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Rock Hall Anniversary: The Beach Boys’ Endless Summer

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Some compilation albums simply gives fans a chance to play catch up to previously released materials from an artist or group, especially when some of it was small in popularity. Others help recharges an artist’s or group’s commercial stance. And for a 1974 compilation album from the Beach Boys, that was the case.

In June of that year, the band’s previous label Capitol released the double compilation album Endless Summer, during the time they were signed to Reprise Records. It was a collection of hits that occurred prior to the band’s 1966 landmark Pet Sounds, including “I Get Around”, “Help Me, Rhonda”, and “Fun, Fun, Fun”.

Endless Summer followed the success of the soundtrack to the film American Graffiti, which included some of the Beach Boys’ earlier works, and according to a 1992 interview with member Mike Love, Capitol was planning to name the album Best of the Beach Boys Volume Three, but Love suggested the title Endless Summer, which would of have a better commercial appeal. Another change on the album was the cover. Capitol initially wanted to depict a poster of an flying airplane with a Beach Boys banner, but instead chose an artwork reflecting the group’s 1970s appearance.

Love was right on the title. Endless Summer sold over three million copies, and stayed on the charts for three years. It also became the Beach Boys’ second number one album, after knocking the self-titled debut from then-newcomers Bad Company’s from the top of the album charts. The album was later reissued on CD, to include the hit “Good Vibrations”, which appeared on the band’s 1967 album Smiley Smile.

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