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Nostalgia sells summer and surfing

The Beach Boys help to advance the career of Glenn Campbell.
The Beach Boys help to advance the career of Glenn Campbell.
Original Cover: Capitol Records

Record album by The Beach Boys: Endless Summer (1974)

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Here’s why this album should be in your collection!

Compilation albums are typically produced to attract new fans with proven hits, or to continue profiting from those hits after the artist changes labels. Endless Summer (1974) by The Beach Boys was released to do both.

From 1961 to 1966, The Beach Boys enjoyed continual chart-topping success at Capitol Records. Brian Wilson, lead singer, songwriter, and brother, was scoring hits for both his band and another set of surfing music stars: Jan and Dean.

But fortunes eventually changed. Brian Wilson began suffering panic attacks, and stopped performing live. Dennis Wilson discovered his songwriting houseguest was Charles Manson. Carl Wilson was prosecuted for draft evasion. Worst of all, the band had to drop out of the Monterey Pop Festival.

The Beach Boys had left Capitol acrimoniously in 1969. But Capitol bet on nostalgia, and won; Endless Summer topped USA charts and went triple-platinum. Great hits like “Surfer Girl,” “I Get Around,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “California Girls,” and of course, “All Summer Long” are featured. But most of them sound like alternate takes or mono track versions, and “Barbara Ann” is noticeably missing.

This album is available in vinyl, CD (with “Good Vibrations” added), and MP3 format from major vendors. Please consider purchasing it from a local independent record store.

Here’s an interesting fact!

Brian Wilson was replaced on The Beach Boys touring roster by a talented session musician named Glenn Campbell. The move helped to launch his solo career.