A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that 20 Good Vibrations, The Greatest Hits, Volume 1 hits most of the sweet spots of the Beach Boys' career. The collection captures the Southern California surf, sand, hot cars, and pretty girls fantasy lifestyle in sunny, bouncy harmonies. Some sexual innuendo, from girls who "keep their boyfriends warm at night" to "afternoon delight." A jock's plan to "smash" his football opponents is the most violent statement.
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What's the story?
The Beach Boys may not have invented the Southern California culture of sun, surf, hot rods and babes, but to this day they enjoy a highly symbiotic relationship, and it's shiningly reflected in 20 GOOD VIBRATIONS, THE GREATEST HITS, VOLUME 1. The collection gathers the Beach Boys' top singles of the '60s and shows the band at their best.
Is it any good?
As an introduction to the Beach Boys, or a collection for the casual fan who just wants the familiar hits, 20 Good Vibrations is hard to beat. Most of the songs are cheerful, upbeat two-minute singles about surfing ("Surfin' Safari," "Catch a Wave"), cars ("409," "Little Deuce Coupe"), and babes ("California Girls"), sometimes misbehaving a bit ("Fun, Fun, Fun"). The CD also showcases some of Brian Wilson's soulful love songs, including "Surfer Girl" and "God Only Knows."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why surf music in general, and the Beach Boys in particular, are so popular around the world, including in places thousands of miles from the nearest beach. What's the universal appeal?
When they recorded some of these songs, some of the Beach Boys were still teens themselves. Does their music have anything to say to teens today, or is it too old-school?
Do you like the beach and surfing, or do these songs make you think you might?
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