The Beach Boys (album)

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The Beach Boys
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 10, 1985
RecordedJune 1984–March 1985
GenreRock, pop rock, new wave
ProducerSteve Levine
The Beach Boys chronology
The Beach Boys
Made in U.S.A.
Singles from The Beach Boys
  1. "Getcha Back"/"Male Ego"
    Released: May 8, 1985
  2. "It's Gettin' Late"
    Released: July 17, 1985
  3. "She Believes in Love Again"/"It's Just a Matter of Time"
    Released: September 1985

The Beach Boys is the 25th studio album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released on June 10, 1985. Produced by Steve Levine, the album is the band's first recording after the drowning death of founding member Dennis Wilson. It was also the band's first album to be recorded digitally and the last released by James William Guercio's Caribou Records.

Music and lyrics[edit]

For The Beach Boys, the band hired Culture Club producer Steve Levine, who took them into the world of drum machines, synthesizers, sampling, and hi-tech recording technology. Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston and Al Jardine all took active roles in the project, writing several new songs for it, with Stevie Wonder and Culture Club each donating a song. The album was recorded during summer 1984 at Red Bus studio in London, and Westlake Audio in Los Angeles during late 1984/early 1985. It features Motown artist Stevie Wonder on harmonica and keyboards on the song "I Do Love You", which he also wrote. Ringo Starr also appears on the track "California Calling". Noted guitarist Gary Moore features on all tracks playing both guitar and synthaxe.

Brian Wilson contributed a song written in 1982 by himself and Dennis Wilson called "Oh Lord", but the song did not make the final cut. Also cut from the album was a cover of "At the Hop" with lead vocals by Mike Love.

Promotional videos[edit]

Two videos were produced to promote the album: "Getcha Back" and "It's Gettin' Late." Both videos feature a stereotypical nerd as the central character who socializes near the beach. In "Getcha Back", all band members are featured in a story of childhood love separated until the couple reaches their teenage years. In the second video, "It's Gettin' Late", the central character learns about the trials and tribulations of dating. The only Beach Boys member to appear in "It's Gettin' Late" is Brian Wilson, who makes an appearance at the end of the video. He is shown picking up a seashell and using it to listen to the song "California Calling".[citation needed]. Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke Logan Forrester from "The Bold And The Beautiful" TV -series) has a role on both videos.


Although "Getcha Back", was a top 30 hit, the album only reached No. 52 in the U.S. (making it their highest charting album since the release of 1976's album 15 Big Ones). After the album, CBS Records let the band's contract expire, leaving them without a record deal for the first time in years.[citation needed]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[1]
Blender1/5 stars[2]
Robert ChristgauC[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide1/5 stars[5]

Writing in Rolling Stone, Parke Puterbaugh called the album 'pretty entertaining', adding 'though not a world-beating act of artistic reassertion, the LP does serve to showcase those amazing voices, and to remind the world that nobody does it better — still.'[6]

In their book The Complete Guide to Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, critics Andrew G Doe and John Tobler describe the album as 'technically perfect yet generally sterile'. They do, however, single out Carl Wilson's 'Where I Belong' for praise, describing the track as 'simply magnificent, with block harmonies of almost chilling power'.[full citation needed] Doe also praised 'Where I Belong' in his liner notes for the 2000 CD reissue, calling it "achingly beautiful" and "the album’s undisputed highlight".[7]

Track listing[edit]

Eugene Landy originally received co-writer's credit for all Brian Wilson compositions. This credit was omitted on later editions.

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead VocalsLength
1."Getcha Back"Mike Love, Terry MelcherMike Love and Brian Wilson3:02
2."It's Gettin' Late"Carl Wilson, Myrna Smith-Schilling, Robert White JohnsonCarl Wilson3:27
3."Crack at Your Love"Brian Wilson, Al JardineAl Jardine and B. Wilson3:40
4."Maybe I Don't Know"C. Wilson, Smith-Schilling, Steve Levine, Julian Stewart LindsayC. Wilson3:54
5."She Believes in Love Again"Bruce JohnstonC. Wilson and Bruce Johnston3:29
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead VocalsLength
1."California Calling"Jardine, B. WilsonLove and Jardine2:50
2."Passing Friend"George O'Dowd, Roy HayC. Wilson5:00
3."I'm So Lonely"B. WilsonB. Wilson and C. Wilson2:52
4."Where I Belong"C. Wilson, JohnsonC. Wilson and Jardine2:58
5."I Do Love You"Stevie WonderC. Wilson and Jardine4:20
6."It's Just a Matter of Time"B. WilsonB. Wilson and Love2:23
Bonus CD track
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead VocalsLength
12."Male Ego"B. Wilson, LoveB. Wilson and Love2:32


Some credits sourced from Craig Slowinski.[8]

The Beach Boys
  • Brian Wilson – vocals, Yamaha DX1, Jupiter 8, Oberheim OB8, Piano
  • Carl Wilson – vocals, Yamaha DX1 synthesizer on “It’s Gettin’ Late” and Where I Belong,” Electric Guitar on “It’s Gettin’ Late”
  • Mike Love – vocals
  • Al Jardine – vocals, Electric Guitars on "California Calling"
  • Bruce Johnston – vocals, Kurzweil 250

Additional musicians
  • John Alder – Guitars, Dobro
  • Graham Broad – Drums, Percussion
  • Stuart Gordon – Violin, Viola, Cello
  • Steve Grainger – Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
  • Roy Hay – all instruments on "Passing Friend" except Saxophone and Programming
  • Simon Humphrey – Bass
  • Judd Lander – Harmonica
  • Steve Levine – Fairlight and Drum Programming
  • Julian Lindsay – Kurzweil 250, PPG Wave 2.3, Programming, Yamaha DX1, Oberheim OB8, String Arrangement, Organ, Acoustic Piano, Bass
  • Terry Melcher – Kurzweil 250
  • Kenneth McGregor – Trombone
  • George McFarlaine – Bass
  • Gary Moore – Guitars, Synthaxe
  • Ian Ritchie – Tenor Saxophone, Lyricon
  • Dave Spence – Trumpet
  • Ringo Starr – Drums and Timpani on "California Calling"
  • Stevie Wonder – Drums, Bass, Fender Rhodes, Harmonica (all on "I Do Love You")

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 Albums 52
UK Top 40 Album Chart 60[9]


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. The Beach Boys at AllMusic
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: beach boys". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  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. ^ Brackett, Nathan; with Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York, NY: Fireside/Simon & Schuster. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
  6. ^ "The Beach Boys". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  7. ^ "KTSA / Beach Boys 85". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  8. ^,26597.0.html
  9. ^ The Beach Boys The Beach Boys
  • Keepin' the Summer Alive/The Beach Boys CD booklet notes, Andrew G. Doe, c.2000. - Contains personnel listings for both but only details instruments for the latter.
  • "Top Pop Albums 1955-2001", Joel Whitburn, c. 2002.