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The Beach Boys|Made In California

Made In California

The Beach Boys

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Designed as the triumphant conclusion to the Beach Boys 50th anniversary reunion, Made in California is indeed something of an extravaganza. Packaged as a hardcover yearbook -- a motif that runs right through to the liner notes, which include a high school piece by Brian Wilson among the various essays, along with plenty of rare photos -- Made in California makes no secret of hiding its nostalgia, but that doesn't mean the average Beach Boys fan wishing to take a stroll down memory lane should turn to this luxurious box. This six-disc set may tell the Beach Boys story quite thoroughly, but the devil is indeed in the details, details that may only compel the devoted. Certainly, Made in California is filled with rarities and oddities, some genuinely rare and unreleased, with the bulk of the set comprised of many alternate mixes, vocal sessions, instrumental tracks, radio spots, and an abundance of live tracks from throughout the years. Along the way, all the hits are unveiled in some fashion, but the compilers have made a practice of choosing interesting or intriguing mixes over original hit single mixes; for Pet Sounds alone, the selected songs ping-pong between 1996 and 2001 stereo mixes, while elsewhere there are stereo mixes from 2003, 2007, 2009, and 2012, along with the occasional mono mix. All those dates suggest just how often the Beach Boys catalog has been remastered and reissued over the years, but there is only one real corollary in their catalog: the 1993 five-disc box Good Vibrations. Twenty years on, the remastering has certainly improved but that's not the only reason Made in California has an edge over Good Vibrations. Those two decades brought an official restoration of The Smile Sessions and, in 2012, the 50th Anniversary reunion album That's Why God Made the Radio, which provides a better, sweeter conclusion to the group's story than "Kokomo." That said, this 174-track box finds a way to overlook plenty of great, even important, songs from all eras of the Beach Boys, with "She Knows Me Too Well," "Getting Hungry," "Funky Pretty," and "You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone" being among the prominent inexplicable omissions. Thing is, the listeners who will really dig into the box -- the ones who will thrill to the early demos as much as they do to the unreleased Dennis Wilson songs, as well as the unreleased "California Feeling" -- won't care that these songs are missing, as they'll have them somewhere else in their collection, and the casual fan will be fine without them. But even if it tells the Beach Boys story thoroughly, Made in California is most decidedly not for the casual fan. It is for the dedicated, the kind who knows the story by heart but wants to hear it told slightly differently. For them, it's worth taking this roundabout journey while immersing themselves in the packaging; those with less invested will likely prefer sticking to the familiar paths provided by either the original albums or concise compilations.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Made In California

The Beach Boys

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1
Home Recordings/Surfin' Rehearsal Highlights (Surfin')
00:02:58

MARK LINETT, Producer - Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Carl Wilson, ComposerLyricist - Dennis Wilson, ComposerLyricist - Alan Boyd, Producer

℗ 2013 Brother Records Inc

2
Surfin' (With Session Intro/Mono)
00:02:26

Brian Wilson, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Dorinda Morgan, Producer - Hite Morgan, Producer

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

3
Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring (Demo/Mono)
00:02:37

The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Bobby Troup, ComposerLyricist - Murry Wilson, Producer

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

4
Surfin' Safari (Original Mono Long Version)
00:02:17

Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Murry Wilson, Producer

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

5
409 (Original Mono Long Version)
00:02:08

Gary Usher, ComposerLyricist - Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Murry Wilson, Producer

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

6
Lonely Sea (Original Mono Mix)
00:02:39

Gary Usher, ComposerLyricist - Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Murray Wilson, Producer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

7
Surfin' U.S.A. (Stereo/Remaster/2012)
00:02:27

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nick Venet, Producer - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

8
Shut Down (2003 Stereo Mix)
00:01:50

MARK LINETT, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Nick Venet, Producer - Brian Wilson, Producer, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Saxophone, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Roger Christian, ComposerLyricist - Chuck Britz, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

9
Surfer Girl (Remastered 2012/Stereo)
00:02:27

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

10
Little Deuce Coupe (Remastered 2012/Stereo)
00:01:40

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, Keyboards, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Carl Wilson, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Hal Blaine, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Al Jardine, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Christian, ComposerLyricist - David Marks, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

11
Catch A Wave (Remastered 2012/Stereo)
00:02:09

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

12
Our Car Club (Remastered 2012/Stereo)
00:02:23

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

13
Surfers Rule (With Session Intro)
00:02:37

Brian Wilson, Composer, Producer - Mike Love, Composer - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

14
In My Room (Stereo/Remaster/2012)
00:02:14

Gary Usher, Composer, ComposerLyricist - Brian Wilson, Composer, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Maureen Love, Harp, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

15
Back Home
00:02:22

MARK LINETT, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Bob Norberg, ComposerLyricist - Alan Boyd, Producer

℗ 2013 Brother Records Inc

16
Be True To Your School (Remastered)
00:02:11

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Chuck Britz, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

17
Ballad Of Ole' Betsy (Stereo/Remaster/2012)
00:02:17

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, Recording Arranger, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Roger Christian, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

18
Little Saint Nick (Stereo Single Version/ 2013 Remastered)
00:02:01

Brian Wilson, Composer, Producer, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Love, Composer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Carl Wilson, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dennis Wilson, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Jardine, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1964 UMG Recordings, Inc.

19
Fun, Fun, Fun (Mono/Remaster/ 2012)
00:02:13

Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

20
Little Honda (Stereo/Remaster/ 2012)
00:01:52

Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

21
Don't Worry Baby (2009 Stereo Mix)
00:02:50

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Roger Christian, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

22
Why Do Fools Fall In Love (2009 Stereo Mix)
00:02:09

Morris Levy, ComposerLyricist - Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Frankie Lymon, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

23
The Warmth Of The Sun (Stereo/Remaster/2012)
00:03:03

Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

24
I Get Around (With Session Intro/Mono)
00:02:56

Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

25
Wendy (2007 Stereo Mix)
00:02:19

Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

26
All Summer Long (2007 Stereo Mix)
00:02:09

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

27
Girls On The Beach (Stereo/Remaster/ 2012)
00:02:25

Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Carl Wilson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Dennis Wilson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Al Jardine, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

28
Don't Back Down (Stereo//2012 Remastered)
00:01:43

Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

29
When I Grow Up (To Be A Man) (2012 Stereo Mix)
00:02:03

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

30
All Dressed Up For School (Mono)
00:02:18

Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

31
Please Let Me Wonder (2007 Stereo Mix)
00:02:50

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Carl Wilson, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

32
Kiss Me, Baby (2000 Stereo Mix)
00:02:43

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

33
In The Back Of My Mind (2012 Stereo Mix)
00:02:13

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Dennis Wilson, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

34
Dance, Dance, Dance (2003 Stereo Mix)
00:02:03

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Carl Wilson, ComposerLyricist - Glen Campbell, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

DISC 2

1
Do You Wanna Dance? (2012 Stereo Mix)
00:02:22

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Dennis Wilson, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bobby Freeman, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

2
Help Me, Rhonda (Mono Single Version)
00:02:47

MARK LINETT, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Al Jardine, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

3
California Girls (2002 Stereo Mix)
00:02:46

MARK LINETT, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

4
Amusement Parks USA (Early Version)
00:02:33

MARK LINETT, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Alan Boyd, Producer

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

5
Salt Lake City (2001 Stereo Mix)
00:02:03

Steve Douglas, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Leon Russell, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Billy Strange, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Plas Johnson, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jay Migliori, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Hal Blaine, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Capp, Vibraphone, AssociatedPerformer - Lyle Ritz, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Carol Kaye, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Al De Lory, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Roy Caton, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Howard Roberts, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jerry Kolbrak, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

6
Let Him Run Wild (2007 Stereo Mix)
00:02:21

Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

7
Graduation Day (Session Excerpt And Master Take/2012 Mix)
00:03:25

Noel Sherman, ComposerLyricist - MARK LINETT, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Joseph Daniel Sherman, ComposerLyricist - Alan Boyd, Producer

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

8
The Little Girl I Once Knew (Remastered)
00:02:33

Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Carl Wilson, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Britz, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

9
There's No Other (Like My Baby) (With Party Session Intro/2012 Unplugged Mix)
00:04:21

MARK LINETT, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - PHIL SPECTOR, Composer - Brian Wilson, Producer - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Leroy Bates, Composer - Alan Boyd, Producer

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

10
Barbara Ann (2012 Stereo Mix)
00:02:12

Bruce Johnston, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - MARK LINETT, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Love, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Carl Wilson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dennis Wilson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Al Jardine, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Fred Fassert, ComposerLyricist - Dean Torance, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

11
Radio Spot “Wonderful KYA” (Mono)
00:00:09

The Beach Boys, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

12
Sloop John B (1996 Stereo Mix)
00:03:00

Steve Douglas, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - MARK LINETT, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Al Casey, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Billy Strange, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jay Migliori, Clarinet, AssociatedPerformer - Hal Blaine, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Capp, Glockenspiel, AssociatedPerformer - Lyle Ritz, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Carol Kaye, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Horn, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Al De Lory, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Britz, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Nimitz, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jerry Cole, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ron Swallow, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

13
Wouldn't It Be Nice (2001 Stereo Mix)
00:02:33

Tony Asher, ComposerLyricist - MARK LINETT, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Wilson, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Mike Love, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

14
God Only Knows (1996 Stereo Mix)
00:02:55

Bruce Johnston, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Asher, ComposerLyricist - JIM GORDON, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - MARK LINETT, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Larry Knechtel, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Bill Green, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Pohlman, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Wilson, Producer, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Carl Wilson, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Jay Migliori, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Hal Blaine, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Don Randi, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Lyle Ritz, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Carol Kaye, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Horn, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Sidney Sharp, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jesse Ehrlich, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Britz, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Frank Marocco, Accordion, AssociatedPerformer - Alan Robinson, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Lenny Hartman, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Carl L. Fortina, Accordion, AssociatedPerformer - Ralph Balantin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Malarsky, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Darrel Terwilliger, Viola, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

15
I Just Wasn't Made For These Times (1996 Stereo Mix)
00:03:20

Tony Asher, ComposerLyricist - Tommy Morgan, Harmonica, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Douglas, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - MARK LINETT, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Pohlman, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Tanner, Theremin, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Plas Johnson, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jay Migliori, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Hal Blaine, Drums, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - Don Randi, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Capp, Percussion, Timpani, AssociatedPerformer - Glen Campbell, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Barney Kessel, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Melvoin, Harpsichord, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berghofer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Ralph Balantin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Larry Levine, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bobby Klein, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

16
Caroline, No (1996 Stereo Mix)
00:02:19

Tony Asher, ComposerLyricist - Steve Douglas, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - MARK LINETT, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bill Green, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Wilson, Producer, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Beach Boys, MainArtist - Plas Johnson, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Jay Migliori, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Hal Blaine, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Capp, Vibraphone, AssociatedPerformer - Lyle Ritz, Ukulele, AssociatedPerformer - Glen Campbell, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Carol Kaye, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Barney Kessel, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Horn, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Al De Lory, Harpsichord, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Britz, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

Album Description

Designed as the triumphant conclusion to the Beach Boys 50th anniversary reunion, Made in California is indeed something of an extravaganza. Packaged as a hardcover yearbook -- a motif that runs right through to the liner notes, which include a high school piece by Brian Wilson among the various essays, along with plenty of rare photos -- Made in California makes no secret of hiding its nostalgia, but that doesn't mean the average Beach Boys fan wishing to take a stroll down memory lane should turn to this luxurious box. This six-disc set may tell the Beach Boys story quite thoroughly, but the devil is indeed in the details, details that may only compel the devoted. Certainly, Made in California is filled with rarities and oddities, some genuinely rare and unreleased, with the bulk of the set comprised of many alternate mixes, vocal sessions, instrumental tracks, radio spots, and an abundance of live tracks from throughout the years. Along the way, all the hits are unveiled in some fashion, but the compilers have made a practice of choosing interesting or intriguing mixes over original hit single mixes; for Pet Sounds alone, the selected songs ping-pong between 1996 and 2001 stereo mixes, while elsewhere there are stereo mixes from 2003, 2007, 2009, and 2012, along with the occasional mono mix. All those dates suggest just how often the Beach Boys catalog has been remastered and reissued over the years, but there is only one real corollary in their catalog: the 1993 five-disc box Good Vibrations. Twenty years on, the remastering has certainly improved but that's not the only reason Made in California has an edge over Good Vibrations. Those two decades brought an official restoration of The Smile Sessions and, in 2012, the 50th Anniversary reunion album That's Why God Made the Radio, which provides a better, sweeter conclusion to the group's story than "Kokomo." That said, this 174-track box finds a way to overlook plenty of great, even important, songs from all eras of the Beach Boys, with "She Knows Me Too Well," "Getting Hungry," "Funky Pretty," and "You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone" being among the prominent inexplicable omissions. Thing is, the listeners who will really dig into the box -- the ones who will thrill to the early demos as much as they do to the unreleased Dennis Wilson songs, as well as the unreleased "California Feeling" -- won't care that these songs are missing, as they'll have them somewhere else in their collection, and the casual fan will be fine without them. But even if it tells the Beach Boys story thoroughly, Made in California is most decidedly not for the casual fan. It is for the dedicated, the kind who knows the story by heart but wants to hear it told slightly differently. For them, it's worth taking this roundabout journey while immersing themselves in the packaging; those with less invested will likely prefer sticking to the familiar paths provided by either the original albums or concise compilations.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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