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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Monday, June 18, 2012

That's Why God Made The Radio

As promised, I went out this weekend and bought me the new Beach Boys lp.  Released for their 50th anniversary, it is the first lp of all-new stuff since 1992, and the first to have as original a lineup as is still possible- originals Brian Wilson, Mike Love, and David Marks, and long timers Bruce Johnston and Al Jardine.  My thoughts?

I hate to say I enjoy it more than Pet Sounds after just 3 sit-throughs.  But it is a very special album.


A short, haunting instrumental of french horn and piano.  Sets the mood well.


Capturing memories from afar
In my car...

This is the lead single, and quickly eliminates the question, "Do they still have it?"  Just a great summer cruising song.


Every time I think of you
All those things we used to do
Remember the nights we spent just you and I
Little did we know how the time would fly...

Like the title track, this has a co-write from Jim Peterik (Ides Of March, Survivor) and also are the only songs the boys will be doing live.  My son listened to the first verse and chorus and downloaded it to his phone.  The first part of the lp is kind of a double entendre- you can take it as the band getting back together, or that lost love from your past...


Spring Vacation, Good vibrations
Summer weather, We're back together
Easy money, ain't life funny
What's it to ya, Halelelujah...

The most obviously "band's back together" song on the disc.  One reviewer thinks that's a negative.  Didn't stop it from being the first one to really catch in my mind.  Brian, Mike, and Joe Thomas wrote this one, as well as co-writes on most of the songs.


California to Mexico
Everybody's just got to know
Dallas Texas to Monterrey
Wasting time on a sunny day
Santa Barbara to Jersey Shore
At the line in the grocery store
Everybody I ever knew
The Private Life Of Bill And Sue...

You'd think that a song about a fictitious reality TV show might be the dumbest on the disc.  But one listen to the chorus changes that.  Maybe musically the best on the record. 


I'll give you shelter from the storm
and a house to keep you warm
I'll give you shelter through the night
and a chance to make this right...

Another song about trying to re-ignite a lost love, and probably my favorite.  The last chorus really gets me.


 No cool lines to pull out here, just a tremendous "bring my baby back" chorus from Mike and his kids, 46-year-old Hayleigh and 44-year-old Christian.  Written and sung by Mike, it was originally done on both of his solo lps- neither of which got released for some stupid reason.


Here the lp begins its turn from uptempo "let's get back together" to a more somber, "it won't come true" theme.  Big drums from John Cowsill.


Multi-colorful lives we run
to catch a glimpse of the setting sun...

An ode to the people who just don't fit in... except with each other.


You've been thinking 'bout some things we used to do
Thinking 'bout when life was still in front of you...


My life, I'm better off alone
My life, I'm better on my own...


Summer's gone
It's finally sinking in
One day begins
another ends
I live them all and back again...

Originally this was going to be a six-song suite, but was cut to these three.  We're not young any more, we can't find what we once were so long ago.  Summer's Gone was at first intended by Brian as the last song on the last Beach Boys album... Now he's not so sure this is the end.  It was written in 1998 with some crucial help from a visiting Jon Bon Jovi, who termed the song "Brian's 'My Way' ", which is as good a way to put it as any.

The lp starts with the dream of making what was once, a long time ago, new again.  It ends with the realization that sunsets, summers, loves, and lives all come to an end eventually.  If you are my age, this is a very hit-home record.  If you are a fan of Pet Sounds and Smile, this will be an instant classic for you.  If you just long to hear music- real music- once again, you'll enjoy it.

I'm not a big fan of Doonesbury, but I remember a few years back, one of the characters was dying in a hospital bed.  Another came in and played Pet Sounds for him.  He told her, "That's not a record, it's our lives!"  That's Why God Made The Radio is the other end of our lives.

Summer's gone
I'm gonna sit and watch the waves
We laugh, we cry,
We live, then die
And dream about our yesterday....


  1. Just the title of this post took me make to my childhood when I would sit and listen to the radio for ages on end........

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    Not only had I not read this before, but I'd never even heard of this release before. I'm going to get a copy for myself - your review sold me on it.

    I totally love The Beach Boys - both their older 'Sun, Surf, Sand, Cars & Girls' stuffs, and their later more 'Current, Cultural Commentary' stuffs. But I've always thought of the The Boys as more of a singles than an albums group.

    I have and know that 'PET SOUNDS' is considered their classic album and one of the greatest in the history of American pop music. (Did you know that Brian was working on 'Good Vibrations' at the time and hoped to include it on the album but wasn't able to complete it in time? Can you imagine if 'Good Vibrations' was also a track on 'Pet Sounds'? Goodbye, 'Sergeant Pepper's...' Tough luck for you, Beatles!)

    When it comes to The Beach Boys, some of my favorite songs are not the most popular or well known. For example, two of my favorite tracks on 'Pet Sounds' are the instrumentals 'Let's Go Away For Awhile' and 'Pet Sounds'. (Although I have to admit that when I was a teenager, 'Caroline No' used to make me cry.)

    And if I made a list of my all-time Top Ten favorite Beach Boys songs, the little known Carl Wilson song 'Long Promised Road' would unquestionably be on it... and probably amongst the first five.

    Hey, I want to buy The Malibooz album 'LIVING WATER: The Surfer's Mass' for you. Just a gift for no reason other than I think you'll really dig it. (It's a "CAN'T MISS" album for anyone who loves God, Christ, and... The Beach Boys.) Please submit your address or a P.O. Box in my comment section. I won't post it; I'll just write it down and then delete your comment. And then I'll buy 'LIVING WATER' and send it to you. It's the best Beach Boys album that The Beach Boys never made. (Way better than 'Smile'.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  8. Got your comment, CW. Will order and then forward. I'll let you know when it's in the mail.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    Two things...

    1: Today, I purchased a copy of 'THAT'S WHY GOD MADE THE RADIO' at my local Zia store. You, my friend, did NOT lead me astray! As soon as I heard that first, short, lyric-less introductory track, I thought: Damn! That's beautiful. This is going to be great.

    I was right, and so were you. Of course, I do miss Carl and Dennis (who was always "cool") but I can't believe how well those old bastards can still harmonize! The album is so classic, old school Beach Boys-sounding that there is NO WAY I could fail to dig it.

    Funny thing... I've heard the whole album about three times now, and the title track is one of my least favorites (along with 'Isn't It Time'). But at track #4 the whole thing just takes off - in my opinion - and turns truly great!

    That sound of Beach Boys harmonizing is so much a part of my personal history - really takes me back to better days, months and years in my life. And then certain references, like, "Santa Monica city pier" and "Pacific Coast Highway" - if I had a dime for every time I was on that pier, and a penny for every time I drove up or down Pacific Coast Highway!...

    And those last couple of tracks... man, they almost made a grown man cry!

    I'll be playing this new CD in my truck for the next couple of weeks, nonstop. How could these old Beach Boys still sound so much like the young Beach Boys? BEAUTIFUL!

    Thanks for directing me to this post, which directed me to the first new album I've purchased in some time. So new and so classic!

    A number of years ago, the younger brother of an old girlfriend sent me a poll in an Email. One of the questions was: Which do you prefer, The Rolling Stones or The Beatles?

    My answer?...
    "The Beach Boys".

    Mentioned here:

    2: Also today, I placed my order for your copy of 'LIVING WATER: The Surfer's Mass' by The Malibooz. I expect to receive it in a week and will quickly send it on to you. So, figure on hearing it in about two weeks or so.

    I am fairly certain that you will like it like I like 'That's Why God Made The Radio'. (Something I read online leads me to believe that God really did actually have a Hand in the making of that album.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. Along about the tenth listen (Sometime tomorrow) you'll get into all of them. I had a hard time taking "Bill and Sue" serious, but now I look forward to singing the "waddy-waddy-oh"s as much as anything on it.