The Beach Boys will kick off their 60th anniversary celebrations on June 17th with the deluxe and expanded release of its 2003 Sounds Of Summer: The Very Best Of The Beach Boys collection. The set — which originally peaked at Number 16 on the Billboard 200 and has sold nearly 4.4 million copies to date — has now been expanded to include two additional discs boasting 50 additional tracks — many of which have been completely remixed and/or featured in stereo mixes for the first time.
Additionally, all 30 songs on Disc One of Sounds Of Summer have been mixed in immersive Dolby Atmos.
According to the press release:
The expanded edition of Sounds Of Summer will be available in a variety of formats, including digitally, a triple-CD softpack, and as a “Super Deluxe Edition” six-LP vinyl boxed set on 180-gram black vinyl in two options: a standard set or a numbered, limited edition version featuring a rainbow foil slipcase and four collectible lithographs.
Both versions will feature color printed sleeves that replicate the original “Capitol Catalog” sleeves that highlight the entire Beach Boys discography, and all formats will include a booklet with new liner notes and updated photos.
The original 30-track version will also be available in its newly remastered and upgraded form on single CD or double gatefold LP on standard weight vinyl or as a higher-end limited edition numbered version pressed on 180-gram vinyl with a tip-on jacket and a lithograph.
Among the legendary tunes included on Sounds Of Summer are: “Surfin' U.S.A,” “In My Room,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Surfer Girl,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “Don't Worry Baby,” “Shut Down,” “Forever,” “I Can Hear Music,” “Disney Girls” “I Get Around,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “God Only Knows,” “When I Grow Up (To Be A Man),” “Cotton Fields,” “California Girls,” “Darlin,'” “Sloop John B.,” “Surf's Up,” “Long Promised Road,” “All This Is That,” “Barbara Ann,” “It's O.K.,” “Wouldn't It Be Nice,” “Come Go With Me,” “Kokomo,” “Feel Flows,” “The Warmth Of The Sun,” “Good Vibrations,” “Sail On Sailor,” and many more.
The band also announced that later this year, a multi-disc retrospective will be released chronicling the sessions and live shows surrounding 1972’s Carl And The Passions – 'So Tough' and its 1973 followup Holland.
Brian Wilson told us that between his two major works with the Beach Boys — Pet Sounds and Smile — he prefers Smile hands down: “Oh much more. (Laughs) I'm embarrassed to say that y'know, 'cause everybody loves Pet Sounds but, God, Smile was way much happier, more groovier memories than Pet Sounds.”
Among the highlights on Sounds Of Summer is “The Warmth Of The Sun” — arguably the greatest marriage between Mike Love's lyrics to his cousin Brian Wilson's music. Love explained to us how the song combined the despair of a broken heart with the first national tragedy of the 1960's: “'The Warmth Of The Sun,' which is one of the more beautiful songs I think we've ever done. . . Well, I wrote the lyrics to that, Brian did the music. And we wrote it one night in 1963 (after) we were awakened with the news that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. And so obviously, that song has a melancholy sadness. And we didn't change the lyrics at that point, I had written them down. But it was about losing someone you love, but at least you had had the feeling of having been in love.”
During his 1981 appearance on NBC's Tomorrow Coast To Coast with Tom Snyder, the late-Carl Wilson spoke about how the Beach Boys were able to flourish in the wake of the British Invasion when so many American bands fell by the cultural wayside: “Just before the Beatles happened here, in this country, we were the biggest group at that time. And I think that we were well-enough established and, y'know, well-loved enough to withstand that. And our records were really very good — we know how to do what we do.”
Al Jardine told us that ultimately, both then and now, the Beach Boys' biggest hits serve a larger purpose than just entertaining fans: “Each song, or each track selection, is a special little messenger. And they convey a certain optimism, I think. And collectively, they're extremely powerful and it reminds of a better time — a more positive time of growing up and experiencing things as a culture.”
The late-Dennis Wilson's songwriting became a staple and high point on the band's albums towards the end of the 1960's. During his 1976 chat with legendary New York DJ Pete Fornatale, he couldn't help but gush when he recalled his brother Brian bringing in new music for the group to record: “Are you kidding? We would be in a studio and he would play us a song, we'd listen and we'd start crying it was so great. I mean, it was, like, 'How could this possibly be happening? How'd you write that?'. . . The group prefers. . . would prefer to have Brian do it all — to write — 'cause we love his music. Only because we love his music. Not because there's a lack of talent or weakness, it's just that we really love his music.”
While utilizing the most up-to-date and groundbreaking studio technology, Sounds Of Summer co-producer and audio engineer Mark Linett was able to create what is without question the most complete and definitive stereo mix of the Beach Boys' signature track, “Good Vibrations”: “It's taken me the better part of six years, off and on, to create this mix of 'Good Vibrations.' Beginning in 2015, 2016, I assembled all the original multi-tracks for the backing track into a stereo mix, which we have released a couple of times over the years — but we don't have the discreet vocals from the final master. And as the digital extraction technology has gotten better, it has finally been possible to adequately separate the background and create this new — we'll call it, 'best of' stereo 'Good Vibrations.'”
Co-producer and Beach Boys archivist Alan Boyd shed light on the music Sounds Of Summer covers: “What we're trying to do with this new compilation is just really highlight the variety and the diversity of the group's catalogue. We've got a song, like, 'Do You Like Worms,' which I'm sure a lot of people are going to be scratching their head wondering, 'Why is that on here?' But we spoke to Dennis Wolfe at Universal and he let us know that of all the songs on The Smile Sessions, that was the one that was getting the most hits, y'know, on the streaming platforms, which I found really interesting. But obviously, there's something experimental about that song that seems to be hitting a younger demographic.”
Beach Boys creative consultant Howie Edelson explained that by expanding the multi-platinum 2003 greatest hits compilation, the band's team was aiming to spotlight their entire musical journey: “When we were putting together the tracklist, we were cognizant of telling the band's story beyond the 30 hits featured on the original release. This is a group that spans modern history. The Beach Boys are literally eight different bands in one — eras flip quickly. I think the most important thing to take away from Sounds Of Summer is that the Beach Boys were not just a band of the 1960's; but of the '70s, and the '80s — and beyond. When you span that many years with quality music, everybody holds a piece of it. What's timely becomes timeless.”