April 29, 2012

"That's Why God Made The Radio."

A beautiful new song by the (surviving) Beach Boys — Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine (with Bruce Johnston and David Marks). You can listen to it at the link.
If you're lucky, you can hear The Beach Boys on tour — the band began a world tour for their 50th anniversary last night in Tucson, performing an astonishing 42 songs!

44 comments:

Surfed said...

I have two front row tix for their show next week in the St. Augustine Amphitheater. Gonna' be classic.

ndspinelli said...

James Watt would beg to differ. The Reagans got his mind right, however!

chickenlittle said...

Lyrical, but not catchy.

I thought Brian Wilson's 2010 interpretation of "Rhapsody In Blue" reprised a lot of the original Beach Boys' sound.

Mary Beth said...

I saw them in concert a long time ago. Billy Joel was the opening act.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

The song instantly put me in mind of the summer of 1965, eleven-year-old me running down the beach at San Clemente pier. Every other beach blanket had a transistor radio, and every radio was tuned to channel 98, KFWB, playing Help Me, Rhonda. Ah, California.

Chip S. said...

Tyrone, Did anyone then and there understand the first line of that song?

David said...

42 songs, only 27 of which sounded alike. The crowd likely loved it nevertheless.

dreams said...

When the Beach Boys were young, they had a guitar player in their band who they laugh at because he told them that someday he was going to make it big as a solo singer, Glen Campbell was his name.

AllieOop said...

They still sound great, voices not aged much. This new song is okay, not comparable to their old stuff though. Sloop John B still my favorite.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

@Chip Ahoy

Sure, I understood that line--

"Since she put me down I've been something something in my head."

edutcher said...

Bruce Johnston was a Beach Boy forever.

Throw in Glenn Campbell* (while we can (sigh!), who toured with them and did vocal and instrumentals in studio) and you're there.

The Beach Boys are the ne plus ultra of California, when California was still the end of the rainbow.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

The song instantly put me in mind of the summer of 1965, eleven-year-old me running down the beach at San Clemente pier. Every other beach blanket had a transistor radio, and every radio was tuned to channel 98, KFWB, playing Help Me, Rhonda. Ah, California

Spring of '65, actually, but, yeah, even right outside of Philadelphia (of course, we had the Jersey Shore (we could have gone down to Rehoboth, too, to see her, but Ann had already left)), I know what you mean.

* He was an unofficial Beach Boy and Kingston Trio member in the early to mid-60s.

borgjess said...

@AllieOop
Sloop John B is my fave as well, beautiful song.

EDH said...

You can't overstate the sentimentality of this reunion tour.

And I think this commenter on the NPR thread is exaggerating any similarity.

Charles Forssi (CharlesForssi) wrote:
This new song sounds like the theme to "Midnight Cowboy" written by the late-great John Barry. The melody line is a total copy. Brian Wilson must have recently watched that movie or heard it on the radio when he was writing this.


The Midnight Cowboy Theme

Irene said...

I saw the Beach Boys in 1975 at what is now The United Center in Chicago. The Beach Boys were on tour with Chicago. It was a wonderful concert.

ndspinelli said...

Irene, The old Chicago Stadium had incredible acoustics. I never saw a concert there, but did attend many hockey games and it was chill up your spine loud.

ndspinelli said...

Brian Wilson is a musical genius. And, like many genuises, quite a tortured soul. I've seen two docs about Wilson/Beach Boys. The man has endured much.

wyo sis said...

I'll be rockin' Stadium of Fire on July 4th with the Beach Boys in Provo Utah! Can't wait.
I didn't know they were going to have a new release. I really like it. My husband said it sounds like it was released in the 60's. I don't detect much difference in their sound from the summers in the 60's that I remember so well. Be True to Your School!

madAsHell said...

I guess when your pushing 70 years of age no one wants to see your music video, and that's why God made radio!!

Alex said...

Decent retro-pop, the old guys can still sing. But "God Only Knows" remains their magnum opus.

Bruce Hayden said...

Might have hung around AZ another day or two if I had known. Did play an entire album of theirs on the way up, and have it keyed to #16 (California Girls) for someone who is supposed to visit this month (and, yes, she is kinda still blond, and grew up there, but on the snow instead of surf).

Made their 25th reunion tour at Red Rocks west of Denver. Great place for that sort of concert. That would be, what, 25 years ago now? Makes sense, because I went with my now ex, whom I thought would have been too young for their music.

Alex said...

I saw the Beach Boys in 1975 at what is now The United Center in Chicago. The Beach Boys were on tour with Chicago. It was a wonderful concert

That Chicago/Beach Boys connection would prove fruitful on Chicago's "Baby What a Big Surprise"(1977) with Carl Wilson providing background vocals.

Ex-prosecutor said...

I'm 25 again - I haven't had a triple bypass,both hips are original equipment, and arthritis is just a word.

Bender said...

It was fun, fun, fun seeing them a couple of times at Pine Knob. Sit on the lawn, drink a bunch of beers. Good times.

SteveR said...

You're right Alex, "God Only Knows" is a brilliant song.

I've also always liked "The Warmth of the Sun"

Surfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Surfed said...

Back when I started surfing in the early 1960's surfers didn't listen to the Beach Boys. We listened to Bud Shank, et al. The early surfing movies were scored with west coast jazz. Never will I forget the opening moments of "Have Guns, Will Travel" a surfing movie (big wave surfboards are called 'guns') when the blaring horns of bootlegged Peter Gunn came blasting out of the speakers as a surfer charged across the face of big Wiamea. Blew the roof right off of that Woman's Club. Place went beserk.

phx said...

Like the Beatles' We Can Work It Out, I always thought God Only Knows worked better as a song if I thought of the singer directing it towards a more general audience rather than just a boy to his girl.

~~God only knows what I'd be without you~~

Brian Wilson's love song to his audience.

Patrick Kelley said...

What? Those guys are still around? Isn't it time they changed their names from The Beach Boys to The Sandy Geezers?

Patrick Kelley said...

@phx-

I think God Only Knows was Dennis Wilson's song, or at least he sung the lead on it.

phx said...

@Patrick - Carl sang the version on the album. It's definitely a Brian song however.

Skyler said...

Some say Marconi didn't invent the radio, but he certainly did make it work. Tesla and Hertz among others invented the Basic technology. No gods or other mythical creatures were involved. It was men.

Chef Mojo said...

I'll stick with my memories of the Beach Boys of my youth, who were already coming up in years, I much prefer that to the continued manipulation of Brian Wilson that borders on elder abuse, as well as the over produced, software enhanced dreck linked to above. This tour is gonna be a soundboard jockey's wet dream. I guess they needed a "hit" to motivate the tour. That's Why God Made The Radio? Really? Who comes up with an asinine title like that? The Ghosts of Tin Pan Alley are howling in pain.

Brian Wilson was a consumate pop stylist, not a "musical genius." This doesn't detract from his greatness in the pantheon of rock 'n' roll, by any means, but the whole "tortured musical genius" thing gets pretty old.

phx said...

You have your myths, I have mine.

sydney said...

Meh. Not that great a song.

john said...

Where did Chipahoy's comment go?

Carnifex said...

My wife and I used to go to the free concerts they have at the State Fair (when she would still go with me. Since the infamous parking incident of 04' she won't anymore). Got to see Bobby Vinton, and Bobby Vee, the Shirelles, the Coasters...etc. I imagine it won't be too long before the Beachboys will be available.

I found the song okay, but forgettable, like most of their work. But that's why they make chocolate and vanilla.

Was always a rebel, including my choice in music.

Lem said...

God made radio so we could listen to Rush Limbaugh.

Harry Phartz said...

Saw them at Summerfest in 1975 and thought they were old then.

The new single has that wheezing quality which happens to all old people (even Sinatra displayed it). It must be lung capacity.

Mark O said...

I still have a drum stick Dennis Wison gave me in 1964. The season of "I Get Around" and "Don't Worry Baby," which is the perfect rock song.

wyo sis said...

To me the Beach Boys are always boys. When I listen to their music it's always summer of 1968. Even the new song is right there with me. It's beautiful because it makes me happy. It takes me to a happy and exciting time in my life. Whether it's wheezy, or trite, or whether the singers were tortured or not is not part of it. It's the moment, now or then or somewhere in time. It's musical time travel. I get it with the Beach Boys,the Association, the Beatles, the Doors... I just get it. I hope everyone has something like it in their lives. It's a beautiful part of living.

el polacko said...

classic beach boy harmonies but the tune is a little boring. i'd give it a four out of ten...not much of a beat and you can't really dance to it.

Christopher in MA said...

It's a "Meh" song. Nice to hear a new Beach Boys tune, but it's basically the Beatles reuniting to put out Free As A Bird (another lousy title).

I always thought Fun, Fun, Fun was their best song. Right from the opening chord you know you're in for a great time; Dennis' drum propels the thing into pop heaven.

And BTW - the first line of Help Me, Rhonda is:

Well, since she put me down, I've been out doing in my head.

Joe said...

The song bored me. I stop listening a third the way through.

Sabrina Messenger said...

I absolutely LOVE this song "That's Why God Made The Radio." Such a wonderful way to pay tribute to the days when listening to radio really was a simple pleasure. The music of the Beach Boys got me through many a cold Ohio winter, and fuelled my dreams of moving to sunny Southern California. I did move there for ten years and lived the Dream. Yes, I played the BB a lot...much to my ex-husband's annoyance (he was more about the Beatles.) Anyway, I'm planning to buy two copies of the album when it's released: one for me and one to introduce the BB to my 6 year old grandson. My daugher is already a fan hee hee. Why do I love the BB so much? Because no matter how bad things may seem nowadays, I figure I can put on that mp3 or CD and get that "love and sunshine" boost that makes us all so happy. God bless the Beach Boys. Their music will always be a part of the 'soundtrack of my life!'