This is more than just a “Live” Beach Boys Album. It consists of gifted performances from the group to their dedicated fans during the Winter of 1972 (recorded at different venues in New York) and 1973 (in California). This release (originally a double album set ) contains the finest “Live” versions of their early singles (“Surfin’ USA”, “Surfer Girl” “Fun, Fun, Fun”) and various LP favorites from “Pet Sounds” (“Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “You Still Believe In Me” and “Sloop John B”), “Carl & The Passions: So Tough” (“Marcella”) and “Holland” (“Sail on Sailor”, “Trader, and “Leaving This Town”).
When I bought the first CD release in 1990, I checked the back of the long box (remember those?) to see what songs were included. I was ecstatic to find that it included more album cuts than the standard hits. I listened to this album all through the Summer of 1990 into 1991 -I taped it on cassette to listen to in my Mom’s Pontiac Sunbird,-cranked the windows- and sang along word for word (including all of the ad-libs in between the songs). The “Live” versions of “Marcella” and “California Girls” really rock out, as do “Surfin’ USA” and “Good Vibrations”. In 2000, Capitol Records reissued “The Beach Boys in Concert” on CD and the sound on it is improved immensely. There are a few more beats of percussion before Dennis yells “Everybody!” at the intro of “Sail on Sailor” and more ad libs between songs, especially the segues from “California Girls” into “Darlin” -after Dennis yells “Michael Love!” Mike says “Thank you! MMMM we mean it SO much! Oh, if you only knew!” and then, “After the Show, OH!” then more “Thank You Very much’s” and “Thank You’s” from Carl…then “Darlin'” comes crashing in and the boys give the audiences their monies worth! Great vocals from Carl and Al. The first time I heard “Marcella” was on “The Beach Boys in Concert” and they give it their all on this version (the studio version on “Carl and The Passions: So Tough” is really good, but I have to say the “Live” version trumps it). The years 1972-1974 were a real great time to see The Beach Boys in concert as they performed songs like the beautiful “Let The Wind Blow” from the “Wild Honey” album and “Funky Pretty” from “Holland” (“Funky Pretty” has a pretty funky intro on the “live” album!). The best part of these concert performances occur when Dennis says to the audience “This one is for all the surfers here tonight!” so the fans know what’s comin’: “Surfin’ USA” which brings down the house, followed by Carl Wilson saying “Ok here’s another one. One-two -three…Ah! I love the colorful clothes she wears.”…and the place is transported to a blossomed world with “Good Vibrations”. When the song ends you hear “Thank You…Goodnight!” Not quite! The show closes with an enormous version of “Fun, Fun, Fun” which is the best way to describe this “Live” Album. Long live the Beach Boys music!