http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/d758117175505252e7a47cdc68f8c247c3b068c0.jpg The Beach Boys In Concert

The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys In Concert

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
January 31, 1974

This is simply everything a live album should be, and then some. Most of the performances hold their own beside the quality of the originals (even in those stubborn, hard-to-get-at places — "Marcella," "Heroes And Villains," "Funky Pretty") and yet they're never static. They remain faithful without becoming plodding or repetitive.

The production is Carl Wilson's idea of pretty good with a few messy spots, which means it's unflaggingly superb but you can hear him whispering "Shut up, you guys" right before he launches his haunting vocal on "Caroline No."

The set itself is carefully selected to touch on all facets of their 12-year career, and it highlights the ease with which they can slip from a Phil Spector sound ("Don't Worry Baby") into one influenced by Chuck Berry ("Surfin' USA"), or from "Good Vibrations" into "Fun, Fun, Fun."

An accurate listing of the high points here would have to include all 20 cuts, but the ferocious intensity they bring to "Darlin'" puts that one in a class all its own. "Marcella" is their most electrifying single moment, beefed up by a brilliant pedal-steel line from Ricky Fataar and a louder, faster, grittier arrangement than the version on Carl and the Passions. The set's one new song, "We Got Love," mixes fresh rhythms with that eternally versatile arranging style, and generally bodes well for the futures of all concerned.

There are five very able sidemen playing alongside the band's six touring members; aside from that there's no outside help — just one tiny overdub, an ooh-part on "Funky Pretty." Nitpickers may want to note that this collection doesn't include such eminently includable numbers as "I Get Around," "Do It Again" and "Long Promised Road," which were presumably left off, because, since nothing else was expendable, they would have necessitated a three-volume set.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories


    The Commodores | 1984

    The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

    More Song Stories entries »