Forgotten Surf Masterpiece: "Summer Means Fun" by Bruce & Terry

Posted by Joe Goldmark, July 26, 2012 04:51pm | Post a Comment

Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!    

Here’s a little known surf gem that I stumbled upon at Amoeba. It has all the ingredients of a hit: catchyBruce and Terry  Summer means fun charles manson tune, great production, and excellent vocal performance, but for whatever reason it never charted.  

Bruce & Terry are unknown as a group, but individually Bruce and Terry charles manson summer fun surf beach boysthey’ve got quite the reputations. Bruce Johnston went on to become a Beach Boy and also wrote the infamous hit “I Write the Songs,” which Barry Manilow got reamed for. Terry Melcher was a renowned L.A. producer and son of Doris Day.  He produced the first few Byrds albums among others. Together Bruce & Terry also produced many other acts, including the Riptides and their hit of “Hey Little Cobra.”

Unfortunately, Terry is perhaps best known for having been chummy with Charlie Manson for awhile. It was his just-vacated house where the murders occurred and it’s theorized that the family was really after him and his girlfriend, actress Candice Bergen, and not Sharon Tate

The Art Of The LP Cover- Who Is That?

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 14, 2012 02:55pm | Post a Comment

Today's feature is a collection of ill advised portrait covers. 
Some are worse than others, I think that the Frank Sinatra / Lena Horne pairing might be my favorite.

Albums Due in June: A Place to Bury Strangers, Diiv, Fiona Apple, and More

Posted by Billy Gil, June 1, 2012 06:33pm | Post a Comment

It’s June! That means Summer is here (it isn’t, but who cares). Which means it’s time to pretend you don’t actually still have to work and have responsibilities and all of that and just spend all your money on records and all your time listening to them. It’s as good a time as any to do so, as there are a number of big releases coming down the pipe this month.

A Place to Bury StrangersFirst of all, there’s the new album from A Place to Bury Strangers, Worship, out June 26th. I’ve been a huge fan of these guys since frontman Oliver Ackermann formed Skywave in the early 2000s and have enjoyed their progression from an industrial-shoegaze band to augmenting their sound with elements of coldwave while retaining their core sound. There’s basically no better band from which to get your extra loud dream-pop guitar fix than APTBS. Check out the video for the album’s first single, “You Are the One.”


There’s a lot of buzz around Diiv (formerly Dive), who release their debut, Oshin, also on June 26th, and why shouldn’t there be, as the band is fronted by Z. Cole Smith, who also is a member of Beach Fossils, who to me are easily one of the best guitar bands around. Similarly to BF, Diiv delivers intricate yet poolside-ready guitar goodness but also lacquers on some Creation Records era sound blankets. Just listen to “How Long Have You Known?” and tell me you’re not hungry for more.

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Used Finds: OMD, Beach Boys, Pointer Sisters

Posted by Billy Gil, February 8, 2012 06:32pm | Post a Comment
Here’s a new feature where every so often I’ll pick out my favorite used LPs from recent finds. It should go without saying I got all of these for like, an average of five bucks a piece. So here it goes.
OMD – Dazzle Ships
(link to original issue CD)
I always liked OMD enough for their singles, especially “Enola Gay,” but I never really delved into their albums until this one, a mini masterpiece of whirring industrial synthesizers and indelible pop melodies. Some of OMD’s catchiest songs (“Genetic Engineering,” “Telegraph”) are interrupted by bits of shortwave broadcast played over oceanic synthesizers that lend the whole thing an eerie ambiance. It feels like listening to the radio on a submarine. There’s also a young band called Dazzle Ships; they’re really cool too.

The Beach Boys – Sunflower
(new LP)
Sunflower is maybe the last classic the Beach Boys made and is all the more ripe for rediscovering because its songs haven’t been played to death (it wasn’t a hit in the U.S.) and its tastefully layered production sounds great today on harmony-driven songs like “Forever” and “Cool, Cool Water,” fun ’70s rocker “Slip on Through” and, especially, “All I Wanna Do,” which may have helped invent shoegaze.

The Pointer SistersSpecial Things
I love everything about Special Friends. The sick bouncing basslines and horns on “Could I Be Dreamin’” and “Evil.” Burt Bacharach co-penned ballads like “Where Did the Time Go” that will absolutely kill you if you’re in the mood. Their outfits. But also this album has “He’s So Shy,” maybe their best song, which is like cotton candy for anyone with a yen for early ’80s synth-driven R&B a la Prince’s Dirty Mind.

Brian Wilson/Beach Boys Fans Have Good Reason to Smile Today with the Release of the Smile Sessions in Three Versions

Posted by Billyjam, November 1, 2011 05:33pm | Post a Comment

Talk about a highly anticipated & long delayed release! Brian Wilson and Beach Boys fans are no doubt rejoicing today with the arrival in Amoeba Music of the 2 CD  set The Smile Sessions. Released by Capitol/EMI the new release is culled from what was originally supposed to be released as the Smile album back in the latter half of the sixties as the follow up to the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. Ofttimes spelled with the typeset SMiLE (based on the original artwork by Frank Holmes) the new release is  culled from the long lost legendary 1966/67 Smile sessions.

As is long part of music lore, the master tapes for Smile got shelved due, as most report, to Wilson's deteriorating mental state and the album never saw the light of day. Well not exactly; it never got released as originally intended by its creator Wilson at the time. Portions of the project have surfaced as bootlegs, snapped up by diehard Wilson/Beach Boys fans, over the decades since its initial intended release date. Additionally many of the original songs found their way onto various other official Beach Boys releases. But then eight years ago the Smile project was brought back to life by Wilson himself who went about rerecording it as he had intended. That fully completed version was released in 2004.

But The Smile Sessions released today, which features a reconstructed version of the album pieced together from those original '66/'67 studio recordings, is definitely one to have for any true Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fan. Vinyl collectors will be happy to know that there is an LP version of The Smile Sessions also available from Amoeba. As well as the reconstructed album Smile the new 2 CD  version of the collection (see image of contents right) includes a lot more gems from the vaults; early song drafts, alternate takes, vocal only & instrumental only mixes of songs, as well as snippets of studio banter between the band members. Also included is a 14.5" x 20" poster of the Frank Holmes cover art, and a 37 page booklet with liner notes by Wilson. There is also a collectible one inch scale Smile button included.

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