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The Beach Boys: Little Deuce Coupe

Album Notes

Beach Boys: Mike Love, Carl Wilson, Alan Jardine, Brian Wilson, Dennis Wislon (vocals).

The Beach Boys' LITTLE DEUCE COUPE is arguably the first rock & roll concept album. Combining car songs from their previous three albums with several new car-related numbers, this album celebrates the simple joys of being a teenage automobile owner. Despite the inherent limitations of the car concept, this album suggested that there might be more to the clean-cut Californian quartet than Chuck Berry-inspired rave-ups about driving and surfing.

The hit singles "Little Deuce Coupe" and "Be True To Your School" showed that leader Brian Wilson was becoming a remarkably sophisticated producer, songwriter and arranger. While Wilson was not yet a profound lyricist, he had mastered the art of vocal arrangements, as shown by the spectacular five-part harmonies on "Spirit of America" and "A Young Man Is Gone," their touching tribute to James Dean. Although it would be a few years before The Beach Boys truly hit their stride, LITTLE DEUCE COUPE is a fun, unpretentious album and a wonderful evocation of a California summer circa 1964.


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