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Mike Love

  • Looking Back With Love

  • Adrian's Album Reviews |

    Mike Love

    Related Artists - The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson
    Related Genres - Modern & Classic Rock

    Looking Back With Love 7 ( 1981 )
    Looking Back With Love / On and On and On / Runnin' Around the World / Over and Over / Rockin' the Man in the Boat / Calendar Girl / Be My Baby / One Good Reason / Teach Me Tonight / Paradise Found

    Together with the full Beach Boys touring band at the time, Mike Love took time out to record his badly selling, long since deleted, and only solo album. It sounds like The Beach Boys and given the albums reputation, and Mike's reputation as an all out git, it's far better than I ever expected it to be. Mike was writing songs during the tail-end of the 70s, wanted to prove himself, I guess. One of these songs even ended up on the Beach Boys 2012 reunion album, although that song isn't present here. The opening vocal harmonies during 'On And On And On' are straight from 'Do It Again' yet credit to Love for the overall song. We must remember, Brian had un-released solo albums, Dennis had done well but sold poorly, Carl had released solo albums nobody even cared about. Here is Mike, pouring the 80s into his music. Being 'the voice' of The Beach Boys, according only to Mike Love, 'On And On And On' makes perfect sense, a nice updating of the formula. Also, a full decade before the US number one hit 'Kokomo' arrives 'Over And Over', a faint reggae beat and again, a commercial sound that the parent group were seemingly unable to come up with at the time. He didn't need to cover 'Calender Girl' or 'Be My Baby' though. Christ, an eighties 'Be My Baby' sang by Mike Love, you can just picture it, any listening to the actual recording is hardly required. One shock moment for me, apparently Brian himself provided backing vocals on a couple of songs on this album - no other Beach Boys were involved at all.

    Copies of this album came with stickers stating this as the first solo album by a Beach Boy, which kind of blatantly lies when Carl, Dennis and Bruce had already released solo albums. I did say Mike had been writing songs, but only 1 of his compositions makes it on this album, but there were others around. Maybe he was saving them for his important, all conquering second solo album? In all honesty, I think this is a pretty good album, especially when considering Carl's albums had died both a critcal and commercial death - Dennis did better, but then, he would do. During the final song this album presents, the only one with a Mike Love writing credit, we get to hear what might have been. 'Paradise Found' is utterly lovely - nodding towards Brian and featuring fake Carl-like vocals somewhere in the background, yet also sounding like it could have been released in 1985, not 1981. The Beach Boys could and should have been massive during the eighties, what went wrong?

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    this page last updated 25/05/13

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