The Beach Boys: Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) (Capitol)
By Carl Meyer
“Summer Days (And Summer Nights!)” was overshadowed by both
its predecessor, “The Beach Boys Today!” and its successor “Pet Sounds”,
(“Beach Boys’ Party!” doesn’t count).
This was very strange as the album delivered two of the
group’s strongest single B-sides, “Girl Don’t Tell Me” (what other song
captures the bittersweet teenage memories of a summer vacation love?) and
“You’re So Good To Me” (Brian Wilson in superb voice). There was also the
glorious, cascading British 1967 stop-gap single (while waiting for “Heroes
And Villains”) “Then I Kissed Her” (a Phil Spector cover that beats Spector
in his own game), the single version of “Help Me, Rhonda “(Al Jardine’s big
moment), the lush, delightful instrumental “Summer Means New Love “(would
fit “ Pet Sounds “ like a glove) and wonders of all wonders, the totally
unpretentious and girl happy slice of cheerful California-pop, “California
There’s not many albums in the world with that many
winners on it. The remaining six songs are not exactly slow burners either,
with the exception of Brian’s attack on his father, Murray Wilson, “I’m
Bugged At My Ol ‘Man” (but that one is so hilarious you wouldn’t lose it for
The reason the album was received with slight
disappointment is probably because it was perceived as a resignation, a step
backwards to 1964. Capitol was not very happy with the turn the group took
on “The Beach Boys Today”. They wanted more normal “Beach Boys music” about
girls and cars and life on the Californian beaches. Brian Wilson apparently
obeyed. The lyrics are lighthearted, there’s loads of beautiful girls and
everything seems to be hunky dory, even in Salt Lake City.
But the music tells a completely different story, it’s
neither smooth or easy. The arrangements are bold and build soundscapes that
are as related to “Pet Sounds” as The Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” is to
“Revolver”. There’s more here than meets the eye - or ear. Take the intro to
“California Girls”, a seemingly uncomplicated little pop song, it’s
complicated, it’s beautiful, it creates expectations which gives the song an
extra boost when it finally takes off and turns to gold.
If you tell me that this is your favorite Beach Boys-LP,
I will shake your hand and say: Respect!
Released: July 1965
(All songs written and composed by Brian Wilson/Mike
Love, except where noted).
1. “The Girl from New York City” 1:54
2. “Amusement Parks U.S.A.” 2:29
3. “Then I Kissed Her” (Phil Spector/Ellie Greenwich/Jeff
4. “Salt Lake City” 2:00
5. “Girl Don’t Tell Me” (B. Wilson) 2:19
6. “Help Me, Rhonda” 2:46
1. “California Girls” 2:38
2. “Let Him Run Wild” 2:20
3. “You’re So Good to Me” 2:14
4. “Summer Means New Love” (B. Wilson) 1:59
5. “I’m Bugged at My Ol’ Man” (B. Wilson) 2:17
6. “And Your Dream Comes True” 1:04
Produced by: Brian Wilson
Al Jardine – lead, harmony and backing vocals; electric
rhythm guitar; hand claps.
Bruce Johnston – harmony and backing vocals; acoustic
grand piano, hammond organ, celeste; hand claps.
Mike Love – lead, harmony and backing vocals; hand claps.
Brian Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals; bass
guitar; acoustic upright piano; hammond organ; hand claps, timpani.
Carl Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals; lead,
rhythm, acoustic and twelve-string guitar; hand claps.
Dennis Wilson – harmony and backing vocals; drums, tambourine, hand
By Jai Pee
Achira, better known perhaps as Ken, Chiang Mai’s wonderful ‘own’
pianist, who is temporarily on loan on a full music scholarship to the Yong
Siew Toh Academy of Music in the National University of Singapore, presented
a good-sized audience on July 20th with his usual flair and artistry.
“Ken” Assawadecharit performed in his hometown of Chiang Mai to a delighted
audience on July 20, 2013 at Payap University.
There are always fireworks when Ken
plays – he chooses works that are challenging and often very difficult to
perform, yet he tackles them all with a true dutiful sense of mature
professionalism – made all the more amazing considering that his twentieth
birthday was just a month ago. The program ranged from the Baroque to the
Modern with works by J.S Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Ravel, Rachmaninoff and
Shostakovitch. The Bach Prelude and Fugue in C minor was played with careful
precision and with a free-flowing style in the fugue. But the real fireworks
began with the delightfully energetic and tuneful Mozart Piano Sonata K332
in F major which was written when the composer himself was just 2 years
older than Ken! The sonata belongs to a set of 4 written, it is assumed,
after 2 earth-shattering events – firstly Mozart, journeying to Paris in
1778 met and fell in love with the 16 year-old soprano Aloysia Weber (he was
later to marry her elder sister Constanza) and secondly his mother who was
accompanying him was to die suddenly in Paris. Yet this sonata is brimming
with joy and happiness, similar to the K296 sonata for piano and violin –
and Ken lit the blue touch-paper from the first bar and gave us an
electrifying performance, especially in the final rondo-like movement which
is actually in strict sonata form: the fast scampering melody and
helter-skelter arpeggios fairly resonated in the CRK Hall showing that Ken
has a real feel for Mozart – maybe it is the similarity in age which breeds
empathetic feelings – as he brings out the exuberance and high spirits of
the work admirably. It was a wonderful performance of this showpiece sonata
and handled with complete control, from the tenderness and lyricism of the
middle movement to the fire and brimstone of the development sections in the
two outer movements. Many performers play Mozart poorly – they often rush up
the ascending arpeggios and then slow down on the descending ones, contrary
to the score and markings; Ken did neither – his balance was perfect and the
result was a decisive and sincere interpretation. Ken then repeated two
pieces he had performed the previous week in a concert – works by Ravel and
Chopin, both played with expertise and care.
In the second half Ken was joined by another great local character and
performer – Remi Namthep – she acted as accompanist to his solo part in an
arrangement of the very lovely second movement of the Rachmaninoff Second
Piano Concerto. I had heard Ken perform this work a month earlier in Bangkok
with a small orchestra – then and now his performance was charming,
capturing the very essence of this remarkably beautiful work with a
directness and persuasiveness of a much more mature and experienced
performer. The players reversed roles for the final piece – the exciting and
dramatic Concertino for two pianos by Shostakovitch. Once again the firework
display was electrifying as this scampering, frantic piece echoed around the
hall with the performers in perfect co-ordination.
It is rare to have a fireworks display alongside a piano recital. But with
this astonishing and dedicated young man at the keyboard that is what we
get. Add a touch of Remi on second piano and the sky lights up in a blaze of
glorious colour – and that is just how this delightful and varied evening
ended – rockets galore!