The Beach Boys

Beach Boys & Friends

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Beach Boys & Friends is a straight repackaging of 1996's dreadful Stars and Stripes, Vol. 1, which featured the Beach Boys providing harmony vocals for a dozen country singers covering assorted Beach Boys hits. Since Mike Love is listed as executive producer on the original release, one can assume it was his idea, a ploy to grab some of country's famously loyal audience. The problem is that the elegant innocence of Brian Wilson's songs doesn't translate well at all into the country genre, where songs about teenagers cruising to malt shops sound pretty wimpy in the beer and whiskey-drenched world of honky tonk. The album was a bad idea in 1996 and now, a decade later, even with a different title and artwork, it's still a bad idea.

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