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Summer in Paradise
Studio album by The Beach Boys
Released August 3, 1992 (U.S.)
May 1993 (UK)
Recorded Autumn 1991–Spring 1992
Genre Rock
Length 44:10 (U.S.)
41:15 (UK)
Label Brother (U.S.)
EMI (UK)
Producer Terry Melcher
Professional reviews
The Beach Boys chronology
Still Cruisin'
(1989)
Summer in Paradise
(1992)
Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys
(1993)
Alternate cover
Alternate UK cover art

Summer in Paradise is The Beach Boys' twenty-seventh studio album, their first release of the 1990s and the band's last full album of new, original material. It was released in the United States in 1992 on Brother Records (through an independent distributor, Navarre) and in the United Kingdom in 1993 on EMI. It has been reported that Navarre went bankrupt after distributing the album.[1]

Contents

Background

The entire album was recorded using Pro Tools on a Macintosh Quadra computer, being one of the first albums to do so. Musically, it continued in the vein of The Beach Boys and Still Cruisin' by having an abundance of electronic instrumentation. The entire rhythm section was electronic on most songs, with all the drum parts being programmed (although not credited as such) and most of the bass parts being synthesized as well[citation needed].

The only band member to actually play was Bruce Johnston, although Terry Melcher played many keyboard parts, and Van Dyke Parks played accordion on two tracks. Touring "regulars" such as Bobby Figueroa, Ed Carter, Mike Kowalski and Matt Jardine did not contribute to the album either. Al Jardine's son Adam did sing backup vocals on the title track, and touring musician Adrian Baker contributed background vocals. All the surviving original band members (except Brian Wilson, who was being removed from the care of Eugene Landy) contributed to this project, though the contributions from Carl Wilson and Al Jardine are purely vocals as they have no songwriting credits here. Jardine had been "suspended" from the band prior to the album's recording (apparently due to Love taking issue with his attitude) and for a while into it, and so he only sings the chorus on two songs.

The idea of this album, in Mike Love's words was to create "the quintessential soundtrack of summer". Every song on the album, with the exception of a cover of their 1970 song "Forever" and the original song "Strange Things Happen", deals with summer in one way or another. Of the album's twelve tracks, two songs are straight-up covers ("Hot Fun in the Summertime" originally by Sly & the Family Stone, and "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" originally by The Shangri-Las); two are new versions of older Beach Boys songs, "Surfin'" and "Forever", the latter with a vocal by John Stamos); one combines a classic song ("One Summer Night") with a new Bruce Johnston song ("Slow Summer Dancing"); and one takes an old song ("Under the Boardwalk") and adds new lyrics. The rest are original songs, all containing both titular and lyrical references to summer and/or surfing, with the exception of the Transcendental Meditation-influenced "Strange Things Happen". The quasi-rap number "Summer of Love" was originally intended to be a duet, albeit one with Bart Simpson. (The song was also used in an episode of "Baywatch".)

Since Navarre and EMI only did one print run each, Summer in Paradise has technically been out of print since its release. Copies have become somewhat rare, fetching upwards of $25 USD on eBay for a U.S. pressing and upwards of $40 USD for UK pressings.

The album sold very badly (reportedly less than 10,000 copies) [1] and was received less favorably than any album put out by the band to date. Critics attacked the album upon release and are still going at it today. In their book "The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson: The Complete Guide to Their Music", Andrew G. Doe and John Tobler call the album "the absolute nadir of their recording career", "pointless, vapid and soulless" and "utterly disposable" (the latter in reference to the songs). In "Catch a Wave", Peter Ames Carlin speaks especially disparagingly about "Summer of Love", referencing its overtly sexual lyrics.

The band never again released an album of original material. The last official group project was Stars and Stripes Vol. 1, an album of Beach Boys classics performed by country stars with the Boys on backup vocals.

Front cover artwork

The artwork that features prominently on the front of this release, and indeed the similar pieces that feature throughout the package, were painted by fellow Californian artist Robert Lyn Nelson. The original U.S. front sleeve utilises the painting "Elements Of The Universe", whilst inside the gatefold casing were further Nelson works, notably "Ring Of Life" (used for the alternate UK pressing), "Embraced By The Sea" and "Amethyst Dawn At Kipahulu"

Track listing

  1. "Hot Fun in the Summertime" (Sylvester Stewart) – 3:29
    • Features Mike Love and Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  2. "Surfin'" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) – 3:45
    • Features Mike Love and Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  3. "Summer of Love" (Mike Love/Terry Melcher) – 2:51
    • Features Mike Love on lead vocals
  4. "Island Fever" (Mike Love/Terry Melcher) – 3:27
    • Features Mike Love and Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  5. "Still Surfin'" (Mike Love/Terry Melcher) – 4:03
    • Features Mike Love on lead vocals
  6. "Slow Summer Dancin' (One Summer Night)" (Bruce Johnston/Danny Webb) – 3:23
    • Features Bruce Johnston and Al Jardine on lead vocals
  7. "Strange Things Happen" (Mike Love/Terry Melcher) – 4:42
    • Features Mike Love and Al Jardine on lead vocals
  8. "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" (George Morton) – 3:31
    • Features Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  9. "Lahaina Aloha" (Mike Love/Terry Melcher) – 3:44
    • Features Mike Love and Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  10. "Under the Boardwalk" (Mike Love/Artie Resnick/Kenny Young) – 4:07
    • Features Mike Love and Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  11. "Summer in Paradise" (Mike Love/Terry Melcher/Craig Fall) – 3:52
    • Features Mike Love on lead vocals
  12. "Forever" (Dennis Wilson/Gregg Jakobson) – 3:05

UK CD tracks

The UK CD release - in a numbered, limited edition gatefold digipack, was released in the summer of 1992 - though it has the same track order as the U.S. CD, features different versions of five songs:

  • "Island Fever" – 3:11
    • Completely re-recorded and features new music and different lyrics.
    • Features Mike Love and Al Jardine on lead vocals
  • "Strange Things Happen" – 3:17
    • Remixed and shortened considerably.
    • Features Mike Love and Al Jardine on lead vocals
  • "Under the Boardwalk" – 3:28
    • Remixed and shortened considerably, although the bridge was restored.
    • Features Mike Love and Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  • "Summer in Paradise" – 3:27
    • Completely re-recorded and features new music, different lyrics, and Roger McGuinn singing lead vocals on one verse.
    • Features Mike Love and Roger McGuinn on lead vocals
  • "Forever" – 2:58
    • Remixed and shortened slightly.
    • Features John Stamos on lead vocals
  • Remember (Walking in the Sand) was remixed for the UK CD but the new mix was left off in favor of the U.S. version.

The US CD version was also available in the UK (released a year later).

Singles

  • "Hot Fun in the Summertime" b/w "Summer of Love" (Brother), July 1992

Summer in Paradise (Brother BBR 727-2 and EMI 0777 7 81036 2 2) failed to chart in either the U.S. or the UK.

"Forever" was released as a promotional single to US radio stations. The promotional single included a "CHR mix" that is different from both the standard CD version (also on the promotional single) and the UK CD version.

"Summer Of Love" was released before the album came out on the "Baywatch" TV series soundtrack on Sept. 22, 1989.

Musicians

Notes

  1. ^ a b Doe, Andrew and Tobler, John G. Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys- The Complete Guide to Their Music. Omnibus Press, 1997.

Sources

  • Summer in Paradise CD booklet notes, Mike Love
  • "The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and the Southern California Experience", Timothy White, c. 1994.
  • Allmusic.com







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