The cynic may question just how many Beach Boys greatest hits albums are enough. Everyone else, however, will appreciate what makes Sounds of Summer unique. This is the first single-disc collection to feature such a large cross section of hits from the group's entire career, spanning 1962's "Surfin' Safari" through 1988's "Kokomo".
All 30 tracks, spanning several label changes, were Billboard Top 40 hits and are probably now as identifiable as the national anthem to anyone with radio or TV access. The fact that the tracks aren't in chronological order helps make for a fresh listening experience, as does the crisp digital sound. And yet these songs--even those that are more than four decades old--always sound strangely fresh and will likely remain so as long as there are beaches, young people, and that symbolic season of freedom and dreams.
Which is to say that the title here passes the "truth in advertising" test. Perfect for those casual fans not yet ready to spring for the individual albums, Sounds of Summer is in many ways a better representation of this legendary band's art.
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