The first of my favorite albums I'll mention is the classic 1964 release All Summer Long. It was their 6th studio album and the last one to focus on the elements of the California culture they had become famous for- beaches, surfing and cars. It featured their first #1 single, I Get Around. as well as other enduring classics like Little Honda, Don't Back Down, Wendy and the title track. I am personally a huge fan of Do You Remember? and think that Hushabye is simply gorgeous. Of their pre-Pet Sounds albums this is the one I most often listen to all the way through. The final track, Drive-In, sums up a now lost era in so many ways.
53) Friends (1968) - From the album of the same name. A wonderfully sweet song about the relationships in the band- and the old friends we all have and cherish. Favorite Lyric: "I talked your folks out of making you cut off you hair."
52) California Calling (1985) - From the album The Beach Boys. A song in their classic style written by Al Jardine and Brian Wilson, it appears on the first album the guys ever released on CD, and the first album they recorded after Dennis drowned. Ringo Starr also plays on this festive number! Favorite Lyric: "Now there's a touch o' Californ-i-a, in everyone who's ever been this way..."
51) The Warmth of the Sun (1964) - From the album Shut Down, Vol. 2. This emotional, layered and lush ballad was written by Mike & Brian and finished the day after JKF was assassinated. They wanted to say that bad things happen, but we always have the warmth of the sun. Favorite Lyric: "I'll dream of her arms and though they're not real, just like she's still there the way that I feel."
50) Surfin' Safari (1962) - From the album of the same name. Their first big hit from their first Capitol Records album, this song full of surfin' lingo started a national craze and introduced the world The Beach Boys sound. Favorite Lyric: "Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learnin' how, come on the safari with me..."
49) I'd Love Just Once To See You (1969) - From the album Wild Honey. This one's for the hardcore fans (Click the title to hear it on YouTube). It was never a single and never on a greatest hits compilation. It's a sweet little song about missing someone special. At least until the end, when it shows off the band's ever-present sense of humor. Favorite Lyric: "I'd love just once to see you, I'd love just once to see you, I'd love just once to see you...in the nude."
48) Here Today (1966) - From the album Pet Sounds. I have often said that this is my favorite song on my favorite album. Turns out that it's actually 5th- as you will see! But still, an amazing piece of music with great lyrics that have so much to say about teenage love. Favorite Lyric: "A brand new love affair is such a beautiful thing. But if you're not careful think about the pain it can bring."
47) Good Timin' (1979) - From the L.A. (Light Album). One of many great latter-day songs that showed off the amazing voice of Carl Wilson, this is another often overlooked gem in the catalogue. Favorite Lyric: "We're all goin' places, sharin' each other. A celebration of being together- I love good timin'..."
46) Let Him Run Wild (1965) - From the album Summer Days (and Summer Nights!). When we started listening to the compilation album Endless Summer back in 1974, there were a lot of songs we had heard before. This one was new to me- and it was a revelation! Such deep lyrics, so much orchestration and so many complex harmonies in a pop song; it simply blew me away. And still does. Favorite Lyric: "All the dreams you shared with him you might as well forget. I know you need a truer love and that's what you'll get."
45) Darlin' (1967) - From the album Wild Honey. It's confession time. For a long time after hearing this song on one of the "Greatest Hits" albums I didn't really like it very much. But over the years it grew on me, in part because I loved hearing it live. Very soulful. Favorite Lyric: "I love the way you soften my life with your love, your precious love uh huh oh."
So there we go, off to a flying start! See (or hear) anything you like? Join us next Thursday for the next installment, and have a great day! Oh..and here this week's Almost Song. It's Bluebirds Over the Mountain from the album 20/20. Enjoy!