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THE BEACH BOYS - THE WARMTH OF THE SUN – EMI
Record Rating: *****

THE BEACH BOYS - THE WARMTH OF THE SUN When all is said and done regarding the most influential band of the 1960s, The Beatles and of course The Beach Boys emerge as the clear-cut winners for the same reason: their music was so diverse and well constructed that it inspired music too hip for its own good. The second best-selling American band of all time; the Boys have unloaded more than 150 million copies in singles and sales worldwide.

Heavily anthologised over the years, most of the material on The Warmth Of The Sun is available on numerous other Beach Boys retrospectives; but far from being merely a plain-old best of collection, this goes a lot further. First, it brings together no less than 28 of the band’s lesser-heard nuggets, and second, the sound quality is exceptional.

Boosted by careful tweaking of original master tapes, even favourites like All Summer Long and Please Let Me Wonder leap from the speakers with increased zest in their new stereo mix. The revamping process is most evident on the pop ballads here ~ the way the vocals are moved to the fore on Then I Kissed Her and You’re So Good To Me focuses attention even more squarely on a young Brian Wilson’s raw sensuality.

Besides the inclusion of early classics like Surf’s Up and Catch A Wave, there are also classic R&B standards (Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Kiss Me Baby), a few engaging rock and rollers (Break Away, Little Honda), and the hits in between (California Dreamin’). The final verdict: The Warmth Of The Sun focuses on the years when the Beach Boys were a hit-producing juggernaut and is as good a collection you’re ever likely to find of the band. This is pop music at its finest. Well recommended.

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