Classics: Selected by Brian Wilson has a fancy title that suggests that this is different than a standard Beach Boys hits collection, but the end result is pretty close to a standard Beach Boys hit collection. Over the course of 20 tracks, Brian picks 19 of his favorite tunes -- offering mildly entertaining, but not insightful, commentary in the liners -- adding one new song to the conclusion. Apart from "I Get Around," there isn't much of the fun-in-the-sun rockers, but a lot of lush, warm ballads and a lot of highlights from his mid- to late-'60s peak. His '70s selections are good but are alternately a little obvious (but welcomely so, with "Sail On, Sailor" and "Surf's Up") and a little idiosyncratic without shedding new light on the era ("We're Together Again," "Time to Get Alone"). Overall, it's a good, entertaining listen, but just don't think this is any more distinctive than the average Beach Boys compilation -- it just happens to be one of the better ones.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine