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Review: The Beach Boys Journey Into Their Vault For ‘1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow’

Coming off the biggest hit of their career and submerged in the mythical recording of “SMiLE,” The Beach Boys were in turmoil. They struggled to understand chief songwriter and producer Brian Wilson’s increasingly erratic behavior. The Beach Boys sank even lower on the popularity chart by pulling out of the Monterrey Pep Festival in 1967, which they helped create. After totally aborting “SMiLE” and pulling out of the Monterrey Pop Festival the band decided to stay relevant they needed to change their sound.

The band convened at Brian’s house and started work on a record that would be unlike anything the band had done in its short 6 year history. Late September 1967 Mike, Carl, Dennis, Alan and Brian began writing and recording the album “Wild Honey”. Flush with R&B and soul influences it was a breath of fresh air to the ‘Boys. Fast forward to June 30th, 2017 from the seemingly endless archives, “Sunshine Tomorrow” the 50th Anniversary of “Wild Honey” is released to the world.

65 songs containing the original “Wild Honey” album, 2 aborted live albums from 1967, 13 previously unreleased songs from the recording sessions, 10 songs from the sessions of the”Smiley Smile” album from July 1966 and various other live tracks spanning August thru December 1967. What is most extraordinary here is the 2 aborted live albums. “Lei’d in Hawaii” Just a few months after Brian Wilson stopped work on SMiLE and Capitol Records released the extremely confusing “Smiley Smile” someone had the idea to send the band to Hawaii to record a live album.

What is special about this release is Brian Wilson made the trip with band in what turned out to be his first live performances with them since 1964. The weirdness surrounding the band followed the band though and is clear through out the performance. The band came back to Los Angeles and upon listening to the tapes, Capitol Records decided it wasn’t good enough for release. One of the stand out tracks that see’s its official release here is the Beach Boys cover of The Box Tops “The Letter”. Brian handles a lot of vocals on these 2 aborted live albums.

Capitol had the band enter Western Star Studios and re-record the “live” album then add canned crowd noise. Sadly, that was still deemed unusable. After a few weeks the band started on “Wild Honey”. The title comes from when during a break from recording, Mike Love saw a jar of wild honey in one of Brian Wilson’s cupboards. The cover artwork comes from a stained glass window Brian had in his living room.

The Beach Boys

Most fans of the bands post Good Vibrations years love this album and the differences between the music and the surf sound they were known for. You can hear the difference in the motivation on stage as well when performing songs such as “Wild Honey”, “Darlin” and “Arent You Glad”. I saw Brian Wilson in concert back in 2015 and before performing “Wild Honey” he told the crowd, “This next song is from one of my favorite records we’ve done, Wild Honey.”

Released the same year as The Doors debut album and The Jimi Hendrix Experience debut, “Wild Honey” stands on its own but clearly shows a band struggling to fit in with the counter culture. Considered by many to be apart of the “establishment,” The Beach Boys would struggle between the years of 1967-1974 to find chart success and acceptance. Thankfully, the country would be yearning for nostalgia closer to the bicentennial and The Beach Boys would once again will ride the wave of popularity.

New albums are not very forth coming from this band with only 2 studio albums of new music in the last 25 years. Archival releases like this are what is keeping the band alive in the hearts of their fans. It is amazing the amount of unreleased material these bands have. Smart business is releasing these deluxe and special editions at a time when music sales are down. The interviews and track by track commentary help provide a little clearer picture as to what was going on with The Beach Boys in 1967.

Everyone knows “I Get Around”, “Good Vibrations” and “California Girls” but do yourself a favor and give the other Beach Boys music a chance. You might be pleasantly surprised.

John E. Thunder – Staff Writer
Born in the 70’s and raised in the 80’s, John is a true child of the the greatest decade. A lifelong fan of Star Wars and glam rock, he shows no fear in still rockin’ a fanny pack. While Jason Voorhees may have struck fear into his heart as a boy, now it’s responsibilities of adulthood which leave him quaking in his boots. A father of 3 boys, he takes great pride in passing on the great music and movies decades past to future generations. John E. can be found on a beach during the summer and traveling the country in the fall and winter. His motto is ….”Gene Simmons, Gene Lovell and G.I. JOE taught me everything that I’ll ever need to know”.

The Beach Boys:  1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow [2CD, digital]

Disc 1

Wild Honey Album (Stereo)
(New stereo mix, except as noted *. Recorded September 15 to November 15, 1967 at Brian Wilson’s house and at Wally Heider Recording in Hollywood, California)
1. Wild Honey (2:45)
2. Aren’t You Glad (2:16)
3. I Was Made To Love Her (2:07)
4. Country Air (2:21)
5. A Thing Or Two (2:42)
6. Darlin’ (2:14)
7. I’d Love Just Once To See You (1:49)
8. Here Comes The Night (2:44)
9. Let The Wind Blow (2:23)
10. How She Boogalooed It (1:59)
11. Mama Says * (Original Mono Mix) (1:08)

Wild Honey Sessions:  September – November 1967 (Previously Unreleased)
12. Lonely Days (Alternate Version) (1:45)
13. Cool Cool Water (Alternate Early Version) (2:08)
14. Time To Get Alone (Alternate Early Version) (3:08)
15. Can’t Wait Too Long (Alternate Early Version) (2:49)
16. I’d Love Just Once To See You (Alternate Version) (2:22)
17. I Was Made To Love Her (Vocal Insert Session) (1:35)
18. I Was Made To Love Her (Long Version) (2:35)
19. Hide Go Seek (0:51)
20. Honey Get Home (1:22)
21. Wild Honey (Session Highlights) (5:39)
22. Aren’t You Glad (Session Highlights) (4:21)
23. A Thing Or Two (Track And Backing Vocals) (1:01)
24. Darlin’ (Session Highlights) (4:36)
25. Let The Wind Blow (Session Highlights) (4:14)

Wild Honey Live: 1967 – 1970 (Previously Unreleased)
26. Wild Honey (Live) (2:53) – recorded in Detroit, November 17, 1967
27. Country Air (Live) (2:20) – recorded in Detroit, November 17, 1967
28. Darlin’ (Live) (2:25) – recorded in Pittsburgh, November 22, 1967
29. How She Boogalooed It (Live) (2:43) – recorded in Detroit, November 17, 1967
30. Aren’t You Glad (Live) (3:12) – recorded in 1970, location unknown

31. Mama Says (Session Highlights) (3:08)
(Previously unreleased vocal session highlights. Recorded at Wally Heider Recording, November 1967)

Disc 2

Smiley Smile Sessions:  June – July 1967 (Previously Unreleased)
(Recorded June and July 1967 at Brian Wilson’s house, Western Recorders, SRS, and/or Columbia Studios, except as noted *)
1. Heroes And Villains (Single Version Backing Track) (3:38)
2. Vegetables (Long Version) (2:55)
3. Fall Breaks And Back To Winter (Alternate Mix) (2:28)
4. Wind Chimes (Alternate Tag Section) (0:48)
5. Wonderful (Backing Track) (2:23)
6. With Me Tonight (Alternate Version With Session Intro) (0:51)
7. Little Pad (Backing Track) (2:40)
8. All Day All Night (Whistle In) (Alternate Version 1) (1:04)
9. All Day All Night (Whistle In) (Alternate Version 2) (0:50)
10. Untitled (Redwood) * (0:35)
(Previously unreleased instrumental fragment. Studio and exact recording date unknown. Discovered in tape box labeled “Redwood”)

Lei’d In Hawaii “Live” Album:  September 1967 (Previously Unreleased)
(Recorded September 11, 1967 at Wally Heider Recording in Hollywood, CA, with additional recording September 29, 1967 (except as noted *). Original mono mixes from assembled master ½” reel, dated September 29, 1967, discovered in the Brother Records Archives.)
11. Fred Vail Intro   (0:24)
12. The Letter (1:54)
13. You’re So Good To Me (2:31)
14. Help Me, Rhonda (2:24)
15. California Girls (2:30)
16. Surfer Girl (2:17)
17. Sloop John B (2:50)
18. With A Little Help From My Friends * (2:21)
(Recorded at Brian Wilson’s house, September 23, 1967)
19. Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring * (2:33)
(Recorded during rehearsal, August 26, 1967, Honolulu, Hawaii)
20. God Only Knows (2:45)
21. Good Vibrations (4:13)
22. Game Of Love (2:11)
23. The Letter (Alternate Take) (1:56)
24. With A Little Help From My Friends (Stereo Mix) (2:21)

Live In Hawaii:  August 1967 (Previously Unreleased)
(The Beach Boys recorded two complete concerts and rehearsals in Honolulu on August 25 and 26, 1967. Brian Wilson rejoined the group onstage for these shows; Bruce Johnston was not present. The following tracks derive from the original 1″ 8-track master reels discovered in the Brother Records Archives.)
25. Hawthorne Boulevard (1:05)
26. Surfin’ (1:40)
27. Gettin’ Hungry (3:19)
28. Hawaii (Rehearsal Take) (1:11)
29. Heroes And Villains (Rehearsal) (4:45)

Thanksgiving Tour 1967:  Live In Washington, D.C. & Boston (Previously Unreleased)
(The touring Beach Boys – Mike, Carl, Dennis, Al, and Bruce – embarked on a Thanksgiving Tour immediately after delivering the finished Wild Honey album to Capitol Records. For this tour, the band was augmented by Ron Brown on bass and Daryl Dragon on keyboards.)
30. California Girls (Live) (2:32) – recorded in Washington, DC, November 19, 1967
31. Graduation Day (Live) (2:56) – recorded in Washington, DC, November 19, 1967
32. I Get Around (Live) (2:53) – recorded in Boston, November 23, 1967

Additional 1967 Studio Recordings (Previously Unreleased)
33. Surf’s Up (1967 Version) (5:25)
(Recorded during the Wild Honey sessions in November 1967)
34. Surfer Girl (1967 A Capella Mix) (2:17)
(Previously unreleased mix of Lei’d In Hawaii take from the Wally Heider Recording sessions in September 1967)