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Salute NASCAR

(1998)

My rating: **1/2


This album, probably the last original album from the Beach Boys this century, came at an inopportune time. Released in February of 1998 only at 76 Gas Stations (!), it coincided with the death of Carl Wilson on the 6th of the same month. Many thought of this month as the official death of the group known as "The Beach Boys", not only because of Carl's death, but because of this release as well. The album credits "Mike Love, Bruce Johnston and David Marks of The Beach Boys" as the artist, instead of simply "The Beach Boys". However, later in the year, Mike Love gained the rights to use the official "Beach Boys" moniker for this same trio. The results are kind of embarassing, and it would be sad if this were the last Beach Boys album to be put out; a sad way to end the Beach Boys legacy. The results are listenable, but this album is completely composed of car song remakes which are totally inferior to the originals in that they lack their heart and youthful vigor. Obviously, this was not intended to be a serious project, as it wasn't even promoted, and sold for a "bargain price" of $5.99. But there are a few sparks of creativity. Mike decided to change "Little Honda" up a little bit, to sound more like the recent live rendition they had been performing. "Ballad of Ole Betsy" features Mike Love taking the lead, in a much more intelligible form, giving it a sound harkening back to the last few ballads on "Looking Back With Love", Mike's 1981 solo album. Adrian Baker takes the uncredited lead on "Don't Worry Baby", which sounds great except for the sloppy drum machine intro. All in all, a lightweight effort that probably should have been considered a Mike Love solo album, as Bruce and David are nowhere to be heard.




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