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Beach Boys Unreleased Recordings Surface

August 7, 1998 12:00 AM ET

The story of the Beach Boys will be told this month in a new documentary and a soundtrack with previously unreleased songs.

Endless Harmony: The Beach Boys Story will premiere Aug. 23 on VH1. The two-hour special, touted as the first documentary completed with the full cooperation of the Beach Boys, was produced by Delilah Films. Capitol Records Home Video will release the film in November.

The Capitol Records soundtrack, due Aug. 11, includes five previously unreleased songs: one by Brian Wilson and Rick Henn, two by the late Dennis Wilson, one by Mike Love and one, Al Jardine's "Loop De Loop," that was originally recorded in 1969 and re-recorded last month with new lead vocals.

Endless Harmony also features live, demo, rehearsal, remixed, and alternate tracks of such hits as "Help Me, Rhonda," "California Girls," and "Good Vibrations." Only two tracks on Endless Harmony have been previously released in these versions. Starting next year, Capitol will re-release all out-of-print Beach Boys albums originally issued in the '70s on the group's Brother Records label.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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