After gaining control of the Beach Boys' entire catalog (including all the band's post-1969 material), Capitol released two-fers covering their out of print '70s records and a Brian Wilson-selected compilation titled Classics, then later, this hits compilation -- the longest single-disc American collection ever seen. With all but five tracks coming from their 1962-1969 peak, and every one a Top 40 hit, Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys is also the best, a worthy digital-age successor to previous classics like Endless Summer and Greatest Hits, Vol. 1. Though the songs don't appear in chronological order, the compilers improved the concept of a hits compilation by bunching the disc into minisets -- one of classic adolescence songs ("Be True to Your School," "When I Grow Up [To Be a Man]," "In My Room"), one of surfing songs ("Surfin' Safari," "Surfin' U.S.A.," "Surfer Girl"), one of frat-boy classics ("Dance, Dance, Dance," "Barbara Ann"), and another including selections from their masterpiece Pet Sounds ("God Only Knows," "Sloop John B.," "Wouldn't It Be Nice"). Nearly any compilation on an important artist can be argued, but it's the rare one that covers as many bases and leaves out so few classics as Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys.
Share this page