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Sounds of Summer: Very Best of The Beach Boys

Sounds of Summer: Very Best of The Beach Boys Lowest new price: $6.41
Lowest used price: $2.75
Brand: Capitol
Model: 2129987

Nothing fancy about it, just a great deal-30 hits on a single CD! And here they are: California Girls; I Get Around; Surfin' Safari; Surfin' U.S.A.; Fun, Fun, Fun; Surfer Girl; Don't Worry Baby; Little Deuce Coupe; Shut Down; Help Me, Rhonda; Be True to Your School; When I Grow Up (to Be a Man); In My Room; God Only Knows; Sloop John B; Wouldn't It Be Nice; Getcha Back; Come Go with Me; Rock and Roll Music; Dance, Dance, Dance; Barbara Ann; Do You Wanna Dance?; Heroes and Villains; Good Timin'; Kokomo; Do It Again; Wild Honey; Darlin'; I Can Hear Music , and, of course, Good Vibrations .

The cynic may question just how many Beach Boys greatest hits albums are enough. Everyone else, however, will appreciate what makes Sounds of Summer unique. This is the first single-disc collection to feature such a large cross section of hits from the group's entire career, spanning 1962's "Surfin' Safari" through 1988's "Kokomo." All 30 tracks, spanning several label changes, were Billboard Top 40 hits and are probably now as identifiable as the national anthem to anyone with radio or TV access. The fact that the tracks aren't in chronological order helps make for a fresh listening experience, as does the crisp digital sound. And yet these songs--even those that are more than four decades old--always sound strangely fresh and will likely remain so as long as there are beaches, young people, and that symbolic season of freedom and dreams. Which is to say that the title here passes the "truth in advertising" test. Perfect for those casual fans not yet ready to spring for the individual albums, Sounds of Summer is in many ways a better representation of this legendary band's art than Elvis' 30 No. 1 Hits and The Beatles 1 were of the King and the Fab Four. --Bill Holdship

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Pulp Fiction: Music From The Motion Picture

Pulp Fiction: Music From The Motion Picture Lowest new price: $13.26
Lowest used price: $19.94
Brand: MCA

Import smash soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's 1994 film starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis. Contains classics like Urge Overkill's cover of 'Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon', Dusty Springfield 'Son of a Preacher Man' and many more. Universal. 2008.

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The Very Best of the Ventures

The Very Best of the Ventures Lowest new price: $5.70
Lowest used price: $5.75

Originally released in 1992, THE VERY BEST OF The Ventures features 20 of the surf rock legends greatest recordings. This compilation includes their first single "Walk Don't Run" as well as "Raunchy," "Wipeout," "Hawaii Five-O," "Pipeline" and many more!

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Surf-N-Burn

Surf-N-Burn Lowest new price: $9.43
Lowest used price: $8.05
Brand: Epitaph
Model: 2004101

CD

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Beach Boys - 20 Good Vibrations, The Greatest Hits (Volume 1)

Beach Boys - 20 Good Vibrations, The Greatest Hits (Volume 1) Lowest new price: $7.32
Lowest used price: $3.71

This career-crossing comp rides from '62 ( Surfin' Safari ) to '88 ( Kokomo ). In between: Be True to Your School; Little Deuce Coupe; Fun, Fun, Fun; I Get Around; Surfin' U.S.A.; Help Me, Rhonda; California Girls; Barbara Ann; Wouldn't It Be Nice; Sloop John B , and more!

The three-volume Good Vibrations series is designed with the hits-hungry fan in mind. Eschewing a strict chronological approach, the best-of sets are arranged according to charting position. Thus the initial collection is laden with the group's trademark tunes, ranging from the California boys' first top 10 charter, 1962's "Surfin' Safari," to their last, 1988's "Kokomo," a stray, post-Brian Wilson success. "Kokomo" is by far the newest selection included here; nothing else dates past 1966's No. 1 smash, "Good Vibrations." With the likes of "Fun, Fun, Fun," "I Get Around," "California Girls," and the incandescent "God Only Knows" rounding out the set, Greatest Hits Volume 1 is the ideal first pick for anyone looking for the Beach Boys at their commercial peak. --Steven Stolder

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Today/ Summer Days (and Summer Nights)

Today/ Summer Days (and Summer Nights) Lowest new price: $5.41
Lowest used price: $8.26
Brand: Capitol

Two 1965 classics, garnished with alternate takes of Dance, Dance, Dance; I'm So Young, and Let Him Run Wild ; a studio version of Graduation Day, and the single version of the Little Girl I Once Knew.

Put simply, this is the Beach Boys at their mid-'60s prime. Ironically, the band's greatest evolutionary leap was spurred by its leader, Brian Wilson, who decided to drop out of the band's live performances after a December 1964 nervous breakdown to concentrate on honing the Beach Boys' studio sound. With Wilson's productions gaining a significant new depth and confidence (note the innovative modulations on "Dance, Dance, Dance"), the first half of Today seems a logical, upbeat step forward from its predecessors. But it's the album's second act that steals the show, setting the stage for the triumph of Pet Sounds. Indeed, it's easy to imagine gorgeous, introspective tracks such as "Please Let Me Wonder," "She Knows Me Too Well," and "In the Back of My Mind" intertwined with the best of Sounds. Set against that standard, the follow-up, Summer Days, feels like a step backward, despite the presence of another Wilson world-beater production, "California Girls," and the band's second No. 1 single, "Help Me, Rhonda." Ever pressured by commercial concerns, Wilson and the band created what was in essence the true follow-up to the All Summer Long album. Still, there's a level of musical sophistication to tracks such as "The Girl from New York City," the Phil Spector tribute "Then I Kissed Her," and especially "Girl Don't Tell Me" and "Let Him Run Wild." Reissued (with 24-bit digital remastering) in a long out-of-print twofer edition to mark the band's 40th anniversary and Lifetime Achievement Grammy, this set features several bonus tracks as well as the insightful notes of David Leaf (The Beach Boys and the California Myth). Bonus cuts include the spectacular "The Little Girl I Once Knew" and revealing outtakes of "Dance, Dance, Dance," "I'm So Young," and "Let Him Run Wild," along with a studio version of a song previously only available on the Beach Boys Concert collection, "Graduation Day." --Jerry McCulley

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Surfin' Safari / Surfin' USA

Surfin' Safari / Surfin' USA Lowest new price: $5.12
Lowest used price: $8.12
Brand: Beach Boys, The

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The Beach Boys - The Platinum Collection

The Beach Boys - The Platinum Collection Lowest new price: $13.87
Lowest used price: $12.89
Brand: Beach Boys, The

Import only compilation featuring 60 of The Beach Boys best known tracks on three discs! Packaged in a slipcased multi-pack, housing all three discs, with a detailed booklet featuring extensive liner notes & group photos. EMI.

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  • The Platinum Collection: Sounds of Summer Edition by The Beach Boys (2008-06-17)

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Endless Summer (2 LPs) [Vinyl]

Endless Summer (2 LPs) [Vinyl] Lowest new price: $21.98
Lowest used price: $11.85
Brand: Capitol

2LP set. Vinyl reissue of iconic 70s compilation spanning 1963 to 1966! Includes "I Get Around", "California Girls" ;"Fun, Fun, Fun"; "Don't Worry Baby" ; "Help Me, Rhonda" and more.

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The Beach Boys / All Summer Long

The Beach Boys / All Summer Long Lowest new price: $5.12
Lowest used price: $6.65
Brand: Capitol

Two #4-charting albums, 28 tracks! Bonus cuts include alternate takes of Little Honda and Don't Back Down.

Released just one month after the Surfer Girl album, Little Deuce Coupe was, incredibly, the band's fourth album in less than a year. Brian Wilson and the band responded by turning in arguably their most consistent effort to date--and a concept album, to boot. Deuce Coupe expanded the band's subject matter to encompass 1963 America's burgeoning love affair with hot rods, surrounding previously released cuts such as the title track, "409," and others with strong new material (much of it cowritten by Wilson and a DJ, Roger Christian). A highpoint: the a cappella James Dean tribute "A Young Man Is Gone" (a reworking of Bobby Troup's beautiful "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring"), a prime example of Wilson's arranging genius and the band's vocal prowess. All Summer Long was notable not only for racheting up the band's standards and essentially bidding farewell to the surf songs that inspired both their name and reputation, but also for going toe-to-toe with one of rock's most explosive phenomena--Beatlemania--and coming away victorious, with the single "I Get Around" soaring to No. 1 in the spring of 1964. Essentially another loose concept record (revolving around the innocent hedonistic pursuits of an idyllic SoCal summer) that takes its cue from the effervescent title track, it also documents Brian's restless creativity pushing the band toward its performing peak. Bonus takes include the superior single take of band staple "Be True to Your School," alternate takes of "Little Honda" and "Don't Back Down," and the slightly salacious outtake "All Dressed Up for School." Both albums have also been sonically burnished via 24-bit digital remastering. --Jerry McCulley

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