In a sense,The Warmth of the Sunis to 2004's double-platinumSounds of Summeras 1975'sSpirit of Americawas to the previous year's chart-toppingEndless Summer. BothSummercompilations feature the obvious hits, and their followups collect less famous--though … see full wiki
The amazing thing about The Beach Boys' new collection `The Warmth of the Sun' is that they have any additional material to offer after the incredible `Sounds of Summer'. Generous like before, the twenty-eight songs, nevertheless, are a mixed bag. But if you've paid your dues like me, anyone can mix and match these two collections without having to wait for the perfect collection. Cynically, if they had taken out about five songs from `Sounds of Summer' and put in the best of `The Warmth of the Sun,' few would argue the best Beach Boys' collection could have been conceived without our own editing tools. Marketing wouldn't have it that way. Besides `The Warmth of the Sun' has plenty of accommodations in its own right.
How could we forget such essential numbers as the finale title track, "All Summer Long," the multi-layered "Catch a Wave," or the essential and primitive "409"? The rest of the nuggets are real or fool's gold, but the lesser material serves its own purpose. In the middle are pleasant numbers from "Kiss Me Baby" through most of the material up to "Cool, Cool Water". Pleasant, but often forgettable, many of these songs serve up a mellow Beach Boys' outing. Meant for the sand or the living room, these songs serve as snooze control during the siesta portions of summer. (In their defense, even the lesser numbers have excellent multi-layered harmonizing that can't be beat.) Not exactly a direct parallel, but the two collections almost split fast and slow like the Beatles' collections, `Rock and Roll Music' and `Love Songs'.
There are hidden gems along the way to be sure. The terrific little "Hawaii" and the catchy gem "Little Honda" continue the greatness from the beginning. We're kept alive and awake up to and concluding with the playful "It's okay." Much later "Break Away" and the obscure, but excellent "Sail on Sailor" shake us out of the summer nap that's been laid before us. Furthermore, "California Saga" is a nice rhythmic variation of "California Girls," and "Don't Go Near the Water" is a quirky, but impressive multi-layered appeal for environmental integrity. Their remakes are better than average, too. Brian Wilson being influenced by the girl groups The Shirelles and the Crystals, produces good alternative versions of "Then I Kissed Her" and "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?". Near the end we are treated to a luxuriously produced tribute to fellow icons The Mamas and the Papas with their own "California Dreamin'".
`The Warmth of the Sun' is properly titled. Whether better suited for the I-Pod or MP3 player while lying on the sand is the luxury of choice. Just be aware that the C.D. can be dangerous if you're inordinately tired and stuck in traffic.