New (Old) Stuff!

COVER        cover

So the summer’s here and even though the major record labels are basically drowning in their own red ink, they still manage to throw out these repackages to make a few quick bucks.

The Beach Boys’ Summer Love Songs is the third themed repackaging in as many years from Capitol Records.  Far from scraping the bottom of the barrel, this one is themed “love songs” and “summer songs.”  I guess.  It doesn’t matter – this is still great stuff, even though most of it is more than 40 years old!   There are new stereo mixes of “Don’t Worry Baby” and “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” and “Hushabye,” there is even a previously unreleased Dennis Wilson tune, “Fallin’ In Love” (which was an Australian single B-side).

Neil Young has been tirelessly releasing his vast collection of old tapes, and his recent live offerings have been great to merely OK.  The 8-disc music collection Archives: Volume 1, 1962-1972 (10 discs on DVD) is painstakingly detailed, giving us some of Neil’s first recordings with his Canadian garage band The Squires, some Buffalo Springfield rarities (in mono) and so on, until just after Harvest.   There’s a lot of great stuff here, but if you are not a serious fan you better pass – or at least wait for the truncated CD version.

Not to be outdone by their sometime bandmate, Crosby, Stills and Nash have released the shorter-and-much-sweeter Demos, 12 songs that are mostly just solo performances from the band member who wrote each tune.  The exception is the opener “Marrakesh Express,” which features a gorgeous blending of the voices of David Crosby and Graham Nash that not only illustrates what made not only CSN sound so great, but their old bands too (Crosby in the Byrds, Nash in the Hollies).  Still, this is of interest primarily if you want to hear how these classics started out.

MP3: “Your Summer Dream” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Dance Dance Dance” by Neil Young

MP3: “Marrakesh Express” (demo) by Crosby, Stills & Nash

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