Review Summary: Twenty catchy, bubble-gum pop, surfing songs by The Beach Boys. Nothing more or nothing less.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
A long time ago, I heard a Beach Boys song on the radio, and fell in love. I began to hear more and more, and the more I heard, the more they became close to my favorite band. At the time, I was only into The Beatles, and me liking these surfing 60's guys broadened my taste in music. Me being only familiar with the hit singles, I knew what I had to do. Buy a CD, a greatest hits CD that is. As I browsed the store, I looked on the back of each Beach Boys disc to see if it would contain hits such as California Girls
and Surfin' USA
, and I found one entitled Greatest Hits Vol. 1.
I do not own this album any more, and it is the only Beach Boys album I've yet to hear, and technically, it's not a real album, but still, it provides great fun for the whole family, and I would surely say that it would be perfect to listen to on a road trip. The tracks fly by, and even though there are twenty of them, this compilation is only forty-nine minutes long. And as a wee child, I was having loads of fun jamming to this collection.
All of the songs follow pretty much the same formula, especially the first ten or so tracks on here. Most of them deal with surfing, having fun, and Little Deuce Coupe
deals with a car of some sort. The first song, Surfin' Safari
, deals with surfing of course, and then we have a song that deals with the subject of automobiles, called 409
. It's just another pop song, and so is the song that follows. As well as the next two. The lyrics are poppy and stupid, dealing with the same two or three topics/subjects every two or three songs. Even though the first ten tracks are catchy and fun, they have so-so musicianship(but honestly, what did you expect?), and the lyrics are dumb. The Beach Boys don't mature at all until the later half of Greatest Hits Vol. 1 starts.
The first two songs deal with dancing, and then we have a special little tracks called Help Me Rhonda
. I am not sure what the subject matter of the track is, but it probably isn't surfing/cars/dancing/etc. California Girls
is a very great pop rock song, and it has a different side of The Beach Boys. It's not dark or heavy or anything of the sort, but it has a different beat than the others. The first songs are just fast and poppy, yet this track slows down the pace a little bit, and shows that it only took a few years for this guys to progress a little. Another highlight is Wouldn't It Be Nice
, a track from the acclaimed 1966 effort Pet Sounds. It comes from this album, so of course, the song is better. It is very good actually. Like the aforementioned California Girls, it has a slower feel to it, and I like that. Alot. And of course, God Only Knows
, also from Pet Sounds, is a somewhat beautiful track that shows the progression that The Beach Boys had in the mid-sixties. And the last great song of the album is Good Vibrations
, which is from what I have heard would have been Smile!, but became Smiley Smile instead. The final track, Kokomo
, is a letdown. It's boring, and the lyrics are just plain nonsense. It may have been a huge hit and whatnot, but for real, this album should have ended with Good Vibrations. This song is just so bland. It's the Beach Boys song that gets played on the easy listening stations that my mom's stepdad listens to.
Aside from all of the flaws that pollute the album like bacteria, The Beach Boys' Greatest Hits Vol. 1 is a very good compilation, and like I said, it would be good for a family road trip. It's fun and easy-going, even the later Pet Sounds-era tracks that aren't as fast and poppy. The main flaws are the lyrics, and the dull hit single Kokomo. Sure, many of the songs deal with the same two or three subjects, and many tracks sound alike, but this can be forgiven, because this is what made The Beach Boys famous in their early years. It was that whole surfing, fun-loving, wild and crazy guys image that The Beach Boys had that made them known, yet they would have been forgotten probably if it were not for Pet Sounds, an album that I have yet to hear. Anyway, as far as I know, this is just the surface of the deep ocean that is The Beach Boys catalogue. I suppose that if you want to dig deeper and get to the buried treasure at the bottom of the ocean, I suggest buying their studio albums, because that's where a lot of it is perhaps.
+ Great stuff throughout
+ Fun and easy-going
- Very short