Tuesday, December 27, 2022

"Still Cruisin'" by The Beach Boys

Song#:  4011
Date:  08/26/1989
Debut:  93
Peak:  93
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  The Beach Boys earned an unexpected late career #1 platinum hit with '88's "Kokomo," a song that was included on the soundtrack to the Tom Cruise flick Cocktail. The renewed interest in the band prompted them to assemble a new album. The concept for Still Cruisin' was to cull songs from the band that appeared on movie soundtracks. A few, like "Kokomo" were recent recordings while some were old Beach Boy hits that were used in films. However, that concept became muddied when three new songs found their way on the LP. Two were recorded by the touring version of the band while the third one was a new song from Brian Wilson. Also included was "Wipeout!" (#12 Pop) the band's collaboration with The Fat Boys, which had also not been in a film. There was one other new song, this title track single, that was included on the soundtrack to the 1989 action/comedy sequel Lethal Weapon 2. The song would do well at AC getting to #9, but it would be a flop at Pop spending three short weeks near the bottom of the chart. Despite that result and critics panning it, the album would end up doing well peaking at #46 and going gold (in 2003 it would be certified platinum). It was their best result since 1976. This single would be the band's final one to reach the Pop chart after a 27 year span that began in 1962 with their first chart single, the #75 "Surfin."

ReduxReview:  Save for the odd hit "Kokomo," the 80s pretty much sucked the life out of The Beach Boys. They basically reduced themselves to a nostalgia act that was trying to rehash the past through the sounds and technology of the day and it didn't work. This song was a prime example. There was nothing creative or interesting about it. The tune sounded like a tired knock off of an early Beach Boys track that was given a glossy 80s tech-enhanced production. For me, it just wasn't the Beach Boys. Save for the nicely done 2012 album That's Why God Made the Radio (along with Dennis Wilson's 1977 Pacific Ocean Blue, and a couple Brian Wilson solo albums), there was really no reason to listen to anything the Beach Boys did after 1971's Surf's Up.

ReduxRating:  1/10

Trivia:  The Beach Boys had a long an tumultuous career and it continued to be like that even after the success of Still Cruisin'. There would be lawsuits along with the death of another brother (Carl Wilson). Yet as before there were still times where they would set aside their issues and come together to record music. This happened when the band got together for a new album to celebrate their fiftieth year together. In 2012, they would record That's Why God Made the Radio, an album of new tunes that focused less on pandering nostalgia and more on the Beach Boys' sound and approach from their late-60s/early 70s period. The LP was well received and it would peak at #3 - their first Top 10 album since 1976.


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