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Beach Boys: Endless Summer (Greatest Hits Album)

    Catch the wave with Endless Summer, a killer compilation album by the legendary Beach Boys, dropping on June 24, 1974. This rad collection of hits from the band’s 1962–65 glory days was put together by their old label, Capitol Records, riding the swell from the hit film American Graffiti, which featured several of their tracks. Endless Summer reignited the band’s stoke after a stretch of flat sales, sparking a tidal wave of nostalgia for their classic surfing and hot rod anthems and repositioning them as an epic oldies act.

    The album rode high to number 1 in the US and Canada. It marked the band’s second time topping the US charts, bringing back the gnarly commercial success they hadn’t seen since the mid-1960s. The compilation hung ten on the Billboard albums chart for 155 weeks and scored a 3× platinum certification from the RIAA for shipping over three million copies. Capitol kept the vibe alive with a follow-up compilation in 1975, Spirit of America, which also shredded the sales charts.

    The Beach Boys have raked in more money from their greatest hits albums than from their original releases. Impressively, five of these collections have achieved multi-platinum status. Capitalizing on this success, Capitol Records continues to churn out these compilations. They often entice fans to repurchase the same tracks by marketing them as “remastered” or “remixed,” offering a fresh spin on classic hits.

    The double LP that etched Brian Wilson’s Sixties tunes into our national consciousness also, unfortunately, cemented the Beach Boys in the nostalgia circuit. While there’s no changing that now if you’re new to their music, dive into the hits and use them as a gateway to explore the rest of the band’s catalog for even more treasures.

    The album’s cover art, crafted by illustrator Keith McConnell—who also designed the artwork for their follow-up albums, Spirit of America and Sunshine Dream—features lush vegetation in the foreground, reminiscent of the band’s late 1960s Smiley Smile album. Keith is most famously known for his artwork with the Beach Boys, he was astonishingly also a U.S. Marine combat artist during the Vietnam and Desert Storm conflicts. He served as a courtroom artist and designed numerous “Toys For Tots” posters for the U.S. Marines charity!

    Tony M.