I was looking at the $5.00 download on Amazon of the Beach Boys Endless Summer album. Looks like most of the songs are in mono. I know mono was used in the early and mid 1960s. Did stereo benefit the Beach Boys like it did the 1965 and later Beatles? Or, where the Beach Boys more of a singles act to buy on 45s until Pet Sounds?
Brian Wilson (like Phil Spector) had a preference to record/mix down to mono, so the mono versions of the recordings are more faithful to the original artist’s intent, if you’re interested in that sort of thing (also keep in mind that Brian was almost totally deaf in one ear.) I personally don’t really think the stereo recordings have anything to add. The mono versions are fine, and the ones I prefer.
That’s at least somewhat true. For the casual fan, Endless Summer contains all the pre-Pet Sounds Beach Boys tracks you really need. (The more-than-casual fan should buy their earlier albums released on CD as two-fers with extensive liner notes. They had some good songs and some filler, but nothing that really goes beyond what’s on Endless Summer.)
My first Beach Boys album was Live in London, a great, underrated live album from the late 60s; my second was Endless Summer, and between the two of them, they give a pretty good sampling of the Beach Boys of the 60s.
Even if you’re looking at Endless Summer as solely a compilation of The Beach Boys’ hit singles, it inexplicably omits “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and its transcendent B-side “God Only Knows” (considered by many to be their greatest song ever) – even though they were released before “Good Vibrations,” which closes the album.
Beyond this, there are many great pre-Pet Sounds album tracks that anyone who wants to develop an appreciation for the band should hear.
In particular, there is the whole of Side 2 of The Beach Boys Today! – which IMHO trumps most of Pet Sounds.
I didn’t consider them pre-Pet Sounds. (And, if it matters, “Good Vibrations” wasn’t originally on Endless Summer, perhaps because it came just after the period Endless Summer was “intended” to cover. It was added for the CD re-release.)
IINM, Capitol, who issued Endless Summer, did not have the rights to anything after 1965 at the time; Warner Brothers had the rights to those songs, which explains partially how they were able to issue Pet Sounds as a two-record set with the 1972 album Carl and the Passions: “So Tough”. It also explains that odd compilation that Warner Brothers put out that actually includes “Good Vibrations” and “Add Some Music…”
BTW, to the OP…there were zero Beach Boys songs between 1965 to 1967 that were ever mixed or released in stereo, until the 1990s, so that explains why a lot of the songs you’re finding on Endless Summer are mono. (I do believe that Capitol used stereo mixes where available.) Also, “I Get Around” and, at the time, “All Summer Long” were only mixed in mono. To this day, nothing from 1962 or before has ever been released in stereo (wanna hear “Heads, I Win - Tails, You Lose” in stereo? You have to seek out a bootleg), and in fact, many of those tracks – including “Surfin’” and “409” – weren’t even recorded on multitracks so with today’s technology they can’t be mixed for stereo.
To In Winnipeg – actually, Endless Summer was absolutely not the Beach Boys’ first “greatest hits” album. The first came in 1966, called Best of the Beach Boys. Capitol hastily rushed it out while they were waiting for Brian Wilson to finish Pet Sounds, which was taking an unusually long time. Part of the reason Pet Sounds stalled at #10 (which is still a good chart position – for comparison’s sake, that was higher than Shut Down, Volume 2, the album that contained “Don’t Worry, Baby,” “The Warmth Of The Sun,” and “Fun, Fun, Fun” – that went to #13, just like Smile in 2004) was that Capitol heavily promoted the “best of” package and not Pet Sounds.
And of course, when Brian was working on Smile between 1966 and 1967, Capitol got impatient once again and released Best of the Beach Boys, Vol. 2, which included “Help Me, Rhonda” and “I Get Around,” the two #1 hits that Capitol curiously left off the first volume.
Later in the '60s – possibly 1968, but I don’t recall for sure – Capitol released yet a third Best Of The Beach Boys volume, which interestingly included “Frosty The Snowman” and two songs that were already included on the second volume!
However, I guess you could say that Endless Summer was at least the first “greatest hits” album that was arguably implicitly approved by The Beach Boys, as Mike Love reportedly chose the tracks for the album.
Some trivia…at least the original pressing of Endless Summer included the album version of “Be True To Your School” and the original The Beach Boys Today! version of “Help Me, Rhonda” instead of the smash hit single version that came out on the Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) album because apparently they couldn’t find the masters for the single versions. Also, “Good Vibrations” was included as a bonus track on at least two CD pressings, including the gold disc version.
Not quite true. Thanks to Harmonix and Rock Band: The Beatles, we are now able to pull individual tracks out of even the most abused analog tapes. You know how the Beatles recorded over and over and over to get multitracks onto four. Harmonix was able to isolate everything.
Sorry, I mistakenly looked at the vinyl reissue of Endless Summer rather than the original LP.
Though this still doesn’t explain why they would jump over “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” for the reissue version and yet include “Good Vibrations” if they were looking at properly covering the singles era chronologically.