Back-to-back documents of the Beach Boys' live sound
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 08/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Though this isn't essential to those who just want to get an earful of the Beach Boys, it is more than a collector's-only buy. This CD teams up two previously released live Beach Boys LP's, featuring a 1964 show in Sacramento, CA and a few 1968 shows from London. It was originally available as a domestic release, but has since been cut out by Capitol USA. Rumor has it that it will be reissued in the States, but for now it's available only as an import.Of the 13 tracks on "Concert," only 5 are Beach Boys originals ("Fun, Fun, Fun" "Little Deuce Coupe" "In My Room" "Hawaii" and "I Get Around"). The other 8 are a combination of hits of the day ("The Little Old Lady From Pasadena" "Monster Mash" etc.), a surf tune ("Let's Go Trippin'") and classics such as "Papa Oom Mow Mow" (with a great lead vocal from Brian) "Johnny B. Goode" and the Four Freshman's "Graduation Day."The vocal harmonies are classic Beach Boys, showing they could actually sing outside of the studio ("Graduation Day", in particular, is really quite stunning in its harmonies). Musially the Beach Boys were a surprisingly good dance band, circa 1964. "Let's Go Trippin'" surely had the audience in the aisles doing the Surfer Stomp. The sound quality is quite good, considering what sort of equipment was available for field recording in 1964. The vocals aren't quite as present as one would like, but there is some bottom end and you can actually hear Brian's bass."Live in London" was recorded in 1968, released overseas in 1970, and finally released in the USA (and then as "Beach Boys '69") in 1975. By the time this was recorded Brian was long off the road, and Bruce Johnston was traveling in his place. They were also employing a horn section for their road show by this point.This set concentrates on the Beach Boys' music from the mid-to-late 60's. All but one track ("Sloop John B") are originals. Three cuts are from the Pet Sounds LP ("Wouldn't it Be Nice" with Al and Mike handling Brian's vocal, "Sloop John B" and "God Only Knows" with a great live vocal from Carl), a few earlier tracks ("California Girls" "Barbara Ann"), a bunch of later classics ("Do it Again" "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" "Good Vibrations"), and several lesser known Beach Boys nuggets.As befits the late 60's timeframe, this show is a bit more laidback than the Beatlemaniac screaming audience atmosphere of "Concert", though the audience is quite enthusiastic, and the performance is very energetic. Mike Love has quite firmly taken control of the live show, and spends a good deal of time telling, uh, jokes, between songs. Carl's vocals are quite strong by this point, and Dennis Wilson's drumming (if it's him playing) has gotten quite passable. The acapella version of the Four Freshman's "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring" is chilling.Each spin of this disc proves it to be less of a novelty and more of a bona fide document of a great American rock band on the road."
Definitive Live Collection for any band to emulate
S. Lyons | Pleasantville, USA | 04/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This two-fer is really a must, whether one is a casual fan (for which many hits are performed) or a die-hard devotee. I purchased the Live In London (aka London '69) album when I was in Jr. High (at its first release), and am still very impressed by how talented the Beach Boys were as a touring act in the late 60s. The first half of the two-fer is the 1964 Concert (aka Wow, Great Concert) album. Although mixed badly, with too many surges and bad edits, this is a "sonic document" showing the sex appeal and humour of the Beach Boys onstage shortly before the addition of Bruce Johnston. The crowd sounds like it's from Liverpool, but the band is all tight harmonies and musicianship from Hawthorne."
THIS IS A KEEPER...!
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 01/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having had the Beach Boys Live in London album in the early nineteen seventies and loved it, I was delighted to see it available on CD and bought it to replace my now obsolete vinyl. The plus is that the CD includes the tracks from the Beach Boys first album to go number one, Beach Boys Concert(1964). The CD also two bonus tracks and a comprehensive liner.This is a great CD. Listening to it makes one understand why the Beach Boys remain one of the most popular American groups of all time. It also contains my favorite song by them..."Darlin'" which I believe to be one of the best songs written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love.Not all of the songs on this CD were written by the Beach Boys, but that does not detract from the quality. On the contrary, it is great to hear the Beach Boys with their signature sound, interpreting such classics as the Freshmen's "Graduation Day" and Dion's "The Wanderer."If you could only have one Beach Boys CD, this would be it!"