Friday, July 7, 2017

CD Review: Celebrate 50th Anniversary Of The Beach Boys' "Wild Honey" With "Sunshine Tomorrow"

This year has marked the 50th anniversary of some iconic albums like The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," The Doors' self-titled debut album and The Jimi Hendrix Experience "Are You Experienced?" Another band that was riding a high in the studio was The Beach Boys. After the success of their 1966 album "Pet Sounds," The Beach Boys, especially Brian Wilson, were ready to raise the bar with a project called "Smile." While recordings of the album went on for almost a year, the other members of The Beach Boys, as well as their record company, wanted to release a new album as soon as possible. So, The Beach Boys used what they could salvage from the "Smile" sessions for their new album "Smiley Smile" and the follow-up "Wild Honey."

While "Smiley Smile" retained that classic early Beach Boys' sound, "Wild Honey" was a more mature rock album that absorbed the sound of the psychedelic sixties. To celebrate the 5oth anniversary of the "Wild Honey" album, Capitol/UMe recently released a 2CD set titled "1967 - Sunshine Tomorrow," which features 54 previously unreleased studio sessions and live tracks. The original album was remastered with a brand new stereo mix that will also be released separately on 180-gram vinyl.

The first disc features the new "Wild Honey" stereo mix with 15 bonus session highlights and alternative versions, plus 5 live versions of songs featured on the album. Highlights of the first disc include early versions of "Cool Cool Water" and "Can't Wait Too Long" as you can hear the song's taking shape in the studio. Live versions of "Country Air" and "How She Boogalooed It" are also great additions to this first disc.

The second disc kicks off with studio sessions for the "Smiley Smile" album. Backing tracks and alternate versions of well-known songs like "Heroes And Villains" and "Vegetables" take up the first half of the disc, but the second half is a treasure-trove of live music. It includes the previously unreleased "live" album "Lei-d In Hawaii" recorded September 11th. It features classic Beach Boys hits like "Help Me Rhonda" and "California Girl" as well as a version of The Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends," which was released less that 4 months prior to this recording by The Beach Boys. The second disc wraps up with 5 songs recorded live in Hawaii in August 1967 as well as more live songs from their "Thanksgiving Tour" in Washington D.C. and Boston. Closing out the set is an early version of their song "Surf's Up" and an A Capella version of their early hit single "Surfer Girl." To find out more about this new release from The Beach Boys, please visit thebeachboys.com.

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