Endless Summer is a compilation album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released on June 24, 1974 on Capitol. A collection of hits from the band's pre-Pet Sounds period, Endless Summer was compiled by their old label Capitol Records, while the Beach Boys were contracted with Reprise Records. Eventually reaching #1, the album reclaimed the band's commercial glory at home, spending 155 weeks on the Billboard album chart, becoming the group's second chart-topping album in the U.S., and being certified 3x platinum by the RIAA for shipping over three million copies in America.
In 1992, Mike Love noted, "They were going to do a Best Of The Beach Boys Volume Three in 19- , whatever the hell it was, and I came in there and went, "Wait a second, call it Endless Summer, instead of being Volume Three which sound nauseating to me. Endless Summer has a whole other vibe to it and sold several million copies just with the switch of the title. But then I'm a title guy anyway."
Initial pressings of this album contained a poster depicting an airplane flying a Beach Boys banner. While the album is limited entirely to the band's sixties material, the cover artwork reflected the Beach Boys' seventies appearance. The artwork illustrator was Keith McConnell (who also did the artwork for their follow-ups, Spirit Of America and Sunshine Dream). With vegetation in the foreground, it also seems to evoke images of the band's late 1960s Smiley Smile album, although none of the songs on the original pressing are from Smiley Smile ("Good Vibrations" was added to the CD release of the album in 1987).
Although originally released as a double album (two LPs in a gatefold sleeve) in the USA, the album was released in the UK on a single LP with ten songs on each side.
The cassette version differs slightly as to the sequence of tracks. Side 1 features all tracks from Sides 1 & 2 in the same order plus "I Get Around" from Side 3. Side 2 includes the remaining tracks from Sides 3 & 4 in the same order with the exception of "Girls on the Beach" and "Wendy" which were 'swapped'.
The song "Help Me, Ronda," the version from the album The Beach Boys Today!, which was the one included in this album, contrary to the album's "greatest hits" theme, was retitled "Help Me, Rhonda," like the actual hit single version. It was featured as one of 2 Beach Boys tracks in a promotional-only various artists compilation album issued by Capitol records entitled The Greatest Music Ever Sold (Capitol SPRO-8511/8512), that was distributed to record stores during the 1976 Holiday season as part of Capitol's "Greatest Music Ever Sold" campaign, which promoted 15 "Best Of" albums released by the record label. The song was once again retitled "Help Me, Rhonda," for this compilation album. "Dance, Dance, Dance" from Spirit Of America was the other Beach Boys song to be included.