Wednesday, May 22, 2019

"Rock 'N' Roll to the Rescue" by The Beach Boys

Song#:  2776
Date:  06/28/1986
Debut:  92
Peak:  68
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  The Beach Boys' 1985 self-titled album was their first effort in five years. It was modestly successful due in part to the #26 single "Getcha Back." The band's return to the Top 40 sparked further interest in their back catalog and that along with a looming 25th anniversary in the biz led to them signing back up with their original home label, Capitol. Their last album for Capitol was 1969's 20/20, which came at a tumultuous time for the band and stalled at #68. Their first release after rejoining the label would be a new compilation album done for their anniversary titled Made in U.S.A. The band would record two new tracks for the disc including this first single. The song couldn't quite find an audience and it fizzled after a few weeks on the chart. While the compilation would only get to #96, it would continue to sell copies over the years and in 2003 it was certified double platinum.

ReduxReview:  I think if Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys drove on the wrong side of the road in London and crashed head-on into Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra, this would be the mess leftover from the wreck. Whoo-boy. The band had been slinging out some dreck in this time frame and this one didn't help matters. Their 60s surf music combined with 80s technology was not a match made in heaven. It just sounded awkward, weird, and messy. If they really wanted to emulate ELO, they should have brought in Jeff Lynne to produce. They also needed a better song. It might have been a cool venture, but instead we are left with this bizarre experiment that just didn't work.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  The band's last album for Capitol, 1969's 20/20, would later be somewhat associated with one of the most notorious crimes of the decade (and beyond). The song "Never Learn Not to Love" would be on the album and would also serve as the b-side to their #61 single "Bluebirds Over the Mountain." While the composer credit for the song simply lists Dennis Wilson, it was actually a reworked version of one written by Charles Manson. Wilson and Manson had struck up a bit of a friendship in 1968 when Manson was looking to be a recording artist. Wilson was interested in perhaps signing up Manson to The Beach Boys' new label Brother Records. Manson had written a song with The Beach Boys in mind titled "Cease to Exist." Wilson then made a deal with Mason for the publishing rights to the song. In exchange for cash and a motorcycle, Manson gave up ownership of the tune. Wilson then reworked the song a bit, gave it a new title, and got it recorded by The Beach Boys. Apparently, Manson was not happy that Wilson made the changes, especially the title, and made threats toward Wilson who then decided to end his dealings with Manson. The 20/20 album came out in February of 1969. Later that August, the Tate-LaBianca murders occurred and not long after Manson and his "family" would be charged for the crimes. Manson's notoriety put a bit of a spotlight on Dennis Wilson, The Beach Boys, and this song that now infamously hangs like a dark cloud over the 20/20 album.


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