Keepin' the Summer Alive

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Keepin' the Summer Alive
Studio album by The Beach Boys
Released March 24, 1980 (1980-03-24)
Recorded 1969, 1972, 1978, November 1979 – February 1980
Genre Rock and roll, pop rock, country rock
Length 33:10
Label Brother/Caribou/CBS
Producer Bruce Johnston
The Beach Boys chronology
L.A. (Light Album)
(1979)L.A. (Light Album)1979
Keepin' the Summer Alive
Ten Years of Harmony
(1981)Ten Years of Harmony1981
Singles from Keepin' the Summer Alive
  1. "Goin' On" / "Endless Harmony"
    Released: March 11, 1980
  2. "Livin' with a Heartache" / "Santa Ana Winds"
    Released: May 20, 1980

Keepin' the Summer Alive is the 24th 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 founding member Brian Wilson return to his former role, the album is the last with founding drummer Dennis Wilson, who would 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 No. 75 in the US and No. 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 Studio 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. The resulting album included a mixture of brand new songs alongside older songs that had not 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). Bachman recorded "Keepin' the Summer Alive" with his short-lived band Union on their eponymous album released a year later. 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").

Johnston has expressed dissatisfaction with the production of the title track "Keepin' the Summer Alive", which he perceived as being weaker-sounding due to Carl Wilson's intervention.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 1.5/5 stars[2]
Blender 1/5 stars[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 1/5 stars[4]
MusicHound 2/5[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 1/5 stars[6]

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.

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 and Mike Love 3:52
3. "Some of Your Love" B. Wilson, Love Love and 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 and Brian Wilson 3:00
2. "Sunshine" B. Wilson, Love Love, B. Wilson and C. Wilson 2:52
3. "When Girls Get Together" B. Wilson, Love Love and B. Wilson 3:31
4. "Santa Ana Winds" B. Wilson, Al Jardine Jardine, Love and C. Wilson 3:14
5. "Endless Harmony" Bruce Johnston Bruce Johnston and C. Wilson 3:10


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, piano, keyboards, synthesizer, production
  • Dennis Wilson – 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

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 Albums 75
UK Top 40 Album Chart 54[7]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Keepin' the Summer Alive at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  3. ^ Wolk, Douglas (October 2004). "The Beach Boys Keepin the Summer Alive/The Beach Boys". Blender. Archived from the original on June 30, 2006. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin, ed. (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 479. ISBN 978-0-19-531373-4. 
  5. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 84. ISBN 1-57859-061-2. 
  6. ^ Brackett, Nathan; with Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York, NY: Fireside/Simon & Schuster. p. 46. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  7. ^ The Beach Boys Keepin' the Summer Alive


  • Keepin' the Summer Alive/The Beach Boys CD booklet notes, Andrew G. Doe, c.2000.