Little Deuce Coupe

The Beach Boys

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Little Deuce Coupe Review

by Richie Unterberger

Little Deuce Coupe was a concept album of sorts, in that most of the songs had something to do with cars and hot rod culture. That's a pretty thin train of thought to sustain for most of a record. What's worse, by the Beach Boys' own standards of hot rod tunes, most of the tracks are pretty trite and unimaginative, rating among their worst early material. Not only that, the three best cuts -- "Little Deuce Coupe," "409," and "Shut Down" -- had already been issued on LP. The most noteworthy of the other tracks was the Top Ten hit "Be True to Your School," whose fine tune and arrangement are marred by sappy lyrics of faith and loyalty to one's high school. (The album version, oddly, is different from the superior single, which had the Honeys adding female cheerleader chants.) "Spirit of America" and "A Young Man Is Gone" (a James Dean tribute with Four Freshmen-style vocals) are moderately interesting numbers, but on the whole this is probably the worst early Beach Boys album, with the possible exception of Surfin' Safari (and their 1964 Christmas LP, which doesn't really count). [Little Deuce Coupe/All Summer Long, a Capitol two-fer CD, combines this and Little Deuce Coupe onto one disc, adding the 45 version of "Be True to Your School," alternate takes of "Little Honda" and "Don't Back Down," and the previously unreleased "All Dressed Up for School."]

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Beach Boys 01:40 Amazon
2 The Beach Boys 02:16 Amazon
3 The Beach Boys 02:08 Amazon
4 The Beach Boys 02:51 Amazon
5 The Beach Boys 01:49 Amazon
The Beach Boys 02:00 Amazon
7 The Beach Boys 01:50 Amazon
8 The Beach Boys 02:21 Amazon
9 The Beach Boys 02:19 Amazon
10 The Beach Boys 01:56 Amazon
11 The Beach Boys 02:18 Amazon
12 The Beach Boys 01:36 Amazon
13 The Beach Boys 01:40 Amazon
14 The Beach Boys 02:17 Amazon
15 The Beach Boys 02:08 Amazon
16 The Beach Boys 02:49 Amazon
17 The Beach Boys 01:50 Amazon
18 The Beach Boys 02:01 Amazon
19 The Beach Boys 01:50 Amazon
20 The Beach Boys 02:26 Amazon
21 The Beach Boys 02:24 Amazon
22 The Beach Boys 01:56 Amazon
23 The Beach Boys 02:18 Amazon
24 The Beach Boys 01:39 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick