The Beach Boys, 15 Big Ones (2000 – Remaster)

Lenny Kaye

By Lenny Kaye

on 05.18.11 in Reviews

15 Big Ones (2000 - Remaster)

Beach Boys
The ghost of Beach Boys past returning to haunt the band

In the four years since they’d gathered collective energies for a studio album, the ghost of Beach Boys past had returned to haunt the band. Capitol’s somewhat tacky Endless Summer compilation, on the cash-in strength of a nostalgia for the pre-hippie ’60s exemplified by American Graffiti, had gone triple platinum in 1974, and continuously on the road, they’d surfed their new popularity, even if the man behind the greatest hits had seemingly vanished into the black hole of his own paradoxes. “Brian is back!” proclaimed the hoopla for 15 Big Ones, but was he? At least half of this supposed return-to-form are oldies, and though no one does golden goodies more reverently than the Boys of the Beach, do we need another “Blueberry Hill” or “Chapel of Love”? Enough fans agreed that the album went gold, but it did seem as if the Beach Boys had yet to shake their past tense.