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The Beach Boys - The Lost Concert
Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 22 mins . E . PAL


Probably the closest the Americans ever came to having a Beatles they could call their very own, The Beach Boys romped all over the ‘60s charts and sent hormonal surges through much of the female teen population of the country. Singing songs about cars, surfing, girls and, well, not much else actually, it was their distinctive harmonies which really helped separate them from their competition.

This here presentation – clocking in at under 22 minutes, yet featuring nine songs – hails from a concert back in 1964 which also boasted Lesley Gore and those aforementioned Beatles chaps on the bill. Thought lost forever, somebody tripped over it back in 1998 and here it is for all to enjoy. Featuring the band’s original line-up, and before Brian Wilson quite famously wigged out, it is a fabulous example of their performance skills and knack for catchy little pop ditties, also highlighting those remarkable harmonies – all the more impressive when you consider the idea of foldback or in-ear monitoring was unheard of in those times.

A quick selection of hits is wheeled out - Fun, Fun, Fun, Little Deuce Coupe, Surfer Girl, Surfin’ USA, In My Room, Hawaii and the fabulously dumb Papa Oom-Mow-Mow, plus a couple more (alright, Long Tall Texan and Shut Down) - and sadly it’s seemingly over before it even began. Still, it is fun to watch the girls in the audience off somewhere in rapt awe land, while the boys all just look kind of jealous.


Having been lost goodness knows where for some 35 years, unfortunately it’s pretty predictable that no amount of remastering and technical skulduggery was ever going to make this anything resembling perfect. Considering the limitations of the time it was recorded, however, for the most part things come up alright visually. Save for the odd instance of wobbliness the picture is pretty solid; blacks are ever-so-slightly grey while the main issue is flaring from the various chrome bits and bobs on stage, resulting in big black and occasionally white halos blotting the screen. Yes folks, there are more flares here than the entire ‘70s!

Not surprisingly a mono sound mix is all that’s on offer, and also not surprisingly it’s pretty thin. The vocals often head into slight distortion, while the music and those amazing harmonies all tend to sound quite reedy and thin. Walls of ear-piercing screams punctuating things with frightening regularity don’t exactly help matters, and there is also the occasional microscopic dropout to contend with.

The extras are flatter than the waves on a lake, with a simple animated menu and a perfunctory discography, just a list of album titles by the Beach Boys as a band and solo releases, but with no track listings, covers or anything.

Sadly lumbered with a retail price over $30 - making this cost more than a dollar a minute - while being an entertaining piece of history, The Beach Boys – The Lost Concert can really only be recommended to the most diehard of diehard Beach Boys fans.

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  •   And I quote...
    "Only for the most diehard of diehard Beach Boys fans…"
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS494
    • Speakers:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse RBS662
    • Centre Speaker:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECC442
    • Surrounds:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECR042
    • Subwoofer:
          DTX Digital 4.8
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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