The Beach Boys - That's Why God Made the Radio (2012)

Just about the last thing we ever expected to see was a new Beach Boys record that is really quite good. With all due respect to the 'Boys, after the Holland album they pretty much gave up trying to record new music, and they turned into an oldies band, which is where they've been for almost forty years (give or take a Kokomo along the way).

"That's Why God Made the Radio" was released in advance of the album of the same name which comes out tomorrow. This is not only a great sounding Beach Boys song, it's also crossed over from pop and hits radio to AAA stations like WXPN and the Loft channel on Sirius XM satellite radio, stations that rarely ever play the Beach Boys. Based on Brian Wilson's recent recording and performance activities, it's hard to tell how much of this is really the Beach Boys and how much is young musicians and singers who sound just like the Beach Boys at their best. Whatever the mix, we'll take it, it sounds great. Have a listen.

Photo courtesy of The Beach Boys

Tomorrow will be a very interesting New Release Tuesday, with all ears listening to find out if the rest of the album is as good as the single. We have a similar situation with Joe Walsh, who also releases his twenty year comeback album, Analog Man. The parallel is that Joe's album also comes on the heels of a great advance single, "Lucky That Way". If The Beach Boys' and Walsh's albums pan out, can Chicago be next?

That's Why God Made the Radio

The albums Surf's Up (1971) and Holland (1973) are widely considered the last golden age of The Beach Boys in terms of making new compelling and creative music. Both albums are masterpieces of the early seventies. Let's listen to one track from each, as we prepare for the potential next great Beach Boys record.

Listen to "Feel Flows" from Surf's Up

Surf's Up

Holland had lots of great songs but the "California Saga", including "Big Sur", "The Beaks of Eagles", and "California" is the album's centerpiece and being that it encompasses the history of California, ecology, and concludes with a classic Beach Boys pean to the ocean ("water, water, get yourself in the cool clear water"), this long track the last great Beach Boys composition. Listen and enjoy.


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Charlie Ricci said…
I want to hear this badly. When I saw Brian Wilson live in 2005 at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts he stood behind his keyboard the entire evening but he didn't play a note. His voice his shot and Carl is long gone so I'm sure there is lots of studio assistance, especially on the high end harmonies. Let's just hope they wrote some mature songs.

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