The Beach Boys

Keepin' the Summer Alive/The Beach Boys '85

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Rating the Beach Boys' later catalog is often a comparison game, and the next-to-last installment in Capitol's two-fer reissue program (M.I.U. Album/L.A. (Light Album) sounds positively glorious compared to the final two-fer, composed of 1980's Keepin' the Summer Alive and 1985's The Beach Boys. The band-in-a-bubble cover design of Keepin' the Summer Alive makes for a good (though unintended) symbol of the era, in which the band shut itself off from any innovation or hope for commercial success (and undoubtedly prompted a parade of life-support jokes). After sounding equally tired and out-of-the-loop when they covered oldies as when they wrote original songs, these two LPs recycle a host of unfinished, substandard songs from the '70s. Bruce Johnston returns to the group as producer, but even his steady hand can't save terrible songs like "When Girls Get Together," "California Calling," and "Crack at Your Love." There are a bare few highlights here -- "Endless Harmony" and the surprising Top 40 hit "Getcha Back" -- but the Beach Boys' near decade-long slide into artistic oblivion bottomed out with these two LPs. [In 2000, Keepin' the Summer Alive was made available on the two-fer compilation Keepin' the Summer Alive/The Beach Boys '85.]

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:43
2 3:54
3 2:37
4 4:05
5 2:53
6 3:01
7 2:53
8 3:33
9 3:15
10 3:11
11 3:01
12 3:26
13 3:39
14 3:54
15 3:29
16 2:52
17 5:00
18 2:52
19 2:58
20 4:20
21 2:22
22 2:34
blue highlight denotes track pick