"As a Beach Boys fan and experienced music producer, I can applaud the selection of commercial favorites offered in this album. The problem with this CD is that the track mixing was performed with the skill of a deaf monkey on an acid flashback. For instance, on all tracks in general, the Boy's voices are disproportionately louder than the music, losing not only the punch and drive of the instruments, but over-exposing the little flaws commonly found in tight vocal harmonies and removing the "grace" that hotter tracks (or reverb) usually provide.In particular, I will point out how "Fun, Fun, Fun" just drops off before it's over, and does so in one of the best chordal variations in the song. Additionally, the ending of "Help Me Rhonda" is simply comical. As the song nears its conclusion (before the fadeout), the vocal volume goes from normal, to inaudibly low, as if someone is just pushing the mixing console sliders back and forth every two bars. Honestly, this has to be either a toddler at play or a graduate of the Jack Daniels School of Audio engineering.So, while I am happy about the song selections, I would like to see the entire album remixed by a professional."
4 1/2* With a Few Exceptions, A Great Collection
M. Allen Greenbaum | California | 09/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After a slight backlash in the 80's and 90's (overexposure, for one thing), it's ok to love the Beach Boys again (even the much maligned "Kokomo")! Their genius reached its apex, as everyone now knows, with the almost mythic "Pet Sounds." This compilation includes six songs from that 1966 masterpiece, including the beautiful, complex "Caroline, No" (a song not included on the newest Beach Boys compilation album of June 2003). The musical growth of this band was incredible, and they've influenced groups from the Rolling Stones (listen to the "Flowers" CD) to, more obviously, the Ramones.This is an excellent collection of their material, although some of the later material is on the conservative side of "Middle-of- the-Road" adult music. These include the shrill "Wild Honey," "You're So Good to Me (thin vocals, and the typical plodding, unimaginative bass line which is somehow more annoying here)," "I Can Hear Music (except for the harmonies)" "Lady Lynda (except for the chorus)," the limp platitudes of the truely awful "Disney Girls," and the inexplicable "Cotton Fields." Strictly county fair material. Of course, even these songs will have their fans. More importantly, the album contains early surf/party cuts (e.g., "I Get Around," "Fun, Fun, Fun"), a good sample of their sweet/sad, more personal songs (e.g., the superb "In My Room," "Don't Worry Baby," "Darlin'," Wouldn't It Be Nice"), and some of the more ground-breaking material ("Good Vibrations," "Caroline, No," and four others from "Pet Sounds").
Excellent liner notes by Peter Doggett, including 3 pictures of the band. Apparantly this CD is a bit scarce right now (I bought a used one through Amazon); the good news is that there are plenty of other collections to chose from."
A wonderfully remastered Hits album
Marc Axelrod | Potter, Wi USA | 12/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What? You don;t have any Beach Boy records? The shame of it all. Go out and buy this album. Other than the awesome Pet Sounds, this should be the only Beach Boy album you'll ever need to buy. It's a bargain to have all these classic party tunes on one CD. The first 19 tunes are all Sixties classics, then on the last song you jump ahead to 1988. But that's pretty much how long it was since the beach Boys were on the charts. This sampler is awesome. A must buy."
The Band Deserves Much Better Than This
Marc Axelrod | 07/10/1999
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Another awkward collection from Capitol. The non-hit versions of "School" and "Rhonda" as well as sequencing that does not make any sense. The band made so much money for Capitol in the 60s and deserves a better collection than this. The whole catalogue is a shame. All of the twofer CDs are out of print. Most of the original albums are out of print, as well. This band deserves to be remembered for more than just Endless Summer and Pet Sounds. What remains of the Beach Boys' catalog is the tip of a very large iceberg of fine music."
NOT Bad studio mix
D. Cross | Hollywood, CA USA | 07/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"RE: the reviewer who complained of "bad studio mix" - that's the way things were done in the '50s, Mr. Pro. Considering that most of these songs were recorded on 2, 3, or 4 track, I'd say the mix is pretty darn good. As for the Boys' vocals being so loud... DUH! It was mixed for radio play and commercial success, the hallmark of which was the Boys' vocals. If you want the absolute best sound quality on a BB best of, go with "Sounds of Summer." Even if you own all the albums, the remastering in that collection is fantastic."