This is now deleted from rapidshare, as I promised it would be.
One thing I’m going to keep doing on here on occasion, despite the fact that no-one cares, is voicing my love for the music of the Beach Boys. As the band are coming up to their fiftieth anniversary, various ideas are being floated of how they should celebrate this (Mike Love wants to do an album of remakes of their old songs, featuring people like Justin Timberlake. I suspect the other surviving members would rather die.) but one thing I think should happen is a live compilation, covering their career.
Unfortunately, over the years, the Beach Boys have got a reputation as nothing but a nostalgia band, ploughing through the hits soullessly, praying that the inevitable release of death will come swiftly and prevent them ever having to sing Barbara Ann again. And that’s not an unreasonable reputation, actually.
But it’s slightly unfair in that the Beach Boys have at times been a fucking *fantastic* live band. But unfortunately, at their peak, in the early 70s, when they were performing extraordinary material and doing so astonishingly well, the audiences didn’t care. Listening to recordings from that time, you can hear Mike Love *scream* at the audience to shut up before Dennis sings Forever or Carl does Only With You. You hear audiences shouting “Barbara Ann” in the middle of solos, and Carl saying after songs “Now we’re going to do a song from our Surf’s Up album… but we’re not because YOU WON’T LISTEN!”
And face it, if you were a musician and you had a choice of two setlists – setlist a) your psychedelic song with jazz flute solo, your R&B number, your song about transcendental meditation, a pseudo-Wagnerian love song and one about the way white people have treated Native Americans, or setlist b) a load of songs about cars and girls with three or four chords – and you knew that if you played setlist a you’d have a couple of hundred people in the audience getting drunk and shouting at you, and if you played setlist b you’d have tens of thousands of people dancing and singing along, you’d probably choose setlist b too.
But even so, we’ve had several attempts over the years by the band to redress this balance. As late as 1977 they were still getting jazz flautist Charles Lloyd in to do gigs with them, in 1993 they did an extra ‘rarities’ set in the middle of their set, Brian Wilson between about 1998 and 2004 played tons of obscurities in his sets before eventually settling down to a more hit-oriented show, and in 2004 and 2008 the band that currently calls itself ‘the Beach Boys’ did (astonishingly good) 50-song sets in the UK including some of their best and least-known songs (the setlist in 2004 contained songs so little-known that someone I know who knows some of the band members got a call after one gig by Mike Love, astonished that someone in the audience knew all the words. That someone was me…)
But even though there have been five official Beach Boys live albums released, they don’t really represent this experimental or interesting side – they conform to the band’s standard surfin’ oldies style to a greater or lesser extent (with a partial exception for 1974’s wonderful In Concert).
So what I’d like to see is a double-CD set, spanning the band’s career, of some of the great music they’ve done live. No new Barbara Ann or Surfin’ USA versions, just something to show what a fantastic band they could be.
I’ve put something like that together here, from the best of the forty or so shows I’ve got. None of these recordings have been released legally, to my knowledge, but even so if anyone who believes they have a copyright interest in that material gets in touch with me I will gladly remove it. I will remove it after a week anyway.
It’s from various different sources ( audience recordings and soundboards), different generation copies, and different encodings (mostly MP3, but some FLAC). I’ve tried to make it flow more or less like a proper concert.
If you download it, let me know what you think.
1 Brian Wilson/Til I Die – Brian Wilson live 2001
2 Surf’s Up – Munich 1972
3 Sail On Sailor – Manchester Apollo 2008 (John Cowsill lead)
4 Cool, Cool Water – Munich 1972
5 Forever – Manchester Apollo 2008
6 God Only Knows – London 1968
7 Here Today – Manchester Apollo 2008
8 All This Is That – Nassau Coliseum 1974 (FLAC)
9 Marcella – Carnegie Hall 1972
10 Funky Pretty – Tampa 1974
11 Wonderful – Paramount New York 1993 (FLAC)
12 Heroes & Villains – Carnegie Hall 1972
13 Don’t Worry Baby – Carnegie Hall 1972
14 Wake The World – London 1968
15 Kiss Me Baby – Glasgow 2004
16 Airplane – Central Park, NY, 1977
17 Let Him Run Wild – Manchester Apollo 2008 (Scott Totten lead)
18 You Still Believe In Me – Paramount, NY, 1993
19 It’s About Time – Princeton University 1971
20 Good Vibrations – Syracuse NY 1971
21 Break Away – Prague, 1968
22 Only With You – Chicago 1972
23 In My Room – 1964
24 Please Let Me Wonder – Brian Wilson live 2001
25 Darlin’ – Carnegie Hall 1972
26 Feel Flows – Central Park, 1977
27 Trader – Tampa 1974
28 Looking At Tomorrow – Princeton University 1971
29 Caroline No – Princeton University 1971
30 Long Promised Road – Tampa 1974
31 Wild Honey – Washington, DC 1967
32 Let The Wind Blow – Munich 1972
33 Cuddle Up – Boston Commons 1972
Beach Boys members:
Carl Wilson (1961 – 1998)
Al Jardine (1961-62, 1963-1998)
Brian Wilson (1961-64, 1967, 1970, 1977-1983 as touring member)
Dennis Wilson (1961-1983)
Bruce Johnston (1965-1971, 1979-)
David Marks (1962-64, 1997-99, 2008)
Blondie Chaplin (1971-74)
Ricky Fataar (1971-74)