The Beach Boys/All Summer Long (1964)
- I Get Around – The Beach Boys’ first of four number one hits! (The fourth was “Kokomo.”) This jam topped the charts at the height of Beatlemania. Ever really analyze this song and note how complicated it is? I’ve never bothered to learn it because I know it’s a song that would take some serious time. It also features fuzz bass, Leslie speaker, and all sorts of wild sounds.
- All Summer Long – I have never cared much for this song, but it’s full of harmonies and neat arrangements.
- Hushabye – Beautiful and catchy with a great arrangement.
- Little Honda – “Honda, Honda! Faster, faster!” I love this song. Very short. With fuzz bass, pizzicato strings, and a furious tempo, this would fit in perfectly on the Ramones’ End of the Century.
- We’ll Run Away – Now this is startling to sound like the same Beach Boys who will later deliver “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”
- Carl’s Big Chance – The Sesame Street theme song with Carl Wilson guitar trickery.
- Wendy – A wild, haunting intro leads into one of those close-to-the-heart Brian Wilson numbers with an indescribable “special something.” “I can’t picture you with him / his future looks awful dim.”
- Do You Remember – This nostalgia number is entertaining enough to make up for how embarrassing it is.
- Girls on the Beach – A sort of “Surfer Girl” rewrite with a wilder, jazzier chorus.
- Drive-In – A non-classic that is so “period” that it is sort of a classic.
- Our Favorite Recording Sessions – I wouldn’t write this off as silliness. After all, I did once record my own compilation of fake studio outtakes – titled “Our Favorite Recording Sessions.”
- Don’t Back Down – I like how the album could end with the previous non-song but instead ends with this driving, oddly-structured little number, leaving the listener with an overall favorable impression of the album he or she just listened to.
Clearly competing with the Beatles at this point, after a couple missteps the Boys return to the quality level of Surfer Girl and explore bold new sounds. A classic. A+