Entertainment Weekly (8/11/00, pp.78-9) - "...BIG ONES brought Brian back for the dubious mission of arranging '50s oldies....far better is LOVE YOU...a primitivist, Moog-driven goof-fest that would forever cement Brian's legend as a not-so-faux naif savant..." - Rating: B-/A
Q (11/00, p.122) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Marks the first 'Brian's Back' campaign....LOVE YOU did bring Brian back as the elder Wilson dominated proceedings....a flawed near-masterpiece..."
Mojo (Publisher) (10/00, p.120) - "...LOVE YOU is the group's one essential post-HOLLAND album....joyous reminders of what [Brian Wilson] was capable of writing. Fans of denim and deadpan humorists should seek it out ..."
2 LPs on 1 CD: 15 BIG ONES (1976)/LOVE YOU (1977).
Compilation producers: Cheryl Pawelski, Paul Atkinson.
15 BIG ONES:
The Beach Boys: Carl Wilson (vocals, guitar, harp, bass, percussion); Al Jardine (vocals, guitar); Brian Wilson (vocals, harmonica, piano, organ, ARP synthesizer, Moog bass); Dennis Wilson (vocals, drums, percussion); Mike Love (vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Ed Carter, Billy Hinsche, Ben Benay, Jerry Cole, Tommy J. Tedesco (guitar); Carol Lee Miller (autoharp); Steve Douglas (flute, saxophone); Charles Lloyd (flute); Dennis Dreith (clarinet, saxophone); Plas Johnson, Mike Altshul, John J. Kelson, Jr., Jack Nimitz, Roy Wood & Wizzard (saxophone); Bruce Johnston (piano, background vocals); Daryl Dragon (Clavinet); James Hughart (acoustic bass); Ricky Fataar (drums, percussion); Hal Blaine (drums); Julius Wechter (percussion, bells); Gene Estes (percussion); Marilyn Wilson, Toni Tennile (background vocals).
Producer: Brian Wilson.
Engineer: Stephen Moffitt, Earle Mankey.
Recorded at Brother Studios, Santa Monica, California between January 30 & May 15, 1976. Originally released on Brother/Reprise. Includes liner notes by Dennis Diken.
Producer: Brian Wilson.
Engineers: Stephen Moffitt, Earle Mankey, Steve Desper.
Recorded in 1977. Originally released on Brother/Reprise. Includes liner notes by Peter Buck.
Digitally remastered by Andrew Sandoval & Dan Hersch (DigiPrep).
Personnel: Ed Carter, Jerry Cole, Billy Hinsche (guitar); Henry Roth, Sidney Sharp, Arnold Belnick, William Kurash (violin); Ron Altbach (flute, accordion, harpsichord); Jay Migliori (flute, saxophone, horns); Brian Wilson (harmonica, horns, piano, organ, ARP synthesizer, background vocals); Tommy Tedesco (accordion); Dennis Dreith (clarinet, saxophone, Clavinet); Jules Jacobs (clarinet, Clavinet); John Kelson, Jr., Jack Nimitz, Plas Johnson , Roy Wood (saxophone); Hal Blaine, Ricky Fataar, Bobby Shew (drums); Gene Estes, Julius Wechter (percussion); Michael Love, Marilyn Wilson, Al Jardine, Toni Tennille (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Dennis Diken.
Recording information: Brian Wilson's House (01/30/1976-05/15/1976); Brothers Studio, Santa Monica, CA (01/30/1976-05/15/1976); Western Recorders (01/30/1976-05/15/1976).
Illustrator: Jim Evans.
Arranger: Brian Wilson .
This two-fer, which compiles two of the band's late-period albums, 1976's 15 BIG ONES and 1977's LOVE YOU, should give both critics and fans much to chew on. While not up to the caliber of milestones like PET SOUNDS and SURF'S UP, both sets contain the hallmarks of the Boys' best material: irresistible melodies, inventive, intricate arrangements, and melting harmonies from heaven.
15 BIG ONES, the album on which Brian Wilson re-teamed with the rest of the band after a hiatus of many years, alternates originals with covers such as "Rock and Roll Music" and "Chapel of Love." As usual, Wilson's compositions outshine the rest, as on the pop carousel of "It's OK" and the delightfully quirky "TM Song." The real treasure, however, is found on LOVE YOU. Though the brilliant studio sheen of classic Beach Boys production is absent here, what remains is an album of honest, original, idiosyncratic pop songs. A trip through Brian Wilson's warped, sunshine-splattered funhouse, LOVE YOU delivers up gems of sweet melancholy like "Let's Put Our Hearts Together" and the ridiculous, amazing "Johnny Carson." Ragged and intimate, LOVE YOU alone makes this disc a must for fans of the band and scholars of alternative pop.
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