A few months back, a video was leaked of the group in the studio together and tackling their 1968 hit "Do It Again." A remake? Well, there was definitely mixed feelings about it ... but my overall impression was: "ANYTHING THAT GETS THESE GUYS BACK TOGETHER IN THE STUDIO IS AWESOME."
Yeah. I really mean it. ;)
Then the first single for the new album had its video released (and the track itself is now available for download on iTunes). "That's Why God Made the Radio" is a good track, I enjoy it a lot. I can't wait for the June release of their new album!
Then, this last week, the group released a ZinePak through Walmart.
Walmart isn't one of my favorite companies by any stretch. Sure, there are always the same arguments. "Big chain killing off the smaller businesses." "Poor customer service." "Shoddy product." Blah blah blah. Whatever. It's one of the largest and most successful chain stores, so I really can't blame anyone for getting into a merchandising deal with Walmart.
That point made, what is the ZinePak?
In this case, this "magazine pack" is an 11-track CD that's a pseudo greatest hits compilation ... headlined by the 2012 remade version of "Do It Again!" This is the only official release for the track, to date.
It also has exclusive interviews with The Beach Boys, lots of photographs, three postcards, etc. For about $15, this is a pretty cool little collectible. (The photo of the set above shows off some of the tastiness.)
The tracklisting for the ZinePak CD is as follows:
01 Do It Again (exclusive 2012 version)
02 California Girls
03 Wouldn't It Be Nice
04 Surfer Girl
05 Good Vibrations
06 Help Me, Rhonda
07 I Get Around
08 Fun, Fun, Fun
10 Surfin' USA
11 Be True to Your School
Not a bad disc, it covers most of the big bases. Sure, there are always quibbles that could be made. "Why not more songs?" "Another greatest hits disc? Don't they already have 20 of those?" "Where's 'Sloop John B' or 'Little Deuce Coupe' and the other cool songs?" Still, there are plenty of best-of discs out there (and for a lot of artists) that are only 10 tracks or so that are guilty of just as many omissions. And if they added more songs, I'm sure the cost would have ballooned. So hey, I'll take it.
Keep this in mind when you consider the zinepak: This is a taster. It's a tease. And it's good quality stuff. You ask people for 5 Beach Boys songs, and off the top of their heads I am willing to bet "Good Vibrations," "California Girls," "I Get Around" and "Help Me, Rhonda" are among the most named. "Barbara Ann" would probably get named, too, but I am pretty relieved that it isn't included. I could have gone without "Be True to Your School," too, and been pretty content.
Anyway, if you want a pretty cool li'l curio that is likely to become a collectors item that may someday in theory grow in value ... stop by Walmart of all places and pick up The Beach Boys Limited Edition 50th Anniversary 'ZinePak. It's pretty cool, from a design standpoint. The images are very ... surfy, beachy, summery. It's definitely THE BEACH BOYS. And when you throw in new interviews and a disc of some of their best music, this ZinePak is everything a teaser retrospective should be, especially at such a low price. It's $15 well spent. And you get a Beach Boys track that isn't available elsewhere!
The disc is good for kids and adults alike, serious fans and passing fans. And you can't just buy it everywhere. Some forums I visit say their Walmarts aren't carrying the ZinePak, and some sites have even sold out of them. The dedicated Beach Boys fan base is going to scoop this stuff up, so don't miss out!