Beach Boys announce long-waited reunion tour, reissue projects, new album

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The Beach Boys announced on their web site this morning that they will reunite for what’s being billed as “a global 50th anniversary celebration” in 2012.

Founding members Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks will also record a new studio album, and oversee commemorative catalog releases with Capitol/EMI. The band announced a 50-date international tour to begin in April, as well, with a headlining performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival as well as other exciting events to be announced.

Brian Wilson says, “This anniversary is special to me because I miss the boys and it will be a thrill for me to make a new record and be on stage with them again.”

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and recipients of the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award, the Beach Boys have already recorded several songs for their new album, to be released in 2012 by Capitol/EMI, with more tracks to be follow before its completion. The as-yet-untitled album, the first to feature all of the band’s surviving original members in decades, is being produced by Brian Wilson and executive produced by Mike Love.

Bruce Johnston says, “I will be looking forward to singing Brian Wilson’s melodies and Mike Love’s lyrics once again in concert with many of the original band members, but imagine what we all could come up with vocally in a recording studio atmosphere under Brian’s musical direction.”

The Beach Boys and Capitol/EMI have also teamed up for a 50th anniversary campaign spotlighting the band’s entire catalog, with several new commemorative releases planned for 2012, including a new hits collection and a career-spanning box set.

Mike Love says, “We got together at Capitol Records and re-recorded ‘Do It Again.’ Brian and I wrote that song which went to No. 1 in Great Britain, Australia and elsewhere some 44 years ago. Brian paid me a compliment saying, ‘How can a guy sound that great so many years later?’ Later on, while working out some harmonies on a new song Brian had written, I got a chance to return the compliment. It was a thrill to be around a piano again with Brian, Alan and Bruce and experience firsthand the brilliance of Cousin Brian’s gift for vocal arrangements. I am very much looking forward to David Marks joining us and thrilling with his surf guitar licks. Music has been the unifying and harmonizing fact of life in our family since childhood. It has been a huge blessing that we have been able to share with the world. Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Do It Again? Absolutely!”

(click through titles for complete review)…

THE BEACH BOYS – THE SMILE SESSIONS (2011): Wilson’s long-awaited mythical masterpiece was issued in expanded form as The SMiLE Sessions, nearly 45 years after its conception. Be warned, though: While the original album has been referred to as the Beach Boys’ Holy Grail, this massive collection of studio recordings will probably be more well received by musicians and the serious music fan. Novice passersby need not apply. That said, despite the newly recorded version of this project released by Wilson in 2004, no one could have expected what depth and quality Sessions would bring to the table.

SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: THE BEACH BOYS: As the Beach Boys prepared to celebrate their 50th anniversary with the 2011 release of The SMiLE Sessions, an updated version of the 1968 track “Do It Again” and a proposed world tour, we took a look back at some fun, fun, fun old favorites — including tracks from Surfer Girl, Pet Sounds, Holland, Smiley Smile and Sunflower.

BRIAN WILSON – MIDNIGHT’S ANOTHER DAY (One Track Mind, 2008): While completing his own version of SMiLE in 2004, Wilson at long last regained his foothold on feel-good popcraft, a sturdy piece of ground he’d largely conquered by the mid-1960s. Unfortunately, Wilson doesn’t advance that notion over the balance of The Lucky Old Sun, so much as confirm that SMiLE was his own personal vista. Sun is, really, a grand-sounding yet somehow empty album — from the staid “Forever She’ll Be My Surfer Girl” to the outdated linking narratives by SMiLE co-writer Van Dyke Parks. Still, “Midnight’s Another Day,” with its gospel-tinged piano signature, can’t be denied. It’s a direct link between “In My Room” and the modern-day Wilson.

THE SOUND OF SUMMER: CELEBRATING THE BEACH BOYS’ LASTING JOYS: Think Beach Boys, and many remember a group perhaps irrevocably reduced by its tragicomic storyline. Admittedly distracting plot points, beyond the 36 Top 40 hits (most of any U.S. rock band), include shocking revelations involving drugs and mental breakdowns, one never-finished Musical Statement, a slow decline into moldy oldies caricature, several different touring ensembles trying to lay claim to the franchise, various resulting suits and countersuits, and a remarkable moment of jackassery at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fifty years later, too, there is the unironic visage of old men still playing the part of fun shirt-wearing purveyors of a long-gone California surfer lifestyle. Forget all of that. They remain, at least on the 1960s records, the very sound of summer.

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