Entertainment Weekly - 2/11/00, p.75
"...a largely excellent 20-song set [containing] underappreciated gems and a handful of classics..." - Rating: A-
The Beach Boys: Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, Blondie Chaplin, Ricky Fataar.
Producers include: Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Carl Wilson, Bruce Johnston, James William Guercio.
Compilation producers: Roy Lott, Cheryl Pawelski, Paul Atkinson.
Engineers include: Chuck Britz, Ralph Balantin, Stephen Desper.
Recorded between 1970 & 1986. Includes liner notes by Brad Elliott.
Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Andrew Sandoval & RonMcMaster (December 1999, Capitol Mastering).
Personnel: Al Jardine, Mike Love , Carl Wilson , Blondie Chaplin, Bruce Johnston (vocals).
Recording information: 1970-1986.
In the annals of pop, the Beach Boys will always be best known for two things: their early surf-music phase, and the proto-psychedelic orchestral pop of the PET SOUNDS/SMILE period, after which mastermind Brian Wilson began to retreat into a strange, private world, removing himself ever further from the group. But the recordings the Beach Boys made in the '70s for their own Brother label are full of underappreciated gems that have seen more time out of print than in. Thus, this compilation of Brother recordings--mostly from the '70s--is invaluable to those wanting to know the band's full story.
The most affecting material comes from 1970's SUNFLOWER and 1971's SURF'S UP, albums beloved to hardcore fans but unknown to most other people. The fugue-like, harmony-laden "'Til I Die" is a bittersweet masterpiece that ranks among Brian's best, and "Surf's Up," with lyrics by SMILE participant Van Dyke Parks, bears echoes of what that highly experimental, unreleased album might have been. On a more earthly plane, there's the anthemic 1973 hit "Sail on Sailor" (with vocal by honorary Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin) and even a version of Chuck Berry's "Rock & Roll Music" recorded with Roy Wood's post-Move Britrock group Wizzard. Listen and learn.