By Howie Edelson
Happy New Year!
2023 brought an abundance of rain back to The Beach Boys’ original home, the great state of California. Although beloved for its sunny skies and “warmed up weather” — WATER has always played an integral part of both the California dream and our spiritual connection to The Beach Boys. It was the group’s harmonies that first linked us to the waves and tales of sunnier climes.
From the word go, water figured heavily in The Beach Boys’ music; The ocean, the rivers, the sailboats (not to mention its sailors) — but the group has also covered the emotions surrounding and inspiring our own tears. Don’t forget, we’re all made up of about 60% water. Whether its facing down that massive wave — or simply crying your eyes out over that tumultuous breakup, The Beach Boys are still there to celebrate with us — or just provide that perfect shoulder to lean on.
Over the course of their incredible 60-year-career The Beach Boys have created some of rock’s greatest tunes about water.
What are you waiting for??? It’s time to dive in!!!
WATER – tracklist
1. “Catch A Wave”
Although always a fan favorite, “Catch A Wave” didn’t become a live staple for the band until after its 1974 inclusion on the chart-topping Endless Summer compilation.
2. “Cool Cool Water”
Originally started around the time of 1967’s Wild Honey sessions, “Cool Cool Water” – the 1970 Sunflower closer — remains Brian Wilson & Mike Love’s first masterpiece of The Beach Boys’ second decade.
3. “Lonely Sea”
The Beach Boys are featured singing this early gem in the 1965 teen flick, The Girls On The Beach.
4. “Caroline No”
Did You Know??? This legendary Pet Sounds closing track was sped up a semitone to make Brian Wilson’s voice sound younger.
5. “Full Sail”
A killer Carl Wilson song – one of four he co-wrote for The Beach Boys’ 1979’s L.A. (Light Album).
6. “Sail On Sailor”
Featuring the great Blondie Chaplin singing lead, it was composer Brian Wilson’s idea to make the guitar part sound like an “S.O.S.” morse code.
The song that started it all! Inspired by Dennis Wilson and introducing the legendary songwriting team of Brian Wilson & Mike Love – “Surfin” is the first official Beach Boys song.
8. “Kiss Me Baby”
A foreshadowing of the emotional and musical depths explored on Pet Sounds a couple of years later, “Kiss Me Baby” received a new lease on life when spotlighted in Alan Boyd’s excellent 1998 Beach Boys documentary, Endless Harmony.
9. “Don’t Back Down”
1964’s “Don’t Back Down” holds the distinction of being the last surf song The Beach Boys recorded in the 1960’s.
A rare collaboration between Brian Wilson and some of L.A.’s top sessions players, this 1968 Friends instrumental serves as a perfect audio travelogue for the sights and sounds of Hawaii.
A standout Wilson/Love collaboration – this Smiley Smile highlight was premiered live nearly a month before its release and was initially issued as a single billed only to “Brian Wilson and Mike Love.”
12. “Don’t Go Near The Water”
The opening track to 1971’s watershed Surf’s Up album. A collaboration between Mike Love and Alan Jardine, the track underscored the band’s growing ecological concerns.
13. “I’m Waiting For The Day”
Tears mixed with a tinge of hope. Some amazing group backing vocals propel this Pet Sounds deep cut that deals with the pain of the past being healed by the promise of new love.
14. “Surfin’ Safari”
Welcome to the 1960’s, with Dennis Wilson’s cannon-fire snare shot, the single pushed The Beach Boys into the Billboard Top 20 and will forever be connected to the adventure and excitement of unbridled youth.
15. “Pacific Ocean Blues” (Dennis Wilson/Mike Love) – Dennis Wilson’s PACIFIC OCEAN BLUE LP
Featuring lyrics by cousin Mike Love, Dennis Wilson’s 1977 solo track “Pacific Ocean Blues” takes a brutally honest – yet undeniably funky — look at the state of our oceans and the wildlife that calls it home.