‘That was an escape vehicle for us’: Al Jardine remembers throwaway fun of Beach Boys’ Party!

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Al Jardine fondly remembers one of the Beach Boys more notable filler albums, Beach Boys’ Party!, a 1965 studio effort with dubbed in festive sounds over a string of cover songs.

The band had already released two studio projects in that calendar year, but Capitol Records was angling for a Yuletide release, hoping to leverage Christmas sales. Meanwhile, Brian Wilson was deep in the midst of creating what would become his masterwork release in Pet Sounds.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: “Isn’t It Time” was once a standout moment on the Beach Boys’ well-received 2012 reunion album, this sun-soaked call for reconciliation. Now? It’s just sad, sad irony.]

With no chance to complete that album in time, the Beach Boys recorded a series of throwaway renditions of favorite songs, with recorded party effects added later. From conception to completion, Beach Boys’ Party! lasted considerably less time than an actual party would have, Jardine says.

“We did that in about three hours,” Jardine tells The Jammin’ Jukebox on WXOU. “That was an escape vehicle for us. We didn’t have anything out at the time, and Capitol wanted an album, so we did it.”

The album featured acoustic takes on a trio of Beatles’ songs, including “I Should Have Known Better,” “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and “Tell Me Why’: as well as new versions of “There’s No Other” by Phil Spector, “The Times They Are a-Changin'” by Bob Dylan (a particular favorite for Jardine) as well as “Devoted to You,” by the Everly Brothers.

“That’s a seminal vocal for me,” Jardine says of the Dylan track. “I hadn’t done any lead vocals. That’s a great song. I should do that again on stage.”

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