Subtle Vibrations: Assorted Beach Boys Cover Oddities

Signifying a momentum shift in the influence of Brian Wilson, the nineties to early aughts saw a handful of curious, if not downright mysterious Beach Boys/Brian Wilson tribute compilations. With eclectic, avant-garde artists and names like Smiles, Vibes & Harmony, these comps began to emerge intermittently. Spurred by interest in the legendary abandoned Smile project reaching a fever pitch, these hidden relics provide fascinating insights frozen in time. All these decades later, artists of all varieties continue to look at that specific era’s creative burst and beyond for endless inspiration. To quote the promotional description for the Japanese compilation Smiling Pets: “Sure, there’s a little schlock, but not that much”.

The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album

Imagine songs like “Merry Christmas, Baby” or “Christmas Day,” but with new titles and lyrics removed from Christmas, delivered on a record that didn’t bear a kitschy cover of the band putting ornaments on a tree. If this was the case, would the Christmas Album get the respect it deserves?

The Beach Boys :: Feel Flows – The Sunflower & Surf’s Up Sessions 1969-1971

The vaults have been emptied for Capitol’s oft-rumored Feel Flows box set: the Sunflower and Surf’s Up sessions. While the previous archival project’s sets were impressive, this is the mother lode. A sprawling collection including 100+ previously unreleased cuts, the scattered formula rounds up unreleased tracks, alternative endings, studio highlights (instrumental and A capella vocal takes), live recordings from various eras, and fresh outtakes.

The Beach Boys :: 20/20 Sessions

In the final weeks of 2018, Beach Boys fans were treated to something unexpected: a rare copyright term limit, digital-only, release of three collections from their vaults. The emancipated material includes the Friends Sessions, the live performances that document Beach Boys On Tour. and I Can Hear Music: The 20/20 Sessions.

While all possess their individual highlights, it’s this final volume that particularly stands out. […]