The massive 6-CD set has oldies for the casual fan and more than 60 unreleased tracks, including many new live versions, with a total of more than 7½ hours of music. Produced by the Beach Boys and Mark Linett, Alan Boyd, and Dennis Wolfe, who won a Grammy for the SMiLE Session, “Made in California” runs the gamut from early demos to recent recordings.
Some of the unreleased highlights to tempt you include demos of “Surfin'” and “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring,” alternate versions of “Break Away” and “Meant For You,” an a cappella version of “This Whole World,” BBC recordings of “Wendy” and “When I Grow Up to Be a Man,” and a ton of stereo mixes.
The big question, of course, is does the massive and expensive box makes sense for fans to shell out the big bucks for the 174 track set with a lot of music that has been all over the radio for decades? The sheer number of unreleased tracks that accounts for some 30% of the set, of course, make it very attractive.
But the funny thing is it's hard to say no to Beach Boys music in any form. The set also comes with a huge book, but it's the music that makes this set.
"Made In California” proves the Beach Boys' music has that eternal quality. There is no other group whose music that means America more than the Beach Boys. It may be “Made in California,” but with this set the Beach Boys prove once again they're a national treasure.
But for those who can't get enough, Eagle Vision recently released "The Beach Boys: The Good Vibrations Tour" on DVD in the U.S. after a previous release in the UK. This is a transfer of a now vintage Beach Boys TV special with the group with Carl Wilson promoting the group's "15 Big Ones" album. It features appearances by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as cops, and a cameo by Paul McCartney. The transfer isn't the best, but given the number of years that have past, it's worth getting for historical reasons.