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Beach Boys Good Timin' (2003)

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In what would become their final U.K. performance with the original lineup, the Beach Boys perform their biggest hits.

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Credited cast:
Bobby Figueroa ...
Percussion, Drums
Al Jardine ...
Bruce Johnston ...
Mike Love ...
Michael Meros ...
Keyboards (as Mike Meros)
Carl Wilson ...
Himself (archive footage)


On June 21, 1980, the Beach Boys original lineup took to the stage at Knebworth England for what would become their final concert together in the U.K. Largely uninspiring, this performance represents the Beach Boys' surrender after a decade of terrible record sales of their original 70's material and a resurgence in interest in their pre-1967 material. Absent to fans are numerous masterpieces from the late '60's and '70's, most noticeably, anything from from Sunflower. Endless Harmony (documentary) and the Brian Wilson Tribute are much better DVD's. Hopefully future DVD releases will include better performances, such as the 1973 tour or Brian' Live from the Roxy. Written by Thos

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Fun, Fun, Fun
Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love
Performed by The Beach Boys
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User Reviews

They were really good
24 June 2003 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

This is a live outdoor concert performed on a rainy eve at Knebworth stadium in Hertfordshire, England on June 21, 1980. It lasts 70 minutes. This concert is the last time all of the Beach Boys -- Brian, Mike, Carl, Dennis, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston -- would appear together on a UK stage. The tour was intended to promote the release of the Beach Boys' "Keepin' the Summer Alive" album.

The DVD includes one special feature: comments from band members on 11 of the 21 songs performed on this particular evening.

The 21 songs performed in about 70 minutes: California Girls, Sloop John B, Darlin', School Days (the Chuck Berry tune), God Only Knows, Be True To Your School, Do It Again, Little Deuce Coupe, Cotton Fields (a bad idea of Al Jardine's), Heroes and Villains, Keepin' the Summer Alive, Lady Lynda, Surfer Girl, Help Me Rhonda, I Get Around, Surfin' USA, You Are So Beautiful (a thankfully brief tribute song awfully sung by drummer Dennis Wilson before the band's encore), Good Vibrations, Barbara Ann, Fun, Fun, Fun.

The boys are in good harmony. The music could have definitely use more bottom and definition but, for 1980, not bad. Several times Carl and Mike pay tribute to Brian sitting at the piano for his songwriting talent, which is nice. Brian is in good voice but keeps his eyes on the keys and the stage.

There is little between-song patter -- not a drawback, actually. A slight criticism is given to the rhythm of a few songs which appear sometimes rushed (in a good rock n' roll way) and sometimes abnormally slower, sometimes both within the same song, and one's attention is drawn to Dennis Wilson's behavior behind the drums.

The harmonies are definitely crisp, well-rehearsed, and the audio picks them up through the density of the music.

Clearly, Carl Wilson is in charge of the band, as he counts down the songs and handles much of the lead guitar work and vocals. Perhaps the most professional musician on the tage this evening, it is sad to think he passed away in 1998 of cancer at age 52. Thereafter, and without his leadership, the Beach Boys would splinter into oft-warring factions. He could take special pride for his contributions when Elton John inducted the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Dennis Wilson appears "wired" behind the drums. He plays in an undisciplined fashion, much like a wild man. He would be fired two years later and here one might see why -- appearing somewhat out-of-control. The liner notes mention that Dennis barely participated in the making of the "Keepin' the Summer Alive" album being promoted by this concert tour. He would drown in Marina del Rey, California a couple of years later and shortly after his ouster from the band.

The crowd clearly seems to enjoy the performance and joins in some sing-alongs led by Mike Love, who seems like he could have used a nap before the set. He becomes more animated toward the end.

Unseen on this DVD is the line-up of other bands which took the stage that summer day: the Blues Band, Lindesfarne, Santana, Elkie Brooks, and Mike Oldfield (of "Tubular Bells" fame).

Extensive DVD liner notes are by Mike Grant in June, 2001.

For the songs, the musicianship, the production, the harmonies and the nostalgia, I give a score of 8. For the slight feeling that the band was looking at this as its last performance plus Dennis' solo and drumming, subtract one point but only one point: overall score 7.

Enjoyable. Worthy of owning. This DVD was available at a local discount merchant for $10.99. Add as much bass as you can and turn it up!

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