I’m not at all excited about the new Beach Boys album. People who’ve heard it have been saying good things about it — it’s the best since LA (Light Album), or the best since Holland apart from Love You — but frankly if you put out half an hour of me busking old Monkees songs on the banjo and having to keep stopping because I can’t remember the chords, that’d still be better than any Beach Boys album after 1979 (as opposed to Brian Wilson solo albums, which have occasionally hit greatness). And the snippets that we’ve heard (the single That’s Why God Made The Radio and a few seconds of Spring Vacation) have been, respectively, dull and whatthehellaretheythinkingmygodmakeitstop. I’ll get the album, and listen to it with an open mind, but I’m not excited.
The reunion tour, on the other hand…
THAT they seem to be doing right. Two thirds of the set is pretty much what you’d expect, all the hits, many of which I love (Good Vibrations, Don’t Worry Baby, many more), but almost as many of which I could quite happily never hear again (Barbara Ann, Kokomo, Be True To Your School).
But fully a third of the 45-song (and growing — it started as 42) setlist is the more artistic stuff, and as a proportion that’s growing daily. Which means that there is a good hour of the show dedicated to stuff like this:
THAT’S worth travelling to Italy for. Even if they do play bloody Barbara Ann.