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L.A. (Light Album)
Studio album by The Beach Boys
Released March 19, 1979
Recorded July 1978-January 1979
Except: "Good Timin'" and "Shortenin' Bread" started Autumn 1974
Genre Rock
Length 41:33
Label Brother/Caribou/CBS
Producer Bruce Johnston,
The Beach Boys,
James William Guercio
Professional reviews
The Beach Boys chronology
M.I.U. Album
(1978)
L.A. (Light Album)
(1979)
Keepin' the Summer Alive
(1980)

L.A. (Light Album) is the The Beach Boys' twenty-third studio album, their last released in the 1970s, and their first as part of their contract with CBS Records. Although Brother Records was still in operation, their manager at the time, former Chicago producer James William Guercio had his Caribou Records label distribute the album in conjunction with Brother.

Also co-producing with Guercio and The Beach Boys was Bruce Johnston, who had left the band in early 1972. Johnston was brought in when it became clear that the ailing Brian Wilson was in no fit state to produce the album. Johnston has been with the Beach Boys ever since.

L.A. (Light Album) (Brother/Caribou/CBS JZ 35752) reached #100 in the U.S. during a chart stay of thirteen weeks, and is now paired on CD with M.I.U. Album.

Contents

Track listing

  1. "Good Timin' " (Brian Wilson/Carl Wilson) – 2:12
    • Features Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  2. "Lady Lynda" (Al Jardine/Ron Altbach) - 3:58
    • Features Al Jardine on lead vocals
  3. "Full Sail" (Carl Wilson/Geoffrey Cushing-Murray) – 2:56
    • Features Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  4. "Angel Come Home" (Carl Wilson/Geoffrey Cushing-Murray) – 3:39
    • Features Dennis Wilson on lead vocals
  5. "Love Surrounds Me" (Dennis Wilson/Geoffrey Cushing-Murray) – 3:41
    • Features Dennis Wilson on lead vocals
  6. "Sumahama" (Mike Love) – 4:30
    • Features Mike Love on lead vocals
  7. "Here Comes the Night" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) – 10:51
    • Features Carl Wilson and Al Jardine on lead vocals
  8. "Baby Blue" (Dennis Wilson/Gregg Jakobson/Karen Lamm) – 3:25
    • Features Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson on lead vocals
  9. "Goin' South" (Carl Wilson/Geoffrey Cushing-Murray) – 3:16
    • Features Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  10. "Shortnin' Bread" (Adapted by Brian Wilson) – 2:49
    • Features Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson [bass vocal] on lead vocals
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Singles

  • "Here Comes the Night" (edit) b/w "Baby Blue" (Brother/Caribou ZS9 9026), February 19, 1979 US #44; UK #37
  • "Good Timin' " b/w "Love Surrounds Me" (Brother/Caribou ZS9 9029), April 16, 1979 US #40
  • "Lady Lynda" b/w "Full Sail" (Brother/Caribou ZS9 9030), June 1979 UK #6
  • "Sumahama" b/w "It's a Beautiful Day" (Brother/Caribou ZS9 9031), September 1979 UK #45

Production Notes

Producers: Bruce Johnston/The Beach Boys/Jim Guercio/Curt Becher
Engineer: Bill Fletcher
Art Director/Designer: Tony Lane
Photographer: Ed Roach

The recording of L.A. (Light Album)

Despite a new $8 million contract with CBS Records calling for Brian Wilson to write and produce 75% of the songs on each new album, his contributions to L.A. (Light Album) are minimal. His presence on the album as a vocalist has only been confirmed on one song, "Angel Come Home," though he probably played piano on the single "Good Timin'" which was co-written by him with brother Carl, but had been recorded four years earlier. His arrangement of the traditional song "Shortenin' Bread" was also old. The vocals for both songs were recorded without Brian. "Good Timin'" hit #40 in the US.

Both "Baby Blue" and "Love Surrounds Me" were originally recorded for Dennis Wilson's never-released second solo album, Bambu. These would be the last Dennis Wilson songs released before his death in 1983.

L.A. (Light Album) spawned a top-ten hit in the UK with Al Jardine's Bach-inspired "Lady Lynda", written for his wife, and later rerecorded as "Lady Liberty" after their divorce. Jardine recently revealed that Dennis Wilson made an uncredited contribution to the song's lush string arrangement. Mike Love's Japanese-flavored "Sumahama" was also a UK single chart entry later in 1979.

Possibly the album's most controversial moment was an eleven-minute disco recasting of Wild Honey's "Here Comes the Night" that caused considerable consternation among fans. The song was only played live during a few dates at New York City's Radio City Music Hall in March 1979 before being dropped from the live set due to adverse audience reaction. Nevertheless, an abridged 4:34 version made the charts in the U.S. as the lead single, peaking at #44.

L.A. (Light Album) peaked at #100 in the U.S. and at #32 in the UK.

Sources

  • M.I.U. Album/L.A. (Light Album) CD booklet notes, Jeff Tamarkin, c.2000.
  • "The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and the Southern California Experience", Timothy White, c. 1994.
  • "Wouldn't It Be Nice - My Own Story", Brian Wilson and Todd Gold, c. 1991.
  • "Top Pop Singles 1955-2001", Joel Whitburn, c. 2002.
  • "Top Pop Albums 1955-2001", Joel Whitburn, c. 2002.
  • Allmusic.com
  • Smiley Smile Message Board - "The Definitive Vocal Credits Thread," posts by Beach Boys archivist Alan Boyd and others

External links


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