MUSIC REVIEWS: The Beach Boys and Frank Sinatra

The Beach Boys
Summer Love Songs
(Capitol Records)

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Certain sounds seem to persist eternally in their associations and the Beach Boys have the market cornered on summer, surfing, and the beach but what about love? Their new compilation gathers together 20 songs under the theme of Summer Love and aside from Brian Wilson’s amazing production value, and the sheer palatability of the songs themselves, the context of love allows the listener to really hear how well the songs are written after so many years.

The songs, many which have been remixed in stereo for the first time for the album, range from romantic and personal such as the exquisite “God Only Knows” to more upbeat tracks like “California Girls” which might lean towards polyamorous but alas that’s the nature of love and its many definitions. The compilation includes a number of great new mixes of classic tunes like “Wouldn’t it Be Nice” and “Don’t Worry Baby” with lesser known tracks like “Your Summer Dream” and “Fallin’ In Love” which was previously unreleased in the U.S. There are also a few little bonuses which are fantastic for real fans like the full introduction to “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” which alludes to Phil Spector’s wall of sound and has not been heard before and a short 30 second vocal ghost track of “Don’t Worry Baby” at the end of the album.

The classic tracks have never sounded so good and the album helps show that the Beach Boys were really fantastic songwriters and musicians rather than a bubblegum band singing “surf, surf, surf, I really wanna surf.”

Tim Needles

Frank Sinatra
Classic Sinatra II
(Capitol Records)

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Capital Records have managed to live up to the expectations set with their first installment of Classic Sinatra. Sinatra fan or not, you’re sure to recognize some of the classics on this disc. Maybe the “Rubber Tree Plant” song you learned as a kid or “Love and Marriage” used to announce Al Bundy and his clan. This could be a great avenue to guide someone into being a true Frank fan. If you are a fan, there’s even more to love. Every song in this collection is truly a classic and sweetest of all, Capital has closed this installment of “Old Blue Eyes” with a previously unreleased track. Even though most of this collection is available elsewhere, Classic Sinatra II is worth it to own such a rare gem.

The collect is mixed well, with Frank’s voice out in front where it should be. Everything is crisp and clear, giving a hint of what it was like to watch the master crooner at work. It made me want to don my double breasted pin-stripe suit and go out for martini’s. Each selection flows smoothly from beginning to end, although it’s not difficult to achieve with Frank. A great collection for any cocktail party. This is a great addition to any Sinatra lover’s library, is a great companion to the first installment, and a good overview of Frank’s career up to 1970.

Jonathon L. Miller

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