3AM Eternal: The Beach Boys “4th of July” (1970)/A Celebration Concert (1980)


This powerful unreleased ballad was one of Dennis Wilson‘s finest songwriting numbers, and features the angelic vocals of brother Carl. It was slated to be released on the band’s 1971 album Surf’s Upbut due to band tensions–and Dennis’ having pissed off other members of the band–the song remained unreleased until the 1990s. Pity, that. For all his rapscallion ways, Dennis had the potential to be an even better songwriter and arranger than even “genius” Brian.

Considering The Beach Boys are considered “America’s Band,” they’ve had a longstanding gig at the Mall in Washington DC, and a professional film was shot at their 1980 concert, presented here. It’s an excellent performance of the core of the band; sure, they’d become an oldies act by this time, but they were a helluva tight oldies act. Enjoy!

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