A Conversation for The Beach Boys - the Band

Beach Boys Album Guide

Post 1

Researcher 193673

* * * * *-excellent, * * * *-good, * * *-average, * *-below average, *-poor
SURFIN' SAFARI (1962) * *1/2, has a handful of great rocking surf tunes, but also has less impressive pop tunes. Dated, but fun. A promising start.
SURFIN' U.S.A (1963) * * *1/2, all out explosive, impressive surf rock, with some fine ballads. Finely done. Virtually no filler.
SURFER GIRL (1963) * * *1/2, great surf tunes, more sophisticated ballads than before, but also about three half-baked filler tunes.
LITTLE DEUCE COUPE (1963) * *1/2, newer and older Beach Boys car songs. Some fine newer ones. The older ones are classics.
SHUT DOWN VOL. 2 (1964) * * *, a virtual repeat of Surfer Girl, but with even more filler (including a mock argument track).
ALL SUMMER LONG (1964) * * * *, excellent surf rock and amazing ballads. One filler track of outtakes.
TODAY! (1965) * * * * *, every song is wonderful. Great rock on A side, beautiful ballads on B-side. Big hint at Pet Sounds. One harmless filler interview track.
SUMMER DAYS (AND SUMMER NIGHTS!!) (1965) * * *, big step back. Lots of filler on A-side, but some brilliant tunes that really hint at Pet Sounds.
PET SOUNDS (1966) * * * * *, a masterpiece. The greatest album ever recorded. Every second is fantastic. Don't miss it!
SMILEY SMILE (1967) * * *, re-recorded fragments of abandoned Smile project. Innovative, decent fun, but very weird.
WILD HONEY (1967) * * *1/2, great white soul. Mostly great tunes, but some passable quirky ones.
FIRENDS (1969) * * *1/2, very peaceful, lots of fun. Sometimes a bit thin on the lyrics, but definitely worth getting.
20/20 (1968) * * * *, great teammwork. Very patchy in style, but who cares when every song is solid.
SUNFLOWER (1970) * * * *1/2, brilliant teammwork. A classic, must hear. Almost every song is great, some are masterpieces.
SURF'S UP (1971) * * * *, more solid teammwork. Some quirkiness. Has a couple of masterpieces.
CARL AND THE PASSIONS--SO TOUGH (1972) * *1/2, extremely competent, but very raunchy. The band sounds too tough.
HOLLAND (1973) * * *1/2, very clever music and lyrical themes. One or two bland tunes, but the rest is decent.
15 BIG ONES (1976) *1/2, hugely disappointing return for the band. Back to simpler, nostalgic style, but not much fun.
LOVE YOU (1977) * * * * *, masterpiece. Lots of fun on A-side, beautiful ballads on B-side. Fantastic! Don't miss!
M.I.U. ALBUM (1978) * *, back to nostalgia of 15 Big Ones, has sub-par lyrics, but is somewhat redeemed by gorgeous singing.
L.A. ALBUM (1979) * *1/2, a handful of simple, beautifully sung ballads, but damaged by disco tune and cover of "Shortenin' Bread."
KEEPIN' THE SUMMER ALIVE (1980) * *1/2, more energy, harder rocking, but some songs have sub-par lyrics. Has fun.
THE BEACH BOYS (1985) * * *1/2, decent return. Too much synthesizer, but several strong tunes and great singing.
STILL CRUSIN (1989) * *1/2, collection of Beach Boys tunes featured on movie soundtracks. Not really an album, but fun.

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Beach Boys Album Guide

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