Keepin' the Summer Alive

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Keepin' the Summer Alive
Studio album by The Beach Boys
Released March 24, 1980
Recorded July 1979–February 1980
Except: "When Girls Get Together": backing track recorded November 4, 1969, with overdubs in January 1970
Genre Rock
Length 33:10
Label Brother/Caribou/CBS
Producer Bruce Johnston
The Beach Boys chronology
L.A. (Light Album)
Keepin' the Summer Alive
Ten Years of Harmony
Singles from Keepin' the Summer Alive
  1. "Goin' On"
    Released: March 11, 1980 (1980-03-11)
  2. "Livin' with a Heartache"
    Released: May 20, 1980 (1980-05-20)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars [1]

Keepin' the Summer Alive is the twenty-fourth studio album by American rock band The Beach Boys, released on March 24, 1980 on Brother, Caribou and CBS Records. Produced by band member Bruce Johnston, following aborted attempts to have Brian Wilson return to his former role, the album is the last to feature Dennis Wilson, who would subsequently drown in December 1983. The album also features the Eagles' guitarist Joe Walsh, on the opening track "Keepin' the Summer Alive"

The album peaked at #75 in the U.S. and #54 in the UK.

Background and recording[edit]

After the band's previous album, L.A. (Light Album) (1979), failed to live up to commercial and critical expectations, the executives at CBS expected Brian Wilson's full involvement, and thus, there was an attempt to lure him back into his former role of producer.

Wilson and vocalist Mike Love quickly composed new material, and in July 1979, The Beach Boys convened at Western Recorders in Los Angeles - the studio where most of the band's 1960s material had been produced by Brian - to begin work on a new studio album. Dennis Wilson, at odds with the rest of the group, abandoned the initial recording sessions, taking no further part in the album. These recording sessions were also stalled by Brian Wilson's desire to record only cover songs of rock n' roll tracks; one of these, Chuck Berry's "School Days", appears on the album's final track listing.

The band subsequently halted the sessions, and regrouped with Bruce Johnston taking complete control of the album's production, and placing the songs within a contemporary-sounding context. The album was recorded at regular backing band member Daryl Dragon's Rumbo Recorders in San Fernando, and Al Jardine's recording studio in his Big Sur barn. To fill the void Dennis Wilson had left, Scott Mathews served as the session drummer.[2][3][4] Due to his consistent behind the scenes work, it was brought to Mathews' attention by Carl that his joining the band could be a good fit. Mathews passed on 'his dream gig' citing his lack of ambition to tour, his blossoming platinum level writing and production career but it was also to continue as close friends with both Carl and Brian Wilson.[5] The resulting album included a mixture of brand new songs alongside older song that hadn't been released up until that point. Of the new songs, "Keepin' the Summer Alive" and "Livin' With a Heartache" were written by Carl Wilson and Randy Bachman (of The Guess Who and Bachman–Turner Overdrive). The rest of the new songs, "Oh Darlin'", "Some of Your Love", "Goin' On" and "Sunshine" were written by Mike Love and Brian Wilson. The older songs date back to 1969 ("When Girls Get Together"), 1972 ("Endless Harmony", the only track on the album where Dennis can be heard) and 1978 ("Santa Ana Winds").

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Keepin' the Summer Alive"   Carl Wilson/Randy Bachman Carl Wilson 3:43
2. "Oh Darlin'"   Brian Wilson/Mike Love C. Wilson/Mike Love 3:52
3. "Some of Your Love"   B. Wilson/Love Love/C. Wilson 2:36
4. "Livin' with a Heartache"   C. Wilson/Bachman C. Wilson 4:06
5. "School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell)"   Chuck Berry Al Jardine 2:52
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Goin' On"   B. Wilson/Love Love/C. Wilson/Brian Wilson 3:00
2. "Sunshine"   B. Wilson/Love Love/B. Wilson/C. Wilson 2:52
3. "When Girls Get Together"   B. Wilson/Love Love/B. Wilson 3:31
4. "Santa Ana Winds"   B. Wilson/Al Jardine Jardine/Love/C. Wilson 3:14
5. "Endless Harmony"   Bruce Johnston Bruce Johnston/C. Wilson 3:10

Keepin' the Summer Alive (Brother/Caribou/CBS JZ 36283) reached #75 in the U.S. during a chart stay of 6 weeks. It reached #54 in the UK.

Keepin' the Summer Alive is now paired on CD with The Beach Boys.


The Beach Boys
  • Brian Wilson - lead, harmony and backing vocals, piano, keyboards, synthesizer
  • Carl Wilson - lead, harmony and backing vocals, guitar
  • Al Jardine - lead, harmony and backing vocals, guitar, spoken word introduction on "Santa Ana Winds"
  • Mike Love - lead, harmony and backing vocals
  • Bruce Johnston - lead, harmony, and backing vocals, keyboard, production
  • Dennis Wilson - harmony and backing vocals, drums and percussion on "Endless Harmony"
Additional musicians
Technical personnel
  • Bruce Johnston - producer
  • Steve Desper - chief engineer, mixing
  • Chuck Leary - engineer
  • Chuck Britz - engineer
  • Rodney Pearson - engineer
  • Brian Behrns - second engineer
  • John Alvin - illustration
  • Tony Lane - art direction
  • Gary Nichamin - photography


  • Keepin' the Summer Alive/The Beach Boys CD booklet notes, Andrew G. Doe, c.2000.
  • "The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and the Southern California Experience", Timothy White, c. 1994.
  • "Top Pop Singles 1955-2001", Joel Whitburn, c. 2002.
  • "Top Pop Albums 1955-2001", Joel Whitburn, c. 2002.


  1. ^ Keepin' the Summer Alive at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  2. ^ "The Dūrocs - Dūrocs". Psychedelic Jams. 2011-07-2011. Retrieved January 8, 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ Stebbins, Jon - "The Real Beach Boys", ECW Press
  4. ^ "Beach Boys Smile Animated Unboxing". Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Chris Floyd on working with the 5th Beach Boy, Nashville, and current trends in Music.". Retrieved March 6, 2013.