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Keepin' The Summer Alive / The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys
Keepin' The Summer Alive / The Beach Boys
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1

Bruce Johnston, not Barry Manilow, wrote "I Write the Songs." And if that isn't enough irony for you, the Beach Boys thought enough of his efforts on 1979's aptly titled, if creatively underwhelming, L.A. (Light Album) tha...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: The Beach Boys
Title: Keepin' The Summer Alive / The Beach Boys
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Capitol
Release Date: 8/15/2000
Album Type: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724352794829, 0724352794850

Bruce Johnston, not Barry Manilow, wrote "I Write the Songs." And if that isn't enough irony for you, the Beach Boys thought enough of his efforts on 1979's aptly titled, if creatively underwhelming, L.A. (Light Album) that they let him produce the 1980 follow-up, Keepin' the Summer Alive. The resulting effort may have down-graded the band's sorry condition from grave to critical, but it was also a testament to how far the Beach Boys had coasted on their fleeting reputation alone. Johnston wisely brings the band's trademark harmonies to the fore, but in the service of some typically (for the period) lackluster songwriting. Tellingly, though Brian Wilson was ostensibly involved, even the presence of B.T.O.'s Randy Bachman (who cowrote a pair of tracks with Carl Wilson) is more distinct. Still need more irony? The final track of this hollow, haunted de facto paean to the band's disunity is Johnston's schmaltzy "Endless Harmony." Such was the response to Summer that the band spent the next five years on the road, burnishing their reputation as a nostalgia act; at least it kept them out of the studio. Unfortunately, by the time they returned to recording, Dennis Wilson was dead, Brian Wilson had "found" a new collaborator (the infamous Dr. Eugene Landy, his psychotherapist), and the band was at its usual creative loggerhead. But they also had the good sense to bring in hot '80s hired-gun producer Steve Levine to at least synthesize a respectable-sounding Beach Boys album. The single "Getcha Back" is a weird mix of nostalgia and contemporary studio smoke and mirrors; with Brian Wilson's falsetto soaring over the top as it hadn't in decades, it's also the most familiar-sounding band track in years. Levine's efforts at veneer (which include using Stevie Wonder as a sideman/collaborator) gloss over some wobbly songwriting. Brian's profile is higher than it's been since Love You, but his ever fragile, quirky constructions (especially "Male Ego," "Crack at Your Love," and "California Saga") are largely stillborn, thanks to the amateurish lyrical efforts of Landy. Carl Wilson shines throughout; the band's greatest trooper until the bitter end. Both albums are newly remastered on a single disc. --Jerry McCulley

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CD Reviews

A Great Comeback Album
Kelli N. | Texas | 10/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The CD I have doesn't include "Keepin' the Summer Alive," so I cannot review it. My review is of "The Beach Boys," which was released around the time of my 14th birthday in 1985. Why I did not buy it then continues to baffle me...

I think this is a terrific CD. The first album by the group after Dennis Wilson's death, it shows they still had the energy and drive, which put them at the top over 20 years earlier. However, I must warn you- if you cannot bear to hear the Beach Boys outside of the surfing/girls/cars genre of the '60s, which is great, of course, this is not the album for you. You probably won't enjoy it, due to the obvious '80s touch you'll hear. The two songs which come closest to the '60s era are "Getcha Back" and "California Calling"- two of my favorites on the CD. All of the guys get a chance to sing solo, but Carl Wilson is the one who sings the most, and it shows how truly gifted he was, and what a beautiful, soulful voice he had. There have been opinions that some of the songs sound tacky. The only somewhat "tacky" one I hear is "Male Ego", but it will give you a good chuckle. An added plus are Ringo Starr, playing drums on "California Calling" and Stevie Wonder, who plays harmonica and synthesizer on "I Do Love You." If this CD sounds so differently, or unlike the Beach Boys, it's because the band was attempting to try out a variety of music genres within this one album. A prime example is the soulful "It's Getting Late." Yet, "California Calling" is an evident throwback to their '60s roots. This makes me embrace the CD all the more, instead of criticizing it, as some have.

I must admit another reason why this CD is so special to me. This was the first album released by the Beach Boys when I was a teenager, and everytime I hear it, it takes me back to the time of my youth, which I greatly cherish. When most people think of the Beach Boys, they immediately think of the '60s, and the teens of that era. This is an '80s album, when I was growing up, so that makes it a part of my history.

So, if you're looking for something by the Beach Boys that is unique and different, you'll love this CD, too. If you're hooked into the '60s-type music only, then stay away."
Tom MacGowan | Spring Lake, N.J., U.S.A | 08/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I remember when these two albums first came out that their biggest flaws, in my opinion anyway, were the order that the songs were placed. On vinyl it was not uncommon for one side to be the better of the two. There are albums that I have re-bought on CD that were some of my favorite albums of all time and I didn't even know half the songs on it because I never listened to the other side or did and didn't like it on the album. Subsequently I put these two albums, like many others on cassette in the order that I like the songs, some songs never making it to the tape. Needless to say 'Keepin the Summer Alive' started off my tape and many other mixes of their songs. This masterpiece I thought would be a fixture in their subsequent concerts but to my knoweledge didn't last long in the live shows. Its primo Beach Boys and 'as good as it gets' for that point in time of their carreers. Underrated is an understatement for this song. If this song were followed up with 'Livin with a Heartache', the 2nd song along with "Keepin the Summer Alive' that Carl Wilson co-wrote with Randy Bachman from Bachman-Turner Overdrive, their cover of Chuck Berry's 'School Days', and my favorite version of that song,(sorry Chuck),'Goin On', and ending side one with 'Oh Darlin or 'When Girls get Togeter', the album probably would have been more successful, who knows. Those are good, if not great tunes to follow up the title track and supply us with some, unfortunatly not much Beach Boy material from that time period. The 2nd album included in this twofer titled simply "The Beach Boys" suffers again from the same problem. Like "Keepin the Summer Alive", it gets your attention then loses it, with poor placement. It contains what I believe to be the best Beach Boy song they had written in years 'Where I Belong'. In this CD's liner notes written by Andrew G. Doe, whose name I don't recognize, he describe this song as "The album's undisputed highlight, the achingly beautiful "Where I Belong". I couldn't agree more and I've been bewildered ever since its release how this song escaped not only the radio, but the Beach Boy's concerts. A Carl Wilson composition with Robert White Johson, (who is he and what else did they write together?). Probably the most underrated Beach Boy tune ever. Buy this CD and if its the only song you like on this double set its still a steal. Unfortunatly it got buried on side two of the original album release following some just O.K. tunes. Unlike "Keepin..." I do like every track on this album, but again would have placed them differently. 'It's Getting Late' didn't knock me out at first but grew on me especially after the video they did for it. 'Crack at your love' is brialliant. 'Passing Friend' is real nice but I agree with the Mr Doe that it should have been shorter. 'Getcha Back', 'California Calling', ' Maybe I Don't Know', 'She Believes in Love Again' and I'm So Lonely' are all good Beach Boy stuff and the version of Stevie Wonder's 'I Do Love You' is pleasant. I'm just glad that two of my favorite Beach Boy tunes are finally on Compact disc and I can put that turntable in the attic."
The Beach-Boy's Last Stand
D. Gibson | Michigan, USA | 08/15/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"These are the last Beach Boys albums to feature Brian & Dennis Wilson, although Dennis is virtually non-existant on KTSA and sadly died before BB '85 came out. The undoubted highlight of both albums is Carl Wilson, and Where I Belong is his best song in years. Keepin' The Summer Alive, and It's Gettin' Late are both excellent tracks too. Brian's songs can best be described as not his best, but Goin' On and Male Ego are quite catchy. The production on both albums is not exactly great, and is very much of its time. The 1985 album especially has not aged well as a result. Overall I'd say that this CD is a worthwhile purchase, if only for Carl's songs."