Two Times the Fendertones Have Replicated the Beach Boys

The Fendertones are a group of singers and musicians who get together every so often to recreate recordings by the Beach Boys. Their performances not only sound great, they reveal how many voices and instruments Brian Wilson wove together when he was making classic records in the 60s.

First up, “Kiss Me Baby”, a beautiful song with an unfortunate title. It’s from The Beach Boys Today!, the group’s eighth studio album, released in March 1965. Wikipedia says “the album signaled a departure from their previous records with its orchestral approach, intimate subject matter, and abandonment of themes related to surfing, cars or superficial love”. It’s one of their best albums and “Kiss Me Baby” is one of their best songs. Here are the Fendertones doing it only forty-nine years after The Beach Boys Today! (I see I posted this video five years ago. I must like it a lot.)

Next is “Surf’s Up”. Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks wrote this non-surfing song for the Smile album, which was supposed to be finished in 1967. The Fendertones recreate it with the help of two actual (aged) Beach Boys and some of the non-Beach Boys who helped Wilson finish Smile in 2004. That album, Brian Wilson Presents Smile, scratched a 37-year-old itch and was greeted with euphoric reviews.

The Fendertones Take Us Back to 1965

The Fendertones are an informal group of white guys from the Philadelphia area who have so far blessed the world with 17 YouTube videos and a Facebook page. They occasionally get together to reproduce the complex sound Brian Wilson created for the Beach Boys. It’s one more win for the Internet.

They posted four videos yesterday, including “Sloop John B” (a big hit for the Beach Boys in 1965) and “Kiss Me Baby” (a relatively unknown but brilliant album track from the same year):

While we’re at it, two performances from a 2004 charity concert: 1965’s “California Girls” and its flip side, one of my favorites, “Let Him Run Wild”: