Back in early May, I went to the Beacon Theatre in New York City to see The Beach Boys' 50th-anniversary tour. I expected a decent show, but it was so much more than that: It was breathtaking.
Nobody owns harmonies in rock music like The Beach Boys, and all these years later, the band is doing it without brothers Dennis or Carl Wilson. (Brian Wilson is the only remaining brother from the original lineup.) Brian's arrangements remain one of two secret weapons that still make this all work brilliantly well. The other is a fabulous band dedicated to that sunny sound.
The great news is that The Beach Boys gave NPR Music an hour of music recorded from several stops on the group's current tour. It's a perfect summer mix from as far back as the early 1960s — the time of Brian's hit single "Catch a Wave" — and includes the band's newest song, the title track from 2012's That's Why God Made the Radio. You'll hear how the new song fits nicely into the canon of songs about fun and friendship. So enjoy this gift from Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and the rest of The Beach Boys. As the song goes, "Every now and then we hear our song / We'll be having fun all summer long."