The Beach Boys, Party! (Mono & Stereo Remaster)

Lenny Kaye

By Lenny Kaye

on 05.18.11 in Reviews

Party! (Mono & Stereo Remaster)

Beach Boys
The band at their most revealing

The free-for-all contrived fiesta that is Party! finds the band at their most revealing. With Brian Wilson’s closeted recording of what would become Pet Sounds, ever-hungry Capitol Records needed product for the holiday season of 1965. Thus, in November, the Beach Boys took acoustic instruments and some friends (like Jan Berry of Jan and Dean) into the studio and let the tape roll while they versioned their favorite songs, adding party hoots and hollers afterward. The performances are loose and infectious, the set-list a signifier of the band’s roots and branches: the Everly Brothers‘ “Devoted To You,” novelties like “Alley Oop” and “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow,” even Dylan (“The Times They Are A- Changin’”) and the Beatles. “Barbara Ann,” a cover of the 1961 Regents doo-wop hit, became a surprise hit single, showing that Capitol was not wrong in assessing rack-jobber demand.