The Beach Boys – Feel Flows: The Sunflower & Surf’s Up Sessions 1969-1971 – Album
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Release Date: Aug 27, 2021
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The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys are an American rock band that formed in Hawthorne, California, in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Distinguished by their vocal harmonies, adolescent-oriented themes, and musical ingenuity, they became one of the most influential acts of the rock era. They drew on the music of older pop vocal groups, 1950s rock and roll, and black R&B to create their unique sound, and under Brian's direction, often incorporated classical or jazz elements and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways. One of the first self-contained rock groups, the Beach Boys began as a garage band, managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, and with Brian as composer, arranger, producer, and de facto leader. In 1963, they had their first national hit with "Surfin' U.S.A.", beginning a string of top-ten singles that reflected a southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance, dubbed the "California sound". They were one of the few American rock bands to sustain their commercial standing during the British Invasion. Starting with 1965's The Beach Boys Today!, they abandoned beachgoing themes for more personal lyrics and ambitious orchestrations. In 1966, the Pet Sounds album and "Good Vibrations" single raised the group's prestige as rock innovators. After scrapping the Smile album in 1967, Brian gradually ceded control of the group to his bandmates.

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20/20 (The Beach Boys album)

20/20 is the 15th studio album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released February 10, 1969 on Capitol Records. The LP was named for being their 20th overall album release. Much of it consists of outtakes from earlier albums. It reached number 3 on UK record charts and number 68 in the US. Brian Wilson was absent during most of the album's recording after admitting himself into a psychiatric hospital, requiring brothers Carl and Dennis to retrieve several outtakes he had recorded years earlier. While Brian does not appear on the front cover, the inner gatefold of the original vinyl release features him alone, behind an eye examination chart. The singles "Do It Again" and "Bluebirds over the Mountain" preceded the album's release by several months. The former was the band's first attempt at revisiting the surf sound they had abandoned since All Summer Long, topping UK and Australian charts, and the latter contained the B-side "Never Learn Not to Love", based on a song by Charles Manson. The other singles were "I Can Hear Music" and a rerecorded version of "Cotton Fields". In 2018, session highlights, outtakes, and alternate takes were released for the compilation I Can Hear Music: The 20/20 Sessions.

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Friends (The Beach Boys album)

Friends is the 14th studio album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released on June 24, 1968, through Capitol Records. The album is characterized by its calm and peaceful atmosphere, which contrasted the prevailing music trends of the time, and for its brevity, with five of its 12 tracks running less than two minutes long. It sold poorly, peaking at number 126 on the US Billboard charts, the group's lowest US chart performance to date, although it reached number 13 in the UK. Fans generally came to regard the album as one of the band's finest.As with their two previous albums, Friends was recorded primarily at Brian Wilson's home with a lo-fi production style. The album's sessions lasted from February to April 1968 at a time when the band's finances were rapidly diminishing. Despite crediting production to "the Beach Boys", Wilson actively led the entire project, later referring to it as his second unofficial solo album (the first being 1966's Pet Sounds). Some of the songs were inspired by the group's recent involvement with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his Transcendental Meditation practice. It was the first album to feature songs from Dennis Wilson. One single was issued from the album: "Friends", a waltz that reached number 47 in the US and number 25 in the UK. Its B-side was the Dennis co-write "Little Bird". In May, the group scheduled a national tour with the Maharishi, but it was canceled after five shows due to low ticket sales and the Maharishi's subsequent withdrawal. A standalone single, "Do It Again", was released in July.

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Smile (The Beach Boys album)

Smile (stylized as SMiLE) is an unfinished album by the American rock band the Beach Boys that was planned to follow their 11th studio album Pet Sounds (1966). It was to be a 12-track LP that drew from over 50 hours of interchangeable sound fragments, similar to the group's 1966 single "Good Vibrations". Instead, after a year of recording, the album was shelved and the group released a downscaled version, Smiley Smile, in September 1967. Over the next four decades, few of the original Smile tracks were officially released, and the project came to be regarded as the most "legendary" unreleased album in popular music history.The album was produced and almost entirely composed by Brian Wilson with guest lyricist and assistant arranger Van Dyke Parks, both of whom conceived the project as a riposte to the British sensibilities that had dominated popular music of the era. Wilson touted Smile as a "teenage symphony to God" to surpass Pet Sounds. It was a concept album that was planned to feature word paintings, tape manipulation, elaborate vocal arrangements, experiments with musical acoustics, and comedic interludes, with influences drawn from mysticism, pre-rock and roll pop, doo-wop, jazz, ragtime, musique concrète, classical, American history, poetry, and cartoons. The lead single would have been "Heroes and Villains", a Western musical comedy, or "Vega-Tables", a satire of physical fitness. Numerous issues, including legal entanglements with Capitol Records, Wilson's undiagnosed schizoaffective disorder and Parks' withdrawal from the project, prevented the album's completion and release. Most of the backing tracks were produced between August and December 1966, but few vocals were ever recorded, and the album's structure was never finalized. Afraid of the public's reaction to his work, Wilson blocked attempts to complete Smile in the subsequent decades.

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Sunflower (The Beach Boys album)

Sunflower is the 16th studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released on August 31, 1970, and their first on Reprise Records. It received favorable reviews, but sold poorly, reaching number 151 on the US record charts during a four-week stay and becoming the lowest-charting Beach Boys album to that point. "Add Some Music to Your Day" was the only single that charted in the US, peaking at number 64. In the UK, the album peaked at number 29. Working titles for the album included Reverberation, Add Some Music, and The Fading Rock Group Revival. The recording sessions began in January 1969, and, after a year-long search for a new record contract, completed in July 1970. In contrast to 20/20, the record featured a strong group presence with significant writing contributions from all band members. About four dozen songs were written for the album, and the label rejected numerous revisions of its track listing before the band presented enough formidable material deemed satisfactory for release. It includes "This Whole World", one of Brian Wilson's most complex songs, "Forever", regarded as among Dennis Wilson's finest, and "Cool, Cool Water", a song that originated from the band's Smile sessions. Fans generally consider Sunflower to be the Beach Boys' finest post-Pet Sounds album.

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The Beach Boys' Christmas Album

The Beach Boys' Christmas Album is the seventh studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released November 9, 1964 on Capitol Records. It contains five original songs and seven standards on a Christmas theme. The album proved to be a long-running success during subsequent Christmas seasons, initially reaching No. 6 in the US Billboard 200 chart in its year of release and eventually going gold. Music historian James Perone wrote that it is "regarded as one of the finest holiday albums of the rock era".While leader Brian Wilson produced and arranged the rock songs, he left it to Dick Reynolds (an arranger for the Four Freshmen, a group Wilson idolized) to arrange the 41-piece orchestral backings on the traditional songs to which the Beach Boys would apply their vocals. One single was released from the album, the original song "The Man with All the Toys" backed with the group's rendition of "Blue Christmas". "Little Saint Nick", a single which had already been released the previous year, was included on the album.In 1977, the Beach Boys attempted to follow the album with Merry Christmas from the Beach Boys, but it was rejected by their label. The entire Christmas Album plus selections from the Merry Christmas sessions were later assembled for the 1998 compilation Ultimate Christmas.

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The Beach Boys Love You

The Beach Boys Love You is the 21st studio album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released April 11, 1977 on Brother/Reprise. Often called the band's "punk" album, Love You is distinguished for its pioneering use of synthesizers and its juxtaposition of adolescent-oriented lyrics with the middle-aged band members' rough vocals. The album was largely recorded in late 1976 at the band's Brother Studios. Originally planned as Brian Loves You, it is essentially a solo project by Brian Wilson, who wrote almost all of the material and played nearly every instrument on the record, including keyboards, synthesizers, and drums. Love You marked the first time he was given full control of a Beach Boys album since the Smile sessions in 1967. His bandmates mainly served as additional vocalists, although Carl Wilson was credited as "mixdown producer". Engineer Earle Mankey described the work as "serious", "autobiographical", and "frighteningly accurate" to Brian's personality. The subject matter of the 14 songs ranges from the planetary system and roller skating to adolescent sexuality and babies. Wilson also included tributes to his wife, daughters, and mistress, as well as his idols Phil Spector and Johnny Carson. Although it was met with near-unanimous critical acclaim, some listeners found the album's bizarre, childlike quality to be a detriment.

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The Beach Boys Today!

The Beach Boys Today! is the eighth studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released March 8, 1965 on Capitol Records. It signaled a departure from their previous records with its orchestral sound, intimate subject matter, and abandonment of car or surf songs. Side one features an uptempo sound, while side two consists mostly of introspective ballads. Supported by this thematic approach, the record became an early example of a rock concept album and established the group as album artists rather than just a singles band. It has since become regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. The album was produced, arranged, and largely written by Brian Wilson with additional lyrics by Mike Love. Most of it was recorded in January 1965 with the aid of over 25 studio musicians shortly after Wilson had suffered a nervous breakdown and stopped touring with his bandmates. Building on the advancements of All Summer Long (1964), Today! showcased more refined performances, denser and richer arrangements, slower tempos, longer structures, and influences drawn from Phil Spector and Burt Bacharach.

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The Beach Boys bootleg recordings

Many recordings and performances by the Beach Boys have attained some level of public circulation without being available as a legal release. Many albums by the band were fully assembled or near completion before being shelved, rejected, or revised as an entirely new project. In recent years, new rarities compilations and reissues of studio albums have been released with studio outtakes included as bonus tracks. Bootleg recordings arise from a multitude of sources, including broadcast performances, recordings of live shows, test discs, privately distributed copies of demos, and covertly copied studio session tapes. Some recordings have never seen wide public circulation. Others are only rumored to exist, were misapprehended to tangentially related projects, or have yet to surface in the hands of archivists or record collectors. This article includes commonly bootlegged material and unreleased recordings which are reported to exist. Some of the largest sources of Beach Boys bootleg material has derived from the Pet Sounds and Smile sessions; their underground circulation eventually resulted in the officially issued compilations The Pet Sounds Sessions (1997) and The Smile Sessions (2011). In 2013, the latter won the Grammy Award for Best Historical Album. In 2011, Uncut voted Smile the number one "greatest bootleg recording of all time".

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