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Millennium Collection - 20th Century Masters


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  • Calling this collection 10 Great Songs tells you everything you need to know -- there are bigger, better, more interesting, and more comprehensive Beach Boys compilations readily available, but this pocket-sized set of hits features ten nuggets of absolute studio magic from the days when Brian Wilson and company were making some of America's very finest pop music in an era of brilliant record-making. Not surprisingly, 10 Great Songs restricts its focus to the sunnier side of the Beach Boys' legacy, so fans of the group's more esoteric creations (such as deep cuts from SMiLE or Surf's Up) probably won't find what they want, but there's no getting past the fact "California Girls," "I Get Around," and "Help Me, Rhonda" are about as good as pop music gets, remarkable creations with peerless harmonies, and "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "God Only Knows," and "Good Vibrations" are examples of the group's more mature work that are still an absolute delight to hear. If you're a hardcore Beach Boys fan, chances are excellent this doesn't feature anything you don't already own in more than one form; if you're looking for a comprehensive one-disc overview you're better off with Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys, and the packaging for 10 Great Songs is minimal, with no liner notes beyond the most basic credits. But if you're a casual Beach Boys fan who is looking for an inexpensive collection to throw in the car or the boom box on the porch, 10 Great Songs will provide you with 26 minutes of pure happiness, and that's nearly always a good deal. ~ Mark Deming
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