The Beach Boys

Endless Summer

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This was the album by which millions of sons of late baby boomers (and sons and daughters of the early ones) first really discovered the Beach Boys, beyond hearing the occasional oldie on the radio. It was the summer of 1974, and the Beach Boys were still trying to get themselves back on track commercially after a seven-year commercial dry spell, when this double LP of their 1963-1966 material (all but one cut pre-dating Pet Sounds) came along and did the job. Endless Summer, which was assembled in consultation with Mike Love, soared to number one and charted high over two subsequent summers (spending three years on the charts, the longest of any of the group's albums), and attracted the enthusiastic attention of millions of listeners too young to have bought their singles back when. The programming was a little thin, not even running an hour total, spread among two LPs, but most of the group's best loved singles were represented -- no notes, not a word of historical context, just a great collection of songs that proved irresistible to many shoppers. The packaging was nigh perfect, a simple, celebratory sun-lit graphic that spoke volumes about the music.

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