THE BEACH BOYS: SHUT DOWN VOLUME 2 (1964)
1) Fun, Fun, Fun; 2) Don't Worry Baby; 3) In The Parkin' Lot; 4) Cassius Love Vs. Sonny Wilson; 5) The Warmth Of The Sun; 6) This Car Of Mine; 7) Why Do Fools Fall In Love; 8) Pom Pom Play Girl; 9) Keep An Eye On Summer; 10) Shut Down, Part II; 11) Louie Louie; 12) Denny's Drums.
WARNING: As a sincerely committed, responsible father, I feel professionally obliged to state that the song 'Fun, Fun, Fun' by the popular American band that surreptitiously calls itself "The Beach Boys" (a highly suspicious fact, considering how few witnesses ever noticed members of this band near an actual beach) is one of the most morally endangering, spiritually corruptive by-products of the pop music industry, intentionally designed to lead the young people of America and the world into the temptation of easy-going pleasures, debauchery, and degradation.
Doubt my words? Armed with concrete evidence, I will prove to you that the song 'Fun, Fun, Fun' was created by the Devil in person — promoting, in one way or another, all of the seven deadly sins AT ONCE. Just look here. First, the protagonist is openly stated as having pilfered her daddy's car — GREED, logically leading to illegal thieving activity. Second, what is her first selected destination? "Cruising through the hamburger stand" — GLUTTONY, bright and clear as the morning sun. Then, of course, "the girls can't stand her 'cause she walks, looks and drives like an ace now" — ENVY, ladies and gentlemen, promoted and stimulated by the young girl's rash, irresponsible activity, poetized by this suspicious band. And on the girl's side? Why, PRIDE, of course: "She makes the Indy 500 look like a Roman chariot race now".
Yet the worst is still ahead. With her thoughtless behaviour, she has provoked her formerly intelligent and rational parents into the deadly sin of WRATH — "Your dad was gettin' wise to you now, you shouldn't have lied now" is but an indirect hint at the ensuing family scandal that, no doubt, included elements of heavy verbal abuse and, who knows, perhaps even corporeal punishment. Does that, however, stop the unrepenting teenager? Not at all! As she is slowly sinking into the subtle, but firm sin of ACEDIA — "You've been thinking that your fun is all through now", sing these false prophets, implying that there is little more to life than mindless, shameful hedonism — the final blow is delivered: "You can come along with me 'cause we got a lot of things to do now", says a certain Mr. Michael Edward Love (or should we call him "Mr. Michael Edward Lust?"), clearly implying that the doomed teen is just about to be led into the deadliest sin of them all — FORNICATION.
In the light of this thoroughly irrefutable evidence, I have no choice but to recommend blacklisting the song on all family-oriented radio stations and adopting radical measures to prevent music created by this so-called «pop band» from ever reaching the ears of the young generation of today, whose still developing spirit should instead benefit from the much better pronounced traditional Christian values of such inspired artists as Ms. Taylor Swift, Ms. Selena Gomez, Ms. Anna Margaret, and, of course, Ms. Rebecca Black, whose own attitude on the questionable activity of «having fun» is far more restrained, healthy, and reflects reasonable, caring, God-loving upbringing on the part of her esteemed parents.
As a sidenote, I would also like to remark that, with the above-mentioned so-called «pop song» 'Fun, Fun, Fun', the alleged «Beach Boys» themselves have demonstrated recidivist criminal behaviour: less than a year after having been caught red-handed while shamelessly stealing a melody written and copyrighted by Mr. Chuck Berry, they have now gone on record doing it once again, considering that the opening guitar solo on 'Fun, Fun, Fun' is an almost note-for-note reproduction of the guitar solo that opens Mr. Chuck Berry's own 'Roll Over Beethoven'. In fact, once I suffered through the misfortune of putting on this record, I first thought that I was going to be treated to a faithful cover of Mr. Chuck Berry's song (a fine piece of work, that, affirming the strong, healthy values of traditional American music over the effeminate sissy-pissy excesses of decadent European composers). One can only imagine my profound disappointment and sense of shock fifteen seconds into the song — of course, I still had to sing along and tap my foot right down to the very last note, but it's the Devil made me do it, swear to God.
As a postscriptum, here is some extra info on this album I've found, written by some Russian guy with an unpronounceable name. I'm not responsible for his opinions, mind you — it's just that I cannot bring myself to providing any further information on this band that is so clearly aiming for a kind of Herostratean fame.
«...another quick cash-in with a small bunch of classics and a large bunch of filler. Approximately half of the album is really good, with 'Fun, Fun, Fun' illustrating the band's rapid progress in writing catchy fast classics (although Carl's ripping off Chuck Berry in the intro is somewhat too obvious), and 'Don't Worry Baby' being Brian's first successful attempt at getting a genuine Phil Spector-ish sound with just a few clever vocal overdubs and some nice echo effects — basically, a terrific illusion of a wall of sound without any actual «walling».
These are the two perennial classics, plus you have two gorgeous, but self-derivative ballads in the old style ('The Warmth Of The Sun' and 'Keep An Eye On Summer', written in the same vein as 'Your Summer Dream' etc.), and there is another beautiful cover, that of Frankie Lymon's 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love?' (a song that now seems to have been written almost specially for Brian and the boys' harmonies, despite coming out six years earlier).
Other than that, Shut Down Vol. 2 seems to be the album in the Beach Boys catalog that is just proverbially riddled with stupidities. Stupid is the name itself, sending unsuspecting fans (particularly unfortunate for later-day fans) in search of Vol. 1 (which did indeed come out in 1963, but was an all-star hot rod compilation, with only 'Shut Down' and '409' from the Boys themselves).
Stupid are filler tracks like 'In The Parkin' Lot' and 'This Car Of Mine', retrograde Mike Love-fests that would have been alright on Surfin' USA but, by now, were already obsolete in the light of Brian's progress (granted, Mike didn't have anything to do with the writing of 'In The Parkin' Lot', but he did sing it, and in singing it, he owned it). Stupid is the decision to cover 'Louie Louie' — the Beach Boys are no Kingsmen, and their inability to carry over the caveman menace of the original leaves them with just the simple dumbness of it all.
Most stupid is the decision to include a separately recorded drum solo from Dennis ('Denny's Drums'), considering the young Wilson's lack of technicality; and stupidest of 'em all is 'Cassius Love Vs. Sonny Wilson', a specially staged piece of «verbal sparring» between Mike and Brian — although, funny enough, in retrospect it does not seem nearly as stupid, sounding now as a slightly ominous preview of the real «pop success vs. artistic integrity» conflict between the two of them that would start taking place in two years' time. At the time, though, it sounded really brainless. (A learner of English could at least hope to teach oneself a thing or two about archaic Californian slang, but "at least I don't sound like my nose is on the critical list" doesn't sound quite like real-life Californian slang, or does it?).
Altogether, a shut down, uh, thumbs down, with salvation guaranteed only for five of the songs and classic status guaranteed only for two. Fortunately, Shut Down also shuts down the «purely singles-oriented» period of the Beach Boys' career — with the British Invasion and its anti-vinyl waste policy around the corner, the Wilsons would be among the first American performers to adopt that policy, and even set an example for others.»
Check "Shut Down, Vol. 2" (CD) on Amazon
Check "Shut Down, Vol. 2" (MP3) on Amazon