That's Why God Made The Radio

Beach Boys


1. Think About The Days
2. That's Why God Made The Radio
3. Isn't It Time
4. Spring Vacation
5. The Private Life Of Bill And Sue
6. Shelter
7. Daybreak Over The Ocean
8. Beaches In Mind
9. Strange World
10. From There To Back Again
11. Pacific Coast Highway
12. Summer's Gone

Alternative Versions

Japanese version has additional track, the 2012 re-recording of Do It Again.
QVC version had an additional CD with 11 hits, including the 2012 re-recording of Do It Again.
Vinyl version has different track order, moving Daybreak Over The Ocean and Beaches In Mind to Side 1 (tracks 5 and 6 respectively), while Shelter and The Private Life Of Bill And Sue move to Side 2 (tracks 7 and 8 respectively).

Album Trivia

Released on Capitol Records on June 5, 2012 (June 4, 2012 in the UK).
Charted at #3 in the USA, the best performance by a studio album since Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!. It was also their highest new entry in the album charts ever.
Charted at #15 in the UK.

Website Comments and Review

The minimum expectation of a new Beach Boys album would be that it would allow the band to go out on a better note than Summer In Paradise. The maximum expectation would be to rival Pet Sounds. And while exceeding the minimum would be easy, and reaching the maximum almost impossible, it gives great delight to say that the new album is far closer to our hypothetical maximum than the minimum requirement.

But let's not compare to anything from the past. The miracle is that we do have a new Beach Boys album, seemingly put together far quicker than anyone could realistically hope, even if there was a backlog of songs that could be used. For a group known to miss deadlines, and delay albums by -was it 44 years- having a reunion album out at the start of the summer of their 50th anniversary tour is true providence.

I've mentioned before that it is the most Brian-oriented Beach Boys album since Love You!, and there is a lot of Brian vocally, not to mention the songwriting and production. But there is enough of the other Boys to appreciate their contribution -one actually feel grateful to have some of Mike Love's nostalgia, while Al's vocal on From There To Back Again is a standout.

Many commentators have already divided the album into three sections -the 'classic' Beach Boys sound in the first four songs, a slightly sagging middle and then an astonishing suite at the end reflecting on the passing of time. It's a fair enough analysis, but only because the start and end are so strong.

So briefly, track by track, Think About The Daysis a classic opener in the spirit of Meant For You, reminding us of the harmonies. The title track is a great song, celebrating the classic sound as well as the medium that people used to listen to it. Isn't It Time is probably the most 'Beach Boys' sounding track, and judging by the audience reaction at the shows I saw, should be a hit. Spring Vacation is another simple pop classic that hooks you immediately, with some typical Love lyrics that may be corny but in this context, are like the return of an old friend.

The Private Life Of Bill And Sue has an intriguing premise, and is solid but one of the more forgettable tracks. Shelter is the strongest of the middle tracks, just another great Brian pop tune. Mike's Daybreak Over The Ocean is solid enough in this company, while Beaches In Mind revives the old haunts in a lyrical return to the seashore.

Strange World is typical Brian as he contemplates a world far less innocent than 50 years ago. From There To Back Again has got the biggest pre-release hype and rightly so- it is simply astonishing, and I don't think it would be unfair even at this stage to say it is the best Beach Boys track since 'Til I Die. Like the top 10 or so Beach Boys songs, it is an unforgettable marriage of melody, harmony and lyric, made even more poignant by the aching reflection of the lyric. Pacific Ocean Highway is short, but almost as good, as Brian contemplates the twin emotions of sheer beauty and loss. And for a band not always known for great album endings (think Bull Session, Transcendental Meditation), Summer's Gone is simply the best ending since Caroline No.

The power of That's Why God Made The Radio is that it acknowledges that you can't reverse the passing of time and the regrets of the past. But you can make the most of the present, the beauty around you, and a bit of harmony with family and friends doesn't harm.

So we have a very good, maybe great, new Beach Boys album. The reality is that it is too early to fairly pigeonhole as the best since Holland, Sunflower, Love You, Pet Sounds or wherever you would place it. In some ways, it's something too special to analyse. As with much that I have experienced with the Beach Boys in the past week, it's a moment that we should simply savor. And appreciate the beauty around us.

RATING: 9 out of 10

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