Fifty years after their sun-soaked songs to surfing first took a nation’s juke boxes by storm, the Beach Boys are back with a new album, That’s Why God Made the Radio, reports AFP.
The album, which comes out on Monday, marks the first time in 20 years that Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks and Bruce Johnston have played together, after being torn apart by bitter legal disputes, personal and artistic feuds, and lead songwriter Wilson’s mental illness.
The Beach Boys, who are now in their 60s and 70s, one of the world’s most legendary and influential bands have also planned a global 50th Anniversary Tour. Wilson, Love, Jardine, Marks and Johnston are currently touring together in the US, reports southyorkshitetimes.co.uk.
Formed in 1961, the Beach Boys’ founding members were Wilson and his brothers Carl and Dennis —now deceased — together with their cousin Love and high-school friend Jardine. Marks, a neighbour, joined in 1962, and Johnston in 1965. Across the Atlantic Ocean, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were also taking their first steps. It was the birth of a new musical era.
The band produced a string of hits — “Surfin’ USA”, “Good Vibrations”, “California Girls”, to name a few — and released their first album, Surfin’ Safari, in July 1962. It spent 37 weeks on the US charts and introduced the world to a nascent surfing culture as seen through the harmonies of the Hawthorne, California band. But infighting began to tear at the group in the mid-1960s. “It’s actually a miracle, to tell you truth, that the five of us are together and liking each other’s company,” Marks told Newsweek magazine in a recent interview. “Being back in the studio, it brought back a lot of memories,” Wilson told British website musicradar.com.
Wilson, the creative force behind the band’s most famous work, wrote most of the songs on That’s Why God Made the Radio according to msnbc.com. He said he structured the album as a tour through the group’s musical history. The disc’s opening songs evoke the simplicity of the band’s early hits, while later tracks follow the more introspective turn of the group’s artistic breakthrough albums Pet Sounds and Smile, the latter originally recorded in 1967 but released in 2004.
The songs turn back the clock to the summer of 1962 with titles like “Spring Vacation” and “Beaches in Mind”. But the ageing band serves up its nostalgia with a bittersweet twist. “Summer’s gone, the night grows cold, it’s time to go,” they sing in the album’s final track, “Summer’s Gone”.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and recipients of The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award, The Beach Boys managed to achieve global fame around the world.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2012.
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