The Surf City Allstars is the only tribute band where each and every member toured either with The Beach Boys or the duo Jean & Dean. We found appropriate dedicate a part of our album to the repertoire of The Beach Boys and what a better way to do it than with the versions The Surf City All Stars recorded for their album ”Acoustic Vibrations”. Those recordings feature both Al Jardine and David Marks (that was part of the group between 1962 and 1963 and performed on the band’s first four albums). The list of hits presented here includes ”Don’t Worry Baby”, ”God Only Knows”, ”Help Me Rhonda” and ”California Girls” among others.
To complete our album, we feature six artists that were part of what was known in the late 60s as the ”Sunshine Pop” scene. It showed how much the Beach Boys music (and success) influenced artists on the other side of the Atlantic, specifically in the UK with artists such as Chad & Jeremy, Mirage, Mortimer, Paper Bubble, Grapefruit (signed by Terry Doran to the Beatles’ Apple Publishing department and featuring AC/DC’s Malcom and Angus Young older brother, Alexander) and The Alan Brown.