Beach Boys — Long Promised Road

By 1971, the Beach Boys had become a punch line. Brian Wilson was crazy and getting crazier. The band’s new manager Jack Reiley convinced the band they needed a more contemporary sound, and in a stroke of genius he named Carl Wilson as musical director of the new album, Surf’s Up.  This forgotten gem  highlighted Carl’s heretofore hidden talents as a songwriter and producer. Carl still brought his pure sweetness, but his songs were grittier and more worldly than Brian’s, and his experimentation went well beyond Brian’s Smiley Smile noodlings. To me this song is a thing of beauty, and it provides a glimpse into what the Beach Boys might have become if they had gotten their shit together the rest of the decade.

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