Eric Carmen, Andrew Gold, others – Warmth of the Sun: Songs Inspired by the Beach Boys (2000)

Although countless Beach Boys tribute albums are available, The Warmth Of The Sun was not your typical homage. Rather than containing simply covers, the disc features offerings bearing the Hawthorne, California band’s influence. Spanning the years 1963 to 1996, these tunes are so to the letter that they could truly masquerade as Beach Boys treasures.

Cuts such as the shimmery sorrow of “New York’s A Lonely Town” by the Trade Winds, the big and bouncy “Beach Baby” from the First Class, the Yellow Balloon’s sing-songy “Yellow Balloon,” Eric Carmen’s doo-wopping “She Did It,” the high energy hijinks of “Rendevous” by the Hudson Brothers, and the gingerly hot rod rush of “GTO” from Ronny and the Daytonas roll in as the best known numbers included in the collection, as they were actual hit singles.

Not to be mistaken for the Beach Boys tune of the same name, Rick Henn’s “Girl On The Beach” resonates with fragile beauty amidst a drift of detailed and delicate textures. As some of you already know, Rick was the leader of the Sunrays, who nabbed the charts in 1965 with the sharp and spunky “I Live For The Sun.” And here on The Warmth Of The Sun (Varese Sarabande), the classic song is recycled in top-flight fashion by Jeffrey Foskett — a member of Brian Wilson’s solo band who appeared with the Beach Boys as part of their 50th anniversary tour.

The Fraternal Order Of The All (aka the late great Andrew Gold) slings a slice of hazy psychedelic splendor into the stew on “Love Tonight,” the ravishingly attired “As Long As I’m With You” from the Rubinoos, the Euclid Beach Band’s rocking “There’s No Surf In Cleveland,” the haunting day-glo laced melancholy of “My World Fell Down” by Sagittarus, the racing rhythms of “Competition Coupe” from the Astronauts, and Alan Boyd’s quirky and catchy “Channel Surfing,” which blends signature Beach Boys vocal power with a splash of new wave shavings, are additional joys to savor on the album.

Applauded for their heartstopping harmony arrangements, inventive melodies, and sonic innovation, the Beach Boys are one of the most admired and emulated groups in history. Swimming in an ocean rippling with these attributes, The Warmth Of The Sun: Songs Inspired By The Beach Boys salutes the band’s entire career, taking in bubbly surf, sand, and car odes to emotionally-driven musings carved of symphonic structures and complex designs.

Every entry here is downright outstanding, as the spirit and awareness of the music of the legendary band is captured with precision and honesty. Starring a host of first-rate performers, The Warmth Of The Sun is a serious must have for not only Beach Boys fans, but advocates of smartly-crafted pop rock as well.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.

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