Liner Note Authors: Arny Geller; Steve Korthoff; Alan Boyd; Mark Linett; Howie Edelson.
Recording information: Wally Heider Recording, Hollywood, CA (11/15/1967); Western Recorders (11/15/1967).
Editor: Mark Linett.
Another copyright extension collection -- the Beach Boys have been releasing them like clockwork since 2013's The Big Beat 1963 -- 1967: Sunshine Tomorrow covers the aftermath of the abandoned SMiLE a period that produced two albums: the salvage job Smiley Smile, and Wild Honey, a record that opened a new chapter in the Beach Boys' career. Given how it pointed toward the band's future as a tougher touring concern, Wild Honey appropriately takes center stage on this project, with a vivid new stereo mix -- the album's first-ever -- opening the proceedings. The rest of the first disc is filled with outtakes from Wild Honey and live versions of its songs, all of which wind up being more interesting than the handful of Smiley Smile sessions that begin disc two. Although these are hardly terrible, they all recall the outtakes on the 2011 box The SMiLE Sessions, even when the material isn't strictly from that failed album; it is ornate and intricate, majestic music that seems destined to collapse under the weight of Baroque ambition. Some echoes of this aesthetic can be heard on Wild Honey -- particularly on early versions of "Cool Cool Water" and "Can't Wait Too Long" -- it's also where a more straightforward, sometimes rockier iteration of the band comes into view. The outtakes "Hide Go Seek" and "Honey Get Home" -- both backing tracks that blend old-time rock & roll with paisley soul -- suggest the Brother years, but it's the preponderance of live material that shows a band without Brian Wilson as an on-stage leader come into shape. While this applies more to the unreleased live cuts from 1967 (and, in the case of "Aren't You Glad," 1970) than the unreleased live-in-the studio Lei'd in Hawaii -- itself Capitol's solution to the "unreleasable" tapes from Honolulu; five cuts from the concerts and rehearsals do have subpar audio but have energy -- they all show the band with a distinct chemistry and a way with swing. Considering how so much of the Beach Boys' reputation rests on their brilliance in the studio, having these outtakes and live cuts focus on their collective personality as a band is an unexpected delight and the entirety of 1967: Sunshine Tomorrow feels like a gift: it bolsters the argument that the period following Pet Sounds and Smile was no less creative than that golden age. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Paste (magazine) - "[T]here are still glimmers of magic here. The second single 'Darlin',' their austere attempt to match Motown's heights, has a great bounce and swing, capped off by one of Carl Wilson's best vocal performances."
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