Beach Boys Bounty

On 16th May I co-presented a Beach Boys special for Ed Pinsent’s Sound Projector show on Resonance FM. This was a Pet Sounds and Smile-free zone, avoiding those over-discussed records in favour of little known gems from the early albums, surf instrumentals, a capella songs, the ‘Sock It To Em’ period, Brian Wilson’s work with the Honeys and American Spring, tracks written or produced by the other Beach Boys, and the Holland period.
You can now listen to the show here.

  1. The Beach Boys, ‘Surfin’’
    From Surfin’ Safari (1962), reissued on Surfin’ Safari / Surfin’ U.S.A., USA CAPITOL RECORDS 7243 5 31517 2 CD (2001)
  2. ‘Catch a Wave’
    From Surfer Girl (1963), reissued on Surfer Girl / Shut Down Volume 2, USA CAPITOL RECORDS 0777 7 93692 2 5 CD (1990)
  3. ‘When I Grow Up To Be A Man’
    From Today! (1965), reissued on Today! / Summer Days and Summer Nights, USA CAPITOL RECORDS CDP 7 93694 2 CD (1990)
  4. ‘Our Car Club’
    From Surfer Girl, op cit.
  5. ‘Be True To Your School’
    From Little Deuce Coupe (1963), reissued on Little Deuce Coupe / All Summer Long, USA CAPITOL RECORDS CDP 7 93693 2 CD (1990)
  6. ‘Boogie Woodie’
    From Surfer Girl, op cit.
  7. ‘Moon Dawg’
    From Surfin’ Safari, op cit.
  8. ‘The Rocking Surfer’
    From Surfer Girl, op cit.
  9. ‘Let’s Go Trippin’’
    From Concert LP (1964), reissued on Concert / Live in London, USA CAPITOL RECORDS 7243 5 31861 2 8 CD (2001)
  10. ‘A Young Man Is Gone’
    From Little Deuce Coupe, op cit.
  11. ‘In My Room’
    From Surfer Girl, op cit.
  12. ‘Devoted to You’
    From Beach Boys’ Party!, reissued on Beach Boys’ Party! / Stack-o-Tracks, USA CAPITOL RECORDS 7243 5 31641 2 6 CD (2001)
  13. ‘Our Prayer’
    From 20-20 (1969), reissued on Friends / 20-20, USA CAPITOL RECORDS 7 93697 2 CD (1990)
  14. ‘Aren’t You Glad’
    From Wild Honey (1967), reissued on Smiley Smile / Wild Honey, USA CAPITOL RECORDS 7 93696 2 CD (1990)
  15. ‘Anna Lee, The Healer’
    From Friends, reissued on Friends / 20-20, op cit.
  16. ‘I Was Made to Love Her’
    From Wild Honey, op cit.
  17. ‘I Went to Sleep’
    From 20-20, op cit.
  18. ‘Here Comes the Night’
    From Wild Honey, op cit.
  19. ‘Celebrate the News’
    From Break Away 7″ (1969), reissued on Friends / 20-20, op cit.
  20. ‘Darlin’’
    From Wild Honey, op cit.
  21. ‘Feel Flows’
    From Surf’s Up (1971), reissued on Sunflower / Surf’s Up, USA CAPITOL RECORDS 7243 5 25792 2 9 CD (2000)
  22. ‘I Can Hear Music’
    From 20-20, op cit.
  23. ‘Disney Girls’
    From Surf’s Up, op cit.
  24. ‘Never Learn Not to Love’
    From 20-20, op cit.
  25. ‘Lookin’ at Tomorrow (A Welfare Song)’
    From Surf’s Up, op cit.
  26. Dennis Wilson, ‘River Song’
    From Pacific Ocean Blue (1977) from reissue promo (2008)
  27. The Honeys, ‘Tonight You Belong to Me’
    7″ single (1969), reissued on Pet Projects: The Brian Wilson Productions, UK ACE RECORDS CDCHD 851 CD (2003)
  28. Spring, ‘Sweet Mountain’
    From American Spring LP (1972) reissued on SEE FOR MILES RECORDS SEE269 LP (1989)
  29. The Beach Boys, ‘The Trader’
    From Holland (1973), reissued on Carl & The Passions “So Tough” / Holland, USA CAPITOL RECORDS 7243 5 25694 2 7 CD (2000)
  30. ‘Sail on Sailor’
    From Holland, op cit.

Culture Top Gear-style

I tuned into The Culture Show on BBC2 last night to catch their feature on the excellent American telly drama The Wire and its creator David Simon. Simon is an articulate and opinionated person with a lot of interesting things to say about the television industry and society at large, but I had a feeling the folks at the BBC would find some contrived way to mess up this golden opportunity. Sure enough, they decided to give the feature a ‘theme’ based on the show’s name, putting Simon in handcuffs and getting presenter Lauren Laverne to confront him with taped ‘wiretap evidence’ of his views about the show.

Simon is good value even under such duress, but this sort of time-wasting and gimmicky approach unfortunately seems to be increasingly common these days. Indeed, The Culture Show rather blatantly steals its format from the revamped Top Gear, being filmed in front of a live studio audience, and having its presenters Laverne and Mark Kermode stand up and chat in a pseudo-spontaneous fashion between the glossy and edit-heavy features.

A friend who is in a position to know tells me that, within the Beeb, the highly popular Top Gear is now seen as the Holy Grail of magazine show formats. Consequently it’s not good enough any more for a show to cover a subject just because it’s interesting, or to do so in a straightforward way and let the subject speak for itself. Every piece now has to have a Top Gear-style ‘angle’ involving celebrities, ridiculous challenges or better still both.

But this misunderstands the reason why Top Gear is popular. At the end of the day, it’s because of its content, not its format. As Patrick West argues, it’s the fun, imagination, joie de vivre, love of risk taking and the wilful disregard for political correctness that makes Top Gear stand out from other shows and appeal even to non-petrol heads such as myself.

The Culture Show seems staid and self-satisfied in comparison, rather ironically for a programme that is supposed to be interested in breaking barriers and challenging taboos. Lauren ‘isnt everything so humorous’ Laverne in particular exudes ironic disinterest. And while Clarkson and co may be boorish and infantile, they clearly love cars and their passion is infectious. Give me their half-scripted blokeish banter any day over the excruciatingly forced and arch exchanges between Laverne and Kermode – a match made in TV hell if ever there was one.

The Culture Show is so bad it almost makes me pine for its predecessors The Late Show and The Late Review. The Mark Lawsons and Germaine Greers of the world may be boring, pretentious and middle-of-the-road but at least they all share an unstated assumption that culture is worth taking seriously. The Culture Show on the other hand seems convinced that nobody really likes culture at all.