The Beach Boys – All Summer Long
Vinyl LP, Mono, 1964
All Summer Long lasts 12 months in the world of The Beach Boys. But the seasons to The Beach Boys are different from other folks. The cold despair of Winter is actually their summer. The wishfulness of Brian Wilson songs seduces one into a calm, but in actuality the music is like the ocean in a hurricane. It sucks you up, and then throws you on the pavement.
In 1964 the first thought when one hears the three words of The Beach Boys is 'surf.' All Summer Long is without a doubt not a surf album. Although there is one song “Don't Back Down” is perhaps their last stance on the sand and surf board. “Little Honda” is the only car song on the album, and now listening to it, the sexuality of the song brings up Kenneth Anger's fetish of the machine as a sex toy. Mike Love may or may not have other meaning for that song, but the urgency of the song is fantastic. Have the word “Go” brought such sensuality?
Without a doubt “Pet Sounds” and “Smile” are masterpieces, but for me The Beach Boys made incredible recordings between the early surf era and their progressive stance in later albums. Here, they are in a twilight age, where they see the 7” single as a brilliant medium. Some of the songs are total toss-offs (“Do You Remember?”) and “Our Favorite Recording Sessions” is....what is it?
On the other hand “Girls on the Beach” to me is pure sensual beauty. Sexuality never have been expressed so effortlessly, so easy, and enticing. But their happiness is fading quickly.