Tag Archives: Beach Boys

Beach Boys Reform!

18 Dec

Yes, you heard right, the surviving members of the Beach Boys are getting back together next year for a 50 date world tour an a new album. So that’s Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and even David Marks (who only played on the group’s debut album!). I never thought I’d see the day when Brian Wilson would agree to work once again with that classic pantomime villan, Mike Love, but I have to say I’m quite pleased, it’ll be nice to hear those classic harmonies performed live. No dates have been announced as of yet but fingers crossed they will be coming over to the UK at some point.

Let’s hope their fashion sense has improved since they last released a record…


21 Jan

Here are a very exciting young band from Memphis who make fantastic, traditional pop songs. Magic Kids have only released one single so far but Rough Trade called it the best song of 2008, and I wouldn’t argue. ‘Hey Boy’ is an infectious sing along anthem in the style of Phil Spector or The Beach Boys. The other song, ‘Superball’,  is just as good.  Magic Kids are currently touring with Girls, and they have played shows with The Drums and Smith Westerns. As of yet they haven’t played in England but hopefully that will change this year. Lets also hope we get to hear more music from this brilliant new band.


Christmas albums

14 Dec

It’s that time of year when we get out our favourite christmas records that fill our hearts with festive cheer, so I thought I would compile a list of the most essential Xmas records.

A Christmas Gif For You by Phil Spector and Artists

Perhaps the most essential of all Christmas albums, this transcends the time of year and is a classic in pop production. This Is also Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s favourite ever album, and the one that inspired Pet Sounds.

Elvis’s Christmas album / Elvis sings the Wonderful World of Christmas

However strange this might seem, Elvis’s first Christmas record is arguably his best studio album. It captures the rock and roll zest that made his early singles so great, the gospel songs that still ring as his most sincere and the ott ballads that would dominate his later career. He really rocks out on classic songs such as ‘Blue Christmas’ and ‘Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me.’ The 70’s follow up is nowhere near as good but there are still a few must listens that you won’t find anywhere else such as ‘Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees’.

Christmas with the Beach Boys

Perhaps The Beach Boys Christmas album is not the masterpiece it could have been, there is nothing to match Little Saint Nick or anything to rival Phil Spector’s work. Nonetheless this contains some real gems that ar given the BB treatment.

The Jackson Five Christmas Album

The obvious songs were given the bubblegum treatment by Michael and his brothers which produced mixed results. When it worked it worked well though as demonstrated by this fantastic version of Frosty The Snowman,

A Merry Christmas with Bing Crosby and The Andrew Sisters

Bing arguably sung the greatest christmas song (White Christmas) and his voice is complimented perfectly by that of the Andrew Sisters.  A traditional classic.

The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole had one of the all time best voices, and with The Christmas Song he had one of the best songs. The album of the same name features Nat doing all the standards in his silky sweet manner.

Songs for Christmas by Sufjan Stevens

This collection of five eps was a great present as it came with some brilliant gifts. As well as the brilliantly packaged cds it came with a booklet of lyrics, chords, a comic, a poster a music video and all packaged in a wonderful box. The songs were just as festive and fun, a mixture of his own humourous material and classic hymns.

A Christmas Album By Bright Eyes

Unlike Sufjan Bright Eyes kept entirely to the standards but he gave them his own unique spin and a modern upgrade. His voice brilliantly complimented the traditional material.

A Snowflake Fell and It Felt Like A Kiss by Glasvegas

an attempt to recreate past glories of Phil Spector, this was a noble album that aimed to create something atmospheric and fresh. Miserable, yes, but stirring at the same time.

Christmas In the Heart By Bob Dylan

Critics have been strangely cynical about Dylan’s most recent album, forgetting perhaps that this is a born against christian that presents an oldies radio show. They may have been expecting something more radical or mote traditional Bob, but what they got was even better. I can’t remember anyone treating the classics so lovingly in recent times.

A Muppets Christmas Carol Soundtrack

The best adaptation of A Christmas Carol had a brilliant soundtrack. It may be the muppets and Sir Michael Cane but the songs are so catchy and christmasy that anyone could be singing them and it would still be brilliant.

Santa Claus The Movie Soundtrack

One of my favourite ever albums, this is hard to track down as it was never issued on cd but the movie is available everywhere and the songs are youtube. So atmospheric, so christmasy and so joyous, this is a christmas album for the entire family that provides a unique listening experience.

Now Thats What I Call XMAS!

If like me you will never get bored of the many songs that are constantly played at this time of year, then this collection is the best place to start. It collects all the obvious christmas number ones, and it is great for parties. Slade, Wham, Shakin Stevens, Wizzard, The Darkness – They’re all here.