The Beach Boys
15 Big Ones


1.5
very poor

Review

by Drbebop USER (65 Reviews)
July 24th, 2019 | 12 replies


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The tide comes in


Endless Summer basically killed The Beach Boys. The double album compilation of their early 60s work hit no 1 and stayed in the charts for damn near 3 years. More importantly, it brought them back into the limelight. Now the group had two choices. Keep going with the progressive edge of their previous 3 albums which had brought them good reviews but poor sales or capitalise on their new found popularity and go back to playing oldies. I’ll let you guess which one they chose. With Brian Wilson now 300lbs and nursing a diet of blood red steaks and 5 packs a day, the group needed him back to reignite the magic. Now with infamous psychiatrist Dr Eugene Landy monitoring his every move and with the weight of the world on his shoulders, powered by a campaign announcing he was Back, Brian was just... ambivalent. He was more focused on making covers with rough and dry production instead. And his choices show.

15 Big Ones is bad. It’s also messy. Very very messy. And it’s not very good either. Crammed full of one note covers, weak original tracks and strange production choices, its certainly earned its place in the hall of bad comeback albums. The group’s efforts to regain that old charm they had in their early days are weak to say the least. The originals range from very poor to pretty good. The throwback fun of ‘It’s OK’ is a hit that never was. The jazzy and unusual gem ‘Had To Phone Ya’ is alarmingly catchy and features all the boys on Lead vocals. The gospel send up ‘That Same Song’ is pure cheese but fun and a real ear worm and the Sunflower left over ‘Susie Cincinnati’ is a great rock number by Al. Other than that, it’s Slim pickings.

Brian’s vocals have degenerated into hoarse grunts by this point (Similarly, Dennis had suffered a throat injury that had crippled his singing voice leaving a surprisingly soulful and powerful one in its place). Mix that with a poor choice of covers that range from great to unlistenable (The final two tracks ‘In The Still Of The Night’ and ‘Just Once In My Life’ are genuinely superb and strong, while the album hits truly rancid lows with ‘Blueberry Hill’ and ‘Chapel Of Love’) and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. The production goes from violently overproduced to barely sounding like a rough demo. ‘TM Song’ for example is so bare bones I can hardly really call it a track, it’s more of a rambling mess with a 30 second unfunny skit tacked onto the beginning. It’s an album driven by product and a soulless desire for monetary gain. While there are some catchy and strong takes on old songs and a handful of select originals, there’s also half an albums worth of sappy garbage (Mike’s ‘Everyone’s In Love With You’ sounds more something you’d hear on an easy listening CD than a Beach Boys record), odd production and phoned in, bitter performances. It gets old fast.

Standout tracks

It’s OK
Had To Phone Ya
Susie Cincinnati
In The Still Of The Night
Just Once In My Life



Recent reviews by this author
Kevin and the Bikes Dorkcore 101Christian And The Hedgehog Boys Christian and the Hedgehog Boys
Uboa The Origin Of My Depression100 Gecs 100 Gecs
Radiohead Pablo HoneyFleetwood Mac Tango in the Night
user ratings (78)
2
poor
other reviews of this album
sunflower2020 (1)
First they were The Pendletones. Then The Beach Boys. Then American Band. And here, they sound like ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
samwise2000
July 24th 2019


532 Comments


Yea, this album is shit

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2019


18924 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Brian definitely phoned it in here, partly to get the label interested in whatever original work he was writing (Love You, Adult/Child) but even then, he had no desire to be in the band at this point and hadn't wanted to since 1973. It's astonishing that they coaxed anything remotely good out of him on this album, but even then, he had three different parties openly sabotaging him - not counting the ones done by his own doing.

Digging: Doopees - Doopee Time

Friday13th
July 25th 2019


7009 Comments


One of the few BB albums I haven't heard. Not looking forward to it, but one day I know I'll swallow the pill lol

Digging: Tool - Fear Inoculum

StrikeOfTheBeast
July 25th 2019


8382 Comments


Do these guys have anything worthwhile outside of Pet Sounds?

samwise2000
July 25th 2019


532 Comments


I like some of the pre-Pet Sounds stuff like All Summer Long and Summer Days, and the Smiley Smile - Surf's Up run is worth listening to if you dig their sound. Really can't go wrong with any of their 60s material

tommygun
July 25th 2019


26969 Comments


Pos for rating

Awful band

oltnabrick
July 25th 2019


37387 Comments


0% porn
0% naked girls
0% gold chains
0% gangsters
0% poppin' bottles
0% useless bling bling



100% real music.

Digging: Leviathan - Verrter

StrikeOfTheBeast
July 25th 2019


8382 Comments


Good way to put it.

MetalMarcJK
July 25th 2019


162 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's OK and Susie C are the only tracks with anything IMO.

Digging: David Hasselhoff - Night Rocker

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2019


18924 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"Do these guys have anything worthwhile outside of Pet Sounds?"



a solid third of their discography is worth listening to. Avoid anything post Love You.



If you want something more similar to Pet Sounds, listen to Today; otherwise, listen to Sunflower and/or Surf's Up.

MetalMarcJK
July 25th 2019


162 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

StrikeOTB, check out Sunflower, Surf's Up, and Holland. In Concert (1973) is great, too.

sharkmsc
July 25th 2019


246 Comments


The 70 year-olds in rock need to advertise their music with that masterful marketing there, Olt



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy