With the proliferation of the iTunes/iPod shuffle, over the past seven years, I am forever reminded just how diverse the Beach Boys catalog truly is. Yes, I have the majority of the LPs, but it’s when those random individual nuggets pop up without warning that the width and breadth of their diversity really hits home. The 10,000 foot view of the group would read something like: California teenage pop group, along with Jan & Dean and others, become the focal point of America’s fascination with the burgeoning SoCal teen, car and surf culture. Group knocks out hit after number one hit. Leader Brian Wilson writes/records one of the most influential records of the 20th century only to creatively/socially drop out for the next three decades. Group continues on with little help from Wilson all the while delving into soul, r&b, and rock & roll while fostering a reputation as an ace live act.
While flying into Austin Friday night for SXSW the live version of the Beach Boys’ “Sail On Sailor” worked itself into the shuffle mix. While I won’t go as far as to say it at all trumps the Holland studio version, this one (and the 1973 live LP The Beach Boys In Concert it’s culled from) captures yet another chameleon aspect of the Beach Boys career.
Coincidently I am also consistently struck by just how pigeonholed this band is in the eyes/ears the majority of pop culture. It’s most likely the **“Kokomo/John Stamos“ effect.
**In case you chose to click on that link and view that abomination, I’m posting my favorite Beach Boys youtube clip below. Consider it a palette cleanse.
The Beach Boys :: Sail On Sailor
Amazon: The Beach Boys In Concert